Medicare Open Enrollment Time

October 15 until December 7, 2013 is open enrollment in Medicare for the 2014 Year.  Visit www.medicare.gov and enter your zip code to compare options. If you are already covered by Medicare this is the time to compare plans to see if you will benefit from a change in coverage in 2014.  Those who are Medicare eligible can choose between what is called … [Read more...]

October Sales Tax Holiday

If you are in the market for a new appliance, be sure to check this out right away.  Beginning today, October 11th, purchases of certain WaterSense and Energy Star qualified products are exempt from Virginia sales tax.  This tax holiday will last until midnight on Monday, October 14th.  Many items including, but not limited to dishwashers, refrigerators, … [Read more...]

How will Obamacare Affect the Economy and the Market?

Most conversations about how Obamacare will impact the economy focus on JOBS. There are two opposing views drawn on party-lines and both sides are passionate about their opinions. Opponents of this legislation claim that the law will encourage employers to reduce the work week to 29 hours or less and trim their workforce to stay under 50 full-time … [Read more...]

The Affordable Care Act and the Investor

For answers to some basic questions about who should visit the new Healthcare Exchanges on October 1st, check out our post.  Today we explore how Obamacare will impact investors. After all is said and done, there is no free lunch!  We all know that and we know that extending affordable insurance coverage to millions of Americans currently uninsured … [Read more...]

The Affordable Care Act is Here!

Also known as Obamacare, open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act is set to start on Tuesday, October 1st. This is one of the most politically charged issues of our time. As a financial advisor, my responsibility is to provide wise financial advice for my clients about the impact of this legislation. It is my intent to avoid politics in this presentation … [Read more...]

Fed Continues Bond Purchases Unabated

Federal Reserve Board voted Wednesday to continue their aggressive $85 billion per month bond-buying program with no tapering in sight.  In a 2:00 p.m. news conference they stated they want to see more evidence that the economy is strong enough to handle any reduction in the current stimulus program.  They hastened to add that they are poised to begin … [Read more...]

The Dow Drops 3 Big Names

The Wall Street Journal calls this the "biggest shake-up of the 30-stock index in almost a decade".  The three lowest priced stocks get bumped on September 20th on this price-weighted index.  The higher the stock price the more influence any given stock has on the price change in the Dow, so these three stocks have had little to do with the gains in the … [Read more...]

The Dow Powers through 15,000

Markets move not so much based on the actual data, as how the data relates to what investors expected.  The Citigroup Economic Surprise Index measures how economic data relates to expectations.  A positive number means data is better than expected and a negative number means worse than expected. This index has turned negative for all the major regions of the … [Read more...]

It Wasn’t Raining When Noah Built the Ark!

The Dow is back to an all-time high following the financial crisis.  The Wall Street Journal reported on the front page on March 6, 2013 that it took only 17 months to plunge from its 2007 high to its March 2009 low.  But it took four years to recover and reach new highs. “It’s like deja- vu, all over again”, as Yogi Berra was fond of saying.   Early in … [Read more...]

Uncertainty Stalls Markets

Labor Day marks the end of summer and while September can be slow, often there are new opportunities in the financial markets as the end of the year is in sight.  There is seasonality to the markets and stocks historically make slow or little progress in the summer months.  For the last three years, summers have been dangerously volatile.  In the summer of … [Read more...]