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Market Commentary

The U.S. stock market reached new highs to close out 2017. The S&P 500 stock index was up over 21% last year and already another 6% in January before experiencing some decline in February. Given that the long term average return for the stock market is around 10%, future price appreciation is likely to be much lower. Not to mention that the market has not had a significant drop in almost a year and a half – far from the…

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Six Signs it is a Scam

Whether it’s an email from an overseas prince asking you to wire cash, or an unsolicited phone call from someone asking for identifiable information, scams are a familiar concern that can cause an unsuspecting victim financial harm and heartache. Protect yourself and your loved ones from telephone, email, mail or other types of scams by questioning the conversation. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum offers six signs that an offer might be a scam. Scammers Contact You “Out of the Blue.”…

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Market Commentary

 In investment circles it is often said that “You make your money when you buy.” The basic notion is that the investor buys the stock of a good company that is temporarily selling at a low price and holds onto it until it can be sold at a much higher price.  So, to have a good chance to make a profit one needs low prices as a starting point.The problem is that seldom has there been such an absence of…

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A Reminder About Requesting Withdrawals

In case you missed our last newsletter, we want to make sure you are aware of a new policy related to withdrawals from your accounts at TD Ameritrade. Due to an increased threat of electronic fraud, we are now required to obtain verbal authorization to initiate withdrawals from your accounts. You can still email the details of your instructions, but if you do so please also follow up with a phone call. You can confirm your request with any of…

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The Rollercoaster Returns

Over the last month or so, stock markets have tacked on another 2-3% gain. This rise came on the heels of an abrupt 6% drop in the market immediately after the surprising vote in Britain to leave the European Union. What is going on? Volatility has returned to the markets in the last year after several years of positive market action, as shown in this five-year chart of the New York Stock Exchange Index.  Cited causes of recent market declines…

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There is No Such Thing as a “Best Investment”

An article published in the USA Today titled “Warren Buffett: This is the best investment most people can buy” was forwarded my way recently. I find it interesting to read statements attributed to Warren Buffet, even if the journalists covering them sometimes rephrase or take things out of context.  Judging by the quotes in the article, all Warren actually asserted was that the Vanguard 500 Index fund is a great choice if you are looking for passive exposure to the “American…

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Wild First Quarter Ride

It was a wild ride in the stock market during the first 3 months of the year. January started out with one of the biggest drops ever for the month. The market continued to decline into mid-February reaching about a -10% decline for the year at that point before essentially recovering all the ground it had lost by the end of March. European and Asian stock markets were down about -2.5% on average for the quarter and U.S. and overseas…

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Kicking the Tires at T. Rowe Price

Journey Tree is always on the lookout for the top mutual funds in a variety of asset categories in order to construct the portfolios that best meet client needs. Our research process involves occasionally meeting with company representatives to get all of our questions answered. Jonathan recently returned from a visit to T. Rowe Price, an investment firm located in Baltimore, Maryland. T. Rowe Price mutual funds have begun popping up with some regularity in the results of our recent…

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Our Updated Policy on Money Transfer Requests

Due to the ongoing threat of internet-based fraudulent activity, we have changed our policy on requesting money transfers to and from your accounts with TD Ameritrade. From now on, if you would like money transferred to or from one of your accounts, please call to notify one of our team members verbally. An email alone is no longer sufficient to ensure your request is valid, even if email is the method you have always used to make requests. If you…

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Financial Literacy Education Provided by NEDCO

We wanted to spread the word about a great local organization that offers introductory financial literacy classes and counseling to our community. Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO), located in downtown Springfield, offers a monthly class series called Financial Foundations. The classes are offered in both English and Spanish and cover topics including financial goal setting, budgeting, tackling debt, improving credit, and understanding insurance. After attending the class series, participants receive individualized advice from a financial counselor. For lower-income participants, enrolling…

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