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How to Avoid a Spending Hangover after the Holidays

The holidays are right around the corner and for most Americans that means the beginning of a hectic holiday season. Here are some pointers so that you can make the gift buying season easier for your wallet and your stress level. 1. Create a budget and stick to it. Make a list of all of the people you need to buy for this year, set a spending limit for each gift, and then follow it! 2. Use credit cards in…

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The Great Disconnect

“There really isn’t any doubt that financial markets remain broken and divorced from reality.” – David Rosenberg Rosenberg Research Economic Research for Informed Investing “Never before have I seen a market so highly valued in the face of overwhelming uncertainty…” – James Montier GMO Investments and Asset Management Stock Prices In early September the U.S. stock market (as measured by the S&P500) hit a new all-time high. Stock prices are now almost 11% higher than they were on January 1,…

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Ten Questions to Ask a Potential Financial Advisor

You’ve determined that now is the time to enlist the help of a professional for your financial affairs, now what? It’s a good idea to find a few advisors and interview them to see if they are the right fit for you. This will be an important relationship and you want to be able to trust this person and feel comfortable talking about important subjects like money and personal goals. Here’s a good list of questions to ask during your…

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COVID Scams

As if dealing with business shutdowns, wearing masks, and the general annoyance that this pandemic has brought us wasn’t enough, now we have to worry about more scams. Hackers and thieves have resorted back to some good old-fashioned tricks, but there are some new ones popping up that might surprise you. Do not respond to texts, emails, or calls about checks from the government. Some new scams are offering “help” to get an expedited stimulus check. The government doesn’t work…

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Personal Finance Applications

Having an easy to manage spending plan is the cornerstone for financial success. It’s important to know your cash inflows and outflows so that you make the most of your hard-earned cash. Knowing how much you spend on categories like groceries, eating out, or gas can help you identify areas where maybe you are spending too much. This can help you direct funds towards something else that has importance to you, such as saving for retirement, a new home, or…

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An Unconventional Approach

A widely held belief in both academia and the investment industry is that a person should have as much of their money in stocks as they can tolerate because stocks have provided the highest returns over long periods of time. Most people cannot handle the erratic volatility of an all stock portfolio so many advisors say “let’s do 60% in stocks and 40% in bonds” in order to make things a bit more palatable. “60/40” has come to be the…

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Financial Planning – More Important than Ever

Over the past few months, we have been living a new “normal.” This includes wearing face masks in public, social distancing, and communicating with our friends and loved ones not in person, but almost entirely virtually. These changes may cause you to pause and consider your priorities and what your future looks like. Many things in life are out of our control, but working with an advisor to create or revise your financial plan is a great way to take…

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Journey Tree Supports

Every year Journey Tree makes it a point to support local entities: The Shedd, KWAX, Oregon Mozart Players, Oregon Bach Festival, Friends of Trees, KLCC, and the list goes on. While the novel coronavirus has caused performances and productions to be canceled and postponed, Journey Tree continues to provide support in any way we can. Oregon Bach Festival (OBF): This summer was going to be the 50th anniversary of the Oregon Bach Festival. Unfortunately, given the circumstances, it has been…

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MARKET COMMENTARY – MAY 2020

The Pandemic Roller Coaster of 2020 2020 has been a year of volatile extremes in the investment world. Following exceptional returns for virtually all types of investments in 2019, the S&P 500 stock index registered an all-time high on February 19. Less than a month later by March 23 the index had dropped 34% –  the sharpest drop on record. Then, after unprecedented measures were announced by the Federal Reserve and Federal government, the S&P 500 shot up 30% over…

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What to Do During a Bear Market

We know you may be concerned about recent declines in the stock market. Markets go up, but they also go down. Fortunately, they go up more often than they go down. There are things in our lives that we can control and that makes sense to focus on, especially during turbulent times. Here are some personal financial items to review that can have a positive impact on your financial future. Review your expenses. As markets go down people start to…

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