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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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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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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Our Newest Certified Financial Planner™

We are pleased to announce that Michelle is officially a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional!  She successfully passed the CFP® Board exam in November. What is a CFP®? A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ is an advisor who has met rigorous education and experience requirements, and is held to a high ethical and professional standard in the financial industry. The education component is met by completing college level courses in investment planning, tax planning, retirement planning, estate planning, insurance planning, financial management, and…

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Journey Tree Plants Trees!

In April the Journey Tree team got their hands dirty planting trees with Friends of Trees on 18th and Oak. They helped plant 10 trees in the area as part of the Trees for Concrete program. The Trees for Concrete program consists of removing big chunks of unnecessary sidewalk, bringing in new soil, and planting trees appropriate for the site. Benefits of trees in the city: Reduce noise Filter the air and water Decrease stress and improve mood Add beauty…

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Qualified Charitable Distributions & Taxes

New tax laws have changed how people can make charitable contributions in 2019. Now that the standard deduction has more than doubled, itemizing deductions no longer make sense for most tax payers. For those over 70 ½, are required to take a required minimum distribution (RMD), and want to make a charitable contribution to an eligible organization might think about making a “Qualified Charitable Distribution” (QCD). A QCD is a charitable contribution made directly from your qualified IRA. Instead of…

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Crime Scene Tape

Identity Compromised?

If you or someone you know has become a victim of identity theft, here are a few steps which should be taken immediately: Check for and clean computer of any malware. Change passwords for all services: email, social media, financial sites, etc. Place a fraud alert with one of the credit agencies: Experian, TransUnion, or Equifax. Contact Journey Tree to make us aware so we can contact TD to have additional security measures added to your accounts. For additional assistance…

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