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Health Check: Business

Consider your last routine doctor visit. Did you disclose all of your aches and pains? Or did you assume the doctor would be able to both mind read and diagnose? Businesses do the same thing. Some are open and transparent and others make analysts and auditors dig for accurate information.While earnings reports for the third quarter continue to flood in it appears organizations, as a whole, are as healthy as ever. Even some of the most embattled international companies were somehow able to post small profits (i.e. Volkswagen). This would seem contrary to what headlines have been feeding us since the market sell-off in August and September.

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The Search: Income and Safety

Another fiscal quarter went by and the chairman of the Fed held off on raising interest rates again. It seems to be to the tune of a broken record, but investors are growing tired of riding out the historic low interest rates.Another fiscal quarter went by and the chairman of the Fed held off on raising interest rates again. It seems to be to the tune of a broken record, but investors are growing tired of riding out the historic low interest rates. Retirees and conservative investors typically could purchase high quality bonds, clip the coupon interest rate, and meet their short-term income needs. The fed funds rate began dropping in 2008, and by the beginning of 2009 it was at 0%. In the 6 years since investors have had to either erode their principle or take on more risk to achieve the level of income they were once used to. Taking on more risk works really well when the economy is strong like it has been over the same time period. When the economy shows weakness these higher risk bonds can have similar drops like stocks do. The consensus among most experts is it’s time to adjust our expectations about fixed income investments. Stick with high quality bonds if you need to rely on the income today - or - Accept the volatility of the higher risk bonds if you don’t need the income today.

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Managing volatility like a winding river

In the recent weeks we have seen the turbulence of the market heat up as the broader US markets gave up any positive returns they had for the year. We experienced our first technical “correction” since the late summer of 2011. Our office fielded many questions and concerns from you, our clients. As investment managers our primary focus is to protect the assets you have entrusted us with, and grow it according to the strategy we set forth with. Just like an expedition down a river we are your guide. At times the path is clear and we have smooth sailing. Then there are times like now when there is an unexpected bend in the river and we need all hands on deck for the unknown. What we do know is there are rewards for those who keep the disciplined strategy in mind. Here are five principles that can help you weather the storm and come through stronger than before: 1. Have a strategy 2. Be comfortable with your investments 3. Diversify 4. Don’t try to time the market 5. Invest regularly despite the market conditions. 

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Three Ways to Get More Done in a Day

You may have heard statistics or evidence that multitasking can actually make people less efficient. Actually, in many cases that’s true. Generally speaking, multitasking decreases the level of knowledge and understanding in a given task; and, sometimes it can lead to doing many things but not really accomplishing anything.

How to Select the “Right” Financial Advisor

Choosing a financial advisor is tough. There are generally a lot of options so how do you differentiate the crème de la créme of advisors who you can really trust to manage your hard-earned money?

5 Tips for Managing Financial Stress

Money is just one of those things that sometimes brings people as much pain as it does pleasure. As the economy in an up cycle of the recession, things are looking better but just the thought and uncertainty of an unstable economy is often enough to bring the fear back into people’s minds

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