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The Millionaire Next Door Redux

My colleague, Walter Kirchberger, does a lot of world travel and recently brought back with him not a tee shirt or other souvenir, but an article he had read on the ship titled, “The millionaires next door.”  It was an Associated Press piece by Liz Weston. Many years ago, a book was written of the […]

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The Battle Over Fuel Economy

The technical details behind corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards are complicated and controversial.  At an automotive conference held in Traverse City, MI, public sparring between regulators and industry representatives suggest that the path to the current goal of 54.5 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2025, is going to be bumpy. Predictably, the auto industry […]

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Is Your Inheritance Taxable?

Many clients ask about the taxability of inherited assets.  Generally, funds or assets you inherit are not taxable; if estate taxes (sometimes referred to as death taxes) are due they are paid by the estate prior to distribution to beneficiaries.  A few states (not Michigan) have an inheritance tax. The rules regarding how to treat […]

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Hidden Taxes

Taxes are always a controversial topic with widely divergent opinions as to who should pay, how much, and on what basis.  An old saying “Don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax the fellow behind the tree,” may be more appropriate than ever, as politicians increasingly seek to obscure the full amount they are collecting and […]

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Reflections of an Intern

As investment professionals, we tend to take a lot of “investment content” for granted and, like many professions, assume that the general public has the same awareness on wealth planning concepts that we do.  Our recent college intern, Daria Lenderman (Northwestern University), shared her observations following her very successful session at Sigma Investment Counselors this […]

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Be Wary of Consensus

Investors should be cautious in reacting to “consensus” opinions and investment strategies.  For example, running up to, and immediately after, Apple’s new iPhone announcement, analysts, both financial and technical, were somewhat less than enthusiastic about the phone’s prospects.  Comments included, not enough new stuff, taking out the headphone jack is a mistake, etc.  As a […]

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