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529 Account Contributions – Taking Advantage of Year-End Benefits

As we approach the end of the calendar year, it’s a good time to review some last-minute planning items that can result in 2020 tax savings. One such item is making contributions to 529 education plans in states that offer a tax-break on dollars that are deposited within the calendar year.  For example, Michigan offers […]

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The Case for Negative-Yielding Debt

The idea that you can make a case for negative-yielding debt would seem to be counterintuitive at best and irrational at worst.  Never-the-less, there are some rational reasons for an investment decision that seems to defy logic. Perhaps the primary value of negative-yielding debt is safety.  The typical investor might conclude that a federally insured […]

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The Housing Pinch

Two recent headlines summarize some of today’s housing issues:  1. Big company owners of single-family homes are raising rents at the fastest rate since the last decade’s foreclosure crisis, and 2. First-time home sales currently account for the lowest market share since 1987. Corporate landlords that own single family homes are raising rents at the fastest […]

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Markets Go Up?

According to Investopedia, “all stocks around the world tend to rise in the long term.”  They cite as evidence the performance of major common stock averages for a wide range of developed countries over the last 100 years.  For example, selected data for U.S. markets point to a 10.2% average return for the S&P 500 […]

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Nearly everyone agrees that job growth is essential to economic progress.  Those who want something, from voters (votes) and/or government (tax breaks and other subsidies), tend to buttress their arguments with the promise of new jobs. Be careful, new jobs aren’t always “net” new jobs. Investors and taxpayers might want to take a closer look […]

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The Minimum Wage Debate

A minimum wage is the lowest remuneration that employers can legally pay workers, a concept that remains controversial.  Proponents tend to argue that increasing the minimum wage reduces poverty, while opponents believe that increases in the minimum wage reduce employment opportunities. This debate continues and is unlikely to be resolved.  The federal minimum wage of […]

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