Dairyland Peach http://dairylandpeach.com Sauk Centre, Minnesota Thu, 03 Sep 2015 22:35:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Gabriella Lynn Imdieke http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/gabriella-lynn-imdieke/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/gabriella-lynn-imdieke/#comments Thu, 03 Sep 2015 22:35:07 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=22672 Gabriella Lynn Imdieke

Gabriella Lynn Imdieke was born to Sarah and Joel Imdieke, of Melrose, Tuesday, Sept. 1, at 9:59 p.m.. at the CentraCare Health, Melrose. She weighed 7 pounds,
5 ounces, and was
21 inches long.
Gabriella is welcomed home by big sister, Avenlee.
Grandparents are Hanna Davidson of Eau Claire, Wisc. and Jerry and Sharon Imdieke of Melrose. ]]> http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/gabriella-lynn-imdieke/feed/ 0 Realistic Career Education http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/realistic-career-education/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/realistic-career-education/#comments Thu, 03 Sep 2015 19:30:02 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?guid=1011330bdd1f1e9e96d13e2475795c91 Vocational education is a fine way to prepare yourself for a job, in a world when too many young people can’t find employment. But the programs are not all good. Here’s how to tell the good from the bad.

I will gladly admit to a bias when it comes to the two-year community college system. As a retired professor of business administration in California, I saw the real value of a community college education, first hand. Particularly in the vocational disciplines. Such institutions deliver of excellent, hands-on and low-cost instruction.

These schools also provide a superior experience at a bargain price to transferring students. In addition, community colleges offer remedial instruction to those who require it. No, folks, if you have any beef with public education, in general, community colleges, as a rule should not be your target.

Having said that. the question of private vocational or trade schools is an entirely different subject. These schools are for-profit businesses that for the most part also provide career education. The key phrase here is “for profit.”

While I am a businessman and a former business educator, I do realize that the word profit is far from a dirty word. But after over 40 years in the investment/financial field, I realize that profit as a means to itself will not build lasting client relationships. Let’s leave banks and oil companies out of the conversation for obvious reasons.

Some vocational (or trade) schools are more concerned with profit than providing the kind of training that should lead to a vocation.  Students are lured in with empty job placement guarantees and offer course credits that are worthless once a student tries to transfer to another school. Two years ago, ATI Enterprises, which once had 23 schools in five states, went bust a couple of years ago amid mounting investigations.

By 2020, 66% of the job force will require at least some form of post-secondary education, according to a study by research groups PolicyLink and the Center for American Progress.

Not only that, trade and vocational schools are more of an economic necessity than ever as middle-skill jobs – defined as jobs that require a high school diploma and some training or college, but not a four-year college degree – are in high demand.

In Houston, for instance, a report from JP Morgan Chase found that middle-skill occupations represent the largest sector of the economy, with nearly 19,000 openings projected annually in the petrochemical and commercial and industrial construction sectors for the next few years.

Meanwhile, four-year college costs have become staggeringly high. The staggering level of student debt, thanks to increasing tuition and other expenses, is a national disgrace.

Trade schools are fairly widespread in the U.S., but there has been growing interest in the potential of apprenticeship programs to provide another pathway to affordable higher education.

Apprenticeships, offered by businesses or schools working closely with business owners, give students on-the-job training rather than traditional classroom instruction. Students earn professional certificates upon completing their apprenticeship. There is a bipartisan effort in Congress aimed at providing tax credits to businesses that offer apprenticeship programs in the U.S.

Prior to signing up for a vocational school, ask these questions:

Are you accredited? Check to see whether the school is accredited by one of the 15 regional or national accrediting bodies, which the U.S. Department of Education has approved.

Are you licensed by the state? Most states require specific programs at career colleges and technical schools to receive licenses from the proper board. If a program isn’t properly licensed, its graduates will have a difficult time finding work.  Ask which state agency handles a school’s licensing.  Call the agency and verify.

Does it sound too good to be true? Be skeptical of any school that advertises degrees or certificates that require no actual work on your part. Likewise, don’t trust any institution that tells you they will 100% guarantee you a job after graduation.

What are the total costs? Some vocational schools can cost even more than traditional four-year institutions, so watch out for programs that are prohibitively expensive. If you have to take out student loans to cover tuition, be sure the amount is manageable. The student loan default rates at for-profit institutions is 22%, compared to 13% at public institutions.

Does the school have a history of complaints? Check with your state’s Attorney General's office, the Federal Trade Commission or the Better Business Bureau to see whether the school is the target of any complaints.

Will this certificate or degree help me in the field? Ask professionals in the field you’re studying what certificates and training they needed to find a job. Not all trade school programs are created equal, and you may find that the certificate you earned doesn’t meet professional standards in your field.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Phillip Q. Shrotman is founder and president of Principal Planning Service, Inc. in Long Beach, Calif. He was a professor in the Business Division at Long Beach City College for over 29 years, where he held the position as Coordinator for Financial Planning and Insurance for the college. He holds a Community College Instructors Credential from the University of California at Los Angeles and a master’s from the University of San Francisco. He also holds the profession designations of General Securities Principal of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Series 7 and 24. He has appeared as a guest on KABC Talk Radio and various television and radio programs.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

 

]]> Vocational education is a fine way to prepare yourself for a job, in a world when too many young people can’t find employment. But the programs are not all good. Here’s how to tell the good from the bad.

I will gladly admit to a bias when it comes to the two-year community college system. As a retired professor of business administration in California, I saw the real value of a community college education, first hand. Particularly in the vocational disciplines. Such institutions deliver of excellent, hands-on and low-cost instruction.

These schools also provide a superior experience at a bargain price to transferring students. In addition, community colleges offer remedial instruction to those who require it. No, folks, if you have any beef with public education, in general, community colleges, as a rule should not be your target.

Having said that. the question of private vocational or trade schools is an entirely different subject. These schools are for-profit businesses that for the most part also provide career education. The key phrase here is “for profit.”

While I am a businessman and a former business educator, I do realize that the word profit is far from a dirty word. But after over 40 years in the investment/financial field, I realize that profit as a means to itself will not build lasting client relationships. Let’s leave banks and oil companies out of the conversation for obvious reasons.

Some vocational (or trade) schools are more concerned with profit than providing the kind of training that should lead to a vocation.  Students are lured in with empty job placement guarantees and offer course credits that are worthless once a student tries to transfer to another school. Two years ago, ATI Enterprises, which once had 23 schools in five states, went bust a couple of years ago amid mounting investigations.

By 2020, 66% of the job force will require at least some form of post-secondary education, according to a study by research groups PolicyLink and the Center for American Progress.

Not only that, trade and vocational schools are more of an economic necessity than ever as middle-skill jobs – defined as jobs that require a high school diploma and some training or college, but not a four-year college degree – are in high demand.

In Houston, for instance, a report from JP Morgan Chase found that middle-skill occupations represent the largest sector of the economy, with nearly 19,000 openings projected annually in the petrochemical and commercial and industrial construction sectors for the next few years.

Meanwhile, four-year college costs have become staggeringly high. The staggering level of student debt, thanks to increasing tuition and other expenses, is a national disgrace.

Trade schools are fairly widespread in the U.S., but there has been growing interest in the potential of apprenticeship programs to provide another pathway to affordable higher education.

Apprenticeships, offered by businesses or schools working closely with business owners, give students on-the-job training rather than traditional classroom instruction. Students earn professional certificates upon completing their apprenticeship. There is a bipartisan effort in Congress aimed at providing tax credits to businesses that offer apprenticeship programs in the U.S.

Prior to signing up for a vocational school, ask these questions:

Are you accredited? Check to see whether the school is accredited by one of the 15 regional or national accrediting bodies, which the U.S. Department of Education has approved.

Are you licensed by the state? Most states require specific programs at career colleges and technical schools to receive licenses from the proper board. If a program isn’t properly licensed, its graduates will have a difficult time finding work.  Ask which state agency handles a school’s licensing.  Call the agency and verify.

Does it sound too good to be true? Be skeptical of any school that advertises degrees or certificates that require no actual work on your part. Likewise, don’t trust any institution that tells you they will 100% guarantee you a job after graduation.

What are the total costs? Some vocational schools can cost even more than traditional four-year institutions, so watch out for programs that are prohibitively expensive. If you have to take out student loans to cover tuition, be sure the amount is manageable. The student loan default rates at for-profit institutions is 22%, compared to 13% at public institutions.

Does the school have a history of complaints? Check with your state’s Attorney General's office, the Federal Trade Commission or the Better Business Bureau to see whether the school is the target of any complaints.

Will this certificate or degree help me in the field? Ask professionals in the field you’re studying what certificates and training they needed to find a job. Not all trade school programs are created equal, and you may find that the certificate you earned doesn’t meet professional standards in your field.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Phillip Q. Shrotman is founder and president of Principal Planning Service, Inc. in Long Beach, Calif. He was a professor in the Business Division at Long Beach City College for over 29 years, where he held the position as Coordinator for Financial Planning and Insurance for the college. He holds a Community College Instructors Credential from the University of California at Los Angeles and a master’s from the University of San Francisco. He also holds the profession designations of General Securities Principal of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Series 7 and 24. He has appeared as a guest on KABC Talk Radio and various television and radio programs.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

 

]]>
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Helping the Poor Financially http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/helping-the-poor-financially/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/helping-the-poor-financially/#comments Thu, 03 Sep 2015 16:30:02 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?guid=378082effa75851213145377f8c62ec9 Helping people work their way out of poverty isn't just about money. It requires addressing the beliefs and culture around money that may be keeping people stuck both financially and emotionally.

Like many of my financial planning colleagues, I have an interest in finding effective ways to help middle- and low-income people increase their financial health. One method I've used from time to time is teaching community classes.

I've offered classes on basic financial skills like managing money or the fundamentals of investing. I've also tried offering classes focused on money scripts – people’s basic, and sometimes fallacious, beliefs on the subject – or other aspects of money psychology. Guess which classes fill and which ones don't?  

No matter what their income level, people tend to shy away from looking at the relationship between money and emotions. There seems to be a widespread money script of: "More financial knowledge is all I need in order to have more money." Yet I've seen time and time again over the years that this simply is not true.

Helping low-income people increase their financial literacy is a start, but it isn't enough. This was confirmed for me recently, at the annual Financial Therapy Association meeting, when I heard a talk that Louis Barajas gave. A noted author and expert on giving financial advice to lower-income people, he said, "All the financial literacy in the world is not going to help the poor."

Born into a poor family in East Los Angeles, Louis managed to become the first Hispanic certified financial planner in the U.S. and pull himself out of poverty. After a successful career, he returned to the barrio to live his passion of helping his community transcend poverty. It turned out to be far more challenging than he ever dreamed.

As Louis said in his talk, he discovered that, "Most people in poverty are unaware that their cultural beliefs hold them back." He described some of those beliefs, which I call money scripts. A few of them are:

  • A sense of fatalism, that "this is just how things will be."
  • An assumption that working for someone else is the only option.
  • A group dynamic where anyone who reaches for too much success is pulled back down into the community's financial comfort zone.
  • A victim mentality of blaming and feeling powerless to change.
  • Relying for financial advice on the wealthiest or most successful person in the neighborhood, without the knowledge to evaluate the validity of that advice. 

Barajas has found that telling someone about a better way doesn’t work. He had to find how to expose them to it. As he said, "If you don’t see a brighter future, you won’t plan." But even before that, people need help to take care of their urgent needs first before they can even consider that a future exists.

Hearing Barajas's talk only confirmed for me how important it is to consider people's beliefs and emotions about money. This is essential knowledge for financial advisors, debt counselors, social workers, volunteers and anyone working to help people get out of poverty. More money or more knowledge about money is simply not enough to help people who seem stuck in poverty or in a repeated pattern of financial missteps.

The easiest way to advise people who are struggling financially is to focus on the mechanics of managing money. Yet anyone who really wants to help people make lasting changes in their money behavior needs to find ways to help them look deeper. Ironically, the need to look beyond the money to build financial health is one important thing the poor and the wealthy have in common.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq

Rick Kahler, CFP, is president of Kahler Financial Group in Rapid City, S.D.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

]]>
Helping people work their way out of poverty isn't just about money. It requires addressing the beliefs and culture around money that may be keeping people stuck both financially and emotionally.

Like many of my financial planning colleagues, I have an interest in finding effective ways to help middle- and low-income people increase their financial health. One method I've used from time to time is teaching community classes.

I've offered classes on basic financial skills like managing money or the fundamentals of investing. I've also tried offering classes focused on money scripts – people’s basic, and sometimes fallacious, beliefs on the subject – or other aspects of money psychology. Guess which classes fill and which ones don't?  

No matter what their income level, people tend to shy away from looking at the relationship between money and emotions. There seems to be a widespread money script of: "More financial knowledge is all I need in order to have more money." Yet I've seen time and time again over the years that this simply is not true.

Helping low-income people increase their financial literacy is a start, but it isn't enough. This was confirmed for me recently, at the annual Financial Therapy Association meeting, when I heard a talk that Louis Barajas gave. A noted author and expert on giving financial advice to lower-income people, he said, "All the financial literacy in the world is not going to help the poor."

Born into a poor family in East Los Angeles, Louis managed to become the first Hispanic certified financial planner in the U.S. and pull himself out of poverty. After a successful career, he returned to the barrio to live his passion of helping his community transcend poverty. It turned out to be far more challenging than he ever dreamed.

As Louis said in his talk, he discovered that, "Most people in poverty are unaware that their cultural beliefs hold them back." He described some of those beliefs, which I call money scripts. A few of them are:

  • A sense of fatalism, that "this is just how things will be."
  • An assumption that working for someone else is the only option.
  • A group dynamic where anyone who reaches for too much success is pulled back down into the community's financial comfort zone.
  • A victim mentality of blaming and feeling powerless to change.
  • Relying for financial advice on the wealthiest or most successful person in the neighborhood, without the knowledge to evaluate the validity of that advice. 

Barajas has found that telling someone about a better way doesn’t work. He had to find how to expose them to it. As he said, "If you don’t see a brighter future, you won’t plan." But even before that, people need help to take care of their urgent needs first before they can even consider that a future exists.

Hearing Barajas's talk only confirmed for me how important it is to consider people's beliefs and emotions about money. This is essential knowledge for financial advisors, debt counselors, social workers, volunteers and anyone working to help people get out of poverty. More money or more knowledge about money is simply not enough to help people who seem stuck in poverty or in a repeated pattern of financial missteps.

The easiest way to advise people who are struggling financially is to focus on the mechanics of managing money. Yet anyone who really wants to help people make lasting changes in their money behavior needs to find ways to help them look deeper. Ironically, the need to look beyond the money to build financial health is one important thing the poor and the wealthy have in common.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq

Rick Kahler, CFP, is president of Kahler Financial Group in Rapid City, S.D.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

]]>
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Video: Hometown Sound Episode 7 with Zachary Scot Johnson http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/video-hometown-sound-episode-7-with-zachary-scot-johnson/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/video-hometown-sound-episode-7-with-zachary-scot-johnson/#comments Thu, 03 Sep 2015 15:36:12 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=22663

Zachary Scot Johnson enjoys playing music so much that he makes sure there is proof of it literally every single day. He started “the song a day project” over 1,090 days ago, for which he plays either an original or a cover song and posts it to YouTube each day. He’s had guests, including Jeff Daniels from “Dumb and Dumber” and Creed Bratton from “The Office.” He doesn’t feel like the project will be coming to an end anytime soon.

“I honestly think it could go on for a really long time, I mean, kind of crazy. People think I’m nuts when I say 10 years, but I think 10 years is totally doable,” Johnson said. 

Johnson plays a variety of music, whether it’s performing on the electric guitars, dobro, banjo, violin, viola, drums, ukulele or several other instruments. Being a musician isn’t his only talent, as he founded and ran an improv comedy group at Lawrence University for four years. His music has brought him to NBC, Fox, CBS, and ABC morning shows and radio shows around the United States. He has performed with artists including Shawn Colvin, Marc Cohn and Keb’ Mo’. 

The Racine, Wisconsin, native now lives in St. Paul and has released three CDs. He is looking forward to releasing a six-disc, 125-song tribute to Tom Waits’ music soon. 

“I feel so lucky to be able to do what I do, and I just feel so good that this is my job,” Johnson said.

To hear more of his music and get more information, visit www.zacharyscotjohnson.com. ]]> http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/video-hometown-sound-episode-7-with-zachary-scot-johnson/feed/ 0 Commodities: No Relief http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/commodities-no-relief/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/commodities-no-relief/#comments Thu, 03 Sep 2015 13:30:02 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?guid=eb4ba4594e5aac9050183512e9d5f86e Commodities tend to run in long cycles. The huge run-up in their prices, which peaked in 2011, has now degenerated into a rout. People who think that this situation will stabilize and turn around anytime soon are kidding themselves.

China’s pell-mell growth was the stimulus for the so-called commodity super-cycle, which began around 2002. But the huge nation’s expansion couldn’t go on forever at a double-digit clip. China’s deceleration to a 7% rate, while pretty good by Western standards (the U.S. grows at a 2% pace), is enough to squelch the commodity boom, and keep it squelched for a good long while. Not to mention, plunge stocks into correction territory, as we’ve seen lately.

When you go on an eating binge, especially with food that’s rich in calories, the body finds a way of correcting your overindulgence. In the same spirit, the world continues to grapple with the aftermath of a 10-year feast of infrastructure spending in emerging markets, which their commodity exports underwrote.

Consequently, commodity prices in these markets hit an 11-year low recently.  

Countries like Canada and Brazil are hurt because of their exposure to oil, along with other self-inflicted wounds (like Brazil's political turmoil). The Dow Jones Commodity Index is down more than 15% this year.

Brazil, which produces a range of commodities from iron ore to oil seed, has fallen far. Moody’s Investors Service downgraded its government debt recently to one grade above junk status, and the real, its currency, just hit a 12-year low. Look at the fate of one of its prime exports, sugar, which has dropped 70% from its high in February 2011. Brazilian sugar growers ramped up output far beyond a sustainable level.

In the capital markets, the implications from the commodity crash continue to reverberate. Oil is the biggest problem. Samson Resources, an oil and gas producer that private equity powerhouse KKR backs, plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection – it’s the victim of plummeting energy prices. You have to believe other areas of the oil complex are starting to feel some serious pain as well.

Oddly, oil output hasn’t dwindled as the result of the price plunge. Due to the global glut, the price is off one-third since June, touching $40 per barrel in mid-August. A brief surged petered out Tuesday. 

Oil production remains at lofty levels because of the advances in technology.  Extraction costs continue to get dramatically cheaper, although much depends on how attractive the geology of the field is.  

Still, with the bulk of output in the first few years of drilling, especially in shale-related territories, the dramatic reduction of rig counts should start to drag down production levels, probably beginning in 2016. Operating rigs are down by more than half from 12 months prior.

I continue to believe consolidation is going to happen in the oil patch, especially with cheap capital available.  It is not a matter of if, but when, and with whom.  

But that would serve the oil industry only as a bulwark again a long, bad trend. The same goes for other commodities.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Yale Bock, CFA, is the owner and operator of YH&C Investments in Las Vegas.

Y H & C Investments, Yale Bock, his family and clients own shares in the companies mentioned. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investing principal in the capital markets is not guaranteed and there is the risk of losing money. The CFA charter in no way guarantees investment results, which will be superior to an index.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

 

]]> Commodities tend to run in long cycles. The huge run-up in their prices, which peaked in 2011, has now degenerated into a rout. People who think that this situation will stabilize and turn around anytime soon are kidding themselves.

China’s pell-mell growth was the stimulus for the so-called commodity super-cycle, which began around 2002. But the huge nation’s expansion couldn’t go on forever at a double-digit clip. China’s deceleration to a 7% rate, while pretty good by Western standards (the U.S. grows at a 2% pace), is enough to squelch the commodity boom, and keep it squelched for a good long while. Not to mention, plunge stocks into correction territory, as we’ve seen lately.

When you go on an eating binge, especially with food that’s rich in calories, the body finds a way of correcting your overindulgence. In the same spirit, the world continues to grapple with the aftermath of a 10-year feast of infrastructure spending in emerging markets, which their commodity exports underwrote.

Consequently, commodity prices in these markets hit an 11-year low recently.  

Countries like Canada and Brazil are hurt because of their exposure to oil, along with other self-inflicted wounds (like Brazil's political turmoil). The Dow Jones Commodity Index is down more than 15% this year.

Brazil, which produces a range of commodities from iron ore to oil seed, has fallen far. Moody’s Investors Service downgraded its government debt recently to one grade above junk status, and the real, its currency, just hit a 12-year low. Look at the fate of one of its prime exports, sugar, which has dropped 70% from its high in February 2011. Brazilian sugar growers ramped up output far beyond a sustainable level.

In the capital markets, the implications from the commodity crash continue to reverberate. Oil is the biggest problem. Samson Resources, an oil and gas producer that private equity powerhouse KKR backs, plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection – it’s the victim of plummeting energy prices. You have to believe other areas of the oil complex are starting to feel some serious pain as well.

Oddly, oil output hasn’t dwindled as the result of the price plunge. Due to the global glut, the price is off one-third since June, touching $40 per barrel in mid-August. A brief surged petered out Tuesday. 

Oil production remains at lofty levels because of the advances in technology.  Extraction costs continue to get dramatically cheaper, although much depends on how attractive the geology of the field is.  

Still, with the bulk of output in the first few years of drilling, especially in shale-related territories, the dramatic reduction of rig counts should start to drag down production levels, probably beginning in 2016. Operating rigs are down by more than half from 12 months prior.

I continue to believe consolidation is going to happen in the oil patch, especially with cheap capital available.  It is not a matter of if, but when, and with whom.  

But that would serve the oil industry only as a bulwark again a long, bad trend. The same goes for other commodities.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Yale Bock, CFA, is the owner and operator of YH&C Investments in Las Vegas.

Y H & C Investments, Yale Bock, his family and clients own shares in the companies mentioned. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investing principal in the capital markets is not guaranteed and there is the risk of losing money. The CFA charter in no way guarantees investment results, which will be superior to an index.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

 

]]>
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Lucille Eldred, 89 http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/lucille-eldred-89/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/lucille-eldred-89/#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 22:26:29 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=22658 Lucille   Eldred, 89

Lucille Eldred, age 89, entered into her new life on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015 from the CentraCare nursing home in Long Prairie, MN.

Lucille Ida Titzke was born on September 25, 1926 in Long Prairie, MN to Arthur and Anna (Scheve) Titzke. She was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church and attended school there and later Long Prairie High School. On November 6, 1943 in Long Prairie Lucille married her sweetheart and lifelong companion, Robert Eldred. They had seven children. Besides working together raising a family, Bob and Lucille tackled many various business ventures together. They started out farming in 1947 then they ran an auctioneering business known as Eldred's Auction Service. During those forty-two years until retirement, they handled over 8000 auction sales. As the years went by they purchased the Long Prairie Sales Barn and the Prairie Lanes bowling alley. They were also owners of Long Prairie Machinery and Long Prairie Tractor Supply. Since Lucille was so good with numbers, she did all of the bookkeeping for their various businesses. Before retiring, Bob and Lucille also built and managed the Eldred Apartments in Long Prairie and the Cactus Trailer Park in Prescott, AZ.

She was a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church and belonged to the Dorcus Circle.

Lucille had many hobbies and interests. She loved to play cards and was an accomplished Bridge player who enjoyed the game throughout her life. She also liked to golf and occasionally tried her luck at the casino. Bob and Lucille had a cabin on Lake Osakis for over 30 years. Lucille loved the lake and her favorite sport, fishing. She ice fished in the winter (before leaving for AZ) and fished off their dock many days in the summer. It was a prime fishing spot. She entertained friends and family at their lake cabin for many years. She also enjoyed the winter months with family and friends in Mesa, AZ. She felt so fortunate that they were able to go to AZ for 35 years. She loved her home there and enjoyed the trips they took in their motor home , caravanning with friends from AZ to Mexico, Las Vegas, and California.

Lucille was immensely proud of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and all of their accomplishments. She was a smart, witty and multi-talented wife, mother, grandma and sister who will be dearly missed by all who had the privilege to know her.

Left to mourn her passing are her children, Diane (Jim) Cherry of Long Prairie /Mesa AZ, Ron (Darlene) Eldred, Pam (Gary) Schneekloth, Glenda (Jerry) Lucas, Chuck (Nancy) Eldred, all of Long Prairie and Kim (Cheryree) Eldred of Louisberg, KS; 13 grandchildren, Sean Cherry, Robert Cherry, Grant Eldred, Jill Peterson, Kelly Magnuson, Amy Ahrens, Jennifer Carlson, Candy Host, Jeff Lucas, Wendy Larson, Rob Lucas, Angela Eldred and Nick Eldred; 24 great grandchildren; a brother, Allen Rogers of AZ; a sister, Eleanor Titzke of Joplin, MO; brother-in-law, Dennis Nordberg of AZ; many nieces and nephews.

Waiting to welcome her is her husband, Robert 'Bob' Eldred (who died in 2002), a daughter, Candice Eldred, a brother, Helmer Titzke and four sisters, Mildred Perish, Alice Palmer, Irma Nordberg and Mae Ann Titzke.

Services for Lucille will be held on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2012 at 10:30 am at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Long Prairie with Rev. Noah Wehrspann officiating. Musicians are Mary Collins and Jim Flan. Interment is at the Trinity Cemetery in Long Prairie, MN with all of her grandchildren as honorary pallbearers.

Arrangements by the Roy-Hetland Funeral Home in Osakis, MN.

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Bad $$ Ideas of the Young http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/bad-ideas-of-the-young/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/bad-ideas-of-the-young/#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 19:00:19 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?guid=64afad7a22ea2d4d824e586c88bab497 You found the one to start a life with. You now share home, love – and your financial backgrounds with your new partner and family. Here’s what to know and how to tackle debt, budgeting and other aspects of your newly merged money matters.

Young couples and families often begin the journey together with a large amount of debt from student loans, car payments and perhaps one or both partners’ past credit card usage. The responsibilities of starting a family only deepen the hole.

If you are a young adult still looking for a high-paying job, who can’t afford a home or car and who constantly struggles with debt, then financial planning and effective debt management can help you. So can dispensing the following preconceived money notions common to young families.

We don’t need professional help. Young families with debt – especially those with children – need to think hard about meeting a financial planner to put finances in order. A planner can not only set a proper budget for you, but also advise you on how to invest for the best possible returns.

For example, planners can advise you on saving for a home, setting up a college fund for your kids and establishing a fund to handle unexpected emergencies.

What’s wrong with a little credit card debt? The greatest financial blunder a young family can make is carrying too many credit cards – and the accompanying huge bills and balances.

Mitigating and managing credit card debt becomes particularly tricky when these balances typically carry one of the highest rates of interest (often more than 17%). Inexperienced new adults with fresh plastic frequently make the mistake of paying only the monthly minimum. Continuing to do this means paying off the entire balance – assuming a family racks up no more debt on a given card, which is unlikely – will take more than a decade.

Attempt to make at least $100 more than the minimum payment on each card account and try to use cash instead of plastic as much as possible. If you or a member of your family has difficulty controlling card use, you can look for assistance from a credit counselor.

Let’s fly without a budget. Poor budgeting is close kin to any debt issue. Young couples tend to overspend mostly because they often underestimate expenses and practice the flawed habit of spending first and then planning to save what’s left. Unfortunately, spending incessantly rarely leaves anything at the end of the month.

Make (and follow sincerely) a frugal budget, keeping in mind all your daily expenses and saving plans, needs and intentions.

Retirement is far away. Many young adults just don’t understand the significance of saving for retirement and so skip investing in 401(k) workplace retirement plans or individual retirement accounts. These youngest wage earners literally labor under a misconception that the future is too far away to worry about, and instead focus on such short-term goals as buying a new car.

If you invest at least 15% of your income in retirement savings consistently from an early age, you’ll remain far ahead financially after retirement. Here’s timeless advice for all young adults: You’ll need that money sooner than you think.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Kimberly J. Howard, CFP, CRPC, ADPA, is a Certified Financial Planner and the owner of KJH Financial Services, a Fee-Only practice located in Newton, Mass. and Denver (781-413-4879). Please visit www.kjhfinancialservices.com. Follow her on Twitter at @kimhowardcfp
 
AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

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You found the one to start a life with. You now share home, love – and your financial backgrounds with your new partner and family. Here’s what to know and how to tackle debt, budgeting and other aspects of your newly merged money matters.

Young couples and families often begin the journey together with a large amount of debt from student loans, car payments and perhaps one or both partners’ past credit card usage. The responsibilities of starting a family only deepen the hole.

If you are a young adult still looking for a high-paying job, who can’t afford a home or car and who constantly struggles with debt, then financial planning and effective debt management can help you. So can dispensing the following preconceived money notions common to young families.

We don’t need professional help. Young families with debt – especially those with children – need to think hard about meeting a financial planner to put finances in order. A planner can not only set a proper budget for you, but also advise you on how to invest for the best possible returns.

For example, planners can advise you on saving for a home, setting up a college fund for your kids and establishing a fund to handle unexpected emergencies.

What’s wrong with a little credit card debt? The greatest financial blunder a young family can make is carrying too many credit cards – and the accompanying huge bills and balances.

Mitigating and managing credit card debt becomes particularly tricky when these balances typically carry one of the highest rates of interest (often more than 17%). Inexperienced new adults with fresh plastic frequently make the mistake of paying only the monthly minimum. Continuing to do this means paying off the entire balance – assuming a family racks up no more debt on a given card, which is unlikely – will take more than a decade.

Attempt to make at least $100 more than the minimum payment on each card account and try to use cash instead of plastic as much as possible. If you or a member of your family has difficulty controlling card use, you can look for assistance from a credit counselor.

Let’s fly without a budget. Poor budgeting is close kin to any debt issue. Young couples tend to overspend mostly because they often underestimate expenses and practice the flawed habit of spending first and then planning to save what’s left. Unfortunately, spending incessantly rarely leaves anything at the end of the month.

Make (and follow sincerely) a frugal budget, keeping in mind all your daily expenses and saving plans, needs and intentions.

Retirement is far away. Many young adults just don’t understand the significance of saving for retirement and so skip investing in 401(k) workplace retirement plans or individual retirement accounts. These youngest wage earners literally labor under a misconception that the future is too far away to worry about, and instead focus on such short-term goals as buying a new car.

If you invest at least 15% of your income in retirement savings consistently from an early age, you’ll remain far ahead financially after retirement. Here’s timeless advice for all young adults: You’ll need that money sooner than you think.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Kimberly J. Howard, CFP, CRPC, ADPA, is a Certified Financial Planner and the owner of KJH Financial Services, a Fee-Only practice located in Newton, Mass. and Denver (781-413-4879). Please visit www.kjhfinancialservices.com. Follow her on Twitter at @kimhowardcfp
 
AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

]]>
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Getting All Your Social Security http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/getting-all-your-social-security/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/getting-all-your-social-security/#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 16:00:04 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?guid=54dc34181066ad51f56c6f2d130bb9b9 Social Security benefits are complex and you can often miss benefits you are entitled to. If you fit into one of the categories below, pay attention.

Widow or widower younger than 70. If your deceased spouse earned benefits, you may be able to collect those payments while you delay your own benefit and let it grow.

I recently had a widower client who planned to build up her own Social Security benefit and delay receiving it until she turned 70, to maximize the monthly income. She was not aware, though, that she can collect survivor benefits now between ages 60 to 70, on her late husband’s Social Security record with no effect on her own benefit.

Married with two incomes. If both you and your spouse earn benefits, coordinate both payouts with your other income.

Let’s say Jim and Jane, both 60, are a married couple who both have significant benefits coming. Jim, the primary earner, plans on deferring his benefit until age 70 and Jane will start taking hers at her Full Retirement Age (or FRA, which ranges from 65 if you were born in 1937 or later to 67 of you were born in 1960 or later).

Both Jim and Jane get an FRA monthly benefit of $2,500; both expect to live to 90. Jane plans to take a spousal only benefit at FRA, which is half of her husband’s FRA benefit, and allowing her own benefit to increase until she turns 70, which provides a better result.

 

 

Total Cumulative Benefit*

Strategy

80

85

90

Both take at FRA

$900,000

 

$1,200,000

$1,500,000

One defers to 70

$885,600

 

$1,233,600

$1,581,600

Both defer to 70 and one takes Spousal only at FA

$931,200

$1,327,200

$1,723,200

 * assumes no inflation increases

 

Divorced. You might qualify for benefits off your ex-spouse’s record. This comes with a lot of conditions: You must be unmarried and your ex must be at least 62; and you must be divorced for at least two years after a marriage that lasted at least 10 years.

Claiming this benefit doesn’t affect your ex-spouse’s other potential benefits and your ex-spouse will not be notified of your claim.

If you get married again, you lose this benefit.

Minors. Children of a deceased worker who are younger than 18 (or younger than 22 if the living worker is disabled) are entitled to a monthly benefit.

A child’s death benefits depend on how long the deceased person worked: The longer the worker’s employment, the larger the benefit to the surviving minor. Each child can receive 75% of the basic benefit.

Benefits to a surviving family are limited. If your surviving spouse also receives a survivor benefit, for example, each of your children’s benefits drops. The maximum benefit allowed per family ranges from 150% to 180% of the deceased’s basic benefit; if the family total exceeds this amount, each person’s monthly allowance decreases.

If you die and your surviving spouse collects benefits while still working, he or she can forfeit those benefits to potentially free your kids from a reduction in survivor’s benefits.

None of the above. It’s still important to meet with a financial advisor to plan your Social Security claiming strategy and coordinate benefits with your other sources of income.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

John Dragstrem is a CFP at Wheaton Wealth Partners in Wheaton, Ill., and Naples, Fla.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Social Security benefits are complex and you can often miss benefits you are entitled to. If you fit into one of the categories below, pay attention.

Widow or widower younger than 70. If your deceased spouse earned benefits, you may be able to collect those payments while you delay your own benefit and let it grow.

I recently had a widower client who planned to build up her own Social Security benefit and delay receiving it until she turned 70, to maximize the monthly income. She was not aware, though, that she can collect survivor benefits now between ages 60 to 70, on her late husband’s Social Security record with no effect on her own benefit.

Married with two incomes. If both you and your spouse earn benefits, coordinate both payouts with your other income.

Let’s say Jim and Jane, both 60, are a married couple who both have significant benefits coming. Jim, the primary earner, plans on deferring his benefit until age 70 and Jane will start taking hers at her Full Retirement Age (or FRA, which ranges from 65 if you were born in 1937 or later to 67 of you were born in 1960 or later).

Both Jim and Jane get an FRA monthly benefit of $2,500; both expect to live to 90. Jane plans to take a spousal only benefit at FRA, which is half of her husband’s FRA benefit, and allowing her own benefit to increase until she turns 70, which provides a better result.

 

 

Total Cumulative Benefit*

Strategy

80

85

90

Both take at FRA

$900,000

 

$1,200,000

$1,500,000

One defers to 70

$885,600

 

$1,233,600

$1,581,600

Both defer to 70 and one takes Spousal only at FA

$931,200

$1,327,200

$1,723,200

 * assumes no inflation increases

 

Divorced. You might qualify for benefits off your ex-spouse’s record. This comes with a lot of conditions: You must be unmarried and your ex must be at least 62; and you must be divorced for at least two years after a marriage that lasted at least 10 years.

Claiming this benefit doesn’t affect your ex-spouse’s other potential benefits and your ex-spouse will not be notified of your claim.

If you get married again, you lose this benefit.

Minors. Children of a deceased worker who are younger than 18 (or younger than 22 if the living worker is disabled) are entitled to a monthly benefit.

A child’s death benefits depend on how long the deceased person worked: The longer the worker’s employment, the larger the benefit to the surviving minor. Each child can receive 75% of the basic benefit.

Benefits to a surviving family are limited. If your surviving spouse also receives a survivor benefit, for example, each of your children’s benefits drops. The maximum benefit allowed per family ranges from 150% to 180% of the deceased’s basic benefit; if the family total exceeds this amount, each person’s monthly allowance decreases.

If you die and your surviving spouse collects benefits while still working, he or she can forfeit those benefits to potentially free your kids from a reduction in survivor’s benefits.

None of the above. It’s still important to meet with a financial advisor to plan your Social Security claiming strategy and coordinate benefits with your other sources of income.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

John Dragstrem is a CFP at Wheaton Wealth Partners in Wheaton, Ill., and Naples, Fla.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Trump’s 12 Business Lessons http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/trumps-12-business-lessons/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/trumps-12-business-lessons/#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 14:00:03 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?guid=82e8d80451c24302ec3529cc2fc7b4c6 Donald Trump is one controversial guy. Love him or hate him, though, no one denies he is a good businessman. In 2004, I was a contestant on his TV show, The Apprentice. During that time and the years following the show, I learned 12 helpful things about business from my exposure to Trump.

Trump’s presidential campaign has gone from what many considered a political sideshow to making him a formidable contender.  Part of Trump’s appeal is his success and zeal as an entrepreneur.  Rather than getting political, I’ll stick to my comfort zone and discuss what I learned from The Donald.

The dozen business lessons that we can all learn from him: 

1. The importance of being a great communicator. This takes a certain level of empathy and understanding of your audience.  It also takes a great level of honesty and resolve to speak your mind, and Trump is certainly not lacking in either of these areas. He’s shown that he’s not afraid to speak his mind as a campaigner, considering his many controversial remarks to date. While plenty of people will not agree with him, it’s easy to see that as a chief executive officer he’s used to telling his people exactly what he wants and why.  I believe that Trump is one of the great communicators of our time. 

2. Avoid singular dependency. In business, Trump began as a real estate behemoth, but he has diversified well beyond his core real estate business. He now has a presence across multiple industries including golf courses, resorts, casinos, both high end and middle tier real estate, retail, media, model management, book and magazine publishing. This level of diversification has seen him through tough times.

3. Know and believe in your brand. While the rose marble, gold monikers, pink ties, luxury real estate, and a prominent hairdo may not be your idea of style, they’ve served Trump well.  His sense of personal and business swagger is unmistakable and identifiable.  For this Trump is unapologetic.  This can certainly work against you, but Trump uses this conviction well. He is always talking about how his buildings and other holdings are the biggest, the best or the most opulent. Whether his superlatives are accurate or not, he conveys the sense that his faith in his brand is supreme, so you should share it.

4. Have a strong conviction in your own principles. This is the underlying foundation for any business owner.  Behind every great success lies a set of core values and guiding principles that help shape every decision.  Starting out as a young man in the 1970s, when New York seemed to be sliding into chaos, Trump realized that the city was still the greatest on earth and proceeded to make his own fortune by putting up skyscrapers there.

5. Have the courage to take calculated risks. Trump’s success (and billions) isn’t by accident.  Yes, he got a healthy start at a young age, because his father Fred was a prominent developer, and he lived a relatively privileged lifestyle.  But instead of squandering family money or taking it for granted, he took risks and built on it.  A great example is his first big deal in which he took Manhattan’s highly unprofitable Commodore Hotel and transformed it into the still-thriving Grand Hyatt, adjacent to Grand Central Station.  Deals like that don’t get done on a whim and don’t become profitable without taking a calculated risk. 

6. Surround yourself with excellence. Trump always talks about this network of the best and brightest. The whole point of the TV show was that the smartest and most energetic people end up performing the best. He is friends with investor activist Carl Icahn, the recently deceased Wall Street titan Alan “Ace” Greenburg and many others who were and are great business leaders of our time. 

7. Have a deep understanding of the legal system and business environment.  Trump is famous for lawsuits and several corporate (although not personal) bankruptcy filings, mainly his Atlantic City casinos.  While this isn’t necessarily a great thing, his in-depth knowledge of the legal system has undoubtedly helped him out.  Like any good business owner he has a solid understanding of business laws and tax codes. 

8. Be flexible and open to new ideas.   This can be summed up pretty easily: “Hey, Donald, let’s do a TV show called The Apprentice?” Switching from bricks-and-mortar developer to on-air host was quite a leap. If he wasn’t before, the program made him a big-time celebrity. His catchphrase, “You’re fired,” defined his exacting standards to the public.

9. Understand the economy and debt.  These are important topics that any business owner, particularly one who basically runs his own empire, should know.  Trump needs to know how the economy can affect his different businesses, to the upside and to the downside. In the early 1990s, he almost lost his kingdom because of a real estate downturn. He had gone deeply into debt to erect his many buildings, buy an airline and a huge yacht. He came out of that determined to use other people’s money for his funding, not his own resources.

10. Why you need to have enormous energy.  I have to wonder if Trump ever sleeps.  If he does, it’s probably not too much.  Like other uber-successful business leaders of our time like Larry Page and Sergey Brin from Google, Trump’s steam never seems to run out. 

11. Don’t cry over spilled milk, learn from failure.  Business doesn’t always comes easy and there will be let downs, even for Donald Trump.  Some of his casinos shut down, The Apprentice didn’t last forever. He’s been involved in some famous lawsuits, and his ownership of a team in the ill-fated United States Football League didn’t work.  But in true Trump style, he picked himself up, brushed himself off, and refused to let these speed bumps stop him. 

12. Love, love, love what you do. Trump loves what he does and it shows.  I call this “harness what you have.”  It’s marrying your love for an industry or market with your inherent skill set as a business person, whether it’s sales, analytics, creative writing or finances.  If you love what you do and are fully engaged in your business, the possibilities are endless. 

Regardless of what happens in the political arena, I think Donald Trump isn’t going away anytime soon.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq

Wes Moss, CFP, is the chief investment strategist for Capital Investment Advisors and a partner at Wela, both in Atlanta. He hosts “Money Matters,” a live financial advice show on Atlanta’s News 95-5 and AM 750 WSB Radio. In 2015 and 2014 Barron’s Magazine named him as one of America’s top 1,200 Financial Advisors. His newly released book, You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think published by McGraw Hill, is available on Amazon, iTunes and at your local bookstore.

Wes writes weekly about personal finance in the “Bargain Hunter Section” for AJC.com, the site of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Wes is also the editor and writer for About.com’s Personal Finance blog. Connect with Wes on Twitter at @WesMoss365 and on Facebook at Wes Moss Money Matters. You can also visit his website, WesMoss.com to learn more about Wes, and take his complimentary Money and Happiness Quiz.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

]]>
Donald Trump is one controversial guy. Love him or hate him, though, no one denies he is a good businessman. In 2004, I was a contestant on his TV show, The Apprentice. During that time and the years following the show, I learned 12 helpful things about business from my exposure to Trump.

Trump’s presidential campaign has gone from what many considered a political sideshow to making him a formidable contender.  Part of Trump’s appeal is his success and zeal as an entrepreneur.  Rather than getting political, I’ll stick to my comfort zone and discuss what I learned from The Donald.

The dozen business lessons that we can all learn from him: 

1. The importance of being a great communicator. This takes a certain level of empathy and understanding of your audience.  It also takes a great level of honesty and resolve to speak your mind, and Trump is certainly not lacking in either of these areas. He’s shown that he’s not afraid to speak his mind as a campaigner, considering his many controversial remarks to date. While plenty of people will not agree with him, it’s easy to see that as a chief executive officer he’s used to telling his people exactly what he wants and why.  I believe that Trump is one of the great communicators of our time. 

2. Avoid singular dependency. In business, Trump began as a real estate behemoth, but he has diversified well beyond his core real estate business. He now has a presence across multiple industries including golf courses, resorts, casinos, both high end and middle tier real estate, retail, media, model management, book and magazine publishing. This level of diversification has seen him through tough times.

3. Know and believe in your brand. While the rose marble, gold monikers, pink ties, luxury real estate, and a prominent hairdo may not be your idea of style, they’ve served Trump well.  His sense of personal and business swagger is unmistakable and identifiable.  For this Trump is unapologetic.  This can certainly work against you, but Trump uses this conviction well. He is always talking about how his buildings and other holdings are the biggest, the best or the most opulent. Whether his superlatives are accurate or not, he conveys the sense that his faith in his brand is supreme, so you should share it.

4. Have a strong conviction in your own principles. This is the underlying foundation for any business owner.  Behind every great success lies a set of core values and guiding principles that help shape every decision.  Starting out as a young man in the 1970s, when New York seemed to be sliding into chaos, Trump realized that the city was still the greatest on earth and proceeded to make his own fortune by putting up skyscrapers there.

5. Have the courage to take calculated risks. Trump’s success (and billions) isn’t by accident.  Yes, he got a healthy start at a young age, because his father Fred was a prominent developer, and he lived a relatively privileged lifestyle.  But instead of squandering family money or taking it for granted, he took risks and built on it.  A great example is his first big deal in which he took Manhattan’s highly unprofitable Commodore Hotel and transformed it into the still-thriving Grand Hyatt, adjacent to Grand Central Station.  Deals like that don’t get done on a whim and don’t become profitable without taking a calculated risk. 

6. Surround yourself with excellence. Trump always talks about this network of the best and brightest. The whole point of the TV show was that the smartest and most energetic people end up performing the best. He is friends with investor activist Carl Icahn, the recently deceased Wall Street titan Alan “Ace” Greenburg and many others who were and are great business leaders of our time. 

7. Have a deep understanding of the legal system and business environment.  Trump is famous for lawsuits and several corporate (although not personal) bankruptcy filings, mainly his Atlantic City casinos.  While this isn’t necessarily a great thing, his in-depth knowledge of the legal system has undoubtedly helped him out.  Like any good business owner he has a solid understanding of business laws and tax codes. 

8. Be flexible and open to new ideas.   This can be summed up pretty easily: “Hey, Donald, let’s do a TV show called The Apprentice?” Switching from bricks-and-mortar developer to on-air host was quite a leap. If he wasn’t before, the program made him a big-time celebrity. His catchphrase, “You’re fired,” defined his exacting standards to the public.

9. Understand the economy and debt.  These are important topics that any business owner, particularly one who basically runs his own empire, should know.  Trump needs to know how the economy can affect his different businesses, to the upside and to the downside. In the early 1990s, he almost lost his kingdom because of a real estate downturn. He had gone deeply into debt to erect his many buildings, buy an airline and a huge yacht. He came out of that determined to use other people’s money for his funding, not his own resources.

10. Why you need to have enormous energy.  I have to wonder if Trump ever sleeps.  If he does, it’s probably not too much.  Like other uber-successful business leaders of our time like Larry Page and Sergey Brin from Google, Trump’s steam never seems to run out. 

11. Don’t cry over spilled milk, learn from failure.  Business doesn’t always comes easy and there will be let downs, even for Donald Trump.  Some of his casinos shut down, The Apprentice didn’t last forever. He’s been involved in some famous lawsuits, and his ownership of a team in the ill-fated United States Football League didn’t work.  But in true Trump style, he picked himself up, brushed himself off, and refused to let these speed bumps stop him. 

12. Love, love, love what you do. Trump loves what he does and it shows.  I call this “harness what you have.”  It’s marrying your love for an industry or market with your inherent skill set as a business person, whether it’s sales, analytics, creative writing or finances.  If you love what you do and are fully engaged in your business, the possibilities are endless. 

Regardless of what happens in the political arena, I think Donald Trump isn’t going away anytime soon.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq

Wes Moss, CFP, is the chief investment strategist for Capital Investment Advisors and a partner at Wela, both in Atlanta. He hosts “Money Matters,” a live financial advice show on Atlanta’s News 95-5 and AM 750 WSB Radio. In 2015 and 2014 Barron’s Magazine named him as one of America’s top 1,200 Financial Advisors. His newly released book, You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think published by McGraw Hill, is available on Amazon, iTunes and at your local bookstore.

Wes writes weekly about personal finance in the “Bargain Hunter Section” for AJC.com, the site of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Wes is also the editor and writer for About.com’s Personal Finance blog. Connect with Wes on Twitter at @WesMoss365 and on Facebook at Wes Moss Money Matters. You can also visit his website, WesMoss.com to learn more about Wes, and take his complimentary Money and Happiness Quiz.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Valeria Lemke, 91 http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/valeria-lemke-91/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/valeria-lemke-91/#comments Wed, 02 Sep 2015 11:29:25 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=22637 Valeria   Lemke, 91

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 am, Friday, September 4, 2015 at St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church, Long Prairie, for Valeria C. Lemke, age 91, who passed away Friday at CentraCare Health Systems-Long Prairie. Fr. Omar Guanchez will officiate and burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery, Long Prairie. Family and friends may call from 4-7 pm, Thursday and after 8 am Friday at the Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home – Stein Chapel, Long Prairie. The St. Mary's Catholic Women will pray the rosary at 4 pm with parish prayers at 7 pm Thursday in the funeral home.
Valeria Curves was born December 21, 1923 in Todd County, Minnesota, the daughter of Peter and Katherine (Laumeyer) Curves. She grew up on a farm northeast of Long Prairie. She graduated from Long Prairie High School and worked for a year in Red Lake. She married Ruben Lemke on May 1, 1946 at St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church in Long Prairie. They made their home in Long Prairie, where Valeria worked at Hart Press for over 25 years.
Valeria was a member of St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church, the Christian Womens Group and the VFW Auxiliary. She enjoyed music, dancing, playing cards, visiting with friends on the telephone, and dining out. Her greatest love was spending time with her family.
Valeria is survived by her son, Allen (Jane) Lemke, Osakis; three grandchildren, Steve (Sheri) Lemke, Avon; Jim (Jen) Lemke, Monticello; and Kerry Lemke, Healy, AK; five great-grandchildren, Cameron, Sydney, Brooke, Morgan, and Carter.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Ruben in 1972, and sisters and brothers-in-law Elaine (Raymond "Bob") Sabart and Florence (Cliff) Garlock.
Obituary and on-line guestbook available at www.williamsdingmann.com.

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Patricia Guetter, 74 http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/patricia-guetter-74/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/patricia-guetter-74/#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2015 20:22:47 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=22627 Image-19550Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, September 1, 2015 at Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church in Rockville, MN for Patricia (Baune) Guetter, age 74, who died Friday at Quiet Oaks Hospice House. Inurnment will be in the St. Boniface Cemetery in Cold Spring, MN.
There will be a gathering of relatives and friends from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. Tuesday morning at the church. Arrangements are with Wenner Funeral Home, Cold Spring, MN.
Pat was born in Wanda, MN to John and Mary (Plotz) Hofmann. She married Charles Guetter on November 24, 1993 in Pensacola, FL. Pat worked at R.E.M. and was the manager of assisted living facilities. She enjoyed quilting, sewing, and traveling, especially her motor cycle trips. She loved spending time with her grandchildren and her dog, Sassy. She was a member of Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish.
Survivors include her husband, Charles; daughter, Linda Baune; son, Curt Baune; step-daughters, Leah Carni, Melissa Caudill; brothers, Frankie Hofmann, Johnny Hofmann; twin sisters, Maggie Schroedl, Jiggs Hughes; 7 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents; siblings, Benjamin Hofmann, Joseph Hofmann, and Elizabeth Schenk, and step-son, Charles Guetter, Jr. ]]>
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Victor Traut, 84 http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/victor-traut-84/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/victor-traut-84/#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2015 20:20:32 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=22624 Image-19551Victor J. Traut, age 84 of Sauk Centre, died Sunday, August 30, 2015 at CentreCare Health Hospital in Sauk Centre, Minnesota.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11 a.m. Friday, September 4 at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Sauk Centre. Rev. Greg Paffel will officiate with Rev. Ken Riedemann and Rev. Todd Schneider concelebrating. Burial will follow in St. Paul’s Cemetery, Sauk Centre.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday and 9 to 10:30 a.m. Friday at Patton-Schad Funeral Home in Sauk Centre. Parish prayers will be held at 5 p.m. followed by Knights of Columbus rosary at 7 p.m. Thursday evening at the funeral home. The Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus will stand guard from 6 to 8 p.m. during the visitation Thursday evening.
Vic Traut was born on January 5, 1931 in LeSauk Township, Stearns County, Minnesota to Martin and Susan (Weyer) Traut. He received his high school diploma from Cathedral High School and went on to St. Cloud State University, majoring in science and mathematics.
He worked at St. Regis paper mill in Sartell prior to serving four years in the Air Force. He married Lorrayne Warzecka on May 30, 1955 and spent the next 32 years as a teacher in Chokio and Sauk Centre.
Along with his teaching career, Vic was known as “Trapper Traut” having spent many hours trapping critters, many of which were a nuisance to the landowner. He also instructed young folks in the art of trapping, setting traps skillfully and efficiently. He was a lifetime member of the National Trappers Association and the National Rifle Association.
Vic earned a private pilot’s license and served as secretary/treasurer of the Long Prairie Flying Club. He was active in the Boy Scouts of America. He received the Paul Harris award from Rotary and was a member of the Sauk River Watershed Board.
Vic was active in supporting Life as a member of the National Right to Life, Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, and Pro-Life America. His membership in the American Legion was on-going.
Vic was very proud of his Catholic faith. He was committed to his role on the parish council and the finance committee and faithfully served as Eucharistic minister. He and Lorrayne prepared engaged couples for marriage through their Sponsor Couple training. He was a member of BeFriender ministry as he continued to befriend persons until the time of his death. His involvement in the Knights of Columbus was a high priority as he held the offices of Grand Knight and Navigator and was installed as Scribe for the Fourth Degree Knights the evening before his death.
He was a regular visitor to S.N.A.P. Fitness to get his daily exercise and to visit with his friends. In his younger years he participated in 5K’s and 10K’s and usually came in first or second place in his age group. He and Lorrayne enjoyed traveling in and out of the country. They especially enjoyed their trips to the Holy Land and their many cruises.
Vic is survived by his wife, Lorrayne: children: Teresa (Donovan) Elavsky of Akeley; Terence (Cathy) of Merrimack, NH; Kristi (Rob) Streff of Wyoming, MN; grandchildren: Lucas and Andrew Winkler, Katie Carbone and Peggy Traut, Sam and Leah Streff; step-grandchildren, John and Jordan Elavsky; and great-grandchildren, Jocelyn and Jasmine Winkler.
He was preceded in death by his parents; son-in-law, Greg Winkler; siblings Al, Melvin, Marvin, and Valeria Jefferson; and many in-laws.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Holy Family School, 231 Sinclair Lewis Avenue, Sauk Centre, MN 56378.
Arrangements were made with Patton-Schad Funeral & Cremation Services of Sauk Centre. ]]>
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How to Grow a Business http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/how-to-grow-a-business/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/how-to-grow-a-business/#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2015 19:00:02 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?guid=a02e060ff7351c3bd92c7f259493f787 Some small businesses start with a strong initial intention and moneymaking idea; others seem to begin accidentally with no deliberate strategy. As your business evolves, the need to develop a conscious strategy becomes more important. Here’s what to know.

Conventional wisdom recommends creating a long-term business plan for the next five years and then a tactical plan for the near term, typically one year. The problem with this approach: Your business assumptions often change faster than your ability to execute ideas. Businesses require continuous planning to keep pace with changing market forces and new demands from customers and employees.

John Hagel III, co-chairman of Deloitte's Center for the Edge consultancy, challenges the conventional approach to strategic planning, arguing that the best-performing companies – especially in technology – deploy an effective approach he calls “Zoom In-Zoom Out.”

First, successful companies zoom out to develop long-range assumptions about the forces that may affect the business over the next 10 to 20 years and create a vision around these findings. Then they zoom in to focus on a short time, say six to 12 months, and work on two or three initiatives that Hagel terms “needle movers.”

He also warns against the common pitfall of spreading skimpy resources over too many choices, benefiting no one initiative. Growing is a great business objective if growth translates into results.

Leaders must also stay engaged with the status of long-term assumptions. Hagel explains how companies often latch onto rigid assumptions in their long-range plan, failing to alter strategy when the market shifts. Eastman Kodak (KODK) and Microsoft (MSFT) offer two examples: Both once dominated markets, but failed to adapt to change.

Hagel explains how Kodak’s executives believed that photography’s future always hinged on film (oddly, the company was among the first to seriously explore digital photography, in the 1970s, yet missed the opportunity to invest in this new direction). Microsoft accomplished its initial goal of becoming the leader in desktop computing, then became mired in its own plan as the likes of Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) outmaneuvered Bill Gates and company in the personal technology space.

Kodak and Microsoft zoomed in to create initial success, but neglected to zoom out to challenge assumptions.

Hagel emphasizes achieving critical mass in a market before any potential competitors. Think about how you might create a winning strategy that other businesses in your area or field can’t replicate easily: a clear market niche, a unique solution to your optimal consumer’s biggest challenge or a recruiting program that makes your business the employer of choice.

Over-diversification of operations, especially into incompatible or competing activities (think of a manufacturer that makes bird feeders, lawn mowers and silicone implants), tends to strain resources and retard growth in each separate line of the business. If you need too long to explain your whole enterprise, it’s likely to be poorly structured.

The best-performing companies define the optimal customer and that customer’s needs and expectations, and methodically build products and services to respond to that need. Leaders must challenge assumptions about the business, considering regulation, demographics, new methods of competition, the investment environment and emerging client needs. Hagel advises business leaders to discuss long-view issues in every management meeting and dive into specific objectives every six months.

Hagel cautions against two common failures: ignoring the big picture and focusing solely on the incremental and adopting a rigid long-term strategy. While businesses do tend to look at financial metrics, these lagging indicators may not help you understand trends that might affect you long term. Hagel favors metrics to serve as leading indicators, such as customer satisfaction, levels of repeat business, demonstrations of loyalty through referrals and major sources of business opportunities.

Discuss trends revealed through the leading indicators, and then decide the direction of your business and what you must do to get on the right path of growth.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Scott Thompson is the co-founder of Bridge Business Consultants (BBC). BBC is a consulting firm that specializes in helping business owners and certified public accounting firms recognize tax incentives and realize expense recovery. BBC also specializes in business exit planning and has been recognized by The Wall Street Journal for their Business Exit Solutions. Scott is a certified specialist in Retirement Planning. Laura Thompson (co-founder) is a CPA and certified specialist in Estate Planning.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

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Some small businesses start with a strong initial intention and moneymaking idea; others seem to begin accidentally with no deliberate strategy. As your business evolves, the need to develop a conscious strategy becomes more important. Here’s what to know.

Conventional wisdom recommends creating a long-term business plan for the next five years and then a tactical plan for the near term, typically one year. The problem with this approach: Your business assumptions often change faster than your ability to execute ideas. Businesses require continuous planning to keep pace with changing market forces and new demands from customers and employees.

John Hagel III, co-chairman of Deloitte's Center for the Edge consultancy, challenges the conventional approach to strategic planning, arguing that the best-performing companies – especially in technology – deploy an effective approach he calls “Zoom In-Zoom Out.”

First, successful companies zoom out to develop long-range assumptions about the forces that may affect the business over the next 10 to 20 years and create a vision around these findings. Then they zoom in to focus on a short time, say six to 12 months, and work on two or three initiatives that Hagel terms “needle movers.”

He also warns against the common pitfall of spreading skimpy resources over too many choices, benefiting no one initiative. Growing is a great business objective if growth translates into results.

Leaders must also stay engaged with the status of long-term assumptions. Hagel explains how companies often latch onto rigid assumptions in their long-range plan, failing to alter strategy when the market shifts. Eastman Kodak (KODK) and Microsoft (MSFT) offer two examples: Both once dominated markets, but failed to adapt to change.

Hagel explains how Kodak’s executives believed that photography’s future always hinged on film (oddly, the company was among the first to seriously explore digital photography, in the 1970s, yet missed the opportunity to invest in this new direction). Microsoft accomplished its initial goal of becoming the leader in desktop computing, then became mired in its own plan as the likes of Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) outmaneuvered Bill Gates and company in the personal technology space.

Kodak and Microsoft zoomed in to create initial success, but neglected to zoom out to challenge assumptions.

Hagel emphasizes achieving critical mass in a market before any potential competitors. Think about how you might create a winning strategy that other businesses in your area or field can’t replicate easily: a clear market niche, a unique solution to your optimal consumer’s biggest challenge or a recruiting program that makes your business the employer of choice.

Over-diversification of operations, especially into incompatible or competing activities (think of a manufacturer that makes bird feeders, lawn mowers and silicone implants), tends to strain resources and retard growth in each separate line of the business. If you need too long to explain your whole enterprise, it’s likely to be poorly structured.

The best-performing companies define the optimal customer and that customer’s needs and expectations, and methodically build products and services to respond to that need. Leaders must challenge assumptions about the business, considering regulation, demographics, new methods of competition, the investment environment and emerging client needs. Hagel advises business leaders to discuss long-view issues in every management meeting and dive into specific objectives every six months.

Hagel cautions against two common failures: ignoring the big picture and focusing solely on the incremental and adopting a rigid long-term strategy. While businesses do tend to look at financial metrics, these lagging indicators may not help you understand trends that might affect you long term. Hagel favors metrics to serve as leading indicators, such as customer satisfaction, levels of repeat business, demonstrations of loyalty through referrals and major sources of business opportunities.

Discuss trends revealed through the leading indicators, and then decide the direction of your business and what you must do to get on the right path of growth.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Scott Thompson is the co-founder of Bridge Business Consultants (BBC). BBC is a consulting firm that specializes in helping business owners and certified public accounting firms recognize tax incentives and realize expense recovery. BBC also specializes in business exit planning and has been recognized by The Wall Street Journal for their Business Exit Solutions. Scott is a certified specialist in Retirement Planning. Laura Thompson (co-founder) is a CPA and certified specialist in Estate Planning.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

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Saved Enough to Retire? http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/saved-enough-to-retire/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/saved-enough-to-retire/#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2015 17:00:01 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?guid=c1b006c4a7d92dae80dbb5b8bfe29886 One reason retirement funding may mystify you: How do you know when you saved enough so you won’t run out of money during your golden years? The answer begins with an understanding of your day-to-day expenses, and how those expenses may change in 30 or more years of retirement.

According to a recent survey from the Employee Benefits Research Institute, 84% of future retirees believe that savings will cover their post-career years – yet fewer than one in three respondents actually calculated how much they will need. Only around 20% had more than $100,000 set aside. More than 10% had nothing at all saved for retirement.

A conventional savings rule says you withdraw no more than 3% to 5% each year from your retirement savings to make your money last, aka a sustainable rate of withdrawal. Opinions vary about appropriate sustainable rates; the 4% rule comes under considerable scrutiny lately. Working with the above range will get you close.

This equates to $1 million in retirement funds for you to withdraw $30,000 to $50,000 each year.

Don’t despair: There are ways to increase your sustainable rate of withdrawal while still maintaining a relatively high degree of certainty that your money will last.

The first and possibly most critical factor is to plan and then to monitor your plan closely, either on your own or with a financial pro. Your plan needs to include projections or modeling to show what your future income might be based on your sources of income, such as retirement savings, pensions, Social Security benefits and the like.

Developing a plan can give you more confidence in your ability to make savings last. Similarly, planning can also reveal if you saved too little and allow you time to adjust your efforts. Review and update your plan once a year or so.

Second, adjusting your portfolio holdings can also boost your level of sustainable withdrawal. More risk in your holdings is actually good for your long-term holdings; a significant position in the stock market helps you achieve a higher level of returns – and, in your retirement, withdrawals – over time. Without some exposure to risk, your funds will fall behind the inflation of day-to-day expenses, not to mention such hyper-inflation items as health care.

The third important factor regarding your savings’ sustainability: the pattern of income that you’ll need in retirement. Over three or more decades, your income needs will likely change. During your first several years, for instance, you’ll likely spend more than average as you travel or take on new hobbies. On the other hand, you may continue to save during this time of your life, perhaps with income from a part-time job.

Later in retirement, many folks lower expenses as they become more sedentary, not traveling as much and having fewer extraneous expenses. Declining health and energy in still-later years often increase health-care costs.

Best to maintain a realistic view of your own life span, erring on the long-term side. It’s not unreasonable to project a retirement plan to your late 90s. With planning, that can be completely good news.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Jim Blankenship, CFP, EA, is an independent, fee-only financial planner at Blankenship Financial Planning in New Berlin, Ill. He is the author of An IRA Owner’s Manual and A Social Security Owner’s Manual. His blog is Getting Your Financial Ducks In A Row, where he writes regularly about taxes, retirement savings and Social Security.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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One reason retirement funding may mystify you: How do you know when you saved enough so you won’t run out of money during your golden years? The answer begins with an understanding of your day-to-day expenses, and how those expenses may change in 30 or more years of retirement.

According to a recent survey from the Employee Benefits Research Institute, 84% of future retirees believe that savings will cover their post-career years – yet fewer than one in three respondents actually calculated how much they will need. Only around 20% had more than $100,000 set aside. More than 10% had nothing at all saved for retirement.

A conventional savings rule says you withdraw no more than 3% to 5% each year from your retirement savings to make your money last, aka a sustainable rate of withdrawal. Opinions vary about appropriate sustainable rates; the 4% rule comes under considerable scrutiny lately. Working with the above range will get you close.

This equates to $1 million in retirement funds for you to withdraw $30,000 to $50,000 each year.

Don’t despair: There are ways to increase your sustainable rate of withdrawal while still maintaining a relatively high degree of certainty that your money will last.

The first and possibly most critical factor is to plan and then to monitor your plan closely, either on your own or with a financial pro. Your plan needs to include projections or modeling to show what your future income might be based on your sources of income, such as retirement savings, pensions, Social Security benefits and the like.

Developing a plan can give you more confidence in your ability to make savings last. Similarly, planning can also reveal if you saved too little and allow you time to adjust your efforts. Review and update your plan once a year or so.

Second, adjusting your portfolio holdings can also boost your level of sustainable withdrawal. More risk in your holdings is actually good for your long-term holdings; a significant position in the stock market helps you achieve a higher level of returns – and, in your retirement, withdrawals – over time. Without some exposure to risk, your funds will fall behind the inflation of day-to-day expenses, not to mention such hyper-inflation items as health care.

The third important factor regarding your savings’ sustainability: the pattern of income that you’ll need in retirement. Over three or more decades, your income needs will likely change. During your first several years, for instance, you’ll likely spend more than average as you travel or take on new hobbies. On the other hand, you may continue to save during this time of your life, perhaps with income from a part-time job.

Later in retirement, many folks lower expenses as they become more sedentary, not traveling as much and having fewer extraneous expenses. Declining health and energy in still-later years often increase health-care costs.

Best to maintain a realistic view of your own life span, erring on the long-term side. It’s not unreasonable to project a retirement plan to your late 90s. With planning, that can be completely good news.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Jim Blankenship, CFP, EA, is an independent, fee-only financial planner at Blankenship Financial Planning in New Berlin, Ill. He is the author of An IRA Owner’s Manual and A Social Security Owner’s Manual. His blog is Getting Your Financial Ducks In A Row, where he writes regularly about taxes, retirement savings and Social Security.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Commodities: Winners, Losers http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/commodities-winners-losers/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/09/commodities-winners-losers/#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2015 14:00:01 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?guid=473aff24aaf49b3b5c8ec0f6f594a932 Commodities have been in a bear market for the past seven years.  In the past several months, the downturn has accelerated significantly. This produces losers, but also winners, namely the developed world.

Three of the largest economic areas of the globe, Europe, Japan and the U.S., receive a net benefit from lower commodity prices.  Low oil and other raw materials prices, which affect consumers and manufacturers alike, are the equivalent of a massive tax reduction on consumers and corporations. 

This holiday won’t last forever, though: Low commodity prices will eventually curtail commodity supply and pricing will turn back up. 
 
But in the meantime, for commodity producing countries, especially those with high debt levels, a vicious cycle is in play.  They have to produce even more supply at reduced prices to service their debt, fund government operations and protect market share. 

Saudi Arabia is used to running government budget surpluses.  This year, the Saudi government has already burned through almost $62 billion of foreign currency reserves, and borrowed $4 billion from local banks in July – its first bond issue since 2007. The kingdom’s budget deficit is expected to reach 20% of GDP in 2015.  Conditions are similar or worse in Russia, Canada, Australia, Venezuela, Brazil and many other commodity-centric countries.

Commodity prices and stocks (even before the selloff that started last month) are getting crushed.  The iShares S&P GSCI Commodity-Indexed Trust (GSG), an exchange-traded fund that tracks a Standard & Poor’s commodity index, is down 14% year-to-date.  It is 24% below where it traded at the start of March 2009, the market’s financial crisis low point.  The United States Oil (USO) ETF, which follows the petroleum industry, is almost 50% below its Great Recession low.  Steel, as measured by producer ArcelorMittal (MT) is down 80%. Freeport-McMoran (FCX), a large copper and commodities company, if off by about half.  

Over the past five-plus years since March 2009, the U.S. economy has expanded from a gross domestic product to $18.12 trillion as of the second quarter 2015, from $14.09 trillion in 2009’s second quarter

A basic measure of economic activity is bulk transport.  Since March 2009, the iShares Transportation Average ETF (IYT) is up over 200%.  The CSX, Canadian National and Union Pacific railroad stocks have at least tripled during this time.  For comparison purposes, the Standard & Poor’s 500 is up about 190%. 

Normally, economic growth means rising demand and prices for commodities. But despite slow and steady growth, raw materials, including oil, agricultural chemicals, aluminum, copper and steel, are all down. 

One explanation is the strength of the U.S. dollar.  Many commodities, like oil and gold, are priced in greenbacks. Dollar strength means commodities are cheaper and vice versa. Because other nations’ currencies are weaker, they can buy less oil, so demand for it flags, leading to falling prices.

The chart above shows that, although the dollar has appreciated since mid-2014, it has stabilized in the past several months.  Yet commodities have legged down sharply over the summer.  The most recent negative price action in commodities is likely tied to worries about economic growth rates in China.  In recent years, China’s economy has been expanding at 7% plus.  In 2016, some economists are forecasting less than 4% growth.
 
Just recently, the People’s Bank of China provided 110 billion yuan ($17.2 billion) to 14 financial institutions to help boost the economy, a day after injecting nearly $100 billion into two government policy banks.  China also began to devalue their currency in an effort to stimulate exports, because their goods become cheaper to foreign buyers.  Many investors view the interventions as desperate measures and an indication that China’s economy and financial system is deteriorating rapidly.  The Chinese stock market continues to trade lower.
 
Slowing growth in China is a demand problem for commodities.  Possibly a bigger problem for commodities is an oversupply problem.  During the past ten years, new commodity hedge funds, China and many emerging economies created steadily rising demand for commodities that stimulated a strong supply response. 

Commodity companies were building new mines, processing centers, and other facilities to expand supply to meet demand.  At $100 per barrel, oil producers could not produce oil fast enough from new resources accessed by U.S. fracking technology.  This new supply has come on line and cannot be easily shut down in the short run.  U.S. oil production is currently running near all-time highs even with oil (West Texas Intermediate crude) below $50 per barrel, and in recent days briefly south of $40, and the rig count down by more than half over the past 12 months.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Nicholas Atkeson and Andrew Houghton are the founding partners of Delta Investment Management, a registered investment advisory firm in San Francisco, and authors of the new book, Win by Not Losing: A Disciplined Approach To Building And Protecting Your Wealth In The Stock Market By Managing Your Risk. Additional market commentary and investment advice is available via their websites at www.deltaim.com and www.deltawealthaccelerator.com

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

 

 

 

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Commodities have been in a bear market for the past seven years.  In the past several months, the downturn has accelerated significantly. This produces losers, but also winners, namely the developed world.

Three of the largest economic areas of the globe, Europe, Japan and the U.S., receive a net benefit from lower commodity prices.  Low oil and other raw materials prices, which affect consumers and manufacturers alike, are the equivalent of a massive tax reduction on consumers and corporations. 

This holiday won’t last forever, though: Low commodity prices will eventually curtail commodity supply and pricing will turn back up. 
 
But in the meantime, for commodity producing countries, especially those with high debt levels, a vicious cycle is in play.  They have to produce even more supply at reduced prices to service their debt, fund government operations and protect market share. 

Saudi Arabia is used to running government budget surpluses.  This year, the Saudi government has already burned through almost $62 billion of foreign currency reserves, and borrowed $4 billion from local banks in July – its first bond issue since 2007. The kingdom’s budget deficit is expected to reach 20% of GDP in 2015.  Conditions are similar or worse in Russia, Canada, Australia, Venezuela, Brazil and many other commodity-centric countries.

Commodity prices and stocks (even before the selloff that started last month) are getting crushed.  The iShares S&P GSCI Commodity-Indexed Trust (GSG), an exchange-traded fund that tracks a Standard & Poor’s commodity index, is down 14% year-to-date.  It is 24% below where it traded at the start of March 2009, the market’s financial crisis low point.  The United States Oil (USO) ETF, which follows the petroleum industry, is almost 50% below its Great Recession low.  Steel, as measured by producer ArcelorMittal (MT) is down 80%. Freeport-McMoran (FCX), a large copper and commodities company, if off by about half.  

Over the past five-plus years since March 2009, the U.S. economy has expanded from a gross domestic product to $18.12 trillion as of the second quarter 2015, from $14.09 trillion in 2009’s second quarter

A basic measure of economic activity is bulk transport.  Since March 2009, the iShares Transportation Average ETF (IYT) is up over 200%.  The CSX, Canadian National and Union Pacific railroad stocks have at least tripled during this time.  For comparison purposes, the Standard & Poor’s 500 is up about 190%. 

Normally, economic growth means rising demand and prices for commodities. But despite slow and steady growth, raw materials, including oil, agricultural chemicals, aluminum, copper and steel, are all down. 

One explanation is the strength of the U.S. dollar.  Many commodities, like oil and gold, are priced in greenbacks. Dollar strength means commodities are cheaper and vice versa. Because other nations’ currencies are weaker, they can buy less oil, so demand for it flags, leading to falling prices.

The chart above shows that, although the dollar has appreciated since mid-2014, it has stabilized in the past several months.  Yet commodities have legged down sharply over the summer.  The most recent negative price action in commodities is likely tied to worries about economic growth rates in China.  In recent years, China’s economy has been expanding at 7% plus.  In 2016, some economists are forecasting less than 4% growth.
 
Just recently, the People’s Bank of China provided 110 billion yuan ($17.2 billion) to 14 financial institutions to help boost the economy, a day after injecting nearly $100 billion into two government policy banks.  China also began to devalue their currency in an effort to stimulate exports, because their goods become cheaper to foreign buyers.  Many investors view the interventions as desperate measures and an indication that China’s economy and financial system is deteriorating rapidly.  The Chinese stock market continues to trade lower.
 
Slowing growth in China is a demand problem for commodities.  Possibly a bigger problem for commodities is an oversupply problem.  During the past ten years, new commodity hedge funds, China and many emerging economies created steadily rising demand for commodities that stimulated a strong supply response. 

Commodity companies were building new mines, processing centers, and other facilities to expand supply to meet demand.  At $100 per barrel, oil producers could not produce oil fast enough from new resources accessed by U.S. fracking technology.  This new supply has come on line and cannot be easily shut down in the short run.  U.S. oil production is currently running near all-time highs even with oil (West Texas Intermediate crude) below $50 per barrel, and in recent days briefly south of $40, and the rig count down by more than half over the past 12 months.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Nicholas Atkeson and Andrew Houghton are the founding partners of Delta Investment Management, a registered investment advisory firm in San Francisco, and authors of the new book, Win by Not Losing: A Disciplined Approach To Building And Protecting Your Wealth In The Stock Market By Managing Your Risk. Additional market commentary and investment advice is available via their websites at www.deltaim.com and www.deltawealthaccelerator.com

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

 

 

 

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Buy or Rent a Home? http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/08/buy-or-rent-a-home/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/08/buy-or-rent-a-home/#comments Mon, 31 Aug 2015 19:00:02 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?guid=e914878cf3ed36b42ef7d3170174c97a Do you fork cash over to a landlord in exchange for freedom of responsibility for residential maintenance, or take out a mortgage and shell out monthly for the pride – and eventually financial payoff – of homeownership?  

A recent study from Zillow, the online real estate service, shows that homebuyers nationwide face more challenges this year, with inventory down 6.5% from 2014 and home values up 3.3% over roughly the same period.

While the market appears to be in the seller’s favor, many still opt to buy for stability, tax benefits or some other plus. As a financial planner, I often discuss real estate’s potential effect on a financial future.

There are plenty of reasons to buy and likewise plenty to support renting a home. Below are a few considerations.

Buying. A home provides a place to live – stability for you and your family. When you own a home, you are no longer at the mercy of a landlord who changes terms or, even worse, sells the property. With each mortgage payment you also know you’re closer to outright owning that asset.

Among other good points:

No surprises. While a leaky roof or broken water heater might catch you off guard, your monthly payment typically doesn’t vary. This helps with budgeting, cash flow and other aspects of a comprehensive financial plan.

Tax benefits. As a homeowner, you can deduct many related expenses. And unless you owe more than $1 million, all the interest in your mortgage payment is deductible.

Diversification. While real estate doesn’t always prove the best investment over a long time – often barely keeping up with inflation – it can serve as a great portfolio tool.

Just as you commonly invest in stocks, bonds, cash, certificates of deposit and the like through brokerage and retirement accounts, you can use real estate as another asset class that can help diversify your investing. Plus, as a tangible asset, real estate appeals to many other potential buyers and investors.

Equity building and retirement planning. As a homeowner, you build your equity through paying down your mortgage over the years. If successful, you will likely enjoy a lower cost of living in retirement.

Renting. If you’re part of the population that’s unable to buy at this time, you have a few good reasons to rent.

Flexibility. Maybe you prefer to move around, seeing new neighborhoods and cities; it’s hard to put a dollar value on that experience and enjoyment.

If you anticipate a career or job change renting might suit you better, as buying a home can hinder your flexibility to pick up and move.

Avoiding homeownership costs. Homeowners are painfully familiar with such extra, unforeseen and often hefty costs as Realtor fees, mortgage origination fees to start your loan, property taxes, moving costs, furnishing, decorating, leaky pipes, gardener wages – you name it. As a tenant, you enjoy the perks of your home without the worrisome financial burden.

Liquidity. Generally, you can’t turn a house into cash overnight. Many people invest a lifetime’s savings into a home, putting the bulk of their net worth into an illiquid asset. Risk comes with tying up a large portion of your wealth in such an asset. Renting allows you flexibility and other investment options.

Building credit. As consumers, we need a healthy credit for pretty much all we do, from getting a new cell phone plan to buying a car. While renting doesn’t boost your credit rating the same as owning a home, creating a history of on-time rental payments can, in some cases, help build your credit to qualify for a mortgage down the road.

This history begins when (and if) your landlord reports your payment data to credit agencies. Third-party services can help you report this information on your behalf.

Once your credit is solid, you can reevaluate if owning a home seems right for you.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Taylor Schulte, CFP, is founder and chief executive officer of Define Financial in San Diego, responsible for company’s vision, strategy and execution. He specializes in helping individuals, families and small business achieve their financial goals, from investment management, financial and retirement planning to charitable giving, college planning and insurance services. While he works with a wide range of clients, Schulte has a keen understanding of the millennial generation’s financial needs and a progressive, forward-thinking approach. Schulte was recently honored with the 2015 Five Star Wealth Manager Award, a recognition limited to fewer than one in 20 wealth managers in San Diego. He also regularly contributes to the San Diego Downtown News.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

]]>
Do you fork cash over to a landlord in exchange for freedom of responsibility for residential maintenance, or take out a mortgage and shell out monthly for the pride – and eventually financial payoff – of homeownership?  

A recent study from Zillow, the online real estate service, shows that homebuyers nationwide face more challenges this year, with inventory down 6.5% from 2014 and home values up 3.3% over roughly the same period.

While the market appears to be in the seller’s favor, many still opt to buy for stability, tax benefits or some other plus. As a financial planner, I often discuss real estate’s potential effect on a financial future.

There are plenty of reasons to buy and likewise plenty to support renting a home. Below are a few considerations.

Buying. A home provides a place to live – stability for you and your family. When you own a home, you are no longer at the mercy of a landlord who changes terms or, even worse, sells the property. With each mortgage payment you also know you’re closer to outright owning that asset.

Among other good points:

No surprises. While a leaky roof or broken water heater might catch you off guard, your monthly payment typically doesn’t vary. This helps with budgeting, cash flow and other aspects of a comprehensive financial plan.

Tax benefits. As a homeowner, you can deduct many related expenses. And unless you owe more than $1 million, all the interest in your mortgage payment is deductible.

Diversification. While real estate doesn’t always prove the best investment over a long time – often barely keeping up with inflation – it can serve as a great portfolio tool.

Just as you commonly invest in stocks, bonds, cash, certificates of deposit and the like through brokerage and retirement accounts, you can use real estate as another asset class that can help diversify your investing. Plus, as a tangible asset, real estate appeals to many other potential buyers and investors.

Equity building and retirement planning. As a homeowner, you build your equity through paying down your mortgage over the years. If successful, you will likely enjoy a lower cost of living in retirement.

Renting. If you’re part of the population that’s unable to buy at this time, you have a few good reasons to rent.

Flexibility. Maybe you prefer to move around, seeing new neighborhoods and cities; it’s hard to put a dollar value on that experience and enjoyment.

If you anticipate a career or job change renting might suit you better, as buying a home can hinder your flexibility to pick up and move.

Avoiding homeownership costs. Homeowners are painfully familiar with such extra, unforeseen and often hefty costs as Realtor fees, mortgage origination fees to start your loan, property taxes, moving costs, furnishing, decorating, leaky pipes, gardener wages – you name it. As a tenant, you enjoy the perks of your home without the worrisome financial burden.

Liquidity. Generally, you can’t turn a house into cash overnight. Many people invest a lifetime’s savings into a home, putting the bulk of their net worth into an illiquid asset. Risk comes with tying up a large portion of your wealth in such an asset. Renting allows you flexibility and other investment options.

Building credit. As consumers, we need a healthy credit for pretty much all we do, from getting a new cell phone plan to buying a car. While renting doesn’t boost your credit rating the same as owning a home, creating a history of on-time rental payments can, in some cases, help build your credit to qualify for a mortgage down the road.

This history begins when (and if) your landlord reports your payment data to credit agencies. Third-party services can help you report this information on your behalf.

Once your credit is solid, you can reevaluate if owning a home seems right for you.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Taylor Schulte, CFP, is founder and chief executive officer of Define Financial in San Diego, responsible for company’s vision, strategy and execution. He specializes in helping individuals, families and small business achieve their financial goals, from investment management, financial and retirement planning to charitable giving, college planning and insurance services. While he works with a wide range of clients, Schulte has a keen understanding of the millennial generation’s financial needs and a progressive, forward-thinking approach. Schulte was recently honored with the 2015 Five Star Wealth Manager Award, a recognition limited to fewer than one in 20 wealth managers in San Diego. He also regularly contributes to the San Diego Downtown News.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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How to Stop Money Fights http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/08/how-to-stop-money-fights/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/08/how-to-stop-money-fights/#comments Mon, 31 Aug 2015 17:00:03 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?guid=e3123de98edc270c6cde37f087cec8e4 Trouble talking money with your honey? Do you just defer to your partner? Money remains a major reason couples split, and here’s how you can douse the arguments before they ignite.

As a financial planner, I know that staying in love and managing money over a lifetime can be tricky. As a wife, I’m also aware that financial intimacy didn’t come to my husband and me without a few bumps.

Couples who “disagree about finances once a week” are over 30% more likely to get divorced than couples that report “disagreeing about finances a few times a month,” according to a Utah State University study examining finances and divorce. 

Part of your job as a couple committed to staying together: Learn yours and your partner’s money psychology. Here are three steps to help you stop fighting about money.

Share your money past. Be honest and humble. Look into your financial habits to determine if they work the way you want. If not, do you really want to keep repeating behaviors that get such results?

What is your story about money? Sentenced yourself to a life of hardship and scarcity? What’s the money pain you don’t want to let go of, the financial thing you can’t leave in the past? What are you afraid of when it comes to you and money?

Now you can see the futility of your money attitudes producing bad results yet you still argue with your partner that you want to conduct financial affairs your way.

Work together to improve your financial wisdom. My husband likes to play the game of credit card points and rewards. I have a strong aversion to credit cards because of overspending in my past.

Don’t get me wrong, point programs can be valuable (as I learned). I still want only a couple of cards at any one time.

My husband, though, keeps 12 to 15 cards active simultaneously. He also maintains an excellent Fair Isaac Corp. (FICO) credit score of near 800 and pays the cards off every month.

Early in our marriage, when I figured out how many credit cards he carried, I was freaked out, floored and, honestly, frightened. I wanted him to cut some up.

I decided to look at it rationally. Because of my money history relative to his and because he manages all of those cards effectively, I just decided to trust him.

We paid for most of our wedding on those cards, and then we paid off the cards. You know what? We went to Hawaii for two weeks for free because of his credit card points.

Forgive your partner and yourself, and move on with a plan. Feel compassion for yourself and for your partner in this stage. This doesn’t mean excuse anyone of responsibility with money but simply acknowledge the power of previous behavior and programming.

(I teach people about their Money Operating Systems in my online course, Your Rich Retirement Academy and in my TEDx talk, “The Surprising Power of Language to Make You Rich.”)

In my case, my husband managed his finances on his own for 46 years before I met him. He isn’t naturally inclined to ask me before applying for another credit card.

We know now to take each other’s money languages in stride. I no longer accuse him of trying to keep me in the dark, and he tries to be more forthcoming.

It takes work for me to be that analytical about my own money, but it does bring us to the table together in financial partnership.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Hilary Hendershott, MBA, CFP, is founder and Chief Executive of Silicon Valley-based Hilary Hendershott Financial. The firm offers a suite of products and services including fee-only planning. She regularly writes about personal finance at HilaryHendershott.com. You can find her on Twitter @HilarytheCFP.

She also offers financial advice and coaching for women on an online personal finance training program, Your Rich Retirement Academy. 

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

]]>
Trouble talking money with your honey? Do you just defer to your partner? Money remains a major reason couples split, and here’s how you can douse the arguments before they ignite.

As a financial planner, I know that staying in love and managing money over a lifetime can be tricky. As a wife, I’m also aware that financial intimacy didn’t come to my husband and me without a few bumps.

Couples who “disagree about finances once a week” are over 30% more likely to get divorced than couples that report “disagreeing about finances a few times a month,” according to a Utah State University study examining finances and divorce. 

Part of your job as a couple committed to staying together: Learn yours and your partner’s money psychology. Here are three steps to help you stop fighting about money.

Share your money past. Be honest and humble. Look into your financial habits to determine if they work the way you want. If not, do you really want to keep repeating behaviors that get such results?

What is your story about money? Sentenced yourself to a life of hardship and scarcity? What’s the money pain you don’t want to let go of, the financial thing you can’t leave in the past? What are you afraid of when it comes to you and money?

Now you can see the futility of your money attitudes producing bad results yet you still argue with your partner that you want to conduct financial affairs your way.

Work together to improve your financial wisdom. My husband likes to play the game of credit card points and rewards. I have a strong aversion to credit cards because of overspending in my past.

Don’t get me wrong, point programs can be valuable (as I learned). I still want only a couple of cards at any one time.

My husband, though, keeps 12 to 15 cards active simultaneously. He also maintains an excellent Fair Isaac Corp. (FICO) credit score of near 800 and pays the cards off every month.

Early in our marriage, when I figured out how many credit cards he carried, I was freaked out, floored and, honestly, frightened. I wanted him to cut some up.

I decided to look at it rationally. Because of my money history relative to his and because he manages all of those cards effectively, I just decided to trust him.

We paid for most of our wedding on those cards, and then we paid off the cards. You know what? We went to Hawaii for two weeks for free because of his credit card points.

Forgive your partner and yourself, and move on with a plan. Feel compassion for yourself and for your partner in this stage. This doesn’t mean excuse anyone of responsibility with money but simply acknowledge the power of previous behavior and programming.

(I teach people about their Money Operating Systems in my online course, Your Rich Retirement Academy and in my TEDx talk, “The Surprising Power of Language to Make You Rich.”)

In my case, my husband managed his finances on his own for 46 years before I met him. He isn’t naturally inclined to ask me before applying for another credit card.

We know now to take each other’s money languages in stride. I no longer accuse him of trying to keep me in the dark, and he tries to be more forthcoming.

It takes work for me to be that analytical about my own money, but it does bring us to the table together in financial partnership.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Hilary Hendershott, MBA, CFP, is founder and Chief Executive of Silicon Valley-based Hilary Hendershott Financial. The firm offers a suite of products and services including fee-only planning. She regularly writes about personal finance at HilaryHendershott.com. You can find her on Twitter @HilarytheCFP.

She also offers financial advice and coaching for women on an online personal finance training program, Your Rich Retirement Academy. 

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Stock Panic Mechanics http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/08/stock-panic-mechanics/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/08/stock-panic-mechanics/#comments Mon, 31 Aug 2015 14:00:02 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?guid=a07205cc855ef3d0db53cd1c17a39a06 The chief reason for last week’s market slide – down more than 10% from its high, which is commonly known as a correction – is computer-driven institutional selling. If those traders’ algorithms tell them to sell, because everyone else is, they join the crowd and sell.The big stock selloff we just suffered was in large part not fundamentally driven. While hardly buoyant, the U.S. economic recovery remains encouraging. Consumer confidence is at a seven-month high (101.5 in August), durable goods orders rose 2% in July from June and 4.1% in June from May.  Second quarter gross domestic product got revised up to 3.7% from 2.3%. 

True, there are weaknesses that legitimately troubled the market. The U.S. stock market has been flat this year, until August’s rout, primarily due to a lack of corporate revenue and earnings growth.  The headwinds of a strong dollar, weak oil and slowing China remain. 

As worries mounted about slowing growth in China, the world’s second largest economy, the Dow Jones Industrial Average opened down 1,000 points last Monday, Aug. 24. Then the Dow, Nasdaq and Standard & Poor’s 500 staged a late-week recovery that undid some of the damage.

The extreme high volume and price volatility had a lot to do with institutional algorithmic trading and corresponding market making activities.  For example, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) reached an intraday – meaning during the trading day, not at the market close – high of 53.29 this past Monday.  The only other period with a higher level was during the credit crisis in 2008-2009.

The VIX measures near-term put option buying on the S&P 500.  Investors who buy put options are concerned the market (or a stock) is going lower and may buy puts to hedge a position. A put option allows the investor to lock in a specific selling price for a specific time, so he knows he can bail out before prices slip lower.
 
Without a full review of options trading, buying and selling calls and puts are facilitated through market makers.  In the case of puts, market makers often hedge their naked put option positions – where they sell a put but don’t own the underlying stock – by selling short the S&P 500 index, a bet that it will fall. The shorting is supposed to let them raise cash to buy the shares they need to give the put buyer when he exercises his option. The mechanics of this process can create a vicious selling cycle, pushing down this broad-market benchmark.
 
On Monday, when put buying reached panic levels, options market makers placed a tremendous amount of selling pressure on the S&P 500 by selling short the index.  Additionally, investors bought volatility via various exchange-traded funds and notes – the iPath S&P 500 ST VIX Futures ETN (VXX), the Velocity Shares Daily 2x VIX ST ETN (TVIX) and the ProShares Ultra VIX Short-Term Futures (UVXY) – at all-time high volume last week. 

Short covering and unwinding of other institutional bearish investments partly drove the strong rebound in stock prices on Wednesday and Thursday . The rebound may gain strength as investors return to looking at economic factors and valuation levels.  For the price recovery to have legs, investors will need to see evidence of a resumption of earnings and revenue growth.
 
The key to managing through the volatility is to remain non-emotional.  If an investor has clearly defined rules for when to buy, what to buy and when to sell, over time they should achieve attractive returns. 

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Nicholas Atkeson and Andrew Houghton are the founding partners of Delta Investment Management, a registered investment advisory firm in San Francisco, and authors of the new book, Win by Not Losing: A Disciplined Approach To Building And Protecting Your Wealth In The Stock Market By Managing Your Risk. Additional market commentary and investment advice is available via their websites at www.deltaim.com and www.deltawealthaccelerator.com

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

]]>
The chief reason for last week’s market slide – down more than 10% from its high, which is commonly known as a correction – is computer-driven institutional selling. If those traders’ algorithms tell them to sell, because everyone else is, they join the crowd and sell.The big stock selloff we just suffered was in large part not fundamentally driven. While hardly buoyant, the U.S. economic recovery remains encouraging. Consumer confidence is at a seven-month high (101.5 in August), durable goods orders rose 2% in July from June and 4.1% in June from May.  Second quarter gross domestic product got revised up to 3.7% from 2.3%. 

True, there are weaknesses that legitimately troubled the market. The U.S. stock market has been flat this year, until August’s rout, primarily due to a lack of corporate revenue and earnings growth.  The headwinds of a strong dollar, weak oil and slowing China remain. 

As worries mounted about slowing growth in China, the world’s second largest economy, the Dow Jones Industrial Average opened down 1,000 points last Monday, Aug. 24. Then the Dow, Nasdaq and Standard & Poor’s 500 staged a late-week recovery that undid some of the damage.

The extreme high volume and price volatility had a lot to do with institutional algorithmic trading and corresponding market making activities.  For example, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) reached an intraday – meaning during the trading day, not at the market close – high of 53.29 this past Monday.  The only other period with a higher level was during the credit crisis in 2008-2009.

The VIX measures near-term put option buying on the S&P 500.  Investors who buy put options are concerned the market (or a stock) is going lower and may buy puts to hedge a position. A put option allows the investor to lock in a specific selling price for a specific time, so he knows he can bail out before prices slip lower.
 
Without a full review of options trading, buying and selling calls and puts are facilitated through market makers.  In the case of puts, market makers often hedge their naked put option positions – where they sell a put but don’t own the underlying stock – by selling short the S&P 500 index, a bet that it will fall. The shorting is supposed to let them raise cash to buy the shares they need to give the put buyer when he exercises his option. The mechanics of this process can create a vicious selling cycle, pushing down this broad-market benchmark.
 
On Monday, when put buying reached panic levels, options market makers placed a tremendous amount of selling pressure on the S&P 500 by selling short the index.  Additionally, investors bought volatility via various exchange-traded funds and notes – the iPath S&P 500 ST VIX Futures ETN (VXX), the Velocity Shares Daily 2x VIX ST ETN (TVIX) and the ProShares Ultra VIX Short-Term Futures (UVXY) – at all-time high volume last week. 

Short covering and unwinding of other institutional bearish investments partly drove the strong rebound in stock prices on Wednesday and Thursday . The rebound may gain strength as investors return to looking at economic factors and valuation levels.  For the price recovery to have legs, investors will need to see evidence of a resumption of earnings and revenue growth.
 
The key to managing through the volatility is to remain non-emotional.  If an investor has clearly defined rules for when to buy, what to buy and when to sell, over time they should achieve attractive returns. 

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Nicholas Atkeson and Andrew Houghton are the founding partners of Delta Investment Management, a registered investment advisory firm in San Francisco, and authors of the new book, Win by Not Losing: A Disciplined Approach To Building And Protecting Your Wealth In The Stock Market By Managing Your Risk. Additional market commentary and investment advice is available via their websites at www.deltaim.com and www.deltawealthaccelerator.com

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

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Long Prairie midwife program exceptionally popular http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/08/long-prairie-midwife-program-exceptionally-popular/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/08/long-prairie-midwife-program-exceptionally-popular/#comments Sun, 30 Aug 2015 13:00:50 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=22537 The midwives at CentraCare Health-Long Prairie — Ceree George, left, and Yvette Rodriguez — attend about 70 percent of the births at the hospital. Long Prairie has one of the oldest midwife programs in the state of Minnesota, established in 1971.
The midwives at CentraCare Health-Long Prairie — Ceree George, left, and Yvette Rodriguez — attend about 70 percent of the births at the hospital. Long Prairie has one of the oldest midwife programs in the state of Minnesota, established in 1971.

By Jennie Zeitler
Correspondent

Of all the CentraCare Health hospitals and clinics in Central Minnesota, the only one to offer midwife births is in Long Prairie. In addition, the midwifery service here is one of the two oldest in the state of Minnesota. It was established in 1971.

A certified nurse-midwife (CNM) is a professional health care provider who is a registered nurse and has graduated from a program in midwifery. Midwives must pass a national certification examination and meet strict requirements set by state health agencies.

There are two certified nurse midwives at CentraCare Long Prairie – Yvette Rodriguez and Ceree George. They met while working in Florida and Ceree was the first to make the move to Minnesota in 2010. Rodriguez followed in 2011. While she has delivered more than 300 babies, George has attended 1,200 births.

“Since fourth grade I’ve been fascinated with pregnancy and women’s health,” Rodriguez said.

She earned both her bachelor’s degree in pre-med and her masters at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

George wanted to be a midwife after seeing two of her siblings born at home. After working overseas in another field and while looking for a new direction in life, a friend of hers who knew she could “never get tired of listening to pregnant ladies’ stories” suggested she consider being a midwife.

Because her bachelor’s degree was in biology and not nursing, she needed two and a half more years of college to earn her midwife degree.

Both midwives share stories of new moms who felt strengthened by the knowledge they had just given birth.

“There was a mom who had an epidural with her first birth but got here too late to do that with her second,” Rodriguez said. “It was amazing to see the empowerment she felt to find out she could give birth without it.”

Midwives act as more of a coach and are not just there for a baby’s delivery. They are highly trained to handle births, but there is always a doctor available, if needed.

“What we do is normal births,” said Rodriguez. “Doctors spend a lot of time training to handle difficult situations. We’re trained to recognize when there’s a problem. Pregnancy is not a disease — it’s a normal process that occasionally encounters problems.”

Midwife births are very popular in Long Prairie and are approximately 70 percent of all births at the hospital. It’s a choice that the mother makes, along with a number of other options.

“Patients can choose whether to have a midwife or a doctor attend the birth,” Rodriguez said. “They can choose how much coaching they want, how natural or how medical they would like the birth to be and whether or not to have a water birth. Water is relaxing; it helps with the contractions.”

Expectant mothers see a doctor during their pregnancy even if they have chosen to have a midwife-assisted birth, to have a backup. The midwife will consult with a doctor during labor and delivery, if necessary.

“It’s a team approach,” the midwives agreed.

“Our first visit with a patient is about an hour,” said Rodriguez. “Our prenatal visits after that are generally 20 minutes.”

“In general, we have more time available to spend with patients, to make an emotional connection,” George said. “We have more flexibility in scheduling (than the doctors do.)”

The midwives like to work with families. The moms can choose how involved they want their family members and friends to be with the birth.

Following the births, midwives see moms and babies at two weeks and six weeks after the birth and can do well-baby checks up to two years.

One of the traditionally proven benefits of midwife attendance is an increase in breastfeeding success. Long Prairie’s percentage of breastfeeding moms is about 19 percent above the nationwide average. Midwives also act as lactation consultants.

Another benefit of the increased attention midwives can offer expectant mothers is the reduced need for cesarean section births. This shows in recent recognition the program has received.

“We received an award from the March of Dimes for reduction of early elective deliveries (scheduled C-sections or C-section at less than 39 weeks),” said Peg Churchwell, communications and marketing specialist. “We received the same award from the Minnesota Department of Health.”

The most rewarding aspect of the program is the actual birth of a new baby, something that never gets old, no matter how many a person has attended.

“I get excited about that moment when parents first look at their child and realize they’re a parent,” said George. “There’s no fear in the first few moments — there’s such delight and exuberance.”

For more information, call (320) 732-2141. ]]> http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/08/long-prairie-midwife-program-exceptionally-popular/feed/ 0 Tillage and Technology Field Day at Morris, Sept. 10 http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/08/tillage-and-technology-field-day-at-morris-sept-10/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/08/tillage-and-technology-field-day-at-morris-sept-10/#comments Sun, 30 Aug 2015 13:00:11 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=22531 Installing terraces and grass waterways is a way to build organic matter and reduce tillage.

Installing terraces and grass waterways is a way to build organic matter and reduce tillage.

By DAN MARTENS
Minnesota Extension

University of Minnesota (UMN) Extension is teaming up with the Minnesota Corn Growers, Minnesota Soybean Growers and several companies that make tillage equipment in conducting a field day at the West Central Research and Outreach Center at Morris Thursday, Sept. 10. If rained out, the alternate date is Sept. 11.

Registration and viewing displays will start at 9:15 a.m. with a program start at 10 a.m. A box lunch will be available for $6 at noon from the Stevens County FFA Chapter. The afternoon program will start at 1 p.m. with field equipment demonstrations from 2:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Field demonstrations will include vertical tillage, 22 and 30 inch strip till, and different shanks for chisel plows.

This field day event will provide opportunities to learn about and see: new variable depth tillage equipment; side-by-side field equipment demos; building soil structure for maximum soil productivity; discovering how strip tillage can fit individual soil and crop rotation situations; setting planters for improved emergence and residue management; and saving time and money while building soil productivity.

Companies planning to be present at this time include Kuhn-Krause, Salford, Gates, Environmental Tillage Systems, MonTag, Twin Diamond Industries, Orthman, Pederson’s Agri-Services, and Amundson/Peterson.

Preregistration is requested for planning meals and other arrangements. There is no registration fee. Preregistration can be done by:

• Mail name, address, email or phone information to UMN Extension, 1802 18th Street NE, Willmar Minnesota 56201;
• Call 320-235-0726, ext. 2001; or
• Online at http://umn.edu/tillagefieldday.

For questions and more information about this event, contact Regional Extension Educators Jodie DeJong-Hughes at (320) 235-0726, Doug Holen at (320) 589-1711 or Phil Glogoza at (218) 236-2008.

Care of loess soils in Northwest Iowa

Loess soils are large deep drifts of soil ground to a powder from the bedrock by glaciers and blown across the landscape by strong winds. Loess soil is mostly silt and drifts can be miles long and up to 250 feet deep. I had the chance to learn more about loess soils while attending a National Extension Conference in Sioux Falls in mid-July.

Even though the loess soil is very deep, topsoil and organic matter in the top soil is very vulnerable to loss. The topsoil is more brown than black, and most of the subsoil we saw on road cuts was yellow. Wind and water erosion are obvious problems.

Terraces, like the one shown in the picture are installed to reduce the amount of water running down long slopes.

We visited with a farmer who explained that he farmed some land with as much as 5 percent organic matter and some with as little as 1.5 or 2 percent organic matter. His grandfather’s legacy was to implement contour strip cropping for the good of the land. His father’s legacy was to install terraces and grass waterways.

His goal is to leave a legacy of building organic matter by reducing tillage and potential use of cover crops. He also needs to make a living in the process.
It seems logical that building and improving soil starts with stopping the loss — whether on the loess soils of Northwest Iowa, or the soils of central Minnesota. We aren’t gaining until we minimize losses. The land needs care where we see gullies, rill and sheet erosion, and wind erosion.

We’ve learned the crop residue left on or near the surface of the soil contributes more to building soil and organic matter than what is buried in the soil. Manure applied strategically on the land is good for soil biology and to recycle crop nutrients.

Extension research and education, technical and financial resources through Soil and Water Conservation Districts and Natural Resources Conservation Service and services of thoughtful agronomy advisers can be helpful to farmers working toward the goal of caring for the land while producing crops and livestock for our food, fiber and energy needs. ]]> http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/08/tillage-and-technology-field-day-at-morris-sept-10/feed/ 0