Dairyland Peach http://dairylandpeach.com Sauk Centre, Minnesota Thu, 28 May 2015 22:11:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Irene Becker, 87 http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/irene-becker-87/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/irene-becker-87/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 22:11:27 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=21121 Irene   Becker, 87

Irene R. Becker age 87 of Melrose, died peacefully surrounded by her family on Thursday, May 28, 2015 at her home in Melrose, Minnesota.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, June 1 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Melrose with Rev. Marvin Enneking officiating. Interment will be in the parish cemetery.

Visitation will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday and from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Monday at the Patton-Schad Funeral Home in Melrose. The Christian Mothers, Sts. Bernard and Elizabeth Council, and the VFW Auxiliary will pray at 5 p.m. followed by parish prayers at 7 p.m. Sunday evening at the funeral home.

Irene Regina Hortsch was born August 27, 1927 in St. Francis, Minnesota to Edward and Ida (Dehler) Hortsch. She was united in marriage to Olaf E. Becker on September 1, 1947 at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Melrose. Irene was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. She enjoyed playing cards, baking cookies, and her favorite pastime was remembering others with greeting cards. Irene was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Melrose, Christian Mothers, Sts. Bernard and Elizabeth Council, and the Schanhaar-Otte VFW Post 7050 Auxiliary.

Survivors include her children, Karen (Don) Strobel of Savage, Diane (Virg) Hanson of Belle Plaine, Eddie (Kathy) Becker of St. Cloud, Barb Becker of Bloomington, and Mary (Scot) Prettyman of Eagan; grandchildren, Andy, Jennifer, and Mark; step-grandchildren, Dave, Scott, and Eric; great-grandchildren, Lily, Taylor, Ryleigh, and Peyton; step-great-grandchildren, Shelby, Abby, Hally, Max, and Zach; and sister-in-law, Barb Hortsch of Portland, Oregon.

Irene was preceded in death by her husband, Olaf Becker on February 8, 1998; parents; brothers and sisters, Edna Ostendorf, Mildred Harren, Mary Catherine Theiler, Everett Hortsch, and Herb Hortsch.

Serving as casket bearers will be Andy Becker, Mark Becker, Henry Becker, Tom Ostendorf, Tim Ostendorf, Eric Michaelis, Steven Tobroxen, and Ken Maus. Cross bearer will be Jennifer Bevan and scripture bearer will be Lily Becker. Honorary bearers will be Alice Boeckermann, Kitty Mueller, Bernie Wiehoff, Mary Schad, Rosemary Shequen, Fran Schreifels, Ruth Braegelmann, Sally Hinnenkamp, Gail Schlicht, Bernice Welters, Irene Pohlmann, and Irene Tschida.

Arrangements were made with Patton-Schad Funeral & Cremation Services of Melrose.

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Roger Wieling, 76 http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/roger-wieling-76/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/roger-wieling-76/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 22:11:22 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=21118 Roger   Wieling, 76

Roger H. Wieling, age 76 of Burtrum, died unexpectedly on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 at the St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

A gathering of family and friends will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 29 in the visitation chapel at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Grey Eagle. A private inurnment will be held at a later date.

Roger Henry Wieling was born February 28, 1939 in New Munich, Minnesota to Hugo and Rose (Holdvogt) Wieling. He was united in marriage to Judy Gaspers on September 11, 1965 at St. Paul's Catholic Church in Sauk Centre. Roger worked at Wensman Implement in New Munich and then worked at Kraft Foods in Melrose as a milk separator until his retirement in 1994. He was a part-time mechanic who loved working on tractors. Roger loved the outdoors where he would spend his time crop farming, hunting, and fishing.

Survivors include his children, Patrick (Karleen) Wieling of New London, Scott (Sherrie) Wieling of Little Falls, and Tammy Aguilar of Long Prairie; grandchildren, Amber, Stephanie, Cynthia, Melanie, Michael, Jamie, and Autumn; great-grandson, Zachary; brothers, Del (Marian) Wieling of Melrose and Don (Bernie) Wieling of Melrose; sister, Joyce (Ted) Westendorf of Melrose; and sister-in-law, Ruth Wieling of New Munich.

Roger was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Judy Wieling; son, Todd Wieling; and brother, Norman "Dickie" Wieling.

Arrangements were made with Patton-Schad Funeral & Cremation Services of Grey Eagle.

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Your Best Estate Tool: Clarity http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/your-best-estate-tool-clarity/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/your-best-estate-tool-clarity/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 19:30:02 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?guid=1b7c1ab90f823950879fd431cb9fae85 When your heirs sort out your estate, they’ll get no directions from you – unless you planned well for one of life’s most emotional moments. Let your loved ones grieve (someday) without rancor. Specify what you want before it’s too late.

I’ve seen many estate planning situations and the outcomes sure varied. Inevitably, peaceful and easy estate distributions shared two common denominators: communication and preparation.

Estate battles rage far beyond the headlines of actor James Gandolfini or comedy legend Robin Williams. Many families are torn apart after a parent or grandparent dies, and size of the estate doesn’t matter. Money, believe it or not, is rarely the root of division in a family estate.

“Stories of families in conflict at the death of a loved one are regular fodder in the media. It is easy to mock them; they look ridiculous, and it all seems so petty,” writes P. Mark Accettura, author of Blood & Money: Why Families Fight Over Inheritance & What to Do About It.

“We wonder why people just can’t get along. But, after some study I have learned that what appears as greed and pettiness are really symptoms of survivors’ struggle to feel loved and important.”

Strife-filled and unnecessarily expensive situations often result from confusion and frustration about the deceased’s desires – sometimes over heirlooms many might consider almost trinkets.

For instance, my grandparents had six children and few financial assets. (I can tell about this now, incidentally, because most of the players are gone.) My grandfather wanted an auction after his death to sell everything, including the house and contents. The children were to then split all proceeds equally.

Seemed like a reasonable plan, and my grandparents’ will covered the legalities. But as it turned out, the will did not provide for exempting items of sentimental value from the auction.

My grandfather had a shotgun that he carried on hunting outings during my uncle’s childhood. The gun wasn’t worth much to anyone except my uncle and grandfather.

I can easily envision grandpa yanking the gun from the sell-everything clause if he’d seen what was coming. Another of my uncles had the cash, meant no harm and bought the shotgun at the auction.

This small purchase – probably less than $100 – ignited enormous family tension.

This situation and many like it over my career as an advisor inspire me to recommend some ground rules for estate planning. The most important: Be explicit about what you want to happen.

Make sure your spouse and children know where you want to be buried or cremated, the funeral home you want and as much about the type of service as you can. If a personal conversation seems too difficult, express your desires via a video or letter.

Update legal documents. Many people simply believe that wills cover all assets and divide everything appropriately. Remember, though, that an asset with a beneficiary (such as a life insurance policy or retirement savings account) never gets to your will: You might unintentionally leave children, charities or even spouses out of all or parts of your estate plan.

A letter of last instruction, while not a substitute for a will, also dictates instructions – to your spouse, loved one or even a third party – that are instrumental to your last wishes. Such a letter can specify where to find your key papers; give special instructions inappropriate for legal documents regarding, for example, education of your children or care of your pet; and perhaps come with copies of a will or others documents that you reference.

Bequeath, dictate, instruct: Whatever action you take, just do your family a big favor. Spell out your wishes.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Joseph “Big Joe” Clark, CFP, is the managing partner of the Financial Enhancement Group LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisory firm in Indiana. He teaches financial planning at Purdue University and is the host of Consider This with Big Joe Clark, found on WQME and iTunes. He is a Registered Principal offering Securities and Registered Investment Advisory Services through World Equity Group, Inc, member FINRA/SIPC. Big Joe can be reached at bigjoe@yourlifeafterwork.com, or (765) 640-1524. Follow him on Twitter at @Big Joe Clark and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/FinancialEnhancementGroup.

Securities offered through and by World Equity Group Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services can be offered by the Financial Enhancement Group (FEG) or World Equity Group. FEG and World Equity Group are separately owned and operated.

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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When your heirs sort out your estate, they’ll get no directions from you – unless you planned well for one of life’s most emotional moments. Let your loved ones grieve (someday) without rancor. Specify what you want before it’s too late.

I’ve seen many estate planning situations and the outcomes sure varied. Inevitably, peaceful and easy estate distributions shared two common denominators: communication and preparation.

Estate battles rage far beyond the headlines of actor James Gandolfini or comedy legend Robin Williams. Many families are torn apart after a parent or grandparent dies, and size of the estate doesn’t matter. Money, believe it or not, is rarely the root of division in a family estate.

“Stories of families in conflict at the death of a loved one are regular fodder in the media. It is easy to mock them; they look ridiculous, and it all seems so petty,” writes P. Mark Accettura, author of Blood & Money: Why Families Fight Over Inheritance & What to Do About It.

“We wonder why people just can’t get along. But, after some study I have learned that what appears as greed and pettiness are really symptoms of survivors’ struggle to feel loved and important.”

Strife-filled and unnecessarily expensive situations often result from confusion and frustration about the deceased’s desires – sometimes over heirlooms many might consider almost trinkets.

For instance, my grandparents had six children and few financial assets. (I can tell about this now, incidentally, because most of the players are gone.) My grandfather wanted an auction after his death to sell everything, including the house and contents. The children were to then split all proceeds equally.

Seemed like a reasonable plan, and my grandparents’ will covered the legalities. But as it turned out, the will did not provide for exempting items of sentimental value from the auction.

My grandfather had a shotgun that he carried on hunting outings during my uncle’s childhood. The gun wasn’t worth much to anyone except my uncle and grandfather.

I can easily envision grandpa yanking the gun from the sell-everything clause if he’d seen what was coming. Another of my uncles had the cash, meant no harm and bought the shotgun at the auction.

This small purchase – probably less than $100 – ignited enormous family tension.

This situation and many like it over my career as an advisor inspire me to recommend some ground rules for estate planning. The most important: Be explicit about what you want to happen.

Make sure your spouse and children know where you want to be buried or cremated, the funeral home you want and as much about the type of service as you can. If a personal conversation seems too difficult, express your desires via a video or letter.

Update legal documents. Many people simply believe that wills cover all assets and divide everything appropriately. Remember, though, that an asset with a beneficiary (such as a life insurance policy or retirement savings account) never gets to your will: You might unintentionally leave children, charities or even spouses out of all or parts of your estate plan.

A letter of last instruction, while not a substitute for a will, also dictates instructions – to your spouse, loved one or even a third party – that are instrumental to your last wishes. Such a letter can specify where to find your key papers; give special instructions inappropriate for legal documents regarding, for example, education of your children or care of your pet; and perhaps come with copies of a will or others documents that you reference.

Bequeath, dictate, instruct: Whatever action you take, just do your family a big favor. Spell out your wishes.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Joseph “Big Joe” Clark, CFP, is the managing partner of the Financial Enhancement Group LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisory firm in Indiana. He teaches financial planning at Purdue University and is the host of Consider This with Big Joe Clark, found on WQME and iTunes. He is a Registered Principal offering Securities and Registered Investment Advisory Services through World Equity Group, Inc, member FINRA/SIPC. Big Joe can be reached at bigjoe@yourlifeafterwork.com, or (765) 640-1524. Follow him on Twitter at @Big Joe Clark and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/FinancialEnhancementGroup.

Securities offered through and by World Equity Group Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services can be offered by the Financial Enhancement Group (FEG) or World Equity Group. FEG and World Equity Group are separately owned and operated.

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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Meeting on avian flu to be held Tuesday, June 2 http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/meeting-on-avian-flu-to-be-held-tuesday-june-2/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/meeting-on-avian-flu-to-be-held-tuesday-june-2/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 17:34:04 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=21103 Stearns County is holding a community meeting next week to discuss the avian influenza event. The meeting will be held Tuesday, June 2, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Melrose City Center.

The meeting is open to anyone, but those impacted in any way by the situation — poultry producers, truckers, related business owners or workers, friends, family, neighbors — are strongly encouraged to attend.

Various agencies involved with the response effort will be in attendance: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Minnesota Board of Animal Health, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Minnesota Department of Health, American Red Cross, the University of Minnesota Extension, and CentraCare, along with Stearns County’s Emergency Management Department, Public Health Division and Environmental Services Department.

Stearns County’s Disaster Response Action Team is holding this meeting to allow those locally affected to meet face-to-face, for them to have the opportunity to talk with all the various agencies and get their questions answered, and for staff to identify unknown needs that aren’t being met.

“We wanted to do something locally to reach out to these people who are struggling right now,” said Emergency Management Director Erin Hausauer. “This is an opportunity for us to get information out to them, but also for us to receive information and find out more about how we can help them. This is an absolute disaster for people, and we want to make sure there aren’t gaps between needs and services.”

This meeting will also provide an opportunity for community support and give those impacted a chance to converse with others in the same situation and to help each other.

People can stop by anytime between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., whenever it’s convenient for them. Presentations will be done periodically, but all agencies will have staff on hand for one-on-one discussion.

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Tax-Smart Investing http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/tax-smart-investing/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/tax-smart-investing/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 16:30:02 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?guid=7df92f0b83606a42070a28382e0887c7 No one likes to pay taxes. Although they are one of the two certain things in life, you want to do all you can to reduce this burden. The ways to achieve that is through investing long term in mutual funds specializing in broad asset classes and using tax-managed funds.

Investors are subject to two forms of taxes. On bond interest, you pay ordinary income tax. In addition, if you sell your investments for a gain within a year of purchase, you pay tax at ordinary rates, too.

However, if you have a profit from selling a security held for more than one year, you get a lower rate, the long-term capital gains rate. For most taxpayers, it is no higher than 15%.

As you can tell from the preferential tax treatment for investors holding securities more than one year, investing for the long term is better.

We are a major proponent of asset class investing, where you invest in funds that give you exposure to large classes of similar stocks, such as large U.S. companies or small international developed market companies.

When you invest this way, you avoid trading in and out of securities, because you stand pat with your broad-ranging funds. The only time that you need to sell pieces of an asset class is when you rebalance your portfolio toward your target allocation.

For the fixed-income allocation, investors can use municipal bonds to get interest exempt from federal income taxes. In most states, bond income from the investors who live there is free from state taxes.

But are there ways to further reduce the tax burden? There are. While we use asset class mutual funds to potentially save taxes, we can use what is known as tax-managed funds, which aim to minimize tax costs in the investment process.

The managers of these funds keep the tax impact low by avoiding short-term gains. Some of the techniques include tax lot accounting (keeping a record of the purchase and sale price of each security to get the best tax treatment) and tax loss harvesting (selling a security at a loss to offset taxable gains).

The tax managed funds that we use also run quantitative models to evaluate the cost of executing a trade. All these strategic moves seek to lower investors’ taxable income.

What we like about using the tax managed funds is their ability to adapt to the ever-changing tax code. The funds are able to make changes to their operating procedures to reflect new rules.

For investors in the higher brackets, paying fewer taxes is a substantial benefit. The next time you file your taxes, pay attention to the amount of long-term gains in your taxable portfolio versus short-term gains. Being smart about the tax consequences of investing can turn a good portfolio into a great one.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Dan Crimmins is the co-founder of Crimmins Wealth Management LLC in Woodcliff Lake, N.J. His blog is Roots of Wealth.

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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No one likes to pay taxes. Although they are one of the two certain things in life, you want to do all you can to reduce this burden. The ways to achieve that is through investing long term in mutual funds specializing in broad asset classes and using tax-managed funds.

Investors are subject to two forms of taxes. On bond interest, you pay ordinary income tax. In addition, if you sell your investments for a gain within a year of purchase, you pay tax at ordinary rates, too.

However, if you have a profit from selling a security held for more than one year, you get a lower rate, the long-term capital gains rate. For most taxpayers, it is no higher than 15%.

As you can tell from the preferential tax treatment for investors holding securities more than one year, investing for the long term is better.

We are a major proponent of asset class investing, where you invest in funds that give you exposure to large classes of similar stocks, such as large U.S. companies or small international developed market companies.

When you invest this way, you avoid trading in and out of securities, because you stand pat with your broad-ranging funds. The only time that you need to sell pieces of an asset class is when you rebalance your portfolio toward your target allocation.

For the fixed-income allocation, investors can use municipal bonds to get interest exempt from federal income taxes. In most states, bond income from the investors who live there is free from state taxes.

But are there ways to further reduce the tax burden? There are. While we use asset class mutual funds to potentially save taxes, we can use what is known as tax-managed funds, which aim to minimize tax costs in the investment process.

The managers of these funds keep the tax impact low by avoiding short-term gains. Some of the techniques include tax lot accounting (keeping a record of the purchase and sale price of each security to get the best tax treatment) and tax loss harvesting (selling a security at a loss to offset taxable gains).

The tax managed funds that we use also run quantitative models to evaluate the cost of executing a trade. All these strategic moves seek to lower investors’ taxable income.

What we like about using the tax managed funds is their ability to adapt to the ever-changing tax code. The funds are able to make changes to their operating procedures to reflect new rules.

For investors in the higher brackets, paying fewer taxes is a substantial benefit. The next time you file your taxes, pay attention to the amount of long-term gains in your taxable portfolio versus short-term gains. Being smart about the tax consequences of investing can turn a good portfolio into a great one.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Dan Crimmins is the co-founder of Crimmins Wealth Management LLC in Woodcliff Lake, N.J. His blog is Roots of Wealth.

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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Excuses for Slow GDP Growth http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/excuses-for-slow-gdp-growth/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/excuses-for-slow-gdp-growth/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 13:30:02 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?guid=e038f9a88b094a065272babd6903fcf5 The weather has done it again. For the second year in a row, officialdom blames bad winter weather for blah first-quarter economic growth. But this excuse doesn’t wash. Stimulus hasn’t worked.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in late April reported annualized growth of a piddling 0.2% for the first quarter of 2015. The culprit, of course, is not bad policy, but bad weather, if you believe the Federal Reserve Board.

Last year, the economy would have boomed during the first quarter, no doubt, if not for the “polar vortex.” But instead it shrunk by more than 2% (experts use the oxymoron “negative growth”). The same people who believe that will likely believe that the U.S. economy would have boomed during the first-quarter of 2015 if not for the dreadful winter.

The April reading was the BLS’s first take. Its next estimate for the first quarter GDP is due out tomorrow.

At least no one’s using the term “polar vortex” to describe the non-stop snowfall that hit much of America this past winter. And this year’s first-quarter growth is multiples better than last year’s first quarter mini-recession.

Winter may be over, but the economy remains cooled. The Fed is likely hoping for monsoons, tidal waves and earthquakes over the next few quarters to rationalize yet more non-growth in an economy that falls short of Fed projections. 

Per the chart below, the Fed has been overly optimistic about economic growth for each of the past four years – and that streak is likely to continue this year, given first-quarter performance.

Fed predictions for the future continue to be rose-colored, but not as rosy as they were previously, based on the Fed policy statement issued recently.

“Federal Reserve policy makers said some of the headwinds holding back the U.S. will probably fade and give way to ‘moderate’ growth,” Bloomberg reported. Maybe the Fed considers 0.3% annualized growth to be “moderate,” since it would be a 50% improvement over the first quarter.

Other factors cited as affecting economic growth include:

  • The strengthening dollar, which the end of quantitative easing (central bank bond buying) boosted here and the beginning of QE in other countries.
  • Lower oil prices, resulting in a slowdown in the energy sector – the one sector of the economy that has been thriving in recent years.
  • Dock worker strikes on the West Coast, which disrupted exports. Maybe the economy slowed down to demonstrate solidarity with the dock workers.

In its policy statement, the Fed said the slowdown was due, “in part” to “transitory factors.” So the economy has stumbled along, not even hitting 3% growth for nine years and we’re supposed to attribute the current economic state to transitory factors. When something is transitory, you expect it to change after a brief period. Our economic doldrums have been anything but transitory.

As The Wall Street Journal put it, “Transitory or not, growth sure was lousy.”

The Fed may have been referring to oil prices, which dropped to the point where the booming oil shale industry stopped booming. But even if oil prices return to higher levels (they edged up lately), the industry can’t just flip a switch and resume drilling.

And ironically, falling oil prices were the one bright spot for American consumers, giving them more disposable income and causing consumer spending to increase – although apparently not enough to boost economic growth.

It should be clear to anyone who is not a member of the Federal Open Market Committee that Fed policy is not working. The Fed’s twin mandate has been to maximize employment and stabilize prices, which for some reason it interprets as boosting the rate of inflation to 2%.

After trillions in bond buying and years of ZIRP (zero interest rate policy), it has accomplished neither. Inflation in the U.S. has been minimal and is likely to stay that way, given that the dollar has strengthened considerably, making imports cheaper. Maybe the Fed should declare victory and move on, since cheaper prices, combined with increasing income (however tepid) finally should boost consumer spending.

And while the unemployment rate has dropped considerably, the drop is largely due to millions of Americans having given up looking for work.

“One reason the jobless rate has fallen to 5.5% is because so many people have left the workforce,” according to The Wall Street Journal. “The labor participation rate has plunged to 1978 levels during this supposedly splendid expansion. Most economists acknowledge that if the participation rate had stayed constant, the jobless rate would still be close to 8%.”

When headwinds prevail, those who are steering the boat have two choices. They can continue to move full force into the headwinds and get nowhere – or they can change direction. Changing direction would be the wiser choice today.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Brenda P. Wenning is president of Wenning Investments LLC in Newton, Mass. 

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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The weather has done it again. For the second year in a row, officialdom blames bad winter weather for blah first-quarter economic growth. But this excuse doesn’t wash. Stimulus hasn’t worked.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in late April reported annualized growth of a piddling 0.2% for the first quarter of 2015. The culprit, of course, is not bad policy, but bad weather, if you believe the Federal Reserve Board.

Last year, the economy would have boomed during the first quarter, no doubt, if not for the “polar vortex.” But instead it shrunk by more than 2% (experts use the oxymoron “negative growth”). The same people who believe that will likely believe that the U.S. economy would have boomed during the first-quarter of 2015 if not for the dreadful winter.

The April reading was the BLS’s first take. Its next estimate for the first quarter GDP is due out tomorrow.

At least no one’s using the term “polar vortex” to describe the non-stop snowfall that hit much of America this past winter. And this year’s first-quarter growth is multiples better than last year’s first quarter mini-recession.

Winter may be over, but the economy remains cooled. The Fed is likely hoping for monsoons, tidal waves and earthquakes over the next few quarters to rationalize yet more non-growth in an economy that falls short of Fed projections. 

Per the chart below, the Fed has been overly optimistic about economic growth for each of the past four years – and that streak is likely to continue this year, given first-quarter performance.

Fed predictions for the future continue to be rose-colored, but not as rosy as they were previously, based on the Fed policy statement issued recently.

“Federal Reserve policy makers said some of the headwinds holding back the U.S. will probably fade and give way to ‘moderate’ growth,” Bloomberg reported. Maybe the Fed considers 0.3% annualized growth to be “moderate,” since it would be a 50% improvement over the first quarter.

Other factors cited as affecting economic growth include:

  • The strengthening dollar, which the end of quantitative easing (central bank bond buying) boosted here and the beginning of QE in other countries.
  • Lower oil prices, resulting in a slowdown in the energy sector – the one sector of the economy that has been thriving in recent years.
  • Dock worker strikes on the West Coast, which disrupted exports. Maybe the economy slowed down to demonstrate solidarity with the dock workers.

In its policy statement, the Fed said the slowdown was due, “in part” to “transitory factors.” So the economy has stumbled along, not even hitting 3% growth for nine years and we’re supposed to attribute the current economic state to transitory factors. When something is transitory, you expect it to change after a brief period. Our economic doldrums have been anything but transitory.

As The Wall Street Journal put it, “Transitory or not, growth sure was lousy.”

The Fed may have been referring to oil prices, which dropped to the point where the booming oil shale industry stopped booming. But even if oil prices return to higher levels (they edged up lately), the industry can’t just flip a switch and resume drilling.

And ironically, falling oil prices were the one bright spot for American consumers, giving them more disposable income and causing consumer spending to increase – although apparently not enough to boost economic growth.

It should be clear to anyone who is not a member of the Federal Open Market Committee that Fed policy is not working. The Fed’s twin mandate has been to maximize employment and stabilize prices, which for some reason it interprets as boosting the rate of inflation to 2%.

After trillions in bond buying and years of ZIRP (zero interest rate policy), it has accomplished neither. Inflation in the U.S. has been minimal and is likely to stay that way, given that the dollar has strengthened considerably, making imports cheaper. Maybe the Fed should declare victory and move on, since cheaper prices, combined with increasing income (however tepid) finally should boost consumer spending.

And while the unemployment rate has dropped considerably, the drop is largely due to millions of Americans having given up looking for work.

“One reason the jobless rate has fallen to 5.5% is because so many people have left the workforce,” according to The Wall Street Journal. “The labor participation rate has plunged to 1978 levels during this supposedly splendid expansion. Most economists acknowledge that if the participation rate had stayed constant, the jobless rate would still be close to 8%.”

When headwinds prevail, those who are steering the boat have two choices. They can continue to move full force into the headwinds and get nowhere – or they can change direction. Changing direction would be the wiser choice today.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Brenda P. Wenning is president of Wenning Investments LLC in Newton, Mass. 

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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Downton Abbey, Women and $ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/downton-abbey-women-and/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/downton-abbey-women-and/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 19:00:02 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?guid=59b7a77a0b7295aecc17e330f41041a2 Women’s financial independence has come very far since the old days. Yet when it comes to managing money, women still lag far behind men. The silver lining is they know what they don’t know and when to seek help.

In the latest season of TV’s Downton Abbey, the women characters face financial issues with confusion. The cook gets an inheritance and doesn’t know what to do. She turns to the butler for advice, despite his inexperience. The wealthy women of the estate have difficulties in making financial decisions, too. One of them inherits a business but may be neglecting it because she is focused on motherhood.

While much has changed since the early 20th century when the show is set, women today still have a long way to go to in achieving financial literacy on par with men.

In “Lessons from Downton Abbey about women and money,” the PBS.org website outlines how women continue to fall behind men in money management confidence and in financial literacy, even though women of today are more likely to be college-educated.

The article cites studies that show women are less capable of answering basic financial questions. The 2009 National Financial Capability Study surveyed 1,500 Americans and asked them three questions about investing. Only 22% women get all of them right, compared with 38% of men. The gap exists in other industrialized counties.

Women are less confident in themselves, too. In the study, they were more likely to choose “I don’t know” as an answer. When researchers gave the same questions to Dutch respondents with the “I don’t know” choice removed, the women got more questions right. (But they still underperformed men.)

After controlling for factors such as age and education, the results persist. For example, young women with college degrees were still 13 percentage points less likely to answer those financial literacy questions correctly than were young college-educated men.

The article mentions what experts see as a glimmer of hope, which is women’s honesty about their lack of financial knowledge. They know what they do not know.

Just as the cook seeks the butler’s help, and the housekeeper suggests that she should ask a more experienced man outside of the insular world of the estate, the ability to recognize that they need more knowledge and perhaps some professional guidance is important.

An advisor can help women – and men, too, of course – make financial decisions, take a comprehensive look at their situation and get their financial house in order. No one wants to make the wrong decisions and end up with little at retirement. And yet, if women let confusion or fear keep them from planning, their finances will not be in good shape.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Claire Emory, CFP, CFA, RIA, owns and operates Clarity Financial Planning LLC in Arlington, Va.

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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Women’s financial independence has come very far since the old days. Yet when it comes to managing money, women still lag far behind men. The silver lining is they know what they don’t know and when to seek help.

In the latest season of TV’s Downton Abbey, the women characters face financial issues with confusion. The cook gets an inheritance and doesn’t know what to do. She turns to the butler for advice, despite his inexperience. The wealthy women of the estate have difficulties in making financial decisions, too. One of them inherits a business but may be neglecting it because she is focused on motherhood.

While much has changed since the early 20th century when the show is set, women today still have a long way to go to in achieving financial literacy on par with men.

In “Lessons from Downton Abbey about women and money,” the PBS.org website outlines how women continue to fall behind men in money management confidence and in financial literacy, even though women of today are more likely to be college-educated.

The article cites studies that show women are less capable of answering basic financial questions. The 2009 National Financial Capability Study surveyed 1,500 Americans and asked them three questions about investing. Only 22% women get all of them right, compared with 38% of men. The gap exists in other industrialized counties.

Women are less confident in themselves, too. In the study, they were more likely to choose “I don’t know” as an answer. When researchers gave the same questions to Dutch respondents with the “I don’t know” choice removed, the women got more questions right. (But they still underperformed men.)

After controlling for factors such as age and education, the results persist. For example, young women with college degrees were still 13 percentage points less likely to answer those financial literacy questions correctly than were young college-educated men.

The article mentions what experts see as a glimmer of hope, which is women’s honesty about their lack of financial knowledge. They know what they do not know.

Just as the cook seeks the butler’s help, and the housekeeper suggests that she should ask a more experienced man outside of the insular world of the estate, the ability to recognize that they need more knowledge and perhaps some professional guidance is important.

An advisor can help women – and men, too, of course – make financial decisions, take a comprehensive look at their situation and get their financial house in order. No one wants to make the wrong decisions and end up with little at retirement. And yet, if women let confusion or fear keep them from planning, their finances will not be in good shape.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Claire Emory, CFP, CFA, RIA, owns and operates Clarity Financial Planning LLC in Arlington, Va.

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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Delay Retiring? $$ Questions http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/delay-retiring-questions/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/delay-retiring-questions/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 16:00:02 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?guid=4baa5ec545fc672c30493939744814ca If you’re fortunate enough to look forward to a company or state pension, retiring as soon as possible and collecting the benefit may tempt you, or you might want to collect Social Security benefits at the minimum age of 62. Before launching your golden years, consider all effects on delaying retirement and continuing to work.

First, two obvious points: Find out if you accrue extra pension benefits for extra years of service; regarding Social Security, your monthly benefits generally rise the closer you are to age 70 before you begin taking them.

For example, let’s say John becomes eligible to retire at 55 and receive a pension of $5,500 per month. If John waits until age 60 to retire, his pension increases to $7,500 per month, a considerable difference of $24,000 a year.

Recently, one of my clients asked which of the above I recommended. I asked what makes this person happiest. We then dove into possible scenarios and future goals.

After about an hour, this person – still young enough to re-enter the workforce and with the $7,500 coming in monthly – decided to delay retirement in exchange for the extra benefits.

The same can be done if you delay your Social Security benefit past normal retirement age. Postponing benefits to close to or past what the Social Security Administration terms your full retirement age (FRA) can increase your benefit as much as 8% per year.

For each month after age 62 that you delay applying, you increase the amount of your actual benefit. When you delay applying past your FRA (67 for anyone born after 1960), you increase your benefit above that point – a sum known as the primary insurance amount (PIA).

These increases are Delayed Retirement Credits. With DRCs, each month you delay ups your benefit two-thirds of 1%, making a total increase each year of 8% (a little less if you were born before 1943).

Essentially, delaying pension or the Social Security benefits increases your income floor. Think of your floor as a guaranteed stream of income that never decreases throughout the rest of your life no matter what happens to the economy, the stock market or any job you take while retired.

If you need approximately $5,000 monthly for expenses in retirement and you have a $3,000 income floor (between either or a combination of a pension or Social Security), you need only find another $2,000 per month from other sources such as employment or savings in a 401(k) or individual retirement account. You may also build your floor with payout from a longevity annuity, using some of your retirement savings for the insurer’s premium.

Putting off retirement is a big decision. Talk to a competent financial professional; look at your recent Social Security statement to see how much delaying might increase your benefit and, if you get a pension, talk to your human resources department to get estimates of your payouts.

Take your time and make the right decision. Neither retirement nor the work world will go anywhere until you say.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Sterling Raskie, MSFS, MBA, CFP, is an independent, fee-only financial planner at Blankenship Financial Planning in New Berlin, Ill. He is an adjunct professor teaching courses in math, finance, insurance and investments. His blog is Getting Your Financial Ducks in a Row, where he writes regularly about investments, retirement savings and financial 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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If you’re fortunate enough to look forward to a company or state pension, retiring as soon as possible and collecting the benefit may tempt you, or you might want to collect Social Security benefits at the minimum age of 62. Before launching your golden years, consider all effects on delaying retirement and continuing to work.

First, two obvious points: Find out if you accrue extra pension benefits for extra years of service; regarding Social Security, your monthly benefits generally rise the closer you are to age 70 before you begin taking them.

For example, let’s say John becomes eligible to retire at 55 and receive a pension of $5,500 per month. If John waits until age 60 to retire, his pension increases to $7,500 per month, a considerable difference of $24,000 a year.

Recently, one of my clients asked which of the above I recommended. I asked what makes this person happiest. We then dove into possible scenarios and future goals.

After about an hour, this person – still young enough to re-enter the workforce and with the $7,500 coming in monthly – decided to delay retirement in exchange for the extra benefits.

The same can be done if you delay your Social Security benefit past normal retirement age. Postponing benefits to close to or past what the Social Security Administration terms your full retirement age (FRA) can increase your benefit as much as 8% per year.

For each month after age 62 that you delay applying, you increase the amount of your actual benefit. When you delay applying past your FRA (67 for anyone born after 1960), you increase your benefit above that point – a sum known as the primary insurance amount (PIA).

These increases are Delayed Retirement Credits. With DRCs, each month you delay ups your benefit two-thirds of 1%, making a total increase each year of 8% (a little less if you were born before 1943).

Essentially, delaying pension or the Social Security benefits increases your income floor. Think of your floor as a guaranteed stream of income that never decreases throughout the rest of your life no matter what happens to the economy, the stock market or any job you take while retired.

If you need approximately $5,000 monthly for expenses in retirement and you have a $3,000 income floor (between either or a combination of a pension or Social Security), you need only find another $2,000 per month from other sources such as employment or savings in a 401(k) or individual retirement account. You may also build your floor with payout from a longevity annuity, using some of your retirement savings for the insurer’s premium.

Putting off retirement is a big decision. Talk to a competent financial professional; look at your recent Social Security statement to see how much delaying might increase your benefit and, if you get a pension, talk to your human resources department to get estimates of your payouts.

Take your time and make the right decision. Neither retirement nor the work world will go anywhere until you say.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Sterling Raskie, MSFS, MBA, CFP, is an independent, fee-only financial planner at Blankenship Financial Planning in New Berlin, Ill. He is an adjunct professor teaching courses in math, finance, insurance and investments. His blog is Getting Your Financial Ducks in a Row, where he writes regularly about investments, retirement savings and financial 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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The Street’s Fed Blame Game http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/the-streets-fed-blame-game/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/the-streets-fed-blame-game/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 13:00:02 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?guid=9ca8844ccab06350eaf06e1735277d65 When the economy and the stock market eventually flag, Wall Street has a convenient scapegoat at the ready: the Federal Reserve and its plan to raise interest rates.

The business cycle, though, is going to end whether the Fed raises rates or not. We are getting near the finish line of the current cycle.

I don't know that this cycle will end before the Fed raises rates, but I believe the central bank can probably slip in at least one or two rounds before it starts to contract. The current speculation is that the Fed will wait until at least September to tighten monetary policy.

Wall Street is hooked on cheap money, which is the product of the Fed’s holding rates near zero since the financial crisis. Perversely, any sign of economic weakness cheers the market, which believes that the Fed will postpone action to avoid hurting the economy even worse. On April 6, for instance, the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 0.66% in the wake of a poor jobs report.

The investment community’s paranoia about the Fed recently found expression in an ill-informed Wall Street Journal column. It claimed the Fed has already slowed the economy by virtue of its tightening talk. Puh-leez – this is so wrong.

For one thing, the credit markets are booming. Financial conditions aren't tight, unless you think that a stock market that doesn't move relentlessly higher is a sign of tightness.

Mundane realities won't stop the Street from blaming the bank for the long fall from sky-high valuation levels (although not as high as the tech bubble) to the concrete below. The reason for the upcoming fall is the inevitable end of the business cycle; for the size of that fall, blame the Street's foolishness in chasing prices to ridiculous heights. But it will blame the Fed for that too, even as it took credit for all the great performance that preceded the slump. It's just the nature of the beast.

Earnings tremble on the negative, from the looks of the first quarter reports thus far. Thomson Reuters projects that they will rise just 2.1% compared with 2014’s first period. As such earnings are probably not a good springboard for further rallies, I expect yet another pullback in June. Nevertheless, the market's guiding light is Fed policy and apparently will remain so. The trend is your friend, until the end.

If you want to blame the Fed for something, it’s better to focus on its lack of the firepower needed to combat the next economic downturn. The central bank won't be able to get rates high enough to provide the Fed with much of a safety cushion going into the next downturn, as Chair Janet Yellen will discover.

But even the ability to cut by two percentage points - which the bank will almost certainly not have - can't stop a contraction. Monetary policy is a cushion in downturns, not some reality transmogrifier out of Calvin and Hobbes.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

M. Kevin Flynn, CFA, is the president of Avalon Asset Management Company in Lexington, Mass. Website: avalonassetmgmt.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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When the economy and the stock market eventually flag, Wall Street has a convenient scapegoat at the ready: the Federal Reserve and its plan to raise interest rates.

The business cycle, though, is going to end whether the Fed raises rates or not. We are getting near the finish line of the current cycle.

I don't know that this cycle will end before the Fed raises rates, but I believe the central bank can probably slip in at least one or two rounds before it starts to contract. The current speculation is that the Fed will wait until at least September to tighten monetary policy.

Wall Street is hooked on cheap money, which is the product of the Fed’s holding rates near zero since the financial crisis. Perversely, any sign of economic weakness cheers the market, which believes that the Fed will postpone action to avoid hurting the economy even worse. On April 6, for instance, the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 0.66% in the wake of a poor jobs report.

The investment community’s paranoia about the Fed recently found expression in an ill-informed Wall Street Journal column. It claimed the Fed has already slowed the economy by virtue of its tightening talk. Puh-leez – this is so wrong.

For one thing, the credit markets are booming. Financial conditions aren't tight, unless you think that a stock market that doesn't move relentlessly higher is a sign of tightness.

Mundane realities won't stop the Street from blaming the bank for the long fall from sky-high valuation levels (although not as high as the tech bubble) to the concrete below. The reason for the upcoming fall is the inevitable end of the business cycle; for the size of that fall, blame the Street's foolishness in chasing prices to ridiculous heights. But it will blame the Fed for that too, even as it took credit for all the great performance that preceded the slump. It's just the nature of the beast.

Earnings tremble on the negative, from the looks of the first quarter reports thus far. Thomson Reuters projects that they will rise just 2.1% compared with 2014’s first period. As such earnings are probably not a good springboard for further rallies, I expect yet another pullback in June. Nevertheless, the market's guiding light is Fed policy and apparently will remain so. The trend is your friend, until the end.

If you want to blame the Fed for something, it’s better to focus on its lack of the firepower needed to combat the next economic downturn. The central bank won't be able to get rates high enough to provide the Fed with much of a safety cushion going into the next downturn, as Chair Janet Yellen will discover.

But even the ability to cut by two percentage points - which the bank will almost certainly not have - can't stop a contraction. Monetary policy is a cushion in downturns, not some reality transmogrifier out of Calvin and Hobbes.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

M. Kevin Flynn, CFA, is the president of Avalon Asset Management Company in Lexington, Mass. Website: avalonassetmgmt.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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Angeline Stangler, 83 http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/angeline-stangler-83/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/angeline-stangler-83/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 11:15:58 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=21086 Angeline   Stangler, 83

Mass of Christian Burial celebrating the life of Angeline "Angie" Stangler, age 83, of Albany, will be at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 at Seven Dolors Catholic Church. Father Cletus Connors, OSB will officiate and burial will take place in the parish cemetery. Angie passed away Thursday morning surrounded by family. There will be a visitation from 4:00 – 9:00 PM on Monday, May 25, 2015 at Seven Dolors Catholic Church, and again after 10:00 AM on Tuesday until the time of the service. Parish Prayers will be at 4:00 PM and Christian Mothers will pray the rosary at 6:00 PM Monday evening. Arrangements are being made with Miller-Carlin Funeral Home of Albany.

Angie was born on March 20, 1932 to John and Mary (Heinen) Bloch in Albany. She grew up with 12 siblings and graduated from high school. On June 15, 1955, she married Ambrose Stangler at Seven Dolors Church in Albany and their union welcomed eight children. Angie was a homemaker and a stay-at-home mom her entire life and enjoyed her children. Angie was a great cook and made desserts for every meal. She loved to garden, be active, and go for walks. Angie was a woman of faith and prayed her rosary daily. She was a member of Seven Dolors, Christian Mothers, and the Legion Auxiliary.

Angie is survived by her children Mark (Bonnie) Stangler, Melrose; Gary (Joan) Stangler, Freeport; Keith (Agatha) Stangler, Forest Lake; Bruce (Luanne) Stangler, St. Cloud; Glen (Peggy) Stangler, Farming; Lois (John) Loch, Kimball; Janice Zizzo (Eric Firestone), New Orleans; Russel (Lisa) Stangler, Albany; her siblings Agnes Stock, Sartell; Florence Petrich, Sartell; Edwin Bloch, St. Cloud; Marcella Stangler, Cold Spring; Alfred (Mary) Bloch, Luxemburg; Robert (Carol) Bloch, Kimball; Leo (Patty) Bloch, Richmond; Norbert (Marcie) Bloch, Albany; Rita (Richard) Huberty, Cold Spring; David Bloch, St. Augusta; Patti Colliander, Waite Park; 19 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and many other family and friends.

She is preceded by her parents John and Mary, her husband Ambrose in 2010, her brother Raymond Bloch, and her daughter-in-law Fran Stangler.

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Beatrice Tschida, 80 http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/beatrice-tschida-80/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/beatrice-tschida-80/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 11:15:53 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=21083 Beatrice   Tschida, 80

Beatrice C. Tschida, age 80 of Melrose, died peacefully surrounded by her family on Monday, May 25, 2015 at the St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 29 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Melrose with Rev. Marvin Enneking officiating and Rev. Ken Thielman concelebrating. Interment will be in St. Rose of Lima Cemetery in St. Rosa.

Visitation will be held from 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday and from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Friday at the Patton-Schad Funeral Home in Melrose. Christian Mothers will pray at 6 p.m. followed by parish prayers at 7 p.m. Thursday evening at the funeral home.

Beatrice Christina Douvier was born October 15, 1934 in Holding Township, Stearns County, Minnesota to Frank and Rose (VanHeel) Douvier. She was united in marriage to Victor Tschida on September 4, 1952 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in St. Francis. Beatrice farmed with her husband and raised their family of eleven children in the St. Rosa area for 54 years. They retired and moved to Melrose where they have lived for the past nine years.

She was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Melrose and the St. Rose of Lima Christian Mothers. Beatrice enjoyed working word find and other puzzles, embroidering, planting flowers, and taking an occasional trip to the casino. She loved spending time with her family and friends, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Survivors include her husband, Victor Martin Tschida of Melrose; children, Sylvester "Ves" (Ellie) Tschida of Upsala, Sue (Dan) Harren of Melrose, Steve (Linda) Tschida of Melrose, Sam (Carol) Tschida of Avon, Sandy (Charlie) Boeckermann of St. Francis, Stan (Cindy) Tschida of Albany, Scott (Lois) Tschida of Melrose, Shawn (Brenda) Tschida of Albany, Stewart (Amy) Tschida of Grey Eagle, and Sheldon (Karla) Tschida of Avon; 33 grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren; brothers and sisters, Dorene (Frank) Gerads of Holdingford, Irene (Rod) Gerads of Albany, Jim (Judy) Douvier of Avon, Eugene Douvier of Randall, and Allan (Renee) Douvier of St. Francis, and Rita Douvier of Melrose.

Beatrice was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Rose Douvier; son, Sherwin "Herm" Tschida; grandson, Brian Boeckermann; brother, Melvin Douvier; and sisters, Jeanette Tschida and Diane Becker.

Serving as casket bearers will be Sylvester, Sam, Stan, Scott, Shawn, Stewart, and Sheldon Tschida. Cross bearer will be Richard Boeckermann and scripture bearer will be Ashley Kerzman.

Arrangements were made with Patton-Schad Funeral & Cremation Services of Melrose.

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Ending a Bad Money Cycle http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/ending-a-bad-money-cycle/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/ending-a-bad-money-cycle/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 20:00:02 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?guid=0bb0ca9e337a3f63647a97afdf874cbd Living paycheck to paycheck causes obvious stress. Even worse, it puts you at risk for financial disaster when an unexpected expense or loss of income drives you to credit cards and mushrooming debt. Here’s how to escape this vicious merry-go-round.

Economists at Princeton and New York University estimate that about a third of all US households live paycheck to paycheck. Some of these households hold a small number of assets but many have hard-to-access illiquid holdings such as houses and retirement accounts.

Nevertheless, you can break this trap.

Realize the benefits. You need to make a few changes in your lifestyle. Instead of feeling deprived when cutting costs, think of what you’ll gain.

After gaining control of your finances, you can pay off debts, build an emergency fund to protect your family, save for large purchases and invest for a comfortable retirement. Understanding such plusses make getting (and staying) motivated easier.

Spend with purpose. To put your money where you want it, track your spending to understand your current spending.

You can use such online tools as Mint.com or such downloadable software as You Need A Budget. If you like low-tech solutions, keep your paper receipts for a month. Once you form a view of your spending, create a realistic spending plan.

To supercharge your savings, pull out cash for your frequent and pricey outlays like groceries and entertainment.

Cut costs. To stop living paycheck to paycheck, you need to reduce your expenses. One of the best tactics, because it’s easy to get your arms around: lower your monthly recurring outlays.

Have a gym membership you don’t use? Subscribe to a magazine you barely read? Can you switch providers to reduce your phone bill, or call your utility companies and negotiate a lower rate?

Making these changes takes effort, but from then on you keep saving with no additional effort. Cutting costs also doesn’t automatically mean that you deprive yourself. If you like to go out with friends, for instance, find free and fun activities nearby, or invite friends over for a dinner instead of going to a costly restaurant.

Boost income. If you cut costs to the bone, consider how you can earn more.

Ask your boss for a raise. Find a part-time job for a few months or do odd jobs for friends, family and neighbors. Do freelance or consulting work or use sites like eBay to sell possessions you no longer want or use.

Pay yourself first. Start a nest egg before you do anything else with your money. Set up a savings account with an automatic transfer right away. You might miss the cash, but if it’s out of your hands, you’re less likely to spend it.

If no high-interest debt needs your financial attention immediately, give yourself a goal of saving at least three months’ expenses. One reason people end up living paycheck to paycheck: digging out from unexpected big-ticket costs such as car repairs, a medical bill or a job loss.

Eventually, you want to invest for retirement. If your workplace offers a 401(k) plan or an individual retirement account, take advantage. Again, since the money comes out before it even hits your pay, you barely notice it’s gone.

Once you escape a hand-to-mouth financial life, make sure you never go back. As your income increases over time, use at least half to fund your wealth-building plans. Saving, paying down debt and investing are among your best tools to break the cycle forever.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Mary Beth Storjohann, CFP, is the founder of Workable Wealth, an RIA in San Diego. She is a writer, speaker and financial coach who is passionate about working with individuals and couples in their 20s and 30s to help them organize and gain confidence in their financial lives. She has been quoted or featured in various industry publications on the local and national level. You can find her on Twitter at @marybstorj.

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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Living paycheck to paycheck causes obvious stress. Even worse, it puts you at risk for financial disaster when an unexpected expense or loss of income drives you to credit cards and mushrooming debt. Here’s how to escape this vicious merry-go-round.

Economists at Princeton and New York University estimate that about a third of all US households live paycheck to paycheck. Some of these households hold a small number of assets but many have hard-to-access illiquid holdings such as houses and retirement accounts.

Nevertheless, you can break this trap.

Realize the benefits. You need to make a few changes in your lifestyle. Instead of feeling deprived when cutting costs, think of what you’ll gain.

After gaining control of your finances, you can pay off debts, build an emergency fund to protect your family, save for large purchases and invest for a comfortable retirement. Understanding such plusses make getting (and staying) motivated easier.

Spend with purpose. To put your money where you want it, track your spending to understand your current spending.

You can use such online tools as Mint.com or such downloadable software as You Need A Budget. If you like low-tech solutions, keep your paper receipts for a month. Once you form a view of your spending, create a realistic spending plan.

To supercharge your savings, pull out cash for your frequent and pricey outlays like groceries and entertainment.

Cut costs. To stop living paycheck to paycheck, you need to reduce your expenses. One of the best tactics, because it’s easy to get your arms around: lower your monthly recurring outlays.

Have a gym membership you don’t use? Subscribe to a magazine you barely read? Can you switch providers to reduce your phone bill, or call your utility companies and negotiate a lower rate?

Making these changes takes effort, but from then on you keep saving with no additional effort. Cutting costs also doesn’t automatically mean that you deprive yourself. If you like to go out with friends, for instance, find free and fun activities nearby, or invite friends over for a dinner instead of going to a costly restaurant.

Boost income. If you cut costs to the bone, consider how you can earn more.

Ask your boss for a raise. Find a part-time job for a few months or do odd jobs for friends, family and neighbors. Do freelance or consulting work or use sites like eBay to sell possessions you no longer want or use.

Pay yourself first. Start a nest egg before you do anything else with your money. Set up a savings account with an automatic transfer right away. You might miss the cash, but if it’s out of your hands, you’re less likely to spend it.

If no high-interest debt needs your financial attention immediately, give yourself a goal of saving at least three months’ expenses. One reason people end up living paycheck to paycheck: digging out from unexpected big-ticket costs such as car repairs, a medical bill or a job loss.

Eventually, you want to invest for retirement. If your workplace offers a 401(k) plan or an individual retirement account, take advantage. Again, since the money comes out before it even hits your pay, you barely notice it’s gone.

Once you escape a hand-to-mouth financial life, make sure you never go back. As your income increases over time, use at least half to fund your wealth-building plans. Saving, paying down debt and investing are among your best tools to break the cycle forever.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Mary Beth Storjohann, CFP, is the founder of Workable Wealth, an RIA in San Diego. She is a writer, speaker and financial coach who is passionate about working with individuals and couples in their 20s and 30s to help them organize and gain confidence in their financial lives. She has been quoted or featured in various industry publications on the local and national level. You can find her on Twitter at @marybstorj.

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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Beverly Eggert, 84 http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/beverly-eggert-84/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/beverly-eggert-84/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 18:16:12 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=21078 Beverly   Eggert, 84

Beverly Ann Eggert, age 84, died May 23 at the Assumption Nursing Home in Cold Spring, MN. Friends and relatives are welcome to gather with the family to share memories, and stories from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Thursday May 28 at the Wenner Funeral Home in Cold Spring, MN, 56320.

Beverly was born in Mount Vernon, IA to Harold and Mariam (Davis) VanderLinden. She married William Eggert on April 24, 1950 in Nashua, IA. Together they had five children, and lived in a variety of places settling in the Black Hills. Beverly worked in the Dietary Department at Rapid City Regional Hospital. She was a spirited woman who could bring smiles and laughter to all with her sharp sense of humor. Several of her favorite activities were: spending time at her cabin in the Black Hills, drives through Custer State Park and Wind Cave in search of wildlife and being a tour guide to friends and visitors to the local sites of the Black Hills. She also enjoyed planting and maintaining her flower beds. She'll be deeply missed by her family and friends.

Survivors include her children, Sandy (Bill Glover), Loren (Mary), Mike, and Gary "Jake" (Stacey); 2 nieces; 1 nephew; grandchildren, Michael Glover, Amber, Adam, and Jason (Amanda) Eggert; and great-grandchild, Devon Eggert.

She was preceded in death by her husband, William Eggert; child, David; and brother, Gene VanderLinden.

Arrangements are with Wenner Funeral Home, Cold Spring.

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College $ Burden: Plan Early http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/college-burden-plan-early/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/college-burden-plan-early/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 16:30:02 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?guid=4119a237363ed41c534ba7261bcf45ed The cost of a college education increases every year, largely unbeknownst to you until you confront the bill. The pile of money you must save is staggering. If you have children, plan for college costs as soon as possible.

Children are costly even before college. Raising a child from birth to 18 runs some $245,000, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, varying widely depending on where you live and how much you earn. Estimates for high-income earners in the Northeast, for example, can reach $455,000, with urban areas usually pricier.

These figures are based on housing, food, clothing, health care, education, child care and miscellaneous expenses, including cell phones and computers. The bad news, especially if you’re still in sticker shock: These prices do not include the cost of a college education, which shot up some seven-fold in recent decades and at more than twice the rate of health-care costs since 1983.

“The younger the child, the more college is likely to cost,” according to JP Morgan Asset Management, which calculates that the eventual outlay for a newborn’s four-year college education will reach some $424,425 for a private college, $190,767 for a public. Either way, such a sum shapes up as one of your family’s largest expenses ever.

Here planning comes in, establishing a goal and determining how much you need to (and can) save for your child’s tuition. More than simple saving, this means creating an investment plan and strategy that can increase growth potential and steadily accumulate more for college. Your biggest advantage for this job outweighs even your paycheck’s size: time.

The sooner you start saving, the more time you enjoy to grow your college fund through long-term compounding. Even the smallest contributions make a difference over many years.

For example, let’s say you still have 15 years to save for your child to attend four years at a public college. Targeting a goal of $194,000 (this leaves a little extra for your kid’s pizza and laundry money) and figuring a conservative return rate of 4% annually, with such a lengthy time to save you only need to put away $650 a month.

The right investing vehicle is also significant. A 529 College savings plan, for instance, offers tax-free investing and withdrawals for qualified higher education expenses, according to the Internal Revenue Service. The investments won’t incur capital gains taxes, increasing available funds when you’ll need them.

Note: Some states do offer tax deductions or credits for contributing to any 529; states also offer different 529 options.

Diversification of investments within the 529 plan, as in most portfolios, helps you to achieve your results without undue risk. If true to history, a balanced stock/bond portfolio delivers higher returns than do straight bonds or cash. Choose a fund that will help your investments outperform the inflation rate of tuition (generally about twice the general inflation rate, the latter right now at slightly less than 2%).

Two more, very cautionary notes: Don’t forget to examine all the fees and expenses associated with a 529, such as asset-based fees (a sort of retainer scaled on the size of your investment), enrollment or maintenance fees and sales commissions to the fund managers. And do not forsake saving for your retirement to save your children’s college expenses.

You and your kids can get student loans much easier than you can borrow money to fund your golden years.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Maureen Crimmins is the co-founder of Crimmins Wealth Management LLC in Woodcliff Lake, N.J. Her websites are www.CrimminsWM.com and www.RootsofWealth.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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The cost of a college education increases every year, largely unbeknownst to you until you confront the bill. The pile of money you must save is staggering. If you have children, plan for college costs as soon as possible.

Children are costly even before college. Raising a child from birth to 18 runs some $245,000, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, varying widely depending on where you live and how much you earn. Estimates for high-income earners in the Northeast, for example, can reach $455,000, with urban areas usually pricier.

These figures are based on housing, food, clothing, health care, education, child care and miscellaneous expenses, including cell phones and computers. The bad news, especially if you’re still in sticker shock: These prices do not include the cost of a college education, which shot up some seven-fold in recent decades and at more than twice the rate of health-care costs since 1983.

“The younger the child, the more college is likely to cost,” according to JP Morgan Asset Management, which calculates that the eventual outlay for a newborn’s four-year college education will reach some $424,425 for a private college, $190,767 for a public. Either way, such a sum shapes up as one of your family’s largest expenses ever.

Here planning comes in, establishing a goal and determining how much you need to (and can) save for your child’s tuition. More than simple saving, this means creating an investment plan and strategy that can increase growth potential and steadily accumulate more for college. Your biggest advantage for this job outweighs even your paycheck’s size: time.

The sooner you start saving, the more time you enjoy to grow your college fund through long-term compounding. Even the smallest contributions make a difference over many years.

For example, let’s say you still have 15 years to save for your child to attend four years at a public college. Targeting a goal of $194,000 (this leaves a little extra for your kid’s pizza and laundry money) and figuring a conservative return rate of 4% annually, with such a lengthy time to save you only need to put away $650 a month.

The right investing vehicle is also significant. A 529 College savings plan, for instance, offers tax-free investing and withdrawals for qualified higher education expenses, according to the Internal Revenue Service. The investments won’t incur capital gains taxes, increasing available funds when you’ll need them.

Note: Some states do offer tax deductions or credits for contributing to any 529; states also offer different 529 options.

Diversification of investments within the 529 plan, as in most portfolios, helps you to achieve your results without undue risk. If true to history, a balanced stock/bond portfolio delivers higher returns than do straight bonds or cash. Choose a fund that will help your investments outperform the inflation rate of tuition (generally about twice the general inflation rate, the latter right now at slightly less than 2%).

Two more, very cautionary notes: Don’t forget to examine all the fees and expenses associated with a 529, such as asset-based fees (a sort of retainer scaled on the size of your investment), enrollment or maintenance fees and sales commissions to the fund managers. And do not forsake saving for your retirement to save your children’s college expenses.

You and your kids can get student loans much easier than you can borrow money to fund your golden years.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Maureen Crimmins is the co-founder of Crimmins Wealth Management LLC in Woodcliff Lake, N.J. Her websites are www.CrimminsWM.com and www.RootsofWealth.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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Stock Ownership, Social Change http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/stock-ownership-social-change/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/stock-ownership-social-change/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 13:30:02 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?guid=bbf52522ed6ff26afdac5f582dc1cade The philosophy called socially responsible investing claims that your investments should reflect your values. The most common implementation of SRI is to refuse to invest in certain companies because you disagree with one or all of their practices.

Certain SRI mutual funds rank companies based on their values, and then either include or exclude them from the fund accordingly. Like all mutual funds, SRI funds then vote proxies on behalf of their shareholders. They apply their value system to these votes, which is where SRI followers believe change may happen.

However, there are three problems with this belief.

First, you cannot help or hurt a company by buying, selling or ignoring its stock. The company is not involved in your transaction, one way or the other.

The company does not even need to know that the exchange has occurred. When you buy shares of a company’s stock, you are buying them from another investor who is selling.

Buying shares of a company you like does not make that company richer. In the same way, selling shares of a company that has fallen out of your favor does not make the company poorer.

Second, even if the mutual fund has enough ownership in the stock to sway the vote toward more responsible activities than the company would have chosen otherwise, it is up to the board whether to consider those votes when they make their decisions. There is no guarantee that the results of the vote will make any difference. Real change in companies occurs via the board members.

Just because you are a partial owner does not mean you have any sway in the company. When you buy a stock, you are purchasing your share of the company’s earnings and dividend distributions. For most individual investors, their ownership is negligible. As a result, they have little or no ability to steer the direction and vision of the corporation.

If you want to incite change, then try to get on the corporation’s board of directors. The board has the authority and responsibility to articulate the mission of the organization.

With enough stock ownership, you could simply vote yourself on the board of a company. The average stock ownership of shareholder board members is 5.6%. That could get very costly. You would have to buy $15 billion of Wal-Mart’s stock but only $35 million of Zoe’s Kitchen to command enough ownership to become a board member. As a result, only the ultra-rich or those who have pooled their investments can realistically take this route onto corporate boards.

Third, the SRI ranking system has already weeded out companies that really need help being socially responsible. The value they pretend to add from their voting is only occurring on the companies they have already decided are sufficiently socially responsible. Thus they are not really redirecting any irresponsible companies.

SRI funds usually have higher than normal expense ratios to pay for the extra effort of ranking the companies. This puts a drain on their return, often making them a worse investment than comparable non-SRI mutual funds. With questionable results and worse returns, SRI is a nice dream but a bad investment philosophy.

In conclusion, invest in companies because they are good investments, and purchase goods or use services from companies you believe in. If you try to use your stock purchases to pursue your political or social agenda, only your own portfolio return will be affected.

If you have strong opinions or are passionate about helping bring about real change, consider stirring up support for or organizing boycotts against a company, pursuing a career in corporate governance and becoming a board member or pushing for legal reform that protects the free market from a company’s deceptive or fraudulent practices.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

David John Marotta, CFP, AIF, is president of Marotta Wealth Management Inc. of Charlottesville, Va., providing fee-only financial planning and wealth management at www.emarotta.com and blogging at www.marottaonmoney.com. Both the author and clients he represents often invest in investments mentioned in these articles. Megan Russell, the firm’s Chief Operating Officer, specializes in explaining the complexities of economics and finance at www.marottaonmoney.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

 

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The philosophy called socially responsible investing claims that your investments should reflect your values. The most common implementation of SRI is to refuse to invest in certain companies because you disagree with one or all of their practices.

Certain SRI mutual funds rank companies based on their values, and then either include or exclude them from the fund accordingly. Like all mutual funds, SRI funds then vote proxies on behalf of their shareholders. They apply their value system to these votes, which is where SRI followers believe change may happen.

However, there are three problems with this belief.

First, you cannot help or hurt a company by buying, selling or ignoring its stock. The company is not involved in your transaction, one way or the other.

The company does not even need to know that the exchange has occurred. When you buy shares of a company’s stock, you are buying them from another investor who is selling.

Buying shares of a company you like does not make that company richer. In the same way, selling shares of a company that has fallen out of your favor does not make the company poorer.

Second, even if the mutual fund has enough ownership in the stock to sway the vote toward more responsible activities than the company would have chosen otherwise, it is up to the board whether to consider those votes when they make their decisions. There is no guarantee that the results of the vote will make any difference. Real change in companies occurs via the board members.

Just because you are a partial owner does not mean you have any sway in the company. When you buy a stock, you are purchasing your share of the company’s earnings and dividend distributions. For most individual investors, their ownership is negligible. As a result, they have little or no ability to steer the direction and vision of the corporation.

If you want to incite change, then try to get on the corporation’s board of directors. The board has the authority and responsibility to articulate the mission of the organization.

With enough stock ownership, you could simply vote yourself on the board of a company. The average stock ownership of shareholder board members is 5.6%. That could get very costly. You would have to buy $15 billion of Wal-Mart’s stock but only $35 million of Zoe’s Kitchen to command enough ownership to become a board member. As a result, only the ultra-rich or those who have pooled their investments can realistically take this route onto corporate boards.

Third, the SRI ranking system has already weeded out companies that really need help being socially responsible. The value they pretend to add from their voting is only occurring on the companies they have already decided are sufficiently socially responsible. Thus they are not really redirecting any irresponsible companies.

SRI funds usually have higher than normal expense ratios to pay for the extra effort of ranking the companies. This puts a drain on their return, often making them a worse investment than comparable non-SRI mutual funds. With questionable results and worse returns, SRI is a nice dream but a bad investment philosophy.

In conclusion, invest in companies because they are good investments, and purchase goods or use services from companies you believe in. If you try to use your stock purchases to pursue your political or social agenda, only your own portfolio return will be affected.

If you have strong opinions or are passionate about helping bring about real change, consider stirring up support for or organizing boycotts against a company, pursuing a career in corporate governance and becoming a board member or pushing for legal reform that protects the free market from a company’s deceptive or fraudulent practices.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

David John Marotta, CFP, AIF, is president of Marotta Wealth Management Inc. of Charlottesville, Va., providing fee-only financial planning and wealth management at www.emarotta.com and blogging at www.marottaonmoney.com. Both the author and clients he represents often invest in investments mentioned in these articles. Megan Russell, the firm’s Chief Operating Officer, specializes in explaining the complexities of economics and finance at www.marottaonmoney.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

 

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DCCW to host Fun, Food and Fund event, June 4 http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/dccw-to-host-fun-food-and-fund-event-june-4/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/dccw-to-host-fun-food-and-fund-event-june-4/#comments Sun, 24 May 2015 13:00:41 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=21035 All Catholic Women in the St. Cloud Diocese are invited to join together for the 25th annual Fun, Food and Fund Day, sponsored by the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women (DCCW).

The event, hosted by the Melrose/Sauk Centre Deanery, will be held Thursday, June 4, at St. Benedict Church, Avon.

The theme is “Wrapped in God’s Love,” so those who plan to attend should also plan to wear their favorite scarf/brooch  The event begins with Mass at 8 a.m., followed by registration, refreshments, silent auction, games, entertainment, lunch and door prizes.

Tickets are available by contacting one’s parish president, or send registration to: Gloria Roelike, 414 Todd Street S., Long Prairie, MN 56347.

For more information, contact Irene Schmidt, deanery president, at (320) 393-2472, (320) 290-1395 or schmidtir@jetup.net.

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Personal reflections offered on Memorial Day http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/personal-reflections-offered-on-memorial-day/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/personal-reflections-offered-on-memorial-day/#comments Sun, 24 May 2015 13:00:40 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=21019 WestWordsWEBMemorial Day is upon us, and I find my thoughts somewhat diverse as I reflect on how war has affected my family, my friends and even me.

I’ve never made a big deal about my military service. A few years ago, they had a special program at Camp Ripley to honor Vietnam vets. A couple of friends came, so I attended, but I did not sit up front with the honorees. My service did not come close to matching theirs.

I served in the U.S. Navy, and I spent almost half of my time in the Far East. My ship was the flagship of the amphibious navy, meaning we carried an admiral.

We had only one amphibious assault exercise, but that was off of South Korea, as a show of force after the North Koreans captured the USS Pueblo a couple of years before.

(Those readers under 50 may not recall that the crew of the Pueblo was tortured and starved, while held in captivity for 11 months, and that the Pueblo itself remains in North Korean hands even though it is still on U.S. active duty status.)

Otherwise, we made a monthly visit to Vietnam.

One of my shipmates had come over from the USS Westchester County, an LST, that had been mined in 1968 while up the My Tho River. The blast killed 25 sailors and wounded 22 more, most of them in their bunks while they slept.

But I didn’t serve on the Pueblo or Westchester County. While I did hear machine gun fire off in the jungle when we dropped anchor in Da Nang harbor, I only set foot on Vietnamese soil once. We had a cookout in Cam Ranh Bay on a white sand beach.

My friends who came to Camp Ripley, on the other hand, served in country and saw combat. In fact, one of them was only there a week when he was wounded in his lower leg. Eventually, his foot had to be amputated.

The only good thing that came out of that, he said, is that he met his wife at the Army hospital in Denver, where she was working as a nurse.

Because of the military draft, it was a weird time. Every able-bodied young man of my generation had a decision to make. A few went to Canada, some burned their draft cards and some became conscientious objectors.

John Fogarty’s song, “Fortunate Son,” shares a key truth of those times: the fact that the greatest burden fell on those who did not go to college. College students were deferred, myself included.

But I didn’t see any end to the war, and I knew a couple of guys who were in the Naval ROTC program at college. Then the Navy created a program where students could join Naval ROTC between their sophomore and junior years, so that’s what I did. A month after graduating, I went on active duty.

I see those years only as my duty to this nation, not as a great sacrifice. Certainly, those who spent 13 months in country gave far more of themselves.

My service was similar to my dad’s in World War II. He spent almost two years in North Africa and Europe, but always behind the front lines.

My father-in-law, on the other hand, and one of my uncles saw extensive combat. Both of them died at around age 60, in part, because of their wartime service.

In fact, my uncle was wounded by shrapnel on the beach at Normandy. After recovering, he was involved in the Battle of the Hurtgen Forest, until removed from combat because of trench foot. It caused circulation problems that plagued him the rest of his days.

My mother and an aunt lived with my grandparents while their husbands were overseas. My older sister was born while my dad was gone.

For many Americans, of course, World War II was the “good” war and Vietnam was the “bad” war. The nation was united during the former and won, and divided during the latter and gave up.

Efforts to turn the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan into “another Vietnam” have mostly failed, in part because of the lack of a draft. Most Americans have put them out of their minds, not having made any sacrifice whatsoever.

But the bullets and bombs are as real as they have ever been, and some soldiers and their families have made great sacrifices for your freedom.

All of us, including soldiers, yearn for peace, but while I’d love to sit around the campfire singing “Kumbayah,” the reality of human nature is that someone has to be standing guard in our collective self-defense. We may argue about when those guards should start shooting, but don’t pretend that they are never needed or the U.S. is always in the wrong.

A quote from the movie “A Few Good Men” sums up my view. I am not defending the character’s actions in the movie, but actor Jack Nicholson said in part, “We live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? … You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. … My existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall.”

This weekend, take a moment to honor those who have defended and are defending you and our nation, especially those who gave their lives.

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Swanville’s spiritual healer to play a role in television series http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/swanvilles-spiritual-healer-to-play-a-role-in-television-series/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/swanvilles-spiritual-healer-to-play-a-role-in-television-series/#comments Sun, 24 May 2015 13:00:36 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=21032 By Kerry Drager
Correspondent

David Armstrong is a spiritual healer that understands the powerful ability that prayer has in making positive changes to a person’s life. His upcoming role as a healer in the television series “Big Sky” will further enrich his many talents, but will also reach out to the public to inform them that there was once a popular, chemical-free way to heal.

David Armstrong is a spiritual healer that understands the powerful ability that prayer has in making positive changes to a person’s life. His upcoming role as a healer in the television series “Big Sky” will further enrich his many talents, but will also reach out to the public to inform them that there was once a popular, chemical-free way to heal.

Life is a difficult journey that can knock a person down to their knees. Hard times require a lot of strength and support, and it can still leave a person drained and suffering. In today’s world people try to cure ailments with pharmaceuticals — manufactured chemicals to try and improve moods and to patch over a wound that is not properly healing.

David Armstrong of Swanville has discovered a chemical-free way to heal and encourage positive growth. It’s not a new method, but it is often forgotten in the modern age. The healing power of prayer is still as powerful today as it was hundreds of years ago, and people are starting to rediscover this ancient medicine.

At the age of 17, Armstrong had a near death experience (NDE). After he awoke from his coma-like state, he remembered his brush with death and the angels that carried him back to life.

With his second chance among the living, Armstrong began making better life choices and started sending prayers to people. When people started to get better, he began to wonder if there was something more to his prayers.

“I would pray and they would begin to feel better. Angels have abilities beyond what we can understand. Magically things changed in the lives of these people I was praying for. I’m now a strong believer in the power of prayer,” said Armstrong.

This ancient form of medicine is something Armstrong’s ancestors also practiced. His grandfather was a healer and a preacher; that was over a 100 years ago and during a time where prayer was once considered a powerful and common form of medicine.

“He believed you could do stuff with the power of your mind. They had real healers back then. They had medicine men and shamans, and what they did really worked.”

With the help of his spirit guides, Armstrong’s abilities became stronger. Today, he can even heal remotely. With just a few bits of information and a picture of the individual who needs to be healed, he can send his medicinal energies across space and time and make positive changes to the lives of people across the planet.

“Prayer is always a lot more powerful if it is directed. So with extended prayers, I would focus on specific things for people.”

Aside from his healing, Armstrong is also a talented business person. He runs a publishing company and is also a musician. He uses the guidance of the spirit to create music that can heal and inspire. The books he has written and his music can be found on his website: www.davidarmstrongonline.com

After performing a remote healing on an individual with ties to the television industry, Armstrong’s abilities branched off into yet another business opportunity. The woman’s pleasant experience with Armstrong pushed her into wanting to cast him in a role into an upcoming television series.

“She was so thrilled in the changes that were happening in her life that she called the person who was casting the show and told them it would be great to have an actual healer on the set.”

Although Armstrong is nearing retirement, he has found himself with more to do than ever in the past. Now that he has begun acting, he has yet another way to reach out to people and perform the work that the spirit has been guiding him to do.

The television series Armstrong will be performing in is called “Big Sky.” It currently has over 385 people cast in the series, but Armstrong’s role is to be the spiritual healer for an 1860’s Western town.

The series will also help portray a more realistic image of the native populations that pioneers lived alongside during that era. Much of what Armstrong does as a spiritual healer is from teachings that have been preserved and passed down from the native cultures.

“They are going to paint natives in a positive light. They weren’t savages, and ‘Big Sky’ is trying to paint them as anything but that.”

Since Armstrong was a child, he has felt the calling of angels. He has always had the ability to heal others, and that has only grown with time. He has discovered new ways to reach out to people to help them mend a broken spirit or to assist them through a difficult life journey. Today, he furthers his quest by taking to the big screen. It is an attempt to create a form of entertainment that will also awaken the public to the ways of the native people and an alternative form of medicine.

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Credit Card Do’s and Don’ts http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/credit-card-dos-and-donts/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/credit-card-dos-and-donts/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 19:00:02 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?guid=0b1d12768408a2cfb2ca9d0b1c497401 We all hear horror stories of credit cards’ risks, often about people who build up mountains of debt that take a lifetime to pay off. When used responsibly, though, credit cards can be some of your best friends in securing your long-term financial success. Here are a few do’s and don’ts.

Access a line of credit. The world of credit may seem intimidating at first, but a credit card can offer many advantages. For one, quick access to a line of credit can help you pay for unexpected expenditures.

While it’s unwise to treat your card exactly like an emergency fund – a nest egg of generally about six months’ normal expenses – your credit might come in handy when you’re low on cash or need a little extra time to pay off a large purchase.

Most of all, a line helps you establish a credit history and strengthen your credit score.

Research alternative cards. Many different types of cards come with varying characteristics.

Reward cards, for instance, repay you with cash, gift cards, airplane tickets or even entire vacations. You earn rewards through points or miles systems, usually valued at one point per dollar you spend on a specific type of purchase, such as eating at certain restaurants or shopping at selected stores.

Other cards feature popular 0% annual percentage rates (APR), often an introductory deal that allows you to carry a month-to-month balance without paying interest for a specified time. You must still make your monthly payments during this period to avoid such negative consequences as late fees, a downgrade of your credit score, racking up a large balance and so on.

Balance-transfer cards allow you to transfer a balance from one card (typically one with a high APR) to another card that usually offers you a more favorable rate. You can use this feature to consolidate credit into one payment, rather than having multiple bills due each month.

Monitor your credit score. Your Fair Isaac Corp. (FICO) score, vital role in your financial well-being, takes into account the length of your credit history, your record of on-time payment and the magnitude of your credit line, among other factors.

Lenders evaluate your score while approving you for loans and landlords reference it when checking your background before renting or leasing to you. A healthy credit score proves to lenders that you’re a low-risk investment, which can help you get a lower interest rate.

Obtain a free credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com. You can also request a free credit report each year from any of the three major credit-reporting bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Pay more than the minimum on your balance. If possible, try to pay off the balance of your card each month. Failing to do so can get you into trouble with accumulating interest.

Credit cards notoriously carry some of the highest APRs of all consumer debt. Unlike other debt, such as student loans and mortgages, you can’t get a tax deduction from payments on credit card interest.

Scrutinize details. Different cards come with different rules. Knowing the inner workings of your credit card helps you maximize benefits.

For example, reward cards generally carry a higher APR than do balance-transfer cards. Overspending can lead to interest payments that might wipe out any reward. Some cards also carry hefty annual fees to even have the plastic in your wallet.

Also see whether your card operates on rotating categories, or if the card company limits the rewards that you can earn. Rotating categories means your card company can award bonus points for certain purchases in one quarter of the year and then rotate to a different category of purchases in the next quarter.

A limit caps the total rewards you can earn in any year. For instance, your card company may give 5% cash back on the first $5,000 you spend on a certain category and then drop to 1% cash back after you reach the cap.

Be diligent. We also hear horror stories every day of people who swiped a card at a retail checkout and later had their identity stolen, the crooks spending big sums that often take victims months to straighten out. Review your monthly statements for warning signs of ID theft: unauthorized purchases, suspicious lines of credit or other unfamiliar activity.

If poring through your statements each month sounds daunting, you can outsource the task to such fraud-monitoring services as LifeLock. Some card companies also offer protection services to alert you to suspicious activity and some will limit your liability if you fall victim to ID theft.

In the end, no one cares more about your personal and financial well-being than you. Play an active role in protecting yourself. You don’t want to become one of those horror stories.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Blake Faust is an associate consultant with Wipfli Hewins Investment Advisors LLC in St. Paul/Minneapolis, Minn.

The information presented herein is standard information and intended only as a broad discussion of generally available incapacity-planning tools that a reader might consider discussing in detail with their attorney or other qualified professional advisor(s). None of the information contained herein is specific to the laws, rules or regulations of any state or other governing body, and as such cannot be construed as, or used as a substitute for, legal advice. Further, none of the information contained herein has been written or personalized for any individual, and the information may not be applicable or beneficial to anyone’s personal situation(s). The documents and processes identified herein can be complicated, and in many cases require the assistance of a qualified attorney to execute effectively. To the extent that you have questions about or wish to make use of any of the tools or processes identified herein, you are encouraged to seek the advice of your attorney. You assume full responsibility for your use of the general information contained herein and acknowledge and agree that by using the information contained herein Hewins Financial Advisors, LLC, its affiliates, agents and/or employees shall have no responsibility or liability for any claim, damage or loss resulting from your use of such information. 
 
Hewins Financial Advisors, LLC and Wipfli Hewins Investment Advisors, LLC (together referred to as “Hewins”) are independent, fee-only investment advisers registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. The views expressed by the author are the author’s alone and do not necessarily represent the views of Hewins or its affiliates. Hewins is a proud affiliate of Wipfli LLP. A copy of Hewins’ current ADV Part 2A discussing our investment advisory and financial planning services and fees is available for review upon request.

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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We all hear horror stories of credit cards’ risks, often about people who build up mountains of debt that take a lifetime to pay off. When used responsibly, though, credit cards can be some of your best friends in securing your long-term financial success. Here are a few do’s and don’ts.

Access a line of credit. The world of credit may seem intimidating at first, but a credit card can offer many advantages. For one, quick access to a line of credit can help you pay for unexpected expenditures.

While it’s unwise to treat your card exactly like an emergency fund – a nest egg of generally about six months’ normal expenses – your credit might come in handy when you’re low on cash or need a little extra time to pay off a large purchase.

Most of all, a line helps you establish a credit history and strengthen your credit score.

Research alternative cards. Many different types of cards come with varying characteristics.

Reward cards, for instance, repay you with cash, gift cards, airplane tickets or even entire vacations. You earn rewards through points or miles systems, usually valued at one point per dollar you spend on a specific type of purchase, such as eating at certain restaurants or shopping at selected stores.

Other cards feature popular 0% annual percentage rates (APR), often an introductory deal that allows you to carry a month-to-month balance without paying interest for a specified time. You must still make your monthly payments during this period to avoid such negative consequences as late fees, a downgrade of your credit score, racking up a large balance and so on.

Balance-transfer cards allow you to transfer a balance from one card (typically one with a high APR) to another card that usually offers you a more favorable rate. You can use this feature to consolidate credit into one payment, rather than having multiple bills due each month.

Monitor your credit score. Your Fair Isaac Corp. (FICO) score, vital role in your financial well-being, takes into account the length of your credit history, your record of on-time payment and the magnitude of your credit line, among other factors.

Lenders evaluate your score while approving you for loans and landlords reference it when checking your background before renting or leasing to you. A healthy credit score proves to lenders that you’re a low-risk investment, which can help you get a lower interest rate.

Obtain a free credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com. You can also request a free credit report each year from any of the three major credit-reporting bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Pay more than the minimum on your balance. If possible, try to pay off the balance of your card each month. Failing to do so can get you into trouble with accumulating interest.

Credit cards notoriously carry some of the highest APRs of all consumer debt. Unlike other debt, such as student loans and mortgages, you can’t get a tax deduction from payments on credit card interest.

Scrutinize details. Different cards come with different rules. Knowing the inner workings of your credit card helps you maximize benefits.

For example, reward cards generally carry a higher APR than do balance-transfer cards. Overspending can lead to interest payments that might wipe out any reward. Some cards also carry hefty annual fees to even have the plastic in your wallet.

Also see whether your card operates on rotating categories, or if the card company limits the rewards that you can earn. Rotating categories means your card company can award bonus points for certain purchases in one quarter of the year and then rotate to a different category of purchases in the next quarter.

A limit caps the total rewards you can earn in any year. For instance, your card company may give 5% cash back on the first $5,000 you spend on a certain category and then drop to 1% cash back after you reach the cap.

Be diligent. We also hear horror stories every day of people who swiped a card at a retail checkout and later had their identity stolen, the crooks spending big sums that often take victims months to straighten out. Review your monthly statements for warning signs of ID theft: unauthorized purchases, suspicious lines of credit or other unfamiliar activity.

If poring through your statements each month sounds daunting, you can outsource the task to such fraud-monitoring services as LifeLock. Some card companies also offer protection services to alert you to suspicious activity and some will limit your liability if you fall victim to ID theft.

In the end, no one cares more about your personal and financial well-being than you. Play an active role in protecting yourself. You don’t want to become one of those horror stories.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Blake Faust is an associate consultant with Wipfli Hewins Investment Advisors LLC in St. Paul/Minneapolis, Minn.

The information presented herein is standard information and intended only as a broad discussion of generally available incapacity-planning tools that a reader might consider discussing in detail with their attorney or other qualified professional advisor(s). None of the information contained herein is specific to the laws, rules or regulations of any state or other governing body, and as such cannot be construed as, or used as a substitute for, legal advice. Further, none of the information contained herein has been written or personalized for any individual, and the information may not be applicable or beneficial to anyone’s personal situation(s). The documents and processes identified herein can be complicated, and in many cases require the assistance of a qualified attorney to execute effectively. To the extent that you have questions about or wish to make use of any of the tools or processes identified herein, you are encouraged to seek the advice of your attorney. You assume full responsibility for your use of the general information contained herein and acknowledge and agree that by using the information contained herein Hewins Financial Advisors, LLC, its affiliates, agents and/or employees shall have no responsibility or liability for any claim, damage or loss resulting from your use of such information. 
 
Hewins Financial Advisors, LLC and Wipfli Hewins Investment Advisors, LLC (together referred to as “Hewins”) are independent, fee-only investment advisers registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. The views expressed by the author are the author’s alone and do not necessarily represent the views of Hewins or its affiliates. Hewins is a proud affiliate of Wipfli LLP. A copy of Hewins’ current ADV Part 2A discussing our investment advisory and financial planning services and fees is available for review upon request.

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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Shirley Ann Heren Nietfeld http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/shirley-ann-heren-nietfeld/ http://dairylandpeach.com/2015/05/shirley-ann-heren-nietfeld/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 18:11:04 +0000 http://dairylandpeach.com/?p=21064 Shirley   Ann  Heren Nietfeld

Loving Wife, Mother, Grandmother and Friend

Shirley was born October 12, 1917 to Herman and Gertrude Murray Heren in Randolph, MN. Shirley was a woman ahead of her time. She played basketball and graduated as the valedictorian of her high school class. She then attended the University of Minnesota where she studied biology and worked with her mother managing a boarding house. Shirley would walk three miles each way to school to save the 5-cents for the trolley. While attending the University of Minnesota, Shirley met her future husband, Alloys Nietfeld, who was studying to be a doctor. They were married in 1940.
Soon after marriage, Shirley and Al moved to Missouri while Al was being deployed to the South Pacific during WWII as a physician and then moved back to Minnesota where they raised their family. Shirley was an avid and beautiful seamstress and enjoyed playing golf and bridge. She was also an amazing cook and baker and was known for her spectacular Christmas cookies and candies which she made even at the age of 97. She also enjoyed gardening and watching the wildlife that lived in and near the lake which she called home for over 50 years.
Shirley was the matriarch of the family and was a loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
Survivors include daughter Barbara and her sons Edward “Teddy” Trett (wife Annie and sons Brandon, Derek and Shane) and James Trett; daughter Virginia, married to James Smith, and her daughters Jessica Schmiesing (son Anton) and Lisa Schmiesing (daughters Elizabeth and Abby Rose); son James and wife Diane and their daughters Kathryn and Kristen Nietfeld; daughter Theresa and her daughter Emi Nietfeld.
Shirley will be reunited in heaven, where her hair and lipstick will always be perfect, with her loving husband Al, her adored mother Gertrude, sister Leona and brother Clarence (Bobo).
We love you and will miss you, but your support and love will be with us forever.
The family will be recognizing Shirley in a Celebration of Life ceremony at a later time. At Shirley’s request, there will be no funeral or graveside service.

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