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tax reform

Most Americans Should See Gains From Tax Reform

The majority of American households should see a gain in the amount of money they’re allowed to keep under the recently passed tax reform plan. Because of the lowering of tax rates, the expanded thresholds for tax brackets, and the doubling of the standard deduction, many households can expect hundreds or even thousands of dollars in reduced taxes next year. That, in turn, means more money for people to save, invest, or consume, which should provide a nice stimulus [...]

man checking out coin with magnifying glass

How You Can Protect Yourself From the Growing Scourge of Counterfeit Coins

Counterfeit coins were once the bane of shopkeepers and their customers all across the world. There’s no worse feeling than selling your goods and suddenly realizing that the coins you’re holding in your hands aren’t really the gold or silver you thought they were. Thanks to the decreased usage of coins in commerce in recent times, it’s been mainly coin collectors who have faced the problem of counterfeit coins. But gold and silver investors are at risk of buying [...]

family stressed out over money

American Households’ Debt Continues to Increase

In a worrying sign for the fiscal health of American households, debt levels continue to increase. Levels of credit card debt have increased 8% from last year, rising to a total of $905 billion. That works out to an average of over $15,000 in credit card debt per household. While that figure is alarming, it pales in comparison to other debt figures. Total outstanding auto loans are now at $1.21 trillion, student loans are at $1.36 trillion, and mortgage debt [...]

Janet Yellen

Yellen’s Final Press Conference Demonstrates Everything That’s Wrong With the Fed

Janet Yellen’s final press conference as Chairman of the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors underscored everything that is wrong with the Fed and with the modern economics profession. Two particular examples demonstrate that, far from being able to lead the country’s economy, the Fed and modern macroeconomics is hopelessly lost and not at all able to find its way. The more immediately shocking of the two striking comments Yellen made was her assertion that stock markets are not overvalued. As [...]

Business concept, Businessman confused about two direction, between risk or safe. Vector illustration.

The 5 Top Threats to Investors

Deutsche Bank’s chief international economist recently published a list of the top 30 risks to financial markets in 2018. While many of them are only of importance to sophisticated financial investors who take positions on certain market movements, some of the bigger picture issues could cause broader risks to the market that could affect Mom & Pop investors. Here are the five most important to worry about in the coming year. 1. Increasing Volatility If you watch the volatility index, or [...]

Balanced Budget 3d words on a gold scale weighing costs against revenues in accounting or bookkeeping

Congressional Budget Drama Delayed for Two Weeks

The government shutdown drama has come to an end… for the next two weeks. Kicking the can down the road yet again, Congress has authorized a two-week spending bill, meaning that come December 22nd this whole mess will be back in the headlines yet again. The thinking behind a two-week bill is that having a deadline so close to Christmas will force concessions from lawmakers who really don’t want to be stuck working in Washington over Christmas. This doesn’t bode [...]

Empty USA Industrial stock exchange, illustration

No, This Time Is NOT Different

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has broken record after record this year. After breaking through the 20,000 point barrier in February, the Dow has been on a tear and is currently at over 24,000 points. Since February of 2016, the Dow has gained over 50% and has nearly doubled since 2012. Many market commentators have given in to stock market euphoria and are exclaiming this incredible growth as the new normal, just the beginning of a multi-year bull market [...]

Retirement sign

How to Save for Retirement Without an Employer-Sponsored 401(k) Plan

401(k) accounts have become one of the most popular savings plans for employees looking to save for their retirement. Of the $26.6 trillion in retirement assets held by Americans, $5.1 trillion are held in 401(k) accounts. Even though only about 14% of employers are estimated to offer a 401(k) plan, 79% of Americans work for an employer that offers such plans. Still, only 41% of those eligible to invest in 401(k) plans take advantage of them, meaning that only 32% [...]

Jerome Powell

The Fed and Congress Remain in the Dark About the Economy

President Trump’s nominee to head the Federal Reserve System, Jerome Powell, faced his Senate confirmation hearing this week in front of the Senate Banking Committee. Anyone who had been hoping that a Powell chairmanship would differ in any way from that of Chairman Yellen would have been sorely disappointed after watching the hearing. Having already served on the Fed’s Board of Governors for five years, Powell is a staunch defender of the institution he serves. The beginning of his testimony [...]

Alan Greenspan

Alan Greenspan Warns About Trying to Stimulate Economic Growth

In a recent interview with Fox Business, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warned about trying to stimulate economic growth. While growth in economic productivity continues to remain limited, the Trump Administration has adopted a 3% annual GDP growth target as one of its aims. Greenspan believes that the government should be cautious in targeting a rate that high. The primary means the government might attempt to hit a 3% target would be to urge the Federal Reserve to engage [...]