Blog

Banking Trends

By Jim Hanna | May 30, 2018

In its recent 2018 Banking Industry Outlook report, Deloitte identified six key themes that are driving trends for financial institutions today:1 Redefining what makes for a positive customer experience Managing a myriad of technology platforms Mitigating cyber risk Adjusting to competition from fintech (financial technology) companies Aligning business strategy with regulatory compliance Reimagining the workforce…

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Inflation: Expectations for 2018

By Jim Hanna | May 21, 2018

It seems as if inflation has been biding its time. Since the financial crisis a decade ago, growth in prices and wages has been muted.1 However, many financial analysts believe that’s about to change. A jobs report from early March revealed continued hiring and a moderate increase in wages. The stock markets welcomed the news, responding…

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Putting a Value on Real Property

By Jim Hanna | May 14, 2018

Real property generally refers to land, but it also can include structures, bodies of water and machinery.1 It typically denotes property of significant value, which is why state and local governments choose to impose taxes on our homes. These levies could be considered a progressive tax, in that people who own more expensive homes likely…

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Investment Themes for This Year

By Jim Hanna | May 1, 2018

In the investment community, all eyes are on inflation this year. Economic analysts at Merrill Lynch anticipate further tightening in the labor market, to the tune of 3.9 percent unemployment by the end of 2018. Along with the tightened labor situation, they also expect personal consumption expenditure (PCE) inflation rising to 1.8 percent by year…

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The New Tax Law: Things to Consider

By Jim Hanna | April 23, 2018

Who will be affected by the new tax legislation that went into effect Jan. 1? That is a question many are asking. While “everyone” is likely to see some changes, here’s an idea of how many people fell into each income group. In 2015:1 About 1.4 million Americans accounted for the top 1% of income…

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Balancing Investor Euphoria with Market Reality

By Jim Hanna | April 16, 2018

Many social media users share nearly all aspects of their lives, from photos of cute kids and pets to their political views. And now, we even are seeing posts from exuberant investors bragging about their investment returns. For example, consider this social media post:1 “I strived to become a 401(k) millionaire someday, and this week,…

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Financial Strategies in 2018

By Jim Hanna | April 11, 2018

One philosophy of investing, as opined by Warren Buffett, is to be “fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.”1 The nation’s eight-year bull market, however, has tested that philosophy. Most market analysts would agree that it was more important to be in the market and taking advantage of gains than to be…

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Keep an Eye on Interest Rates

By Jim Hanna | March 28, 2018

Optimism often predates good news. Such was the case last year when, just before the end of the year, Congress passed legislation that significantly reduced the corporate tax rate. The anticipation of this fulfillment of one of President Trump’s pro-business campaign promises helped drive up stock prices in the latter half of the year —…

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A Look at the Potential Effects of Tax Reform

By Jim Hanna | March 22, 2018

The tax overhaul legislation that was passed in December has been billed as a means to streamline tax filings at both the individual and corporate level.1 We certainly could use it. According to the IRS, Americans spend a total of 6.6 billion hours a year filling out tax forms.2 While simplifying taxes is a good thing,…

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Preparing for Retirement — Do You Have a Plan?

By Jim Hanna | March 12, 2018

For much of the 20th century, many employees who spent decades working for one company typically received a pension plan. According to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, 88 percent of all private-sector employees in 1975 had a pension.1 With the confidence of knowing their retirement would be covered by pension and Social…

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