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STARBOARD!! We're Racing to Finish Your Story

We have focused on Retirement Investing and Planning for the past month. As fiduciary financial advisors we are racing to get you on the right course.
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Women and Work: Why Salary, Benefits, and Work-Life Balance Count

As women progress along their career path, there is no telling how far you will go. But to fully reap the financial rewards of all your hard work, you'll need to take charge of your own career.
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Lump-Sum Distribution from Inherited IRAs and Retirement Plans

Lump Sum Distributions from an IRA or Retirement Plan. A lump-sum distribution is the withdrawal of the entire balance of an inherited traditional IRA or employer-sponsored retirement plan account in one tax year.
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IRA and Retirement Plan Distributions

What is it?IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans (e.g., 401(k) and profit-sharing plans) play a central role in retirement planning. After all, the tax benefits are hard to beat.
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Learn From History! Why Reinvent The Wheel?

As we move through life, we learn that the one thing we will never have is enough time.
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Puzzled About Annuities as an IRA Investment Option?

A deferred annuity is one of several investment options you can choose from to fund your IRA.
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Converting Savings to Retirement Income

During your working years, you set aside funds in retirement accounts such as IRAs, 401(k)s, or other workplace savings plans, as well as in taxable accounts. Your challenge during retirement is to convert those savings into an ongoing income stream.
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Converting or Rolling Over Traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs

Converting or Rolling Over Traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs. What is it? In general, you can transfer all or a portion of your traditional IRA funds to a Roth IRA. Learn more here.
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SECURE Act Changed IRA and Retirement Plan Inheritance Rules

The SECURE Act changed IRA distributions and estate planning strategies. This piece will give you ideas on how to move forward with these changes.
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How Women Are Different from Men, Financially Speaking

We all know men and women are different in some fundamental ways. But is this true when it comes to financial planning? In a word, yes.
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Planning for Marriage: Financial Tips for Women

Planning for Marriage: Financial Tips for Women
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Retirement Plan Considerations at Different Stages of Life

Retirement Plan Considerations at Different Stages of Life. Throughout your career, retirement planning will likely be one of the most important components of your overall financial plan.
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Charitable Contributions from IRAs

Did you know that, if you are at least 70 1/2 years old, you can make tax-free charitable donations directly from your IRA? Has your Financial Advisor shared this strategy with you yet?
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Breakfast of Champions!

As your Financial Advisors you know that we work hard for you. Our office bowl of M&Ms gives a friendly boost to the office environment. It shows that humor and hard work are compatible.
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Should I invest in a Roth IRA or a traditional IRA?

There is no easy answer to this question. Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs share certain general characteristics. As fiduciary financial advisors we recommend that you read this timely piece.
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Choosing a Beneficiary for Your IRA

Selecting beneficiaries for retirement accounts is different from choosing beneficiaries for other assets such as life insurance. The Higgins Capital Fiduciary Financial Advisors will help you.
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Tough Guys

Tough Guys … Badder and Madder Than Anything Hollywood Can Conjure. From Tom Brokaw's Greatest Generation.
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The Traits of a Good Investor and How Women Can Make the Most of Them

The Traits of a Good Investor and How Women Can Make the Most of Them. Many women work with their Financial Advisor to manage their money. Advantageous investor traits include: patience, willingness to confront mistakes and recognizing when help is needed.
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Luck Matters!

LUCK MATTERS! Summer has arrived in La Jolla!
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IRA and Retirement Plan Limits for 2021

IRA and Retirement Plan Limits for 2021The maximum amount you can contribute to a Traditional or Roth IRA in 2021 is $6,000 unchanged from 2020. The maximum catch-up contribution for those age 50 or older remains $1,000. You can contribute to both a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA in 2021, but your total contributions cannot exceed these annual limits.
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All About IRAs

An individual retirement arrangement (IRA) is a personal retirement savings plan that offers specific tax benefits. In fact, IRAs are one of the most powerful retirement savings tools available to you.
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Be Inspired. Be Inspirational

There is a lot going on here so take a few moments to really look at this photo. What Do You See? Get Inspired by everything that you see. Then take that Inspiration with out into your world.
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Be Inspired. Be Inspirational

There is a lot going on here so take a few moments to really look at this photo. What Do You See? Get Inspired by everything that you see. Then take that Inspiration with out into your world.
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Bear Markets Come and Go

The longest bull market in history lasted almost 11 years from 2009- 2020. Then coronavirus fears and the realities of a seriously disrupted U.S. economy brought it to an end. If you are losing sleep over volatility driven by a cascade of disheartening news, it may help to remember that the stock market is historically cyclical.
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Facing the Possibility of Incapacity

Incapacity means that you are either mentally or physical unable to take care of yourself or your day-to-day affairs. Incapacity can result from serious physical injury, mental or physical illness, advancing age, and alcohol or drug abuse.
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Bonds, Interest Rates, and the Impact of Inflation

The ups and downs of the bond market can have a significant impact on your overall bond portfolio return. If you are considering investing in bonds it is important to understand how bonds behave and what can affect your investment in them.
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Higgins Capital Talks Tips for Managing Your Money.

With financial matters, success is based on a systematic and disciplined approach. Spending time to maintain your program, can help you keep track of progress as you pursue your financial goals.
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How Much Annual Income Can Your Retirement Portfolio Provide?

Your retirement lifestyle will depend not only on your assets and investment choices, but also on how quickly you draw down your retirement portfolio. Figuring out an appropriate initial withdrawal rate is a key issue in retirement planning and presents many challenges.
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Annuity Basics and Your 401k or IRA Rollover

Can An Annuity Work For You in a Rollover? Learn about Annuity Basics. In its simplest form, you pay money to an annuity issuer, and the issuer pays you back the principal and earnings at some point in the future.
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Watch This Great Video! Memorial Day is Here!

Celebrate Our Great Heritage!  Memorial Day Weekend is Here. The Day is the American Holiday Honoring Our Men and Women Who Died While on Active Duty in The United States Military.
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Retirement Planning With Annuities

There are several considerations when planning retirement with annuities. They are1 How a Variable Annuity Works 2 Estimating Your Retirement Income Needs 3 Asset Allocation 4 Fixed vs. Variable Annuities.
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Annuities and Retirement Planning

You may have heard that IRAs and 401(k)s are the best ways to invest for retirement.But if you have maxed out your contributions to those accounts and want to save more? An annuity may be an appropriate investment to look into.
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Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)

 What Are Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)?Required minimum distributions, often referred to as RMDs or minimum required distributions, are amounts that the federal government requires you to withdraw annually from traditional IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans.
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Retirement Account Rollovers REDUX

A rollover is the movement of funds from one retirement vehicle to another. You may want to make a rollover for any number of reasons. There are two possible ways that retirement funds can be rolled over — the indirect (60-day) rollover and the direct rollover (or trustee-to-trustee transfer).
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Investing Basics and Your Retirement

The more you can save for retirement, the better your chances of retiring comfortably. Before investing for your retirement, you should set retirement goals and also consider your time horizon, risk tolerance, and liquidity needs.
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I think it's time to start planning for retirement. Where do I begin?

 Although most of us recognize the importance of sound retirement planning, few of us embrace the nitty-gritty work involved. With thousands of investment possibilities, complex rules governing retirement plans, and so on, most people do not even know where to begin.Here are some suggestions to help you get started.
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This is National Etiquette Week. Celebrate and Change The World!

This is National Etiquette Week. Celebrate and Change The World! Help Change The World With Two Words At A Time. Thank You, You're Welcome, Yes Ma'am. Yes Sir.
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Taking Money Out of Your 401k - Not As Easy As Putting It In

In-Service Withdrawals from 401(k) Plans. You may be familiar with the rules for putting money into a 401(k) plan. But are you familiar with the rules for taking your money out? Federal law limits the withdrawal options that a 401(k) plan can offer. Your plan may be more restrictive with fewer withdrawal options than the law allows.
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401(k) Plan Fees – There Is No Free Lunch

If you direct your own 401(k) plan investments, you'll need to consider the investment objectives, the risk and return characteristics, and the performance over time of each investment option offered by your plan in order to make sound investment decisions. Fees and expenses are factors that may affect your investment returns, and therefore impact your retirement income.
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NOOD Racing at San Diego Yacht Club

Kea Wins The NOOD for The 10th Time!Wind and salt spray in your face. San Diego Yacht Club's Racing Season is off to a fast start. Racers from around the country are anxious to shake off the lethargy of the past year and get on with living life.
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Retirement Planning Considerations for a Stay-at-Home Spouse

Married couples often decide together that one spouse should be the primary breadwinner while the other stays home to take care of family members. Although this often works out well for childrearing or eldercare responsibilities in the short term, it can present long-term retirement-planning risks for the stay-at-home spouse.
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Reaching Retirement: Now What?

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Planning For Remarriage

If you're planning to remarry, you must decide how you and your fiance will combine your households. Read about these 5-Issues.
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Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Read and Share This Uplifting Story about our Great American Traditions of Helping our Neighbors.
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Retirement Your Way. Experience The Higgins Capital Difference

Thinking Outside The Box has become the buzzword for more of the same logical thinking that limits your horizons.Retirement is your opportunity to do it Your Way. Let your imagination run free.
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Retirement Income: The Transition Into Retirement

Read This Thought Provoking Article on Retirement. A Successful Retirement Takes As Much Planning as A Successful Career.. The same thoughtful approach applies to retirement.
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What Rising Rates Could Mean for Your Money

After years of keeping the benchmark federal funds rate at historic lows, the Federal Reserve has been raising it gradually. Near-zero rates were an emergency measure, and gradual increases reflect greater confidence in the U.S. economy.
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Inflation Is Going Up

Rising Inflation. Will You Be Able To Ride It Out?Inflation is going up. Prices are rising. Gasoline and real estate are the most obvious.
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Changing Jobs? Know Your 401(k) Options

If you have lost your job, or are changing jobs, you may be wondering what to do with your 401(k) plan account. It is important to understand your options. What will I be entitled to? If you leave your job (voluntarily or involuntarily), you will be entitled to a distribution of your vested balance. Your vested balance always includes your own contributions(pre-tax, after-tax, and Roth) and typically any investment earnings on those amounts.
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Celebrate Earth Day

Today We Celebrate the 52nd Anniversary of Earth Day. It was first celebrated in 1970 as the formal commitment of the United States to improving the environment and creating a sustainable future for all Americans.52-Years of Environmental Improvement.As Americans Let Us Celebrate The Great Work We Have Already Accomplished.
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Charitable Giving

When developing your estate plan, you can do well by doing good. Leaving money to charity rewards you in many ways. It gives you a sense of personal satisfaction, and it can save you money in estate taxes.
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Sudden Wealth

What would you do with an extra $100,000? What if you suddenly had an extra million or 10 million or more? Now that you have come into a windfall, answering these questions may help you evaluate your needs and goals.
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Nuts and Bolts: How to Roll Over Your Employer Retirement Plan Assets

There are two types of rollovers: direct and indirect.A direct rollover is paid from your plan directly to your IRA or to your new employers retirement plan. The funds are never payable to you.An indirect rollover is a payment made to you that you later roll over to an IRA or an employer retirement plan.
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We are 26-Years Old Today. Celebrate With Us!!

We are 26-Years Old Today!! Celebrate With US!!Debbie and I founded Higgins Capital 26-years ago today. April 15, 1995. Take a moment and enjoy a quick retrospective of 1995.
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My Spouse Died Unexpectedly. Where Do I Stand?

My spouse just died. Do I have access to his or her accounts?Generally, if your name does not appear on the account, either as a joint owner with rights of survivorship, trustee (if the account is held in trust), or a beneficiary, you probably cannot access the account unless authorized to do so by the probate court having jurisdiction over the estate. Each state has its own laws dealing with this situation, and the applicable rules may differ from one state to the next.
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Life Insurance Basics

Life insurance is an agreement between you and an insurer. Under the terms of a life insurance policy, the insurer promises to pay a certain sum to a person you choose (your beneficiary) upon your death, in exchange for your premium payments.
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Our Great American Heritage of Diversity

Diversity 1973 Augusta, GEORGIA. As Americans we share a great cultural heritage of diversity and inclusion. We have always been the world's melting pot. We have always been the immigrant's dream. Celebrate Our Great Shared Heritage. Stand Tall. Be Proud.
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Robo Advisors Have Arrived, But Life Often Calls for a Human Touch

After years of development, numerous robo advisors have entered the world of investment management. Still, many investors may not fully understand exactly what robos do, or how they do it.
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Character Matters - Thoughts on Fulfillment

I asked a friend who has crossed 70 and is heading towards 80 what sort of changes she is feeling in herself? She sent me the following:
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Retirement Income Roadmap For Women

More women are working and taking charge of their own retirement planning than ever before. What does retirement mean to you?
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Introducing Our New StartUp-CatchUp Service

Introducing Our StartUp-CatchUp Service. We are a Beacon of Light for two Groups of Forgotten Investors. 1) Those trying to get started in working with a Financial Advisor 2) Those who realize that they do not have enough in retirement savings for the lifestyle they want.
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Working From Home May Not Be The New Normal

Working Remotely was supposed to be the future. Employees have left Silicon Valley, New York and other metropolitan areas in search of a better lifestyle based on the certainty that working remotely was here to stay.Think Again! There is pushback against working remotely … and it is growing.Google is the latest company to end the remote working dream.
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Women and Work: Why Salary, Benefits, and Work-Life Balance Count

As you progress along your career path, there is no telling how far you will go. But to fully reap the financial rewards of all your hard work, you will need to take charge of your own career. Here are a few issues you will want to pay close attention to.
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Evaluating a Job Offer

Evaluating a Job Offer If you are considering changing jobs, you are not alone. Today, few people stay with one employer until retirement. It is likely that at some point during your career, you will be looking for a new job. You may be looking to make more money or seeking greater career opportunities. Or, you may be forced to look for new employment if your company restructures.
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Fed Forecast: Low Rate Ahead. Insights for You

Read This: Fed Forecast: Low Rates Ahead. Here Are Insights You’ll Want to Know.The Federal Reserve at its most recent meeting recommitted to keeping short-term interest rates near zero for the foreseeable future, which likely means into 2023 or 2024.The Fed is also all in; to do whatever it takes to support the economy. It has said that it will be willing to tolerate inflation above 2% for a time. That means that the Fed will not raise short-term rates ...
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Choosing a Beneficiary for Your IRA or 401(k)

Selecting beneficiaries for retirement benefits is different from choosing beneficiaries for other assets such as life insurance. With retirement benefits, you need to know the impact of income tax and estate tax laws in order to select the right beneficiaries. Although taxes shouldn't be the sole determining factor in naming your beneficiaries, ignoring the impact of taxes could lead you to make an incorrect choice.
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Due Date for Federal Income Tax Returns and Payments Postponed to May 17

Due to the unusual conditions related to the coronavirus pandemic, the due date for individuals to file 2020 federal income tax returns and make tax payments has been postponed by the IRS from Thursday, April 15, 2021, to Monday, May 17, 2021. No interest, penalties, or additions to tax will be incurred by taxpayers during this approximately one-month relief period for any return or payment postponed under this relief provision. The relief applies automatically to all taxpayers.
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NOOD Regatta

The San Diego NOOD Race was held this past weekend. Our congratulations to The Winners and all  competitors! The NOOD Regatta (National Offshore One-Design), is a sailboat racing circuit held in 9 cities throughout the U.S. It takes place in San Diego, Annapolis, St. Petersburg, Detroit, Chicago, Seattle, Marblehead, Larchmont, and Houston. In One-Design racing, sailboats compete against other boats in identical boats, so the first boat over the finish line wins.
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Eleven Way to Help Keep Your Cool

Keeping your cool can be hard to do when the market goes on one of its periodic roller-coaster rides. It's useful to have strategies in place that prepare you both financially and psychologically to handle market volatility. Here are 11 ways to help keep yourself from making hasty decisions that could have a long-term impact on your ability to achieve your financial goals.
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There's Still Time to Contribute to an IRA for 2020

Making a last-minute contribution to an IRA may help you reduce your 2020 tax bill. If you qualify, your traditional IRA contribution may be tax deductible. And if you had low to moderate income and meet eligibility requirements, you may also be able to claim the Saver's Credit for 2020 based on your contributions to a traditional or Roth IRA. Claiming this nonrefundable tax credit may help reduce your tax bill and give you an incentive to save for retirement.
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WHAT BULL?

Decisions are often made on gut and emotion. Then the supporting narrative with graphs and numbers are found for justification. It is the way of the world. So, ask yourself, How much is enough? How much food? How much car? How much house? How much money in the bank? How much retirement? How much net worth. If you have put a number on the answers to these questions, then ask yourself, Where did I get my number? What publication, or mentor or algo or guru planted that number?
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Marcus Aurelius Quotes

Marcus Arelius's impact on global history is still being felt today. Born to royalty, he rose to prominence through focus and determination. These quotes are thought provoking.
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Fear and Loathing In San Diego

Market speculation is rampant at a time of historic uncertainty. Unprecedented uncertainty with unprecedented investor complacency. The simple question you should ask yourself is this: “How many years will it take me to recover from a market loss?”
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Catalina Getaway

Catalina Island has a storied history and has been one of our favorite family getaways since the 1940s.  The Island lies about 20-miles off the LA coast and is accessible by both sea and air.  Most convenient are the boats that depart and return Dana Point and Long Beach several times a day. The trip takes about an hour.
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Bitcoin...What you need to know

Bitcoin is prominently in the news as its value continues to move higher this year. I’ve written this to provide some information for you. The most important piece of information is that regulation is coming to Bitcoin and the other cryptos. This regulation may impact some of the features that have made Bitcoin attractive to investors. Bitcoin is a decentralized digital asset. It exists outside of the global financial system.
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The Great Reset

The Economy: Despite a decade of unprecedented Central Bank stimulus, the global economic expansion appears to be slowing. Slowing doesn't mean contracting. It means that the rate of expansion is slowing. Growth in China is down to the 6-7% level. Yet, a 6+% growth rate, for one country with approximately 1/4 of global population, is an economic dynamo that can't be ignored. How this plays out is the great unknown.
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Tariffs, Talking Retirment, and Taking on tarnished Flatware

The Economy: Market participants are dealing with the uncertainty of a trade war between the US and China.  According to the White House, last week they were very close to a deal when China backed out on agreed upon terms.  The US hit back with an extra 25% tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods on Friday.  The US stock markets tanked.   Monday saw China announce higher tariffs on $60 billion of American Goods, targeting the biggest US exporters.  Let the trade games begin.
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Trade Talks, FTC and Savor & Style Fashion Show

The Economy: The headline story today is that US China trade talks ended earlier today without a deal.  According to the White House negotiator, China reneged on parts of the deal from earlier in the week.  With the deadline passing for a deal, newly implemented tariffs of 25% went into effect on $200 billion of Chinese goods.  US Stocks sell off on the lack of a deal and US treasuries rally on a flight to safety.
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Social Security at Full Retirement

you'll get a bigger check every month. However, how much bigger depends upon what year you reach full retirement age, and how long you postpone collecting benefits. If you were born in 1943 or later, you'll receive 2/3 of 1% for each month that you delay collecting retirement benefits (8 percent more per years), up until age 70. So for example, if your full retirement age is 66 and you delay collecting benefits for 4 years, your benefit at age 70 will be 32% higher than at age 66.
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Old Dog Hot Money

The Economy: The Old Dog has more life in it. Strong results from Microsoft and Facebook kept the NASDAQ positive while industrials such as 3M slumped on plans to cut the workforce by 2,000. Unemployment at 50-year lows. Consumer confidence spiking to near highs. Home prices up 4% yoy. GDP blowout numbers. The numbers show a booming economy with Fed pledges of no interest rate hikes at least through the 2020 Presidential election. The Administration is increasing political pressure for QE.
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Rallies, Resources and Retail

The Economy: The U.S. stock markets hit record highs on Tuesday as equity investors see a better economic outlook than earlier in the year.  The bond market rallied.  Bond investors see the continued low inflation as the catalyst for the Fed to cut interest rates.  We remain cautious as investors flock to stocks and bonds when they historically move in opposite directions.  
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Payrolls, IRS and Heatlh & Beauty Picks

The Economy: The ADP National Employment Report is released the Wednesday before the payroll report. The ADP is a monthly economic data release on non-farm private employment in the U.S. Today's data was lower than expected, signaling to the markets the labor market may be cooling as growth slows.Friday we get the release of the nonfarm payrolls report (NFP) report which is a monthly employment report that represents the total number of paid U.S. workers.
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Rising Market or Recession

The Economy:Construction Spending is up, ISM is up; best quarterly stock market returns in 2-decades. We're entering 1st quarter earnings reports. Where's The Recession...Where Is The Recession? The US expansion continues unabated. But economic data remains mixed as it has for the past 10-years. Central Banks remain active in manipulating numbers, liquidity and asset bubbles. Everything is politicized and weaponized; right down to whether or not your children eat Hostess donuts.
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Mainstream Media, How Much is Enough and Financial Concerns

The Economy: The Mainstream Media and Donald Trump unequivocally agree on one thing: The U.S. economy is the best economy in our history and the greatest economy in the history of the planet. Financial markets wholeheartedly agree with this evaluation as shown by the relentless increase in asset prices since 2009 in general and the December 2018 lows in particular. At Higgins Capital we''re less cockeyed. We see signs of a global slowdown that may be spreading to the U.S. Financial markets
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Fed Surprised, Sources of Income and Sunnylife Beach Assessories

The Economy: Well, the Fed surprised the markets today cutting the growth forecast and stating no more rate hikes in 2019. The knee jerk reaction was for both the stock and bond markets to rally.  However, stocks closed mixed as market participants began to worry about what the Fed knows but aren't sharing. Food for Thought:  You may just spend more time in retirement than you did in the workforce, another 25-
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Home Prices, IRA Contributions and Viva Las Vegas

The Economy: New homes sales fell 6.9% in January to a three-month low.  New home sales are counted when contracts are signed where existing home sales (down 6.4% in January) are counted when the deal is closed.  Economists say new home purchases are a better gauge of the market.  As Californians are well aware, incomes have not kept up with the soaring real estate prices which are reflected in the data.
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Plunge Protection Teams

The Economy: The 2-track global economy continues to manifest. The U.S. expands at a pace that will force the Fed' s hand. The balance of the planet is in various stages of contraction. U.S. real estate may or may not be rolling over … depending on who you're reading or talking with. The rest of the U.S. economy appears to be booming, if the stock market is any indication. China seems to be slowing despite glowing reports by the Chinese Communist Party.
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Caution, Chicken Little or Cockeyed Optimist

The Economy: We're beginning to see consistent evidence that the global economy is slowing. China, Japan, Australia and the EU are embarking on further stimulus efforts. Here at home, recent Fed comments and actions seem to indicate that the tightening cycle is over; a sign of a US slowdown. When it comes to viewing and understanding Fed-Speak, Plato's Cave is the best point of reference. The only thing that matters is what is done, not what is said… or more appropriately …
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Employment, Fraud, and Frocks

The Economy: US Stocks are lower.  Todays employment report number surprised market participants. The employment report is released the first Friday of each month, giving market participants an idea of the current health of the economy.Only 20,000 new jobs were added in February vs. expectations of 180k. This was a real disappointment. It reveals slower growth in nonfarm payroll, but we'll need to wait another month to determine how much slower if at all.
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Fed Reverses Course?

The Economy:  The Fed finished its January meeting Wednesday with a dramatic flip from hawkish to dovish. No change in interest rates and significant revision to their future course of action. The number of rate hikes in 2019 has been reduced from 4 to1; maybe 1 … if financial markets and The Donald agree that it's ok. Shrinking the balance sheet has been dramatically modified with previous lower targets abandoned. Fed Chair Powell has stressed that his Fed is data dependent.
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Back in the Saddle and Back up in Equities

The Economy: We're back in the saddle after a great holiday. The more things change … .We appear to have a 2-speed global economy. The US continues to post stellar numbers; the latest being the blow-out Jobs Report. The rest of the planet appears to be slowing with Europe now following China. Sometimes this bifurcated growth is problematic; sometimes not. Whether this is reflected in financial markets is up to speculation. Earnings season is set to start and we'll see how those numbers look.
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Cracks Appearing, Independent Thinking

The Economy: Holiday Cheer is the global focus. Beaches are packed; Apres Ski at the forefront. The folderol of money and investing is something to think about tomorrow if at all. This week the Fed met and hiked interest rates another 1/4%. Fed Chairman Powell ignored White House pressure to the contrary. Financial markets sold off on the news. To add insult to injury, Powell insisted that shrinking the balance sheet would continue regardless of the blood in the streets.
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Fed Hikes, Facing Taxes and Snow Flurries

The Fed raised interest rates by 0.25 percent to a new range of 2.25%-2.50%. The Fed stated it expects only 2 more rate hikes in 2019 vs. 3, siting weakening economic growth.  This was the 4th rate hike this year.  U.S. stocks reversed a rally and tanked on fear the Fed will not be as accommodating as expected.
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What's next & where to?

The Economy: Stocks rallied and US Treasuries sold off on hope the US and China will continue to work towards a solution vs. a trade war.  Consumers have seen their new worth and confidence soar to records.  The inflation picture remains subdued.  The Fed has met its dual mandate of full employment and a 2% inflation target.  What's next?
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Where are you?

The Economy: Santa or The Grinch? Depends where you are and what you're focused on. US economic numbers remain strong with some softening at the periphery. Global numbers are less robust with China slowing, Brexit stumbling, France rioting and Russia threatening. The Fed has been pounded into discovering that interest rates are at neutral. Oil has been pounded 33% into discovering a new price at $50/barrel. Gold, fixed income and real estate have likewise seen declines.
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Yield curve inversion, College Costs, Festive Diversions

The Economy:  Everything was rosy in the US stock market yesterday on the announcement of a 90-day trade war truce by the US and China.  Today that has been reversed as stocks plummet on the inversion of the US yield curve.  Today we saw the yields on the 2-year and 3-year treasury move higher than the yield on the 5-year treasury.  According to most analysts, an inverted yield curve is a sign of an impending recession within 12-months of the inversion.
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The Fed and Feeling Grateful

The Economy: It's always something. Even in times of milk and honey, whines and groans can be heard from somewhere. Bill Gates has his complaint list too. Yet we've had a decade of unprecedented appreciation in all asset classes. Stocks, bonds, real estate, collectibles and other assets have relentlessly marched upwards. Now the data is beginning to come in mixed and the hot-money is moving to the sidelines.
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Tech stocks, Turkey and Take a look

The Economy:  US stocks are rallying today despite weak economic data.  Tuesday's trading was significant in that US stocks erased gains for the year.  Tech giants that make up the FANG Index dropped into bear territory.  The FANGs are Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google parent Alphabet.  Investors are concerned about economic growth with mixed earnings and trade war tensions. Food for Thought:  W
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Retail Sales, Retail Gauge and Ice Skating Rink

The Economy: Analysts look to October retail sales for guidance on the pace of economic activity as we move through the 4th quarter.  Market participants are looking to measure personal consumption over the holiday shopping season.  Retail reports today pointed to solid growth in sales last month.  Individual spending has increased over the past couple of months at a pace not seen in years. 
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Ramifcations of Higher Rates and Buybacks

The Economy: We're into the Holiday Season with year-end driving all considerations. Mid-term election results have been incorporated into projections. Global financial markets are selling off as uncertainty has provided the trigger for investors exiting overvalued positions. But the world hasn't come to an end … and it won't. However, the narrative has changed from unbridled optimism to a more pessimistic tone. Fed officials seem to be uniformly hawkish.
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Interest Rates higher, Alimony Deadline and Jewelry Saver

The Economy:  The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged but signaled a hike in December is likely.  The current range is 2.00%-2.25%.  The Fed is anticipating 3 rates hikes in 2019, moving rates to 3%.  Some analysts see 4 hikes in 2019 while others say inflation hovering at 2% reveals underlying economic weakness and the Fed could be 1 and done in December. Food for Thought:  If you are
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Buildup to 2020 Elections and Buy the Dip

The Economy: The Mid-Terms have eclipsed all measure of economic news. With that watershed event behind us, year-end is now in sight. Today the Fed finished its two-day meeting with no change in interest rates. Projections are for another 1/4 point hike in December and 4 more 1/4 point hikes in 2019. But looking out a year and trying to estimate what the Fed will do is a fool's game. Every recession has been preceded by interest rate hikes.
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Heightened worry, Enrollment for healthcare and How to Improve Sleep

The Economy:  The U.S. stock market is selling off today after 3 straight up days.  Apple shares tumble (-6.7%) after revealing stagnant IPhone sales and a lower than expected holiday forecast. New jobs continue to show labor market strength.  Both factory order and durable goods rose more than expected.  Earlier in the week, the home price index for August fell below 6% for the 1st time in 12 months. 
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Stocks Sell-off, Charity Scams and Wax Seals

The Economy:  Today, buy-the-dip market participants did not materialized.  The sell-off in today's U.S. stocks accelerated into the close.  This wiped out the gains for the year for both the Dow and S&P 500.  Yesterday, the US stock markets made a big comeback after plunging in early Tuesday trading. 
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Take Notice

The Economy: Through the hoopla of the mid-terms you can occasionally hear the rumble of thunder. China is supposed to be juggling a slowdown. The EU is supposed to be planning the overthrow of the government of Italy. Russia is supposed to possess new super-weapons. Emerging markets are supposed to be bankrupt because of the rising dollar. Tariffs are supposed to be slowing the global economy. Real estate is supposed to have tipped to a buyer's market.
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Evaluating the Economy and Evaluating your Wealth

The Economy: Evaluating the economy is a matter of thinking locally within the context of the larger national and global picture. The US economy continues to expand as it has done since 2009. A combination of free money from the Fed, rising asset values in real estate/stocks, tax cuts, deficit spending, profit repatriation and a doubling of consumer debt has fueled this growth. All these factors have ended or are close to their limits as the environment has evolved.
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FOMC Minutes, Transitioning Mindset and Wood & Spoon Recipes

The Economy:  Today's focus was on the FOMC release of the minutes from the September 25-26 Fed Policy meeting.  Some of the highlights of the release are:  1) the FOMC sees the risks to the U.S. economy as roughly balanced; 2) Inflation thoughts were mixed with some officials saying that inflation is still too low while others are saying they expect inflation to slightly exceed the 2% target; 3) the Fed is OK with its current balance sheet normalization process;
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Interest Rates Rise and Central Bank Wane ?

The Economy: Mixed news on the economy as we count down to the mid-terms. The Fed has made it clear that tightening is here to stay at least through "neutral." Smart money is saying this is another 1.75-2% on Fed Funds. Mortgages are through 5% and markets have finally begun to take notice. Are these storm clouds going to pass by or are they going to prove more problematic. Word is that real estate in NYC, Seattle and San Francisco has hit the wall.
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Stocks Freefall, The Fed ? and Fun Slippers

The Economy:  Today's US stock market plunged on fears of a trade war with China and higher interest rates.  The Dow closed down 3.15%, the S&P 500 closed down 3.29% and the Nasdaq closed down 4.08%.  This is the biggest drop since February.  Right now, you can earn 2.14% on a 1 month Treasury bill. As interest rates move higher, they compete with investors' money.  
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Yields Climbing, Credit Freezes and Arts Festival

The Economy:  The FOMC unanimously agreed to raise interest rates in-line with market expectations.  The range is now 2.00%-2.25%.  The US treasury market rallied while U.S. stock markets sold off.  The committee dropped "accommodative" from their policy statement.  The markets took this as dovish...the Fed being closer to nearing its rate hiking cycle. 
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Boom Economy, Higher Rates, and Game Plan

The Economy: By all metrics the US Economy continues to boom along. The most important take-away is that the Fed will continue to raise interest rates. The word on the street is that the Fed will continue to tighten "until something breaks." Don't let that something be you caught unaware. We continue to stress the dramatic change in US monetary policy. Interest rates are headed higher and the Fed is reducing their balance sheet. Liquidity will become an increasing issue for busines
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The Fed and Finding you way around Social Security

By Ray The Economy: The Fed met this week and as expected raised interest rates another 25bps (1/4%) to 2.25%. Going forward all new loans and existing loan resets will reflect these higher rates. The Fed remains in a race against time to be at or above 5% on the Fed Funds Rate before the next recession hits. Why 5%? Because the Fed has historically cut rates 5% to salvage the economy in a recession. Kentucky Windage.
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FOMC, Social Security and Adams Ave. Street Fair

By Debbie The Economy:  The FOMC unanimously agreed to raise interest rates in-line with market expectations.  The range is now 2.00%-2.25%.  The US treasury market rallied while U.S. stock markets sold off.  The committee dropped "accommodative" from their policy statement.  The markets took this as dovish...the Fed being closer to nearing its rate hiking cycle.
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Party on Garth - We Quarterback Money®

By Ray Higgins The Economy: The economy appears to be expanding quite nicely and business optimism continues to rise as it approaches new records. The Left Coast, with its gateway to Asian trade, technology and Pentagon spending continues to boom along. Construction cranes fill the skies. New homes are stuffed into every nook and cranny. Roadwork and infrastructure projects are everywhere. New cars abound. Recently launched multi-million dollar yachts overwhelm the docks. Planes are jammed.
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Tariff Tensions and Yield Curve Inversions

By Debbie Higgins The Economy: Investors in the U.S. stock markets are shrugging off any/all tariff concerns. The Nasdaq finished at a new record close on Thursday. This is after a dip in the middle of the week on tariff tensions. Q2 earnings season starts Friday, led by the big banks. On the bond market front, the U.S. treasury yield curve spread drops (2y/10y +26.1 spread; 5y/30y +19.8bps). One more rate hike and the yield curve inverts, historically an indication of an impending recession
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