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More Market Milestones and Fed Do-Overs

More Market Milestones and Fed Do-Overs

Dow 27K! S&P 500 3K! NASDAQ 8200! Just months after the bull market in stocks and the current expansion each became the longest on record, U.S. equity indexes reached more milestones last week. Sure, the economy is expanding, but you can thank one person for the recent leg up in the bull market rally: Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.

Financial Independence

Financial Independence

While many were enjoying an extended break last week, there was good news and bad news on the financial independence front. For the economy, independence from a Federal Reserve rate cut proved to be the right course of action, at least for now.

Roth vs. Traditional Retirement Plans

Roth vs. Traditional Retirement Plans

As more employers incorporate Roth options into work-based retirement accounts, many of you have written to ask which one is preferable. As always, the answer depends on your situation. The big difference between a traditional retirement option and a Roth is about when you pay taxes. With a traditional option, you pay in the future and with a Roth, you pay today.

Longest, Not Strongest Expansion on Record

Longest, Not Strongest Expansion on Record

In a week, the U.S. economy will celebrate its longest expansion on record (or at least since records were first kept in the 1850's). As of July, there will have been 121 consecutive months of growth, surpassing the 120 months of the technology boom of the nineties. (As a frame of reference, the average expansion lasts 58 months)

Marriage and Money

Marriage and Money

Wedding season is upon us and with the national average cost of a wedding at nearly $34,000, according to The Knot's annual survey, newlyweds are getting a crash course in personal finance. Gone are the days when someone else pays for the nuptials, 91 percent of the respondents contributed some dough to the big event and 80 percent created a wedding budget, more than half who did so, spent more than the allotted amount.

Inside the Fed’s Head

Inside the Fed’s Head

Amid renewed Presidential criticism and evidence of a slowing economy, Fed officials will convene a two-day policy meeting this week and the pressure is on. As always, central bankers have to balance maintaining a strong enough economy to foster job growth, but it can’t run too hot, which might trigger inflation. Right now, there’s a battle brewing inside the collective Fed’s Head between action and inaction.

LGBT Finances: Progress and Planning

LGBT Finances: Progress and Planning

As millions get ready to mark World Pride 2019 and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, it is remarkable for me to think back twenty five years, when I was a recently out lesbian, who was also a financial planner and investment adviser. I discovered through my own experience that planning required many more steps for those of us in the LGBTQ community. Everything from health care, to retirement and estate planning, adoption and workplace benefits were issues that required special attention and techniques that were not necessary for straight clients.

The Financial Four for High School Grads

The Financial Four for High School Grads

As millions of high school graduates collect their degrees, it’s time to prepare them for the next phase of their lives. In addition to the common sense wisdom that parents, grandparents and friends will be imparting, please allow “Aunt Jill” to add a few financial tips.

Meh May Jobs Report and the Powell Put

Meh May Jobs Report and the Powell Put

Stocks reversed multi-week losses and you can thank Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. The week began with hand wringing over the potential Mexican tariffs. On Tuesday, Powell announced that the central bank was keeping an eye on trade developments, their impact on the U.S. economy, and would “act as appropriate to sustain the expansion.”