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Wishing you a Happy Easter and Happy Passover!

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Happy Spring!  Happy Passover and we wish you all the joys of the Easter Season! Springtime represents a season of rebirth and renewal, which everyone could use in their life. Regardless of your tradition, we we wish for all of you the renewal this time of year can bring.

Tax season is fast approaching – and this is the most important tax season in decades. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is the largest overhaul of the tax code since 1986. It contains many provisions affecting everyone from parents to small business owners – provisions that could have a big impact on your finances. Read More

Deducing the Culprits Behind the Recent Market Volatility

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Paul Reback, President of Capital Estate AdvisorsHello volatility, my old friend.

By now, you’ve seen the headlines, full of scary-sounding words like rout and stormplunge and crash.  Whatever you want to call it, investors have certainly endured a rough time over the past few days.  The Dow, dominating the media’s coverage as usual, dropped more than 600 points on February 2, and almost 1,200 points on February 5.  That’s a single-day decline of 4.6%, the largest since 2011.  The other major indexes were shaky, too.

It’s been quite some time since we’ve seen volatility like this.  The S&P 500 skyrocketed almost 20% in 2017.  What was even more amazing last year was how calm and consistent the climb was.  Since the election, any declines have been mere blips on the radar screen. Read More

2017: The Year in Review

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Every January, it’s customary to look back at the year that was. What were the highlights? What were the “lowlights”? What were the events we’ll always remember? Most importantly, what did we learn?

Rather than write a long recap of the entire year, let’s first look at this chart:

Paul Reback Notable Events
This is hardly a full summary of everything that happened last year. And it doesn’t even mention any terrorist attacks, the ongoing investigations into President Trump’s campaign, the tidal wave of sexual harassment allegations that swept across Hollywood, the opioid epidemic, or any of a dozen other stories that dominated the news. Read More

The Three Key Challenges of Retirement

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Planning for your retirement can be challenging. It can be scary and frustrating. I have seen many clients who felt their plan was a disaster waiting to happen. As an advisor, I am here to say that you can handle it. Planning for retirement does not have to be difficult. In fact, it can be fun! But in order to achieve the retirement of your dreams, you must prepare for three major challenges that every retiree is likely to face.

Challenge #1: Ensuring a long retirement savings lifespan

One of the greatest fears that people have is that they will outlive their savings.
Fortunately, by taking the steps now, you can ensure that this doesn’t happen to you. Read More

Shakespeare on Finance

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For centuries, people have studied Shakespeare for his wit and his wisdom. He never wrote about finance, of course, but I have found that many of his lines contain important financial lessons. Let’s look at one such line from perhaps the most famous of his plays:

“Go wisely and slowly. Those who rush, stumble and fall.” – Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Scene 3.

In this scene, Romeo asks his mentor, Friar Laurence, to wed he and Juliet as quickly as possible. In response, the friar counsels Romeo to “go wisely and slowly. Those who rush stumble and fall.”

You can probably guess the lesson here: avoid the temptation to rush into rash, impulsive financial decisions.

Have you ever noticed how often people act on impulse? Advertising companies sure do! So do car dealerships, banks and your local gyms. In fact, every time you go to the checkout counter at a grocery store, take a moment to look at all of those candy bars and tabloids strategically placed to take advantage of people’s impulsiveness.

Entire industries are built on capturing the human impulse. Most of the time these impulses are harmless enough, but the worst of them can have grave consequences. In fact, one of the greatest dangers to our financial health is that we don’t always think before we act. We rush into things. Read More

A few inspirational tips on how to stay young

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Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we are kids?

If you’re less than 10 years old, you’re so excited about aging that you think in fractions. “How old are you?” “I’m four and a half!” You’re never thirty six and a half. You’re four and a half, going on 5! That’s the key.

You get into your teens, now they can’t hold you back. You jump into the next number, or even a few ahead. “How old are you?” “I’m going to be sixteen!” You could be thirteen, but hey, you’re going to be sixteen! And then the greatest day of your life… you become twenty one! Even the words sound like a ceremony…YOU BECOME 21! YES!

But then you turn 30. Ooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk. He TURNED, we had to throw him out. There’s no fun now, you’re just a sour dumpling. What’s wrong? What’s changed? Read More

The True Origins of Labor Day

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Labor Day! Most of us consider the upcoming three-day weekend as the perfect excuse to get out of town or relax in the hammock. Kids know it as their last bit of freedom before school starts (well, the lucky kids that haven’t gone back to school yet). And, according to the fashion-conscious, it’s the last chance to wear white.
But, like so many holidays, the origins of Labor Day are rooted in adversity, not pleasure and relaxation. While the day now stands for the official end of the summer, it was once a concession given to the thousands of laborers who struggled for fair pay, benefits, and improved living conditions in our country.
It all started when John P. Altgeld, the former Governor of Illinois, received a letter from the citizens of Pullman, a business-owned community for employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company. Due to the poor economy, the demand for Pullman’s products (they made railway cars), dropped significantly. In response, Company owner George Pullman cut wages for his employees, including the ones living in the town bearing his name. Despite the cut, the workday was increased (employees worked an average of 16 hours a day) and the price of rent and food in town remained extremely high- too high, in fact, for the workers to afford.
Most of the workers protested and eventually went on strike, but their employee refused to budge. In desperation, the citizens of Pullman sent Governor Altgeld this letter: Read More

The Six “W” Questions of Retirement

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As you know, a major part of my job as a financial advisor is to help you plan and save for retirement.

That said, it’s critical to take a hard look at what you are doing to ensure that you remain on track to reaching your retirement goals. Has anything changed in your life that could effect your retirement? Has your vision of retirement changed? Do you need to change how much money you’re saving, or how you’re saving it? Are your income needs still taken care of?

To make sure that you are still on track, I recommend that you ask yourself the following questions at least once every few years. I call them:

The Six “W” Questions of Retirement Read More

Being impulsive with financial decisions can cost you.

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Ever notice how much human beings act on impulse? Advertising companies sure do! So do car dealerships, banks and your local gym. Every time you go to the checkout counter at a grocery store, the strategically-placed candy bars and tabloid magazines are practically crying out: “Buy me!”…even though, five minutes before, you neither needed nor wanted them.

Pay attention the next time you watch television, or go to a store, or even open your mail. Entire industries are built on capturing the human impulse. Most of the time these impulses are harmless enough, but the worst of them can have serious consequences. In fact, one of the greatest dangers to our financial health is the fact that we don’t always think before we act. We don’t look before we leap. And we give up things we want most for the things we only want right now.

Not surprisingly, our best defense against these dangerous impulses is simple common sense. Whenever I need to renew my stock of common sense, I turn to the legendary Aesop who explained common sense in his fable, The Fox and the Goat: Read More

A Note on Independence Day

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On July 3rd, 1776, John Adams sent a now-famous letter to his wife, Abigail, describing what he thought the future of Independence Day would look like:

I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.

As we know, Adams’ prophecy came true. Independence Day is indeed celebrated with “pomp and parade.” From the fantastic firework displays to the patriotic music, the 4th of July has become a grand celebration like no other.

I think one of the things I like most about Independence Day is that it makes me feel a connection with those first Americans who lived and died so long ago. It’s comforting to know that the feelings of patriotism and pride I feel are exactly what they felt.

Here’s an example of one of the earliest Independence Day celebrations that took place in Philadelphia back in 1777: Read More