Every year, Berkshire Hathaway’s Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett sends a thoughtfully crafted letter to the company’s shareholders from which the investment industry gleans whatever newfound wisdom possible. Given that 2020 was an unusual year by economic, social and financial standards, there is much to glean. Despite the difficulties the U.S. has experienced in managing…

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Annuity Insights The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) – a trade association for the retirement income industry – advocates annuities as a vehicle that can help provide retirees income, guaranteed by the insurer. The organization has been actively educating and lobbying legislators to expand annuity access as part of employer-sponsored retirement plans.1 Under this scenario, whatever…

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In 2010, a study was published by two Nobel prize-winning economists purporting that people with more money feel better about their lives. However, that held true only up to an annual salary of $75,000 ($90,000 in today’s dollars). Past the $75k threshold, people weren’t necessarily any happier. That scenario has apparently changed in the ensuing…

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One way for the government to potentially earn more tax revenue is by eliminating the early withdrawal penalty. This is the typical 10%-tax penalty on distributions from retirement accounts by people younger than age 59 ½.1 If that penalty didn’t exist, investors may be more inclined to pull money out of their retirement accounts, whether…

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The stock market continues to exhibit resiliency in the face of disrupting factors, ranging from a global pandemic to a severe economic decline to a controversial presidential election. For many years, Wall Street analysts warned a market correction was long overdue. Despite intermittent volatility, those concerns largely have not borne out. You may be tired…

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Amid lost jobs and a scaled-back economy in 2020, some workers may have decided to retire earlier than planned. There are a couple of Social Security strategies worth considering in this scenario. First, if both spouses are over age 62, determine if you can make ends meet by taking only one Social Security benefit while…

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As it turns out, the value of the 2019 pledge signed by 181 U.S. corporate CEOs was a fairly good deal for themselves and their shareholders … although less so for the other stakeholders it was designed to represent. In the past, private companies thought little of the injustice of layoffs and reducing compensation packages…

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If there’s one thing that can move the economy and stock market forward, it’s hope. This year, that hope is being presented in the form of COVID-19 vaccines. Economists and Wall Street analysts have long proclaimed that comprehensive economic recovery is not possible until we have contained the virus. The prospect of wide distribution of…

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The beginning of the year is typically full of hope. We make New Year’s resolutions, and it may take a few months for our enthusiasm (and vigilance) to wane. There’s also the “January Effect,” when the stock market generally gets a performance boost thanks to tax harvesting in December and subsequent reinvestments. But even that…

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