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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

It’s a startling statistic.45% of consumers with $100,000 or more investable assets expect to make changes to their investments due to the upcoming 2020 presidential election.1Second-guessing your investment strategy is natural,...

Thursday, October 15, 2020

On October 13, 2020, the Social Security Administration (SSA) officially announced that Social Security recipients will receive a 1.3 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2021. This adjustment will begin with benefits payable...

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Applications for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are now open for the academic year 2021-22. Applying for the FAFSA allows you to qualify for grants, scholarships, and other federally-sourced aid, such as...

Thursday, October 8, 2020

It should come as no surprise to hear the economy is the top issue for voters in the 2020 election. Nearly 8 in ten voters say that the economy will be very important to them when they cast their votes.1But when voters say...

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

When training to become a financial professional, much of our course work centers on the six critical areas of creating a financial strategy. Some recognize October as Financial Planning Month, so it's an excellent opportunity to...

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Thursday, October 1, 2020

Stocks were mixed last week as worries that stretched from Washington D.C., where prospects of a new fiscal stimulus bill dimmed, to Europe, which saw an increase of new COVID-19 cases.The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 1.75%,...

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

In theory, investors understand that stock market corrections are part of the investing process. But experiencing a setback—like the one we’ve witnessed in the past four weeks—can raise a lot of shoulda, woulda,...

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

As the U.S. presidential election draws near, expect to see more and more headlines that propose, "What will happen next if this person is elected?" or, "What policy changes to prepare for in the next four years?"In reality, however,...

Thursday, September 17, 2020

To some, this may hardly feel like an economy headed for a bright future. But don’t tell that to home builders.Builder confidence in August jumped to an eye-popping 78 in August, according to the Housing Market Index courtesy of...

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

A U.S. drug company recently said that it’s in late-stage trials for its coronavirus vaccine and reported that it could be given to Americans as early as the end of the year.1Great news. But it seems like every few days...

Friday, September 11, 2020

Football is back, which means Summer is coming to a close, days will get shorter, and sweaters will soon be in play.This year, there was no pre-season, so professional football started in September, which coincidentally, is a...

Thursday, September 3, 2020

To some, this may hardly feel like an economy headed for a bright future. But don’t tell that to home builders.Builder confidence in August jumped to an eye-popping 78 in August, according to the Housing Market Index courtesy of...

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), one of the most widely followed stock market indices, has made some key changes to its starting lineup.Salesforce.com, Amgen Inc.and Honeywell International Inc. have replaced Exxon Mobil Corp....

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Some people in recent weeks may have been feeling that “the stock market seems to be doing so well but I’m not participating.”A look behind the headlines helps tell the story.A CNBC study found that between the stock...

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Two high-profile companies—Apple and Tesla—have announced stock splits in the past few weeks, which makes it a great time to discuss what’s involved when a company announces a stock split.Remember, any companies...

Thursday, August 20, 2020

This month, many universities and colleges are welcoming students back to campus, even if most campuses are largely online this year.But that's not all that's different. The current administration has issued an executive memorandum...

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

"Will I outlive my retirement money?" That's one of the top fears for people who are starting to prepare for their retirement years.So I have to chuckle a bit when I see headlines that say, "Here's how much money Americans think they...

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Are you one of the many retirement account holders who took a mandatory distribution this year? If so, you may be able to manage the taxes associated with Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from traditional IRAs and 401(k)s. There...

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

One of my favorite Wall Street quotes is from Mark Twain, who said:“October: This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June,...

Thursday, July 30, 2020

With all of the storm and stress of the year 2020, you’d be forgiven if you momentarily forgot that we’re due for another national election in November. Many states will be selecting governors, representatives, and...

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

To some, the buying and selling of a company’s stock by corporate officers and directors can be an indicator of Wall Street sentiment.In July 2020, the ratio of companies with executive buying compared with executive selling...

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Recently, you may have heard that financial industry regulators established a new set of rules designed to guide investors who work with an investment professional. This new set of rules is called “Regulation Best...

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

In the era of COVID-19, and the financial woes it has created, I often get asked, “Why is the stock market holding up so well when the economy appears to be struggling?”To understand why the markets react — or...

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

With the economy and financial markets flashing mixed signals, it’s no wonder that lawmakers are deadlocked on whether to pass a Phase 4 of the CARES Act.More than $3 trillion in stimulus has been pushed into the economy since...

Thursday, July 2, 2020

A jump in COVID-19 cases dampened investor enthusiasm last week, sending stock prices lower on worries that rising infections could derail the economic recovery.The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 3.31%, while the Standard &...

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

In our uncertain climate, it’s unsurprising that when American investors are thinking about their financial strategy, that the topic of life insurance comes up.For some, it’s always been front of mind. For younger...

Friday, June 26, 2020

Americans who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic may now be able to access retirement accounts to help cover daily expenses, penalty-free.Now, in addition to those who have lost their jobs during the COVID-19...

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

An “eye-popping” $2 trillion in cash has been stashed in deposit accounts at U.S. banks since the COVID-19 pandemic first hit the country in January.1This surge of money into banks has no precedent in history.Several...

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) reported in recent weeks that the U.S. economy officially entered a recession in February 2020. This transition brought a 128-month expansion to an end, the longest in post World War II...

Thursday, June 11, 2020

As Americans adjust their spending habits in a rapidly changing economy, they are building cash reserves at an unprecedented rate.The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported on May 29th that the personal savings rate hit a historic 33%...

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

In recent days, we have watched as outraged and frustrated protestors spilled out into the streets of American cities. Across our communities, unhealed wounds have been brought vividly to our attention once again. Our firm is committed...

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Upbeat comments by the Federal Reserve Chairman and more signs of an economic turnaround combined to help fuel a powerful rally in the stock market last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 3.29%, while the Standard &...

Friday, May 22, 2020

Hindsight is 20/20. It’s only human to imagine what it might have been like to turn left instead of right on some fateful day. However, that sort of daydreaming is unhelpful when investing, especially when it leads you to try...

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Undeniably, Spring 2020 has tried the patience of investors. An 11-year bull market ended. Key economic indicators went haywire. Household confidence was shaken. The Standard & Poor’s 500, the benchmark for the broad stock...

Friday, May 15, 2020

Even in “normal” times, the news can be depressing. But these days, it can seem like there’s an awful lot to worry about. Here’s a sampling of the types of headlines I’ve seen recently: Why US hospitals...

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The Internal Revenue Service knows that many taxpayers have had a stressful spring. So, it has reset the federal tax deadline. You now have until July 15 to file your 1040 form. July 15 is also the deadline to pay any federal taxes...

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Are you or someone you know currently making federal student loan payments? In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, some welcome relief may be on the way. Thanks to the recent passage of the CARES Act, the U.S. Department of Education will...

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

The COVID-19 outbreak has put tremendous pressure on stock prices, prompting some investors to blindly and indiscriminately sell positions at a time when the entire market is trending lower. Worried investors believe "this time it's...

Thursday, April 30, 2020

American lawmakers have passed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, a program that will offer small business loans to employers in need of aid as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.1,2 The bill is a $484...

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Are you eligible for a stimulus check from the Treasury Department? As of Friday, April 24, the Internal Revenue Service said it had issued 88 million payments to individuals across the country. It plans to send out more than 150...

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Few life events are more stressful than a job loss. If you or someone you know is in this situation due to COVID-19, you’ll likely have several questions about job hunting, unemployment insurance, and health care. You may also be...

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Thanks to COVID-19, flying is down, driving is down, and the price of fuel is way, way down. On April 20, U.S. crude oil dropped to its lowest level in more than 30 years, due to a slump in demand. That day, West Texas Intermediate...

Friday, April 17, 2020

The stock market staged a broad rally this week, buoyed by the prospect that COVID-19’s grip on the nation may be easing and news of another Federal Reserve program to help stabilize businesses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average...

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up nearly every aspect of American life. To say it’s been a difficult time would be an understatement. However, difficult times may open doors to new possibilities. Businesses are changing their...

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Here’s a quick refresher: a correction is defined as a decline of 10% or greater from a recent high in the financial markets. Corrections can last anywhere from days to months, but few have lasted longer. Recently, we’ve...

Monday, April 6, 2020

In light of current events and potential financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has postponed the 2019 federal income tax filing and payment deadline until July 15, 2020.1,2,3 Those...

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

As I’m sure you know, the $2 trillion “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security” (“CARES”) Act was recently signed into law. The CARES Act is designed to help those most impacted by the COVID-19...

Monday, March 30, 2020

CARES Act, which includes an estimated $2 TRILLION or more in stimulus, was signed into law. Read insights and details here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

In your investing lifetime, you may only see a situation like the recent novel coronavirus (COVID-19) a few times. This is a circumstance where complete candor is necessary. The truth is that we can’t yet gauge the full economic...

Thursday, March 12, 2020

What has upswings and downturns, troughs, peaks, and plateaus? Though such terms could easily describe a roller coaster ride, they are also commonly used to describe the business cycle. The business cycle – also known as the...

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Whether through inertia or trepidation, investors who put off important investment decisions might consider the admonition offered by motivational speaker Brian Tracy, “Almost any decision is better than no decision at all...

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

FILING FINAL TAX RETURNS FOR THE DECEASED When a family member passes away, there are many decisions that need to be made and many emotions to handle. The last thing anyone thinks about is taxes. Unfortunately, even the deceased...

Thursday, February 27, 2020

If you're like many small business owners, running your own business is an all-consuming endeavor. In the face of everyday demands, choosing a retirement plan for your business can become a casualty. The idea of establishing a plan...

Thursday, February 20, 2020

The Internal Revenue Service estimates that taxpayers and businesses spend 8.1 billion hours a year complying with tax-filing requirements. To put this into perspective, if all this work were done by a single company, it would need...

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Every year the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) releases its list of tax scams, spotlighting the myriad ways that people try to separate you from your money.¹ The “Dirty Dozen” Identity Theft Using your personal...

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

The reason withdrawals from an Traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA) prior to age 59½ are generally subject to a 10% tax penalty is that policymakers wanted to create a disincentive to use these savings for anything...

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Some of us share a common experience. You’re driving along when a police cruiser pulls up behind you with its lights flashing. You pull over, the officer gets out, and your heart drops. “Are you aware the registration on...

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Everyone loves a winner. If an investment is successful, most people naturally want to stick with it. But is that the best approach? It may sound counter intuitive, but it may be possible to have too much of a good thing. Over time,...

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

HOW TO MAKE THE TAX CODE WORK FOR YOU By April 19, 2019, 137million taxpayers had dutifully filed their federal income tax returns.1 And they all made decisions about deductions and credits – whether they realized it. When you...

Thursday, January 16, 2020

YOUR EMERGENCY FUND: HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH? Have you ever had one of those months? The water heater stops heating, the dishwasher stops washing, and your family ends up on a first-name basis with the nurse at urgent care. Then, as...

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Who among us wants to pay the IRS more taxes than we have to?1 While few may raise their hands, Americans regularly overpay because they fail to take tax deductions for which they are eligible. Let’s take a quick look at the six...

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Washington was busy this holiday season. As many of us were looking forward to some well-earned time off, new legislation was passed, and it affects some of the old rules for traditional Individual Retirement Accounts. These changes...

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Oh November. You may be thinking about soup and turkey. We are definitely thinking about year end tax planning. You may be anxiously awaiting your daily PSL (pumpkin spice latte). We are calculating RMD's (required minimum...

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

For inquiring minds... http://www.giesassociates.com/resource-center/investment/how-stocks-work

Monday, March 25, 2019

Military families face unique challenges, making personal finance even more critical.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Six overlooked tax deductions to help manage your tax bill.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Do you know how to set up your financial goals for success? This knight does.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Understanding tax strategies and managing your tax bill are an integral part of a sound financial approach.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Bonds may outperform stocks one year only to have stocks rebound the next.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Getting ready for retirement? Before you can cross that bridge, you’ll need to cross some important items off your to-do list.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

While Americans are entitled to take every legitimate deduction to manage their taxes, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) places limits on your creativity. Here are some examples of deductions from the IRS that were permitted and some...

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

An 11 year old from Bellingham, WA recently started a newsletter to bring more happiness to our city. Subscribe and be happy!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Some people may want a more advanced gifting strategy that can maximize their gift and generate potential tax benefits.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

When you take the time to learn more about how it works, you may be able to put the tax code to work for you. Read More

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

That big list of dreams and goals isn't the only way to look at your bucket list. View More

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Not sure what to make for Christmas Dinner this year? Find inspiration with Edible Seattle's list of recipes.

Monday, December 10, 2018

How literate are you when it comes to your finances? Brush up with these five basics. Read Here

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Ever wonder exactly how stocks work? Read on for more information. Read More

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

In order to get where you want to go, you need to know where you are. You can get a view of your financial position by generating a personal net worth statement. View Here

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

From the Dutch East India Company to Wall Street, the stock market has a long and storied history. View Here

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Are you a thrill seeker, or content to relax in the backyard? Use this flowchart to find out more about your risk tolerance. Read More

Monday, November 12, 2018

Being healthy not only makes you feel good, it may also help you financially. Read More

Thursday, November 1, 2018

How do the markets usually react to elections? Was the 2016 election any different? View More

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Understanding the cycle of investing may help you avoid easy pitfalls. Watch Now

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

One of the most basic tenets of sound investing involves the simple habit of “paying yourself first.” Read More

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Many people have the potential to earn a small fortune during their working years. Yet some are unaware of how their annual income adds up over the years. This calculator, designed to help you estimate how much you may earn before you...

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Here is a quick history of the Federal Reserve and an overview of what it does. View More

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Having an emergency fund may help alleviate the stress and worry associated with a financial crisis. Read More

Thursday, September 27, 2018

China owns a portion of the total outstanding debt of the U.S. Government. What does it mean? Read More

Monday, September 24, 2018

We all know the stock market can be unpredictable. We all want to know, “What’s next for the financial markets?” View More

Monday, September 17, 2018

Compound interest is the addition of interest to the principal sum of a loan or deposit, or in other words, interest on interest. Read on to see how powerful it really is. Read More

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Financial and Healthcare Documents Read more

Monday, September 10, 2018

Pundits say a lot of things about the markets. Let's see if you can keep up. See more

Monday, September 10, 2018

MONEY DRAINING FOOD MYTHS The road to better health may sometimes involve an extra expense here and there, but you should be careful about wasting money on diet ideas with promises that are more based on myth than fact. Identified...

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Seasoned Traveler Tips

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Are you an owner of a thriving business or a medical or legal practice? Are you a highly paid executive? If you have children, at some point they may discern how wealthy you are – and in turn, learn how “rich” they...

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Whether you want to leave work at 62, 67, or 70, claiming the retirement benefits you are entitled to by federal law is no casual decision. You will want to consider a few key factors first. How long do you think you will live? If you...

Thursday, July 12, 2018

On September 7, credit reporting agency Equifax dropped a consumer bombshell. It revealed that cybercriminals had gained access to the personal information of as many as 143 million Americans between May and July – about 44% of...

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Imagine finding out that your computer has been hacked. The hackers leave you a message: if you want your data back, you must pay them $300 in bitcoin. This was what happened to hundreds of thousands of PC users in May 2017 when they...

Thursday, July 12, 2018

SMART TIP: Grilling burgers? To make your patty juicier, try dunking it in very cold water for about 20-30 seconds before placing it on the grill. WHO SAID IT? “Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure....

Thursday, July 12, 2018

At first glance, the rules surrounding inherited IRAs are complex. Here are some questions (and potential answers) to consider if you have inherited one or may in the future. Who was the original IRA owner? If the original owner was...

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Many households and businesses are insufficiently insured. The problem is not necessarily the quality of coverage, but the breadth and depth of it. Your own business or household may be more vulnerable than you realize. Too many people...

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Major changes may be ahead for federal tax law. At the start of November, House Republicans rolled out their plan for sweeping tax reforms. Negotiations may greatly alter the content of the bill, but here are the proposed adjustments,...

Thursday, July 12, 2018

An executive transitions into a consulting role at age 62 and stops working altogether at 65; then, he becomes a buyer for a church network at 69. A corporate IT professional decides to conclude her career at age 58; she serves as a...

Thursday, July 12, 2018

President Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act into law on December 22, and on January 1, some key details of the Internal Revenue Code will abruptly change.1 There will be night-and-day change, both figuratively and literally....

Thursday, July 12, 2018

MONTHLY NEWS AND INFORMATION FOR CURRENT AND FUTURE RETIREES JANUARY 2018 “All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost...

Thursday, July 12, 2018

It’s not uncommon – Many a well-educated, socially conscious, environmentally friendly investor winds up buying shares of companies whose beliefs and business practices are far removed from their own. Why? Often investors...

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Are the days of itemizing over? Not quite, but now that H.R. 1 (popularly called the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act) is the law, all kinds of itemized federal tax deductions have vanished. Early drafts of H.R. 1 left only two itemized deductions...

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Stocks sometimes retreat. That reality can be overlooked in a long bull market. Bear markets do appear, and a deep downturn could force you to sell securities in retirement, so you can pay for necessary expenses. Right now, you might...

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Fewer taxpayers are itemizing in the wake of federal tax reforms. You may be one of them, and you may be wondering how many receipts, forms, and records you need to hold onto for the future. Is it okay to shred more of them? Maybe not....

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Sometimes more money can mean more problems. “Lifestyle creep” is an unusual phrase describing an all-too-common problem: the more money people earn, the more money they tend to spend. Frequently, the newly affluent are the...