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Unhappy With Your Tax Refund?

Americans love their income tax refunds. Some take vacations with the proceeds, others finally pay off lingering Christmas bills, and yet others put a down payment on a new car or other high-priced toys. After all, their own money is being returned to them by the same government that took it away in the first place. The annual refund has become a staple in the American lifestyle.

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Tariffs Are Always Bad – Right? (Maybe Not)

There are tariffs built into the cost structure of a vast array of imports purchased in the USA. Generally small, most tariffs do not completely offset the cost of buying American counterpoints, but they make our goods somewhat more competitive. The remaining inequity results from bad trade “deals” negotiated over decades by US trade officials. The North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, is a great example. There are dozens of Trade Agreements, but NAFTA has proven extremely onerous to Americans.

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Tax Cuts = More Revenue (Again)

“Dynamic” analysis considers changes people make in response to external stimuli. Economically, when people have more money to spend, the confident consumer tends to purchase more merchandise and services. Companies prosper, profits rise, and taxes are paid on those profits. At the same time, hiring takes place, and more taxpayers are created. Concurrently, businesses are started and expanded, and the Treasury gets a share of all the new prosperity.

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What’s Bigger than Credit Card Debt?

“Crisis” is one the most abused words in the English language today, being haphazardly applied to whatever political disagreement of the day, the national debt, our failing “public” educational system, border security, the increasing national drug problem, trade wars, and on and on. When everything is called a crisis, nothing gets treated appropriately as a crisis. Is student loan debt a crisis?

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Where is That Pesky Recession?

Ubiquitous “gloom and doom” predictions are designed to get our attention. One of the oldest sayings in media is that “if it bleeds, it leads.” Good news is boring, optimism is uninteresting, and satisfaction is unacceptable to political candidates aspiring to replace incumbents at all levels of government.

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When Should Older People Take More Investment Risk?

When advising older investors, it is essential to discover the true objectives of their investments. Things are not always exactly what they seem on the surface. The purpose of having a thorough discovery process is to individualize financial advice. This is not possible on a short phone call, so our goal on the radio is to tell people what can be done, rather than what to do.

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The Budding Marijuana Industry

Is it possible to invest in the Marijuana Industry, despite it being illegal at the Federal level? It is, and a couple of new ETFs make it easier than ever and diversify your risk across multiple companies at the same time.

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Don’t Gut the 'Stretch IRA'

Most Americans have woefully little retirement savings. Congress repeatedly indicates a willingness to encourage saving for retirement, while at the same time testing the political climate for raising taxes. These concepts cannot peacefully co-exist.

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Financial Literacy Month

The Van Wie Financial Hour radio program and blog are devoted to the furtherance of financial literacy. Every week we present current events and news to the audience, but we also explain concepts and practices in personal financial topics. We like to believe that our small contribution to literacy makes a difference.