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Medicare Update

Some hard-working, taxpaying Americans get angry when they hear Social Security called an entitlement program, perhaps because the word “entitlement” has come to have a connotation with welfare programs. The reality is that Social Security is, by definition, an entitlement program, along with Medicare, unemployment insurance and worker’s compensation. These mandatory programs are funded by…

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The Economics of Immigration

The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania has conducted extensive studies on the effects of immigration on America’s economy. In light of heightened policy debates in the U.S., some of the most critical findings are:1 Increasing the number of legal immigrants with a college degree would have little impact on employment and…

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Can Your Portfolio Weather an Economic Storm?

Let’s talk a little about famous last words. On Nov. 8, 2007, then-Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told lawmakers that the U.S. economy did not appear headed for recession. One month later, the Great Recession of the 21st century began.1 So, on Sept. 6 of this year, when Fed Chair Jerome Powell announced that he…

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What’s New in Indexing?

Index mutual funds are investment vehicles comprising stocks from a wide variety of companies and track the performance of a specific index, such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Investors are able to spread their assets across many different investments with the convenience of one fund, which can help protect them from market volatility. Index…

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What’s New in Banking

Nearly a quarter of the adult U.S. population is “underbanked.” This means they don’t regularly use a bank (or a bank’s mobile/online capabilities) to deposit checks and pay bills. That’s about 55 million people ostensibly living from cashed paycheck to cashed paycheck.1 When these underbanked people cash their paychecks for immediate funds to buy groceries…

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Fingerprint, Retina Scans Not Just for James Bond Anymore

Most people using the internet to shop, conduct financial transactions or read firewall-protected content are likely familiar with the aggravation of maintaining passwords. Worse yet, tech experts now say conventional password security is only a marginal defense against hacking.1 We are now entering a new age in electronic security for the average user — one…

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What’s Up With the Markets?

Anyone who followed the often-used investment adage, “Sell in May and go away,” is likely pleased with their decision after the markets struggled in the month of August.1 While recent market events may seem dramatic, August is historically the weakest month of the year for U.S. equities.2 By mid-August this year, both the Dow and…

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Small-Business Growth Has Economic Benefits

A promising way to jumpstart the U.S. economy is by helping more entrepreneurs establish their own businesses. The 30.2 million U.S. small businesses represent 99.9 percent of all businesses in this country. They employ nearly half (47.5 percent) of America’s total workforce.1 If you need further proof that small businesses can provide an economic boost,…

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Tech Trends

There are different formulas for launching highly successful companies. First, create a product that solves a problem that no one knew they had — for instance, how online search engines replaced encyclopedias. Then, there are ideas that help solve problems that plague millions of people. Back pain, for example. Not only do approximately eight in…

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Stock Market Roundup: What to Watch

Between 1926 and 2018, the S&P 500 experienced double-digit annual losses only 11 times. Not only did the market recover, but the index has never permanently lost ground in any rolling 15-year period during that timeframe.1 While past performance is no guarantee of future results, that bit of history is good for stock investors to…

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