Financial Resources & News

The Disciplined Approach to Geopolitical Analysis

By: Steven Yamshon, Ph.D., Managing Principal It isn’t often that we talk about geopolitical events, but it has great relevance because geopolitical events affect economies. Until shortly, after World War II, the economic courses taught in the universities were not split into macroeconomics and microeconomics. It was taught as just plain economics and was often labeled political economy. Why on...

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It Is Not Cheap to Go To College

In 2018-2019, tuition and fees averaged $35,830 for private colleges, and $10,230 for in-state public colleges, according to Sallie Mae.  It is recommended to start saving for college early on and the preferred savings vehicle we recommend is a 529 savings plan.  Some of the benefits of a 529 plan are the following: Tax-free growthTax-free distributions for qualified education expenses...

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Tips to Boost Your Credit Score

Achieving a higher credit score can mean better terms on credit cards, lower rates on mortgages and less expensive premiums on auto and homeowners insurance. It can make it more likely to win approval for an apartment, and get deposits waived when setting up services like electricity and cable in a new home. Here are some tips to boost your credit score: Limit hard inquiries (i.e., signing up...

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Enhance Your Account Security

As security remains one of our top priorities, we recommend that you take action right now to improve your account protection at Schwab. Two-step verification. Enhanced authentication adds a layer of security to your Schwab account. You can sign up by logging in at and selecting Manage Two-step Verification. From there, you have two options. “Only on untrusted devices”...

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Apply for FAFSA Now!

All students who’ll be in college next fall – including high school seniors who haven’t yet applied for admission – should submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) as soon as possible (it became available October 1st) to maximize your aid awards from federal, state, and school sources. The FAFSA is a financial aid form administered by the Department of Education that helps...

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Don’t Underestimate the Power of Talking Heads on CNBC…

Yesterday on CNBC well known short-seller James Chanos mentioned he was shorting Grubhub and as a result the stock dropped precipitously resulting in the stock to fall 5.16%. Certainly doesn’t seem right that someone should have the power to mention a position they hold and make a tidy 5% profit in the process. Unfortunately, this happens on a regular basis.  For more information please click...

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Medicare Enrollment Special Enrollment Period

From January 1st to March 31st, individuals enrolled in Medicare Advantage, also known as Part C, can switch to a new Medicare Advantage plan or can leave the program altogether and return to Original Medicare (Parts A and B, with the option of buying a stand-alone Part D drug plan).  Typically, this window closes February 14th, but this year the open-enrollment period has been extended through...

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The 5-Year to 3-Year U.S. Treasury Spread

This week, the spread between the 3-year U.S. Treasury note and the 5-year note (3s5s curve) “inverted”, with 5-year yields below 3-year yields.  Does an inversion of this part of the yield curve predict a looming recession?  Using daily data, the 3s5s curve has inverted 172 times since 1962!  Smoothing through the daily volatility and using the monthly average of daily curve values, the 3s5s...

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Identity Theft—IRS Warns Taxpayers about New Twist on Phone Scam

In a recent News Release, the IRS warned taxpayers about a new twist on an old phone scam. Criminals are now claiming to be calling from local IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs).  They accomplish this by programming their computers to display TAC phone numbers, which appear on the taxpayer's Caller ID.  If the taxpayer questions the legitimacy of the call, the scam artist directs the...

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Social Media Privacy Settings

As you have likely seen in the news, 87 million Facebook users had their data shared through a third-party developer (Cambridge Analytica).  We thought it would be useful to post some guides for social media privacy settings: –Facebook: –Google:...

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New Medicare ID Cards

In April, the government will start sending out new Medicare cards.  The new cards remove each member’s Social Security number and replace it with a new, randomly generated, 11-digit “Medicare number” (some capital letters are included).  It will be used to verify eligibility for services and for billing purposes going forward.  Cards will be sent to people covered by Medicare on a rolling basis...

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2017 Tax Filing Season to Begin January 29

The IRS announced that the 2017 tax filing season will begin on Monday, 1/29/18, which means that electronic and paper returns will be accepted beginning on that day. The IRS will begin processing paper returns in mid-February as its systems continue to update. Also, the IRS expects refunds on returns claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) to be...

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Phishing Texts Appearing to be from Schwab

We have received reports of a recent SMS/text phishing campaign that impacts both Schwab and non-Schwab clients who are receiving text messages that purport to be from Charles Schwab. Recipients have been directed to click on a link that pulls up a faked Schwab website, prompting them to enter their credentials.  Schwab has contacted the site administrator and the site is being removed. Please...

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