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Welcome to our Insights Blog.

 

Friday, August 16, 2019

Whenever markets move drastically and the media is promoting fear, it is best for investors to take a step back and ask themselves a few reflective questions. Reflective questions are a powerful antidote to making knee-jerk, hasty...

 

Monday, July 8, 2019

Time is an interesting dimension. It is a fixed measurement, yet our perception of time varies greatly depending on what we are doing. It has been said that the longest eight seconds in life is riding a bull. I never rode a bull and...

 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Last month, a single bet on Tiger Woods winning the Masters resulted in a $1.2 million payout. This was not a bet made by a wealthy individual or professional gambler. Rather, the bettor was a self-employed day trader saddled with a...

 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

What’s Your Number? In the financial world someone may ask you, “What’s your number?” Odds are they aren’t trying to pick you up. Rather, they are referring to the amount of money in which you achieve...

 

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

 

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Friday, May 10, 2019

I’m from Iowa, a heavily agricultural state. I myself grew up on a farm, helping my Dad raise corn and beans, and we had a cattle operation. And still today I’m still involved with ownership and management of that farm. A...

 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Below you will see a copy of a letter and the envelope I recently received in the mail. At first glance, I saw it was from “Aviva” which is a known insurance company located in the Des Moines area, however quickly I saw the...

 

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

It’s common practice for the president or CEO of a company to include a letter to shareholders in the annual report. Berkshire Hathaway’s chairman and CEO, Warren Buffett, doesn’t buck the trend. His annual letter...

 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Have you ever heard someone say that experience is the best teacher? Well, I would like to take a slightly different tack. Experience isn’t the best teacher. Someone else’s experience is. Learn from other peoples’...

 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Change. We spend much of our time thinking about, predicting and anticipating it. Several years ago, the founder and CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, turned the question of change on its head. He said it is more important to consider what...

 

Friday, January 4, 2019

Before I get into my market forecast for 2019, I want you to consider why forecasts are so alluring to investors like ourselves. What is the force that influences us to make decisions based on forecasts? There is ample evidence that...

 

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

I was on an airplane yesterday and want to share an experience I had that reminded me of my value to you, our clients. My family and I took off and within 20 minutes the pilot came over the intercom and told us to expect some air...

 

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Happy October Everyone, October is National Financial Planning Month and this month I wanted to share some insight and generate awareness into a something that I have occasionally observed while consulting with clients. Catoptrophobia...

 

Monday, September 17, 2018

The month of August 2018 marked an important milestone for the long-running bull market. It was 10 years ago this month, that the worst financial recession since the great depression reared its ugly head. Fast forward to this past...

 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Have you ever embarked on any kind of improvement project? You are confident you can complete the task, but you are unfamiliar with the details. If any of you are like me, a “how to” clip is usually available on YouTube,...

 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Congratulations! I know you’ve already heard that from family and friends, but after four years of high school or college – or more if you have obtained an advanced degree, you deserve it. And the well-wishing cheers go...

 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Last year, stocks marched higher with only minor pullbacks. When the year ended, the largest peak to trough decline for the S&P 500 Index was just under 3% (St. Louis Federal Reserve data on the S&P 500).

 

Monday, March 5, 2018

Market Month: February 2018 The Markets (as of market close February 28, 2018) Despite some positive economic signs, rising consumer confidence, and favorable corporate earnings reports, February marked the end of the 10-month winning...

 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Well, here we are. We are into the final lap of 2017, and it has been quite a year for stocks not just in the U.S. but around the world. But of course, it is also FORECAST SEASON! You see, this is the time of year when all of the...

 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

I have had the pleasure of assisting many of you for years. Others are newer clients. Our paths crossed via referrals, or we met through various professional organizations. There are many reasons why you’ve reached out to me for...

 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

If you're thinking about joining a 529 plan, or if you've already opened an account, you might be concerned about how 529 fundswill affect your child's chances of receiving financial aid. Of all the areas related to 529 plans,...

 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The steady diet of headlines pouring out of the Trump administration has been unsettling for most Americans, regardless of where they sit on the political spectrum. We know equity markets loathe heightened uncertainty. Yes, what is...

 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Picture this—it’s Friday afternoon, your work is done, and you have the weekend ahead of you. But what makes this weekend different than any other weekend is that two-week vacation following it. You wish your colleagues...

 

Saturday, June 3, 2017

We’ve all heard the stories. If not first hand, at least in various news reports and anecdotes.  Some “lucky” person picks the winning numbers, prances before the cameras in what can only be described as a media lovef

 

Friday, April 28, 2017

It's nice to own stocks, bonds, and other investments. Nice, that is, until it's time to fill out your federal income tax return. At that point, you may be left scratching your head. Just how do you report your investments and how a

 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

How has the ambitious agenda of the new presidency influenced the market? 

 

Friday, September 23, 2016

When it comes to successful investing, what is critical and what is not?  We believe there are really only two reasons people invest.

 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

I recently had a great volunteer experience with Junior Achievement of Central Iowa.  The career path lessons I shared with the middle school students can also be applied to the creation of a long-term retirement plan. &

 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

When Congress unexpectedly eliminated two Social Security claiming strategies as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, retirement planning got a little more complicated for people who expected to use those strategies to boost their ret

 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Peace of mind is knowing that you have a limited number of cards to play when planning or rebuilding your financial future after a spouses death and that you are playing those cards the best you can giving any situation.

 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

If you're thinking about joining a 529 plan, or if you've already opened an account, you might be concerned about how 529 funds will affect your child's chances of receiving financial aid. Of all the areas related to 529 plans, financial ai

 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Many parents or grandparents struggle to find that “perfect” gift for a hard to please youth or young adult.  What if there was gift that did not require you to know their size, favorite color, music tastes, doesn’t require batteries, gasol

 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Charitable giving can play an important role in many estate plans. Philanthropy cannot only give you great personal satisfaction, it can also give you a current income tax deduction, let you avoid capital gains tax, and reduce the amount of

 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Gladbrook, Iowa is a charming, small Midwestern community.  I can recall as a child taking the long drive with my family to visit my Great Aunt Lillian at her home.  Her modest brick home had a warm charm to it, much like she did.  Aunt Lil

 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

When I was young and growing up I would watch my Dad crisscross the field in the Spring in his tractor planting corn and soybeans. Long days of back and forth work only stopping to refill the planter with seed or to refuel the tractor, he