News & Events

Senior Discount

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by Michael Velazquez

“Do you offer Senior discounts” I asked? My wife and I were out to lunch on a recent Saturday afternoon with my Father-in-Law, who is a very spry 93 years old and always being willing to save a buck, I thought I would inquire. “Yes, we do”, responded the young lady at the cash register. Then, I channeled my best Colombo and delved further: “What age is the cutoff”?

It was one of those moments that I would relish regardless of the outcome. Think about it: talk about a sweet dilemma, a bloodless coup, a victory for the good guy. If I don’t qualify for the Senior discount, it means I am still young, and who cares about saving money when you’re young? If, on the other hand, I do qualify, it would also mean that my wife qualifies, which translates to huge savings. I could end up owning this store.

It seemed like one of those moments on the TV shows where every week they eliminate a contestant and they try to make it as dramatic as possible with drum rolls, extreme close-ups, and commercial interruptions. That’s when 30 seconds feels like 5 minutes. The anticipation was killing me!

Possibility and Probability

Thinking Cartoon.jpgby Carol Duschinsky LPL Financial Administrative Associate

In today’s world of fast moving events, both of a positive and negative nature you often hear these two words used in an interchangeable fashion. Yet each are very distinct and in my opinion are meant to be used as a pair. I am not going to discuss their dictionary meanings, I think we are all pretty clear on those, but rather their analytical uses.

For example. If you buy a lottery ticket you have the possibility of winning. In fact you have the exact same possibility of winning as every other participant at that moment. But your probability of winning is a totally different story. It is now you against the field.

When reading the isolated terrible events of our current world, fear strikes everyone, adults and children alike. But if you apply the pair of words possibility and probability to your own thinking and in your discussions with children, that fear becomes a smaller element. Yes, the possibility of something happening to you, or to someone you know is there, but now we should measure the probability of it happening to you. Thinking more rationally just by using these two little words may help diminish fears.

Death of A Salesman

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Death of A Salesman
by Michael Velazquez
 

Remember Ned Ryerson? He is the best known obscure guy that no one remembers. In fact, I was trying to forget him until recently, when he re-emerged in my consciousness, assaulted my senses, and made me laugh like crazy. You could look him up on Google but that would be cheating, besides, I will tell you who Ned is. Please read on.

If we don’t know Ned, we all know someone like Ned. Whether it was the dweeb from high school, or the guy we were forced to hang out with because we ran out of cool friends, Ned made awkward seem normal. Somehow, we eventually tolerated him and at times even found him charming. If we picked on him then, we feel guilty about it now, but somehow knew that he would never hurt a fly, and in a weird sort of way always had our best interest at heart.

OK, give up? Ned Ryerson was the geeky friend from Phil Connors’ past that runs into him on a street corner in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Both Phil and Ned are characters from one of the funniest comedies you will see, Groundhog Day. Phil was played by Bill Murray, and Ned by Stephen Tobolowsky, an accomplished actor who played his role to perfection: the quintessential, pushy, overbearing stereotype of an insurance salesman! This should have been a horror movie, right?

Death of A Salesman

A Goal Without A Plan Is A Dream.png
 
Death of A Salesman
by Michael Velazquez
 

Remember Ned Ryerson? He is the best known obscure guy that no one remembers. In fact, I was trying to forget him until recently, when he re-emerged in my consciousness, assaulted my senses, and made me laugh like crazy. You could look him up on Google but that would be cheating, besides, I will tell you who Ned is. Please read on.

If we don’t know Ned, we all know someone like Ned. Whether it was the dweeb from high school, or the guy we were forced to hang out with because we ran out of cool friends, Ned made awkward seem normal. Somehow, we eventually tolerated him and at times even found him charming. If we picked on him then, we feel guilty about it now, but somehow knew that he would never hurt a fly, and in a weird sort of way always had our best interest at heart.

OK, give up? Ned Ryerson was the geeky friend from Phil Connors’ past that runs into him on a street corner in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Both Phil and Ned are characters from one of the funniest comedies you will see, Groundhog Day. Phil was played by Bill Murray, and Ned by Stephen Tobolowsky, an accomplished actor who played his role to perfection: the quintessential, pushy, overbearing stereotype of an insurance salesman! This should have been a horror movie, right?

Death of A Salesman

A Goal Without A Plan Is A Dream.png
 
Death of A Salesman
by Michael Velazquez
 

Remember Ned Ryerson? He is the best known obscure guy that no one remembers. In fact, I was trying to forget him until recently, when he re-emerged in my consciousness, assaulted my senses, and made me laugh like crazy. You could look him up on Google but that would be cheating, besides, I will tell you who Ned is. Please read on.

If we don’t know Ned, we all know someone like Ned. Whether it was the dweeb from high school, or the guy we were forced to hang out with because we ran out of cool friends, Ned made awkward seem normal. Somehow, we eventually tolerated him and at times even found him charming. If we picked on him then, we feel guilty about it now, but somehow knew that he would never hurt a fly, and in a weird sort of way always had our best interest at heart.

OK, give up? Ned Ryerson was the geeky friend from Phil Connors’ past that runs into him on a street corner in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Both Phil and Ned are characters from one of the funniest comedies you will see, Groundhog Day. Phil was played by Bill Murray, and Ned by Stephen Tobolowsky, an accomplished actor who played his role to perfection: the quintessential, pushy, overbearing stereotype of an insurance salesman! This should have been a horror movie, right?

A Full Checkup - "A checkup for the checkup"

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As Seen in AARP Magazine

A Full Checkup – “A checkup for the checkup”
by Carol Duschinsky LPL Registered Administrative Associate
 
Okay we all got a chuckle out of this, but is it really funny? How many of you are playing the characters in “Gone With The Wind.” – Are you Rhett Butler?  “Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn.” Or are you Scarlett O’Hara?  “After all – tomorrow is another Day.”  How good would your full workup be? Are you ready to hear that diagnosis on your heart lungs, credit score and investments? If in reading this you just experienced “white coat syndrome” and your blood pressure rose through the roof with alarm…. take heart. There is no magic pill, but there is customized advice and a little old fashion therapy treatment. Prescribed PT (physical therapy) – or in our office we say MT – (mental therapy.) Ready…..
 

Brexit! Don't Panic

June 24, 2016

Dear Valued Investor:

Today we received the unprecedented news that the United Kingdom (U.K.) has voted to leave the European Union (EU), which had led to significant volatility in the global markets. In situations like these, it becomes more important than ever to remain calm, harness our emotions, and stay committed to our long-term plans. Although this result was unexpected, as your financial advisor, I am here to offer continued support and guidance through these challenging market events.

Yesterday, June 23, the United Kingdom (the U.K., comprised of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales) undertook an all-country referendum about whether the U.K. should stay in or exit the EU, which it has been a member of since 1975. This vote, referred to as the “Brexit” vote, is done by allowing all citizens to cast their ballot on whether to “remain” or “leave.” In a very close vote, “leave” brought in 51.9%.

Reflecting On Prince

by Michael Velazquez

 Much has been made about Prince’s seemingly disdainful attitude toward estate planning. It is mind-boggling when one considers the incongruity of his stature and means as an artist and public figure with the purposeful ignorance of something so elementary and inexpensive as compared to what it will cost to settle his estate in the aftermath of his untimely departure.

"Balancing Confidence and Volatility"

 

January 7, 2016

Dear Valued Investor:

While a new year means new beginnings—changing to a new calendar, signing up for a new gym membership, and struggling to remember to write 2016 on our checks—markets are starting 2016 off with the same growth concerns and heightened volatility that made the second half of last year a challenging one for investors. In fact, the calendar year 2015 was highlighted by essentially flat returns across stocks (S&P 500 advanced 1.4%), bonds (Barclays Aggregate Bond Index advanced 0.6%), and cash (which returned 0.2%). Notably, this was the first time in over 60 years that all three major investment categories were simultaneously unchanged—plus or minus 2%—over a full calendar year. 

With the Federal Reserve (Fed) raising rates for the first time in nine years, the arrival of the presidential election campaign season, and moving another year closer to the end of the current economic expansion, we expected more volatility in 2016, but we didn’t expect it so soon in the year. Normally, the first few trading days of the year are buoyant as investors look optimistically ahead. Instead, 2016 has started off on a sour note, as a rise in geopolitical tensions stemming from North Korea’s possible nuclear test, discord between two of the most powerful Middle Eastern countries, and the ongoing fear of terror attacks at home and abroad have all weighed on investor sentiment. Continued concerns arising from the slowdown of the Chinese economy have brought about volatile movements in global currencies and have driven down the price of oil to levels even lower than in the depths of the Great Recession.

MAKING CENTS: Last call for 2015 initiatives

By: John P. Napolitano, CFP®, CPA, PFS, MST, RLP® as seen in the Patriot Ledger

As the year winds down, there may be opportunities to improve your financial situation that will expire at the stroke of midnight New Year’s Eve.

Starting with income tax planning, make sure you’ve maximized voluntary retirement contributions at work such as your 401K or 403B. Just because you’ve elected to contribute X% of your paycheck doesn’t mean you can’t change that for the last paycheck or two to be sure you contribute the maximum amount allowable under the current tax code. The code allows contributions of up to 100% of your earnings to a maximum of $18,000. That maximum increases to $24,000 for taxpayers over age 50.

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