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Weekending Financial Scorecard

Here’s the most important financial data that you need to know to be fairly well informed. Each week I post the weekending scorecard of data for 8 financial markets and 10 economic indicators. As of 4/26/2013: The week stocks, crude oil futures, and gold came up a little, while interest rates slid [...]

Weekly Financial Data Report

Here’s the most important financial data that you need to know to be fairly well informed. Each week I post the weekending scorecard of data for 8 financial markets and 10 economic indicators. As of 4/19/2013: The week was bumpy in stocks, crude oil futures came down quite a bit, as did gold and [...]

Unemployment Numbers Update, December

Unemployment, New Jobs, and Jobless Claims Statistics:* Monthly change in non-farm payrolls – Flat: 155,000 new jobs were added in December, compared to 146,000 added in November, and 171,000 in October. Unemployment – Flat: December’s rate of 7.8 matched the revised November rate of 7.8% [...]

The Fiscal Cliff Deal, Winners and Losers & What It Means To Your Personal Finances

The showdown in Washington over Federal taxes and spending ended with an agreement signed into law this week. Here are the losers and winners that we can see at this point. Further analysis is forthcoming of H.R.8 – American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, and will be reported to you later this [...]

Do you want to know what the fiscal fight is really about?

This is a non-partisan article about what the fiscal cliff fight is really about. It is a philosophical battle, but if you read the newspapers, and watch TV news, you will not get this story. Believe you me, I have watched and read many commentaries and opinions about this, but no one has yet to [...]

A Primer on Recession Indicators: Gross Domestic Product and Unemployment

Unemployment statistics are an important indicator of how our economy is doing; more people employed points to stronger business growth and to fewer people receiving government entitlements. However, this is a little difficult to track, since the government doesn’t really publish a combined [...]

The US Economy Growing (GDP) at Good Rate, Is It Enough?

The Commerce Department announced Thursday that the Nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.7%, for the third quarter. Is it time to celebrate that the economic recovery has arrived? GDP tracks the size of our economy by calculating the total dollar value of all goods [...]

Tax Planning: In Uncertain “Fiscal Cliff” Times & Year End Tax Planning

Kevin Koval, CPA, ABV, CFP and Roger C. Nagel, CPA, CMA of Nagel, CPAs* With the completion of the presidential elections there has been much discussion focused on the so-called “fiscal cliff”. Many economic forecasts have stated that President Obama and Congress need to reach some agreement to [...]

October Unemployment Numbers Announced

Unemployment, New Jobs, and Jobless Claims Statistics:* Negative: Unemployment INCREASED in October to 7.9% from 7.8% in September: September’s was the lowest rate since January 2009, and was good improvement over August’s 8.1%, so this shows things are really remaining about the same. However, [...]

What is GDP, and What is it Trending in the 3rd Quarter?

You probably hear about GDP on the evening business news all the time, but do you wonder what it means and what it indicates about our current economy? GDP stands for gross domestic product, and represents the output of goods and services produced by labor and property in the United States, and is [...]

Are We Headed for a Double Dip Recession in 2013?

Do you think we are headed for a double-dip recession in 2013?  Technically a recession occurs when business cycles retract, evidenced by down consecutive quarters of GDP, or a 12 month 1.5% or more rise in unemployment. The most recent recession officially started December 2007 and ended June of [...]

Unemployment Numbers Released

Unemployment, New Jobs, and Jobless Claims Statistics:* Positive: Unemployment DECREASED in September to 7.8% from 8.1% in August: Is this a good indication of improvement? Any indication of positive change is good, and this is lowest rate since January 2009. However, this ‘Official Unemployment’ [...]

Are we headed into another recession in 2013?

What is a recession? Technically a recession occurs when business cycles retract, evidenced by down consecutive quarters of GDP, or a 12 month 1.5% or more rise in unemployment. When did the recession end? The most recent recession officially started December 2007 and ended June of 2009. Did the US [...]

Options for the Unbanked

Several media sources report that 1 in 12 households or 10% of Americans today do not use bank checking accounts, but use cash for everything. Most people have had checking accounts at some point.  Some have had to close them because they never learned to manage them well. Others closed accounts [...]

How Does Inflation Affect Savings?

People are aware of inflation, since it is talked about all the time on the news and they see gasoline prices increasing astronomically and erratically. You may have heard someone talk about loss of purchasing power, but what does that mean? As a quick review, when you invest or save money, and you [...]

August Unemployment, Payroll and Jobless Claims Results and Explanations

Unemployment statistics are an important indicator of how our economy is doing; more people employed points to stronger business growth and to fewer people receiving government entitlements. However, this is a little difficult to track, since the government doesn’t really publish a combined [...]

Obama Versus Romney Tax Rates

The presidential race tax debate faces Romney’s lowering them 20% for all, versus Obama’s increasing them for those in middle to higher incomes. For quite a while the tax burden has continued to shift to higher income people, and those on the opposite end pay less and less taxes, per the Wall [...]

LeBron X $315 Nike Sneakers, Really!

Nike announced they will soon be releasing $315 dollar basketball shoes, named after the famous, or if you are from Cleveland infamous, all-star, Olympic Gold-Medal winning, national championship, basketball player. The shoes are great! They are endorsed by one of the top players in the game, [...]

American Dream, Betrayed By Bad Economic Policy

I started the day poorly this morning, when I listened to Donald Barlett and James Steele interviewed on NPR about their new book, American Dream,’ Betrayed By Bad Economic Policy. I’ve already put this book on reserve at my local library, because it focuses well on some the key reasons why as a [...]

Mixed Unemployment, Hiring, and Jobless Claims for July

Unemployment INCREASED in July to 8.3% from June 8.2% This tracks those who are without jobs, and have actively sought work within the past 4 weeks. The Great Recession’s unemployment peaked at 10.10% in October 2010. In 2012 it has varied in the range of 8.10% – 8.30%. This statistic does not [...]

Myths and Facts About the Gold Standard

If you didn’t catch the article in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal “The Myths and Facts About the Gold Standard” and the intermingling of politics and economics interests you then you might want to. The Gold Standard is a monetary policy that basis the value of currency a country issues on the value [...]

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The Benefits and Costs of Obama Care

The key benefit of Obamacare, National Health Care, or Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is providing care to those who are unable to purchase health insurance because it costs too much, or are uninsurable. Lack of adequate health coverage sometimes forces or keeps people in poverty, or [...]

Revive the Economy Through Child Parent Business Startups

A couple of weeks ago in the Wall Street Journal there was a very interesting article about a father and son that started a new enterprise that so far is succeeding quite well. A 15-year old Nicky got the idea to create candy made out of healthy ingredients, and with the help of his successful [...]

Obama Care Stands

Various news sources are reporting that the Supreme Court upholds key part of Obama Health Care, the individual mandate. More evaluation on 7/2/12 blog.

How to Revive the Economy, Op-ed

The opening quote in Ron Kitchen’s book Community Capitalism is “The best social program in the world is a well-paying job with health care benefits and a retirement program (Ewing Kauffman).” struck me hard in light of the constant negative or trivial din in the media. The top story almost every [...]

Do the Rich Have Lower Ethics?

A recent study using various tests by the University of California at Berkeley, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicated that upper-class individuals were more likely to have unethical behavior compared to people of lesser means: “Upper-class individuals were more [...]

The Euro and Country Sovereignty, Op-ed

The Euro came into circulation 1999, as a common currency for 20 European countries. One of the main concerns or criticism was whether the member countries would lose sovereignty, or their rights to control its own affairs. The Euro is on the road to crashing, and many options are being debated [...]

The Price of Inequality, Trickle Up Economics?

Nobel prize-winning author and economist Joseph E. E. Stiglitz argues in his new book The Price of Inequality, economies suffer when societies lack opportunity for upward mobility, education and health care. He also cites evidence that the United States has less opportunity today than most other [...]

Disappointing Jobs Numbers

Only 69,000 found jobs last month, the smallest in a year, and jobless rate increased to 8.2% from 8.1% in April.
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