October 21, 2020 -
The number of cases continues to climb rapidly. It appears to be spreading across our state and our country at a pace that is accelerating.
The range of people’s reaction to this prolonged period of uncertainty is quite wide. Some folks have adopted a strategy of self-isolation while others seem to be openly inviting infection.
This continued spread is taking its toll on the collective psychology of our nation.
October 14, 2020 -
Today’s blog is the second in a two-part series regarding how a potential Democratic sweep in the November elections could impact your financial plan. Please read last week’s blog regarding itemized deductions and capital gains taxes here.
Today we focus our attention on income taxes, Social Security payroll taxes, and estate taxes.
October 7, 2020 -
We are now under one month until Election Day 2020, and it appears increasingly likely that the Democratic Party has a greater than 50% chance to control the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, and the Presidency starting in January 2021.
As we learned in 2016, the pollsters and pundits are far from perfect. If the electorate that actually votes by November 3 is significantly different from the population they are polling, the results could vary widely.
September 30, 2020 -
New Year’s Eve is one of those holidays that sneaks up on me every year since I stopped working on Capitol Hill. It is difficult to believe another year is slipping away at 11:59:59 pm tonight when the federal government closes its books on one of the most extraordinary budget years in our country’s history. Tomorrow morning we start a brand new budget year.
When we began this budget year on October 1, 2019, the world was a different place.
September 23, 2020 -
Over the course of this year my fifth grade daughter and I have had a fairly consistent bedtime routine. About 45 minutes before lights out, we sit together and I read her a chapter from the Harry Potter series. We are now reading the fifth book of the series, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.”
Almost every chapter we read follows a similar pattern that builds through the book which my daughter finds a little frustrating on occasion. The beginning of the chapter provides some background and moves the story along, but the ends of the chapters are typically cliffhangers that leave her imagination wondering where the story goes from there.
September 9, 2020 -
Let’s say on February 18 you had a premonition. A really strong premonition.
You saw the COVID-19 outbreak surging in Italy and thought that it would soon be arriving in the United States. You correctly diagnosed the negative impact on the American people, our economy, and the financial markets.
September 2, 2020 -
On August 30th Warren Buffett celebrated his 90th birthday. While many people admire Mr. Buffett solely for his investment prowess, I admire Mr. Buffett more as a person.
August 19, 2020 -
This was supposed to be Milwaukee’s year of national prominence. The Democratic National Convention was supposed to attract tens of thousands of visitors to southeast Wisconsin in mid-July.
Alas, Milwaukee’s time in the limelight was stolen by a microscopic menace, and now the Democratic National Convention is running unconventionally with only a skeletal crew based in its host city.
Being unconventional does not come easy to most people. We seem to have a built-in tendency to try and fit in with other people. Yet, being unconventional can also be rewarding.
August 12, 2020 -
A very long time ago on December 31, 2019, the U.S. government’s total debt amounted to a mere $23,201,380,134,806.73.
Today that amount has grown to $26,498,433,296,171.26, an increase of $3.3 trillion or 14% in a matter of 7.5 months. Given the fiscal response necessary to keep our economy from complete collapse during a global pandemic, many would say this debt addition is well worth it.
Now Congress is negotiating another pandemic response bill that could add another $1 to $3.5 trillion to the debt. Having suspended our country’s debt limit until August 1, 2021, Congress has left itself plenty of flexibility for driving the debt higher.
But at what point does the national debt become unsustainable?
August 5, 2020 -
Twenty years ago today you could purchase a 10-year Treasury bond and earn a snappy 5.97% per year for the next 10 years.
If you had saved up $500,000 for your retirement, your nest egg could provide you with $29,850 per year of income with minimal risks to your principal.
Today you can purchase a 10-year Treasury bond and earn a paltry 0.56% per year for the next 10 years.
Your $500,000 nest egg can now provide you with an underwhelming $2,800 per year of income with minimal risk to your principal. To achieve the same $29,850 of annual income that was available in 2000 with minimal investment risk your nest egg would need to be a whopping $5,330,357 today.