• When Are Home Prices Dropping?

    When Are Home Prices Dropping?

    Various factors are pushing housing to extremes that have not been seen in generations, if at all. Home prices are just off all-time highs, while mortgage rates are at the highest in over a decade. With mortgage rates increasing so quickly in 2022, people wonder when home prices will drop. Ultra-low mortgage rates and a […]

  • 26 Ways to Use Your FSA

    26 Ways to Use Your FSA

    What is a flexible spending account, or FSA? As the year winds down and open enrollment begins, it’s a great time to look at your flexible spending account. FSA stands for flexible spending account. It allows you to use pre-tax money (saving you on taxable income) for healthcare. You choose the amount you wish to […]

  • Financial Planning and Advice for Millennials

    Financial Planning and Advice for Millennials

    Building wealth in your 20s and 30s looks different. The traditional financial service industry targets the retirement market, as that is typically the height of wealth for most families. Financial advisors usually attempt to get their investments and charge a percentage or sell annuities that generate commission-based and ongoing fees. Either way, financial services focus […]

  • Emergency Fun(d)

    Emergency Fun(d)

    What is an emergency fund? An emergency fund is a reserve of savings used expressly for unplanned expenses or financial distress. Whether medical bills or a car repair, an emergency fund is a cushion that absorbs those unexpected expenses. Ideally, an emergency fund will keep you from raiding your retirement savings or, worse, taking on […]

  • Using the Strategic Petroleum Reserve To Fight Inflation

    Using the Strategic Petroleum Reserve To Fight Inflation

    The inflation numbers for August came in hotter than expected, rising 0.1% for the month against the falling forecast. On the surface, it does not seem too bad, considering inflation is over 8% for the year, and it paused in July. The Fed and investors were by far and away hoping that they had seen […]

  • Investors Should Worry More About Quantitative Tightening

    Investors Should Worry More About Quantitative Tightening

    There is a lot of negative sentiment in markets now, just as inflation pain and recession fears began to ebb. Despite zero evidence, many investors were banking on the FED pivoting from the aggressive rate hikes sooner rather than later. Some investors got ahead, bidding stocks off their June lows for a mid-summer rally in […]

  • Recession or Nah?

    Recession or Nah?

    The recession debate has died down a bit as political and financial commentators gravitated to the next dumb debate over the White House’s quote of zero inflation for July. Inflation was zero for July. The inflation rate for the twelve months ending in July is 8.5%. I am unsure if it was worse seeing so […]

  • Why You Should Use an Independent Financial Advisor

    Why You Should Use an Independent Financial Advisor

    There are a lot of financial advisors out there. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the United States has approximately 263,000 personal financial advisors. There are 3,330 St. Louis financial advisors, according to U.S. News. St. Louis has a lot of financial advisors and financial planners for a city of its size. For a St. […]

  • What Exactly Is a Recession?

    What Exactly Is a Recession?

    So, how are things going in the economy? Not great. But not terrible either. While the jobs market remains strong, the biggest concern for consumers and policymakers is inflation. The Fed is rapidly increasing rates to tame inflation. However, the Fed may not be able to do a lot to cure the supply chain issues […]

  • What A Year This Quarter Has Been

    What A Year This Quarter Has Been

    It has been a difficult quarter for investors. Major indexes entered bear territory (means down 20%). US treasuries, generally the safest of assets for when investors are scared, have had their worst year since the 70s (when interest rates go up, bonds go down). Commodities, which I generally say “they suck until they don’t,” have […]

  • The Economy: How Did We Get Here and Where Is It Going?

    The Economy: How Did We Get Here and Where Is It Going?

    Markets have been getting a lot of attention lately beyond the financial media. The S&P 500 is down 21%, the tech-heavy NASDAQ 100 is off over 29%, and the smaller company-oriented Russell 2000 is down over 24% year to date.  Investors have a lot of concerns over the economy right now:  Investors are facing a […]

  • How Much To Save for College

    How Much To Save for College

    It’s no secret that college is expensive, and college education costs have only accelerated over the past decade. The staggering cost of college and its acceleration will be a significant challenge for millennial parents to meet. Parents want to know first: “How much do I need to save for college?” How Much Should I Be […]