The Disconnect Between the Market and News Events

In 2013, there was much to worry about. Not only did we start the year headed off the fiscal cliff, but interest rates rose, bonds got hammered, tax-rates climbed, and the government shut down. YET equities soared with YTD U.S. stock returns the highest seen in a decade. This has been an excellent lesson in the disconnectedness of news and market returns.

One year ago, did you have a desire to "get out" of the market...or at least not do any equity purchasing? If so, it was certainly understandable to have those reservations. However, doing so would have been a shame because 2013 has been a record-breaking year for equities.

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Bill's Article on CCRC's Picked-Up

Bill's article on Continuing Care Retirement Communities from the July issue of our company newsletter (The Mallard Flyer) was picked up by a national publication called Financial Focus. This publication is distributed by financial advisors across the country to their clients.

State by State Tax Differences

If you are considering moving to another state, you should take a look at this great interactive map that lays out the differences in taxes state by state.
Regardless, especially if you are financially independent, don't make taxes the primary variable in selecting your state of residence....make it quality of life!  In other words, if you will be closer to family, friends, or the environment you desire, make that your primary selection criteria, not taxes.

A Commitment To Our Future

I occasionally enjoy a good Looney Tunes cartoon with my boys, and recently saw one where Sylvester the pussycat was trying to gain some willpower over his desire to eat Tweety Bird. Joining B.A. (Birds Anonymous) was a public commitment to stop being a "bad ol' puddy tat", and an important part of his recovery. However, his will was weak (after all he is a pussy cat) and he was bombarded with TV and radio commercials about succulently prepared mouth-watering birds. He then took his commitment a step further and chained himself to the radiator. This is much like what Odysseus did when he tied himself to the mast so that he could listen to the enchanting song of the Sirens without sailing into the rocky coast of their island.

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Thanksgiving Quote

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity … It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melodia Beattie