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Food for thought


Responsible Investing Options Keep Sprouting

February 19, 2019

Nearly $23 trillion of assets worldwide are managed using responsible investing (RI) strategies, a 25 percent increase since 2014, according to the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance. New funds focused on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues have also doubled since 2014.1 RI used to suffer under the guise of a do-good passion project or something…

Stability Grows for Emerging Markets

February 5, 2019

Thirty years ago, developed markets were seen as much more stable than smaller, emerging countries. But as political division and uncertainty permeates the West, the differences have faded, and emerging markets (EM) have shed the high-risk perception that accompanied foreign investment. Sound government situations, conservative monetary policy and lower levels of debt were once staples…

Decreasing Benefits Contribute to Retiree Bankruptcy

January 29, 2019

For most of the 20th century, it was common for employers and unions to sponsor health care insurance for retired workers, which helped pay for some or all of Medicare’s cost-sharing requirements and deductibles. However, this trend reversed sharply in the mid-1990s. A survey by the Society for Human Resource Management found that only 19…

Why Global Intellectual Property Laws Matter

January 2, 2019

What’s the secret to Col. Sanders’ recipe for fried chicken? Is the reason Coca-Cola tastes different from Pepsi based on a formula locked up in a vault at corporate headquarters? For many companies, their trade secrets – also known as intellectual property (IP) – are a key differentiator and the primary reason for their success.…

Health Care Roundup

December 26, 2018

By now, most of us know to check with our health insurance company to make sure our physician or specialist referral is covered by our health care plan and within the covered network. But what if you’re unconscious or in some other medical emergency? Say, for instance, you need to be airlifted to a medical…

Trade Agreement Updates

December 11, 2018

In the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), among gains for the United States is a new provision negotiated with Mexico related to auto products. Under the new terms, to qualify for tariff-free sales, 75 percent of automobile materials must be produced in the United States and…

The New Space Race

December 4, 2018

Space: The final frontier. Or is it? The U.S. is again taking a serious look at space exploration, but there are many factors to consider. President Trump last summer called for the Department of Defense to move space operations to a sixth military branch, though funding such an effort would require congressional approval.1 The U.S.…

Interest Rate Watch

November 27, 2018

In late September, the Federal Reserve raised its key short-term interest rate to 2.25 percent from 2.0 percent, in its third increase of the year.1 The good news is that higher rates offer the potential for higher returns on CDs, bank savings and other fixed-rated accounts that have been languishing for years. The bad news…

Economic Indicators

November 20, 2018

Newton’s laws of motion and gravity are often applied to economics and the stock market. What goes up, must come down. While this generally explains a natural path of the economic cycle, the key question for most investors is: When will it come down? While no one can predict market directions with exact accuracy, economists look to…

Pension vs. 401(k)

November 13, 2018

Given a choice, which would you choose: a guaranteed fixed income for the rest of your life, or a lump sum that you could invest? As it turns out, lots of people prefer a sure thing. This is what a recent survey showed about public sector employees posed with the option to select a defined…

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