ObamaCare Plans taking a drop – in some areas
- Wednesday, 17 October 2018 10:51
Two weeks to go before the ObamaCare ACA open Enrollment season begins- Well, its not really a season as it is only 5 weeks long. Don’t miss it!
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, “Average rates for popular health plans sold under the Affordable Care Act will fall 1.5% next year, according to the Trump administration, the first such drop and a sign that the insurance markets are gaining firmer traction despite tumult in the past two years.
The decrease will affect average premiums for the second-cheapest plans in the “silver” tier, a middle-cost option, after years of double-digit increases. In contrast, the average rate for those plans increased by 37% between 2017 and 2018, the administration said.”
However, averages can be misleading. In NY the average increase is about 11%, and in South Carolina its 5%. In Iowa, insurer Medica is lowering rates – but that’s after a 57% increase last year. Tennessee expects a 26% drop, Deleware a 16% increase, with double digits in many other states.
If Interest Rates Rise, What Happens to Bonds?
- Wednesday, 14 December 2016 14:57
Investors in longer-term Treasuries could really be punished.
Are bond investors facing the possibility of major losses? Recently, bond yields have climbed. From November 1-23, the 2-year Treasury yield went from 0.83% to 1.12%, while the yield on the 10-year note rose from 1.83% to 2.36%.1
Quality bonds have a place in a portfolio, but many investors are moving their money elsewhere. They see a federal stimulus ahead in 2017, one that could potentially strengthen the economy and lead the Federal Reserve to gradually tighten interest rates. Assuming that happens and appetite for risk remains strong, what will happen to bonds and bond funds when rates begin to climb?1,2,3
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- Tuesday, 29 November 2016 15:33
A look back at 2016 thus far
The year in brief. Investors will likely remember 2016 as a year of two momentous votes and one monetary policy decision. This year brought the Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom and a surprise presidential election victory for Donald Trump, and it now appears probable that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in December. As Thanksgiving week began, the S&P 500 sat comfortably near 2,200, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average pushed toward breaking 19,000. Some analysts felt both indices would post single-digit advances in 2016, but they may yet surpass those expectations – the S&P was up 7.3% YTD when Thanksgiving week started, and the Dow had advanced 8.6% YTD. Some major overseas indices were also in line for nice 2016 gains. Away from the equity markets, 2016 has been a fine year for commodities, with oil prices rebounding, and a great year for home sales. Investors approached the holidays in a bullish mood.1
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Mind Over Money
- Wednesday, 09 November 2016 14:10
Emotion often drives our financial decisions, even when logic should.
When we go to the grocery store, we seldom shop on logic alone. We may not even buy on price. We buy one type of yogurt over another because of brand loyalty, or because one brand has more appealing packaging than another. We buy five bananas because they are on sale for 29 cents this week – the bargain is right there; why not seize the opportunity? We pick up that gourmet ice cream that everyone gets – if everyone buys it, it must be a winner.
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New Rule, Nicer Returns?
- Wednesday, 09 November 2016 13:13
Could the new fiduciary rule effectively enhance portfolio performance for retirement savers?
A change is coming. The Department of Labor is introducing a new rule regarding retirement accounts – a rule that is profoundly impacting the financial services industry. The rule will require financial services professionals to serve as fiduciaries when they provide advice about IRAs or workplace retirement plans.1,2
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