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Goldilocks, GDP, Icky IPO & More

June 2019

There were 263,000 new jobs created in April, with all sectors but retail gaining. This strong growth is more proof of a solid economic rebound after a tough start to 2019. While pay rose 3.2% Y-o-Y, wage increases have been... Read More

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Dedicated to Dad: Easy & Inspired Ways to Celebrate Father’s Day

June 2019

In 1909, a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd – one of six children raised by a widower – campaigned to establish a holiday equivalent to Mother’s Day to honor male parents. After drumming up support from local churches, the... Read More

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Seller Snapshots, Finance Forecast & A Sizzling Summer?

June 2019

Market Snapshot for the month of June 2019... Read More

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June Boom: Perfect Projects For The Start Of Summer

June 2019

With the last of the chill chased away, summer is in full swing! The sun is up, school is out, and vacation time is beckoning. But while leisure may be at the top of your list, the advent of the warmest weather season is actually... Read More

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National Homeownership Month: History Of The American Dream

June 2019

June is National Homeownership month. Americans often think of their homes as more than just a place to "hang their hats." Homeownership has long been considered part of the greater "American Dream" that includes "Life, liberty... Read More

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Growth Glance, Oil Influence & Tune Types

May 2019

Inflationary pressures are very weak. Y-o-Y February CPI is 1.5%, with core CPI at 2.1%, both down from January. February producer price inflation was 1.9%, also down from January. Meanwhile, the Fed’s favorite inflation... Read More

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National Moving Month: Important Tip for Moving On or Staying Put

May 2019

May is National Moving Month. The most positive thing people say about moving is that "it's not fun." The most common characterizations of this major life event range from "frustrating" to "downright miserable." Still... Read More

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Seller Incentives, Tracking Taxes & Assessing Affordability

May 2019

Market Snapshot for the month of May 2019... Read More

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Homage to Mom: Creative Ways to Celebrate Mother's Day

May 2019

The first Mother’s Day was established in the U.S. in 1914 by Anna Jarvis, in honor of her own late mother who had expressed a desire for such a holiday. It is now celebrated throughout the world, in ways as diverse as the... Read More

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Getting The Whole Story…

April 2019

Real estate became a regular topic in the news during and in the aftermath of the housing crash of the late ’00s and public interest is still high years into the recovery. Housing is both an important and emotional issue... Read More

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GDP Growth, Tardy Cars & The Real Cost of Coffee

April 2019

In 2016, the latest year for which data are available, there were 140.9 million taxpayers. The top 1%, (Adjusted Gross Income/AGI > $480,804), earned 19.7% of all income, paid 37.3% of all income taxes, and had an average... Read More

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Will First-Timers Cause a Spring Market Fling?

April 2019

Market Snapshot for the month of April 2019... Read More

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Flower Power: Choosing Blooms for Rooms & Yard

April 2019

As winter fades, everyone eagerly anticipates the arrival of all things light, bright and colorful. And what better way to celebrate the fact that spring has sprung than by invigorating your living space – both indoors... Read More

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Treat Your Trees to Health: Celebrating Arbor Day

April 2019

Arbor Day was founded by J. Sterling Morton, a journalist with a passion for trees and spreading agricultural know-how. His appeal to the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture was accepted in 1872, and to this day, the... Read More

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Fed Forecast, Overflowing Opportunity & EU Issues

March 2019

Last month, the Fed strongly suggested it won’t raise rates for a while and that more hikes might be history. Autos and especially housing will be large beneficiaries. What’s troubling is that the Fed is calling timeout with Fed funds... Read More

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Simply Spotless: Stress-Free Spring Cleaning

March 2019

The cooler weather is warming up and many are eagerly anticipating beautiful blooms, backyard barbeques and all things spring. Except for the advent of the turn-your-house-upside-down seasonal scrubbing. A clean house feels amazing... Read More

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Caring for Caregivers: How to Honor Their Efforts

March 2019

According to the latest statistics from National Alliance for Caregiving, there are approximately 43.5 million caregivers in the U.S. that provide unpaid care to an adult or child, many of whom have special needs or chronic illness... Read More

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Price Points, Equity ROI & Affordability Outlook

March 2019

Market Snapshot for the month of March 2019... Read More

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Housing 2019: What Does It Mean To You?

March 2019

Housing bubble, market crash and mortgage meltdown are just a few of the terms used to characterize the gyrations of the U.S. real estate market over the last decade or so. There's no shortage of commentary on the topics of housing recovery... Read More

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Amore For All: Valentine's Day Celebrations with Heart

February 2019

Some people are cupid-crazy, while others believe Valentine’s Day exists simply to fatten the bank accounts of florists and chocolatiers. But the bottom line is, you can celebrate all kinds of love on February 14th. And whether you’re... Read More

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Money In The Market, Value Validations & Consumer Conclusions

February 2019

Market Snapshot for the month of February 2019... Read More

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New Life For Your Old Wheels: Rejuvenate Your Ride

February 2019

Next to housing, a car is likely to be one of your biggest expenses. Unlike a home however, it doesn’t increase in value over time. According to vehicle history reporting company Carfax, Inc., automobiles lose more than ten percent of... Read More

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Superlative Spending, Plummeting Petrol & Marital Money

February 2019

Consumer spending increased 0.4% in November, the ninth straight monthly rise. From 11/1/18-12/24/18 sales rose 5.1% Y-o-Y. Wages are up 3%/year, the fastest pace in over a decade. Moreover, capital expenditures by firms, while not... Read More

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2019: Tax Transformation

February 2019

Many Americans will begin experiencing the effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 when they file their annual returns this year. Outside of political characterizations of the bill's implications, there are changes that affect... Read More

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Much Ado About (Doing) Nothing: Finding Free Time

January 2019

Feeling a little post-holiday burnout? Then National Nothing Day (January 16th) might be right up your alley. The “non-holiday” was created by San Francisco Examiner columnist Harold Pullman Coffin in 1973 to give people a break from... Read More

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Surprising Shifts & A Defiant Drop…

January 2019

Market Snapshot for the month of January 2019... Read More

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Feeling Charitable? Facts & Figures for Giving

January 2019

People work hard to earn and save their money, but many give some of it away on a regular basis. According to the Philanthropy Panel Study by the University of Michigan, 55.5 percent of American households say that they make charitable... Read More

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Post-Holiday Homescape: Keeping It Cozy

January 2019

After the holidays are done, most of us take down colorful decorations, pack them in boxes and forget about them until next year. But while some post-celebration decluttering can be cathartic, it can also leave your house feeling a bit... Read More

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Market Movements, Recession Realities, "Eggcelent" Facts & More!

January 2019

US Markets got jittery after realizing Europe and China have been slowing and that this will reduce US growth. That said, US 18Q4 growth should be a strong 3%, wage growth is at its best level in a decade, and retail sales are strong... Read More

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Headlines Happen: What Do They Mean To You?

December 2018

Ten years after the events often referred to as the "housing crash" and "mortgage meltdown" that coincided with the Great Recession, real estate and mortgage have remained fixtures in the mainstream news due to the massive impact felt... Read More

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Excellent Employment, Inflated Autos & Confident Consumers

December 2018

Following a weak September in which job creation totaled a mere 118,000, October’s 250,000 was a pleasant surprise. Job growth over the last three months has averaged a robust 218,000. Moreover, every sector gained employment. Better yet... Read More

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Growing, Slowing & What’s The World Worth?

December 2018

Market Snapshot for the month of December 2018... Read More

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Back In Balance: Recuperating After the Holidays

December 2018

The holidays are prime time for getting together with friends and loved ones to celebrate with food, fun and seemingly endless festivities. And while this whirlwind of cuisine and camaraderie is exciting, it can leave you feeling a bit deflated... Read More

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Super Support: Help at Your Fingertips

December 2018

The holiday season can be stressful under the best of circumstances, but when dealing with family, personal or health issues, it can become more challenging. The good news is, there are a number of free helplines that are available almost around... Read More

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Owner Attitudes, Lows & Highs

November 2018

Market Snapshot for the month of November 2018... Read More

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Celebrating The Season With Simplicity

November 2018

Holidays are fun but frantic. The parties, travel, shopping, and decorating that we look forward to all year are enjoyable. But they can lead to overwhelm as the to-do (and to-buy) list grows. The good news is, there are plenty of festive ways to... Read More

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Definite Deficit, Recession Speculation & Total Texting - OMG!

November 2018

The FY2018 deficit totaled $779 billion or 3.9% of GDP, up 17% from the FY2017 deficit of $666; 3.5% of GDP. While that doesn’t look bad, the details are troubling. Outlays as a percentage of GDP declined from 20.7% to 20.3%, which is good as... Read More

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Auto Insurance: Does Your Carrier Care?

November 2018

Would you drop a big chunk of change on an expensive vehicle and then hope you never have to drive it? Not likely. Auto insurance on the other hand is also expensive and it’s something that you end up crossing your fingers that you never have... Read More

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Neighborly Know-How: Building Awesome Alliances

November 2018

Whether it’s curb appeal or a custom kitchen, no two people have the same exact idea about what makes a home ideal. But most everyone can agree that having great neighbors is a good thing. With holiday spirit in the air, it’s the perfect time... Read More

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Compare & Contrast

October 2018

Market Snapshot for the month of October 2018... Read More

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Financing The Future

October 2018

Too often, when people think of “financial planning,” they focus on the financial part of the equation. Mainly, the fact that they believe their finances aren’t big or impressive enough for a wealth management professional to bother with... Read More

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Ideas to Rock Your October

October 2018

You’ve survived summer, braved back-to-school, and the holidays are on the horizon. But before you jump straight into the hoopla, now is a great time to slow down and remember the fun and festive traditions – from football to familiar... Read More

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Aftereffects, Fed Frustration & Private vs Public

October 2018

Here's how Hurricane Florence will impact economic data: initially, weekly first-time unemployment claims will rise, with the amount of the increase quickly telling us the hurricane severity. September auto sales will fall, but October... Read More

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Simple Tips For A Seasonal Spruce Up

October 2018

As the heat of summer mellows into the chill of fall, it’s natural to want a change of design to match the shifting seasons. Warmer colors, spicier scents and richer textures all combine to turn your home’s interior into an inviting... Read More

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Finding The Right College Fit: Financially, Academically & Socially

September 2018

Time machine moment: Forty years ago, you could “work your way through college” (at least at many state colleges and universities) with a 15 hours-a-week job paying the 1977 minimum wage. The entire cost of attending school was about... Read More

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Price Appreciation, Market Movement & Remodel ROI

September 2018

Market Snapshot for the month of September 2018... Read More

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Enjoy The Fruits of Your Labor: Celebrating Labor Day With Style & Spirit

September 2018

Labor Day is traditionally hailed as the last bash of the summer season, complete with bountiful barbeques and the long-awaited start of football season. But it is also a venerable holiday that honors American workers and the contribution... Read More

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Transition Time: Flow Into Fall

September 2018

Labor Day is traditionally hailed as the last bash of the summer season, complete with bountiful barbeques and the long-awaited start of football season. But it is also a venerable holiday that honors American workers and the contribution... Read More

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Good GDP, Tariff Talk & Recession Reticence

September 2018

The US economy grew 4.1% in 18Q2, its fastest pace since 14Q3. Better yet, excluding volatile exports, inventories and government purchases, growth was a stellar 4.3%, and Q3 growth is on track to come in at a strong 3%. Important to... Read More

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Billions, Trillions & More…

August 2018

Market Snapshot for the month of August 2018... Read More

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Creative Celebrations to Make Your Month

August 2018

Every other month has at least one major holiday and August seems to have been left out. But dig a little deeper, and you’ll unearth a bounty of fun, offbeat days that are worth exploring, expanding upon and making your own Added bonus... Read More

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Winning Ways to Wind Down the Season

August 2018

The end of summer can be bittersweet. Thoughts of cooler weather, breaking out the fall wardrobe and the structure of kids returning to school (with the potential for more “me time”) can be inviting. But saying goodbye to carefree days.... Read More

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Buybacks, Score Specifics & Intoxication Information

August 2018

In yet another sign of labor market tightness, the percentage of persons who quit their jobs in May was 2.4%, the highest level since January 2001, and higher than the 2.2% attained during the peak of the Housing Boom. 2.4% translates into... Read More

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Money Matters

August 2018

Some people make millions of dollars a year. The rest of us have to muddle through on less, which means we can’t always indulge ourselves with impulse purchases like Jaguars, Taj Mahal-sized homes and our own private islands. Regardless... Read More

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Got Freedom? Get Gratitude

July 2018

A festive summer day filled with barbeques, ballgames, parties and parades…what’s not to love about the 4th of July? But with all the excitement surrounding the holiday, it’s easy to forget the meaning – and colorfully rich... Read More

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Fed Forecast, Exuberant Employment & The Mauling of Malls

July 2018

The Fed’s recent short-term rate increase wasn't surprising. What was somewhat unexpected was that the Fed now expects to raise rates four times this year, not three. But what set the markets into a slight tizzy was the... Read More

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Be Cool Show your Hardworking Air Conditioner Some Love!

July 2018

In 1902, a 25-year-old engineer named Willis Carrier invented the first modern air conditioning system, and we have been collectively spoiled ever since. But have you considered how hard your system works to keep you in... Read More

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It’s All About Equity…

July 2018

Market Snapshot for the month of July 2018.... Read More

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Contract with Care Homeowner Scams & How to Avoid Them

July 2018

You can always count on certain things when you purchase a home, like monthly payments, property taxes and maintenance costs. Unfortunately, scams that target property holders are also an increasingly common part of... Read More

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Introducing ZDeposit: Simplifying the Opening of Security Deposit Accounts

June 2018

Leader Bank is pleased to introduce its proprietary security deposit management tool – ZDeposit (www.zdeposit.net). This free product for landlords and property managers, which was designed by the team who created... Read More

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Global good, encouraging employment and flat fears

June 2018

The IMF estimates advanced economies will grow 2.5% in 2018 and 2.2% in 2019, up half a point each from their 10/17 report. US growth was boosted from 2.3% to 2.9% this year and 1.9% to 2.7% for 2019 due to powerful temporary... Read More

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Happy Homeownership Month Benefits Beyond the Bottom Line

June 2018

Dorothy was right. There really is no place like home. Americans treasure a space to call their own, and we celebrate June as National Homeownership Month! It’s no secret that owning a home is a solid investment. But there... Read More

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Celebrating home (and the dream)

June 2018

More than just a catch phrase for politicians on the campaign trail, the term "American Dream" has been entrenched in U.S. pop culture for decades. The phrase has roots in the Declaration of Independence where... Read More

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What’s up? Equity, confidence and more.

June 2018

Market Snapshot for the month of June 2018. Read More

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School’s Out Awesome Activities to Keep Kids Busy & Boredom-Free

June 2018

The summer season is upon us once again, with all its treasured and time-honored traditions: Backyard barbeques. Outdoor sports. Festive pool parties. Children whining in unison the universal mantra of school break... Read More

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Tips For A Safe & Spectacular Summer

May 2018

With Memorial Day just around the corner and outdoor amenities reopening across the country after months in deep freeze, summer is here and ready to roll. Pool parties and outdoor sports are the order of the day, but... Read More

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Jobs, Equity, Sales & More

May 2018

Market Snapshot for the month of May 2018. Read More

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Americans On The Move

May 2018

We Americans have cultivated a pretty cool image. Always looking ahead. Aiming high. Ready for adventure. And always on the move. That can-do, movin’ and shakin’ energy is part of our DNA. And even in the literal... Read More

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Economic Over-Performance, Increased Personal Income & More

May 2018

Usually the gap between GDP and potential GDP (what GDP would be if all economic resources were fully utilized) is very small. However, during 09Q2, the gap hit $935 billion; 6.5% of GDP. That was the largest gap... Read More

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Residential Resort: Plan a Perfect Staycation

May 2018

Warmer weather, more relaxed work schedules and kids on break make summer the most popular time of the year to take a vacation. But while getting away is a lot of fun, travel can be costly and chaotic. So, why not... Read More

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Employment, Income & Portfolios Are Up - But So Is Debt

April 2018

Economic Roundup for the month of April 2018. Read More

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Will You Get What You're Paying In?

April 2018

Most Americans just finished or are in the process of filing taxes and it's a good time of year to do a little maintenance to make sure the documentation is in order so you can eventually collect benefits you are... Read More

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What’s Rising, Declining & Growing Apart…

April 2018

Market Snapshot for the month of April 2018. Read More

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Spring Has Sprung! Helpful Hacks to Deep Clean Your Digs

April 2018

Winter has faded, and everyone is eagerly looking forward to all things spring: fresh flowers, firing up the barbeque and…cleaning? Not so much. The end result of a thorough seasonal scrubbing may be appealing, but... Read More

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Treasure the Trees: Celebrating Arbor Day

April 2018

In the ever-increasing roster of awareness days competing for attention, Arbor Day has gotten short shrift. But as environmental awareness continues to grow, so does interest in this nearly 150-year old holiday... Read More

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Escalation: Income, Confidence & Prices

March 2018

Market Snapshot for the month of March 2018... Read More

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New Year, New Yard: Welcome Spring, Upgrade Your Outdoors

March 2018

2018 is already in full swing, but when it comes to your yard, the arrival of spring is actually the start of the new year for your yard. As the cold weather subsides, now is the perfect time to focus on helping... Read More

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Paddy Pride: St. Patrick's Day in the USA

March 2018

St. Patrick’s Day may be known in our country for boisterous celebration and dyeing both rivers and beer various shades of emerald, but the holiday is actually rich with culture and tradition. According to Eamonn... Read More

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Make Paper Less Work…

March 2018

Tax time often sheds light on our organization skills – or lack thereof. If you’re struggling to collect and collate multiple documents for your 2017 taxes or just wishing you had a better system, you’re not alone... Read More

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GDP, Global Growth & Household Borrowing

March 2018

Inflation-adjusted GDP in 17Q4 grew at a realistic annualized rate of 2.6% after growing at slightly over 3% in 17Q3 and 17Q2. In 2017, GDP grew by 2.3%. While not sizzling growth, it's pretty good given that this... Read More

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Chilaquiles Verdes Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

March 2018

Start making the tomatillo salsa by preheating the oven to 425 degrees F. Prep tomatillos, peppers, and yellow onion. I make my salsa medium spicy, but for a mild sauce you can seed and devein all the peppers, or... Read More

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Family: What Does It Look Like To You?

February 2018

The structure and definition of “family” in the United States is changing. Census Bureau data shows that as of 2015, nearly half of American adults do not live with a spouse – compared to only a third who didn’t... Read More

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Making Scents: Enhance Your Atmosphere with Aroma

February 2018

Would you like to feel 40% better? Research shows pleasant aromas can improve our moods. Our sense of smell is the strongest of the five senses, and the one most closely linked to mood and memory. Seventy-five... Read More

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The End & The Beginning...

February 2018

Rental affordability has decreased nationwide while mortgage affordability has increased. Median rent requires 29.1% of the average income while homeowners are spending 15.4% of average income on their mortgages... Read More

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Valentine's Day: Fun vs Forced

February 2018

Some people view February 14th as a retail holiday devised mostly by marketers to sell flowers, candy and jewelry - and they’ve done a good job: The National Retail Federation says Americans will shell out... Read More

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Steady Growth, Waning Workers & The Price of Petrol

February 2018

17Q4 is shaping up to be surprisingly strong, with US GDP growth possibly as high as 3% for the third straight quarter. Employment growth is solid, auto sales are down but still strong, construction spending is... Read More

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Economy 2018: It's Personal

January 2018

Every January brings a flurry of predictions for the new year. The effects of tax reform will take time to be fully realized, but acclaimed economist Dr. Elliot Eisenberg says some provisions will stimulate the... Read More

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Back on Track: 5 Steps to Post-Holiday Rejuvenation

January 2018

The decorations are packed away. The visiting friends and relatives have all headed home. Sugar cookies and fudge are no longer considered a food group. Holiday revelry can be a lot of fun. But in the midst of... Read More

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Invisible Inflation, Sickly Savings & More

January 2018

The number of times the Fed boosts rates a quarter-point in 2018 will depend entirely on GDP growth and inflation. If both perk up, expect four hikes, if they both remain weak, expect two. The low and falling... Read More

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Serene Surroundings: 5 Tips to Revive Your Environment and Beat the Winter Blues

January 2018

The holiday hoopla may be over, but winter isn’t ready to pack it in. And without the seasonal celebrations to distract us, it can be tough to ride out another three months of gloomy weather that’s more chilling... Read More

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Surprising Highs - Encouraging Lows

January 2018

Even with skyrocketing prices, housing affordability is up according to the National Association of Realtors’ historic Housing Affordability Index (HAI). This chart shows housing affordability is much higher as of... Read More

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Paprika Chicken in White Wine Butter Thyme Sauce

January 2018

Learn how to make these paprika chicken in white wine butter thyme sauce. This recipe make 2 servings... Read More

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December Economic Roundup

December 2017

Economic Roundup for the month of December 2017... Read More

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Home Buyers And Sellers

December 2017

Market Snapshot for the month of December 2017... Read More

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Italian Almond Christmas Cookies

December 2017

Learn how to make these christmas Italian almond cookies. This recipe make about 30-40 cookies in about 1-2 hours... Read More

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Five Tips For Your Own "Year-End Clearance"

December 2017

As 2017 draws to a close, it’s natural to mentally jump ahead to what’s on tap for 2018: new connections, opportunities, and the anticipation of a fresh start. Setting goals and planning for a successful new year is... Read More

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Five Ways To Soothe Seaonal Stressors

December 2017

For many of us, winter means plummeting temps and navigating ice and sleet on the daily commute. But even if frozen roads and falling snow aren’t part of your picture, this time of year still has its own set of unique... Read More

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Online & Exposed: What's “Out There” About You?

November 2017

Cyber criminals have caused panic and problems in virtually every industry and attacked some of the biggest players in retail, business and online media. Many consumers have been put at risk by multiple breaches at... Read More

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Five Keys to a Hassle-Free Holiday Dinner Party

November 2017

Even people who use their ovens as storage space and avoid all things domestic have a tendency to warm up to the idea of hosting a dinner party as the holidays approach. A beautifully decorated home brimming with delicious... Read More

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Six Simple Steps To An Attitude Of Gratitude

November 2017

Psychology Today and Harvard Health are just a few of the publications reporting on research confirming the positive impact thankfulness has on body and mind. Robert Emmons, PhD - a professor of psychology at U.C. Davis... Read More

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Bruschetta

November 2017

Learn how to make this delicious dish and share with friends and family. This recipe make about 4-6 servings in about 25-30 minutes... Read More

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Market Snapshot Quarterly Comparisons

November 2017

How are American consumers feeling at the end of the third quarter this year compared to the same time last year? The September National Association of Realtors (NAR) Home Opportunities and Market Experience... Read More

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November Economic Roundup

November 2017

Global economic growth is expected to be 3.6% this year and 3.7% next year, up pleasantly from 3.2% in 2016. Better yet, all 15 nations that the IMF individually follows are growing. As for the US, after 1.5% growth last... Read More

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Student Loan Literacy

October 2017

Just about everyone is, has been or knows a student and many Americans are either thinking about saving for college or paying off student loans. Student debt doesn’t have to derail a graduate’s financial future, even... Read More

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October Economic Roundup

October 2017

The destruction of private wealth and public infrastructure caused by hurricanes Harvey and Irma is roughly $200 billion. The impact on GDP growth will critically depend on how fast refineries in Houston and tourism in...Read More

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What’s Up, Down & Next?

October 2017

Housing data is in for the second quarter – here are the ups and downs:Predictions of more than 100 leading economists, real estate experts and investment and market strategists on the path US home prices will take... Read More

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Moving Forward while Falling Back

October 2017

And just about everyone can agree that the latter is a nice side effect of the Fall time change. However, for many people, the end of long days can usher in everything from depression and seasonal affective disorder... Read More

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Chewy Pumpkin Ginger Cookies

October 2017

Learn how to make these halloween themed chewy pumpkin ginger cookies. This recipe make about 30-40 cookies in about 1-2 hours... Read More

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Tis the Season

October 2017

Five Ideas to Celebrate Your Personal Holiday Style According to the meteorologists, we are smack dab in the middle of autumn. However, if you spend approximately six seconds in any retail outlet (online or otherwise)... Read More

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