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@theMarket: September's stock market
By Bill Schmick,
04:47PM / Friday, August 31, 2018
Next week, Wall Street's big boys return to their offices. Campaigning for mid-term elections moves to the front burner, and tariff threats between the U.S. and China will likely escalate. Welcome to one of the worst months of the year for stocks.   It is true that both September and October tend to be negative months for the averages. Since 1945, the S&P 500 Index has, on average, lost 1 percent. In addition, it is a mid-term election year where Septembers are almost always rocky months for the market.   One could say that investors face an entire fall season of potential risks. Besides those I have already listed above, there will be the implementation

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The Independent Investor: How Prepared Are You to Sell Your Company?
By Bill Schmick,
07:24PM / Thursday, August 30, 2018
If you are a small-business owner and are toying with the idea of someday selling your company, you should pay attention. Only one in five small businesses put up for sale result in a closing. How do you become one of those success stories?   Where I live and work, nestled in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts, there are relatively few large companies. We are over-populated with "Mom and Pop businesses." As such, I meet and talk to plenty of these enterprise owners daily. An overwhelming number of these entrepreneurs have saved little or nothing towards their retirement.   Instead, they believe that at some point, someone would swoop in and buy

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@theMarket: Record Highs Coming Up?
By Bill Schmick,
11:10AM / Saturday, August 25, 2018
As of Friday, we were in striking distance of a record high on the S&P 500 index. We have been here before, but something tells me that this time we just may break through. But for how long?   Granted, stock market volumes are exceptionally light, which is understandable, since we are heading in to one of the slowest weeks of the year. That makes any new highs suspect until volume improves. We would need to wait another week or so for that to occur. Next weekend is Labor Day and it is only after the holiday that the Big Boys get back into town.   What those players will do, once they are back in the cockpit, will determine the short-term direction of the

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The Independent Investor: Should You Bury Yourself?
By Bill Schmick,
01:05PM / Friday, August 24, 2018
In today's world, the idea that you should prepay, or at least set aside some money to cover your funeral expenses is gaining traction. Given the escalating costs of paying for a loved one's funeral, it is no surprise.   Most of us don't want to face it, let alone discuss it. In some quarters, it is "bad mojo" to consider planning for your death, so pardon me for bringing up such a squeamish (some might say ghoulish) subject.  But as your fiduciary in all things financial, I feel obligated to discuss prepaid funeral expenses.   This year, I was introduced to this concept when my Mom died. She was 93 years old, bless her soul, and had a

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The Independent Investor: Turmoil in Turkey
By Bill Schmick,
04:28PM / Thursday, August 16, 2018
Turkey, a country that represents about 1 percent of the world's gross domestic product, has suddenly become a cause of concern for investors worldwide. Both developed and emerging financial markets have plunged over the last week as that country's currency plummeted. Fear that this tiny country's problems could somehow spark a global financial contagion has everyone on edge.   Those fears are unfounded. There will be no "contagion."  What is happening in Turkey is truly a "Tempest in a Teapot" that bears little resemblance to the crisis in Greece several years ago. Yet, over the last week, Turkey's currency, the lira, fell to record

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