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1
Warnings About the Vagaries of Working With Stock Brokers
2
Corporate Earnings Still Struggling
3
IRS Tax Debt Resolution: The Financial Planning Approach
4
The Financial Services Industry: Putting Clients Last?
5
Investing for Inflation vs. Deflation:Asset Classes (Part III)

Warnings About the Vagaries of Working With Stock Brokers

Brokers are not innately bad people, but the systems under which they’re required to function can make it tough for them to work in the best interests of their clients.

Having just a few days ago read Jeffrey Goldberg’s entertaining article in Atlantic magazine on why he fired his broker, I was intrigued to uncover a recent piece on CBS’s Moneywatch site that not only referenced the Atlantic article, but also offered a list of some important things that your stock broker may not tell you.

The author, a financial services veteran whose frank opinions about the mutual …

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Corporate Earnings Still Struggling

While the stock market is up sharply since early March, corporate earnings continue to suffer. This chart (courtesy of chartoftheday.com) helps provide some perspective as to the magnitude of the current economic decline.

Corporate Earnings Still Struggling

The chart illustrates that S&P 500 earnings have declined over 90% over the past 20 months (with over 90% of S&P 500 companies having reported for Q1, 2009), the largest decline on record. In fact, real earnings have dropped to a record low and if current estimates hold, Q3 2009 will see the first 12-month period during which S&P 500 earnings are negative.

However, the stock …

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IRS Tax Debt Resolution: The Financial Planning Approach

IRS Tax Debt ResolutionsTrying to find the best way to resolve tax problems can be a difficult process. Writing about the best practices to help taxpayers is also a unique challenge. When I started the project of writing a book on tax resolution planning I had a simple goal in mind. I wanted to present an overview of how to use the tax and financial process to deal with tax problems. However, I quickly noticed that very few tax and financial planning professionals actually provide comprehensive financial counseling and planning for a group of people that needs help the most. While exploring this …

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The Financial Services Industry: Putting Clients Last?

The IBM Institute For Business Value recently published a study on the global financial services industry. The report, “Toward transparency and sustainability: building a new financial order” makes a number of interesting points about how the financial markets industry will need to change in the future in order to remain profitable. It also reveals something many consumers have suspected all along.

Among the report’s conclusions is the fact that financial firms will need to work with greater transparency in the future. After a decade of making big profits by creating increasingly complex financial instruments, such a development will require a …

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Investing for Inflation vs. Deflation:Asset Classes (Part III)

At the beginning of this series, I noted that financial prognosticators remain divided over the question of whether we should be bracing for inflation or deflation.  Clearly, last year we experienced a drop in the consumer price index, though much of that was due to falling energy prices.  Apartment rental prices have been declining in most major metropolitan areas recently, commodity prices are weak, and most companies have excess capacity, making them less likely to seek price increases.

Perhaps the strongest argument in favor of the expectation that asset price deflation (if not deflation in wages or goods) will …

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