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Featured Articles

Stocks offset fears of inflation over time

For years, Americans have harbored outsized fears of inflation. Not that concerns are unfounded. Like most variables that investors weigh, inflation cannot reliably be forecast. But it can be accounted for. “The best inflation protector is going to be stocks,” Steve Giles said in a recent Money Talk Podcast discussion with Brian Kilb and Kyle Tetting. […]



Separating politics from portfolios

By Joel Dresang
Economists from San Diego State University and the University of Kansas have studied the political partisan bias of mutual fund managers. What they found suggests investors are best served by separating their wallets from their ballots. […]



Pandemic spending: Can you spare a dime?

By Joel Dresang
Spare change, it turns out, is another unintended casualty of the coronavirus. With businesses closed and spenders keeping their hands in their pockets, a coin shortage has emerged. It goes to show how profoundly COVID-19 has upended commerce—especially the 70% of the economy driven by consumer spending. […]



For What It’s Worth: Nickel and dime

By Joel Dresang
Except for rare coins, lesser bits of money tend to get shortchanged not only in our finances but also in our language. Consider such expressions as penny ante, for instance, the lowest of stakes, and bad penny, something you can’t get rid of. Even nickels and dimes have become clumped together as derogatory references. […]



Mortgage debt in retirement: Worth a talk

By Joel Dresang
In our 30 years as homeowners, my wife and I have had occasional conversations about the urgency of retiring our mortgage. Math always settles it: At a fixed rate below 4%, our home loan is costing us less than the average 6%-7% a year that balanced investments have returned historically. […]



For What It’s Worth: Mortgage

By Joel Dresang
We associate the clause “till death do us part” with a marriage vow. Etymologically, though, it should be part of a mortgage. […]



Income, tax holiday for older retirees

As part of the $2 trillion initiative to stimulate the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress has suspended required minimum distributions for calendar year 2020. That means retirees in their 70s who were supposed to withdraw money from tax-advantaged retirement accounts such as IRAs can skip a year, thus avoiding the income tax they’d have to pay on such withdrawals. […]



Spend to save the economy

By Joel Dresang
The economy’s reliance on consumer spending is exactly why Congress included provisions to put money in citizens’ pockets as part of the $2.2 trillion rescue package it passed in March. That’s how $2,400 got from the U.S. Treasury to our checking account. Now, it’s our patriotic duty to put that money to work. […]



Holding the fort for clients and colleagues

Most of the Landaas & Company staff have been able to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, but a core of 11 employees continues going to the office to answer phones, process mail, prepare reports and administer documents. Their efforts are crucial to enabling the remote work of the rest of the firm. […]



The simple bear necessities

By Kyle Tetting and Joel Dresang
It’s fair to say that March 2020 marked the end of the longest bull market in history, begun in March 2009. On March 12, the closing price on the S&P 500 fell more than 20% below its Feb. 19 peak, marking the beginning of the first bear market in 11 years. Technically, the beginnings and ends, depths and breadths of bear and bull markets vary by what precisely analysts measure. There’s devilish disagreement in the details. […]



Investors benefit from historic stimulus

The $2 trillion emergency spending bill passed by Congress and signed by President Trump at the end of March includes several provisions of interest to investors and retirees. Chris Evers and Patrick Weyer compiled some highlights, based on what was known at the time the bill was signed into law. To learn how any of the provisions apply to you individually, please consult with your investment advisor as well as a tax professional, if appropriate. […]



For What It’s Worth: Circuit breakers

Steep stock sell-offs accompanying the COVID-19 pandemic triggered automatic interruptions meant to let stock traders pause amid pandemonium. So-called circuit breakers are supposed to halt trading at different points of severe stock slides and are byproducts of the historic 22.6% free fall in the Dow Jones Industrial Average in October 1987. […]




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