ABC Newspapers http://abcnewspapers.com Local News from The Anoka County Union, Blaine Spring Lake Park Life and The Coon Rapids Herald Wed, 01 Apr 2015 16:00:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Buffett’s Secret Revealed http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/04/01/buffetts-secret-revealed/ http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/04/01/buffetts-secret-revealed/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 16:00:02 +0000 http://abcnewspapers.com/?guid=df7c928e09421c806c346f096a482f5d What is Warren Buffett’s secret of success? You can find numerous answers to this question. They abound in endless numbers of books, articles and investing seminars. But the world’s greatest living investor has, at core, this credo that has made him a multi-billionaire: He is an optimist.

Some point to his ability to analyze a company’s books and industry outlook. Others laud his strategy of only investing in stocks whose business he understands. Still others credit his steadfastly holding onto prized assets, year in, year out. Most of the time, he manages to pick the right investment.

A talent for evaluating opportunity is important, but Buffett’s optimism about the U.S. economy helps him overcome adversity and panic, things that undermine many investors by pushing them into making foolish moves.

“Though the preachers of pessimism prattle endlessly about America’s problems, I’ve never seen one who wishes to emigrate (though I can think of a few for whom I would happily buy a one-way ticket),” Buffett wrote in this year’s shareholder letter. “The dynamism embedded in our market economy will continue to work its magic. Gains won’t come in a smooth or uninterrupted manner; they never have. And we will regularly grumble about our government. But, most assuredly, America’s best days lie ahead.”

And for him, fortune smiled. What a mind-blowing investment performance he has compiled. His holding company, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A), calculates in its shareholder letter that it has enjoyed a 1,826,163% market value gain from 1964 through 2014, compared with 11,196% for the Standard & Poor’s 500. Buffett took over the company, then a declining textile maker, 50 years ago.

Not that Buffett hasn’t made mistakes. He has. But the point is that he learned from them. In this year’s letter, Buffett acknowledges the crossover between business acumen and investment success. Owning companies, as opposed to simply investing in them, gave him experience that “helps me as an investor.”

Indeed, the Berkshire Hathaway name comes from his failed investment experience in the fading New England textile industry. Buffett admits the textile manufacturer was one of many mistakes he’s made. On balance, of course, his record is far more reflective of an extraordinary ability to recognize and execute opportunities to make money.

A promising future aside, Buffett actually looks forward to the “interruption” phase of market cycles. Perhaps his most seminal shareholder letter quote came on this note in 1986:

“We have no idea — and never have had — whether the market is going to go up, down or sideways in the near or intermediate-term future. What we do know, however, is that occasional outbreaks of those two super-contagious diseases, fear and greed, will forever occur in the investment community. The timing of these epidemics will be unpredictable.”

How he deals with these diseases is telling: “We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.”

With today’s U.S. stock market on the high side – despite the March downdraft, the Standard & Poor’s 500 is up 10.4%, in price terms, from 12 months ago as of yesterday’s close – the environment is closer to greedy than fearful. Therefore, the likelihood of exceptional returns for new money invested at this point is seemingly less than say March 2009, when fear dominated – that low point marked the beginning of a roaring bull market. The challenge is to understand that low points are where the easy money is made.

As Buffett wrote in the 1989 letter, “to the extent we have been successful, it is because we concentrated on identifying one-foot hurdles that we could step over rather than because we acquired any ability to clear seven-footers. The finding may seem unfair but both in business and investments it is usually far more profitable to simply stick with the easy and obvious than it is to resolve the difficult.”

Sticking with an investment has proven more and more difficult as the average holding period of any position has shrunk consistently for the past 60 years for most investors. Short-termism results in fast-twitch, responsive decision making that can harm long-term success.

Buffett has even proposed limiting individuals to a punch card of 20 investment decisions in their lifetime. Then, you would put a lot more effort into the selection criteria and also commit more money to your best ideas. You couldn’t constantly shift in search of what the market favors.

“A hyperactive stock market is the pickpocket of enterprise,” Buffett wrote in the 1983 shareholder letter. Many investors could benefit simply by not pick-pocketing themselves via excessive transactions and the costs of chasing performance. After all, according to Buffett’s philosophy, things should work out well in the end anyway.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Gary Brooks is a certified financial planner and the president of Brooks, Hughes & Jones, and a registered investment adviser in Tacoma, Wash. An expanded version of this piece first ran at his blog The Money Architects.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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What is Warren Buffett’s secret of success? You can find numerous answers to this question. They abound in endless numbers of books, articles and investing seminars. But the world’s greatest living investor has, at core, this credo that has made him a multi-billionaire: He is an optimist.

Some point to his ability to analyze a company’s books and industry outlook. Others laud his strategy of only investing in stocks whose business he understands. Still others credit his steadfastly holding onto prized assets, year in, year out. Most of the time, he manages to pick the right investment.

A talent for evaluating opportunity is important, but Buffett’s optimism about the U.S. economy helps him overcome adversity and panic, things that undermine many investors by pushing them into making foolish moves.

“Though the preachers of pessimism prattle endlessly about America’s problems, I’ve never seen one who wishes to emigrate (though I can think of a few for whom I would happily buy a one-way ticket),” Buffett wrote in this year’s shareholder letter. “The dynamism embedded in our market economy will continue to work its magic. Gains won’t come in a smooth or uninterrupted manner; they never have. And we will regularly grumble about our government. But, most assuredly, America’s best days lie ahead.”

And for him, fortune smiled. What a mind-blowing investment performance he has compiled. His holding company, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A), calculates in its shareholder letter that it has enjoyed a 1,826,163% market value gain from 1964 through 2014, compared with 11,196% for the Standard & Poor’s 500. Buffett took over the company, then a declining textile maker, 50 years ago.

Not that Buffett hasn’t made mistakes. He has. But the point is that he learned from them. In this year’s letter, Buffett acknowledges the crossover between business acumen and investment success. Owning companies, as opposed to simply investing in them, gave him experience that “helps me as an investor.”

Indeed, the Berkshire Hathaway name comes from his failed investment experience in the fading New England textile industry. Buffett admits the textile manufacturer was one of many mistakes he’s made. On balance, of course, his record is far more reflective of an extraordinary ability to recognize and execute opportunities to make money.

A promising future aside, Buffett actually looks forward to the “interruption” phase of market cycles. Perhaps his most seminal shareholder letter quote came on this note in 1986:

“We have no idea — and never have had — whether the market is going to go up, down or sideways in the near or intermediate-term future. What we do know, however, is that occasional outbreaks of those two super-contagious diseases, fear and greed, will forever occur in the investment community. The timing of these epidemics will be unpredictable.”

How he deals with these diseases is telling: “We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.”

With today’s U.S. stock market on the high side – despite the March downdraft, the Standard & Poor’s 500 is up 10.4%, in price terms, from 12 months ago as of yesterday’s close – the environment is closer to greedy than fearful. Therefore, the likelihood of exceptional returns for new money invested at this point is seemingly less than say March 2009, when fear dominated – that low point marked the beginning of a roaring bull market. The challenge is to understand that low points are where the easy money is made.

As Buffett wrote in the 1989 letter, “to the extent we have been successful, it is because we concentrated on identifying one-foot hurdles that we could step over rather than because we acquired any ability to clear seven-footers. The finding may seem unfair but both in business and investments it is usually far more profitable to simply stick with the easy and obvious than it is to resolve the difficult.”

Sticking with an investment has proven more and more difficult as the average holding period of any position has shrunk consistently for the past 60 years for most investors. Short-termism results in fast-twitch, responsive decision making that can harm long-term success.

Buffett has even proposed limiting individuals to a punch card of 20 investment decisions in their lifetime. Then, you would put a lot more effort into the selection criteria and also commit more money to your best ideas. You couldn’t constantly shift in search of what the market favors.

“A hyperactive stock market is the pickpocket of enterprise,” Buffett wrote in the 1983 shareholder letter. Many investors could benefit simply by not pick-pocketing themselves via excessive transactions and the costs of chasing performance. After all, according to Buffett’s philosophy, things should work out well in the end anyway.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Gary Brooks is a certified financial planner and the president of Brooks, Hughes & Jones, and a registered investment adviser in Tacoma, Wash. An expanded version of this piece first ran at his blog The Money Architects.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Finding the faces lost in Vietnam http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/04/01/finding-the-faces-lost-in-vietnam/ http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/04/01/finding-the-faces-lost-in-vietnam/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 15:31:14 +0000 http://abcnewspapers.com/?p=156585 By Sam Schaust
Murphy News Service

Minnesota is on track to join the ranks of four other states in memorializing those who lost their lives in the Vietnam War.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., carries the names of 58,282 men and women who died in the Vietnam War. The Faces Never Forgotten campaign is collecting information on all of those people. The stories of 15 Minnesotans are still being sought. Photo submitted

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., carries the names of 58,282 men and women who died in the Vietnam War. The Faces Never Forgotten campaign is collecting information on all of those people. The stories of 15 Minnesotans are still being sought. Photo submitted

The Faces Never Forgotten campaign began as a Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund project and has gained traction with Americans nationwide. The campaign set out to find a photo and a short biography for each of the 58,282 names carved on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.

Through extensive research, the memorial fund has taken the stockpile of names from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall and broken them down by casualty date and military branch and then by hometown for each man and woman. The collection can be seen online at http://www.vvmf.org/Wall-of-Faces. All of the photos and stories will also be included in the Vietnam Wall Education Center, to be built next to the wall later this decade.

Minnesota has been extraordinarily cooperative in bringing humanity to these heroic names, said Andrew Johnson, a volunteer for the memorial fund and National Newspaper Association board member. “It began with at least 1,071 names needing photos, and right now it is down to only 15.”

Wyoming was the first state to complete its list, followed by New Mexico and then North and South Dakota. States with larger populations still have hundreds of unknown identities, although similar Midwest states, like Wisconsin (with 64 names to go), are further from their goal than Minnesota.

“On Feb. 23, we passed the 40,000 mark,” said George DeCastro, program coordinator of Faces Never Forgotten. “We get a lot of response from newspaper clippings. Between mail, email and website submissions, up to 10-15 photos are given each day.”

The memorial fund is aiming to uncover as many of the pictures and stories behind the names by Memorial Day this year. However, DeCastro hopes to ultimately have the project finished before the planned education center across the street from the memorial wall is built in 2019.

“When the center is built, you will be able to browse those profiles,” DeCastro said. Information about the veterans will be forever on display within the construct of the new underground education center.

Of the 15 Minnesotans still be sought, two are listed with Coon Rapids as their hometown: Leroy E. Peterson and Eugene M. Rick. The others are Donald J. Jacobsen, of Montevideo; Allen J. Ritter and Melvin Stockdale, of Moorhead; Lawrence H. Harris, of Wilmar; Gerald J. Johnson, of Round Lake; Kenneth J. Honek, of East Grand Forks; Joseph S. Herron and Bruce D. Olson, of St. Paul; and five from Minneapolis, Richard V. Blackburn, David W. Erickson, Dennis W. Ferguson, William G. Moncrief and Richard W. Smith.

“We want to humanize them by showing where they grew up, getting a story from their parents, or who they went to prom with … pretty much anything,” said Reed Anfinson, a Benson, Minnesota, newspaper publisher and member of the National Newspaper Association. “Hopefully someone will recognize some of these remaining names and at least put us in touch with their family.”

To submit a photo and accompanying biography for any one of these veterans’ names, contact George DeCastro at 202-393-0090, ext. 128, or gdecastro@vvmf.org. Submissions can also be made at vvmf.org/how-to-submit.

Families are also encouraged to share their stories with our readers. Send also to editor.anokaunion@ecm-inc.com.

Sam Schaust is a journalism student at the University of Minnesota.

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Benson honored as hockey coach of the year http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/04/01/benson-honored-as-hockey-coach-of-the-year/ http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/04/01/benson-honored-as-hockey-coach-of-the-year/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 14:49:10 +0000 http://abcnewspapers.com/?p=156575 Spring Lake Park boys hockey reached state for the first time in the program’s history and coach Tom Benson was named Section 5A and Class A Coach of the Year after 22 seasons leading the Panthers.

Benson said it felt great to be recognized by his peers. “It tells you you’ve done a good job,” he said. He had not known much about Spring Lake Park before accepting the position more than two decades ago after coaching in Mankato. “I got a nudge from my wife to take a job with less travel because at the time I was going across the country scouting and coaching and I didn’t know Spring Lake Park from Edina, not spending much time in Minneapolis.”

Tom Benson, Spring Lake Park boys hockey and girls golf coach

Tom Benson, Spring Lake Park boys hockey and girls golf coach

Benson, a native of Victoria, British Columbia, was a defenseman at the University of North Dakota from 1984-88 and was on the coaching staff at Minnesota State University, Mankato before moving his family to the northern suburbs.

Benson was an assistant coach for the Mavericks alongside future head coach Troy Jutting for three seasons.

Given Mankato’s rise to the top overall seed in the NCAA tournament, 2014-15 has been a good hockey season for Benson.

“I’m so happy for those guys. Darren Blue’s done a great job for them and the coaches have done a great job. Just like Spring Lake Park going to state, it’s long overdue for Mankato. They’ve been in the shadows of Minnesota and North Dakota for a long time. It’s well deserved. They put their time in. Same for our program. It’s been a lot of work and long hours so its satisfying for us to get to the tournament.”

Benson’s assistant coach Dave Turbitt was named Section 5A Assistant Coach of the Year which is also decided upon by the Minnesota Hockey Coaches Association.

“Turby’s been excellent. Very loyal and knowledgeable about the game and the award is real fitting. He’s earned it because of how much he’s given back to the program over the last 14-15 years,” Benson said. The two coached at the mite level in the program before moving on to the varsity level.

Experiencing the program’s first trip to state was special. He’s heard from former players going back to 1970 but what was neat for Benson was walking through Xcel Energy Center to see groups of Panther graduates from 1996 or 2000. “It was kind of fun. They were all over the place,” he recalled.

Benson said several coaches helped shape his passion for the game and coaching style growing up in Canada. That passion for the game grew once he played under Gino Gasparini at North Dakota. “He showed me the professional and competitive side of being a coach,” Benson said. Under coach Don Broz at Mankato, Benson learned what it took to compete against the perceived better college teams like Minnesota and North Dakota and used that knowledge at the high school level where Spring Lake Park competed with Totino-Grace and Blaine.

“We couldn’t just open the gate and let the guys go. We had to have strategy and thought going to games and had to come up with plans A, B and C to keep up,” he said.

Having a chance to coach both sons at the varsity level has been a treat for Benson. His younger son Zach completed his junior season after fully recovering from two ACL tears as an eighth-grader and sophomore. Zach Benson, a defenseman, was asked to take part in the High Performance 18s series while his dad coached a team in the Ted Brill Great 8 at the same rink last weekend.

Chris Benson was a defenseman under his dad, graduating in 2010.

“That’s rewarding to coach your kids,” Benson said. “I feel sorry for those parents that don’t get that experience. Those are memories we’ll have for a lifetime.”

jason.olson@ecm-inc.com

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Ready for Retirement? http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/31/ready-for-retirement/ http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/31/ready-for-retirement/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 21:30:02 +0000 http://abcnewspapers.com/?guid=ec6992df1ac474bd8545d1037622c412 Disappearing pensions, continued corporate downsizing and stubborn unemployment combine to ignite great concern that many folks still don’t save enough for retirement. Maybe you’ve given up trying to realistically assess your future costs or you simply still spend too much without saving. Whatever the reason, here’s how to get your finances together while you still have time.

Granted, you probably endure plenty of good reasons for spending a lot; health-care costs increase all the time, for example. American consumer debt recently jumped the most in more than six years, according to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Our collective outstanding consumer debt hit $3.24 trillion last summer. And our total credit card balances: most of $880.5 billion as of last July.

I suspect, though, that much more blame for our paltry nest eggs is poor savings habits in the first place. These widespread bad habits are actually a crisis, although many folks don’t wake up to any shortage of retirement money unless an age-related or medical condition sends the family into a financial tailspin. Many folks in retirement can spend more annually on prescriptions and basic housing than they earn from pensions, Social Security and retirement-plan investments.

A GOBankingRates survey found that more than 37% of Americans’ biggest financial resolution for 2015 is saving money – and nearly a quarter are nowhere near confident about hitting that goal. Overall, building an emergency fund was first among short-term savings goals; saving for retirement topped the popular long-term goals. Too bad that insufficient income was the top response for the biggest obstacle facing savers in 2015, followed by unemployment.

Unsurprisingly, baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, were most likely to be saving for retirement, according to the survey. Trouble is, unemployment is the biggest roadblock to their doing so.

Sound familiar? To address these shortcomings, you must get a handle on all your potential areas for funding a long-term savings plan – including employer plans, individual retirement accounts, Social Security, long-term care and disability insurance and even annuities.

Reviewing all of these avenues makes it apparent that the vehicles are available. The question becomes how to fund the savings plan.

Welcome to Parkinson’s Laws, specifically the third one that states that expenses always rise to meet available income, and then some. As the law says, “It’s always possible to live outside your means.”

The good news: This works in reverse as well. Voluntarily diverting your available resources, or expendable income, into savings may be a little awkward and painful at first. But you quickly figure out how to bring your day-to-day expenses into equilibrium. As you accomplish this, you can gradually build what you divert to savings and accelerate growth of those accounts.

Your next question: Where to put your savings? The following order makes sense for most folks:

  • Workplace 401(k), 403(b) or 457(b) up to your employer’s match; many employers match around 5% of an employee’s pay.
  • Roth IRA, where you can contribute up to $5,500 a year ($6,500 for folks over 50); you can open an account with a discount brokerage, a mutual fund company, an insurance company or your local bank.
  • Maxing out your 401(k) or other tax-deferred plan.
  • Your choice of low-cost investments: no-load annuities, funds of high-growth stock or various forms of life insurance.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Jim Blankenship, CFP, EA, is an independent, fee-only financial planner at Blankenship Financial Planning in New Berlin, Ill. He is the author of An IRA Owner’s Manual and A Social Security Owner’s Manual. His blog is Getting Your Financial Ducks In A Row, where he writes regularly about taxes, retirement savings and Social Security.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Disappearing pensions, continued corporate downsizing and stubborn unemployment combine to ignite great concern that many folks still don’t save enough for retirement. Maybe you’ve given up trying to realistically assess your future costs or you simply still spend too much without saving. Whatever the reason, here’s how to get your finances together while you still have time.

Granted, you probably endure plenty of good reasons for spending a lot; health-care costs increase all the time, for example. American consumer debt recently jumped the most in more than six years, according to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Our collective outstanding consumer debt hit $3.24 trillion last summer. And our total credit card balances: most of $880.5 billion as of last July.

I suspect, though, that much more blame for our paltry nest eggs is poor savings habits in the first place. These widespread bad habits are actually a crisis, although many folks don’t wake up to any shortage of retirement money unless an age-related or medical condition sends the family into a financial tailspin. Many folks in retirement can spend more annually on prescriptions and basic housing than they earn from pensions, Social Security and retirement-plan investments.

A GOBankingRates survey found that more than 37% of Americans’ biggest financial resolution for 2015 is saving money – and nearly a quarter are nowhere near confident about hitting that goal. Overall, building an emergency fund was first among short-term savings goals; saving for retirement topped the popular long-term goals. Too bad that insufficient income was the top response for the biggest obstacle facing savers in 2015, followed by unemployment.

Unsurprisingly, baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, were most likely to be saving for retirement, according to the survey. Trouble is, unemployment is the biggest roadblock to their doing so.

Sound familiar? To address these shortcomings, you must get a handle on all your potential areas for funding a long-term savings plan – including employer plans, individual retirement accounts, Social Security, long-term care and disability insurance and even annuities.

Reviewing all of these avenues makes it apparent that the vehicles are available. The question becomes how to fund the savings plan.

Welcome to Parkinson’s Laws, specifically the third one that states that expenses always rise to meet available income, and then some. As the law says, “It’s always possible to live outside your means.”

The good news: This works in reverse as well. Voluntarily diverting your available resources, or expendable income, into savings may be a little awkward and painful at first. But you quickly figure out how to bring your day-to-day expenses into equilibrium. As you accomplish this, you can gradually build what you divert to savings and accelerate growth of those accounts.

Your next question: Where to put your savings? The following order makes sense for most folks:

  • Workplace 401(k), 403(b) or 457(b) up to your employer’s match; many employers match around 5% of an employee’s pay.
  • Roth IRA, where you can contribute up to $5,500 a year ($6,500 for folks over 50); you can open an account with a discount brokerage, a mutual fund company, an insurance company or your local bank.
  • Maxing out your 401(k) or other tax-deferred plan.
  • Your choice of low-cost investments: no-load annuities, funds of high-growth stock or various forms of life insurance.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Jim Blankenship, CFP, EA, is an independent, fee-only financial planner at Blankenship Financial Planning in New Berlin, Ill. He is the author of An IRA Owner’s Manual and A Social Security Owner’s Manual. His blog is Getting Your Financial Ducks In A Row, where he writes regularly about taxes, retirement savings and Social Security.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Aviation trade show at Blaine airport coming up in April http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/31/aviation-trade-show-at-blaine-airport-coming-up-in-april/ http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/31/aviation-trade-show-at-blaine-airport-coming-up-in-april/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 17:00:27 +0000 http://abcnewspapers.com/?p=156303 An aviation open house will take place April 10-11 at the Anoka County-Blaine Airport.

The Great Minnesota Aviation Gathering is 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, April 10 and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, April 11

The cost is $5 per person, but admission is free for attendees 18 and under and for MNPilots members.

There will be 26 forums taking place during the two-day show and 35 aviation exhibitor booths. The Federal Aviation Administration’s portable reduced oxygen training enclosure will be on display. This simulator provided high altitude physiologic training without the altitude. For more information, visit www.mnpilots.org/gmag.

The Golden Wings Museum will be open for tours during this two-day event.

From 6 to 8 p.m. April 10, there will be a Minnesota Experimental Aircraft Association Leadership Summit and a regional flight surgeon’s briefing and social event.

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Why Diversify? 2014 vs. 2015 http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/31/why-diversify-2014-vs-2015/ http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/31/why-diversify-2014-vs-2015/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 17:00:05 +0000 http://abcnewspapers.com/?guid=a7a593b70fc7e5a14ed7c80d3be00f36 Diversification gets a bad rap when almost everything falls at once (2008) or one sector vastly outpaces others (tech in the late 1990s). But a comparison of last year and this year shows how, once again, diversifying always makes sense over the long pull.

Let’s revisit the investment year of 2014: the Standard & Poor’s 500 (large-capitalization U.S. stocks) returned 13.69%, including dividends; the Russell 2000 (small-cap stocks) advanced 4.89%; and iShares MSCI EAFE (an exchange-traded fund tracking the stocks from developed nations outside North America) fell 4.82%.

These returns caused a lot of confusion and frustration among investors. If you were well diversified and allocated a third of your portfolio into each of these asset categories, you achieved a return of only 3.83% during the year.

Meanwhile, most investors use only large-cap indexes such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Nasdaq or the S&P 500 as a metric for how markets perform. After hearing how these indexes hit double-digit performance (with dividends reinvested, known as total return) during last year, some investors felt disconcerted that other parts of their portfolios suffered so much by comparison.

At the end of 2014, maybe you even wondered why you own any investments other than large-cap U.S. stocks.

Then things changed, as they will. Let’s examine investment returns during the first 12 weeks of 2015: the S&P 500 returned 1.38%, the Russell 2000 3.27% and iShares MSCI EAFE 6.08%.

So far in 2015, performance in each asset category differs inversely from last year’s showing. Large-cap domestic stocks, the best category in 2014, so far lag in 2015; international stocks, 2014’s biggest loser, is thus far the year’s biggest winner. Go figure.

A simple example reminds us of the value of diversification. Suppose that, in January, returns on stocks in the S&P 500 drop 1.73 percentage points while a diversified portfolio (with a third invested in each asset category) loses only 0.17 points. 

Let’s stretch January’s returns through a year. In this case, our large-cap portfolio suffers an annualized loss of 20.76%; a diversified portfolio (again, a third of all funds invested in each asset category) loses 2.04% during a full year.

While hardly an optimistic projection for 2015, this does illustrate the value of both diversification and investing for the long term.

The last step involves examining returns from the same investment in 2014 to 2015. Our large-cap portfolio earns 13.69% in 2014 and loses 20.76% in 2015. Our diversified portfolio makes only 3.83% in the first year but loses only 2.04% in the second.

 

After 2014

After 2015

Invest $10,000 in Large Cap Stocks

$11,369

$9,009

Invest $10,000 in Diversified Portfolio

$10,383

$10,171

Despite smaller-percentage losses and gains in both years, our equally diversified $10,000 actually returned more. Of course, who knows whether large-cap stocks will continue to decline through the rest of the year or if international stocks will keep rising.

That uncertainty only validates the point: We need to invest with a focus on the long-term, never aiming for the largest return over a short time. We must use our money to achieve the best investment performance over an extended time while minimizing the volatility of our returns.

Market history provides example after example that maintaining a well-diversified portfolio remains your best method to achieve this goal.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Lon Jefferies, CFP, MBA, is an investment advisor with the fee-only financial planning firm Net Worth Advisory Group in Sandy, Utah. You can find Lon on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Contact him at (801) 566-0740 or lon@networthadvice.com.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

 

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Diversification gets a bad rap when almost everything falls at once (2008) or one sector vastly outpaces others (tech in the late 1990s). But a comparison of last year and this year shows how, once again, diversifying always makes sense over the long pull.

Let’s revisit the investment year of 2014: the Standard & Poor’s 500 (large-capitalization U.S. stocks) returned 13.69%, including dividends; the Russell 2000 (small-cap stocks) advanced 4.89%; and iShares MSCI EAFE (an exchange-traded fund tracking the stocks from developed nations outside North America) fell 4.82%.

These returns caused a lot of confusion and frustration among investors. If you were well diversified and allocated a third of your portfolio into each of these asset categories, you achieved a return of only 3.83% during the year.

Meanwhile, most investors use only large-cap indexes such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Nasdaq or the S&P 500 as a metric for how markets perform. After hearing how these indexes hit double-digit performance (with dividends reinvested, known as total return) during last year, some investors felt disconcerted that other parts of their portfolios suffered so much by comparison.

At the end of 2014, maybe you even wondered why you own any investments other than large-cap U.S. stocks.

Then things changed, as they will. Let’s examine investment returns during the first 12 weeks of 2015: the S&P 500 returned 1.38%, the Russell 2000 3.27% and iShares MSCI EAFE 6.08%.

So far in 2015, performance in each asset category differs inversely from last year’s showing. Large-cap domestic stocks, the best category in 2014, so far lag in 2015; international stocks, 2014’s biggest loser, is thus far the year’s biggest winner. Go figure.

A simple example reminds us of the value of diversification. Suppose that, in January, returns on stocks in the S&P 500 drop 1.73 percentage points while a diversified portfolio (with a third invested in each asset category) loses only 0.17 points. 

Let’s stretch January’s returns through a year. In this case, our large-cap portfolio suffers an annualized loss of 20.76%; a diversified portfolio (again, a third of all funds invested in each asset category) loses 2.04% during a full year.

While hardly an optimistic projection for 2015, this does illustrate the value of both diversification and investing for the long term.

The last step involves examining returns from the same investment in 2014 to 2015. Our large-cap portfolio earns 13.69% in 2014 and loses 20.76% in 2015. Our diversified portfolio makes only 3.83% in the first year but loses only 2.04% in the second.

 

After 2014

After 2015

Invest $10,000 in Large Cap Stocks

$11,369

$9,009

Invest $10,000 in Diversified Portfolio

$10,383

$10,171

Despite smaller-percentage losses and gains in both years, our equally diversified $10,000 actually returned more. Of course, who knows whether large-cap stocks will continue to decline through the rest of the year or if international stocks will keep rising.

That uncertainty only validates the point: We need to invest with a focus on the long-term, never aiming for the largest return over a short time. We must use our money to achieve the best investment performance over an extended time while minimizing the volatility of our returns.

Market history provides example after example that maintaining a well-diversified portfolio remains your best method to achieve this goal.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Lon Jefferies, CFP, MBA, is an investment advisor with the fee-only financial planning firm Net Worth Advisory Group in Sandy, Utah. You can find Lon on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Contact him at (801) 566-0740 or lon@networthadvice.com.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

 

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Real Do-It-Yourself Investing http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/31/real-do-it-yourself-investing/ http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/31/real-do-it-yourself-investing/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 17:00:03 +0000 http://abcnewspapers.com/?guid=fc22c9169acb0c057a0dfb259780d41f From home-schooling our children to shopping at Home Depot, we’re increasingly a do-it-yourself culture, bypassing professionals to save. Why pay for professionals or experts when investing? DIY can play a role when you handle your money, just maybe not the role you think.

OK, so how much do you pay for health care? Why pay anything when you can diagnose yourself or find treatments online? Such rhetorical questions ought to get you thinking about what you’re really doing with your money.

I suspect you ultimately need the medical expert. Yet when it comes to money – something planning professionals work at full-time, and sometimes more – you might believe you can budget and save better as a hobby.

As I wrote on the value of financial advisors, value comes from a focus on those things that you can actually control; markets and economies are beyond any one person’s power. Learn how to set the sails instead of trying to control the wind. And get help with the sails.

Yes, you do need to exercise care that the person you choose has your interests at heart. Maybe you just don’t trust financial advisors because you don’t know how to find the right one for you.

Here’s a questionnaire that advisors can complete for you before you even meet. Use the answers, DIY-style, to select those two or three advisors you want to meet with at the next stage. Mistakes with your money can cost you more than any fees, so select an adviser carefully.

Regarding how advisors are paid, broker-dealers buy and sell investments for clients and receive commissions as compensation. Registered investment advisors are in investment consulting, are registered either with the Securities and Exchange Commission or a state securities’ authority and may be paid via flat fees or a percent of your assets they manage. These fee-only financial advisors receive no commissions, trading fees or product reimbursements of any kind.

Among advisors’ certifications and designations:

  • A certified financial planner (CFP) must take college-level financial planning courses, log at least three years’ experience in financial planning and pass a 10-hour examination.
  • A chartered financial consultant (ChFC) studies college-level insurance, estate planning, retirement funding, investments and others subjects in financial planning.
  • A chartered financial analyst (CFA) studies security analysis, stocks, bonds, investment management and corporate finance.

Also learn to recognize the difference between investing and planning. Think of investing and structuring your portfolio’s allocation like entwining bundles to make a cable. A single strand inside each bundle represents each company in which you hold stock.

Each bundle represents companies with common characteristics – large or small companies, growth companies, U.S.-only firms and so on. Some call this asset-class investing; the three main asset classes are equities (stocks), fixed-income (bonds) and cash equivalents (money market instruments).

All the bundles together represent your well-diversified portfolio, the cable holding up your long-term goals. A good advisor can help you with both entwining the cables and supporting your long-term goals.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Larry R. Frank Sr., CFP, is a Registered Investment Adviser (California) in Roseville, Calif. He is the author of the book, Wealth Odyssey. He has an MBA with a finance concentration and B.S. cum laude in physics with which he views the world of money dynamically. He has peer-reviewed research published in the Journal of Financial Planning. http://blog.betterfinancialeducation.com/.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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From home-schooling our children to shopping at Home Depot, we’re increasingly a do-it-yourself culture, bypassing professionals to save. Why pay for professionals or experts when investing? DIY can play a role when you handle your money, just maybe not the role you think.

OK, so how much do you pay for health care? Why pay anything when you can diagnose yourself or find treatments online? Such rhetorical questions ought to get you thinking about what you’re really doing with your money.

I suspect you ultimately need the medical expert. Yet when it comes to money – something planning professionals work at full-time, and sometimes more – you might believe you can budget and save better as a hobby.

As I wrote on the value of financial advisors, value comes from a focus on those things that you can actually control; markets and economies are beyond any one person’s power. Learn how to set the sails instead of trying to control the wind. And get help with the sails.

Yes, you do need to exercise care that the person you choose has your interests at heart. Maybe you just don’t trust financial advisors because you don’t know how to find the right one for you.

Here’s a questionnaire that advisors can complete for you before you even meet. Use the answers, DIY-style, to select those two or three advisors you want to meet with at the next stage. Mistakes with your money can cost you more than any fees, so select an adviser carefully.

Regarding how advisors are paid, broker-dealers buy and sell investments for clients and receive commissions as compensation. Registered investment advisors are in investment consulting, are registered either with the Securities and Exchange Commission or a state securities’ authority and may be paid via flat fees or a percent of your assets they manage. These fee-only financial advisors receive no commissions, trading fees or product reimbursements of any kind.

Among advisors’ certifications and designations:

  • A certified financial planner (CFP) must take college-level financial planning courses, log at least three years’ experience in financial planning and pass a 10-hour examination.
  • A chartered financial consultant (ChFC) studies college-level insurance, estate planning, retirement funding, investments and others subjects in financial planning.
  • A chartered financial analyst (CFA) studies security analysis, stocks, bonds, investment management and corporate finance.

Also learn to recognize the difference between investing and planning. Think of investing and structuring your portfolio’s allocation like entwining bundles to make a cable. A single strand inside each bundle represents each company in which you hold stock.

Each bundle represents companies with common characteristics – large or small companies, growth companies, U.S.-only firms and so on. Some call this asset-class investing; the three main asset classes are equities (stocks), fixed-income (bonds) and cash equivalents (money market instruments).

All the bundles together represent your well-diversified portfolio, the cable holding up your long-term goals. A good advisor can help you with both entwining the cables and supporting your long-term goals.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Larry R. Frank Sr., CFP, is a Registered Investment Adviser (California) in Roseville, Calif. He is the author of the book, Wealth Odyssey. He has an MBA with a finance concentration and B.S. cum laude in physics with which he views the world of money dynamically. He has peer-reviewed research published in the Journal of Financial Planning. http://blog.betterfinancialeducation.com/.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Blaine U19 girls hoist state hockey title http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/31/blaine-u19-girls-hoist-state-hockey-title/ http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/31/blaine-u19-girls-hoist-state-hockey-title/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 14:49:16 +0000 http://abcnewspapers.com/?p=156578 Blaine has added another state hockey chapmionship after the under-19 girls team skated to a 3-1 win over Edina to capture the state title at St. Croix Valley Recreation Center March 15.

The U19 B program is sanctioned by Minnesota Hockey and is the girls version of the junior gold boys hockey program, which serves as an alternative to the school-district-sanctioned hockey programs for girls ages 16-to-19.

The Blaine roster includes students from Centennial and Blaine High Schools that practice two or three times per week and play 20 games during the regular season (November through March). The team is organized through the Blaine Youth Hockey Association and practices between ice sheets at Fogerty Arena and on the campus at Centennial High School, while competing against teams from Osseo-Maple Grove, White Bear Lake, Eden Prairie and Edina. Blaine went 10-9-1 during the regular season and came into state seeded third. They upset No. 2 Osseo-Maple Grove 2-1 in the semifinal with a go-ahead goal early in the third period.

Members of the Minnesota Hockey Under-19 Division state champion team from Blaine poses with the state title trophy at St. Croix Recreation Center March 15. Posing with the trophy are, front row from left: Megan Schweppe, Faith Gratz, Alexis Swenson, Brooke Debaker and Head Coach Joe Gratz; middle row: Coach Wendy Taylor, Gina Berg, Taylor Peterson,  Jayden Buzick, Erica Hart, Elizabeth Urbanski and back row: Briette Welsch, Kaitlin Ostenson, Hailey Lachinski and Coach Gregory Ostenson. Teammates not pictured are Alysa Thomas, Loghan Mortenson and Courtney Jensrud. Submitted photo

Members of the Minnesota Hockey Under-19 Division state champion team from Blaine poses with the state title trophy at St. Croix Recreation Center March 15. Posing with the trophy are, front row from left: Megan Schweppe, Faith Gratz, Alexis Swenson, Brooke Debaker and Head Coach Joe Gratz; middle row: Coach Wendy Taylor, Gina Berg, Taylor Peterson, Jayden Buzick, Erica Hart, Elizabeth Urbanski and back row: Briette Welsch, Kaitlin Ostenson, Hailey Lachinski and Coach Gregory Ostenson. Teammates not pictured are Alysa Thomas, Loghan Mortenson and Courtney Jensrud. Submitted photo

Second year coach Joe Gratz said, “It’s a fun league and the girls enjoy each other. It’s a good mix of ages and backgrounds.

“These girls have jobs and other commitments so everyone shows up when they can.”

Gratz’s daughter, Faith Gratz, is a student at Centennial and was the primary goaltender all season. She came up with huge saves in both state tournament games. Megan Schweppe (Centennial) was the leading scorer. Blaine was dealt a huge blow to the already slim roster when Alysa Thomas left the final regular season game with a concussion and didn’t return to the ice. “Alysa was a good influence and leader on the team,” Gratz said. The small roster played one game with seven skaters and one goalie. “That’s our season,” Gratz added. “We made it work and beat every team the league at least once.”

Boys Junior Gold
Blaine’s 16s team in the Junior Gold division came up short against neighbor Centennial 4-2 in the third place game played at Plymouth Ice Center March 15. Blaine scored first but Centennial rattled off three straight goals to win the third place hardware. Lakeville downed Minnetonka 7-1 in the title game. Blaine opened with a 3-2 win over Edina before a 5-3 loss to Lakeville in the semifinal round.

Edina won the Junior Gold A division state title in a seven-overtime thriller that spanned two days and 109 overtime minutes. The contest went into a second day because of a power outage at the Plymouth Ice Center. Edina went on to finish third at the national Junior Gold tournament.

jason.olson@ecm-inc.com

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Focus on healthy living options and staying younger at the Longevity Expo, April 18 in Maple Grove http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/31/focus-on-healthy-living-options-and-staying-younger-at-the-longevity-expo-april-18-in-maple-grove/ http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/31/focus-on-healthy-living-options-and-staying-younger-at-the-longevity-expo-april-18-in-maple-grove/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 14:43:14 +0000 http://abcnewspapers.com/?p=156551 Download a FREE pass for 2!]]> ExpoPhotos-TOP

MINNEAPOLIS, MINN.—Retired folk and persons considering retirement may want to take in the Longevity Expo, scheduled for April 18 at the Maple Grove Community Center. Speakers at the event, which runs from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. will cover a wide ranges of topics including how to know when to begin receiving Social Security, and how to give monetary gifts to grandchildren.

Sarah Routman, a wellness instructor at the University of Minnesota, will lead sessions about laughter yoga at 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Her morning session will be followed at 11 a.m. by certiifed financial planner Mike Miller, who will talk about the ins and outs of Social Security. Jessica Zimerley, Celine Kitzenberg and Whitney Emanual will discuss long-term care, retirement planning and grandchild gifting at 1 p.m. Kim Pastor will follow at 2 p.m. with a session on reducing stress through seven easy-to-do activities. At 3 p.m., Sharon Peterson will talk about the connection between breath, physical fitness and energy.

On Stage 2, Voni Cameron, RN, will discuss how to weather menopause without drugs at 11 a.m. Hong Kim will follow at noon with a demonstration of Qi-Gong techniques. John Morse will conduct a self-defense seminar for women at 1 p.m. At 2 p.m., Dr. Jerry Zhou will talk about hearing impairment and why people can sometimes hear, but not understand conversations. He will be followed by chiropractor Ryan W. Nolte, who will discuss kinesiology, the study of muscle movement.

Admission to the Longevity Expo is $6 for adults, or free with the donation of a non-perishable food item. Donations go to the Moms & Neighbors Food Drive. The first 100 people through the door will receive a free goodie bag. Show hours are 10 am.-5 p.m.

For more information, contact Rick Martinek, 952-238-1700, or rick@mediamaxevents.com.

LongevityExpo-Passes

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Column: Suburban poverty needs attention, action http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/31/column-suburban-poverty-needs-attention-action/ http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/31/column-suburban-poverty-needs-attention-action/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 14:13:10 +0000 http://abcnewspapers.com/?p=156256 Fifty years ago, families created suburban communities to escape the poverty of the cities. Back then, most suburban residents were young Caucasians.

Don Heinzman

Don Heinzman

Today, the suburbs are comprised of a rich variety of racial diversity, including Caucasian, Latino, Hispanic, African-American and Somali residents.

And unlike those new communities of 50 years ago, many suburban residents today are working in low-paying and part-time jobs, living below the poverty line of $23,500 for a family of four.

The Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People, or VEAP, food shelf in Bloomington is finding that 67 percent of its clients are living on $1,200 a month or less.

The Twin Cities suburbs have one of the fastest growing rates of poverty in the country. The numbers show that 56 percent of the Twin Cities metro area’s poor live in the suburbs, compared to 46 percent a decade ago. More than two-thirds of the increase in the area’s poverty in 2000-2013 was in the suburbs.

According to the Amherst Wilder research, from 2000 to 2011, the number of suburban poor grew from 95,000 to 205,000.

These are hard statistics for suburban leaders and residents to swallow.

The first step is to admit the reality that poverty in suburban communities no longer can be ignored.

More minority families are moving into first-ring suburbs, such as Bloomington, Richfield, Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center.

The elderly, who are living longer and running out of money, are utilizing local food shelves.

Finances for many families are so tight that just one medical problem or car breakdown forces them to save money by going to food shelves.

What can be done to help these working poor, many who are living from paycheck to paycheck?

A network of food shelves has sprung up throughout the area, funded by donations of money and food and run mainly by volunteers. One is VEAP, which says it’s the largest food shelf in the state, serving Bloomington, Richfield, Edina and part of South Minneapolis.

With the aid of 1,700 volunteers and staff, VEAP serves more than 9,000 individuals every month. The guideline for a family of four is an annual income of $46,000. The policy, however, is registered clients are entitled to get food once a month; individuals who have no food can get an emergency food pack at any time.

Communities are running shelters for the homeless, and some churches are uniting to shelter the homeless overnight.

Churches are reaching out to help community members with food and some financial assistance.

Residents who have come from other countries are learning to read and write English in Adult Education programs so that they can get a high school diploma, go on to college and get better jobs.

There are lots of jobs, but many are low-paying, part-time and seasonal. Thousands work in low-paying jobs in hotels, restaurants, fast-food places and health care. Most of those part-time jobs do not come with benefits, and it’s hard to support a family on minimum wages.

Brooklyn Park officials have divided their community into Neighborhood Action groups so they can focus on quality-of-life concerns.

The solution comes down to better-paying jobs. Perhaps chambers of commerce and civic organizations, such as the Lions and Rotary, can take an interest and figure out how they can get involved in training these willing and talented people.

The secret is out. The rate of poverty in the suburbs is growing faster than the rate of poverty in the central cities. These people need help.

Don Heinzman is a columnist for ECM Publishers.

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Anoka County 911 coordinator signs off http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/31/anoka-county-911-coordinator-signs-off/ http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/31/anoka-county-911-coordinator-signs-off/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 13:00:24 +0000 http://abcnewspapers.com/?p=156286 While working in 911 dispatch for Anoka County, Jani Esmay Bialke earned her bachelors degree in criminal justice, convinced she wanted to work in law enforcement.

Wearing a sash and corsage at her retirement celebration, Jani Esmay Bialke reminisces with co-worker Jamie Minnick about the “best and worst” calls of Bialke’s 35 years with Anoka County 911.

Wearing a sash and corsage at her retirement celebration, Jani Esmay Bialke reminisces with co-worker Jamie Minnick about the “best and worst” calls of Bialke’s 35 years with Anoka County 911. Photo submitted

But that all changed once she did a ride-along with the cops, she said.

“I quickly learned that all the blood and gore, the fear, the pain – none of that was for me,” Bialke said with a grimace and a squirm.

And so she stayed with 911, the “once upon a time of helping people,” as she calls it.

Bialke, who is one of six Esmay siblings and was born, raised and still lives in Coon Rapids, spent 35 years in that department, working as Anoka County 911 dispatcher for 30 years and serving as coordinator of the department for nearly five.

At her March 20 send-off reception, Bialke called co-workers “family” and said “to leave literally brings me to tears.”

The Anoka County 911 department (formally known as Anoka County Public Safety Answering Point, or PSAP) is a consolidated dispatch service. Folks with an emergency need dial 911, Bialke and her crew answer the calls, dispatch for police and fire and provide that link “between the public and public safety,” as she describes it.

The next generation of 911 will include the department’s ability to receive text messages, photos and videos sent to 911.

“That means if you are in a car accident, you can take a picture with your cell phone, get the guy’s license plate number and send that with your text to 911. You can take video of a bar fight and send that with your 911 text … all that’s still being worked out, but that’s the next generation of 911 service,” Bialke said.

Bialke’s service with Anoka County 911 goes back to the very early days, so early she calls the year she began 1980, B.C. (before computers).

“It was early, but still we were providing that life-saving link,” she said.

Covering such a wide area and serving such a diverse range of population and activity, Bialke said 911 calls come in from one extreme to the other.

“You could get a call about a gang fight in Columbia Heights with guns and knives, and the next call you get could be about a loose cow on the road in Linwood. We’ve got country. We’ve got city. And we take ‘em all,” she said.

As for the worst day in her 911 history, Bialke said it was the day in April 2009 when the 2,700-acre Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area fire broke out, an armored truck was robbed in Andover and five people were murdered in Lino Lakes.

“All that happened on one day. That was the worst day,” she said. “As for my worst call, it went like this: ‘Is he breathing?’ Click. The person hung up and when I looked at the screen to see where the call came from, it was my parents’ house,” she said and then described her fear and panic and how the 911 crew rallied around, dispatched the emergency medical response team, and then gave Bialke a ride to her parents’ Coon Rapids home.

That call – the worst call of her life – ended happily, however, after emergency personnel got Bialke’s dad (who had collapsed due to congestive heart failure) to the hospital where he spent a few days recovering before returning home healthy and well.

The funniest call of her 911 life, Bialke said, was the guy who called to say he was locked inside a phone booth.

“Locked in a phone booth. Can you believe that? Well, good news, bad news: he’s locked in but at least he could call 911,” she said, laughing.

And so, as Bialke reviews her three and a half decades with Anoka County 911, moments of fear and panic swirl around episodes of crime and neglect, of abuse and attack, of danger and pain.

But still, she said, the link between the public and public safety always remained intact.

Retiring from 911 means a kind of unwelcome freedom, one that may take a while to get used to, she said.

Tops on her list of retirement activity is a trip to see Donny and Marie Osmond in Las Vegas this summer.

She also plans to do more sewing, more reading and more crafting and would like to visit some extended family in Australia.

“That trip is definitely on my bucket list,” she said.

But in the meantime, Bialke is letting retirement reality sink in.

Sue.Austreng@ecm-inc.com

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Sewer lining contract awarded for Coon Rapids projects http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/31/sewer-lining-contract-awarded-for-coon-rapids-projects/ http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/31/sewer-lining-contract-awarded-for-coon-rapids-projects/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 12:58:11 +0000 http://abcnewspapers.com/?p=156292 The Coon Rapids City Council March 3 awarded a contract for its ongoing sanitary sewer lining program.

Insituform Technologies USA, LLC, submitted the lowest bid, $794,469.40, of the three firms that bid on the project.

That was well under the engineer’s estimate of $1.04 million and well within the amount included in the sanitary sewer utility fund for the project, $1.28 million.

According to Council Member Wade Demmer, Insituform’s bid was signficantly lower than the other two bids and asked Public Works Director Tim Himmer if he had an explanation.

“We were pleasantly surprised,” Himmer said.

Insituform has had the contract for sewer lining work in the city for the past four years, completing the projects at or under budget, and had apparently “got the system down,” he said.

“That’s fantastic,” Demmer said.

Lining will take place in areas where the clay sanitary sewer pipe, installed in the 1960s and 1970s, has significant maintenance issues, such as root intrusion and open joints, according to Mark Hansen, assistant city engineer.

The work will take place on the main sanitary sewer line and the 2015 project totals 34,261 lineal feet, Hansen wrote in a report to the council.

Sewer lining is designed to provide long-term maintenance of aging sewer pipe at less cost and disruption than the digging up and replacement method.

The four areas where the 2015 lining project is scheduled are:

-The commercial areas south of Highway 10 and west of Hanson Boulevard on Northdale Boulevard and east of Hanson on Robinson Drive.

-113th Avenue west of Hanson to Swallow Street.

-Area west of Hanson south of the railroad tracks to Coon Rapids Boulevard. Included are Hanson and Coon Rapids boulevards plus Thrush Street, 108th, 107th and 106th avenues and Key Circle.

-Area west of Hanson from 103rd to Mississippi Boulevard including 103rd Lane, 102nd Avenue, the townhouse complex and Osage, Nightingale, Uplander, Raven and Quinn streets as well as Hanson and Mississippi boulevards.

Work is expected to start in April and be completed in November, according to Hansen.

Affected property owners will be notified by the city through the mail when sewer lining is scheduled to take place in their area and will also receive a “knock on the door,” Himmer said.

Money to pay for the project is included in the sanitary sewer utility fund, which derives its revenues from the quarterly utility bills that are sent to property owners in Coon Rapids.

The city began annual sewer lining projects in 2008 as part of a 10-year capital improvements program and there will be two more years of sewer lining after 2015 before the entire 80 miles of city sanitary sewers are lined, according to Himmer.

“We will be done by 2018,” Himmer said.

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Anoka DECA excels at state conference http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/31/anoka-deca-excels-at-state-conference/ http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/31/anoka-deca-excels-at-state-conference/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 12:55:52 +0000 http://abcnewspapers.com/?p=156294 The Anoka DECA chapter had some great results at the DECA State Career Development Conference. The Anoka students competed against a state record 1,836 other DECA participants from around the state for three days and 60 different events.

“We did as well as we have ever done,” said Anoka DECA advisor Douglas Orr.

Leading the way was senior Logan Bergevin, who competed his way to a state championship in the Employment Interview, Advanced Level event.

Other highlights included junior Spencer Olson placing fourth in the Restaurant and Food Service Management Series role play earning him a trip to Orlando and the International DECA career development conference.

Overall, Anoka DECA had 14 students reach the finals in their respective events.

It was a great showing by all the Anoka DECA members who represented themselves and Anoka DECA very well, said Orr.

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Lowering Your 2015 Taxes http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/30/lowering-your-2015-taxes/ http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/30/lowering-your-2015-taxes/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 22:00:06 +0000 http://abcnewspapers.com/?guid=b72e53d000822e1e92eb521e3b8643a0 With 2014 well over and the spring of 2015 looming, you may find yourself gathering all of last year’s tax information and getting ready to file your income taxes. Maybe you expect a refund or maybe you dread writing a check to Uncle Sam. If the latter, here are some tips to reduce your tax burden for 2015.

Contribute more to your 401(k). You make these contributions in your retirement plan before you pay tax on the money. This lowers the amount of your taxable income, potentially reducing the amount you may owe at tax time and increasing your retirement savings.

Contribute enough of a percentage of your pay to get your employer match. Many employers match around 5% of an employee’s pay.

Take advantage of a deductible individual retirement account contribution. If your employer doesn’t offer a plan, set up and automatically save post-tax dollars to an individual retirement account. Your contributions to a traditional IRA may be tax-deductible; withdrawals from a Roth IRA in your retirement will be tax-free.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, your total contributions to all of your traditional and Roth IRAs this year cannot be more than $5,500 ($6,500 if you’re 50 or older) or your taxable compensation for the year if your compensation was less than this dollar limit.

Generally, your deduction for the above IRAs may drop or completely disappear if you already have a workplace 401(k) available and your income exceeds certain limits.

Increase withholding. Changing the amount withheld from your paycheck can help you decrease, if not eliminate, what you owe at tax time. An IRS calculator helps you figure how much to withhold and how much of your paycheck to keep.

Events during the year may also change your marital status or the exemptions, adjustments, deductions or credits you expect to claim on your tax return. You may need to give your employer a new IRS Form W-4 to change your withholding status or number of allowances.

Make your home energy-efficient. Investing in lowering your home’s energy consumption may open up credits to in turn lower your overall tax bill.

Improvements qualifying for credits include devices to harness solar and wind energy, geothermal heat pumps and electricity-producing fuel cells. These credits often cover almost a third of the cost of installation. You can also credit up to $500 for more usual improvements such as insulation, exterior doors and windows and heating and cooling equipment.

To see if you qualify for these credits, click here.

Start or increase your charitable giving. Giving to help others not only feels good – the IRS also provides some tax breaks for charitable givers. From giving to your church to donating items to the local foundation, you can open your heart and lower your tax bill.

These breaks do come with conditions:

  • You can’t deduct contributions to specific individuals, political organizations and candidates, and you must give to a qualified organization. See IRS Publication 526, “Charitable Contributions,” for what constitutes such an organization and for income limits to claim deductions.
  • To deduct a charitable contribution, you must file IRS Form 1040 when you file your taxes, and you must itemize deductions on Schedule A.
  • If you receive a benefit because of your contribution such as merchandise, event tickets or other goods and services, you can deduct only the amount that exceeds the fair market value of the benefit.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Sterling Raskie, MSFS, MBA, CFP, is an independent, fee-only financial planner at Blankenship Financial Planning in New Berlin, Ill. He is an adjunct professor teaching courses in math, finance, insurance and investments. His blog is Getting Your Financial Ducks in a Row, where he writes regularly about investments, retirement savings and financial planning.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

 

 

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With 2014 well over and the spring of 2015 looming, you may find yourself gathering all of last year’s tax information and getting ready to file your income taxes. Maybe you expect a refund or maybe you dread writing a check to Uncle Sam. If the latter, here are some tips to reduce your tax burden for 2015.

Contribute more to your 401(k). You make these contributions in your retirement plan before you pay tax on the money. This lowers the amount of your taxable income, potentially reducing the amount you may owe at tax time and increasing your retirement savings.

Contribute enough of a percentage of your pay to get your employer match. Many employers match around 5% of an employee’s pay.

Take advantage of a deductible individual retirement account contribution. If your employer doesn’t offer a plan, set up and automatically save post-tax dollars to an individual retirement account. Your contributions to a traditional IRA may be tax-deductible; withdrawals from a Roth IRA in your retirement will be tax-free.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, your total contributions to all of your traditional and Roth IRAs this year cannot be more than $5,500 ($6,500 if you’re 50 or older) or your taxable compensation for the year if your compensation was less than this dollar limit.

Generally, your deduction for the above IRAs may drop or completely disappear if you already have a workplace 401(k) available and your income exceeds certain limits.

Increase withholding. Changing the amount withheld from your paycheck can help you decrease, if not eliminate, what you owe at tax time. An IRS calculator helps you figure how much to withhold and how much of your paycheck to keep.

Events during the year may also change your marital status or the exemptions, adjustments, deductions or credits you expect to claim on your tax return. You may need to give your employer a new IRS Form W-4 to change your withholding status or number of allowances.

Make your home energy-efficient. Investing in lowering your home’s energy consumption may open up credits to in turn lower your overall tax bill.

Improvements qualifying for credits include devices to harness solar and wind energy, geothermal heat pumps and electricity-producing fuel cells. These credits often cover almost a third of the cost of installation. You can also credit up to $500 for more usual improvements such as insulation, exterior doors and windows and heating and cooling equipment.

To see if you qualify for these credits, click here.

Start or increase your charitable giving. Giving to help others not only feels good – the IRS also provides some tax breaks for charitable givers. From giving to your church to donating items to the local foundation, you can open your heart and lower your tax bill.

These breaks do come with conditions:

  • You can’t deduct contributions to specific individuals, political organizations and candidates, and you must give to a qualified organization. See IRS Publication 526, “Charitable Contributions,” for what constitutes such an organization and for income limits to claim deductions.
  • To deduct a charitable contribution, you must file IRS Form 1040 when you file your taxes, and you must itemize deductions on Schedule A.
  • If you receive a benefit because of your contribution such as merchandise, event tickets or other goods and services, you can deduct only the amount that exceeds the fair market value of the benefit.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Sterling Raskie, MSFS, MBA, CFP, is an independent, fee-only financial planner at Blankenship Financial Planning in New Berlin, Ill. He is an adjunct professor teaching courses in math, finance, insurance and investments. His blog is Getting Your Financial Ducks in a Row, where he writes regularly about investments, retirement savings and financial planning.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

 

 

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Boosting Singles’ Benefits http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/30/boosting-singles-benefits/ http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/30/boosting-singles-benefits/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 22:00:02 +0000 http://abcnewspapers.com/?guid=5d9b2a46c278bd1120ea7de1c72897be If you’re like most who think about how much you need for your golden years, you probably calculated based on still having a spouse. Widows, widowers and divorcees approaching retirement and about to file for Social Security, though, need to recognize filing options that can significantly increase monthly benefits.

While rules are different for surviving spouses and divorcees than for those still married, you have options as a single senior. You may be able to file for spousal or survivor benefits instead of your own.

Widows and widowers. I recently met with a widowed client who was approaching age 66, which Social Security defines as her full retirement age (FRA). She lost her husband more than 25 years ago, never remarried and didn’t know to claim her survivor benefits (based on the work record of her deceased husband) instead of her own.

A survivor may be entitled up to 100% of his or her spouse’s Social Security benefit if not remarrying before age 60. When we compared both my client’s and her late husband’s monthly benefits, we found that she qualified to collect either her benefit of $2,300 at 66 or her survivor benefit of $2,000 based on her husband’s account. (A deceased spouse’s benefit continually increases to adjust for inflation.)

Most people would choose the higher benefit – in this case, her own. But each person’s individual benefits grow if delayed until age 70; survivor benefits do not. In her situation, her own benefit increases to approximately $3,130 per month if she waits four more years to claim it.

Since she can do without the additional $300 per month, she decided to take her survivor benefits now and switch to her own larger monthly benefit when she turns 70. If she lives to 90, she will collect approximately $185,000 more in benefits using this strategy rather than just collecting her own benefits now, at her FRA.

Divorcees. You can also claim spousal benefits on your ex-spouse’s record. Divorcees’ spousal benefits are typically 50% of the full retirement benefits of the ex-spouse who qualified for such benefits. You must be at least 62 and not remarried and your marriage had to last 10 or more years.

The benefits of your ex-spouse must be higher than your own when you begin claiming yours. As with surviving spousal benefits, this claiming strategy allows you to collect some income before claiming your own full benefit at 70.

If your ex-spouse dies before you do, you may also qualify to collect his or her full survivor benefit instead of the 50% spousal benefit if, again, your marriage spanned at least 10 years. Note: If you are caring for a child younger than 16 or who is disabled, and receives benefits on the record of your former spouse, you do not need to meet the length-of-marriage rule. The child must be your former spouse’s natural or legally adopted child.

We recommend that you start this process at least three months before you want to start collecting these benefits. You will need your late or ex-spouse’s Social Security number and date of birth.

Rules for claiming Social Security benefits are very complicated, so it’s best to consult with a financial advisor or Social Security specialist to understand all options. Ask questions and do the math to make your retirement years even more golden.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Barry Glassman, CFP, is the founder and president of Glassman Wealth Services, a fee-only investment management, financial planning and wealth management firm in McLean, Va. He has been honored with just about every Top Financial Advisor Award from the financial planning industry and his peers in publications including Barron’sInvestment News, Reuters, Washingtonian and Virginia Business. Barry provides investment and financial planning commentary on WTOP radio in the Washington, DC area. He is a member of the elite CNBC Financial Advisors Council and contributing writer at CNBC.com, Forbes.com, WTOP.com, Investment News and Financial Planning. Follow Barry on Twitter at @BarryGlassman. His website is www.glassmanwealth.com.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

]]>
If you’re like most who think about how much you need for your golden years, you probably calculated based on still having a spouse. Widows, widowers and divorcees approaching retirement and about to file for Social Security, though, need to recognize filing options that can significantly increase monthly benefits.

While rules are different for surviving spouses and divorcees than for those still married, you have options as a single senior. You may be able to file for spousal or survivor benefits instead of your own.

Widows and widowers. I recently met with a widowed client who was approaching age 66, which Social Security defines as her full retirement age (FRA). She lost her husband more than 25 years ago, never remarried and didn’t know to claim her survivor benefits (based on the work record of her deceased husband) instead of her own.

A survivor may be entitled up to 100% of his or her spouse’s Social Security benefit if not remarrying before age 60. When we compared both my client’s and her late husband’s monthly benefits, we found that she qualified to collect either her benefit of $2,300 at 66 or her survivor benefit of $2,000 based on her husband’s account. (A deceased spouse’s benefit continually increases to adjust for inflation.)

Most people would choose the higher benefit – in this case, her own. But each person’s individual benefits grow if delayed until age 70; survivor benefits do not. In her situation, her own benefit increases to approximately $3,130 per month if she waits four more years to claim it.

Since she can do without the additional $300 per month, she decided to take her survivor benefits now and switch to her own larger monthly benefit when she turns 70. If she lives to 90, she will collect approximately $185,000 more in benefits using this strategy rather than just collecting her own benefits now, at her FRA.

Divorcees. You can also claim spousal benefits on your ex-spouse’s record. Divorcees’ spousal benefits are typically 50% of the full retirement benefits of the ex-spouse who qualified for such benefits. You must be at least 62 and not remarried and your marriage had to last 10 or more years.

The benefits of your ex-spouse must be higher than your own when you begin claiming yours. As with surviving spousal benefits, this claiming strategy allows you to collect some income before claiming your own full benefit at 70.

If your ex-spouse dies before you do, you may also qualify to collect his or her full survivor benefit instead of the 50% spousal benefit if, again, your marriage spanned at least 10 years. Note: If you are caring for a child younger than 16 or who is disabled, and receives benefits on the record of your former spouse, you do not need to meet the length-of-marriage rule. The child must be your former spouse’s natural or legally adopted child.

We recommend that you start this process at least three months before you want to start collecting these benefits. You will need your late or ex-spouse’s Social Security number and date of birth.

Rules for claiming Social Security benefits are very complicated, so it’s best to consult with a financial advisor or Social Security specialist to understand all options. Ask questions and do the math to make your retirement years even more golden.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Barry Glassman, CFP, is the founder and president of Glassman Wealth Services, a fee-only investment management, financial planning and wealth management firm in McLean, Va. He has been honored with just about every Top Financial Advisor Award from the financial planning industry and his peers in publications including Barron’sInvestment News, Reuters, Washingtonian and Virginia Business. Barry provides investment and financial planning commentary on WTOP radio in the Washington, DC area. He is a member of the elite CNBC Financial Advisors Council and contributing writer at CNBC.com, Forbes.com, WTOP.com, Investment News and Financial Planning. Follow Barry on Twitter at @BarryGlassman. His website is www.glassmanwealth.com.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

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Wisconsin sheep breeders honor Boniface http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/30/wisconsin-sheep-breeders-honor-boniface/ http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/30/wisconsin-sheep-breeders-honor-boniface/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 18:00:39 +0000 http://abcnewspapers.com/?p=156349 Oak Grove’s Richard “Dick” Boniface was awarded the Art Pope Award at the annual meeting of the Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Cooperative Association held recently at the University of Wisconsin Experimental Farm at Arlington, Wisconsin.

Oak Grove’s Dick Boniface has received the Art Pope Award, recognizing his contributions to the industry by Wisconsin sheep breeders.

Oak Grove’s Dick Boniface has received the Art Pope Award, recognizing his contributions to the industry by Wisconsin sheep breeders. Photo submitted

This award recognizes an individual for outstanding service and dedication to the American Sheep Industry. The award was established in 1995 to honor Dr. A. L. Pope, an animal science professor, University of Wisconsin, for his leadership and service to the sheep industry .

Boniface enjoyed a 40 year wool-marketing career at  North Central Wool Marketing Corporation, a regional co-op headquartered in Minneapolis. He started working on a grading crew in the warehouse, became a wool buyer, supervisor of field staff, director of field service and director of public relations.

During his time there, he originated the grade and yield method of marketing wool. This made it possible to sell an individual producer’s wool on the current market based on its quality and yield. In addition, he implemented and helped operate the wool-testing lab. He traveled and spoke to grower meetings and events in many states, organized and led buyer-training sessions throughout the fleece wool states. As public relations director he arranged annual meetings, and edited the company paper “THE WOOL SACK.” This publication had at one time, a circulation of 20,000 including woolgrowers, industry personnel and agriculture libraries in the United States and abroad.

He worked with the Universities of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, State, North Dakota State, and South Dakota State teaching livestock classes the basics of wool grades and proper wool preparation with a lecture or warehouse tours. He was also a popular wool show judge including over 20 years at the Wisconsin State Fair.

Boniface helped organize the Minnesota Lamb and Wool Producers Association and continues to support the organization’s events at the Minnesota State Fair. He is a donor of 4-H State Fair awards in lamb lead and the wool show. Boniface and his wife Juanita have been long time contributing buyers at the Minnesota 4-H Livestock Auction in sheep. The Dick Boniface and Juanita Reed-Boniface 4-H Endowment was established to assure support of these awards for the future. The couple also sponsor special awards for several categories of hand constructed wool items in the creative activities cepartment at the Minnesota State Fair.

Although his primary work has been in the sheep and wool industries, Boniface has given his time and talent generously to many other aspects of agriculture. He and Reed-Boniface formed an agriculture education consulting firm, JRB Associates, Inc. in 1992. From 1997-2008 they were program coordinators for Minnesota Foundation for Responsible Animal Care. They gave leadership to designing and implementing Minnesota’s Livestock Quality Assurance and Ethics Program for young producers, a program which now reaches 50,000 youth in the Minnesota 4-H program. He has provided resources on sheep and wool and taught hands-on activities to hundreds of students for Ag-In-The Classroom, Ag Adventures Day Camps, 4-H Family Farm Fests and County and State Fair educational exhibits.

Boniface and Reed-Boniface are both Anoka County Farm Bureau officers and  help to conduct award winning educational programs in agriculture literacy including presentation of children’s literature book bundles to elementary schools, Oliver H. Kelley Historic Farm and giving classroom presentations. In 2004 they were inducted into the Minnesota Livestock Hall of Fame and in 2010 Boniface received the American Sheep Industry Camptender award for his commitment and long-lasting contributions to the wool industry.

His interest in cooperatives includes credit unions. He served 14 years  (1970-1984) on the board of directors of Twin Cities Coop Credit Union (now SPIRE) including the last four years (1980-1984) as president.

Acknowledging he had been given a great honor, Boniface said while accepting his award, “It’s been a privilege to spend my career working in this industry. It’s not a job that has made me a millionaire, but I am rich in another way. Getting to know and work with hundreds of the greatest people in the world – the farmers and ranchers in the North Central and Western parts of the United States … has been truly rewarding. The friends I gained through my work are among my life’s prized possessions.”

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Dist. 11 will keep full-time instrumental music teachers http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/30/dist-11-will-keep-full-time-instrumental-music-teachers/ http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/30/dist-11-will-keep-full-time-instrumental-music-teachers/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 17:23:22 +0000 http://abcnewspapers.com/?p=156345 In an effort to keep high school class sizes below 40 and two full-time instrumental music teachers at all five high schools, the Anoka-Hennepin School Board authorized administration to add 6.5 full-time equivalent positions for the 2015-2016 school year.

Last spring, Coon Rapids High School was slated to lose 0.75 FTEs in instrumental music, which would have left the school without a full-time band director. But School Board action after the regular staffing process kept two full-time instrumental teachers in the school.

Michael Watson conducts the school’s orchestras, and Brian Duffy returned to CRHS this year to step in front of the bands.

Even though enrollment in instrumental music classes is on the rise – Coon Rapids orchestras are expected to grow by 35 students and bands are expected to entice an additional 76 players – Coon Rapids still would have seen a hit of 0.5 FTEs in instrumental music going into the 2015-2016 school year had the School Board not stepped in.

The Music Task Force, formed in 2014 after families addressed the board about “revolving door” issues, emphasized the importance of program stability, which an additional 0.5 FTEs buys.

“Changes like this that we can utilize to keep stability in our programs – whether it’s music or other programs – I think it’s just a huge win for our district,” said Board Member Jeff Simon, who chairs the Music Task Force.

In 2015-2016, all five high schools will have at least two full-time instrumental positions, one dedicated to band and one to orchestra.

CRHS will run a pilot program in the fall, offering marching band as a class during the fall term. Previously, students have participated in marching band as an extra-curricular activity.

Seventy-one students have enrolled in marching band so far, according to Principal Annette Ziegler.

The School Board authorized an additional six FTEs to lower class sizes in required courses in English, math, science and social studies.

The five high schools had dozens of sections with more than 40 students this year, but added positions at each of the five high schools stand to see less than a dozen sections with 40 or more students.

Andover, Anoka and Blaine high schools stand to see zero classes with enrollment greater than 40 students next year.

Three classes at Champlin Park High School – Advanced Placement U.S. Government, International Baccalaureate Math 11 and IB Theory of Knowledge – have a projected average of 40 or 41 students.

Any large class is not ideal, but AP and IB students typically require less one-on-one attention and do lots of work in teams, Associate Superintendent for High Schools Jeff McGonigal said. A class size of 40 is “more conducive to those classes” than it would be to freshmen algebra, for example, McGonigal added.

Seven classes at CRHS show projections at or above 40: Accounting I; Ads and Sales; Clothing I, II, III, IV; Physics A; Computer-Aided Design I, II, III; French I; and American Sign Language II.

With schedule changes anticipated this fall – students electing to enroll in Postsecondary Education Options, etc. – McGonigal predicts many of those class sizes will drop.

“I think we’re going to be at or below 40 in all of our classes at all of our schools, and that’s remarkable,” McGonigal said.

The cost attached to the additional 6.5 FTEs is around $520,000, inclusive of salary and benefits, according to McGonigal.
olivia.alveshere@ecm-inc.com

 
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County to expand residential treatment services http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/30/county-to-expand-residential-treatment-services/ http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/30/county-to-expand-residential-treatment-services/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 16:21:50 +0000 http://abcnewspapers.com/?p=156343 Anoka County is expanding its intensive residential treatment services program for adults ages 18 and older diagnosed with serious mental illness.

On the recommendation of its Human Services Committee, the Anoka County Board authorized contract negotiations to begin with Touchstone Mental Health, Minneapolis, to establish a facility in the county to create additional intensive residential treatment services beds.

“We welcome the opportunity to create more beds for this program,” said Anoka County Board Chairperson Rhonda Sivarajah, who chairs the committee.

Intensive residential treatment services are short-term, time-limited services designed to develop and enhance psychiatric stability, personal emotional adjustment, self-sufficiency and skills for adults with serious mental illness to live in a more independent setting, according to a report to the committee by Tracy Schirmers of the social services and behavioral health department.

Right now, there is a shortage of these beds in Anoka County, resulting in county residents having to go to facilities in other counties or stay at the Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center, said Cindy Cesare, county human services division manager.

Of the 31 percent discharged by the Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center to an intensive residential treatment services facility, 70 percent were sent to a program outside Anoka County because of lack of beds within the county, Schirmers wrote.

In addition, Mercy Hospital told the county that it could have reduced inpatient bed days in the hospital’s acute psychiatric unit by 2,678 days if more treatment services beds were available in the county, according to the staff report.

The county has received permission from the Minnesota Department of Human Services licensing division to add more intensive residential treatment services beds to meet the county’s needs, Cesare said.

Currently, the county has nine treatment services beds at one facility in Fridley and recently added two more flexible beds at the adult crisis residential program’s facility in Coon Rapids, she said.

“But these are generally at capacity,” Cesare said.

Once the county was given approval by the state to add more treatment services beds, it sent out a request for proposal to vendors, and from the responses, Touchstone was selected, she said.

Part of the negotiations will be to pick a site for a facility, Cesare said.

Almost all of the program costs are covered by Minnesota medical assistance programs as well as some commercial health plans, she said. “Very little county dollars will be involved,” Cesare said.

The short-term intensive residential treatment program helps the clients integrate back into the community and includes assistance in finding housing and employment, according to Cesare.

For example, the program works to ensure participants understand how to fill out applications, Cesare said.

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Good news on Coon Rapids bond sale http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/30/good-news-on-coon-rapids-bond-sale/ http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/30/good-news-on-coon-rapids-bond-sale/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 16:20:06 +0000 http://abcnewspapers.com/?p=156341 The city of Coon Rapids’ foray into the bond market brought good news.

The Coon Rapids City Council March 17 awarded the sale of $10 million in general obligation bonds to Wells Fargo at an interest rate of 1.96 percent.

That was 20 basis points lower than the anticipated interest rate when the council gave the go-ahead for the bond sale earlier this month, according to Nick Anhut, financial advisor for Ehlers & Associates, the city’s financial consultant.

Eight bids from regional and national underwriters were submitted for the bond with the highest interest rate being 2.08 percent, Anhut said.

The difference between the low and high interest rates amounted to $100,000 in interest costs and demonstrated “very tight bonding,” Anhut said.

One reason for the low interest rate was an affirmation by Moody’s, a national bond rating agency, of the city’s strong AA1 credit rating, which is only a notch below the highest possible bond rating, AAA, he said. “This is a very good result,” Anhut said.

According to Anhut, in affirming the city’s bond rating, Moody’s pointed to the recent increase in the city’s tax base and assessed valuation as well as the strength of the city’s financial management practices and fund balance to cover emergencies.

Half the proceeds of the $10 million bond issue, $5 million, have been earmarked for the first installment of the $17.4 million park bond referendum for improvements to city parks and trails approved by voters at the November 2013 election.

These bonds will be payable over 15 years, according to Sharon Legg, city finance director.

“This will pay for the renovation of Riverview Park in the amount of $1.8 million and get the city started on the Sand Creek Park project,” Legg said.

The bond sale also included $3.3 million to finance the city’s share of the cost as well as the assessments for three street reconstruction projects planned this year, two of them on city residential streets and one of them on state aid collector roads, she said.

These street reconstruction projects include replacement of water lines in those areas and water revenue bonds totaling $1.7 million were also part of the bond sale, Legg said.

The term of both these bonds is 10 years, she said.

The bonds for the street reconstruction projects will be paid from the property tax levy, starting in 2016, Legg said.

Payment of the water revenue bond debt will come from the city’s water utility fund, which derives its revenues from the quarterly utility bills sent to Coon Rapids property owners, according to Legg.

The bond issue was capped at $10 million to make it bank qualified, meaning that banks could bid on the bonds to increase competition and generate a lower interest rate, Legg said.

A bond sale of more than $10 million would have precluded banks from involvement in the bidding process, she said.

The bond issue was structured in such a way that a premium gave the city $500,000 more in proceeds from the sale, Legg said.

That money will be used reduce the amount of future bonds needed to pay for park referendum projects, she said.

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Inside the Fed’s Thinking http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/30/inside-the-feds-thinking/ http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/30/inside-the-feds-thinking/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 15:30:02 +0000 http://abcnewspapers.com/?guid=b4342c26f5d623c3e6bd63a693126903 The Federal Reserve bases its monetary policy on augury. Thousands of years ago, Roman soothsayers visited the oracles and interpreted the entrails of slaughtered animals. We haven’t advanced much since then, as a review of the Fed’s most recent prophecy shows.

Fortunately, no animals are slaughtered today, but many brain cells seem to die in the reading and interpretation of policy statements of the Federal Open Market Committee, the central bank’s policymaking body, which oversees short-term interest rates. Today’s economists, journalists and pundits pass along the committee’s thinking to the credulous public. Trouble is, it’s unclear whether the FOMC knows what it is saying.

Many well-paid experts make a living off interpreting what the Fed is going to do. They will tell you, with certainty, that the Fed will definitely maybe raise interest rates sometime this year – or perhaps next year – but they’re just guessing.

Consider, for example, when Fed Chair Janet Yellen used the word “patient” to describe the Fed’s approach to raising rates. They know, without a doubt, that at least two meetings will pass before rates would be raised.

How did they know? Why two meetings and not three? And what’s to be made of the absence of the word “patient” or any derivative of it in the latest pronouncement from the Fed?

Since the Fed doesn’t do much, except issue occasional policy statements and print money, being an interpreter of Fed-speak has to be a good gig. I want in. So here’s my interpretation of the Fed’s latest policy statement, issued in the wake of its latest meeting – what FOMC says, versus (in italics) what it is really thinking:

“Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in January suggests that economic growth has moderated somewhat.” The Fed laid out $3 trillion- plus in bond buying, a stimulus effort called quantitative easing, designed to keep rates low and pump money into the system. And the economy still stinks: Since the Great Recession, gross domestic product has inched up barely over 2% annually, with no real improvement is sight.

“Labor market conditions have improved further, with strong job gains and a lower unemployment rate.” It’s a good thing we have the U-3 unemployment rate to fall back on. This measure conveniently excludes discouraged people who no longer are looking for work. The workforce participation rate is still abysmal, but no one pays any attention to it. It has shrunk below 63% of the population, a level not seen since the stagflation-ridden late 1970s.

“A range of labor market indicators suggests that underutilization of labor resources continues to diminish.” The best that can be said is that fewer people are flipping burgers at McDonald’s – although that may be because of a downturn in McDonald’s business, not because of any improvement in the U.S. economy.

“Household spending is rising moderately; declines in energy prices have boosted household purchasing power.” Personal income is still down: Inflation adjusted, since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking it this way in 2000, the household statistic shows no room for optimism. Dated from when the recession officially ended in June 2009, for instance, it fell 5.6%. But because our efforts to boost inflation have failed, consumers have more money to spend.

“Business fixed investment is advancing, while the recovery in the housing sector remains slow and export growth has weakened.” We’ll need to be “patient” a little longer before we increase interest rates.

“Inflation has declined further below the Committee’s longer-run objective, largely reflecting declines in energy prices.” Do not mention that, even after buying more than $3 trillion worth of bonds, we’re now in a period of deflation. Oh, well. At least we’re not Europe. Maybe it’s time to reconsider that arbitrary 2% inflation target.

“Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable.” Sooner or later (OK, later), inflation will increase. When it does, we’re ready to take credit for it.

“Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability.” Let’s not dwell on how 2% inflation equals “price stability.”

“The Committee expects that, with appropriate policy accommodation, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace, with labor market indicators continuing to move toward levels the Committee judges consistent with its dual mandate.” There’s no way we’re going much beyond the 2% growth we’ve had since Barack Obama took office. That’s the best you can hope for when you hand control of the economy over to the Fed.

“The Committee continues to see the risks to the outlook for economic activity and the labor market as nearly balanced.” We’re not sure how the labor market is supposed to balance economic risks, but saying something is “nearly balanced” sounds like we’re in some sort of equilibrium, so we’ll leave this sentence in.

“Inflation is anticipated to remain near its recent low level in the near term, but the Committee expects inflation to rise gradually toward 2 percent over the medium term as the labor market improves further and the transitory effects of energy price declines and other factors dissipate. The Committee continues to monitor inflation developments closely.” So the best thing that could happen to the economy would be for oil prices to increase. Didn’t we just say that lower oil prices boosted consumer spending?

“To support continued progress toward maximum employment and price stability, the Committee today reaffirmed its view that the current 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate remains appropriate. In determining how long to maintain this target range, the Committee will assess progress – both realized and expected – toward its objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation.” We have no idea when we’re going to raise interest rates, but if we wait until we achieve our “dual mandate,” they may remain near zero for as long as we’re alive.

“This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial and international developments.” Maybe I should refer here to macroprudential supervision? Nah. That one was never much of a market mover. This idea means that the Fed is supposed to more tightly regulate financial institutions and stop speculative bubbles before they occur. The Fed didn’t go such a great job forestalling the dot-com crash and the housing crisis, though.

“Consistent with its previous statement, the Committee judges that an increase in the target range for the federal funds rate remains unlikely at the April FOMC meeting. The Committee anticipates that it will be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate when it has seen further improvement in the labor market and is reasonably confident that inflation will move back to its 2 percent objective over the medium term.” We’re in no hurry to raise rates. When we do, the stock market will tank and we’ll have to start picking up the tab when we visit Wall Street for lunch.

“This change in the forward guidance does not indicate that the Committee has decided on the timing of the initial increase in the target range.” We’ve been saying the same thing for months, but now all we did was ax the word “patient.” Not much of a difference in our wording here. Nevertheless, it qualifies as a “change in the forward guidance.”

“The Committee is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction. This policy, by keeping the Committee’s holdings of longer-term securities at sizable levels, should help maintain accommodative financial conditions. “ Let’s ignore the risk of all of those long-term holdings. When we leave the Fed, it will become someone else’s problem.

“When the Committee decides to begin to remove policy accommodation, it will take a balanced approach consistent with its longer-run goals of maximum employment and inflation of 2 percent.” In other words, you can expect this drama to continue for many years to come, at least through this administration, anyway.

“The Committee currently anticipates that, even after employment and inflation are near mandate-consistent levels, economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the target federal funds rate below levels the Committee views as normal in the longer run.” We did it: Got through a policy statement without using the word “patient.” Is it time for lunch yet?

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Brenda P. Wenning is president of Wenning Investments LLC in Newton, Mass. 

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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The Federal Reserve bases its monetary policy on augury. Thousands of years ago, Roman soothsayers visited the oracles and interpreted the entrails of slaughtered animals. We haven’t advanced much since then, as a review of the Fed’s most recent prophecy shows.

Fortunately, no animals are slaughtered today, but many brain cells seem to die in the reading and interpretation of policy statements of the Federal Open Market Committee, the central bank’s policymaking body, which oversees short-term interest rates. Today’s economists, journalists and pundits pass along the committee’s thinking to the credulous public. Trouble is, it’s unclear whether the FOMC knows what it is saying.

Many well-paid experts make a living off interpreting what the Fed is going to do. They will tell you, with certainty, that the Fed will definitely maybe raise interest rates sometime this year – or perhaps next year – but they’re just guessing.

Consider, for example, when Fed Chair Janet Yellen used the word “patient” to describe the Fed’s approach to raising rates. They know, without a doubt, that at least two meetings will pass before rates would be raised.

How did they know? Why two meetings and not three? And what’s to be made of the absence of the word “patient” or any derivative of it in the latest pronouncement from the Fed?

Since the Fed doesn’t do much, except issue occasional policy statements and print money, being an interpreter of Fed-speak has to be a good gig. I want in. So here’s my interpretation of the Fed’s latest policy statement, issued in the wake of its latest meeting – what FOMC says, versus (in italics) what it is really thinking:

“Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in January suggests that economic growth has moderated somewhat.” The Fed laid out $3 trillion- plus in bond buying, a stimulus effort called quantitative easing, designed to keep rates low and pump money into the system. And the economy still stinks: Since the Great Recession, gross domestic product has inched up barely over 2% annually, with no real improvement is sight.

“Labor market conditions have improved further, with strong job gains and a lower unemployment rate.” It’s a good thing we have the U-3 unemployment rate to fall back on. This measure conveniently excludes discouraged people who no longer are looking for work. The workforce participation rate is still abysmal, but no one pays any attention to it. It has shrunk below 63% of the population, a level not seen since the stagflation-ridden late 1970s.

“A range of labor market indicators suggests that underutilization of labor resources continues to diminish.” The best that can be said is that fewer people are flipping burgers at McDonald’s – although that may be because of a downturn in McDonald’s business, not because of any improvement in the U.S. economy.

“Household spending is rising moderately; declines in energy prices have boosted household purchasing power.” Personal income is still down: Inflation adjusted, since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking it this way in 2000, the household statistic shows no room for optimism. Dated from when the recession officially ended in June 2009, for instance, it fell 5.6%. But because our efforts to boost inflation have failed, consumers have more money to spend.

“Business fixed investment is advancing, while the recovery in the housing sector remains slow and export growth has weakened.” We’ll need to be “patient” a little longer before we increase interest rates.

“Inflation has declined further below the Committee’s longer-run objective, largely reflecting declines in energy prices.” Do not mention that, even after buying more than $3 trillion worth of bonds, we’re now in a period of deflation. Oh, well. At least we’re not Europe. Maybe it’s time to reconsider that arbitrary 2% inflation target.

“Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable.” Sooner or later (OK, later), inflation will increase. When it does, we’re ready to take credit for it.

“Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability.” Let’s not dwell on how 2% inflation equals “price stability.”

“The Committee expects that, with appropriate policy accommodation, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace, with labor market indicators continuing to move toward levels the Committee judges consistent with its dual mandate.” There’s no way we’re going much beyond the 2% growth we’ve had since Barack Obama took office. That’s the best you can hope for when you hand control of the economy over to the Fed.

“The Committee continues to see the risks to the outlook for economic activity and the labor market as nearly balanced.” We’re not sure how the labor market is supposed to balance economic risks, but saying something is “nearly balanced” sounds like we’re in some sort of equilibrium, so we’ll leave this sentence in.

“Inflation is anticipated to remain near its recent low level in the near term, but the Committee expects inflation to rise gradually toward 2 percent over the medium term as the labor market improves further and the transitory effects of energy price declines and other factors dissipate. The Committee continues to monitor inflation developments closely.” So the best thing that could happen to the economy would be for oil prices to increase. Didn’t we just say that lower oil prices boosted consumer spending?

“To support continued progress toward maximum employment and price stability, the Committee today reaffirmed its view that the current 0 to 1/4 percent target range for the federal funds rate remains appropriate. In determining how long to maintain this target range, the Committee will assess progress – both realized and expected – toward its objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation.” We have no idea when we’re going to raise interest rates, but if we wait until we achieve our “dual mandate,” they may remain near zero for as long as we’re alive.

“This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial and international developments.” Maybe I should refer here to macroprudential supervision? Nah. That one was never much of a market mover. This idea means that the Fed is supposed to more tightly regulate financial institutions and stop speculative bubbles before they occur. The Fed didn’t go such a great job forestalling the dot-com crash and the housing crisis, though.

“Consistent with its previous statement, the Committee judges that an increase in the target range for the federal funds rate remains unlikely at the April FOMC meeting. The Committee anticipates that it will be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate when it has seen further improvement in the labor market and is reasonably confident that inflation will move back to its 2 percent objective over the medium term.” We’re in no hurry to raise rates. When we do, the stock market will tank and we’ll have to start picking up the tab when we visit Wall Street for lunch.

“This change in the forward guidance does not indicate that the Committee has decided on the timing of the initial increase in the target range.” We’ve been saying the same thing for months, but now all we did was ax the word “patient.” Not much of a difference in our wording here. Nevertheless, it qualifies as a “change in the forward guidance.”

“The Committee is maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction. This policy, by keeping the Committee’s holdings of longer-term securities at sizable levels, should help maintain accommodative financial conditions. “ Let’s ignore the risk of all of those long-term holdings. When we leave the Fed, it will become someone else’s problem.

“When the Committee decides to begin to remove policy accommodation, it will take a balanced approach consistent with its longer-run goals of maximum employment and inflation of 2 percent.” In other words, you can expect this drama to continue for many years to come, at least through this administration, anyway.

“The Committee currently anticipates that, even after employment and inflation are near mandate-consistent levels, economic conditions may, for some time, warrant keeping the target federal funds rate below levels the Committee views as normal in the longer run.” We did it: Got through a policy statement without using the word “patient.” Is it time for lunch yet?

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Brenda P. Wenning is president of Wenning Investments LLC in Newton, Mass. 

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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