Our Weekend Word

End of the Year Checklist

If you’re like me the fact that the “holidays” are next week is making you sweat a little. So, before you get swept into 2018 with manic bouts of cooking and cleaning and sugar coma’s here are a few things to keep in mind as the end of the year approaches that can help you feel productive in the chaos.

The State of Social Security

Social Security is a critical topic for most people.  Retirees and pre-retirees are counting on the income that it provides, and younger generations have convinced themselves they won’t have Social Security when they retire.  With all the preconceived notions and false information surrounding Social Security in general, we wanted to set the record straight.

Not So Fast

A joint account may seem like a quick and easy way to be able to help out a parent or grandparent with their finances while allowing them to maintain some independence and control. And it is true that a joint account allows for quick transfer of assets without probate if one owner passes away. But, there are some pitfalls to this setup when it comes to estate and inheritance planning that are very important to be aware of.

Identity Theft Insurance?

Identity theft and cybersecurity are topics we have touched on frequently over the past year, but bear with us as we go to that well one more time.  In the wake of the Equifax breach this topic has been everywhere, but it leaves us with important questions; can we fix the system, and how do we protect ourselves?

The Trump Tax Proposal: What You Need to Know

This week, the White House unveiled its tax plan, proposing to cut taxes across the board, relieve millions of people from paying income taxes, and streamline filing—all while keeping the budget in balance (or at least not making the situation worse). But are the plan’s promises possible to fulfill, and does it stand a chance of passing?

A Perfect Storm

In the wake of two of the worst storms the U.S. has ever seen many questions linger. We all grieve for the hardships these disasters have brought on millions of Americans, but we also share concerns over if this will have a significant negative impact on the economy.

Have Negative Interest Rates Come Home?

In 2014 the European Central Bank attempted to usher in an era of “easy money” by lowering their main interest rate below 0%.  This was an unprecedented event which lead to many countries across the globe with negative yields on their 10-year treasury notes. (If you’re interested in a quick primer you can always refer to our piece last year The World According To NIRP. While this madness was happening, many pundits wondered the impact this might have back home.  While the immediate impact wasn’t notable, one pundit, despite three rate hikes believes negative interest rates have come to America.



Equifax Breach

As part of our ongoing efforts to help keep your personal information as safe as possible, we want to remind you to stay on the lookout for the many security threats making the rounds in cyberspace today.   Over the past few months we have taken the sent out a few emails about Identity Theft and what happens after a Cyber Breach and you can check those out again at http://www.laurelfinancialgroup.com/blog

Recently, we learned about a massive Equifax breach in which more than 143 million consumers (almost half the country!) may have had their information compromised, including:


Any time you’re thinking of putting money to work for you it’s important to know what to expect along the way. 

What Happens to Our Stolen Information After a Cyber Breach?

After a cyber breach, we tend to think in terms of what the victim needs to do next. Can any of the stolen data be protected after the fact? What can the victim do to secure confidential information going forward? But for a change, let’s talk about the crime from the cyber thief’s point of view. What does the crook do with our data once he or she has stolen it?