Our Weekend Word

The Secret Cost of Pets

We here at Laurel are decidedly animal lovers. Pets are great companions, keep us active, and can be extremely entertaining. With warm weather abound, you or family members may be dreaming of your own furry friend to accompany you on walks in the park (dog), or randomly glares at you for no apparent reason (cat). Should you decide to provide a welcoming home to a new fur baby, be warned, they aren’t cheap.

Foreign Vacation or Domestic Trepidation

Spring is here!  I don’t know about you but I have been enjoying the longer days and warmer weather.  Few things are better than a nice spring breeze, but what you feel blowing up your kilt at the moment is no breeze, but the winds of political change!

Another Market Emerges

Two weeks ago we sent out an article on the death of retail sales. This has been something many have seen coming with the predominance of giant online retailers such as Amazon. As their unbelievable growth continues, Amazon is doing enough business to create an internal economy of its own among the third party sellers available on the site.

Beware the Black Swan!



There it is! The dreaded black swan! Fabled to eat investors retirement nest eggs in a single gulp.

With the market having cooled off over the past month you may start to hear about these in the news. Talking heads in the investment world love to spread tales of the havoc they have wrought to strike fear into the hearts of investors.

A black swan is a term in the investment world used to describe the scariest of scary situations: the crash no one sees coming. We’ll hear talk about these from time to time when commentators aren’t sure what’s going on in the market. Following the “It’s quiet…. too quiet” logic they assume the worst and look for potential signs of market irregularities to try to make their worst nightmare a reality. Remember that whatever facts they point to are no more likely to predict the market than anything else and you also have a big can of swan repellent called a diversified portfolio.

So, don’t let any giant bird metaphors scare you out of having your portfolio set up to meet your retirement needs. And as always take the news with a grain of salt. 


The Fall of Traditional Retail?

Since the dawn of the internet the downfall of traditional retailers has long been prophesized.  Couple this with the rise internet retailers and the prophecy is looking more and more like reality. Department stores like Sears, Macy’s and JC Penny have long been a staple in the American retail space, but their reign as the go to store is quickly diminishing.

Different Breeds of Bonds

We’ve been writing about low interest rates a lot over the past months and now that they’ve started to move higher we’ve seen a lot of press that it’s a bad time to be invested in “bonds”.

Tax Documents

So, it’s that time of year again… tax time.  From all the calls we get, we can tell you’re all jumping for joy, shouting with glee and overall filled with exuberance.  Since that is out of the way we figured we would take the time to explain a bit about the tax forms you might be getting from us in this tax season.

- 1099-R

DOL and You

Since it has been a major topic in the news of late we thought it was time for us to address the Department of Labor Conflict of Interest Rule.  We have shied away from the topic for a few reasons; the primary, has been the slow development of direction.  The recent change in administration has clouded the future of the rule and largely put the entire industry in a state of limbo.  Whatever the outcome we wanted to take the time to explain the rule and the potential impact of it.

Real Estate Tax Rundown

With tax time rolling around, one new problem that can come up for some people later in life is having to deal with the sale or inheritance of a property. It’s not something people deal with every year and every time it happens it tends to be ever so slightly different than the last.

Saver's Tax Credit

We all know it can be tough to find the money to put away for retirement with how expensive life is today. Being a saver isn't always fun, but it can really pay off in the long run.