Durham Office

1502 West NC Highway 54

Suite 501
Durham, NC 27707

Blog

Thursday, November 3, 2022

October is now behind us and it has delivered on its track record as a historically favorable month for stocks, offering some respite for investors as major equity indices rose for the month. The downside pressure on equities had...

Friday, October 14, 2022

This is a general overview of Medicare coverage. For more information, visit medicare.gov.You can also get free, personalized help from a trained counselor by contacting your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). Your...

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

First, we want to acknowledge the tremendous damage and displacement caused by Hurricane Ian. Our thoughts are with those impacted by this devastating storm.This has clearly been a challenging year for households. Stocks and bonds are...

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

As the end of the year approaches, it's time to consider strategies that could help you reduce your tax bill. But most tax tips, suggestions, and strategies are of little practical help without a good understanding of your current tax...

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

In the last several weeks, we have continued to face elevated uncertainty in financial markets due to high inflation and rising interest rates, and we thought it was an important time to take stock with the final quarter of 2022 just...

Show All

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

When it comes to stock market performance, August was “the best of times, and the worst of times.” The strong market rally that peaked in mid-August was viewed by many analysts as a transition from a bear to bull market,...

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Last week was epic for market-watchers. A Federal Reserve (Fed) rate hike, a much-anticipated gross domestic product (GDP) report, and the busiest week of earnings season got most of the headlines. There was even a surprise out of...

Monday, August 1, 2022

Did you know that you can pay your taxes online and avoid the time and hassles involved with writing and mailing checks to the government? Electronic payments are safer, more secure and much faster than mailing physical checks. The...

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Markets rarely give us clear skies, and there are always threats to watch for on the horizon, but the right preparation, context, and support can help us navigate anything that may lie ahead. So far, this year hasn’t seen a...

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

As the calendar has turned to July, investors would certainly like to forget the first six months of 2022. However, the Fourth of July Independence Day holiday does bring with it a reason for celebration. Not only is it the 246th...

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Charitable donations allow you to give and take—you give money or property to a qualified charity and then take an income tax deduction. By supporting an organization or cause, you may be able to lower your tax bill. As you plan...

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

A bear market is officially here thanks largely to stubbornly high inflation. For many of us, it has probably felt like a bear market for a while now, but the S&P 500 Index didn’t close more than 20% below its January 3 record...

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

The bull market that began in March of 2020 came dangerously close to an end. From March 23, 2020 through January 3, 2022, the S&P 500 Index gained 114% (excluding dividends). From that January 3 closing high through the recent low on...

Thursday, May 12, 2022

2022 has been a challenging year for investors so far. The S&P 500 Index just had one of its worst Aprils in decades, and May is off to a rocky start. Bond investors have not fared much better as rising interest rates have pushed down...

Thursday, May 5, 2022

As we move into spring and leave behind the last signs of a long winter, many worries from a chilly start to the year for markets, unfortunately, are still with us. The S&P 500 Index had its worst April in more than 40 years, leaving...

Monday, May 2, 2022

It has been a turbulent 2022 so far for investors. The S&P 500 Index is on track for its worst April in more than 40 years, the Nasdaq entered a bear market on April 26 with its more than 20% decline, and bonds, which typically provide...

Thursday, April 7, 2022

“Bull markets are born on pessimism, grown on skepticism, mature on optimism, and die on euphoria.” - Sir John Templeton According to the guidance of revered investor Sir John Templeton, it appears to us that this market...

Monday, March 28, 2022

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we saw a flurry of activity from our federal government to assist in our economy's recovery. - The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, signed into law on March 11, 2021 was one such piece of...

Monday, March 28, 2022

I am not eligible to itemize deductions, can cash charitable contributions reduce my federal tax liability?   Prior to 2020, the answer to this question was no!   Some quick history for starters!   Prior to 2020,...

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Multi-task time on the tax planning front!! While you are busy making sure you gather all your tax forms and other prep info for filing your 2021 taxes - it is also important to have your eye on the ball for 2022 tax planning. Remember...

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

It is tax season! The IRS began accepting 2021 tax returns as of January 24, 2022 and the tax filing deadline is Monday, April 18th. Organization is key to a streamlined tax prep process. This starts with accumulating all of the tax...

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Stocks have gotten off to a very rocky start in 2022, with the potential for Federal Reserve rate hikes coming and the geopolitical worries over Russia and Ukraine only adding to the uncertainty. We don’t want to minimize the...

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

When you’re busy juggling career, family, social life, and multiple other obligations, you may end up feeling as if you don’t have enough time to do it all. Often, the solution lies in improving how you manage your time. To...

Thursday, February 3, 2022

The calendar had barely flipped to 2022 and investors were reminded that even attractive long-term stock returns come with a cost: volatility. The S&P 500 Index fell nearly 10% from January 3 through January 27 amid fears that the...

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Stocks have gotten off to a tough start in 2022. Why has the market pulled back and what might we see going forward? We think the most important thing to remember is that periodic stock market volatility is entirely normal....

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

With the New Year comes new beginnings, new goals, new challenges, new friendships, and new opportunities. 2021 was an incredible year for the economy and investors, but to us the future remains bright for 2022 and beyond. Let’s...

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Our resurgent economy grew at over a 6% pace in the first half of the year and is on track for 5% growth for the year when 2021 draws to a close. The current economic recovery, which started in May 2020, benefited from widespread vaccine

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

What are required minimum distributions (RMDs)? Required minimum distributions, often referred to as RMDs or minimum required distributions, are amounts that the federal government requires you to withdraw annually from traditional...

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

1. What is long-term care? Long-term care refers to the ongoing services and support needed by people who have chronic health conditions or disabilities. There are three levels of long-term care: Skilled care: Generally round-the-clock...

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

After his grandfather died more than a decade ago, Lamarr Couser and his family were caught by surprise when the funeral director asked whether the World War II veteran was covered by a life insurance policy from the Department of...

Monday, November 8, 2021

Many of us grew up in a world where it was customary to be friendly, courteous, and trusting. Unfortunately, assumptions concerning these standards of conduct can sometimes get us into trouble. Con artists offering a variety of...

Monday, November 1, 2021

If you're part of the one in three Americans who are uninsured or don't have access to an employer-sponsored healthcare plan, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may be able to help. The ACA allows you to buy health insurance on a public...

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Over the next 50 years, the age 85 and older population is expected to be the fastest growing segment of society. Unfortunately, along with aging, the chances of needing long-term care (LTC) increase. The primary reason for this is...

Monday, October 4, 2021

Over the last few decades, we have become extremely driven towards fighting and ending cancer for good since the National Cancer Act was put into place in 1971. This October is Breast Cancer awareness month– in the Unites States,...

Friday, September 24, 2021

What is it? Temporary, pure insurance Term life insurance provides life insurance coverage for a specific time period (term). It is often referred to as temporary insurance or pure insurance, in that there is no cash value in the...

Friday, September 10, 2021

Some employers offer 401(k) plan participants the opportunity to make Roth 401(k) contributions. If you have access to this option, Roth contributions could play an important role in helping enhance your retirement income. What is a...

Friday, September 3, 2021

First and foremost, this week’s commentary should not be construed to suggest that we are saying stocks will go up forever. We are also not saying that stocks are immune from a pullback in the final four months of 2021....

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Last week was a huge news week, from the Fed, to gross domestic product (GDP), to a giant week of earnings reports. Below we review the big events from last week, while also looking ahead to what could be an eventful August for...

Monday, August 2, 2021

The first half of 2021 is behind us. As life emerges from the pandemic to a "new normal," a mid-year financial checkup may be more important than ever this year. Here are some ways to make sure that your financial situation is...

Monday, August 2, 2021

Back-to-school time is notably hectic. From scrambling to buy supplies to adjusting your internal clock, it can feel like you’re being pulled in a hundred different directions. However, if you get your house in order beforehand,...

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

2021 has been a very strong year for both stocks and the economy, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been some surprises. Below we take a look at some things that have happened so far in 2021 that have surprised the LPL...

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

It is hard to believe we have passed the halfway point of 2021. After a 2020 that would never end, the first six months of 2021 flew by. With the second half underway, we have updated our views of the markets and economy in LPL...

Thursday, July 15, 2021

We ran out of superlatives to describe corporate America’s stunning performance during first-quarter earnings season. Despite lofty expections, results exceeded expectations by one of the biggest margins ever. So what will...

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

LPL Research Midyear Outlook 2021: Picking Up Speed is designed to help you navigate the risks and opportunities over the rest of 2021 and beyond. While the speed can be exhilarating as economic growth accelerates, it can also be...

Friday, July 9, 2021

If 2020 made you fantasize about a trip as soon as travel restrictions were lifted—and you’re still waiting—you aren’t alone. Although 2021 was poised to be a comeback year, it is shaping up to be another summer...

Friday, July 9, 2021

Retirement can be a risky business if you don’t consider all the factors that can impact your retirement during your planning process. Although it’s hard to know what will happen in the future to you or your investments,...

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Markets are off to a strong start this year, with the S&P 500 Index up about 14% so far. However, most of those gains came early in the year, and many stocks have stagnated over recent months. While we remain overweight on stocks...

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Managing Debt: Don’t Go It A-Loan

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Inflation has been on the rise. Investors are not as interested in what’s happening now as they are in what’s happening next. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve (Fed) shared its views at the conclusion of its last policy...

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

On May 27, 2021, a couple of events in the energy sector occurred that demonstrated the continued mainstreaming of sustainable investing and underscored the risks and opportunities available to investors. While primarily thought of as...

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Fiscal stimulus, which was central to the market rebound in the last year, may start moving to the sidelines over the rest of 2021 and into 2022 as the recovery continues. Economic growth can compensate for the loss of government...

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Only one-in-four Americans (27%) feel very confident that they will have enough money to live comfortably when they retire, according to the 2020 Retirement Confidence Survey Summary Report.⁠11 While the number is up slightly from the...

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

The time to begin planning for your financial future is now. So, when it comes to preparing for retirement, the earlier you start, the better. Here are some steps to help you achieve your overall objectives: Review your current...

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

After one of the worst starts to a year for fixed income, returns may not get much better from here. Long-term interest rates have traded sideways recently but we expect rates to potentially rise further, which would put downward...

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

After one of the best starts to a bull market in history, the rally has started to show signs of fatigue. A strong economic recovery lies ahead as the roepening continues, bolstering a very strong earnings outlook that is helping...

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

The economic recovery continues, as the recipe of vaccines, the reopening, and record stimulus all have combined to produce what should be one of the best years for growth ever. Although some economic indicators could be peaking or...

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

It’s embarrasing to admit this but in our earnings season preview on April 12, when the consensus estimate reflected a nearly 24% increase, we wrote that S&P 500 Index earnings growth for the first quarter could potentially...

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Retirement and financial planning should take on a holistic approach. There are two parts involved, preparing for retirement, and being in retirement stages. Both stages are equally important in your approach to how you view your mind,...

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

“Sell in May and go away”1 is probably the most widely cited stock market cliché in history. Every year a barrage of Wall Street commentaries, media stories, and investor questions flood in about the popular stock...

Friday, April 30, 2021

When it comes to financial stability, people tend to focus on paying off debt and saving for retirement. In reality, many other financial goals beckon to individuals during their lifetime. Because of this, it’s important to look...

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Last week we discussed whether stock prices might be reflecting peak optimism. In that commentary we noted that while sentiment may be overly optimistic and a pickup in volatility would be totally normal, strong breadth measures...

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Global stock markets are off to a strong start in 2021 as the world begins to emerge from the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the United States, vaccinations are increasing, the economy is expanding, unemployment is falling, and...

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

The outstanding fourth-quarter earnings season we had in 2020 is a tough act to follow, but 2021’s first quarter has the makings of another potentially great earnings season. The reopening of the economy continues to move...

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

The U.S. economy’s recovery from the pandemic continues to surpass our expectations, aided by the accelerating vaccine distribution, massive stimulus, and America’s desire to resume some semblance of normal daily life....

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

There is a growing debate over whether an expanding economy, in conjunction with historic fiscal and monetary stimulus, may cause inflation to overheat. Adding to the intense debate, the Federal Reserve (Fed) has shifted its policy...

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

The bear market ended one year ago this week, finishing one of the fastest and most vicious bear markets of all-time—one that led to a drawdown of 34%. Things have come full circle now, as stocks have staged a furious rally,...

Monday, March 22, 2021

Even though tax filing season is well under way, there's still time to make a regular IRA contribution for 2020. You have until your tax return due date (not including extensions) to contribute up to $6,000 for 2020 ($7,000 if you...

Thursday, March 18, 2021

With the NCAA college basketball tournament getting underway this week, LPL Research is getting in the spirit with its own version of March Madness. Here we share our “Final Four Factors” for the stock market in 2021:...

Friday, March 12, 2021

Self-employment is the opportunity to be your own boss, to come and go as you please, and oh yes, to establish a lifelong bond with your accountant. If you're self-employed, you'll need to pay your own FICA taxes and take charge of...

Thursday, March 11, 2021

In 2020, the government gave taxpayers an automatic six-month extension due to the coronavirus. Individuals who were affected by the damaging wildfires were also given additional time to meet most tax deadlines. However, in 2021, the...

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

The 10-year Treasury yield continues to climb higher, but remains low by historical standards. Still, the size of the move since July 2020—and the more recent acceleration—has some market participants worried about the...

Friday, March 5, 2021

Tax identity theft is when someone steals your Social Security Number, files a tax return with your number, and directs a refund to their own bank account. In other cases, this type of identity theft may involve a scam artist calling...

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Fourth-quarter earnings season is in the home stretch, and it’s been a good one. After raising our 2021 earnings forecast for the S&P 500 Index in our Weekly Market Commentary on February 8, our upgraded forecast may now be too...

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Increasingly more people realize that their sustainability concerns can be address through their investments. As more investors embark on the sustainable investing journey—learn what it is, why one pursues it, and how to do...

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Interest rates have risen steadily over the past six months but remain low by historical standards. That means the traditional high-quality bonds that many of us owned for decades are not doing the job for investors looking for income...

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Tax tips to make sure your money is working for you, not Uncle Sam When should you file your income tax? Generally speaking, the earlier, the better, after January 1st if you expect to get a refund. If you file by the end of February,...

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

The resilience of the US economy continues to exceed our expectations. With encouraging progress toward ending the pandemic, and massive fiscal stimulus in place—and more likely coming soon, our prior economic growth forecasts...

Thursday, February 4, 2021

While the 2020 tax year saw some significant changes to filing deadlines due to the effects of the global pandemic, the 2021 tax season seems to be set to be on track with normal filing deadlines. With the pandemic still in sight, it...

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

The level of US debt, already elevated before COVID-19 hit, skyrocketed as Congress put into place much needed fiscal stimulus in response to the pandemic, and it may jump again as the Biden administration targets its stimulus goals....

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Small caps have had an incredible run since the Russell 2000 Index bottomed on March 18, 2020, returning 119% compared to the S&P 500 Index’s 60% return over the period. Will small cap outperformance continue in 2021? The early...

Friday, January 22, 2021

If you fail to estimate your federal income tax withholding properly, it may cost you in a variety of ways. If you receive an income tax refund, it essentially means that you provided the IRS with an interest-free loan during the year....

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

This earnings season likely will be the last of the earnings recession. After year-over-year declines in the first three quarters of 2020, the fourth quarter likely will make it four in a row. Looking ahead, earnings are likely to...

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

As a result of the Senate runoffs in Georgia, Democrats are poised to take control of the US Senate, which would give them a majority in both houses of Congress. This will shift the policy outlook moderately to the left, but...

Friday, January 8, 2021

In an increasingly paper-free society, organizing your financial documents can still be a challenge. No matter how simple or complex your financial picture might be, it takes some thought-out organization to keep your tax documents,...

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

2020 was a year characterized in part by the outbreak of a global pandemic, which captivated the world and shocked the global economy and financial markets. As we turn the page to 2021, it can be helpful to reflect on the lessons...

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

After modest growth to begin 2020, the economy screeched to a halt as the onset of the pandemic ended the longest economic expansion ever. A record decline in gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter was followed by record...

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Stocks and bonds posted strong returns in 2020 despite a tumultuous year, although that may be surprising only for bonds. We believe we’re in the early stages of a new bull market for stocks, but the opportunities for bond...

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Did you know that, if you are at least 70½ years old, you can make tax-free charitable donations directly from your IRA? By making what's called a qualified charitable distribution (QCD), you can benefit your favorite charity...

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

More than most years, it’s hard to look ahead to the next year, to 2021, without looking back at 2020. A global pandemic, a massive economic collapse, a bear market, a surprisingly sharp reversal, a hotly contested election where...

Thursday, December 3, 2020

A new wave of COVID-19 cases threatens to trip up the economy. Increasing cases in Europe and the United States have brought new restrictions on activities, but the market doesn’t appear to be fazed by the recent outbreaks....

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The post-election environment and positive developments toward a COVID-19 vaccine have led to a surge in stock prices. The added clarity on these two fronts has boosted sentiment, which may present a risk in the near term as stock...

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Corporate America delivered quite an encore to a surprisingly good second quarter earnings season with more of the same in the third quarter, despite a higher bar. S&P 500 Index companies didn’t quite match the biggest upside...

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Financial planning is the process that can help you pursue your goals by evaluating your whole financial picture, then outlining strategies that are tailored to your individual needs and available resources. Just as the success of a...

Monday, November 2, 2020

2020 has been a year of records, both record losses and record gains. After a brutal spring, markets and the economy have mostly rebounded in the summer and fall. We take a closer look at October 26’s record gross domestic...

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The race for the White House is down to the homestretch, and although presidential candidate Joe Biden is comfortably ahead in the election polls, various market and economic-based indicators suggest the election may be much closer...

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Markets have come a long way since the March lows, but we believe there may be more room for stocks to run. Given the impressive economic recovery to date and improving underlying technical and fundamental conditions, we think small...

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The annual Medicare Open Enrollment Period is the time during which Medicare beneficiaries can make new choices and pick plans that work best for them. Each year, Medicare plan costs and coverage typically change. In addition, your...

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

This earnings season, corporate America will get closer to the return of earnings growth—which is likely in the first quarter of 2021. We probably will have another decline in profits for third quarter 2020, though potentially...

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Speculation has been increasing that the November election results may be delayed or disputed, or both. A contested election might affect financial markets in several ways. Also, the news that President Donald Trump has tested...

Friday, October 2, 2020

Go out into your yard and dig a big hole. Every month, throw $50 into it, but don't take any money out until you're ready to buy a house, send your child to college, or retire. It sounds a little crazy, doesn't it? But that's what...

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

The recent correction in the S&P 500 Index’s technology sector presents a unique challenge to markets following a historic stretch of outperformance as technology’s share of the market has ballooned in size. Despite...

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Many self-improvement goals focus on stability and personal growth — and financial goals are often no different. From buying your first home to saving for retirement, planning your finances can also help you work toward your...

Monday, September 21, 2020

When seasons change, the major central banks meet. The Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, and Bank of Japan all met in September to discuss their outlooks on the economy and monetary policy going forward. Key observations from...

Monday, September 21, 2020

IRA contribution limits The maximum amount you can contribute to a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA in 2020 is $6,000 (or 100% of your earned income, if less), unchanged from 2019. The maximum catch-up contribution for those age 50 or...

Friday, September 18, 2020

Making decisions about your retirement account can seem overwhelming, especially if you feel unsure about your knowledge of investments. However, the following basic rules can help you make smarter choices regardless of whether you...

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Even before your children can count, they already know something about money: it’s what you have to give the ice cream man to get a cone, or put in the slot to ride the rocket ship at the grocery store. So, as soon as your...

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Markets have been on a wild ride in September so far, with a strong first two days of the month followed by one of the sharpest 10% corrections ever for the NASDAQ. The case can be made that stocks may move higher over the rest of...

Friday, September 11, 2020

Qualified cash or deferred arrangements (CODAs) permitted under Section 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code, commonly referred to as "401(k) plans," have become one of the most popular types of employer-sponsored retirement plans. How...

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Many investors, ourselves included, find it difficult to understand why stocks have done so well lately in such a challenging economic environment and COVID-19 still an ongoing threat. We heard that question quite a bit at our annual...

Thursday, September 3, 2020

What are budget goals? Think of your budget goals as your financial wish list and your spending plan as a way to make those wishes a reality. Without clear budget goals, your financial life may remain in disarray. Like any other goals...

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

A second term for President Donald Trump would likely feature a continuation of the pro-growth policies from the first term of his administration, and importantly for financial markets, a continuation of the status quo. Markets...

Friday, August 28, 2020

Strategies for saving in your 50s Many retirees today are redefining the “golden years.” Forget about endless days of leisure. Retirees seek adventure, travel, and new business pursuits. While these changes may redefine...

Friday, August 21, 2020

When it comes to retirement planning, much ado is made of how much to save. But often, the real difference lies in shrewd distribution planning. By withdrawing funds from certain account types in a certain order, you might...

Friday, August 14, 2020

529 savings plans are tax-advantaged education savings vehicles and one of the most popular ways to save for college today. They can also be used to save for K-12 tuition. Much like the way 401(k) plans changed the world of retirement...

Thursday, August 13, 2020

At a time when your career is reaching a peak and you are looking ahead to your own retirement, you may find yourself in the position of having to help your children with college expenses while at the same time looking after the needs...

Friday, August 7, 2020

There's no denying the benefits of a college education: the ability to compete in today's job market, increased earning power, and expanded horizons. But these advantages come at a price. And yet, year after year, thousands of...

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

“An object in motion tends to remain in motion along a straight line unless acted upon by an outside force.” Sir Isaac Newton Last September, we noted that gold had many structural reasons to soar. Well, soar it has,...

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

A traditional IRA offers a great way to shield income from taxation while boosting your retirement accounts. Meanwhile, a Roth IRA can let you pay tomorrow's taxes today. But how can workers who are eligible to contribute to either...

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

AT THE MIDPOINT of 2020, we’re mindful that it’s been an extremely challenging year so far in the United States and around the globe. We’re in the midst of a pandemic that continues to impact all of us, our...