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From monthly archives: February 2019

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'February 2019'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

Brexit Update - February 2019

Summary of Brexit On June 23, 2016, the people of the United Kingdom voted by a margin of 51.9% to 48.1% to leave the European Union (EU), a customs, trade, political, and partial currency bloc comprising 28 countries in Europe. This outcome to the referendum was a surprise, effectively ousting UK Prime Minister David Cameron and briefly disrupting global markets. On March 29, 2017, the new Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, starting a two-year clock for the UK’s exit from the EU. In the months since, May and her government have been working to negotiate an exit (or “Brexit”, as a conglomeration of British and Exit) that both the UK and EU could abide that would ensure an orderly separation. An issue of particular importance in the Brexit negotiations is how to establish a custom’s border between the UK and EU. While for the most part the English Channel makes such a custom’s border between the two rather natural, the border between No ...

Market Month: January 2019

The Markets (as of market close January 31, 2019) Investors celebrated a month in which several indexes posted their best January performance in three decades. A strong labor market, low inflation, and a more "patient" Federal Reserve Board all sent encouraging messages to investors who were hungry for good news after last December's precipitous plunge. The Russell 2000 led the charge, closing the month more than 11% higher than its 2018 close, followed by a nearly 10% gain in the Nasdaq, while the S&P 500, Dow, and Global Dow all topped 7%. By the close of trading on January 31, the price of crude oil (WTI) was $53.95 per barrel, up from the December 31 price of $45.81 per barrel. The national average retail regular gasoline price was $2.256 per gallon on January 28, down slightly from the December 31 selling price of $2.266 and $0.351 lower than a year ago. The price of gold rose by the end of January, reaching $1,325.70 by close of business on the 31st, up from $1,284.70 at the end ...

How can You Lower the Costs of Owning a Vehicle?

Vehicle expenses can take a big bite out of your budget. According to a AAA report, the average annual total cost of owning and operating a new vehicle in 2018 was $8,849. Fortunately, you may be able to save money by reducing three costs. Depreciation: The loss of a vehicle's value over time was the largest expense associated with buying a vehicle, according to the AAA report. Depreciation accounts for almost 40% of the cost of owning a new vehicle — on average, $3,289. Some cars hold their value better than others, so it's important to consider resale value before you buy. Because depreciation lessens over time, buying a used vehicle or keeping a vehicle longer can help minimize the impact of depreciation. Insurance: The average annual cost of full-coverage auto insurance was $1,189. Premiums are based on many factors, including the vehicle make and model, and your location. Some vehicles may cost substantially more to insure because they are statistically more likely to be damaged i ...

Tax Scams to Watch Out For

While tax scams are especially prevalent during tax season, they can take place any time during the year. As a result, it's in your best interest to always be vigilant so you don't end up becoming the victim of a fraudulent tax scheme. Here are some of the more common scams to watch out for. Phishing Phishing scams usually involve unsolicited emails or fake websites that pose as legitimate IRS sites to convince you to provide personal or financial information. Once scam artists obtain this information, they use it to commit identity or financial theft. It is important to remember that the IRS will never initiate contact with you by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media. If you get an email claiming to be from the IRS, don't respond or click any of the links; instead forward it to phishing@irs.gov. Phone scams Beware of callers claiming that they're from the IRS. They may be scam artists t ...

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