Your Money

Gas Prices Going Up

August 27th, 2013 at 11:54 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather, Your Money

gas prices

If you’ve got the time and you need gas, it’s time to fill up – here’s the latest from ED:  “Comment on the August 20 prediction:  Prices rose as predicted, to $3.69, a bit less than expected, but still CORRECT.      Tuesday, August 27, 2013, 8:45PM:  Almost certain to see prices rise on Wednesday.  The key driver is the new tension with Syria, which has sent wholesale oil and gas prices up.  That it is the end of August, when prices often see their high for the year, isn’t helping.  I’m estimating a price to retailers of $3.65, and with retail prices as low as $3.50 in town, we could see $3.85 tomorrow. –Ed Aboufadel


Don’t Fill-Up Yet

June 18th, 2013 at 5:44 pm by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather, Your Money

gas prices    From Patrick DeHaan at GasBuddy:  “Hey Bill – Tell your readers to continue holding off on filling their tanks. GR prices could drop into the $3.50s in the next week at some stations.  Today’s average of $3.88 will likely be in the 3.60s a week from today.”


Gas Prices

October 4th, 2012 at 4:41 am by under Bill's Blog, News, Weather, Your Money

   Here’s the latest from Ed A:   Comment on the September 22 prediction:  As predicted, prices rose on September 24, to $3.99.  Prices have been falling gradually since then.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012, 9:00PM:  Wholesale prices have been falling in the Midwest the past few days, finally catching up to falling prices elsewhere, including oil prices.  As of tonight, Grand Rapids retailers are paying $3.60 a gallon, I estimate, which gives us room to $3.50 before we get a hike.  Since  the cheapest in town is $3.67, expect prices to continue falling, at least until Monday. — Ed A.


What’s the beef about food prices?

April 20th, 2009 at 5:47 pm by under Your Money

“Why are you making so much fuss about food prices? “a member of my family asks.  For the past month, I’ve done several reports on food prices, first comparing prices among the various grocers.  Tonight, we look to see if a retailer could be even WalMart’s prices.

Food prices are compelling simply because so much of the family budget goes to paying for food.  Most consumers became aware of the fact when gas prices skyrocketed last year and there was less change in the purse to buy other stuff, like bread and milk.  I looked at my own personal budget and found my yearly bill for food was exceeding $11,000 a year!

Until now, I paid no attention to food prices.  Sure, I noticed when things went on sale, and I’d stock up.   If I saw the same item elsewhere for 30 or 40 cents less, it didn’t really bother me.  Time and convenience were more important.  I shopped in places where I could get in and out quickly.  I also liked the little services,  like someone carrying my bags to the car.

But then retirement funds plunged and more friends of mine were losing jobs.  I decided it was time to pay attention to food price and so I’ve been on a mission.  My goal is to trim at least $2000 off my food bill this year and if the surveys we presented mean anything, it is possible to do that.

Tonight, you will see how the lowest priced grocer we found is nearly 48 percent lower than the highest priced grocer in our survey.   On my grocery bill, that’s a savings of nearly $5000 a year.   But like everything in life, there is trade-off.  There are some brands I simply cannot give up.  The deep discounters don’t carry everything I need or want, so then I have to evaluate the loss in time I’ll suffer going from store to store.

I think it’s worthwhile to pay at least one visit to the deep-discounters, just to see what you don’t get that you’re really paying for everywhere else (someone has to be paid to collect your cart in the parking lot!)


Anxiety and the Economoy

March 19th, 2009 at 11:26 am by under Uncategorized, Your Money

It’s no secret that our economy seems to wax and wane on any given day, often with significant ups and downs, with no predictability. There’s news on the value of the dollar, home construction, education, the national debt, people losing their jobs, and the list could go on and on. I’ve heard it said recently, that in order for someone to be emotionally healthy, you actually have to stop listening to the economic news. There seems to be some truth to this notion that if we continuously fill our minds with negative, anxiety provoking thoughts then our own anxiety and stress levels will increase as well.

I see this pattern on a daily basis with the clients I see. If we focus on the negative, focus on the anxiety, focus on what is going wrong, this only serves to constrain our perspective and we begin to only see what’s going wrong in our part of the world.

Take some time with me today, this week, and this weekend to step back from what is normal and focus on the warm weather, time with friends, laughter with family, and getting outside and enjoying the spring breeze.

Ryan LaRue
9090 S. Rodgers ct.
Caledonia, MI 49316
616-891-8770
ryan.larue@pinerest.org


How Do You Determine The Difference Between A Bear Market Rally & A New Bull Market

March 18th, 2009 at 11:43 am by under Uncategorized, Your Money

Last week, the stock market, as measured by the S&P 500 index, staged its third-largest weekly gain since World War II, according to Reuters. The gain was partially attributed to the following good news:

 

·         Banking behemoths Citigroup, Bank of America Corp., and JPMorgan Chase & Co., all announced that they were profitable in the first two months of 2009, excluding one-time charges. Shares of Citigroup and Bank of America Corp. responded by rising 73% and 83% respectively for the week, according to Associated Press.

·         General Motors said it wouldn’t need the latest $2 billion installment of bailout money because its cost-cutting plan was taking hold, according to Associated Press.

·         The widely watched Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment poll ticked up slightly in early March, according to MarketWatch.

·         The Commerce Department reported that February retail sales were not as bad as economists feared and the January numbers were revised substantially upward.

·         General Electric received a credit rating cut last Thursday, but it was not as deep as some expected and the stock rose 13% that day, according to The Wall Street Journal.

·         A number of well-known market analysts, who had previously been stock market bears, adopted a more bullish posture last week. This list included Doug Kass, Marc Faber, Steve Leuthold, and Barry Ritholtz, according to Yahoo! Finance.

·         Prices for copper and scrap steel have risen recently, which suggests there’s demand from manufacturers, according to The Wall Street Journal.

·         Oil prices are up 23% in the last four weeks on signs that demand may be firming, according to The Wall Street Journal.

 

So, if you look hard enough, you can find reasons for optimism even amidst the despair. We’ll be watching for more clues this week to see if this is just a blip or the start of something big. Let’s hope for the latter.

 

Returns through 3/13/09

1-Week

Y-T-D

1-Year

3-Year

5-Year

10-Year

Dow Jones Industrial Average

9.0

-17.7

-39.6

-13.3

-6.5

-3.2

NASDAQ Composite

10.6

-9.2

-35.3

-14.2

-5.9

-5.2

Standard & Poor’s 500

10.7

-16.2

-41.3

-16.2

-7.3

-5.3

Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Barron’s. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.  Indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly. Three-, Five-, and 10-year returns are annualized.  Assumes dividends are not reinvested.

 HOW DO YOU DETERMINE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN a bear market rally and the start of a new bull market? Last week’s huge 10% rally still left the S&P 500 index slightly more than 50% below its October 2007 all-time high. Can we confidently say that we’re now off to the races and we’ll start reeling in that 50% decline?

 Reasonable people can certainly disagree on whether last week’s move is a head fake or the real deal. Let’s look at some history to see if it will help us reach a conclusion. Comparisons to the Great Depression seem to abound these days so let’s start there and see if there were any head fakes. All data comes from Bespoke Investment Group.

 The Dow Jones Industrial Average reached a peak of 381 on September 3, 1929. Few people had any idea what was to unfold next. Just 71 days later, the Dow had plummeted 48% and the stock market crash was in full swing. However, the Dow then turned around and by April 17, 1930, it had soared 48%. Case closed – we’re now in a new bull market – right? Not quite.

 By December 16, 1930, the Dow turned around again and dropped 46%. But wait, just 70 days later, the Dow was up 23%. Hold on, 98 days later, it was down 37%. But don’t despair, 31 days later it was up 28%. Dizzy yet? Ninety-four days later, it was down 44%. We’re far from done, though. Just 35 days later, the Dow was up 35%. And 57 days after that, it was down 39%. No need to worry, though, because 63 days later, it was up 25%. Oops, 122 days later, it was down a whopping 54%. Then we received a huge turnaround. Just 61 days later, the Dow was up 94%. At this point, it’s now September 7, 1932, and after all these pops and drops, the Dow is down 79% from its September 3, 1929, all-time high. To prevent boring you with more numbers, over the next two years, the Dow experienced five more swings of 20% or more. Whew!

 As you may have concluded from just looking at the large number of 20% moves up and down during the Great Depression, there were many head fakes interspersed with substantial rallies.

So, back to the question at hand, how do you determine the difference between a bear market rally and the start of a new bull market? Answer: you can’t in real-time; instead, you have to wait until substantial time has passed and you can place the market’s moves in historical context. Our job, then, is to take what the market offers us and do the best we can with it.

 

 

This material does not constitute tax, legal or accounting advice, and neither Rinvelt & David, LLC, Mutual Service Corp. or LPL Financial are in the business of offering such advice.  Any person interested in these transactions or topics should seek advice based on his or her particular circumstances from independent professional advisors.
Roger J. David

Rinvelt & David, LLC

Securities and Advisory Services offered through Mutual Service Corporation.  Mutual Service Corporation and LPL Financial are afiliated companies and are members of FINRA/SIPC.  Rinvelt & David, LLC is not affiliated with Mutual Service Corporation or LPL Financial.

 

 

 


Understanding ADD/ADHD at Pine Rest

March 17th, 2009 at 10:19 am by under Your Money

Financially, times are tight and it is difficult to find money to pay for counseling but here is a completely FREE event.

Pine Rest and Metro Health are having a Spring Speaking Series in Caledonia, just one mile south of 84th street on M-37.

Understanding ADD/ADHD, presented by Dr. Grey Larison, Ph.D. will be presenting on Tuesday, March 24, from 6pm – 7:30pm

No fee and No reservations required.

Location: Metro Health – Caledonia, 8941 N. Rodgers Ct., Caledonia, 49316

For more information or if you have questions call 616-891-9770

Ryan LaRue LMSW, ACSW
Caledonia/Hastings/Lake Odessa Clinic Manager
Outpatient Therapist
9090 S. Rodgers Ct. SE, Suite D
Caledonia, MI  49316
616-891-8770
Fax: 616-891-3504
ryan.larue@pinerest.org


Divorce and Your Money

March 17th, 2009 at 8:32 am by under Your Money

From the article, “Why Money is the leading cause of divorce,” I copied the following few paragraphs. I’m not specifically saying that these viewpoints are exactly correct but they do raise some good questions. (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1355/is_n1_v91/ai_18930297)

Broussard says, People aren’t discussing finances. Money is such a taboo subject. People associate bad things with money. If you’re in a serious relationship, talk about this. If you don’t, it will cause a huge gap.”

Bonnie Fitch, an attorney from Houston, TX, who is a former associate municipal court judge, says money may be the leading cause of divorce because some couples do not unite and work together when it comes to handling their household finances.

The unequal division of money causes problems because control isn’t equal. One person will have control and more money than the other. If one person is mismanaging funds, the strain comes when it doesn’t benefit the other party. It puts a strain on who will be the person to handle the finances,” asserts Fitch, who is sole practitioner of her own firm.

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Distributions From Traditional IRAs Prior To Age 59 1/2

March 17th, 2009 at 8:09 am by under Your Money

A Summary Of This Article:
1. In General
2. Example showing the effect of taxes and penalties
3. Exceptions to the premature distribution tax
4. How do you pay the premature distribution tax?
5. Should you take distributions from your traditional IRA before age 59½?
6. IRA rollovers
7. Converting or rolling over traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs

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Coping with Depression

March 16th, 2009 at 8:22 am by under Your Money

There are plenty of reasons to be struggling with Depression, Anxiety, and Stress these days, and frankly, all of us could learn how to take better care of ourselves. Here’s a few reminders of good, healthy things we can do for our body whether we’re struggling with finances, worried about our job, or feeling down.

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