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Economists Expect the Fed to Cut Interest Rates. Markets Already Have.

The Federal Reserve will announce its decision on interest rate policy tomorrow. After raising rates throughout all of 2018, markets now anticipate the Fed to reverse course and begin cutting rates – if not at tomorrow’s meeting then very likely in July. Expectations for economic growth in the remainder of 2019 have moderated, and interest rates throughout the economy have already fallen substantially as a result. While the direction of Fed policy is extremely important, in many respects markets have been well ahead of the Fed this year.

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Levin: Coming to terms with our weird relationship with money

We spend a lot of time talking with our clients about how to not spoil their children and why their children have a weird relationship with money. Here’s why: because they do. And you do. And I do. And so does everyone.

The people who don’t think that they have a weird money relationship are similar to the people who say out loud, “I don’t talk to myself.”

Let’s not get defensive, let’s make our own weirdness less impactful to those around us.


Levin: Financial planning jargon could be costing you money

Financial planning has a lot of confusing jargon. Here is a short course on what some of these things really mean.
Financial planners get paid in three ways: commissions, fees and commissions and fees. Period. Fee-only planners charge retainers, hourly rates or a calculation based on a percentage of net worth or assets that they manage. While some firms use the term fee-based, there is no such thing. These firms collect fees and commissions.


We hired a nanny. Now what about the taxes?

As the kids settle in to the first couple weeks of summer break, many parents have gone the route of hiring a nanny to supervise the kids while parents work over the summer. Although this is a common practice, what often isn’t fully understood are the tax implications that can arise when someone chooses this option for summer daycare. The details can seem daunting, but a few key points can help to clarify a potentially complicated requirement.


Becky Krieger – 2019 Women in Business Honoree

Becky Krieger, Accredited’s Managing Director of Client & Community Outreach, is honored as a 2019 Women in Business Award winner in the current edition of the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal.

The awards “honor industry-leading executives, entrepreneurs and business owners for their professional successes and community involvement.” We are biased, of course, but we cannot think of a more deserving honoree than Becky. Her professional accomplishments and community contributions inspire us all, and we are thrilled that she has been recognized by the Business Journal.


Levin: Getting financial planning right means being open to adjustments

I was recently in a meeting going over a relatively big project and the presenter said, “We have to get this right.” I felt myself tense immediately. If we didn’t get it right, that means we got it wrong. And what would the consequences be for getting it wrong?
As the meeting went on, the conversation become more focused on the problems, not the opportunity. The stakes were elevated to a place where a decision was going to be unlikely.
Think about all the decisions that you have made in your life and how few of them you really had to get right. That’s because almost nothing is binary. There is a continuum of “rights” and most of the time we can’t know where we landed until after the fact.


Levin: When talking money, try these five steps to get to the real issue

When the Mueller report came out, to no one’s surprise, many Democrats and many Republicans came away with starkly differing takes. No amount of chatter will likely weaken those positions. The problem is that the issue is not the issue. The issue being discussed is what Mueller did or did not uncover, but that is not always the issue. The underlying issue may be how people feel about the president, it may be people’s feelings about how the president is being treated, heck, it may even be why you lost your job.

When it comes to our financial lives, the issue is rarely the issue. Let’s think about this.


Navigating the Retirement Transition

Transitioning to retirement can be a complicated process both financially and emotionally, as new routines and perspectives are created.

One of the most significant adjustments encompasses both of those dynamics: the shift from earning a regular paycheck to living off savings that have been accumulated.

Establishing a cash reserve for near-term expenses may help to alleviate some of the potential stress of the retirement transition – enabling more of retirement portfolio to remain invested for the long-term, and allowing for more focus on how to best to spend time in retirement.


Levin: Getting comfortable with your buying decisions

Most people don’t want to be told what to do with their money. It’s
their money and they can do whatever they want with it. Well, almost.
You may be able to buy a black-market Oscar, but you can’t buy an Oscar victory. So while it’s your money and you can do what you want with it, not everything is for sale.
Things we may not think of as being for sale are regularly sold. Minnesotans are terrible at zipper merging because they feel like they may be budging in line, but most don’t think twice about paying for the right as a sole driver in the car-pool lane to pass everyone.


Levin: A lesson in learning to help others

It started with the “Be Kind” billboard as we approached Green Valley on our way through Wisconsin. My wife and I looked at each other and commented on how great the billboard was and how no sponsor was identified with it. It was a simple reminder of how to act.

We checked into our hotel and were met by one of the most inviting greetings we have ever experienced. This was not the desk clerk, this was a housekeeper. The next morning, I was walking to breakfast with my maps app on my cellphone and a guy stopped me and asked if I needed any help. As I ventured past a coffee shop, another man was walking around with a tray of coffees asking homeless people if they cared for some. Everyone greeted me with a smile.

Small sample size, but I was ready to move. But then I got to thinking about what contribution I could make to help others experience this. How am I adding, and when am I detracting?