Blog

Kent Kramer

With five-year CD rates averaging 1.56% annually and money market annual yields remaining below 0.29% (Wall Street Journal Market Data – Feb. 22, 2018), investors continue to ask if there is anything they should do to increase the cash flows coming from their portfolios. A popular answer coming from some corners of the financial press is to seek out high dividend paying stocks. Unfortunately, this strategy for increasing cash flow may...

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Ross Polking, CFP®, AIF®, MBA®

Investing is risky. Not investing is also risky. Right or wrong, as people contemplate their need for retirement income, many venture into the world of annuities. The promise of a stream of income when your working years are complete can be appealing and comforting. These products are often sold under the premise that they can take the risk out of investing. In reality, annuities are complex insurance vehicles that frequently come with significant fees, restrictions, and...

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By Mark K. Phillips, Bank Iowa

A stolen credit card number sells for about $5 on the dark web. A medical record, on the other hand, can go for as much as $50. Why is the latter so much more valuable? There are several reasons. First, one patient record is a treasure trove of personally identifiable information or PII. This is data such as social security numbers, birth...

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Matt Abels

While most of the conversation about tax reform has focused on the income tax implications for individuals and businesses, another notable change happened with the estate tax exemption. As part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the estate tax exemption doubled from $5 million to $10 million for individuals and $10 million to $20 million for married couples with portability. Adjusted for inflation, the exemption for 2018 will be...

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By Nick Montague of Montague Law P.C., L.L.O.

We have all heard the statistics: Half of all marriages end in divorce. While the actual number of marriages that end in divorce is hard to pinpoint, the generally accepted fact is that happily ever after is not always a guarantee. Frequently the clients we counsel are concerned that the once blossoming relationship of their son or daughter-in-law could be headed...

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The other day, I was sitting with a client, catching up and planning out the new year when the topic of taxes came up. “Will my taxes go down due to the new tax law?” he asked. “How much time do you have?” He looked at me with a nod and said, “All the time in the world.” Ok. Here we go. I don’t know. It should for most, but there is a lot...

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Our vision at Foster Group is to influence thousands of individuals, families, and organizations with wise financial counsel, while encouraging the pursuit of meaningful living and generous giving. Recently, my family moved back to Iowa after ten years in Paramount and Long Beach, CA. I’m guessing most of you are familiar with Long Beach, but have never heard of Paramount. I bet, though, you have heard of Paramount’s neighbor city...

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