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Archive for March, 2010

March 31st, 2010

The Markets

(Michael Schwartz) - The stock market seems to be climbing the proverbial "wall of worry." Despite potential road hazards such as sovereign debt issues, rising interest rates, a weak job market, and a stalled housing recovery, investors bid up stock prices last week to an 18-month high, according to MarketWatch. Of course, these things could eventually affect stock prices, but, for now, stocks are riding the momentum of improving earnings and some underlying stability in the economy.

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March 26th, 2010

Healthcare: Buy, Sell or Hold

(Michael Farr) - Last Sunday, the House passed a historic $938 billion health care bill and on Tuesday, President Obama signed the bill into law. The Senate will try to pass a second measure passed by the House on Sunday amending portions of the bill through a process called reconciliation. This massive health care overhaul is expected to guarantee insurance coverage for 32 million uninsured Americans. The cost of covering these currently uninsured citizens is expected to be covered by a combination of taxes on wealthy individuals and companies and through Medicare cost cuts.

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March 19th, 2010

There’s Gold in Them Thar Muni’s

(Michael Farr) - We typically focus our market commentaries on discussions of topics that impact the equity markets. However, Farr, Miller & Washington also manages bond and balanced portfolios for its clients. A couple of things have happened over the past 2 years that have transformed the once boring fixed income market into something a bit more interesting. Today's blast will focus primarily on big changes that have occurred in the municipal bond market and how Farr, Miller & Washington is taking advantage, on a very selective basis, of these dislocations when building conservative bond portfolios.

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March 12th, 2010

What is a SIMPLE IRA?

(Money Manager) - What is a SIMPLE IRA? A SIMPLE IRA is an employer-sponsored retirement plan. It stands for "Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees".

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March 4th, 2010

Let The Free Markets Work!

(Michael Farr) - Toyota's recent problems with "unintended acceleration" and faulty brakes could prove to be a valuable lesson for those who believe that protectionism is the answer to all our problems. Earlier this week, Senator Mike Johanns of Nebraska questioned whether the US should impose restrictions on Toyota vehicle imports in response to the safety concerns. He pointed out that Japan had banned imports of US beef in December, 2003, when fears about Mad Cow Disease were widespread. The beef ban remained in place until 2006, causing much harm to the US cattle industry. Up until the ban, Japan had been the industry's largest export market. Needless to say, Japan's actions caused much anger and led to calls for retaliatory trade restrictions on Japanese imports. The fears of a trade war were very real.

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