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What Tax-Advantaged Alternatives Do I Have?


A strong savings program is essential for any sound financial strategy.

We take Benjamin Franklin’s saying to heart, “A penny saved is a penny earned,” and we save our spare cash in savings accounts and certificates of deposit.

Investors who’ve accumulated an adequate cash reserve are to be commended. But as strange as it sounds, it is possible to save too much. Although this may not sound like much of a problem, it can be if you save too much of what you should be...

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TraderPlanet.com Founder Debuts New Book on How to Weather Current Economic Conditions


Lane J. Mendelsohn, Founder of www.TraderPlanet.com, has released his first book, "The Economic Storm." which comprehensively addresses a subject that is timely to current market behavior.

"This unprecedented economic crisis we're experiencing now is the result of an alignment of many events which, at the time they happened, seemed rather insignificant," Mendelsohn explains. "All I've done is pull the pieces together to get a big-picture perspective of where things are going and what I'm doing to prepare."...

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When It Comes to IRAs, Know Your Limits


In recent years, IRAs have become the single largest vehicle for retirement savings in the United States. At the end of 2007, IRAs held $4.8 trillion in retirement savings, whereas employer-sponsored defined-contribution plans like the 401(k) held $3.5 trillion and defined-benefit plans (traditional pensions) held $2.3 trillion.1

As a retirement savings vehicle, the IRA has become more attractive with age. When IRAs were created in 1974, the annual contribution limit was $1,500. In 2009, workers can contribute up to $5,000 to all IRAs combined, and those 50 and older can contribute an...

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Inflation Goes to College


Over the past 10 years, tuition and fees have grown more than 4% faster than the rate of general inflation at public four-year colleges and more than 2% faster than inflation at private four-year colleges.1

That’s pretty scary stuff, but it doesn’t have to be the end of your dream to see the kids (or grandkids) go to a college of their choosing. You have a friend with the answers to this test: the Section 529 savings plan.

Take Some Notes:

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Economy, Lower Commodity Prices Slowing Food Cost Growth


After a couple years of above average food price inflation, a Purdue University economist believes the inflation rate will return to normal next year.

Corinne Alexander, an agricultural economist, estimated 2010 food prices would increase between 2.5 percent and 3.5 percent, not near the records that were set in 2008 of 5.5 percent. The 10-year average for food-price inflation for 1997 to 2006 is about 2.5 percent, she said.

"One reason we're not seeing prices go up so much right now...

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The Summit Club Features Speakers on Economic Conditions


Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels addressed members of The Summit Club and their guests on Wednesday, August 19, in the first of a series of dinners sponsored by The Summit Club, which feature key speakers addressing current economic conditions.

Future dinners in the series entitled “Economic Overview Speaker Series” will include addresses from Christopher J. Murphy, CEO and Chairman of the Board of 1st Source Bank in South Bend.  Mr. Murphy will address the issue of The Banking Crisis: How We Got Here and Its Impact on the Economy.  He will speak on Wednesday, September 2.

The final speaker will be Scott Malpass, Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, University of Notre Dame.  Mr. Malpass’ topic will be The Investor’s...

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Crop Report Reflects Abundant Crop, Meaning Lower Market Prices


A Purdue agricultural economist and state agricultural officials at the Indiana State Fair on Wednesday (Aug. 12) were surprised at the abundant 2009 crop projected by a U.S. Department of Agriculture report, especially given the difficult time farmers throughout the Eastern Corn Belt had getting their crops planted this spring.
The USDA's Crop Production Report has U.S. corn production at 12.8 billion bushels, up 5 percent from 2008. Soybean production is estimated at 3.2 billion bushels, up 8 percent from this past year, while wheat production is estimated at 2.18 billion bushels, 3 percent higher.

Indiana corn production is forecast at 903...

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Seminar Held to Help with Debt


Crown Financial Seminar Hosted by First Presbyterian Church Valpo on Saturday May 2nd from 8:30 AM-4:30 PM.

At this seminar you will learn the tricks of the trade to becoming debt free through using your workbook and advice from some of the most trusted financial experts.

Your minimal fee of $25 for members of First Presbyterian Church Valpo and $30 for non-members include your workbook, seminar costs, lunch and snacks.

You may register online at www.crown.org or by calling First Presbyterian...

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