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You, Your Investments, and the Coronavirus

The term “novel coronavirus” is named after its crown-shaped particles, and it has quickly grabbed global headlines. As the viral news has spread, so too has financial uncertainty. What’s going to happen next? Will it infect our economy? So far, U.S. markets have remained relatively immune. But should you try to dodge markets that have been exposed?

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The Transition

Fourth Quarter 2019|Jim Williams| It has been two years since the change of control of the J. F. Williams Co., Inc. In December of 2017, Matt and I completed a transaction which resulted in Matt owning the majority interest in the firm. In the two years, as well as before, we have maintained a stability of firm values and character while making significant progress in improving systems and processes.

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New Code and Standards from CFP® Board

Third Quarter 2019|Jim Williams| This month, a fairly comprehensive rewrite of the Certified Financial Board of Standards Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct went into effect. Some of the changes in the new Code and Standards are stylistic and some of the changes are more substantial. We think they are a positive for the Financial Planning profession and the changes raise the value of the CFP® mark for the public.

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Income - An Easily Abused Concept

Second Quarter 2019|Jim Williams| It is common, particularly in publications directed toward seniors, to see many advertisements of various financial institutions proclaiming the need for "income" from your investment portfolio. While the need for income as broadly defined is fundamental to most retirees, the "income” implied in these ads is usually pretty specific and narrowly defined. Usually these ads contain promotional material for things like fixed income strategies (bonds) or annuities.

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Thoughts on Taxes

First Quarter 2019|Jim Williams| Our tax systems, I’m referring primarily to federal and state income taxes, have gotten ever more complex and will likely continue that track. This is, in part, due to the social choice on taxes, which is to provide incentives for behaviors that are deemed desirable, and disincentives for behaviors that are deemed less desirable. Taxes are also based on the notion of raising revenue, to the extent possible, to fund government operations. History shows that, ironically, there are levels of taxation where increased tax rates reduce government receipts and reduced tax rates increase them. Who knew?

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What We Look For

Fourth Quarter 2018|Jim Williams| I recall in a televised interview several years ago, (I think it was Ed Bradley on 60 minutes interviewing George Burns), that Burns told Bradley he found money on the ground every day. Bradley wasn't exactly incredulous but asked the aging and aged actor how that rather unusual personal attribute came to be. Burns with only a slight pause, replied "I look for it." I've scoured the internet without success for corroboration of the exchange. I may have the wrong identities but hang with me; it makes a nice point.

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