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Gridlocked in D.C.? ACA repeal shot down, tax reform looking shaky

The PBS documentary on the war in Vietnam offers a compelling look at how American policymakers, by their own admission, struggled to extricate themselves and America from what they conceded was a mistake. The ability of the film producers to include recorded phone calls in Washington interspersed with graphic film clips of pitched air and ground battles offers something far more real than any make-believe war movie.

Why are investors complacent with stock prices so high compared to earnings?

While Bay Area traffic congestion is up 60 percent over the past four years, it is the price we pay for floating on the rising tide of this vibrant economy.

Thanks to the performance of major local companies, we have dodged the bullet known as “the summer doldrums” — a term describing the usual stock market downdraft occurring more often than not in the summer months. For the past 30 years, the market has typically experienced an average 14 percent drop at some point during the year, but the most we have endured this year was a 2.6 percent decline back in April.

Pension Dynamics named to the San Francisco Business Journal Lists

PLEASANT HILL, CA (August 28, 2017) – Pension Dynamics Company LLC (Pension Dynamics), a leading independent benefit and retirement service provider for small to medium sized companies in the San Francisco Bay Area, announced that the company has been recognized by the San Francisco Business Journal on the following lists: Top East Bay Private Companies (rank 105) and Top Bay Area Private Companies (rank 229).   The lists honor privately held and independent companies which are headquartered in the Bay Area and/or East Bay Area with big economic impact.

Investments: Income disparity highlighted by CEO pay

With tax reform looming as a major priority, it remains to be seen how the nation’s leaders see a way to resolving the county’s income disparity. David Leonhardt, writing in the New York Times, told the story of George Romney, Mitt’s father, who limited his income to $225,000 per year at American Motors at a time when top executives generally felt it

Wages: What happened to the labor unions?

The Federal Reserve and most economists are struggling to understand why we don’t have increased inflation as the unemployment rate drops to a record low percentage. Anything less than 5 percent is generally considered to be “full employment.” The theory is that when employers can’t find enough people to meet their needs, they simply raise wages until job seekers are beating down the doors. Rising wages prompt the need to increase prices, and an upward inflationary spiral is set in motion. So why is it not happening today?

How is commercial real estate taxation unfair to other investors?

Next up in Washington will be tax reform since an easy, no-brainer like infrastructure improvement has been put on hold until sometime later in 2018. Fixing roads and bridges awaits the findings of the new committee formed to study the subject — which really means a fight over which states deserve to receive the forthcoming pork.

Time-tested alternatives to simplify your retirement planning

Hardly a month goes by without financial advice publications (MONEY, Kiplingers, AARP, etc.) running articles about how to prepare for retirement. And, so much of this advice is needlessly complex.

For example, I just read the recommendation for a couple about to retire who had $1,200,000 and who had determined that they needed $5,000 per month, or $60,000 per year, in income to supplement their Social Security. The combined income would enable them to pay what they estimated their expenses to be.

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