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Debt Ceiling 101

Here we go again! We just avoided the fiscal cliff and now we’re headed for the debt ceiling. Misinformation and half-truths are the headlines of the day as the political rhetoric rises. So in this Prosper On I want to set the record straight. I’ll start with an explanation of the debt ceiling and then take a look at the arguments for raising it and why that’s not the best idea. We’ll get started with an example.

Let’s use our fictional character Bob. Bob has a credit card and was doing a good job paying off the balance every month. Along came an unexpected expense like an auto repair or emergency. Now normally this would be no problem for Bob, but money was tight that month and he decided to keep a small balance on his credit card. The balance was so small he didn’t notice the 20% interest charge.

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Craig Arfsten

Craig Arfsten

As a Prosperion Advisor, Craig has the independence, support and resources to help clients with what he does best – listening to their stories, discovering their desires, and identifying their greatest financial risks, before developing a comprehensive approach to meeting those needs. Learn more about Craig here.

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Prosper On: 2012 Wrap Up

Rather than provide the standard yearly wrap up, I thought it would be best to address the two most frequent questions I’ve been receiving. First, what was surprising about 2012? Second, what’s the outlook for 2013? Let’s begin with 2012.

To many, the financial markets delivered a surprise in 2012 with the Standard and Poor’s up 15% YTD according to Google Finance. Who would have thought that the headwinds we faced last year of prolonged elevated unemployment, sluggish economic growth, and all the political turmoil would have led to that much market growth?

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Steve Booren

Steve Booren

Steve Booren is the Owner and Founder of Prosperion Financial Advisors, located in Greenwood Village, Colo. He is the author of Intelligent Investing: Your Guide to a Growing Retirement Income and a regular columnist in The Denver Post.

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Time to Get to Work

With the 2012 election over and a familiar face in office it’s time to get to work. We are, and always have been, a land of opportunity for those willing to put in the time and sweat. Now is the time to make it happen.

So what do we need to do?

Americans are craving unity. Our nation has been divided for far too long and the political polarity of the past four years hasn’t helped. In order to get back on the right track I think there are three key areas that need work:

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Steve Booren

Steve Booren

Steve Booren is the Owner and Founder of Prosperion Financial Advisors, located in Greenwood Village, Colo. He is the author of Intelligent Investing: Your Guide to a Growing Retirement Income and a regular columnist in The Denver Post.

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The Uncertainty Gap

There’s a growing gap in America between what the financial markets are doing, and how people feel about the economy. With continued somewhat positive news like this week’s auto sales data, the beginnings of a European recovery and slightly better housing numbers, the market continues to truck along. However, consumer confidence refuses to post any significant gains.

I believe this is due to a recession, but not the financial recession type we’ve grown familiar with. Instead it is a “confidence recession”, and it’s having a major effect on investors.

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Steve Booren

Steve Booren

Steve Booren is the Owner and Founder of Prosperion Financial Advisors, located in Greenwood Village, Colo. He is the author of Intelligent Investing: Your Guide to a Growing Retirement Income and a regular columnist in The Denver Post.

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The Impact of iPhone 5

Apple released the newest successor to their line of consumer electronics late last week, the iPhone 5. The highly touted and anticipated phone received reviews ranging from lackluster to brilliant. But for investors it’s important to look beyond the glitz of the new device and into the sales numbers – all of which are anything but lackluster.

Think about it: Apple released the first generation iPhone in 2007, which peaked with total sales of 6,124,000 units. The latest iPhone 5 released with pre-order sales of over two million units and estimates over 40 million of the gadgets will walk out the door in the 4th quarter of 20121. With only one week of sales available in the third quarter, analysts project that Apple will sell between 27 and 30 million units in the fourth quarter.2

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John Booren

John Booren

John started his investment career in 2012 after graduating from Colorado State University with a bachelor’s degree in Financial Planning. His desire is to provide care and guidance for individuals and families through all aspects of their financial life. Learn more about John here.

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The Catalyst of Cooperation

Investors have a lot on their minds this fall. Between the impending fiscal cliff, European and Chinese woes and an election here at home, there’s a lot of unanswered questions holding investors back. But with worry comes opportunity. The American markets are trading at historically low price to earnings ratios. Many companies have large stockpiles of cash just waiting to be put to work. If we could only put these worries behind us, I think the economy has a chance to move ahead from the slow growth pace we are experiencing.

First we have to remove our worries. Fortunately I think the tides are turning. It’s all quiet on the European front with plans in place to offer support to countries struggling under their burden of debt. They are also working toward a closer banking union. We also tend to forget the obvious in China. While their growth rate appears to be slowing, it is still well above the activity level found here in the US.

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Greg Horstman

Greg Horstman

For the past 28 years, Greg has worked to provide clients with exceptional financial advice and strategic investment strategies. In the summer of 2009 he partnered with Craig and joined Prosperion Financial Advisors. His service and personal dedication to clients is second to none. Learn more about Greg here.

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The Dividend Growth Advantage

We live in such a noisy and complex world. The “fiscal cliff”, the presidential election, Greece, France, Italy, China, a tropical storm, the shaky market, low interest rates… it’s enough to make even the most seasoned investor cautious (or crazy). All these fears transform the market into a roller coaster of daily fluctuation. For investors that means only one certainty: uncertainty.

But people still want to retire. Investors still want a steady income beyond their working years. And folks still want to work hard and watch their money grow. The problem I fear is investors spend far too much time watching the price of their portfolio and bypassing what their portfolios are doing for them. In other words the income a portfolio generates is far more important than the daily fluctuation driven by constant volatility.

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Steve Booren

Steve Booren

Steve Booren is the Owner and Founder of Prosperion Financial Advisors, located in Greenwood Village, Colo. He is the author of Intelligent Investing: Your Guide to a Growing Retirement Income and a regular columnist in The Denver Post.

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A Nation Re-energized

“Human innovation is the only natural resource we have.”
– Julian Robertson, Founder Tiger Management

Innovation and technology are causing dramatic shifts in America’s energy reserve estimates a recent research report from American Funds says.

Several entities, including the Department of Energy, now estimate the nation’s natural gas as so vast that it could be a game changer for the American economy, and a competitive advantage for many US companies if fully developed.

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Steve Booren

Steve Booren

Steve Booren is the Owner and Founder of Prosperion Financial Advisors, located in Greenwood Village, Colo. He is the author of Intelligent Investing: Your Guide to a Growing Retirement Income and a regular columnist in The Denver Post.

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Corn and the Economy

The markets continue to be erratic this week responding to the rising price of corn, the slow U.S. economic recovery and the downslide in Europe.

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Greg Horstman

Greg Horstman

For the past 28 years, Greg has worked to provide clients with exceptional financial advice and strategic investment strategies. In the summer of 2009 he partnered with Craig and joined Prosperion Financial Advisors. His service and personal dedication to clients is second to none. Learn more about Greg here.

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Manufactured Facts

Last week the Institute for Supply Management released their June Manufacturing Index that showed a contraction in US factory output. That brought to mind some important questions:

We still have factories in the US?

Wasn’t that all shipped to Mexican maquiladoras or Chinese sweatshops long ago?

Our country still builds things?

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David Morrison

David Morrison

David uses Values Based Financial Planning to align your financial choices with your most important goals and your most deeply held values. He has a comprehensive process to consolidate, coordinate and simplify your financial life in a way that brings you more confidence and clarity about your future. Learn more about David here.

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