September is National Preparedness Month

Our colleagues over at American Business Bank recently sent us a reminder about the need to be vigilant and prepared for earthquakes. While we focus at LifeSteps Financial on being vigilant and prepared with finances, this reminded us to be equally vigilant and prepared for unexpected acts of mother nature. In California, that means earthquakes and fires. Here…

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Slowing Growth

Looking Back at August August was a volatile month with the stock market dropping almost 3% on August 14, 2019 when the yield curve inverted for the first time since 2007. The yield curve inversion means that the interest rate on the US two-year bond is higher than the interest rate on the 10-year bond.…

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Terminology: Risk Management

Risk Management Is a term used in finance. Basically, it is the practice of identifying future or potential risks in advance, analyzing them and then taking the necessary steps to try to minimize or reduce the risk. A well-balanced portfolio should be designed with a variety of assets, including (but not limited to) equities, fixed…

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Mixed Messages

Looking Back at July Worldwide economies have not been as robust in recent months as the United States economy.   During the month of July, the U.S. economy was very strong, and the market reflected this with the S&P hitting all-time highs, passing the previous 2950 mark.  This discrepancy between the U. S. economy and the…

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LifeSteps Financial Briefing | July 2019

Happy Summer!  While the market, interest rates and the impact of foreign affairs continue to be on our minds, vacations and family time are priorities this month.  And, it seems that family time has prompted many of our clients to re-evaluate home and lifestyle preferences.   We’ve had a lot of questions about the outlook for…

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Terminology: Options

Options are contracts that give the owner the right (but they are not required) to buy or sell an underlying asset (like a stock, ETF, etc.) at a fixed price for a specific period of time.  There are two standard types of option contracts: a call and a put. Option contracts are for a specific…

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Philanthropy

This month’s featured charitable organization is Hope through Housing. Hope through Housing Foundation’s mission is to break the cycle of generational poverty by advocating for policies and implementing programs that empower individuals and change communities. Henry Ford recently spoke to local children enrolled in Hope through Housing’s after-school program. The organization hosts “Career Conversations,” exposing children…

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Terminology: Mortgage Backed Securities

President Lyndon Johnson created mortgage-backed securities when he authorized the 1968 Charter Act. It also created Fannie Mae. He wanted to give banks the ability to sell off mortgages. That would free up funds to lend to more homeowners. (How Mortgage-Backed Securities Worked Until They Didn’t, KIMBERLY AMADEO Updated January 31, 2019) Mortgage Backed Securities…

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Guest Insights: Opportunity Zones

When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was introduced, primary focus was placed on the decrease in tax rates, qualified business income deductions and changes to the itemized/standard deductions.   Now that these have been addressed, a closer look suggests several “opportunities”.  Once such, “opportunity” is The Opportunity Zone program. The Opportunity Zone program was…

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