How Will Domestic and Global Policy Impact Oil Prices in 2019?

With the Federal Reserve raising rates in 2018 and speculation of doing so again in 2019, combined with projected oil production cuts by Russia and Saudi Arabia, it is likely that these and other global events will impact world energy markets in 2019.Looking at how international markets have priced crude oil in 2018’s fourth quarter, there's a lot to speculate on where prices will go in 2019. During the final quarter of 2018, oil prices hit a 48-month high of $86 per barrel. Yet, by the end of December, the [...]

2019-02-01T12:00:04+00:00February 1st, 2019|

How Businesses Can Effectively Manage Seasonal Sales

When it comes to businesses dealing with seasonal sales, making payroll and other financial obligations can be stressful on budgets. However, one way to deal with fluctuating sales and cash flow problems is to see if invoice factoring is appropriate to meet year-round needs.Invoice FactoringOne way for businesses dependent on seasonal sales is to have better financial predictability and available resources, as the Journal of Accountancy explains. Businesses can accomplish this by selling their accounts receivables through factoring.Companies looking to increase cash flow during the slow sales season can benefit [...]

2019-02-01T12:00:03+00:00February 1st, 2019|

New Proposals for Government Programs

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act delivered a wealth of benefits for taxpayers at every income level, but none more so than for the very rich. The net result of huge tax breaks for both high-income and corporate taxpayers is that the government now has much reduced tax revenues coming in to help pay for government programs. It comes as no surprise then that prior to the November 2018 midterm elections, Republican leaders in Congress were calling for cuts to government “entitlement” programs, such as Medicare and Social Security.While the [...]

2019-02-01T12:00:02+00:00February 1st, 2019|

Congress at Work: Reimbursing Unpaid Federal Workers, Fact-Based Policy Making and Fighting Human Trafficking

Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019 (S. 24) – This bill was introduced by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) on Jan. 3 and signed into law on Jan. 19. It requires federal employees who are furloughed or working without pay to be compensated for the time of the government shutdown. Workers are to be paid as soon as possible after the government is reopened, irrespective of pay schedules.Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2017 (H.R. 4174) – This legislation mandates that agencies of the federal government use available scientific data, [...]

2019-02-01T12:00:01+00:00February 1st, 2019|

5 Things to Start Doing in the New Year

New Year’s resolutions usually involve stopping things like eating, drinking and spending too much – and so on. You know the drill. However, according to U.S. News & World Report, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week in February. Why not switch things up this year? Instead of setting yourself up for disappointment by attempting to abolish negative behavior, why not start doing some positive things? You’ll improve your quality of life and maybe even help the world. Here are few ideas to kick things off.Start [...]

2019-01-01T12:00:07+00:00January 1st, 2019|

How to Build Your Savings Using Technology

According to a study by Cornell University, the human brain is wired to earn money more so than save it. As such, when we find we need more money in our lives, our instinct is to earn more and not spend less. In fact, this instinct tends to grow over time, and is one reason why people tend to spend more money when they receive a salary increase rather than save it.However, researchers believe that by being cognizant of this fact, we can take proactive measures to develop effective savings [...]

2019-01-01T12:00:06+00:00January 1st, 2019|

Divorce Can Be Taxing

Divorce is expensive. Aside from the emotional toll divorce takes on a family, both the process and aftermath of a divorce can be costly. Below we look at some of the steps people can take to help remove the tax sting out of an already challenging time and arrive at the best financial position.Changes to AlimonyWe ring in the new year with changes to alimony tax law. Prior to Jan. 1, 2019, alimony payments were deductible by the spouse who paid them and taxable to the spouse receiving them. Typically, [...]

2019-01-01T12:00:05+00:00January 1st, 2019|

How Will the 90-Day Freeze on Tariff Increases Impact the Markets?

According to a press release issued by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in the middle of September, tariffs of 10 percent on $200 billion of imported Chinese goods went into effect on Sept. 24, 2018. The same tariffs, according to the press release, were set to increase to 25 percent on the same $200 billion in Chinese imports on Jan. 1, 2019.   However, after talks between the leaders of the United States and China during G20 meetings in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the United States agreed to freeze tariffs at [...]

2019-01-01T12:00:04+00:00January 1st, 2019|

Tips for Choosing the Appropriate Liability Insurance for Your Business

When it comes to liability insurance, the saying "you can never be too prepared" is quite meaningful. While business owners cannot predict what happens day to day or year to year, they can look into having business liability as way to give themselves peace of mind. The first step is to understand why it’s so important.The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association reports that more than one in two home-based business owners lack necessary insurance. Furthermore, the Independent Insurance Agents of America (IIAA) found that 4 of 10 respondents do not [...]

2019-01-01T12:00:03+00:00January 1st, 2019|

What Leading Economic Indicators Tell Us

One of the reasons investing is tricky is because it involves so many factors that we cannot control. One factor is the specific investment itself. In the case of a stock, the share price relies on company management and leadership; manufacturing, marketing and distribution; and balancing expenses with revenues. Another factor is investor and market sentiment, which can change on a dime based on economic uncertainty, the day’s news or a presidential tweet.Then there’s a third component, which encompasses broader economic events and how they impact investment market fundamentals and [...]

2019-01-01T12:00:02+00:00January 1st, 2019|