Higher risk necessary for higher profits

April 28, 2015, by John Norris

During the stock market crash in 2008, I couldn't stand all the volatility, and moved my 401K all into the most conservative option we have. I had to admit it, but I sort of forgot about it until my most recent statement came. I feel foolish having left so much money on the table, but what can I do to make it up? Trust me, you are nowhere near alone. If I had a dollar...

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Some Common Cents for April 24th 2015

April 27, 2015, by John Norris

Recently, two quintessential American Brands, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola, have made headlines with their struggles to turnaround sluggishness in the key US market. While McDonald’s has gotten most of the ink, the folks at Coke are facing the same primary issue: what appears to be a fundamental change in consumer consumption habits. In so many ways, they can’t just show up any longer, and expect folks to throw money at them. How did it get to...

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Washington’s new Wall Street law may not help investors

April 20, 2015, by Shelley deClerk

This week, the Labor Department announced new consumer protection guidelines for retirement plans. Financial advisors will now have to sign a contract putting their client’s interests above their own. I have read Wall Street is expected to fight this but how could it? (click to previously published article via the Montgomery Advertiser April 18th) The opinions expressed within this report are those of John Norris as of the initial publication of this blog. They are subject to...

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Slim chance of Social Security expansion

April 16, 2015, by John Norris

Expanding Social Security benefits will become a campaign issue for two simple reasons: older people tend to vote, and voters like politicians who are profligate with other peoples’ money. Now that Sen. Warren has opened the subject, expect a lot of debate, particularly in states with large retirement populations. However, once the elections are over, and the dust settles, expanding Social Security will be a dead end issue. With the vast numbers of Baby Boomers...

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Indiana law hurts state businesses

April 8, 2015, by John Norris

This week, Indiana made a lot of headlines with its religious freedom bill. The reaction was almost immediate, and the headlines were overwhelmingly negative. What economic impact would this have had on that state if Indiana hadn’t changed it Thursday? Like maybe a few other Alabamians, I breathed a sigh of relief someone else was on the receiving end of the negative press the national media normally reserves for us. We have long said “Thank...

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Regulating payday loans is tougher than it sounds

April 1, 2015, by John Norris

This week, President Obama was in Birmingham, and had some words about payday loan places. This industry seems to be under attack, so why don't they just reduce their rates to more reasonable levels? I don't make it a habit, but I have borrowed money from my teenage son when I have been short on both cash and time. Without fail, I repay him the next day plus the $1 he requires. Of course, I...

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