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@theMarket: Record Highs and More to Come?
By Bill Schmick,
04:03PM / Friday, September 21, 2018
The Dow and the S&P 500 Indexes made record highs this week. That's right, we broke the levels of January and we closed out the week holding these new higher levels. So much for the bear's prediction of a 5-7 percent pullback.   Over two weeks ago, when I published my last column, I wrote that most of the Wall Street community was expecting a pullback. I warned readers "that when the pack is leaning one way, you should be looking the other way. I say stay invested, look beyond a month or two, and prosper by the end of the year."   OK, in hindsight, that was sage advice, but now what? You aren't paying me the big bucks to tell you about

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The Independent Investor: Dogs and Their Cars
By Bill Schmick,
04:50PM / Thursday, September 20, 2018
Pet ownership in America is well over 50 percent. Nine out of 10 of these owners view their pet as part of the family. As such, dollars spent on traditional pet ownership areas such as food, veterinary needs and boarding have expanded to include things like exercise and travel. For more and more Americans, that trend has grown to include what cars we purchase.   This hit home for me recently when my wife and I began discussing our next automobile purchase or lease. In times past, our decision may have been based on what vehicles provided the best fuel mileage or winter safety in snow and ice conditions. But this year, it was all about what car would be most appropriate for

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@theMarket: September's stock market
By Bill Schmick,
04:47PM / Friday, August 31, 2018
Next week, Wall Street's big boys return to their offices. Campaigning for mid-term elections moves to the front burner, and tariff threats between the U.S. and China will likely escalate. Welcome to one of the worst months of the year for stocks.   It is true that both September and October tend to be negative months for the averages. Since 1945, the S&P 500 Index has, on average, lost 1 percent. In addition, it is a mid-term election year where Septembers are almost always rocky months for the market.   One could say that investors face an entire fall season of potential risks. Besides those I have already listed above, there will be the implementation

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The Independent Investor: How Prepared Are You to Sell Your Company?
By Bill Schmick,
07:24PM / Thursday, August 30, 2018
If you are a small-business owner and are toying with the idea of someday selling your company, you should pay attention. Only one in five small businesses put up for sale result in a closing. How do you become one of those success stories?   Where I live and work, nestled in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts, there are relatively few large companies. We are over-populated with "Mom and Pop businesses." As such, I meet and talk to plenty of these enterprise owners daily. An overwhelming number of these entrepreneurs have saved little or nothing towards their retirement.   Instead, they believe that at some point, someone would swoop in and buy

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@theMarket: Record Highs Coming Up?
By Bill Schmick,
11:10AM / Saturday, August 25, 2018
As of Friday, we were in striking distance of a record high on the S&P 500 index. We have been here before, but something tells me that this time we just may break through. But for how long?   Granted, stock market volumes are exceptionally light, which is understandable, since we are heading in to one of the slowest weeks of the year. That makes any new highs suspect until volume improves. We would need to wait another week or so for that to occur. Next weekend is Labor Day and it is only after the holiday that the Big Boys get back into town.   What those players will do, once they are back in the cockpit, will determine the short-term direction of the

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