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The Independent Investor: The Market's Half-Time Report
By Bill Schmick,
12:56PM / Friday, July 07, 2017
Financial markets worldwide ended the first six months of the year much better off than they started. Here in the U.S., the Dow and the S&P 500 Indexes both gained 8 percent, while NASDAQ delivered 15 percent.   The Russell 2000, the small cap index, underperformed (up 4 percent) and the Transports gained 5 percent. All-in-all, it paid to be in large-cap, especially the large cap growth sector for the first half. At the same time, the Volatility Index continued to make new lows, despite the fact that at least half the investing population was/is worried and fearful of our new president's agenda.   All of the top 20 economies around the world are growing

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The Independent Investor: Small Business Linchpin of America's Success
By Bill Schmick,
04:37PM / Thursday, June 29, 2017
The facts are that small businesses still create the lion's share of jobs and at least half the economic growth in this country. It would be wonderful if our lawmakers would finally realize that.   Look around you: with few exceptions, we are surrounded by entrepreneurs who have created over 60 percent of the jobs in our communities since the financial Crisis of 2009. What we don't see is the enormous burden that these heroes are living under on a daily basis.   A startup is largely a game of survival. Those who stay in business the longest are most likely to succeed.  About two thirds of businesses only survive two years. Of them, another 50

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The Independent Investor: A Tale of Two Charities
By Bill Schmick,
05:47PM / Thursday, June 22, 2017
As Senate Republicans unveil their version of a new health care law replacing the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, Democrats are already crying foul. But while politicians are busy back-stabbing each other, there are real people out there who are sick and getting sicker.   These are Americans who can't afford, or can no longer find, insurance. Their stories are evidently not "newsworthy." Instead, the media prefers to accentuate the divisions among our lawmakers, while President Trump describes the House "Choice Act" as "mean." In the meantime, who is taking care of all those sick and elderly victims in this supposedly divisive

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The Independent Investor: A Tale of Two Charities
By Bill Schmick,
07:56PM / Thursday, June 15, 2017
We are a country divided. Washington is paralyzed. Half the country considers our president a joke and any and all legislation is dead on arrival, according to the TV talking heads. Social media is filled with outrage and despair. As a result, Americans are supposedly wringing their hands, or worse, hiding under the covers. Don't you believe it!   To hear the media tell it, on one side of this nation are the ultra-left, tree-hugging liberals, who want government to do everything by taking from the rich and giving to the poor. On the other side, are the red-necked conservatives, who despise government and its welfare programs. They want to whack the Muslims, build

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The Independent Investor: The Client Comes First
By Bill Schmick,
05:19PM / Thursday, June 08, 2017

As of Friday, putting a client's needs first becomes law.

Despite a bitterly contested battle by brokers, banks and insurance companies to kill it, the on-again, off-again Department of Labor fiduciary rule becomes effective June 9, 2017. Investors should cheer the news.

That's right — it is no longer just a slogan that slick marketers use to woo unsuspecting retail investors into their fee-based, commission-based, fee-sharing web of duplicity and immoral behavior. Since I am already a fiduciary, I tried over the years to advise readers on what is in their best interests since their advisers certainly were not. The new law changes all that.

If your adviser,

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