Spotting Credit Trouble

Almost half of American households carry a balance on their credit cards, and the average debt totals $15,863.¹

The wise use of credit is a critical skill in today’s world. Used unwisely, credit can rapidly turn from a useful tool to a crippling burden. There are a number of warning signs that you may be approaching credit problems:

  1. Have you used one credit card to pay off another?
  2. Have you used credit card advances to pay bills?
  3. Do you regularly use a charge card because you are short on cash?
  4. Do you charge items you might not buy if you were paying cash?
  5. Do you need to use your credit cards to buy groceries?
  6. Are you reluctant to open monthly statements from creditors?
  7. Do you regularly charge more each month than you pay off?
  8. Do you write checks today on funds to be deposited tomorrow?
  9. Do you apply for new credit cards so you can increase borrowing?
  10. Are you receiving late and over-limit credit card charges?

It is important to recognize the warning signs of potential credit problems. The quicker corrective action is taken the better. Procrastinating is almost a sure way to guarantee that you may face financial difficulty down the road.

  1. Nerdwallet.com, 2015

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2017 FMG Suite.

How Does Your Credit Score Compare?

Fast Fact: Get Over It. A bad credit score doesn’t last forever. Since your credit score is a “snapshot” of your risk at a particular point in time, it changes as new information is added to your bank and credit bureau files. Scores change gradually as you change the way you handle credit.

Your credit score is simply a statistical estimation of how likely you are to pay your debts and, by extension, how much credit you should have. Everyone is different—everyone has a different history, different experiences. But have you ever wondered how you compare to other Americans?

The illustration below shows cities with the best and worst credit score.

Source: Experian.org, 2016

Generation Gap

Here’s a look at how each generation fares credit-wise. How do you stack up?

Credit Score
Baby Boomers 675
Generation X 633
Millennials 624

Source: ConsolidatedCredit.org, 2016, using Experian scoring

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2017 FMG Suite.

U.S. Personal Savings Rate

The U.S. personal saving rate stood at 4.8% in June of 2015, a bit lower than its 10-year average of 4.9% and well below the recent five-year high of 11% in December 2012.1

The personal saving rate is the federal government’s estimate of what percent of their incomes U.S. households are saving. But market watchers and economists are mixed on what can be learned from swings in the saving rate.

Why Economists Struggle

They struggle with the personal saving rate because it’s a derivative number — that is, it’s not measured directly. Instead, the Bureau of Economic Analysis derives the saving rate from other estimates. Here’s how it’s calculated:2

  1. The Bureau of Economic Analysis subtracts payroll and income taxes from personal income to get disposable personal income.
  2. The Bureau then subtracts its estimate of personal outlays — expenditures, interest payments, and payments — from disposable personal income to get an estimate of personal saving.
  3. The Bureau concludes by dividing personal income — the number the Bureau started with — by personal saving.

As currently structured, the U.S. Personal Saving Rate does not include capital gains from the sale of land or financial assets in its estimate of personal income. This effectively excludes capital gains — an important source of income for some.3

Fast Fact: Other Measure. Some economists prefer to track gross national savings as a percent of gross domestic product. In 2015, the gross national savings of the U.S. was 18.7%, well below the world average of 26.7%.
Source: Central Intelligence Agency, 2016

Gaining Insight

Gaining a bit of insight into a popular economic indicator can help you better understand trends as they are discussed in newspapers and websites. However, don’t let your long-term savings program be influenced by a national number.

Economic Indicator?

The personal saving rate fluctuates with the country’s economic environment.

Sources: Bureau of Economic Analysis, June 2015; for the period July 1, 2005 through June 1, 2015.

1,2. Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2015
3. Sifma.org, 2015

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2017 FMG Suite.

Life and Death of a Twenty Dollar Bill

Tip: Daily Production. In 2017, the government will print roughly 19 million notes a day, totaling about $209 billion in value for the year. More than 90% of the newly minted notes will replace notes already in our circulation.
Source: Federal Reserve, 2016

The average $20 bill is in circulation for 7.9 years, according to a report by the Federal Reserve. That’s better than the $10 bill, which has a life span of only 4.5 years, but worse than the $100 bill, which is in circulation for 15 years.¹

Here’s a quick look at what goes into creating a $20 bill and what determines when a bill’s lifespan ends.

Paper

A $20 bill starts out life as part of a big, blank sheet of paper — but not just any paper. While most paper is made primarily from wood pulp, the paper used by the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing doesn’t contain any wood at all. Currency paper is composed of a special blend of 75% cotton and 25% linen. It’s made with special watermarks and has tiny blue and red fibers embedded in it along with a special security thread.²,³

Each blank sheet is tracked from the time it leaves the mill until it is printed, and the entire shipment is continuously reconciled to make certain all are accounted for.⁴

Printing

These blank sheets of cotton and linen paper get printed four times.

Fast Fact: Lots of Folding. It takes about 4,000 double folds — first forward and then backward — before a $20 bill will start to tear.
Source: Bureau of Engraving and Printing, 2015

Background images and colors are printed — both sides at once — using offset presses that are over 50 feet long and weigh over 70 tons. After drying for 72 hours, the portraits, vignettes, scrollwork, numerals, and letters are printed on the back using Intaglio presses that are a mere 40 feet long and weigh only 50 tons. After drying for another 72 hours — in special guarded cages — more portraits, vignettes, scrollwork, numerals, and letters are printed on the front using the Intaglio presses. Finally, the serial numbers, Federal Reserve seal, Treasury Department seal, and Federal Reserve identification numbers are printed using a letter press.⁵

Cutting and Wrapping

Once dry, these printed sheets are gathered in stacks of 100 to be cut by a specially designed guillotine cutter. Each new stack of 100 $20 bills is wrapped with a special paper band. Ten of these 100-note stacks are gathered, machine counted, and shrink-wrapped into a bundle. Then four of these shrink-wrapped bundles are collated together, given a special bar-code label, and shrink-wrapped again to create a brick of 4,000 bills, worth $80,000.⁶

Distribution and Circulation

The Treasury Department ships these newly printed $20 bills to the Federal Reserve Banks, who in turn pay them out to banks and savings and loans—primarily in exchange for old, worn-out bills. The new bills are handed out to customers of these institutions as they withdraw cash, either through tellers or through automated teller machines.⁷

An average $20 bill will change hands often, but even the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing isn’t sure how many times a bill will move from one pocket to the next. Contrary to popular belief, the government doesn’t have any way to track individual bills.

There is a polyester security thread embedded in the paper that runs vertically up one side of each bill. If you look closely, the initials USA TWENTY along with the bill’s denomination and a small flag are visible along the thread from both sides of the bill. This thread makes currency more difficult to counterfeit, but cannot be tracked electronically.⁸

Withdrawal

Banks gather worn out and damaged currency, sending it to the Federal Reserve in exchange for new bills. The Federal Reserve then sorts through these bills to determine which are still usable and which are not. Those bills deemed usable are stored until they can go out again through the commercial banking system. Those deemed no longer usable are cut into confetti-like shreds. Most are then disposed of; a small portion is sold in five-pound bags through the Treasury’s website.⁹

1. Federal Reserve, 2016
2. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, 2016
3. Federal Reserve, 2016
4-6. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, 2016
7. Federal Reserve, 2016
8. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, 2016
9. Federal Reserve, 2016

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2017 FMG Suite.

Pay Yourself First

Each month you settle down to pay bills. You pay your mortgage lender. You pay the electric company. You pay the trash collector. But do you pay yourself? One of the most basic tenets of sound investing involves the simple habit of “paying yourself first,” in other words, making the first payment of each month into your savings account.

Americans’ saving patterns vary widely. And too often, short-term economic trends can interrupt long-term savings programs. For example, the U.S. Personal Savings Rate jumped from 3.5% to nearly 8% in May 2008 during the housing and banking crisis. It then rose and fell sporadically as the economic environment appeared to stabilize.1

The Genius of Pay Yourself First

Anyone who’s ever managed their own finances knows that saving can be a challenge. There seems to be an endless stream of expenses that demand a piece of each month’s paycheck. Herein lies the genius of paying yourself first: you get the cream at the top of the bucket, and not the leftovers at the bottom.

The trick is to prioritize. Make it a point to put your future first. At first, saving may mean a small lifestyle change. But most individuals want to see their net worth increase steadily. For them, finding ways to save becomes more of a long-term commitment than a short-term challenge.

Putting Your Money to Work

What will you do with the money you save?

If retirement is your priority, consider taking advantage of tax-advantaged investments. Employer-sponsored retirement plans, such as 401(k)s and 403(b)s, can be a great way to save because the money comes out of your paycheck before you even see it. Also, as an added incentive, some employers offer to match a percentage of your contributions.2

For money you may want to access before retirement, consider placing the funds in a separate account. When the balance hits your target, you may want to move the money into investments that offer the potential for higher returns. Of course, this may mean exposing your money to more volatility, so you’ll want to choose vehicles that fit your risk tolerance, time horizon, and long-term goals.

In the pursuit of growing wealth, sound habits can be your most valuable asset. Develop the habit of “paying yourself first” today. The sooner you begin, the more potential your savings may have to grow.

Ups and Downs

The U.S. Personal Savings Rate historically has fluctuated as Americans are influenced by the short-term economic environment.

Ups and Downs

Sources: Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2015, for the period July 1, 2005 through June 1, 2015. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2015

  1. Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2015
  2. Distributions from 401(k), 403(b) and most other employer-sponsored retirement plans are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken before age 59½, may be subject to a 10% federal income tax penalty. Generally, once you reach age 70½, you must begin taking required minimum distributions.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2017 FMG Suite.

Your Emergency Fund: How Much Is Enough?

Have you ever had one of those months? The water heater stops heating, the dishwasher stops washing and your family ends up on a first-name basis with the nurse at urgent care. Then, as you’re driving to work, giving yourself your best, “You can make it!” pep talk, you see smoke seeping out from under your hood.

Bad things happen to the best of us, and instead of conveniently spacing themselves out, they almost always come in waves. The important thing is to have a financial life preserver, in the form of an emergency cash fund, at the ready.

Although many people agree that an emergency fund is an important resource, they’re not sure how much to save or where to keep the money. Others wonder how they can find any extra cash to sock away. One survey found that 28% of Americans don’t have any emergency savings at all.¹

How Much Money?

When starting an emergency fund, you’ll want to set a target amount. But how much is enough? Unfortunately, there is no “one-size-fits-all” answer. The ideal amount for your emergency fund may depend on your financial situation and lifestyle. For example, if you own your home or provide for a number of dependents, you may be more likely to face financial emergencies. And if the crisis you face is a job loss or injury that affects your income, you may need to depend on your emergency fund for an extended period of time.

Coming Up with Cash

Fast Fact: Only 10% of people with a college degree say they have no emergency savings, compared to 42% of those with a high-school education or less.
Bankrate.com, June 21, 2016

If saving several months of income seems an unreasonable goal, don’t despair. Start with a more modest target, such as saving $1,000. Build your savings at regular intervals, a bit at a time. It may help to treat the transaction like a bill you pay each month. Consider setting up an automatic monthly transfer to make self-discipline a matter of course. You may want to consider paying off any credit card debt before you begin saving.

Once you see your savings begin to build, you may be tempted to use the account for something other than an emergency. Try to budget and prepare separately for bigger expenses you know are coming. Keep your emergency money separate from your checking account so that it’s harder to dip into.

Where Do I Put It?

An emergency fund should be easily accessible, which is why many people choose traditional bank savings accounts. Savings accounts typically offer modest rates of return. Certificates of Deposit may provide slightly higher returns than savings accounts, but your money will be locked away until the CD matures, which could be several months to several years.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insures bank accounts and certificates of deposit (CD) up to $250,000 per depositor, per institution in principal and interest. CDs are time deposits offered by banks, thrift institutions, and credit unions. CDs offer a slightly higher return than a traditional bank savings account, but they also may require a higher amount of deposit. If you sell before the CD reaches maturity, you may be subject to penalties.

Some individuals turn to money market accounts for their emergency savings. Money market funds are considered low-risk securities, but they’re not backed by any government institution so it is possible to lose money. Depending on your particular goals and the amount you have saved, some combination of lower-risk investments may be your best choice.

Money held in money market funds is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Money market funds seek to preserve the value of your investment at $1.00 a share. However, it is possible to lose money by investing in a money market fund. Money market mutual funds are sold by prospectus. Please consider the charges, risks, expenses, and investment objectives carefully before investing. A prospectus containing this and other information about the investment company can be obtained from your financial professional. Read it carefully before you invest or send money.

The only thing you can know about unexpected expenses is that they’re coming — for everyone. But having an emergency fund may help alleviate the stress and worry associated with a financial crisis. If your emergency savings are not where they should be, consider taking steps today to create a cushion for the future.

Where Do You Fit In?

Here’s a look at how Americans are doing when it comes to emergency savings:

Bankrate.com, June 21, 2016

  1. Bankrate.com, June 21, 2016

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2017 FMG Suite.

Budget Check Up: Tax Time Is the Right Time

Tip: Be careful with cash. Cash purchases don’t show up on monthly statements, making them more difficult to track. Consider keeping receipts for all cash purchases.

Every year, nearly 150 million households file their federal tax returns.¹ For many, the process involves digging through shoe boxes or manila folders full of receipts; gathering mortgage, retirement, and investment account statements; and relying on computer software to take advantage of every tax break the code permits.

It seems a shame not to make the most of all that effort.

Tax preparation may be the only time of year many households gather all their financial information in one place. That makes it a perfect time to take a critical look at how much money is coming in and where it’s all going. In other words, give the household budget a check-up.

Six-Step Process

Budget Check Up

One method for doing a thorough budget check-up involves six steps.

  1. Create Some Categories. Start by dividing expenses into useful categories. Some possibilities: home, auto, food, household, debt, clothes, pets, entertainment, and charity. Don’t forget savings and investments. It also may be helpful to create subcategories. Housing, for example, can be divided into mortgage, taxes, insurance, utilities, and maintenance.
  2. Follow the Money. Go through all the receipts and statements gathered to prepare taxes and get a better understanding of where the money went last year. Track everything. Be as specific as possible; and don’t forget to account for the cost of a latte on the way to the office each day.
  3. Project Expenses Forward. Knowing how much was spent in each budget
    category can provide a useful template for projecting expenses moving forward. Go through category by category. Are expenses likely to rise in the coming year? If so, by how much? The results of this projection will form the basis of a budget for the coming year.
  4. Determine Expected Income. Add together all sources of income. Make sure to use net income.
  5. Do the Math. It’s time for the moment of truth. Subtract projected expenses from expected income. If expenses exceed income, it may be necessary to consider changes. Prioritize categories and look to reduce those with the lowest importance until the budget is balanced.
  6. Stick to It. If it’s not in the budget, don’t spend it. If it’s an emergency, make adjustments elsewhere.

Tax time can provide an excellent opportunity to give your household budget a thorough check up. And taking control of your money could enable you to put more of it to work pursuing your financial goals.

1. IRS, 2015

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2017 FMG Suite.

The Economic Journey of Your Morning Coffee

This morning 100 million Americans began their day in the same way—drinking their first cup of coffee.¹ Few, if any, took a moment during this morning ritual to contemplate or marvel the complex journey that brought their coffee from farm to kitchen table.

Coffee is the U.S.’s largest food import.² It wields an economic impact that starts with farmers from Brazil to Vietnam and ends with the barista at your local coffeehouse, involving hundreds of truckers, shippers, roasters and retail workers in between.

The beans brewed for your morning coffee may have changed hands up to 150 times. And the original bean farmer can expect between 10 to 12 cents of every dollar spent on retail coffee.³

Like many agricultural enterprises, coffee is grown on large plantations and small farms alike. Harvests are purchased by coffee mills located proximate to coffee growing regions, either directly from the plantation and farm cooperative, or via a trader who buys from the farmer in the hopes of re-selling at a higher price.

The mills take these “cherries”—so called because the beans are red—and brings them through a milling process that dries them and removes their husks to reveal the inner green bean.

The green beans are brought into the U.S. by importers and sold to roasters and major coffee brands whose roasting facilities are typically located in coastal cities with seaports that can receive the coffee shipments.

Once roasted, coffee will be ground (or left as whole beans), packaged and shipped to distribution centers around the country for eventual delivery to retail outlets.

Coffee’s journey to your table may travel a different path given the rise of specialty roasters and a growing connection between coffee retailers and farmers that removes many of these middlemen.

  1. StatisticBrain.com, May 17, 2015
  2. Globalexchange.org, 2014
  3. PBS.org, 2014

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2017 FMG Suite.

Countering Counterfeit Currency

It is estimated by the U.S. Secret Service that, prior to the founding of that agency in 1865, up to one-half of the currency in circulation was counterfeit.¹

Today, while 90% of all known counterfeit currency is seized before it reaches circulation, combating counterfeiting remains core to preserving the integrity of the nation’s money.²

Money Matters

Ongoing advances in high-tech printers and inks continually raise the bar on what the federal government must do to limit counterfeiting, which has led to a range of new strategies.

To make U.S. paper currency more difficult to copy, there have been continual changes to the artwork, paper, and ink. Summarized below are some of these recent changes.

Portrait—The portrait has become much more sophisticated by becoming closer to a life-like picture than the screen-like background it was previously. On counterfeit bills, the portraits often appear to be unclear or unnaturally white.

Border—The border design is now composed of intricate crisscrossing lines that are clear and unbroken, distinguishing them from the smudged or broken lines of counterfeit bills.

Paper—The paper is now embedded with tiny red and blue fibers. A polyester thread is also woven inside $10, $20, $50, and $100 bills, with “USA TEN,” or “USA TWENTY” printed on it to match the denomination. This makes it nearly impossible for photocopiers to reproduce.

Ink—The ink used is a special “never-dry” ink that can be rubbed off. This is not foolproof, however, since ink on some counterfeit bills can be rubbed off as well.

Microprinting—Surrounding the portrait are the words “The United States of America” in miniature letters. It appears to be a black line to the naked eye, which is how a photocopier would reproduce it.

Keep in mind that you are not reimbursed for any counterfeit currency that may come into your possession. So you are advised to be careful about the large bills you accept for payment.

  1. U.S. Secret Service, 2016
  2. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, 2016

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2017 FMG Suite.

Weighing the Benefits of Prepaid Debit Cards

In 2015, more than half of all Americans purchased a prepaid debit card for personal use, compared to just 19% in 2008.¹

A prepaid debit card is established when an individual provides cash to a financial institution in exchange for a card that can be used like any debit card or credit card, except it is limited to purchases in an amount not to exceed the card’s cash balance. When the balance runs low, or is exhausted, the card can be reloaded with additional cash.

There are reasons why you might consider using a prepaid debit card, including:

  • For individuals with poor credit, who may be unable to get a credit card, carrying a prepaid debit card means they don’t have to carry cash.
  • For individuals who have trouble managing their spending, prepaid debit cards can act as a restraint on poor habits.
  • As an alternative to credit cards for college students, they can help protect parents from their children’s excessive spending, while teaching important budgeting lessons.
  • They offer potential protection against the loss of cash when traveling.
  • In a world of data theft, prepaid debit cards do not house personal data, such as your Social Security number or bank account information, shielding that data in the event of theft.

They do come with drawbacks, such as:

    • They do not provide any advance of credit, like a credit card. So if you have an emergency expense that exceeds your prepaid debit card balance, the debit card will be of limited use.
    • Prepaid debit cards may come with considerable fees, including account opening fees, transaction fees, and monthly charges. Depending upon the balance, fees can represent a high percentage of your cash value.
    • You will not earn reward points or rebates, like you might with a credit card.

If you are considering a prepaid debit card, be sure to comparison shop. The fees can vary widely, so look for an appropriate card. And keep yourself informed about your running balance so you don’t find yourself short on money.

  1. CreditCards.com, June 20, 2016

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2017 FMG Suite.