The Roller Coaster Stock Market

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By Kent Butcher, MBA   During times of volatility, the stock market is often compared to a roller coaster ride. This analogy is certainly applicable to the behavior of the stock market particularly beginning mid- July of this year. On July 16, the Dow Jones Average closed at 17,138. This was the highest point for the Dow in the previous five year period.  Four weeks later on August 7th, the Dow nose-dived to 16,368, a neighborhood that it had not seen since February of 2014. Fast forward six weeks to…

Coffee Tasting Event From UPAL & Admiral Express

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You Are Invited! As a special thank you to the UPAL membership, UPAL has partnered with Admiral Express to present an exclusive offer for all UPAL medical professionals.   Admiral will be providing a specialty coffee solution for your lobby and break rooms.  Admiral Express offers the commercial line of Keurig brewers, which are UL listed, unlike those available for purchase in retail stores.   As a part of this exclusive offer, UPAL members will receive the option of free brewer placements and discounted pricing, not only for the office, but also…

The Effects of Improper/Proper IT Support on Your Practice

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There are many IT service providers out there. Who do you call? More importantly, who shouldn’t you call? Access to timely and secure information is increasingly becoming as valuable as the stethoscope in the healthcare industry. Physicians, nurses, patients, and all end users need immediate access to vital information. IT is not a luxury but a critical necessity in today’s healthcare industry. Everyone has experienced the frustrations of relying on your network to function properly, only to find it slow or unresponsive….causing the “dreaded IT emergency”. The IT industry for…

How Does an FSA Benefit Employers?

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Bottom Line – Employers can benefit greatly by offering a Flexible Spending Account to their employees! 1. Employer Saves Money on FICA Taxes Example – If your employee makes $30K a year, then as the employer you would pay $2016 in FICA taxes. If that same employee elected to put $2,500 in their FSA then the company would pay $1,848 in FICA taxes. This is an annual savings of $168 for just one employee! 2. FSA are Appreciated and Often Vital for Employees Saving 20 to 25% on medical expenses…

What Physicians Look For in a Retirement Plan

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In a recent poll, physicians across the state of Oklahoma were asked about their current retirement plan. UPAL’s goal was to learn if Oklahoma doctors have a retirement plan that they are satisfied with and what features of that plan are most important to them. Not only did we confirm what we already knew physicians value in a retirement plan, but we learned that many doctors are only partially satisfied or even dissatisfied with their current retirement planning situation because many of their expectations just aren’t being met. Keep reading…

Portfolio Endurance

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The need for retirement planning doesn’t end with the onset of retirement. A new retiree’s focus shifts from building wealth to managing and preserving it. One major challenge is to make the investment portfolio supply cash flow for the duration of life—and through different economic and market conditions. Experts have studied portfolio longevity or endurance to help retired investors reduce the odds of depleting their wealth too soon. The studies evaluate how a portfolio might endure under the stress of changing markets and spending levels. The resulting models estimate portfolio…

A New Way To Invest

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Many investors have unfulfilled expectations. They are looking for a better solution, one that can lead to a better investment experience. What would that approach look like? How can they improve their odds of success? Why Invest At All? Let’s begin by considering what you want to accomplish as an investor. Why do people invest at all? People have different financial needs and goals, and therefore, they may invest for different reasons. One major reason is to grow their wealth—for example, in preparation for retirement. Whatever their reason for accumulating…

Is Gold Worth Its Weight in a Portfolio?

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During a weak global economy and uncertain financial markets, many investors tout the benefits of holding gold. Some proponents claim that gold deserves a significant weighting in most investors’ portfolios. Gold’s often-cited portfolio benefits include a strong long-term return, a hedge against inflation, and safe haven during turbulent times. But does the evidence build a case for holding gold as a separate asset class? Let’s look at historical returns for the answers. Gold’s Long-Term Performance Investors who think of gold as having strong long-term returns base their belief on two…

Changes to the Rules for Flexible Spending Accounts Truly Make it a WIN-WIN!!!

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Offering a Flexible Spending Account can be a vital component of any company’s business plan. And, recent changes to the FSA rules make offering one an even better option now for employers and employees! First off, there are three key benefits to employers: 1. Significant savings on FICA taxes. 2. Offering a more comprehensive and competitive employee benefits program. 3. Hassle free administration And… the employees win the most by allowing them to use pre-tax money for eligible health care expenses. Imagine your employees saving an average of 30% on…

6 Things Every Physician Should Know About Retirement Investing

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Doctors face unique challenges when planning for retirement. Relaxation, recreation, and leisure: After a lifetime of working hard to care for other people, doctors deserve to enjoy their retirement to the fullest. A 2013 survey conducted by AMA Insurance revealed that only 6% of U.S. physicians consider themselves ahead of schedule when it comes to retirement preparedness while about 48% feel that they are behind. The survey also found that the primary difference between the 6% and the 48% was that the more prepared physicians possess a deeper knowledge level…