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Thinking differently about bond allocation decisions

Posted On: 11/21/13
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Interest rates have never been lower, so at some point we have to expect them to go higher. As an investor building wealth for the long term, should you be thinking differently about how you make bond allocation decisions? Bond fund allocation has long been a fairly straightforward part of the overall portfolio allocation decision process. Bonds were traditionally the “safer” part of your portfolio that remained steady and predictable when riskier asset classes are in turmoil. In the past, the most basic allocation decision you can make is how much to allocate to equities and other risky assets, and how much to assign to bonds. There is no doubt that bonds trade in a more volatile pattern than in the past. That by itself does not change the role they normally play in portfolio allocation. A bond portfolio still consists of securities that pay a contractually fixed stream of interest and principal payments over a defined period of time. The primary risks remain the same. F...
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BUSINESS BRIEFS

Posted On: 11/21/13
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Top producer   Atlantic/Smith, Cropper & Deeley Insurance Brokers recently announced that Donna J. Harrison was Top Producer for October. Donna is an Account Executive licensed in property, casualty, life and health insurance. She has been with A/SCD for 20 years, specializing in small and large group life and health benefits. She has been recognized by Who’s Who in Professional and Executive Women, as well as Who’s Who in United States Executives. She resides in Tilghman, Md.   Commercial lines manager Laura Deeley Bren, president of Atlantic/Smith, Cropper & Deeley Insurance announced Kiesha Lankford will assume the role of commercial lines manager. She joined the agency as the claims manager in 2009 and will continue to oversee those operations as well. Lankford has 14 years of experience in claims administration, Commercial Lines marketing, service and risk management. In 2009 and 2012, Lankford received the agency’s Superior Customer Servi...
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Dealership specializes in clean, dependable cars

Posted On: 11/14/13
Written By: Sheila R. Cherry, Associate Editor

BERLIN—Don Klein, of Newark, is expanding his 10-year-old automobile sale business to Berlin with the opening of Shoreline Auto Sales across Route 50 from Stephen Decatur High School. The used car dealership is located at 10621 Ocean Gateway, in Berlin. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. Klein a former insurance company auto appraiser from New Jersey does most of the purchasing, detailing, and—when necessary—repair work himself, he said during a Nov. 11 interview. During the early stages at the new location, he is also doing sales and administration, as he searches for a qualified used car sales representative. He is looking for someone who can commit to 30 to 35 hours per week, he said. “I’ve been working on cars all my life,” he said, adding that he started his career doing body work and restorations. The vehicles the dealership specializes in are Jeeps, muscle cars, imports and pick-up trucks,...
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Financial reserves needed to protect against catastrophes

Posted On: 11/14/13
Written By: Chip Gordy, MBA, CRPC

You probably don’t expect to attain great wealth in your lifetime. Simple financial security would do, if only you knew what that meant. It’s a dicey notion all right, but it does have a few characteristics you can get your arms around. You need a steady source of income. This comes from your job, or your business if you’re self-employed, or investments if you’re fortunate and alert. Future income is the bedrock on which financial security is built. You need financial reserves. You need protection against financial catastrophes. Of course I’m talking about insurance. You need it in sufficient amounts to cover your life, your health, your ability to earn an income, your family and your possessions (i.e. at least seven times your annual take home earnings). Without insurance, even the best financial plans can be wiped out suddenly. Also, you need to get further ahead each year. If you stand pat, even modest inflation will erode your financial reserves ju...
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Susan G. Komen Maryland announces small grant recipients

Posted On: 11/14/13
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MARYLAND–Susan G. Komen Maryland announced last week the recipients of six small grants, totaling $55,000, which will be invested into the Maryland community. The small grant program has a rolling enrollment. Funding is available for programs that provide screening and diagnostic services or emergency assistance services. The rolling enrollment is in part to the Jacqueline Chambers Small Grant Fund, which was created with a $10,000 gift from the Chamber’s family in memory of their mother, Jackie. Donations to this fund are earmarked specifically for the small grants program. This year, programs to receive funding included: ·MAC Inc. ($5,000) for its program, “Life After Breast Cancer: Overcoming Barriers,” which provides emergency assistance services to under/uninsured women and survivors. The program covers Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties. ·Moveable Feast ($10,000) for emergency assistance services that provide meals for und...
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Merchants begin preparations for Small Business Saturday

Posted On: 11/7/13
Written By: Sheila R. Cherry, Associate Editor

BERLIN—“On November 30, let's get out and Shop Small,” is the tag line that American Express is using this year to encourage holiday shoppers to patronize small independently owned retailers, in the third year of a nationwide campaign it created and marketed for the first Saturday after Thanksgiving. Steve Frene, co-owner of Main Street mainstay Victorian Charm, said he would prefer the event begin on a different day, because holding it on the busiest Saturday of the year made it difficult to discern a difference in the amount of shoppers who would normally come into the store that day. “It almost gets lost,” he said. However, he was quick to note the concept conveyed was a good message to get across at any time. He suggested holding it on the weekend before Thanksgiving would be even more helpful because it would encourage people to start shopping earlier. “But I love that somebody is reminding people to shop local,” Frene sai...
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Several indicators when gauging health of economy

Posted On: 10/24/13
Written By: Chip Gordy, MBA, CRPC

 I’m often asked about what reports or news that I think are the most important when gauging the health of our economy. Following are the 10 most important in my opinion. Jobless Claims. The number of people who file for unemployment benefits in a given week. This data is collected by the Department of Labor, and published as a weekly report. The number of jobless claims is used as a measure of the health of the job market. Non-Farm Payroll. A statistic gathered by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which represents the payroll data for the bulk of the U.S. The employees that are not included in this report include government employees, nonprofit employees, individuals who work within a private household, and farm employees. This calculation represents roughly 80 percent of the U.S. work force. Consumer Price Index (CPI). An inflation indicator that measures the change in the cost of a fixed basket of products and services, that include: housing, electricity, food, and ...
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Water babies seek to capitalize on love of ocean

Posted On: 10/24/13
Written By: Sheila R. Cherry, Associate Editor

Water babies seek to capitalize on love of ocean  BERLIN—Hunter and Devon Bostic grew up on the water and their parents are entrepreneurs, so it is no big surprise that their first venture, Sea-La-Vie, would open with the type of atmosphere and seasoned polish that drew crowds into the repurposed North Main Street studio at 11 Artisans Way on Oct. 19. Actually, the robust foot traffic  on opening day coincided with Berlin’s Octoberfest celebration. A common refrain of customer’s entering the shop with its whitewashed walls and nautical-themed gifts and décor items was, “Wow, it smells so nice in here!” A common view as customers left the shop was the Tiffany’s blue bags, with crisp white borders and string handles and pink tissue paper wrapped around newly-purchased goodies peeking out along the top, swinging from the arms of sated shoppers. Inside, the shop bathed in light and with a nice balance of open space, included crystalized faux chandeliers, white paper lanterns and Capiz ...
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Corbett and Waldhelm, new owners of Bluebird Farms

Posted On: 10/17/13
Written By: Sheila R. Cherry, Associate Editor

Corbett and Waldhelm, new owners of Bluebird Farms BERLIN—Nancie Corbett enjoyed working at the nursery at 11207 Racetrack Rd. that is now called Bluebird Farms so much that she worked for free for a month and a half after the owner retired. A transplant from Baltimore County, who has lived in the area for the past 20 years, Corbett worked as a furniture refinisher and restorer, having done many pieces for the Harrison Group and the historic Atlantic Hotel. But she is no novice to farming. She said she comes to her new business venture with 30 years garden and farm experience. Corbett bought the farm, the Gazebo, along with her husband Donnie Waldhelm, who it turns out hails from New York—from Brooklyn. Waldhelm, who has a background in marketing, was excited and thought the purchase was a good opportunity, Corbett said. The Ocean Pines Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony Oct. 15, to welcome the new owners into the local business community. The location is less than a mile from Beauchamp Roa...
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Looking at estate planning from different age perspectives

Posted On: 10/17/13
Written By: Chip Gordy, MBA, CRPC

I'm often asked; what is estate planning? To answer that question, let's look at estate planning from different age perspectives; the 30 to 50 group; the 50 to 70 crowd and the 70 and above age bracket. Between ages 30 to 50 you’re either getting started with a career and a family or have them in the works. You think, at least occasionally, about retirement and begin to accumulate an estate. By this point in your life you may have started a 401(k) or other retirement savings plans. If you have children you think about their protection, if something unforeseen happens to you. Statistics show that you think life insurance, for both husband and wife, for the loss of either will cause a loss of support for the kids and added expense for the home. Maybe you’re still paying your college loans but want to start saving for your own child's college education. On top of everything you are dealing with for your own family, you also need to consider and ask your par...
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