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Below is an email that was sent out this week to clients with my perspective on how the crisis in Ukraine could affect markets.

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How to Avoid Falling Victim to a Scammer

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It wasn’t that long ago when our money and assets were safe, at least there was a high degree of perceived safety.

Investment accounts were secured by SIPC insurance. The same could be said about FDIC-insured bank accounts. And, if you spotted a fraudulent charge on your credit card, all that was required was a quick phone call to the number on the back of your card, and it was removed.

Sure, there were fraudsters and scammers, but potential access to your personal finances was much more limited.

Those same SIPC, FDIC, and credit card protections remain in place today. Unfortunately, the advent of the Internet, social media, and a global reach have led to a proliferation of scams that can quickly deliver a knockout blow to your savings.

While you need not be in a perpetual state of readiness, a healthy level of vigilance and skepticism can go a long way. It will protect your savings and prevent you from becoming a victim of fraud.

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How to follow through on New Year’s resolutions

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The new year is the perfect break in the calendar that allows us to take off the old and put on the new. It’s like turning the page. It's a new chapter. It's a new book! You can't change the past, but you can change the future.

One way we can make a change is to set new goals, which we call New Year’s resolutions.

If you are considering financial resolutions, you might include getting debt under control, saving more for retirement, getting a head start on taxes, or reviewing health and life insurance options. It’s an ancient idea.

Did you know that there is evidence that the first resolutions were made by the Babylonians about 4,000 years ago? Julius Caesar reintroduced the practice when he established January 1 as the start of the new year in 46 B.C.E.

New Year’s resolutions are still made these days, but few follow through on them. According to a recent CBS News poll, only 29% of Americans had planned to make New Year’s resolutions this year, down from 43% in 2021. Moreover, Statista reports that only 4% who make resolutions accomplish all they set out to do; 8% meet most of their goals, and 16% meet some.

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9 Smart Planning Moves to Consider Before Year End

As a new year approaches, it is important to create yourself a year-end-check list so you can start the new year stress-free.

Below are 9 smart planning moves you should consider before the year is over. 
 
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Seven Deadly Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid

Let’s ask a question that seemingly has an obvious answer. Why is estate planning important?

First of all, when many hear the term “estate planning,” they quickly envision those who own mansions, various real estate holdings, large stock portfolios, expensive toys and priceless heirlooms.

Please, put that stereotype out of your mind. Everyone should have an estate plan or a will.

There are several reasons, but let’s touch on the most important. Your wishes are carried out, and you can prevent or discourage fighting among potential heirs by spelling out what each beneficiary will receive. 

You decide—not a court, and thereby prevent the ugliness that could easily follow.

Many folks understand this, but common mistakes can surface, thwarting your intentions. And they can surface after it’s too late for you to do anything about it.

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