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@theMarket: Will China Be Next?
By Bill Schmick,
10:37AM / Saturday, October 06, 2018
After this week's trade deal between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, investors are waiting to see if China will now come to the table. What would it take for that to happen?   Mid-term elections could be the trigger. It wouldn't surprise me to see a deal before November — since the polls appear to favor the Democrats. Trump's tariff offensives, while supported by most of his base, are deeply disturbing to those who are feeling the brunt of foreign-trade retaliation.   Farmers, for example, and blue-collar workers in certain steel-related industries, are suffering. Many of them are also part of the 39 percent minority of Americans who support

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The Independent Investor: Estate Planning Is for All of Us
By Bill Schmick,
02:32PM / Friday, October 05, 2018
Here is a trick question. What did Aretha Franklin, Tupac Shakur, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Lincoln have in common? They are all famous people who died without a will.   In the case of the "Queen of Soul," she died in August leaving $80 million and according to Michigan state law, those assets should eventually be divided up among her four children. In the meantime, the entire estate must go through the probate process, which is both expensive and time-consuming.   Some other famous people who failed to prepare their heirs and beneficiaries for their eventual death are: Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Howard Hughes Sonny Bono, James Brown, Prince,

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@theMarket: The Market's Last Quarter
By Bill Schmick,
04:29PM / Friday, September 28, 2018
Today marks the end of the third quarter for stocks in 2018. But it is the fourth quarter that will determine what kind of year it will be. Let's place our bets.   First, we should look at what could go wrong over the next three months. Tariffs probably lead the list. More of them, (although the dollar amount is minimal in the scheme of global trade), would be bad for sentiment within the global stock markets. Mid-term elections are a toss-up, but simply not knowing the outcome I count as a negative. Quarterly earnings results might also hold some risk for investors. And finally, the latest investor sentiment readings (a contrary indicator) are as high as they were back

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The Independent Investor: Credit Freeze for Free
By Bill Schmick,
03:30PM / Thursday, September 27, 2018
It just got cheaper to freeze your credit files, thanks to the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act. But should you do it?   The law, signed by President Trump back in May, only took effect this month. It requires the three major credit reporting bureaus — Equifax, Trans Union and Experian — to drop the fees to freeze your credit. Those fees ranged from $3 to $10 per person, times three credit bureaus, plus more charges to "thaw" your credit. Consumers can now also un-freeze their files, either temporarily or permanently, free of charge.   Thanks to a recent spate of credit breaches, Congress felt it needed to do

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@theMarket: Record Highs and More to Come?
By Bill Schmick,
04:03PM / Friday, September 21, 2018
The Dow and the S&P 500 Indexes made record highs this week. That's right, we broke the levels of January and we closed out the week holding these new higher levels. So much for the bear's prediction of a 5-7 percent pullback.   Over two weeks ago, when I published my last column, I wrote that most of the Wall Street community was expecting a pullback. I warned readers "that when the pack is leaning one way, you should be looking the other way. I say stay invested, look beyond a month or two, and prosper by the end of the year."   OK, in hindsight, that was sage advice, but now what? You aren't paying me the big bucks to tell you about

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