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Medicare Changes for 2016

Every year brings little changes to Medicare, and 2016 is no different. Here is a handy summary of the changes this year. Part B premiums will rise 16% for some Medicare beneficiaries, 0% for others. Since the federal government’s Consumer Price Index failed to advance on a year-over-year basis across most of 2015, no Social … Continue reading

Super Draghi to the Rescue: Weekly Update and Sector ETF Performance

Global markets where well into a third straight weekly beating on Thursday when European Central Bank President Mario Draghi came to the rescue.   At a regularly scheduled policy meeting, the European Central Bank stood pat on rates, but President Draghi announced the bank would reconsidering its monetary stance and gave hints of the “do … Continue reading

More of the Same: Weekly Update and Sector ETF Performance

Another disappointing week for the markets. The S&P 500 finished the week down 2.2% but perhaps more frustrating than the final number, was a couple of failed rallies during the week.   The only equity sector beating the trend was Utilities, with the Utility ETF (XLU) posting a weekly return of 0.7%.   Last week’s … Continue reading

Bianco Research on Bloomberg TV

Jim Bianco is President of Chicago based Bianco Research LLC.  His commentary and interviews regarding global economy and markets is always informative and his recent appearance on Bloomberg Television was no exception. Video is available at the above link, but here are the “CliffsNotes”: The beginning of the trading year is historically volatile. Markets are … Continue reading

2016 Retirement Plan Contribution Limits

Over the past 12 months, consumer prices have increased very little. The latest Consumer Price Index (September) shows 0.0% yearly inflation and only 1.9% core yearly inflation. That means no cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security, and very few IRS adjustments to retirement plan contribution limits.1 Roth IRA & traditional IRA contribution limits stay the same … Continue reading

Chinese New Year: Weekly Update and Sector ETF Performance

While it is no secret that New Years optimism and resolve has a tendency to fade to “would have, could have, should have” before even the kickoff of the Super Bowl; the start to the new market year would make even the worst procrastinator blush. According to Bloomberg  U.S. stock markets had “their worst weekly … Continue reading

ETF Yearly Returns

Yearly Total Return of Select  Exchange Traded Funds tracked by Barnhart Investment Advisory Yearly Total Return 2015 2014 2013 S&P500 SPY 1.24% 13.46% 32.31% Dow Jones DIA 0.09% 9.72% 29.64% Nasdaq 100 QQQ 9.43% 19.19% 36.63% S&P Midcap MDY -2.51% 9.40% 33.06% Rusell 2000 IWM -4.48% 5.03% 38.70% Dow Transports IYT -16.92% 25.37% 41.17% 10 … Continue reading

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