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Business Ownership and Wealth Management

Dana Barfield

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Top Stories by Dana Barfield

This time of year is a favorite for children of all ages – I happen to be one of these kids – in part because of the television programs that are shown around Christmas. A Charlie Brown Christmas, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, have been favorites of mine since TV went from exclusively black and white to poor quality color. This is no coincidence as these programs were made in the mid 1960’s. As I was watching this year, it occurred to me that if at this time in history Christmas had not yet been established, if somehow Christmas needed to be “started” in 2009, it wouldn’t stand a chance. Christmas would be doomed before it ever got started. First of all, the only time you can say Jesus Christ anymore is when you hit your thumb with a hammer. You can’t mention Him at City Hall, you can’t display a crè... (more)

Housing Crisis and Lower Income Home Owners

Finally the other shoe drops. On the front page of Monday’s USA Today, research done by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies discovered “Homes that cost less hit the hardest.” The article details the fact the lowest price homes in markets all across the US have experienced price drops greater than homes which cost more. This is no surprise and it is the natural consequence of artificial incentives instilled into the housing market by the Community Reinvestment Act originally signed by Jimmy Carter, and subsequently updated in the Gramm Leach Bliley Act signed by ... (more)

Unemployment – Causes and Consequences

Somewhere on the internet last week, mention was made that unemployment for high income people was (essentially) non-existent, while extremely high for low income earners. I was able to track down that data for the fourth quarter of 2009. Here it is by income: As you can clearly see the lower income levels are experiencing the greatest difficulty finding jobs. Interestingly enough, this data is not making its way into the mainstream. But even more interesting is the set of “circumstances” that has caused this, or at least occurred in the same approximate time frame. Minimum Wage... (more)

U.S. Economic Recovery: Obama Effect

In Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal the following graphic appears. In it, the IMF analyzes this period of “economic recovery” as compared to all other U.S. economic recoveries since World War Two. The dark green indicates the strongest recovery with the dark orange indicating the weakest recovery. What the data shows for (this) the recovery period from 2009-2011 is the strongest business and financial sector recovery of any previous recession. Moreover fixed investment in equipment and software is the strongest of any previous recession/recovery. The data further shows the weakest e... (more)

S & P Downgrade of the U.S

Let’s make clear what is happening today, what relationship this bears to the Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the U.S. financial system, and how it affects your plan for retirement. There is some legitimacy to the concern over the debt rating reduction. For as long as anyone can remember the United States of American has been the gilt-edged standard of financial wherewithal and responsibility (70 years to be exact). To be downgraded, though somewhat symbolic, is a shock to the system. S&P’s concern is the amount of debt we now have; in excess of $14.5 trillion today, which is $ 4 ... (more)