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    Market Update

    Fed Remains Resolute in Bond Purchases and Yields

    Most first-quarter corporate earnings reports have been meeting or beating expectations and this has raised the confidence that equity valuations are not excessive. The S&P 500 Index is trading at a reasonable 22x Price to Earnings multiple, but earnings estimates are being actively raised by analysts who see stronger revenue and profit growth in the second half of 2021. Financial, industrial, energy and basic materials companies are showing considerable revenue acceleration, expense control and order backlogs.  
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    Online Banking

    Cryptocurrency Becoming Less Cryptic

    The creation of cryptocurrencies or digital currencies such as Bitcoin has bankers, financiers and governments pondering the long-term potential economic and political ramifications for the future. While the increasing use of digital currencies demonstrates the power of a secure, secretive payment transfer system, it also has created a loophole from government control.
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    Market Update

    Federal Spending Strengthens U.S. Dollar

    The S&P 500 Index grew 5.8% in the first quarter in response to the massive fiscal stimulus and the anticipation of a significant economic rebound. The recent passage of the $1.9 trillion federal stimulus package added to the previous five major stimulus bills totaling over $5.2 trillion. Lawmakers as well as the Federal Reserve have responded dramatically to the COVID pandemic flooding the market with liquidity and the markets responded positively. The COVID-relief money flooding into depository institutions is being used for consumption and investment and helping corporate earnings rebound quickly.
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    Security and Fraud Prevention

    IRS Lists Dirty Dozen Tax Scams

    It’s the time of year when the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) releases its list of the latest tax scams. Scammers routinely use the anxiety of tax season to prey on the unsuspecting, and this year, they’re also using the pandemic and the government’s Economic Impact Payments to steal money and identities from taxpayers.
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    Security and Fraud Prevention

    “Funny Money” No Laughing Matter

    iTestCash is a company dedicated to helping big and small businesses throughout the U.S. and abroad. Its CEO, Alex Reichmann, comes from a family that has spent their lives focused on the protection of people’s money. His grandfather’s company invented the counterfeit detector pen that many banks and retail businesses use to identify counterfeit bills.
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    Estate Planning

    Economic Recovery Is Underway

    With the completion of the fourth quarter of 2020 corporate earnings releases, investors are monitoring daily COVID headlines, rising interest rates, and the potential for a new stimulus program. Corporate earnings were mostly better than expected and guidance for the year ahead was surprisingly strong.
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    Estate Planning

    Initial Market in President Biden's First Days

    The S&P 500 Index was down 1% in January based on investors’ revised expectations of corporate revenue growth and earnings. First, the COVID-19 vaccine distribution and inoculation process is proceeding slowly while the virus is mutating. The new strains appear to be slightly more virulent and the vaccination timeline will take longer and delay economic normalization.
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    Business

    Why Should I Use My Debit Card?

    You may already be using it for dining and entertainment, groceries, gas, shopping online, and monthly bills like utilities, cell phone plans, gym membership, auto insurance, and much more. What are some of the other advantages of using a debit card?
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    Market Update

    Investment Market Update: Positive Takeaways From 2020

    2020 was an unusual and volatile one with the S&P 500 Index’s 34% decline in 30 days in March followed by a retracement and rise of over 16% by year-end. This proved once again that a longer-term outlook is required in successful equity investing.
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    Security and Fraud Prevention

    Stop Ransomware Before It Stops You!

    Ransomware is a type of malicious software that encrypts files, preventing access until a demanded sum of money is paid in exchange to unlock files. Individuals and businesses have become targets in this growing online fraud.
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