Columns/Opinions

Thu
14
Mar

"Can the stock market recovery go on much longer?" by: John Sample

   Another week and another birthday. Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse after last week’s pullback in the equities market. 
   It was about time since we had gone up weekly for two months. Much like a birthday coming around each year. You used to get excited about celebrating and presents and now you are glad to be alive at my age. 
   With the markets rising weekly, you begin to worry when all the fun will end. Last week was no real indication of any great economic change, but just a step back. Markets don’t just climb up forever or drop relentlessly. We do dwell on the downside more than the rise. 
   We came up to 2800 on the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock-index and took a breath. The air apparently was getting a bit thin at that altitude. 
   Movements up are almost always in a stair-step fashion. Pauses are taken for those to take profits and reflect on where we have come from. It is a good time to evaluate our situation.

Thu
14
Mar

Put together a professional team to help you reach your goals

   At various times, you will need to make moves containing financial, tax and legal elements, so you may want to get some help – from more than one source.
   Specifically, you might want to put together a team comprised of your financial advisor, your tax professional, and your attorney.
   Your financial advisor may recommend you sell some investments and use the proceeds to buy others more appropriate for your needs. 
   And your tax advisor can help you determine the tax consequences of such sales.
   Your financial advisor can also help you choose appropriate investments for your retirement plan, while your tax professional can advise you on the ideal contribution amounts, from a tax standpoint.
   Also, your financial and legal advisors can work together on your estate planning documents. 

Thu
14
Mar

"We can’t change much in world, but we can choose our own words" by: Betsy Monico

   Day two of Spring Break – I feel extremely pleased to announce that the meteorologists were wrong!  
   I am currently perched on our front porch, enjoying partly, and cloudy skies with peaks of beautiful sunshine. 
   Since we are not traveling, the local weather is a big deal! The rain may come tomorrow, but I am thankful for two days of spring.
   Spring Break equals low-key for us. The only tradition we ever formed was an afternoon at White Rock with the Dallas Monicos. To say it was the best of times is an understatement. We loaded up Bear’s van with bikes, tricycles, a cooler full of drinks, and our blankets to spread on the hill of our favorite area of the lake. 
   The day simply meant…kids zooming past on bikes, sitting, and visiting. 
   We often spotted the SMU rowing team gracefully out on the water. 
   Families BBQ, feed the ducks, and play on the playground. 

Thu
14
Mar

"Reel Reviews: Captain Marvel provides awesome mid-90s interlude before Avengers: Endgame" by: Jessica Shepard

   Captain Marvel’s opening weekend is breaking records in the ballpark of $56 million and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
   Even though it’s rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief suggestive language, it’s a fairly decent family-friendly movie and perfect for Spring Breakers.
   The film is written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, with Geneva Robertson-Dworet also contributing to the screenplay. 
   Brie Larson stars as Danvers, alongside Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Lashana Lynch, Gemma Chan, Annette Bening, Clark Gregg, and Jude Law. 
   Set in 1995, the story follows Danvers as she becomes Captain Marvel after Earth is caught in the center of a galactic conflict between two alien species.
   In 1995, on the Kree Empire’s capital planet of Hala, Starforce member Vers (Larson) suffers from recurring nightmares involving an older woman. 

Thu
07
Mar

"Mayor’s job important, even with a city manager" by: Mike Reddell

   City Council’s first town hall meeting on the three city charter change propositions on the May 4 election was a good start toward educating the public. 
   What surfaced at the forum were questions about the respective roles a mayor and city manager would have if voters approved changing the present council-mayor form of government to a council/mayor-city manager government.
   I’ve lived in several places where there is both a mayor and city manager – indeed close to 95 percent of Texas cities have that system in place.
   The mayors in those cities are, by and large, front and center on issues and become the lightning rod if things go south, like disasters. 
   I’ve learned over time here that the May 4 election is the latest in several prior unsuccessful attempts to have a city manager running the city’s day-to-day operations.
   If the council/mayor-city manager city charter revision is passed, the mayor becomes part of city council.

Thu
07
Mar

"Spring Break isn’t as exciting as it once was" by: Jessica Shepard

   Every year, as soon as I hear the words “Spring Break,” I get excited.
   Lately, the realization has come crashing down that I’m an adult and there is no break.
   No break from work or working and it doesn’t matter if it’s newspaper work or housework. 
   Granted, I don’t have kids, but, I still maintain a love for those dearly-remembered, week-long breaks where I could lump around my grandmother’s house and do the bare minimum.
   Everyone else my age always went out and partied while I spent time catching up on sleep or getting ready for the final stretch of the school year. 
   Even in college, it was all about resting and regrouping instead of getting drunk or hanging out at the beach getting sand everywhere.
   Sometimes it makes me feel like I’m too old for my chronological age and I’m going to be yelling at people to get off my lawn waving a cane or something.

Thu
07
Mar

"Is vertigo setting in from sour predictions and positive market reality?" by: John Sample

   This will be a bit shorter this week as I am updating the software on my laptop and at the rate it is going, I doubt that it will be done by the time the paper goes to press. 
   So here I sit pecking away at my cell phone. I am doing this watching news that the weather predicting groundhog has gone into the witness protection program with winter roaring into March. 
   That is unfortunate here in the Hill Country with fruit trees in bloom along with Redbuds and wildflowers. I suppose predicting the weather over the long term is as impossible as predicting the path of the stock market. 
   Last week we moved the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock-index over the 2800 barrier. I chose the adjective to reflect my concern over the various equity indexes to move further north. 
   This week didn’t provide any confidence with the largest pull back in over a month. 

Thu
07
Mar

Who can you trust to reduce stress of estate planning?

   When it’s time to settle your estate, your family can benefit from some professional help. 
   Who can you rely on?
   You may want to work with a trust company, which can administer the estate plans you created with your attorney.
   A trust company can help you in a variety of ways. 
   For one thing, because it acts as a neutral third party, the trust company can help you avoid family squabbles that might develop when family members argue over the distribution of assets.
   Also, a trust company can coordinate your plans with your financial professional, tax advisor and attorney. 
   And because trust companies assume fiduciary responsibility for your financial well-being, your best interests will always be considered in each service and transaction performed.
   As you begin the process of estate planning, give some thought to working with a trust company.

Thu
07
Mar

"Celebrating the joy of connecting the dots, giving God the glory" by: Betsy Monico

   The idea of living one day at a time and not allowing worry to creep in seems to be more and more of a challenge. 
   When my kids were younger and underneath my thumb, it was easier. 
   In the next year, another one starts driving. 
   Three will meet up in the halls of the high school, and my oldest will still be discovering her future occupation I bet. 
   I felt a bit anxious today about what I was going to write about. 
   My only “spark” so far was from the fire continually glowing in our fireplace. 
   Summer cannot get here soon enough for this Texas girl. 
   One of my favorite hymns is “His Eye is on the Sparrow.” It begins with the question “Why should I feel discouraged?” 
   I mentally substituted worried for discouraged and then answered myself...I need not worry and especially about my column, Duh! 
   Every week the Lord has faithfully given me an idea and helped me complete this labor of love. 

Thu
07
Mar

"God creates something even when there is nothing" by: Caleb gibson

   There had been a three-and-a-half-year drought in the land of Israel. You can imagine how the crops looked. 
   No sprinklers to water their fields. 
    No fields to harvest their food. In the midst of this dreary time the prophet Elijah told King Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain. (1 Kings 18:41-46). 
   One of the servants went outside to check and he came back saying, “there is nothing.” 
   What will you do when you hear there is nothing? What will you do when you’re praying for something while seeing nothing? Maybe you open your bank account and say, “there is nothing.” 
   Maybe the doctor said, “there is nothing we can do.” Maybe you were told at a young age, “You are nothing.” 
   Don’t listen to the voice of condemnation, listen to the voice of God. In the sky was no cloud. 

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