Columns/Opinions

Thu
11
Jul

Life events can lead you to see a financial advisor

   Over the years, you will experience many personal and professional milestones – and they all come with important financial questions. 
   To find the answers, you may need help from a financial professional. 
   For example, when you start a new job, you may wonder how to begin planning for retirement and what investments can help you work toward that goal. 
   And if you switch jobs, you will need to understand your options for your employer-sponsored retirement plan. 
   As for your personal life, when you get married, you and your spouse should create a joint investment strategy. 
   And if you have children, you may want to know about the ways to save and invest for college. 
   Finally, when you retire, you’ll need to create a withdrawal plan for your retirement accounts so you don’t deplete them too soon. 

Thu
11
Jul

"If you are in need of a second chance, call on the Lord this week" by: Betsy Monico

   July 4th flew by, just like every other holiday and event on the calendar does.  
   Celebrating the 4th took me back to the time that I caught my grandfather’s hay pasture on fire with a Roman candle.  
   I specifically remember Mammaw and Pappaw instructing us all to avoid “this” area, but that the other pastures were good to go. 
   My cousins might not agree, but I was obedient. 
   The problem I encountered that night was an issue with the Roman candle and not my fault. 
   It malfunctioned and shot out of the other end, backfiring on me. 
   When it backfired, the hayfield behind us caught on fire. Mammaw sometimes ignited the countryside with her burn barrel; however, this issue was worse! Thankfully, our family believed in teamwork. 
   We fought the fire. Since that incident, the 4th for me has never been the same. I remember it every year. There are incidents in life that are forever etched in our memory. 

Thu
11
Jul

"People in Old Testament longed for what we have today in God’s new covenant" by: Caleb Gibson

   Technology has sure advanced. When we think about the Old West, we may think of Jesse James, Dodge City, ranchers, boots, and gunfights. 
   Yet one thing we may not consider is the fact that they were didn’t have the comfort that we have today. 
   Their houses had no indoor bathrooms, running water, or a/c units. 
   They longed for what we have today. In a similar way, the people of the Old Testament, desired what we have right now in the new covenant. 
   Pastor Andrew Farley once said, “We have a better deal than any Old Testament believer.” 
   Psalm 51 is what David prayed to God after the prophet Nathan arrived to confront him about his sin. 
   He had a child with Bathsheba, and to cover up what he did, he had her husband killed. 
   In a way, Psalm 51 is us listening next to the door of David’s room as he repents and prays to God. David prayed, “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. 

Thu
11
Jul

"Reel Reviews: ‘Spider-man: Far From Home’ features cobbled together, weak plot" by: Jessica Shepard

   Spider-Man: Far From Home is the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) and the 23rd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). 
   The film is directed by Jon Watts, written by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, and stars Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, alongside Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, J.B. Smoove, Jacob Batalon, Martin Starr, Marisa Tomei, and Jake Gyllenhaal.
   In Ixtenco, Nick Fury (Jackson) and Maria Hill (Smulders) investigate an unnatural storm and later encounter the Earth Elemental. 
   A super-powered man, Quentin Beck (Gyllenhaal), arrives to fight the creature. 
   In New York City, the Midtown School of Science and Technology restarts its academic year to accommodate the students who were among those resurrected in “the Blip” eight months prior. 

Thu
04
Jul

"Recent rains expose extreme weather, drainage problems " by: Mike Reddell

   After recent downpours that have rivaled or exceeded Hurricane Harvey on their local impact, drainage - to no one’s great surprise - is hovering on top of people’s radar.
   At least in Bay City these days.
   At the last two city council meetings, during public comments, several residents were dismayed and angry at the flooding, problems with blocked drainage and with an engorged Cottonwood Creek.
   I do realize all of the above issues are related.
   Growing up in the Hill Country, you learn caution driving through or halting at low-water crossings during high-water conditions. 
   Most teenagers had seen the twisted remnants of a vehicle high in the branches of a giant cypress some time or another that was the result of the raging Guadalupe in past years.
   I did find myself ignoring high-water signs during the heavy flooding on a Bay City streets a few weeks back at Matthews and M.

Thu
04
Jul

"Another project checked off mom’s list of domestic challenges" by: Jessica Shepard

   So, I spent the greater part of Sunday moving furniture across the house with mom.
   There was no real motivation other than we finally got a new bed frame for a bed that needed it and mom wanted a tiny upgrade from queen size to king.
   It wasn’t the easiest task and not just because I’m woefully out of lifting practice.
   No, we both ended up smashing out fingers between the headboard and the wall.
   Plus, we had to cut wood slats to fit the frame since it didn’t come with any.
   Let me tell you, nothing’s scarier than my mom wielding power tools.
   And that’s not because she’s terrible at it – not even close!
      Mom is definitely awesome at handling saws, drills, lawn mowers, and other power tools or implements of destruction.
   But, she really doesn’t take many precautions except measuring twice and cutting once.

Thu
04
Jul

"If only the second half of year could be as good as first " by: John Sample

   We made it through the first half of the year and, despite a vast array of obstacles, the equities markets continue to show strength. 
   June alone found the equities markets climb 7%, which would be a decent yearly gain on the average. 
   The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock-index started this week moving to a record-high close of 2,964. Some think we could see that index climb to 3,100 by year’s end. 
   Before we get too excited, I would note that earnings need to improve over the second half of the year. 
   Not to be a negative, but it seems we are moving into headwinds. I don’t say the market will drop significantly, but further movement north will have much to overcome. 
   Never forget that we are still dealing with China and now the Administration is turning its attention to the EU. 
   The Federal Reserve will help with at least one rate cut but that is already baked in to date.

Thu
04
Jul

Work toward your own financial Independence Day

   Once again, it’s time for fireworks, picnics, and parades as our nation celebrates Independence Day. 
   But if you’d like to declare your own financial independence, you’ll need to make the best moves you can.
   First, liberate yourself from a heavy debt load. 
   The lower your debts, the more you can invest for your future. 
   So try to live within your means and avoid taking on unnecessary debts. 
   You also might want to consolidate existing debts to lower your interest payments.
   Here’s another suggestion: Don’t fall captive to the daily fluctuations of the financial markets. You can look past these constant ups and downs by following a disciplined investment approach, based on your goals and risk tolerance.
   Finally, free up the potential in your 401(k) or other retirement plan by funding it adequately. 

Thu
04
Jul

"Our lives will be fruitful as long as we are connected to God" by: Betsy Monico

   I recently set a few goals in my head for myself and my kiddos. 
   I left my husband out of this mental project of mine. 
   He is always motivated, driven, and extremely hard working. 
   My older two kids were also excused. 
   My daughter is taking a full summer load and also has a wonderful part-time job that ties into her major. 
   My oldest son works 5-6 days a week. 
   He has a limited amount of time to sleep and play when he is off. They both also love their jobs-what a blessing! 
   However, my younger two needed a bit of direction in my opinion. I wanted a mix of work and play for them and myself. Obviously, they are too young to have full time jobs and lack transportation. 
   If they worked every day, I would acquire a constant Uber job, not appealing!
The past week has totally lined up though with the plan I had in my head and heart. 
   Little sister scored her first baby-sitting job. 

Thu
04
Jul

"When you get Jesus you inherit everything; you inherit the Kingdom of God" by: Caleb Gibson

   A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. 
   They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. 
   When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. 
   The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son. 
   About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. 
   A young man stood at the door and said, “Sir, you don’t know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He often talked about you, and your love for art.” 
   The young man held out his package. The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. 
   He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the son’s personality in the painting. 
   The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. 
   The father hung the portrait over his mantle. 

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