Columns/Opinions

Thu
30
May

"Medical marijuana appears to be more lucrative" by: John Sample

   Time does march on and May has been a month to sell and go away. Since the pullback started a month ago, we saw the Dow falling for five straight weeks - the longest weekly pullback in eight years. 
   The NASDAQ and the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index have fallen for three straight weeks. The move down in the S&P 500 index at least bounced off the 2800 level. 
   Some believe that we have more pain to come and the real important support level is 2722. What happened in the last month was the indexes climbed to the record high level and profit taking took over. 
   We have done this more than once. Sometimes you have to knock hard to get through the door. 
   Interest rates, however, are not the problem, as the 10-year Treasury is dropping to 2.3%. The Fed doesn’t have to enact a rate cut as it is baked into the cake.
   Most attribute the losses to the trade tensions with China. 

Thu
30
May

Vacation and retirement: Different goals require different investment strategies

   As you go through life, you’ll have different financial goals – and they may require different investment strategies. 
   For example, someday you may want to take a vacation, perhaps to an exotic place.  
   For this goal, you’ll want investments that are liquid and low-risk, because you’ll need a certain amount of money at a specific time, and you don’t want to set yourself up for early withdrawal or tax penalties. 
   Now, consider another goal: your retirement.  
   To retire comfortably, you’ll likely need to accumulate as much money as possible.  
   Therefore, you should have a reasonable percentage of your portfolio devoted to growth-oriented investments, taking into account your goals and risk tolerance.  
   As you move closer to retirement, you may want to lower your risk level by moving some – though certainly not all – of your growth-based investments into more conservative vehicles. 

Thu
30
May

"Ask God what’s next, but know He’s the only one who knows what’s best" by: Betsy Monico

   What comes to mind tonight, because it is officially summer, is “what’s next?”
   Many other schools do not call it quits until next week. 
   Several of my friends home-school; therefore, their calendar is different. 
   But for me and mine, we are somewhat free! 
   There will be summer workouts, summer camps, summer jobs, and summer chores, but for the most part-we are free! 
   What’s next for us really though, I have no clue! I hope to soon regain order, get organized, clean my house, and have a garage sale to get rid of some clutter. 
   We ended the 2018-2019 year with a bang! 
   It is funny how one things leads to another! Football playoffs, powerlifting, track, baseball, lambs, Daddy-Daughter dance, prom, eighth-grade dance, Project Graduation steak dinner, sports banquet, big sister moving back home, and graduation all came to an abrupt halt Friday night. 

Thu
30
May

"Place your faith in God’s promise of saving those who believe" by: Caleb Gibson

   Besides Mary the mother of Jesus, there are four women who are mentioned in the genealogy of Christ; they are Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba. 
   What I love about this is how God places Rahab into the genealogy of Christ despite her background. When we read about her story she is descried as a gentile harlot in Jericho. 
   Rahab was the first recorded Gentile convert. Joshua sent two spies into the city, but as they were in the town when some found out about them and they had to hide. 
   Rahab kept them in her house because of her faith. 
   She told them, “For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt…When we heard it, our hearts melted…because of you; for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.” (Joshua 2:10-11.) 
   It had been around 40 years since the crossing of the Red Sea to this very moment.  

Thu
30
May

"Live-action ‘Aladdin’ lives up to animated childhood favorite" by: Jessica Shepard

   I’m not going to lie to you, I was skeptical of the remake of Disney’s 1992 “Aladdin.”
   After all, one of the biggest characters, Genie, was portrayed by Robin Williams and I’ve been able to recite his lines verbatim for years.
   He was just so iconic in the role that when Will Smith was announced to take the reins – I was afraid of what they’d do to one of my childhood classics.
   Well, after seeing it, I’m definitely a fan of this new Aladdin and the revamping done to the main characters.
   Aladdin is film directed by Guy Ritchie, who co-wrote the screenplay with John August. 
   Produced by Walt Disney Pictures, it is a live-action adaptation of Disney’s 1992 animated film of the same name, which is based on the eponymous Middle-Eastern folktale from the “One Thousand and One Nights.” 
   The film stars Will Smith, Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, Marwan Kenzari, Navid Negahban, Nasim Pedrad, Alan Tudyk, and Billy Magnussen.

Thu
23
May

"Wishing for a South Dakota vacation, while preparing for mosquitos here" by: Jessica Shepard

   According to science, summer lasts from Friday, June 21, to Monday, Sept. 23. 
   Sadly, that is a vague window for the northern hemisphere. 
   It doesn’t take into account those of us in Texas. 
   We’ve got the three H’s already; heat, humidity and a heck of a lot of mosquitos! 
   I mean, there’s also a bunch of other annoying insects ramping up to ruin what could possibly be an awesome poolside moment of relaxation or beachside adventure. 
   Still, it’s pretty much the end of May and it feels like summer is here already. 
   School is wrapping up and several hundred students graduate in the county and Memorial Day is next week. 
   It’s amazing how fast time has flown and I’m pretty sure it’s going to feel like the summer drags on forever. 
   At least when it comes to the weather. 
   After all, we know that temperatures can slide into the mid-80s even around Thanksgiving and sometimes into December. 

Thu
23
May

"Can you invest when times seem so uncertain?" by: John Sample

   Last week watched the market give up a significant loss only to recover most of it by week’s end. The topic driving the market was the continuing concern over what will happen with trade negotiations with China. 
   It appears that this battle will go on for quite some time. 
   The subject of the daily debate is the significant impact on the U.S. economy and the earnings of companies.
      Only those sticking their heads in the sand think things are at a stop. Retailers like TJX and AutoZone reported greater than expected earnings. 
   There were many others, like Kohl’s, that disappointed investors. 
   It did not help things that Huawei was singled out by the Administration for exclusion from any investment in the U.S. Huawei is the world’s largest company in providing the hardware to support the next generation of the wireless service referred to as 5G. 

Thu
23
May

Take a closer look at myths surrounding 529 plans

   To help pay for your children’s college education, you might want to consider contributing to a tax-advantaged 529 education savings plan.  
   But first, you’ll want to better understand some of the myths surrounding these plans. 
   Here’s myth No. 1: You need a lot of money to invest in a 529 plan.  
   Actually, you can invest small amounts on a monthly basis. 
   Myth No. 2: If your child doesn’t use the plan, you’ll lose the money you’ve invested.  
   But in reality, you can switch beneficiaries to another eligible family member. 
   Myth No. 3: A 529 plan eliminates financial aid opportunities.  
   This isn’t necessarily true. Several factors determine financial aid packages – and building significant assets in a 529 plan could outweigh the potential loss of some needs-based financial aid. 

Thu
23
May

"A pledge to watch my mouth and stop complaining of things that can’t be changed" by: Betsy Monico

   I pondered what to write about this week. Keeping with tradition, I somewhat gathered my thoughts all week and sat down tonight to write my column. I have mentioned before too that the entire process is like therapy to me. 
   Writing became my thing in third grade when Mrs. Price recognized my creative story telling skills in front of the class. 
   What popped into my mind for this week is “homestretch.” Yes, we are on the homestretch for the 2018-2019 school year. For me as a mom of four students and an educator, it is a double whammy! We are all about to be freer for a while. 
   There will be summer jobs, summer workouts, and loads to do; however, the daily schedule that we have kept since last August will change. 

Thu
23
May

"God has great plans for your life - your story isn’t over" by: Caleb Gibson

    Professional Golfer Andy Roddick once said, “At one point in life you either have the thing you want or the reasons why you don’t.” 
   We all have a story, and there are pages still to be written.  
   You hold the pen in your hand, and you can change how your story is told. 
   It’s time to change your life’s story for the better. 
   Go with God. When the Lord called Moses to lead the Israelites from Egypt and into their Promised Land, Moses told the Lord, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.” (Exodus 33:15). 
   Have you ever planned to go somewhere but your friend was not invited. 
   You may have the attitude that if they can’t go, then I won’t either. Moses was telling God that he did not want to go anywhere without the Lord. 
   In spite of Moses’ fears and struggles, he was a success because God was with him. 
   The path of your friends will influence your path.

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