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All posts in Mike’s Corner

Mike HarterOur very own Mike Harter will be hosting Ask the Financial Planner on the CMU Public Broadcasting channel on March 28th at 7:30 p.m.  If you would like to participate by asking questions, you can do so by one of the following ways:

Viewers can call in from 7:30-8:00 p.m. during the live program at 800-727-9268

Send a question on Facebook @Ask The Specialist

Tweet the production crew at @WCMU_AskThe

Visit the CMU Public Broadcasting website for more information!!


Tax-RefundWritten by: Lisa Castle, CFP®

The Internal Revenue Service estimates that about 75% of taxpayers will receive a refund this year.  Many of these taxpayers say they are going to be responsible with their refunds by paying down debt or saving it in their emergency fund.  Here are a couple more options for spending your tax refund:

  1. Re-balance your portfolio – instead of selling stocks to re-balance, use the extra funds you receive to build up your exposure in the areas that need re-balancing
  2. Prepay your bills – Prepay for your car insurance, car loan payments, phone bills, home insurance, etc.  Just be sure to monitor your statements so that you are created for the correct amounts and that you do not end up paying for something that you did not request.
  3. Make home improvements – Don’t forget you may qualify for a residential energy tax credit by making energy-efficient improvements to your home.
  4. Buy a car – Take advantage of the record low car loan rates and use your refund as a downpayment on a new or newer car.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/smart-ways-spend-tax-refund-191559846.html


On November 28, 2012, the great Zig Ziglar passed away.  For those of you unfamiliar with this man, he was a Word War II Vet that went on to become a motivational speaker, trainer and author.  Below are ten of his most famous quotes.

10) “Remember that failure is an event, not a person.”

9) “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”

8 ) “People often say motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.”

7) “There has never been a statue erected to honor a critic.”

6) “People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.”

5) “Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.”

4) “If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.”

3) “A goal properly set is halfway reached.”

2) “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”

1) “If you can dream it, you can achieve it.”

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2012/11/28/zig-ziglar-10-quotes-that-can-change-your-life/


Dear Clients, Colleagues and Friends:

I just returned from the Schwab Impact Conference in Chicago.  This annual conference of over 3,000 RIA attendees is known for its powerful speakers and thought provoking topics.  This year’s conference continued that trend.

The most impactful and moving messages were delivered by former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, as well as co-chairmen of the Simpson-Bowles National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles.

As you have seen post-election, the financial markets are very concerned about the fast approaching fiscal cliff.  And they should be.  If these provisions go into play, the impact on our country will be dire.  We spend more money on interest for our debt than we spend on the Departments of Commerce, Education, Energy, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice and State combined.  Politicians have been kicking the can to December 31, 2012.  Unfortunately, the “can” cannot be kicked any further.

Both Robert Gates and Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen agree that our national debt is our biggest national security threat.

Together, we must face the challenges of tax and spending reform.  This is not politics or ideology, it is simple math.  We are at the tipping point where our fiscal health is not just endangering our future, it is endangering our present.

Regardless of your political affiliation, we must insist that politicians put the country first – not their political agenda.  We have less than 40 days until the end of the year.  Congress is only scheduled to be in session for 12 of them.  Please add your voice to the growing chorus demanding a responsible solution.

Please visit www.fixthedebt.org to sign the petition or contact your representative directly.


Harter's HIO

On Friday, August 3rd, Mike and his son Aaron decided to play a round of golf at River’s Edge in Alpena Michigan.  Upon playing the 14th hole (which is 165 yards), Aaron made his first ever hole in one.  Not wanting to be shown up by his son, Mike took a swing and guess what, he also made a hole in one (his second this year).  That is a very incredible and fantastic feat! 

Great job!!


Who Cares About Long-Term Care? .  This is an informative video regarding Long-Term Care Insurance.


Click here for Slide Show!

Kiplinger.com has created a fun slide show that informs us of their recent findings from a monthly survey regarding fees.  They not only talk about the fees that “bug” us, they discuss solutions on how to avoid them.


The Fourth Annual Mid Michigan Innovators Heading for the Big Leagues is being held May 31st from 4 to 9 p.m. at Dow Diamond.  RFM Financial Solutions and Robert F. Murray & Co. will be there and we encourage anyone interested to attend.  Heading for the Big Leagues celebrates innovation & entrepreneurship in the mid-Michigan region and gives attendees and opportunity to network and see firsthand some of the innovative products and services being developed here.  Special recognition will be given to entrepreneurs and businesses that have cultivated mid-Michigan’s entrepreneurial environment, including establishing and emerging companies that are critical to growing Michigan’s economy.  Our very own Paul Murray had the honor of receiving an award at the 2011 event.


Cameron Huddleston, Contributing Editor, Kiplinger.com has writtein a very fun and intuitve article on the best and worse buys of May.  Check it out!


Our very own Mike Harter will be hosting the Ask the Financial Planner show on the CMU Public Broadcasting channel on March 29th at 7:30 p.m.

If you would like to participate by asking questions, you can do so the following ways:

  1. 1.  Call in and speak to our phone volunteers from 7:30pm-8pm during our live program toll-free at 1-800-727-9268

2. Email the producer, Courtney Brooks, before the show at brook2c@cmich.edu

3. Tweet the production crew at @WCMU_AskThe

Visit http://www.wcmu.org/tv/askthe.html for more information!