Inside the Economy with SH&J: July 20, 2015

The middle class isn’t growing, businesses are looking for a competent labor force and our ‘Greece next door’, Puerto Rico, can’t pay it’s $72B debt — all in this week’s Inside the Economy. Larry also covers the excitement in China’s markets, growth potential in Europe and touches on good news for Italy and France. While Larry may say there isn’t much excitement in the economy this week, a lot of worthwhile questions are raised by the SH&J team during the discussion. Listening in will bring you up to speed on many U.S. and global economic issues.

Meet Julie Fletcher

Meet_JulieName: Julie Fletcher

Title: Certified Financial Planner™

SH&J team member since: October, 2013


You have been a financial planner at Sharkey, Howes & Javer for over a year. What do you enjoy most about working here?

This firm truly acts in the best interest of our clients. There is no such thing as “sales” in this office, which minimizes the stress level and frees up time to spend on problem solving instead.

Continue reading

10 Commonly-Used Terms for Investment Beginners

Open Dictionary And Reading GlassesGetting your feet wet in the world of investing can be intimidating. The investment jargon used often sounds like a foreign language. It can be difficult to make decisions about your financial future when you’re trying to remember what some of the technical terms mean.

With that in mind, here is a short list of some commonly-used financial terms. We hope this gives you some background, and confidence, as you enter the world of financial planning.

1. Individual Retirement Account (IRA)

An IRA is a tool to help you save for retirement by setting money aside from your current income. There are different types of IRAs: Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs and SEP IRAs. Ask your advisor which plan or plans will work best for you. Some IRAs allow you to make tax-deductible contributions if your income level qualifies. Continue reading

Inside the Economy with SH&J: July 6, 2015

Did you know, Greece’s fall is likely affecting China’s market? Larry delves into what Greece’s current state of affairs really means, reminds us their economy is about the size of Somalia’s and shares his thoughts on “dumping inflation on the citizens.” Stateside, Larry covers some interesting economic factors in the U.S. including the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet, wages, interest rates and the municipal bond market. A must listen for those who want to stay up to speed on the global and local economy.

Identity Theft: What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself

Identity theft has been in the news often over the past few years. So often, in fact, it is easy to think of it as a problem that only happens to other people. The unfortunate reality is identity theft continues to hurt thousands of Americans every year, ruining credit scores, jeopardizing careers and creating nightmares for victims trying to put their lives back on track.(source) Identity thieves try to steal information in many ways. Hacking, phishing or stealing smartphones, laptops and mail are all ways a thief can access your personal data.

Guard Your Personal Information
The first step to protecting yourself from becoming the next victim is guarding that personal information. Identity thieves can get virtually anyone’s address, birthdate and name easily. The thing that can harm you the most if it falls into the wrong hands is your Social Security number. Keep your Social Security card somewhere secure like a safe; do not carry it with you in your wallet or purse. Be extremely wary of any website that asks for your Social Security number. (source) Continue reading

Happy Fourth of July from SH&J

Everyone at Sharkey, Howes and Javer would like to wish you and yours a happy Fourth of July. Please enjoy your barbecues, ball games and hot dogs safely, and take a moment to remember the service and sacrifice many have made to protect the freedoms we enjoy all through the year.

In observance of the holiday, our office will be closed on Friday, July 3rd. We will reopen for normal business hours on Monday, July 6th. Thank you, and have a terrific holiday.

To commemorate the day, please join us in reading some fun facts about the history of the Fourth of July:

  • Three presidents died, and one was born, on the Fourth of July. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died within hours of each other on July 4, 1826, and James Monroe died on July 4, 1831. Calvin Coolidge, our 30th president, was born on July 4, 1872. (source)
  • According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, about 14,000 firework displays take place annually to celebrate the Fourth of July (source)
  • At the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, approximately 2.5 million people lived in the U.S. (source)
  • John Adams predicted that Americans would celebrate the holiday on July 2. After Congress approved the Declaration of Independence on July 2, Adams famously wrote his wife that Americans would remember July 2 as the “great anniversary festival.”(source)
  • Americans consume an average of 155 million hot dogs on the Fourth of July each year. (source)
  • The actual date the colonies declared their independence was July 2, 1776, when Congress approved the Declaration of Independence. The document was signed by many delegates two days later. It was officially approved on August 2, 1776, when signing was completed. (source)
  • The colors of the American flag all have special attributes. Red signifies valor and endurance, white symbolizes purity and innocence and blue stands for vigilance and justice. (source)
  • The patriotic standard “Yankee Doodle Dandy” was originally sung by British troops to mock the American soldiers who fought alongside them in the French and Indian War. (source)

We hope you enjoyed these often-overlooked facts about our storied nation. Share your favorite Fourth of July trivia or a favorite story about the holiday in the comments below.

Wishing you and your family a safe and relaxing Fourth of July weekend!