The Mille Lacs County Times http://millelacscountytimes.com The Mille Lacs County Times cover community news, sports, current events and provides advertising and information for Milaca, Minnesota and it's surrounding areas. Tue, 03 Mar 2015 03:43:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Milaca woman injured in Foreston crash http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/03/02/milaca-woman-injured-in-foreston-crash/ http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/03/02/milaca-woman-injured-in-foreston-crash/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 03:43:42 +0000 http://millelacscountytimes.com/?p=110070 A 24-year-old Milaca woman was transported by ambulance to Fairview Northland Medical Center in Princeton after being injured in a two-vehicle crash Monday, March 2 on Highway 23 in Foreston.

The Minnesota State Patrol says Justine N. Miller, 24, Milaca, was injured when she rear-ended a Jeep stopped on Highway 23 to turn south on Main Avenue in Foreston, near D&L Express.

Michael Witte, 43 of Milaca, the driver of the Jeep, was not injured, according to the State Patrol. Miller sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Witte’s 2005 Jeep Liberty and Miller’s 2008 Mazda 3 hatchback were both totaled and towed from the scene by Johnson’s Towing, according to the State Patrol.

The crash was reported at 2:50 p.m. Monday. The Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Department assisted at the scene.

 

 

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FirstLight Health System recognized for commitment to patient safety http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/03/02/firstlight-health-system-recognized-for-commitment-to-patient-safety/ http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/03/02/firstlight-health-system-recognized-for-commitment-to-patient-safety/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 02:00:37 +0000 http://millelacscountytimes.com/?p=110065 MHA Safety Recognition:  (L-R) Gail Lobdell, Lori Peterson, Danielle Gilbertson, Cindy Teichroew,  Brent Thompson, Jenny Friday, Heather Murawski, Pam Bekius, Vanessa Reilly, and  Kari Frahm

MHA Safety Recognition: (L-R) Gail Lobdell, Lori Peterson, Danielle Gilbertson, Cindy Teichroew, Brent Thompson, Jenny Friday, Heather Murawski, Pam Bekius, Vanessa Reilly, and Kari Frahm

FirstLight Health System is being recognized by the Minnesota Hospital Association for completing a three year patient safety initiative as part of the Partnership for Patients Hospital Engagement Network.  Collectively, Minnesota Hospitals and health systems have helped prevent more than 13,000 patients from being harmed and saved more than $93 million as a result of a reduction in hospital-acquired conditions from 2011-2014.
This initiative was set forth that concentrated efforts on reducing the number of incidents directly related to the top ten hospital acquired conditions (HACS).  Those types conditions include: falls that result in an injury, pressure ulcers, non-emergency early elective deliveries, preventable re-admissions, surgical site infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, ventilator associated pneumonia, and central line-associated bloodstream infections.
“FirstLight Health System is helping to further strengthen patient safety in Minnesota and contributing to the state’s well-deserved reputation for high quality, patient-centered health care,” said Lawrence Massa, MHA president and CEO.
The dedicated team of leaders at FirstLight Health System was presented a plaque honoring their hard work to actively address patient safety issues.
FirstLight Health System is located at the junction of Highways 65 and 23 in Mora.

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CentraCare Wound Center receives national awards for clinical excellence, wound healing http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/03/02/centracare-wound-center-receives-national-awards-for-clinical-excellence-wound-healing/ http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/03/02/centracare-wound-center-receives-national-awards-for-clinical-excellence-wound-healing/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 02:00:25 +0000 http://millelacscountytimes.com/?p=110062 The CentraCare Wound Center received the Center of Distinction Award by Healogics, Inc., the nation’s largest provider of advanced wound care services. The Wound Center received the award because it achieved outstanding clinical outcomes for 12 consecutive months, including patient satisfaction scores higher than 92 percent, a minimum wound healing rate of at least 91 percent within 30 median days and other quality outcomes. There are 506 centers eligible for the Center of Distinction Award; only 172 achieved the honor.

 
In addition, the Wound Center received the Robert A. Warriner III, M.D., Center of Excellence Award, which is awarded to those centers that achieve two or more consecutive Center of Distinction Awards.
 
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5 Biggest Divorce Mistakes http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/03/02/5-biggest-divorce-mistakes/ http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/03/02/5-biggest-divorce-mistakes/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 23:00:20 +0000 http://millelacscountytimes.com/?guid=6468946257608d63c259d613d7a01131 Attorneys say that if both you and your ex-spouse feel like you came out of your divorce thinking you gave up a lot, your settlement was probably fair. Maybe, but often your settlement’s results appear only after you live with them for a while. Here are five settlement pitfalls to watch for.

1. House poor. People don’t like being uprooted and often hesitate to inflict change on children who may already be upset from the divorce. Others are seriously attached to their house and likely invested a lot of work in it over the years. Nevertheless, many of the recently divorced ultimately find house payments difficult and the house itself difficult to maintain alone.

Your house may also suddenly be too large and, depending on the situation, can produce a huge and unexpected taxable event such as capital gains when you sell it.

2. Short-sightedness. All too often divorcing people focus on short-term issues and benefits rather than considering long-term effects of financial decisions. Some are so eager to end the marriage that they don’t even want to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of decisions.

Money decisions amid emotional turmoil almost always come with obvious plusses and hidden, eventual minuses. For example, if you keep the house and the equity but give up some substantially equal amount in a retirement plan account, you risk missing out on investment-return gains in your retirement accounts and lose that amount of savings for your retirement and your future. If you have to refinance the house to pay some of the equity to your spouse, you may run into cash-flow problems – essentially trading retirement savings for, perhaps, equity in a home that you may ultimately find too expensive to keep.

Always consider the long-term and the likely what-ifs.

3. Real costs. Maybe you simply have to keep that rental home. Or maybe you want favorite investments in the settlement. You’re likely looking at the current value of the investment, without considering costs of liquidation.

For example, if you receive the rental home and eventually sell it, you must pay capital gains and depreciation recapture, a sort of past-due for tax breaks you take for wear on the property through years and which can amount to a sizable (up to 25%) tax bite. You may also pay Realtor fees and general sales expenses.

Always calculate the cost of eventually selling or disposing of an asset that’s part of a marital settlement.

4. Payback. The major goal of some divorcing couples seems to be revenge at any cost. These people appear unable to speak civilly to each other, much less able to discuss differences and mediate issues; sometimes they actively work to undermine each other, stall and engage in other bad behavior.

Many not only create a poisonous atmosphere but often ratchet up attorneys’ fees. Family law attorneys often charge more than $350 an hour, may want a $10,000 retainer (renewable when depleted, naturally) and charge you 15 minutes of billable time for reading one short email.

Sometimes attorneys also engage other experts, such as business valuation specialists, pension evaluators, certified public accountants, investigators and career and vocation evaluators, among others. Fees can mount up.

If you’re willing to be reasonable, maybe try mediation. If that fails, at least try to not fan the flames and instead listen to the practical advice of your attorney. Why break the bank?

5. See only one piece. A divorce settlement is often a large puzzle with lots of pieces. People commonly look at one or maybe two areas, not the entire picture.

For example, you and your ex can trade the child exemption on your tax returns in different years. Having a child one extra day a year may allow you to claim head of household status when you file income taxes, potentially a considerable saving. You may also want to receive more maintenance (alimony) and less child support – without realizing that alimony incurs income tax.

To cite another instance, an attorney once asked me about the advisability of a lump sum in lieu of a series of alimony payments. The payer in that case was unable to deduct the lump sum from his income tax because of an arcane rule about front-end loading (excess) alimony; the Internal Revenue Service considers such a payment a non-taxable property settlement and therefore not deductible.

Much like when you decided to divorce in the first place, look at your settlement agreement as a whole. All parts need to work together to help you thrive in the near-term as well as in your future.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq

Wendy Spencer, CFP, CDFA, is president of Spencer Capital Strategies Inc., an independent Money Concepts contractor in Arvada, Colo. She is also a family law mediator; her divorce website is www.divorcemoneypro.com.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Attorneys say that if both you and your ex-spouse feel like you came out of your divorce thinking you gave up a lot, your settlement was probably fair. Maybe, but often your settlement’s results appear only after you live with them for a while. Here are five settlement pitfalls to watch for.

1. House poor. People don’t like being uprooted and often hesitate to inflict change on children who may already be upset from the divorce. Others are seriously attached to their house and likely invested a lot of work in it over the years. Nevertheless, many of the recently divorced ultimately find house payments difficult and the house itself difficult to maintain alone.

Your house may also suddenly be too large and, depending on the situation, can produce a huge and unexpected taxable event such as capital gains when you sell it.

2. Short-sightedness. All too often divorcing people focus on short-term issues and benefits rather than considering long-term effects of financial decisions. Some are so eager to end the marriage that they don’t even want to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of decisions.

Money decisions amid emotional turmoil almost always come with obvious plusses and hidden, eventual minuses. For example, if you keep the house and the equity but give up some substantially equal amount in a retirement plan account, you risk missing out on investment-return gains in your retirement accounts and lose that amount of savings for your retirement and your future. If you have to refinance the house to pay some of the equity to your spouse, you may run into cash-flow problems – essentially trading retirement savings for, perhaps, equity in a home that you may ultimately find too expensive to keep.

Always consider the long-term and the likely what-ifs.

3. Real costs. Maybe you simply have to keep that rental home. Or maybe you want favorite investments in the settlement. You’re likely looking at the current value of the investment, without considering costs of liquidation.

For example, if you receive the rental home and eventually sell it, you must pay capital gains and depreciation recapture, a sort of past-due for tax breaks you take for wear on the property through years and which can amount to a sizable (up to 25%) tax bite. You may also pay Realtor fees and general sales expenses.

Always calculate the cost of eventually selling or disposing of an asset that’s part of a marital settlement.

4. Payback. The major goal of some divorcing couples seems to be revenge at any cost. These people appear unable to speak civilly to each other, much less able to discuss differences and mediate issues; sometimes they actively work to undermine each other, stall and engage in other bad behavior.

Many not only create a poisonous atmosphere but often ratchet up attorneys’ fees. Family law attorneys often charge more than $350 an hour, may want a $10,000 retainer (renewable when depleted, naturally) and charge you 15 minutes of billable time for reading one short email.

Sometimes attorneys also engage other experts, such as business valuation specialists, pension evaluators, certified public accountants, investigators and career and vocation evaluators, among others. Fees can mount up.

If you’re willing to be reasonable, maybe try mediation. If that fails, at least try to not fan the flames and instead listen to the practical advice of your attorney. Why break the bank?

5. See only one piece. A divorce settlement is often a large puzzle with lots of pieces. People commonly look at one or maybe two areas, not the entire picture.

For example, you and your ex can trade the child exemption on your tax returns in different years. Having a child one extra day a year may allow you to claim head of household status when you file income taxes, potentially a considerable saving. You may also want to receive more maintenance (alimony) and less child support – without realizing that alimony incurs income tax.

To cite another instance, an attorney once asked me about the advisability of a lump sum in lieu of a series of alimony payments. The payer in that case was unable to deduct the lump sum from his income tax because of an arcane rule about front-end loading (excess) alimony; the Internal Revenue Service considers such a payment a non-taxable property settlement and therefore not deductible.

Much like when you decided to divorce in the first place, look at your settlement agreement as a whole. All parts need to work together to help you thrive in the near-term as well as in your future.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq

Wendy Spencer, CFP, CDFA, is president of Spencer Capital Strategies Inc., an independent Money Concepts contractor in Arvada, Colo. She is also a family law mediator; her divorce website is www.divorcemoneypro.com.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Using the Dollar Index http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/03/02/using-the-dollar-index/ http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/03/02/using-the-dollar-index/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 19:30:16 +0000 http://millelacscountytimes.com/?guid=9908799aca6d364f09091d58d9555fd8 You’ve probably heard in the news that the dollar is stronger. But how much? A handy index tells you. If your business is involved in imports or exports, or if you invest in foreign securities or international mutual funds, it pays to know how to work with this index.

The U.S. Dollar Index (DXY) measures the value of the U.S. dollar relative to a basket of select currencies in an attempt to represent our major trading partners. The current mix is approximately:

  • 57.6% euro (EUR)
  • 13.6% Japanese yen (JPY)
  • 9.1% Canadian dollar (CAD)
  • 4.2% Swedish krona (SEK)
  • 3.6% Swiss franc (CHF)

The basket was altered in 1999 when the euro replaced several European currencies. It still includes the Swedish krona and the Swiss franc even though we trade more heavily with countries like China, Mexico and South Korea.

The U.S. Dollar Index value began at an arbitrary 100 in March 1973. Since then, it has been as high as 164.72 (February 1985) and as low as 70.698 (March 2008).

http://www.marottaonmoney.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/800px-U.S._Dollar_Index.png

You can find the index number at MarketWatch or other sites. MarketWatch also allows you to enter a date and get a historical quote. For example, the closing value of the dollar index is 80.04 at the end of 2013 and 90.28 at the end of 2014.

DXY 2014-12-31DXY 2013-12-31

 

 

 

 

 

With these numbers, you can say the U.S. dollar strengthened an average of 12.79% over 2014, because, to compute how much the dollar appreciated, simply subtract 80.04 from 90.28, and then divide the result by the initial value (80.04).

Note that the dollar appreciating 12.79% is not the same as foreign currencies losing 12.79%. To determine how much value foreign currencies lost requires some additional math.

Since one is the inverse of the other, the numbers are different. If the dollar appreciates 100% (doubling in value), foreign currencies lose only 50% of their value. Here is how to compute the percentage loss for foreign currencies:

If a dollar doubles, it is worth two times as much. The foreign currency is worth the inverse (1 divided by 2, which is 0.5). Since the foreign currency starts out as 1, and now is only 0.5, it loses 0.5. The loss (0.5) divided by the original value (1) equals the percentage loss (50%).

Now, apply the same math to real-world numbers. If a dollar is now worth 1.1279 times as much, then the foreign currencies are worth 0.8866 (1 divided by 1.1279). This means that they’re only 88.66% of their original value. The loss is 11.34%. Hence you can also say: Over 2014, foreign currencies lost an average of 11.34%, according to the U.S. Dollar Index.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

David John Marotta, CFP, AIF, is president of Marotta Wealth Management Inc. of Charlottesville, Va., providing fee-only financial planning and wealth management at www.emarotta.com and blogging at www.marottaonmoney.com. Both the author and clients he represents often invest in investments mentioned in these articles.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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You’ve probably heard in the news that the dollar is stronger. But how much? A handy index tells you. If your business is involved in imports or exports, or if you invest in foreign securities or international mutual funds, it pays to know how to work with this index.

The U.S. Dollar Index (DXY) measures the value of the U.S. dollar relative to a basket of select currencies in an attempt to represent our major trading partners. The current mix is approximately:

  • 57.6% euro (EUR)
  • 13.6% Japanese yen (JPY)
  • 9.1% Canadian dollar (CAD)
  • 4.2% Swedish krona (SEK)
  • 3.6% Swiss franc (CHF)

The basket was altered in 1999 when the euro replaced several European currencies. It still includes the Swedish krona and the Swiss franc even though we trade more heavily with countries like China, Mexico and South Korea.

The U.S. Dollar Index value began at an arbitrary 100 in March 1973. Since then, it has been as high as 164.72 (February 1985) and as low as 70.698 (March 2008).

http://www.marottaonmoney.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/800px-U.S._Dollar_Index.png

You can find the index number at MarketWatch or other sites. MarketWatch also allows you to enter a date and get a historical quote. For example, the closing value of the dollar index is 80.04 at the end of 2013 and 90.28 at the end of 2014.

DXY 2014-12-31DXY 2013-12-31

 

 

 

 

 

With these numbers, you can say the U.S. dollar strengthened an average of 12.79% over 2014, because, to compute how much the dollar appreciated, simply subtract 80.04 from 90.28, and then divide the result by the initial value (80.04).

Note that the dollar appreciating 12.79% is not the same as foreign currencies losing 12.79%. To determine how much value foreign currencies lost requires some additional math.

Since one is the inverse of the other, the numbers are different. If the dollar appreciates 100% (doubling in value), foreign currencies lose only 50% of their value. Here is how to compute the percentage loss for foreign currencies:

If a dollar doubles, it is worth two times as much. The foreign currency is worth the inverse (1 divided by 2, which is 0.5). Since the foreign currency starts out as 1, and now is only 0.5, it loses 0.5. The loss (0.5) divided by the original value (1) equals the percentage loss (50%).

Now, apply the same math to real-world numbers. If a dollar is now worth 1.1279 times as much, then the foreign currencies are worth 0.8866 (1 divided by 1.1279). This means that they’re only 88.66% of their original value. The loss is 11.34%. Hence you can also say: Over 2014, foreign currencies lost an average of 11.34%, according to the U.S. Dollar Index.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

David John Marotta, CFP, AIF, is president of Marotta Wealth Management Inc. of Charlottesville, Va., providing fee-only financial planning and wealth management at www.emarotta.com and blogging at www.marottaonmoney.com. Both the author and clients he represents often invest in investments mentioned in these articles.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Gehrz http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/03/02/gehrz/ http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/03/02/gehrz/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 19:07:24 +0000 http://millelacscountytimes.com/?p=110058 A boy, Thomas Christopher was born February 28 2015 at St Josephs Hospital, in Dickinson North Dakota to Tom and Kelly Gehrz of Dickinson.
Thomas weighed 7 lbs 3 oz and was 19 1/2 inches long.
Grandparents are Chris and Barb Kotsmith of Foreston, Mn. and Tom and Judy Gehrz of St Paul Mn.
Great-Grandparents are Alvin and Lorraine Novak and William and Joan Kotsmith both of Foley, Mn.
Thomas was welcomed home by his sister Abigail.

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Lorin Fransen http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/03/02/lorin-fransen/ http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/03/02/lorin-fransen/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 19:05:35 +0000 http://millelacscountytimes.com/?p=110055 Lorin   Fransen

Funeral services for Lorin Fransen, age 87, of Milaca, will be held Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at 11 a.m. at Glendorado Lutheran Church. Interment will follow at Forest Hill Cemetery in Milaca. Arr. Peterson-Johnson Funeral Home – Milaca www.pjfuneralhome.com
Lorin Arthur Fransen was born May 6, 1927 to Harry and Linnea (Johnson) Fransen in Chicago, IL and was baptized on August 4, 1927. He grew up on the family farm east of Milaca with his mother, father and three brothers and attended District #52 Country School through the 8th grade. He went to Sunday School, Confirmation and worship, surrounded by his family, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins at Emanuel Lutheran Church in Bock. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1945 and served aboard USS Rolette and received the WWII Victory Medal. After completing his service, he returned home to help operate the family farm. Lorin was united in marriage to Hilda Dietz on September 11, 1949 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Milaca, where they were members for forty years and then supported the ministry of their daughter, Pastor Barb, for fifteen years at Emanuel Lutheran in Bock and thirteen years at Gethsemane Lutheran in Foley. Lorin worked for Land O’ Lakes and then for Northern Ordinance in Fridley, until he purchased the family farm in 1956. Together, Lorin and Hilda operated the dairy farm for over 40 years. Lorin loved his wife, children and grandchildren. He was most content working on the farm with his son, David. He loved farming and his animals. Lorin and Hilda enjoyed going dancing and playing cards with neighborhood friends. He also loved hunting and fishing with his children and grandchildren. For the past six years, because of his declining health, Lorin has lived at Milaca Elim Home, where he was cared for by their marvelous staff. He passed away on Saturday, February 28, 2015.
Lorin is survived by his wife of 65 years, Hilda; son, David (Wendy) Fransen of Milaca; four daughters, Pastor Barb Peterson, Susan Swanson, Connie (Steve) Jacobson and Carol (Myron) Mollet, all of Milaca; 15 grandchildren, Lisa DeMars, Mike Nelson, Katrina Peschl, Breck Swanson, Mark Fransen, Kate Swanson, Peter Swanson, Julie Flom, Andrea Huss, Jessica Piatt, Kristine VanDriel, Andy Piatt, Kirk Mollet, Alex Peterson and Kendra Mollet; 15 great-grandchildren; two brothers, Gene (Betty) Fransen of Isle and John (Dean) Fransen of Milaca; also by many cousins, nieces, nephews, neighbors and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Linnea; brother, Roger Fransen; son-in-law, Bob Piatt and grandson, Brannon Swanson.

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Bull Market: More to Run http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/03/02/bull-market-more-to-run/ http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/03/02/bull-market-more-to-run/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 16:00:51 +0000 http://millelacscountytimes.com/?guid=eac3934b546a3442dece32af9da96559 For the past three months, the Standard & Poor’s 500 has churned sideways. Is that a bad portent? Not at all. The outlook is for higher prices, if you look at three indicators: the relationship between inflation and market value (known as the Rule of 20), the S&P 500’s earnings/price yield and energetic merger activity.

Yes, stock prices in aggregate have been trendless and choppy. On down days, it feels as if a bear trend may have started. On up days, optimism takes over. This type of market offers active investors an excellent opportunity to overtrade and lose money.

Do not anticipate how the game will end, even if it feels like there are only seconds left on the clock (especially if you are in the last seconds of the Super Bowl). Allow your disciplined, rules-based approach to guide you through the short-term volatility.

1. The Rule of 20. This involves subtracting the current rate of inflation from the number 20 to determine the potential price/earnings of the S&P 500. If inflation is 2% or less, the potential P/E is 18-plus. At an 18 P/E multiple on $125 – the 2015 consensus for S&P 500 earnings – the index could potentially move 10% higher. 

Inflation rose 0.2% in January, not counting food and energy. If we substitute that rate in place of the Federal Reserve target rate of 2%, the potential P/E jumps to 19.8, implying roughly 17% potential appreciation from current levels.

In the late 1970s, inflation ranged from 12% to 14% annually. During this time, the S&P 500 P/E was in single digits. The Rule of 20 worked.

Generally, if we assume no deflation, the Rule of 20 implies the market is overvalued if the P/E exceeds 20. At the moment, the S&P’s P/E is 19.

In 2000, the S&P 500 P/E reached 26 with inflation running at an average of 3.4%. A two-and-a-half-year bear market then followed. At the peak in November 2007, inflation was 4.3%. The inflation rate implied a multiple potential for the S&P 500 of 15.7%. This is roughly the maximum P/E level achieved at the high in 2007 before the 2008-2009 bear market. 

Macintosh HD:Users:aiqinc:Desktop:unnamed.jpg

2. Earnings yield. Another long-term indicator for where the market is headed comes from dividing S&P 500 earnings by its price (E/P) to determine the earnings yield of the market. Since 1963, the S&P 500 average real earnings yield (that’s adjusted for inflation, which we estimate at 1.5% yearly) is 2.5%, according to JP Morgan Asset Management’s Market Insights. On that basis, the index’s current real earnings yield is roughly 4.5%. The S&P 500 would have to increase about 35% to reach its long-term average real yield – meaning the denominator would need to increase that much.

Both the Rule of 20 and the real earnings yield of the S&P 500 suggests the bull market has not yet reached its valuation potential. The implication from these rules is the sideways trading pattern of the market for the past three months could be just a healthy consolidation before another leg higher in this bull cycle.
 
3. M&A. Meanwhile, company managements give off a bullish sign with their robust plans for mergers and acquisitions. When companies buy other companies, the acquisition should be accretive - meaning the purchase price should be sufficiently low to allow for the future earnings stream to make a good return on investment. 

The latest evidence of ebullient M&A activity came when pharma giant Pfizer (PFE) announced the acquisition of Hospira (HSP) for $90 per share or $17 billion, roughly a 40% premium over the prior-day closing price.

Pfizer would pay the 40% premium on top of a large run-up for Hospira, the biggest provider of injectable drugs, over the past couple of years. The stock was not distressed and this is not a bargain basement acquisition. Justifying the acquisition premium with cost/revenue synergies and strategic objectives is tough to do. Essentially, Pfizer management believes the market has significantly undervalued Hospira.
 
After a long hiatus, M&A bounced back last year. Most of the purchase activity is coming from corporate buyers, rather than financial buyers (e.g., private equity firms, leverage buyout firms, etc.). Because corporate buyers know and live their industries, market observers consider them a better indicator of business health and valuation than financial buyers.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Nicholas Atkeson and Andrew Houghton are the founding partners of Delta Investment Management, a registered investment advisory firm in San Francisco, and authors of the new book, Win by Not Losing: A Disciplined Approach To Building And Protecting Your Wealth In The Stock Market By Managing Your RiskAdditional market commentary and investment advice is available via their websites at www.deltaim.com and www.deltawealthaccelerator.com

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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For the past three months, the Standard & Poor’s 500 has churned sideways. Is that a bad portent? Not at all. The outlook is for higher prices, if you look at three indicators: the relationship between inflation and market value (known as the Rule of 20), the S&P 500’s earnings/price yield and energetic merger activity.

Yes, stock prices in aggregate have been trendless and choppy. On down days, it feels as if a bear trend may have started. On up days, optimism takes over. This type of market offers active investors an excellent opportunity to overtrade and lose money.

Do not anticipate how the game will end, even if it feels like there are only seconds left on the clock (especially if you are in the last seconds of the Super Bowl). Allow your disciplined, rules-based approach to guide you through the short-term volatility.

1. The Rule of 20. This involves subtracting the current rate of inflation from the number 20 to determine the potential price/earnings of the S&P 500. If inflation is 2% or less, the potential P/E is 18-plus. At an 18 P/E multiple on $125 – the 2015 consensus for S&P 500 earnings – the index could potentially move 10% higher. 

Inflation rose 0.2% in January, not counting food and energy. If we substitute that rate in place of the Federal Reserve target rate of 2%, the potential P/E jumps to 19.8, implying roughly 17% potential appreciation from current levels.

In the late 1970s, inflation ranged from 12% to 14% annually. During this time, the S&P 500 P/E was in single digits. The Rule of 20 worked.

Generally, if we assume no deflation, the Rule of 20 implies the market is overvalued if the P/E exceeds 20. At the moment, the S&P’s P/E is 19.

In 2000, the S&P 500 P/E reached 26 with inflation running at an average of 3.4%. A two-and-a-half-year bear market then followed. At the peak in November 2007, inflation was 4.3%. The inflation rate implied a multiple potential for the S&P 500 of 15.7%. This is roughly the maximum P/E level achieved at the high in 2007 before the 2008-2009 bear market. 

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2. Earnings yield. Another long-term indicator for where the market is headed comes from dividing S&P 500 earnings by its price (E/P) to determine the earnings yield of the market. Since 1963, the S&P 500 average real earnings yield (that’s adjusted for inflation, which we estimate at 1.5% yearly) is 2.5%, according to JP Morgan Asset Management’s Market Insights. On that basis, the index’s current real earnings yield is roughly 4.5%. The S&P 500 would have to increase about 35% to reach its long-term average real yield – meaning the denominator would need to increase that much.

Both the Rule of 20 and the real earnings yield of the S&P 500 suggests the bull market has not yet reached its valuation potential. The implication from these rules is the sideways trading pattern of the market for the past three months could be just a healthy consolidation before another leg higher in this bull cycle.
 
3. M&A. Meanwhile, company managements give off a bullish sign with their robust plans for mergers and acquisitions. When companies buy other companies, the acquisition should be accretive - meaning the purchase price should be sufficiently low to allow for the future earnings stream to make a good return on investment. 

The latest evidence of ebullient M&A activity came when pharma giant Pfizer (PFE) announced the acquisition of Hospira (HSP) for $90 per share or $17 billion, roughly a 40% premium over the prior-day closing price.

Pfizer would pay the 40% premium on top of a large run-up for Hospira, the biggest provider of injectable drugs, over the past couple of years. The stock was not distressed and this is not a bargain basement acquisition. Justifying the acquisition premium with cost/revenue synergies and strategic objectives is tough to do. Essentially, Pfizer management believes the market has significantly undervalued Hospira.
 
After a long hiatus, M&A bounced back last year. Most of the purchase activity is coming from corporate buyers, rather than financial buyers (e.g., private equity firms, leverage buyout firms, etc.). Because corporate buyers know and live their industries, market observers consider them a better indicator of business health and valuation than financial buyers.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Nicholas Atkeson and Andrew Houghton are the founding partners of Delta Investment Management, a registered investment advisory firm in San Francisco, and authors of the new book, Win by Not Losing: A Disciplined Approach To Building And Protecting Your Wealth In The Stock Market By Managing Your RiskAdditional market commentary and investment advice is available via their websites at www.deltaim.com and www.deltawealthaccelerator.com

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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County officials attend Transportation Day at Capitol http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/03/01/county-officials-attend-transportation-day-at-capitol/ http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/03/01/county-officials-attend-transportation-day-at-capitol/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 02:00:54 +0000 http://millelacscountytimes.com/?p=109982 Commissioners Dave Oslin and Roger Tellinghuisen talked briefly about what they learned while attending with Cochran Transportation Day at the state capitol on Feb. 12. Oslin pointed out the three transportation budget proposals at the capitol – one from the Republicans, one from the Democrats and one from the governor.
Gov. Dayton is proposing spending $11 billion during a 10-year period which includes transit besides roads and bridges. The Senate Democrats are proposing spending $800 million in 2016 and $1.1 billion annually starting in 2017. The House Republicans are proposing spending $750 million over four years and coming up with $200 million in new money.
Transportation Alliance, which sponsored Transportation Day, is trying to get more money appropriated to deal with transportation needs, especially in greater Minnesota, Oslin said. One thing the Democrats, Republicans and the governor all agree on is that the amount of money spent on transportation has to be increased, Oslin added.

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Allegation: Youth pastors recorded students without permission http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/03/01/allegation-youth-pastors-recorded-students-without-permission/ http://millelacscountytimes.com/2015/03/01/allegation-youth-pastors-recorded-students-without-permission/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 02:00:44 +0000 http://millelacscountytimes.com/?p=109999 Sonya Hammill, of Milaca, spoke of her concerns during the public forum of the regular Milaca School Board meeting on Feb. 17. Hammill claimed to have been in contact with the school on multiple occasions to discuss what will be done about the youth pastors that were videotaping minors without consent. The pastors were volunteers at the school. Hammill also stated that she was told the video was on an iPad.
“From what I heard, the tape is under lock and key,” Hammill said.
The board informed her that during public forum they are unable to answer any questions, but thanked Hammill for raising the issue.

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