The Most Unloved Bull Market in History?
What is a bull market, and more importantly, who determines if we are in one? Technically speaking, a bull market is defined as a 20% gain in a stock market index, such as the Standard & Poor's 500, from a closing low. So are we in one...Read More
Is there Light at the End of the Debt Ceiling Tunnel?
After months in and out of the headlines, the issues surrounding the debt ceiling have come into sharp focus, as the U.S. could become unable to pay its bills as soon as June 1. There’s nothing like an impending deadline to force...Read More
A Smaller Social Security Bump May Be On the Way
I wanted to take a moment to update you on the potential changes to Social Security benefits for 2024. As I'm sure you know, the Social Security Administration calculates annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) based on the Consumer...Read More
A Spot Worth the Stop
When the opportunity arose to purchase the Cenex gas station in Oakes, Matt and Brenda Hill, along with Scott and Becky Wood of Oakes, felt it was important to keep the ownership local and made their purchase of Tornado Stop in January...Read More
Invest or Pay off Mortgage…Which is Best?
Over the years, many clients have come to me asking this question: does it make more sense to pay down my mortgage or invest? Both options have advantages and disadvantages but ultimately the best decision will depend on your...Read More
Get to Know the Sheyenne Valley Community Foundation
It is safe to say that most people wish to see the community they live in thrive. However, making that happen is a lot bigger task than simply wishing it. Many people want to support their community through monetary gifts but may not...Read More
Taking Charge of Your Financial Life
When you are putting together a household, it isn’t unusual to delegate responsibilities. One spouse or partner may take on the laundry, while another takes on the shopping. You might also decide which one of you vacuums and...Read More
Roth IRA Conversions: What are the Benefits?
If you own an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), perhaps you have heard about Roth IRA conversions. Converting your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA might be a sound financial move depending on your situation. But remember, this...Read More
Local Pharmacy with Deep Roots in LaMoure
LaMoure Drug has deep roots in the community. The original drug store was Voegeli Brothers Drug in 1883 and was located at 27 Center Avenue. The ownership and name changed a few times throughout the years but it remained a cornerstone...Read More
Making Decisions About Life Insurance
Man is mortal. That makes life insurance a little unique and interesting, doesn't it? We purchase things like health insurance, car insurance, and home insurance, then hope we never need to use them. Life insurance is different because...Read More
Rehearsing for Retirement
Imagine if you could preview your retirement in advance. In a sense, you can. Financially and mentally, you can “rehearse” for the third act of your life, while still enjoying the second.Pretend you are retired for a month...Read More
Vibrant Valley City
Valley City may be a smaller community but it sure is a vibrant one with lots of big things happening. In order to make these things transpire, it takes a lot of planning and a lot of people and organizations working together. The City...Read More
Enjoy the Ride
We have all heard the the saying, "Enjoy the Ride." When it comes to our current market, you are likely thinking this has been anything but enjoyable. However, with just a little bit of perspective, maybe the big picture will help us...Read More
Getting (Mentally) Ready to Retire
A successful retirement is not merely measured in financial terms. Even those who retire with small fortunes can face boredom or depression and the fear of drawing down their savings too fast. How can new retirees try to calm these...Read More
When the Fed Chair Talks, People Listen
The financial markets are on edge this year each time Fed Chair Jerome Powell takes the podium following a Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.The chart below shows that the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index has gained...Read More
Federally Insured Cash Accounts Now Available at VWA
We are pleased to share with you that Valley Wealth Advisors now offers the Federally Insured Cash Account (“FICA”), an FDIC insured high-yield cash account designed to help maximize the safety, liquidity, and yield on your...Read More
Race to Wellness at TRAC in Jamestown
In the not-so-distant past, there was a strong need for a multi-purpose wellness facility in Jamestown. In 2017, with the help of local supporters, Two Rivers Activity Center was able to open it’s doors and fulfill that need.If...Read More
Do You Worry About Money?
If you never worry about money, please go ahead and stop here. If you’re still reading, perhaps you (like me) are among the majority of people who aren’t independently wealthy and don’t have the luxury of never needing...Read More
What's Your Reentry Strategy?
2022 has seen its share of volatility in not only the stock market but also the bond market. It has many people feeling a little uneasy about their finances. One of the common things I hear is, "Should I pull money out and wait a...Read More
New Retirement Contribution Limits for 2023
The Internal Revenue Service has released new limits for the coming year. After months of high inflation and financial uncertainty, some of these cost-of-living-based adjustments have reached near-record levels.Individual Retirement...Read More
Putting Interest Rates Into Perspective
Traditionally, I’ve been a little cautious when people say, “it’s different this time.” After all, the past few years have seen more financial “firsts” than most.But despite that skepticism, this...Read More
Tax Loss Harvesting - What Is It?
In our ag-based communities we think of harvest as a season. A time when the trees begin to look bare and the dust from the fields fill the air. A time when there is a sense of unspoken urgency to gather the crop before the first...Read More
Compassionate, Modern Dental Care
Conveniently located in South Fargo, you will find Cornerstone Dental. Inside this beautiful brick building, you will find a team that is even more radiant. From the front desk staff to the doctors themselves, the team at Cornerstone...Read More
Are You Prepared for an Emergency?
The COVID-19 pandemic definitely changed the world as we knew it and will no doubt have lasting effects years into the future. One thing I hope we can take away from this experience is how important it is to have a safety net of funds...Read More
Pro Tip: Apply for Medicare Early
If you’re like most of us, you’ve probably been thinking about your health quite a bit lately — especially if you’re approaching retirement. Trust me, I understand. Anticipating your future medical costs can...Read More
JOLTS of Optimism for the Markets?
We measure the jobs market in many ways, but the Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey or JOLTS report seems to be of particular interest to Fed Chair Jerome Powell. The JOLTS report tells the Fed how many job openings there are each...Read More
Do You Feel Anxious About Your Finances?
Do you feel anxious when it comes to your finances? If you answered yes to this question, you are not alone. There are a number of reasons people feel this way. Maybe they are approaching retirement and are fearful they don’t have...Read More
Quality Animal Care without the Commute
Fourteen years ago, this fall, owners Dr. Carrie Swier Galbreath and Dr. Ben Galbreath saw a need for quality veterinary services in the Edgeley area and decided to make it their mission to provide just that. They took a former...Read More
3rd Annual Halloween Coloring Contest
October is almost here, which means it is almost time for the 3rd Annual Halloween Coloring Contest at Valley Wealth Advisors! If your child attends a school in one of the areas we are located in, chances are they will receive the...Read More
Is Your One Page Financial Plan in Place?
"If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail" -- Benjamin FranklinHaving a plan is a crucial in striving towards your goals. Having something that you can reference will help you stay on track and be accountable. A financial plan...Read More
These Months are More Volatile Than Others
We’re entering a tricky time of year: September and October have a reputation for bringing an extra measure of market volatility.Some of the stock market’s most challenging events have hit in September and October, and...Read More
What is Happening with CPI and Inflation?
Believe me, everyone on Wall Street wants inflation to go away, or at least shrink back to below 2%, a level we enjoyed not so long ago.But Tuesday's Consumer Price Index report showed it might be some time before we see 2% again....Read More
1% Moves in S&P 500
If you’ve felt like stock prices were a little more volatile in 2022 than in recent years, your “spidey senses” are right on the money.The S&P 500 has posted 81 daily moves of at least 1% through August. Of those...Read More
Let's Review Your Life
Life doesn’t stand still. Neither do your life insurance needs.September is National Life Insurance Awareness Month so if you have a quote or policy and haven’t reviewed it lately, now may be a good time to do so. You may...Read More
2022 Evening of Appreciation in Valley City
On the evening of August 8th, I had the pleasure of hosting our 15th Annual Valley City Evening of Appreciation. Cheryl Storhoff, our Branch Operations Manager, and I put together the first event in 2007 as a way to say thank you to...Read More
Can We Go Thrift Shopping?
The answer to this question in Valley City is...definitely! Located in Downtown Valley City, you will find the ARC Thrift-E-Shop. It is operated by The ARC of Barnes County, which is a not for profit organization with a mission to...Read More
Comparing Actual vs. Average Returns
Average returns on an investment can sometimes sound better than they are. If I asked you if you would be happy with a 25% average return over the next two years, what would you say?Most people I ask would be ecstatic with a 25%...Read More
3 Shrewd Maneuvers in a Down Market
It’s natural to think “defense” during a bearish market season. But why not mix in some “offense” with your defense? Here are three moves we can discuss together that may be helpful during the current...Read More
Community Luncheon for National Hotdog Day
Last month I had the pleasure of co-hosting our second Community Appreciation Luncheon with Dacotah Bank in Jamestown. We served lunch to over 100 members of the community, gave away prizes, and had a wonderful time...Read More
Are You Diversified?
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. This saying has been around a long time and still holds merit today. The purpose of diversification is to spread out risk by investing in different categories or sectors. Is this a guarantee...Read More
How to Keep Your Identity Safe
With nearly 4 billion people on social media worldwide, plus the risks of using online brokerage and bank accounts, the need for digital security has never been higher.While tech is becoming more secure in response to threats, there...Read More
A Fine Gem of Fargo
In the heart of South Fargo, you will find Schmidt's Gems & Fine Jewelry. From the moment you step foot inside, you will notice that you are somewhere special. This isn't your average chain jewelry store found in the center of a...Read More
Should You Pay Off Debt or Invest?
A topic that is brought up quite a bit in my meetings with clients, is whether you should make an extra payment on a loan or invest that money instead. In my opinion, there is no one size fits all answer to this question but...Read More
3 Tips for the Second Half of 2022
With half the year behind us, now is a great time to consider what the remainder of 2022 may hold. However, with inflation and economic uncertainty causing many of us to delay or cancel vacations, large purchases, and more, it can be...Read More
Midyear Outlook for 2022
Markets rarely give us clear skies, and there are always threats to watch for on the horizon. But the right preparation, context, and support can help us navigate what lies ahead. So far, this year hasn’t seen a full-blown...Read More
Lots to Explore at LaMoure Hardware and Sweet Pickins'
LaMoure Hardware was built from the ground up in August of 2015 by owners Ryan and Eve Lesko and shares its building with LaMoure Foods. The couple moved back to Eve’s hometown to raise a family in the quaint, rural community of...Read More
Edgeley Community Appreciation Picnic
On June 16th, I had the pleasure of cohosting a Community Appreciation Picnic with Garitt Irey at Douglas Weaver Park across from our offices in Edgeley. We were blessed with a gorgeous day (despite the wind) and a spectacular turnout...Read More
Rule of 72
The Rule of 72 is a simple and useful formula used to figure out the approximate time to double invested money at a given rate of return. You divide 72 by the rate of return and that will give you the approximate years to double your...Read More
Flowers, Food, and Fun
Last month Valley Wealth Advisors had the pleasure of hosting two Create Your Own Container events at local greenhouses. Guests were invited to grab a friend and join us at Harmsen's Greenhouse in LaMoure or Country Gardens Floral and...Read More
Let's Talk About Extended Care
In your retirement strategy, you’ve likely put a good deal of thought into putting away enough money to enjoy your life, once you’ve put the daily grind in the rearview mirror. Like many, you’ve probably planned for a...Read More
How to Buy I Bonds Direct from the Treasury
With inflation hovering near 40-year highs, some investors are looking for alternative ways to weather the storm. For many, a Series I Savings Bond is just the ticket. I Bonds give investors a rate of return plus inflation protection...Read More
Golf + Great Food = Great Fun
The Valley City Town and Country Club (VCTCC) has deep roots in Valley City. The course layout was created by E.H. McFarland and the course and original clubhouse were completed in 1922, making this year their 100th year! If you...Read More
Life Insurance at an Early Age
Perhaps you’ve heard the maxim, “Preparation is the key to success.” But when it comes to life insurance, knowing when to prepare is almost more important than the preparation, itself. Sure, it can be difficult to...Read More
Roth IRA Conversions
To say the start of 2022 has been a disappointment in the markets is an understatement! Inflation, rising interest rates, and the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine have affected both the stock and bond markets. It is never fun to...Read More
5 Financial Tips For Every Military Family
Military members and their families face one-of-a-kind challenges, such as deployment to conflict zones, overseas assignments, and the constancy of change, all of which make dedicating time to personal finance a challenge.Luckily,...Read More
Retail Pharmacy with a Hometown Feel
When you step inside Tara's Thrifty White Pharmacy in Oakes, you will immediately see that they offer more than just medication refills. Nestled in the heart of downtown Oakes is an independent, pharmacist owned, retail pharmacy with a...Read More
So What's All This About a Recession?
In recent weeks, the word recession has started creeping into business news and financial market coverage. Is that cause for alarm or just another attention-grabbing headline? There’s no simple answer. A recession is defined as...Read More
Rising Rates and the Market
Last week, the yield curve inverted for the first time since August 2019 (as a refresher, a yield curve inversion means that long-term interest rates have dropped below short-term rates).Why do we pay attention to this?Because this...Read More
Financial Literacy Month is Here
April marks the start of Financial Literacy Month, a nationally recognized movement to promote and support financial understanding in children and teens. For many, it's a fantastic opportunity to teach and connect with their children...Read More
Coffee Shop with a Purpose
Whether you walk inside Alley Beans or visit through the drive up, you are immediately met with a warm smile and the aroma of freshly roasted coffee. On any given day, you will find owners Carol and Tim and their team working...Read More
Top Tips to Retire Wisely
Some retirees succeed at realizing the life they want; others don’t. Fate aside, it isn’t merely a matter of investment decisions that makes the difference. There are certain dos and don’ts – some less apparent...Read More
Five Secrets to Saving
Are you saving for the future? People often come to me asking for financial guidance. Some want to know how to invest or diversify the money they’ve saved, but others admit to me they’re just not sure how to save. If...Read More
Is a Credit Card Balance Transfer a Good Option?
Credit card transfers can be worrisome for certain individuals as they can often lead to more debt; however, when used appropriately, they can be a helpful financial tool. If you are thinking of doing a credit card balance transfer...Read More
Beers and Bites Bring People Together
Your team at Valley Wealth Advisors (VWA) loves to host events and in January we had the pleasure of hosting two. On each night, friends of Dacotah Bank and VWA gathered together to enjoy a evening of beer and wine sampling. The first...Read More
What is an I Bond?
I bonds are a hot topic as of late. An I bond is a savings bond that earns interest based on combining a fixed rate and an inflation rate. These are really attractive now as the rate is 7.12% on bonds issued between now...Read More
Passing the Baton
Our resurgent economy grew at over a 6% pace in the first half of 2021 and is on track for over 5% growth for the year by the time 2021 draws to a close. During the early recovery, we had a hand up from stimulus and policy that saw us...Read More
Now May Be the Time to Start Thinking About Disability Insurance
Think you don’t need disability coverage? Think again. We draft a will. Create an estate strategy. And purchase life insurance. But few of us consider disability insurance – the coverage that can help us maintain our...Read More
Fall Fun at Alley Beans
Fall is a favorite time of year for lots of folks, including many of us at Valley Wealth Advisors. It is a wonderful time to reflect on the past months and truly be thankful for the countless blessings we have received and all the...Read More
COLA Increase Announced for Social Security
On October 13, 2021, the Social Security Administration (SSA) officially announced that Social Security recipients will receive a 5.9 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2022, the largest increase in four decades. This...Read More
Estate Taxes May Be Amended Soon
To help raise revenue to pay for President Biden’s Build Back Better Plan, Congress is considering a number of tax law changes, including adjusting estate taxes. One of the proposals would reduce the estate tax exemption to...Read More
Six Critical Areas of Creating a Financial Strategy
When training to become a financial professional, much of our course work centers on the six critical areas of creating a financial strategy. Some recognize October as Financial Planning Month, so it's an excellent opportunity to...Read More
2nd Annual VWA Halloween Coloring Contest
October is here and so begins the 2nd Annual Halloween Coloring Contest at Valley Wealth Advisors. Participate and you just might end up winning one of our five Halloween gift baskets. Simply download the page, color it, have your...Read More
September Is National Life Insurance Awareness Month
It’s time for your life insurance checkup.September is National Life Insurance Awareness Month, so it’s a great time to review your coverage.1If you don’t have any life insurance, you’re not alone. Life...Read More