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Friday Financial Five – March 18, 2016

Friday, March 18, 2016


No rate increase from the Fed

The Federal Reserve has taken note of the slow growth environment for global economies. With that in mind, the group delayed another rate hike and tempered expectations for the number of rate increases for 2016 from four to two. The U.S. is growing, though not as much as would be expected post-recession, and the labor market remains healthy. The Fed also noted signs that inflation is strengthening.

Affordable Care Act misses 2015 target

2016 is a huge year for the Affordable Care Act, with exchanges losing money and the program’s success predicated on keeping people enrolled. According to the Obama administration, numbers for 2015 did not reach the projected goal of 9.1 million enrollees, falling just short at 8.8 million. This number represents a drop from the number of people covered at the start of the year, 11.7 million. For 2016, the goal is to have over 10 million enrolled by the end of the year. 

Supreme Court nominee figured in “Merrill Rule” decision

The continued discussion of the fiduciary standard brings to mind another landmark decision for financial services. In 2005, the Financial Planning Association sued the SEC, trying to level the playing field regarding the standard of care adhered to by investment advisers and brokers. In 2007, the “Merrill Lynch rule” was overturned on appeal. That 2-1 decision involved recent Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, who issued the sole dissenting vote, arguing that the SEC did not have the power to impose a fiduciary standard on brokers.

Apps to help with finances

Spending, budgeting, and saving can be made easier with any number of phone apps. Popular Mint links accounts and cards, while Mint Bills, an extension of Mint, notifies users of upcoming bills and offers the ability to pay them directly. Shoeboxed captures receipt data, while Digit helps with automatic saving. Level Money helps predict spending month over month. Prosper Daily tracks credit scores and catches potential fraud. Those with a budgeting weakness in any of these areas would do well to incorporate the proper technology to help.

NCAA basketball players’ yearly market value

March Madness means exciting basketball games played by athletes who might not be receiving their full market value, according to Business Insider. BI attempts to calculate each player’s annual value, using data from the twenty schools that use basketball to generate the most revenue. They then divide the revenue by the average number of scholarship players on the team. Leading the way is Louisville, with an estimated value of $1.7 million per player, followed by Duke University at $1.3 million. All of the players on this top 20 list average over half a million dollars, with the average Division One player valued at almost $300,000.


Dan Forbes, a CFP Board Ambassador, is a regular contributor on financial issues. He leads the firm Forbes Financial Planning, Inc in East Greenwich, RI and can be reached at [email protected]


Related Slideshow: Oregon Business Rankings in US

See how Oregon stacked up against the other states in the U.S.

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Oregon gets a C+ for small business friendliness from Thumbtack, in conjunction with the Kauffman Foundation.

According to the ranking:

Overall friendliness C+

Ease of starting a business B
Ease of hiring D+
Regulations D
Health & safety D
Employment, labor & hiring D
Tax code D+
Licensing C-
Environmental D
Zoning D+
Training & networking programs B+

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CEO Magazine

CEO magazine was not kind to Oregon.

The state ranked in the bottom ten states at #42.

Oregon get lumped by CEO's as being California like - too much regulation.

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The 2015 rankings puts Oregon in the top 20. Oregon ranks #18 in the United States. 

NY ranks one spot ahead at #17 and Florida ranks after Oregon.

#1 in the United States: Utah

#50 in the United States: Mississippi

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Oregon has been ranked as the 2nd most eco-friendly state in the country, according to a recent study by WalletHub

Oregon ranks eighth in environmental quality and first in Eco-Friendly Behaviors landing them in second overall. 

Oregon is behind Vermont and ahead of New York and Minnesota who land in the third and fourth spots respectively. 

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The Economist

Small Business Friendliness Grade: C+

The Economist grades states on an A+ to F grading scale for its small business climate. Oregon is one of 4 states that earned a "C+"

Overbearing bureaucracy and excessive licensing is stifling small business in America. 

Read More About The Economist Grade Here

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#22 CNBC

CNBC ranks each state in cost of doing business, economy, technology and innovation.

Read More About CNBC Ranking Here

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Wallet Hub

#28 Wallet Hub

Wallet Hub ranks each state in ROI rank, state tax rank, and overall government services.

Read More About Wallet Hub Ranking Here

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#38 Kauffman Foundation

Kauffman Foundation ranks each state in entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurial activity generally is highest in Western and Southern states and lowest in Midwestern and Northeastern states.

Read More About Kauffman Ranking Here

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#19 Forbes in 2014

Forbes ranks each state in business costs, economic climate, and growth prospects.

Read More About Forbes Rankings Here


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