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The Extra Mile

Scott C. Little, Vice President, Berkshire Money Management

Scott C. Little, Vice President

Last Thanksgiving, a client emailed me, asking to transfer funds to another account of hers—electronically. But we can’t do that by email. So, I let her know I’d need to call her.

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Zack Marcotte, Financial Advisor, Berkshire Money Management

Zack Marcotte, Financial Advisor

A client told me he had recently changed jobs and asked if I would roll over his 401(k)—into an existing Roth account. I asked if he knew whether his original 401(k) had been a traditional, or a Roth. Was he sure?

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Bill Schmick, Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, Berkshire Money Management

Bill Schmick, Managing Director and Portfolio Manager

A family client of mine, led by an 82-year old widow and grandmother, gave me an opportunity to really reach out beyond just business. Over time, I grew to know the family and this lady rather well, and had come to appreciate our conversations.

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Insights & Advice

The truth about NATO and defense spending

While it would appear that President Donald Trump left the London NATO Summit this week empty-handed, the truth is he has already achieved what several presidents before him could not. Unfortunately, it is a shallow victory at best. Just a week ago, in preparation for President Trump’s visit, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization announced a change in the funding of its budget. It agreed to reduce the United States’ contribution to the alliance (now 22%) and redistribute the costs to other members. As a result, the U.S. and Germany will now pay the same amount. Each will contribute 16% of…

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How to Achieve Financial Agility

What is financial agility? Well, it’s a term I made up, but it seems descriptive enough to be easily understood. Financial Agility is the ability to adapt to changes to your financial future, as well as to overcome any challenges along the way. Your “agility score” is tied to one simple metric: your fixed expenses. If we look at the costs you face every month compared to your total income, we will have our starting place. There are numerous ways to increase your agility, but not all of them are easy. First, you need to reduce your fixed costs. Things…

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Cash registers are so 2006

I publish a hyperlocal business newsletter, called the Berkshire Confidence Index, or BCI. In the Spring 2018 BCI survey, which was sent out to nearly 4,000 local business owners, I added the question, “What type of revenue streams do you have?” The answers provided were consumables, sunk-money consumables, subscriptions, sunk-money subscriptions, auto-renewals and contracts. In that order, from suckiest to best, those are the types of revenue models that will help you have sales predictability. The overwhelming response to the question was “not applicable.” Respondents didn’t think it was pertinent to their industry. Moving from selling goods or services as…

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Current News: December 6, 2019 Markets live with uncertainty

The jobs number gave stocks a lift on Friday. U.S. payrolls came in much higher than expected and investors celebrated the good news as the unemployment rate edged down to a fifty-year low. In a blink of the eye, stocks erased the entire week’s losses. Non-farm payrolls registered 266,000 jobs, versus expectations of 180,000 jobs gained last month. Investors were expecting some lift in the numbers, simply to account for the end of the General Motors strike, but gains were robust across most industries with the exception of mining and logging. Wages also experienced an uptick bringing the year-over-year total...

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