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  • Writer's pictureNate Baim, MBA, CFP®

4th of July Adventure

Enjoy this week's edition of the Planner's Beta

Beta (n) - climber's jargon that designates information about a climb This digest's purpose is to share observations, ideas, and treasures found this week which you may also find insightful. Sharing does not mean it's an endorsement. I am endorsing the pursuit of knowledge and exploration.

I was fortunate to make it out to the Jefferson Wilderness this 4th of July weekend. Although the misquotes and sun were unrelenting, it was great to make it out. We backpacked completely around Three Finger Jack, swam in an alpine lake, and caught some fantastic views

Fed Becomes No. 3 Holder of World's Biggest Corporate-Bond ETF (Bloomberg) - Recent data compiled by Bloomberg shows that the Federal Reserve is estimated to be a significant holder of several bond exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The central bank began purchasing ETFs in response to the coronavirus to provide liquidity to the credit markets. In other words, the central bank is attempting to reduce the risk of a financial crisis. The Fed's chairman indicated the central bank would begin to replace the purchase of ETFs with the purchase of individual bonds via the Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility. Observers credit the performance of bond markets due to the Federal Reserve's actions. 

The pandemic could expose more Wirecards (CNN Business) - Warren Buffett once said, "Only when the tide goes out, do you discover who's been swimming naked." Late last month, investors in the German digital payment company, Wirecard, experienced the meaning of this saying. The company allegedly committed a $2 billion fraud and is now filing for insolvency. The economic contraction is straining balance sheets and income statements for many companies. This stress on companies can expose improper and unethical business activities. As this article points out, stakeholders may be in for a series of fraudulent practices coming to light. 

When Alpinist Go Rogue (Outside) - Looking for a little escape and adventure? Watch this story, which details the travels of five American climbers. They visited remote China in 1981 when the relations between China and the U.S. were changing. The group attempts to climb a 20,000-foot summit but finds more adventure off the mountain than in the alpine environment. Secret agents included.

Flow Chart of the Month

Deciding whether to contribute to a Roth IRA or Traditional IRA is a common question for retirement savers. Assuming you qualify to add to these accounts, much comes down to your expected future income tax rates compared to your current tax bracket. The flow chart below illustrates how to tackle this decision.

Quote of the Week

"The mind is like an umbrella - it functions best when open." - Walter Gropius


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