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Have bonds earned a place in your portfolio?

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“Layin it on the line”

Beginning in 2020, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates to multi-decade lows, dropping the rate on 10-year Treasuries from a robust 2 percent to 0.5 percent. This steep decline was a blow to savers, especially those who traditionally look to bonds as safety anchors for their retirement...

Temporary inflation can damage retirement planning

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“LAYIN’ it on the line”

“Warren Buffet once pointed out that when you do the math, it is obvious that inflation is far more destructive to wealth than any tax levied on us by the government.”— Lawrence Castillo


It probably hasn’t escaped your notice that consumer prices have gone rogue in 2021. Prices for goods and services are surging at the fastest pace in over ten years, threatening to squeeze households and squelch a potential post-COVID economic recovery. Economists, bankers, and pundits insist that inflation rates reflect pandemic-induced trends and are only temporary.

However, many retirees, pre-retirees, and investors are concerned that prices will keep...

Four to receive 2021 William S. Dixon First Amendment Freedom Award

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ALBUQUERQUE— A reporter’s investigation that led to one senior state official’s departure and a whistleblower lawsuit, a citizen’s quest for records that forced the creation of a new youth grievance policy and actions by two New Mexico Legislators to open up state government will be recognized by the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government as the 2021 recipients of the William S. Dixon First Amendment Freedom Awards. The awards are annually presented to those New Mexicans who believe in government transparency at the state or local level – and who have made significant contributions to casting sunshine (transparency) in government operations in the state.

Dixon Award...

Is universal preschool coming?

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Why does it matter?

President Biden wants the federal government to subsidize preschool for all children in the U.S. at a cost of about $20 billion. “The 2020 Kids Count Databook” from the Annie E. Casey Foundation ranked New Mexico 50th in the area of childhood education, until the latest edition.  So, any rope the feds can throw us seems like a wonderful idea. High-quality early childhood education is viewed as an important and cost-effective intervention to address early-life difficulties.

And according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation high-quality preschool programs for three-to-four-year-olds helps set the stage for future skill development, learning and well-being...

Brands: why we trust them

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Trust is loyalty earned. — Lawrence Castillo

A short while ago, an internationally known brand-builder, Wally Olins, passed away after a long and brilliant career. He was one of the first to recognize the value that a “brand” is worth more than the value of its product. We are constantly embraced by brands everywhere we go, from the movie theater to the ballpark, to our children’s schools. Brands are positioned everywhere to influence and encourage us.

The same is true in the annuity business; brands are well-positioned and well-financed. New York Life, The Hartford,  AXA, and Northwestern Mutual, to name a few. This year Northwestern Mutual sponsored the NCAA men’s...

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