The Isanti County News http://isanticountynews.com The Isanti County News covers community news, sports, current events and provides advertising and information for the cities of Cambridge, Isanti, and Braham, Minnesota and their surrounding areas. Thu, 02 Jul 2015 17:39:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Rodeo & country rock: summer double-feature in Isanti http://isanticountynews.com/2015/07/02/rodeo-country-rock-summer-double-feature-in-isanti/ http://isanticountynews.com/2015/07/02/rodeo-country-rock-summer-double-feature-in-isanti/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 17:39:15 +0000 http://isanticountynews.com/?p=123052 in_Rodeo PromoWhen summer comes to the heartland, Minnesotans know how to have a good time. Advance sale tickets are now available for what many label “The Summer Event in Family Fun” in east-central Minnesota, and that is none other than the 39th Annual Isanti Firefighters PRCA Championship Rodeo the weekend of July 10-11.

As one of America’s top showcase internationally-sanctioned rodeos, the Isanti Rodeo is also a major fundraiser for the fire department. The rodeo was started by volunteers of the fire department to help raise funds to improve and enhance fire and rescue services to the Isanti area without putting an additional load on taxpayers.

The rodeo lasts approximately two-plus hours and features all seven events of rodeo. Dance immediately after the rodeo Friday night to Navigator Records’ recording artists, the Maiden Dixie Band. This nationally-rising group of six authentic and undeniably talented musicians are the real thing, and you won’t want to miss this night!

Dance after the rodeo Saturday night to the Killer Hayseeds, a leading Midwest country/country rock icon. Dances are on the rodeo grounds and included with your rodeo admission.

The Isanti Firefighters Annual Pro Rodeo is like those rodeos you see on TV– only better! And it’s in your backyard. As the sun sets, the music strikes up, and a parade of colorful horses enter the arena, carrying brimming riders who seem to be as pressed and polished as the bright, saucer-sized belt buckles they are wearing. Isanti will again be host to a spectacular lineup of the world’s best rodeo contestants vying to win championship prize money and points on some of the roughest horses and bulls in the world.

So as you set plans for the July 10-11 weekend, make the 39th Annual Isanti Rodeo part of those plans. As you enjoy the rodeo with your family, know that by your attendance, you have helped our community be a safer place to live.

The firefighters rodeo arena is located north of Heritage Blvd. (Co. Rd. 5) on 3rd Ave. in the city of Isanti. Gates open at 4:30 p.m. each afternoon. A variety of food and beverages are available on-site. 4-H Goat Tying starts at 5:30 p.m., and Kids Mutton Bustin’ is at 6 p.m. Rodeo performances then start at 6:30 each evening.

Advance tickets are available at various merchants throughout Isanti County. Advance adult admission is $12, and advance children’s (ages 4-12) tickets are $6. Children under 3 are free. Tickets and further information are available online at www.isantifiredistrict.org. Further information can also be obtained by calling 612-669-2326. Thank you.

Tom Pagel, Isanti Firefighters Rodeo Association

 
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A labor of love in full bloom http://isanticountynews.com/2015/07/02/a-labor-of-love-in-full-bloom/ http://isanticountynews.com/2015/07/02/a-labor-of-love-in-full-bloom/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 17:07:47 +0000 http://isanticountynews.com/?p=123045  

Beverly Medvecky, of Isanti, is pictured on June 18 in her 100-acre garden where she has grown 250 peony plants.  Photos by Brielle Bredsten

Beverly Medvecky, of Isanti, is pictured on June 18 in her 100-acre garden where she has grown 250 peony plants. Photos by Brielle Bredsten

What started as one row of flowers has blossomed into over 250 peony bushes for Isanti resident Beverly Medvecky.

Years ago, a family member was moving from Fridley and invited her to dig up some plants from their yard. She arrived with a flower box the first day and brought a truck back on the next trip to load up her gifted peonies and lilies.

Over time, neighbors and friends have donated even more flowers to Medvecky’s collection, which now includes daffodils, delphiniums, iris, hollyhocks, bee balms, dahlias, ferns, hostas, strawberries, asparagus, rhubarb, sweet corn, squash and more.

“I did buy some hybrids, but other than that I split my own,” Medvecky said.

About one or two people stop by to visit each day, including her two children and four grandchildren who live nearby.

Stella Rose Oglesbee (right) stops to smell the aroma of fragrant peonies in full bloom at Beverly Medvecky’s garden.

Stella Rose Oglesbee (right) stops to smell the aroma of fragrant peonies in full bloom at Beverly Medvecky’s garden.

While pulling into her dirt driveway, visitors may feel as if they are about to enter a forest. Only a short way down they can discover 100 acres of field tucked away in 200 acres of woods. From late spring to early fall, the area in front of the home reveals Medvecky’s true passion — gardening.

“We call it the Big Woods Farm, and inside the woods there is a little secret garden. I haven’t counted them lately. If each bush had 50 to 175 blooms on it — that’s a lot of flowers. I ran out of room. I guess I could add a little more under the apple trees,” she said.

In the spring, Medvecky weeds and hoes the garden plot. If there is too much rain when the flowers begin to bloom, it weighs them down and they don’t last as long. Summer months don’t require a lot of maintenance. Come fall, the flowers are mowed down with the help of a weed whip and placed in a burning pile. Afterward, she uses leaves to mulch the soil. This helps to keep weeds down, hold the moisture in and feed the earth worms. Plants are split with a shovel in the fall.

“The secret is you don’t plant them too deep,” she said.

When Medvecky and her husband, David, originally purchased the property 35 years ago, they only owned 40 acres. She fell in love with the heavy soil of Isanti compared to the sand in Anoka County where she grew up. Over time, the couple accumulated more land. David owns Big Woods Farm and is retired. Even so, he continues working and making cherry barrel wood bowls as a hobby. They also used to raise bees.

Medvecky worked for the University of Minnesota at the Cedar Creek National History Area for 26 years. It is now known as the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve. After 25 years she retired from the Cambridge Farmers Market. She was later invited to join the North Branch Farmers Market.

Gardener Beverly Medvecky also grows lilies on her 100 acre garden.

Gardener Beverly Medvecky also grows lilies on her 100 acre garden.

There she sells bouquets of flowers, homemade maple syrup from the tree farm, and David’s handcrafted wooden bowls. The gardener also supplies peony buds to Cambridge Floral for use in weddings, anniversaries and other special occasions. Every now and then Cambridge SAC’s Enrichment Center stops by to pick up a bouquet for the Senior Center. In addition, every Sunday Medvecky brings an arrangement of flowers to church with her.

“Then someone gets to take them home. Just to see the smiles on their faces … sharing is what I like to do,” she said.

Not only does Medvecky share her labor of love with the community and visitors; she also shares with the birds, bees, butterflies and deer that frequent her garden. When it rains, the earthworms appear.

“I did have a monarch come through. He was happy. The deer love my roses. They love phlox. They don’t like daffodils; they’ll actually spit them out,” she said.

If she had to choose, Medvecky said her favorite flower would have to be the lily of the valley, roses or, of course, the peonies.

“I just loved to get my hands dirty on God’s earth, watch things grow and share. I love people to visit my gardens,” she said.

Visitors are welcome. Call Beverly Medvecky for more information at 763-444-4840.

Beverly Medvecky enjoys having visitors to share her garden with. She is pictured far left, along with neighbors Candice Oglesbee, of Ham Lake, and her children (oldest to youngest), Caitlin, Cynthia, Samuel, Charles and Stella Rose.

Beverly Medvecky enjoys having visitors to share her garden with. She is pictured far left, along with neighbors Candice Oglesbee, of Ham Lake, and her children (oldest to youngest), Caitlin, Cynthia, Samuel, Charles and Stella Rose.

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Rotary of Cambridge Isanti honored as Jubilee Days Parade grand marshal http://isanticountynews.com/2015/07/02/rotary-of-cambridge-isanti-honored-as-jubilee-days-parade-grand-marshal/ http://isanticountynews.com/2015/07/02/rotary-of-cambridge-isanti-honored-as-jubilee-days-parade-grand-marshal/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 17:01:57 +0000 http://isanticountynews.com/?p=123041 imagesEfforts made towards community betterment did not go unnoticed for the Rotary Club of Cambridge Isanti. The group was chosen to serve as grand marshal of this year’s Isanti Rodeo Jubilee Days parade Thursday, July 9.

The parade will start at 6:30 p.m. with food vendors setting up along the parade route at 4:30 p.m. The start of the parade route will be at Fifth Avenue and Main Street in Isanti.

The Rotary Club of Cambridge Isanti is made up of professionals and business people who live and work in the local area. Members work in a wide variety of fields such as finance, insurance, law, education, the arts, government and non-profits. All follow the motto of Rotary International: Service above self.

The main goal of the Rotary in the community is to do just that, explained President Brad Larson. Rotarians develop community service projects that address many of today’s most critical issues, such as: Children at risk, poverty, hunger, the environment, illiteracy and violence. They also support programs for youth, educational opportunities and international exchanges for students, teachers, and other professionals, along with vocational and career development.

“[The Rotary feels] very honored and glad to promote the Cambridge and Isanti Rotary in this year’s parade,” Larson said.

In the last year, the organization has made many outreach efforts. Among their accomplishments are the Dictionary Project, purchasing a lot of land for Habitat for Humanity Home, the New Teacher Luncheon, Bus Driver Appreciation Day, Community Read, park improvements, BMX-STEM, Box City, new Family Pathways, hosting a foreign exchange student and providing scholarships—just to name a few.

“The Chamber board recognized the contributions the Rotary has given to Isanti and the region over the years, and it is a deserving organization to be this year’s grand marshal,” said North 65 Chamber of Commerce President Eric Champion.

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Friends of the Isanti Area Library invite you to join the parade http://isanticountynews.com/2015/07/02/friends-of-the-isanti-area-library-invite-you-to-join-the-parade/ http://isanticountynews.com/2015/07/02/friends-of-the-isanti-area-library-invite-you-to-join-the-parade/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 16:51:07 +0000 http://isanticountynews.com/?p=123037 FIALThe Friends of the Isanti Area Library are looking for volunteers to join them in the July 9 Isanti Rodeo Jubilee Days Parade.

If interested call Susi at 763-444-4585. The attached picture is from one of their prior year parade entries. The theme for this year is ‘Read to the Rhythm.’

Friends collect books year-round for future book sales. Book and DVD donations are always welcome and are collected at the SOS Classroom in Isanti. They especially need children’s books, westerns, and large print items (no encyclopedias, textbooks, or Reader’s Digest condensed books). You may contact Susi at 763-444-4585 to arrange for a drop off.

Funds raised by the Friends are used to encourage literacy in the community and promote the Isanti Outreach Library located in the Isanti City Hall. The Outreach Library is open every Wednesday from noon to 4 p.m.

Volunteers make their events possible and each one is appreciated immensely. If you would like to be involved in their fun and worthwhile projects, contact Susi@IsantiLibrary.org or call 763-444-4585.

All are welcome to join them at their Friends of the Isanti Area Library meeting on the third Monday of every month from 4-5:30 p.m. Guests, as well as new members, are always welcome. Call for more information or visit www.IsantiLibrary.org.

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What Your Policies Cover http://isanticountynews.com/2015/07/02/what-your-policies-cover/ http://isanticountynews.com/2015/07/02/what-your-policies-cover/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 16:00:04 +0000 http://isanticountynews.com/?guid=d35dd215e0e30e7fb1d87853513c23e0 We understand the importance of insurance to protect us financially. But many of us pay for insurance every year without knowing exactly what it covers and what it does not. Let’s take a closer look at common property and casualty insurance to find out whether you have enough protection.

Homeowner’s insurance covers many damages, including theft, wind or fire perils and more. It adds liability insurance to the standard hazard policy to cover any injuries to people on your property. Your homeowner’s insurance kicks in, for example, if your dog bites a child.

But many potential disasters aren’t covered, such as flood and earthquake damage. Look at the exclusions category of your homeowner’s insurance to see what your existing policy doesn’t pay for. If you’re at risk for these scenarios, additional insurance policies are available (and may even be required from lenders if you’re taking out a mortgage).

In the case of the destruction of your home, many policies cover your loss up to an initial estimate, but some policies provide guaranteed replacement, which covers the complete repair or rebuilding costs.

Also, check your deductibles, the amount you must pay out of pocket before your benefits kick in. If you have the cash flow to handle the initial costs should anything happen, you may want to opt for a higher deductible to lower your premium. Claiming small losses on your homeowner’s insurance can increase your rate, and the insurer can cancel your policy in some circumstances.

Renter’s insurance protects against the loss or destruction of your possessions. If you are a renter, you want to make sure you have it, because your landlord’s insurance doesn’t cover you.

Renter’s insurance is often very affordable, and many landlords require it before accepting a lease. Similar to homeowner’s, renter’s insurance also provides your personal liability coverage. If someone visiting you is injured in your home, the insurance company pays.

Car insurance, in most states, is a requirement. Basic policies include liability coverage for the injury and property claims of another party when you’re at fault in an accident. Some states also mandate personal injury protection. This pays for your own medical expenses in an automobile accident, regardless of who was at fault.

There is extra coverage such as collision, comprehensive and uninsured motorist. Collision insurance covers your repairs costs if you hit something and damage your car. Comprehensive covers losses not resulting from automobile accidents, such as fire, storms, theft, and vandalism.

Uninsured motorist coverage protects you in a hit-and-run. For just a bit more, you can also purchase an underinsured provision, which kicks in when a driver injures you or damages your property, but does not have adequate coverage for the full amount.

Valuables insurance. If you have homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance, you have some protection for precious valuables like jewelry, art or collectibles. However, the liability limits are often low.

If you have special valuables that are worth more than the policy limit, look into raising it or purchase a separate rider for each item.

Umbrella insurance. We discussed protecting your home, your car and your valuables. But there’s something that many overlook – your net worth. Your savings, home and future earnings could be at risk if a bad car accident quickly exceeds your liability limit in your standard policy.

Umbrella insurance protects your net worth by covering the difference in all your policies. It pays for property damage, bodily injury claims and legal costs. Typically, such policies start at $1 million in coverage for around $200 a year. If you can’t afford to rebuild your nest egg, you want to protect it with umbrella insurance.

With this overview in hand, talk with your insurance agent or broker about which coverage is right for your situation.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Mary Beth Storjohann, CFP, is the founder of Workable Wealth, an RIA in San Diego. She is a writer, speaker and financial coach who is passionate about working with individuals and couples in their 20s and 30s to help them organize and gain confidence in their financial lives. She has been quoted or featured in various industry publications on the local and national level. You can find her on Twitter at @marybstorj.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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We understand the importance of insurance to protect us financially. But many of us pay for insurance every year without knowing exactly what it covers and what it does not. Let’s take a closer look at common property and casualty insurance to find out whether you have enough protection.

Homeowner’s insurance covers many damages, including theft, wind or fire perils and more. It adds liability insurance to the standard hazard policy to cover any injuries to people on your property. Your homeowner’s insurance kicks in, for example, if your dog bites a child.

But many potential disasters aren’t covered, such as flood and earthquake damage. Look at the exclusions category of your homeowner’s insurance to see what your existing policy doesn’t pay for. If you’re at risk for these scenarios, additional insurance policies are available (and may even be required from lenders if you’re taking out a mortgage).

In the case of the destruction of your home, many policies cover your loss up to an initial estimate, but some policies provide guaranteed replacement, which covers the complete repair or rebuilding costs.

Also, check your deductibles, the amount you must pay out of pocket before your benefits kick in. If you have the cash flow to handle the initial costs should anything happen, you may want to opt for a higher deductible to lower your premium. Claiming small losses on your homeowner’s insurance can increase your rate, and the insurer can cancel your policy in some circumstances.

Renter’s insurance protects against the loss or destruction of your possessions. If you are a renter, you want to make sure you have it, because your landlord’s insurance doesn’t cover you.

Renter’s insurance is often very affordable, and many landlords require it before accepting a lease. Similar to homeowner’s, renter’s insurance also provides your personal liability coverage. If someone visiting you is injured in your home, the insurance company pays.

Car insurance, in most states, is a requirement. Basic policies include liability coverage for the injury and property claims of another party when you’re at fault in an accident. Some states also mandate personal injury protection. This pays for your own medical expenses in an automobile accident, regardless of who was at fault.

There is extra coverage such as collision, comprehensive and uninsured motorist. Collision insurance covers your repairs costs if you hit something and damage your car. Comprehensive covers losses not resulting from automobile accidents, such as fire, storms, theft, and vandalism.

Uninsured motorist coverage protects you in a hit-and-run. For just a bit more, you can also purchase an underinsured provision, which kicks in when a driver injures you or damages your property, but does not have adequate coverage for the full amount.

Valuables insurance. If you have homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance, you have some protection for precious valuables like jewelry, art or collectibles. However, the liability limits are often low.

If you have special valuables that are worth more than the policy limit, look into raising it or purchase a separate rider for each item.

Umbrella insurance. We discussed protecting your home, your car and your valuables. But there’s something that many overlook – your net worth. Your savings, home and future earnings could be at risk if a bad car accident quickly exceeds your liability limit in your standard policy.

Umbrella insurance protects your net worth by covering the difference in all your policies. It pays for property damage, bodily injury claims and legal costs. Typically, such policies start at $1 million in coverage for around $200 a year. If you can’t afford to rebuild your nest egg, you want to protect it with umbrella insurance.

With this overview in hand, talk with your insurance agent or broker about which coverage is right for your situation.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Mary Beth Storjohann, CFP, is the founder of Workable Wealth, an RIA in San Diego. She is a writer, speaker and financial coach who is passionate about working with individuals and couples in their 20s and 30s to help them organize and gain confidence in their financial lives. She has been quoted or featured in various industry publications on the local and national level. You can find her on Twitter at @marybstorj.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Hwy. 47 lane closures in Isanti County begin July 9 http://isanticountynews.com/2015/07/02/hwy-47-lane-closures-in-isanti-county-begin-july-9/ http://isanticountynews.com/2015/07/02/hwy-47-lane-closures-in-isanti-county-begin-july-9/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 13:38:41 +0000 http://isanticountynews.com/?p=123029 Motorists traveling Highway 47 between St. Francis and Isanti County Road 16 will encounter delays as segments of the road are reduced to a single lane beginning Thursday, July 9. The original starting date for the project was July 6.

The lane closures will occur from sunrise to sunset daily, and will be complete by August 1. Flaggers and a pilot car will allow one-way, alternating traffic through the daily work zones. Motorists should slow down and prepare to stop as they approach each work zone, obey the flaggers and use caution as they follow the pilot car through the daily work zones.

Also, motorists entering a work zone from driveways or roads that intersect Highway 47 must wait for the pilot car to pass, then follow it through the work zone.

 

The closures are needed while crews resurface 21 miles of Highway 47. When complete, the project will result in a smoother ride and ensure Highway 47 continues to serve Minnesota motorists and local communities for many years.

To learn more about MnDOT and transportation funding, visit MnDOT’s Get Connected website at: www.dot.state.mn.us/getconnected/.

For real-time travel information anywhere in Minnesota, visit www.511mn.org.

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Is China Washed Up? Hardly http://isanticountynews.com/2015/07/02/is-china-washed-up-hardly/ http://isanticountynews.com/2015/07/02/is-china-washed-up-hardly/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 13:00:02 +0000 http://isanticountynews.com/?guid=8818c21bd85301700ebd1413045174a6 China is headed for the dumper. So goes the negative chorus on the world’s second largest economy. Slowing growth, horrible air pollution, a real estate bubble – the reasons given for the country’s demise are numerous. But despite China’s woes, its prospects remain bright.

One positive indicator: The country’s stock markets have rallied recently, finally catching up to the overall economy. The government has enacted reforms that have helped a lot.

Aiming to avoid rampant speculation and uncontrolled bubbles, previous policies erred on the side of safety and conservatism. One effective new step is the removal of limits on ownership of multiple accounts with varying brokers, which has led to over 12 million new accounts (known as domestic A-shares) opened in under a month.

But to its critics, China is in the same position as the kid who’s trying to make the team, but is competing against the coach’s son for the last spot on the roster. Nothing he does is ever going to be good enough in the coach’s eyes; every good play he makes must be lucky.

Although it is such a major economic force  – the International Monetary Fund estimates it will be the largest contributor to world gross domestic product expansion for 2015 – some still regard it as not belonging on the world stage, let alone atop it. Many choose to simply ignore it.

This is a serious mistake. China is where long-term opportunities reside. While this also leads to short-term volatility and risk, the temporary anxiety is well worth the end reward.

The commodities market, which has long benefited from Chinese demand, seems to agree with this optimism: “Dr. Copper,” as it is known, has rallied along with other base metals to yearly highs. This development argues against the view of pundits that the country’s economy is weakening. We concur, and believe that the economy is settling into a secure and sustainable rate of growth.

Pessimists make much of China’s economic growth slowing from its unsustainable annual rate of over 10% during the last decade, to a projected rate this year of around 7%. Left out is that the rest of the world is growing at half that rate at best, and despite all the cheerful talk of recovery and joy on Wall Street, the U.S. last year grew at just 2.4%.

More important, because China’s GDP has grown so much over the last decade or so, a 7% increase now brings in more actual growth in total dollars than did 10% from a smaller base 10 years ago.

China’s detractors say that it was growing too fast and was too reliant on exports. Real estate was in an obvious speculative bubble and the government had too much control; central planning doesn’t work. (These last two come from the same people who missed the U.S. bubble, which resulted from loose monetary policy – and now they call for more regulations and federal oversight of an ever larger piece of the economic pie). Chinese inflation? Too high. Wages? Too low.

Fast-forward to the present. China’s leadership acted to stabilize the economy. It had indeed been growing at an unsustainable rate (the highest single-year increase. was almost 14%), but the point of it was to pull as many people out of poverty as quickly as possible.

For a long time, massive government spending on infrastructure and cheap manufacturing meant for mass export were the basis of its economic development. This has changed into a more service and consumption-based economy (while still having a significant amount of real exports). The government is both loosening its hand, and actually selling off majority portions of state-owned enterprises to the private sector.

Private firms are now responsible for 80% of all employment, and virtually 100% of net new jobs. The government itself has stated that they could only help incubate and take things so far; afterward, experienced business managers must take over from government bureaucrats. Wages have risen at near double-digit rates for the last two years, yet inflation has remained tamed, so much so that if necessary Beijing could initiate a financial stimulus program.

Most important is the loosening of restraints on the trading of mainland A-shares and allowing a wider variety of standard trading practices, such as short selling. The China Securities Regulatory Commission announced in March that mutual funds will be able to trade between Shanghai and Hong Kong exchanges, foreigners will have access to Shanghai-listed shares, and Chinese citizens will be able to access stocks traded on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Exchange for the first time in history.

Shares on the Hong Kong Exchange (the city is semi-autonomous) currently are at a discount to those of the same companies traded on the mainland. This should narrow considerably with the benefits mostly in favor of the Hong Kong H-shares, as Chinese are finally able to invest outside of their own country, and keen on taking advantage of the newly available arbitrage, where they can play off the price differences on the two bourses. Shenzhen is expected to join the mix later in the year, and trading in commodities and fixed-income instruments should not be far behind.

Will there be missteps and corrections along the way? Of course, but that is natural for any dynamic economy, especially one growing and transforming at such high rates. One failed company or changing industry does not an economy ruin.

As far as that talented kid trying to show off his skills and being ignored by the coach? Perhaps it’s not the player but the coach who is wrong.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Partners Mark J. Foley and Tina Larsson manage the Pendo International Strategy for independent financial adviser Pendo LLC in New York. Pendo LLC is a full-service financial advisor dedicated to providing objective investment advice and personalized investment management services to individuals and institutions. Partners Mark J. Foley and Tina Larsson are long-term value investors with an emphasis on international equity markets; they are frequent contributors to Advice IQ.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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China is headed for the dumper. So goes the negative chorus on the world’s second largest economy. Slowing growth, horrible air pollution, a real estate bubble – the reasons given for the country’s demise are numerous. But despite China’s woes, its prospects remain bright.

One positive indicator: The country’s stock markets have rallied recently, finally catching up to the overall economy. The government has enacted reforms that have helped a lot.

Aiming to avoid rampant speculation and uncontrolled bubbles, previous policies erred on the side of safety and conservatism. One effective new step is the removal of limits on ownership of multiple accounts with varying brokers, which has led to over 12 million new accounts (known as domestic A-shares) opened in under a month.

But to its critics, China is in the same position as the kid who’s trying to make the team, but is competing against the coach’s son for the last spot on the roster. Nothing he does is ever going to be good enough in the coach’s eyes; every good play he makes must be lucky.

Although it is such a major economic force  – the International Monetary Fund estimates it will be the largest contributor to world gross domestic product expansion for 2015 – some still regard it as not belonging on the world stage, let alone atop it. Many choose to simply ignore it.

This is a serious mistake. China is where long-term opportunities reside. While this also leads to short-term volatility and risk, the temporary anxiety is well worth the end reward.

The commodities market, which has long benefited from Chinese demand, seems to agree with this optimism: “Dr. Copper,” as it is known, has rallied along with other base metals to yearly highs. This development argues against the view of pundits that the country’s economy is weakening. We concur, and believe that the economy is settling into a secure and sustainable rate of growth.

Pessimists make much of China’s economic growth slowing from its unsustainable annual rate of over 10% during the last decade, to a projected rate this year of around 7%. Left out is that the rest of the world is growing at half that rate at best, and despite all the cheerful talk of recovery and joy on Wall Street, the U.S. last year grew at just 2.4%.

More important, because China’s GDP has grown so much over the last decade or so, a 7% increase now brings in more actual growth in total dollars than did 10% from a smaller base 10 years ago.

China’s detractors say that it was growing too fast and was too reliant on exports. Real estate was in an obvious speculative bubble and the government had too much control; central planning doesn’t work. (These last two come from the same people who missed the U.S. bubble, which resulted from loose monetary policy – and now they call for more regulations and federal oversight of an ever larger piece of the economic pie). Chinese inflation? Too high. Wages? Too low.

Fast-forward to the present. China’s leadership acted to stabilize the economy. It had indeed been growing at an unsustainable rate (the highest single-year increase. was almost 14%), but the point of it was to pull as many people out of poverty as quickly as possible.

For a long time, massive government spending on infrastructure and cheap manufacturing meant for mass export were the basis of its economic development. This has changed into a more service and consumption-based economy (while still having a significant amount of real exports). The government is both loosening its hand, and actually selling off majority portions of state-owned enterprises to the private sector.

Private firms are now responsible for 80% of all employment, and virtually 100% of net new jobs. The government itself has stated that they could only help incubate and take things so far; afterward, experienced business managers must take over from government bureaucrats. Wages have risen at near double-digit rates for the last two years, yet inflation has remained tamed, so much so that if necessary Beijing could initiate a financial stimulus program.

Most important is the loosening of restraints on the trading of mainland A-shares and allowing a wider variety of standard trading practices, such as short selling. The China Securities Regulatory Commission announced in March that mutual funds will be able to trade between Shanghai and Hong Kong exchanges, foreigners will have access to Shanghai-listed shares, and Chinese citizens will be able to access stocks traded on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Exchange for the first time in history.

Shares on the Hong Kong Exchange (the city is semi-autonomous) currently are at a discount to those of the same companies traded on the mainland. This should narrow considerably with the benefits mostly in favor of the Hong Kong H-shares, as Chinese are finally able to invest outside of their own country, and keen on taking advantage of the newly available arbitrage, where they can play off the price differences on the two bourses. Shenzhen is expected to join the mix later in the year, and trading in commodities and fixed-income instruments should not be far behind.

Will there be missteps and corrections along the way? Of course, but that is natural for any dynamic economy, especially one growing and transforming at such high rates. One failed company or changing industry does not an economy ruin.

As far as that talented kid trying to show off his skills and being ignored by the coach? Perhaps it’s not the player but the coach who is wrong.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Partners Mark J. Foley and Tina Larsson manage the Pendo International Strategy for independent financial adviser Pendo LLC in New York. Pendo LLC is a full-service financial advisor dedicated to providing objective investment advice and personalized investment management services to individuals and institutions. Partners Mark J. Foley and Tina Larsson are long-term value investors with an emphasis on international equity markets; they are frequent contributors to Advice IQ.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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OConnor http://isanticountynews.com/2015/07/01/oconnor/ http://isanticountynews.com/2015/07/01/oconnor/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 22:09:56 +0000 http://isanticountynews.com/?p=123025 Jeff and Amanda O'Connor of Isanti excitedly announce the birth of their daughter, Mallory Ray O'Connor. Mallory was born on June 24, 2015, at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids. She weighed 5 pounds, 10 ounces and was 20 inches long.
Mallory is proudly welcomed by grandparents Stan and Pam O'Connor of North Branch and Kevin and Melissa Domogalla of Isanti.

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5 To-Dos Before Retiring http://isanticountynews.com/2015/07/01/5-to-dos-before-retiring/ http://isanticountynews.com/2015/07/01/5-to-dos-before-retiring/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 19:30:02 +0000 http://isanticountynews.com/?guid=242c349d29ec268248454b1933cec5f0 After decades of hard work and saving, you finally enter your golden years. If you’re gearing up to retire this year, here are five tasks to keep in mind, from spending cash to spending time.

Create a budget and spending plan. Before you enter retirement, fix a money amount you can part with regularly. This will help you compare what income you expect after working with your anticipated living expenses, and provide a framework for how much you need to live comfortably in retirement.

Experts estimate that most retirees need at least 70% of pre-retirement income to maintain a familiar standard of living. Lower-income earners may require 90% or more.

Think about socking away funds to prepare for emergency expenses that your standard retirement budget may not cover, such as unforeseen health-care costs, auto repairs or property maintenance.

Try living off of your expected budget for at least six months prior to retirement: Test-driving your plan will also help you identify gaps or expenses you missed.

Determine when to enroll in Medicare and take Social Security benefits. The current eligibility age for Medicare is 65. It’s important to sign up for Medicare as soon as you are eligible, or begin submitting the appropriate paperwork as much as three months in advance.

Failure to sign up before 65 may cost you fees and penalties. Evaluate premiums, copays and co-insurance to help determine what you potentially pay out of pocket.

Medicare may not cover every health-care expense. Look into the program’s supplemental policies, aka Medigap, which private insurance companies sell. A long-term care insurance policy can also help you pay for hospice care, assisted living and other expenses Medicare may not cover.

Determining when to begin Social Security benefits can vary depending on your situation. Many retirees begin benefits as soon as eligible, requiring the money immediately to supplement income during retirement; others can delay.

Taking Social Security before your full retirement age (FRA) may reduce your benefits. Your FRA is 66 if you were born between 1943 and 1959, and 67 if you were born in 1960 or later.

If you don’t need the cash flow, you may want to delay benefits until after you turn 62, when you can take early benefits (which are lower than at FRA). Your benefit amount can then grow 8% annually. If married, you may be able to collect spousal benefits, which are based on your spouse’s work records. Consult a financial advisor to determine your best approach.

Roll your 401(k) over into an individual retirement account (IRA). Accessing your savings in retirement can be tougher if you keep the money in your employer’s 401(k) plan. Rolling your dollars into an IRA allows for easier access and distributions – often even a monthly transfer to your bank account, a kind of monthly replacement paycheck.

Rolling your savings over into an IRA might also save money, as many 401(k)s carry administration fees when you take out money. Putting your savings into an IRA that your existing financial advisor manages allows for more streamlined distribution planning, since all of the assets will be in one place.

Develop a long-term investment plan. Fear for your savings need not prevent you from growth investing to keep up with rising costs.

Many retirees stash portfolios in bonds, but over time inflation can erode the purchasing power of such investments’ yield. A well-diversified portfolio that includes a balance of stocks and bonds can often help your nest egg last throughout your retirement years (which might span three decades). Consistently monitor your investment allocation – it may change over time depending on your age, retirement goals and financial circumstances.

Taxes influence how you spend assets during retirement. Your best strategy is probably to first dip into taxable assets (such as profits from the sale of investments) and allow tax-deferred assets – such as funds in retirement accounts — to continue to grow and compound.

Note: Most tax-sheltered plans require that you start required minimum distribution (RMD) withdrawals no later than age 70½.

Decide how to spend time. This plays a huge, sometimes surprising role in determining your financial condition in retirement. Your plans and expenses will vary in the months ahead depending on your interests, hobbies and activities.

Some retirees, for example, opt to stay close to home and spend more time with family. Others travel around the world. Knowing how you will allocate free time and dollars goes a long way toward keeping you on your golden years’ budget.

Retirement can be expensive, especially if you have no plan.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Derec Mieden is an associate consultant with Wipfli Hewins Investment Advisors LLC in Wausau, Wis.

Hewins Financial Advisors, LLC d/b/a Wipfli Hewins Investment Advisors, LLC (“Hewins”) is an investment advisor registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Hewins is a proud affiliate of Wipfli, LLP. Information pertaining to Hewins’ advisory operations, services, and fees is set forth in Hewins’ current ADV Part 2A, copies of which are available upon request or at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov.

The views expressed by the author are the author’s alone and do not necessarily represent the views of Hewins or its affiliates. The information contained in any third-party resource cited herein is not owned or controlled by Hewins, and Hewins does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of any information that may be found in such resources. Links to any third-party resource are provided as a courtesy for reference only and are not intended to be, and do not act as, an endorsement by Hewins of the third party or any of its content or use of its content. The standard information provided in this blog is for general purposes only and should not be construed as, or used as a substitute for, financial, investment, or other professional advice. If you have questions regarding your financial situation, you should consult your financial planner, investment advisor, attorney or other professional. 

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

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After decades of hard work and saving, you finally enter your golden years. If you’re gearing up to retire this year, here are five tasks to keep in mind, from spending cash to spending time.

Create a budget and spending plan. Before you enter retirement, fix a money amount you can part with regularly. This will help you compare what income you expect after working with your anticipated living expenses, and provide a framework for how much you need to live comfortably in retirement.

Experts estimate that most retirees need at least 70% of pre-retirement income to maintain a familiar standard of living. Lower-income earners may require 90% or more.

Think about socking away funds to prepare for emergency expenses that your standard retirement budget may not cover, such as unforeseen health-care costs, auto repairs or property maintenance.

Try living off of your expected budget for at least six months prior to retirement: Test-driving your plan will also help you identify gaps or expenses you missed.

Determine when to enroll in Medicare and take Social Security benefits. The current eligibility age for Medicare is 65. It’s important to sign up for Medicare as soon as you are eligible, or begin submitting the appropriate paperwork as much as three months in advance.

Failure to sign up before 65 may cost you fees and penalties. Evaluate premiums, copays and co-insurance to help determine what you potentially pay out of pocket.

Medicare may not cover every health-care expense. Look into the program’s supplemental policies, aka Medigap, which private insurance companies sell. A long-term care insurance policy can also help you pay for hospice care, assisted living and other expenses Medicare may not cover.

Determining when to begin Social Security benefits can vary depending on your situation. Many retirees begin benefits as soon as eligible, requiring the money immediately to supplement income during retirement; others can delay.

Taking Social Security before your full retirement age (FRA) may reduce your benefits. Your FRA is 66 if you were born between 1943 and 1959, and 67 if you were born in 1960 or later.

If you don’t need the cash flow, you may want to delay benefits until after you turn 62, when you can take early benefits (which are lower than at FRA). Your benefit amount can then grow 8% annually. If married, you may be able to collect spousal benefits, which are based on your spouse’s work records. Consult a financial advisor to determine your best approach.

Roll your 401(k) over into an individual retirement account (IRA). Accessing your savings in retirement can be tougher if you keep the money in your employer’s 401(k) plan. Rolling your dollars into an IRA allows for easier access and distributions – often even a monthly transfer to your bank account, a kind of monthly replacement paycheck.

Rolling your savings over into an IRA might also save money, as many 401(k)s carry administration fees when you take out money. Putting your savings into an IRA that your existing financial advisor manages allows for more streamlined distribution planning, since all of the assets will be in one place.

Develop a long-term investment plan. Fear for your savings need not prevent you from growth investing to keep up with rising costs.

Many retirees stash portfolios in bonds, but over time inflation can erode the purchasing power of such investments’ yield. A well-diversified portfolio that includes a balance of stocks and bonds can often help your nest egg last throughout your retirement years (which might span three decades). Consistently monitor your investment allocation – it may change over time depending on your age, retirement goals and financial circumstances.

Taxes influence how you spend assets during retirement. Your best strategy is probably to first dip into taxable assets (such as profits from the sale of investments) and allow tax-deferred assets – such as funds in retirement accounts — to continue to grow and compound.

Note: Most tax-sheltered plans require that you start required minimum distribution (RMD) withdrawals no later than age 70½.

Decide how to spend time. This plays a huge, sometimes surprising role in determining your financial condition in retirement. Your plans and expenses will vary in the months ahead depending on your interests, hobbies and activities.

Some retirees, for example, opt to stay close to home and spend more time with family. Others travel around the world. Knowing how you will allocate free time and dollars goes a long way toward keeping you on your golden years’ budget.

Retirement can be expensive, especially if you have no plan.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Derec Mieden is an associate consultant with Wipfli Hewins Investment Advisors LLC in Wausau, Wis.

Hewins Financial Advisors, LLC d/b/a Wipfli Hewins Investment Advisors, LLC (“Hewins”) is an investment advisor registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Hewins is a proud affiliate of Wipfli, LLP. Information pertaining to Hewins’ advisory operations, services, and fees is set forth in Hewins’ current ADV Part 2A, copies of which are available upon request or at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov.

The views expressed by the author are the author’s alone and do not necessarily represent the views of Hewins or its affiliates. The information contained in any third-party resource cited herein is not owned or controlled by Hewins, and Hewins does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of any information that may be found in such resources. Links to any third-party resource are provided as a courtesy for reference only and are not intended to be, and do not act as, an endorsement by Hewins of the third party or any of its content or use of its content. The standard information provided in this blog is for general purposes only and should not be construed as, or used as a substitute for, financial, investment, or other professional advice. If you have questions regarding your financial situation, you should consult your financial planner, investment advisor, attorney or other professional. 

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

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Expiration of Redemption http://isanticountynews.com/2015/07/01/expiration-of-redemption-2/ http://isanticountynews.com/2015/07/01/expiration-of-redemption-2/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 17:09:05 +0000 http://isanticountynews.com/?p=123010 Expiration of Redemption

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