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November 2006
WH Cornerstone Investments Newsletter
Working with you to achieve a future that is greater than your past

The elections are over. Some of us are elated and some of us are disappointed. Here is WH Cornerstone’s take on the whole election and what it means to your investments.

The White House is still occupied by a Republican; Congress by the Democrats and the Senate is evenly divided. What this means is “gridlock”. Not much will get passed in the next two years. Don’t expect changes on big issues like taxes or health care. You can expect a meaningless increase in the minimum wage and you can expect to see congressional hearings like never before.

Wall Street likes gridlock, primarily, because it means no change. This means your investments should fare well. While there is always geopolitical events that can drive market volatility, we are predicting stable results. History shows that stocks actually do better under divided government. This is good news for us all.

Time to Share. Create a Buzz. The doors of Panificio Back Bay opened in August to rave reviews. Yummy homemade breads like Tuscan Scuro, Sicilian Olive Loaf, and Pane Rustico. Maybe you would like a panini for lunch or a half roasted chicken for dinner. Don't forget to stop by for weekend brunch...it's a real treat! Panificio Back Bay is conveniently located at 61 Massachusetts Avenue at the corner of Commonwealth Avenue. Stop by and say hi to "Sully" (a/k/a Mike) and tell him his sister Paula sent you.

Happy Thanksgiving—Paula and Bill Harris

Have a tightwad's Christmas
Try these ideas for keeping holiday spending under control, finding alternative gifts and making your hard-earned dollars go farther this year.
Money's tight, the credit cards are maxed and you're not much of a hand at making crafts anyone would want to receive.

Avoiding stock scams
Don't give into e-mail from unknown senders who encourage you to buy a stock.
The stock market has been breaking records. And wouldn't you know, scam artists have just come out of the woodwork.

Do you think rich?
Take this test to discover if you possess the traits associated with wealth -- and get some advice on how to improve your outlook from ''Rich Dad, Poor Dad'' author Robert T. Kiyosaki.

You slept where?
With beds of ice and living rooms made from helicopters, the world's most unusual luxury hotels are trips in and of themselves.
When the Smith family decided to build an exclusive resort in the northwestern Connecticut hills, they wanted to create something different. Really different.

Your free financial report card
Are you doing enough to prepare for your later years? Your annual Social Security statement can help you figure out how your net worth and paycheck measure up.
The Social Security statements that U.S. workers get every year -- typically about three months before our birthdays -- are meant to accomplish several tasks, including to:

  • Remind us that Social Security still exists, even if it is in trouble.
  • Offer an estimate of future benefits.
  • Help workers spot missing earnings or possible wage fraud.

Prenuptial agreements
by Barry Gordon of Gordon, Mond and Ott Attorneys at Law
While planning for tomorrow is often a challenge, given the length of some marriages and “marital arrangements”, it is never too soon to consider a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement or a joint ownership agreement.

A prenuptial agreement is a contract entered into by two people who are planning to get married. Typically, the agreement will address what happens to financial assets in the event of death and divorce. This is especially important if one of the people to be married is wealthier than the other, older than the other, expecting a very large inheritance, entering into a second marriage or staying home while the other spouse is building a career.

In order to insure that a prenuptial agreement is enforceable, both parties should have legal counsel, and there must be full financial disclosure of all of the assets of the parties. It is also important that the agreement be signed as long before the wedding date as possible to prevent the argument by either party that they were coerced or under duress when signing it. Once done, the agreement may be enforceable even if it doesn’t seem “fair and reasonable” at the time of divorce as long as it is not deemed “unconscionable” at that time. You should consult your lawyer to determine what exactly that means, as it is likely to be redefined over time as new cases are decided. It is important, furthermore, that the parties at the same time redo their estate planning to insure that their wishes are properly carried out.

A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement, except that it is signed after the parties are married. While it is thought that they should be enforceable in Massachusetts, the courts have not ruled definitively on the issue.

Finally, a joint ownership agreement is often used for couples living together who are not married. This is particularly important because the divorce laws do not apply to unmarried couples and therefore there are no state guidelines governing what happens if the couple splits up or one of them dies.

Marital (or non-marital) bliss is to be cherished, but that does not mean that one can’t both enjoy the moment and at the same time plan for the future.

phone: 888.797.9009

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900 - 1944)

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