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10.13.2023 by Tracey Daigle

Man’s Inhumanity to Man

As I am writing this on Wednesday morning, we are starting to hear more and more accounts of the attacks on Israeli civilians by Hamas terrorists. It’s brutal. I want to stick my head in the sand and focus on something else, but we can’t. We must look.

On Tuesday, Biden gave a strongly worded speech confirming the US’ intent to stand by Israel as one of our closest allies. CNN Politics Other world leaders are also standing by Israel. POLITICO And many others have added their voices. Pure Evil – AGF Perspectives

Did Crypto Play a Part? It looks like Hamas may have been collecting donations in crypto. Binance, the crypto trading platform, has been working with Israeli police to freeze accounts tied to the terrorist organization. Many see it as another black eye for the digital currency. It will surely lead to louder calls for more industry oversight and maybe international regulations. ( WSJ

What About the Markets? Most experts are saying that we shouldn’t see a large impact on the markets. We have seen an increase in oil prices but that may be short lived. ( The markets themselves have been relatively quiet and are actually positive this week (as of Wednesday). Fortune This is all with the assumption that the conflict stays confined to Israel and Gaza. If it comes to light that Iran has played an active part in the attack or its planning, things will change. As of now, the US intelligence agencies are saying they have found no direct link to Iran. POLITICO

Other News - The Bond Markets: As of Wednesday morning, the 1-year Treasury sits at 5.415% and the 10-year is at 4.597%. If you are investing, those are nice rates. If you are borrowing, they’re not so nice. 30-year mortgage rates are averaging 7.8%. What does the near future look like? We are still not sure if the Federal Reserve has completed their rate hikes or if there will be one more, but it’s starting to look like they may be done. ABC News ( Kathy Jones, Schwab’s chief fixed income strategist, says she thinks they are done. She added that she believes in Q2 or Q3 of 2024, the Fed will begin reducing rates. Watch (

Financial Planning/Investment Strategy Corner:

It’s getting to be that time when we look at not only year-end planning but at planning for next year. The first update that has been published is the new contributions rates for Health Savings Accounts for 2024. Here are the details:


Many employees need to make insurance decisions this month, so the government puts out these figures earlier than most annual increases. We expect to get the updates on 401k/403b/IRA contributions limits later in October. We will share those once they are available. The important things to remember about HSA accounts are that you get a tax deduction for the contribution, any growth is tax free and any distributions from the account are also tax free if used for covered medical expenses. HSA accounts are the only triple tax preferred account. For other information on Health Savings Accounts, please see a recent RSWA blog Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) – More Than Just Health Savings (

Quick Hits:

The Government Gets This One Right: According to scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a federal exam that public schools take across the country, schools that are run by the Defense Department outscore all other states and it isn’t even close. Looking at the data, 55% of Defense Department eighth graders scored proficient in reading which compares to the national average of 29%. The closest state is NJ at 42%. For math, 41% of Defense Department eight graders scored proficient as compared to the national average of 26% with the closest states being MA and UT both at 35%. ( The Pentagon runs the top school system in the U.S. (

On a personal note, today is my father’s birthday – Happy Birthday Dad!  

Quote: For those of us who are feeling powerless while watching the news. “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” Desmond Tutu

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