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Investment Commentary

2nd Quarter 2015: Nothing Runs Like A Deere
By Benton S. Bragg CFP®, CFA®

A broken-down John Deere riding mower is parked on the driveway outside the garage at my house. It's covered in dust, all four tires are flat, an oil stain spreads on the asphalt below it and an old blue tarp partially protects it from the rain. The mower belongs to my son Carlton, age 13. Carlton convinced his Uncle John to give him the twenty-year-old mower since its mowing days were behind it. "It's just taking up space in your barn, Uncle John. I'll clear it out of there for you at no charge." Carlton explained to me that he was going to "soup up" Uncle John's old riding mower so he could drive it around on the farm. Read more

1st Quarter 2015: Man-Boy

4th Quarter 2014: Cowboys on Wall Street

3rd Quarter 2014: Limited Visibility

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Financial Planning Commentary

Phillips Bragg
Oversubscribed: Are Recurring Monthly Charges Preventing Wealth Accumulation?
July 2015
by Phillips M. Bragg, CFP®, AEP®

In the past, most consumers' monthly subscriptions were newspapers and a house phone line. (I expect more than a few of you will point out that I left out the milk man; I still remember venturing into his cool truck on a hot summer day and begging Mama for some chocolate milk or even Jungle Juice!) Then came cable TV, and in-home internet service. But nowhere is consumption more conspicuously new and outsized than in the cell phone space. Read more

George Climer
Hidden Taxes
June 2015
by George W. Climer III, CFP®

Many US taxpayers recall the high income tax rates of the early 1980's. In 1981, the top income tax bracket was 70%! This top bracket was one of sixteen different marginal tax brackets in that year. While today's top marginal rate is only 39.6%, and there are only seven tax brackets, our tax system is no less confusing. Read more

Benton Bragg
Good Debt and Bad Debt
April 2015
by Benton S. Bragg, CFP®, CFA®

I wish I had borrowed a million bucks back in March of 2009 as the market bottomed and used the money to buy stocks. With the market up more than 200% since then, my investment would be worth more than $3 million today and I could sell the stocks, pay off the debt, pay some taxes and enjoy my net profit of around $1.5 million. Whistling on my way to the bank! We all wish it were that easy, don't we? Read more

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In the news ...

Bragg News
Benton Bragg receives Scouting's Silver Beaver Award
April 23, 2015—The Silver Beaver Award is the highest recognition awarded to adult Scout volunteers within a local council. The award is given in recognition of volunteers of exceptional character who have provided distinguished service to youth through scouting.

Bragg News
Bragg Financial Goes to School
April 13, 2015—When Bragg Financial portfolio manager Ben Rose arrives at work on Monday mornings after tutoring at Druid Hills Academy, he says he feels "refreshed. It puts a smile on my face for the rest of the day."

Bragg News
The Sound of Everything Unveiled
January 9, 2015—Commissioned by company founder Frank Bragg, the work is the largest in a series of Shaun Cassidy's sculptures that attempt to create physical equivalents of musical sound and its emotional and associative resonances.

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