Archives For Todd Burkhalter

Have you ever wondered if you are eligible to receive any Financial Aid for your college bound child? There is quite a bit of mystery surrounding the entire college financial aid application process. This mysterious, even convoluted, process has created a great deal of confusion and misunderstanding about who is eligible for receiving financial aid for college. Below are 6 fictional thoughts and 6 facts regarding financial aid eligibility.



The Fiction


1. My Income is too High.

2. My Child Did Not Win a National Merit Scholarship

3. If My Child Does not Qualify for a Needs Based Aid, There is No Hope

4. I Own a Nice Home.

5. The School’s People Can Help

6. It’s a Simple, Easy and Fair Process


The Facts


1. Middle & Upper Middle Income Class Kids Can Qualify.

2. Need Based Aid Based on Income, Assets, Number of Kids, Etc.

3. There are Millions of Dollars of Aid for Kids with Academic, Artistic & Athletic Talent.

4. FAFSA Form Doesn’t Ask for Home Equity, but the Profile Form Does.

5. Colleges are Businesses & are Concerned about Their Own Enrollment & Finances

6. Many Believe it’s Not Simple, Easy or Fair.




Have you ever had any of the thoughts listed above? I would encourage you to consider getting to the truth about YOUR personal situation. College costs differ from person to person. Let me know if you wish to learn more about lowering the cost of college for your family!


The information provided above is provided through a partnership with 123College. 123College is a source for College Financial Planning, Education and Training.  Since 1994, 123College has developed Financial Aid Analysis Software to ensure accuracy and full compliance with the U.S. Dept. of Education’s complicated financial aid formulas.

A Few Bright Spots

October 8, 2012 — Leave a comment

Weekly Update October 8, 2012




Markets started the week off slowly, but quickly picked up steam after several upbeat economic reports were released. Despite the headwinds blowing across global economies, a handful of important domestic indicators showed that the economy improved in September. All three major indices responded well to this news, posting their first positive week in three weeks, and the Dow finished at its highest level since December 2007.[i]




The biggest news last week was that Friday’s jobs report showed that the unemployment rate slid to 7.8% – dropping to a near four-year low – and the economy gained 114,000 new jobs in September. While these numbers beat economists’ expectations, the not-so-great news is that many of the jobs added were only part time. While it’s too early to see the full effect of the Fed’s QE3 program, the monthly jobs report is one of the best indicators of the economy’s current state of health. Since the whole point of QE3 is to create more jobs and soothe jittery markets, economists and analysts will likely key in on this report to gauge the effectiveness of the Fed’s plan.[ii]




In the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting minutes released last week, we were able to gain some insight into the Fed’s decision to use mortgage bonds (instead of the usual Treasury securities) to bolster the economy. According to the official release, Fed officials determined that boosting the housing market was a good way to lift the broader economy.[iii] According to remarks by Chicago Fed President, the Fed will continue its QE3 actions until unemployment falls below seven percent.[iv]




Moving ahead, we should not be surprised to see some market volatility as earnings season heats up. Of the 103 S&P 500 companies that have provided earnings guidance, 78% of them (80) have issued a third-quarter forecast that falls below the Wall Street consensus estimate. But that doesn’t mean you should buy into the doom and gloom forecasts you may be hearing. While past performance is no guarantee of future results, even during the peak of the 2007-2008 financial crisis, more than half of S&P 500 companies topped Wall Street estimates in the third and fourth quarters of 2008.[v] As always, we’ll be keeping an eye on things; and we’ll be keeping you informed. We hope you have a great week!






Monday: U.S. bond markets closed for Columbus Day Holiday


Wednesday: Beige Book, Treasury Budget


Thursday: International Trade, Jobless Claims, EIA Petroleum Status Report


Friday: Producer Price Index, Consumer Sentiment


3Q 2012 Quarterly Edition
October 1, 2012

Wall Street closed its best third quarter since 2010 after a wave of central bank actions across the globe (and expectations of future action) drove up equities in an unexpected summer rally. However, signs of weakness in the economy pushed markets down in the final week of September and may lead to further bearish sentiment. For the quarter, the S&P rose 5.76%, the Dow increased 4.32% and the Nasdaq rose 6.17%.[i] Lets take a quick look back.

July: July was a volatile month for stocks. Markets were kicked around by domestic indicators and news surrounding the debt crisis in Europe. During the final weeks of July we saw the release of
corporate earnings reports for many major companies. Across the board, most companies showed weak revenue, with less than half exceeding revenue expectations. Even so, a number of companies were still able to beat earnings expectations, meaning they are getting better at doing more with less.[ii]


August: August was the month of the summer sugar high rally as investors drove up stock prices on hopes that the Fed would undertake further quantitative easing. Retail sales in August beat expectations
due to a strong back-to-school season, which could forecast robust holiday sales. These two shopping seasons are the most important for retailers, so a strong performance could lead to upbeat corporate earnings reports next quarter.[iii]


September: Several market-moving events took place last month; markets were dominated by expectations of major Federal Reserve stimulus action and hope that the European Central Bank would unveil a
new plan. Despite the Fed’s historical reluctance to become involved in the election cycle, under the pressure of a disappointing August jobs report, the Fed finally launched the long-awaited additional quantitative easing. Under QE3, the Fed has made an open-ended commitment to buy mortgage-backed
securities to the tune of $40 billion per month. The move is designed to lower long-term interest rates and spur more lending to businesses and consumers.[iv] In a similar move, the ECB launched a bold bond-buying program designed to reassure European investors and lower interest rates on Spanish and Italian bonds.[v]

What’s Next: The first week of October will provide plenty of market-moving data, with the release of third-quarter reports on GDP, manufacturing, consumer sentiment, and more. We will also see the FOMC minutes from last week’s Fed meeting, which will provide more clarity into possible Fed moves this year. Earnings reports for Q3 will start trickling in during coming weeks, and although predictions indicate revenues and profits may be down across the board, we could get some surprises.


As we look ahead to the final quarter of the year, markets could decline from their summer peak or rise to new highs. The market rallies of the summer indicate that investors are poised to respond to positive news, and should the economy show further signs of recovery, we may see more bullish market behavior. With the election cycle nearing its conclusion, markets may also react to political uncertainty surrounding the fiscal cliff and other economic issues.[vi]


As an investor, it is wise to assess your own risk tolerance from time to time and make sure you are allocated suitably for your personal investment objectives. If you have questions about how your own portfolio should be positioned for the rest of 2012, please don’t hesitate to contact us, we’d be very happy to review it with you and answer any questions you might have.