Paul Hassebroek

Writing About Business and Personal Finance

Iowa Farmland Values Drop Year Over Year

Farmland dropped in value per acre in 2014 versus the previous year. Since 1941, Iowa State University in Ames, IA has surveyed land values in each of Iowa's 99 counties. This year, the responsibility for the survey was transferred to the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development.

The survey results showed that the state of Iowa average value of farmland fell by $773/acre or 8.9% from last year's record high value. The average acre of Iowa farmland in 2014 is $7,943/acre, but varies from county to county.

image credit: wikicommons

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CFP Designation Gains Traction With Advisors

The CFP designation has been grew in acceptance by advisors in 2013. Nearly half of advisors surveyed by said they either have or are pursuing the designation. Another 14% of advisors said they have or are pursing the CFA, up from 11 percent in 2013. I found this interesting as I've been looking at the CFP for my own financial planning business. ...the designation is gaining favor amount RIA firms, as possible sign that the organization's advertising campaign is working. source:…

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Don't Underestimate Yourself

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banksy On The New iPhone— banksy (@thereaIbanksy) September 12, 2014…

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Happy Blog Birthday!

Today marks the first anniversary of this blog. Over this past year, I've learned what sort of posts people want to read and how difficult it is to really write on a regular basis. One big highlight for the year, was when the blog was selected by Brightscope as one of the top 100 financial advisor blogs to read. I received a lot of positive feedback from that and it was very encouraging. The main purpose of this blog is to become a better writer. Additionally, I had hoped it would stimulate discussions around investing and personal finance and help…

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“Anyone who isn't embarrassed of who they were last year probably isn't learning enough.” ~ Alain de Botton…

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Passive Investing Increases To 10% Of Assets In S&P 500

According to S&P Dow Jones Indices, 10% of all the assets invested into the S&P 500 are in passively managed funds. This is up 20% from a year ago to $1.9 trillion. The $1.9 trillion number isn't a total of all passively managed assets. There are considerably more assets invested in passive strategies as there as a multitude of different indices tracked. "passive investing was “now the mainstream approach” as investors have increasingly lost faith in active management." - John Rekenthaler According to CIO magazine, "Morningstar columnist and researcher John Rekenthaler earlier this month…

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Americans Remain Uninterested In Investing

Gallup recently polled Americans on what they would do if they had an extra $10,000 to save or invest right now. Only 41% said they would invest it into the markets. In an acknowledgement to extremely low interest rates, 36% would leave it in cash instead of buying a bank CD. I'm not surprised by this as I think many retail investors and savers still feel the pain of the Great Recession, even though the markets have recovered to new highs. Young workers don't seem interested in investing. While many Millenials participate in 401k plans at work, the generally…

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A History Of Executive Orders

Pardon my ignorance, but I had no idea how past presidents had used executive orders and so I found this very interesting. Source: Wonkblog via Barry at The Big Picture…

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Legacy of Benjamin Graham: The Original Adjunct Professor

Here's a good video by the Heilbrunn Center for Graham and Dodd Investing on Ben Graham. It's a good way for a value investor to spend 15 minutes. Enjoy! “Legacy of Benjamin Graham: The Original Adjunct Professor. This film, brought to you by the Heilbrunn Center for Graham and Dodd Investing, Columbia Business School, premiered on February 1, 2013 at the 16th Annual Columbia Student Investment Management Association conference.”…

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How To Start Investing

Sometimes we have the greatest intentions, but never take the first step to start a new habit. If you've been thinking of starting to invest, here are five steps to help get started: Work On Your Household Budget For the purpose of this article, I'm assuming you didn't just fall into a pot of money. For most people, wealth is accumulated by consistently adding to an investment account each month. If you're going to be consistent in your investing, then you need to make sure you have room in the monthly budget to invest. Therefore, a great place to start…

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Jobs Day: Unemployment Rate Rises, Job Growth Slows

Can you believe it's August already? The jobs data for last month was released today and it caught some off guard. Many were expecting (or hoping) that the unemployment rate would continue to drop, as it has been trending that way over the past several months. Instead, unemployment rose to 6.2% from 6.1% and the total number of jobs added to the economy was 209,000. The consensus was for the economy to have added 220,000 new jobs. The stock market had a fairly volatile week compared to what we've witnessed so far this summer. Today the…

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