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Wealth and Estate Planning

The economic downturn of the last two years may go down in history as one of the biggest disasters to strike small businesses. Headlines, statistics and desperately sad stories from blogs tell the tales of people who have seen their family-run businesses sink into oblivion during this recession. read more »


Summer is almost here. And for many people, summer is synonymous with “vacation.” If you have children or grandchildren, they’re most likely on vacation from school, and if you’ve got the time and motivation, you may take a family vacation over the next few months. But there’s one part of your life that should never go on vacation – and that’s your investment portfolio.

How can you keep your investments working for you in all seasons? Here are a few suggestions to consider: read more »


The downturn in the economy appears to compel more people to join the ranks of entrepreneurs. Based on the observations of local professionals who work with small businesses, the desire to be self-employed is often based on the necessity for extra income to keep up with costs of living.

“The dollars people used to make a year or two ago are not enough to go around and they’re looking for ways to supplement the family income and create more money,” said Stuart Walton, business development specialist and trainer for Washington CASH in Kitsap. read more »


Investors who make decisions based on current news have had quite a few headaches lately. Not a day has gone by in the past few months of financial news going from bad to worse, but the last few weeks have been especially troubling as some large and familiar financial institutions have gone up in smoke or required a bailout from the government, while others have been starting to show obvious signs of crippling.

On Wall Street, mid-September saw the worse trading day since Sept. 11, 2001. read more »


As the mortgage industry shakeout continues, and the real estate market remains slow, more people are looking to become both renters and landlords. In Kitsap County, there is a slight increase in the number of people looking to rent, according to some figures and anecdotal evidence, but there are also more homes available for rent. Still, this seems almost as good a time as any for those looking to invest into rental properties.

“With a lot of inventory and diversity, you attract a lot of renters who may have been looking for a home. read more »


1st Security Bank recently named Brent Stenman as Senior Vice President and Branch Manager of its Poulsbo branch. Stenman brings more than 19 years of experience in financial services and community involvement to 1st Security’s new Poulsbo office located in College Place.

He will be taking over for Clay Williams, who will be retiring this month following nine years of service to 1st Security and its customers. read more »


Leslie Peterson, senior vice president and CLO for Liberty Bank of Washington just completed her second resident session with the Pacific Coast Banking School . PCBS is considered the premier national graduate school of banking and is operated in partnership with the University of Washington Graduate School of Business.  read more »


Christopher Mutchler, a CPA financial forensics expert with Southard, Beckham, Atwater & Berry, CPAs, PS, in Port Orchard, has recently been awarded the Certified in Financial Forensics Credential by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants . The CFF Credential, established in 2008 by the AICPA, is granted to qualified CPAs with considerable professional experience in financial forensics. read more »


Investing your money on your own instead of paying a professional to do it sounds like a good move for some people. There are plenty of books and seminars out there that can teach you how to do that, and various Web sites have made it easy for anyone interested to play broker. Some people have been very successful at it and even made millions.

Should you do it? read more »

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