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Blog

What’s on our mind? You can read about it in our blog. Whether it’s ideas from the investment world or concepts from the financial industry, you can read about it here. And once in a while, we may throw in a movie review or some other surprise. So keep checking in. We’re glad to have you reading along.

 

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

“We’re going streaking!” Frank The Tank in Old School As the bull market continues to make new highs, the past few weeks have seen some amazing market streaks. Here are three that have caught our attention. The S&P...

 

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The S&P 500 Index has closed higher five consecutive weeks, making six new all-time highs along the way. There now have been 19 new highs in 2019, tying the number we saw last year. There’s no doubt that this bull market has been...

 

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

“An object in motion tends to remain in motion along a straight line unless acted upon by an outside force.” Sir Isaac Newton What a year it has been for the bulls. The S&P 500 Index recently made four more new highs, and...

 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Could you identify a Tom Brady-manager AND know when to trade him? What does fantasy football have to do with investing? It teaches you to avoid Nick Foles-like fund money managers, whose one-time Super Bowl achievements often decline...

 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Title: How -- and When -- Do I Sign Up for Medicare? Description: This article explains the rules regarding the timing of applying for Medicare. Body: In most instances, you become eligible for Medicare on the first day of the month...

 

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Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Tax planning can be more advantageous when done during the year and well in advance of year’s end. Opportunities may exist for you to minimize tax liability, which could leave more income for you and/or your family. Generally,...

 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Maybe your charitable donations should stay in your zip code? For many of us, buying locally matters. We’ve all heard the term and seen the signs: Shop Locally. Eat Locally. But let’s extend that thought for a minute: do...

 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) is widely expected to cut interest rates on Wednesday, October 30, which would be the third cut this year after nine consecutive hikes. The current fed funds rate target is 1.75–2%, with a 25 basis...

 

Friday, October 25, 2019

Are health insurance premiums taking too big of a bite out of your budget? Do you wish you had better control over how you spend your health-care dollars? If so, you may be interested in an alternative to traditional health insurance...

 

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The United Kingdom’s (U.K.) withdrawal from the European Union (E.U.), or Brexit, is stumbling along, and another delay looks increasingly likely. The U.K. Parliament’s “Super Saturday” voting session last...

 

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Planning for retirement is an important and sometimes difficult endeavor. As a member of the military, you may have some special opportunities and challenges when preparing financially for retirement. Often, retiring from the military...

 

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The debate over the United Kingdom’s (U.K.) withdrawal from the European Union (EU), or Brexit, is reaching another milepost in what could be an action-packed week. Talks between the U.K. government and the EU have entered...

 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Dear Valued Investor: Summer has turned to fall, and there’s already a little chill in the air. Three-quarters of the year is behind us now, and both stock and bond markets have had a strong year so far, although we expect to see...

 

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

“The economy, stupid” — Phrase campaign strategist James Carville used to help Bill Clinton get elected in 1992. As Carville noted ahead of the 1992 election, the recession in 1990 and 1991 was top of mind for many...

 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

If you are opening an (Individual Retirement Account) IRA for the first time or need a refresher course on the specifics of IRA ownership, here are some facts for your consideration. IRAs in America IRAs continue to play an...

 

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

U.S. manufacturing activity fell to a 10-year low, dragged down by a weakening global economy. The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 47.6 in September, the lowest level since...

 

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

In 1958, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) created 403(b) plans to encourage employees of certain organizations to begin saving for retirement. Organizations eligible for participation in these plans are those “organized and...

 

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, the 10-year Treasury yield jumped 34 basis points (0.34%) in the week ending September 13, then gave back half that gain in a 17 basis point (0.17%) slide last week. The benchmark yield...

 

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Self-employment is the opportunity to be your own boss, to come and go as you please, and oh yes, to establish a lifelong bond with your accountant. If you're self-employed, you'll need to pay your own FICA taxes and take charge of...

 

Friday, September 20, 2019

As a business owner, you're going to have to decide when will be the right time to step out of the family business and how you'll do it. There are many estate planning tools you can use to transfer your business. Selecting the right...

 

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Consumer inflation has accelerated recently, bucking disinflation and deflation concerns that had permeated financial markets earlier this year. In August, the core Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased at least 0.3% for a third...

 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

In 1958, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) created 403(b) plans to encourage employees of certain organizations to begin saving for retirement. In 2001, the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA) increased the...

 

Friday, September 6, 2019

A business will is far more than a legal document designed to transfer assets upon the death of an owner or partner. It is a comprehensive estate planning tool that can include everything from management plans, and other documents...

 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

First and foremost, our thoughts are with all of those that were impacted by Hurricane Dorian over the Labor Day holiday and all those that are still in its path. Many have asked us what stocks tend to do after a major hurricane hits...

 

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Business investment remains a critical component for this economic expansion. Capital expenditures (capex) drive productivity gains (more output per hour worked), which enables economic growth while keeping inflation contained. That...

 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Trade tensions continue to weigh on China’s growth, creating added pressure to reach a trade deal with the United States. Economic reports released last week provided further confirmation that the trade war is continuing to...

 

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Consumer inflation has surged back after a strong quarter of U.S. consumer demand. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, Consumer Inflation Picks Up in July, the core Consumer Price Index (CPI), which excludes food and energy prices,...

 

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

We’re a week into August, and trade tensions have been the biggest driver of U.S. stocks, as we predicted in our latest Weekly Market Commentary. Markets don’t like uncertainty, and we are getting a heavy dose of it now. On...

 

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

It has been a great year for stocks. As of July 30, 2019, the S&P 500 Index is up more than 20% so far in 2019. To put that in perspective, since WWII only seven years have been up more than 20% by the end of July, with 1997 being the...

 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

“I’ve been on a calendar, but I’ve never been on time.” Marilyn Monroe We’ve pondered where the S&P 500 Index could go now that it’s near our fair-value target of 3,000. As we discussed in the latest...

 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Blue chip stocks have been on a tear this month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow) has risen 2.8% in July, the best performer of the four benchmark stock indexes we track. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, The Dow’s Hot...

 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

If you don't have a financial plan, that question may be hard to answer. To achieve financial wellness, you need to define your goals and set a time frame for reaching them. The following steps can help you take control of your...

 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

529 plans can be a great way to save for college, but they're not the only way. When you're investing for a major goal like education, it makes sense to be familiar with all of your options. Mutual funds Mutual funds are an option to...

 

Friday, July 12, 2019

Linda and Peter are worried about their financial future. "We want our one-year-old son, Raymond, to go to college, but we're concerned that in 17 years, the cost might be more than we can afford," says Peter. "We also need to save for...

 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Let’s get one thing straight: Market pullbacks, corrections, and bear markets happen. Last year was a perfect example of this: The S&P 500 Index endured five separate 5% pullbacks throughout the year, and a nearly 20% bear market...

 

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The 10-year Treasury yield has been flirting with dipping below 2% throughout the later half of June and into the start of July. As our LPL Chart of the Day, Will Trade Truce Help 2% 10-Year Treasury Yield Hold?, shows, the yield has...

 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

We are pleased to announce the release of the LPL Research Midyear Outlook 2019: FUNDAMENTAL: How to Focus on What Really Matters in the Markets, with investment insights and market guidance through the end of 2019. LPL Research...

 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

U.S. stocks could have a big year if LPL Research’s forecasts prove correct. All year, we’ve maintain our fair value target on the S&P 500 Index of 3,000, implying that we expect this bull market and economic expansion to...

 

Monday, June 17, 2019

In 1958, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) created 403(b) plans to encourage employees of certain organizations to begin saving for retirement. In 2001, the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA) increased the...

 

Monday, June 17, 2019

Returning to a burglarized home can be a horrible jolt after a relaxing vacation. Unfortunately, the truth is that an empty home is an easy target for burglars, and peak vacation times show the highest number of break-ins. However,...

 

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Business confidence surged in May despite renewed uncertainty in the U.S.-China trade dispute. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, “Business Optimism Surges Despite Trade Uncertainty,” the National Federation of...

 

Thursday, June 6, 2019

What recent graduates (and their parents) need to think about Spring is here, summer weather has begun (in many places), and graduation time has arrived. Across the country, students are finishing their high school, college, and even...

 

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

The S&P 500 Index has closed lower four consecutive weeks, its longest weekly losing streak since October 2014. The S&P 500 has closed down five weeks in a row only once since the bull market started in March 2009—a six-week...

 

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

With the bull market 10 years old and the economic cycle about to reach 10 years, the big question is how much longer can it go? To answer this question we will take a closer look at our Five Forecasters for late-cycle warnings....

 

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

When your child first started school, you doled out the change for milk and a snack on a daily basis. But now that your kindergartner has grown up, it's time for you to make sure that your child has enough financial knowledge to manage...

 

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The S&P 500 Index has officially gained each of the first four months of the year for the first time since 2013. This comes on the heels of the best first quarter since 1998. Six straight months in green has been the best monthly win...

 

Monday, May 20, 2019

Each month you settle down to pay bills. You pay your mortgage lender. You pay the electric company. You pay the trash collector. But do you pay yourself? One of the most basic tenets of sound investing involves the simple habit of...

 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The recent bout of volatility has caught many investors off guard. However, we’ve been saying since late March that some type of normal correction could happen, and we’ve taken a more cautious stance. This was one of the...

 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Sometimes people get caught up in the numbers so much that they get why they're saving for retirement. At the beginning of your career, you may not have known what you wanted to do. Now that you've officially joined the ranks of...

 

Monday, May 13, 2019

Changing jobs is an important decision -- one that many of us are making more often. Once you've decided to switch jobs, your next move is to determine what to do with the money in your former employer's retirement plan. Four Common...

 

Monday, May 13, 2019

As a business owner, you should carefully consider the advantages of establishing an employer-sponsored retirement plan. Generally, you're allowed a deduction for contributions you make to an employer-sponsored retirement plan. In...

 

Monday, May 13, 2019

Maybe you've decided that graduate school is the path to advancement in your current job or your ticket to a better career. Or maybe you just want to take a few classes to upgrade your skills. Either way, returning to school as an...

 

Monday, May 13, 2019

The Roth 401(k) resembles the Roth IRA in that contributions are made with after-tax dollars and qualified withdrawals can be made tax free. But, as the name implies, it also is subject to many of the rules affecting traditional 401(k)...

 

Friday, May 10, 2019

Why do most avoid this important investment? Why do so many of us not use our vacation days? Salespeople talk about “leaving money on the table.” Well, employees leave vacation on the table. And the cost to us is...

 

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Whole life insurance remains in force for your whole life, as long as you remain current with your premiums. In exchange for fixed premiums, the insurance company promises to pay a set benefit when the policyholder dies. Whole life...

 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

One of the most popular investment axioms is about to take over the airwaves: “Sell in May and Go Away.” That’s because the upcoming six months(from May until the end of October) have historically been the weakest...

 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

The wait is over. After more than seven months, the S&P 500 Index notched a fresh all-time closing high of 2,933.68 on April 23. To get here, investors have weathered back-and-forth in trade negotiations, a historic government shutdown...

 

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

If you're self-employed or own a small business, you've probably considered establishing a retirement plan. If you've done your homework, you likely know about simplified employee pensions (SEPs) and savings incentive match plans for...

 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Tip: Rules, Rules, Rules. Different rules apply for those receiving Social Security disability benefits vs. Supplemental Security income payments. Different rules also apply for those working outside the U.S.Source: Social Security...

 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The U.S. inflation narrative has flipped, which has caused some bond-market angst recently. Deteriorating global conditions have shifted the economic landscape and fueled concerns that inflationary pressures could be too low, hinting...

 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

After the best first quarter for the S&P 500 Index since 1998, the big question is: What happens next? We’ve already discussed why a good start to a year could lead to more gains (here and here), but today we will take a look at...

 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

This morning 100 million Americans began their day in the same way—drinking their first cup of coffee.¹ Few, if any, took a moment during this morning ritual to contemplate or marvel the complex journey that brought their...

 

Friday, April 5, 2019

As days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months, it may feel like there is little time to catch up on all of your financial responsibilities. Sometimes it may be easier to simply toss ATM receipts, credit card bills, and bank...

 

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

What a start to 2019! The S&P 500 Index had its best first quarter since 1998—gaining 13.1%. Taking a deeper look at the data reveals another rare occurrence: The S&P 500 was higher each of the first three months of the year for...

 

Friday, March 29, 2019

If you own a small business, you may be finding it increasingly necessary to implement a benefit program to attract and retain employees. For small businesses, benefit plans generally consist of some of the major insurance benefits,...

 

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (LEI) is one of our favorite economic indicators. It is designed to predict future movements in the economy based on a composite of 10 economic indicators (like manufacturers’...

 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

After dropping nearly 20% late last year, the S&P 500 Index has officially bounced up more than 20% from the December 24 lows. As we noted at the time, most bear markets that take place in a non-recessionary environment tend to bottom...

 

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The baby boomers have re-defined everything they’ve touched, from music to marriage to parenting and, more lately, to what “old” means—60 is the new 50! Longer, healthier living, however, can put greater stress...

 

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Federal Reserve (Fed) heard the market’s alarm and shifted its stance, but the U.S. yield curve hasn’t woken up yet. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, the spread between 2-year and 10-year Treasury yields has...

 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

More women are working and taking charge of their own retirement planning than ever before. What does retirement mean to you? Do you dream of traveling? Pursuing a hobby? Volunteering your time, or starting a new career or business?...

 

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

U.S. stocks’ recent momentum has been historically impressive by many measures, and the Nasdaq Composite Index notched another milestone last week. The Nasdaq has risen for the past 10 weeks, its longest winning streak in 19...

 

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act of 2003 provided individuals with valuable rights to the credit information that companies keep on them, but did you know the credit score provided to you may be different from the one...

 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

After gaining 7.8% in January, the S&P 500 Index has added another 3.3% so far in February for a grand total year-to-date return of 11.4%. With two days to go, currently this is the best first two months of the year since 1987. As we...

 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Economic data have consistently missed expectations recently as investors and Wall Street have struggled to quantify the impact of global trade and political risks. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, the Bloomberg U.S. Economic...

 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Germany’s benchmark bund yield is on the cusp of negative territory, a symptom of increased appetite for government debt that could eventually weigh on U.S. rates. The 10-year bund yield, which closed at 0.09% (9 basis points, or...

 

Monday, February 4, 2019

Tip: How Old Are You? Age can makes a difference in the cost of a long-term care policy. Generally, the older you are when you purchase a policy, the higher you can expect the premiums to be. Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human...

 

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Investors have increasingly positioned for a Federal Reserve (Fed) pause, which could portend a shift in fixed income markets. Fed fund futures are pricing in about a 70% probability that the Fed will keep rates unchanged for the rest...

 

Monday, January 28, 2019

No one wants to see an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) auditor show up at his or her door. The IRS can’t audit every American’s tax return, so it relies on guidelines to select the ones most deserving of its attention. Here...

 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Recent U.S. economic data have been sending a lot of conflicting signals, and Wall Street’s economic outlook is more clouded than at any point of the cycle. Because of this, we thought we’d provide some direction from Main...

 

Monday, January 21, 2019

By April 20, 2018, 138 million taxpayers had dutifully filed their federal income tax returns.¹ And all of them made decisions about deductions and credits—whether they knew it or not. When you take the time to learn more...

 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Yesterday’s U.K. Parliament vote was another bump in the road for Brexit. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, the British pound and the euro have steadily declined over the past few months, weighed down in large part by...

 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn—they’ve all fallen prey to hackers who exposed passwords and other personal information for hundreds of thousands of their users. If you haven’t yet had your password stolen, chances are,...

 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Tip: Give Them a Look. Find a credit card calculator on the web to give your kids a real-life look at what it actually costs to “buy now, pay later.” You taught them how to read and how to ride a bike, but have you taught...

 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average person covered by Medicare has out-of-pocket medical expenses in excess of $5,500 a year. Premium costs accounted for 28% of the total, while long-term facility costs, medical...

 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Most understand that waiting to claim Social Security benefits can result in higher monthly payments. However, many don’t know that there are other ways to maximize their benefits, some of which depend on their marital status....

 

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Stocks have rebounded strongly off the December lows, with the S&P 500 Index adding 2% in January to its 7% gain over the last week of 2018. We see potential for further gains ahead given the fundamentals supporting economic growth...

 

Monday, January 7, 2019

Tip: Retiring Older. One survey found 22% of baby boomers have found it difficult to pay mortgages or rent and have postponed plans to retire.Source: Insured Retirement Institute, 2018 For many people, retirement income may come from a...

 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Recent Federal Reserve (Fed) rhetoric has spooked financial markets, especially as uncertainty has clouded investors’ horizons. But we still believe the fundamental U.S. economic landscape is compelling, and despite market...

 

Friday, December 28, 2018

On Monday, the S&P 500 Index came about as close as possible to the technical definition of a bear market without officially registering one (defined as a 20% or larger decline based on closing prices). Enduring these sharp declines...

 

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

So far it’s been rough for stocks in December, a month that has historically been bullish. How bad has it been? After 10 trading days, we’re off to the worst start to December since 1980! In fact, the S&P 500 Index is...

 

Monday, December 17, 2018

After nearly 10 years of witnessing the U.S. economy and stock market recover—and thrive—investors are starting to wonder if you’ve seen all the expansion this bull market has to offer. At LPL Research, we believe...

 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Yields on two-year and three-year Treasury notes remain higher than five-year yields after both spreads turned negative last week, known as an inverting of the yield curve. However, as we discussed last week, it’s the spread...

 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

2018 has been a rocky year with a big dose of volatility, but could a late-year rally be in store for investors? History says it is quite possible. “Although the well-known Santa Claus rally is technically the last five days of...

 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Investors just endured their second correction in U.S. stocks this year, and bonds proved once again that diversification plays a vital role in managing risk during market turbulence. The 10-year Treasury yield dropped 20 basis points...

 

Monday, November 26, 2018

According to Giving USA 2017, Americans gave an estimated $390.05 billion to charity in 2016. That’s the highest total in more than 60 years since the report was first published.1 Americans give to charity for two main reasons:...

 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Credit markets are now sharing global stocks’ angst over trade and oil. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, credit spreads on investment-grade and high-yield corporate debt have jumped to their highest levels since December...

 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Speculators who built the biggest net short position on record in 10-year Treasury futures have reversed course. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, non-hedging traders’ net short position in 10-year futures decreased for five...

 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The potential outcomes of the midterm elections have been dominating the news cycle lately, and we know from history that the markets typically do not like uncertainty. With the Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives,...

 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

This modern twist on the Ben Franklin maxim reflects the multiplicity of taxes to which earnings are subject in today’s world.¹ Finding ways to manage expenses is one of the cornerstones of a sound financial strategy. Here...

 

Thursday, October 25, 2018

October has been a rough month for equities, but then again it’s historically been one of the most volatile periods of the year. “October is known for volatility, and we’ve sure seen it so far,” explained...

 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

After more than three months without a single 1% change (up or down) for the S&P 500 Index, volatility came back—and in a big way—this past week. This brings up an interesting question: What would happen if you could avoid...

 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Do you have a will? A will enables you to specify who you want to inherit your property and other assets. A will also enables you to name a guardian for your minor children. Do you have healthcare documents in place? Healthcare...

 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Thanks to healthier lifestyles and advances in modern medicine, the worldwide population over age 60 is growing. The United Nations estimates that by 2050 the number of people aged 60 and older will have more than doubled.¹ As our...

 

Monday, October 1, 2018

Many parents teach their children the ABCs at a very young age, but do they teach them the ABCs of good credit? At certain points in life, everyone must deal with banks, loans, credit, and finances. You may have learned your lessons...

 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A successful investor maximizes gain and minimizes loss. Though there can be no guarantee that any investment strategy will be successful and all investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal, here are six basic...

 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Go out into your yard and dig a big hole. Every month, throw $50 into it, but don't take any money out until you're ready to buy a house, send your child to college, or retire. It sounds a little crazy, doesn't it? But that's what...

 

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Similar to taking care of your personal health by proactively incorporating healthy habits and annual checkups, you can also take control of your financial health when you are proactive and engaged in managing your finances. And also...

 

Monday, August 6, 2018

It’s not simply a matter of working harder; it’s much more about using your non-financial skills and talents in new ways to bring you prosperity and a greater sense of personal satisfaction. Here are five tips to follow...

 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

College won’t pay for itself. How will you pay for it? You may have more choices than you think. Is creating a college fund on your to-do list? Consider these options. 529 plans. Anyone can contribute to these savings vehicles....

 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

College marks a great milestone in a child’s life. It may be the first time he or she will live away from home. Dropping off your child at college may be an experience loaded with emotions, so here are a few tips for a smoother...

 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The recently released LPL Research Midyear Outlook 2018: The Plot Thickens is filled with investment insights and market guidance to take us through the rest of the year. So far this year, the return of the business cycle has brought...

 

Monday, June 18, 2018

The summer months are almost underway, which means that both vacations and midyear check-ins are ahead. As we approach the midpoint of 2018, many of us will take this opportunity to reflect on what we’ve seen so far and what may...