There are no secrets to investment success

Many people look for the “secrets” to investment success. Is it timing the market just right? Is it finding those hot stocks or getting in on the “ground floor” of the next big thing? Actually, these types of moves have little relevance to the vast majority of investors — even the most successful ones. So let’s take a look at some steps you can take that can be effective in helping you work toward your financial goals.

Budget cuts put snag in Chinook Research Initiative

One of the casualties of this year’s budget cuts was funding for a program aimed at discovering why Alaska’s Chinook salmon stocks have been declining since 2007.
A five-year, $30 million Chinook Salmon Research Initiative launched in 2013 included more than 100 researchers focused on three dozen projects in 12 major river systems from Southeast to the Yukon. Now, the ambitious effort has been cut to just over one dozen projects.
“When we saw we weren’t going to get a third appropriation this fiscal year, we had to step back and narrow the focus, and make sure key projects still had money to continue for at least the next two years,” said Ed Jones, a coordinator with the state Sport Fish Division who oversees the initiative team.
The project has received two $7.5 million appropriations so far, and just over $6 million remains.

A college degree is still a smart investment

Summer is almost over, which means it’s “back-to-school” time. If you have young children, you may be purchasing backpacks, pencils, notebooks and similar items.
But one day, you could be shopping for colleges — and when you do, you’ll find the bill is a little bit higher than the one you get from your local school-supply store. That’s why it’s never too soon to start saving.
Just how costly is college? For the 2014–2015 school year, the average expense — tuition, fees, room and board — was $18,943 at a public four-year school and $42,419 at a four-year private school, according to the College Board. And if recent history is any guide, these numbers will likely keep climbing.

Season of ups and downs leaves salmon short of forecasted 221 million

Alaska’s salmon season so far has been characterized by ups and downs, and it will be a stretch for the total catch to make the forecasted 221 million fish.
“It just depends on how these late-returning pink salmon at Prince William Sound perform, and whether or not pinks pick up at Southeast. It’s possible, but we would still have to harvest around 30 million more salmon,” mused Forrest Bowers, Deputy Director of the state’s Commercial Fisheries Division.
One of the biggest fish stories of the season, of course, was the surprising double runs of sockeye salmon (reds) to Bristol Bay. As soon as a slow-going first run petered out and the fishery was declared a bust, a surge of late reds caught everyone by surprise and pushed the catch to nearly 36 million fish.

Inflation and your retirement income strategy

You might not think much about inflation. After all, it’s been quite low for the past several years. Still, you may want to take it into account when you’re planning your retirement income strategy.
Of course, no one can really predict the future course of inflation. But it’s a pretty safe bet it won’t disappear altogether — and even a mild inflation rate, over time, can strongly erode your purchasing power. Consider this: If you were to purchase an item today for $100, that same item, in 25 years, would cost you $209 — assuming an annual inflation rate of 3 percent. That’s a pretty big difference.
During your working years, you can hope that your income will at least rise enough to match inflation. But what about when you retire? How can you minimize the impact of inflation on your retirement income?

DNR to decide on claims to Chuitna water rights

Two hearings this month could change the face of Alaska’s salmon fisheries forever.
On Aug. 21, the Department of Natural Resources will hear both sides on competing claims to water rights for salmon streams at Upper Cook Inlet’s Chuitna River or to a proposed coal mine. If DNR opts for the mine, the decision would set a state precedent.

Take action to leave the legacy you desire

August is “What Will Be Your Legacy” Month. If you knew this, you have an unusual knowledge of obscure celebrations. But even if you weren’t aware of this “month,” you can see that the idea behind it — the importance of leaving a legacy — is an important one. What should you do to help ensure you’ll leave the type of legacy you desire?

First seagoing electric passenger vessel to launch next summer

The first seagoing electric powered passenger vessel in the U.S. is set to launch next summer in Juneau.
The E/V Tongass Rain is a 50-foot, 47-passenger catamaran designed for eco-education and whale-watching tours. Its primary fuel source will be rain, delivered to the boat via Juneau’s hydroelectric power grid and stored in a bank of lithium batteries.
The more modern batteries are less than half the weight of traditional lead acid batteries, and provide three times the power and charge three times as fast, said Bob Varness, president and manager of Tongass Rain Electric Cruise.

What should you know about establishing a trust?

You don’t have to be a CEO or multimillionaire to benefit from a trust. In fact, many people gain advantages from establishing one – so it may be useful to learn something about this common estate-planning tool.
Why would you want a trust? For one thing, if you have highly specific wishes on how and when you want your estate to be distributed among your heirs, then a trust could be appropriate. Also, you might be interested in setting up a trust if you’d like to avoid the sometimes time-consuming, usually expensive and always public process of probate. Some types of trusts may also help protect your estate from lawsuits and creditors. Currently, only a small percentage of Americans will be subject to estate taxes, but estate tax laws are often in flux, so things may be different in the future – and a properly designed trust could help minimize these taxes.

Bristol Bay sockeye prices dip to 50 cents per pound

Shock and dismay were heard from Bristol Bay fishermen when they finally got word last week that major buyers would pay 50 cents a pound for their sockeye salmon. That’s a throwback to dock prices paid from 2002 through 2004, and compares to $1.20 advanced last year ($1.33 on average after price adjustments).
A late surge of reds produced catches of nearly 13 million in its final week, bringing the total by July 23 to 34.5 million fish. The fish were still trickling in, and state managers, who called the season an “anomaly,” said the final tally will likely reach the projected harvest of 37.6 million sockeye salmon.

Like us on Facebook