The right air conditioner can keep costs down as the mercury rises. Now’s a good time, before the thermometer hits triple digits, to assess your cooling needs for the summer. At the very least you should check and clean your equipment. If you’re replacing an old room or central air conditioner, the choices on the market today are likely to be more energy efficient then what you have. But don’t buy too little or too much. Getting a cooling system that is the wrong size is the most common mistake people make, regardless of the type, and you could be hot and sticky and still increase your electric bills. Buy more capacity than you need and you may wind up with a cool, damp space.
See Consumer Reports’ discussion of air conditioning and air conditioners.
Like, you your house needs to breathe. All of the fans, vents, and ventilation equipment inside your home work together as a “ventilation system” to exchange indoor and outdoor air and to control moisture and odors. Inspect the system annually and clean or change filters once a month in your central air conditioner, furnace, and/or heat pump.
Don’t neglect to inspect and clear the exterior venting system. The foundation vents, weeps holes, soffit vents, gable vents, and/ or roof turbines work as a system to move air through the spaces between the exterior siding or brick and the wood frame to prevent moisture damage and mildew. Make sure the vents are unblocked and any mechanical parts move freely.
By Kate Warne, PH.D., CFA
Reposition your portfolio. Make sure you have the appropriate mix of stocks and bonds. After last year’s market gains, you may need to add fixed income to help return to the investment mix that fits your long-term financial goals and tolerance for risk. Consider adding short- and intermediate-term fixed income to help reduce your portfolio’s sensitivity to rising interest rates.
- Prepare your emotions and expectations for greater volatility. If you know that it’s normal for stocks to drop by 10% annually, you’re likely to be less surprised and less likely to overreact when a pullback occurs.
- Take a systematic approach. If you’re concerned that stocks are high, consider investing the same amount every month to build a well-diversified portfolio. While this doesn’t prevent a loss or guarantee a profit, it can help remove concerns about the market’s moves from your decision making.
- Pullback offer opportunities. Consider adding stocks when their prices decline, if appropriate for your situation. Buying during dips and corrections has resulted in higher returns in the past, since stocks rose on average over the following six months and year.
By Kate Warne, PH.D., CFA
Keep in mind that stocks rarely rise smoothly over time, and pullbacks certainly occur along the way. Make sure you’re prepared to stay invested and consider the opportunities pullbacks offer by remembering:
- Market declines are normal, frequent and not a reason to sell quality investments.
- Market declines can provide an opportunity to buy quality investments at a lower price.
- Market declines are out of your-control- so focus on what you can control. This can help you manage your emotional reaction when fears overshadow long-term fundamentals.
Higher mortgage rates will be “a headwind” for home buyers.
“Job growth continues to be strong in California and that means people feel more comfortable buying a home and mortgage credit has been very, very tight for the average person.
Job growth hasn’t been evenly distributed throughout the state, however. That means employment’s cushioning effect against the Fed taper will be felt differently in different housing markets.
Job growth has been especially strong in the technology sector, which benefits Northern California and certain pockets of Southern California.
As a result, the taper might be felt more intensely in those areas because they don’t have much job growth to offset its effects.
BLAST FROM THE PAST:
Bombers, Modifieds, Mini Stocks, Jammers
Bandos, Legends and FIREWORKS
Racing starts at 5 pm
All Day events:
Street fair at Library Park & DJ music
Fireworks at dusk on the lake
Friday, July 4, 2014
10:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Library Park, Lakeport