Money Wisdom & Musings

Here's your source for thoughts and observations on all things financial (and otherwise). Topics can range from tips on your personal well being to the well being of your investments. As always, we welcome your comments and feedback.

Charitable Giving

Posted by Susan Veligor on November 24, 2014

This is the time of year to think about gifting to your favorite charity or charities using stock or mutual funds you own that if sold would create an income tax liability to you. By giving directly to a charity you receive a deduction for the full value of the gift and bypass any tax you would otherwise owe if you had sold this stock or mutual fund yourself. At Cornerstone we donate 1% of our…

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Posted by Jill Boynton on October 2, 2014

I read a sports blog today where, for the first time in my experience, someone actually suggested the Patriots might want to trade Tom Brady. I’m a loyal Pats fan, but I (who professes no great knowledge of football) have had that thought in the back of my mind for a while now. I’m sure many Patriot fans will be incensed at the thought of it. “What?! Trade Brady? No way!” He’s been an…

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Oil Barons of Yore Divesting their Interests

Posted by Susan Veligor on September 30, 2014

The New York Times reported last week that the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, which is the Rockefeller family’s $860 million charitable organization, will divest itself of fossil fuel holdings following a movement that began on college campuses two years ago. The Rockefeller brothers amassed much of their vast wealth from The Standard Oil Company which they co-founded back in 1870.

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Down East Magazine’s 60th Anniversary ‘Art of Giving’ Gala

Posted by Mackenzie Arsenault on August 21, 2014
Down East Magazine’s 60th Anniversary ‘Art of Giving’ Gala

Last Thursday night I attended Down East Magazine's 60th birthday party. This wasn't any old birthday party, the magazine partnered with six Maine artists and were able to raise $60,000 for six Maine organizations. The list included The Locker Project, a Community Partner of The Good Shepherd Food Bank, Colby College Museum of Art, North Haven EMS, MECA Scholarship Fund, Maine Organic Farmers and…

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The Fun Side of Economics

Posted by Jill Boynton on August 14, 2014

Did you ever think reading about economics could be fun? (Probably not, or you’d be in our line of business!) Economist Steven Levitt and author Stephen Dubner have done just that with their 2009 book “Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything” (followed by “Super Freakonomics” in 2011.) When a book tackles topics like “Why a prostitute makes more money…

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Another reason to Buy Local!

Posted by Susan Veligor on July 23, 2014

The issue of income disparity among workers and the unequal distribution of wealth in general in our country is highlighted in the news these days. Bill Nemitz of the Portland Press Herald recently wrote an encouraging piece about Maine shoe store chain Lamey Wellehan, where the average hourly wage of its 100 employees is $15, exclusive of other benefits provided. Owner Jim Wellehan has a video on…

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“Hi Handsome…What’s your credit score?”

Posted by Jill Boynton on June 12, 2014

A recent study by Experian Consumer Services indicates that credit scores were important when choosing a mate for half of married adults. 95% of participants rated “financial responsibility” more important than “career ambition” or “physical attractiveness.”  The survey shows that, when asked about the importance of having similar goals, financial compatibility ranked higher than sex…

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Meaningful gift that makes a difference

Posted by Mackenzie Arsenault on May 19, 2014

Not sure what to get the person who has everything? Try giving a Charity Gift Card, it works like a gift card but instead of purchasing items in stores, the recipient 'spends' the card online by selecting from 300+ charities. Visit for more information. 

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Here They Go Again

Posted by Susan Veligor on May 5, 2014

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal reported on big banks maneuverings around the pending “bank swaps” regulation. Swaps are derivative instruments whose purpose is to transfer risk to a third party. The new regulation is intended to make swaps activity more transparent and to protect the US financial system from banks amassing huge derivatives positions in non U.S. markets. The…

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Tax refunds: wise strategy or poor planning?

Posted by Jill Boynton on April 10, 2014

If you are like many Americans you held your breath when you finished filling out your tax return this year, hoping for a refund (and if you haven’t finished your return yet, save this blog for after April 15th.) After completing all the forms you look at the bottom line and…great news! The IRS owes you money! But is this really a good financial strategy? First of all yes, of course it’s…

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