Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Seems the whole world waited to see what Ms. Yellen would share on Friday morning, when she addressed the august group gathered at Jackson Hole.  As usual for those who serve as Fed chair, her comments were rather muted and opaque.  Markets reacted in kind, doing little.

Those who opine on such matters suggest one or two interest rate increases will show up before year-end.  I’d be surprised though, if any rate increases show up before the general election.

Looking at economic reports, we see that the official CPI was unchanged in July, with energy prices down, and food prices flat.  Excluding food and energy (which make up a significant minority of most household budgets), prices were up 0.9% in July, and up 2.2% over the last twelve months.  The Fed’s target inflation rate is supposedly 2%, before they consider an increase in short-term interest rates.

Treasury and mortgage rates have remained stable for the last few weeks, and the price of oil was up several dollars last week.  That move in oil prices has yet to show up at the pump in a meaningful way.

Last week, we looked at a few elements of Trump’s proposed tax plan.  This week, we take a look at what Clinton is proposing.  Keep in mind that what we wrote last week, and what we write this week, are subject to change anytime either candidate opens his/her mouth, and are certainly subject to all sorts of creativity once Congress starts playtime with said tax proposals.

Regarding personal income taxes, Clinton would increase the number of tax brackets to eight, adding a 43.6% marginal rate, or a 4% surtax, to those incomes of greater than $5 million.  Clinton would also retain the 3.8% surtax on “net investment income”, meaning the top federal rate could reach 47.4%.

Clinton would increase the top rate on capital gains to 47.4%, unless the hold period for the asset was six years.  The 4% surtax on incomes of greater than $5 million would apply, giving a capital gain tax rate of 27.8% on assets held six years or more.  Under Clinton’s tax plan, the benefit of itemized deductions would be limited to 28%.  In 2016, this means that joint filing taxpayers with AGI’s of greater than $231,450 would begin to lose the benefit of itemized deductions.

The Clinton plan would adopt the “Buffett Rule”, meaning that taxpayers with incomes of greater than $1 million would pay a minimum effective rate of 30%.  The estate tax rate would be 45%, and the estate tax exemption would drop from its current $5.45 million to $3.5 million.

Evaluating these changes on tax paying households makes it easier for most of us to breathe.  Until your AGI gets north of $730,000, your tax bill will go up, but will do so only very slightly.  At $730,000 plus, your federal tax bill will go up $80,000.  And, as your income goes up, both the dollars you pay, and the percentage of the dollars you pay, in taxes, increases.  The good news is that, of the 110 million or so households in the U.S., fewer than 1 million of them have incomes at or above this $730,000.

Corporate taxpayers will face an exit tax, if they attempt an inversion.  The attraction of an inversion, meaning relocating your corporate residence to another country, is to escape the onerous U.S. corporate income tax structure.  The U.S. taxes all corporate income which is brought into the country, regardless of where it is earned, whereas most other countries tax corporate income earned just in that country.

Clinton would treat “carried interest” as ordinary income.  Clinton has referenced raising the cap on incomes currently subject to Social Security taxes, but has put nothing in writing. 
What we haven’t discussed, this week or last, is the impact that varying tax rates, at both the household and corporate level, have on the average household in America.  That’s a subject for a different day, if we choose to tackle it at all.  If we jump into the fray, we will include significant supporting references, and encourage you to do your own research.

One more income tax tidbit.  The Tax Foundation,, has a complete history of U.S. income tax rates available in both nominal and inflation adjusted formats.  In 1913, the first year of the current federal income tax, tax payers with incomes (inflation adjusted to 2013) from $0 to $463,000 paid a tax of 1% of income.  The highest marginal rate in 2013 was 7%, and it applied to (inflation adjusted) incomes of more than $11,595,000.

Note that most of this information comes from The Tax Foundation, and The Tax Policy Institute.  Our encouragement is for you to do your own reading and research, if your tax bill is of interest to you, and track what each of the candidates are both saying and doing.  Taxes are the price we pay for enjoying the privileges of this great land.  Our involvement and engagement as citizens is critical, in order for us to continue to enjoy this great country.

Changing subjects briefly, Pat Gelsinger was a farm boy from Pennsylvania.  In high school, he worked on the family farm, and by his own admission, drifted through school, until he took and aced an electronics technology test.  That experience, the insight he gained, and the decisions he made from it, changed the course of his life.  He worked under Andy Grove at Intel, and is currently CEO of VMware.  It’s a good story, and you can read more of it at

Quotes of the week:

“The starting point of all achievement is desire.”
                                                                                                Napoleon Hill

“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”

Hillary Clinton photo credit:
Donald Trump photo credit:
Pat Geslinger photo credit:

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Delta has had an interesting August.  By the time Teresa and I flew to Denver on the 13th, all seemed to be in order, but the week before was a bit trying, for both the company and travelers.  The thousands of cancelled flights have been blamed on a computer outage due to a power module malfunction.  We may never know if this was simply technical failure, or something more sinister.  We are glad though, to have Delta flying again.

Brazil appeared to be financially healthy when it was awarded the Olympic Games, in October 2009.  It has descended into economic instability since (to be polite).  Airbnb has given the Brazilian economy a shot in the arm.  Airbnb estimates that hosts will collect $25 million during the Olympics, from those who choose to bunk in, rather than stay in a hotel.

According to CNN, Twitter has suspended 235,000 accounts associated with terrorism in the last six months, as it works to combat the spread of propaganda by terrorist organizations such as ISIS. Twitter is using a combination of spam-fighting tools, abuse review teams, and partnerships with other organizations, in its efforts.

We have long been fans of Judge Learned Hand.  Judge Hand, who lived from 1872 to 1961, and served on the bench off and on from 1909 until the 1940’s, was a first rate orator and writer, and imminently quotable.  One of our favorite quotes from Judge Hand, in paraphrase, is that “tax evasion is against the law, and should be punished, while tax avoidance is the right, duty, and obligation of every citizen”.  We concur.  To that end, a summary of the candidate’s tax plans.  Trump this week, Clinton next week.

Trump’s ideal tax plan would 1) keep federal revenue stable and growing, 2) include some supply side juice, as in tax benefits that induce capital formation, investment, and hiring, and 3) lower the tax bill for middle income households.  Combining these three objectives into one tax plan is quite the challenge.

The current Trump plan would include individual income tax brackets of 12%, 25%, and 33%, compared to the current seven brackets and a top marginal rate of 39.6%.  His tax plan would quadruple the standard deduction to $25,000 for single filers and $50,000 for joint filers.  This would result in about half the population paying no income tax.

Trump would lower the corporate tax rate to 15%, below the OECD average, which lies somewhere in the mid-twenties.  The revised corporate tax plan also allows full expensing of business investments, instead of the capitalization and amortization over an asset’s useful life, which is current tax law.  This change alone, if enacted, should fuel business growth.  On the downside for business, Trump would eliminate the deferral of taxation of foreign source profits, making them all currently taxable.

Trump’s tax plan will be of special interest to those of you who have an ownership interest in privately held firms, such that company results flow to your personal return, and who can allocate cash flow based to some extent on tax characteristics.  Under the Trump plan, distribution of profits would be taxed at 15%, even though the net business income flows through to your personal return.  Seems to me a powerful incentive to reduce wages, and increase distributions.

At the household level, the Trump plan would expand the tax break for child care expenses, with a goal of making all child care costs tax-deductible.  This would probably have the effect of increasing private school enrollment (and tuition).  He would also do away with the estate, or death tax, and repeal the 3.8% net investment income tax.  There is more, though his tax plan resembles a personal tax wish list for the Donald.
Quotes of the week:

“There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.”
                                                                                                                                 Robert Heinlein

“We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket, and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”         

                                                                                                                                Winston Churchill

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


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Both John Deere and Caterpillar have forward P/E’s of more than 20.  CAT has a dividend yield of 3.70%, and DE has a dividend yield of more than 3%.  CAT makes outstanding big iron, with a worldwide market, but I’m still impressed that anyone is willing to buy the stock with a forward P/E north of 20.    The hunt for cash flow continues.

On the economic front, last Friday’s jobs report was most excellent, with the BLS reporting 255,000 new jobs in July.  This compares to a census forecast of 175,000 new jobs.  The official unemployment rate stands at 4.9%.

Looking at the jobs report, we see that the private sector added 217,000 jobs, while governments added 38,000.  Average hourly earnings were up 0.3%, bringing the year over year wage gains to 2.6%.  The average work week increased to 34.5 hours, its highest level since December 2015.

The Federal Open Market Committee, headed by Janet Yellen, once again stood on interest rates, though they hinted at a slight rate increase in their September meeting.  Speaking of interest rates, yield on the ten year Treasury note stands at 1.60%.  This helps explain the popularity of CAT, with its yield of 3.70%.

According to a recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau, home ownership is at its lowest level since 1965, coming in at 62.9%.  Of course, ownership is something of a misnomer for those with a mortgage.  If you doubt that, miss four mortgage payments in a row.  That should help bring clarity.

The U.S Bureau of Economic Analysis reports GDP for our economy.  The Commerce Department recently summarized BEA reports, and said that between 1949 and 1990, our economy grew at more than 4% annually.  The 90’s saw average annual growth of 3.6%, 2001 to 2007 saw average annual growth of 2.8%, and 2009 through Q1 2016 saw average annual growth of 2.1%.  The annual growth rate for the second quarter of 2016 was 1.2%.  This is the part where it is very easy to throw darts at an ever increasing legislative and regulatory burden, as the overall costs of government and compliance at all levels continues to pull dollars from productive activity, and dampen economic results.

Two questions come to mind though.  First, is the way GDP calculated accurate, and reflective of our current economy?  I don’t know, but I do know many experienced professionals have offered reasoned opinions, suggesting that the way we evaluate economic health needs to be completely rethought and rebuilt.  Second, does GDP matter, regardless of how it is calculated, when it comes to the financial health of your household or your business?  In almost all cases, the answer is no. 

Government reporting may give us some general guidance about what is going on.  Don’t allow such information to color your outlook about your own life, and your own personal and business prospects.  Those outcomes remain in your hands.

                        Quotes of the week:
“There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              J.K. Rowling
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“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves.  The process never ends until we die.  And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Eleanor Roosevelt

Friday, August 12, 2016

What is an Annuity?

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Just what is an annuity? The textbook definition of an annuity is “an income stream” or “a fixed sum of money paid to someone each year, typically for the rest of their life”. The word shares a root with our word annual, as the annuity payments were typically made once a year.

When you hear of an annuity, those speaking of it are typically referring to an accumulation vehicle, designed to build an asset base. This is often called the deferral period, or accumulation phase.

Annuity contracts, during the payout or annuitization or income stream period, typically pay for the life of the annuitant. This ability to pay an income stream for someone’s life is an actuarial calculation and assumption which is the domain of insurance companies. Therefore, all annuities are issued by insurance companies, as they are the only business entities engaged in the business of offering life expectancy based products.

Deferred annuities come in two flavors, fixed and variable.

This week we will look at fixed annuities, examining their tax status, return/cost structure, and safety/accessibility features. We will assume you have the opportunity to invest $100,000 in an annuity.

TAXES - Deferred annuities have select tax characteristics. Specifically, the earnings inside an annuity contract grow on a tax deferred basis. This means that, if your $100,000 in the annuity grows 2% this year, this $2000 isn’t taxable in the current year.

At some point in the future, you could choose to “annuitize” the accumulated balance, meaning the assets convert to an income stream. This income stream can be paid to you monthly, quarterly, or annually.

Income taxes are paid when you begin withdrawing money from the annuity contract. Most withdrawals from a deferred annuity are taxed as ordinary income and do not qualify for long term capital gain treatment. Once you have withdrawn all but the original deposit, withdrawals are then deemed a return of principal and not subject to taxation.

If you annuitize the contract, then a portion of the income is taxable and a portion is considered a return of deposit.

RETURN/COST - Annuity sales people often contrast fixed annuities with CDs, comparing the surrender charge on an annuity contract with the early withdrawal penalty on a CD. There was a time, in the distant past, where you could earn 4% annually on a five year CD. Those selling annuities might suggest that instead of earning 4% on a CD and paying taxes on that 4% each year, you instead put that CD money in an annuity with a five year surrender charge. Reasonable argument, right?

Early withdrawal penalties on a CD are typically foregone interest, meaning you give up interest you otherwise would have earned. I’m not aware of a CD which encroaches on your principal as a penalty for early withdrawal.

Surrender charges on an annuity are calculated differently. If the annuity has a five year surrender period, a modest surrender charge would be 5% the first year, decreasing 1% annually (5%, 4%, 3%, 2%, 1%) through the 5th contract year. Sometimes, this surrender charge is assessed against the original deposit, and other times it’s assessed against the entire account balance. All insurance companies of which we are aware do give you the right to withdraw 10% each year without a surrender charge. Again, sometimes this 10% free withdrawal privilege is based on the original deposit and sometimes it is based on the accumulated value.

Fixed annuities offer a current interest rate, which is usually set by the insurance company once a year, and a contractually guaranteed minimum interest rate, which will be credited each year, regardless of the economic environment. Sometimes, depending on the interaction between actuarial and marketing at a particular insurance company, fixed annuities will offer a first year interest rate bonus.

For your $100,000 the sales person explains that the current rate is 2%, the guaranteed rate is 1%, and currently, this contract is offering a 5% interest rate bonus. This outcome by itself isn’t good or bad, as the outcome can only be assessed in light of your personal needs and circumstances, and by comparison to meaningful alternatives. What the 5% bonus means is that the sales and marketing department has the ear of the executive suite at that particular insurance company.

SAFETY/ACCESSABILITY - Is the proposed insurance company financially viable? We would suggest you do your own homework to answer this question. Can you access service forms online, or is your only access to service the agent selling the annuity, and/or a call center? Does the agent insist that you make a buying decision today, at the time the opportunity is being presented? If so, consider this a substantial red flag. Good products and decisions stand up to external scrutiny.

What other considerations would we be wise to take into account? If you are considering the purchase of an annuity, ask yourself a few questions. What is your investment time frame? Are you willing to set your money aside for the full length of the surrender period? Are you sure about your answer to the previous question? Do you have other available reserves, in the event of an emergency, so you won’t have to invade the annuity balance?

And finally, a few closing thoughts.

The street level commission (the amount of money paid to the agent making this recommendation) is typically 1% of the deposit, for every year in the surrender period. To put that in English, if the surrender period is five years, the agent is being paid about 5% of the deposit. If the surrender period is ten years, the agent is being paid 10% of the deposit.

We have found most investors have about a five-year maximum hold period on most assets.

We strongly discourage putting qualified money (IRAs, 401(k) rollovers) into an annuity.

Next week, we will discuss variable annuities.

Centurion Advisory Group was founded to offer clients a place to focus on the integration of life, money, and purpose. Our focus is on offering advice, planning, and investment management services in a way that allows clients to feel as if they have mastered the use of money, have the freedom to enjoy life, and the desire to live with purpose. As a professional services firm, we are paid solely by clients, and receive no compensation from product sales or product vendors. The professionals who are part of the CAG team help families build, maintain, and transfer wealth, consistent with the family's goals.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


Picture credit: Modern

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing mandatory bundled payments for heart attacks and bypass surgery, at hospitals in 98 randomly selected metro areas.  You can read more at

The American Association of Retired Persons, generally known as AARP, traces its heritage to the late 1940’s, when a high school principal set out to make sure retired teachers had adequate health insurance.  For those of you who like to join organizations, are age-qualified, would like a forum to make your voice heard, and/or aren’t that excited about the 21st century version of the AARP, here are some alternatives.

Association of Mature American Citizens, or AMAC,  Founded in 2007, more than 1 million members, dues of $16 annually.

American Seniors Association, or ASA,  Founded in 2006, 1.5 million members, dues of $15 annually.

60 Plus Association,  Founded in 1992, more than 7 million members, no membership dues.

The Seniors Coalition, or TSC,  Founded in 1989, more than 4 million members, dues of $13.50 annually.

Most of these organizations offer some mix of discounted services, travel arrangements, and political advocacy.  Several have developed in the last few years as a result of AARP’s endorsement of the ACA.

Northside Hospital announced plans to build a 12 story, 170,000 square foot office tower in Midtown.  The building, to be called Northside Midtown Medical, will include the Northside Imaging Center, as well as primary care offices and a variety of other medical services.  You can read more at

Over the last few months, I’ve been reading Warren Buffett’s shareholder letters from 1965 to 2015, which have been compiled in book form.  Following are some observations as a result of this reading, though I haven’t finished the book.  1) Hold plenty of cash, for both emergencies and opportunities, 2) buy good companies at fair prices, but don’t overpay, 3) good management is as critical as a great business, 4) minimize, and learn from, your mistakes, 5) stick with what you know, 6) invest for decades, and ignore public market fluctuations, and 7) focus on earnings, especially as measured against the capital invested.

Buffett hasn’t invested exclusively in common stocks.  Berkshire has also owned preferred stocks, especially if they have convertible features, short bonds and Treasuries, and intermediate bonds.  They have, from time to time, also engaged in arbitrage.

It’s worth the read, if you want to make the time.  You can find it at

Michael Simmons, co-founder of Empact, wrote recently about the concept of deliberate practice.  The thought is that different fields require different amounts of deliberate practice in order for those who specialize in said field to be considered world class.

In the article, Simmons said that those considered world class in their respective disciplines set aside at least one hour a day, or five hours a week, over their entire career, for activities which would be classified as deliberate practice or learning.  Names he reviewed include Phil Knight, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffett, and Elon Musk.  The five hours were typically allocated to three buckets, which were reading, reflection, and experimentation.

Read:  Buffett spends five to six hours daily reading newspapers and corporate reports.  Gates reads 50 books a year.  Zuckerberg reads at least one book every two weeks.  Elon Musk grew up reading two books a day.  Mark Cuban reads three hours a day.  Art Blank reads two hours a day.

Reflect:  AOL CEO Tim Armstrong spends four hours weekly just thinking.  Jack Dorsey is a serial wanderer.  Jeff Weiner schedules two hours of thinking time per day.  Sara Blakely is a long time journaler.

Experiment:  Ben Franklin set aside time for experimentation, as did Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla.

Quote of the week:

“Constant kindness can accomplish much.  As the sun makes the ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.”

                                                                                                                                                                Albert Schweitzer

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Giving Well From Your IRA

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Qualified Charitable Distributions, or QCD’s, are distributions that go directly from your IRA, to the charity of your choice.  How can you use them for your benefit, as well as for the benefit of charities you want to support?

Before you consider QCD’s as a strategy, you are well served answering three questions, which are:

1         Are you at least age 70.5, and therefore subject to the Required Minimum Distribution rule?
       Do you have required distributions from your IRAs, which you don’t need for household use?
       Are there charities which you want to support?

If the answer to those three questions is yes, you may want to consider QCD’s.  How do you approach the decision and process?  We would suggest the following:

1.       Decide how much you want to give,
2.       Confirm that there is adequate cash in your IRA,
3.       Sign the required forms.

Let’s look at each of these in more detail.

Deciding how much you give is a personal decision, though you must be at least age 70.5 when the QCD gift is made.  You may want to take into account the long term viability of your cash flow, and your role in the organizations you support, among other things.  The charity you give to needs to be able to receive the tax deductible contributions of an individual, meaning that in general, it needs to be a 501(c)3 organization.

The transfer from your IRA is limited to $100,000 annually, though these qualifying distributions can come from more than one IRA, and go to more than one qualifying organization.  Note that the distribution, in order to qualify under the QCD rules, must be an institution to institution transfer.  This means that the distribution check cannot be made payable to, and/or sent to, the IRA owner, and then sent along to the charity.  The distribution check must go directly from the IRA custodian to the qualifying charity.

The tax benefit?  This institution to institution distribution, under the QCD rules, doesn’t come to you as a taxable distribution.  All other forms of IRA distributions, except transfers and rollovers, are taxable distributions to you.  This means that, except for using QCD’s, your Required Minimum Distributions (RMD’s) are fully taxable as income, and increase your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI).  You do not take QCD’s as taxable income.  Neither do you get take the deduction on Schedule A, though avoiding the whole dollar of income is generally better than the partial dollar value of a deduction.

IRA custodians have service forms, which you can complete, directing the custodian where to send the distribution.  These forms can be downloaded from the custodian website, emailed to you by the custodian’s service team, or mailed to you in hard copy format.  Call the charity to confirm the exact name for the check and the mailing address.  You may also want to let them know a check is on the way.  Note that IRA custodians typically don’t keep track of where checks go, nor do they track the tax year for which a distribution is attributable.  The custodian’s service forms usually have memo lines, which can be used by you for noting the receiving organization, the tax year, and the dollar amount.

Additionally, make sure to keep copies of any and all forms, whether in electronic or hard copy format.  Your custodian will send you a 1099 and you will record this distribution on your tax return on Line 15a as a non-taxable distribution.

Finally, remember the standard disclaimer.  What you have just read is general information.  None of it should be construed as personal legal, tax or financial advice.  Consult your own professionals to determine the best course of action for your personal situation.

Centurion Advisory Group was founded to offer clients a place to focus on the integration of life, money, and purpose.  Our focus is on offering advice, planning, and investment management services in a way that allows clients to feel as if they have mastered the use of money, have the freedom to enjoy life, and the desire to live with purpose.  As a professional services firm, we are paid solely by clients, and receive no compensation from product sales or product vendors.  The professionals who are part of the CAG team help families build, maintain, and transfer wealth, consistent with the family's goals.  For more information about the company and its services, go to, or email, or call 770.817.0525.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


July public markets finished on a strong note, with both domestic and international indices up for the month. The last couple of years have seen substantial volatility with modest gain.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the month at 18,432, an all-time high, and its highest close since May 2015.  This compares to a closing price of 17,425 on December 31, 2015, and 17,823 on December 31, 2014.  The Dow is up 1007 points, or 5.8% YTD, and up 609 points over the last nineteen months, for an annualized return, net of dividends, of 2.13%.  Dividends have added about 2.4% annually to this return.

The S&P 500 finished the month at 2173, an all-time high, and its highest close since May 2015.  This compares to a closing price of 2043 on December 31, 2015, and 2058 on December 31, 2014.  The S&P 500 is up 130 points, or 6.4% YTD, and up 115 points, for an annualized return of 3.45%, over the last nineteen months.  Dividends have added about 2.4% annually to this return.  Aggregate second quarter earnings for the S&P 500 companies are expected to fall 3.7%, compared to the previous quarter.

The NASDAQ Composite finished the month at 5162, up 155 points, or 3% YTD.  Over the last nineteen months, the NASDAQ is up 426 points, for an annualized return of 5.5%.

Bonds have had an excellent year so far. Measured by short term and intermediate/long term bond proxies, BSV and BLV, short term bonds are up 2%, while intermediate/long bonds are up more than 16% YTD.  A large part of the reason?  Investors from all over the world are pouring money into U.S. markets, $41 billion just in May, and almost all of it is going into U.S. Treasuries. 

You've probably noticed that the world doesn't feel especially safe at the moment.  When there is uncertainty and chaos, many citizens from around the world send their money and their families to America.  These citizens continue to vote with their pocketbook and their feet about the relative strength and safety of the U.S.

On the earnings front, DuPont and Verizon both reported earnings that exceeded forecasts. United Technologies, UTX, reported earnings and sales ahead of expectations, and said it is on track to meet its growth targets for 2020.

Under Armour, Exxon, and McDonald's all recorded a year over year drop in quarterly profits. 

Speaking of oil, John D. Rockefeller put together, and controlled, what became the Standard Oil Trust, until its demise in 1911, when Teddy Roosevelt put teeth into the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. (This act was named after Ohio senator John Sherman, a brother of William Tecumseh Sherman).  This wasn't the demise of the controlling shareholders of the trust, nor their wealth, just the breakup of the trust.

The names of the oil companies, past and present, which were a part of the Standard Oil Trust include Esso, Exxon, Mobil, Chevron, Amoco, Sohio, BP, and Marathon.  A useful flow chart can be found at

At one point, Yahoo had a market cap of $125 billion, as big in its time as Facebook and Google are today.  Last week, Verizon announced the acquisition of Yahoo for $4.8 billion in cash, ending the independence of one of Silicon Valley's pioneering companies. You can read more about Yahoo and the acquisition at

The Atlanta Regional Commission's Livable Centers Initiative has produced a 92 page report detailing plans for Turner Field post-braves.  Plans include a Georgia State football stadium and baseball field, housing, and more.

Once again, Hartsfield-Jackson tops ACI's list of the busiest airport in the world.  If you travel through Hartsfield much, this won't surprise you.  It's typically not too difficult to navigate Hartsfield, though I'd suggest that the TSA outsource some of their interpersonal skills training to Chick-Fil-A.  At least after they rummage through your bag, looking for contraband that usually isn't there, they could say "my pleasure".

Quotes of the week:

"Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight.  Extend them all the care, kindness, and understanding you can muster.  Your life will never be the same again."
                                                                     Og Mandino

"As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say.  I just watch what they do."

                                                                      Andrew Carnegie

Centurion Advisory Group

Centurion Advisory Group offers a suite of wealth management services on a fee-only basis, including comprehensive personal and business financial planning, financial administration, and investment management.  For more information about the company and its services, go, or email, or call 770.817.0525.

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