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The Christmas Story

At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant.

And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.
 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
 “Glory to God in highest heaven,
 and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them. (Luke 2: 1-20) Merry Christmas
 General News:

Financial planning for the new year and for the future:
 The financial markets are experiencing an extreme down time and most economists will agree that we are in an extended recession. How is this affecting your financial plans?
 We at Financial Strategies Group have tools that will help you review your plans, set your goals, and work to achieve them. We have a step by step process to manage your retirement procedure.
 The actual process of retiring from your work place may not be something that you want to “figure out” while you are in the middle of the process.
 Once retired, we have many options to help you manage your money. The stock market is not your only option.
 We would like the opportunity to present our processes and explain the many options available to you for retirement.

New for 2009:
 Available for our clients, we are working on procedures to efficiently offer estate planning, long term care, and life insurance. We will partner with Walt Dallas’ firm Estate Planning 123 to make this offering. The importance of these investments cannot be understated. So often we focus on growing assets and we neglect protecting our assets. These are important areas of your financial plan. We will research with you which of these offerings best fit your needs.

Early year -in- review from 2008:
 It is the economy. The $700 billion bailout. Foreclosures. The plummeting stock market. As 2008 came to a close, the nation's economic turmoil battled with the presidential election for the hearts of searchers. By Lili Anne Ladaga, Yahoo! News producer

What a year. Can we exhale yet? Even with the demise of Wall Street (and our 401ks), the thing people will remember most about this year was the American presidential election. They'll remember that a self-described "skinny kid with a funny name," with a white mom from Kansas and a black dad from Kenya, made history. By Erin Green, Yahoo! News producer

“30 Rock,” “The Wire” and “Battlestar Galactica” are among the TV shows honored in iTunes 2008… By Philip Elmer-DeWitt

Interesting, Yahoo’s top three searches for the year 1) Britney Spears 2) WWE and 3) Barack Obama. For all of the worry that many of us have put into the economy, the markets, and the Presidential election this year, the top two spots were for entertainment.

Happy New Year

December 11, 2008

Investment Advisory Services offered through Sound Financial Strategies Group, Inc. (“SFSG”), a Registered Investment Adviser. Certain representatives of SFSG are also Registered Representatives offering securities through APW Capital, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC, 100 Enterprise Drive, Suite 504, Rockaway, NJ 07866 (800)637-3211. SFSG, APW Capital, and Estate Planning 123 are separate and unrelated companies. 

The opinions voiced in this article are for general information only. They are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual and do not constitute an endorsement by APW Capital.

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