Here we are, it's the season of giving and aside from sharing the holidays with loved ones, I think giving to others, especially those in need, is the best part of this time of year.

I recently had the opportunity to get my hands dirty (see me to the right) and do something really special for others in need. At the Commonwealth Annual Conference in Austin, Texas, I participated in their "Giving Back to the Community" program, where advisors and staff volunteer their time with a local charity. This year's recipient was Sammy's House , a non-profit agency and child development center that provides services for children with special needs. We repaired a playground for children, painted and cleaned around the house, fixed up their garden and planted flowers. I can't even begin to express what a fulfilling experience this was for me; it left me with a few tears, many smiles and a grateful heart.

At CURO, we love to give back to our community and wish there was more of us and time to go around to carryon the spirit of giving all throughout the year. So rather than sending small gifts this year, as a show of gratitude for your business, we instead made a donation to two causes very important to us, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Unite for HER , a non-profit organization dedicated to wellness initiatives for women fighting breast cancer. We felt strongly that our gift of thanks should be more impactful and significant, and in this way it can be.

We'd love to know if you've done something special in honor of this time of giving. Please share your experiences with us.

Wishing you and yours wellness, joy and lots of love all around you this holiday season and always.

MARKET COMMENTARY: Markets Ride a Roller Coaster
After a tough October, November looked to be more of the same. Indeed, markets dropped further down into correction territory at mid-month. But they rebounded and closed higher by month-end. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 2.04 percent and 2.11 percent, respectively, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.49 percent.

Strong fundamentals for U.S. companies drove this rebound. According to FactSet, with 96 percent of the companies in the S&P 500 reporting (as of November 23, 2018), the blended earnings growth rate was 25.9 percent. This result would be an improvement from an estimate of 19.3 percent at the beginning of the quarter and would represent the highest quarterly growth rate in eight years.

It's Not Too Late! Important Year-End Tax Changes to Consider Implementing Today
Beyond the life events that can affect tax status, year-end planning and review is even more vital in the new tax reform era.
  • Watch tax withholdings: Having too little tax withheld can mean an unexpected tax bill and even a penalty at tax time. Should you adjust your estimated tax payments or payroll deductions?
  • Maximize contributions to HSA accounts: For 2018, if you have family HDHP coverage, you can contribute up to $6,900. The contribution limit for self-only HDHP coverage remains at $3,450. Its pre-tax and your employer gives you extra $$.
  • Income brackets were reduced: Is this a good year to do a Roth IRA conversion?
  • Tax reform changed several popular tax deductions: Make charitable donations with highly appreciated asset and consider Required minimum distributions directly to charity.

Read more about the new tax reform, important changes in tax rates and deductions. If you have questions about your tax planning, we can help.
A MUST READ! New Ways to Prevent Identity Theft During the Holiday Shopping Season
Life After Divorce, Embarking on Adventures
Wherever you go, go with all your heart,” said Confucius. One might think he was talking about exploring the world and all its magical wonder and delight. If you met our client, Eileen O’Keeffe, you might see that those very words are meant to inspire us to live a full and satisfying life, finding joy and putting your passion into every opportunity.

After a lifelong marriage and a challenging divorce for her and her family, Eileen chose to utilize her already successful travel business for a purposeful path, encompassing opportunities to enrich other women's lives, not just her usual clients.

Twelve years prior, she founded Simply Juicy Travel, specializing in exotic, luxury destinations, multi-family gatherings, girlfriend getaways and romantic escapes, but is now also taking into consideration the new shape of her life, focusing on a personal approach to growing her business. This new direction was not just for herself; her passionate interest in exploring the world is her unique way of helping other women “ power forward ” through the transition of life after divorce, making connections and sharing experiences with one another.

Traveling has the power to transform a life and the means to change the narrative of relationships. Each destination changed how I perceived my life and taught me to do things I never thought I could d o,” spoke Eileen, when asked about how she made the leap into starting out on her own again, both personally and in business.

She plans to facilitate trips specifically for women who have gone through divorce, whether seeking a new adventure to embark on, support from other women in the same soul-seeking shoes, or just to have a witness to the remarkable possibilities of exploring someplace new.

CURO is proud to connect with empowered women like Eileen, pursuing her passions and sharing her joy with others. We hope to coordinate a Women's Wellness Retreat in the future. Let us know if you are interested or contact Eileen if you would like help enhancing your next journey. She can be reached at (516) 680-4854 or
Philadelphia's History in 10 MUST HAVE Eats!
Philadelphia’s cuisine tells the story of an underdog city built on the hard work of immigrant communities.

Most Philadelphia fare was born from resourcefulness and frugality, and food that nourished the city during pivotal moments in history. The Pennsylvania Dutch helped to feed America’s rebel-rousing Founding Fathers as they challenged England to war over independence. 

During the 19th century, industry was fueled by Italian laborers who not only worked in the factories but planted the seeds of what we now know as Italian-American cuisine.

Even today, new waves of immigrants continue to deepen the Philadelphia foodscape, adding complexity to our cuisine and culture.

Philly is A Mecca of Holiday Happenings...
Philadelphia's holiday spirit shines during the  Philly Holiday Festival , a citywide collaboration of more than 20 festive happenings in Center City, Old City, Fairmount Park and beyond...

Take in all the magnificent sights and sounds of the season at some of the city's breathtaking holiday shows such as:  A Philly POPS Christmas: Spectacular Sounds of the Season!   Charles Dickens'  A Christmas Carol   and — now in it's 54th year! — The Pennsylvania Ballet's  The Nutcracker ...

City Hall and the public spaces that surround it host some of the city's most popular winter attractions. Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink , Wintergarden , Rothman Orthopaedics Cabin , and so much more.

Where does your journey begin?

Young professionals often have a unique financial situation that doesn’t quite fit the “traditional” financial advisor model. Some are just beginning their careers, while others are already climbing the ladder. Everyone is unique, but one thing young professionals have in common is a vision of the future they aspire to achieve

Working families are the Hercules of the American society, often balancing children, aging parents, work, life, and future goals. The families are often busy, the days are never-ending and the to-do lists pile up, but they find purpose in the hectic times: to create a better life for themselves and those they cherish most.


The Golden Years are hopeful times. Most of the stress of children and growing careers has subsided however, other issues arise: the estate, healthcare, taxes, and income. Since life has taught them to persevere, they are confident that all their hard work will harvest harmony for their future.

We love to hear from our clients about how we are doing, what we can do better, what services you need, or how we have or can help you achieve your financial dreams. Please feel free to click the button above and send us your thoughts. We're always listening!