Interest Rate Debate Hinges on 3 Factors

The Federal Reserve did not raise interest rates in September. Will they in October?

The U.S. Federal Reserve decided against raising the federal funds rate at its latest meeting in September, extending its zero interest rate policy and ramping up the debate about what it will take for the Fed to act. Disagreements in 3 areas explain the Fed’s caution. The most crucial and most recent influence on the… Read More

An Investment Strategy Checkup for the 4th Quarter

Be sure to evaluate your investment strategy at year-end to account for any changes that have happened over the past year.

Don’t look now, but here comes the 4th quarter. The end of the year is a good time to take a look at whether you’re on track with your investment strategy. Don’t wait until the end of December. That could force you to make decisions or take actions too hastily. First, review your financial goals…. Read More

What Pension Plan Phase-Outs Mean for You

With the Pension Plan Becoming Extinct, How Can Investors Save for Retirement?

How’s your pension doing? If you answered, “great,” you probably belong to one of a few specific job sectors—or an upper age bracket. The more common answer these days is something other than “great.” Maybe your employer’s pension plan has been frozen, or has pushed early lump-sum payouts, or never existed in the first place…. Read More

Investing in Stocks During Retirement

Should you consider stock investing during retirement?

If you’re like most people, investing in stocks during your working years offers one of your best opportunities for growing a nest egg large enough for a comfortable retirement. And when retirement is still years away, any volatility that comes from stock ownership can be waited out by patiently holding a diversified portfolio. For most… Read More

Your Stock Split. What Now?

When a stock split occurs, the amount of money you have invested does not change, just the amount of shares.

Imagine finding out that the share price of one of your stocks is half what it was just the day before—but you own twice as many shares. Do you fly into a panic or pop a champagne cork? No need to do either. Your investment value has not changed. Stock splits are a  common mechanism… Read More

Factoring Sequence Risk into Retirement Planning

Be sure to factor sequence risk into retirement planning.

When building your retirement portfolio, investing in a routine, systematic way can ensure that you purchase assets at random prices over time. So long as the market moves higher in the long run, any temporary declines, or even major corrections, will provide you with the chance to buy assets on sale. The same cannot be… Read More

Don’t React To Every Bit of Stock Market News

Reacting to Stock Market Volatility Can Have a Negative Impact on Your Investment Portfolio.

When you’re learning to play football, one of the first things any coach will teach you is to watch the other player’s waist. The reason for that is that it’s easy to get faked out by watching the head—or the feet. Just like it can be easy to get faked out and over-react to the… Read More

Looking Past Near-Term Difficulties in China

China's economy and regulations have had a volatile effect on the U.S. and global stock markets.

China has quickly gone from hero to scapegoat of the global economy, bearing the blame for the sharpest sell-off in stocks in the last three years. The policy actions taken by Chinese leaders over the last several months, highlighted by the decision to devalue its currency, have called into question their ability to manage the… Read More

Understanding Risk and Setting Realistic Expectations

Know the inherent risk in stock ownership before market volatility hits.

Until the recent global equity sell-off, stocks had been on an upward trajectory for some time, with the S&P 500 Index—a broad measure of U.S. stocks—delivering six straight years of gains. An investor who’d bought shares in an S&P 500 Index fund at the last market bottom, on March 9, 2009 would have seen that… Read More

Tax-Advantaged, Tax-Free, and Tax-Deferred? Oh my.

Tax-Advantaged, Tax-Free, and Tax-Deferred Investments: Know the Difference to Benefit Your Investment Portfolio

Proper diversification, low expenses and consistent investing are some of the keys to long-term financial success, but that’s only part of the picture. Large portfolios can generate large taxes. Keeping what you earn is critical for maximizing your investments. Understanding the big three—tax-advantaged, tax-free, and tax-deferred—is the key to lower overall taxes. Tax-Advantaged While the… Read More