Interest Rates and the Federal Reserve: Why You Should Be Paying Attention

How will the raise in interest rates impact your investment portfolio?

As has been long anticipated, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates on December 16 by 0.25%. The increase will eventually ripple through much of the economy. While few banking products or interest rates are tied directly to the Fed’s interest rate, many are tied to the prime interest rate. Following the Fed’s announcement, major banks… Read More


Dividend Stocks and Younger Investors

Should younger investors consider dividend stocks for their investment portfolio?

Controversy swirls around whether younger investors can benefit from emphasizing dividend-paying stocks in their portfolios—a practice normally associated with retirees. But evidence suggests that no age is too early to start thinking about income investing. Growth companies—one argument goes—may be more enticing to non-retirees because they can boost returns quickly. These companies are typically young,… 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


5 Ways to Improve Your Cash Flow and Invest More

There are multiple ways to increase your cash flow to invest more.

For some people, deciding how to invest is the hard part. But for others, finding extra money to put toward investments is even harder. You know investing is important, and you know the more consistently you do it, the better off you’ll be over time. Luckily, there are steps you can take to make that… Read More


Income Investors Are Feeling the Squeeze

How Income Investors Can Manage Their Investment Portfolio in Today's Economic Environment

Investors have been finding it increasingly difficult to generate income in their investment portfolios. This is a problem that impacts many people who rely on portfolio income to live on or to supplement the income they receive from other sources, such as social security and pensions. When interest rates are higher, options for investment income are… Read More


Will the Current European Economy Affect Your Investment Portfolio?

European Economy

Collectively, the European Union (EU) has the largest economy in the world as measured by gross domestic product (GDP). Last year the total value of all goods and services produced within the 28-member EU totaled 14.3 trillion euros, according to the International Monetary Fund.[1] But the European economy has been languishing, and due to its… Read More


How Bond Market Investors Cope in a Low-Rate Environment

Bonds

It’s understandable that bond market investors might be frustrated at this point in time. Most already have lower total return expectations than stock market investors, which they accept in exchange for lower overall levels of risk and regular interest payments. However, the total return expectations within the bond market have become so low that investors… Read More


The Decline of Pensions Leads to Greater Reliance on IRAs and 401(k)s

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

Over the last several decades, there’s been a gradual decline of pension plan availability in the United States. There was a time when people worked longer and collected less in overall pension benefits due to shorter life expectancies. Pension benefits paid over 5 or 10 years to a loyal employee who put in 30 years of service didn’t… Read More


7 Big Ideas for Getting the Most Out of Your Tax Refund

What to do with your tax refund

According to the most recent IRS data, the average income tax refund is just over $3,000. Not bad. Too often, though, what seems like a nice fat windfall disappears faster than expected. But squirreling it away into a savings account at today’s interest rates will earn you nothing. You work hard for your money. Is… Read More


How a Personal Financial Statement Can Guide Your Investment Goals

Personal Financial Statement

As investors, we plan for goals such as retirement, funding college for our children, and perhaps even supporting our parents as they get older. In the financial planning process, there are worksheets we can create and update, which may help us map out the best path towards financial goals and track the progress we’re making… Read More