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


The Wash Sale Rule: It’s Easy to Get Caught

Don't let the wash sale rule impact your tax loss harvesting.

Many investors engage in tax-loss harvesting towards the end of the year. The crux of this exercise is to sell securities at a loss to offset taxes due on investment gains or other income items. Part of the harvesting process often involves replacing a sold security with a similar security, in an effort to maintain… Read More


3 Famous Investors Who Followed Simple Rules—and Got Rich

Learn how changes made by the SEC impact private investing and your investment portfolio.

If you open a newspaper and read about people who’ve made millions investing in hedge funds or private equity investments, you might think it takes a complicated investment strategy to make money in the market. But that’s not always the case. In fact, there are several famous investors who became very rich by following some… Read More


Smart-Beta ETFs: Offering Headway or Hype?

Are Smart-Beta ETFs here to stay in investor's investment portfolios? Time will tell with these ETFs.

We have written in the past about new trends in the ETF marketplace and one of those trends is the emerging popularity of “smart-beta ETFs.” Smart-beta ETFs weight holdings by factors other than market cap—factors such as dividends or earnings—in an attempt to produce superior long-term results. According to the July, 2015 issue of ETF… Read More


Analyzing ETF and Mutual Fund Options for Your Investment Portfolio

Analyzing mutual funds and ETFs for your investment portfolio.

Sorting through your list of 401(k) options or looking at ads for mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs), you may feel overwhelmed by all the choices. But knowing how to approach basic fund analysis can make the universe of fund options a little less daunting to navigate. Let’s say you hear about a broad market… Read More


Making Sense of Economic Data

Making sense of economic data provided by the government, markets, and media.

The Non-Farm Payroll Report. Crude inventories. The Federal Open Market Committee Minutes. If you aren’t an economist or passionately devoted to the financial media, you might have no clue what those are. But the reality is, if you’re an investor in the global marketplace and you own stocks and bonds, your money is likely reacting… 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