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Buying and Selling: Trading Basics

September 2017

The New York Stock Exchange Group averaged more than 7.4 million trades per day in 2016, with an average of almost 1.8 billion shares changing hands.1 Many of these trades are more complex than most investors need to consider, but it may be helpful to understand some basic terms and types of trades. Bid and… Read more

HOT TOPIC: Brick-and-Mortar: The Precarious Fate of Traditional Retail

September 2017

The rise of e-commerce has been a disruptive force in the retail sector. In fact, 5,300 store closings were announced in the first half of 2017 — about three times as many as during the same period in 2016. At this pace, the 2017 total should easily exceed the 6,163 store closings in 2008, the… Read more

Social Media Marketing Strategies

August 2017

According to a 2016 survey, about three-fourths of small businesses have used social media for marketing purposes or were planning to start doing so in the coming year.1 Established networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, and Yelp are already well known, although Facebook is the most widely used. However, newer platforms (such… Read more

Demographic Dilemma

August 2017

It’s no secret that the demographic profile of the United States is growing older at a rapid pace. While the U.S. population is projected to grow just 8% between 2015 and 2025, the number of older Americans ages 70 to 84 will skyrocket 50%.1 With roughly 75 million members, baby boomers (born between 1946 and… Read more

ETFs or Mutual Funds: What’s the Difference?

August 2017

Mutual funds are still king of the investment world, but exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have become increasingly popular over the last few years. At the end of 2016, more than $2.5 trillion in assets were invested among over 1,700 ETFs. This is equivalent to about 15% of the assets invested in mutual funds. In 2006, ETF… Read more

Deficit Trading: The Import/Export Imbalance

August 2017

The U.S. trade deficit is a consistent and often controversial topic in Washington and the business community. As the new administration presents policies that might affect trade relationships, this may be a good time to consider some of the facts regarding U.S. imports and exports. Goods and Services Total international trade in goods and services… Read more

Do You Have Enough Life Insurance?

August 2017

A 2016 survey found that two out of five U.S. households have no life insurance protection. And many households who do have insurance think they need a higher level of coverage.1 The most common reason survey respondents gave for not purchasing life insurance was that it was too expensive, yet consumers tend to overestimate the… Read more

HOT TOPIC: Low Volatility: Calm Before the Storm?

August 2017

The U.S. stock market has been unusually calm in 2017, while gradually trending upward. Through July 28, 2017, the S&P 500 gained or lost 1% or more on just four trading days. By contrast, over the same period in 2016, there were 39 such days, with gains or losses of 2% or more on seven… Read more

Offering Life Insurance as an Employee Benefit

July 2017

Employee turnover has become a problem for many small businesses, primarily because it is often difficult and expensive to replace experienced workers who decide to leave. In fact, 57% of companies report that employee retention is now a top concern.1 Making life insurance part of your employee benefit program could be a cost-effective way to… Read more

Anticipating Inflation?

July 2017

For the 12 months ending in December 2016, inflation (measured by the Consumer Price Index, or CPI) increased 2.1%, the fastest pace since June 2014. Inflation stalled in 2015, rising just 0.7%. Headline CPI is a broad and closely watched measure of price changes across the U.S. economy.1 The inflation rate is still well below… Read more

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