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Inflation Protection for Investment Dollars

September 2018

For the 12-month period ending in March 2018, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), the standard measure of “headline inflation,” increased 2.4% — the fastest pace since March 2017 and significantly higher than the 1.6% average over the past 10 years.1 Looking at the bigger picture, the 50-year U.S. inflation average is… Read more

Insurance with Potential Cash Value

September 2018

The simplest and most cost-effective type of life insurance is generally term insurance, which provides coverage for a specified number of years, as long as you pay the premiums, and pays a death benefit if you die within that term. A term policy has no other value and is separate from your savings and investments…. Read more

Risk Tolerance Is About You, Not the Market

September 2018

Surveys show that tolerance for investment risk rises and falls with the stock market. In mid-2008, 36% of mutual fund investors said they were willing to accept substantial or above-average risk for the potential of substantial or above-average gain. The percentage plunged to 30% the following year, when the market hit its recession-era low, and… Read more

HOT TOPIC: Blockchain Buzz: Emerging Tech Offers Potential, Not Promises

September 2018

Blockchain is a data structure used to create a digital ledger shared among a distributed network of computers. It was initially designed for the peer-to-peer exchange of the virtual currency bitcoin. However, businesses are now developing and testing some potentially game-changing blockchain applications. According to a recent survey of executives across a variety of industries,… Read more

Reward Workers and Fund Retirement with a Cash Balance Plan

August 2018

Cash balance plans are technically defined benefit plans that share some key characteristics with defined contribution plans. IRS regulations finalized in 2010 and 2014 clarified some legal issues and made these plans more flexible and appealing to employers. As a result, there was a 152% increase in new cash balance plans between 2010 and 2015.1… Read more

Equity REITs and Rising Rates

August 2018

A real estate investment trust (REIT) is a company that uses the combined capital of a large number of investors to buy and manage residential, commercial, and industrial income properties. Like other equities, publicly traded REIT shares can generally be bought or sold in a moment on an exchange, making them more liquid than physical… Read more

Oil Prices and the Economy

August 2018

Crude oil plays an important role in the manufacturing and worldwide distribution of numerous products ranging from food to electronics. When rising fuel costs are passed on to consumers, it can drive up inflation and reduce the purchasing power of wages. Gasoline and heating oil (which are derived from crude) are essential expenses for many… Read more

An Affordable Insurance Solution

August 2018

Many people allow their term life insurance policies to expire once their children are grown. This may not be a good idea, especially if you have other bills and your spouse would need continued financial support. But a new term policy can be quite expensive when you are older. Survivorship life insurance may be a… Read more

ETFs on the Rise

August 2018

Mutual funds are still king of the investment world, but investor interest in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) has grown quickly over the last decade. At the end of 2017, more than $3.4 trillion in assets were invested among over 1,800 ETFs. This is equivalent to about 18% of the assets invested in mutual funds. In 2007,… Read more

HOT TOPIC — U.S. Fiscal Issues: Larger Deficits Are Driving Up Debt

August 2018

According to the most recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projection, the federal budget deficit for fiscal year 2018 (which ends on September 30) will reach $793 billion, or 3.9% of gross domestic product (GDP). This figure is $230 billion larger than the CBO previously estimated in June 2017, largely because legislation enacted since then reduced… Read more

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