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How Much Cash Should You Keep?

September 2016

Keeping cash under a mattress may be an outdated idea, but it’s important to include cash or cash alternatives in your financial strategy. The amount of cash you need — and where to keep it — depends on your situation. To some extent, it’s a balancing act between short-term needs and long-term goals. Interest rates… Read more

HOT TOPIC: Social Security and Medicare Update: The 2016 Trustees Reports

September 2016

The fiscal challenges facing Social Security and Medicare have been well publicized, but many Americans may not be aware of the facts behind the headlines. Each year, the Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds release detailed reports to Congress on the current financial condition and projected financial outlook of these programs. Here… Read more

Who Needs a Succession Plan? Maybe You

August 2016

It’s estimated that about 10 million baby boomers plan to sell or close their businesses during the next decade.1 And even though 78% of small-business owners are counting on the proceeds of a sale to meet 60% to 100% of their retirement needs, only 30% of owners have a formal succession plan.2 That’s a pretty… Read more

As Manufacturing Stumbles…

August 2016

In February 2016, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing index improved to 49.5, a 1.3 percentage point increase from the 48.2 reading in January. Even so, a reading below 50 generally means that manufacturing activity is contracting, and February marked the fifth straight month in contraction territory — a trend that hasn’t been seen… Read more

Have You Used Mobile Payments?

August 2016

In 2015, 52% of U.S. consumers said they were “extremely aware” of the option to use mobile payments, an increase of 9% over 2014.1 Yet only 13% of adults with smartphones had a digital wallet on their phones, and most of them had seldom or never used it.2 Not surprisingly, mobile-payment technology is being adopted… Read more

Preparing to Retire in a Down Market

August 2016

In an ideal world, your retirement would be timed perfectly. You would be ready to leave the workforce, your debt would be paid off, and your nest egg would be large enough to provide a comfortable retirement — with some left over to leave a legacy for your heirs. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect… Read more

Stock Diversification: Large, Mid, and Small

August 2016

The S&P 500 index returned more than 32% in 2013, a great year for the stock market. That was impressive, but the S&P 600 index — which includes much smaller companies than those in the S&P 500 — performed even better, returning more than 41%. In 2015, as the market struggled, small-company stocks lost almost… Read more

HOT TOPIC: Equity Crowdfunding: Why Investors Should Tread Carefully

August 2016

Equity crowdfunding is a nontraditional way to raise the money needed to launch or expand a small business. Instead of seeking a large cash infusion from an “angel investor” or venture capital firm, shares are offered online to a larger group of people, each of whom takes a smaller stake in the company. Before May… Read more

Putting Your Kids on the Payroll

July 2016

If you could use a little help for your business this summer, there are some good reasons to recruit your own offspring. First and foremost, it’s a good opportunity for teens and college students to earn money for their own expenses while gaining valuable work experience for the future. Involving children in the operation of… Read more

The Second Time Around

July 2016

Roughly four in 10 new marriages in 2013 included at least one partner who had been married before, and altogether about 42 million Americans have been married more than once.1 A second marriage can create numerous estate planning challenges, especially when you wish to provide for both your current spouse and your children from a… Read more

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