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Investing in Your Values

June 2017

Two recent surveys found that a large majority of young, high-net-worth investors want to make a positive social impact with their investments.1 This may bode well for the future of social impact investing, which has already become a large part of the investment world — and you don’t have to be wealthy to align your… Read more

HOT TOPIC: Full Employment: What Happens Now?

June 2017

In April 2017, the nation’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.4%, matching a 10-year low last seen in May 2007. To put this in perspective, the last time the unemployment rate fell below 4.4% was in May 2001, the end of the dot-com boom, when the U.S. economy grew by more than 4% annually for four… Read more

Consider Taxation When Setting Compensation

May 2017

According to an annual survey, only about half of small-business owners paid themselves a salary in 2016. Of those who did, the average reported salary was about $76,000.1 Of course, the size of a business owner’s paycheck largely depends on the type of business and how well it’s doing. If the company is new or… Read more

Advance Medical and Legal Directives

May 2017

It’s not pleasant to think about the possibility of being unable to make your own medical or financial decisions. But taking the time to express your wishes in advance could help ensure that your health-care and financial affairs are handled as you wish and that your loved ones feel more confident about any decisions made… Read more

Use Sense with Student Loans

May 2017

According to a recent survey, 57% of millennials regret how much they borrowed for college.1 This doesn’t mean they regretted going to college or borrowing at all, but rather that it may be wise to carefully consider the amount of any loans a student might need for higher education. The numbers can be daunting. In… Read more

The State of Social Security

May 2017

Sixty-two percent of retirees report that Social Security is a major source of retirement income. By contrast, only 35% of workers expect the program to be a major source of income for them in retirement.1 Social Security was never intended to be a retiree’s sole source of retirement income, so lower expectations are realistic and… Read more

Mutual Benefits: Funds to Pursue Your Goals

May 2017

About 94 million Americans — 43.6% of U.S. households — owned mutual funds in 2016.1 What’s the appeal? It may be that mutual funds offer a convenient way to participate in a wide range of market activity that would be difficult for most investors to achieve by purchasing individual securities. With more than 8,000 funds… Read more

HOT TOPIC: Robos Have Arrived, But Life Often Calls for a Human Touch

May 2017

Numerous robo advisors have entered the world of investment management, but many investors may not fully understand exactly what robos do, or how they do it. A robo advisor is a digital platform that uses advanced algorithms (based on various financial models and assumptions) to select and manage investments. To keep costs relatively low, portfolios… Read more

Cash Balance Plans Can Help Supercharge Retirement Savings

April 2017

Cash balance plans are technically defined benefit plans that share some characteristics with defined contribution plans. IRS regulations finalized in 2010 and 2014 clarified some legal issues and made these hybrid plans more flexible and appealing to employers. Nationwide, there was a 189% increase in new cash balance plans between 2008 and 2014.1 Cash balance… Read more

Real Estate Markets on the Mend

April 2017

With a stable housing market, low interest rates, and a more positive employment picture, more Americans may be in a position to buy or sell properties in 2017. Moreover, the U.S. tax code favors real estate ownership, allowing for tax savings that might help families enhance their everyday lives and build wealth over the long… Read more

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