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Is Smart Beta for You?

June 2018

Traditional investment indexes such as the S&P 500 are weighted based on market capitalization, the value of a company’s total outstanding stock. This means the largest companies in the index may have much greater influence than smaller companies on index performance — and on funds that track the index. For example, the 10 largest companies… Read more

HOT TOPIC — Wage Growth: Watching for a Tipping Point

June 2018

In April 2018, average hourly earnings for private-sector U.S. workers grew at a 2.6% annual rate, and “real” wage growth (adjusted for inflation) increased just 0.2% year over year. The unemployment rate fell to 3.9% in the same month, a 17-year low that leaves many people wondering why workers are not seeing corresponding wage increases.1… Read more

A New Look at Old Retirement Savings Guidelines

May 2018

Saving for retirement is complicated, so it’s not surprising that a few fundamental guidelines have become popular over the years to help simplify complex ideas. Here are four that you might have come across in reading, researching, or just talking with friends. Like most guidelines, they offer helpful starting points but need to be examined… Read more

Time to Hire? Consider the Pros and Costs

May 2018

It’s exciting to discover an opportunity to expand the size or scope of your business, and sometimes more workers are needed to make that happen. In the fourth quarter of 2017, 32% of small-business owners said they intend to increase the number of jobs in their companies over the next 12 months.1 How do you… Read more

A Steady Strategy

May 2018

One of the most fundamental truths of investing is that you can’t time the market. Even so, it’s natural to wince a little when you buy an investment only to see the price drop, or sell only to see the price rise. One approach that might help alleviate some of your concerns is dollar-cost averaging…. Read more

The Cost of Caregiving

May 2018

About 40 million family caregivers in the United States provide unpaid care to another adult.1 Caregiving for a loved one is a noble endeavor, and considering the high cost of professional long-term care, it may be the only alternative for some families. But “free” caregiving often comes with financial, physical, and emotional costs. If you… Read more

Where There’s a Will…

May 2018

A 2017 survey found that only 42% of U.S. adults — and only 36% of those with children under age 18 — had a will or a living trust.1 (A living trust can serve some but not all functions of a will; you should have a will even if you have a trust.) The most… Read more

HOT TOPIC — Changing Market: Municipal Bonds After Tax Reform

May 2018

January is typically a strong month for the municipal bond market, but 2018 began with the worst January performance since 1981, driven by rising interest rates and uncertainty over changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).1 The muni market stabilized through late April 2018, but uncertainty remains.2 The tax law changed the playing… Read more

Guard Against Growing Cybersecurity Threats

April 2018

Hackers are continuing to target small businesses at an alarming rate. In one 2017 survey, 53% of executives said their businesses had experienced a cyber attack in the previous year.1 When a data breach occurs, outsiders gain access to the personally identifiable information of customers or other individuals, opening the door for identity theft and… Read more

Monetary Policy Update

April 2018

The Federal Reserve System is the central bank of the United States. It includes a network of 12 Federal Reserve Banks and 24 branches around the nation. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is responsible for setting monetary policies in accordance with the Fed’s dual mandate to foster maximum employment and price stability. Seven members… Read more

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