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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

Interested in Interest Rates?

July 2017

After falling to historic lows during the recession, interest rates have been rising. Try this short quiz to test your interest rate knowledge. 1. Which of the following interest rates is directly controlled by the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee? A) Prime rate B) Federal funds rate C) Mortgage rates D) All of the… Read more

Surprise! It’s Retirement Time

July 2017

“The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” This famous saying, adapted from 18th-century Scottish poet Robert Burns, could apply to many aspects of life, including retirement.1 In 2016, 46% of retirees said they retired earlier than they had planned. This percentage has consistently been high over the past 25 years, ranging from… Read more

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