June 19, 2018

Don’t Panic

The sudden stock market drop of February 2018 took many investors by surprise. The U.S. Dow fell 7%. Other world markets also tumbled: Japan’s Nikkei by 4.7%; Hong Kong stocks, 5.1%; and London’s FTSE 100, nearly 2%. One day after the notorious plunge, the market surged 381 points, but by close of the same day, the increase had disappeared. Read More
June 18, 2018

Beneficiary Form Checklist

Follow-ups should be added to the To Do list at the end of this checklist. Read More
June 18, 2018

4 Financial Lessons I Learned From My Dad

Whether it’s a clever life hack, a career tip or that pesky flat tire you just can’t seem to fix, there’s a good chance you can recite (perhaps grudgingly) the tried-and-true life lessons your father ingrained in you at a young age.

Whether or not you’d like to admit it, those words of wisdom have probably paid off as you have forged your own life path and tackled tough decisions.  Maybe you dust off the lessons he taught you and reuse them in ...

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June 18, 2018

Trade and Interest Rates – June 18, 2018

Last week stocks showed mixed results as political headlines continued to dominate the news. The Dow lost 0.89% and the S&P 500 was almost flat with a 0.02% gain.  The NASDAQ, on the other hand, reached a record high on Thursday and ended the week up 1.32%.  Both the S&P 500 and NASDAQ experienced their 4th week of gains in a row.  International stocks in the MSCI EAFE lost ground, posting a 0.52% decline. Read More
June 11, 2018

Planning for Health Savings Account (HSA) Distributions in 5 Easy Steps

A Health Savings Account is a tax-advantaged medical savings account that helps people pay for qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses. What are the withdrawal rules for HSAs? Are there special considerations that must be taken into account? Read More
June 11, 2018

How to Plug the 3 Leaks That Can Sink Even the Best Retirement Plan

As more people flock to low-fee funds and inexpensive investment advice — including robo-advisors and target-date funds — investors need to be mindful that there are other potential leaks in their portfolios.

“There are a lot of inefficiencies in money management, and in fact, those inefficiencies collectively are actually much more impactful on your long-term financial health than the fees that you pay for ...

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June 11, 2018

Strength, Growth, and Tension – June 11, 2018

As last week ended, tension between the U.S. and some of its greatest allies was on the rise. Trade remained a hot-button topic ahead of the G-7 meeting in Canada, but investors seemed largely unfazed by the drama.  In fact, all 3 domestic indexes posted strong results: The S&P 500 added 1.62% and the NASDAQ gained 1.21%, with both indexes notching their 3rd week of gains in a row.  The Dow ended Friday up 2.77% for the week—recording both its highest level and largest weekly gain since March.  International stocks were also up, with the MSCI EAFE increasing by 0.91%. Read More
June 6, 2018

4 Critical Social Security Facts

More than 67 million Americans (22% of the U.S. population) receive some form of Social Security. The public insurance has been laying the foundation for economic security for Americans for more than 80 years, providing help to retirees and others. Since the nation’s founding, its leaders have struggled with finding humane and sound economic approaches to helping the elderly, widows and orphans, and the less fortunate. It wasn’t until President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law ... Read More
June 4, 2018

Avoiding 72(t) Mistakes in 5 Easy Steps

What are 72(t) payments? 72(t) payments are a series of substantially equal periodic payments made from an IRA that can be used to avoid the 10% penalty for early distributions. Payments must last the greater of 5 years or until the IRA owner reaches age 59½. When using a 72(t) schedule, a number of changes are prohibited. If these changes occur, the 10% penalty (and interest) is applied retroactively to all distributions made prior to age 59½. Read More
June 4, 2018

4 Things Not to Do After Receiving an Inheritance

Many people do not anticipate receiving an inheritance, or know what to do with it when they receive it. The amount of the inheritance may even be a surprise. If you've recently received an inheritance, it’s probably not under the best circumstances. Dealing with paperwork regarding financial and legal issues are usually not a priority during an already emotional time, and it can be easy to put off making decisions. Read More