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Trust Basics

Whether you’re seeking to manage your own assets, control how your assets are distributed after your death, or plan for incapacity, trusts can help you accomplish your estate planning goals. Their power is in their versatility–many types of trusts exist, each designed for a specific purpose. Although trust law is complex and establishing a trust requires the services of an experienced attorney, mastering the basics isn’t hard. What is a trust? A trust is a legal entity that holds assets…
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Investing in Stocks

Businesses sell shares of stock to investors as a way to raise money to finance expansion, pay off debt, and provide operating capital. Each share of stock represents a proportional share of ownership in the company. As a stockholder, you share in a portion of any profits and growth of the company. Dividends from earnings are paid to shareholders, and growth is realized by the increase in value of the stock. Stock ownership also generally gives you the right to…
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10 Things Women Need to Know About Money

Life is definitely more than just about money. There are so many things to know about money. The list is endless, but here are 10 important things you as a woman should know about money: 1. Men and Women are Different Understand that men and women are different in how we use money, how we feel about money, and how we communicate about money. In most relationships one partner will be the spender and one will be a saver. Understand…
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Kids and Activities – The Pressure to Spend Money

Who are the Jones’? Why do we have this need, desire and pressure to keep up with them? Having school age children in sports I have become mystified. I have always been aware of the budgets of clients and how they overspend to meet their kid’s desires but now it has become real. According to TIME, kid’s sports is a $15.3 billion industry that has nearly doubled in the last 10 years. Between league fees, camps, equipment, training and travel,…
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Time for a Financial Plan Tune-up

No matter where you are in life, your financial plan – like your favorite automobile – requires regular maintenance to keep you on track for financial success. And since June is the halfway point of every year, it’s a great time to review your plan and make any necessary changes. Here are a few key things to consider: • Do your designated beneficiaries need to change due to the birth of a child, adoption or divorce? • Has there been…
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Understanding Mutual Fund Share Classes

When investing in a mutual fund, you may have the opportunity to choose among several share classes, most commonly Class A, Class B, and Class C. The differences among these share classes typically revolve around how much you will be charged for buying the fund, when you will pay any sales charges that apply, and the amount you will pay in annual fees and expenses. This multi-class structure offers you the opportunity to select a share class that is best…
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Understanding Risk

Few terms in personal finance are as important, or used as frequently, as “risk.” Nevertheless, few terms are as imprecisely defined. Generally, when financial advisors or the media talk about investment risk, their focus is on the historical price volatility of the asset or investment under discussion. Advisors label as aggressive or risky an investment that has been prone to wild price gyrations in the past. The presumed uncertainty and unpredictability of this investment’s future performance is perceived as risk….
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Closing a Retirement Income Gap

When you determine how much income you’ll need in retirement, you may base your projection on the type of lifestyle you plan to have and when you want to retire. However, as you grow closer to retirement, you may discover that your income won’t be enough to meet your needs. If you find yourself in this situation, you’ll need to adopt a plan to bridge this projected income gap. Delay retirement: 65 is just a number One way of dealing…
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Mutual Fund Basics

A mutual fund pools the money of many investors to purchase securities. The fund’s manager buys securities to pursue a stated investment strategy. By investing in the fund, you’ll own a piece of the total portfolio of securities, which could be anywhere from a few dozen to hundreds of stocks. This provides you with a convenient way to obtain instant diversification that would be harder to achieve on your own. Types of mutual funds There are many mutual funds to…
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Investing in Bonds

Bonds may not be as glamorous as stocks or commodities, but they are a significant component of most investment portfolios. Bonds are traded in huge volumes every day, but their full usefulness is often underappreciated and underestimated. Why invest in bonds? Bonds can help diversify your investment portfolio. Interest payments from bonds can act as a hedge against the relative volatility of stocks, real estate, or precious metals. Those interest payments also can provide you with a steady stream of…
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