Author: rachel

Investing During a Bear Market

Lately, financial pundits seem to be constantly warning that a bear market is coming, arguing over whether one has begun or predicting when one will end. It’s less common for them to actually define one. From their ominous tone, you can tell it’s less appealing than its counterpart, a bull market. But what is it exactly? How does it differ from other market fluctuations? And how long does one last? What is a bear market? A bear market is an…
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The Benefits of Donor-Advised Funds

As tax planning season and end-of-year charitable giving begin, it’s a good time to consider the benefits of donor-advised funds. Charitable giving has many facets, most notably as an opportunity for you to support the causes and organizations that reflect your values. But giving is also a significant tax and financial planning opportunity, helping you increase your impact and potentially save on your taxes. What is a Donor-Advised Fund? Donor-advised funds offer similar benefits to a private charitable foundation; however,…
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How Diversifying Your Portfolio Can Help Mitigate Risk

Risk is an inherent part of investing. After all, no one can control the losses or gains of a particular asset, sector, or the market as a whole. But you can take steps to manage your risk by diversifying your portfolio. Here’s a look at what diversification is, why it matters, and how to do it. What is diversification? Diversification is a technique that can help reduces risk and volatility in your investment portfolio. The idea is to invest across…
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A Beginner’s Guide to Alternative Investments

Alternatives are investment options beyond the typical stocks, bonds and cash found in most portfolios. They can be tangible assets like precious metals, or they could be financial assets like private equity or hedge funds. Alternatives tend to be riskier than traditional assets, which means investors usually have to meet certain criteria to access them. Here’s a closer look at alternatives and some of the most common options available. What is an alternative investment? An alternative investment is a financial…
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Understanding the Charitable Remainder Trust

Understanding the Charitable Remainder Trust The charitable remainder trust (CRT) is a popular retirement- and estate-planning tool. It can be a convenient way to create a stream of lifetime income for yourself and others or donate to a charity while minimizing and deferring taxes. But there are many choices to make when establishing a CRT and, in some cases, these tools may not be right for everyone. What is a Charitable Remainder Trust and How Does it Work? A charitable…
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Smart Ways to Save for Your Child’s Education

If you’re a parent, the start of a new school year may have you considering how much you’re able to set aside for your child’s college fund. Average annual tuition in the U.S. is $38,185 for private college and $10,338 for public college.[1]1 And those numbers may rise by 2%–3% in the coming school year.[2]2 So, the sooner you start saving to support your child’s future, the better. Fortunately, investment accounts, such as 529 plans and Coverdell education savings accounts,…
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An Introduction to Bond Ladders

An Introduction to Bond Ladders

Bonds play an important role in a diverse investment portfolio. As fixed-income securities, they can provide a stable return until they mature. As with any investment, bonds are subject to a certain amount of risk. Interest rate risk, for one, is the possibility that interest rates will rise after an investor buys bonds, causing them to miss out on potentially higher yields. To mitigate this risk, investors may opt to buy bonds with staggered maturity dates using a strategy called…
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The Sequence-of-Returns Risk in Retirement

The Sequence-of-Returns Risk in Retirement

Markets go up and down in ways that are not entirely predictable. For long-term investors, what the market is doing in the present isn’t that troubling; they’ve got a long time to ride out potential downturns. But for recent retirees, an ill-timed market downturn can have a negative impact on their nest egg, increasing the chances they’ll outlive their money. It’s a risk all investors face, and, fortunately, there are several things you can do to mitigate it. What is…
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