Posted in Investment

Five Investment Tasks to Tackle by Year-End

Market turbulence in 2020 may have wreaked havoc on your investment goals for the year. It probably also highlighted the importance of periodically reviewing your investment portfolio to determine whether adjustments are needed to keep it on track. Now is a good time to take on these five year-end investment tasks. 1. Evaluate Your Investment Portfolio To identify potential changes to your investment strategy, consider the following questions when reviewing your portfolio: •How did your investments perform during the year?…
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Markus Winkler

Tapping Retirement Savings During a Financial Crisis

As the number of COVID-19 cases began to skyrocket in March 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The legislation may make it easier for Americans to access money in their retirement plans, temporarily waiving the 10% early-withdrawal penalty and increasing the amount they could borrow. Understanding these new guidelines and the other rules for loans and early withdrawals may help you determine if they are appropriate options during a financial crisis. (Remember that tapping…
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Turbulent Times: Bear Markets Come and Go

The longest bull market in history lasted almost 11 years before coronavirus fears and the realities of a seriously disrupted U.S. economy brought it to an end.1 Bear markets are typically defined as declines of 20% or more from the most recent high, and bull markets are sustained increases of 20% or more from the bear market low. But there is no official declaration, so often there are different interpretations and a fair amount of debate regarding when these cycles…
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Six Keys to More Successful Investing

A successful investor maximizes gain and minimizes loss. Though there can be no guarantee that any investment strategy will be successful and all investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal, here are six basic principles that may help you invest more successfully. Long-term compounding can help your nest egg grow It’s the “rolling snowball” effect. Put simply, compounding pays you earnings on your reinvested earnings. The longer you leave your money at work for you, the more exciting…
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Eleven Ways to Help Yourself Stay Sane in a Crazy Market

Keeping your cool can be hard to do when the market goes on one of its periodic roller-coaster rides. It’s useful to have strategies in place that prepare you both financially and psychologically to handle market volatility. Here are 11 ways to help keep yourself from making hasty decisions that could have a long-term impact on your ability to achieve your financial goals. 1. Have a game plan Having predetermined guidelines that recognize the potential for turbulent times can help…
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The SECURE Act Offers New Opportunities for Individuals and Businesses

The SECURE Act (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act) is major legislation that was passed by Congress as part of a larger spending bill and signed into law by the president in December. Here are a few provisions that may affect you. Unless otherwise noted, the new rules apply to tax or plan years starting January 1, 2020. If you’re still saving for retirement To address increasing life expectancies, the new law repeals the prohibition on contributions to…
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Asset Allocation

Asset allocation is a common strategy that you can use to construct an investment portfolio. Asset allocation isn’t about picking individual securities. Instead, you focus on broad categories of investments, mixing them together in the right proportion to match your financial goals, the amount of time you have to invest, and your tolerance for risk. The basics of asset allocation The idea behind asset allocation is that because not all investments are alike, you can balance risk and return in…
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Shopping for an Annuity

Although many insurance companies offer annuities with the same (or at least similar) features, that doesn’t mean that all products and all companies are the same. As with all financial products, you should shop around and compare. Here are some things to consider when shopping for annuities. Financial stability Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and A. M. Best all rate insurance companies for financial stability and customer satisfaction. When purchasing an annuity, it is best to consider buying only from companies…
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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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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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