Posted in Investment

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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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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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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Understanding Investment Terms and Concepts

Below are summaries of some basic principles you should understand when evaluating an investment opportunity or making an investment decision. Rest assured, this is not rocket science. In fact, you’ll see that the most important foundation on which to base your investment education is simply good common sense. Don’t be intimidated by jargon. Don’t worry if you can’t understand the experts in the financial media right away. Much of what they say is jargon and is actually less complicated than…
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