What is a fixed index annuity? Don’t let the investment jargon put you off, Fixed Index Annuities are simpler than they sound. A Fixed Index Annuity is a tax-favored accumulation product issued by an insurance company. However, unlike fixed deferred interest rate annuities, a Fixed Index Annuity’s annual growth is tied to a market index like the Standard & Poor’s 500 rather than an interest rate. (more…)
We all know the value of a good credit score. We all try to maintain one. Sometimes, though, life throws us a financial curveball and that score declines. What steps can we take to repair it?
Reduce your credit utilization ratio. Your credit utilization ratio (CUR) is the percentage of a credit card’s debt limit you have used up. Simply stated, if you have a credit card with a limit of $1,500 and you have $1,300 borrowed on it right now, the CUR for that card is 87%. Carrying lower balances on your credit cards tilts the CUR in your favor and promotes a better credit score. (more…)
High net worth investors face investment challenges that some would consider unique to their financial status. The fundamental tenets of investing apply just as equally to them as any other investor, but these investors need to be mindful of issues that typically arise only from substantial wealth.
Let’s examine a few of these.
Inheriting wealth can be a burden and a blessing. Even if you have an inclination that a family member may remember you in their last will and testament, there are many facets to the process of inheritance that you may not have considered. Here are some things you may want to keep in mind if it comes to pass.
Take your time. If someone cared about you enough to leave you a sizable inheritance, then you will likely need time to grieve and cope with their loss. This is important, and many of the more major decisions about your inheritance can likely wait. And consider, too – when you’re dealing with so much already, you may be too overwhelmed to give your options the careful consideration they need and deserve. You may be able to make more rational decisions once some time has passed. (more…)
Some millionaires are reluctant to talk to their kids about family wealth. Perhaps they are afraid of what their heirs may do with it.
If a child comes from money and grows up knowing they can expect a sizable inheritance, that child may look at family wealth like water from a free-flowing spigot with no drought in sight. Your child may rely upon your wealth if nothing works out; or simply to whims born of boredom. The perception that family wealth is a fallback rather than a responsibility can contribute to the erosion of family assets. Factor in a parental reluctance to say “no” often enough, throw in a penchant for racking up debt, and the stage is set for wealth to dissipate.
How might a family plan to prevent this? It starts with values. From those values; you can begin to define goals and purpose. (more…)
When you think about your estate, you may think about your personal property, real estate, or investments. You also have other, less-tangible assets – and they deserve your attention as well.
Your digital assets should not disappear into a void when you die. Nor should they be stolen by thieves. You can direct that they be transferred, preserved, or destroyed per your instructions. Your digital assets may include information on your phone and computer, content that you uploaded to Facebook, Instagram, or other websites, your intellectual/creative stake in certain digital property, and records stemming from online communications. (That last category includes your emails and text messages.)
Think of it this way: each password-protected account that you have signifies a digital asset. You may feel that some of these accounts have little (more…)
In a recent study, 35% of married couples described money issues or finances as their primary source of stress. While there are many potential causes of such financial stress, in some cases the root may begin with habits formed early in the marriage.
Fortunately, couples may be able to head off many of the problems money can cause in a marriage. We have put together 10 Tips for Newly Married Couples manage their financial stress. (more…)
Everyone loves a winner. If an investment is successful, most people naturally want to stick with it. But is that the best approach?
It may sound counterintuitive, but it may be possible to have too much of a good thing. Over time, the performance of different investments can shift a portfolio’s intent as well as its risk profile. It’s a phenomenon sometimes referred to as “risk creep,” and it happens when a portfolio’s risk profile shifts over time. (more…)
If you ever have the inkling to manage your investments on your own, that inkling is worth reconsidering. Do-it-yourself investment management can be a bad idea for the retail investor for myriad reasons.
Getting caught up in the moment.When you are watching your investments day to day, you can lose a sense of historical perspective. This may be especially true in longstanding bull markets, in which investors are sometimes lulled into assuming that the big indices will move in only one direction. (more…)
While nature offers four seasons, Wall Street offers only one – four times a year. It’s called “earnings season,” and it can move the markets. So, what is earnings season, and why is it important?
Earnings season is the month of the year that follows each calendar quarter-end month (January, April, July, and October). It is the time during which many public companies release quarterly earnings reports. Some public companies report earnings at other times during the year, but many are on the calendar year that ends December 31. (more…)
Healthcare can be one of the priciest yet essential parts of life’s journey. And yet, many struggle to utilize the financial tools that may help. Take Health Saving Account (HSAs), for example.
If you are feeling a bit confused about the direction of inflation, you’re in good company. Some of the best and brightest economists in the country are having a tough time getting their arms around the current inflation trends. The most recent Producer Price Index reading came in above economists’ estimates at a record level … Continue reading “The Best, the Brightest, and Inflation”
Want to give your child or grandchild a great financial start? A Roth IRA might be a choice to consider. There are many reasons why starting a Roth IRA for a teenager may be a sound financial strategy. Read on to learn more about how doing this may benefit both of you.
The bull market continues, with the S&P 500 Index now up seven months in a row. Stocks have impressively gained 20% year-to-date, with the S&P 500 making 53 new all-time highs before the end of August—another new record. All of this has happened with very little volatility, as the S&P 500 hasn’t had so much … Continue reading “The Bull Market Continues … For Now”
It can be incredibly difficult to make sense of data. A report coming from one body may tell you one thing, and another report might seem to offer a wholly different perspective.
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