The Myths and Realities of Retirement Planning

Today, pension and Social Security benefits are not quite what they once were, financial institutions and insurance companies have become a concern and require close scrutiny, and health care costs seem to be rising out of control. With all of these scenarios continuing to be played out, wise planning is essential. This article will deal…

 

Fit for All Seasons: Managing and Monitoring Your Portfolio

Portfolios occasionally get away from investors and become financial beasts. You may have one of these creatures in your file cabinet: Your portfolio may be something you started long ago and added to sporadically over the years, never looking very closely at these investments individually after your initial interest or considering how the individual investments…

 

Dividend Safety Signs and Warning Flags

Many investors seek shelter from the stock market storm in more mature dividend-paying companies since the income from these firms provides at least some positive return in an otherwise bleak environment. But an economic downturn can test even the most mature and stable firms, with some forced to cut dividend payments. Others manage to maintain…

 

When Less Is More: How to Increase Aftertax Returns by Doing Less

High turnover can have a big impact on your tax bill, reducing bottom-line returns, while a buy-and-hold strategy can significantly improve long-term aftertax results. A lot of attention is given to stock and market returns. However, most of the attention is focused on rates of return before taxes. The bottom line, though, for any investor…

 

AAII Survey: Did Your Investments Live Up to Your Expectations in 2018?

As we enter the final weeks of 2018, the stock market is not enjoying a Santa Claus rally. Whatever slims gains the major indexes had entering the last month of the year have evaporated. According to data compiled by @OddStats from Stooq.com, 2018 is on pace to be the first year in the S&P 500’s history that…

 

How to Safely Navigate Through Crowded ETF Waters

I once interviewed a successful exchange-traded fund (ETF) sponsor and had the temerity to offer some suggestions where some ETFs were needed. The response from this person was: “Look, we’re not interested in filling needs as much as we are in building a business.” This made an important point: Investors must align their investments to match their…

 

Duties and Criteria for Selecting Trustees, Executors and Guardians

Financial planning for the most part can be self-administered. But there are times that others will be turned to for help. Attorneys, accountants, financial planners, trustees, guardians and executors are all examples of people an individual may use at some point in time for help in various aspects of financial planning. Most individuals have a…

 

AAII Survey: Are You Better Off Now Compared to a Year Ago?

A survey from a website called WalletHub found that six in 10 of us say we’re better off financially this year than last year. Last year, it was five in 10 of us. In addition, the survey found that a third of us will spend more than $500 this Christmas season, and that’s up from…