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Consider an Annuity Even When the Market’s Humming

July 22, 2019

Perhaps you are familiar with an annuity. The basic premise is that you convert a lump sum of money into a stream of income. Unlike an investment, once you commit a fixed amount of money to the insurance company, that company is contractually obligated to provide you a minimum level of income with the option to continue receiving it as long as you live. All guarantees are backed by the financial strength of the issuing insurance company.

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Tech Trends

July 7, 2019

There are different formulas for launching highly successful companies. First, create a product that solves a problem that no one knew they had — for instance, how online search engines replaced encyclopedias. Then, there are ideas that help solve problems that plague millions of people.

Back pain, for example. Not only do approximately eight in 10 adults experience low-back pain at some point in their lifetime, but it’s also the most common cause of job-related disability.

One individual who suffered severe back pain while sitting at work all day decided to invent a new kind of desk. This desk would allow him to stand while he worked, alleviating his back pain. This man was a co-founder of VARIDESK, a new type of office furniture manufacturer. But this new company didn’t just enter the office supply industry; it introduced a new sales model that was key to its rampant success: Selling online direct to consumers.

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Retirement Planning Challenges

June 25, 2019

In 1985, only 10 percent of people aged 65 and older were either in the workforce or job hunting. Today, that share has doubled, for a couple of reasons. First, fewer 65-year-olds have enough money to retire. Second, the number of people in this demographic with a college degree has more than doubled (53 percent today vs. 25 percent in 1985).

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Boosting Financial Literacy is a Top Priority

June 12, 2019

Financial literacy has always been a challenge. However, now that much of the burden of retirement income has shifted to employees instead of employers, it is all the more important that we begin teaching the principles of saving and investing to people as early as possible.

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Stock Buybacks Explained

May 20, 2019

When the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reduced the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, the hope was companies would spend their influx of money on expansion and increased jobs and wages. Instead, public companies’ most popular way to spend the excess capital has been to buy back their own stock.

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Bull Market Turns 10

May 7, 2019

March 9, 2019, marked the 10th anniversary of the current bull market, the longest-running in U.S. history. In that decade, the market more than quadrupled, and when you factor in dividends, it’s up fivefold.

The short-term spikes over the past few years coupled with corporate share buybacks have served to keep performance humming. As we move forward, a few points of note:

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Digging Up the Sweet Benefits of Health Food Trends

April 15, 2019

When Lessie Brown, a 114-year-old woman from Ohio, passed away in January, her family attributed her longevity to the fact that she ate a sweet potato nearly every day until she was well past 100.

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Don’t Leave Your Long-Term Care Plan to Chance

April 2, 2019

According to new research from Genworth, one of the nation’s leading long-term care insurance companies, Americans are both entering caregiver roles and requiring care at younger ages.

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Pros and Cons of Municipal Bonds

March 5, 2019

U.S. stock markets were enjoying an eighth consecutive year of a bull market until volatility toward the end of 2018 erased all of the past year’s gains.1 In times like this, as share prices continue to bounce back and forth on a day-to-day basis, investors close to or in retirement often transition to more conservative investments. One option is the municipal bond market.

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Stability Grows for Emerging Markets

February 19, 2019

Thirty years ago, developed markets were seen as much more stable than smaller, emerging countries. But as political division and uncertainty permeates the West, the differences have faded, and emerging markets (EM) have shed the high-risk perception that accompanied foreign investment.

Sound government situations, conservative monetary policy and lower levels of debt were once staples of developed markets, while EMs posed higher risks with regard to politics and central bank policies. EM countries have evolved, along with their institutions and policies, while populist politicians have gained prominence in the West by touting the benefits of isolationism and protectionism.1

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