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Ryan Financial Blog

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Waiting in a winding airport security checkpoint line is just one of many potential headaches today's travelers experience. Worrying about what to pack, what kind of identification is required, and how much cash to bring are yet others...

 

Monday, December 3, 2018

There are several ways you might consider gifting money to your loved ones. In 2018, the IRS allows you to give up to $15,000 annually (or $30,000 if you give jointly with your spouse) in cash, investments, and/or property to each of...

 

Monday, November 26, 2018

As the traditional giving season approaches, there is one important item to add to your to do list: Create a holiday budget. Before the gift shopping and wrapping begins, take control of your wallet through financial preparation....

 

Monday, November 19, 2018

You can see it just ahead, looming on the horizon -- the holiday season. While children can hardly stand the wait, adults often wish they had a few more months before its arrival. Unfortunately, time does not stop. This year, don't...

 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Because you've worked hard to create a secure and comfortable lifestyle for your family and loved ones, you'll want to ensure that you have a sound financial plan that includes trust and estate planning. With some forethought, you may...

 

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Monday, November 5, 2018

Don’t Discount Your Will. A self-created last will and testament may lead to problems. As an early step in estate planning, you may be tempted to write your own will. There are some good reasons why you shouldn’t. While...

 

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

What makes a company a good investment? Investment professionals consider several factors when they're selecting companies to include in a stock portfolio. Here are some of the criteria they're likely to use. A Company's Finances A...

 

Monday, October 22, 2018

In most instances, you become eligible for Medicare on the first day of the month you turn age 65. Whether you need to sign up, and how to go about doing so, depends on the type of coverage you select and whether you collect Social...

 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Diversification is a basic concept that's critical to building a portfolio able to withstand the test of time. It is the process of spreading your money among a variety of securities to reduce exposure to any one investment or asset...

 

Monday, October 8, 2018

'Tis the season … to be concerned about heating bills. Conserving fuel not only helps the environment, but also can potentially save you money. Here are some handy tips to help you do just that. Did you know that you could save...

 

Friday, September 28, 2018

Money. It's hard to get and easy to lose. It doesn't take long for the wealth you've accumulated to disappear if you don't manage your money well or have a plan to protect your assets from sudden calamity. Snares like the ones...

 

Monday, September 24, 2018

You've probably You've probably received them -- e-mail or text messages touting a "hot" stock and directing you to a website for more information.1 Be cautious. You might be the target of a con in a "pump and dump" scheme. By creating...

 

Monday, September 17, 2018

As a consequence of an aging population, more working Americans are finding themselves faced with a new challenge -- trying to save for retirement while sandwiched between financial obligations to children and to elderly parents. With...

 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America, affecting nearly 10 million people between 2010 and 2014. Further, the 2015 Identity Fraud Study released by Javelin Strategy &...

 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Everyone needs a vacation periodically. Breaking the routine of the workaday world is not only refreshing, but studies show it's good both for you and your ability to do a better job. Reducing job stress can lead to more productivity....

 

Monday, August 27, 2018

Will Social Security be different when you retire? Its reserves are projected to be depleted by 2034, and if that happens, the program could pay retirees only about 80% of projected retirement benefits. 1 Since 2010, Social Security...

 

Monday, August 20, 2018

In America today, carrying some debt is unavoidable, and even desirable, for most households. But between mortgages, car payments, and credit cards, many Americans find themselves over their heads -- unable to dig out from under a...

 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Changing jobs is an important decision -- one that many of us are making more often. Once you've decided to switch jobs, your next move is to determine what to do with the money in your former employer's retirement plan. Four Common...

 

Monday, August 6, 2018

Americans are a generous people. Many support charitable organizations that enhance their communities and enrich their personal lives. In addition to giving wisely to nonprofit groups, it's important to anticipate financial obligations...

 

Monday, July 30, 2018

There is a good possibility that you or your spouse will eventually require some form of long-term care. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 70% of people aged 65 or older will enter a nursing home for...

 

Monday, July 23, 2018

Inattention and procrastination can hurt family wealth. Some estate planning is better than none, but sometimes people address wealth transfer issues inadequately or ineptly when they tackle the task. Here are some classic miscues....

 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Whether nurturing the values of children, fulfilling charitable goals, or making investment decisions that affect their own as well as their beneficiaries' financial security, women play a central role in establishing and preserving...

 

Monday, July 2, 2018

Assets in 529 plans have grown significantly in recent years due to their college planning potential. But there's another side to 529 plans that may appeal to you -- potential estate planning benefits. First, a Few Basics To understand...

 

Monday, July 2, 2018

As many of you know, our former intern Tanner is now a published author. I had the pleasure of sitting down with him to ask him some questions about his book and journey through publication. Jill: Thanks for coming in Tanner! Tell us a...

 

Monday, April 30, 2018

The Federal Reserve and the U.S. bond market appear to be in agreement about the direction of interest rates. For more years than anyone cares to count, investment professionals have been predicting the end of the bull market in bonds....

 

Monday, April 30, 2018

In February, a new research paper disclosed a finding no one wants to hear about: Viruses are falling from the sky. Literally. Science Daily summarized a report from the University of British Columbia. The report said: “An...

 

Monday, April 23, 2018

Throughout history, people have eaten bugs. According to National Geographic, hunter-gatherers probably learned which insects were edible by watching birds. People’s appetite for bugs didn’t disappear as they became more...

 

Monday, April 23, 2018

The April 2018 International Monetary Fund (IMF) Fiscal Monitor reported global debt has reached a historically high level. In 2016, debt peaked at 225 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP) (the value of all goods and services...

 

Monday, April 16, 2018

Your preference for pop, country, opera, classic rock, or some other type of music may provide clues to your personality, according to an article in Psychological Science entitled ‘Musical Preferences Predict Personality...

 

Monday, April 16, 2018

What do you think?• Are you bullish, bearish, or neutral about the U.S. stock market? • Are U.S. stocks undervalued, overvalued, or fairly valued?• What is the biggest threat the U.S. stock market faces this year?During...

 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Trade tensions ratcheted higher last week as the United States and China staked new positions on the not-so-dusty main street of trade. It was the latest round of posturing in what has the potential to become a trade war between the...

 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Have you ever wondered how students select colleges? Economic theory suggests, “Models of college choice typically assume that high school students are fully informed and choose to apply to and eventually attend a school that...

 

Monday, April 2, 2018

Janelle Shane at PopSci.com wrote, “When computers try to imitate humans, they often get confused. But simulated brain cells in so-called neural networks can mimic our problem-solving skills. An AI will look at a dataset, figure...

 

Monday, April 2, 2018

Investors roared into 2018.During the first week of the first quarter of the New Year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose above 25,000 for the first time ever. Less than two weeks later, it closed above 26,000. The Standard &...

 

Monday, March 26, 2018

After last week, we could all use some good news. Here are 10 intriguing headlines from the Good News Network:1. Scientists Believe They Found a Way to Stop Future Hurricanes in Their Tracks2. Strangers Rally Around 13-Year-old Whose...

 

Monday, March 26, 2018

After a week like last week, it’s an important question. There are many reasons people save and invest, including to:• Live the life they want today and in the future• Accumulate resources so they’re prepared for...

 

Monday, March 26, 2018

After a week like last week, it’s an important question. There are many reasons people save and invest, including to:• Live the life they want today and in the future• Accumulate resources so they’re prepared for...

 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Healthcare costs have been going up for a long time. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reported annual health spending – healthcare paid for through private health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, or out-of-pocket...

 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Last week, after sliding lower for four days, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index recouped some of its losses on Friday. The reasons behind the week’s poor showing were diverse. Barron’s reported:“The market is so...

 

Monday, March 12, 2018

While the emergence of the Gig economy often is attributed to Millennials, MBO Partners’ 2017 survey found the full-time Gig workforce is a generational mash-up. It includes:• 38 percent Millennials (ages 21 to 37)• 27...

 

Monday, March 12, 2018

There is little doubt the Millennial generation has been reshaping our world. One of the most remarkable aspects of this demographic group is a preference for experiences over consumer goods. “Three out of four millennials would...

 

Monday, March 5, 2018

Every state has adopted official symbols that represent its culture and heritage. You can probably name your state’s official bird and flower. It’s likely you recognize your state’s flag and its seal. Can you name its...

 

Monday, March 5, 2018

Last week, global stock markets took a bit of a dip after President Trump announced a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum. Tariffs are taxes on goods imported from other countries. In general, governments...

 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

For some, having a big following on social media translates as success. NASA, which has more followers than any other government organization worldwide (28 million), may be considered successful. Of course, NASA doesn’t hold a...

 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Last week, stock markets around the world lost value. In the United States, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500), Dow Jones Industrial Index (Dow), and NASDAQ all finished lower. Some pundits have been drawing comparisons...

 

Monday, January 8, 2018

Leaving one job and starting another is often exciting. As a new hire, you may be inundated with meeting new co-workers, figuring out the coffee situation, understanding expectations, demonstrating your value, and completing form after...

 

Monday, January 8, 2018

U.S. stock markets delivered their own version of fireworks to celebrate the New Year. During the first week of 2018, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a new all-time high, moving above 25,000 for the first time ever. The NASDAQ...

 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

It may have seemed longer but 2017 had 365 days, just like every other year. It was a year of firsts, worsts, and bests, although not everyone agrees about which were which. Here are a few memorable pop culture moments from 2017:...

 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

It was so good, the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 500 Index finished in positive territory every month for the first time ever (on a total return basis), reported Barron’s. All major U.S. indices finished the year with...

 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Here’s something to keep in mind next holiday season when you get ready to wrap gifts. If you have any doubts about whether your spouse will appreciate the workout gear, your daughters-in-law will love the bathroom rugs, or your...

 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Last week, President Trump signed tax reform, officially titled ‘An Act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to titles II and V of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018,’ into law. The legislation...

 

Monday, December 18, 2017

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index was up more than 30 percent year-to-date late last week, outperforming national indices in most developed nations. (Remember, past performance is no indication of future results.) There may be more to...

 

Monday, December 18, 2017

The reconciliation of Congressional tax reform bills proceeded apace last week, and Congress is expected to vote on the measure early this week. If tax reform passes, Dubravko Lakos-Bujas, head of U.S. equity strategy with JPMorgan,...

 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Researchers from the University of Oxford and Yale University asked experts at several artificial intelligence (AI) conferences how long it would be before machines became better than humans at various tasks. The answers weren’t...

 

Monday, December 11, 2017

While holidays don’t make everyone happy, investors should be feeling festive. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is up more than 18 percent year-to-date. The Dow Jones Global ex U.S. Index is up about 21 percent year-to-date...

 

Monday, December 4, 2017

For a number of years, policymakers have been focused on finding ways to help Americans become better financially prepared for retirement. Studies have found having access to payroll-deduction retirement savings plans at work makes it...

 

Monday, December 4, 2017

From the perspective of unsettling events, last week was jam-packed. North Korea claimed to have the capability to strike the United States with a nuclear missile, tax reform continued to travel a controversial path through the House...

 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Stock markets around the world may have ripened to full-slip sweetness this year. Emerging markets have delivered the most attractive returns year-to-date. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index was up 34 percent year-to-date, last week. The...

 

Monday, November 27, 2017

In a letter to his daughter, Ben Franklin offered praise for the bird, which he called, “…a true original native of America…(though a little vain and silly tis true, but not the worse emblem for that) a bird of...

 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Direct-to-consumer (DTC – also abbreviated as D2C) companies have been implementing a brand new business model. They’re skipping retailers and selling direct to consumers. Early entries in the DTC space targeted product...

 

Monday, November 20, 2017

It appears investors – retail and institutional – have become rather like predators. They patiently stalk shares, waiting for a dip, and then they strike – buying stocks when prices fall. Consider last week....

 

Monday, November 13, 2017

It’s that time of year when people search and search for just-the-right gifts at just-the-right-prices for friends and loved ones. The National Retail Federation expects holiday sales to rise by 3.6 percent to 4.0 percent this...

 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Most of the companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index have reported third quarter earnings per share (EPS), which is the profit earned per share of stock outstanding during the period. Many have done quite well. With...

 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Early in the last century, authors like Anna Sewell (Black Beauty) and Jack London (White Fang) wrote stories that encouraged readers to understand and empathize with animals. Today, entrepreneurs are developing devices to help people...

 

Monday, November 6, 2017

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’s statement is engraved on the front of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington, D.C. Some people agree with the sentiment. Others believe it to be a logical fallacy....

 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Remembering passwords, especially if you follow best practices and have unique 12- to15-character passwords for each account, can be challenging. Even when you follow best practices, which many people do not, passwords are vulnerable...

 

Monday, October 30, 2017

First, U.S. economic growth exceeded expectations. The devastation wrought by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria was widely expected to stifle U.S. quarterly growth, according to NPR. The Atlanta Federal Reserve predicted 2.5 percent...

 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Like horror flick fodder (extras and co-stars who ignore their gut instincts and venture into places they shouldn’t), people go into warehouse clubs thinking they’ll be able to buy just the items they need and escape...

 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Last week was the anniversary of Black Monday. On October 19, 1987, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow) lost 508 points, or more than 20 percent of its value, as it fell from the previous trading day’s closing value of 2,247...

 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Millennials and members of Gen Z may find the original Blade Runner movie a bit dated. After all, many of the tech innovations imagined have become a part of our daily lives and others, like mood organs, are in the works Mood organs...

 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Last week, Richard Thaler was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics. His work in behavioral economics and finance recognizes not all economic and financial decisions are made after rational reflection. In Nudge, he wrote “The...

 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Zombies have a special place in the heart of pop culture. The undead are pivotal characters in books, movies, games, and television shows. The practical can read The Zombie Survival Guide. Thrill seekers can binge on The Walking Dead....

 

Monday, October 9, 2017

It has been 332 days since the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index experienced a 5 percent drop, reported Barron’s. If there isn’t a selloff on Monday or Tuesday, this will become the longest rally without such a...

 

Monday, October 2, 2017

The average $20 bill is in circulation for 7.9 years, according to a report by the Federal Reserve. That’s better than the $10 bill, which has a life span of only 4.5 years, but worse than the $100 bill, which is in circulation...

 

Monday, October 2, 2017

In mid-September, local authorities in Geneva, Switzerland were investigating an unexpected deposit. Reuters reported: “…the first blockage occurred in the toilet serving the vault at [a] bank…in Geneva’s...

 

Monday, October 2, 2017

The bull market in U.S. stocks continued to charge ahead. Traditional measures of valuation continued to suggest the market is overvalued, but some analysts argued it’s different this time. The Economist explained: “The...

 

Monday, September 25, 2017

On September 14, the 27th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony kicked off with a flight of paper airplanes. The winners were chosen by the publishers of the Annals of Improbable Research, which reviews, “Real research, about...

 

Monday, September 25, 2017

In January, Robert Kahn of the Council on Foreign Relations wrote in Global Economics Monthly: “Markets showed impressive resilience in the face of a range of geopolitical shocks in 2016, but recent market moves suggest this year...

 

Monday, September 18, 2017

People save for a variety of things in retirement. Some dream of vacation homes in tropical destinations, others plan to spend time with grandchildren and family. Of all the activities you are saving for in retirement, did you know...

 

Monday, September 18, 2017

From May through July, hackers exploited a website vulnerability at Equifax, one of the major consumer credit reporting agencies. If you have a credit report, there is a chance your sensitive and personal information including Social...

 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Yogi Berra was talking about baseball, but the concept also applies to diversification, according to the GMO White Paper, The S&P 500: Just Say No. From the title, you might think the authors – Matt Kadnar and James Montier...

 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Last week, Equifax, one of three major consumer credit reporting agencies, was hacked. The New York Times reported the company had data on more than 820 million consumers and more than 91 million businesses worldwide. Estimates suggest...

 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Last week, the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and potency of Hurricane Irma dominated hearts and minds, but there were some diversions and some welcome news, too. The NFL kicked off its 2017 season with the Chiefs’ win over the...

 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

If you don’t live near your parents and older family members, you may want to learn more about Social Security’s Representative Payment Program (RPP). The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College (CRRBC) published a...

 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Last week, the Bureau of Economic Analysis revised its initial estimate that the gross domestic product (GDP), which is the value of all goods and services produced by a country or region, grew by 2.6 percent during the second quarter...

 

Monday, August 28, 2017

A recent article in Buzzfeed listed headlines announcing the various things Millennials have “killed” or are “killing.” The list included Big Oil, the NFL, the workday, the cereal industry, and bar soap....

 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Optimism about possible pro-growth economic policies, including tax reform and deregulation, helped U.S. stock indices finish higher last week, reported Barron’s. It wasn’t all smooth sailing, though. Stocks bobbed up and...

 

Monday, August 21, 2017

In March, the Harvard Business Review (HBR) offered some ideas about innovation in America. It’s a topic that deserves some attention as “…recent data suggests that innovation is getting harder and the pace of growth...

 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Markets around the world appear to be benefitting from global economic recovery. After pointing out the United States’ economy is the heart of the global financial system, Barron’s reported: “The Standard &...

 

Monday, August 14, 2017

The questions around auto insurance center not so much on whether to have it—it’s mandated by state law, required by your lender, and serves to protect your assets—but what kind of coverage you should purchase. Types...

 

Monday, August 14, 2017

In the late 1800s, the Paris-Rouen race for horseless carriages included 102 vehicles fueled by steam, petrol, electricity, compressed air, and hydraulics, reports The Economist. Not a single electric engine made it to the starting...

 

Monday, August 14, 2017

The possibility that verbal hostilities between the United States and North Korea could trigger geopolitical conflict had investors on the run last week. In the United States, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell by 1.4 percent,...

 

Monday, August 7, 2017

If you would like to save more money – for retirement, college tuition, healthcare costs, or some other financial priority – hop on your bike and ride. As it turns out, riding your bike may help boost your savings. Whether...

 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Since the start of the bull market in 2009, U.S. companies have been buying their own stock. Stock buybacks peaked during the first three quarters of 2016 and have dropped off sharply since then, reports Financial Times citing a report...

 

Monday, July 31, 2017

What does heavy cream become when you whip it? If you answered ‘whipped cream,’ try this one: What does whipped cream become when you whip it a little longer? If you said, ‘butter,’ congratulations! You may...

 

Monday, July 31, 2017

First, the good news: Thanks to consumer spending and an upturn in federal government spending, the U.S. economy grew faster from April through June this year. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 2.6 percent during the period,...

 

Monday, July 24, 2017

College is a hot topic. In recent years, pundits have debated whether students should attend college or skip it and start their own companies. The Thiel Fellowship, founded by tech entrepreneur Peter Thiel, offers students $100,000 to...

 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Low interest rates, accommodative monetary policy, and improving economic growth have helped stock markets around the world reach record highs, reports Barron’s: “…a look around the globe shows the surge of the U.S....

 

Monday, July 17, 2017

While disruption doesn’t sound like something anyone would enjoy much, it has the potential to create investment opportunities for those who share a vision and are willing to take risks.Morgan Stanley recently wrote,...

 

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) both finished at record highs last week. Barron’s indicated investors owe Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen a debt of gratitude:...

 

Monday, July 10, 2017

It doesn’t appear to be common knowledge but there may be an affordable car crisis in the United States. The latest Bankrate.com Car Affordability Study found: “…typical households in most of America’s larger...

 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Last Friday, Financial Times (FT) published, ‘Five markets charts that matter for investors.’ Among the issues addressed in the charts were: The bond market bear watch. The yield on 10-year German Bunds (Germany’s...

 

Monday, July 3, 2017

A persistent debate among the geek set is how to pronounce the abbreviation for Graphics Interchange Format (GIF). You know, GIFs, the animated images you see online. Graphics starts with a hard ‘g’ sound, but pronunciation...

 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Central bankers are stodgy. They speak carefully. For many, reading the words ‘Federal Reserve’ is enough to cause boredom to set in and web surfing to ensue. Last week, though, the European Central Bank and Bank of England...

 

Monday, June 26, 2017

If you live In Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, or Finland, then you’re among the happiest people in the world. On the other hand, if you reside in Sierra Leone, Bulgaria, Egypt, Palestinian Territories, or Tunisia,...

 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Through the end of last week, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index posted 24 record highs and delivered returns in the high single digits. The MSCI World ex USA Index was up more than 11 percent, and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index...

 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Estimates from the Centers for Disease Control suggest one in every 68 American children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder. Few effective treatments have been found, but a medicine that has been around for more than a...

 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Inflation is the way economists measure changes in the prices of goods and services. The United States has enjoyed relatively low inflation for a significant period of time. Last week, the consumer price index indicated inflation had...

 

Monday, June 12, 2017

For millennia, humankind has been looking for a means of slowing aging, maintaining health, and restoring youth and beauty. Greek mythology tells us that Hebe, the daughter of Zeus and Hera, could restore youth. In the 1600s, Juan...

 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Traditional historians will probably choose a different moniker. Stock markets in many advanced economies have been unusually calm during 2017, reported Schwab’s Jeffrey Kleintop in a May 15, 2017 commentary. The CBOE Volatility...

 

Monday, June 5, 2017

The backyard pool can be great summer fun, but it can also be a source of danger for children. Every year hundreds of children fatally drown. In fact, drowning is the leading cause of preventable death among children ages 1-4.¹,...

 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Anyone who enjoys the Ig Nobel Prizes – which spur people's interest in science, medicine, and technology by making them laugh and then making them think – may like The Annals of Improbable Research (AIR). An...

 

Monday, June 5, 2017

In fact, this bull has been charging, standing, or sitting for more than eight years. In April, it became the second longest bull market in American history, according to CNN Money. There are some good reasons the stock market in the...

 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Project: Time Off reports Americans spent 16.8 days on vacation during 2016, on average. That was an improvement from 2015, when the average was 16.2, but it was well below the 20.3 days a year spent on holiday from 1978 through 2000....

 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

There is a lot to enjoy today. Last week, Financial Times wrote: “Wall Street ended an impressive week on a steady note – eking out a tiny gain to a fresh record close – as oil prices recouped some of the previous...

 

Monday, May 22, 2017

If you are one of the many Americans who are in a second marriage, you may need to revisit your estate strategy.¹ Unlike a typical first marriage, second marriages often require special consideration that should address children...

 

Monday, May 22, 2017

In 2015, Pew Research investigated whether aging parents received more assistance from adult children or adult children received more assistance from parents. In the United States, Italy, and Germany, they found parents provide more...

 

Monday, May 22, 2017

There has been no shortage of drama since the new administration took office – legislative setbacks, controversial hiring and firing, and fiery tweets on various topics. Regardless, U.S. investors and markets remained stalwart...

 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Since 1996, the value of companies listed on American stock exchanges has increased from 105 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) to 136 percent of GDP, according to The Economist. (GDP is the value of all goods and services...

 

Monday, May 15, 2017

American stock markets have delivered some exceptional performance in recent years. Just look at the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index. Barron’s reported the S&P 500, including reinvested dividends, has returned 215...

 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Determining the value of an estate is a fundamental first step in estate management and a critical requirement for settling a decedent’s estate.¹ How to Assess the Value of an Estate Select the date of calculation. Because...

 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Stop rolling your eyes. The Economist reported Steve Ballmer, former head of a large tech company, has been working on a new project – completing Form 10-K for the United States of America. The project is called USA Facts: Our...

 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Last week, all three major U.S. stock markets gained value and two reached new record highs. On the face of it, that’s great news for stock investors. However, if you look below the surface, the markets’ upward trend may...

 

Monday, May 1, 2017

The average credit card balance in June 2015 was $15,706, down from its peak of $18,600 in 2009.¹ With the average credit card annual percentage rate sitting at 14.9%, it represents an expensive way to fund spending.² Which...

 

Monday, May 1, 2017

If you find yourself tuning-out in loud restaurants, asking people to repeat themselves frequently, or cupping an ear in an effort to better understand what a friend or colleague is saying, then you may be interested to learn that...

 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Not all financial news was good news last week, but that didn’t prevent U.S. stock markets from moving higher. Barron’s reported on the good news: “This past week, welcome political news from Europe, a batch of...

 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Faster and more efficient mobile phones are on the horizon. That’s right, 5G is almost here, according to Network World. If you were never quite sure what distinguished 1G from 2G, or 3G from 4G, much less 4G from 5G, the answer...

 

Monday, April 24, 2017

In March, the Federal Reserve raised the Fed funds rates for the second time in three months. Typically, we would expect interest rates to rise and bond prices to fall, but interest rates have been falling and bond prices have been...

 

Monday, April 17, 2017

As a homeowner, are you responsible for the damage caused by a tree on your property that hits your neighbor’s home or other insured structure, such as a garage or shed? In most cases, the answer is “no.” When such...

 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Engineers have solved many knotty problems, but it wasn’t until recently they unraveled the mystery of shoelaces and why they come undone, reported The Economist. If you don’t wear shoes that lace or spend time with young...

 

Monday, April 17, 2017

In late 2016, Natixis Global surveyed 500 institutional decision makers representing corporate pension plans, public pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, foundations, and endowments. Survey participants said...

 

Monday, April 10, 2017

An insurance deductible is the amount you, the insured, pays before any claim is paid by your insurance carrier. Depending upon the type of insurance, a policy may set the amount of deductible, or offer you the ability to select a...

 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Air pollution is one of the biggest environmental and human health threats in the world, according to a 2016 World Health Organization report: “To date, air pollution – both ambient (outdoor) and household (indoor) –...

 

Monday, April 10, 2017

If you look at the performance of the CBOE Volatility Index (a.k.a. the VIX or fear gauge), which is a measure of market expectations for volatility in the near future, it appears all is well and investors expect no unexpected events....

 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Since 1998, an insurance firm has conducted a poll to determine how much swag the tooth fairy or, depending on your country, the magical mouse, elf, brownie, or tooth rat has been leaving behind for children who’ve lost their...

 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Toward the end of the first quarter, the bull market celebrated its eighth birthday. David Kelly, Chief Global Strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management wrote: “Eight years ago, on March 9, 2009, the S&P 500 closed at 677, down...

 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Which country is expected to experience the greatest increase in longevity by 2030? A study of the 35 wealthiest nations in the world, completed by the Imperial College London and the World Health Organization, combined results from 21...

 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Some people may name a medical device or implant, such as a hearing aid, an artificial joint, or a pacemaker. Others may say they couldn’t live without their electric bikes, GPS devices, tablets, or food processors. A...

 

Monday, March 27, 2017

“It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so,” wrote Mark Twain. In 2016, NerdWallet commissioned a survey* to get a better handle on Americans’ thoughts...

 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Failure to pass the American Healthcare Act, which was supported by Republican leaders in Congress and President Trump, may have spooked U.S. stock markets last week. In an article titled, “How To Make Investing Decisions Based...

 

Monday, March 20, 2017

One landmark study found that credit-based insurance scores are used by about 95 percent of all auto and home insurers in calculating the cost of insurance to individuals.¹ While the vast majority of insurance companies use...

 

Monday, March 20, 2017

If you take a cruise anytime soon, the bartender may not be able to lend an ear. According to Financial Times, one cruise line has installed robotic bartenders that produce one drink per minute per arm, and can make up to 120 drinks an...

 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Technical analyst Edson Gould developed a market rule of thumb known as ‘three steps and a stumble.’ It states stock prices may fall after the Federal Reserve (Fed) raises the Fed funds rate three times in a row without a...

 

Monday, March 13, 2017

They all grow corn and soybeans. They all have renowned universities. In addition, according to The Economist, Texas, Iowa, Nebraska, Mississippi, Alabama, and Michigan are likely to experience the biggest increase in tariffs –...

 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Last week’s U.S. employment report was better than expected. The United States added 235,000 jobs in February, which was a few more than economists had forecast. It may seem counterintuitive, but the positive economic data helped...

 

Monday, March 6, 2017

The federal government is an equal-opportunity tax assessor. Even the dead can’t escape taxes. The final accounting required of the deceased is not limited to an estate tax filing, but a federal income tax return must also be...

 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Tax season is upon us. That means we can all use some entertainment. While many folks dread the process of completing and filing taxes, some see it as an opportunity to test the boundaries of the system. Here are a few deductions...

 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Major U.S. stock markets were positively euphoric following President Trump’s speech on February 28. Optimism about the new administration’s pro-growth policies propelled the four major U.S. stock indices to record highs,...

 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Late last year, Time Magazine selected 25 inventions that “are making the world better, smarter, and – in some cases – a little more fun.” Past editions have included underground parks, gluten sniffers, and the...

 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Each man examined a different part of the elephant and formed a unique impression about the animal. One believed an elephant was like a pillar, while another decided an elephant was like a snake. In recent weeks, stock and bond markets...

 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Four major U.S. benchmark stock indices closed at record highs for four consecutive days during Valentine’s Day week, reported Financial Times (FT). To date, positive corporate earnings and robust investor confidence have offset...

 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Last week, Members of Parliament (MPs) approved the Article 50 bill, green-lighting Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU). If the House of Lords follows suit, which is far from certain, then the British government will...

 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Barron’s shared Wilshire Associates’ calculations which indicated the word was worth about $175 billion – the amount markets gained last Thursday – when President Trump used it to describe the tax plan his...

 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Insurance is meant to protect you against financial loss. But is it really meant to protect you from any and all financial loss? When it comes to filing a loss claim on your home insurance, there may be times when not filing may be the...

 

Monday, February 6, 2017

A new study examined how college affects Americans’ social mobility by cross-referencing data from the Department of Education (from 1999-2013) with 30 million tax returns. The researchers looked at the earnings of graduates from...

 

Monday, February 6, 2017

President Trump's executive order banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries to the United States for 90 days, in tandem with some disappointing earnings reports, inspired turmoil and uncertainty that helped push U.S....

 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Science Daily reported a meta-analysis of 73 studies nationwide evaluated parenting styles and children’s buying habits. The findings suggest, “children raised by parents who set limits and explain the reason behind these...

 

Monday, January 30, 2017

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surpassed 20,000 last week. Barron’s cautioned investors not to make too much of the milestone since, “There are only 30 stocks in the index so each one carries a lot of weight.”...

 

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Trump rally, which lost some steam, gained momentum early in the week. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index finished January 19, the day before the inauguration, with its biggest election-to-inauguration gain since Bill Clinton...

 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Those were just a few of the adjectives used to describe 2017’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which showcased all kinds of new technology. This year, gadgets and gizmos included wall-sized televisions that are as thin as house...

 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Technology has not just shrunk the tools we use, but it has allowed small businesses the power to operate like a big business. These tools can help small businesses get better organized, efficiently manage their finances, or support...

 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Economist invented the Big Mac index in 1986 as an entertaining way to assess whether currencies were at the “correct” levels. The index reflects the idea that countries’ exchange rates should balance so the same...

 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The post-election adrenaline rush may be over in the United States. Barron’s reported: “The new year began with high hopes, with the bulls expecting the rally that began with Donald J. Trump’s election victory to...

 

Monday, January 9, 2017

How the gains from the sale of a primary residence are taxed has changed in recent years. If you have recently sold your home, or are considering doing so, you may want to be aware of these new rules. Home Sale If you owned and lived...

 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Small businesses in the United States employed 56.8 million people or 48 percent of the private workforce in 2013 (the latest numbers available), according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. That’s pretty remarkable when...

 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Bullish sentiment helped world equity markets get off to a fast start last week. Just name a country or region – developed markets, emerging markets, the United States, Latin America, Asia, Europe, the United Kingdom – and...

 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The cost of a membership to your local fitness center can be pricey, especially if you are looking for a modern facility with a wide selection of the most current equipment. But there are ways to improve your physical fitness without...

 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

At the University of Baltimore 2016 Midyear Commencement, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen shared her thoughts about the importance of college: “Economists are not certain about many things. But we are quite certain that a...

 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

At the start of 2016, investors were rather pessimistic and risk averse, preferring bonds to stocks. By the end of the year, they were quite optimistic and preferred stocks to bonds. In between, markets traveled a bumpy road. During...

 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Don’t worry. Robots have not yet replaced human workers. In fact, according to The World In 2017 (published by The Economist): “…automation seems to be pushing people from routine jobs, such as factory work, into...

 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) got within 13 points of 20,000 last Tuesday. It finished the week about 90 points below the vaunted milestone. “The Dow has gained nearly 10 percent since the end of October, more than...

 

Monday, December 19, 2016

You may have noticed investors have been pretty enthusiastic about U.S. stocks in recent weeks. It’s possible the Dow Jones Industrial Average will surpass 20,000. The fervor for U.S. stocks may be due to improving corporate...

 

Monday, December 19, 2016

If travel for you is less about escaping life and more about living it, then consider these vacation ideas: By Car East Coast of Australia: There may be no better way to experience this amazing continent than by driving along its east...

 

Monday, December 19, 2016

It wasn’t the Fed’s second interest rate hike in a decade that caused markets to stumble. December’s rate hike was old news before it happened. In mid-December, Reuters reported Fed funds futures indicated there was a...

 

Monday, December 12, 2016

If you weren’t the top wage earner in your marriage, or your job was raising the children, then Social Security’s spousal benefit could prove advantageous. It provides the lower-earning spouse with 50 percent of the...

 

Monday, December 12, 2016

This holiday season, investors’ enthusiasm for U.S. stocks has rivaled old man Parker’s passion for his major-award leg lamp in ‘A Christmas Story.’ Last week, three major U.S. indices hit all-time highs....

 

Monday, December 5, 2016

There is no age threshold beyond which long-term care insurance is not available. But it may not be affordable. Long-term care is certainly a significant concern for people over age 65. According to the U.S. Department of Health and...

 

Monday, December 5, 2016

It’s that time of the year again: The time when pundits and analysts assess the present and forecast the future. Here are a few predictions from The World in 2017, which is published by The Economist: Forecasts suggest the United...

 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Last week, yields on 10-year Treasury bonds rose to a 17-month high of 2.44 percent, reported The Wall Street Journal, before retreating to finish the week at about 2.4 percent. As we’ve mentioned previously, some experts suspect...

 

Monday, November 28, 2016

To keep pace with the rising cost of higher education, Americans need to make the most of tax-advantaged accounts. But which ones? Section 529 college savings plans feature generous lifetime contribution limits and no income...

 

Monday, November 28, 2016

In 2016, the Earth’s inhabitants were worth about $256 trillion, according to the Global Wealth Report by Credit Suisse Research Institute. Population has grown along with wealth. North America, which has more than 5 percent of...

 

Monday, November 28, 2016

According to WebMD, the amino acid L-Tryptophan is not responsible for Americans’ post-Thanksgiving food coma. The real culprit is overeating. So, last week’s post-feast sleepiness can be blamed on big appetites. Investors...

 

Monday, November 21, 2016

If you have friends or relations with young children, consider starting or contributing to a 529 College Savings Plan. It’s a great way to fund a future education and, let’s face it, really young children often enjoy the...

 

Monday, November 21, 2016

It seems like experts have been forecasting the end of the bull market in bonds for years – and they have been doing so. In July 2010, bond guru Bill Gross predicted the 28-year bull market in bonds was near an end and, as...

 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Brexit came as a shock to many. So did the outcome of the U.S. election, but let’s face it – whether you’re trying to evaluate the potential of a company or the future of a country – predicting what may be ahead...

 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Markets were remarkably sanguine following the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States. There was a moment of panic. As election results rolled in on Tuesday, Gold prices rose and Treasury yields fell, as...

 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Elections often produce market volatility because markets hate uncertainty, and there is nothing certain about the outcome of the U.S. election. Election-induced volatility, however, often is relatively short-lived. Remember, the...

 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Last week, investors experienced another bout of election jitters, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) Index fell for the ninth straight session. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), a.k.a. the fear gauge, which measures the...

 

Monday, October 31, 2016

During July 2016, Pew Research reported almost 60 percent of Americans were suffering from election fatigue. They weren’t uninterested in the election. They were just worn out by never-ending news coverage that focused on...

 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Do you have a friend or family member who prioritizes blogging, tweeting, or posting videos above doing homework, attending family dinners, or going out? It’s possible they’ve recognized an economic opportunity you...

 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Arte Johnson’s catch phrase from Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In may not have described U.S. stock markets last week, but there were some interesting economic, cyber-security, and consumer developments around the world. Major U.S...

 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Every quarter, companies report earnings to let investors know how profitable the companies were during the quarter. When profits grow, a company’s share price may move higher. When profits decline, a company’s share price...

 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Parents aren’t all that comfortable talking with their children about certain topics. The T. Rowe Price 2016 Parents, Kids & Money Survey found that sex and death are at the top of the list, followed closely by family finances....

 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Each month you settle down to pay bills. You pay your mortgage lender. You pay the electric company. You pay the trash collector. But do you pay yourself? One of the most basic tenets of sound investing involves the simple habit of...

 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The U.S. unemployment rate ticked higher last week. The September jobs report showed the United States added 156,000 new jobs in September. That was 16,000 fewer than economists were expecting and 11,000 fewer than were added in August...

 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Economic growth may not be predictable, but it tends to follow a pattern that is known as a business or economic cycle. Periods of recession (when the economy contracts) are followed by periods of growth (when the economy expands)....

 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

According to 2015 estimates by the U.S. Commerce Department, more than four million seniors traveled abroad in 2014. Overseas travel may be one of the more popular aspirations in retirement, but it does beg an important question:...

 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Tip: Retiring Older. During the past year, one survey found 13% of workers now plan to retire later than they previously expected. Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2015 For many people, retirement income may come from a...

 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Nearly 60 percent of Americans do not have a home inventory of their possessions, and of those that do, 48 percent do not have any receipts evidencing their value.¹ It’s great to have insurance against damage and loss, but...

 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Mobile communications continue to grow at an astounding rate. Over half of all emails are now opened on mobile devices, either tablets or smartphones.1 And 85% of Millennials own a smartphone.2 Mobile communications is important, but...

 

Monday, August 29, 2016

 

Monday, August 22, 2016

One of the most common questions people ask about Social Security is when they should start taking benefits. This is the $64,000 question. Making the right decision for you can have a meaningful impact on your financial income in...

 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Maintaining good records is important to help meet your tax and legal obligations. The right record keeping system not only helps satisfy these obligations, but it may save you money and time. Here’s what to consider for your...

 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Tip: Fund Flows. In 2015, investors removed $123 billion from mutual funds, a significant drop from the record $879 billion they added in 2007. Source: Investment Company Institute, 2016 According to Yale University's Crash Confidence...

 

Monday, July 25, 2016

According to a 2015 report from International Living Magazine, Ecuador tops the list of places to retire abroad. Panama ranks second, followed by Mexico, Malasia, and Costa Rica.¹ Many retirees consider moving out of the country...

 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Tip: Best Seller. One of the more influential books on using fundamental analysis is Benjamin Graham’s Security Analysis. First published in 1934, it’s now in its sixth edition and has sold more than one million copies....

 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Social Security is a critical component of the retirement financial strategy for many Americans, so before you begin taking it, you should consider three important questions. The answers may affect whether you make the most of this...

 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Working While Retired Would you accompany a group of high school students studying photojournalism and social change in Argentina? How about a group learning about language and culinary traditions in France? Does working for a season...

 

Monday, June 20, 2016

As parents, we encourage our children to work so they can learn important values about work and independence. At what point, if at all, do children need to file an income tax return for the money they earn? The IRS does not exempt...

 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Have you ever had one of those months? The water heater stops heating, the dishwasher stops washing and your family ends up on a first-name basis with the nurse at urgent care. Then, as you’re driving to work, giving yourself...

 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Whether you will soon be applying for Social Security, or are already receiving benefits, here’s what you need to know about what’s changing (and not changing) in 2016. What’s Not Changing No Cost-of-Living Increase:...

 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Consider these facts on aging from the 2010 Census¹: The highest growth rate for a 10-year age group within the older population (age 65+) was for men 85 to 94 years old (+46.5 percent). For women, this age group grew by 22.9...

 

Monday, April 25, 2016

With the children now out of the house, financial priorities become more focused on preparing for retirement. At this stage, you may very likely be at the height of your earning power and fast approaching peak savings as you lay the...

 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Tip: High Bracket. In 1944, the highest federal income tax bracket was 94%. It applied to all income above $200,000 a year and applied to all taxpayers, regardless of filing status. Source: Tax Policy Center, 2015 By any measure, the...

 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Social Security can be complicated and, as a result, many individuals don’t have a full understanding of the choices they may have. Here are five facts about Social Security that are important to keep in mind: Social Security Is...

 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Between 30 percent and 60 percent of taxable property has an inflated assessment, which may lead to higher property tax bills. Moreover, typically fewer than 5 percent of taxpayers dispute their assessment.¹ For homeowners who...

 

Monday, March 14, 2016

If you are like most homeowners, you love selecting the fixtures, fabrics and paint colors of your home improvement project. But there is one very important item that you may overlook—making certain that you are properly insured....

 

Monday, February 29, 2016

This morning 100 million Americans began their day in the same way—drinking their first cup of coffee.¹ Few, if any, took a moment during this morning ritual to contemplate or marvel the complex journey that brought their...

 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Most portfolios are constructed based on an individual's investment objective, risk tolerance and time horizon. Using these inputs and sophisticated portfolio-optimization calculations, most investors can feel confident that they own a...

 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Over half of Americans do not own any stocks, or stock-related investments, such as mutual funds, according to Bankrate’s Money Pulse survey.¹ Individuals may cite different reasons for not investing, but with important...

 

Monday, February 8, 2016

The desire to leave a legacy may be the height of altruism for it is a gift to the future, the benefit of which you may never witness, nor ever feel its appreciation by others. Creating your legacy does not happen overnight, and it...

 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Do You Owe The AMT? Tip: AMT payers may qualify for the “minimum tax credit,” which allows individuals to claim a full or partial credit for past AMT taxes on future returns. American educational reformer Horace Mann called...

 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Chris Rock once remarked, “You don’t pay taxes, they take taxes.”¹ And in that spirit, thanks in part to higher capital-gains taxes, there may be more taking in the 2015 tax year. Capital gains result when an individual sells an...

 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Tip: The chance of being audited rises with income level. In 2014, only 0.6% of those with incomes under $200,000 were audited; 3.6% of those with incomes between $500,000 and $1 million were audited; and 16.2% of those with incomes...

 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Internal Revenue Service estimates that taxpayers and businesses spend 6.1 billion hours a year complying with tax-filing requirements. To put this into perspective, if all this work were done by a single company, it would need...

 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Most Americans know the fundamentals of good health: exercise, proper diet, sufficient sleep, regular check-ups, and no smoking or excessive alcohol. Yet, despite this knowledge, changing existing behaviors can be difficult. Look no...

 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Americans spent an annualized $142.7 billion on home improvements in the first quarter of 2015—which represents a 6.5% increase over the first quarter of 2014.¹ Those looking into environmentally minded home modifications...

 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Who among us wants to pay the IRS more taxes than we have to?¹ While few may raise their hands, Americans regularly overpay because they fail to take tax deductions for which they are eligible. Let’s take a quick look at the six most...

 

Monday, December 7, 2015

In 2014, 150 million taxpayers dutifully filed their federal income tax returns.¹ And all of them made decisions about deductions and credits—whether they knew it or not. When you take the time to learn more about how it works, you may...

 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The varied reasons to donate art range from a personal affinity for a museum, the desire to create a legacy, and the tax consideration that may come with the donation. The tax rules surrounding the tax deduction of art are complex and...

 

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act of 2003 provided individuals with valuable rights to the credit information companies keep on them, but did you know that the credit score provided to you may be different than the one...

 

Monday, October 26, 2015

While Americans are entitled to take every legitimate deduction to manage their taxes, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) places limits on your creativity. Here are some examples of deductions from the IRS that were permitted and some...

 

Monday, October 12, 2015

No one wants to see an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) auditor show up at his or her door. The IRS can’t audit every American’s tax return, so it relies on guidelines to select the ones most deserving of its attention. Here are six...

 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Taxes are one of the biggest budget items for most taxpayers, yet many have no idea what they’re getting for their money.In 2015, as in recent years, Americans will spend more on taxes than on groceries, clothing, and shelter combined....

 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Inc. magazine reported that 66% of small-business owners have no formal succession plan.¹ While the number may shock you, it is not surprising that many small business owners are consumed by the myriad responsibilities of running their...

 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Many people have heard they should avoid probate, but few understand what probate is and how the process works. What Is Probate? Probate is the legal process that wraps up a person’s legal and financial affairs after their death....

 

Monday, September 14, 2015

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 counter intuitive, but it may be possible to have too much of a good thing. Over time,...

 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Whether it’s sports, music or politics, life holds any number of “great debates” that never seem to reach a conclusion. In investments, that great debate asks the question, “Active or Passive Investing: Which Is...

 

Monday, August 31, 2015

American households hold an average debt of nearly $54,000, with 35% having debt in collections.¹ Little wonder that money worries are a major cause of stress. The Link Between Stress and Health Humans have an innate response called...

 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Pursuing your retirement dreams is challenging enough without making some common, and very avoidable, mistakes. Here are eight big mistakes to steer clear of, if possible. No Strategy: Yes, the biggest mistake is having no strategy at...

 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Whether the economy is expanding or contracting, Americans tend to be consistent with charitable donations.In 2013, as the U.S. economy continued to stabilize, Americans gave an estimated $335.17 billion to charity. That’s almost $19...

 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Ryan Financial Inc. is pleased to share LPL Research's Midyear Outlook 2015: Some Assembly Required and two accompanying publications: a Step-by-Step Guide to Midyear Outlook 2015 and the 2015 Midyear Outlook How to Invest Guide....

 

Monday, August 3, 2015

In her will, American businesswoman Leona Helmsley left $12 million in a trust fund to her dog Trouble. Her four executors were responsible for seeing that her wishes were carried out. In the years after her death, they dealt with...

 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Tip: Delegation. When choosing someone to make healthcare decisions on your behalf, consider naming an individual who is trustworthy, level-headed in a crisis, and can make themselves available on short notice. Fast Fact: Without a...

 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Tip: One key difference between a will and a living trust is when they take effect. A will takes effect when you die; a living trust takes effect when you execute it, and begins to operate when you transfer assets to it. Do you have a...

 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Nearly 65% of adults in America admit they don't have a will, which may not be entirely surprising. No one wants to be reminded of their own mortality or spend too much time thinking about what might happen once they’re gone. But a...

 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Federal estate taxes have been a source of funding for the federal government almost since the U.S. was founded. In 1797, Congress instituted a system of federal stamps that were required on all wills offered for probate when property...

 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Ancient Chinese merchants are said to have developed a unique way to reduce their risk. They would divide their shipments among several different vessels. That way, if one ship were to sink or be attacked by pirates, the rest stood a...

 

Monday, June 15, 2015

One of the most well-known investors of the 20th Century, Benjamin Graham, said that “the investor’s chief problem—and even his worst enemy—is likely to be himself.”¹ What Graham understood—and...

 

Monday, June 8, 2015

With international stock markets comprising about two-thirds of the world’s capitalization, a broad range of investment opportunities exist outside the borders of the U.S.¹ For investors who are looking to diversify their mutual fund...

 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Whether through inertia or trepidation, investors who put off important investment decisions might consider the admonition offered by motivational speaker Brian Tracy, “Almost any decision is better than no decision at all...

 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

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...

 

Monday, May 18, 2015

When the rules of the game change, tactics should follow in response to the new landscape. While estate tax exemptions have ridden an uncertain roller coaster in recent years, the rules appear to be stabilizing, prompting many to...

 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Some individuals believe that return on investment shouldn’t be the only criterion for how they invest their money. For them, the social impact of investing is just as important—perhaps, more important. The history of socially...

 

Monday, May 4, 2015

It is estimated by the U.S. Secret Service, the federal agency responsible for protecting the U.S. currency, that prior to the adoption of a national currency in 1863 up to one-third of the currency in circulation was counterfeit.¹...

 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Knowledgeable investors are aware that investing in the capital markets presents any number of risks—interest-rate risk, company risk, and market risk. Risk is an inseparable companion to the potential for long-term growth. Some of...

 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Imagine driving a car without a basic understanding of the rules of the road, or even how to operate it? Scary thought. Yet many Americans are operating their personal finances with only the barest minimum of knowledge. When asked...

 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Every year the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) releases its list of tax scams, spotlighting the myriad ways that people try to separate you from your money.¹ The 2014 “Dirty Dozen” Identity Theft Using your personal information, an...

 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

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Friday, January 23, 2015

The Good News - 401(k) and 403(b) Plans. At the start of 2015, participants in 401(k) and 403(b) plans will have contribution limits. A participant will be eligible to contribute up to $18,000, a $500 increase over 2014....

 

Monday, January 19, 2015

On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood before the Lincoln Memorial and told a violently divided nation, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the...

 

Friday, January 9, 2015

The uncertainties we face in retirement can erode our sense of confidence, potentially undermining our outlook during those years.Indeed, according to the 2013 Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefits Research Institute,...

 

Friday, December 12, 2014

What Is a Stretch IRA? Tip: What’s in a Name? If you fail to name a beneficiary on your IRA, it may be much more difficult for your beneficiaries to ‘stretch’ the inherited IRA over their lifetimes.

 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Tip: Average Benefit. In the beginning of 2014, the average monthly Social Security benefit for a retired worker was about $1,294. [Source: Social Security Administration, 2014] Most children stop being “and-a-half”...

 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Inflation sometimes seems like one of those afflictions of an era long since passed into the history books. While it’s true that double-digit inflation has been absent for the last 30 years, you may remember the high inflation years...

 

Friday, November 21, 2014

According to a 2012 survey by the Insured Retirement Institute, the average person covered by Medicare will have out-of-pocket medical expenses in excess of $4,300 a year (or $8,600 for a couple). The same report found that 63% of...

 

Friday, November 14, 2014

“This generation got no destination to hold We are volunteers of America”“Volunteers” by Jefferson Airplane¹ Those of a certain age will recall these Jefferson Airplane lyrics as a call to action, though for a different period and...