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Rebecca Lake

Home Buying, Retirement and Investing Expert

Rebecca Lake is a retirement, investing and estate planning expert who has been writing about personal finance for a decade. Her expertise in the finance niche also extends to home buying, credit cards, banking and small business. She's worked directly with several major financial and insurance brands, including Citibank, Discover and AIG and her writing has appeared online at U.S. News and World Report, CreditCards.com and Investopedia. Rebecca is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and she also attended Charleston Southern University as a graduate student. Originally from central Virginia, she now lives on the North Carolina coast along with her two children.

Posts by Rebecca Lake:

by Rebecca Lake Mar 05, 2021

When researching stocks, there are two approaches you can use: fundamental analysis and technical analysis. The former focuses on the financial health of a company while the latter focuses on how the company’s shares are trading. Bollinger Bands are one tool used in technical analysis to study and understand stock movements. Developed by technical trader John Bollinger, they can be used to evaluate stock volatility and pricing shifts. If you’ve considered using technical analysis to build a portfolio, it helps to know how and when to use Bollinger Bands and what they can tell you about a stock. Read more

by Rebecca Lake Mar 05, 2021

Mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETF) allow you to own a basket of securities, helping with portfolio diversification. When choosing which type of funds or ETFs to invest in, you may be wondering if active or passive management is better. Actively managed funds are overseen by a fund manager who’s responsible for deciding what the fund should own. These funds tend to carry higher expense ratios than passively managed funds but you get the benefit of the fund manager’s expertise. Here’s more on how actively managed funds work and their pros and cons. Read more

by Rebecca Lake Mar 05, 2021

When investing in mutual funds, it’s important to understand the fees you’ll pay. A sales load is a commission fee that applies when you buy or sell shares of a mutual fund. There’s more than one type of sales load or sales charge you may pay, and the type of fee can determine how and when it’s calculated. Understanding load fees is important when deciding which funds to invest in, as these charges can impact your net investment returns. Read more

by Rebecca Lake Mar 05, 2021

Interest rates can have a significant impact on the economy as a whole and your personal financial life. When tracking changes to interest rates, the stock market is often a major focal point, as… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Mar 02, 2021

Bonds can be useful for diversification if you’re interested in adding more stability and safety to your investment portfolio. But does it make sense to invest in bond funds, whether mutual or… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Feb 19, 2021

When comparing investments in your portfolio, you may be concerned primarily with the returns a particular security generates over time. Rolling returns measure average annualized returns over a… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Feb 19, 2021

Buying or selling a home usually involves a fair amount of paperwork. A warranty deed is one of the more important documents you may encounter during the process. Warranty deeds are used to verify… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Feb 19, 2021

Bonds can be useful for adding a conservative component to an investment portfolio to balance out stocks or other high-risk securities. Debentures are a specific type of bond that government entities… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Feb 19, 2021

Investing in dividend-paying stocks can be a strategic move for generating income from your portfolio. A dividend represents a percentage of company profits that are paid out to shareholders.… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Feb 19, 2021

A will is an important part of a basic estate plan and making one may be easier than you might think. Online will-maker software programs allow you to create a will on your own, often for less than… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Feb 18, 2021

A living will is a legal document that allows you to specify the kind of care you’d like to receive in end-of-life situations. This is different from an advance healthcare directive, though either… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Feb 18, 2021

Living wills and living trusts can both be useful tools for estate planning. Though they sound similar, they each serve a very different purpose. A living trust is something you might consider for… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Feb 18, 2021

Life insurance can provide a measure of financial protection against the worst-case scenario. Whole life insurance and indexed universal life insurance (IUL) are two types of permanent policies you… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Feb 18, 2021

When creating your personal retirement plan, there are a variety of tools you can use to fund your long-term savings goals. An employer-sponsored 401(k) is one of them while indexed universal life… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Feb 18, 2021

An employer-sponsored 401(k) plan may be an important part of your financial plan for retirement. Between tax-deferred growth, tax-deductible contributions and the opportunity to take advantage of… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Feb 17, 2021

Social Security benefits can provide an additional income stream in retirement alongside withdrawals from a 401(k), individual retirement account or brokerage account. Part of shaping a retirement… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Feb 09, 2021

The Securities and Exchange Commission oversees and regulations certain entities that provide financial and investment advice or management services. As part of those regulations, the SEC requires… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Feb 08, 2021

When trading stocks and other securities, it can be helpful to use technical indicators to assess volatility. Average true range, or ATR, is one such indicator that’s often used to track securities’… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Feb 08, 2021

Creating a will is an important step in estate planning. A last will and testament is an important legal document that allows you to specify how you’d like your assets to be distributed after you… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Feb 05, 2021

Getting married for a second time following a divorce or the death of your first spouse can feel like a fresh start. But it’s important to consider how joining your life with someone else’s may… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Feb 05, 2021

A financial advisor can help you shape your investment strategy so you can reach your long-term goals. But financial advisors aren’t all alike when it comes to their expertise and experience or the… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Feb 05, 2021

A trust can be a useful estate planning tool, in addition to a will. You can use a trust to remove assets from probate, potentially minimize estate and gift taxes and ensure that assets are managed… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Feb 05, 2021

Estate planning can help you pass on assets to your heirs while potentially minimizing taxes. When gifting assets, it’s important to consider when and how the generation-skipping tax transfer (GSTT)… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Feb 05, 2021

Medicaid is a government program that can help eligible seniors pay for nursing home care. If you’re helping an aging parent navigate Medicaid because they don’t have long-term care insurance or you… Read more

by Rebecca Lake Feb 17, 2021

Early retirement is a lofty financial goal, though it’s not impossible. If you’re interested in how to retire at 50 or even earlier, you’ll need a solid strategy for getting there. Having fewer years… Read more