Loading
Tap on the profile icon to edit
your financial details.

Financial Advisor

Jan 09, 2020 Managing your money isn’t easy. There are a lot of decisions you must make, and you’ll need to grapple with complicated issues like taxes, investing strategies and retirement income planning. Hiring a financial advisor can make things easier. The term "financial advisor" describes a broad group of professionals, though, so it can be tough to figure out exactly whom you want to hire. Before committing to paying someone to manage your money, you should know exactly what your options are, what services they provide and what kind of clientele they serve. If you’re looking for a financial advisor, you can find one today using SmartAsset’s Read More...

Jan 17, 2020 When it comes to asset allocation, there's more than one strategy you can follow. Tactical asset allocation is a moderately active approach to portfolio management that focuses on keeping pace with market trends. It's all about making adjustments to your asset mix to capitalize on individual stocks or market sectors that are performing well, while still managing risk. If you're interested in finding a way to maximize rewards for the short- or mid-term, here's what you need to know about tactical asset allocation. Read More...

Jan 17, 2020 When it comes to asset allocation and deciding how to diversify a portfolio, there's more than one way you can approach it. A strategic asset allocation involves setting targets for each asset class, followed by periodic rebalancing to make sure your portfolio is staying aligned with your goals. It's an alternative to dynamic asset allocation and tactical asset allocation. Read More...

Jan 17, 2020 If an annuity is part of your retirement income plan, there's a term you need to know: market value adjustment. It's something that can be applied to your annuity contract if you withdraw money from the annuity or surrender it completely before the end of the contract term. An MVA can apply to different types of annuities, and it's important to understand if you think you may take money out of your annuity before regular distributions begin. Read More...

Jan 17, 2020 Inheriting an annuity can provide an unexpected financial windfall, but there are certain tax implications to consider. Whether you'll owe taxes, how much and when you're required to pay them depends on how the annuity is structured and how you choose to receive benefits. Here's what you need to know about inheriting an annuity and minimizing taxes that come with it. Read More...

Jan 17, 2020 Corporations regularly need infusions of money - perhaps to hire new employees, fund new projects or raise money for an acquisition. In this situations, they typically face a choice between two options: debt financing and equity financing. Debt financing is another term for borrowing. Equity financing involves selling part ownership of a company in exchange for money. Here's how each financing method works, and the pros and cons of each. Read More...

Jan 17, 2020 For conservative investors, the stock market holds huge risk. If that’s you, maybe you stick to high-yield savings accounts or low-cost index funds or ETFs. However, investors willing to take a bigger risk may invest in properties. Here's how to buy investment property and potentially increase passive income. Read More...

Jan 17, 2020 Do you dream not only of an island getaway but of getting away to your very own island? Good news. It’s actually possible to buy an island, and it may not be as difficult as you think. However, you'll have to jump through some hoops. Here's how to buy and island and make it yours. Read More...

Jan 17, 2020 Buying a home will be one of the most expensive purchases you ever make. Even on a tight budget, you can make it work. You can save up for an increase in monthly mortgage payments. You can even go in with little or no down payment since there are programs available to first-time homebuyers. Read More...

Jan 16, 2020 An asset’s total return measures how much value it generates in total. This includes both capital gains (when an asset gains market value) and income (when an asset makes a direct payment). Total return is one measure of an asset's value to an investor. It's led to the total return swap. Read More...

Jan 16, 2020 If you're working with a registered investment advisor (RIA) firm or financial advisor, you'll likely encounter some conflicts of interest that arise from your advisor's compensation arrangements. Some advisors have legal obligations to disclose such conflicts, but others don't. When researching a firm or an advisor you're interested in, it's useful to review legal documents that describe each advisor's practices. These typically provide more information about the firm's advisory services, fee structures, investment strategies and disclosures. If you're still searching for an advisory firm or professional, our free Read More...

Jan 16, 2020 Many investors look at their portfolios piecemeal. They measure an asset by how much money it made, or by growth. For investors taking a comprehensive view, however, there is the idea of Total Return. It includes dividends, c apital gains, payments and distributions, and any other form of return. Read More...

Jan 16, 2020 If you own any investments, capital appreciation is probably your goal. Capital appreciation occurs when an investment asset gains value as reflected by its market price. When a stock’s price goes up, say, or when a home’s property value increases, these are examples of capital appreciation. Read More...

Jan 16, 2020 A pyramid scheme is an investment scam. Often they are business opportunity scams that solicit people to pay to distribute products or services. They, in turn, recruit additional distributors. Many people think of supplement sales when they think of a pyramid scheme. Here's how one works. Read More...

Jan 16, 2020 There is a wide variety of training for financial, investment and business expertise. Two of the most readily recognized and broadly accepted designations are the charted financial analyst (CFA) designation and the master of business administration (MBA) degree. Understanding the strengths of each one, and their differences, can help you find a financial professional whose training will be most useful to you. Read More...

Jan 16, 2020 When assessing the financial performance of a corporation, there are numerous useful metrics you can examine. Two of the main ones are operating income, which is profit minus operating expenses; and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, more commonly referred to as EBITDA. Looking at both provides a more complete picture of a company’s financial performance and potential than either one alone. We'll examine both metrics so you can understand how to use them to assess a company's performance.  Read More...

Jan 15, 2020 If you own an annuity, the part of your contract that earns returns is called the annuity fund, and it's important to understand how it works for different types of annuities. In other words, all three of the primary categories of annuities have an annuity fund. Understanding the nature of this fund can help you make better decisions about whether to buy an annuity and, if so, what kind. Read More...

Jan 14, 2020 Having $2 million to invest can ensure a lifetime income stream, provided it is wisely invested. So if you have managed to amass such a sum - whether through prudent money management, a lottery win or an inheritance - you should think long and hard about an investment portfolio that will turn your money into a reliable income stream. A financial advisor can put together an investing plan that does just that, but if you'd like to do it yourself, here are some investment… Read More...

Jan 10, 2020 Financial advisors can earn a range of certifications and designations indicating their specialty and expertise. Two popular designations are CFA (chartered financial analyst) and CIMA (certified investment management analyst). CFA is a common designation that shows someone has a background in investment reporting and analysis. CIMAs focus on strategic financial management. Here's a look at both certifications, how they're earned, what they indicate and how those who hold them can help you. Read More...

Jan 14, 2020 There are numerous savings options for retirees, from 401(k)s to IRAs, and even HSAs. But there are other savings vehicles worth considering. A fixed annuity provides retirees with regular payments. But a bank certificate of deposit (CD) or a CD ladder can provide similar benefits. Read More...

Jan 08, 2020 Most businesses are organized as operating companies, meaning they manufacture items or provide services. Holding companies, on the other hand, only have investments in other companies; they don’t have any operations themselves. When a company has its own operations and also owns other companies, it's known as a parent company rather than a holding company. Here is an overview of holding and parent companies, including how they are similar to and different from each other. Read More...

Jan 17, 2020 Retirement income can come from numerous sources, including your employer's 401(k) plan, an individual retirement account and taxable brokerage accounts. Bonds and annuities can also help create regular income, but they work in different ways. That's because one is a debt instrument and the other is an insurance policy. Understanding the differences between the two will highlight the strengths of each one. Read More...

Jan 07, 2020 Investing in stocks is a great way to build wealth and save for retirement. Choosing which stocks to invest in can be a challenge. That’s why investors turn to strategies like fundamental and technical analysis to help them pick stocks to buy and sell. Here's a breakdown of each approach so you can find the one that works best in any particular situation. Read More...

Jan 07, 2020 The work of a financial risk manager (FRM) and a  chartered financial analyst (CFA) can overlap, but they have their own specialties. FRMs identify, price and mitigate risk, while CFAs generate financial analytics and assess security markets and trends. Learn the basics of both designations, how they differ and which one is right for you. Read More...

Jan 07, 2020 Finding the right financial professional can be a bit of work. Even when you’ve narrowed the focus of precisely what you need, you may still have trouble finding the right expert to help you. When it comes to various accounting experts, you might choose between a  certified management accountant (CMA) and a  certified public accountant (CPA). Here’s the difference between the two and how to determine which one is right for you. Read More...

Jan 06, 2020 When it comes to picking an expert to handle, or to help you handle, your money, two of the more common types of experts are CPAs and CFAs. The former certification is typically earned by accounting professionals, while the latter certification is earned mainly by investment analysts. Read More...

Jan 06, 2020 Selling a business involves a lot of paperwork and a good contract. A business sale agreement is a legal document that describes and records the price and other details when a business owner sells the business. It is the final step to transfer ownership after negotiations for the transaction have been completed. It may be necessary for the new owner to demonstrate ownership of the business and register the business with state and local authorities. Read More...

Jan 15, 2020   Some investors use annuities for a guaranteed income and as a retirement planning strategy. While there are many variations of annuities, two of the most common types are fixed and variable annuities. Here's an overview of these two types to help you assess their potential for your personal financial planning. Read More...

Jan 06, 2020 Random walk theory holds that short-term and mid-term price movements of a specific stock appear to be random and thus are unpredictable. Using a share price's past movements, for example, is an unreliable means of projecting its future direction. Understanding random walk theory can help retail investors focus their investment strategy. Read More...

Jan 03, 2020 There are generally two paths to building wealth through investments: dividends and/or capital gains. They both fuel growth, but in different ways with different tax implications. Understanding dividends vs capital gains is an important part of managing your investments as well as your tax liability. Read More...

Jan 14, 2020 Annuities can help you create additional income for retirement outside of what you expect to get from your 401(k) or a similar tax-advantaged account. Thanks to the passage of the SECURE Act, adding annuities to your employer-sponsored retirement account is now a possibility. But does an annuity in a a 401(k) make sense for your financial situation? It's an important question to ask as you save and invest for retirement. Here's what you need to know about incorporating an annuity option into your workplace savings plan. Read More...

Jan 03, 2020 Whole life insurance covers you for the rest of your life, but universal life insurance offers much more flexibility. They are both types of permanent life insurance, which means they have a cash value component. However, whole life insurance can be more expensive. Compare whole life vs universal life here. Read More...

Jan 08, 2020 Reading up on investment analysis can help you better understand market trends as you make decisions in your portfolio. Buy side vs sell side analysts are two very different approaches to investing. If you're unfamiliar with those terms or how they can affect your investment, here's what you need to know. Read More...

Jan 02, 2020 Efficient market theory, or hypothesis, holds that a security's price reflects all relevant and known information about that asset. One upshot of this theory is that, on a risk-adjusted basis, you can’t consistently beat the market. The theory, which is controversial, has significant implications for investment strategy. Here is an overview of the theory that provides potential insights into how to invest. Read More...

Jan 15, 2020 Among the various kinds of annuities, which are contracts you sign with an insurance company to pay a premium for guaranteed income later, two of the most common are fixed and fixed indexed annuities. The former offers a fixed rate of return; the latter ties your rate to a market index to let you realize greater returns. Comparing the key differences between the two will help you determine which one might be suitable for your retirement saving strategy. Read More...

Jan 15, 2020 You may want to consider both annuities and life insurance for your long-term financial plan. Essentially, you purchase life insurance in the event you die sooner than expected and you buy an annuity in the event you live past your retirement savings. Both options have their benefits and downsides. The following overview will help you discover which one might be best for your unique financial situation. Read More...

Jan 15, 2020 When planning for retirement, an annuity is one option to consider for creating an additional stream of income. With this type of insurance contract, you can receive payments on a schedule that you determine, but there's one key question to ask: how much do annuities pay? An annuity can be a more complex retirement planning tool compared to something like a 401(k) or individual retirement account and it helps to understand the basics. Here's what you can expect from an annuity payout if you're thinking of using one to supplement your retirement income. Read More...

Dec 31, 2019 Hedge funds and mutual funds seem to confuse investors. Usually, rich investors favor hedge funds, while all different types of investors use mutual funds. Understanding a hedge fund vs mutual fund can help investors select the best option for their portfolio. Here's how you'll know which is right for you. Read More...

Dec 31, 2019 Owning a home is an expensive venture. But your home could be earning you money through equity and it might be time to convert that equity into cash. Read More...

Dec 31, 2019 American stocks trade primarily on the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. The NASDAQ has a reputation as a more high-tech exchange. Meanwhile, the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, has a stodgier, but safer, reputation. Learn the similarities and differences of NASDAQ vs NYSE. Read More...

Dec 31, 2019 Not all retail investors have the time or inclination to manage their own portfolio of stocks and bonds. In addition, paying a professional to assess their needs and guide them as they buy and sell securities may not be the best choice either. For such folk, using a robo-advisor offers a middle ground between the DIY and pay-a-professional approach. Betterment and Wealthfront are two of the top robo-advisors on the market.  Learn which could be best for you by comparing their features and pros and cons.  Read More...

Dec 31, 2019 Data collection is one of the least appreciated but most important services the federal government provides. Much of its research focuses on business, economic and financial phenomena, and its data are disseminated at no cost to help U.S. companies, academics, journalists and investors understand what is happening in the economy at large. Federal Reserve Economic Data is perhaps the most important source for that information. Here's a primer on this highly regarded resource. Read More...

Dec 31, 2019 Socially Responsible Investing and Environmental, Social and Governance Investing have both risen in popularity among socially conscious investors. Learn the basics of each, how they differ and which option is best for your investment strategy. Read More...

Dec 31, 2019 Gift planning can be a key element in an estate plan. Done properly, an estate plan - including gift planning - ensures that your assets are given to the people and organizations you care about and also minimizes the impact of taxes and other costs on your estate. Here's an overview of the essentials of planned giving. Read More...

Dec 30, 2019 A successful portfolio requires a consistent strategy for analyzing stocks (or any security). Successful investors create long-term goals and metrics to help them decide which stocks and funds to buy and sell. They think about how each stock or fund purchase fits into their broader analytical framework. Then - and this is the most important part - they stick to that way of assessing investment prospects. Read More...

Dec 30, 2019 A transaction order is a set of instructions to buy or sell a security, such as a stock, and it sets the conditions under which you want that transaction to happen. If a broker manages your portfolio, your transaction order will send instructions to them. If you use an online system, the computer will process your transaction order. There are four common types of transaction orders: market; limit; stop-loss; and stop-limit. Recently we covered stop-loss and stop-limit orders. In this article we will discuss market orders and limits. Read More...

Dec 30, 2019 Business students call them the “quants.” They’re the people who can look at the world through a complex frame of numbers. They make investment choices based on reams of data that spin most people’s heads. And they make an absolute fortune in the process. It's not necessary, though, to be a quant to invest successfully. Retail investors can understand key stock performance data to help build a portfolio and boost total returns. Perhaps the best place to start is with a security's alpha and its beta, two ways of measuring the risk of an investment. Read More...

Dec 30, 2019 When you sell something, you’re likely looking to profit from it. Capital gains are profits from an asset sale, like your home, business, or stocks. Capital gains come in two different forms: long-term and short-term. Each face different tax issues. This is the difference between short term vs long term capital gains. Read More...

Jan 15, 2020 Governments often influence the economy through fiscal and monetary policy. A central bank, such as the Federal Reserve in the United States, typically sets monetary policy. National governments, like the U.S. Congress, may decide fiscal policy. Learn the key components of fiscal vs monetary policy here. Read More...

Dec 28, 2019 Investors can use options to hedge their portfolio against loss. Also, they can help buy a stock for less than its current market value and increase gains. Call vs put options are the two sides of options trading, respectively allowing traders to bet for or against a security's future. Here are the differences between the two. Read More...

Dec 28, 2019 Whether you're a business owner or an investor, understanding the key differences between revenue vs profit is important. You also should know how to calculate each. Revenue and profit measure business performance and relate closely. However, they are also quite different. Here's why. Read More...

Dec 28, 2019 People often use yield and return interchangeably, referring to what you'll earn from a fixed investment. However, there are some important differences to note for yield vs return. Learn the basics of these two important concepts, plus some key differences to consider when looking at each of them. Read More...

Dec 28, 2019 The term "value trap" can be used to describe stocks or other investments that may seem like a bargain but shouldn't be taken at face value. Knowing how to spot a value trap and how to build a portfolio using a value investing approach can minimize risk. Here's what you need to know about value traps. Read More...

Dec 28, 2019 Flight to quality describes how investors react and manage their portfolios during periods of stock market volatility. This strategy favors more conservative investments in lieu of riskier ones. Here's what flight to quality means and how it can potentially impact your investment portfolio. Read More...

Dec 28, 2019 If you qualify for unemployment benefits, you’ll likely receive them via the Department of Labor's Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs. But someone has to pay for the benefits that unemployed workers receive. Enter the Federal Unemployment Tax Act, or FUTA tax. Here's how it works and what you pay for it. Read More...

Dec 28, 2019 An investment advisor representative (IAR) helps advisory firms offer financial advice to investors. If you're looking for assistance with your investments, you may consider working with an IA. Here are the services investment advisor representatives offer and their fee structure. Read More...

Jan 14, 2020 The SECURE Act provides more part-time employees with access to tax-friendly workplace retirement plans like 401(k)s. Signed into law by President Trump on Dec. 20, 2019, it also lets individual retirement account (IRA) holders save in these plans indefinitely with tax-deferred growth. In addition, the SECURE Act makes it simpler for employers to place annuities into their retirement plans. Annuities can offer guaranteed income streams in retirement. But because annuities and other aspects of this sweeping new law can be complex, it’s best to discuss how the SECURE Act may affect you with a financial advisor. Most changes take effect January 1, 2020 while some begin in 2021. Read More...

Dec 24, 2019 When firms or people invest in companies, there are a few different ways to go about it. For example, there are venture capitalists and private equity firms. Both have interests in helping companies, but how they go about it isn’t the same. Read More...

Dec 24, 2019 One of the most important tools that investors use to decide whether to buy or sell a security is its market value. It is often different from a security’s market price, though sometimes market value and market price coincide. Here is a description of what affects market value and why it’s important to consider when you make investing decisions. Read More...

Jan 15, 2020 While death and taxes may both be certain, taxation is the only one of the two that can happen twice. If you own a business, the last thing you want is to get taxed on your income twice. Double taxation occurs when a corporation pays taxes on its profits and then its shareholders pay personal taxes on dividends received from the corporation. We explain why double taxation happens and how to avoid it. Read More...

Jan 08, 2020 The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) regulates much of the U.S. financial industry. This guide goes over the most prominent rules that the SEC enforces. Many of these regulations are focused on information being available to investors. The SEC wants investors to know the facts so they can make informed decisions when deciding whether to sell, hold or buy a company's securities. Read More...

Dec 23, 2019 Managed volatility investing strategies are designed to mitigate some of the risks associated with uneven stock market movements. Managed volatility mutual funds have become increasingly popular for helping investors to balance downside risk in their portfolios without sacrificing returns during periods of market disruption. If you're wondering what a managed volatility fund is, how it works or why you might consider investing one, this guide explains some of the most important things to know. Read More...

Dec 23, 2019 Taxes can have a major impact on your financial and investing plans. Planning ahead for these costs can make your financial plan much more tax efficient. While many people only think about taxes when they're filing in the spring, tax planning should be a year-round matter, since all financial and investment decisions you make have a tax impact - even if that impact won't be felt right away. In this article, we'll go over some steps you can take to reduce your tax bill and take taxes into account as you make your financial plan. Read More...

Dec 23, 2019 Buying or selling a home is a major financial step. Whether you’re about to invest a lot of money in a property or make a lot of money from selling one, having the right real estate expert in your corner is a must. But there are different kinds of professionals to work with, and it’s not always easy to decide if you should use a real estate broker or a real estate agent. Here are the similarities and differences between the two, so you can make a decision that's best for you. Read More...

Dec 23, 2019 A sole proprietorship is a simple type of business or enterprise that is owned and run by a single person. Sole proprietorships are subject to different rules than other types of businesses. Read More...

Dec 23, 2019 Interest rate changes can have a huge impact on your personal finances, income, investments - even employment.  They affect how much you pay for loans, from credit cards to mortgages; they influence the price you pay for a cup of coffee; and they can even influence whether you get hired or get a raise. Here's how. Read More...

Dec 23, 2019 A long position is what you take when you expect a security to rise in value. Someone who has taken a long position in a given security has purchased that security, or taken a long position with a call option. It's the opposite of a short position, in which a trader bets against a stock. Here are the basic facts about a long position, its pros and cons and how it differs from a short position. Read More...

Dec 23, 2019 Blockchain, a digital technology behind such phenomena as Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, is finding profitable applications in more and more industries. Here’s a brief explanation of blockchain for investors interested in getting financial exposure to this increasingly important and commercially viable technology. Read More...

Dec 23, 2019 Investors have long relied on trading instructions, also known as orders. A basic trade instruction establishes what you want to happen in your portfolio. The most basic order is a market order, which buys or sells an asset immediately, regardless of the price. Other order types are triggered when an asset hits a certain price. Limit orders trigger a purchase or a sale if selected assets hit a certain price or better. Meanwhile, stop orders trigger a purchase or sale if selected assets hit a certain price or worse. The two main types of stop orders are stop-loss and stop-limit orders. Read More...

Dec 19, 2019 Planning for retirement can involve a lot of moving pieces, from saving funds in your 401(k) to building a diversified investment portfolio to - if you’re lucky - managing a pension plan. If you are one of the rare workers in the United States with a  defined-benefit pension plan, be sure you’re well-versed in the type of plan you have, and what it entails. For example, Taft-Hartley plans, also known as multiemployer plans, are pension plans bargained between a union and multiple employers. Here's how they work. Read More...

Dec 19, 2019 There’s a reason Wall Street firms recruit from MIT. For many investors, the financial markets are governed entirely by mathematical equations applied to aspects of a security's price and trading volume, among other variables. They evaluate rates of return, volatility, means and averages to figure out which securities will make them the most money. It is considered an alternative to investing based on underlying assets, in which you determine the qualitative strength of the company behind the financial product, or security, before investing in it. While these are often presented as mutually exclusive approaches, most savvy investors incorporate elements of both in their analysis. Read More...

Jan 15, 2020 Environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing offers investors a way to grow their portfolio while doing good. This investment strategy has two goals: generating a financial return while also promoting a positive impact for the environment, social issues and corporate governance. If you're interested in investing in companies that align with your values, an ESG approach may be a good fit. Read More...

Dec 19, 2019 If you own a small business and run it for a profit, you can likely deduct the costs incurred. Small business tax deductions reduce your taxable profits and, therefore, business taxes. From home office expenses to advertising bills, here are some small business tax deductions owners can claim. Read More...

Dec 19, 2019 Trading fees can kick in when you're buying and selling shares of stock, mutual funds or other investments. That's true whether you're trading in an online brokerage account or through a traditional full-service broker. Every broker is different when it comes to what fees they charge to trade and how much you'll pay. Being aware of trading costs is important for managing returns in your portfolio, as excessive fees can seriously cut into your returns. Here's what you need to know about trading fees and how to minimize them. Read More...

Dec 19, 2019 When you go to a doctor, you may prefer one who puts your health first. When it comes to your money, you likely want a professional with your interests in mind. An Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst (AIFA) can work in your best interests. Here’s how people get that title and how they work for you. Read More...

Dec 19, 2019 Corporate governance refers to policies and processes that run corporations. A company's corporate governance is of particular concern to investors. It often reflects a company's direction and health. Learn the basics of this important business principle, why it matters, and how to achieve best practices. Read More...

Dec 19, 2019 An asset allocation fund invests in a mix of asset classes, like stocks and bonds, in fixed percentages. It provides built-in diversification to investors. They can make it easier for the investor to maintain a portfolio. Read on to discover if an asset allocation fund can help you achieve your financial goals. Read More...

Jan 17, 2020 Master limited partnerships or MLPs are a way to invest for high yields, beyond traditional stocks and bonds. MLPs can trade on an exchange just like a stock. If you're looking to shake up your investments, a master limited partnership can help. However, the benefits should be balanced against the risks. Read More...

Jan 08, 2020 Dynamic asset allocation is a way to manage risk in your portfolio and generate above-market returns by moving with market trends. This type of approach combines elements of passive investing with active investing to help keep your portfolio balanced according to your risk tolerance and goals, while also keeping pace with the market. Dynamic asset allocation can be used to insulate your investments against stock market volatility and potentially maximize returns, but there are some drawbacks to keep in mind. Read More...

Dec 17, 2019 When selecting assets for a portfolio, it’s important to consider an investor’s risk tolerance. While some investors are willing to take on more risk to achieve a greater return, others may forgo any risk to preserve their capital. Capital preservation is what it sounds like - an investment strategy that preserves your money. So what's the best investing strategy to make sure that you don't lose any of your money? Read More...

Dec 17, 2019 Uniform Probate Code ideally standardizes the various state laws relating to wills and trusts. It also ideally simplifies the probate process. However, only a handful of states have use it.  Probate can be a be a time-consuming process, and Uniform Probate Code, might shorten probate time. Here's how it works. Read More...

Dec 16, 2019 Smart business tax planning can make a big difference for your company. Each of the more than 30 million small businesses in the United States probably has a different ideal tax planning strategy. However, there are some generally applicable approaches. Many or even most small businesses could use one or more of these to save on income taxes. If you're a business owner looking to minimize the impact of taxes, here's what you need to know. Read More...

Dec 15, 2019 Before it was retired in 2018, the Series 62 license was one of the most common certifications among financial professionals, allowing them to become registered representatives authorized to trade corporate equities and debt securities. Read on to learn what you need to do if you previously passed the Series 62 exam and what to expect from the updated, replacement exam, known as the Securities Industry Essentials test. Read More...

Dec 15, 2019 Businesses don't know when disasters might strike or how big a bite they'll take from their income. A business continuity plan is important for businesses trying to predict the unpredictable. It can help prevent problems and aid recovery while providing owners with peace of mind. Here's how it works. Read More...

Jan 08, 2020 A trade war is a conflict between two countries marked by rising tariffs and other similar protectionist actions. Remember, a tariff is a tax put into place by one country on imported goods or services from another country. Learn the basics of trade wars, their pros and cons, plus how they affect the economy. Read More...

Jan 15, 2020 We build our everyday lives over infrastructure. It includes water and sewer services, utilities, shipping and waste management. An infrastructure fund invests in companies providing these systems. Such funds can decrease volatility in a portfolio. Here's what to know about those funds before you invest. Read More...

Jan 07, 2020 Mutual funds are a way to invest in multiple stocks, bonds or other investments in one convenient package. Growth mutual funds zero in on stocks from some of the largest companies in the world. If you're wondering how to invest in a growth mutual fund, here are some of the most important details. Read More...

Dec 13, 2019 When used to refer to an owner of a business, the term "principal" can be a designation for any of several positions and entail a range of key responsibilities. But the rubric under which all the possible responsibilities of a company's principal can be grouped is that of managing key relationships, both inside and outside the company. Read More...

Dec 13, 2019 Financial advisors often prepare for their clients an investment policy statement, which outlines your goals, risk tolerance, time horizon and asset allocation. It may also list specific securities or sectors you want to avoid. Even if you don't have an advisor, it's a good idea to draw up this kind of statement and share it with all parties involved in your investments. Read More...

Dec 13, 2019 The College for Financial Planning is a degree-granting institution that has various financial certification programs available for students. It provides graduate degree, non-degree and continuing professional education programs for students. It was founded in 1972 and is now part of Kaplan Financial. The College for Financial Planning has trained over 165,000 professionals. Read More...

Jan 08, 2020 While investing does include stocks and bonds, it also includes many small securities put together. Sometimes portfolios have funds that are pooled, which include stocks, bonds and other securities. That type of investment is called a fund of funds. Read More...

Jan 08, 2020 Tariffs, which are taxes placed on imports and exports between two countries, have increased in prominence during the Trump administration. We break down the basics, how they work, plus their pros and cons. Read More...

Dec 12, 2019 Shares of publicly traded corporations are not all created equal. Some shares, which are also called stocks or equities, give owners greater benefits or voting rights than owners of other classes of stock. The corporation's owners can create the number and nature of share classes in almost any manner they see fit. Corporate charters - not the law or the courts - define the difference between the classes of stock, often designated as Class A, B and C.  Read More...

Dec 12, 2019 Timing the market is more commonly known as the investor’s golden rule: Buy low, sell high. It is the practice of building your purchases around expected changes in the price of an asset. (For the purposes of this article we will refer to stocks and the stock market, but timing can refer to any market and asset, including bonds, currencies and commodities.) Someone attempting to time the market will buy an asset that they expect to go up in value. But rather than holding the asset through ups and downs, they will sell when they believe that it's about to start decline. That's timing the market. And it doesn’t work. Read More...

Dec 11, 2019 Eight years ago America's baby boomers, people born between 1946 and 1964, began to retire. At nearly 75 million, they represent one of America's largest elder care challenges. Millennials, now in their 30s, will need to begin thinking about how to look after parents as medical, financial and mental health needs arise. Read More...

Jan 15, 2020 When choosing which stocks to invest in, you may run into these terms: small-cap, mid-cap and large-cap. A small-cap growth fund invests in smaller companies whose share prices are growing steadily. A small-cap value fund invests in smaller companies deemed to have underlying value that Wall Street has yet to recognize. Both types of small-cap funds can offer advantages over mid-cap or large-cap funds, but they may not be right for every investor. Getting to know the finer points of how these funds work can help you decide if investing in them is the right move to make in your portfolio. Read More...

Jan 08, 2020 Socially responsible investing funds or SRI funds are a way to grow your investment portfolio while doing something for the greater good. For example, you might invest in funds that advance social causes, encourage better corporate governance or promote a healthier, cleaner environment. In short, socially responsible funds allow you to make a positive difference in the world while enjoying the financial benefits of fund investing. If you're looking for a way to branch out your investments and support your favorite causes, SRI funds can help meet both of those needs. Read More...

Dec 11, 2019 If you're looking for an investment strategy that may beat the market, active management may be worth considering. The goal of active management is to outperform a specific market index or, in a market downturn, to book losses that are less severe than a specific market index suffers. However, active management has fallen out of favor with many investors who find that its outcomes are less consistent than passive management strategies. So is active management right for your portfolio? Read More...

Dec 11, 2019 As cost of living and taxes vary throughout the U.S., location is one of the biggest factors impacting how much money you need in retirement savings. That's why many Americans wonder whether they might want to consider relocating for their golden years. If you want to make sure you're headed for a secure retirement, consider speaking one-on-one to a financial advisor. Read More...

Dec 09, 2019 Passing the Series 86 exam — also known as the Research Analyst Qualification exam — is necessary for anyone who wants to work as research analyst for a broker-dealer member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Series 86 comprises the first portion of the two-part Series 86/87 exam. The test is designed to determine how well an entry-level representative can perform the job of research analyst. Read More...

More articles...