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Understanding the Behavioral Advantage and Trade-Offs of Bucket Portfolios

Bucket portfolios aren’t rational, but they are perfectly normal and can be an effective tool for investors. Bucket portfolios are aimed at providing spending resources during investors’ decumulation periods, usually in retirement. They are typically composed of three buckets, arranged by time horizon and investment type. The first bucket contains cash, such as a money market fund, sufficient for spending as planned in the short horizon and set at one, two or perhaps five years. The second consists mostly of
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This Has Been a Test: Developing a Financial Plan You Can Stick With

Think back to December 2019. The economy was humming. Unemployment, interest rates, and inflation were at historically low levels. But then what happened? A global pandemic hit. By the end of March, the S&P 500 had dropped nearly 20% in value.1 Later in the year, scientists announced that they’d developed a vaccine, and markets roared back. FAANG stocks soared … before giving up a lot of gains.2 Meme stocks shot way up … and fell back down. Bitcoin and other
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Time the Market at Your Peril

Technology enables immediate access to everything wherever and whenever we want it. In many cases, such as staying in touch with friends and family, or learning about world events, that’s a good thing. However, when it comes to investing and money management, my fear is that faster and easier ways of investing will allow people to lose more money faster and easier. As access to investing expands, it becomes even more important to adopt an investment plan that doesn’t try
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Include a Family Meeting in Your Next Family Reunion

Along with warmer weather and lazy days spent at a pool, summertime also often includes a family gathering, such as a Fourth of July barbecue, a family vacation, a reunion, or time spent at a family cabin or lake house. Whatever the form, in our always-on-the-go society, getting the whole family together is a rare occurrence. Consider taking advantage of this time together to discuss your estate and financial wishes with your family by including a family meeting in your
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Is It Time to Sell Stocks?

KEY TAKEAWAYS Soaring inflation and record market highs may leave investors wondering whether it’s time to adjust their portfolios. Researchers have examined a wide range of timing strategies based on earnings, dividends, interest rates, economic growth, and more. A recent Morningstar report showed that investors may be better off steering clear of tactical asset allocation strategies and avoiding making short-term shifts among asset classes. After touching record highs in early January, US stocks(1) have slumped, and investors have been confronted
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Business Owners: 10 Strategies to Create, Manage and Distribute Wealth

Despite a lengthy global pandemic, supply chain delays, inflationary spikes in segments of the economy, and a very tight labor market, your business is highly successful. Yet maybe these challenges, or even other circumstances, have placed financial pressure on your business that you still need to successfully navigate. Whether your business is currently healthy or under a bit of strain, a key question still needs asking: How is your personal financial situation? A healthy business does not automatically translate into
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‘Everything Screams Inflation.’ How to Interpret the Headlines

KEY TAKEAWAYS After last year’s economic shocks, we shouldn’t be surprised to see prices rebounding. But the potential for inflation is one among many factors investors take into account when agreeing on a price at which to trade. A look at headlines from the past 50 years shows the difficulty of timing markets around inflation expectations. Investors may be better served sticking to a long-term plan. How quickly things change. Two years ago, the New York Times reported, “Federal Reserve
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Who Manages Your Money After Death?

In the simplest situations, after your death, you leave your money outright to your spouse if he or she is living. Then, when your spouse passes, they leave the remaining money to your children. This assumes a straightforward family scenario, perhaps with only one marriage involved. Ideally, everyone is experienced with money management, has happy and stable relationships themselves, and there are no major personal issues to worry about. The ideal and uncomplicated situation is rarely the real family dynamic.
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Should You Invest When the Market Is High?

Concerns about market downturns certainly come as no surprise. After all, steep corrections and crashes can be disconcerting for even the most steely and disciplined investors. What has been surprising to me, however, is the number of inquiries I have received over the years raising concerns about the stock market being “too high” or “overvalued.” These concerns generally manifest themselves in some variation of questions like the following: “Now that the market is so high, should I reduce (or eliminate)
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Think Investing Is a Game? Stop.

It’s easy to view the stories of market speculation that have dominated the news recently as cautionary tales for individual investors. But we can also look at the current moment as an opportunity to welcome a new group of investors to the market: those who have been drawn in by all the high-stakes action, and yet may want a consistent, long-term investment solution that doesn’t keep them up at night. This is probably a good time to mention that investing
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