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Insights



Estate Planning Projects to Tackle in the New Year

                As the end of the year approaches and you begin to look back on 2018, what changes need to be reflected in your estate plan? Have you gotten married or divorced in the past year? Perhaps you’ve welcomed a new child or grandchild, or experienced a change in your health. So much can change in a year, and it’s important not to let too much time pass before those changes are reflected
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Talk to Your Advisor

In addition to the usual resolutions, the new year is a great time to talk to your financial advisor, revisit your goals and your long-term plan, and discuss any changes in your life or circumstances. This way, you can make sure that your plan accurately reflects where you are now and where you want to be. A great place to start is the Financial LifeMap below. Your financial advisor — working in close partnership with other experts, such as your
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Beyond Wills and Trusts: 3 Documents Everyone Needs

When it comes to estate planning, you probably think of wills and trusts. But there are three other estate planning documents you should think about to make your plan complete: A Living Will A Healthcare Directive, also called an Advance Directive, Medical or Healthcare Power of Attorney, or Designation of Healthcare Surrogate Financial Power of Attorney Planning for Medical Emergencies with a Living Will and Healthcare Directive Having the right legal documents in place in case of a medical emergency
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The Hierarchy of Tax-Preferenced Savings Vehicles for High-Income Earners

The Federal government has long incentivized saving for retirement and other financial goals by offering some combination of three types of tax preferences: tax deductibility (on contributions), tax deferral (on growth), and tax-free distributions. As long as the requirements are met, various types of accounts – traditional to Roth IRAs, and annuities to 529 plans to Health Savings Accounts – enjoy at least one tax preference, often two, and sometimes all three. For most households, these tax-preferenced accounts simply help
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4 Charts Every Investor Should Know. #1: Let Markets Work For You

Sometimes a picture really can make things easier to understand. Many of the important ideas and concepts you need to know as a long-term investor don’t require lengthy explanations. They can be as simple as the four charts we’ll share in our upcoming Insights. Together, these charts illustrate foundational principles of investing such as focusing on the long term, diversification, and not letting emotions compromise your portfolio. Hypothetical value of $100 invested at the beginning of 1972 and kept invested
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Why Rebalancing Your Portfolio Matters

Rebalancing your portfolio is an important step that many people neglect when they try to manage their own investments. Rebalancing helps keep your portfolio allocated in line with your desired mix of stocks and bonds (and the other factors of return, such as small and value), by taking money from assets that have performed well and reinvesting in assets that haven’t. Without rebalancing, your portfolio can drift from one level of risk to another as markets change. This drift can add extra
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The Impact of Inflation

In many cases, the reason for saving today is to support future spending. Therefore, keeping pace with inflation is a crucial goal for many investors. When the prices of goods and services increase over time, consumers can buy fewer of them with every dollar they have saved. This erosion of the real purchasing power of wealth is called inflation. Inflation is an important element of investing. In many cases, the reason for saving today is to support future spending. Therefore,
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Tuning Out the Noise

For investors, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the relentless stream of news about markets. Being bombarded with data and headlines presented as impactful to your financial well-being can evoke strong emotional responses from even the most experienced investors. Headlines from the ”lost decade”1 can help illustrate several periods that may have led market participants to question their approach. May 1999: Dow Jones Industrial Average Closes Above 11,000 for the First Time March 2000: Nasdaq Stock Exchange Index
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E+R=O, a Formula for Success

Combining an enduring investment philosophy with a simple formula that helps maintain investment discipline can increase the odds of having a positive financial experience. “The important thing about an investment philosophy is that you have one you can stick with.” David Booth, DFA Founder and Executive Chairman AN ENDURING INVESTMENT PHILOSOPHY Investing is a long-term endeavor. Indeed, people will spend decades pursuing their financial goals. But being an investor can be complicated, challenging, frustrating, and sometimes frightening. This is exactly
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2017: Another Bad Year for Expert Predictions

Every year, experts make bold pronouncements about the market and the economy. And every year, most of these predictions are wrong. If you had listened to the experts in 2017, you would have worried about global economic turmoil, a flat-to-disastrous stock market, even the end of the world. Instead, the U.S. economy continued to grow, most international markets were in positive territory, the S&P 500 returned 19% for the year, and the earth is still here. Gurufocus.com tracks the performance
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