Your Money

Know Your Mutual Funds

 
Know Your Mutual FundsAlmost 100 million Americans, representing about 44% of U.S. households, owned mutual funds in 2018. Saving for retirement was the primary goal for 73% of investors; other goals included saving for college or a house, building an emergency fund, or providing current income.1
 

Mutual funds offer a convenient way to participate in a broad range of market activity that would be difficult for most investors to achieve by purchasing individual securities. With almost 8,000 funds available on the U.S. market, you should be able to find appropriate investments to pursue your goals.2 However, it’s important to periodically examine the mix of funds you hold. Continue reading

How do TIPS help fight inflation?

How do TIPS help fight inflation?

 

One way to help protect your portfolio against a sudden spike in inflation is by investing in Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS).

 

TIPS are guaranteed by the federal government as to the timely payment of principal and interest. They are sold in $100 increments and available in maturities of 5, 10, and 30 years. The principal is automatically adjusted twice a year to match any increases or decreases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). If the CPI moves up or down, the Treasury recalculates your principal.

Continue reading

Are You Ending 2016 Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise?

 
Are You Ending 2016 Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise?Although the year is drawing to a close, you still have time to review your finances. Pausing to reflect on the financial progress you made in 2016 and identifying adjustments for 2017 can help you start the new year stronger than ever.
 

How healthy are your finances?

 
Think of a year-end review as an annual physical for your money. Here are some questions to ask that will help assess your financial fitness.

  • Do you know how you spent your money in 2016? Did you make any progress toward your financial goals? Look for spending habits (such as eating out too much) that need tweaking, and make necessary adjustments to your budget.
  • Are you comfortable with the amount of debt that you have? Any end-of-year mortgage, credit card, and loan statements will spell out the amount of debt you still owe and how much you’ve been able to pay off this year.
  • How is your credit? Having a positive credit history may help you get better interest rates when you apply for credit, potentially saving you money over the long term. Check your credit report at least once a year by requesting your free annual copy through the federally authorized website annualcreditreport.com.
  • Do you have an emergency savings account? Generally, you should aim to set aside at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses. Having this money can help you avoid piling up more credit-card debt or shortchanging your retirement or college savings because of an unexpected event such as job loss or illness.
  • Do you have an adequate amount of insurance? Your insurance needs may change over time, so it’s a good idea to review your coverage at least once a year to make sure it still meets your needs.

Continue reading

Top Financial Concerns of Baby Boomers, Generation Xers, and Millennials

 
Top Financial Concerns of Baby Boomers, Generation Xers, and MillennialsMany differences exist among baby boomers, Generation Xers, and millennials. But one thing that brings all three generations together is a concern about their financial situations.
 
According to an April 2016 employee financial wellness survey, 38% of boomers, 46% of Gen Xers, and 51% of millennials said that financial matters are the top cause of stress in their lives. In fact, baby boomers (50%), Gen Xers (56%), and millennials (60%) share the same top financial concern about not having enough emergency savings for unexpected expenses. Following are additional financial concerns for each group and some tips on how to address them.
 

Baby boomers

 
Baby boomers cite retirement as a top concern, with 45% of the group saying they worry about not being able to retire when they want to. Although 79% of the baby boomers said they are currently saving for retirement, 52% of the same group believe they will have to delay retirement. Health issues (30%) and health-care costs (38%) are some of the biggest retirement concerns cited by baby boomers. As a result, many baby boomers (23%) are delaying retirement in order to retain their current health-care benefits.
 
Other reasons reported by baby boomers for delaying retirement include not having enough money saved to retire (48%), not wanting to retire (27%), and having too much debt (23%).
 
Continue reading

Earnings Call: A Closer Look at Financial Reports

 
Earnings Call: A Closer Look at Financial ReportsThe second quarter of 2016 marked the fifth quarter in a row of declining U.S. corporate earnings. Low oil prices and a strong dollar were largely to blame for lackluster financial results. 1
 
Publicly traded companies are required to report quarterly financial results to regulators and shareholders. Earnings season is the often-turbulent period when most companies must disclose their successes and failures.
 
An earnings surprise–whether profits come in above or below the stock market’s expectations–can have an immediate effect on a company’s stock price, so it’s easy to understand why executives may go to great lengths to impress their investors. Earnings do represent a corporation’s bottom line and are generally a key driver of the stock price over time. Still, an earnings surprise may not be a reliable indicator of a company’s longer-term outlook, partly because earnings figures generally reflect past performance.
 
Earnings are just one factor to consider when evaluating a company’s outlook. Sales performance, research and development, new products, consumer trends, and global economic conditions can all affect future results.
 
Continue reading

BrokerCheck

Newsletter Subscription

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.