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What’s on our mind? You can read about it in our blog. Whether it’s ideas from the investment world or concepts from the financial industry, you can read about it here. So keep checking in. We’re glad to have you reading along.

 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

On September 7, 2017, Equifax, one of the three main credit reporting agencies, announced a massive data security breach that exposed vital personal identification data - including names, addresses, birth dates, and SSNs.

 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

As you progress along your career path, there's no telling how far you'll go. But to fully reap the financial rewards of all your hard work, you'll need to take charge of your own career--here are a few issues you'll want to address.

 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

For several years, the Social Security Administration mailed statements every five years to people starting at age 25, but due to budgetary concerns, the SSA has stopped mailing Social Security Statements to individuals under age 60.

 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

During the Medicare Open Enrollment Period that runs from October 15 through December 7, you can make changes to your Medicare coverage that will be effective on January 1, 2018.

 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

With some private colleges now crossing the once unthinkable $70,000-per-year mark in the 2017/2018 school year, and higher costs at public colleges, too, financial aid is essential for many families.

 

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

It's a catch-22: You feel that you should focus on paying down debt, but you also want to save for retirement. It may be comforting to know you're not alone: 18% of today's workers describe their debt as a major problem.

 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The opportunity to acquire company stock — inside or outside a workplace retirement plan — can be a lucrative employee benefit. But having too much of your retirement plan assets in one investment could expose you to concentration risk.

 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

As summer winds down, vacations come to a close, and kids head back to school, the calendar is relatively quiet in terms of major market events. Earnings season for corporate America—which was a good one—is behind us.

 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Women are increasingly taking responsibility for managing their own money. However, many women, including high-level professionals who are experts in their field, may not feel confident about their investing abilities.

 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The documentation needed to obtain a federal income tax deduction for donating used property to a charity typically depends on the value of the property. Keep the records so that you can provide them to the IRS if requested to do so.

 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) adjusts interest rates to help keep inflation near a 2% target. How is this calculated?

 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

If you plan to continue working after you reach age 65, you may be wondering how Medicare coordinates with your employer's group health plan. Here are some guidelines on how to compare coverages.

 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Life can be busy. The requirements of work and family often leave little time to step back and think about where you've been and where you're heading. But as your responsibilities grow, so does your need for life insurance.

 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Women in the workforce generally earn less than men. While the gender pay gap is narrowing, it is still significant. The difference in wages, coupled with other factors, can lead to a shortfall in retirement savings for women.

 

Monday, July 24, 2017

The hottest part of the summer has arrived across the U.S., with temperatures well into the 90s in many places. At the same time, the stock market has put together a pretty impressive hot streak of its own.

 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

In its 27th annual Retirement Confidence Survey, the Employee Benefit Research Institute discovered that 60% of today's workers feel very or somewhat confident in having enough money to retire comfortably, down from 64% in 2016.

 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

If you're the parent of a young adult who is still living at home, you might be wondering whether this situation is commonplace.

 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

If you're looking to save money for college, one option to consider is a 529 college savings plan.

 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

How much do you know about market basics? Put your investing IQ to the test with this quiz on stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.

 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Planning on working during retirement? Recent studies have consistently shown that a majority of retirees plan to work at least some period of time during their retirement years. Here are some points to consider.

 

Friday, June 23, 2017

After years of keeping the benchmark federal funds rate at historic lows, the Federal Reserve has been raising it gradually.

 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

If you're planning to remarry, you must decide how you and your fiance will combine your finances, and you'll need to plan a financial strategy that considers the financial responsibilities that each partner brings to the table.

 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Yes, you can make a direct or 60-day rollover from a 401(k) plan [or other qualified plan, 403(b) plan, or governmental 457(b) plan] to a Roth IRA, as long as you meet certain requirements.

 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Generally, the term "rollover IRA" refers to an IRA that you establish to receive funds from an employer retirement plan like a 401(k). A rollover IRA is also sometimes referred to as a "conduit IRA."

 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

It's a vicious cycle: Money is one of the greatest causes of stress, prolonged stress can lead to serious health issues, and health issues often result in yet more financial struggles.

 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

While no one can predict the future, the possibility of tax reform is once again in the spotlight.

 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

You've probably heard the news that the Federal Reserve has been raising its benchmark federal funds rate. The Fed doesn't directly control consumer interest rates, but changes to the federal funds rate often affect consumer borrowing costs

 

Friday, June 16, 2017

A long-overdue and highly anticipated shift is underway that may change the character of the rest of this economic cycle.

 

Friday, June 2, 2017

Marlton, NJ — June 2, 2017 — Ted Massaro, CLU, AEP, Chartered Financial Consultant, an independent financial advisor at M Financial Planning Services in Marlton, NJ, recently attended LPL Financial’s Private Wealth...

 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Another earnings season is in the books and it was a good one. With more than 90% of S&P 500 companies having reported first quarter 2017 results, S&P 500 earnings are tracking to a solid year-over-year increase of more than 14%.

 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Even if you never thought about signing a prenuptial agreement the first time you married, it's wise to consider it now, because marriage is often more complicated the second (or third or fourth) time around.

 

Friday, May 19, 2017

A pet trust is an arrangement to provide for the care and financial support of your pet(s) upon your disability or death.

 

Friday, May 19, 2017

A funeral trust is an arrangement entered into with a provider of funeral or burial services. Prepaying funeral expenses may allow you to "lock in" costs for future funeral or burial services at an agreed-upon price.

 

Friday, May 19, 2017

In a recent survey, 46% of retirees said they retired earlier than planned, and not necessarily because they chose to do so. In fact, many said they had to leave the workforce early because of health issues or a disability.

 

Friday, May 19, 2017

It's no secret that today's college graduates face record amounts of debt. Approximately 68% of the graduating class of 2015 had student loan debt, with an average debt of $30,100 per borrower — a 4% increase from the prior year.

 

Friday, May 19, 2017

When it comes to your finances, you might easily overlook some of the numbers that really count. Here are four to pay attention to now that might really matter in the future.

 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Congress focused on other matters, but the debt ceiling cannot be ignored for long, and it's likely to become a focal point for negotiations on broad fiscal issues, including the federal budget and tax reform.

 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Women face special challenges when planning for retirement. Many generally work fewer years and save less, leaving many to rely on their husbands' savings and benefits to carry them both through retirement.

 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act was enacted in 1974 to protect employees who participated in retirement and certain other employee benefit plans. The fiduciary provisions of ERISA protect participants from the mismanagement and

 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

There are several questions you should ask yourself before making the important financial decision of when to retire.

 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

For many workers, there may be mathematical and psychological advantages to keeping the pension. However, a lump sum could provide financial flexibility that may benefit some families.

 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Federal tax benefits are available to make homeownership more affordable and less expensive.

 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Smart beta funds use other clearly defined factors — other than market capitalization — to select and weight investments that will track a matching factor-based index.

 

Friday, March 24, 2017

If you transfer money or property to anyone in any year without receiving something of at least equal value in return, you may need to file a federal gift tax return (Form 709) by the April tax filing deadline.

 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Imagine having to remember and describe every item in your home, especially after you've been the victim of a fire, theft, or natural disaster. Rather than relying on your memory, you may want to prepare a home inventory.

 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Selecting a filing status is one of the first decisions you'll make when you fill out your federal income tax return, so it's important to know the rules.

 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Bond rating agencies typically use similar scales, and it may be helpful to understand how to compare ratings from multiple agencies.

 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Bond ratings are an essential tool when considering fixed-income investments. Ratings provide a professional assessment of credit risk. Here's how they calculate that rating.

 

Friday, March 24, 2017

The arrival of spring often signifies a time of renewal, a reminder to dust off the cobwebs and get rid of the dirt and grime that have built up throughout the winter season. Your personal finances too! Let's get started.

 

Friday, March 24, 2017

You've been saving diligently for years, and now it's time to think about how to convert the money in your traditional 401(k)s (or similar workplace savings plans) into retirement income. But hold on, not so fast.

 

Friday, March 24, 2017

The IRS expects that more than 70% of taxpayers will receive a refund in 2017.¹ What you do with a tax refund is up to you, but here are some ideas that may make your refund twice as valuable.

 

Friday, March 10, 2017

One of the most difficult conversations many of us face with parents is talking about money.

 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

When your career is peaking and you are preparing for your own retirement, you may find yourself in the position of having to help your children with the financial challenges of young adulthood while also looking after your aging parents.

 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

If you die without a will, your property will generally pass according to state law (under the rules for intestate succession). The specifics, however, vary from state to state.

 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

In general, when you sell your home, any amount you receive over your cost basis (what you paid for the home, plus capital improvements, plus the costs of selling the home) is subject to capital gains taxes. Here are some exceptions.

 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The fact that you've purchased life insurance doesn't guarantee that the death benefit will be paid when it it's needed. Here are reasons insurance companies may attempt to deny, or at least delay, paying a claim for the death benefit.

 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

When investing, particularly for long-term goals, there is one concept you will likely hear about over and over again — diversification. Why is diversification so important?

 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Tax filing season is here again. If you haven't done so already, you'll want to start pulling things together. The filing deadline for most individuals is Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Now that the Trump presidency has begun, many are feeling apprehensive about the policy changes he has proposed. The next four years could bring significant changes. What do they mean for your finances?

 

Friday, January 20, 2017

It's a common occurrence once the holiday season winds down — you reluctantly look at your credit card statement and wince at all the purchases you made over the holidays. Fortunately, there's no need to panic.

 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Every year, the Internal Revenue Service announces cost-of-living adjustments that affect contribution limits for retirement plans, thresholds for deductions and credits, and standard deduction and personal exemption amounts.

 

Friday, January 20, 2017

The terms growth and value are often used to describe two different investment strategies, yet many investors may want both qualities in an investment.

 

Friday, January 20, 2017

A recent survey of baby boomers (ages 53 to 69) found that just 24% were confident they would have enough money to last throughout retirement.

 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

When you determine your retirement income needs, you make your projections based on the type of lifestyle you plan to have and the desired timing of your retirement.

 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

If you're eligible to receive a taxable distribution from an employer-sponsored retirement plan [like a 401(k)], you can avoid current taxation by instructing your employer to roll the distribution directly over to another employer...

 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

If you take a distribution from your IRA intending to make a 60-day rollover, but for some reason the funds don't get to the new IRA trustee in time, the tax impact can be significant.

 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

For many families, a college education is a significant financial burden that is increasingly hard to meet with savings, current income, and a manageable amount of loans.

 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Being self-employed has many advantages — the opportunity to be your own boss and come and go as you please, for example. However, it also comes with unique challenges, especially when it comes to how to handle taxes.

 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Social Security is an important source of retirement income for millions of Americans, but how much do you know about this program? Test your knowledge, and learn more about your retirement benefits.

 

Friday, December 23, 2016

Heading into the New Year, we are mindful of market milestones that have come together to influence the investment landscape: a new president and administration, the stabilization of oil prices, and the end of an earnings recession.

 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Procrastination is no joke—cleaning out the garage, filing old receipts, shopping on December 24th—we all suffer from it occasionally. As a financial planner, I want to inspire you to resist that impulse when it comes to your financial plan

 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Federal Reserve’s policy-making arm, the Federal Open Market Committee, raised its target for the federal funds rate by 0.25% yesterday, only the second interest rate raise since the Great Recession.

 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

In a perfect world, both halves of a couple share the same investment goals and agree on the best way to try to reach them. It doesn't always work that way, though; and disagreements about money can cause friction.

 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

If you're satisfied with your current coverage, you don't need to make changes, but you should review your options before you decide to stay with your current plan.

 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

In order to skip the lines and traffic, many people opt to shop online for gifts during the holiday season. Unfortunately, hackers often target online shoppers to steal their personal information. Before you click, consider these tips.

 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

If your employer-sponsored retirement savings plan allows pretax, after-tax, and/or Roth contributions, which should you choose?

 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

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 wrap up the year on a positive note.

 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

When it comes to planning your estate, you might be wondering whether you should use a will or a trust (or both). Understanding the similarities and the differences between these two important documents may help you decide.

 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Donald Trump has completed his landmark quest and will become the nation’s 45th President after a contentious and often divisive campaign. In addition, the Republican Party has retained control of both houses of Congress.

 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Elections elicit strong emotions. High disapproval ratings for both candidates, as well as Donald Trump’s unconventional candidacy, have taken these emotions to another level this cycle.

 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

When approaching retirement be sure to evaluate carefully your own personal situation before taking any tips from family, friends, or the media at face value. Review theses points to make sure you are make the best decisions for you.

 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Risk management is a key component in any successful business plan. Its important to understand your vulnerabilities, prevention, proper storage, and how to educate your employees.

 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Dylan's catalogue of more than 500 songs provides even the casual listener with plenty of observations on life, love, and, if you look hard enough, even the economy and financial markets!

 

Friday, October 21, 2016

We take a closer look at market technicals and sentiment this week with the historically volatile second half of October upon us.

 

Friday, October 21, 2016

When naming a beneficiary, we often don't take into account the substantial estate and income tax consequences that person may incur.

 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

You've worked long and hard to accumulate the assets that you are using to help finance your retirement. Now, it's time to start drawing down those assets. How?

 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

We believe the earnings recession may have ended in the third quarter of 2016.

 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Economic data released in the next two weeks will shed light on the state of the housing market as the third quarter of 2016 ended and the fourth quarter began, including reports on homebuilder sentiment for October.

 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Money market reform goes into effect this Friday, October 14, 2016, and its impact has already been felt by markets.

 

Friday, October 7, 2016

As the election nears, we see how rules on international trade, and globalization as a concept, have impacted American politics.

 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Historically, the best quarter of the year is upon us.

 

Friday, September 30, 2016

While there are many reasons why women need life insurance, often women have little or no life insurance protection.

 

Friday, September 30, 2016

The right answer for you will depend on your situation. First of all, don't underestimate the psychological impact of early retirement. The adjustment from full-time work to a more leisurely pace may be difficult.

 

Friday, September 30, 2016

If you're eligible for an early-retirement package from your employer, determine whether post-retirement medical coverage is included.

 

Friday, September 30, 2016

Many 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.

 

Friday, September 30, 2016

Here are 10 things to consider as you weigh potential tax moves between now and the end of the year.

 

Friday, September 30, 2016

What's changing? The provision of the budget bill called "Closure of Unintended Loopholes" primarily addresses two Social Security claiming strategies that have become increasingly popular over the last several years.

 

Friday, September 30, 2016

US voters will choose a new president in November — and given the polarizing climate on the campaign trail this year, investors may wonder how a new commander-in-chief could impact capital markets.

 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

This year’s stock market gains, the age of the bull market, and valuations beg the question, should investors sell stocks now?

 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Another year older, another year closer to college. Where did the time go?

 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

On September 1, 2016, real estate, mostly including real estate investment trusts (REIT), will become the 11th sector under the widely used Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS). Here we discuss the potential impact of this move.

 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Libor has been on the rise in recent weeks and for many borrowers, the increase is almost equivalent to a Federal Reserve (Fed) rate hike. The London Interbank Offered Rate is a commonly used short-term interest rate benchmark.

 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The U.S. presidential election is only ten weeks away, and one key topic has been largely absent on the campaign trail in this “unusual” election year: the deficit.

 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Corporate sentiment improved little based on our analysis of earnings conference call transcripts for second quarter earnings season.

 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Election years have historically been good for stocks, and this year has been no different, although with less volatility than we would expect during the summer of an election year.

 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Global policymakers initially countered the financial crisis with both monetary and fiscal policy; but monetary policy has been the tool of choice more recently.

 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Foreign demand has helped drive Treasury yields lower and support prices over the past year, though increasing hedging costs may prove problematic moving forward.

 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Are you suddenly on your own or forced to assume greater responsibility for your financial future? Unsure about whether you're on the right track with your savings and investments?

 

Friday, August 19, 2016

ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) accounts are tax-advantaged savings accounts for individuals with disabilities that are generally used to cover qualified disability expenses.

 

Friday, August 19, 2016

GDP, or gross domestic product, is a measurement of the total value of all goods and services produced in the United States over a given time period. How is it calculated?

 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Small-business owners must rely on their own ingenuity and innovation to survive. Fortunately, over the past decade, innovation has also emerged in the networks supporting small businesses.

 

Friday, August 19, 2016

The success of a business, especially a small business, is often predicated on the performance and retention of a few key employees. Here is one way owners can try to retain and reward their key employees.

 

Friday, August 19, 2016

If you've been designated as the beneficiary of a traditional or Roth IRA, it's important that you understand the special rules that apply to "inherited IRAs."

 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Many people decide to begin receiving early Social Security retirement benefits. In fact, according to the Social Security Administration, about 72% of retired workers receive benefits prior to their full retirement age.

 

Friday, August 19, 2016

When you claim a federal income tax deduction for charitable contributions, you must substantiate the contributions by maintaining certain records. Here are some tips to help you keep the records in order.

 

Friday, August 19, 2016

After earning their degrees, many college graduates face a new challenge--repaying their student loans. If you've recently graduated from college, you might have some concerns about how you'll pay your student loans.

 

Friday, August 19, 2016

In December 2015, the Federal Reserve raised the federal funds target rate to a range of 0.25% to 0.50%, the first rate increase from the near-zero range where it had lingered for seven years.

 

Friday, August 19, 2016

As busy as you are, it's no surprise that retirement may seem a long way off, especially if you're just entering the workforce. What you may not realize, however, is that there are four very important advantages to begin planning now.

 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Corporate earnings, the most important factor in market performance, were poor in developed foreign markets last quarter.

 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Like many other categories of gross domestic product (GDP), business capital spending in the economic recovery that began in mid-2009 has lagged prior recoveries.

 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

European banks are vital to economic recovery in Europe; low and negative interest policies in Europe not only hurt banks, but may be counterproductive to boosting the economy.

 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Second quarter earnings season has been okay, but we were hoping for more. This week we provide an overview of earnings season and discuss prospects for a second half earnings rebound.

 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

We continue to expect that the Fed won’t raise rates until the December 2016 meeting, but a potential path to a September hike also exists.

 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

We continue to expect an improving economic backdrop in the second half and a stock market with the potential for more new highs before year-end.

 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

As a woman, you have financial needs that are unique to your situation in life. Perhaps you would like to buy your first home. Maybe you need to start saving for your child's college education. Or you might be concerned about planning...

 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

In an ideal world, your retirement would be timed perfectly. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world, and events can take you by surprise. What if you retire during a market downturn?

 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

In 1981, the Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller published a groundbreaking study that contradicted a prevailing theory that markets are always efficient. If they were, stock prices would generally mirror the growth in...

 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

In 1981, the Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller published a groundbreaking study that contradicted a prevailing theory that markets are always efficient. If they were, stock prices would generally mirror the growth in...

 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

In an ideal world, your retirement would be timed perfectly. You would be ready to leave the workforce, your debt would be paid off, and your nest egg would be large enough to provide a comfortable retirement--with some left over to...

 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

June 2016 is full of major market events, which may go a long way toward determining the direction of the stock market for the rest of the year.