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How to Avoid Beneficiary Mistakes

Assigning a beneficiary to your account is easy. Getting it right can be more complicated than you think and a mistake can be costly to your loved ones. Consider the “horrible” experience a widow shared with WBAL TV.  Judith Kiefer’s husband died unexpectedly in his sleep at the […]

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Social Security 2015 Benefit Increase

Social Security Administration announced the 2015 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will be 1.7 percent in 2015.  http://socialsecurity.gov/news/#!/post/10-2014-2

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Let’s Talk Recovery… From a Stock Market Correction

Stocks-gone-wild describes the past couple of weeks in the market.  Stocks have been rising for so long that it begs the question on so many minds, have we hit a market top?  If we have, and if stock prices continue falling, are you prepared? Review the chart […]

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How Bond Interest Rates Can Affect Your Returns

Bond interest rates are at historic lows in response to the Federal Reserve’s efforts to stimulate the economy.  Over six years ago the Fed took actions to stimulate the economy by reducing short-term interest rates to near zero and reducing longer-term interest rates through a bond buying […]

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Markets move in two directions, up and down.  Ok, sometimes sidewise for a while. Five years of a remarkably steady ‘upward’ movement in stock prices can give a false sense of security to an otherwise prudent investor who may get caught off guard by a swift reversal […]

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Is Historical S&P 500 Performance a Credible Teacher?

The past 15 years have given investors a gut wrenching, and at times, exhilarating ride on a stock market roller coaster.  The chart below tracks the S&P 500 Index price from March 3, 1999 through February 28, 2014.  Most of you are familiar with the chart, but […]

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2013 Financial Market Review

It is an exciting new year, but let us take a moment to review the events that moved the market in 2013. There is no doubt that 2013 was an extraordinary year with an incredible stock market rally, but there is a lot that we learned in […]

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Active vs Passive Management Scorecard: Active Management Lags

There is a long-standing debate over which is better – active vs passive management styles.  In other words,  investing in actively managed funds that rely on stock picking – or passively managed funds that buy the securities in an index.   Twice a year, Standard & Poor’s issues “S&P Indices […]

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Social Security Announces 2014 Changes

The Social Security Administration announced 2014 changes on Wednesday. COST OF LIVING ADJUSTMENT (COLA) Effective on January 2014 Social Security benefits will increase 1.5%. MAXIMUM SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFIT Worker Retiring at Full Retirement Age: 2014 is $2,642/mo. SOCIAL SECURITY TAX Maximum taxable Social Security earnings increased to […]

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Is Your Home an Investment?

Your Home:  A Retirement Investment or an Expense? A persistent debate surrounds the question of whether your home is an investment or simply the expense of providing a roof over your head.  Regardless of which camp you are in, the home is the 2nd most important retirement […]

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