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Now That You're Retired, Maximize Your Retirement Income

September 7, 2011
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Although much of the last decade has been an exception, historically, stock returns have outpaced inflation by the widest margin and have provided the strongest returns over the long term. Those long-awaited golden years have arrived, and you’re enjoying a well-deserved retirement. You’ve saved and invested wisely to provide a financial cushion. Where do you…

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Sector Investing: Building a More Diversified Portfolio

August 3, 2011

As times change, so do the leading stock market sectors. As a result, some investors may be tempted to “chase returns” by investing in the market’s “hot” sectors. But a better approach for investors who want the potential to outperform the broader market over the long term may be to blend sector funds to balance…

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Mutual Fund Fees: Look at the Total Picture

July 20, 2011
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Why should you care about mutual fund fees? Because fees are deducted from your account balance, they reduce your total return and, ultimately, the size of your nest egg when you retire. Consider how just a one percentage point difference in fees – for instance .5% vs. 1.5% – could affect your account over time.…

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Mixing Equity and Income in Your Stock Portfolio

July 13, 2011
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Low interest rates have been a boon for homeowners, but the picture hasn’t been so rosy for income investors. Yet some people have overlooked one income-producing investment category that may also help with other financial objectives, such as reducing portfolio volatility. What is it? Equity-income investments. Learning the Basics Long-term investors often purchase equities for…

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Lifestyle Funds: Designed for the Tests of Time

July 6, 2011
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Wouldn’t it be great if there were investment options designed with your exact needs in mind that allowed you to stay focused on building financial security for retirement? Actually, such investments do exist. They’re called lifestyle funds, and they may be available through your employer-sponsored retirement plan. Lifecycle funds, also known as target-date funds, are…

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Five Ways to Help Measure Investment Risk

June 29, 2011

Investors who are concerned about market volatility should examine their investment choices from all angles when constructing a portfolio — evaluating not only return, but risk too. There are a variety of risk measures that may come in handy. Of course, numbers don’t tell the whole story, but they may help you determine whether owning…

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Tips for Lowering Your Auto Insurance Premiums

June 19, 2010
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If you have not reviewed your auto insurance policy within the past two years, you may want to consider the following steps that could help you save money. Although these tips are designed to be helpful, keep in mind that your driving record and the area where your car is domiciled can significantly influence your…

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Fixed Annuities: The Missing Piece of Your Retirement Planning Puzzle?

June 19, 2010
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Increasingly, the responsibility for funding a comfortable retirement is shifting from the employer and the government to the individual. Many people contribute to employer-sponsored retirement plans and IRAs, but there is another tax-advantaged retirement vehicle that shouldn’t be overlooked: annuities. Annuity Essentials An annuity is a contract between an individual and an insurance company. They’re…

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Five Steps to a Simpler Financial Life

June 17, 2010
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 For many Americans, financial life seems to be getting more and more complicated. Perhaps that’s because more workers bear responsibility for their own retirement savings thanks to the proliferation of 401(k) and other plans. Or maybe it’s because there’s so much information and so many investment choices to sort through. Whatever the case, here…

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