U.S. Chamber of Commerce credits Washington state for strong economic development

Washington state has been ranked 10th in the nation for its strength in entrepreneurship and innovation by a new study released through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The report entitled “Enterprising States – Recovery and Renewal for the 21st Century,” cites a state investment in education and training as one of the primary factors associated…

Sector Investing: Building a More Diversified Portfolio

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…

It costs how much to park here?!

Sticker-shock isn’t just reserved for new cars any longer. Residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland and similar large metropolitan cities around the country are consistently paying more and more for long-term parking, with some pretty hefty fees for daily rates as well. The information comes from a study completed by Colliers International, a company specializing in…

Is the Job Market in Seattle Stalling?

The current state of job creation here in Seattle is similar to the weather – it can change from one minute to the next. So are jobs on the rise or not? Well, it kind of depends on who you ask… and where you look. Because, unlike the weather in Puget Sound, the job outlook…

Mutual Fund Fees: Look at the Total Picture

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.…

Washington Paychecks Get a Bump Despite Economic Turmoil

The average wage in Washington state increased to $48,162 in 2010, according to information released by Washington Employment Security Commissioner Paul Trause. How did your paycheck fare? If you saw your earnings rise, consider yourself lucky… extremely lucky. The rise represents an increase of 2.1 percent and is actually attributed in part to the practice…

Mixing Equity and Income in Your Stock Portfolio

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…

Lifestyle Funds: Designed for the Tests of Time

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…

Hey Seattle, how about a ‘staycation’?

Summer’s here, at least according to the calendar. And though the temperature has yet to consistently reach above 60 degrees here in the Seattle area, the travel season is well underway in many other parts of the country. And for good reason. Vacations relieve stress, restore creativity and alleviate the burnout that we gather throughout…

Five Ways to Help Measure Investment Risk

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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