Financial Focus

Text provided by Edward Jones

As an investor, your main goals will change at different times in your life. During your working years, you need to grow as many resources as possible for retirement. Once you retire, however, you will likely need to focus more on getting income from your investments. But what are your options?

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What Can a Presidential Election Year Mean for the Markets?

Text provided by Stifel Nicolaus

With the presidential election just around the corner, you might be wondering what, if any, effect it will have on the markets. One prominent investment theory seeks to link the two.

Developed by market historian Yale Hirsch, the Presidential Election Cycle Theory suggests that the stock market typically fluctuates in regular patterns over the course of a Presidential term, with the first two years tending to be the weakest, and years three (the pre-election year) and four (the election year) typically offering stronger returns.

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Best Response to Volatile Markets? Stay Calm

Text provided by Edward Jones

In recent months, stocks have fallen sharply from their record highs, with one-day drops that can rightfully be called “dizzying.” As an investor, what are you to make of this volatility?

• For one thing, you’ll find it useful to know the probable causes of the market gyrations. Most experts cite global fears about China’s economic slowdown, falling oil prices and anticipation of a move by the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates as the key factors behind the stock market’s decline.

• On the other hand, the U.S. economy is still doing fairly well. Employers are adding jobs at a pretty good clip, wages are rising, home prices are up and overall economic growth has been reasonably solid. In other words, we are in a vastly better place than in the period before the Great Recession of 2008 and early 2009, when the financial markets bottomed out.

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Addressing Women’s Unique Retirement Needs

Kristine Voorhees, CMFC®, Financial Advisor with Waddell & Reed

Women have become a powerful presence in today’s society. As a demographic group, women have a significant impact economically, academically, professionally, and personally. Consequently, there has never been a better time for women to take control of their financial futures.

Women also face unique circumstances that require special investing considerations, as evidenced by the following:

According to a July 2008 study by Hewitt Associates, women generally need more money for retirement, in part because they live three years longer, on average. Yet most women have done less to prepare for their financial security.

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Ties that Bind

Taking a ‘TRUST’ing Look at Estate Planning

Stifel, Nicolaus & Company

A popular misconception regarding estate planning is that only the wealthy need to be concerned about the transfer of their assets. In reality, everyone should determine their goals and objectives for the transfer of their estate. In the event of your death, having a plan that clearly documents how your assets are to be distributed and who is to receive those assets is extremely important. Through estate planning, you can ensure your wishes are carried out as you had intended.

There are many types of estate planning tools, and your estate planning attorney can help you determine which tools are most appropriate for your situation. One valuable tool in estate planning is a trust. A trust is a set of instructions regarding how you would like your assets managed and then distributed to your beneficiaries. This legal document names an individual or entity (the “trustee”) who takes legal title to, and manages, the assets you transfer to the trust for the benefit of the persons (the “beneficiaries”) you specify in the trust document.

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