Investment Update October 2015

Investment Update October 2015

Several years of unusual calm in equity markets gave way to a succession of sharp swings in the last quarter as investors reacted to a plethora of concerns. The net result was the worst quarter in four years with the Vanguard Total Stock Index tumbling 7.3%, and the Vanguard Total International Index losing 11.6%.

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Using the Ascensus Retirement Calculator

Using the Ascensus Retirement Calculator

Are you on track to reach your retirement goals?

Those that fail to plan, plan to fail. We all know the old adage, but finding the time to sit down and create a retirement income plan can be daunting, and about as exciting as a trip to the dentist. Fortunately, Ascensus offers Retirement Calculator on their website which takes the pain out of the process. This tutorial will answer common questions that arise while competing the tool.

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What Can You Control?

What Can You Control?

Theoretically, the best investor is the one with a crystal ball – one who can see the future and capitalize on it.  In the absence of such a magical device, smart investors focus on what they can control to gain an advantage over other investors.

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1-in-10 American Workers isn't saving for retirement

1-in-10 American Workers isn't saving for retirement

One in 10 American workers isn't saving for retirement, according to a survey that accompanied Bankrate's Financial Security Index for August. And their numbers are increasing, even though the economy has improved.

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Why Boomers Should Review Their 401(k) Allocations Now

Why Boomers  Should Review Their 401(k) Allocations Now

The good news is that 401(k) contributions have increased, according to Fidelity Investments’ most recent quarterly retirement savings analysis based on data from the 401(k) and individual retirement accounts (IRAs) it manages. The bad news is one glaring problem for Baby Boomers; the asset allocation of their 401(k)s is drastically out of balance.

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Participant Letter September 2015

Participant Letter September 2015

Market Whodunit
The stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient: Warren Buffett.

After several years of rising prices and unusually low market volatility, the stock market and parts of the bond market have suddenly given way to a correction. After declining 6% in the last month, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 5.8% so far in 2015, and 1% in the last twelve months. 

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Note about the Market

Note about the Market

The market has been brutal over the last few days as concerns over China, fed rate hikes, and commodity weakness have invoked worries that haven’t been felt so acutely since the financial crisis. Yet, as one of my colleagues said recently, the market drop is as surprising as a hurricane hitting North Carolina!

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Participant Letter August 2015

Participant Letter August 2015

Pardon the pun, but diversified portfolios have slipped in the last few months on oil. Moderate returns in the broad US stocks indexes have been pinched on one side by negative results in the bond market, and on the other by a retreat in international, emerging markets stocks and commodities, primarily oil. 

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Stable Value Funds

Stable Value Funds

Higher yields than cash, with low volatility and principal protection

Question: What are stable-value funds? Are they like money market funds with higher yields?

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Not Just for Newlyweds

Not Just for Newlyweds

Money can create the potential for disagreement among all couples.  Here is a great checklist to place and keep you both on the same page: 

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Resisting Short-term Temptations: The Marshmallow Test

Resisting Short-term Temptations: The Marshmallow Test

The famous marshmallow test conducted in the 1960's showed that we have a hard time resisting instant gratification, even if we know that delaying gratification would lead to an even bigger reward. This, in short, is what makes investing and managing businesses so hard. Success requires many qualities, but conviction, discipline and thinking long-term must rank near the top....

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Participant Letter July 2015

Participant Letter July 2015

Market Volatility Returns: Fireworks in Greece and China

Investors are rightfully concerned about events in China and Greece, but don’t let a Trojan Horse through the gates that secure a well-founded investment plan and a properly diversified portfolio.

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Understanding Stable Value

Understanding Stable Value

What is a Stable Value Fund?
“Stable value funds are capital preservation investment options available in 401(k) plans and other types of savings plans. 

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Five Ways to Retrain Your Brain to Save More for Retirement

Five Ways to Retrain Your Brain to Save More for Retirement

Be honest: How often do you really think about your retirement savings? Or maybe the better question is: How often do you actually do something to grow that nest egg?

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Basic Financial Concepts

Basic Financial Concepts

These two basic concepts are key to having a successful financial future. 

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Participant Letter June 2015

Participant Letter June 2015

This month's participant letter provides an update on the plan's investments so far this year, and Bruce Thompson talks about some risks to be aware of...

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Emerging Markets Focus

Emerging Markets Focus

Your portfolio gains exposure to emerging markets through mutual fund investments. This article by Burton Malkiel of Princeton covers the fundamental reasons for including emerging markets funds in a well diversified portfolio...

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Debit vs Credit

Debit vs Credit

Confused about debit cards vs. credit cards?  Wondering which is best for you?  Debit or Credit...

Buy or Lease

Buy or Lease

Unsure whether to buy or lease your next car?  Click here for guidance...  Buy vs Lease

Asset Allocation: Cooking with Index Funds

Asset Allocation: Cooking with Index Funds

Asset allocation -- the mix of cash, bonds and stocks in a portfolio -- determines the spectrum of returns you will experience. Here's a great insight from Jack Bogle, founder of Vanguard...

...
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