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How do I Know Which Credit Card Offer to Choose?

Credit card reward programs are more popular than ever. In order to keep up with such high demand in a competitive market, credit card companies are coming up with new and more enticing offers every day. How do you know which one to choose? Are you the type of credit card user who likes to travel and/or frequent a particular hotel or airline? If so, then a travel rewards credit card might be the right option for you. Typically,…

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How can I pay off the credit card debt I racked up over the holidays?

It’s a common occurrence once the holiday season winds down — you reluctantly look at your credit card statement and wince at all the purchases you made over the holidays. Fortunately, there’s no need to panic. Consider using one of the following strategies to help pay it off. Make a lump-sum payment. The best way to pay off credit card debt is with a single lump-sum payment, which would allow you to pay off your balance without owing additional…

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Growth, Value, or Both

The terms growth and value are often used to describe two different investment strategies, yet many investors may want both qualities in an investment. Famed investor Warren Buffett put it this way in a 2015 interview: “I always say if you aren’t investing for value, what are you investing for? And the idea that value and growth are two different things makes no sense…. Growth is part of the value equation.”1 Even so, analysts may look at specific stocks…

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Key Retirement and Tax Numbers for 2017

Every year, the Internal Revenue Service announces cost-of-living adjustments that affect key tax numbers including contribution limits for retirement plans, thresholds for deductions and credits, and standard deduction and personal exemption amounts. Here are a few of the key adjustments for 2017. Retirement plans Employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), and most 457 plans can defer up to $18,000 in compensation in 2017 (the same as in 2016); employees age 50 and older can defer up to an additional…

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Medicare and Medicaid: What’s the Difference?

It’s easy to confuse Medicare and Medicaid, particularly since they’re both government programs that pay for health care. But there are important differences between each program. Medicare is generally for older people, while Medicaid is for people with limited income and resources. What is Medicare? Medicare is a federal health insurance program that was enacted into law to provide reasonably priced health insurance for retired individuals, regardless of their medical condition, and for certain disabled individuals, regardless of age….

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Complying With ERISA 404(c)

Complying with 404(c)

According to ERISA, plans intending to comply with 404(c) must provide that participants: Have the opportunity to choose from a broad range of investment alternatives (which are adequately diversified); may direct the investment of their accounts with a frequency which is appropriate; and can obtain sufficient information to make informed investment decisions. The plan sponsor must provide annual written notification to participants with its intent to comply with 404(c), and be able to provide the following: Information about investment…

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To Bond or Not to Bond

Over the last few years, there has been a fair bit of concern in the market over the general impact of rising bond interest rates. “You shouldn’t be holding bonds because rates will rise soon” goes the logic. But what does this really mean for investors? If interest rates rise, what will ultimately be the impact on investors’ portfolios? To understand this, we first need to understand how all of the moving pieces fit together. At a high level,…

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The Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule

Sometimes the rest of the world finally catches up with your thinking. Last week the Department of Labor published a document which explains a new rule that goes into effect on April 10 of this year. (a link to the referenced document is at the bottom of this email, but don’t read ahead 🙂 ) The new rule says that a financial advisor who gives you advice about your retirement account must give that advice in your best interest….

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What a Year

In 2016, the US market reached new highs and stocks in most developed and emerging market countries delivered positive returns. The year began with anxiety over China’s stock market and economy, falling oil prices, a potential US recession, and negative interest rates in Japan. US equity markets were in steep decline and had the worst start of any year on record. The markets began improving in mid-February through midyear. Investors also faced uncertainty from the Brexit vote in June…

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