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Investment Articles

Protecting Your 401(k) Savings

"If a 401K plan has been abandoned, it is extremely difficult for an individual participant to actually get access to his account." Virginia Smith, Director of Employee Benefits U.S.Department of Labor When you are working for a company, participating in its 401(k) plan with high contribution limits, tax deferred growth, upfront tax deductions, and a company match is a great way to save for retirement. But what do you do with your 401(k) when you move to your next job? Most individuals often make one of two mistakes; they cash it out, or they leave it in their former employers plan.
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Managing Risk with Asset Allocation

Numerous studies and Nobel Prize-winning research over the last fifty years shows that over the long term that 95 percent of a portfolios performance will be determined by its asset allocation. Only 5 percent is determined by the return of the individual investments. In other words, asset allocation will have more to do with the success or failure of your portfolio than finding the best-performing investments. How can that be?
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The Hidden Cost of Mutual Funds

In selecting mutual funds, the expense ratio is frequently the only cost that many investors believe they pay when owning a mutual fund. The expense ratio is the annual fee that all funds charge their shareholders. It expresses the percentage of assets shareholders pay each year for fund expenses including; 12b-1 fees, management fees, administrative fees, and other operating costs incurred by the fund. The problem is that there are other costs not reported in the expense ratio, and those expenses can make a fund two or three times as costly as advertised. Two such expenses are sales charges and transaction costs.
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Why Investors Shouldn’t Bail on Bonds

I received quite a few phone calls and emails from investors who are still nervous about the bond market. After reading the headlines in financial publications, web sites, and listening to the talking heads in the financial media – who can blame them. The following are examples of four actual recent headlines.
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Finding a Financial Advisor Who Is Right For You

Financial advisors deserve to get paid just like any other service. However, if you want an adviser whose interests are aligned with yours, it’s important that you not only know how much your adviser will be compensated, but also the method in which he/she is paid. In general, financial advisors are paid in three ways: […]
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