Author: Stephen Gerrald

How can you improve your financial fitness this year?

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get healthier, you may already be taking the necessary steps, such as improving your diet and increasing your exercise. Of course, physical fitness is important to your well-being – but, at the same time, don’t forget about your financial fitness. Specifically, what can you do to ensure your investment situation is in good shape? Here are a few “healthy living” suggestions that may also apply to your investment portfolio: Build endurance –  Just as exercise can help build your endurance for the demands of a long life, a vigorous investment strategy...

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Time to review your investment strategy for the year

As the year draws to a close, it’s a good time to review your progress toward your financial goals. But on what areas should you focus your attention?  Of course, you may immediately think about whether your investments have done well. When evaluating the performance of their investments for a given year, many people mistakenly think their portfolios should have done just as well as a common market index, such as the Standard & Poor’s 500. But the S&P 500 is essentially a measure of large-company, domestic stocks, and your portfolio probably doesn’t look like that – nor should...

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How can you share your financial abundance with your family?

Thanksgiving is almost here. Ideally, this day should be about more than football and the imminent arrival of Black Friday mega-sales. After all, the spirit of the holiday invites us to be grateful for what we have and for the presence of our loved ones. But it’s important to look beyond just one day in November if you want your family to take part in your “abundance.” If you want to ensure your financial resources eventually are shared in the way you envision, you will need to follow a detailed action plan, including these steps: Identify your assets. If you...

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Required Withdrawals from Retirement Plans: What Should You Know?

You may spend decades contributing to your IRA and 401(k). But, eventually, you’ll need to use this money. Before that day arrives, you’ll want to be familiar with the rules governing withdrawals – and you’ll want to know just how much you should take out. To begin with, withdrawals from traditional employer-sponsored retirement plans like these fall under the Internal Revenue Service’s “required minimum distributions” (RMD) guidelines. (You aren’t required to take these distributions from a Roth IRA.) Here are some of the key RMD points to keep in mind: You need to take distributions by age 70-1/2. You...

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Does Market Volatility Scare You?

Halloween is almost upon us. Of course, on Halloween night, you may see a parade of monsters, demons, Transformers and other frightening individuals stopping by your house, exercising their right to demand candy. Fortunately, their appearance will be unlikely to cause you unpleasant dreams. But some people seem to have real fears about other things – such as what may happen in the financial markets. One way to keep those fears at bay is to avoid certain impulsive moves, such as the following: Avoid ducking out of the market – Consider this: In March 2007, the Dow Jones Industrial...

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