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Annuities

What Is an Annuity? An annuity is a contract with an insurance company that is funded by the purchaser and designed to generate an income stream in retirement. It is a flexible financial vehicle that can help protect against the risk of living a long time because it provides an option for a lifetime income. […]


Closed-End Funds

What Is a Closed-End Fund? Closed-end funds have been around since 1893, more than 30 years before the first mutual fund (also known as an open-end fund) was created in the United States. However, closed-end funds are much less common than open-end funds. There are fewer than 600 closed-end funds on the market, whereas there […]


Mutual Funds vs. Stocks

How Do Mutual Funds and Stocks Differ? Whether you’re a first-time stock investor or a seasoned veteran, you should understand what differentiates single stock investments from mutual fund investing. Picture a collection of stocks, bonds, or other securities that are purchased by a group of investors and then managed by an investment company. That’s a […]


Stock Indexes

What Is a Stock Index? In 1884, Charles Henry Dow averaged the closing prices of 11 stocks he considered representative of the strength of the U.S. economy in a paper that preceded The Wall Street Journal. By 1896, The Wall Street Journal was publishing this average on a regular basis, and the most famous indicator […]


Bond Ratings

What Do Bond Ratings Mean? Bond ratings gauge a bond issuer’s financial ability to repay its promised principal and interest payments. Ratings are based on an analysis of the issuer’s financial condition and creditworthiness. In essence, the higher the rating, the more likely it is that a bondholder will receive his or her principal again […]


Diversification

What Is Diversification? Virtually every investment has some type of risk associated with it. The stock market rises and falls. An increase in interest rates can cause a decline in the bond market. No matter what you decide to invest in, risk is something you must consider. One key to successful investing is managing risk […]


History of the Federal Estate Tax

History of the federal estate tax The history of estate taxes in America has been a long and winding road. Careful estate planning is still one of the most important ways to manage and protect your assets for your heirs. The Stamp Act of 1797 was the first federal estate tax in the United States […]


Property Ownership

What Is the Best Form of Property Ownership for Me? In planning your estate, it is customary to consider wills and trusts (as well as intestacy) as a means of property distribution. As a matter of fact, the manner in which you hold title to your assets may supersede provisions contained in other transfer documents. […]


Family Limited Partnerships

Could My Family Benefit from a Family Limited Partnership? Effective estate planning should address wealth transfer from a practical and cost-effective approach. One estate planning strategy that families with closely held businesses should consider is the family limited partnership. What Is a Family Limited Partnership? A family limited partnership is a partnership agreement that exists […]


Wealth Replacement Trusts

How can I benefit from a wealth replacement trust? Charitable giving can be a rewarding experience by allowing you to both give and receive. To enjoy the benefits of charitable giving, you can utilize a variety of strategies. The basics of charitable remainder trusts To establish a charitable remainder trust, you transfer appreciated property to […]


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