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College Funding

College costs continue to increase, although the rate of increase has slowed.   Every fall, the College Board releases updated figures for college expenses.  Here are the numbers for the current school year, 2017-2018: In state Public College and Universities Out of State Public College and Universities Private College and Universities 2 year Public Colleges Tuition $9,970 $25,620 $34,740 $3,570 Room...

Annual Financial Review

Medical professionals suggest an annual checkup. Mechanics recommend regular auto maintenance. Shouldn’t your financial life have an annual checkup or tune up? Please take some time every year to self examine your financial situation. You can do this on your own or with the help of your professional advisors. Items to be reviewed and some details to analyze include: Cash Flow & Debt Management Verify adequate cash...

Annuities

Annuities are often misunderstood by investors due in large part to the complex nature of this financial product.  Conceptually, an annuity is a contract, typically between an individual and a financial institution.  Generally, the individual will make a single payment or a series of payments into the contract.  At some point in time, the financial institution will begin to pay the individual, based on the contract. In...

Bonds

Many investors have become interested in bonds in the last 18 years due to the two bear markets in stocks that investors suffered through.  You may recall the Dot Com melt down in the 2001- 2002 time period when the NASDAQ index went from 5000 to 1100.  Then, we all painfully recall the 2008 financial meltdown where the Dow Jones Industrial average plunged from 14000 to 6500 in about a 18 month time frame. Given these...

Investing Planning

So you are ready to start making your investments.  But, where to start? How to start? What stocks? How about bonds?  Should I use mutual funds? All great questions! And that is how you start making your investments by answering other questions, such as: Why am I making this investment? When will I take the money out of this investment? How much do I need when I take the money out of this investment? What are the risks...