How to Double Your Money

Video Transcript:

People often ask us, “How long will it take to double my money?”

You can find the answer with the rule of 72. Here’s how it works. Compounding interest is the interest you earn on a growing amount of money.) To find out how long it will take your money to double, take the number 72 and divide it by the interest rate earned. This will give you the number of years it will take to double your money. For instance, If you can earn 6% it will take 12 years to double. This is because 72 divided by 6 equals 12.If you want your money to double in 9 years you would have to earn 8%,Because 72 divided by 9 equals 8.This rule gives you a good rule of thumb to find out what interest rate you need to double your money in the time you want, and it’s easy to calculate. How fast do you want to double your money? Give us a call and we’ll help you get there.

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5 Steps Toward a Debt-free College Education

Video Transcript:

Too many young people can’t afford college, and many more leave college under a mountain of debt. Here are 5 ways to plan for a debt-free education.

First, invest early in college savings plans like 529s or state prepaid tuition plans – parents and grandparents can participate.

Second, avoid loans if possible – they’re easy to obtain but difficult to get out from under after graduation.

Third, start your scholarship search early – you’ll have time to learn the requirements and boost your chances through academics or other activities.

Fourth, dual enroll or take advanced placement courses in high school – you’ll get college credits for free or very low cost.

Fifth, stay local – attend a state community college and then transfer. The tuition is lower than most private schools, and you’ll save money if you can live at home for a few years.

Also, while relocating may not be an option, keep in mind that some cities and states, like San Francisco and New York, offer free college tuition – although restrictions apply.

Everyone should have a chance to attend college – to find out more on how to fund a college education, give us a call or visit our website today.

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Why is Asset Allocation Important to Investing?

Video Transcript:

To keep your investment portfolio on target for financial goals, you want to balance risk and diversify your assets.

That’s the purpose of asset allocation – the process of dividing your portfolio among major categories like cash, stocks and bonds.

Historically, the returns of these three major asset categories have not moved up and down at the same time – so including a mix of these assets in your portfolio can protect against losses.

There is no perfect formula for asset allocation – it differs with each individual depending on their risk tolerance and time horizon.

Risk tolerance is the amount of your investment you’re willing, or able, to lose in exchange for greater possible returns.

Risk tolerance is closely tied to time horizon, or the amount of time you have to invest.

An investor saving to make a down payment on a home in 5 years might choose less risky investments than someone saving for retirement in 20 years. A longer time horizon allows more time to recover from loss. Asset allocation may be one of the most important investment decisions you make with your portfolio – call us today to learn more.

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7 Steps to Protect Your Small Business from Cyber Thieves

Video Transcript:

Small businesses are increasingly under attack from cyber thieves. Adopting cybersecurity policies will help keep your company safe from fraud.

First, educate employees on using strong passwords, and avoiding suspicious emails, links and downloads.

Second, put up a firewall to protect your network by controlling internet traffic flowing in and out of your business.

Third, install anti-virus and anti-malware software.

Fourth, consistently update all hardware and software for important security fixes.

Fifth, secure company smart phones and laptops with encryption software, password protection and remote wiping capabilities.

Sixth, back up company data consistently to a secure off-site location.

And lastly, create an incident response plan outlining how staff can detect and contain a cyber breach.

For more information on how to protect your business and financial accounts from fraud, call us or visit our website today.

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Which Retirement Plan Should I Choose?

Video Transcript:

Choosing a retirement plan is a great step toward financial security.

There are several types available, but here are the most common:

401(k)s and 403(b)s are plans offered by employers. 401(k)s are offered by for-profit companies, and 403(b)s are offered by public schools and some non-profit organizations.

Contributions are deducted from your paycheck, and are often matched by employers. They’re deducted pre-tax, grow tax-deferred and are taxable on withdrawal.

Traditional IRAs, or Individual Retirement Accounts, are opened by individuals through an investment firm or bank. They may be tax deductible, grow tax-deferred and you pay tax when you take the money out.

A SIMPLE IRA plan is similar to a traditional IRA, but these accounts are set up by a small business owner, and usually permit larger contribution amounts.

And lastly, when you open a Roth IRA, you contribute after-tax dollars, the money grows tax-free, and you pay no tax on withdrawals.

All these types of accounts have their own set of rules on eligibility, contribution amounts and withdrawals.

For more information on retirement plans – give us a call today, or visit our website!

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Is your 403(b) plan the best way to save for your retirement?

Video Transcript:

As a teacher, you might be wondering if your 403(b) plan is the best way to save for your retirement.

There’s an easy way to figure that out and it starts with looking at your district’s plan.

First, are your contributions matched? If so, it’s usually best to contribute enough to get the full match.

If not, then you should make sure to do your homework on the different companies on your district’s approved vendor list.

Unfortunately, many districts have lists full of vendors that charge high fees, provide poor investment options, and lock your retirement money up in unnecessary variable annuity contracts.

Large insurance companies are the worst culprits, so if your vendor list is full of them, it may be best to save for retirement outside your district’s 403(b) plan.

There are many different options available to do this, but one of the best for teachers is to start a Roth IRA.

If you’d like to learn more about the best way you can save for retirement, give us a call or drop us an email and we’ll be happy to help make sure you’re on the right path.

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4 Common Annuity Myths

Video Transcript:

Most people don’t understand how annuities work. Here are four common myths about annuities that we’d like to clear up.

Myth number One – they’re too complicated. Actually they’re simple, you give money to the insurance company, and they give you a contract that guarantees interest, income or income for life.

Myth number Two – there are hidden expenses. Every annuity comes with documents that outline any fees, charges or expenses.

Some have few to none and less costly fees than say, mutual funds and brokerage fees associated with portfolio management.

Myth number Three – the fees are high. While they may seem higher compared to other products, annuities provide benefits the others don’t, such as principal protection, guaranteed income and opportunities for increases.

Myth number Four – the insurance company keeps your money when you die.

Today’s annuities are very flexible, and offer numerous options to provide for beneficiaries.

To learn more about annuities and the right options for you, give us a call or visit our website today.

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How Can You Plan for Long Term Care

Video Transcript:

Statistics say there is a seventy percent chance that you or your spouse will experience a need for long-term care!Long-term care includes a range of services and supports you may need to meet your personal care needs.Most long-term care is not medical care, but rather assistance with the basic personal tasks of everyday life, sometimes called Activities of Daily Living (or ADLs). These include Bathing, Dressing, Using the toilet, Transferring to or from bed or chairs, Caring for incontinence, and Eating.Other common long-term care services and supports are assistance with everyday tasks, sometimes called Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (or IADLs) These include Housework, Managing money, Taking medication, Preparing and cleaning up after meals, Shopping for groceries or clothes, Using the telephone or other communication devices, Caring for pets and Responding to emergency alerts such as fire alarms.The cost of Long-Term care varies with the amount of coverage, length of care, and deductibles.The initial premium level will increase based upon the age at which you apply.Like all insurance, most people wait too long before applying. 1 in 4 who apply between the ages of 60 and69, don’t qualify. You owe it to yourself and family to know the options and prepare well today. Call us to find out more.

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How to Set and Keep Financial Goals

Video Transcript:

Written goals are your road map to financial success. Be specific, simple, and realistic and include time frames and dollar amounts. Have some big goals and some small ones. Include a savings plan and an emergency fund. Pay off high-interest debt and control the amount of your debt. Then, take action to achieve your goals. Review your goals often and remember it takes time to achieve goals so be patient. Without a plan, your path waivers and valuable time is lost. So don’t wait. Let us help you create an investment plan for your future today.

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Have You Protected Your Financial Accounts From Hackers?

Video Transcript:

A question we frequently ask our clients is whether they’re protecting their financial accounts from hackers.

We recommend starting with secure password practices.
Once a hacker steals just one password, they can potentially steal your entire identity, mainly because most people use the same password for multiple online accounts.

Creating different passwords for your accounts is one way to keep them out of the hands of hackers.

Strong passwords are also important; a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols makes your passwords more secure.

Make sure to review your credit card statements for unauthorized activity and take advantage of any card usage alerts offered.

And monitor your credit report for suspicious activity through the three major reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

For more information on protecting your financial accounts, give us a call today.

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