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What’s the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?

Estate planning is an important subject that almost everyone—but especially older people—needs to address. Many believe that estate planning is for those with substantial means. However, estate planning determines how an individual’s assets are preserved, distributed, and managed, so even people with assets limited to a residence, bank accounts, and a retirement plan need to form a plan. 

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The Answers to 4 Frequently Asked Questions About Roth IRAs

If you have typed your questions about Roth IRA retirement plans into Google, you have most likely come across articles from the IRS that detail the retirement plans in ways that aren't exactly reader friendly. 

Sometimes, the easiest way to understand Roth IRA retirement plans is to have a question and answer session with a knowledgeable source. Consider this blog post one of those “conversations.” 

Here are four frequently asked Roth IRA questions and answers.

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Which Estate Planning Documents Do I Need?

Estate planning is the process of deciding who will receive an individual’s assets, who will manage their financial affairs if incapacitated, and settle the estate after death. Estate planning is necessary for anyone who owns property that they wish to pass down to a relative, close friend, or charitable interests, and to name a guardian for minor children or provide care for pets. 

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Best vs. Worst

Some investment managers promote a strategy called “Sector Rotation” where they try to time the market by trading between the 11 major sectors of the economy. The gains can be tempting, but the risk is high. For instance if you owned all energy stocks, you would be up +40% year to date, but if you thought communications was the place to be, you would be down -20%. This is a possible difference of 60% in your returns. According to the chart, which includes more sub sectors, the difference is the highest since 2000.

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A Beginner's Guide to Understanding a Living Trust

One of the most common misconceptions about trusts is that they’re only for individuals of high net worth with substantial estates. While it is true that anyone with significant wealth should consider a trust, those of more modest means can benefit from asset protection and other features offered with a trust.

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First quarter corporate earnings exceed expectations

The S&P 500 index was up slightly in the month of May due to growing investor confidence in higher 2021 corporate revenues and earnings. With the receding COVID pandemic, consumers and businesses are emerging from social-distancing protocols and accelerating their spending. This strong growth in demand for goods has led to inventory shortages in many cases. Temporary delivery delays for raw materials and components are constraining global growth. Employment is expanding, however, which means goods manufacturing should improve and service industries should gain momentum.

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Economic Recovery Is Underway

With the completion of the fourth quarter of 2020 corporate earnings releases, investors are monitoring daily COVID headlines, rising interest rates, and the potential for a new stimulus program. Corporate earnings were mostly better than expected and guidance for the year ahead was surprisingly strong.

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Initial Market in President Biden's First Days

The S&P 500 Index was down 1% in January based on investors’ revised expectations of corporate revenue growth and earnings. First, the COVID-19 vaccine distribution and inoculation process is proceeding slowly while the virus is mutating. The new strains appear to be slightly more virulent and the vaccination timeline will take longer and delay economic normalization.

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Highlighting Highlighters

I normally do not make a practice of working from home, but with safe distancing and travel limitations sparked by the pandemic, staying home was something many were following.

After setting up my home office and starting some projects, I reached for my yellow highlighter, then laughed because I didn’t have one at home, then resorted to using Post-it Notes.

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Economic Normalization on the Horizon

During the month of November, the S&P 500 Index jumped 11% on the expectation of improving economic conditions next year. The index is signaling that the U.S. will reach economic normalization in 2021 due to the development of several COVID vaccines, a likely deferment of further trade wars, a potential stimulus package, and a divided government.

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