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Ground Rule #1: Give Yourself a Raise

Published February 8, 2010 3832 Views

Sure everyone would if they could, but an increase in salary is not what I'm talking about here. What I'm suggesting is the most important thing you can do to build your retirement savings: give your retirement contributions a raise. Once you get in a 401(k) or 403(b) and establish your contributi...

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SUPER AD SUNDAY

Published February 5, 2010 3771 Views

With the Super Bowl quickly approaching, I decided to do a bit of research on just how successful companies are after forking up millions for a 30-second commercial spot. It turns out that the stock price of publicly traded firms that ran Super Bowl ads beat the S&P 500 performance in 10 of the...

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Ground Rule #2: Percents, Not Dollars!

Published February 4, 2010 3787 Views

We have covered the first question for plan participants: How much? How much should you contribute, how much will keep you comfortable in retirement, how much can you afford today? If you decide what you can afford and that's your contribution, it's a perfectly reasonable approach (but don't forg...

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Communication is Key

Published February 4, 2010 3943 Views

This week's spot features client Maria Milella expressing her appreciation for the communication she shares with investment consultant Bob Kravetz. [wpvideo mLhjB0Z6] Frequent and open communication between you and your financial advisor is critical. If you're not sharing information about you...

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A double whammy in NYS for high income taxpayers ?

Published February 3, 2010 3990 Views

Larger federal income tax bills may be coming for higher-income Americans, if the President has his way. Individuals making $200,000 and up and couples making $250,000 or more a year will see their taxes increase in 2011, unless Congress votes to keep the George W. Bush-era cuts in place. This would...

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And Now a Word From The US Economy

Published February 3, 2010 4383 Views

We are smack in the middle of corporate earnings season for the 4th quarter of 2009. Two groups might be a bit surprised by the numbers that have been coming out: sideline observers who have been watching the US stock market nervously, wondering why it has been going nearly straight up for the las...

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Starting Small Can Pay Off Big

Published February 2, 2010 3654 Views

Most of us realize that setting money aside for retirement is important. Often times the toughest part of saving is getting started. How much do I have to put in? How will this affect my checkbook? Where should I invest my savings? Too many questions can lead to "I think I'll just worry about it lat...

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Tax Free Bonds? Step Carefully.

Published February 1, 2010 3643 Views

When a bond is acquired at a discount to the face value, there are different kinds of discounts and differing tax treatments. The tax reporting is often misunderstood, which could cost you money in additional taxes and/or penalties. The gain at maturity or sale of a market discount bond is ordinary...

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Ground Rule #3: Money in Your Pocket

Published February 1, 2010 3731 Views

The first thing you do when signing up for your employer's 401(k) or 403(b) is decide how much to put in out of every paycheck. You don't need my advice for that, of course; it's a function of how much you can afford. But once you decide on the amount, on how much you're willing to save toward yo...

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Ground Rule #4: Cash is Trash

Published January 29, 2010 3736 Views

In most 401(k) and 403(b) plans, money market and short-term bond funds are among the most popular investment choices. That is especially true recently, when fear and panic among investors sent many scrambling for something more stable than the stock market. With the smoke cleared from last year's...

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