Not so long ago, a credit freeze was a tool usually reserved for people who had suffered identity theft. But as data breaches have piled up — culminating with the massive data breach at credit agency Equifax announced in September — the freeze has become more widely recognized as the most effective way to protect your credit, even if a thief hasn’t yet made fraudulent use of your personal information.
A week before the 1987 stock market crash I had all of my investment money in Twentieth Century Ultra, an aggressive stock fund that has since been renamed American Century Ultra (symbol TWCUX). That included money to pay for my stepson’s college starting in less than a year. But I escaped from the ensuing market meltdown unscathed. And I learned some important lessons from the crash and its aftermath. Read more
Whether you’re starting out, have already retired or are somewhere in between, we show you how to make your money grow and last.
Even with good insurance from your employer, you’re most likely paying a larger share of your medical expenses than in the past — $11,600 for the average family in 2017, according to the Milliman Medical Index. A growing portion of that cost accrues during the year, from deductibles, co-payments and coinsurance — which now account for $4,534 of the average family’s expenses. The median deductible for in-network care charged by large employers is $1,300 for employee-only coverage and $3,000 for families, according to the National Business Group on Health.
Depending on where you live, state income taxes and property taxes could cost you thousands of dollars every year. High sales taxes or gas taxes could slowly drain your funds every time you pull out your wallet. And it could get worse: Tax-reform proposals in Congress seek to eliminate or cap the federal deduction for state and local taxes paid, making their impact on your wallet that much greater. Read more
Let’s cut to the chase when it comes to picking stocks for a retirement portfolio. There’s nothing wrong with sorting through individual names for desirable attributes such as reliable dividends, low volatility and secure business models. But it’s quicker, easier and perhaps wiser for retirees to first narrow down the field. Taking the lead of the greatest value investor of all time is a good way to start.
This bull market never stops charging. Now in its ninth year, the current winning streak has delivered a 342% cumulative gain in Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index since its 2009 low. In 2017 alone, the Dow Jones industrial average has hit a new record closing high more than 40 times.
When it comes to saving for retirement, maybe you’ve done everything right. You started early, maxed out your 401(k) plan, invested in a diversified portfolio and avoided costly mistakes, such as cashing out your retirement plan. Fantastic. But now comes the hard part: making sure you don’t outlive your money.
Stocks with long track records of annual dividend increases offer investors a sense of comfort. Shareholders can all but count on their income going on – and going up – year after year. With a little creativity, income investors can extend this sense of security to a month-by-month basis, as well.
Nike (NKE, $53.19) has churned out a disappointing 2017 so far. Its shares have gained just 2.3%, a fraction of the 10.7% return delivered by Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index. Read more