You’ve no doubt heard about the awesome and ubiquitous power of the “cloud.” It seems straightforward. You take everything on your computer, upload it to the cloud, and–poof!–you can access your data, photos or programs from anywhere. But what is the cloud? Where is it? It’s all a bit, well, nebulous.
Do your eyes glaze over when you heard the word annuity? When you imagine handing over a large chunk of money to an insurance company in exchange for promised income, do those glazed eyes turn into a death stare?
Investors need to cover their bases with a good variety of financial vehicles that reach beyond the old stock-and-bond game.
Your odds of becoming a millionaire aren’t what they used to be—they’re better. A record number of U.S. households have reached that enviable goal: At the end of 2016, 10.8 million households had a net worth of $1 million or more, not including their primary residence, reports the Spectrem Group. In fact, there were 1.6 million more millionaires in the U.S. in 2016 than there were in 2007, just before the stock market crash. What the market took away, the current bull market has restored—and then some.
If you don’t have many medical expenses now, in the long term you’ll be able to benefit even more from the tax advantages of an HSA. You’ll get a tax break for your contributions, then you can build up a tax-free stash of money to help pay for medical expenses in the future — even after retirement. Here are some things you may not know about HSAs, as well as some strategies to make the most of these plans.
The popularity of exchange-traded fund (ETFs) grows by the day. These baskets of stocks, bonds and other assets offer low costs, intraday tradability and plenty of diversification. They’re wide-scale investments at the push of a button. No wonder investors big and small, across the globe, have poured more than $4 trillion in assets into ETFs.
Investors who zero in on their portfolio’s bottom line are missing the point, and they could be pressured into making a costly mistake.
Vanguard, long considered the king of low-cost indexing, has lost its throne—for the time being. In what must be a vexing twist for the Malvern, Pa., fund firm, which has long trumpeted the importance of low fees, the crown for the lowest-cost index funds now belongs to Schwab.
Wednesday is officially here, and that means we could all use a little mid-week pick-me-up. So who do we turn to for some inspiration? As investors, that answer is almost always the wise and successful Warren Buffett, a man whose success on Wall Street is matched only by his positive outlook on life.
Two recent court decisions serve as a good reminder that just because your 401(k) plan provider is likely scrutinizing its fees these days, it’s under no obligation to offer you the lowest-cost investments available.