What Is an Independent Financial Advisor?

An independent advisor is not tied to any specific family of funds or investment products. Many independent financial advisory firms are owned by the people who sit at the desks inside.What’s DiscussedWhat makes a financial advisor “independent?”How are independent financial advisors different?Are independent financial advisors unbiased?Does it matter if your advisor is independent?What are the benefits to working with an …

Annuity Essentials

In its most basic form, annuities are insurance that provides an income stream either for a fixed period of time or for the rest of your life. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? The trouble is that annuities are often sold and not bought. Consumers are pushed into ill-fitting products because that’s what the broker is selling that month. When shopping for …

Gift Tax Limits: How Much Can You Gift?

For 2021, the annual gift tax exemption was $15,000 per recipient. In 2022, that number went up to $16,000. You can give up to $16,000 to as many people as you want during the coming year without any of it being subject to a gift tax. The IRS imposes the gift tax if you transfer money or property to another person without receiving at …

What Is Inflation—And Why Is Everyone Talking About It?

Climbing commodity prices, ambitious government spending packages due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic crash have resurrected a long-dormant fear: runaway inflation. But what is inflation, and is it something to worry about? A lot of the thinking surrounding inflation has changed over the years, and economists disagree on what causes it and how much weight the federal …

Breaking Down Socially Responsible Investing

Many investors want more out of their investments than just a good return. They want to know that the companies they invest in are ethical and responsible — that they build environmentally sustainable business models, advance a social good and operate in a transparent, ethical way. To identify these companies, socially responsible investors can use a set of criteria known …

Tips for Making the Most of Your Inheritance

Baby boomers in the U.S. are set to bequeath $68 trillion in wealth by 2043, as part of the Great Wealth Transfer. Much of that will be left to Generation X and millennial heirs. If you expect to receive an inheritance, planning ahead for how you will use the wealth and account for any taxes will help you make the …

How Does Dollar-Cost Averaging Work?

When you’re in a traffic jam on the highway, you may find yourself trying to merge into whichever lane is moving fastest at the moment, only to find yourself falling behind drivers that stayed in one lane the whole time. In the same way, you may feel the urge to time the stock market, attempting to put your money in …

Tax Tips for Charitable Donations

Charitable giving is a great way to support the causes you care about while also getting a tax break. In 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which incentivized charitable giving by offering new rules for charitable deductions. As we move into the new year, now is the time to make sure you’re making your …

Creating a Successful Business Succession Plan

An exit strategy helps business owners ensure the long-term success of their company A good succession plan creates a blueprint for ownership transfer as you exit your business. It helps you prepare for your retirement, ensuring you have the income you need. And setting a well-conceived plan into motion protects the people around you, including your heirs, employees, and customers …

Understanding Your Retirement Income Plan

Manage cash flow in retirement with multiple income streams  When you retire, you get to bid farewell to the working world. That’s the good news. The bad news? You’ll no longer have a paycheck coming in from your employer. To address that, you’ll need to piece together a steady stream of income from different retirement sources, such as Social Security, …