Articles

Guarding Against Fraud

In a survey of American adults ages 40 and older, 84% revealed that they had been solicited to participate in a potentially fraudulent offer, and 11% had lost money after engaging in such an offer. Click here to read more.

History of the Federal Estate Tax

The history of estate taxes in America has been a long and winding road. Careful estate planning is still one of the most important ways to manage and protect your assets for your heirs.

The Stamp Act of 1797 was the first federal estate tax in the United States and was passed to help fund an undeclared war with France; it was repealed in 1802. The Revenue Act of 1862 reinstated the estate tax in order to fund the Civil War; it was abolished in 1870. To finance the Spanish American War, the War Revenue Act of 1898 was passed, and subsequently abolished in 1902. Due to the costs of World War I, the Revenue Act of 1916 reinstated an estate tax that, in some form or other, has been in effect ever since. Click here to read more.

How Can I Determine The Financial Strength Of My Insurance Company?

How do you compare life insurance companies? What features do you examine? What criteria do you use? How do you know what to look for? Making sure that your insurance company is financially sound is an important part of helping to ensure family security. Click here to read more.

How Can I Keep My Money from Slipping Away?

As with virtually all financial matters, the easiest way to be successful with a cash management program is to develop a systematic and disciplined approach.

By spending a few minutes each week to maintain your cash management program, you not only have the opportunity to enhance your current financial position, but you can save yourself some money in tax preparation, time and fees. Click here to read more.

How Long Will It Take To Double My Money?

Before making any investment decision, one of the key elements you face is working out the real rate of return on your investment.

Compound interest is critical to investment growth. Whether your financial portfolio consists solely of a deposit account at your local financial institution or a series of highly leveraged investments, your rate of return is dramatically improved by the compounding factor. With simple interest, interest is paid just on the principal. With compound interest, the return that you receive on your initial investment is automatically reinvested. In other words, you receive interest on the interest. Click here to read more.

Protecting Your Most Precious Asset

Americans tend to drag their feet when it comes to estate planning. Only 36% of adults have a will, and the numbers are even lower for young adults. For example, among adults aged 35 to 44 – an age when many people have accumulated substantial assets – only 20% have a will to help ensure that their assets are distributed according to their wishes. Click here to read more.

Roth IRA vs. Defined Contribution Plan

Contemplating whether to contribute to a Roth IRA or a defined contribution (DC) plan (such as a 401k)? Words of advice: Follow the money! If your company offers you a match for your DC plan contribution, you should keep investing in the account up to the maximum percentage that it will match. This is free money, and you won't find a better deal any place else. Click here to read more.

Studying the Earnings Test

You may have heard that the retirement earnings test (RET) could reduce your benefits. This shouldn’t stop you from taking the right job, but it’s important to understand this provision before you receive your first paycheck. Click here to read more.

What Are The Different Classes of Assets?

When it comes to investing their money, many people are content to take a random approach. They may have received a hot tip for a particular investment and decided to plow a large amount of money into it with no regard to the overall balance of their portfolios. However, research has shown that it is through the careful selection of the various asset classes, rather than the individual investments themselves, that people prosper financially. One study showed that on average, as much as 91.5 percent of an investment portfolio’s overall return can be attributed to asset class selection.* Therefore, the careful selection and distribution of your investments among the various asset classes is likely to prove crucial to the future success of your investment portfolio. Click here to read more.

What Does Medicare Cover?

Medicare is the federal health insurance program for elderly persons and certain disabled individuals. In 1965, Medicare was enacted to provide a “safety net” of health-care coverage for qualifying individuals. At first glance, it appears that Uncle Sam has everything covered. But unfortunately, there are many limitations. Click here to read more.

What Investment Risks Should I Know About?

Taken by itself, the word "risk" sounds negative. But broken down into what it really stands for in terms of investing, it begins to be a little more manageable. By understanding the different types of risk and keeping an eye on your investments, you may be able to manage your money more effectively. Remember, strategic investing doesn’t mean "taking chances" so much as "making decisions." Long-term investing and diversification may be some of the most effective strategies you can use to help manage investment risk; however, neither guarantees against investment loss. Click here to read more.

What Is Diversification?

One key to successful investing is managing risk while maintaining the potential for adequate returns on your investments. One of the most effective ways to help manage your investment risk is to diversify. Diversification is an investment strategy aimed at managing risk by spreading your money across a variety of investments such as stocks, bonds, real estate, and cash alternatives; but diversification does not guarantee against loss. Click here to read more.

What Is Dollar-Cost Averaging?

Attempting to predict which direction the market will go or investing merely on intuition can get you in trouble, or at the very least may cause you a great deal of frustration. One strategy that may help you navigate these investing pitfalls is dollar-cost averaging. Click here to read more.

Will Social Security Retire Before You Do?

The Social Security system is under increasing strain. Better health care and longer life spans have resulted in an increasing number of people drawing Social Security benefits. As the baby boom generation (those born between 1946 and 1964) has begun to retire, even greater demands are being placed on the system. In 1945, there were 41.9 active workers to support each person receiving Social Security benefits. In 2013, there were only 2.8 workers supporting each Social Security pensioner. Click here to read more.



The information in these articles are not intended to be tax or legal advice, and it may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. You are encouraged to seek tax or legal advice from an independent professional advisor. The content is derived from sources believed to be accurate. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. This material was written and prepared by Emerald. © 2014 Emerald Connect, LLC

Neighbors Investment Services is a division of Neighbors Credit Union (NCU). Securities are not insured by the NCUA; not a deposit or other obligations of, or guaranteed by, the depository institution; and are subject to investment risks, including possible loss of the principal amount invested. Securities, Insurance, and Investment Advisory Services are offered through Midwestern Securities Trading Company, LLC (MSTC). Member FINRA/SIPC. MSTC and NCU are not affiliated.

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