Archive - May 2013

1
Shareholder Elections: Why Vote?
2
Three Reasons Medicare Advantage Can Be Called Medicare Dis-Advantage
3
Long Term Care Insurance Becoming Tougher For Women To Purchase
4
A Target-Date Fund’s Hidden Risk
5
Refi Hell – I Almost Got Taken!

Shareholder Elections: Why Vote?

Each year, stock owners receive requests to vote on a variety of corporate matters, but very few people have the expertise to make an educated election. Owning mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) makes the process a bit easier because these fund management companies vote on your behalf.

You know it’s proxy season when your mailbox or email inbox (if you’ve switched to electronic delivery) begins to fill up with proxy voting materials and information about shareholder meetings. Because most investors skip the annual shareholder meeting, votes are typically received online or in the mail through the proxy process, …

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Three Reasons Medicare Advantage Can Be Called Medicare Dis-Advantage

Only a quarter of all Medicare participants have opted to use the private Medicare Advantage (MA) insurance option, and this number is expected to drop drastically over the next four years.

As mentioned in an earlier column, the primary reason many choose MA is to minimize their monthly premiums. However, this monthly premium advantage could quickly become a disadvantage in several different scenarios.

The principal reason to avoid MA is because your options become limited to a predefined private health care network. Seeking care outside of this network will quickly lead to escalating financial woe.

The limitations of this network …

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Long Term Care Insurance Becoming Tougher For Women To Purchase

It’s true that men have always paid more for life insurance then women based simply on the fact that women statistically live longer. A similar pricing structure is about to come to the long term care insurance industry, only in favor of men this time around, and for the exact same reason.

Women Live Longer and Will Pay More

On average, women outlive men by five to seven years. The older we become the greater the chance that we will one day be in need of Long Term Care (LTC). Statistics show that currently about 70% of the residents who …

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A Target-Date Fund’s Hidden Risk

Target-date mutual funds have hidden risk and may not work as well as intended.

The funds are preprogrammed to increase their bond allocation as the shareholder ages. For example if you plan on retiring in 2040 then you might be interested in buying a target-date fund with a 2040 date on it. The theory is that as a person becomes older they need to increase their allocation into bonds to reduce risk. For example, the idealistic goal for a 2040 fund is by 2040 the fund manager has sold off a significant portion of the risky stocks and put mostly …

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Refi Hell – I Almost Got Taken!

Like most people, I have refinanced my mortgage to get a lower rate. My previous lender was Schwab Bank and my new mortgage is with Quicken Loans. Since then, I have been flooded with information enticing me to refinance again and at an even lower rate. It is obvious to me when I read this material that even with the slightly lower rate, the fees involved would not make up the difference in interest rate so I ignore them.

Last week when my husband picked up the mail, he was excited to see an offer from Quicken Loans at a …

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