Archive - September 2017

1
What are some differences between Exchange-Traded Funds and Index Mutual Funds?
2
“It’s Greek to Me!” – Understanding the Meat in Your Investment Statements
3
Charitable Giving After a Natural Disaster
4
Can Any Monkey Make Money in an Uptrending Stock Market?
5
Equifax Did a Bad, Bad Thing and What Will You Do About It?

What are some differences between Exchange-Traded Funds and Index Mutual Funds?

A 45-second read by Anthony Benante: There are many factors to consider when comparing an exchange-traded fund (ETF) and an index mutual fund.  An ETF is a marketable security that tracks an index, like an index fund.  A Mutual Fund is an investment company that pools money from shareholders and invests in a variety of … Continue reading What are some differences between Exchange-Traded Funds and Index Mutual Funds? Read More

“It’s Greek to Me!” – Understanding the Meat in Your Investment Statements

By Eve Kaplan, Certified Financial Planner™

When you look at your monthly investment statement, do you think “this looks like Greek to me”? Do you ignore all but the first page, after checking to see how much money you “made” or “lost” last month? If so, you’re in good company.  However, there’s a lot of meat in your investment statements so here’s a deep dive into some of the important elements:

  1. Don’t just compare changes in account value this month (vs. last month), be aware of sub-components that add or subtract value each month: e.g. “dividends and interest,” “market appreciation/depreciation”
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Charitable Giving After a Natural Disaster

There is a hurricane season each year but several hurricanes have been particularly devastating this year. Naturally, many of us want to help and since we are not equipped to travel to these places to assist in person, charitable giving is a good way to help when you cannot be there. In recent years, the general public has become more educated about how one needs to be discerning about donating since some organizations make better use of donations than others. You may also have seen articles and social media posts with information about the strengths and weaknesses of some major …

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Can Any Monkey Make Money in an Uptrending Stock Market?

Looking back in history at a chart of the stock markets, in hindsight, it seems so simple to make money in the markets. Buy some index funds, periodically add to them, and “voila”, your money grows over time. Buy Amazon shares at $4.00 and sell them several years later at $1,000. Easy peasy, right?

You probably didn’t notice, but Monday, September 11 marked a milestone: the S&P 500 index’s bull (up-trending) market became the second-longest and the second-best performing in the modern economic era. Stock prices are up 270% from their low point after the Great Recession in March 2009—up …

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Equifax Did a Bad, Bad Thing and What Will You Do About It?

By now, most Americans know that a data breach at Equifax exposed personal security information for some 143 million individuals. What is much harder to learn is whether your personal information was involved.

While the breach itself is bad news, what is particularly upsetting is that there was a significant delay in making the breach public knowledge. Further, Equifax could likely have prevented the breach by installing a patch when it was made available. This was not the first cyber security attack on antiquated software, or software based on open source code, nor the first time a major corporation and …

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