Advisor Insight

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To help employees save for retirement, employers offer a 401(k) plan through which employees can make tax-deferred contributions toward their retirement savings. However, too many employees just don’t take full advantage of their 401(k) plan, and those who do must be sure not to sabotage their retirement planning by tapping into it to meet random …

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How financial advisors are compensated doesn’t determine their character, but it does influence their behavior. As the debate over regulatory standards of conduct for financial advisors plays out in Washington, the issue for investors boils down to how their advisors are paid and how well the arrangement aligns the interests of the advisor with their …

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Investors—however smart, seasoned or wealthy—are only human. Faced with dramatic market fluctuations like those seen over the last few days, many otherwise even-tempered investors might be tempted to act rashly—and irrationally. Certified financial planner Geri Eisenman Pell, CEO of Pell Wealth Partners, notes that the study of behavioral finance—how and why people make the financial …

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In the midst of some crazy market volatility and worldwide stocks plunging further amid doubts about China, investors are reaching out to their financial advisors for some reassurance. CNBC contacted members of our Financial Advisor Council and we found their clients are asking questions such as: Should we invest more in stocks, now that the …

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It’s only natural to sweat the phone bill when there aren’t enough nickels to rub together. But what explains the millionaire who agonizes over the cost of new curtains, or the homeowner of sufficient means who can’t pull the trigger on a long-overdue family vacation? Indeed, a surprising number of Americans who are otherwise financially …

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There are a number of ways in which a company can return wealth to its shareholders. Although stock price appreciation and dividends are the two most common ways of doing this, there is also something called shareholder buybacks. Buybacks are a less direct way of returning cash to shareholders, explains Hardeep Walia, founder and CEO …

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General obligation bonds are paid from "ad valorem" property taxes. When bonds are issued for improvements, property taxes can be raised to cover the debt payments.

When you hear the term “municipal bonds,” what comes to mind? If you are like most people, you’ll think, “safe.” That’s exactly what two particular investors believed. After years of working and saving, this couple took more than $2 million in hard-earned savings to a national bank and requested that their funds be invested in …

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The fiduciary debate is dominating the political agenda in the financial advisory world, but it isn’t the only unsettled business in the industry. An equally important issue is making sure that fiduciary investment advisors—who are required to always act in the best interests of their clients—are actually doing that. It’s almost universally acknowledged that the …

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Despite their wealth and business savvy, more than one-third of high-net-worth families have not taken the most basic steps to protect and provide for their loved ones when they die, according to a recent survey by CNBC.com. The CNBC Millionaire Survey found 38 percent of those with investable assets of $1 million or more have …

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The Supreme Court today delivered a historic victory for gay rights, ruling 5 to 4 that the Constitution requires that same-sex couples be allowed to marry no matter where they live and that states may no longer reserve the right only for heterosexual couples. With that Supreme Court decision extending the right to marry to …

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For most of us, the first part of life is a whirlwind. But by the time we settle into middle age, many of us have been slogging away at the same kind of work for years and may feel stuck in a mid-career rut. Maybe we aren’t as far along in our careers as we …

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Most Americans don’t have a will or trust. For those who actually do have one, it has likely been sitting in a drawer, not updated as life circumstances have changed. We’re all guilty of not doing what may be important but doesn’t seem urgent, but there’s no excuse for not having a current estate plan—which …

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The good news is that you did a great job over the years securing a nice nest egg for your golden years. Now the bad news: You cannot keep retirement funds in your account indefinitely. For the year you turn 70½ and each year thereafter, the IRS requires that you to begin taking withdrawals from …

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Financial advisors are facing two dueling forces: They desperately want to attract millennials to replace their aging stable of clients, but clients with low account balances—which many young investors happen to be—are unprofitable. Not surprisingly, just 16 percent of millennials say they work with a financial advisor, about half the rate that baby boomers do, …

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Digital technology has disrupted industry after industry, changing everything from the way we travel and communicate to the way we order food. But the financial services industry apparently hasn’t gotten the memo. Financial advisors, in particular, remain stuck in a digital Stone Age, mired in inertia and short-term thinking. But here’s a message to my …