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Risk (Photo credit: The Fayj)

Exposure to concentrated investments may increase the overall risk of a portfolio. As a rule of thumb, if a fund holds more than 30% of assets in one sector, you may be putting all those eggs in one basket. Take, for example, the dot-com bubble. Investors who loaded up on rapidly growing Internet investments probably lost a considerable amount of money when…

“What are the chances that I'll lose my job?” Unless you're a retiree, a tenured college professor, or the owner of a business, that question has probably passed through your mind at least a few times over the recent years. Even if you're confident about the security of your current position, it never hurts to put in place a good safety net. Some of the primary steps are outlined below.

Investors often hear about large- and small-cap stocks, but what about mid-caps? A quick look at large-, mid-, and small-cap stock performance over various time periods shows that investors may want to consider U.S. mid-cap stocks for their portfolio.

Mid-cap stocks offered the highest compound annual returns in four out of the six time periods analyzed, and were relatively close (in…

There are some basic differences when a VA is held inside a qualified account, meaning an IRA (traditional or Roth) or employer plan.

Contract Titling Difference: A non-qualified contract can be held by two owners or a trust, whereas a VA held in a qualified account must have an individual owner who is also named as the annuitant. (Note that on the Lifetime GMWB, joint spousal coverage…

Innovative offerings in equities, fixed income and alternatives have made ETFs one of the fastest-growing investment vehicles in the financial industry. ETFs are a popular investment choice among both active and passive investors because of their flexibility to trade like a stock and diversification similar to a fund, allowing investors to use ETFs for both long-term strategic asset…

Risk is the chance that you won't be able to meet your financial goals or that you'll have to recalibrate your goals because your investment comes up short. Investors face many forms of risk depending on the kinds of investments they choose.

Market, industry, and company risk: General market fluctuations can affect securities trading in that market. Stocks tend to fluctuate more than…

In the past, retirement planning used to involve two planning stages: the accumulation of assets, and the distribution of assets. Nowadays, there may be three periods to consider: accumulation, transition, and distribution. “Transition” can be defined as the period between full employment and full retirement when a person is working on a reduced or part-time basis.

Retirement (Photo…

Even though it's all about dollars and cents, the financial industry runs on percentages; dollar signs are few and far between. The use of percentages is an understandable, and helpful, convention when communicating financial information. After all, a headline saying “Company A’s Net Jumps by 16%" is more helpful than one that reads "Company A’s Net Jumps to $1.02 billion.” Providing…

The recent market volatility has investors questioning, “Are stocks still a good investment?” It’s a good question, and one way to address this issue is to look at the recent 2007–2009 market crash. Investors who bailed out of the stock market following the significant decline and moved their money to the safety of cash would be quite disappointed to learn that the stock market, in fact,…

The tax-deferred compounding you get via an IRA or a company retirement plan enables you to grow your savings without having to fork over taxes on your investment earnings year in and year out. However, at some point, required minimum distributions, or RMDs, will take effect. All retirees must begin taking RMDs from their tax-deferred retirement plans by April 1st of the year following the…