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The arrival of a baby is an exciting event, but it also brings additional financial challenges and decisions for the whole family. Outlined below are four key financial considerations to help new parents prepare for many of life's unknowns.

Prepare for the Unexpected: Check your individual health insurance policy for specific guidelines on adding coverage for your newborn (most plans…

Myth 1: You have to contribute to a 529 in your home state. That statement is false with regard to 529 college-savings plans, in which money is invested in a portfolio of securities on behalf of a beneficiary. Any U.S. resident can contribute to a 529 college-savings plan in any state. Contributing to a plan offered by your home state might offer an added bonus in the form of a state income…

Do mutual fund investors prefer to invest in funds offering low expense ratios? The answer is yes. Expense ratios are an important factor in choosing a mutual fund, because they affect returns. It seems that the market is taking matters into its own hands and putting more assets in low-expense funds. As of October 2013, the average expense ratio for domestic funds was 1.14%. Investors pooled…

Financial planning may present different challenges for women as opposed to men for various reasons. Knowing these challenges, when and if they are likely to occur is crucial for women to successfully manage income, expenses, retirement planning, college planning for children, and any other money matters that need attention.

Challenge 1: Women tend to live longer than men. According to…

After two financial crises occurring almost back to back during the “lost decade,” investors have every right to be risk-averse, hesitant, angry, or distrustful. The problem with not investing at all, however, is that you may not have sufficient money to achieve your financial goals. An individual saving $100 per month, without investing, would have put away only $52,400 since 1970. By…

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…