Keeping ClientsInformed


Our financial newsletters are designed to provide helpful information on a wide variety of financial topics. Click on one of the newsletter topics below to read the article in its entirety.

Don’t Let a Disaster Keep the Lights Off Forever

In the fall of 2019, wildfires fueled by high winds erupted in parts of Northern and Southern California, threatening structures in multiple communities. Wildfires have long been a concern in this sunny and dry state, but in a recent twist, millions more residents and businesses were impacted when public utilities cut off power to help…

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Annuity Strategies: Living Benefits Can Help Counter Retirement Risks

An annuity is an insurance contract that offers an income stream in return for one or more premium payments. Income payments continue for the duration of the contract, which may be for life or a specific number of years. A fixed annuity offers a set rate of return for the life of the contract. A…

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Early Retirement and Your Tax-Deferred Savings: When Can You Take Penalty-Free Withdrawals?

Saying goodbye to the working world might be a dream come true, particularly for hardcore savers inspired by the high-profile movement dubbed FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early). Unfortunately, many others are forced to leave the workforce abruptly or must tap into retirement savings for other pressing needs. When it comes to the money in tax-deferred…

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Looking for Value with P/E Ratios

Many factors might go into evaluating a stock, but the price/earnings (P/E) ratio offers a helpful starting point. The P/E ratio is calculated by dividing a stock’s current price per share by the company’s earnings per share over a 12-month period. This ratio quantifies what investors may be willing to pay for one dollar of…

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Setting a Retirement Savings Goal

It’s difficult to reach a destination unless you know where you’re heading. Yet only 42% of workers or their spouses have tried to estimate the savings they would need to live comfortably in retirement.1 To get started on establishing a retirement savings goal, use the simple worksheet on this page to compare the income you…

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Government Acts to Blunt Financial Impact of Global Pandemic

On March 11, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was officially declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, and two days later President Trump declared a national emergency.1 The unknowns surrounding a new virus make it difficult to predict the potential human and economic toll, but unprecedented steps are being taken to help slow the spread…

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Classifying Workers: Know the Rules and Risks

Businesses are responsible for paying payroll taxes for Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment for their employees, but not for independent contractors. And when using contract workers, employers avoid related expenses such as workers’ compensation insurance and other benefits. Instead, contractors pay self-employment taxes and cover their own work-related expenses. For this reason, hiring independent contractors…

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Behavioral Biases That Can Lead to Costly Mistakes

The field of behavioral finance focuses on the emotional and cognitive aspects of investing. In recent decades, well-known economists have advanced the theory that investors’ decisions can be driven by human emotions such as greed and fear, which helps explain why asset prices sometimes fluctuate erratically.1 It can be difficult to act rationally when your…

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Tax Time: Five Red Flags That Raise the Odds of an Audit

The IRS audited about 1 million tax returns in fiscal year 2018, and nearly 75% of those examinations were conducted entirely through correspondence.1 Taxpayers selected for an official audit are notified by mail. Confusing matters, the IRS also mails other types of compliance notices, which may propose additional tax based on math errors, the automated detection…

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Three Lessons from Retirees

Each year, the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) surveys workers and retirees to assess how confident they are in their ability to live comfortably throughout retirement. In 2019, only 67% of workers reported feeling “very” or “somewhat” confident, compared with 82% of retirees.1 A closer look at the survey results reveals important lessons to be…

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Stay-at-Home Spouse? Consider a Spousal IRA

An ongoing study of IRA accounts has consistently found that women, on average, have lower retirement savings balances than men (see chart). Though there may be multiple reasons for this disparity, the most fundamental are the wage gap between men and women and the fact that women are more likely than men to take time…

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What Is Cyber Insurance, and Do You Need It?

Does your company store or communicate potentially sensitive information about customers, employees, or competitors? Cyber attacks and loss of data can be devastating to a business, so you may want to be proactive about addressing this risk. Start by determining areas of vulnerability. Then create cybersecurity policies and procedures for employees to follow. You might…

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