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Protect Your Heirs by Naming a Trust as IRA Beneficiary

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Often, tax-qualified retirement accounts such as IRAs make up a significant part of one’s estate. Naming beneficiaries of an IRA can be an important part of an estate plan. One option is designating a trust as the IRA beneficiary. This discussion applies to traditional IRAs, not to Roth IRAs. Special considerations apply to beneficiary designations …

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Going Public: An IPO’s Market Debut May Not Live Up to the Hype

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An initial public offering (IPO) is the first public sale of stock by a private company. Companies tend to schedule IPOs when investors are feeling good about their financial prospects and are more inclined to take on the risk associated with a new venture. Thus, IPOs tend to reflect broader economic and market trends. And …

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Quiz: Financial Facts That Might Surprise You

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If you have a penchant for financial trivia, put your knowledge to the test by taking this short quiz. Perhaps some of the answers to these questions will surprise you. Questions 1. The first organized stock market in New York was founded on Wall Street under what kind of tree? a. Maple b. Linden c. …

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Darkness in the Valley of Value

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Recently, I had the pleasure of hearing Kenneth French discuss creating the framework for evaluating factors.  A factor is simply a characteristic that explains some of the variation in returns of an investment.  These factors can be used to build a portfolio that has higher expected risk-adjusted returns. In the 1950’s, academia began getting involved …

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What is gross domestic product, and why is it important to investors?

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GDP, or gross domestic product, measures the value of goods and services produced by a nation’s economy less the value of goods and services used in production. In essence, GDP is a broad measure of the nation’s overall economic activity and serves as a gauge of the country’s economic health. Countries with the largest GDP …

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