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Michael Allen

(Article for use by Edward Jones financial advisor Michael Allen of Silverdale.)

If you want to send your children or grandchildren to college, retire comfortably and achieve other important life goals, you will have to invest — it’s that simple. But the process of investing can sometimes seem anything but simple. What can you do to gain confidence that you are making the right investment moves? read more »

 
Financial

If you’re starting out as an investor, you might be feeling overwhelmed. After all, it seems like there’s just so much to know. How can you get enough of a handle on basic investment concepts so that you’re comfortable in making well-informed choices?

Actually, you can get a good grip on the investment process by becoming familiar with a few basic concepts, such as these:

Stocks versus Bonds — When you buy stocks, or stock-based investments, you are buying ownership shares in companies. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to buy shares of quality companies and to hold these shares for the long term. This strategy may help you eventually overcome short-term price declines, which may affect all stocks. Keep in mind, though, that when buying stocks, there are no guarantees you won’t lose some or all of your investment. read more »

 
Financial

All investments carry risk. But, as an investor, one of the biggest risks you face is that of not achieving your long-term goals, such as enjoying a comfortable retirement and remaining financially independent throughout your life. To help reach your objectives, you need to own a variety of investment vehicles — and each carries its own type of risk.

If you spread your investment dollars among vehicles that carry different types of risk, you may increase your chances of owning some investments that do well, even if, at the same time, you own others that aren’t. As a result, you may be able to reduce the overall level of volatility in your portfolio. (Keep in mind, though, that diversification can’t guarantee a profit or protect against all losses.) read more »

 

As you know, the holiday season can be joyous, hectic, celebratory — and expensive. And while you certainly enjoy hosting family gatherings and giving presents to your loved ones, you’ll find these things even more pleasurable if they don’t add a lot more weight to your debt load. And that’s why you’ll want to follow some smart money-management techniques over the next few weeks.

To begin with, try to establish realistic budgets for both your entertaining and your gift giving. When you host family and friends, don’t go overboard on your expenditures. read more »

 
Financial

When you invest, you take some risks. While you can’t totally avoid these risks, you can take steps to help reduce their impact and increase your comfort level. And the more comfortable you are with your investments, the easier it will be to follow a long-term strategy that can help you meet your goals.

Let’s look at the most common types of risk related to investing, along with some suggestions on helping to reduce these risks: read more »

 

If you already have a Roth IRA, you’re aware of its biggest benefit: Your earnings grow tax free, provided you meet certain conditions. If you don’t have a Roth IRA, you may want to consider one — and it may be easier for you to do just that in 2010. read more »

 

Late last year, something happened in this country that had not occurred since 1933: The nation’s personal savings rate went negative. And we don’t even have much company in our spendthrift ways: Our savings rate was the lowest in the industrialized world, according to the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development. read more »

 
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