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Ron Rada

As Americans, we’re used to thinking that we will inevitably do better than our parents’ generation. But, for now at least, this type of progress may be facing some roadblocks — and this inability to gain ground, financially, can have real implications for today’s younger people and their approach to investing.

Before we get to the investment component, though, let’s quickly review the nature of the problem. In a nutshell, younger Americans — those in their 20s and 30s — have accrued significantly less wealth than their parents did at the same age, according to a recent study by the Urban Institute. Here’s why:

Bursting of the housing “bubble” — Many younger people who bought houses shortly before the housing bubble began deflating in 2006 now find themselves to be underwater on their mortgages read more »

Tax Planning

When people hear the words “estate planning,” they often assume it’s an activity only for retirees or near-retirees. But if you have a family, it’s never too soon to create your estate plan.

Of course, estate planning can seem like a daunting task. But you’ll find it easier to handle if you break it down into three key areas: distributing your assets, protecting your family and reducing estate taxes. Let’s look at these topics: read more »


Fears of a “double-dip” recession are in the air. Obviously, this isn’t particularly good news; we’d all like to feel that the economy is growing robustly. At the same time, however, you’ll want to avoid making hasty, ill-advised investment decisions based on the mere threat of a slide into another recession. Instead, you’ll want to keep your long-term investment plan intact — in all economic environments.

The possibility of a double-dip recession makes great headlines. But such events have been rare. In fact, we’ve seen only one double-dip recession in the past 77 years. However, this history hasn’t stopped gloomy forecasters from predicting a double-dip in 1991 (it didn’t happen) and in 2003 (when it didn’t happen again). read more »


At some time or another, you’ve probably thought about what you’d like to do during your retirement years. But when will those years begin? You may have some idea in mind about your ideal retirement date, but, as that day approaches, you’ll need to ask yourself: “Can I afford to retire?”

During these days of corporate downsizing, this question is not rhetorical. If your employer offered you a severance package to take a voluntary early retirement, should you accept it? read more »


On Labor Day, we celebrate the achievements of the American worker. As someone who works hard yourself, you can appreciate this holiday. And, of course, you hope your efforts will eventually result in achieving your important goals, such as college for your children or a comfortable retirement. But if you’re going to turn these objectives into reality, your money needs to work as hard as you do.

What steps can you take to help make sure your money is working hard for you? For starters, consider keeping the money you may need in the near future in investments that pay minimal rates of return. read more »


As another school year approaches, you may be thinking about the day in which you’ll be sending your children off to college. Can you afford to help them pay for school while still saving for your own retirement?

There are many strategies to explore when saving for your retirement and your child’s education. To implement the right mix of options, it’s important to discuss your situation with a professional financial advisor, but here are some options to consider read more »


Tax season “officially” ended on April 15. Yet you can explore tax-smart investment opportunities all year round. And when you’re looking at the fixed-income side of your portfolio, you may want to consider two possibilities: municipal bonds and Build America Bonds.

You’ve probably heard of municipal bonds, but you may not be familiar with how they work. You can find two key types of municipal bonds: General obligation bonds finance the daily operations of a municipality or school district, while revenue bonds finance hospitals, utilities, airports, affordable housing and other public works. So when you purchase a “muni,” you are helping support a community. read more »


You’ve finished paying your children’s college bills. Maybe you’ve even paid off your mortgage. So now that you’re in your “empty nest” years, you don’t have to worry about where the money is going, right? In reality, you may be caring for aging parents and possibly even dealing with “boomerang” kids returning home. Nonetheless, at this stage of your life, you need to focus your efforts on saving and investing for the retirement lifestyle you’ve envisioned.

If you’re concerned about whether you’ll be able to afford retirement, you aren’t alone. Consider the following figures from the 2009 Retirement Confidence Survey, published by the Employee Benefit Research Institute read more »

Banking And Finance

In life, you can’t avoid all risks — and you shouldn’t try, because endeavors that carry risk also bring the prospect of reward. And it’s certainly the same in the investment world. So instead of trying to invest risk-free, which is impossible, learn to recognize the different types of investment risk while becoming familiar with your own risk tolerance.

To start with, let’s quickly look at some of the most common forms of investment risk: read more »

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