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Tariffs: A New Conversation on an Old Topic

As of this article’s submission, tariffs have been big economic news. Tariffs are taxes levied by governments on imported goods. The United States has been moving over the past 20-plus years to a free trade environment. The United States has been removing tariffs on imported goods; and, other countries have been removing the tariffs they have imposed on US goods they import.

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Understanding Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)

In the past 20 years, ETFs have become one of the most popular investment ve­hicles. They offer low­cost access to as­ set classes for investors. With over $1 trillion in assets under management, the ETF structure has become one of the fast­est growing areas of the financial markets. There was one ETF in 1993 known as the SPDR (the S&P 500 Depository Receipt). Now there are over 2000 ETFs, representing many asset classes.

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Big Investment Firms Leave Behind Smaller Investors

Investment advisors at big-name firms and the investors they serve often find themselves in a tug-of-war between the company’s recommendations, and the client’s own ideas. Clients might want to invest in a hot start-up like Tesla Motors, while corporate policies put the brakes on that plan. Frustration with not being able to let clients breathe is one of the reasons Gene Sulzberger struck off on his own.

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Business Development Corporations: A Brief Summary

An area of investing that has been increasing in popularity over the past number of years is the business development corporation (BDC). Many of you may be invested in them, but some of you may not be familiar with them. As banks have retreated from making loans to middle market companies, a competitive industry of BDCs has grown in the marketplace. A main reason their popularity has risen over the past few years is because of the healthy dividends they tend to pay – yields of upwards of 10%. There are publicly traded BDCs and privately held BDCs that investors may consider.

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Saving for Your Future

This is the time of year when a form is provided to you at work asking about what you plan to contribute to your 401K plan (or other retirement plan) at work. With many of these plans, your employer may match your contribution.

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Higher Interest Rates and Investments

The prospect of interest rates increasing in the near future is inevitable. Many expect later this year for interest rates to start creeping up in .25 percent increments. Investors have been keenly aware of these low interest rates with the low interest payments offered by bonds, bond funds and other fixed income-like (or interest bearing) investment vehicles.

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IRA 101

In my experience, IRAs tend to confuse people, so I’ve put together a brief explanation about how they work.

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Saving for Retirement

How much money do you need in order to retire? This is a question that haunts many of us; yet so few of us actually meet with a financial planner to learn more about what amount each of us needs for retirement and how to budget for retirement.

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