Five mistakes not to make with annuities

By: Abigail Havermann

Recently, we learned an elderly client had unexpectedly cashed out of an annuity that was part of her portfolio, and moved her money to another product. In the process, she accepted a $13,000 surrender charge, increased the amount of time her funds will be tied up with a different annuity, and guaranteed herself a lower rate of return. When I called her, she said an insurance agent had... READ MORE

Is earnings growth as good as it will get?

By: Stan Choe

Here’s the challenge when something’s as good as it gets: What comes next? Companies across industries are in the midst of reporting another quarter of gargantuan profit growth, driven by lower tax bills and a growing economy. Amazon said its net income surged more than tenfold during the summer from a year earlier, for example. Yet stock prices are not getting the boost that they ... READ MORE

The pros and cons of preferred stock

By: Elliot Raphaelson

In many of my articles, I have recommended a balanced portfolio consisting of both common stocks and bonds, especially in or near retirement. In retirement, I have maintained a 50-50 ratio of stocks to bonds, in order to avoid significant fall in portfolio value during a bear market in stocks. Bond investors have many options. When the Federal Reserve raises interest rates frequently,... READ MORE

Can you finally ignore your credit score?

By: Liz Weston

At some point, you’ll buy your last car and refinance your last mortgage. Surely then you can stop worrying about your credit scores. Well, not really, although there are situations when credit scores shouldn’t be anyone’s main concern. Let’s start with some reasons why credit scores still matter, even when you don’t plan to borrow money. Lenders aren’t the only ones... READ MORE

Veterans benefits continue after death

By: Jim Miller

Dear Savvy Senior: Does the VA provide any special burial benefits to old veterans? My dad, who has late-stage Parkinson’s disease, served during the Vietnam War in the 1960s. — Only Child Dear Only: Most U.S. veterans are eligible for burial and memorial benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemetery Administration. Veterans who were discharged under... READ MORE

Five best moves for your portfolio

By: John Waggoner

These portfolio moves will help boost the income you get from your portfolio, shield it from inflation, and make it less volatile, too. Dial down volatility. Stocks with low volatility should weather dips better than jiggier peers. Invesco S&P 500 Low Volatility ETF (symbol SPLV, $48) holds the 100 stocks in the blue-chip index with the lowest volatility; iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol... READ MORE