Learn these rules to profit in the market

By Jeffrey R. Kosnett
Posted on February 13, 2012

It’s no longer the stock market — it’s the stuck market. Or at least that’s what it seemed like for much of last summer and fall as the Dow Jones industrial average fluctuated between roughly 10,500 and 11,600.What’s upsetting is that all that motion didn’t earn you much. The major market indexes and your investment balances ended up flat after weeks or... READ MORE

It pays to pay attention to stock fund fees

By Mark Jewell
Posted on February 13, 2012

Price-conscious or not, consumers invariably slip from time to time. What’s the big deal if you buy something you want for $1.50 at a convenience store rather than spend $1 at a discounter?It can seem that way with mutual fund expenses, although investments clearly aren’t impulse buys. Many investors give little thought to the impact of choosing a fund that charges 1.5 percent... READ MORE

Dividend-paying stocks still looking good

By Mark Jewell
Posted on February 06, 2012

Stock investors as a group ran in place in last year. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index ended 2011 about where it started.Invest in a stock mutual fund, and you likely ended up losing because of fee expenses. About three-quarters of the U.S. stock fund categories that Morningstar tracks closed out the calendar year with a loss.That’s another knock for investors who are still... READ MORE

Money missteps many grandparents make

By David Pitt
Posted on February 06, 2012

It’s so tempting to want to give your grandchildren everything, and to put their wants and needs first. However, one of the common money mistakes grandparents make is to put spending on grandkids ahead of their own retirement security. Here are three money missteps grandparents make and ways to avoid them: 1. Excessively spoiling grandchildren Financial advisers and estate... READ MORE

Social Security and Medicare Qs and As

By Beacon
Posted on January 30, 2012

The Social Security Administration answers some common questions about Social Security and Medicare benefits.Question: I know that Social Security’s full retirement age is gradually rising to 67. But does this mean the “early” retirement age will also be going up by two years, from age 62 to 64?Answer: No. While it is true that under current law the full retirement age is... READ MORE

Stocks and mutual funds to own now

By Kathy Kristof
Posted on January 23, 2012

With debt woes slamming Europe, firms that sell mainly in the U.S. and in emerging nations look especially attractive. Here are a selection of stocks and funds considered to be smart picks for 2012 by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance:Chevron (symbol CVX, $97). A spike in oil prices last summer helped the company report blockbuster third-quarter earnings. At today’s lower oil prices, ... READ MORE

A primer on risks and rewards of bonds

By Mark Jewell
Posted on January 16, 2012

Baby boomers fully embraced the stock market by riding its ups and downs throughout their peak income years.But now that the oldest boomers are turning 65, their focus has turned toward ensuring a steady income from their investments. And they’re likely to find the answer is to put money in bonds rather than stocks, as recent market volatility shows.Consider that bonds have made stock ... READ MORE

Good financial advice is readily available

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on January 02, 2012

Regardless of how well educated you are, it’s unlikely that you can plan your family’s financial future without some professional advice. Much of what you need to do to manage, protect and pass on your wealth — things like investing, buying insurance and drawing up a will — can be done cheaply and in a straightforward manner. But you’ll be much better off if you seek... READ MORE

Big returns from fast food in slow market

By Mark Jewell
Posted on December 26, 2011

Step into the McDonald’s in Port Chester, N.Y. on a Saturday, and there’s a good chance you’ll see Jon Burnham dining on the cheap with his wife. They’re McDonald’s regulars.“Where else can two people go and have a really nice lunch or dinner for $10?” Burnham asked.He knows how to spot a value, after more than five decades in the financial services ... READ MORE

Five big money mistakes retirees make

By David Pitt
Posted on December 26, 2011

For retirees to maintain their desired lifestyle without a paycheck — possibly for decades — they need a solid financial plan. They also need to steer clear of serious mistakes that could compromise their future income. Here’s a look at some common pitfalls retirees encounter, and ways to step around them to avoid financial disaster. 1. Helping children too much Problem:... READ MORE