Articles

Welcome to our research center! We've put together a library of information on important financial topics that we believe you'll find helpful.

Simply click on one of the general financial topics below and you'll find a selection of easy-to-understand information sheets about related financial concepts and strategies. This information is updated regularly to reflect the latest facts, figures, legislation, and economic trends.

Estates & Trusts

Retirement

  • What Is a SIMPLE?

    The SIMPLE plan may appeal to small business owners as it is easy to set up, administer, and allows for a tax deduction.

  • What Is an IRA Rollover?

    If you leave a job or retire, you should consider your options regarding your employer retirement plan assets.

  • What Is a Profit-Sharing Plan?

    Profit-sharing plans give employees a share in the profits of a company and can help to fund their retirements.

  • What Is a 403(b) Plan?

    A 403(b) plan is a tax-deferred retirement savings plan that can only be offered by a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt entity.

  • What Is a Split-Annuity Strategy?

    A split-annuity strategy can generate immediate income while potentially stretching some retirement savings.

  • A New Chapter for Retirement

    With the changing pension landscape, it is important to take charge of your own retirement security.

  • What Is a 1035 Exchange?

    A Section 1035 exchange is a tax-free exchange of an existing annuity contract or life insurance policy for a new one.

  • Don’t Bank Your Retirement on Your Business

    Allocating too much of your retirement investments to one company, even your own, can be a risky proposition.

  • What Are My Retirement Planning Options?

    There are a variety of retirement planning options that could help meet your needs. Here are some of the most popular.

  • Social Security Income

    The Social Security Administration’s retirement estimator gives estimates of your future benefits based on your actual Social Security earnings record.

  • What Is an Indexed Annuity?

    An indexed annuity may provide some upside potential and downside protection.

  • What Is a Traditional IRA?

    If you do not participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, you might consider a traditional IRA.

  • How Should I Manage My Retirement Plan?

    Employer-sponsored retirement plans are more important than ever, but managing the assets can be confusing.

  • What Is a Roth IRA?

    Qualified Roth IRA distributions in retirement are free of federal income tax and aren’t included in gross income.

Tax Planning

Investing

  • How Are Annuities Taxed?

    One attractive feature of an annuity is tax-deferral but qualified and non-qualified annuities are taxed differently.

  • Common Stock vs Preferred Stock

    It's important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of common stock versus preferred stock.

  • What Is an Exchange-Traded Fund?

    ETFs have unique attributes and attempt to track all types of indexes, industries, or commodities.

  • How Are Mutual Funds Taxed?

    Mutual fund taxes can be cumbersome, but there are ways to help mitigate the amount of taxes you may owe.

  • What Are Zero-Coupon Bonds?

    Zero-coupon bonds represent a type of bond that does not pay interest during the life of the bond.

  • What Is Diversification?

    An important element to successful investing is to manage investment risk while maintaining the potential for growth.

  • What Is a Bond?

    A bond is simply evidence of a debt from a government entity or a corporation and represents a long-term IOU.

  • What Is a Stock Index?

    Stock market indexes can be useful benchmarks for gauging the performance of an investment portfolio over time.

  • What Is a Mutual Fund?

    A mutual fund is a collection of stocks, bonds, and other securities with certain benefits and risks.

  • What Is a Mutual Fund Load?

    It’s important to understand mutual fund loads, or sales charges, and exactly what they entail so you can make informed investing decisions.

  • What Investment Risks Should I Know About?

    Understanding different types of investment risk can help investors manage their money more effectively.

  • What Is Asset Allocation?

    Asset allocation is a method used to help manage investment risk; it does not guarantee a profit or protect against investment loss.

  • What College Investment Options Do I Have?

    Starting to invest early for college and remaining consistent can help investors reach their goals.

  • What Is Dollar-Cost Averaging?

    Dollar-cost averaging involves investing a set amount of money on a regular basis, regardless of market conditions.

Cash Management

Risk Management