Podcasts Archives




The Federal Reserve (Fed) finally increased interest rates, by 25 basis points or one-quarter of 1 percent. On the face of it, this increase doesn’t seem like it should be considered a major deal, but the widespread media coverage would indicate otherwise.

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Today’s podcast was authored by Sheldon McFarland, VP, Portfolio Strategy & Research Loring Ward. How good is your stock picking? Is it good enough to wager your retirement future on it? What happens if you are unlucky and pick the wrong stocks?

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Learn about the Roth 401(k), a great savings opportunity for many people and not just for highly compensated employees. It can provide participants with a tax-advantaged way to save for retirement and can provide flexibility and choice to retirees.

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Although there is a vast amount of technology available that is designed to safeguard your devices and personal information, that information is still vulnerable to cyber criminals and identity thieves. This podcast addresses 6 best practices to keep your personal information safe and secure.

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If you are trying to bridge a financial gap and considering taking a loan from your retirement plan, pause for a minute. This is a major decision that should not be made lightly, as there are consequences that could affect your ability to fund your future retirement. Here are six things you need to be aware of before you borrow from your 401(k) savings…

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Today’s podcast was authored by Sheldon McFarland, VP, Portfolio Strategy & Research Loring Ward. Yet again, Sheldon provides great perspective. This time, he writes about fear and how it can impact our lives including our investments.

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This podcast was authored by Sheldon McFarland, VP, Portfolio Strategy & Research with Loring Ward. It discusses the inflation protection gold may, or may not, provide and more.

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When it comes to filing tax returns, many people worry about completing every form correctly and according to the instructions. Unfortunately, taxpayers now have a bigger problem to contend with: the possibility that a scam artist may file a fraudulent return in their name. It happens all too frequently, according to the Internal Revenue Service, which estimates that it will process $21 billion in phony tax refunds next year.

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According to an old adage, it’s better to tax the seed than the crop. And if you’re comparing traditional retirement accounts with Roth retirement accounts, that adage does seem to ring true. With traditional retirement accounts, the contributions (i.e., the seeds) are tax-deductible, reducing your income tax burden today. These contributions continue to grow tax-free until you need to access your account; that’s when you incur taxes on a much larger crop.

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You've probably heard how important it is to establish and maintain an emergency fund. Unfortunately, most people don't fully realize this until a money emergency is upon them. Are you financially prepared for a leaky roof? How about a broken-down car? If you lost your job, how long would you be able to support yourself and your family until you got a new one?

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What is referred to as both hard and cold and is loved by people old and young? Cash!

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For families who are saving and paying for education, federal tax breaks are a great way to ease the financial burden. Here's an overview of some of the options.

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Divorce is often a stressful event, both emotionally and financially. If you’re in the process of a divorce proceeding (or have recently been through one), it’s normal to be worried about your financial situation. Settling into a new financial life takes time, but there are things you can do today to help prevent divorce from taking a bigger toll than necessary. Here, we offer guidelines to help you stay financially secure, today and into the future.

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This podcast takes a look at how volatility affects your portfolio when you’re saving for retirement.

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As the weather warms up, many people are thinking about summer plans—and possibly dreaming of buying a vacation home. Although the idea of having a permanent “home away from home” may sound appealing, purchasing a vacation property isn’t something to be entered into lightly. If you’re considering this major commitment, here are some important questions to ask yourself.

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One benefit of buying permanent life insurance is the ability to obtain a loan from the insurance company using the life insurance as collateral. But how does it work?

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When it comes to saving for retirement, your life can be divided into five stages, each with its own challenges. As you move through each stage, you should consider how much time is left until you retire, how much you can afford to invest toward retirement, and how much risk you are willing to take with your investments. Through proper planning and saving, retirement can be something you look forward to rather than something you worry about.

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The Roth conversion presents a unique opportunity to investors looking for tax-free income during retirement. All individuals, regardless of income, are allowed to convert as much or as little of their IRA and eligible employer-sponsored plan assets as they want, so with some careful planning, this strategy can help maximize future retirement savings and add another layer of tax diversification to your portfolio.

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The supremacy of one school of thought over the other in the active versus passive investing arena is indeed a worthy debate. Both sides argue convincingly that their approach will generate better returns over time. But it can be confusing, even paralyzing, for average investors to make sense of the rhetoric and to develop a clear, disciplined strategy tailored to their individual needs.

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Since mid-2014, crude oil prices have been on the decline, causing gas and other oil-product prices to drop significantly. Although the long-term economic impact remains to be seen, this dramatic price change is affecting Americans' everyday lives in a number of ways.

Losing your smartphone isn't just inconvenient. If your phone falls into the wrong hands, you could be at risk of identity theft. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help you find your phone—and mitigate any potential data losses..

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You might wonder when your money is really going to kick into high gear and start paying off for you. Well, the Rule of 72 can help you figure it out.

Most of us hate uncertainty. And it’s our dislike of uncertainty that keeps the weather man and economic forecasters employed. But when was the last time you checked your favorite forecaster’s track record before acting on his or her prognostication? Chances are never.

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You may have heard that choosing the right social security claiming strategy can help you and your spouse maximize your benefits. But which strategy is best? What’s the appropriate age to claim? What about spousal benefits? If you’re wondering which path to take, these social security basics may help you get started.

It’s Friday night and you just got home after a long day at work. You kick off your shoes, grab the TV remote and open up the box of piping-hot pepperoni pizza your favorite pizza joint just delivered… But when you open the box, you find only about half of your pizza has pepperoni on it. Believe it or not, something similar can happen to your investments.

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When a loved one passes away, his or her outstanding debt (and how that debt will be paid) likely won’t be the first thing on your mind. Unfortunately, many people find themselves dealing with a deceased family member’s creditors as they grieve. While no one likes to think about a loved one’s passing, it makes good financial sense to consider these matters ahead of time.

Both of these options allow you to use pretax dollars to offset out-of-pocket health care costs. This podcast helps outline the differences of each plan.

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Data breaches at high-profile companies have been in the news lately, but big businesses aren't the only ones at risk. In fact, in a survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute, more than half of small businesses reported falling victim to a data breach. Here, we'll highlight a few basic techniques for protecting sensitive information and discuss why you might want to consider cyber liability insurance.

With another school year right around the corner, it's a good time for teachers to start looking into their own student loans. Programs designed to encourage teachers to stay in the profession, including those outlined here, may help you reduce or eliminate your student loan debt.

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If you think your cable bill is getting out of hand, you’re not alone. The cost of cable has skyrocketed over the last decade, with the average monthly bill climbing to nearly $90 for basic and premium channels, according to the NPD Group, a market research firm.

For many parents, the thought of a child heading off to college is both exciting and scary. Whether your child is going away to school for the first time or returning for another year, he or she may need help managing money and credit. This podcast outlines some tips you can use to prepare your child for the financial independence of the college years.

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As you near retirement, you're bound to have many questions about social security. Deciding when to start taking benefits is one of the most important considerations, as it can affect the amount of your monthly payment. Let’s answer 7 frequently asked questions.

For many people, summertime means vacation. If your trip involves renting a car, reviewing the various insurance options ahead of time can help you avoid spending more than you need to. Here are some key questions to ask before you arrive at the rental counter, plus tips for getting the most bang for your car-rental buck.

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This podcasts helps investors understand the difference between a temporary decline and a permanent loss.

Each day between 2011 and 2030, 10,000 baby boomers will celebrate their 65th birthdays. As the boomers grow older, their middle-aged children may find themselves in a challenging situation: providing financial assistance to their parents as well as their own kids.

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Encore Careers: Becoming Your Own Boss 

Over the past decade, Americans ages 55–64 have been at the head of the startup pack, launching more businesses than any other demographic. Armed with knowledge, skills, and professional networks cultivated in their previous careers, this new wave of baby boomer entrepreneurs is showing that they have what it takes to launch successful businesses later in life.

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If you’re like many parents, you may be wondering whether saving too much for college will decrease your child’s chances of receiving need-based federal financial aid. Here’s an overview of how different types of assets fit into the financial aid equation.

Each year, approximately one in eight people becomes disabled. This podcast explores using disability insurance to protect income and the key definitions when designing a policy.

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This podcast sheds a little light on the subject of long-term care, answering the questions: what is long-term care, what type of care to people generally need, how can long-term care be funded and what is the partnership program.

As a general rule, investing your money in different types of assets is a good way to reduce the risk of loss in your portfolio. But, does it guarantee a diversified portfolio?

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This podcast helps answer the questions: How do you decide between permanent and term life insurance? Which policies carry risk and which are guaranteed? And, when it’s all said and done, which policy will cost most? (Guarantees are based on the claims-paying ability of the issuer)

This podcast sheds some light on what, when and why a rollover would be performed.

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Does this “new,” green industry present a good investment opportunity?

4 Financial Planning items to check off your list for the second quarter of the year.

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 Enjoy these tongue in cheek instructions on how to achieve poverty and Sainthood!

This podcast explains a common diversification technique used throughout the financial industry.

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Did you recently say “I do?” Here are 8 planning basics for newlyweds and engaged couples.

Social Security for those at or close to retiring should be paid as planned (at least that's what most of the politicians say). But what about the rest of us?

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7 Financial Planning items to check off your list for the first quarter of the year.

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