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 Are SEP IRAs?

    A SEP IRA is a type of plan under which the employer contributes (up to a certain limit) to an employee’s IRA.

  • 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 Roth 401(k)?

    A Roth 401(k) is funded with after-tax money, and allows for tax- and penalty-free withdrawal of earnings if requirements are met.

  • Profit-Sharing Plans

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

  • Money Purchase Pension Plans

    A money purchase plan is a retirement plan where employer contributions are based on a fixed percentage of compensation.

  • 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.

  • How Much Do I Need to Save?

    Many realize it’s important to save for retirement, but knowing exactly how much to save is another issue altogether.

  • 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.

  • What Is a Traditional IRA?

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

  • What Is a 401(k) Plan?

    401(k) employer-sponsored retirement plans have many benefits, including that the funds accumulate tax-deferred.

  • 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

  • Common Stock vs. Preferred Stock

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

  • What Are Dividends?

    It is important to understand how dividends (taxable payments to shareholders) fit with your long-term goals.

  • What Is an Exchange-Traded Fund?

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

  • Growth Stocks vs. Value Stocks

    The labels “growth” and “value” reflect different approaches that can be used when making investment decisions.

  • What Is Stock?

    Before investing in stocks, it is important to understand some of the basics and the risks involved in owning stocks.

  • What Is Diversification?

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

  • What Types of Bonds Are Available?

    Bonds are issued by many entities and share many characteristics, each type of bond has certain benefits and risks.

  • 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 Do Bond Ratings Mean?

    Bond ratings gauge a bond issuer’s financial ability to repay its promised principal and interest payments.

  • What Is a Stock Index?

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

  • What Investment Risks Should I Know About?

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

  • What Are the Different Classes of Assets?

    There are five broad asset classes that you should take into consideration when constructing your investment portfolio.

  • 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 Is Dollar-Cost Averaging?

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