Author - Robert Schmansky, CFP®

1
Bond Laddering: Generating Income From Your Portfolio
2
Get Ready For Your Year-End Review
3
Marriage: Entering A New Investment Life
4
When Should You Collect Social Security?
5
Bond Market Outlook: Points to Ponder

Bond Laddering: Generating Income From Your Portfolio

For many retired investors, a key objective of portfolio management is creating a stable stream of income while preserving investment principal. Bond laddering is a strategy that may address both aspects of this need.

What Is Laddering?

A bond ladder is a portfolio of bonds with maturity dates that are evenly staggered so that a constant proportion of the bonds can be redeemed at par value each year. Many retirees construct bond ladders with a specific end point that is based on the amount of time they want the bond ladder to generate income. Laddering for a fixed term can …

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Get Ready For Your Year-End Review

The last few months of a year often prompt people to think about goals they want to pursue in the year ahead. If your goals include investment issues, an annual review with your financial advisor is an excellent opportunity to focus on what you need to do to pursue them. Every person's goals are unique, but you may want to think about the following areas when preparing for your review.

Building Retirement Assets

Your advisor can help you calculate how much you need to save for your later years. If you are coming up short, funding an IRA may help …

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Marriage: Entering A New Investment Life

There are a lot of issues that couples need to think about when tying the knot -- wedding preparations, family, and, of course, finances. Addressing personal finance and investment issues before the big day may help improve your odds of being together years later. Here are some financial issues that you should consider when embarking on a matrimonial journey.

Discuss financial styles before marriage - Start your marriage off on the right foot by having an honest discussion about financial habits and objectives. Are you a saver, but your prospective spouse lives paycheck to paycheck? Do you prefer investing heavily …

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When Should You Collect Social Security?

A growing number of Americans have been forced to delay their planned retirement date due to job and savings losses suffered during the past recession. Postponing retirement not only means working longer, but also delaying when you start collecting Social Security.

Currently, workers can begin collecting Social Security as early as age 62 and as late as age 70. The longer you wait to start collecting, the higher your monthly payment will be. Your Social Security monthly payment is based on your earnings history and the age at which you begin collecting compared with your normal retirement age. 

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Bond Market Outlook: Points to Ponder

During the past decade, many long-term fundamentals of investing have been turned upside down and one example is the performance of U.S. stocks compared with bonds. Over longer time periods, such as 20 or 30 years, stocks exhibited higher average annual returns along with greater volatility.Bonds, in contrast, presented lower long-term returns along with fewer ups and downs.

But the 10-year period ending December 31, 2011, has shown the opposite, with the average annual return of investment-grade bonds exceeding stocks by a margin of 5.8% compared with 2.9%.1 No one knows for sure whether the recent outperformance

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