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July 19th, 2010

What is a DB(k) PLan?

(Money Manager) - Many people describe DB(k) plans as a hybrid mix of a traditional 401(k) plan and a defined benefit plan. This relatively new retirement plan option is poised to become a popular retirement option, as it combined several of the best benefits from both types of retirement plans.

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June 7th, 2010

What is a Term Certain Annuity?

(Money Manager) - A term certain annuity is an insurance product which is designed to provide a person with predetermined payments over a designated period of time. Term certain annuities can be purchased gradually over many years, with the person making regular payments towards the total purchase amount. However, these are often purchased at the time of a person's retirement, using one lump sum of retirement funds. The main thing to keep in mind when purchasing a term certain annuity is that they are designed for a specific timeframe. Once the overall term has expired, there can be no further payments made.

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March 31st, 2010

The Markets

(Michael Schwartz) - The stock market seems to be climbing the proverbial "wall of worry." Despite potential road hazards such as sovereign debt issues, rising interest rates, a weak job market, and a stalled housing recovery, investors bid up stock prices last week to an 18-month high, according to MarketWatch. Of course, these things could eventually affect stock prices, but, for now, stocks are riding the momentum of improving earnings and some underlying stability in the economy.

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December 10th, 2009

November Markets

(Michael Schwartz) - Could November go down in history as a major turning point in the U.S. economy? The shocking (in a positive way) unemployment report released last Friday by the Labor Department showed the economy lost only 11,000 jobs in November. The markets were bracing for a number well in excess of 100,000, according to CNBC. On top of that, revisions to the previous two months showed 159,000 fewer jobs were lost than initially reported. And, to complete the trifecta, the unemployment rate dropped to 10.0% in November, down from 10.2% in October. On the surface, this is extremely good news for the economy as it suggests the economy is healing nicely.

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December 3rd, 2009

Financial Markets

(Michael Schwartz) - Two steps forward, one step back might be an appropriate description of the financial markets these days.

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November 2nd, 2009

Market Trends

(Eugene Wehrheim) - This has indeed been quite a year. A year ago at this time our world was beginning to spin in spiral that had most of us on the edge of our seats. The recent recovery we’ve had in the equity markets has taken some of the tension off, but each downturn we get, no matter how small, the bears come out and start feasting on whatever problem they can find.

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October 21st, 2009

Value of Daily Valuation

(Malcolm Butler) - Recent economic data suggests that the worst of the recession is behind us. The stock market has been moving higher in anticipation of a recovery in the business community. While the economic future is still uncertain, we will likely see increased economic activity over the coming months.

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September 18th, 2009

Required Minimum Distributions are Waived For 2009

(Mark Rogers) - Retirees over the age of 70 ½ have, prior to 2009, been required to withdraw a small percentage of their retirement accounts (401k, IRA's, etc.). This is the government's way of gaining tax revenues on money that had been growing for years tax deferred. The person taking the distribution was required to pay income tax, at their current tax rate, on any money withdrawn.

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September 2nd, 2009

Stocks Get Whacked

(Lee Siler) - Stocks got hit yesterday, as we start the worst period for the market. It's no secret that based on history the stock market performs its worst during the month of September. So it should've been a surprise when the major averages sold off from start to finish on the first day of the month. I've been expecting this pullback for several weeks now. But, investors continued to buy shares despite and economy that is still on unsure footing.

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August 31st, 2009

Markets Overseas Continue to Fall

(Lee Siler) - Last week the major averages treaded water, but the sentiment was changing. Despite a plethora of good economic data, the stock market was unable to gain any ground. In fact, there were several sessions where the market rallied right out of the gate, but by the end of the day was barely above the Mendoza line. In my opinion, this is a sign that the market is getting tired and the buyers are fading. What's more, the overseas markets have been correcting for weeks. China took a 20% hit a few weeks ago before rebounding slightly. However, overnight the Shanghai Index tanked almost 7%.

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