Will vs. Trust: Knowing the Difference

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Will vs. Trust: Knowing the Difference

Wills and trusts are common documents used in estate planning. While each can help in the distribution of assets at death, there are important differences between the two.

What Is a Will? A last will and testament is a legal document that lets you direct how your property will be dispersed (among other things) when you die. It becomes effective only after your death. It also allows you to name a personal representative (executor) as the legal representative who will carry out your wishes.

What Is a Trust? A trust is a legal relationship in which you, the grantor or trustor, set up a trust, which holds property managed by a trustee for the benefit of another, the beneficiary. A revocable living trust is the type of trust used most often as part of a basic estate plan. "Revocable" means you can make changes to the trust or even revoke it at any time.

A living trust is created while you're living and takes effect immediately. You may transfer title or ownership of assets, such as a house, boat, automobile, jewelry, or investments, to the trust. You can add assets to the trust and remove assets thereafter.

How Do They Compare? 

A Transformed Investor's Reaction to the Coronavirus

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

by Dave Goetsch, Executive Producer, The Big Bang Theory

photo by Hung Eckund

Television producer Dave Goetsch reflects on coronavirus and its implications for long-term investors.

The news is full of stories about the coronavirus. It’s scary. My 10-year-old son came home from school today worried about it. We don’t know how many people this will infect, nor how it will impact the world economy. This is exactly the kind of thing that would have freaked me out 20 years ago, spiked my blood pressure, and made me glad that all my money was in cash.

Back then, I would have seen this story as yet another piece of evidence for why I chose not to invest in stocks. Because I couldn’t predict the future. “Why invest when you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow?” I would ask no one in particular.

Your 401(k) and Today's Stock Market Volatility

Wednesday, 18 March 2020 Rich LeBranti

As the stock market continues to be extremely volatile, many participants in their 401(k) or other company sponsored retirement plan are feeling anxious about what to do – or what not to do! History shows that the stock market has been through many volatile periods of ups and downs in the past 100 years. If you have the time and patience to wait out some of the downturns, you are usually rewarded for that patience and discipline.

Market Volatility and Your Investing Strategy

Thursday, 05 March 2020

Market Volatility and Your Investing Strategy

Fluctuations in your investment accounts can stir up negative emotions, making you want to hit the panic button. But in turbulent times, it’s more important than ever to remain calm and stay on course toward your long-term retirement savings goals.

What Does the Coronavirus Mean for Investors?

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Presented by Doble LeBranti Financial Group

Despite attempts by Chinese authorities to contain the coronavirus, the numbers make clear that the virus is now spreading around the world. According to the World Health Organization, there are 79,331 confirmed cases, of which 77,262 are in China and 2,069 are outside of China (as of February 24, 2020). Unfortunately, the numbers only seem to be growing, with the Washington Post recently reporting that there were 833 confirmed cases in South Korea and 53 confirmed cases in the U.S.


Indeed, the markets have taken notice. As of this writing, global financial markets are down by 3 percent or more. Here in the U.S., they are down by almost 5 percent from their peaks. This drop is one of the largest in recent months, and it reflects the sudden apparent surge in coronavirus cases. Investors are clearly expecting more bad news—and rather than wait for it, they are selling.

Is selling the right thing to do? Probably not. The virus could continue to spread and even get worse. But we do know a couple of things.

Prioritizing Your Financial Health in the New Year

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Presented by Rich LeBranti

Prioritizing Your Financial Health in the New Year

It’s that time of year when many people set goals with the hope of changing their lives in the months to come. Some may set their sights on losing a significant amount of weight or training for a marathon, while others may want to spend more time with family or other loved ones. Whatever your plans, consider adding a few of the financial changes described below to your resolution list, too, to help you turn 2020 into an even better year. 

Pay Down Debt

Having debt is normal, but having too much debt, particularly as your credit card statement start flowing in after the holidays, can quickly become overwhelming. As you start the year, make a plan to pay off the debts with the highest interest rates first. Also, it’s always wise to pay more than the minimum payment. If you’re financially able to pay a bit more than the monthly amount due on your mortgage, car loan, or other debt, do so. You’ll pay off your debt faster and save more on interest in the long run.

Increase Your Savings

Now that we’re exiting the season of “spend, spend, spend,” it’s time to focus on saving. Perhaps you’d like to save for a dream vacation, a down payment for a new home, or an emergency fund to cover the unexpected. By setting a goal and outlining a timeline and strategy for reaching it, you’ll find it easier to achieve your desired result.

The New TRACED Act: Protecting Consumers from Robocalls

Monday, 27 January 2020

The New TRACED Act: Protecting Consumers from Robocalls

Whether at home, work or on a cell phone, it's a scenario in which many Americans have found themselves: answering a phone call only to find out it's from an unwanted robocaller. In fact, the number of unwanted robocalls in this country has skyrocketed in recent years. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ranks unwanted robocalls highest on their list of consumer complaints.1

A 5-Year Countdown to Retirement

Monday, 06 January 2020

Planning to retire in the next five years or so? Take these key steps today to better position yourself for this life-changing event.

A 5-Year Countdown to Retirement

1) Set Your Target Date

You don’t have to etch the date in stone, but you do need a timeline to measure your progress.

  • Consider a phased retirement, which lets you transition from full-time work to reduced hours.
  • Talk to your employer about how reduced hours will affect your pension, health insurance, and other employee benefits.

2) Envision Your Retirement

Think about what you want to do in your golden years.


  • Be realistic in what your lifestyle will be like as you age.
  • Think through any additional expenses you may incur.
  • Share your vision so we can understand where your accounts should be as you move through your pre- and postretirement years.
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