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.

Retirement

  • What Is a SEP IRA?

    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.

  • 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.

  • Why Do People Buy Annuities?

    Annuities, an insurance-based financial vehicle, can provide many benefits that retirement investors might want.

  • What Is a Split-Annuity Strategy?

    A split-annuity strategy can generate immediate income while potentially stretching some retirement savings.

  • Social Security Income

    The Social Security Administration’s retirement estimator gives estimates of your future benefits based on your actual Social Security earnings record.

  • What Is a Self-Employed Retirement Plan?

    Tax-deferred retirement plans for self-employed individuals have higher contribution limits than IRAs.

  • What Is an Indexed Annuity?

    An indexed annuity may provide some upside potential and downside protection.

  • 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

  • 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 Are Zero-Coupon Bonds?

    Zero-coupon bonds represent a type of bond that does not pay interest during the life of the bond.

  • 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 Is a Mutual Fund?

    A mutual fund is a collection of stocks, bonds, and other securities with certain benefits and risks.

  • What Is an Annuity?

    An annuity is a flexible financial vehicle that can help protect against the risk of living a long time because it provides an option for a lifetime income.

  • 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 Stock and Bond Investing Alternatives Do I Have?

    There are other ways to invest in stocks and bonds besides owning individual shares or bonds.

  • 529 Lesson Plan: High Scores for 529 Plans

    529 plans are tax-advantaged savings plans that generally allow people of any income level to contribute.

Risk Management