Similar to stocks, bonds and mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are securities you can add to your investment portfolio. They're another way to potentially grow wealth while working toward your financial goals.
ETFs aren't a new security: 2023 marks the 30th year since the first ETF was listed in the U.S. Many types of ETFs have since sprouted up, and they can help you diversify your portfolio. Reviewing the most popular varieties of ETFs can help you and your financial advisor match your choices to your risk tolerance, time horizon and broader financial strategy.
With rising interest rates and inflation on the move, the word “consistency” doesn’t have an easy association with the current banking environment.
Yet, consistency in various forms has helped three very different community banks excel at commercial lending. They share some of their secrets of success.
Retirement is a milestone you've likely thought about and worked toward for decades. After planning and saving for so many years, you may imagine you can coast right into it.
But in the five years or so right before your retirement, your savings and investment accounts need your attention more than ever.
We'll explain why the last five years before you retire are critical and explore steps you can take during this time to build and protect your nest egg.
The first few weeks of an employee starting a new job are pivotal in terms of how they’ll connect to their new company and their role. I spoke with community bankers about how they have perfected their onboarding processes.
When you're planning and saving for a wedding, a smart spending strategy can help you marry two important yet distinctive goals—affording your ideal celebration while starting off your marriage with a solid financial foundation.
After all, one of the best gifts you can give yourself is protecting your savings for the new life you're creating together. As you approach the big day, consider these steps to keep your wedding saving and spending in check.
Earning a substantial income can help you live a generous life today and save more for your tomorrows. But when it comes to retirement planning, a higher income also can create some roadblocks.
For example, consider the Roth individual retirement account (IRA), which has income limits that potentially bar high earners from funding them directly.
If you think you make too much for a Roth IRA, you can explore alternative strategies and investment options. We'll cover who can contribute to a Roth IRA and various approaches to optimize your retirement savings if your income exceeds the limits.
Life insurance is designed to provide that financial security for your loved ones after your death. However, types of permanent life insurance also have a bonus: the opportunity to build savings over time that you can use during your lifetime. Two popular permanent life insurance options include universal life insurance and whole life insurance. Comparing the two can help you discover the best option for you.
Customer data fuels efficient and effective marketing these days. Community banks own an enviable amount of data, but not all are leveraging it to its fullest extent. I delve into why that is and how banks can begin to implement a first-party data strategy in this story for Independent Banker.
American workers and their families gained new retirement savings opportunities when the SECURE Act 2.0 was signed into law in late 2022. The legislation affects small businesses as well, providing new tools and incentives to benefit both employers and employees. This story shares some key provisions that small business owners should know about.
A Roth 401(k) can help you work toward your retirement savings goals, but it has a different kind of tax advantage than a traditional 401(k). A Roth 401(k) shares its tax advantage with its older cousin from the other side of the family tree, the Roth individual retirement account (IRA).
These accounts play well together—you can use all three to grow your nest egg. First, though, you should explore the ins and outs of a Roth 401(k) and understand how it differs from other retirement plans.
Of all the contracts you'll sign in your life, few offer more reassurance than life insurance, which can help protect your loved ones financially when you pass away. Permanent life insurance is a popular type of this coverage. And it comes in three common forms: whole, universal and variable universal.
Buying a new vehicle today takes resourcefulness, patience and flexibility. Healthy doses of luck and digital savvy go a long way, too. If you haven't shopped for a vehicle recently, there are some things you should know to prepare for the topsy-turvy road ahead.
Many community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and minority depository institutions (MDIs) received an influx of capital from the Treasury’s Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP). My piece explores how three community banks are putting the money to good use.
There's more to estate management than simply swapping the names on your bank accounts. Your estate could owe taxes on property that transfers when you die, which would reduce the total value of the assets available to your beneficiaries.
You can minimize the impact of these "death taxes" through thoughtful estate tax planning. The first step is understanding the nuances of how taxes fit into wealth transfer strategies to use them to your advantage, whether upon your death or during your lifetime.
Here are seven things you should know to help you strategize your estate tax planning.