What should you know about establishing a trust?

You don’t have to be a CEO or multimillionaire to benefit from a trust. In fact, many people gain advantages from establishing one – so it may be useful to learn something about this common estate-planning tool.
Why would you want a trust? For one thing, if you have highly specific wishes on how and when you want your estate to be distributed among your heirs, then a trust could be appropriate. Also, you might be interested in setting up a trust if you’d like to avoid the sometimes time-consuming, usually expensive and always public process of probate. Some types of trusts may also help protect your estate from lawsuits and creditors. Currently, only a small percentage of Americans will be subject to estate taxes, but estate tax laws are often in flux, so things may be different in the future – and a properly designed trust could help minimize these taxes.

Term vs. permanent insurance: Which is right for you?

by Edward Jones Matthew North Financial Advisor What’s your most valuable asset? While you are still working, this asset may actually be your future income — so you need to protect it. And you can do so by maintaining adequate life insurance, which can help provide your family with the financial resources necessary to meet […]

Bristol Bay sockeye go from ‘bust’ to ‘bounty’

The world’s biggest sockeye salmon run at Bristol Bay went from “bust” to “unbelievable” in one week.
Landings last week broke records every day for five days for that time frame, bringing the total sockeye catch to nearly 28 million fish on an unusually long-tailed run — and the reds were still coming on strong.
That had overloaded processors scurrying to replace workers they’d sent home the previous week when the big forecasted run was deemed a no-show. The late surge of sockeyes also left many fishermen frustrated with limits to their catches, while tenders were trekking the abundance of reds to other regions for processing. It remains to be seen how long the run will last, and if it will produce the 38 million projected catch.

What happens to my IRA after I’m gone?

Contributing to an IRA can help you build some of the resources you will need to enjoy a comfortable retirement. But what happens to your IRA if you don’t use it up in your lifetime?
You can still put the IRA’s assets to good use — as long as you’ve made the right moves and communicated your wishes clearly to your family.
When you opened your IRA, you should have named a beneficiary — someone who will receive the IRA assets when you pass away. You could also name a contingent beneficiary if the first beneficiary dies before you. These beneficiary designations are important because they can supersede the instructions left in your will.
If you name your spouse as beneficiary of your IRA, he or she has options unavailable to other beneficiaries. Here are two possibilities:

Keep your investments from going on ‘vacation’

It’s that time of year when many of us hit the road for a summer vacation. If you are fortunate, you will be joining them — after all, “all work and no play” is a difficult way to live. But while you may not think it beneficial to work all the time, the same can’t be said of your investments and your investment strategy — because, ideally, they should never stop laboring on your behalf.
How can you avoid “taking a vacation” as an investor? Here are a few ideas:

Term vs. permanent insurance: Which is right for you?

What’s your most valuable asset? While you are still working, this asset may actually be your future income, so you need to protect it. And you can do so by maintaining adequate life insurance, which can help provide your family with the financial resources necessary to meet critical expenses — such as mortgage payments, college tuition and so on — should you pass away prematurely.
But what type of insurance should you purchase? There’s no one “right” answer for everyone, but by knowing some of the basics of different polices and how they relate to your specific needs, you can make an informed decision.

Celebrate Father’s Day by investing in your children’s future

Father’s Day is almost here. If you’re a father, especially one with young children, get ready to add to your collection of homemade cards, ties, golf tees or other such gifts designed to please you. Your greatest gift, of course, is your children — and you would doubtlessly get great satisfaction from knowing that you’ve provided them with financial resources that can benefit their lives in many ways. So, why not use this Father’s Day as a starting point for investing in your children’s futures?
Here are a few methods for doing just that:

Make timely adjustments to your 529 plan

If you have school-age children, you might greet the arrival of June with some relief — for at least a few months, you don’t have to worry about “encouraging” kids to do their homework, study for tests, give you their permission slips for field trips, and so on.
But one day, these obligations will give way to a substantially bigger one — paying for college. If you’ve already begun preparing for that day with a tax-advantaged college-savings vehicle, such as a 529 plan, you’re taking a positive step, because higher education is expensive. But it’s not enough to just set up your 529 plan — you may also need to adjust it over time.

Make timely adjustments to your 529 plan

If you have school-age children, you might greet the arrival of June with some relief — for at least a few months, you don’t have to worry about “encouraging” kids to do their homework, study for tests, give you their permission slips for field trips and so on.
But one day, these obligations will give way to a substantially bigger one — paying for college. If you’ve already begun preparing for that day with a tax-advantaged college-savings vehicle — such as a 529 plan — you’re taking a positive step, because higher education is expensive. But it’s not enough to just set up your 529 plan — you may also need to adjust it over time.

Should you make investment moves based on a strong dollar?

Currently, the U.S. dollar is pumped-up and powerful. But what does a strong dollar mean to you, as an investor?
To begin with, it’s important to understand just what is meant by a “strong” dollar. The U.S. dollar does not exist in a vacuum — its value — from a global perspective — is determined by its changing strength relative to that of other currencies.
Let’s look at an example:

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