‘Alaskans-First Fishing Act’ gives priority to personal-use fisheries

Seven times is the charm for building some momentum on a measure that aims to give personal-use fisheries a priority over commercial and sport users. As it stands now, the three fisheries are all on equal footing in the eyes and actions of state managers.
The priority shift has been introduced during each of the last seven legislative sessions by (now) Senator Bill Stoltze (R-Chugiak), but has never made it past a first hearing — until now.

Time for some financial ‘spring cleaning’

We’ve just about arrived at spring, the time when many people spruce up their homes, yards and other parts of their surroundings. This year, why not extend that practice a little further and give your financial and investment environment a good “spring cleaning”?
Here are a few suggestions for doing just that:

Outlook for today’s investors: less certainty – but potential opportunities

The world of today is vastly different from the one that existed in, say, 1974. Innovations such as the Internet, smartphones, tablets, Facebook, Twitter and so on have made our lives more enjoyable, efficient and productive in many ways, and have vastly improved our access to the world’s knowledge. Yet when it comes to one important area of our lives — investing for the future — many of us may actually face more challenges today than we might have in the past.

How should you respond to higher interest rates?

If the Federal Reserve raises short-term interest rates this year — as many financial professionals predict — what will it mean to you?
As a consumer, you might experience the “ripple” effects if long-term interest rates eventually follow suit, affecting mortgages and other loans. But as an investor, you might quickly feel the impact of a move by the Fed — especially if you own bonds.
In fact, the value of your existing bonds might drop noticeably if interest rates were to rise. That’s because no one will give you full price for your lower-paying bonds when new bonds are being issued at a higher interest rate. So if you want to sell your bonds, you might have to take a loss on them.

Women may face extra challenges seeking financial security

On March 8, we observe International Women’s Day. On this occasion, thousands of events across the world will honor the cultural, political and social achievements of women. Of course, in many countries, women still face significant economic challenges. And even here in the United States, women encounter more obstacles than men in the pursuit of […]

Look through this ‘LENS’ when making social security decisions

Your Social Security benefits can be an important part of your retirement income strategy. But when should you start taking these payments?
You can begin accepting Social Security as early as 62, but your monthly checks will be much smaller than if you wait until your “full retirement age,” which will likely be between 66 or 67.
And these monthly payments will get even bigger if you wait until age 70, at which point they “max out.” So, should you take your Social Security as early as possible and hope that the smaller monthly payments will be justified by the extra years of receiving them? Or should you wait until you are older and hope the bigger checks will be worth the delay?
In weighing this decision, consider the acronym LENS, which stands for Life expectancy, Employment, Need and Spouse. Let’s look at each component:

Financial preparations for spouse can brighten every Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is almost here. And while it’s certainly fun to give and receive chocolates and roses, why not go a little deeper this year? Specifically, if you are married, consider using this commemoration of love as a starting point for taking care of your spouse in the future — even if you’re not part of it.
Actually, both you and your spouse could designate Valentine’s Day as the beginning of your joint efforts to provide financial security for the surviving spouse when one of you is gone. Your strategy should involve at least these three key elements:

Use the ‘power of 3’ when investing

Many factors will affect your results as an investor — and some of these factors are beyond your control, such as interest-rate movements or the eurozone debt crisis or the sales results of the companies in which you invest. However, as you work toward your financial goals, you will find that you actually have control over three of the most important drivers of investment success: time, money and return.
Let’s look at these three elements:

What do low oil prices mean for investors?

As you’ve no doubt noticed, your trips to the gas station have been a lot more pleasant these past several months. There’s not much doubt that low oil prices have been welcome to you as a driver. But when oil is cheap, is that good for you as an investor?
There’s no clear-cut answer. But consider the following effects of low oil prices:

Kids in college? Fill out that FAFSA

We’ve just begun the new year, and the next academic year is still months away. Nonetheless, if you have a child who will attend college in the fall, it’s not too soon to start thinking about what might be a vital component of paying for his or her higher education: financial aid.
Specifically, to help ensure that your child doesn’t miss out on federal and state student grants, work-study and loans for the 2015-2016 school year, you’ll want to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible. (You can start the process by visiting www.fafsa.ed.gov.)

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