Ultra-Short Bond Funds: Know Where You’re Parking Your Money

Ultra-short bond funds are mutual funds that generally invest in fixed income securities with extremely short maturities, or time periods in which they become due for payment. Like other bond mutual funds, ultra-short bond funds may invest in a wide range of securities, including corporate debt, government securities, mortgage-backed securities, and other asset-backed securities. Some investors don’t realize that there are material differences between ultra-short bond funds and other investments with relatively low risks, such as money market funds and certificates of deposit. Specifically,…

Lump Sum Payouts: Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before You Invest

Receiving a lump sum payout can be very exciting because for many individuals it’s rare to have the opportunity to spend or invest a large amount of money at one time. But figuring out what to do with a lump sum payout also can be very stressful, especially if you aren’t comfortable making financial decisions.  Once you fully understand all of your options, you’ll be in a better position to make a good financial decision. So try to resist the urge to make a quick decision regarding how you’ll use your lump sum payout. Many experts recommend that you should take several months or even a year…

High-Yield CDs: Protect Your Money by Checking the Fine Print

When looking for a low-risk investment for their hard-earned cash, many Americans turn to certificates of deposit (CDs). In combination with recent market volatility, advertisements for CDs with attractive yields have generated considerable interest in CDs. The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Alert to inform investors about the potential risks of some high-yield CDs. While all CDs feature federal deposit insurance, some CDs are more complex and may carry more risk, especially with respect to getting money back early or locking in an attractive interest rate.…

Evaluating Your Retirement Options

As an employee of a public school, you likely have access to both a pension and a retirement savings plan called a “403(b)” plan. Let’s examine what a 403(b) plan is, and then go through the choices you’ll likely need to make if you decide to invest in a 403(b) plan.

Beginners’ Guide to Asset Allocation, Diversification, and Rebalancing

Even if you are new to investing, you may already know some of the most fundamental principles of sound investing. How did you learn them? Through ordinary, real-life experiences that have nothing to do with the stock market. For example, have you ever noticed that street vendors often sell seemingly unrelated products - such as umbrellas and sunglasses? Initially, that may seem odd. After all, when would a person buy both items at the same time? Probably never - and that’s the point. Street vendors know that when it’s raining, it’s easier to sell umbrellas but harder to sell sunglasses. And…