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1 Don't let your investments take a 'vacation'
by Submitted By John A. Westfall · Opinions | June 22nd, 2017

It's summer again - time for many of us to take a break and possibly hit the open road. But even if you go on vacation, you won't want your investments to do the same - in summertime or any other season. How can you help make sure your portfolio continues to work hard for you all year long?
2 Diversify with bonds, even if rates are low
by Submitted By John A. Westfall · Opinions | June 15th, 2017

If you've needed a mortgage or another type of loan over the past several years, you've probably appreciated the historically low interest rates we've experienced. But if you've wanted to own fixed-rate investments, such as bonds, you might have been less pleased at the low-rate environment. Now, interest rates may be moving up somewhat, but even if they don't hit the heights we saw in previous decades, you can still gain some key advantages from owning bonds.
3 Financial gifts - and tips - for new graduates
by Submitted By John A. Westfall · Opinions | June 8th, 2017

It's Graduation Season again. If your child graduated from high school or college, you have reason to celebrate. But what should you give to your newly minted diploma holder? You might want to consider offering a combination of financial gifts and tips, which, taken together, could set your graduate on a path toward a successful, independent life.
4 Prepare for changes in life insurance needs
by Submitted By John A. Westfall · Opinions | June 1st, 2017

If you're going to achieve all your goals, such as sending your kids to college, retiring in comfort and leaving a legacy, you will need to save and invest throughout your lifetime. But to really complete your financial picture, you'll also need to add one more element: protection. And that means you'll require adequate life insurance for your situation. However, your need for insurance will vary at different times of your life - so you'll want to recognize these changing needs and be prepared to act.
5 On "529 Day," think about college savings plans
by Submitted By John A. Westfall · Opinions | May 25th, 2017

You probably won't see it on your calendar, but May 29 (5/29) is 529 College Savings Day, or 529 Day for short. This day, named after the 529 plan, a popular college-savings vehicle, is designed to promote people's awareness of the need to save and invest for the high costs of higher education. And that need has never been greater. Consider the following:
6 Is your financial portfolio 'healthy'?
by Submitted By John A. Westfall · Opinions | May 18th, 2017

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. If you can exercise regularly, you'll help yourself feel better, control your weight and even reduce the chances of developing certain diseases. But why not extend the concept of "fitness" to other areas of your life - such as your investment portfolio?
7 Give Mom a gift to help her financial future
by Submitted By John A. Westfall · Opinions | May 11th, 2017

With Mother's Day around the corner, you might wonder if you should go beyond chocolates and flowers this year and give Mom something that can help her far into the future. What sort of financial gift can improve her life?
8 Smart investing can help you keep moving toward your goals
by Submitted By John A. Westfall · Opinions | May 4th, 2017

It's Kentucky Derby time again. Even if you're not much of a horse racing fan, you might appreciate all the Derby's pageantry - the mint juleps, the women's beautiful hats, the singing of "My Old Kentucky Home," and so on. But if you look beyond the hoopla, you'll realize just how much work it takes to put on such an event. And the efforts of one group in particular - the jockeys - may be able to provide you with some lessons in life - and in investing.
9 Can you free yourself of some investment-related taxes?
by Submitted By John A. Westfall · Opinions | April 27th, 2017

Tax Freedom Day generally falls around this time each year. This is the day when the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay off its total tax bill for the year, according to the calculations made by the Tax Foundation. So you may want to use Tax Freedom Day to think about ways you can liberate yourself from some of the investment-related taxes you may incur.
10 Be an "Environmentally Friendly" investor
by Submitted By John A. Westfall · Opinions | April 20th, 2017

On April 22, we observe Earth Day, a worldwide event focusing on protecting the environment. As a citizen of this planet, you may want to take part in Earth Day activities. And as an investor, you can learn some valuable lessons from the environmental movement.
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