The Weekly Round Up

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The Weekly Round Up

I love to write articles on anything related to financial planning, but the reality is, I don’t have time to cover everything.  In fact, I spend nearly five to ten times more time reading articles than I do writing them.  I devour everything from technical articles to other bloggers, from those in the industry to those who write professionally.

Every week, I come across articles that I like and that I think you may like too. For that reason, I am going to make my best effort to share a weekly round-up of articles that I found interesting, along with a quick blurb from me.

Hope you enjoy!

The Investment Article

The Thing About Flat Stock Markets

So far, 2015 has been a bit of a ho-hum year in the stock market.  The markets, generally speaking, have been flat. Now, while that doesn’t tell us much about where we will end up this year, it does afford us the opportunity to evaluate what has happened in the past when the markets have been flat through July.  Joshua Brown writes an entertaining article that provides useful insight into how the markets performed following previously flat periods.

The Other Blogger Article

401(k) Mistakes (also applies to other retirement plans)

Getting your 401(k) right is extremely important.  For many, a 401(k) is the only source of retirement savings.  And yet, our 401(k) accounts don’t receive as much attention as they should.  Here is a quick article that focuses on the 4 key steps you should take to get your 401(k) right.

The Junkie Article

Why Bond Funds Don’t Belong in Retirement Portfolios

What a great title, right!  How can you not want to read this article?

The question of how bonds and bond funds fit into a retirement portfolio is a common one.  With the impending fear of rising interest rates and the impact on expected bond returns, many financial experts are actively seeking alternatives.  In this article, Wade Pfau suggests replacing bonds (all or some) in a retirement portfolio with… wait for it…. Annuities. He argues that this will not only increase the likelihood of not running out of money, but will also increase the potential legacy left for future generations.

Immediate annuities, in short, trade a lump sum of money for a series of payments over the course of a lifetime.  The payments will last for the lifetime of both the husband and wife.

The Random Article

100 Weird College Scholarships

As I have written about a number of times, college is a big deal. However, it is also a big expense for anyone with a child when developing a financial plan.  Fortunately, I find many parents attacking this expense head-on.  I often come across people taking prudent steps to establish and fund a 529 plan early and often.

In addition to funding 529 plans, it’s important to find all the free money that you can.  One great example of free money is scholarships (money that doesn’t need to be paid back).  The good news is that there are grants for nearly EVERYTHING!  Don’t take my word for it, take a look at this article instead.

I hope you enjoy the weekly round-ups.  If you read something that you think others may enjoy, feel free to send it over!

Also, if you write something that you think needs to be shared, I’d love to take a look.

As always, thank you for continuing to read Finance and Flip Flops.

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In general, the bond market is volatile, and fixed income securities carry interest rate risk. (As interest rates rise, bond prices usually fall, and vice versa. This effect is usually more pronounced for longer-term securities). Fixed income securities also carry inflation risk, liquidity risk, call risk and credit and default risks for both issuers and counterparties. Lower-quality fixed income securities involve greater risk of default or price changes due to potential changes in the credit quality of the issuer. Any fixed-income security sold or redeemed prior to maturity may be subject to loss.

Participation in a 529 College Savings Plan (529 Plan) does not guarantee that contributions and investment return on contributions, if any, will be adequate to cover future tuition and other higher education expenses or that a beneficiary will be admitted to or permitted to continue to attend an institution of higher education.  Contributors to the program assume all investment risk, including potential loss of principal and liability for penalties such as those levied for non-educational withdrawals.

Depending upon the laws of the home state of the customer or designated beneficiary, favorable state tax treatment or other benefits offered by such home state for investing in 529 college savings plans may be available only if the customer invests in the home state’s 529 college savings plan.  Consult with your financial, tax or other adviser to learn more about how state-based benefits (including any limitations) would apply to your specific circumstances. You may also wish to contact your home state or any other 529 college savings plan to learn more about the features, benefits and limitations of that state’s 529 college savings plan.

For more complete information, including a description of fees, expenses and risks, see the offering statement or program description.

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