The Potential Pitfalls of DIY Estate Planning

Americans, by and large, are do-it-yourselfers. Books, websites, software programs, and even giant box stores exist solely to help ambitious Americans tackle all kinds of everyday challenges, from fixing leaky faucets to building backyard sheds. The same holds true for estate planning–there’s certainly no dearth of information for those wanting to prepare their own wills and other important documents. However, do-it-yourselfers may want to exercise a bit of caution here.

Can You Make Some Green by Investing Green?

The release in April of the long-awaited report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has spurred renewed discussion of ways to combat climate change and its effects. The report, written by leading scientists from around the globe, says that to keep greenhouse emissions below critical levels, the world must make substantial changes–and quickly–in how energy is produced and consumed. That finding has focused fresh attention on so-called “green investing.” Here are some considerations that can be especially important in this arena.

Personal Finance Tips for New Graduates

You’ve marched along to Pomp and Circumstance and collected your diploma–now you’re ready to finally head out on your own. Maybe you have student loans that you need to start paying back. Perhaps you’re looking forward to making your first car purchase or starting a new job. Whatever your situation, you’ll definitely have new financial challenges you’ll need to address and financial goals that you’ll want to accomplish during this stage in your life. Fortunately, there are some relatively simple steps you can take to get started on the right track with your personal finances

Business Owners: Don’t Neglect Your Own Retirement Plan

If you’re like many small business owners, you pour your heart, soul, and nearly all your money into your business. When it comes to retirement planning, your strategy might be crossing your fingers and hoping your business will provide the nest egg you’ll need to live comfortably. But relying on a business to fund retirement can be a very risky proposition. What if you become ill and have to sell it early? Or what if your business experiences setbacks just before your planned retirement date?

Test Your Knowledge of Financial Basics

Working with a trusted financial professional is one of the best ways to help improve your overall financial situation, but it’s not the only thing you can do. Educating yourself about personal finance concepts can help you better understand your advisor’s recommendations, and result in more productive and potentially more prosperous financial planning discussions. Take this brief quiz to see how well you understand a few of the basics.