Resources for Seniors
Alzheimer's Disease and Managing Finances
FBI - Fraud Target: Senior Citizens
Investor Bulletin and Consumer Advisory: Planning for Diminished Capacity and Illness
AARP Public Policy Institute - Protecting Older Investors: The Challenge of Diminished Capacity
FINRA - Tools of the Fraud Trade: Phones and Emotions
NAPSA - What is Financial Exploitation?
Variable Annuities - What You Should Know
Variable Annuities have become a part of the retirement and investment plans of many Americans. Before you buy a Variable Annuity, you should know some of the basics - and be prepared to ask your insurance agent, broker, financial planner, or other financial professional lots of questions about whether a Variable Annuity is right for you.
Class B Mutual Fund Shares: Do They Make the Grade?
Buying mutual funds through a broker or other investment professional usually means choosing among different mutual fund classes. The only differences among these classes is how much you will pay in expenses and how much your broker will be paid for selling you the fund.
Principal-Protected Funds - Security Has a Price
The recent bear market has left many investors worried more about securing the return of their investment dollars than about the return on their investments. Financial product providers have responded by marketing new types of mutual funds that pledge to guarantee, for a set period of time, that the capital you invest in the mutual fund will be kept safe—for a price. These products are known as "principal protected" funds (or, alternatively, "principal protection," "capital preservation," or "guaranteed" funds).* Before you invest in a principal-protected fund, it is important to understand how they work and what they cost.
Understanding Mutual Fund Classes
As an investor, you may have read about Class A, Class B, Class C or other classes of mutual fund shares. If you are thinking about choosing one of these classes, it is important for you to understand the differences between them.
Mutual Fund Breakpoints: A Break Worth Taking
Mutual funds often offer discounts on front-end sales charges or loads for larger investments. The investment levels at which the discounts become available are called "breakpoints." For example, a mutual fund might charge you a front-end sales load of 5.75 percent for all purchases of less than $50,000, but reduce the load to 4.50 percent for investments between $50,000 and $99,999, and further reduce or eliminate the sales load for even larger investments.
College Savings Plans - School Yourself Before You Invest
We all want to get our money's worth. This is true when it comes to paying for a college education—but it's also true when it comes to investing for higher education. Since 1997, investors have had the opportunity to contribute to Section 529 college savings plans, which offer tax advantages that have made them a popular investment vehicle for saving for college.
Should You Exchange Your Variable Annuity?
If you have a life insurance or annuity contract, you may have been approached to exchange it for a new model, one with better or the latest features. You need to know that even though tax law makes the exchange income tax free and the new contract may sound better for you, you may be losing – not gaining – if you make the exchange.
Equity-Indexed Annuities - A Complex Choice
Sales of equity-indexed annuities (EIAs)—also known as "fixed-indexed insurance products" and "indexed annuities"—have grown considerably in recent years. Although one insurance company at one time included the word "simple" in the name of its product, EIAs are anything but easy to understand.
Investor Education Foundation
The FINRA Investor Education Foundation provides underserved Americans with the knowledge, skills and tools necessary for financial success throughout life.