Thinking ahead about how investing can support financial goals is the purpose of planning. Naturally, there’s lots of talk about common planning targets: retirement and college. But there’s also consideration of how to achieve multiple goals at various stages of life — whether covering basic needs or leaving a legacy — and how taxes and tax planning could impact results. Articles in the planning category allow you to clarify how today’s decisions can impact efforts to grow, manage, and maintain wealth.

Roth IRA Rules and How They May Benefit Investors

The Roth IRA has rules that benefit investors of all ages.

If you’re young and need extra cash, you may be able to extract Roth IRA contributions (tax- and penalty-free) to pay for a new house, car, or bicycle; if you’re retirement age, you may be able to withdraw money without paying taxes. Plus, there are beneficial rules for those who are between starting out and spending down assets.

3 Steps to Avoiding Fear in Personal Finance

Are you afraid of revealing your personal financial situation and being judged harshly by financial professionals, your parents, or other people in your social circle? If yes, then you are not alone.

According to a 2014 survey of 2,000+ U.S. adults commissioned by TradeKing Advisors, 57% of would-be investors say that the thought of speaking with a financial adviser in person (either in a face-to-face meeting or on the telephone) has stopped them from investing. Seventy-four percent of Millennials (ages 18-34) and 66% of Gen X (ages 35-44) have allowed fear to paralyze them.

Whether you are part of these generations or not, you don’t have to be afraid.

Why (and How) to Engage a Financial Adviser

Recently, I wrote a series on financial advisers. I shared my bad experiences and covered many of the worst practices of financial advisers.

Not all financial advisers are predatory and dispense generic or lousy advice. But to get my money’s worth in terms of fees and commissions, I realized that I need to choose an adviser carefully and make sure my choice doesn’t overreach his or her boundaries in terms of professional expertise and credentials.

6 Financial Goals to Consider

When I was younger, I was often told by financial professionals that I needed to set financial goals. I heard that I should first define my life ambitions. Next, I needed to marry my professional and personal aims with specific financial goals. Then I could plot my path to achieving my dreams.

However, when I was in my early twenties, I hadn’t yet gotten clarity on exactly how I might spend the next 30 to 50 years of my life. More than three decades after my first awkward conversation with a financial professional, I’ve learned that I am (relatively) normal.

Managed Portfolios: What They Are and Why You Should Know

Managed portfolios seem to becoming more popular as more people want to invest, but aren’t sure how.

The practice of portfolio management has been around a long time but has more recently become part of the mainstream as portfolio management services are now accessible to the average person (who may have just a few thousand dollars to invest). Companies like Betterment and WealthFront (also called robo advisors) have begun to popularize the concept.

What is a managed portfolio or what are portfolio management services? Generally, a managed portfolio is one in which a professional manages investments on a client’s behalf. Typically, the client will pay a flat or sliding-scale fee based on the portfolio size. The fee is calculated by multiplying a percentage (such as 0.25% or 1.0% set by the investment or brokerage firm) by the assets under management (AUM). The AUM represents the dollar value of investments being managed.

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