Eight Tips for Beginning Investors

Beginning Investors' Piggy BankOne of the best ways to become financially secure in retirement is to develop solid financial habits early in life.

Appreciating the need to begin investing at the start of a career is critical, as is making sure debt doesn’t get out of control.

Here are eight things that young Americans can do to increase their chances of a secure retirement.

Saving for College: Account Ownership

There are two main ways that today’s families save for college costs: one is the 529 savings plan, and the other is through a custodial account, typically an UTMA account (Uniform Transfer to Minors Account.) In the past, clients may have used Uniform Gift to Minors Accounts (UGMAs) but most custodial accounts are now titled as UTMAs, and for all practical purposes, there is little difference. Another vehicle no longer much used is the Coverdell ESA (Education Savings Account) which has a contribution limit of $2,000 per year.

Stock Market Volatility: Finding Opportunity Amidst the Noise

Following a strong finish to 2015, financial markets took investors on a harrowing ride during the first quarter of 2016.  After losing 11% of its value in the first six weeks of the year (through February 11th), the S&P 500 Index reversed course and finished the quarter in positive territory.  This volatility, which began affecting markets in the second half of 2015, can be attributed to numerous economic and geopolitical developments across both domestic and foreign markets.  China's currency devaluation, falling oil prices, and uncertainty over the Federal Reserve's plan t