About · Press · Contact · Write For Us · Top Personal Finance Blogs
Featured In:
Mark Cussen
Mark Cussen, CFP, CMFC has 17 years of experience in the financial industry and has worked as a stock broker, financial planner, income tax preparer, insurance agent and loan officer. He is now a full-time financial author when he is not on rotation doing financial planning for the military. He has written numerous articles for several financial websites such as Investopedia and Bankaholic, and is one of the featured authors for the Money and Personal Finance section of eHow. In his spare time, Mark enjoys surfing the net, cooking, movies and tv, church activities and playing ultimate frisbee with friends. He is also an avid KU basketball fan and model train enthusiast, and is now taking classes to learn how to trade stocks and derivatives effectively.

What Is a Fixed Annuity – Definition, Pros and Cons

By Mark Cussen

money lockedHave you been looking for a way to invest your money with relatively low risk, but with a higher return than the interest rates of CDs offered by banks and credit unions?

Look no further than fixed annuities. For decades, fixed annuities have provided a secure form of savings for millions of conservative investors on a tax-deferred basis. They are by far the simplest type of annuity contract and offer all of the benefits provided by any type of annuity except for the opportunity for market participation.

Let’s look at the details of a fixed annuity and how to decide if it’s the right investment for you.

Click to continue reading...

Equity-Indexed Annuities Pros and Cons

By Mark Cussen

stock market indexWhen you’re buying a new home, you have two basic choices for a loan – a fixed rate or adjustable rate mortgage. But what if there was a third option that wasn’t as risky as an adjustable rate, but could still beat the interest rates of a fixed?

The turbulence in the markets over the past several years has left many annuity investors facing a similar dilemma: either settle for the relatively low rates offered by fixed contracts, or else endure the volatility of the debt and equity markets in a variable annuity.

Click to continue reading...

What Is an Annuity and How Does It Work? – Annuities Explained

By Mark Cussen

nest egg cashIf you have a 401k or Roth IRA, you probably feel like you’re doing everything you can to be financially prepared for retirement, right? Maybe you are, but you might also benefit from incorporating an annuity into your savings plan.

So how do you know if you need an annuity?

Let’s look at the basic characteristics of these unique savings vehicles, how they work, and most importantly, if you would benefit from having one.

What Is an Annuity?

An annuity, by definition, is simply an agreement to make a series of payments of a certain amount of money to a specified party for a predetermined period of time. Annuities also refer to a commercial insurance contract offered by a life insurance company.

Click to continue reading...

What Is Short Selling Explained – Definition, Rules & How to Short a Stock

By Mark Cussen

short selling graphYou don’t have to be a high-level investor to know the basic rule of investing in the stock market: buy low and sell high. But while the rule sounds simple, it’s not always easy or even possible, like when a stock is trading at an all-time high.

If you’re an inexperienced investor, you’ll kick yourself at this point and wonder why you didn’t load up on shares back when they were trading for a fraction of their current price. But you’re not out of luck. Savvy investors have another tool for profiting from high security prices. The key is understanding the difference between buying (long) and selling (short) stocks.

Click to continue reading...

Executor of Will Duties & Responsibilities – Letter of Instruction Sample Template

By Mark Cussen

writing a letter of intent is key to estate planningIf  you’ve ever been the executor of someone’s estate, you know that the role is a difficult one. Mourning the death of a loved one is painful in and of itself. Add to it the responsibility of sorting out what they’ve left behind and you can quickly become overwhelmed.

A number of questions must be answered before the actual legal settlement process can even begin. Where do the deceased keep all of their documents? Where are all of their assets? Do they have property somewhere that you don’t know about?

Click to continue reading...

How to Invest in Alternative Investments in Your IRA Retirement Account

By Mark Cussen

money investing trend upIf you’ve been chunking money into your retirement account for years, the last thing you want to do is watch it shrink to nothing when the stock market goes south. Just ask any 65-year-old, who is now having to work for 5, 10 or even 15 years longer than he expected thanks to the big hit his IRA took a few years ago.

Fortunately, there are now a few alternative options when it comes to investing your IRA, but like with any investment, they come with their own set of risks and rewards.

Click to continue reading...

Links monetized by VigLink