What Is a Variable Annuity Explained – Definition, Pros & Cons

variable coin stacksAnnuities are among the oldest investment options – in fact they have centuries of history. Especially over the past century, fixed income annuity contracts have gained popularity with conservative investors as a safe means of growing their money on a tax-deferred basis.

But in the bull markets of the ’80s, a new type of annuity contract allowed investors to participate in the debt and equity markets and enjoy the benefits of annuities at the same time. These vehicles, known as variable rate annuities because of the variability of the returns realized, began in 1952 as a funding vehicle for pension plans. Originally started by the Teachers Insurance and Annuities Association – College Retirement Equity Fund (TIAA-CREF), these vehicles became more popular after the Tax Reform Act of 1986 closed many of the other tax loopholes that were available to investors.

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CAN SLIM Stock Trading Investment Strategy – How to Pick High-Growth Stocks

canslim bull marketWith thousands of publicly traded companies to choose from, you may wonder how you can single out a handful of stocks that have the potential for significant capital gains. Many methods for picking stocks exist, from Warren Buffett’s value investing mentality to the Joseph Piotroski F-Score method.

One particularly useful strategy for detecting high-growth stocks uses the acronym CAN SLIM. What is this approach? How profitable is it and who invented this unique stock trading system?

Below, you will find a detailed description of this high-growth investing system that uses both fundamental and technical analysis, and how you can utilize it.

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7 Ways to Learn a New Foreign Language for Free

woman learn foreign languageLearning Italian has always been on my bucket list. I’ve traveled to the romantic country of Italy once before, and while it was a wonderful experience, I couldn’t so much as order a coffee in the foreign language. I hated feeling like just another American tourist.

Speaking a second language doesn’t just make international travel easier. According to Science Daily, a Tel Aviv University study suggests that children who speak a second or third language test better for cognitive abilities. Moreover, learning a new language has been shown to help slow the aging process in the brain.

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House Spring Cleaning Tips & Checklist – How to Spring Clean

spring cleaningThe term “spring cleaning” probably conjures images of retro housewives in aprons and handkerchiefs, scrubbing the grout with toothbrushes. These days, we often use the phrase in reference to a variety of things, from clearing out the garage to going through your work inbox.

If you talk to anyone from an older generation, however, you’ll hear about the days when every nook and cranny was scrubbed and polished until the whole house gleamed. Spring cleaning was not a phrase to be taken lightly, and it was not a choice. It was an arduous task taken on every spring without fail.

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Sport Pilot License – Training, Cost & Requirements to Fly Light Sport Aircraft

plane cockpitWhen you hear that someone flies planes as a hobby, what’s the first thing you think about that person? That they’re extremely wealthy?

Until recently you’d probably be right, since earning a Private Pilot License costs more than $10,000 and can take months of time that average people simply can’t spare.

But now, nearly everyone with dreams of being a pilot can make them a reality with the new Sport Pilot rule. How so? Read on to learn more about the Sport Pilot License (SPL) and how it works.

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How to Pay Federal Estimated Taxes Online to the IRS

taxes pen calculatorAs a small business owner and freelancer, I’m amazed by how quickly my employed friends get their taxes done. Their employers withhold taxes year-round, and all these friends have to do is file by the IRS tax deadline to get a tax refund. But if, like me, you don’t have a human resources department pulling tax money out of your paycheck for you, you have to pay estimated taxes four times a year.

This system helps the government maintain a reliable schedule of when money is coming in, and it protects you from having to cough up all the dough at once. While it’s a little extra work, filing your estimated tax payments each quarter helps you stay on top of your taxes.

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Top 10 Places to Buy Cheap Discount Sports Tickets Online

sports tickets box officeFrom opening day to the playoffs, if you want tickets to any major sporting event, you may face some steep costs, especially if you don’t do your homework. If you want to make it to the big game without breaking the bank, you’ll want to look at all of your options for purchasing tickets. As a buyer, you should have three things on your mind: price, availability, and location of the seats.

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Online Apartment Guide – How to Find and Search for Apartments for Rent Online

house mouse clickFinding the perfect apartment for rent can be a lengthy, time-consuming process. When I first started renting, I drove by every apartment complex in an area, requested a pamphlet, and repeated the entire process for other areas. Then I picked up the print version of Apartment Guide and a newspaper, headed home, and tried to sort the mess out. It took way too long and I missed out on all the great private owner apartments because I didn’t know where to look.

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5 Creative Ways to Lower Your Monthly Cell Phone Bills

smartphone buttonWhen I first signed up for wireless service, my bill was under $30 a month for plenty of minutes and the short list of features I needed. Nowadays, carriers know that most people require a cell plan for their everyday routine, and they’re able to charge a lot more. Sure, phones are more powerful, but they also come with costs and fees for features I don’t need. My bill is nearly $90 a month, and it’s quickly becoming one of my family’s largest monthly expenses.

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