Benchmark Bulletin – January 2013

With less than 10 hours to go until 2013 (EST), the proverbial “Fiscal Cliff” is still unresolved, leaving many questions still unanswered.  Hopefully we won’t get too far into the new year until we get some resolution.  Although frustrating and confusing at times, 2012 actually turned out to be a pretty decent year for most equity and bond indexes – surpassing the expectations of most, including ours.Here’s to a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013.  Thank you sincerely for your trust, confidence and advocacy.

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors and let every New Year find you a better man.” – Benjamin Franklin

High-Yield Bonds: The Pros and Cons
Many people who rely on their investments for part or all of their income have sought out various alternatives to rock-bottom yields on U.S. Treasuries, including high-yield bonds, in recent years. But if you’re considering incorporating high-yield bonds–sometimes referred to as “junk bonds”–yield shouldn’t be the only factor you take into account.
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Real-life Financial Tips for Different Generations
Do you remember The Game of Life®? In the game, players progress through life stages making decisions that affect their overall prosperity. Like those players, today’s generations face financial decisions with lasting impacts. Here are some tips for staying focused despite life’s ups and downs.
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Compounding Can Add Fuel to Your Portfolio
It is said that Albert Einstein once called compounding the “greatest mathematical discovery of all time.” Compounding can add fuel to your portfolio’s growth, but the key is to allow enough time to let it work.
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Is winter storm damage covered by my homeowners insurance policy?
Whether or not winter storm damage is covered by your homeowners insurance policy will depend on the type of policy you have and the type of damage that occurs.
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I just installed a new furnace in my home. Is the energy tax credit still available?
Unfortunately, most of the tax credits for making energy-efficient improvements to your home, such as installing a new furnace, are no longer available.
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This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax or investment advice.  We suggest that you discuss your specific tax and investment situation with qualified tax and investment professionals. No strategy assures success.The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing.
Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2012.