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Money Matter$

Insights from the Sommers Financial Management Team

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Annuity-Like Safety with ETF Efficiency

The allure of variable annuities (VAs) capture many unsuspecting adults. With a VA, you get to participate in some of the upside of the investment markets with no downside; the insurance company ‘insures’ against losses. The problem with VAs are the complexity and costs. The typical VA costs 3% annually, and has steep “surrender charges” (15% is not uncommon!). What if you could have much of the upside of the S&P 500, with downside protection, no surrender charges, and daily liquidity—all for 0.8% per year?

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We’ve officially launched a “Robo” Advisory

We’ve been excited about the movement toward automated, fiduciary investment advice, sometimes called robo-advice, since we saw what WealthFront.com had to offer more than five years ago. I remember looking over Joyce’s shoulder as I walked her through their site, with her jaw dropping to desktop. Now, the likes of Vanguard and Charles Schwab are taking the lead from those first-to-market robos, including Betterment and Wealthfront.

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