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Financial and Lifestyle Resources for Vermont

VSECU Blog

In the VSECU Blog you'll find financial and lifestyle resources to help empower possibilities for your personal success.

Brian Bristow

Brian Bristow is the program manager and financial advisor with MEMBERS Financial Services located at VSECU.

By: Brian Bristow

November 5th, 2020

How to Start Investing on a Low Budget

Investing in the Future

Thinking about your financial future can be difficult when you're faced with short-term needs such as rent, groceries, and other bills. Difficult, but not impossible. Your financial plan may seem modest to begin with, but even if you don't have a lot of money, there are ways you can continue to invest in your future. Once you've taken care of your immediate needs, every dollar can make a difference when it comes to your long-term finances. Here's how you can save money to invest on a low budget and start setting yourself up for a more certain financial future.

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By: Brian Bristow

October 20th, 2020

What is ESG Investing?

Saving and Budgeting | Investing in the Future

ESG investing is not a new idea but it has become increasingly popular in recent years, and possibly more so lately due to the social and health issues we are facing as a nation. ESG is an investment method that grew out of the philosophy of socially responsible investing (SRI). The letters “ESG” stand for environmental, social, and governance. Those who invest in ESG are interested in supporting companies that prove, through their internal and external operations, that they are committed to taking responsibility for their impact on the world around them.

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By: Brian Bristow

July 23rd, 2019

The Skinny on Financial Advisor Fees & Commissions

Investing in the Future

If you have a financial advisor, it’s important to understand how he or she is charging you and how that affects your investments and the advice you receive. Not all advisors charge in the same way, and how they charge has an impact on the type of relationship you have with your advisor.

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By: Brian Bristow

March 5th, 2019

How to Overcome the Retirement Gender Pay Gap

Saving and Budgeting | Investing in the Future

The gender pay gap has been a topic of conversation and concern for years. Statistically, women make about 80 cents for every dollar earned by a man (20% less). Once they hit 65, they tend to make about 25% less than men and make increasingly less than men as they age. There are a lot of reasons for the gender pay gap, which we won’t get into here, but the sad truth is that the gap continues into retirement, leaving women with a lower retirement income than men.

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6 Tips for Improving Your Credit Score

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By: Brian Bristow

February 26th, 2019

How to Invest in a Bear Market

Saving and Budgeting | Investing in the Future

There’s no denying that the markets have become more turbulent. In fact, the major market indexes in the United States entered a bear market on Christmas Eve of 2018. In a bear market, prices for stocks and other securities fall, which can lead investors to panic and sell off their securities. As more and more people sell, securities prices continue to fall. In general, a bear market will eventually come to an end, hopefully leading to a bull market that brings the markets back up to their former glory, but in the meantime, your portfolios, mutual funds, IRAs, 401ks, and other securities-based accounts may lose value. Determining how to invest in a bear market can help protect your investments from the long-term effects of stormy markets.

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By: Brian Bristow

January 9th, 2018

The Pros and Cons of Roth IRA Conversions

Saving and Budgeting | Investing in the Future

If you have money in a traditional IRA, it is worthwhile to think about converting it to a Roth IRA. Not all people will benefit from Roth IRA conversions, but it’s good to consider the pros and cons to determine the best option for you. Here’s what you need to know.

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By: Brian Bristow

November 14th, 2017

Should You Keep Working after Retirement?

Saving and Budgeting | Investing in the Future

There are many reasons why working after retirement might appeal to you. You may want to keep your mind active or stay socially active. You may just need more money to support your lifestyle. Either way, post-retirement work can affect your Social Security benefits. So, if you’re thinking of retiring soon or are already retired, here’s what you need to know before you settle into another job.

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