In the VSECU Blog you'll find financial and lifestyle resources to help empower possibilities for your personal success.
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.
Estate planning may not be something you think about every day but as you get older and accumulate assets, it should become a part of your overall financial plan. You may have started out with nothing, but now you’ve got a house, maybe a vacation home, rental properties, vehicles, precious heirlooms that were passed down through the family, and investment accounts. The more you accumulate, the more you have to safeguard so that everything makes it into the right hands after you pass. It’s easy enough to procrastinate; more than 50% of American adults don’t have a will. Hopefully, after considering the information outlined in this article, you can begin to move forward with a plan or tune up the documents you already have in place.
When I began to consider writing about economic recession, the pandemic crisis was in its beginning stages and preparing for a recession was a largely theoretical conversation. Fast forward four months, and we are in a recession that surpasses the Great Recession of 2008. Downturns to both the state and national economies have caused a level of financial hardship most of us have never experienced—unless you were alive for the Great Depression from 1929 to 1941. Rather than heighten your concern or cause you despair, however, my goal is to answer some frequently asked questions and provide you with a framework to better understand the current economic recession and what we might expect moving forward.
For many, investing can come with baggage. People often make different associations with the term based on past experiences with parents, teachers, and friends. The portrayal of Wall Street culture in American cinema tends to portray a version of investing that quite possibly keeps a lot of would-be investors on the sidelines reading the financial news and wondering how the “wolves of Wall Street” keep finding fresh kills. Being a market-based investor is not just for the ultra-rich. It’s something nearly anyone with a job can do. It’s about setting goals, making a budget that includes investing, staying the course, and remaining disciplined to the basic principles of investing.
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The financial markets are experiencing unprecedented times. We have seen record-breaking ups and downs in a single day, and that trend will likely continue into the new year. These crazy market conditions can make even the most confident investors question their decisions. So, if you have investments in the market or are considering investing, here are some thoughts and tips on how to navigate these uncertain times.
COVID-19 has changed many aspects of our day-to-day lives. Among other things, our personal finances, 401(k) accounts, job security, food security, social lives, and family lives have all been impacted. To mitigate the pandemic’s effect on our personal lives, the U.S. government enacted new laws to help Americans deal with the novel coronavirus. Passed at the end of March, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response (FFCR) Act made notable changes in how we take care of our health, our work, and our finances. Here are the key impacts both the CARES and FFCR Acts have had on these areas of our lives in 2020.
The average Vermonter generates almost six pounds of waste each day. Two pounds of that waste is either recycled or composted, which means that every single day we all throw away a four-pound bag of trash. That’s a lot! To help with this burgeoning waste problem, Vermont’s Universal Recycling Law, or Act 148, was passed in 2012. The law has two primary goals—to reduce Vermont’s overall waste and increase the amount of waste that is diverted from the landfill through recycling and composting. It has been instituted incrementally over the past six years with the final phase—the complete landfill ban on food scraps—coming on July 1.
Fact: Unemployment is at an all-time high Have you lost or left your job recently? If so, you may be wondering how to take control of the money in your 401(k) or other employee retirement account. First, recognize that the crisis of losing your job may also be an opportunity. You can move your retirement funds to a different account and potentially have more options to plan for your future than you did under your previous employer’s plan. With fewer and fewer people staying at one job for the long term, most people experience at least three to four employers during their career, so you are not alone.