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Independent Investor

The ‘Fortnite’ addiction

Chances are, if you are over 50, you have probably never heard of “Fortnite,” a video game that boasts over 40 million players worldwide. Those with children, however, may not only know it, but are playing it themselves.

Free trade versus fair trade

In today’s world, talk of tariffs is part of daily news headlines. Politicians use terms like “free” and “fair” almost interchangeably in discussing trade to justify their position for or against tariffs. Maybe it’s time to review the difference between the two concepts.

Should you roll your 401(k) into an IRA?

Some retiring workers roll their 401(k) tax-deferred savings account into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). There are good reasons to do so. But for those who are not retiring, the decision is not so clear cut. Here are some pros and cons to ponder.

The price tag of disaster

Over the past four weeks, just two hurricanes have cost the country upwards of $300 billion. This has easily surpassed the 2005 hurricane season cost of $200 billion, which included Katrina, Wilma and Rita combined. The cumulative cost of weather continues to escalate and with good reason.

Before you leap to the conclusion that global warming is the culprit, let me lay out some facts. Coastal storms are no more (or less) frequent an event now than they have been throughout our history. So what gives?

America, the battered

Extreme weather and other climate disasters appear to be occurring far more frequently than we would like. The loss of life and economic damage also seem to be increasing. But does the data support those opinions, and if it does, what price do we pay for all of these perfect storms?

The Korean question: the importance of finding answers

So far, the political tension between the United States and North Korea has been confined to a war of words and not much else. Recent verbal threats and counter-threats, however, reached a new level. Here I will stray from strictly financial analysis to the political, military and diplomatic.

Pet insurance, and why you should have it

Whether you are adopting a pet or buying that pure-blood breed, the first thing you should consider is pet insurance. Skipping this step could cost you several times the purchase price of your new pet each year. Pet insurance is like any other insurance, human or otherwise. The cost of coverage is based on your pet’s age, health profile, breed and however much insurance you want to purchase. You will pay a yearly premium, have a deductible, co-pays and a maximum cap on how much your insurance covers per year.

The Brexit Primer, facts at hand

The results of a United Kingdom referendum on whether or not to leave the European Union will be announced to the world following the vote on June 23. The polls are too close to call and the odds are changing every day. For the past several days, equity markets worldwide have been selling off in fear that the Brits will vote yes to a Brexit. Why so much angst over one country leaving the EU?

Giving up control in the event you need to

The more successful you are, the more difficulty you face in wrestling with one inescapable fact. In preparing to pass the torch to your heirs, you need to give them the power to decide what happens to you and your estate in the event you can’t.

Have you had ‘The Talk’ yet?

Whether you are a Baby Boomer or the child of one, it is about time you faced the music. We all know that life ends, no matter how hard we try to ignore it. Having a family meeting before it is too late may save all of you needless heartache and financial turmoil.