Mark P. Cussen, CFP®, CMFC, AFC

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  1. Investing Basics

    Income, Value and Growth Stocks

    Investors who buy stocks generally seek one of three criteria: undervalued holdings, growth potential or steady income. The characteristics of stocks in each of these categories differs accordingly.
  2. Bonds & Fixed Income

    Introduction to Treasury Securities

    Purchasing bonds that are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government can provide steady guaranteed income and peace of mind. Knowing the characteristics of each type of treasury security ...
  3. Taxes

    Tax Forms Every Investor Must Understand

    Recent legislation has added a few new items to the list of tax forms that taxpayers must use to report their investment income. Know which forms you will need to file your taxes this year.
  4. Bonds & Fixed Income

    The Basics Of The T-Bill

    The U.S. government has two primary methods of raising capital. One is by taxing individuals, businesses, trusts and estates; and the other is by issuing fixed-income securities that are backed by the ...
  5. Professionals

    Why Financial Advisors Need To Earn The CFP Mark

    The CFP designation is heavily favored by both the finanical and the mainstream media and offers a wealth of benefits for certificants.
  6. Retirement

    The Pros And Cons Of Pension Maximization

    Pension maximization can be an effective solution to the single versus joint life payout dilemma that many retirees face. But, there are several factors, such as tax and investment matters, that will decide ...
  7. Taxes

    The Basics Of A 401(k) Retirement Plan

    This plan has become one of the most popular retirement options. Find out why.
  8. Credit & Loans

    How Your VantageScore Credit Report Is Calculated

    Deficiencies in the FICO credit report have led to the creation of a new credit scoring system - the Vantagescore. Find out what factors determine this credit score, and how the model can benefit you. ...
  9. Professionals

    Breaking Down Financial Securities Licenses

    Find out which exam you need to begin your career as an investment professional.
  10. Investing Basics

    OTCBB and OTC Markets Group

    The majority of larger companies that trade publicly choose to list their stocks on one of the major exchanges - the NYSE or Nasdaq. However, many companies are unable to meet the financial or other listing ...
  11. Taxes

    New Tax Rules Target The Top Tax Bracket

    The American Taxpayer Relief Act brings about new tax rules for the wealthy that people such as Warren Buffett have been calling for over the last few years.
  12. Professionals

    The Basics Of CFP Designation Maintenance

    The workload doesn't end with your exam. Find out how to keep up your CFP credential.
  13. Investing Basics

    Capital Losses and Tax

    Capital losses are never fun to incur, but they can reduce your taxable income. Knowing the rules for capital losses can help you maximize your deductions and make better choices about when to buy and ...
  14. Investing Basics

    Investing In Stock Rights And Warrants

    Many companies choose to issue rights or warrants as an alternative means of generating capital to avoid dilution of existing share value.
  15. Professionals

    The Key To CFP Exam Success

    Up to 60 of the questions on this test are case studies. Are you up for the challenge?
  16. Professionals

    Find The Right School To Upgrade Your Skills

    Financial planners and professionals who wish to upgrade their skills in today's market have more options than ever.
  17. Professionals

    Studying For The CFP Exam

    Learn the tips and tricks of the trade before heading into this test.
  18. Investing Basics

    Investing In Property Tax Liens

    Property tax liens can be a viable investment alternative for experienced investors that are familiar with the real estate market.
  19. Professionals

    Steps For Adding New Services To Your Finance Business

    Advisors who seek to add additional lines of business to their practices need to carefully consider all the factors involved.
  20. Investing Basics

    Breaking Down The TSP Investment Funds

    For investors seeking growth, income AND capital preservation, the Thrift Savings Plan offered by the U.S. government is a great option to consider. In this article, we examine the five core funds offered ...
  21. Professionals

    CFP, CLU Or ChFC - Which Is Best?

    The designation you choose will depend on which areas of financial planning you want as your focus.
  22. Professionals

    Be A Financial Planner From Home

    Now may be a good time to explore the possibility of working as a finanical planner from your home.
  23. Professionals

    Evaluating Firm Size In A Financial Advisor Job Hunt

    The choice between a larger or smaller company may be decided by an advisor's experience or temperament. Find out the best size for you.
  24. Retirement

    How Baby Boomers Will Change The Way Others Retire

    Generation X and Generation Y still have many lessons to learn from their elders, including how to make the most of retirement in the 21st century. Find out what retirement trends baby boomers are setting ...
  25. Professionals

    Becoming A Registered Investment Advisor

    To become a registered investment advisor requires specific licensing, qualifications and regulations, but the greater freedom may be worth it.
  26. Professionals

    Is A Stockbroker Career For You?

    Discover what you need to become a stockbroker and the variety of opportunities that are now available to you.
  27. Professionals

    Should You Add A Securities License To Your Qualifications?

    Clients love planners who sell securities, but a securities license takes a lot of work. Learn if the stress and study are worth it.
  28. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    The Best ETFs For Your 401k

    ETFs can be a good alternative to traditional retirement fund options because of their low cost, superior performance and liquidity.
  29. Taxes

    Government Could Limit Chartiable Tax Deductions

    The desperate search for revenue by the U.S. government means one of the key deductions that may be up for either reduction or elimination is for charitable giving.
  30. Taxes

    8 Little-Known Tax Deductions And Credits

    These little-known tax deductions can lead you to finding your own unique expenses that you didn't know you could claim.
  31. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Why You Should Invest In Municipal Bond ETFs

    These versatile instruments have become popular with investors in higher tax brackets and fill a specific niche in the wide selection of fixed-income offerings.
  32. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Introduction To Blackrock ETFs

    Blackrock's line of offerings can provide liquidity, diversity and transparency for both sophisticated and novice buyers.
  33. Taxes

    Taxable Rewards To Be Aware Of

    Find which benefits from reward programs count as income in the eyes of the IRS.
  34. Personal Finance

    Why The 4% Rule No Longer Works For Retirees

    Researchers have proven that the 4 % rule, which stated that retirees can withdraw 4% of the value of a portfolio each year without depleting the principal for 30 years, is not a realistic withdrawal method ...
  35. Budgeting

    3 Alternative Budgeting Styles: Which One Suits You?

    Not everyone is cut out for online or heavily-involved budgeting. Here are some budgeting solutions.
  36. Retirement

    Is Working Longer A Viable Retirement Plan?

    People who are planning poorly for retirement are simply deciding to work longer - often out of neccessity. Is this a smart idea?
  37. Personal Finance

    How Children Can Help Parents With Retirement

    Sometimes the elderly lose their cognitive skills, that's when it may be time for their children to step in and assist with retirement planning.
  38. Retirement

    Popular Ways To Delay Retirement

    From staying in the workforce longer to finding a part-time job after retirement, there are many ways that retirees postpone retiring completely.
  39. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    5 Common Misconceptions About ETFs

    The rise in these funds' popularity has contributed to misinformation about what they are and how they work. Learn more here.
  40. Savings

    5 Worst Money Mistakes You Can Make In College

    Watch out for these costly mistakes while in school.
  41. Taxes

    How Much Will Your Taxes Rise Based On Your Salary?

    Find out how high your taxes will rise this year.
  42. Insurance

    Tax Variations Of The HEART Act

    The HEART Act is designed to allow service members and reservists make a smooth financial transition into active duty and back into civilian life.
  43. Investing Basics

    How Tax Treatment Of ETFs Can Benefit Purchasers

    ETFs often post fewer and lower capital gains distributions than traditional mutual funds, because there is usually a much lower rate of portfolio turnover in ETFs.
  44. Personal Finance

    ETFs On A Budget

    Here's how to apply personal finance skills such as budgeting and saving to purchasing ETFs.
  45. Personal Finance

    Most Successful Unions

    Labor unions have existed in the U.S. for quite some time, but not all have been as successful as these three.
  46. Personal Finance

    The History Of Unions In The United States

    Although the overall power of labor unions may not be what it once was, they still maintain a great deal of influence in the United States.
  47. Personal Finance

    Are Labor Unions Effective?

    This article examines some of the pros and cons associated with organized labor.
  48. Retirement

    Planning Your Retirement Using The Monte Carlo Simulation

    You can use the Monte Carlo Simulation to improve your retirement planning.
  49. Retirement

    Save Early For Retirement If You're A High Earner

    If you earn a high income, there are many ways you can save extra money for an early retirement.
  50. Taxes

    Fiscal Cliff Implications For Year-End Tax Planning

    If the U.S. goes over the fiscal cliff, how will it affect the taxes and tax planning of average citizens?
  51. Savings

    The Fiscal Cliff And Your 401(k)

    With the looming fiscal cliff, here's a look at how it could affect your retirement planning.
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