Mark P. Cussen, CFP®, CMFC, AFC

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  1. Year-end tax tips
    Taxes

    7 Ways To Minimize Your 2014 Taxes By December 31

    The year's not quite over yet. See whether taking any of these steps would leave you owing less in 2014 taxes, come April.
  2. An article explaining the Federal Tax Brackets, how and why they were stablished, what is the logic behind them and where an user can find the most current ones
    Taxes

    Federal Tax Brackets

    Why do we have income tax brackets? What do they do for us? Read this to understand the basics and where to find your own bracket.
  3. undestanding the main differences and similitudes between a perkins loan and stafford loan
    Credit & Loans

    Perkins Loan Vs. Stafford Loan

    If you qualify for both of these student loans – a Stafford and a Perkins – which one should you try to get? It depends on your income and education level.
  4. A short article explaining the stafford loan limits in detail
    Credit & Loans

    Stafford Loan Limits

    How much you can borrow with a Stafford loan depends on your grade level in college, whether you're an undergraduate or grad student, and other key factors.
  5. Top 3-10 Disadvantages or limits placed on Stafford loans
    Savings

    Disadvantages Of Stafford Loans

    Stafford loans are popular ways to get federal help with college costs. However, they do have some drawbacks, especially for graduate students.
  6. Top 3-10 advantages or benefits of a stafford loan with a brief description of each one of them.
    Credit & Loans

    Benefits Of Stafford Loans

    Stafford loans are the most popular federal student loans. This list of benefits will explain why.
  7. Understanding what a stafford loan is, who can get it, how to apply, elegibility, how to pay it back.
    Credit & Loans

    Direct Stafford Loans

    Stafford loans are the most popular type of federal student loan. Read this guide to the types you can get, how much you can borrow and repayment options.
  8. A brief article comparing the pros and cons of subsidized vs unsubsidized stafford loans and what an individual should take into account before getting either one
    Credit & Loans

    Stafford Loans: Subsidized Vs. Unsubsidized

    Before you take out federal student aid, learn the difference between these two types of Stafford loan. It could save you a chunk of money.
  9. How money orders work, why the exist, what type of business uses them ,what are its pros and cons
    Budgeting

    Using Money Orders

    Money orders are usually the least expensive way to send "cleared" funds to pay a bill (or traffic ticket). Here's how they work and what to watch out for.
  10. Professionals

    5 Services To Usher In New Clients

    Discover ways in which advisors are increasingly choosing to promote their businesses.
  11. Retirement

    Should You Convert Your IRA?

    Discover the factors you must weigh to make this decision.
  12. Personal Finance

    Top 6 Ways To Recession-Proof Your Job

    In a recession, financial industry personnel are often hit hard. Find out how to avoid getting the ax.
  13. Investing Basics

    The Ethics Of Investing

    The proper application of ethics to the world of investments is a highly subjective topic.
  14. Insurance

    Everything You Should Know About Corporate-Owned Life Insurance

    This type of insurance is a policy taken out on you by your company. Read on to find what it's all about.
  15. Taxes

    Deducting Disaster: Casualty And Theft Losses

    If you've been a victim, your losses may be deductible. Find out how.
  16. Retirement

    Tired Of Banks? Try A Credit Union

    These nonprofit organizations can provide a range of services for lower fees.
  17. Professionals

    Accredited Financial Counselor: An Introduction

    This designation is highly relevant as it allows you to help the middle- and lower-income population in America.
  18. Retirement

    Profiling: It's Not Just For The FBI

    Learn how to quantify each client's specific dreams and create a realistic financial plan.
  19. Retirement

    Divorcing? The Right Way to Split Retirement Plans

    Mishandling how you define and allocate retirement-plan assets in a divorce can cost you plenty in taxes and aggravation. Here's how to do it right.
  20. Entrepreneurship

    How To Create A Business Succession Plan

    Make sure the business you built continues to thrive long after you've left the helm.
  21. Retirement

    Should You Roll Over Your 401(k)?

    Before moving your retirement funds into another account, consider your options.
  22. Home & Auto

    Are Return-Of-Premium Riders Worth It?

    Find out if this policy coverage will add money to your pocket, or cost you in the long run.
  23. Personal Finance

    Introduction To Financial Planning Organizations

    Organizations such as the FPA and NAPFA are striving to provide higher standards for the financial planning profession and greater protection for consumers through a combination of community programs, ...
  24. Here is a list of the top 529 Plan providers and what makes them special.
    Personal Finance

    Top Companies That Manage 529 Plans

    Planning to open a 529 plan? Check out our roundup of top-rated providers and what makes them special. Then see what works best for you.
  25. The advantages and benefits of investing in a simple IRA.
    Retirement

    Benefits Of A SIMPLE IRA

    If you're at a small company, you may be offered a SIMPLE IRA retirement plan. Contribution limits are lower, but vesting is instant, with other benefits.
  26. Retirement

    Top 7 Estate Planning Mistakes

    Many people try to avoid this process altogether, making things difficult for heirs.
  27. Retirement

    Retirement: The One Thing Couples Shouldn't Do Together

    Staggering retirement can have both financial and emotional benefits for married couples.
  28. Investing Basics

    Introduction To Growth Investing

    There are principles and techniques that are applicable for many different types of investors and growth strategies.
  29. Insurance

    Insurance: Avoiding The Modified Endowment Contract Trap

    Congress has placed limits on the amount of money that can be put into life insurance policies - what can you do to counteract this?
  30. Home & Auto

    Using Life Insurance To Make Charitable Donations

    Your life insurance policy can be a great tool for charitable giving. Find out how.
  31. Bonds & Fixed Income

    Introduction To Commercial Paper

    Commercial paper is a short-term instrument that can be a viable alternative for retail fixed-income investors looking for a better rate of return on their money.
  32. Retirement

    5 Lesser-Known Retirement And Benefit Plans

    These plans aren't widely used, but they fill a specific niche for employees in certain situations.
  33. Retirement

    State Laws Dictate Division Of Joint Property

    In breakup, divorce or death, community or common law will determine how property is divided.
  34. Insurance

    Trending Toward Asset-Based Management

    Will charging fees instead of commission increase your client base?
  35. Personal Finance

    Preparing Finances For Deployment: A Guide For Service Members

    Those who follow the instruction in this article can look forward to a homecoming of financial prosperity.
  36. Professionals

    Manage Your Clients' Expectations

    You can't control how they react to the market, but you can help them understand the reality of the situation.
  37. Investing Basics

    Beware Of Company Stock In Qualified Plans

    While this strategy does have a few advantages, it can also pose some substantial risks to employees.
  38. Taxes

    Will You Pay Taxes During Retirement?

    Income taxes are one of the things that's certain in life. We'll explain the different tax situations when you retire.
  39. Savings

    Is Your 401(k) Administrator Competent?

    The more that employees know about their employee 401(k) plans, the better. But what doesn't your administrator know?
  40. Retirement

    Financial Planners: Specialize In Seniors

    Find out how this demographic has all the needs to keep your firm busy year-round.
  41. Personal Finance

    A Guide To Financial Designations

    Find out which certifications can bring you the greatest career returns.
  42. Insurance

    Top 10 Life Insurance Myths

    The most difficult aspect of this complex product is determining how much coverage you need and why.
  43. Retirement

    Roth Feature Boosts Benefits For 401(k) And 403(b) Plans

    Roth accounts tend to beat Traditional plans over the long term by providing tax savings.
  44. Insurance

    Living And Death Benefit Riders: How Do They Work?

    Find out how these different riders work, and which type is right for you.
  45. Investing Basics

    Portfolio Growth Strategies

    There are many ways to grow a portfolio, and the best approach for a given investor will depend upon various factors.
  46. Investing Basics

    How Will Your Investment Make Money?

    Discover the basic types of investment income and which asset classes pay them.
  47. Home & Auto

    Make No-Load Annuities Your Viable Alternative

    These alternative retirement funds provide diversification with no fees, so what's the catch?
  48. The Growing Compensation Gap In America
    Personal Finance

    America's Compensation Gap Shows No Signs Of Slowing

    The gap between the rich and the poor and middle classes is rapidly increasing in America. Historically this is not a good sign, as a strong middle class has been the backbone of the U.S. economy for most ...
  49. Would A Retirement Plan Overhaul Fix Our Savings Shortfall?
    Retirement

    Would A Retirement Plan Overhaul Fix Our Savings Shortfall?

    There are several theories and ideas about how we can make up for the $6.6 trillion retirement savings shortfall in America. Adjustments to Social Security and our retirement savings plans are some of ...
  50. Retirement

    2010: The Year To Convert Your IRA

    Thanks to fewer restrictions, it's now easier than ever to convert your traditional IRA into a Roth IRA.
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