Sponsored by Becker Professional Education, Sage Intacct, Workiva, Merrimack College: Online MSA, Visual Lease, KPMG, UGAAP
Sponsored by ADP, Presentit LLC, Robert Half
Combine a well-rounded graduate program with an in-demand concentration when you earn the Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Business Analytics at Southern New Hampshire University.
"In today’s world, data is everywhere, including in management-style decisions," said Amelia Manni, MS, an adjunct faculty member and a subject-matter expert at SNHU. "This concentration allows those seeking their MBA to get a leg up and begin to understand how data works and best practices for implementing it into their decision-making."
This focused graduate degree program can prepare you for the application of tools and techniques of data analytics. And with these analytical skills, you can become a more valuable asset to your current – and future – employers.
"This program concentration offers learners a practical approach to business analytics," said Dr. Jessica Rogers, associate dean at SNHU. "Each course has been developed with a strong focus on the needs and demands of business today."
This program also has the potential to save you both time and money: By attending full time, you can complete the degree in about 12 months, and the 30-credit program costs less than $19K total.
Learn how to:
These days, data analytics is necessary for business. All business.
"In a world of degrees that focus solely on the technical or business side, organizations are finding themselves with a gap," said Amelia Manni, MS, an adjunct faculty member and a subject-matter expert at Southern New Hampshire University. "One side cannot talk to the other in an efficient way. That is where someone with this business analytics concentration comes in. They have all the knowledge and skills around great management and business acumen as well as how to incorporate data and information into their decision-making. That is a game-changer – and a good skill to have."
The future for management analysts looks excellent. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field is projected to grow 14% through 2030 – faster than the average for all jobs.1 That means almost 100,000 openings are projected each year, on average, over the next decade.
Plus, May 2020 data shows that the median salary for management analysts is $87,660, which is more than double the median salary for all workers.1 The highest 10% of analysts earned a median salary of $156,840.1
As a management analyst, you could have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings. In 20201, they worked in:
"An analyst can work across industries in positions such as business intelligence analyst, market analyst, operations research analyst, sports analyst, healthcare analyst and more," said Monique Jordan, senior associate dean of business at SNHU.
Many management analysts work as consultants. The BLS projects that the demand will continue to grow, as organizations work to become more efficient. In fact, the increase could be strong in smaller consulting companies that specialize in specific industries or types of business function.1
In 2021, Southern New Hampshire University introduced a completely revised curriculum for its 30-credit online MBA program. Just months later, it rolled out the business analytics concentration. That's a huge benefit for students, since it means you get to take part in one of the most innovative MBA programs on the market today.
"In each step of the curriculum building, we thought about what is needed in the workforce today and what gaps there are that this concentration could help fill," said Amelia Manni, MS, an adjunct faculty member and a subject-matter expert at Southern New Hampshire University. "We thought about the technical skills that students could face when they are on the job as well as how they can get that hands-on experience. ... This concentration really took what the industry is lacking – data-driven business professionals – and created a program to educate that next generation of data thinkers."
Manni was just one of a number of academics who helped create an MBA in Business Analytics program at SNHU.
"Our instructional designers and subject-matter experts worked together to create a top-notch learning experience that guides learners toward creating real-world artifacts and addressing real business problems," said Dr. Jessica Rogers, an associate dean at SNHU.
Building off the 7-course core that's required of all online MBA students – no matter the concentration – business analytics students will take 3 more courses that round out the curriculum.
Within the courses are scenario-based assignments, which provide immersive, real-world opportunities that align with industry standards and business environment trends.
An added benefit of SNHU's MBA in Business Analytics program is the opportunity for credentialing.
Like the "AICPA Data Analytics Certificate program, which is available through this program," said Thomas A. Woolman, MBA, MS, MS, an adjunct faculty member and subject-matter expert at Southern New Hampshire University. "This offering is of great benefit to accounting and finance professionals of any size organization, from any industry interested in learning and applying data analysis techniques to help their organization make informed, data-driven business decisions."
You'll have the option to earn other certificates, as well.
"There are certifications along the way that students will earn that are a great way to boost their resume," Manni said.
Knowledgeable instructors can help you along the way, since they're well versed in what's happening with analytics today.
"Adjunct faculty teaching in the concentration are hand-picked for their experience in the field," Rogers said. "Our faculty bring a wealth of experience to share with our learners as well as have a passion to mentor."
Dr. D. Brian Letort, an adjunct faculty member and subject-matter expert at SNHU, agreed.
"Instructors who teach in this field are often skilled in analytics, but have been applying it to business opportunities for many years," he said.
Overall, the program at SNHU was well thought out – by data professionals, for future analytics specialists.
"This program and concentration sets a student up to learn skills with each class and implement them at work, if they are currently already in a role that they can use them, or create an arsenal of skills they can build their resume up with and get the job they are looking for to take that next step in their career," Manni said. "This program is designed for the student who wants to have that background in business and management but also be hands on and understand what it takes to get to those data-driven decisions."
Don't have a business background? No problem. Our MBA is accessible to everyone. Interested students must have a conferred undergraduate degree for acceptance, but it can be in any field. Those without an undergraduate degree in business or a related field may be asked to complete up to 2 foundation courses to get started. These foundations cover essential business skill sets and can be used to satisfy elective requirements for the general-track MBA. With foundations, the maximum length of your online MBA would be 36 credits.
Attend full time or part time. Students in the MBA have the option to enroll full time (at 2 classes per term) or part time (with 1 class per term). Full-time students should be able to complete the program in about 1 year, while part-time students could finish in about 2 years. SNHU students are busy, often juggling jobs, family and other obligations, so you may want to work with your academic advisor to identify the course plan that works for you. The good news is, you can switch from full time to part time and back again as often as you want.
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
|Online Graduate Programs||Per Course||Per Credit Hour||Annual Cost for 15 credits|
(U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)*
Tuition rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
*Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.
$150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
The twists and turns of the economy and stock and bond markets — plus all the other forces that buffeted your finances — hold lessons that could help you make better decisions the next time calamity strikes.
Building wealth helps you reach your goals as well as survive setbacks — stock market corrections and bear markets, recessions, health emergencies, and job loss. Your wealth-building refresher course should include an honest assessment of whether you allowed emotional, psychological or other behavioral miscues to nudge you to make money moves you might regret.
The financial markets in 2022 provide a vivid reminder of why good investing hygiene is important all the time. Investors are grappling with a host of market scourges at once — Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a spike in inflation, rising interest rates and the remnants of a global pandemic. In late February, the broad stock market, as measured by the S&P 500 index, fell into correction territory (typically defined as a drop of 10% to 20%) for the first time since 2020, and losses could escalate. But a well-maintained portfolio should weather such storms over the long haul, especially if you remain patient while also taking advantage of the opportunities that the market offers.
You should not change your game plan because stocks have started to wobble — and that advice applies both to exiting the market in fear and to rushing to buy every dip. Your asset allocation should be appropriate to your age and your risk tolerance in terms of what your financial situation can reasonably bear and what allows you to sleep at night. For example, a fully invested, aggressive investor with more than a decade to invest might allocate 85% to stocks and 15% to bonds. A conservative investor or one with a short time to invest might target 70% in bonds and 30% in stocks, with a preference for dividend-paying stocks.
The market has also recently reminded us that stock leadership can pivot in a heartbeat. A table of investment returns over the 20 calendar years through 2021 compiled by investing consultant Callan shows that U.S. large-company stocks logged the best returns in three of those years; U.S. small caps and real estate stocks each came in first four times; and emerging-markets stocks led in five of the 20 years. That shows that a diversified portfolio should contain multiple asset classes, and within those, several investing styles, sectors and industries. If you follow that script, when one part of your portfolio is struggling, other investments will likely pick up the slack.
What to do now. Keep the current challenges in perspective. Stocks stumbled on news of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but it’s worth noting that market shocks from military and terrorist activities have traditionally been short-lived, according to Sam Stovall, at investment research firm CFRA. Following 24 selected events since World War II, the stock market typically bottomed after a total decline averaging 5.5%, recouping those losses in 52 days. Tactical investors might find pockets of opportunity in defense-oriented stocks—and these days, that includes cybersecurity companies, such as Palo Alto Networks (symbol PANW, $558). The bulls at Wedbush Securities see the stock trading at $630 over the next 12 months.
Homing in on firms that can prosper in inflationary times makes sense. Nuveen chief investment officer Saira Malik is bullish on the energy sector, which is highly leveraged to economic growth and the fundamentals of tight supply and high demand. Stocks she likes include Valero Energy (VLO, $86), a refiner she says is disciplined about capital spending, reducing debt and returning cash to shareholders. Amazon.com (AMZN, $2,913) is another good choice, says Malik. “It has pricing power, a tremendous distribution and logistics system, and its web services unit is seeing strong growth.”
Many traditional inflation hedges are already expensive, but commodity prices have room to run over the long term, says John LaForge, at Wells Fargo Investment Institute. We’re in a “commodity super-cycle” that began in March 2020, he says. Such bull runs can last 10 years or more. Among changes we’re making to the Kiplinger 25, the list of our favorite no-load funds, is the addition of TCW Enhanced Commodity Strategy (TGABX).
Finally, prep your portfolio for multiple interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve this year. Value-oriented stocks—think financials, industrials and energy, for example—typically withstand rising-rate cycles better than their growth-focused counterparts. For fixed-income investors, floating-rate funds, which hold bank loans with interest rates that adjust upward with market rates, are good bets. We’ve added T. Rowe Price Floating Rate (PRFRX) to the Kiplinger 25. Exchange-traded fund investors might like Invesco Senior Loan (BKLN, $22), a member of the Kiplinger ETF 20.
Jack Towarnicky, an employee benefits consultant, has changed jobs 13 times over the past 30 years, but one aspect of his career has remained consistent: If an employer offered a 401(k) plan, he enrolled and contributed the maximum allowed. His wife, Debbie, a retired teacher, also contributed to her retirement plan. Thanks to their disciplined savings habits, “we have a lifetime of savings in 401(k) and 403(b) plans, and this son of a firefighter is certain to become part of a middle-class millionaire household someday,” Towarnicky says. Towarnicky is one of the winners of the 2022 401(k) Champion Competition, a program designed to promote financial literacy and savings.
The millionaire club is growing. More than 440,000 participants in 401(k) plans managed by Fidelity Investments had balances of more than $1 million in the fourth quarter of 2021. A total of 112,880 participants in the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan had more than $1 million in their savings plans as of December 31.
Saving $1 million for retirement may seem out of reach, particularly if you have competing demands on your money, such as student loans and credit card debt. Inflation presents another hurdle. An analysis by Moody’s Analytics found that the average American household is spending an additional $276 a month on goods and services because of higher prices.
With that in mind, it’s important to take advantage of all the savings incentives available to you. Perhaps the most generous incentive comes in the form of a matching contribution from your employer. Employers that offer this benefit typically match 3% to 6% of your pay, but you usually must contribute to qualify. So even if funds are tight, try to contribute at least enough to get the match—otherwise, you’re leaving free money on the table.
Uncle Sam offers plenty of incentives, too. One of the most lucrative — and often overlooked — is the Saver’s Credit. If you fall within the income limits, you can claim a tax credit of up to $1,000 for singles or $2,000 for joint filers. The credit is based on 10%, 20% or 50% of the first $2,000 ($4,000 for joint filers) you contribute to a 401(k), traditional IRAs or a Roth IRA. For 2022, single filers with adjusted gross income of $34,000 or less may be eligible. Married taxpayers who file a joint return must have an AGI of $68,000 or less. Here's how to determine whether you’re eligible.
As your income rises, you should be able to stash more in retirement plans. In 2022, you can invest up to $20,500 in your 401(k) plan, or $27,000 if you’re 50 or older. Contributions are tax-deferred if you invest in a traditional 401(k). If your employer offers a Roth 401(k), contributions are after-tax but tax-free when you take withdrawals in retirement.
Boost your saving. If you can afford to invest even more money — by saving more, reducing your spending or a combination of both — there are other steps you can take to feather your retirement nest egg.
You don’t need to be a billionaire with a stable of accountants to come up with strategies to reduce the amount of income and savings consumed by federal and state taxes.
Let’s start with the amount you have withheld from your paycheck (assuming you’re an employee). Tax refunds are on the rise, and while it’s nice to get a check from the IRS every year, there are more-effective uses for your money that will help you build wealth.
If you received a big refund, give yourself a raise by adjusting your withholding. The IRS offers a tool you can use to figure out how much to adjust your withholding and submit a new Form W-4 to your employer. Once you’ve decreased the amount withheld for taxes, use the extra money to pay off high-interest debt, build up your emergency fund or increase contributions to your retirement savings.
Unless you filed for an extension, you’ve probably finished your taxes by now. Don’t stash your Form 1040 in the back of a file cabinet or file it somewhere in the cloud that you don’t plan to visit soon, because this document can also provide a roadmap for reducing your taxes in the future. It will show you, for example, how much the contributions to your 401(k), deductible IRA or health savings account lowered your taxable income, which could motivate you to save more in those accounts. Or, if your return shows that you paid taxes on a large capital gains distribution from mutual funds in your taxable account, you may want to shift to more tax-efficient investments.
The majority of taxpayers claim the standard deduction, but even non-itemizers are eligible for a long list of credits and deductions. As mentioned, saving for retirement is one of the most-effective ways to lower your taxes—either now, as is the case with pretax contributions, or in the future, as is the case with contributions to a Roth IRA or Roth 401(k). But if you’re a parent of a child or college-bound student, there are lots of tax breaks available to you, too, even if you don’t itemize.
Do you have a child starting college this year? Save those tuition receipts, because there’s a good chance you’ll be eligible for the American Opportunity credit. This tax credit is available for up to $2,500 of college tuition and related expenses (but not room and board) paid during the year. For more tax breaks for non-itemizers, see 13 Tax Breaks for the Middle Class.
Good credit is key to getting the lowest possible interest rate on loans. A strong credit profile can also help you rent a home, lower your auto insurance premiums and even land a job.
To judge whether to grant you credit and what rate to offer, lenders often peek at your credit score, a three-digit number derived from your credit history. Many versions of your credit score exist, and you may not have access to the one a lender plans to view. But you can get a good idea of where you stand by using a free site such as CreditKarma, which provides VantageScore credit scores from credit bureaus Equifax and TransUnion, and FreeCreditScore, which provides a FICO score from credit bureau Experian. Your bank or credit card issuer may offer free score updates to customers, too.
Standard credit scores run from 300 to 850, and a score of about 750 typically qualifies you for the best loan terms. The most important move you can make to boost your score toward the top of the scale is to pay all your bills on time. Another sizable factor is your credit-utilization ratio — a percentage that reflects the balance on your credit cards as a proportion of your card limits. (The ratio is calculated both on individual cards and in the aggregate across all your card accounts.) The lower the ratio, the better for your score; aim to keep it at 20% to 30% or less.
Finally, avoid opening several new credit card accounts at once. Each card application creates a hard inquiry on your credit report, and the presence of several card inquiries in a short time signals to lenders that you may be a risky prospect as a borrower, lowering your score.
Review your credit reports. The credit bureaus compile information about how you’ve managed credit in your credit reports. At annualcreditreport.com, you can view your report from each of the major bureaus once per week through the end of 2022 (typically, the reports are free only once every 12 months, but the bureaus have increased access in response to financial hardships during the pandemic). Regularly review your reports for errors or signs that an identity thief is at work, such as a new credit account that you never opened or a collection account for a debt you don’t owe. You can also use services that regularly scan your reports and alert you to significant changes — Credit Karma and FreeCreditScore both offer free credit monitoring as well as access to your reports. If you find a problem, contact the lender or other company that furnished the inaccurate information and file disputes with the credit bureaus reporting it.
A credit freeze is the best way to thwart identity thieves who try to open accounts in your name. A freeze blocks lenders from viewing your credit report in response to an application for new credit, and it’s free to place one on each of your reports. Before you apply for a loan or credit card, you can temporarily lift the freeze.
High-rate debt holds you back from your full wealth-building potential. In the fourth quarter of 2021, total household debt reached $15.6 trillion, and credit card balances alone grew by $52 billion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Credit card debt can be particularly onerous because rates are often in the double digits, recently averaging about 16%. Most credit cards have a variable interest rate, so when the Federal Reserve raises short-term rates, card interest rates follow suit. If you’re carrying credit card debt, investigate ways to lower the rate. Some cards offer an introductory 0% rate on balance transfers. The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum card, for example, has a 0% rate the first 20 months on balances transferred within 60 days of opening the card. The transfer fee is the greater of $5 or 3% of the amount transferred.
Examine your other debts, too. Since March 2020, borrowers of most federal student loans have benefited from a pandemic-induced suspension of payments. But the moratorium was scheduled to end May 1. If you don’t think you’ll be able to afford your payments, look into options such as income-driven repayment plans.
Some private student loans have variable rates, so you may consider refinancing any such loans before rates rise significantly—perhaps switching to a loan with a fixed rate.
Auto loans typically have a fixed rate. For a prime borrower (who is likely to make payments on time), rates average 3.51% for new cars and 5.38% for used cars, according to Experian.
Generally, it’s best to focus first on paying off debts with the highest interest rates. That usually puts a mortgage toward the bottom of the list, given that many have rates below 4%. And even after you clear your other debts, you may want to put any extra money toward getting your savings and investments on track before tackling your mortgage in earnest.
Insurance is a critical tool to shelter you from crushing expenses if assets such as your home or car are damaged or if you are responsible for harm to someone else or their property. Given rising construction costs, it’s especially important to make sure that the dwelling coverage in your homeowners policy is adequate to rebuild your home in case it’s destroyed, says Jill Roth, executive vice president of insurance agency Ahart, Frinzi & Smith, in Alexandria, Va. “Just to replace a window these days is so much more expensive than it was five years ago,” she says. Make sure you update your coverage to reflect renovations that increase the value of your home, too. To calculate your home’s replacement cost, multiply local building costs per square foot (check with homebuilders in your area for an estimate) by your home’s total square footage.
If you live in an area susceptible to wildfires, hurricanes or other disasters, take special care that your home and possessions are covered for damage from increasingly intense events. Standard homeowners policies don’t cover flood damage, and people in areas at high risk of flooding may have to purchase a separate policy (for more, go to floodsmart.gov). Many insurers are backing out of California because of heightened wildfire risk, says Roth. An independent agent — who works with several insurance carriers rather than just one — can help you find a policy. Search for an agent at trustedchoice.com.
You need at least enough auto coverage to meet the minimum insurance amounts your state requires for injuries or damage that you cause to other people and vehicles. But you’ll need higher coverage levels to have sufficient protection. It’s often recommended that a policy should cover up to $100,000 for the medical bills of each person that you injure in an accident, up to $300,000 per accident in liability for bodily injuries and up to $100,000 to repair other drivers’ cars and property that you damage, says John McCormick, editorial director of Insurance.com. To fine-tune your own liability coverage amounts, consider your life stage, says Roth. She would typically recommend higher coverage limits for someone who is well established than a young adult who is just starting out with few assets.
Umbrella insurance provides extra liability coverage in case your homeowners or auto insurance claims exceed the limits of your existing policies. It even protects you if you’re sued for slander or libel. If you have significant assets or an above-average likelihood of being sued, or you are otherwise vulnerable to exhausting your regular coverage — say, because you own a swimming pool or have a teen driver in the family — an umbrella policy is worthwhile. You’ll pay about $150 to $350 a year for $1 million in coverage.
As your children start their own wealth-building journeys, teaching them to be good stewards of their money will pay off in spades. A record 47% of parents are having money conversations with their kids at least once a week, according to the 2021 Parents, Kids & Money survey from T. Rowe Price. Those conversations can start earlier than you may expect. While grocery shopping with young kids, for example, you can discuss how the price of food affects what you buy and whether you choose to eat at home or dine out, says Roger Young, a CFP with T. Rowe Price. “Many decisions we make every day involve money,” he says. As the kids get older, you can introduce subjects such as saving for college and compounding interest.
The T. Rowe Price survey also shows that three-fourths of parents provide their kids an allowance, with 59% requiring children to earn it. Offering kids a chance to make decisions about money can give them real-life practice with money management while the stakes are low, says Young. Cash is generally a better tool than, say, funds accessed via a debit card.
Using tax-friendly financial accounts for your kids can get them off to a strong start, too. Money that you put into a 529 college-savings plan grows tax-deferred, and withdrawals that you make for qualified higher-education expenses are not taxed. Once your child starts earning money from work, such as a part-time job in high school, you can open a custodial Roth IRA for him or her. Contributions (including any of your own funds that you add on behalf of your child) can’t exceed the amount the child earns and are subject to the standard annual limit on IRA contributions, which in 2022 is $6,000.
You’ve saved enough for a comfortable retirement, with something left over for your heirs and favorite charities. Are you finished? No way. Unless you take steps to protect your estate, your legacy could be decimated by taxes, probate costs and family dissension.
Start by making sure you have the basics covered. You need a will, and you should designate a power of attorney for your finances and a health care proxy. These individuals will be empowered to manage your money and make decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated.
You should also periodically review beneficiaries for your life insurance policies, bank accounts and retirement savings plans. If you haven’t reviewed these designations for a while, they may not reflect life changes, such as the death of a spouse or a remarriage.
Next, consider whether you need a revocable living trust. A trust will let you avoid probate and ensure that your money goes to the people you choose (for guidance on what types of assets belong in a trust, see The Lowdown on Living Trusts).
You don’t need to wait until you’re gone to share your wealth with your favorite charities, and contributions made while you’re alive could lower your taxes. If you’re 70½ or older, you can donate up to $100,000 a year from your IRAs to charity via a qualified charitable distribution, and after you turn 72, the QCD will count toward your required minimum distribution. A QCD isn’t deductible, but it will reduce your adjusted gross income, which along with lowering your federal and state tax bill could reduce taxes on items tied to your AGI, such as Social Security benefits and Medicare premiums.
Donor-advised funds provide a tax-advantaged way to donate money and securities in your taxable account. These funds, offered by most major financial services firms, allow you to contribute cash or securities, claim the deduction, and decide later how you want to distribute the money to charity. If you donate securities, you can your required minimum distribution. A QCD isn’t deductible, but it will reduce your adjusted gross income, which besides lowering your federal and state tax bill can also lower taxes on items tied to your AGI, such as Social Security benefits and Medicare premiums.
Finally, take advantage of a provision in the tax code that permits you to help family (and friends) while reducing the size of your estate. In 2022, you can give away up to $16,000 per person to as many people as you’d like without having to file a gift tax return. Estates valued at up to $12.06 million ($24.12 million for a married couple) are exempt from federal estate taxes. But unless Congress acts, the exemption will drop to $5.5 million in 2025. In addition, 12 states and the District of Columbia impose an estate tax, and some have much lower exemptions than the federal level.
A financial adviser can alert you to opportunities as you build wealth — for example, notifying you if it’s a good time to convert your traditional IRA to a Roth or to shift your investment portfolio’s asset mix. An adviser can also guide you through decisions such as how much to save for retirement compared with other goals, how to minimize taxes on your investments or how to make a debt-payoff plan. Even if you don’t use a financial adviser on a regular basis, getting occasional help may be useful—especially if you’re going through a transition such as getting married or divorced, having a child, or preparing to retire.
A certified financial planner can create a holistic financial plan for you. CFPs must act as fiduciaries when providing financial advice, putting their clients’ best interest first. You can look for one at letsmakeaplan. If you need tax help, a certified public accountant (CPA) may prepare your tax return or assist with tax strategies. At aicpa.org, you can search for a CPA who has the personal financial specialist (PFS) credential. A chartered financial analyst (CFA) specializes in investments; look for one at cfainstitute. An adviser with any of those credentials must undergo rigorous education and testing.
You may be charged a percentage of assets managed, through a subscription or retainer, or on an hourly basis. A fee-only financial planner does not collect commissions by selling financial products to clients and may be less subject to conflicts of interest. At napfa.org, you can search for a fee-only adviser in your area. If you prefer a fee-only planner who doesn’t require asset minimums, you can look for one who charges by the hour at garrettplanningnetwork or who provides monthly retainer services at xyplanningnetwork.
When markets get choppy, stay disciplined. “Stick to the plan you established before things got uncomfortable,” says Shaun Williams, a Denver-based certified financial planner. For instance, many advisers say now is a good time to check your portfolio to see if it’s still in line with your overall asset-allocation targets — the overall percentage of assets held in stocks, bonds and cash.
A moderate investor, for instance, might hold 60% of assets in stocks and 40% in bonds. If those broad assets have fallen five to 10 percentage points beyond your target — in this case, the stock allocation would now be now closer to 70% or have fallen to 50% — the pros advise rebalancing your portfolio back to its targets by skimming the best performers and putting the profits into the worst performers, even during a choppy market. “Markets like this are an excellent time to rebalance,” says Eric Walters, a CFP in Greenwood Village, Colo.
Just make sure that any moves you make now are incremental. Volatile markets are made for dollar-cost averaging — a strategy of investing set amounts at regular intervals. That ensures that you’ll buy more shares when prices are low and fewer when they’re high. (It doesn’t work in reverse, for selling shares.)
For example, Williams suggests investing 20% of the total amount you’ve earmarked for the market on a particular day — the second Tuesday of each month, say — for the next five months. And don’t lose sight of the fact that you are investing for the long term, he adds.
A rainy-day fund keeps you from turning to credit cards or other high-cost avenues to cover a large, unexpected expense or a prolonged loss of income. Generally, you should have at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses stashed away. But if you’re the sole wage earner in your household or work in an industry prone to disruption from economic swings (say, travel and hospitality), you may need to set aside up to 12 months’ worth of expenses.
Put the funds in an easily accessible savings account or money market deposit account — preferably one that offers a high yield and no monthly fee (or minimal requirements to avoid a fee). Internet banks commonly offer accounts that fit the bill. Ally Bank recently provided a 0.5% yield with no monthly fee or minimum balance requirement on both its savings and money market accounts. With the money market account, you receive checks and a debit card — handy for withdrawing money quickly in a pinch. To search for other high-yielding accounts, visit depositaccounts.
Purchasing a home is a tried-and-true way to build wealth. As you pay off the mortgage, your equity in the property grows. And over the long term, home values have risen. Lately, the increase has been dramatic, spurred by pandemic-driven demand for homes. In 2021, home prices nationwide skyrocketed by 18.8%, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index.
Stephen Krall, 42, and his wife, Kelly, 41, are seeing the benefits of investing in their home. After five years of watching for a suitable property to come on the market at an affordable price, they sold their small townhome in spring 2019 and directed $40,000 in sale proceeds toward the down payment on a larger house that better accommodates their family of five. Since they bought the house in the Philadelphia area for $395,000, price appreciation has boosted its value to about $516,000. Although the Kralls expect to stay in their home for the long term, they suspect they could fetch even more in a sale now thanks to about $80,000 in improvements they’ve made, including a new kitchen and master bathroom. “We’ve really done a lot to Boost the value of the home,” says Kelly.
Getting a foot in the door. Rising home prices present an obstacle for buyers struggling to come up with enough cash. But rents are shooting up, too, with an average 19.8% increase in the U.S. median rental price in January 2022 compared with a year earlier, according to a Realtor.com report. The monthly cost of buying a starter home was less than renting a similar-size unit in 26 of the 50 largest metro areas, and rent increases are expected to outpace growth in home prices throughout 2022. Kiplinger expects home prices to increase by 3% this year.
Mortgage rates are ticking up, which tamps down home-price appreciation but exacerbates the affordability challenge for buyers. Still, the average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate loan was 3.76% in early March, according to Freddie Mac. Shop for the best rate by calling several lenders, comparing rates on websites such as Bankrate.com and LendingTree.com, or enlisting the help of a mortgage broker (find one at findamortgagebroker.com). After you’ve purchased a home, watch for opportunities to refinance if interest rates fall. The Kralls have refinanced the mortgage on their current home twice, lowering the rate to 2.5%.
A 20% down payment on a home purchase is desirable because it’s the minimum required to avoid private mortgage insurance on conventional loans. And the more you put down, the smaller the loan and the less you’ll pay in interest. But 20% can be a big ask, especially for first-time buyers. The median sale price for existing homes was $350,300 in January, according to the National Association of Realtors; a 20% down payment would be just over $70,000. In the past few years, the typical down payment for first-time buyers has been 6% to 7%, according to the NAR. With some mortgage programs, down payments can be as low as 3%.
Whatever you choose to put down, consider how your mortgage payment fits into your overall budget. Don’t forget to account for the cost of property taxes and homeowners insurance, too. Keeping your housing expenses below about 30% of your gross income frees up more room to save for retirement and other goals.
At tax time, those who itemize can deduct interest paid on up to $750,000 of mortgage debt, or $375,000 if married filing separately (if you bought your home before December 16, 2017, the limit is $1 million, or $500,000 for those married filing separately).
By tracking your spending, you can get a better idea of where your cash flows and how you can more efficiently put it to work to meet your goals. Even if you don’t feel financially strapped, a budget can give you a sense of control over your money and free up more for savings or debt payments. Break down how much goes toward essential expenses (such as housing costs and groceries) and discretionary spending (such as entertainment and dining out), and make adjustments to ensure that you’re dedicating enough to saving and debt payoff. One rule of thumb suggests allotting 50% of your paycheck to essentials, 20% to savings and debt payments, and 30% to nonessentials.
Pay yourself first: Set up automatic contributions to your retirement and savings accounts to help guarantee that your savings reach the target. By connecting your financial accounts to an app such as Mint or Personal Capital, you can keep tabs on your spending and net worth.
Wednesday, July 13, 2022
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance (“OFCCP”) in the Department of Labor recently launched a new contractor portal to track Affirmative Action Program (“AAP”) compliance by covered contractors.1 Originally, covered contractors had to certify AAP compliance by June 30, 2022. However, there have been some discrepancies in the OFCCP contractor portal concerning the inclusion of contractor establishments of less than 50 people. An extension has not been announced by the OFCCP, but it appears covered contractors will have more time to complete the AAP certification process in the new contractor portal due to the uncertainty surrounding these issues.
The OFCCP is responsible for ensuring compliance with several AAP requirements mandated by Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974.
Generally, a service or supply contractor is considered covered and required to develop a particular written AAP if they have at least 50 employees and a single government contract of $50,000 or more. The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 has a higher AAP threshold of 50 employees and a single contract of $150,000 or more.
Contractors who meet AAP threshold requirements will be required to register and certify compliance in the new OFCCP contractor portal. Contractors will then be required to certify annually thereafter, whether they are meeting applicable AAP requirements.
With the new portal, it appears contractors may be subject to increased monitoring and scrutiny by the OFCCP of their compliance with AAP requirements. Please contact us if you have questions concerning compliance with OFCCP requirements.
1Covered contractors include prime contractors and subcontractors at every tier.
© Polsinelli PC, Polsinelli LLP in CaliforniaNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 194
* EU, New Zealand end four years of negotiations
* EU set to benefit from export of manufactured goods
* New Zealand secures larger beef, dairy quotas (Adds details of deal, trade commissioner, MEP)
By Philip Blenkinsop
BRUSSELS, June 30 (Reuters) - The European Union and New Zealand completed negotiations on Thursday for a free trade agreement that could boost the flow of goods and services by 30% and highlights Europe's push for alliances to make up for its business withdrawal from Russia.
EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said the deal sent an important "geopolitical signal" and stressed the European Union would seek further partnerships.
"It's clear that we need to diversify away from Russia ... (and) look for new markets, supply chains and so forth and this is exactly what this deal contributes too," Dombrovskis told reporters.
A majority of EU members have urged the Commission, which oversees trade policy, to accelerate the conclusion of trade agreements to avoid others taking its place.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it had taken 14 years since the idea of a trade agreement was first floated.
Negotiations began in mid-2018 and, for the EU, the deal will put the bloc's trade with New Zealand on a par with countries that already have a trade pact with New Zealand, notably those of the 11-nation CPTPP Asia-Pacific deal.
It will also see it partially catching up with former EU member Britain, which has signed trade deals with Australia and New Zealand, although they are still to enter force.
The agreement will remove tariffs on a wide range of products and be the first struck by the EU to include potential sanctions for violations of environmental or labour standards, a concept it only proposed last week.
Tariffs will fall for EU exports such as clothing, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and cars, as well as wine and confectionary. The EU will increase by 10,000 tonnes its quota of New Zealand beef, a sensitive area for France in particular, as well as raising volumes for lamb, butter and cheese.
"It's probably fair to say that no one likes it, so we must have got it about right," New Zealand trade minister Damien O'Connor said, half-joking, when asked about the compromises made during tough, final talks.
The deal may enter force in 18-24 months, subject to approval by the European Parliament and EU governments, a process which has in cases dragged on for years.
Bernd Lange, chair of parliament's trade committee that will scrutinise the deal, called it a good day for trade, with a deal that was one of the most progressive on labour rights and the environment. (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Marine Strauss, Mark Heinrich and Alison Williams)
It has been about a month since the last earnings report for Analog Devices (ADI). Shares have lost about 10.9% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.
Will the accurate negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Analog Devices due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at its most accurate earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts.
Analog Devices has reported second-quarter fiscal 2022 adjusted earnings of $2.40 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 13.2%. The bottom line rose 56% year over year.
Revenues of $2.97 billion surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.86 billion. Also, the top line improved 79% year over year.
The strong performance delivered by Analog Devices across the industrial, automotive, consumer and communications markets drove the top line.
Although the pandemic-led supply challenges and rising geopolitical tensions remain overhangs for the company, its expanding capacity and solid booking momentum are likely to benefit its financial performance in the days ahead.
Strong trends of automation, electrification and advanced connectivity remain major positives.
Industrial: Analog Devices generated revenues of $1.5 billion (accounting for 51% of the total revenues), which grew 54% year over year.
Communications: Revenues from the market were $473.1 million (16% of revenues), increasing 70% year over year.
Automotive: Revenues from the market summed $633.9 million (21% of revenues), up 145% from the year-ago quarter’s level.
Consumer: The market generated revenues of $363.9 million (12% of revenues), reflecting 12% growth on a year-over-year basis.
The adjusted gross margin expanded 330 basis points (bps) on a year-over-year basis to 74.2%.
Adjusted operating expenses were $710.2 million, up 46.8% from the year-ago quarter’s level. As a percentage of revenues, adjusted operating expenses were 23.9%, contracting 520 bps year over year.
The adjusted operating margin expanded 860 bps on a year-over-year basis to 50.3% in the reported quarter.
As of Apr 30, 2022, cash and cash equivalents were $1.7 billion, down from $1.8 billion as of Jan 29, 2022.
Long-term debt was $6.253 billion at the end of the fiscal second quarter compared with $6.254 billion at the end of the fiscal first quarter.
Net cash provided by operations was $1.2 million in the reported quarter, up from $856.4 million in the prior quarter.
ADI generated $1.1 billion of free cash flow in the fiscal second quarter.
Additionally, Analog Devices returned $1.2 billion to its shareholders, of which it made dividend payments of $398 million and repurchased shares worth $776 million in the fiscal second quarter.
For third-quarter fiscal 2022, ADI expects revenues of $3.05 billion (+/- $100 million).
Non-GAAP earnings are expected to be $2.42 (+/- $0.10) per share.
The company anticipates non-GAAP operating margins of 49.5% (+/- 70 bps).
How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?
It turns out, estimates review have trended upward during the past month.
The consensus estimate has shifted 11.42% due to these changes.
At this time, Analog Devices has an average Growth Score of C, a grade with the same score on the momentum front. However, the stock was allocated a grade of F on the value side, putting it in the bottom 20% quintile for this investment strategy.
Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of D. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.
Estimates have been trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions looks promising. It comes with little surprise Analog Devices has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). We expect an above average return from the stock in the next few months.
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Extended global partnership will increase the range of innovative power semiconductors and discrete devices offered by Farnell
KAWASAKI, Japan, June 15, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage Corporation ("Toshiba") today announces Toshiba Electronics Europe GmbH, its European sales and marketing subsidiary, extends their relationship with Farnell, a global distributor of electronic components, products and solutions who trade as Farnell in Europe, Newark in North America and element14 throughout Asia Pacific. As a result of this agreement, Farnell will stock more Toshiba products in greater quantities, increasing their support of Toshiba’s customer supply chain.
The new arrangement results from a desire by both companies to reflect Toshiba’s market-leading solutions for a wide range of markets / applications including automotive, industrial, Internet of Things (IoT), motion control, telecoms, networking, consumer and white goods applications. There will be an increased focus on Toshiba’s strengths including power solutions and advanced motor control.
Farnell’s portfolio will now expand to include more of Toshiba’s most innovative devices, encompassing some 800 products by year end and increasing further to 1,000 items during 2023. The focus will be on Toshiba’s optocouplers and relays, low- and high-voltage MOSFETs, discrete IGBTs, small signal diodes and transistors, voltage regulators, logic devices and motor control solutions.
Commenting on the enhanced partnership, Ian Wilson, Senior Manager - Distribution Sales - at Toshiba Electronics Europe GmbH said: "In these times of global shortage it is important to strengthen our support to meet the product availability and support needs of the engineering community who continue to design, qualify, upgrade and repair with the latest components. We are particularly pleased to see some of our more innovative products become available via Farnell."
Simon Meadmore, Vice President of Product and provider Management at Farnell added: "Farnell has a successful long-term relationship with Toshiba, and this is the right time to grow our range with this strong, innovative and respected brand. Our customers can now enjoy enhanced availability of Toshiba products coupled with fast access to new-to-market technologies. The new agreement strengthens the overall relationship between Toshiba, Farnell and the Avnet Group. We are committed to regularly launching new devices to enhance our existing portfolio from Toshiba."
In common with Toshiba’s desire to provide excellent technical support to their engineering customer base, Farnell offers free access to multiple technical online resources, datasheets, application notes, videos, webinars and 24/5 technical support.
The growing range of Toshiba products is now supported, stocked and available for fast delivery from Farnell in EMEA, Newark in North America and element14 in APAC.
* Company names, product names, and service names may be trademarks of their respective companies.
* Information in this document, including product prices and specifications, content of services and contact information, is current on the date of the announcement but is subject to change without prior notice.
About Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage Corporation
Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage Corporation, a leading provider of advanced semiconductor and storage solutions, draws on over half a century of experience and innovation to offer customers and business partners outstanding discrete semiconductors, system LSIs and HDD products.
The company's 23,000 employees around the world share a determination to maximize product value, and promote close collaboration with customers in the co-creation of value and new markets. With annual sales now surpassing 850-billion yen (US$7.5 billion), Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage Corporation looks forward to building and to contributing to a better future for people everywhere.
Find out more at https://toshiba.semicon-storage.com/ap-en/top.html
View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220613005388/en/
Corporate Communications & Market Intelligence Group
Strategic Planning Div.
Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage Corporation