An Often Missing Dimension in Holistic Financial Advice

Frances O'BrienWhen was the last time you took a look at your insurance policies?

If you’re like the majority of folks, probably not very recently. Unfortunately, this could mean that your finances are not as protected as you may believe. Consider the fact that, over time, your wealth slowly builds, and properties and non-financial assets are accrued. As a result, your insurance coverage may need changes, and what worked last year might not work this year. Continue reading

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Beauty is in the Buyer’s Heart:
Why Jewelry Auctions Can Be Unpredictable

Juqui MonterossoIn the world of jewelry, no matter what the industry deems to be a fabulous example of a great stone, the market ultimately determines its value. When I was taking my GIA courses, I remember learning how the beauty and color of a stone ultimately depends on the buyer’s preference. While having industry-related benchmarks that determine a stone’s value is important, none of that matters if the buyer doesn’t perceive it the same way. Continue reading

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Before You Cozy Up to a Winter Fire: Chimney and Fireplace Safety Tips

Barry DavisThe arrival of colder weather is a good time to conduct routine maintenance on your chimney and heating system.

Faulty heating systems are the second leading cause of residential fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 2/3 of those fires are caused by improperly maintained fireplaces, chimneys and wood stoves. Continue reading

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Holiday Gift-Giving Safety Tips

Frances O'Brien
The holiday season is a time filled with family, friends and gift-giving. But many popular gifts can inadvertently introduce new risk to you and your recipient’s homes and wallets. To avoid being the holiday gift giving Grinch, here are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing gifts for friends and family. Continue reading

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Leaving in a Moment’s Notice:
What To Pack in an Emergency “Go Bag”

Kelly LespierNo matter where you live, there is a chance of a catastrophe occurring that may require you to leave quickly with little or no notice. Be aware of what types of catastrophes your area is prone to and what steps you can take to prepare in advance of the event. Are you prepared to leave in a moment’s notice? Continue reading

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Holiday Travel Safety Tips

John HuntAs the holiday season and school breaks approach, many families are busily making travel plans. Whether these plans include visiting family and friends or heading to warmer (or colder) climates, this is often a popular time of year for family trips. If your upcoming plans include traveling, here a few tips to help keep you and your family safe. Continue reading

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A Major, but Under-Appreciated, Risk

Frances O'BrienHiding in your home is an unforeseen – and often overlooked – risk that may cause major stress, disruption and financial loss. The culprit? Water damage.

Regardless of your home’s location, be it on the coast, a flood-prone area or inland, water damage poses an enormous risk to your home and valuables within. In fact, water damage is seven times more likely to occur than a fire and six times more likely than a burglary – and more than half of homeowners who experienced water damage in the past two years reported spending over $5,000 in repair and clean-up costs, with 15% of respondents spending $20,000 or more, according to a Chubb survey. Continue reading

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Protecting Your Personal Information

Bobbie GoldieOur world continues to interconnect digitally. We regularly communicate, work, shop, research and store information in cyberspace. As cyber criminals and bad actors are becoming more refined in navigating through cyberspace, it is important to actively keep your information secure online.

Personally identifiable information is any information that can be used to identify a specific person. This information ranges from medical, legal, educational and financial records. Identifiable information can be stolen during a cyber breach, which can lead to identity theft. Continue reading

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Sapphire: The Stone of Romance and Royalty

Racquel ClemonsPart of a series of articles about birthstones.

Sapphire, the birthstone for the month of September, is a beautiful gemstone that comes in a wide array of colors with the most popular being blue. Indeed, it is widely held that the word ”sapphire” is derived from the Latin word “Saphirus” and Greek word “Sapheiros,” both meaning blue. Others believe the name sapphire is derived from its association with the planet Saturn as it can be roughly translated to mean “Dear to the planet Saturn.” Continue reading

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The Hidden Risks of Holding Assets in Trusts and LLCs

Frances O'BrienIt’s not uncommon for assets such as homes, boats or other properties to be placed into trusts and limited liability corporations (LLCs). However, these vehicles can present unexpected risks if inadequately or improperly insured – or inadvertently, not insured at all. Continue reading

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