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How to Protect Your Credit and Online Data From Fraud—A Year After The Equifax Breach

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The Market Went Down—What Now?

The S&P 500 has fallen more than 10%. The Dow drops more than 1,000 points.

I’m sure you’ve seen the headlines about the market movements over the past few days and might be worried. That’s not surprising. If you own stocks, they may have lost some value, which doesn’t feel great.
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But, let’s put this dip into perspective. In Wall Street terms, we’ve been in what’s called a “bull market” since 2009. A decline of 10% or more in a bull market—which we’ve sseen in the past few days—is called a “correction.” Bull markets in the past have averaged about one correction a year. The last one we had was February of 2016, so we’ve been overdue.

But here’s something else you should know: While Wall Street traders might be panicking a bit, for the average investor, like you, there’s no cause for alarm. The economy still appears to be on solid footing if you look at things like unemployment and company earnings. And in many ways, this market dip was expected.

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6 Last-Minute Tax Tips That Could Save You Money in 2017

By John Foley, CFP®

As you’ve no doubt read in the news, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is about to become law. And while the bill contains over 500 pages of changes to the tax rules for corporations, privately held businesses, and individuals, what you’re probably wondering most is: How will the tax plan affect me?

There are three big changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that will impact most individual taxpayers:

1) New income tax brackets with lower rates for most taxpayers

2) A higher standard deduction—$12,000 for single filers, $24,000 for married filing joint

3) A $10,000 limit on the combined deduction for state and local income and property tax (and that’s the same whether you’re single or married)

While you can’t change the rules, there are things you might be able to do to potentially lower your overall tax burden this year and next, namely, shifting certain deductions into 2017 and certain income into 2018. But the clock is ticking: These provisions are expected to go into effect on January 1, 2018, so December 31 is the last day you can do anything that impacts your 2017 taxes.

Here are a few important actions you could take before the new tax bill kicks in. Ask your tax preparer if they are right for you.

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5 Steps to Investing in Your 401k Savings Account

Investing for retirement can seem daunting. With so many retirement plan options, and even more jargon that comes with the territory, it’s no wonder people can start to feel anxious when figuring out how to invest in their 401(k) properly. Luckily, the first step is easy—all you have to do is start saving your money and putting it in a retirement account.

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Is Your Bank Keeping Too Much of Your Money?

You probably already know that you should have an emergency fund—three to six months of expenses saved in a place you can access it quickly and easily if needed, like a checking or savings account.

But what you might not know is that, beyond your emergency fund, a savings account is one of the worst places to keep—and grow—your money. The average savings account interest rate of the five largest U.S. banks this year was 0.08%—less than one-tenth of one percent!

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Here’s the Real Reason You Need an Emergency Fund—And How To Make It Happen

The most commonly doled out piece of financial advice may well be, “Start an emergency fund.” You’ve undoubtedly been on the receiving end of this wisdom before, but even though it’s valid advice, it can be hard to implement. This is especially true when no one actually tells you why you should invest in emergency savings, or how exactly you go about building up that financial safety net. At SoFi, we’re committed to helping our members plan for their future—and part of maintaining secure financial footing is working to ensure that you can handle the unexpected expenses life brings.

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