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October 11, 2013
 

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HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, OCTOBER 11, 2013 (StatePoint) If you've ever thought about purchasing a home, you're notalone. Called the "American Dream" for good reason, nearly four out of five renters now say that ho- meownership is a priority for them in the future, according to the National Association of Realtors' (NAR) 2013 National Housing Pulse Survey. Homeownership is often associated with creating a sense of community, mak- ing memories and building financial security. But if you're a renter, the possibility may sound daunting, particularly if you've heard that credit is getting harder to attain and mortgage rates and house prices are rising. Owning your own home can provide youwith financial stability and the opportunity to build equity over time--so don't make a decision to take yourself out of the market before doing your homework and reaching out to an expe- rienced housing professional for guidance. Why buy? While renters are subject Is homeownership within your reach? to rising rents, often on an annual basis, a monthly mortgage payment that stays the same for the entire period of a loan provides significant stability, making long-term planning and budgeting easier. So when deciding ifho- meownership is within reach, consider the added benefits of a 30-year fixed mortgage rate. Not only will you have stable payments for 30 years, you'll be building equity and can take advantage of certain tax breaks. Recent numbers suggest that now is a great time to buy, according to many in- dustry experts, as mortgage rates are still historically low. Although rates have been ris- ing in the past few months, as of mid-September, the Fred- die Mac update on mortgage rates showed the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate still below five percent. In the early 1980s, the rates exceeded 18 percent. And in an economy that's bounc- ing back from a recession, potential homebuyers are feeling more confident--with less concern about jobs and foreclosures than in 2011, according to the NAR survey. Homeownership may be within reach if you: Have reliable income, good credit and documenta- tion to verify your savings. Can afford at least a five percent down payment plus related closing costs. Have adequate cash re- serves to withstand a loss of job, long-term illness, large maintenance costs or other financial setback. While homeownershjp can provide many benefits, it's important to carefully evalu- ate your lifestyle and financial situation before diving in, par- ticularly if you're a first-time homebuyer. You'll also want to become educated about the responsibilities associated with homeownership--finan- cial and otherwise. It's one of the biggest financial decisions you'll ever make and the more you know the better. "Educated borrowers are better prepared for successful long-term homeownership and overall financial stability," says Christina Diaz-Malone, vice president of Housing and Community Outreach at Freddie Mac. To determine if homeown- ership is right for you, and learn more about credit, mortgage options, and the mortgage process, speakwith your lender, or visit Freddie Mac's homeownership pages at www.freddiemac.com/ homeownership. Don't defer the dream of PAGE 3B Barttomiej Szewczyk - Fotolia.com homeownership because of what you may be hearing. Do your research and reach out to an experienced housing professional. You may find that it's an attainable goal for you and your family. Expert advice for sm00a't investing strategies (BPT)--After five years of market volatility, recession and uncertainty, markets in the U.S. are showing signs of life. Leading indexes are now approaching all-time highs, and many individuals are tak- ing a fresh look at their invest- ment plans. But with the sting of recent losses and swings still fresh in mind, now is a good time to consider a new investment approach. If you're looking for long-term results in unpredictable market con- ditions, a few guidelines from the experts may help. "Investment strategies must evolve to accommodate complex modern markets," says David Giunta, president and CEO of Natixis Global Asset Management - U.S. Distribution, creators of Du- rable Portfolio Construction, an investment philosophy that draws on a variety of asset classes in an effort to produce reasonable returns and avoid dramatic losses. "The ultimate goal is to pursue returns in away that carefully considers the risks." Accord- ing to Giunta, there are five pillars of smart investing that can help limit risk caused by unexpected market swings and position portfolios for consistent long-term returns. These are the founding prin- ciples of durable portfolio construction: 1. Put risk first Rather than first consider- ing the potential rewards of an investment, start by making risk your top priority. Ask yourself how much you are willing to risk and base your investment decisions on this principle. When you under- stand risk and what to expect, you'll be better positioned to weather difficult market conditions. 2. Maximize diversification Diversification creates a solid foundation for building a more durable portfolio. Think of the simple adage we've heard since childhood: "Don't put all your eggs in one basket." It can make a lot of sense for investors. If you include a wide range of asset classes in your portfolio, then you will be better prepared to handle the challenges that modern markets can present. When one type of investment is down, the losses may be offset by the potential gains in another. Overall it's an approach that may provide a more consistent performance in all kinds of markets. 3. Use alternatives When diversifying your portfolio, you may want to investigate alternative in- vestments. Since markets around the globe often have high correlations --that is, they move up and down in synch with each other--it's important to look for in- vestments with low or no correlation to the broad markets. Keep in mind that some alternative investment techniques can amplify a gain or loss. 4. Make smarter use of traditional asset classes- Investors have often looked to stocks for growth and bonds for stability, but these two asset classes can play other roles in a portfolio. Equities have historically delivered growth that has outpaced inflation, but they can be volatile. Bonds, on the other hand, may not always be stable and can be volatile in periods of rising interest rates. Multisector bond funds may help ad- dress these concerns by diversifying bond holdings to include those that may be less interest rate sensitive and more focused on total return. However, keep in Ad Astra Pr Aspera 2013 FHSAA 3A Team Academic Award We are proud of our student-athletes and coaches for their dedication and commitment to excel in academics and athletics. Join us for Open House Thursday, November 14- 9:00 a.m. Wednesday, December 4 - 9:00 a.m. RSVP at TRINITYPRERorg/JOIN-US luLition assistance is available. $1.9 million awarded annually. 5700 Trinity Prep Lane, Winter Park, Florida 32792 323..282.2515 Inquire@TrinityPrep.org mind that multisector bond funds include a variety of fixed-income assets which may not always complement each other or provide the investment results desired. 5. Be consistent In today's world, there can be a lot of noise that may distract you from the big picture. That's why staying consistent is one of the best things you can do for your- self as an investor. Setting your investment plan and sticking with it through market fluctuations can help you weather the storms and pursue your goals. To learn more, visit www.durable- portfolios.com. "It's only human to watch the markets go up and down and want to react, but you shouldn't let short-term market movements distract you from your long-term goals," says Giunta. "These five principles will help in- vestors create a strategy that is timeless, and one that will accommodate the realities of today's global markets." THE FARB FINANCIAL GROUp THANK YOU Fort Yoon BUSlNF00S AND CONFIDENCE Stuart H. Farb, CLU, ChFC, Rebecca L. Kauffman, CRPC Summit Tower Blvd., Suite 170 Orlando, FL 32810 407-551-4333 FAX: 407-916-9502 emaih 00eFarl00l00up@LFG.eom 1. md imWnt al r twd hrou fn Finldal Adv Corp. a r, dlr