Here are links to some of the many helpful free or low-cost information sources available to consumers on-line. These resources are organized by general topic and then alphabetically.
Seastrunk Financial is not endorsing any of the organizations, companies, or products. We just want to provide you with resources to help make your financial and life-planning choices easier.
But a word of warning... The financial world is full of con artists, greedy financial institutions, esoteric language, legal rules, and misleading methodologies so watch your backside. If it seems too good to be true guess what... it is!
COLLEGES & FINANCIAL AID
College Board Online-The College Board Library. Student and parent information; college planning news, tools and resources.
Intuit Inc.’s TurboTax.com. Click on “Tax Tips & Resources,” then “Going to School” to learn about education-funding options and tax implications for each.
FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid. You can use FAFSA4caster to learn about the financial aid process and get an early estimate of your eligibility for federal student aid.
FinAid.org was established in the fall of 1994 as a public service. This award-winning site has grown into the most comprehensive source of student financial aid information, advice and tools -- on or off the web.
SavingforCollege.com. Independent and objective information on different ways to save and pay for college; plenty of interactive tools.
Xap.com. Its “Get Money” feature offers plenty of help in calculating and finding financial aid.
South Carolina Future Scholar is a qualified 529 College Savings Plan that gives you a smarter way to save for a child’s college education. Tax advantages, flexibility, control and professional investment management help make Future Scholar an attractive choice over many other college savings vehicles.
www.AnnualCreditReport.com Fight identity theft by monitoring and reviewing your credit report. You may request your free credit report online, request your report by phone or request your report through the mail. Free credit reports requested on-line are viewable immediately upon authentication of identity.
National Foundation for Credit Counseling The NFCC promotes the national agenda for financially responsible behavior and builds capacity for its members to deliver the highest quality financial education and counseling services.
Nolo Law Center. The Wills and Estate Planning link provides access to plain-English articles on topics like estate-planning basics, living wills, funeral planning, and various other legal documents.
Aging With Dignity. Learn how to ensure that your wishes will be followed in the event of a serious illness with the help of a Living Will and other documents; how to discuss your wishes with loved ones and your physician, and where to obtain resources for family caregivers; includes link to related sites. Check out its “Five Wishes” brochure.
Certified Financial Planner (CFP). Board of Standards Information about Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) licensees and the financial- planning profession, including what it takes to become a CFP® and tips on how to select a financial advisor.
CNN Money. Sources for breaking business news, personal finance commentary, and planning tools.
Kiplinger Personal Finance. Timely personal finance advice and business forecasts; includes news, rates, calculators, quotes, columns, and advice on finance and business.
MSN.Money’s Money Central. Investor quotes, charts, news, and a variety of financial planning information.
Reuters.com. Quality financial education; investment information, research, and screening tools.
Yahoo Finance. Financial news and commentary on U.S. and world markets, plus investment, loan, and insurance centers.
GOVERNMENT AND OTHER AGENCIES/ORGANIZATIONS
American Bar Association. Offers an on-line lawyer referral service plus plenty of helpful consumer information.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. All things to know about Medicare, Medicaid, and many other federal and state-administered health programs.
Department of Health and Human Services. Hot links to all kinds of valuable health, health care, drug, food, and medical information as well as more resources.
Employee Benefit Research Institute. Nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed to data dissemination, policy research, and education on economic security and employee benefits; check out its domestic-partner benefits fact sheet.
Internal Revenue Service. Tax information, directions, tools, downloadable forms, and more.
Legal Services Corporation. Click on Get Legal Services for a list of government-funded legal services available in your area for qualified individuals.
NASDAQ. Home page for the largest electronic screen-based equity securities market in the United States; check out its Investor Tools section.
National Association of Insurance Commissioners. National organization of state insurance regulators; visit its Consumer Information Source.
New York Stock Exchange. Home page for the world’s leading equities trading floor; check out its glossary of trading and stock terms.
North American Securities Administration Association. Investor protection specialists; lots of good reading on everything from investor rights to scams to avoid and what to do if you have a problem.
Securities and Exchange Commission. Federal agency that regulates and supervises securities markets; a wealth of free information and tutorials on money, finance, investing, regulations, corporate operations, and more (check out the online brochures); great links to EDGAR, the SEC database of filings by public companies; check out brokers and firms, too.
Social Security Administration. News and how-to information on tax withholding, obtaining a replacement card or Statement of Earnings and Benefits, etc.
BankRate.com. Assorted general information and rates, including current mortgage rates by specific location, calculators to help you figure out how much house you can afford, and a glossary.
National Association of Realtors®. Lots of home-buying and ownership information, links and calculators; includes helpful search tools.
healthcare.gov At HealthCare.gov, you’ll see high-quality and affordable health coverage options available to you. In fact, most who apply will qualify for savings.
Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America. The nation’s largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers; includes an insurance agent database.
Bonds Online Includes information on tax-free municipal bonds, treasury/savings bonds, corporate bonds, and bond funds. Learn the basics of the bond market with the Bond Professor.
Economic Calendar From Bloomberg POWERED BY Econoday
Economic and financial indicators From The Economist
Investing In Bonds Information for investors on municipals, corporates, mortgage-backed, and U.S. Government securities. Offers extensive related links. A service of the Bond Market Association. www.investinginbonds.com
Investor.gov Avoid Investment Fraud The SEC has set up this website for investors to learn about the financial markets so you can avoid scams and poor financial products.
Morningstar.com Providers of news and analyses on markets, stocks, and mutual funds, for the individual investor. Registration required.
Morningstar stock market valuation Is the stock market cheap or expensive? This chart tells the story based on Morningstar’s fair value estimates for individual stocks. The graph shows the ratio price to fair value for the median stock in the selected coverage universe over time.
SaveAndInvest.org - Senior Investors Resources to Fight Fraud Fighting Fraud 101: Smart Tips for Older Investors
The monthly Rail Time Indicators report and video summary combine rail traffic data with more than 15 key U.S. economic indicators – including consumer confidence, housing starts and industrial production – in a non-technical snapshot of how rail traffic data reflects the broader U.S. economy.
Bloomberg.com. Includes market data, news, analysis, and commentary plus live streamed radio and television links.
MSN.Money’s Money Central. News and commentary from major media outlets.
CNNMoney. Business news, plus market snapshots and investing information.
Google Finance Google Finance offers the latest financial headlines and market news. finance.google.com
Smartmoney. From Dow Jones & Company Inc., publishers of The Wall Street Journal, and Hearst Communications; online magazine of personal business includes information on stocks, bonds, mutual funds, the markets, and more.
Wall Street Journal. Interactive edition. All the news of the WSJ plus 24-hour-a-day updates.
Yahoo! Finance At Yahoo! Finance, you get free stock quotes, up to date news, portfolio management resources, international market data, message boards, and mortgage rates that help you manage your financial life.
MILITARY PERSONNEL AND THEIR FAMILIES
The SEC's Office of Investor Education and Assistance has teamed with the FINRA Investor Education Foundation and the Department of Defense on a multi-faceted financial education program serving members of the military and their families.
CNNMoney. Source of retirement planning commentary and planning tools.
Kiplinger Personal Finance. Timely retirement advice, calculators, columns, and more.
MSN.Money’s Money Central. Retirement commentary, advice, and tools to use.
Nolo. Source of excellent do-it-yourself and informational softback books on retirement issues. Type “retirement” in Search tool.
Quicken.com. Type “retirement” in Search tool for all kinds of valuable information on everything from planning for retirement to tax issues and more.
AARP. Targets those 50 or older planning for or already retired; all kinds of useful information; be sure to check out Learning and Technology; Family, Home and Legal; Money, and Work.
Agency on Aging. A gold mine of government resources for seniors to home and community-based services through programs funded under the Older Americans Act.
FirstGov for Seniors. The federal government’s Web portal; plenty of useful information on everything from consumer protection to health, retirement, taxes, travel and leisure, and plenty in between.
Medicare. Learn about eligibility and benefits, billing, compare health-care options, download Medicare forms, and locate participating providers by geographic area.
Securities And Exchange Commission Whether you are nearing — or already enjoying — retirement, it pays to stay on top of your finances. Nearly one-third of all U.S. investors are between 50 and 64 years of age, and approximately 5 million senior citizens succumb to financial abuse each year.
Social Security Administration. Access to a wealth of information related to Social Security; obtain general planning information; apply for benefits and even file online.
Internal Revenue Service. Tax information, directions, tools, downloadable forms, and more.
TurboTax from Intuit. Get plain-language answers to your tax questions, summaries of tax-law changes, tax tips and insights, calculators, and forms.
What the lawyers make us say (disclaimer): The above is presented for educational purposes only. Under no circumstances should it be mistaken for professional investment or financial advice, nor is it at all intended to be taken as such. The commentary and other contents simply reflect the opinion of the authors alone on the current and future status of the markets and various economies. It is subject to error and change without notice. The presence of a link to a website does not indicate approval or endorsement of that web site or any services, products, or opinions that may be offered by them. Neither the information nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation to buy or sell any securities nor investments. Do NOT ever purchase any security or investment without doing your own and sufficient research. The principals and related parties of Seastrunk Financial Management, LLC may at times have positions in the securities or investments referred to and may make purchases or sales of these securities and investments. The analysis contained is based on both technical and fundamental research. Although the information contained is derived from sources which are believed to be reliable, they cannot be guaranteed.