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This article was originally published by U.S. News and written by Kristin McFarland, CFP®, Wealth Advisor at Darrow Wealth Management. 

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This article was written by Darrow advisor Kristin McFarland, CFP® and originally published by Forbes.

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The S&P 500 is often used as a measure of the entire US stock market, and for good reason, but that sometimes leads investors to believe they need only invest in a fund that tracks the famed index. To better understand the US equity landscape, it is helpful to explore some of the most widely used benchmarks, which are designed to track companies of various market capitalizations. 

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This article was written by Darrow advisor Kristin McFarland, CFP® and originally published by Forbes.

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This article was originally published by U.S. News and written by Kristin McFarland, CFP®, Wealth Advisor at Darrow Wealth Management. 

The doomsday scenario is universally shared by retirees and pre-retirees alike: depleting all your financial resources during your lifetime.

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This article was written by Darrow advisor Kristin McFarland, CFP® and originally published by Forbes.

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Benefit programs at work can offer employees and executives significant wealth-building tools. Unfortunately, individuals don't always know they can or should participate and sometimes the complex nature of benefit plans can lead to costly mistakes. To help ensure you're taking advantage of the most significant financial resources your employer offers, familiarize yourself with how these programs work and consult your financial advisor to discuss an approach that best fits your situation and needs.

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Setting your asset allocation is like drafting architectural plans when building a home: it provides a map to guide the construction of your investment portfolio. Developing an asset allocation is a multi-step process, which is challenging for many investors, and for good reason. A Google search for the term "how to set your asset allocation" yields 56 million results - how can you tell which sources are credible or which advice is appropriate for your individual situation?

To complicate matters, the universe of mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, and bonds available for investment is vast and includes thousands and thousands of options. Fund selection is an often-overlooked step in the asset allocation process. Choosing the wrong funds is akin to picking poor finishes when building your home: a massive open-concept kitchen with a large island doesn't look so grand with laminate countertops and wall-to-wall carpet.

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This article was written by Darrow advisor Kristin McFarland, CFP® and originally published by Forbes.

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It's true: the idea of living without a mortgage payment sounds enticing. On the surface, it may also seem like a no-brainer financially...paying off debts is typically considered a positive thing. Unfortunately, many homeowners get so wrapped up in the debt-free dream, they never run the numbers, or worse, even admit the plan is financially ill-advised but can't shake the desire to live mortgage-free and do it anyways. As with nearly everything in life, there's an opportunity cost that comes with each decision we make. Whether you share the urge to live without a mortgage or simply aren't sure where else to put your extra cash, it's important to understand that prepaying your mortgage may not be all it's cracked up to be.

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