3 Types of annuities

By Marcie Geffner - Bankrate.com

What, exactly, is an annuity?

The most basic definition is that an annuity is a contract between the annuity's owner and a life insurance company. Pursuant to the contract, the owner gives the company a sum of money and the company gives the owner the opportunity to receive a guaranteed stream of payments.

The sum of money might be as little as $2,000 or as much as $1 million or more. The payment depends on the type of annuity, interest rate, time frame, owner's age and add-ons, or "riders," the owner purchases, says Michael Kostelnik, a financial planner at Family Life Financial Planning in Mentor, Ohio.

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How South China Sea conflict could hurt U.S. small businesses

By Marcie Geffner - Dun & Bradstreet

Island, rock or low-tide elevation?

The question might seem trivial, but it could have major implications for U.S. small businesses that engage in international trade. That's because disputes between China and other countries in South Asia over territorial rights in the South China Sea could disrupt important shipping lanes or make shipping riskier and more costly in that region of the world.

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Small business owners adjust to Brexit

By Marcie Geffner - Dun & Bradstreet

Brexit. The word alone might inspire any reaction, from mild interest to moderate concern to total terror, on the part of small business owners.

Wherever you fall on that spectrum, you can't afford to ignore the risks and opportunities Brexit presents.

In case you've been living in the proverbial cave for the last few months, "Brexit," a contraction of "Britain" and "exit," refers to a June 23, 2016, referendum in which voters in the United Kingdom (U.K.) instructed their government to leave the European Union (EU).

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