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I'm thinking about storing financial documents in the cloud. What should I know?

Cloud storage--using Internet-based service providers to store digital assets such as books, music, videos, photos, and even important documents including financial statements and contracts--has become increasingly popular in recent years. But is it right for you?

Opinions vary on whether to store your most sensitive information in the cloud. While some experts say you should physically store items you're not willing to lose or expose publicly, others contend that high-security cloud options are available.

If you're thinking about cloud storage for your financial documents, consider the following:

·         Evaluate the provider's reputation. Is the service well known, well tested, and well reviewed by information security experts?

Are There Gaps in Your Insurance Coverage?

Buying insurance is about sharing or shifting risk. For example, health insurance will cover some of the cost of medical care. Homeowners insurance will assume some of the risk of loss in the event your home is damaged or destroyed. But oftentimes we think we're covered for specific losses when, in fact, we're not. Here are some common coverage gaps to consider when reviewing your own insurance coverage.

Life insurance

In general, you want to have enough life insurance coverage (when coupled with savings and income) to allow your family to continue living the lifestyle to which they're accustomed. But changing circumstances may leave a gap in your life insurance coverage.

Estate Planning Strategies in a Low-Interest-Rate Environment

The federal government requires the use of certain published interest rates to value various items used in estate planning, such as an income, annuity, or remainder interest in a trust. The government also specifies interest rates that a taxpayer may be deemed to use in connection with certain installment sales or intra-family loans. These rates are currently at or near historic lows, presenting several estate planning opportunities.

Low interest rates favor certain estate planning strategies over others. For example, low interest rates are generally beneficial for a grantor retained annuity trust (GRAT), a charitable lead annuity trust (CLAT), an installment sale, and a low-interest loan. On the other hand, low interest rates generally have a detrimental effect on a qualified personal residence trust (QPRT) and a charitable gift annuity. But interest rates have little or no effect on a charitable remainder unitrust (CRUT).

“Picture Yourself on the BNMC, Powered by AT&T” Attracts Hundreds of Students and their Families

“Picture Yourself on the BNMC, Powered by AT&T” Attracts Hundreds of Students and their Families

Nearly 600 middle and high school students and their parents took part in the second annual  “Picture Yourself on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Powered by AT&T” event today in order to get a behind-the-scenes look at the variety of work that takes place there every day including medical, manufacturing, research and entrepreneurial organizations. The half-day event was designed to introduce future STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers, internships and volunteer opportunities to area students in grades seven through twelve and to demonstrate the importance of STEM education and the field’s significant  impact on the region’s resurgence.  Participation in the event exceeded the goal of 500 and increased by about 150 people compared to last year.

Tips for Those Who Missed the Tax Deadline

Monday, April 18, was the tax deadline for most people in 2016. If you didn’t file a tax return or an extension to file but should have, take action now. If you missed the tax filing deadline:

Assessing Portfolio Performance: Choose Your Benchmarks Wisely

You can't help but hear about the frequent ups and downs of the Dow Jones Industrial Average or the S&P 500 index. The performance of both major indexes is widely reported and analyzed in detail by financial news outlets around the nation.

Like the Dow, the S&P 500 tracks the stocks of large domestic companies. With 500 stocks compared to the Dow's 30, the S&P 500 comprises a much broader segment of the stock market and is considered to be representative of U.S. stocks in general. Both indexes are generally useful tools for tracking stock market trends, but some investors mistakenly think of them as benchmarks for how well their own portfolios should be doing.

Buffalo Unconference Powered by AT&T Turned Attendees in to Presenters

Buffalo Unconference Powered by AT&T Turned Attendees in to Presenters

Buffalo Unconference powered by AT&T, an interactive event built to bring together a diverse group of people, so they may share their knowledge on topics they are passionate about through presentations, demos, and open discussions, returned to downtown Buffalo last Saturday (April 16, 2016) by popular demand for its second year. The free conference was open to the public and was hosted at VCAMP Health Accelerator in downtown Buffalo. The more than 250 innovative and creative attendees were encouraged to either participate by presenting on topics such as technology, entrepreneurship, programming, art, music, volunteerism, writing, or virtually any creative subject or sit in the various presentations to learn a new creative skill or passion.  The Buffalo Unconference powered by AT&T organizers curated the talks and categorized them into six different tracks of speakers that ran concurrently and attendees chose which talks to attend.