Life. Priorities.

By Merrill Lynch | Get the latest thinking you need to pursue your goals.

Paternity Leave: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

<i>1"U.S. Paid Family Leave Versus the Rest of the World," Think Progress, 30 July 2014. <br>2"Key Characteristics of Parental Leave Systems," Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2016 <br>3 "2015 Employee Benefits," Society for Human Resource Management, June 2015. <br>4 "The New Dad," Boston</i> …

The Workplace

Great Vacation, Great Price

A Travel + Leisure editor’s inside tips to help you get the most for your travel dollars—whether it’s a week at the beach or the vacation of a lifetime<p>3 Questions to Ask Your Advisor<p>How can I plan ahead to pay for a memorable “bucket list” trip with my family?<br>• What services does the Virtuoso travel …

Travel

Be the Cure

Eight strategies that could help you get personal with your health-care philanthropy<p>CEEYA PATTON-BOLMAN AND HER HUSBAND, R. Morton "Chip" Bolman III, don't have to wonder whether their philanthropic efforts are having an impact on real lives. He's a cardiac surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital …

Philanthropy

Why It’s Not ‘Business As Usual’ for Women Entrepreneurs

They overcome financial hurdles to start businesses at twice the rate of men. How women do it offers lessons for all aspiring entrepreneurs.<p>THE LIST OF SUCCESSFUL COMPANIES started by women includes many iconic brands—from Chanel and Learning Express to Zipcar. Network hardware giant Cisco and …

Bank of America

The Basics Q&A: Paying Off Grad-School Debt

Q: I’m going to graduate from med school with a lot of student-loan debt. How can I make it more manageable?<p><b>A.</b> That advanced degree should pay off financially over the course of your career, but the short-term cost can seem intimidating. In 2012, the typical grad student had accumulated more than …

Loans

Follow the (New) Market Leaders

As economic and demographic shifts reshape markets around the world, investors might want to take a second look at some of their assumptions<p>Markets are transforming, reflecting sweeping, long-lasting demographic and economic shifts. In the U.S., baby boomers are approaching retirement, while in …

Stocks

Are No-Cost College Courses for You?

A new phenomenon in online education is making it easier than ever to pursue knowledge without going broke. Here's what a number of prestigious schools are offering you.<p>WHEN PRINCETON UNIVERSITY OFFERED A FREE online course on algorithms in the summer of 2012, some 80,000 students signed up—about …

MOOCs

Healthcare Sector Outlook — Tailwinds from Innovation

Three significant trends are transforming the future of health care, and that’s creating a number of new long-term opportunities for investors.<p>THE HEALTHCARE SECTOR has been a standout performer in U.S. equity markets for most of the current cycle. While regulatory concerns were weighing on the …

The Basics Q&A: Remarried—with Children? An Estate Plan for You

Q: How can my estate provide both for my adult children and for my second wife?<p><b>A:</b> A lot of people these days face questions just like yours. That's not surprising, considering that nearly two in five people age 50 or older belong to blended families, according to a Merrill Lynch study, <i>Family &</i> …

Emerging Markets: Some Good News at Last?

Government reforms, improving productivity and a renewed flair for innovation will be key factors for these economies in the months and years ahead<p>AFTER ABOUT A DECADE of strong performance, the last five years have been unkind to Emerging Markets (EMs) as the tailwinds that propelled them have …

Changing Your Facebook Status to "Remarried"—in Retirement?

Consider these financial issues before walking down the aisle again<p>THEY SAY LOVE IS SWEETER the second time around. What they don't tell you is that it can also be a lot more complicated financially—especially for couples who find one another later in life. The vow "for richer, for poorer, in …

Alternative Energy: Powering a Brighter Future

Renewable sources like solar and wind could be critical to meeting the planet’s soaring demand for energy—and addressing the growing threats from climate change and pollution<p>GLOBAL ENERGY DEMAND HAS CONTINUED to grow and it is expected to rise by nearly one-third between 2013 and 2040. Power will …

Renewable Energy

Why Hospitals Are a Growing Target for Cybercrime

The increasing digitization of patient health records and under-funding of network security are putting hospitals at risk. But the industry could emerge as a major driver of cybersecurity spending<p>THROUGHOUT THE CURRENT CYCLE, the healthcare sector has been a major source of growth for both the …

Cybersecurity

Investing in a Healthier World

As global health issues come to the forefront, these three areas offer investors a chance to make a difference while pursuing growth<p>3 Questions to Ask Your Advisor<p>How can my investing help address global health problems?<br>• How can I take longevity into account in my portfolio?<br>• Which biotechnology firms …

Merrill Lynch

Debt and Opportunity

The world is deep in a flood tide of debt. Do we care, and what can we do about it? Read on to find out.<p><b>The rise in global debt</b><br>More than eight years since the 2008 global financial crisis started, the world seems to be drowning in debt. Global economic growth, meanwhile, remains anemic. Some …

Economics

Is a Trust Right for You?

Yes, trusts can be an efficient way to provide the next generation with a financial legacy—but they can have other benefits you may not have thought about as well. Read about them here.<p>MANY PEOPLE ASSUME THAT TRUSTS are only for the very wealthy. That's not the case. "Trusts are tools that give you …

Healthcare Breakthroughs: Will There Be An Anti-Aging Pill?

Scientists are making significant strides toward slowing down the aging process—as well as many of the chronic diseases that come with getting older. Our panelists point to several of the most promising innovations.<p><b>Sign up to watch a replay of our webcast, "Are You Ready to Live to 100? Ways to</b> …

Retirement

Stayin’ Alive: Manufacturing in America

Companies that leverage new technologies and innovative ways of doing business are transforming how America does manufacturing—creating new jobs and investment opportunities in the process<p>WHATEVER THE LATEST VIEWS on the cyclical outlook for American manufacturing, the structural trend is …

Manufacturing

The Basics Q&A: "Mommy, Are We Rich?"

Q: My five-year-old daughter recently asked me about our financial situation. What's the best way to respond?<p><b>A:</b> My son actually asked a very similar question when he was about your daughter’s age. Children often become curious about money at a very young age—no matter what their parents’ income …

Snap Stat: The Incredible Shrinking Cost of Mapping Your DNA

Thanks to dramatic advances in medical research, the price tag of mapping the human genome has plummeted, making personalized medicine much more affordable<p>Watch our video, Health Care and the Data Revolution, to learn about other exciting innovations in the field of personalized medicine that could …

Health Care

Health Perks at Work

PPOs, FSAs, HSAs and more—the range of health care options employers offer can be confusing. Here’s a guide to help you decide what might work best for you and your family.<p>ON-SITE YOGA CLASSES. Subsidized gym memberships and bike-share programs. Free activity trackers. Smoking-cessation programs. …

Retirement

What’s The Ceiling on Home Prices?

The U.S. housing market is currently one of the economy's bright spots. But are prices accelerating too quickly? In this video, our deputy head of U.S. Economics shares her outlook for both the short and longer term.<p>3 Questions to Ask Your Advisor<p>What's the current outlook for interest rates?<br>• What …

The Robot Revolution

What will the future look like as robots and artificial intelligence reach into every area of our lives? Beijia Ma, thematic investment strategist, explores the pros and cons of this rapidly growing trend.<p>3 Questions to Ask Your Advisor<p>What sectors and industries could be most affected by the …

Robots

Retiring Abroad? Here's What You Need to Know

While alluring, relocating to another country can come with its own complications. Ask yourself these 8 questions before making a move.<p>THERE'S SOMETHING UNDENIABLY appealing about the idea of living an expatriate adventure in retirement. Striking out for foreign shores can seem pragmatic as well as …

Checklist: 5 Retirement Questions Every Couple Should Ask—and Answer

Even newlyweds can benefit from having this conversation. The sooner you come to agreement, the easier it will be for you to put a plan in place to pursue your goals.<p>PLENTY OF DIFFICULT FINANCIAL DECISIONS will come your way as you approach retirement, including questions about Social Security and …

Retirement

To Rent or Own? That Is the Question

Thinking about buying your first home–or making your next move? Michelle Meyer, deputy head of U.S. Economics at BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research, looks at four important factors that can help you decide whether home ownership makes the most sense for you in today’s market.<p>3 Questions to Ask Your …

Merrill Lynch

Personal Essay: Honey, I Shrunk Our Home!

Though many people resist the idea of moving to smaller digs, this writer is looking forward to the pleasures of downsizing.<p>Much as my wife and I love our children, we can't wait for the day when they're launched in the world and we can go back to being a couple. We already talk about it—a lot. And …

Merrill Lynch

Technology Is Disrupting Everything—Even Sneakers

CIO Chris Hyzy looks at game-changing innovation across industries and the often unexpected investment opportunities it’s creating<p>3 Questions to Ask Your Advisor<p>What are some ways to invest in disruptive technologies?<br>• What potential risks could such investments present?<br>• Which companies and industries …