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It’s a challenge to keep up with the ever-changing regulatory environment. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has posted guidance about how your 2014 income tax filing may be affected by the Affordable Care Act – the individual health insurance mandate requires that all taxpayers have health insurance.

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Univest
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?” This is one of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s many famous quotes. At Univest, we firmly believe in giving back to the local communities we serve, so in honor of Dr. King’s legacy, we organized volunteer opportunities for our employees to allow them to spend part of their day off helping others in our local communities.

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Univest
If you got carried away this year with the holiday spending, you likely are in the throes of a financial hangover. This nasty ailment can cause headaches and last for months, if not longer. But there is a cure. Here are five steps to get over it:

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Univest
Through more than thirty years in financial services, I have found that most people make decisions about investments or insurance without the right guidance. Not that I blame them, they hear millions of salesmen and media mavens pushing products they do not fully understand. This problem has a solution that works – comprehensive and objective financial planning.

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Univest
The global economy is expected to improve in the coming year, although there is significant divergence between the places that are performing well, and the places that still have more problems. Improving economic conditions around the world will be central bank induced, meaning further monetary stimulus by world central bankers. While economic fundamentals will continue to lag, they’ll exhibit signs of improvement. The picture is complicated, with Europe and Japan in particular, facing sizeable problems. We remain hopeful that significant central bank intervention will help solve the problems and not exacerbate the issues being faced.

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Univest
As 2014 began, there were only three other periods since 1929 when the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P) index rose 10% or more for three consecutive years. With the conclusion of 2014, that record can now be amended to four periods when that’s been the case. It was another great year for stock investors, as the S&P index rose +11.4% excluding dividends, on the heels of a +29.6% gain in 2013 and a +13.4% gain in 2012. More impressive, is that the market overcame five separate declines of 4% or more during the year. There were also 53 new all-time highs set during the year, most recently on December 29th. It is estimated that $1.1 trillion was added to American share values.

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Univest
Congratulations to The Grannie Project - the winner of our third annual Caring for Community Giveaway, a contest that awards $5,000 to a local, nonprofit organization. This year, more than 150 groups were nominated for the prize through Univest’s Facebook and Twitter pages. From more than 14,225 votes submitted over the course of the contest, The Grannie Project received the most on its behalf, earning the group the $5,000 prize. The Grannie Project is a small, independent no-kill animal rescue operating out of Southeastern, PA dedicated to rescuing and advocating for senior pets.

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Univest
Starting the year off with a financial planning review with your financial advisor is a good idea to make sure everything is up to date. Many changes can occur during the course of a year such as your investment mix, long-term goals and personal situation that warrant a review meeting. In a review meeting with your advisor, make sure to cover these topics:

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Univest
A popular New Year’s resolution is to wisely manage finances. But it can be tough to stick to a goal this vague. Here are some specific ways to help you be money-smart in 2015.

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Univest
Were you lucky enough to receive jewelry as a gift this holiday season? You’re likely excited to enjoy your beautiful new piece, but insurance coverage is an important consideration. Insurance can be a powerful tool when consumers face a devastating loss. Being smart about how you buy and maintain insurance can help you get the most for your money.

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Univest
The end of the year is a good time to organize important papers and records, purging those that are just taking up space and filing away those you may still need. Knowing what to save and what to toss can help keep you organized and make managing your finances easier. Technology has made it easy to pull up records of bills, bank statements and loan payment histories. While this means you don’t need to hold onto some papers as long as you once did, it still pays to keep some of these documents handy.

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