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The return of volatility to the U.S. stock market in October serves as a timely reminder that bull markets don't last forever. Every investor must rebalance occasionally to shield portfolios from downside risk. But rather than just shifting your allocations in U.S. stocks and bonds, investors may want to go outside the box ... and into some high-yield alternative strategies.



However, American investors face a stock market that's already richly valued, and a bond market that produces only modest yields and returns.



Fortunately, other options are available for invest

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ors who want to capture big dividends and hold risk to a minimum. For instance, preferred stocks generally provide lower volatility than common stocks and yield close to 6% right now. Real estate investment trusts (REITs) provide diversification and yields often between 3% and 5%. Still other pockets of the market are specifically designed to counter market volatility.



If you're looking to hide out somewhere other than traditional American stock and bond strategies, here are 12 alternatives that tend to deliver higher yields, extra-stable performance or both.





SEE ALSO: 53 Best Dividend Stocks for 2018 and Beyond
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Scams can hit anyone at any age, but falling victim to fraud is especially painful for retirees, many of whom are counting on the fixed income from their nest eggs and Social Security benefits to last through retirement.





According to Federal Trade Commission data, 1.1 million frauds were reported in 2017, with 21% of the fraud victims suffering a financial loss. Fraud losses for all ages totaled $905 million in 2017, with a median loss of $429 per victim. Retirement-age fraud victims tend to lose more money to scams than younger victims. The median fraud loss was $500 fo

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r victims in their 60s, $621 for victims in their 70s, and $1,092 for victims 80 and over. More than 107,000 Americans ages 60 to 69 reported being victims of fraud last year, the highest total of any age range tracked by the FTC.





So how are retirees being swindled? In more ways than you can imagine. Here are some of the most common scams being run today, along with advice from fraud experts on how to avoid getting ripped off.





SEE ALSO: 9 Worst Things Retirees Keep in Their Wallets
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It takes some doing to really get a self-sustaining business up and running, but thousands of people use this site to make a living each day. Illustrator Lorraine Yow is one of them. Here are her top tips for finding and keeping great clients.



The post Upwork Tips From a Freelance Illustrator Who’s Making Her Mark appeared first on Upwork Blog.

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The national median sales price for existing single-family homes hit $269,000 in the second quarter of this year, according to the National Association of Realtors. However, depending on where you choose to live, that much money may get you a large, single-family home with plenty of amenities -- or a studio apartment.





In cities such as New York City and San Diego, you'll find only small studio and one-bedroom condos or even mobile manufactured homes at that price point. Meanwhile, in Jacksonville, Fla., or Houston, for instance, you can snag a single-family home with som

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e acreage and a pool in the backyard.





We rounded up to $300,000 and looked for homes for sale in 21 of the largest U.S. cities from coast to coast to see just how much homebuyers can get for their money. Here's what we found.





SEE ALSO: 50 Best Places to Retire in the U.S.
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The economy is booming, with the unemployment rate at the lowest level in nearly 50 years. Wages have remained relatively stagnant, though, and for many workers, the only way to get a raise is by changing jobs, which sometimes means moving to another city or state.





But before you start packing, check out the cost of living in your prospective employer's city. You'll want to look at the cost of housing, of course, and don't overlook the impact of state and local taxes on your bottom line. Our annual guide to state taxes shows that tax rates are literally all over the map

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- and the difference between living in a high-tax or a low-tax state can be thousands of dollars each year, depending on your tax situation.





Updated for 2018, here is our list of the 10 most tax-friendly states in the U.S. The top five states on our list have no state income tax at all. Take a look.





SEE ALSO: TAX MAP: State-by-State Guide to TaxesSEE ALSO: SLIDE SHOW: 10 Least Tax-Friendly States
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Freelancing can get lonely—at least, that's how Marilou Musni felt when she decided to spark a change by becoming an Upwork Huddle host! Here’s a look at what Huddles are and how Musni uses them to help balance all the time spent working on her own.



The post Upwork Huddles: The Perfect Excuse to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone appeared first on Upwork Blog.

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Usama Riaz started doing freelance mobile application development projects on Upwork before he started applying to colleges. He credits that freelance experience with helping to land a highly coveted internship—but he hadn’t been there long when he decided it wasn’t his “dream job” after all.



The post Why One Developer Ditched the Silicon Valley Dream to Keep Freelancing appeared first on Upwork Blog.

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Julie Ewald was hoping to augment her income when she first started freelancing. Today, she's a digital marketing strategist on Upwork and the sole owner of Impressa Solutions, a marketing agency. Here's a look at how she's created and grown her business—from a great profile to an agile distributed team.



The post How Freelancer Julie Ewald Turned Being Broke into a Business Opportunity appeared first on Upwork Blog.

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Knowing the tactics that work for other freelancers can be the confidence boost you need to quickly and consistently crank out amazing, winning proposals. In this guest post, six-figure freelancer Danny Margulies takes a deep dive into the “invisible questions” your proposal should address, tips to give your pitch and your presence a more polished look, and common mistakes that even experienced freelancers can make.



The post How to Write Proposals: Proven Advice From Freelancers on Upwork appeared first on Upwork Blog.

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Do you have a network of freelancers you can turn to if a project needs extra support? Here's a look at how Julie Gates, a voice over artist from Raleigh, NC, built a powerful referral network by getting involved in her local freelance community.



The post Upwork Huddles: Create a Powerful Network to Support Your Next Big Client Project appeared first on Upwork Blog.