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Mar 2, 2011
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Deficit, unemployment top investor concerns: poll

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The staggering budget deficit and troublesome unemployment rate are the top concerns for both investors approaching retirement and those already basking in their twilight years, according to a new Wells Fargo/Gallup poll.

Among the more than 1,000 investors surveyed, 71 percent said the nine-percent unemployment rate and the deficit — forecast to reach $1.48-trillion this fiscal year, or 9.8 per cent of GDP — is hurting the investment climate “a lot.”

Mar 1, 2011
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Affluent investors: Scared, confident or all of the above?

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Has the toe-curling terror of the Great Recession abated, motivating retail investors to return to equities? Well, that depends on who you ask.

According to a recent Merrill Edge survey, the mass affluent (consumers with $50,000 to $250,000 in investable assets) are conservative, risk adverse and have little confidence in reaching their long-term goals.

Feb 24, 2011
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Chinese Americans saving less, risking more

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America’s largest Asian cohort has little in the way of emergency cash or cash-equivalents, choosing instead to roll the dice and invest the majority of their net worth in the stock market, according to new research from the University of Missouri.

The study — spearheaded by Dr. Rui Yao, professor of personal financial planning — looked at the balance sheet ratio of 149 Chinese American households living in five Midwestern states.

Feb 21, 2011
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Savings: 3 ways to beef up your rainy-day fund

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You’ve heard it all before: lower-income families save little for emergencies, suburban dwellers take on massive mortgages they can’t afford, retired persons now live longer on less. Despite the boot-quaking Great Recession, Americans don’t seem to be getting the message — pay down your debt and start saving.

“There was a little bit of a spike in the savings rate after the economic meltdown, but about a week or so ago, they were reporting consumer confidence appears to be up because people are using their credit cards again,” says Eleanor Blayney, a CFP and consumer advocate for the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.

Feb 17, 2011
via Reuters Money

Financial advice: Who gets it?

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Americans most in need of formal financial advice are the least likely to seek it, as access to affordable, professional guidance remains out of reach for those with lower income and education levels.

“The advice market does not serve the vulnerable populations — the low-income populations, minority neighborhoods, as well as, other parts of the market. It’s an issue. The marketplace is not equal in terms of access,” says Michael Collins, director of the Center for Financial Security and author of the recent research paper “A Review of Financial Advice Models and the Take-Up of Financial Advice.

Feb 15, 2011
via Reuters Money

5 ways to have a scam-free spring break

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Has your child been a slave to the books this semester? Are you looking to reward them with a week in Cancun? Spring break travel is rife with last-minute deals for those willing to put in the leg work, but it’s also prime time for scam artists.

We’ve all heard the horror stories — slum-like hotel rooms advertised as luxury suites, credit card bills inflated by hidden feesĀ  — which is all the more reason not to become a victim.

Feb 10, 2011
via Reuters Money

First-time buyers forgo starter homes: survey

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Looking to cash-in on rock-bottom home prices, first-time buyers are thumbing their noses at traditional “starter homes,” setting their sights on move-in-ready real estate, according to a new survey from Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

Of the 300 buyers surveyed, 87 percent said finding a move-in-ready property was important to them.

Feb 10, 2011

Valentine’s Day: It’s the dollars that count

TORONTO (Reuters) – Despite an anemic economic recovery, the old adage “it’s the thought that counts” likely won’t apply this Feb.14.

The average American couple plans to spend nearly three times more on Valentine’s Day ($189) compared to what singles would spend on the average date night ($67), according to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker.

Feb 9, 2011
via Reuters Money

Valentine’s Day shoppers plan to splurge

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Despite an anemic economic recovery, the old adage “it’s the thought that counts” likely won’t apply this Feb.14.

The average American couple plans to spend nearly three times more on Valentine’s Day ($189) compared to what singles would spend on the average date night ($67), according to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker.

Feb 8, 2011
via Reuters Money

Identity fraud levels drop to four-year low

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Thanks to signs of a burgeoning economic recovery, identity theft declined dramatically in 2010, but unlucky victims were forced to pay more out-of-pocket when defrauded, according to a survey by Javelin Strategy & Research released Tuesday.

The number of identity fraud victims decreased by 28 percent last year, bringing the total number of victims down to 2007 levels. Total annual fraud also decreased from $56 billion to $37 billion — the smallest dollar amount in the past eight years the study has been conducted.

    • About Ashleigh

      "As personal finance producer, Ashleigh aids the team in building personal finance coverage at Reuters.com and other Thomson Reuters platforms. She first joined the Thomson Reuters online desk in 2008 as an editor for Reuters.com, Reuters.ca and Reuters.co.uk."
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