Chris's Feed
May 25, 2012

Seven new ways to land that summer job

NEW YORK (Reuters) – While most kids are zoning out to Nickelodeon or playing video games on their parents’ iPhones, 13-year-old Jack James is busy creating multiple revenue streams for himself.

Back when he was nine, James got the idea to do the dirty work of taking his neighbors’ trash cans out for pickup, for a monthly subscription of $5. (He has since raised his rate to $10.) That work led to other gigs, like pet care and picking up mail when clients are away.

May 15, 2012

Parents just say no to college tuition

NEW YORK, May 15 (Reuters) – Tracy Repchuk’s three children
are still in grade school, but she’s already got college funding
figured out. The Repchuk kids are 14, 15, and 16 and when they
head off to college in a few years, here’s how much their
parents will be chipping in: Zero.

Not because they are being punished for something: Tracy
calls all three wonderful, outgoing and well-adjusted. And not
because the family is strapped for cash: Tracy, 47, is an author
and social media strategist, and her husband David Repchuk is a
mobile solutions developer.

May 4, 2012

REITs on a roll, but what’s next?

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Talk to any American homeowner, and you’ll probably encounter some symptoms of chronic anxiety. Underwater mortgages, tanking house values and rampant foreclosures have shaken our psyches regarding the wisdom of property ownership.

But when it comes to real estate investment trusts (REITs) that invest in commercial property, they’ve been doing quite nicely, thank you very much. In fact if you invested in Vanguard’s REIT Index ETF during the lows of March 2009, you would have tripled your money since.

May 4, 2012

YOUR MONEY: REITs on a roll, but what’s next?

NEW YORK, May 4 (Reuters) – Talk to any American homeowner,
and you’ll probably encounter some symptoms of chronic anxiety.
Underwater mortgages, tanking house values and rampant
foreclosures have shaken our psyches regarding the wisdom of
property ownership.

But when it comes to real estate investment trusts (REITs)
that invest in commercial property, they’ve been doing quite
nicely, thank you very much. In fact if you invested in
Vanguard’s REIT Index ETF during the lows of March 2009,
you would have tripled your money since.

May 3, 2012

You’ve been offered shares. Now what?

NEW YORK, May 3 (Reuters) – Whenever Manhattan attorney Ted
Scofield gets offered equity in a start-up, he feels like he’s
been thrown into the middle of a high-stakes Las Vegas poker
game.

If he bets right, he could hit a flush and become richer
than he ever dreamed. If he bets wrong, he could end up with
nothing.

Apr 26, 2012

When your credit card charge is denied

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Considering how often Marjorie Asturias’s credit card charges have been denied recently, you’d think she was a notorious scammer, or an international art thief.

“We have plenty of credit on the card, and faithfully pay our balance in full each month,” says Asturias, 40, a Dallas, Texas resident with a penchant for books, gardening and her three dogs. “But suddenly, we’re getting a number of charges denied, sometimes while we’re standing at the register.”

Apr 26, 2012

YOUR MONEY: When your credit card charge is denied

NEW YORK, April 26 (Reuters) – Considering how often
Marjorie Asturias’s credit card charges have been denied
recently, you’d think she was a notorious scammer, or an
international art thief.

“We have plenty of credit on the card, and faithfully pay
our balance in full each month,” says Asturias, 40, a Dallas,
Texas resident with a penchant for books, gardening and her
three dogs. “But suddenly, we’re getting a number of charges
denied, sometimes while we’re standing at the register.”

Apr 25, 2012

Navigating the dividend dilemma

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Once the domain of grandmothers waiting for a quarterly check from their local utility, dividends have become very appealing in the wake of a choppy decade for stock markets.

Dividend-paying stocks reward investors whether the market goes up or down, a fact which boosted their popularity in 2011. Equity-income funds were the top diversified equity performers in 2011, up almost three percent for the year, according to fund research firm Lipper, a Thomson Reuters company.

Apr 17, 2012

Generation Lost? Millennials come of age

NEW YORK, April 17 (Reuters) – Annabel Adams has seen a lot
in her life: 9-11, the dot-com bust, the housing collapse, the
financial crisis, the Great Recession.

That may sound like a lifetime of experience, but she is
just 28 years old.

If your birth year is essentially a genetic lottery, which
drops you into the economic circumstances of the day, then it’s
no exaggeration to say that the 70 million millennials – or
Generation Y, those born in the 1980s and ’90s – appear to have
lost that lottery.

Apr 4, 2012

Helping your kids buy a house

CHICAGO (Reuters) – For young would-be homebuyers, this really is the best of times and the worst of times.

After the brutal housing bust, homes are more affordable now than they have been in more than four decades, according to the National Association of Realtors. Home prices have sunk to 2002 levels, and interest rates hover near historic lows – below 4 percent for 30-year fixed-rate loans.

    • About Chris

      "Chris Taylor is an award-winning freelance writer in New York City. A former senior writer with SmartMoney, the Wall Street Journal's personal-finance magazine, he has been published in the Financial Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, CNBC.com, Fortune, Money, and more. He has won journalism awards from the National Press Club, the Deadline Club, and the National Association of Real Estate Editors. The opinions expressed are his own."
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