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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.

Apr 4, 2012

YOUR MONEY: Helping your kids buy a house

CHICAGO, April 4 (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.

Mar 28, 2012

Dangerous magic in your retirement plan

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Don’t look now, but your retirement savings plan may not be as ironclad as you think. It may even include some magical thinking.

That’s because every retirement calculator features an “annual rate of return” that savers typically are asked to plug in for themselves. And the hard truth is, no one really knows how well their investments will perform in the future — and that makes all our detailed retirement calculations seem kind of futile.

Mar 26, 2012

Why bother with target-date funds?

NEW YORK (Reuters) – If you are invested in a target-date retirement fund, wealth manager Leonard Raskin has a little message for you: It’s time to reconsider.

As far as he’s concerned, target-date funds are just a marketing gimmick. “You could buy the S&P 500, or even a bond fund, and do way better – and you’re paying far more in fees,” said Raskin, a financial planner with Raskin Global in Hunt Valley, Maryland.

Mar 26, 2012

YOUR MONEY: Why bother with target-date funds?

NEW YORK, March 26 (Reuters) – If you are invested in a
target-date retirement fund, wealth manager Leonard Raskin has a
little message for you: It’s time to reconsider.

As far as he’s concerned, target-date funds are just a
marketing gimmick. “You could buy the S&P 500, or even a bond
fund, and do way better – and you’re paying far more in fees,”
said Raskin, a financial planner with Raskin Global in Hunt
Valley, Maryland.

Mar 16, 2012

Corrected: Brain drain reverses course, flows away from America

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Derek Capo was living the high life. He was in his early 20s, an analyst at hedge fund Everest Capital monitoring international equities, and soaking up the weather and nightlife of his hometown of Miami.

But looking ahead, as he’d been trained to do, Capo didn’t like what he saw. The housing bust was starting to strangle the Florida economy, the stock market was looking increasingly erratic and he didn’t want to pursue a pricey MBA in the middle of an economic crisis.

Mar 13, 2012

Why investors still fear stocks

By Chris Taylor

(Reuters) – By all accounts, investors have enjoyed a terrific start to 2012. Stocks had their best January in 15 years, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average raced to multi-year highs, topping 13,000 at the end of February.

So what do mom-and-pop investors think of the equity rally? They’re not buying it. Literally.

    • 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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