When debt collectors call, hang up

January 31, 2011

A trader talks on his mobile phone outside of the New York Stock Exchange in New York May 6, 2010.  REUTERS/Lucas JacksonMy 80-something father was recently disturbed by some calls he was getting regarding debt collection. Why are they calling me, he wondered?

5 essential truths missing from financial crisis report

January 27, 2011

DAVOS/FINANCEWhen I think about what government officials and banking executives knew before the blowup of 2008, I think about the people of Fortuna, a small town nestled next to an active volcano in Costa Rica.

Fire your financial adviser, unless they are a fiduciary

January 24, 2011

Eric Brown, a senior registered sales assistant with Double Diamond Investment Group, works at the company's office in Parsippany, New Jersey March 23, 2010.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson If you have a conventional stock broker or agent acting as a financial adviser working on commission, fire them.

Five reasons to dismember Bank of America

January 21, 2011

Taxis pass the Bank of America branch in New York's Times Square June 30, 2005.  REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton BANKGBank of America should be broken up. It’s the sick man of finance that isn’t going to get better in its present state.

What mortgage brokers don’t tell you: Hidden penalties abound

January 17, 2011

A sign reading "Honey... Stop the car!" is seen as it announces a house for sale in Silver Spring, Maryland, May 23, 2010. Photo taken May 23, 2010.   REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst There’s a host of information a mortgage broker or banker won’t tell you up front that may increase the cost of your financing.

The Prairie State pestilence: Pensions, budget woes spread

January 14, 2011

Protesters demonstrate during a rally against government cutbacks for social services in Aurora, Illinois, June 18, 2009. REUTERS/John GressThe fiscal malady that plagues Illinois — and its painful treatment — may be coming to a state, county or municipality near you.

Lazy portfolios win again in 2010

January 10, 2011

A Chinese investor looks at share prices at a securities exchange in Shanghai March 28, 2005. REUTERS/Claro Cortes IVThose of you who diligently invest from reclining chairs with passive portfolios, rejoice! You had another good year without doing much of anything.

Hey GOP, cut Medicare Part D first

January 7, 2011

Now that House GOP members are off and running with scissors to trim the federal budget deficit and healthcare, I have a suggestion for immediate cost savings: Medicare Part D.

6 top financial trends for 2011

January 3, 2011

Trader Theodore Weisberg smiles as he wears a hat from March 1999, the first time the Dow rose above 10,000, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, October 14, 2009. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid  Although the old Chinese curse “may you live in interesting times” has a certain irony about it, this year will certainly not be dull for investors.