Lara's Feed
Mar 6, 2011
via The Great Debate UK

We’ve come a long way, baby – but we have far to go

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Lara Pingue is a Personal Finance producer for Reuters.com.  The opinions expressed are her own. Thomson Reuters will host an International Women’s Day follow-the-sun live blog on March 8, 2011.

A coworker recently sent me a YouTube video of a 5-year-old girl declaring to the world her intention to get a job before she gets married. It’s a funny clip, filled with the kind of urgency and drama only a pre-teen girl can muster.  But something about it made me uneasy:  Isn’t getting a job before marriage a given? Since when is this decision worth broadcasting on the Internet?

Mar 2, 2011
via Reuters Money

Stay-at-home moms and the credit card problem

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Stay-at-home moms juggling diapers and playdates may be up against a new challenge: limited access to credit.

In a proposal intended to rein in abusive credit card practices, the Federal Reserve says that card issuers should consider “independent income” instead of household income when determining who gets credit. If the rule goes through, it will shut out thousands of stay-at-home moms (and dads) who don’t take home a steady paycheck.

Mar 1, 2011
via Reuters Money

Women in America: How far have we come?

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American women are making headway in employment and college education, but the nagging pay-gap still exists, a new White House report finds.

The White House today kicked off Women’s History Month with a report on the status of women in America, the first comprehensive overview of its kind since 1963.  The report is intended to be a “guidepost” for moving forward on everything from closing the salary gap to health issues directly affecting women, says Valerie Jarrett, chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls.

Feb 25, 2011
via Reuters Money

Don’t like the price? Learn to haggle

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I don’t like to haggle. This fact was never more obvious than the day I tried –  and failed, miserably — to smooth-talk my way to a discount on a $5 dress in Bangkok’s Khao San market, arguably the most haggle-friendly place on the planet.

Looking back, it’s no surprise I was flustered.  We live in a society of price acceptance, where the idea of asking for a better deal is, well, tacky. Sure, we rage when gas prices jump and complain bitterly about the cost of going to the movies. But the general rule is simple:  we pay what’s on the price tag.

Feb 4, 2011
via Reuters Money

Stocks: Everyone’s a winner this Super Bowl

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It doesn’t matter who wins the Super Bowl this Sunday — your portfolio will be a winner either way.

Of course, that’s only if you believe in the ever-popular Super Bowl Indicator, a market predictor rumored to be invented by sports writer Leonard Koppett in the 70s.

Feb 4, 2011
via Reuters Money

What do babies, love and money have in common? Football

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Can a wise-talking baby convince you to take control of your financial fate? E*Trade certainly hopes so.

The online brokerage is making its Super Bowl return with two 30-second commercials during Sunday’s game, and well-heeled investors, take note: you’re the prime audience.

Feb 3, 2011
via Reuters Money

Delaware, Rhode Island residents have most debt

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Americans are still up to their ears in consumer debt, with Delawareans topping the list with an average per-person debt load of a whopping $20,233, a report by debt relief company CareOne Services shows.

The company ranks the 10 states with the highest and lowest average consumer debt levels based on a survey of 135,000 people enrolled in debt management programs in 2009 and 2010. Most alarmingly, it found that even those in California — the state with the lowest debt level — carry more than $12,000 in debt; in fact, residents in all states still carry an average debt load of more than $10,000.

Jan 18, 2011
via Reuters Money

Is it time to dump your financial adviser?

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Here’s the ugly truth about your financial adviser:  the unreturned phone calls, vague investment advice or too-good-to-be-true promises could mean it’s time to break up and move on.

It sounds trite, but it’s true. What you have with your adviser is a relationship — and if it’s dysfunctional, it will cost you money.

Jan 14, 2011
via Reuters Money

New horoscope, new investment strategy?

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Before you read your horoscope this weekend, take note: your sign might not be what you think it is. That’s right, Aquarians — you could actually be a Capricorn.

At least that’s what Parke Kunkle believes. The Minnesota astronomy professor sent the astrology world into a tailspin with his recent assertion that a wobble in the Earth’s alignment has thrown off the 12 horoscopes. As a result, there’s a sign called “Ophiuchus” and the rest of the astrological signs have been bumped to new dates, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Jan 13, 2011
via Reuters Money

Americans dig out of debt, but credit scores still dip

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Good news on the consumer debt front: Americans still digging their way out of the recession lowered their credit card debt by eight percent nationwide since January 2010, though national credit scores are still one point lower than last year, according to the U.S. Credit Score Climate Report released by CreditKarma.com.

The average consumer now carries $7,404 in credit card debt, a decrease of about $1,000 since January 2009, says Ken Lin, CEO of CreditKarma.com. Similarly, home mortgage loans and home equity loans both dipped four percent.

    • About Lara

      "Lara Pingue joined the Reuters online newsroom in August 2007. Before that, she reported for a national newspaper for financial professionals and freelanced for several Canadian publications. Pingue majored in Magazine Journalism at Ryerson University in Toronto."
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