Senior Personal Finance Correspondent
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Oct 24, 2012

Insurance industry woes could hit consumers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Nobody wants to feel sorry for life insurance companies. They’re just the annoying folk who make you think about death, cash your checks, and then give you grief if you ever have to file a claim, right?

Don’t be so cynical. These are challenging times for the insurance industry. Company representatives meeting in Washington for the annual American Council of Life Insurers conference seemed downright gloomy, and were eager to tick off the troubles facing them.

Oct 24, 2012

Stern Advice – Insurance industry woes could hit consumers

WASHINGTON, Oct 22 (Reuters) – Nobody wants to feel sorry
for life insurance companies. They’re just the annoying folk who
make you think about death, cash your checks, and then give you
grief if you ever have to file a claim, right?

Don’t be so cynical. These are challenging times for the
insurance industry. Company representatives meeting in
Washington for the annual American Council of Life Insurers
conference seemed downright gloomy, and were eager to tick off
the troubles facing them.

Oct 17, 2012

Stern Advice: Munibond maniacs, beware

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For almost a year now, investors have been flinging money at municipal bonds like they were $20 iPads.

In the week ending October 10, U.S. munibond mutual funds had their biggest week since April, with nearly $915 million in new inflows, according to Lipper, a Thomson Reuters company. Individual investors bought 1.9 bonds for each one they sold.

Oct 10, 2012

Stern Advice: Don’t let your finances fall off the cliff

WASHINGTON, Oct 10 (Reuters) – It’s time to watch Washington
to see just how bad your New Year’s eve is going to be. Without
any action in the Capitol, the U.S. economy is said to be poised
to fall off of a “fiscal cliff.”

Projected increases in taxes and cuts in spending would
throw the economy into another recession, says the Congressional
Budget Office, and it could throw your family finances over the
edge, a cc ording to analysts.

Oct 10, 2012

Don’t let your finances fall off the fiscal cliff

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – It’s time to watch Washington to see just how bad your New Year’s eve is going to be. Without any action in the Capitol, the U.S. economy is said to be poised to fall off of a “fiscal cliff.”

Projected increases in taxes and cuts in spending would throw the economy into another recession, says the Congressional Budget Office, and it could throw your family finances over the edge, according to analysts.

Oct 10, 2012

Stern Advice: Don’t let your finances fall off the fiscal cliff

WASHINGTON, Oct 10 (Reuters) – It’s time to watch Washington
to see just how bad your New Year’s eve is going to be. Without
any action in the Capitol, the U.S. economy is said to be poised
to fall off of a “fiscal cliff.”

Projected increases in taxes and cuts in spending would
throw the economy into another recession, says the Congressional
Budget Office, and it could throw your family finances over the
edge, a cc ording to analysts.

Oct 3, 2012

Grandpa has dementia, but he’s still trading stocks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – It’s a sad, sticky and increasingly common situation: An elderly relative insists on managing his money, but you suspect he’s losing his ability to handle that.

The older people get, the more likely they are to suffer cognitive decline. Roughly 14 percent of people over 71 have some level of dementia, according to the National Institutes of Health. For those in their 90s, the rate rises to 37.4 percent.

Oct 3, 2012

Stern Advice-Grandpa has dementia, but he’s still trading stocks

WASHINGTON, Oct 3 (Reuters) – It’s a sad, sticky and
increasingly common situation: An elderly relative insists on
managing his money, but you suspect he’s losing his ability to
handle that.

The older people get, the more likely they are to suffer
cognitive decline. Roughly 14 percent of people over 71 have
some level of dementia, according to the National Institutes of
Health. For those in their 90s, the rate rises to 37.4 percent.

Aug 1, 2012

Stern Advice: GNMA funds have a following despite low rates

WASHINGTON, Aug 1 (Reuters) – Lately mortgage interest rates
have been hitting one record low after another. At the same
time, we’re seeing increases in mortgage defaults, foreclosures
and short sales in which lenders get less than 100 cents to the
dollar for the loans they’ve let. So why would anyone want to be
a mortgage lender right now?

That would be a good question to ask investors who have
thrown $6.9 billion into Government National Mortgage
Association (GNMA)-backed mutual funds in the year ending June
30, according to figures from Lipper, a Thomson Reuters company.

Jul 25, 2012

Prepping for the summer wave of short sales

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Coming soon to a neighborhood near you: A late-summer wave of short sales, as homeowners, mortgage bankers and potential buyers all race to settlement on bargain-priced homes that are worth less than the mortgages written on them.

“We’re seeing a rush already,” said Daren Blomquist of Realtytrac, a firm that monitors real estate foreclosures and distressed sales. “There was a big increase in the first quarter and we’re expecting that to continue.”

    • About Linda

      "Linda Stern is an award-winning personal finance journalist who loves to write about how the big picture affects your pocketbook. A former contributing editor at Newsweek magazine and a long-time Reuters columnist, Stern covers everything from credit cards to retirement planning to investing. As a Washington-based correspondent, she sneaks in as much tax and economic policy as her editors will allow. She tweets at www.twitter.com/LindaStern. And when she expresses opinions, they are her own and not those of her employer."
      Hometown:
      Emerson, N.J.
      Joined Reuters:
      October 2010
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