WASHINGTON, Oct 12 (Reuters) – Wednesday’s bankruptcy
filing by Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, may create some turmoil for
those focused on the city’s budget, but individual investors
with money in munis don’t need to panic.
Most professional bond investors had spent the better part
of the year distancing themselves from Harrisburg holdings, so
they aren’t held by big popular vehicles like Vanguard’s
tax-free bond funds.
WASHINGTON, Oct 12 (Reuters) – Whiplash!
On 18 different trading days in September the Dow Jones
industrial average swung by at least 200 points. In one week,
it moved more than 400 points a day for four days straight. One
day last week, on Oct. 4, it abruptly reversed a sharp drop to
jump more than 400 points in less than an hour at the close.
Get used to it. Those sharp swings are likely to be part of
the landscape, as trigger happy computer traders move large
amounts of money in and out of stocks in seconds, while the
market’s long-term direction remains uncertain in the absence
of clear signs from Europe, the U.S. economy, federal deficit
cutters and more.
WASHINGTON, Oct 5 (Reuters) — If tax season is that time
in the spring when you do the math and pay your dues, this is
anti-tax season — the three months at the end of the year when
you can do something about cutting your personal tax bill.
With three months left of 2011, it pays to be strategic
about your spending, saving and giving. Here are the best moves
to make now, to make sure you pay as little as possible later:
NEW YORK (Reuters) – While workers can’t do much when a stock market sell-off hits their 401(k) balances, they can speak up about poor investment choices and unreasonable plan fees. Now, more are taking those complaints to the courts as they bring lawsuits against employers they believe have allowed poorly-performing and overly-expensive funds into their retirement plans.
The most recent 401(k) fee lawsuit was filed last week against Ameriprise Financial Inc, which bills itself as “America’s leader in financial planning.” The suit, which was brought on behalf of several employees and is seeking class action status, alleges the financial firm pushed workers into expensive and untested proprietary funds at a cost the lawyers for the employees say is more than $20 million.
WASHINGTON, Sept 28 (Reuters) – The big boys like Bank of
America and Citibank are having problems with share prices and
profitability, and the upstarts are hitting them while they’re
New banks and bank-like companies including BankSimple and
PerkStreet are creating cheaper online accounts. Traditional
niche players like credit unions and community banks are
banding together in networks to grab your business. Online-only
banks like ING Direct and Ally Bank are pushing their higher
interest rates on savings.
Maybe you think you’re up to date on the latest financial apps and mobile solutions, but unless you are updating your money life every five minutes, you aren’t. Behind the scenes, scores of companies are throwing money at digitizing you, your cash and (even more popular than money these days) your consumer profile.
Recently I had a chance to check many of them out. I spent two days at Finovate, a financial technology conference run by Online Banking Report. It’s a cool meeting — in two days roughly 60 different companies present seven minute versions of their best selves. Usually they do this before they are fully up and running for consumers, so not everything is ready for prime time yet.
WASHINGTON, Sept 21 (Reuters) – It’s a tough time to be a
former student. The lousy job market is bad enough, but two in
three recent graduates are carrying education loans averaging
$24,000. Graduates from high-priced schools may have double or
triple that amount of debt, and not any more luck finding
Defaults are up, the Department of Education just reported.
But in most cases, simply not paying isn’t a real option; it’s
easier to walk away from a house than from a student loan.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Not too long ago, if you mentioned the word “annuity” to investors, their eyes glazed over. But now individual investors, panicked by stock market selloffs that threaten their retirement dreams, have been doing something they have never done before: asking for them.
Paradoxically, they are looking for these retirement insurance products that come with guarantees at a time when many annuity payouts are puny, thanks to ultra-low interest rates.
WASHINGTON, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Not too long ago, if you
mentioned the word “annuity” to investors, their eyes glazed
over. But now individual investors, panicked by stock market
selloffs that threaten their retirement dreams, have been doing
something they have never done before: asking for them.
Paradoxically, they are looking for these retirement
insurance products that come with guarantees at a time when
many annuity payouts are puny, thanks to ultra-low interest
NEW YORK (Reuters)– Maybe President Obama’s $1.5 trillion tax hike proposal will pass Congress, and maybe — as many instant analysts jumped to predict — it won’t.
He swears that if Congress doesn’t hike taxes on the wealthy, he’ll veto any other deficit-cutting, budget-cutting plan that ends up on his desk.