WASHINGTON, June 22 (Reuters) – So-called strategic
defaulters who voluntarily stop making their mortgage payments
are very savvy financially and sometimes line up their next
home and loan before they walk, according to a new study.
“They are high income, they are high wealth, they own
multiple homes, they have higher … (credit) scores and they
are very financially savvy,” said Tracy Bremmer, director of
product marketing and management at Experian, the credit
reporting agency that issued the study. Reuters obtained a copy
in advance of its distribution.
WASHINGTON, June 22 (Reuters) – Try being over 50 and
finding health insurance in the open market.
Even if you’re in tip-top health, you can expect to pay
three times as much for coverage as a younger person. And with
everything from high blood pressure to a trick knee seen as a
disqualifying pre-existing condition, you may not even qualify
for that rate.
ING Direct customers seem to love their online-only bank, and reports that it may soon be taken over by Capital One Financial Corp. have a few of them worried.
The tenor of reaction comments posted on The Consumerist web site ranged from “I’m sad” and “Noooooooooo…” to unprintable epithets. ING has won a following with competitively high interest rates on savings and checking, and no-fee checking accounts. And CapOne drew complaints from some discontented customers of Bethesda, Maryland-based Chevy Chase Bank after it took over that Washington-area institution.
The economy is still too weak for us to be worrying about inflation. That seems to be the majority view of economists, who are more focused on the prospects of a U.S. government default, a still-struggling housing market and unemployment.
“We don’t think there is a big concern now in terms of rising inflation,” Brad Sorensen, director of market and sector analysis for Charles Schwab, told me in an interview, echoing a common view. “With unemployment relatively high, there’s no wage pressure, and until we see that, there’s not a huge threat of inflation,” he said. “The bond market continues to not show any worry about inflation,” observes Charles Rotblut of the American Association of Individual Investors.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Some stories just seem to end up in the cosmic consciousness: blogged, tweeted and talked about in many different places at the same time. Right now, one of those story lines involves the big smackdown between traditional mutual funds and ETFs.
Several analysts have raised the idea that traditional mutual funds are dying and the future belongs to ETFs, which look like index funds but trade like stocks.
Underlying those investments are a couple of core beliefs: (1) That China, India and other growing powerhouses will continue to deliver big returns to investors; and (2) That smart portfolio managers can suss out the best stocks in this space, justifying the higher costs of active management.
Between 2007 and 2009, an additional 2,700 spas (including day spas, destination spas, medi-spas and more) opened in the U.S., bringing the total to 20,600, according to data gathered by PriceWaterhouseCoopers for the International Spa Association.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For decades, variable annuities have had a bad rap, dissed as fee-laden, overly expensive and “not bought but sold” to unsophisticated investors by commission-hungry brokers.
That was enough to turn off fee-only advisers who under a fiduciary standard of care must find the lowest-cost, best financial products for their clients.
WASHINGTON, June 8 (Reuters) – Sometimes, off-the-rack is
just what you need, especially when it comes to basic,
plain-vanilla investment portfolios.
It’s not like every pre-retiree has to reinvent the wheel
when it comes to assembling an investment plan; there’s wide
agreement about what that plan looks like. It’s a mix of stocks
and bonds, acquired at low cost, that is rebalanced regularly.
It tilts toward stocks when workers are younger and moves
toward bonds as they age.
But, as I report in my Stern Advice column today, they aren’t all created alike. Some offer advice and others don’t. Some cost more than others. You won’t know the players without a scorecard.