Lou's Feed
May 2, 2012

What I should have done when I graduated

CHICAGO (Reuters) – There’s no shortage of advice for new college graduates. Everyone from the commencement speaker to the local bartender (who may have been last year’s commencement speaker) has a strong opinion about what you should do. So much often contradictory advice can cancel itself out.

But what if you could jump ahead a decade or two and ask your future self for straight-to-the-heart graduation guidance? Reuters asked people who had the wisdom of hindsight what advice they wish they had heard on graduation day.

Apr 30, 2012

Why parents lie to their kids about money

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Think you don’t lie to your kids about money? A typical dishonest scenario is all too common: A parent says “No” to a $10 item, claiming not to have enough money, but then places a $15 trinket in the shopping cart for himself.

“When you say you can’t afford something when you really can, you’re missing the opportunity to talk about priorities or trade-offs,” says Stuart Ritter, a vice president at T. Rowe Price and a father of three. “Kids are perceptive, and I think we underestimate their readiness to learn this stuff, and their ability to pick up on what you and I are doing.”

Apr 20, 2012

Banker turns WaMu layoff into Hobbit parody

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Since T.S. Eliot’s brief career at Lloyds Bank of London, the connections between banking and literature have remained tenuous at best – especially when you narrow the focus to the genre of “banking-related fantasy novel parodies.”

But that did not stop Paul Erickson, a laid-off trainer of tellers and personal bankers for Washington Mutual, from taking an inspired crack at hilarity with “The Wobbit: A Parody.” With the novel, the 52-year-old from Oak Park, Illinois, twists J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” in a financial funhouse mirror: the dwarves come courtesy of characters he met while training at a variety of financial institutions, including WaMu.

Apr 16, 2012

How tax pros handle their own taxes

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Do accountants do a better job of filing their own taxes?

Ask Elaine Smith, a master tax adviser at H&R Block’s Kansas City office how she’s doing with her own returns this tax season, and she laughs: “What is it they say? The cobbler’s kids always go without shoes. The easiest return to ignore is your own.”

Apr 11, 2012
Apr 4, 2012

How to grab the best mortgage rate now

CHICAGO (Reuters) – With mortgage rates still hovering near historic lows, this could be the right time to buy a home or refinance a mortgage, but nailing down a low-rate, low-fee loan isn’t that easy.

Winning one of the best deals in the current volatile mortgage market is like shooting a bullseye from a roller coaster, say brokers who are close to the action. Rates are still running under 4 percent for 30-year fixed rate loans, reports Bankrate.com, but they do fluctuate and not all applicants get the best rates. “It’s unpredictable,” says Cathy Milligan, a veteran mortgage broker with Marina Funding Group in Ventura, California. “Some people don’t even know to check around. They just assume that they go to their bank and that they’re going to get the best loan there is.”

Apr 4, 2012

YOUR MONEY: How to grab the best mortgage rate now

CHICAGO, April 4 (Reuters) – With mortgage rates still
hovering near historic lows, this could be the right time to buy
a home or refinance a mortgage, but nailing down a low-rate,
low-fee loan isn’t that easy.

Winning one of the best deals in the current volatile
mortgage market is like shooting a bullseye from a roller
coaster, say brokers who are close to the action. Rates are
still running under 4 percent for 30-year fixed rate loans,
reports Bankrate.com, but they do fluctuate and not all
applicants get the best rates.

Mar 27, 2012

Why college students stop short of a degree

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Aspiring journalist Fruzsina Eordogh dropped out of Loyola University Chicago last spring, just a few classes shy of graduating.

Saddled with $50,000 in student loans, she decided that spending more time in class would derail her from pursuing opportunities in the job market.

Mar 27, 2012
Mar 19, 2012
    • About Lou

      "Lou Carlozo most recently served as the managing editor at WalletPop.com, AOL's personal finance website. He also wrote and created "The Recession Diaries" column at the Chicago Tribune, where he served as an editor and staff writer for 16 years. The author of a journalism textbook and an adjunct professor at National-Louis University, Carlozo is the lead popular music critic for Christian Century magazine, a contributor to Downbeat magazine and also writes the "Green Dad" column for DealNews.com. The opinions expressed are his own."
      Hometown:
      Chicago
      Joined Reuters:
      2011
      Languages:
      French
      Awards:
      Bob Briner Impact Award, Biola University, 2007
      Chicago Tribune Innovator Award, 2005
    • More from Lou

    • Contact Lou

      Phone:
      773-294-7006
    • Follow Lou