Lou's Feed
Feb 24, 2012
Feb 23, 2012

Black Americans donate to make a difference

NEW YORK (Reuters) – African American donors give away higher percentages of their incomes than white donors, according to a new study.

But they don’t see themselves as big players in the charitable arena, and that presents an image problem, say experts like Judy Belk, a senior vice president for Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

Feb 15, 2012

New American Dream is renting to get rich

By Lou Carlozo

(Reuters) – Rich Arzaga owns a luxury home in San Ramon, California, but he’s not betting on it as an investment.

The founder and CEO of Cornerstone Wealth Management, who bought the 5,000 sq. ft. property in 2005 for $1.8 million and has spent $500,000 improving it, considers the abode a wonderful place for his family. But ask him to rate his home — or any home, for that matter — as a financial investment, and Arzaga balks.

Feb 9, 2012

Are doodle dogs worth their price?

NEW YORK (Reuters) – When someone plunks down $2,500 for a dog, you might think they’re investing in a purebred pup, its pedigree stretching back generations. But not Cecile Desmond of Hopkinton, Massachusetts. She was happy to part with that much cash for Percy, a shaggy creature that some hound snobs at this month’s Westminster Kennel Club dog show might label a mutt.

Okay, not just any kind of mutt, but a “Labradoodle,” a cross between a poodle and a Labrador retriever.

Feb 7, 2012

How a wealth manager uses energy psychology

By Lou Carlozo

(Reuters) – Energy psychology combines Eastern approaches to mind, body and spirit with Western psychology and psychotherapy, delving into unconscious and subconscious patterns that go back to childhood. So what exactly does that have to do with building wealth and managing your portfolio?

Plenty, says Julie Murphy Casserly, a wealth manager in Chicago who manages about $100 million in assets and is a proponent of a very alternative investing strategy.

Feb 1, 2012

Petition to restore old-fashioned paper U.S. bonds

By Lou Carlozo

(Reuters) – It’s a curious irony that the petition to bring back paper bonds, which the federal government phased out in January after 76 years, is an online movement. The government decided to drop the certificates, traditionally given as gifts to children, to keep up with modern times and sell a product that didn’t rely on redeeming something as flimsy as processed wood pulp sheets. To reach a modern consumer base, you’ve got to go digital, which is why Mark Prosser, the founder and CEO of LearnBonds.com, is taking his gripe to the digiterati.

Prosser is upset that the U.S. Department of the Treasury stopped selling paper bonds as of January 1, and his manifesto, posted on his website (link.reuters.com/nyz36s), reads in part: “Over 50 million Americans hold paper saving bonds. For many of these people (including myself), a savings bond served as introduction to the idea of saving money and earning interest.”

Jan 31, 2012

Pick your Super Bowl pool like a pro

By Lou Carlozo

(Reuters) – With Super Bowl XLVI less than a week away, armchair quarterbacks are flexing their biceps to throw hard-earned cash into the office pool. You will probably do what a lot of people do, and rely on your gut to make your picks. You might step it up a notch and research the odds being laid in Vegas. You could try consulting a Ouija board. Or, you could apply the laws of statistics like the pros.

What would that look like? We asked a few experts to construct a winning game plan with a big Super Bowl pool on the line. It’s up to you to decide which strategy will give you the edge you are looking for, or if it’s better to just pick your bets at random.

Jan 19, 2012

Ernst & Young steps up for same-sex partners

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Ernst & Young employees who opt for same-sex domestic partners’ medical benefits will get something of a delayed bonus this year when they file their 2011 federal and state tax returns.

While the company began offering same-sex domestic partner benefits in 2002, like most other employers, it taxed the amount spent as income, while other family policies come out of pre-tax income. But as of January 1 this year, the company will reimburse employees for those taxes for the 2011 tax year, and for tax years going forward.

Jan 18, 2012
Jan 17, 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."
      Joined Reuters:
      2011
      Languages:
      French
      Awards:
      Bob Briner Impact Award, Biola University, 2007
      Chicago Tribune Innovator Award, 2005
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