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BUSINESS
August 11, 2014 | By Reid Kanaley, Inquirer Columnist
Years after the Great Recession, adult children are still moving in with their parents in numbers that constitute a modern record. How are those families coping, and how can they move on? The "private safety net," as living with parents is sometimes called, is quite common, according to this Bloomberg.com post on a Pew Research Center report. "Almost one in four 25- to 34-year-olds had such living arrangements, and young men in particular were more likely to reside with their families," Bloomberg said of the results last month.
BUSINESS
August 4, 2014 | By Reid Kanaley, Inquirer Columnist
Do traditional market indexes such as the Standard & Poor's 500 represent the soundest ways to track stocks? Are mutual funds and ETFs that invest in those index stocks the best for you? Maybe not. Many so-called alternative indexes have gained credibility, and investors, in recent years and may offer new options for market participation and growth. Firms have been adding them at a brisk clip. This June post at etftrends.com describes new ETFs (stock-like exchange-traded funds)
BUSINESS
June 23, 2014 | By Reid Kanaley, Inquirer Columnist
The stock market keeps stretching to new highs. Is it a bubble? And if it is, when will it burst? Bubbles don't announce themselves clearly, so a look back at the history of bubbles is instructive. Booms, burst bubbles , crashes, and other economic upheavals have been going on forever. Harvard Business School offers a collection of case studies on U.S. busts back to the Panic of 1837 and including the famous stock-market bubble of 1925-29 that preceded the Great Depression. It also details the less-well-known real estate bubble that came just before that 1920s market boom and saw empty building lots in Miami being sold 10 times per day. If we only had learned . . . "Whatever else you might say about today's stock market, it is nowhere near as overheated as it was 14 years ago," Mark Hulbert wrote in this MarketWatch post in April, where he compared the market this year with the tech bust of spring 2000.
BUSINESS
June 16, 2014 | By Reid Kanaley, Inquirer Columnist
Retiring single has its privileges and challenges. There's freedom, and there's financial responsibility, which some people may find daunting. These sites help sort out the issues and answers. The Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement, at WiserWomen.org, provides this retirement planning page with links to retirement calculators, explainers on reverse mortgages, pensions, divorce, veteran's benefits, and a whole lot more. "Living alone as you approach retirement is hard work," notes this post at tiaa-cref.org, the financial-service firm for employees of nonprofits.
BUSINESS
June 9, 2014 | By Reid Kanaley, Inquirer Columnist
Friday's jobless figure - 6.3 percent - for May (same as April) means the economy is improving, but slowly, the experts say. Is this what an economic recovery is supposed to feel like? This month marks five years since the end of the Great Recession. Starting with a chart about the job numbers, CNN Money presents 17 visuals to illustrate the recovery. Unemployment has fallen from 10 percent in late 2009, gross domestic product has wobbled, stocks have soared, mortgage foreclosures have plummeted.
BUSINESS
June 2, 2014 | By Reid Kanaley, Inquirer Columnist
Is inflation good or bad? You'll hear it both ways, and the answer rests largely on whether you're talking about national economies or individuals and families, big borrowers or big spenders, you or me. At Marketplace.org , there's an excerpt from a book by senior editor Paddy Hirsch that seeks to explain in simple terms why some inflation is a good thing. In the excerpt, a shop owner raises prices for his limited supply of candy when a family of 10 children moves into his small town.
BUSINESS
May 25, 2014 | By Reid Kanaley, Inquirer Columnist
Entrepreneurship is the risky business of starting and running businesses. Some people are naturals, but can you learn to be an entrepreneur? Yes, say some of the experts. Here's how. Thinking like an entrepreneur may not come naturally, but this brief guide to cultivating an entrepreneurial mind-set, at Entrepreneur.com, will point you in the right direction. First among writer Murray Newlands' directives is to "anticipate failure. " That might sound counterproductive. However, says Newlands, "in a study conducted by Duke University and the University of Southern California, 549 successful company founders said the most important reason for their success was their ability to learn from mistakes.
BUSINESS
May 12, 2014 | By Reid Kanaley, Inquirer Columnist
Commissions, administration fees, investment fees, service fees. Your company 401(k) retirement plan may be subject to any and all of these - some of them year-in and year-out. Fees on 401(k) plans are the subject of this post at the U.S. Department of Labor page. It illustrates the problem investors face, like this: Say you have $25,000 in a 401(k), with 35 years to go before you'll need to tap the account for income. If the investment return is 7 percent per year, and fees are 0.5 percent, "your account balance will grow to $227,000 at retirement, even if there are no further contributions to your account.
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