When it comes to economic well being over the past 25 years, older adults have made significant gains when compared to younger adults according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from the U.S. Census. The recent collapse of the housing market and whether a household has a mortgage to pay are both factors in that difference in wealth.
People who participate in the message boards, chat rooms and discussion forums of online lending and auction sites such as Prosper.com and eBay are more likely to make risky financial decisions, according to a new study.
The economy needs a heavy dose of consumer spending, contends economist and New York Times columnist Bruce Bartlett. And the best short-term solution, he says, would be an increase in the money supply by the Federal Reserve, which would kick off a wave of inflation and encourage consumer spending and investment.
Two articles in major U.S. papers today summarize the anxiety individual investors have been experiencing the past couple weeks. The Wall Street Journal reports today that retail investors are trading in and out of stocks at twice the rate of their normal level—and this during August, usually the sleepiest trading month of the year. Considering daily price swings of 3 or more percent in both directions, we suspect that everyone isn't simply rebalancing their portfolio.
Every week, members of the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) vote to indicate what their outlook is for stocks over the next six months. Predictably, the latest consensus, dated Aug. 3, was quite negative, with fully half of voters indicating that they're bearish on stocks in the next six months; on average bearish sentiment is only 30 percent. This is the most negative the indicator has been since July 2010. And given yesterday's market rout, next week's indicator may become even more negative.
Friday night, Standard & Poor's, one of the three major credit rating agencies, reduced the rating of United States debt to AA+, one notch below the top AAA rating the nation has held since 1941. Two other major ratings agencies, Moody's Investor Service and Fitch Ratings, are maintaining the U.S.'s AAA rating, though Moody's assigned a negative outlook.
Congress and the President have until Tuesday to resolve the debt-ceiling crisis. If that deadline comes and goes the U.S. will be in default, and the government will have trouble paying its bills and covering its costs. Failure to raise the debt ceiling would also have financial consequences for consumers. Here are a few things that might happen.
Without a workplace 401(k) plan, many investors would not be saving for retirement at all, according to a new study from the mutual fund and financial services group Fidelity Investments.
New smart phone applications from Charles Schwab and Fidelity Investments let customers deposit checks into brokerages accounts without actually having to deposit the paper check. Customers simply take a picture of the check with their iPhone or Android-based phone and upload it to their account.
Wells Fargo has announced that it is getting out of the business of providing reverse mortgages. This move follows in the steps of Bank of America, which announced the end of its reverse mortgage program earlier this year. The two banks accounted for about 43 percent of reverse mortgage business in the U.S.
In 2010 about one in seven workers borrowed money from their 401(k) plan. Currently, about 30 percent of all 401(k) holders also have an outstanding loan. That percentage is the highest in recent history, according to data from Aon Hewitt, a human-resources consulting group.
Regardless of the sharp five-year decline in housing prices, people are confident in the investment value of home ownership. Eight in 10 Americans still believe that a home will appreciate in value, according to a survey of more than 2,000 people across the country, conducted by the Pew Research Center.
Using virtual-reality technology, Stanford and other schools are letting young individuals view simulations of their future, older selves, and gauging the impact on their present-day financial decisions. The Wall Street Journal reported recently that this could help turn impulsive spenders into long-term savers.
Most parents find it easier to discuss drugs and alcohol with their kids than family finances, according to a new study from T. Rowe Price. Talking about investing is just as difficult as addressing puberty and coming of age.
Couples who retire this year can expect to pay 8 percent less in health-care costs over the course of their retirement, thanks in large measure to health-care reform, according to an estimate from Fidelity Investments. It’s the first drop since 2002, when Fidelity first started making the estimate.
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