Financial News from US News & World Report

  • 5 Steps to Dump Debt During Your Senior Years US News - Fri, Jul 3, 2015 1:44 AM AEST

    In 2013, the average household headed by someone age 55 or older had $73,211 in debt, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. "When you have debt, you are less rich than you think you are," says Ken Moraif, a certified financial planner and senior advisor at Money Matters in Dallas. Moraif says one of the major risks associated with debt is the possibility seniors won't be able to make payments should the market take another dive like it did in 2008.

  • Investors: Don't Let Patriotism Rule Your Portfolio US News - Fri, Jul 3, 2015 1:28 AM AEST

    The same feelings often manifest themselves in investors' portfolios in what is known as home bias: the tendency to favor domestic equities over international equities. A recent analysis by investment firm SigFig, for example, found that the median investor has 61 percent of his or her portfolio in domestic equities and just 6.6 percent in international equities.

  • The Best Holidays for Deals: A Shopper's Guide US News - Fri, Jul 3, 2015 1:24 AM AEST

    Wondering which holidays are best for getting specific deals? "The best time to shop spring and summer products on sale are July 4th and Labor Day," says Syama Meagher, who lives in Los Angeles and is CEO of Scaling Retail, a retail consultancy that works with fashion and retail brands.

  • 3 Steps to Mapping Your Career Path US News - Fri, Jul 3, 2015 1:00 AM AEST

    You are your greatest asset, and as an extension of that, your job is one of your best assets, too. When you treat your job like an asset -- one you will give to, but also one that you want to work for you in return -- you will be better able to make the right decisions about your career in the long term. Making a strategic career plan is a critical first step.

  • How to Maximize the Value of Your IRA US News - Fri, Jul 3, 2015 12:58 AM AEST

    The rules for individual retirement accounts can be quite complex, especially as we begin drawing funds out of the accounts. It is often recommended that parents begin encouraging their children to contribute to an IRA or Roth IRA as soon as the children begin earning money. Choose between a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA.

  • How to Afford a Last-Minute Summer Vacation US News - Fri, Jul 3, 2015 12:31 AM AEST

    In fact, waiting until the last minute to book your summer vacation may actually be to your benefit. Time it right: If you don't have plans for the Fourth of July, take heart: Labor Day weekend, which is sadly not that far off, is actually a much better time to go away.

  • The High Cost of Higher Education US News - Fri, Jul 3, 2015 12:17 AM AEST

    While you would expect the average Harvard graduate to make a higher salary compared with a college graduate at an "average" institution, this comparison doesn't take into account the cost of their education and other factors. According to Harvard's website, its tuition, room, board and fees for this upcoming academic year total more than $60,000 for those without financial aid. Recently, the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program released a study ranking schools on midcareer earnings, occupational earnings power and the loan repayment rate of the typical graduate.

  • Investors Wade Into 'Wide Moats' for Long-Term Gains US News - Thu, Jul 2, 2015 11:46 PM AEST

    "Wide moat investing": it sounds like a maneuver in "Game of Thrones," but it's actually a strategy of investing in companies with clearly defined, defensible, competitive advantages that are likely to last upwards of 20 years. Elizabeth Collins, director of equity research, North America, for Morningstar, the Chicago-based fund research firm, says the concept is embedded in "100 percent" of Morningstar analysis. Companies often claim competitive advantages but rarely describe them in terms of "moats" -- wide, narrow or nonexistent -- in corporate reports and filings.

  • 10 Ways Your Boss Knows You're Job Searching US News - Thu, Jul 2, 2015 11:37 PM AEST

    You think you're so smooth -- the James Bond of covert job searching. 1. You became a LinkedIn superstar overnight. If managers suspect you're looking elsewhere, your LinkedIn profile is often the first place they'll snoop, says Jenny Foss, founder of the career blog and author of "Ridiculously Awesome Job Search Kit." "It's where a lot of people tend to get busted," she adds.

  • Insider Tricks to Plan a Cheap Last-Minute Summer Vacation US News - Thu, Jul 2, 2015 10:50 PM AEST

    Did spring come and go before you had a chance to plan a summer vacation? Whether you're considering flying or driving to your destination, online tools can help you compare options to determine the most cost-effective destination.

  • Is Your Shopping Buddy Making You Spend Too Much? US News - Thu, Jul 2, 2015 3:34 AM AEST

    When you shop with friends or family members, you're often doing it not to spend money but to spend time. Mona Wood-Sword, who owns a public relations firm in Honolulu, Hawaii, says that shopping for her is a form of therapy. "Especially as a woman, we need our friends around us, filling that void only they can fill with girl talk, gossip, laughter, tears," she says.

  • 5 Steps for a Comfortable Retirement US News - Thu, Jul 2, 2015 12:56 AM AEST

    A comfortable retirement requires a significant amount of savings and deft investment management. Here are five steps to create a happy retirement. You need to treat saving for retirement with the same urgency.

  • Money Lessons From Time-Management Gurus US News - Thu, Jul 2, 2015 12:54 AM AEST

    When technology researcher Alexandra Samuel came across a book about money eight years ago, it led to an epiphany that related to her work studying the Internet. Today, that epiphany has come full circle: Her research on productivity and the Internet contains lessons for those looking to improve their money management skills. Just as it's easy to get overwhelmed by social media, she finds herself getting overwhelmed by the various financial tasks on her to-do list: saving for her children's college tuition, retirement planning, emergency savings, insurance.

  • 6 Changes You Should Make to Your Job Search US News - Thu, Jul 2, 2015 12:37 AM AEST

    While employers cite many reasons why finding the right talent is nearly impossible, you can only control what you are doing (and not doing) to get on an their radar. If you're like most job seekers, you rely heavily on job boards and LinkedIn job postings as your primary sources to uncover job opportunities. This reactive approach is unlikely to result in an interview, because most employers rely on referrals to fill jobs with external candidates.

  • 4 Potential Drawbacks of 529 Plans and How to Minimize Them US News - Thu, Jul 2, 2015 12:30 AM AEST

    When it comes to saving for their children's college education, many parents are attracted to 529 plans because of the built-in advantages that make socking away enough cash for college easier. Named for the section of the Internal Revenue Code that established these plans in 1996, 529s offer parents the ability to contribute funds to state-operated investment plans that allow those funds to grow tax-deferred. Despite those benefits, there are some possible drawbacks to using 529 plans to save for college.

  • 4 Health Care Stocks Poised for Growth US News - Wed, Jul 1, 2015 11:33 PM AEST

    With the June 25 U.S. Supreme Court ruling holding up the legality of the Affordable Care Act, U.S. health care stocks are rallying. Health services is an industry consisting of managed health care, hospital management and medical services subindustries. We began by setting a minimum market capitalization threshold of $5 billion.

  • How to Snag a Deal by Writing an Amazon Review US News - Wed, Jul 1, 2015 11:11 PM AEST

    A couple of years ago, I was contacted by a company that had seen a review I had written on Amazon and wanted to send me a comparable item to check out. The only caveat was that in exchange for the free item, I needed to post an honest review to Amazon. It is my understanding that companies offer their items in exchange for reviews because the more reviews you have -- good or bad -- the higher your product will appear in Amazon search results and this can be important if you really want to get your items in front of shoppers.

  • 3 Team-Building Exercises That Don't Cost a Dime US News - Wed, Jul 1, 2015 11:05 PM AEST

    What's a team without trust? It may involve a jittery, fumbling quarterback skeptical of whether his linemen will protect him as he passes or let him get pummeled to the ground. It may involve an ice skater ...

  • 3 Things to Know About the New Student Loan Interest Rates US News - Wed, Jul 1, 2015 11:00 PM AEST

    Here's the good news: New federal student loans are cheaper this year. The 2015-2016 federal student loan interest rates take effect July 1 and are more than one-third of a percentage point cheaper than last year's rates. "This is something that's going to continue to happen and it's going to fluctuate with the market," says Jan Miller, president of Miller Student Loan Consulting, about the change in federal interest rates.

  • 7 Cheap Ways to Survive the Scorching Summer Heat US News - Wed, Jul 1, 2015 10:50 PM AEST

    The air conditioner is turned on full blast, all the fans are on, but you still can't seem to stay cool during the summer heat wave. Fortunately, you don't have to be completely dependent on air conditioning to keep your cool this season. There are several pulse points on your body -- where your blood vessels are close to the skin -- that are especially responsive to an ice pack or cool object.

  • 9 Tips for Finding an Apartment in Boston US News - Wed, Jul 1, 2015 10:40 PM AEST

    Apartment hunting is never easy, but it becomes even harder when you live in a big city where rental units are at a premium and thousands of people are vying for the same apartments. If you're ready to start apartment hunting in Boston, here are nine tips to keep in mind. Boston is a city made up of distinct neighborhoods, from beautiful Beacon Hill to trendy Jamaica Plain, so it's worth knowing where you'll fit in before you even get started.

  • 5 Ways to Retire Early US News - Wed, Jul 1, 2015 3:02 AM AEST
    5 Ways to Retire Early

    Retirement is thought of as the time to stop working, start slowing down and do nothing but relax. In fact, many retirees are doing things they never thought possible, like training for marathons, traveling the world and even starting their own business. Retirement as we know it has changed.

  • When It Comes to Cybersecurity, Millennials Throw Caution to the Wind US News - Wed, Jul 1, 2015 2:30 AM AEST

    Despite being the first generation to have grown up using the Internet, studies indicate millennials can be surprisingly unaware of online security threats they face. In fact, a 2013 survey by Marble Security, a mobile threat intelligence and defense company, found that 26.2 percent of young adults born in the U.S. between 1980 and 2000 have had an online account hacked, compared with a 21.4 percent national average. To make matters worse, many millennials continue to engage in risky behaviors online.

  • Keep Funemployment From Draining Your Bank Account US News - Wed, Jul 1, 2015 2:08 AM AEST

    Social media has popularized the term " funemployment" (a period of unemployment when you're traveling, relaxing or pursuing new hobbies instead of actively searching for the next job), and it's even in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. This popular advice bears repeating: While you're still gainfully employed, sock away extra cash just in case, says Michael Wall, president and founder of Retire Well LLC, an investment advisory firm with locations in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and Altoona, Pennsylvania.

  • 5 Tips for Newlyweds Merging Bank Accounts US News - Wed, Jul 1, 2015 12:59 AM AEST

    When you get married, you often aren't just merging your lives, but your financial assets are probably becoming one as well. It isn't the most romantic thing to think about when you're hopefully head over heels in love, but if you want to stay in love, you'll want to think long and hard about how you and your partner should merge your bank accounts. But even if it's a foregone conclusion that you both love each other, and you want to share everything, from your bed to your bank account, you'll want to discuss everything to do with money before you actually sign up for a joint account.

  • 6 Ways to Increase Your Retirement Rental Income US News - Wed, Jul 1, 2015 12:54 AM AEST

    If one of these retirement spots appeals to you, this is a window of opportunity to invest in retirement digs of your own at a discount, even if your retirement is years away. If you buy an apartment or house in the country where you intend to live in retirement, you can take advantage of your current buying power while controlling what is usually the biggest part of any retirement budget: housing. In the short term, your eventual retirement home can be rented out to generate income to help cover associated carrying expenses and maybe even to supplement your retirement nest egg.

  • 4 Health Care Investments to Boost Your Portfolio US News - Wed, Jul 1, 2015 12:45 AM AEST

    The Affordable Care Act brought approximately 11.7 million people health insurance during open enrollment for 2015, and the health care business is booming. It's no surprise that health care stocks are also surging this year, with the S&P 500 Health Care index up 10.89 percent through June 26 versus a 2.07 percent increase in the Standard & Poor's 500 index. In the first five months of 2015, the health care sector was the best performer and the most popular with $6.7 billion inflows into related ETFs, says Todd Rosenbluth, director of ETF research at S&P Capital IQ, a New York-based financial information provider.

  • 5 Tips for Planning a Frugal DIY Tour US News - Tue, Jun 30, 2015 11:06 PM AEST

    If you want to do the touristy activities without spending a great deal of money, look into how much certain activities will cost without having to go the guided route. Plan and plot out a route to take and activities to do along the way.

  • 6 Steps for Declaring Financial Independence From Your Parents US News - Tue, Jun 30, 2015 11:05 PM AEST

    For many people, graduation day symbolizes the start of financial independence from one's parents. They no longer provide a significant income stream for you, so you're left on your own to find work and ...

  • How to Boost Your Home's Value on a Budget US News - Tue, Jun 30, 2015 11:00 PM AEST

    According to Remodeling magazine's annual cost-versus-value report, some of the most cost-efficient measures include a steel entry door replacement, which makes a strong first impression on potential buyers, and roofing replacement. Some of the worst investments include adding a back-up power generator and adding a bathroom, since doing so can be expensive. One theme to emerge from the findings is that it pays to make a strong first impression, and homeowners can often boost their curb appeal with relatively little financial investment.

  • Why Parents Should Charge Their Kids Rent US News - Tue, Jun 30, 2015 11:00 PM AEST

    The trope of a 20-something taking up refuge in his parents' basement is a now tired way to describe millennials. Millennials have been known to graduate college, quit work or just opt out of adult life and scurry back to the nest. Before boomers and millennials alike end up in a blind rage, understand that extolling a little tough love is exactly the way parents can lead a stray millennial back to the expressway toward adulthood.

  • How to Be an Excellent Reference US News - Tue, Jun 30, 2015 11:00 PM AEST

    The next time an outstanding colleague on your team resigns or your fantastic mentor moves on to another role, think about how you can help them with testimonials. We often think about who will be our ...

  • How Does Your 401(k) Stack Up? US News - Tue, Jun 30, 2015 1:15 AM AEST
    How Does Your 401(k) Stack Up?

    A good 401(k) plan can help propel you to a secure retirement. Your 401(k) plan often gives you a tax break, employer contributions and investment growth, all at the same time. Here's how to tell if your 401(k) plan is worthwhile.

  • The 4 Most Powerful Salary Negotiation Tactics US News - Tue, Jun 30, 2015 1:02 AM AEST
    The 4 Most Powerful Salary Negotiation Tactics

    In fact, a poll by the Society of Human Resource Management found that nearly 80 percent of those surveyed expressed that they didn't like to discuss money or negotiate employment terms. "The worst thing that can happen when you push for more is that they say 'no,'" says Anne Devereux, chief strategy officer at Lantern and founder of Parlay House.

  • 5 Workplace Trends That Are Making Your Job Harder US News - Mon, Jun 29, 2015 11:39 PM AEST

    Some recent workplace trends are good ones, such as the increase in telecommuting, a growing call for paid sick leave and the gradually closing pay gap between men and women. The percentage of the labor force that works in support positions, like administrative assistants, has been declining over the last few decades. In addition to big things like support positions, many companies are also cutting lots of little things that made life at work a bit more pleasant, such as disposable utensils in the office kitchen or complimentary soda in the refrigerator.