Financial News from US News & World Report

  • 12 Cities Where Most Workers Don't Have a 401(k) US News - Sat, May 28, 2016 4:41 AM AEST

    Only about half (49 percent) of full-time private sector workers use a workplace retirement plan, according to a Pew Charitable Trust analysis of Census Bureau data. The proportion of workers with access to a retirement plan varies form 71 percent in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Scranton, Pennsylvania, to 23 percent in McAllen, Texas. Cities with low access to retirement benefits are largely concentrated in just three states: Florida, Texas and California.

  • How International Issues Affect Foreign Investment in U.S. Real Estate US News - Sat, May 28, 2016 3:18 AM AEST

    In 2015, 15.4 percent of all commercial real estate buyers in the U.S. were from overseas, according to financial and professional services firm Jones Lang LaSalle. On the residential side, the National Association of Realtors reports international buyers purchased 4 percent of existing homes sold in the U.S. in 2015, which made up 8 percent of the total dollar amount of existing homes sales for the year at $104 billion. The biggest foreign residential buyers in 2015 were from China ($28.6 billion), Canada ($11.2 billion), India ($7.9 billion), Mexico ($4.9 billion) and the U.K. ($3.8 billion), according to a study examining Chinese real estate investment conducted by the nonprofit Asia Society and real estate economics firm Rosen Consulting Group.

  • Who Needs a Retirement Plan? Apparently Not Millennials US News - Sat, May 28, 2016 1:22 AM AEST

    Most people don't know how much money they need in retirement and are stressed about how to pay for it. More than a third of millennials say they will have a better retirement than past generations. Despite that optimism, 40 percent of millennials say they don't have a retirement income strategy in place, and 57 percent report they haven't even begun saving yet.

  • 7 Ways to Cut Summer Air Conditioning Costs US News - Sat, May 28, 2016 1:17 AM AEST

    Soon summer will be in full swing and homes everywhere will be ramping up the AC to combat the summer heat. If possible, install ceiling fans in the most-used rooms of your house. Ceiling fans help the cool air circulate in rooms, easing the strain on your air conditioner.

  • Managing Your Finances When You're Separated US News - Fri, May 27, 2016 11:34 PM AEST

    "Based on the new living arrangements, you both will need to decide who is paying for what and exactly how much you individually can afford monthly," says Russell Luna, a certified divorce financial analyst and owner of Luna Financial Advisors in Denver, Colorado.

  • How to Invest in Equity Crowdfunding US News - Fri, May 27, 2016 11:00 PM AEST

    The Securities and Exchange Commission is now allowing individuals to invest in companies via web-based crowdfunding portals, known as intermediaries, via the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS act. Historically only venture capitalists and accredited investors -- essentially the wealthiest 2 percent of the country -- were allowed to invest in startups and small businesses, says Ryan Feit, CEO and co-founder of SeedInvest, an equity crowdfunding platform that funded over 65 companies with more than 100,000 investors. Times have changed since Congress blocked the general public from investing in private companies, which stemmed from the Securities Act of 1933 and Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

  • Are Steel Stocks a Good Buy in 2016? US News - Fri, May 27, 2016 11:00 PM AEST

    Share prices for steelmakers have been whipsawed since 2014 amid the vagaries of China's steel appetite, demand from the domestic automotive, construction and energy sectors and a trade battle over low-priced imports. Experts differ as to whether now is a buying opportunity and even whether steel stocks are worthy long-term investments or shorter term trades. Steel stocks' bounce recently is a move off extremely low levels, and now could be a good time for longer term investors to get in, as there is more potential for demand to rise than to fall, says Macquarie Securities analyst Aldo Mazzaferro.

  • The Best Memorial Day Sales of 2016 US News - Fri, May 27, 2016 1:26 AM AEST

    With the holiday but days away, major retailers have already begun running Memorial Day sales . During these once-a-year sales, you can find deep discounts on everything from mattresses and appliances ...

  • New Graduates: So You Want to Be a Leader? US News - Fri, May 27, 2016 1:09 AM AEST

    Former CEO of GE Jack Welch believes that there are five essential traits of leadership: positive energy, the ability to energize others, passion, edge and the talent to execute. Carla Harris, a senior client advisor and managing director at Morgan Stanley, as well as chair of the National Women's Business Council, spoke about what it takes to be a true leader in her April 2016 commencement address at Columbia College in South Carolina.

  • Get More Money for Business School in 5 Steps US News - Fri, May 27, 2016 1:00 AM AEST

    Accepted applicants usually have more leverage than other prospective students when it comes to getting financial aid and scholarships. When an admissions or financial aid officer can match applicants' names to their faces, the prospective students may have a better chance of getting aid, experts say. MBA applicants should be candid about their financial situation and show a concerted interest in the university when speaking with someone from admissions, Ted Evans, then an admissions manager at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management, told U.S. News.

  • How to Get a Second Chance at Homeownership After Foreclosure or a Short Sale US News - Fri, May 27, 2016 12:57 AM AEST

    From 2006 to 2014, more than 9.2 million Americans lost homes to foreclosure, short sales or deeds in lieu of foreclosure, according to the National Association of Realtors. "It's not a scarlet letter that stays with you forever," says Bob Walters, chief economist for the mortgage loan company Quicken Loans. "Their chances are very good depending on how they experienced a short sale or foreclosure and how they've handled their credit since," says Ray Rodriguez, regional mortgage sales manager at TD Bank in New York.

  • How to Prepare for Longer TSA Lines This Summer US News - Fri, May 27, 2016 12:50 AM AEST

    It's no secret that outrageously long security lines are bringing fliers' frustration levels to a boil. With slow-moving security lines wreaking havoc on thousands of passengers' travel plans in recent weeks, coupled with the fast-approaching peak-season rush, the situation isn't looking good for summer travelers.

  • 7 Ways to Save Money When Your Cost of Living Is High US News - Fri, May 27, 2016 12:45 AM AEST

    If only living in an expensive city were as easy as it looks on most TV sitcoms, where the lead characters lounge in the most palatial digs while working a job you know doesn't pay enough for an apartment that size in real life. It's a nice, aspirational fantasy, but the truth is that paying rent in most cities -- let alone saving money -- isn't easy, especially in Manhattan, Los Angeles, San Francisco and other metropolitan areas known for their enormous cost of living. To live reasonably in New York City, the most populous city in the U.S., for example, the study found that you'll need to earn at least $87,446 a year.

  • To Roll Over or Not to Roll Over: What to Do With That Old 401(k) US News - Fri, May 27, 2016 12:15 AM AEST

    A 401(k) plan is standard in many compensation packages today, and the money in the account is yours to keep even if you and your employer part ways. For example, early withdrawals from IRAs and 401(k)s are subject to a 10 percent tax penalty.

  • Decoding Wall Street's Wall of Jargon US News - Thu, May 26, 2016 11:46 PM AEST

    The nerve center of American investment has never had an official motto, though the sharp-dressed financial elite might opt for an unofficial one. Something along these lines: "Wall Street -- Where ...

  • 7 Things to Know About 529 Plans US News - Thu, May 26, 2016 11:13 PM AEST

    Start studying college savings options and you'll soon see the term " Section 529 Plan." These awkwardly named programs are better than they sound, allowing investment in stock and bond funds with no federal tax on gains used for tuition and other approved college costs. Each state offers several investment options, and you are free to choose a plan offered by a state other than your own. Shopping is tricky, and the factors you take into account when your future college student is an infant could change down the road.

  • Does Your Home Appeal to Overseas Buyers? US News - Thu, May 26, 2016 2:51 AM AEST

    You want to sell your home in the best way possible, so it's key to reach the widest array of buyers to achieve the greatest return on your investment. From choosing a skilled, experienced real estate agent to making carefully selected updates to your home, you want to take advantage of the seller's market across the country and gain interest from multiple buyers to drive up your sale price. The U.S. real estate market has, in recent years in particular, proven a solid investment for foreign buyers not just because of increasing property values, but also thanks to its reputation as a good place for global businesspeople to place their money in a safe, hard asset.

  • 11 Great Beach Items to Buy Before Your Summer Vacation US News - Thu, May 26, 2016 1:50 AM AEST

    Here are 11 must-have items for your summer beach getaway. If you're planning to head to a sandy locale located within driving distance, consider investing in DICK'S Sporting Goods' Quest Folding Utility Beach Wagon ($99.99) to haul your family's chairs, umbrellas, towels, coolers and more to the beach this summer.

  • Everything You Need to Know About Traveling to Cuba This Year US News - Thu, May 26, 2016 1:02 AM AEST

    With restored diplomatic relations with the U.S. and lifted travel restrictions, Cuba's landscape, culture and economy is changing -- almost too fast for the time-capsuled country to catch up. The best way to describe Wi-Fi access in Cuba? Like any country across Cuba, you'll find a mix of lesser-known gems and tourist haunts.

  • The Top 4 Skills New Graduates Need to Improve US News - Thu, May 26, 2016 12:50 AM AEST

    College taught you many things , but learning doesn't end once college is over. Throughout your career, you need to keep upping your skills. How prepared are recent college graduates for their first jobs? ...

  • Where to Splurge and Save on Your Pets US News - Wed, May 25, 2016 11:44 PM AEST

    Every pet owner wants the best for his or her animals, and many consider pets to be part of the family. The American Pet Products Association estimates that Americans will spend nearly $63 billion on pets in 2016 --including food, supplies, vet care and grooming-- up from more than $60 billion last year. Anita Lavine has experienced this firsthand.

  • How to Balance Retirement Saving With Other Financial Goals US News - Wed, May 25, 2016 11:37 PM AEST

    Most people have many important financial goals including paying off debt, saving for retirement, buying a home and saving for a college education for your children. Make employer matches a priority. If you're currently in a job where your company provides an employer match, take full advantage of it.

  • Investing as a Game: Is it Big Business? US News - Wed, May 25, 2016 11:20 PM AEST

    This may explain why he has dressed as a human slice of bacon -- though not why, in a recent video, he wedged a virtual reality controller between his buns (not the hot dog kind, mind you). "At $100 billion last year, the video game industry is larger than ever," says Derrick Morton, CEO of FlowPlay, a developer of virtual worlds, social casinos and fantasy sports-based casual games. Morton and other experts will also point out that video games pushed the computer industry make huge leaps in machine power and speed: arguably more so than any other marketplace sector.

  • How to Invest in Smart Cities US News - Wed, May 25, 2016 11:00 PM AEST

    As smart cities apply technology using analytics and software to better manage their operations, urban development is becoming increasingly more connected, integrated and technologically advanced via the Internet of Things movement. Coupled with millennials searching for more walkable, transit-friendly cities, many agile startups are developing innovative "smart city" solutions that are being sought out and gobbled up by Fortune 500 companies and other investors. In March, General Motors Co. (GM) purchased San Francisco-based Cruise Automation -- a company that turns certain types of cars into autonomous vehicles -- in a deal some industry experts say that was more than a $1 billion in cash and stock options.

  • 3 Things to Know About Slowing Dividend Growth US News - Wed, May 25, 2016 11:00 PM AEST

    A slowdown in the profit growth rate for the Standard & Poor's 500 index means dividend-payment growth is sluggish, too, and that could be an issue for income-oriented investors looking at equities for extra yield. Slowing dividend growth is not the same as falling dividend growth, of course, but in light of lackluster payment growth, investors should think about their ultimate investment objective and perhaps look at some select sectors where dividend growth remains firm. In 2008, the dividend-growth payment was at 2 percent and in 2009 it fell to less than 1 percent, versus the 12 to 13 percent dividend growth for the S&P payers during 2004 to 2007, O'Hare says.

  • 5 Ways People Misuse Their Travel Rewards Credit Cards US News - Wed, May 25, 2016 9:55 PM AEST

    It's no secret that people who frequently travel can get a tremendous amount of value out of their travel rewards credit cards. Here are five ways people misuse their travel rewards credit cards, and how you can make sure you're getting the most out of yours. For any type of rewards card, whether it awards travel rewards, hotel, airline or even cash back, it's crucial to pay your balance in full each month during the grace period.

  • Travel Hacking for Newbies: the Risks and Rewards US News - Wed, May 25, 2016 8:00 PM AEST

    As we approach the busy summer travel season, recent reports suggest airfare prices will be the lowest consumers have seen in several years. Credit card churners, better known as "travel hackers" who vacation around the world for a sliver of what it costs the rest of us, know how to score airfare hotels and other travel-related expenses to both domestic and international locales for little to nothing. Credit card churning is the practice of opening multiple credit cards to earn bonus miles and other perks, and represents the primary method used by travel hackers to see the world at deep discounts.

  • The Pros and (Mostly) Cons of Balance Transfer Credit Cards US News - Wed, May 25, 2016 1:51 AM AEST

    If you transfer money to another card, and the debt remains -- and you end up racking up revolving debt on that credit card, too -- then that's very bad. "The main way balance transfers can go awry is when consumers get into a cycle of churning balance transfer credit cards," says Thomas Donaldson, senior credit specialist with CompareCards.com, a credit card comparison site.

  • 6 Ways to Score Cheap Tickets to Summer Events US News - Wed, May 25, 2016 1:19 AM AEST

    Between the blockbuster films, incredible sporting events, concert tours and music festivals, there are countless experiences people want to enjoy during the warm summer months. If you're a regular concertgoer or a film attendee, you can quickly find yourself spending hundreds of dollars on these events, and let's not even talk about the price of a music festival. Here are six smart strategies for seeing movies, concerts and sporting events on the cheap this summer.

  • How to Throw a Fabulous and Frugal Dinner Party US News - Wed, May 25, 2016 12:41 AM AEST

    Warm summer nights should be spent outdoors with friends, lingering over last bites of peach pie and glasses of white wine. To celebrate with good food and friends without overstepping your budget, try out these tips for throwing a fabulous, frugal dinner party. When you look back on the last dinner party you went to, you probably remember the conversations, laughs and the delicious lemon fish.

  • Time for a Raise? Here's How to Ask Your Boss US News - Wed, May 25, 2016 12:32 AM AEST

    Your delivery will improve over time, and what matters most is that you initiate a conversation around money if you feel you deserve a raise. Remember, the labor market is growing right now, and job seekers are in the driver's seat. The more you get accustomed to simply speaking about money in general, the easier it will feel when it's time to ask for a raise at work.

  • 5 Real Estate Trends to Know Before Selling Your Los Angeles Home US News - Tue, May 24, 2016 11:16 PM AEST

    With housing prices in the Los Angeles metro area hitting historic highs, now might be time to make a move and sell your home. "We've been in an appreciating market since 2012," says Tracy Do of Compass Real Estate, who focuses on the Eastside of Los Angeles. "If a property is priced well, there will be multiple offers," says Sally Forster Jones of Beverly Hills' Sally Forster Jones group.

  • 11 Hotels Without Resort Fees to Visit This Summer US News - Tue, May 24, 2016 11:01 PM AEST

    Chances are you will spend good money to treat yourself to a vacation, whether the amount you've budgeted will be spent on flights, accommodations or both. Hotel rooms can be expensive -- especially in the summer -- and in resort destinations, such as Maui, Hawaii, and Las Vegas, daily resort fees (add-on charges that cover things like access to the pool, beach, fitness center, Wi-Fi and more) are becoming more common. This trend might leave travelers wondering if there are any properties that don' impose extra fees.

  • The Pros and Cons of Hedge Fund Investing US News - Tue, May 24, 2016 11:00 PM AEST

    Hedge funds get a lot of hoopla. Unlike mutual funds, the average American can't invest in hedge funds. At the same time, the concept of the hedge fund is a beautiful thing: In up or down markets, they're supposed to make money.

  • 10 Schools That Award the Most Financial Aid to Out-of-State Students US News - Tue, May 24, 2016 11:00 PM AEST

    The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. The cost of attending college is even pricier when a student decides to attend a public school as an out-of-state student, but a significant financial aid package can help pay for the bump in price. On average, tuition and fees for an out-of-state student for the 2014-2015 school year were double what in-state students paid, according to U.S. News data.