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The breadth of your financial knowledge is just as important as the size of your portfolio. But with the surplus of information written in incomprehensible industry jargon, the financial world can be hard to navigate and even harder to understand.

To help you stay up-to-date, well-versed and ultimately identify opportunities that work for you needs, our market and economic strategists translate market trends and economic news into easily-digestible summaries, reports and podcasts.

Senate Finance Committee Meets to Address Concerns over Corporate Tax Inversion - Kara Jones

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The Senate Finance Committee met Tuesday to address the increasing national concern over corporate tax inversion and its negative impact on U.S. economy. Lawmakers were split along partisan lines when discussing whether relocated firms should be subject to punitive legislation.

The Congressional Research Service recently revealed that over the past 10 years, at least 47 American corporations inverted by reincorporating abroad. This is a significant spike considering only 29 did so the previous 20 years combined.

Read more: Senate Finance Committee Meets to Address Concerns over Corporate Tax Inversion - Kara Jones

The White House Conceals Coming Increases in Health Insurance Premiums

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Want to know what’s happening with Obamacare? Good luck finding out. The White House recently adopted a new approach for updating Americans on the country’s most consequential law. I call it the “needle in a haystack” method: Bury the announcement in hundreds of pages of regulations and hope no one finds it.

The White House tried a test run several weeks ago. Hidden in the midst of a 436 page regulatory update, and written in pure bureaucratese, the Department of Health and Human Services asked that insurance companies limit the looming premium increases for 2015 health plans. But don’t worry, HHS hinted: we’ll bail you out on the taxpayer’s dime if you lose money.

Read more: The White House Conceals Coming Increases in Health Insurance Premiums

The US Government is Promoting an Economic Isolation of Russia - Bloomberg

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The U.S. is debating a new round of sanctions on Russia and pressing the European Union to follow up with its own penalties, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government is increasingly isolated for his support of the separatists in Ukraine, Rhodes told reporters at the White House today.

Read more: The US Government is Promoting an Economic Isolation of Russia - Bloomberg

Apple and IBM Join Together to Create New Business Apps

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When Steve Jobs advised Tim Cook to "just do what's right" as CEO of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) , he had to know that could mean taking the company in a new direction. Last week brought just that sort of change when Cook inked a deal with International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM  ) to bring 100 enterprise-class business apps to iPhones and iPads.

Should investors like the move? Guest host Alison Southwick puts this question to Fool analysts Nathan Alderman and Tim Beyers in this week's episode of 1-Up On Wall Street, The Motley Fool's web show in which we talk about the big-money names behind your favorite technology, movies, toys, video games, comics, and more.

Read more: Apple and IBM Join Together to Create New Business Apps

Rupert Murdoch Makes a Bid for Time Warner Inc. - NYTimes.com

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If content is still king in a media business challenged by new technologies and nimble upstarts, Rupert Murdoch hungers to wear the crown.

His biggest and boldest bid yet emerged on Wednesday: an $80 billion takeover offer for Time Warner Inc., which would be the biggest media deal in more than a decade.

Read more: Rupert Murdoch Makes a Bid for Time Warner Inc. - NYTimes.com

Janet Yellen Calls Technology Sector Overvalued - TheStreet

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Social media stocks took a huge bump Tuesday following Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's remarks the sector's valuation is overstretched.

In prepared remarks addressing the Senate Banking Committee, Yellen noted, "Valuation metrics in some sectors do appear substantially stretched-particularly those for smaller firms in the social media and biotechnology industries, despite a notable downturn in equity prices for such firms early in the year."

Read more: Janet Yellen Calls Technology Sector Overvalued - TheStreet

The Business of the New Sharing Economy - Business Insider

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Joining the sharing economy as a provider of services – accommodation, transportation or whatever else the market calls for – gives you a chance to make money while being part of a “movement”.

It sounds tremendously appealing, doesn’t it?

The companies being built around this new zeitgeist have different enough business models for it to be worth discussing them as if they do, indeed, fall into a different category from more traditional bastions of capitalism.

Read more: The Business of the New Sharing Economy - Business Insider

Nations are "Fed Up" With the Dollar - Zero Hedge

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Exactly 70 years ago to the day, hundreds of delegates from 44 nations were busy at work in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire creating a brand new financial system.

World War II had just ended. Europe was in ruin.

And since the US was simultaneously the largest economy in the world, the primary victor in the war, and the only major power with its productive capacity intact, it was easy to dictate terms: the dollar would dominate the new system.

Read more: Nations are "Fed Up" With the Dollar - Zero Hedge

Chelsea Clinton Claims Hefty Speaking Fees are donated to the Clinton Foundation - Mail Online

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Chelsea Clinton is regularly paid sums as high as $75,000 to speak at events on behalf of the Clinton Foundation, it was revealed today.

A spokesperson for Clinton told the New York Times that 'the majority of Chelsea’s speeches are unpaid.' But when she is paid, the spokesperson, Kamyl Bazbaz, said, '100 percent of the fees are remitted directly to the foundation.'

Read more: Chelsea Clinton Claims Hefty Speaking Fees are donated to the Clinton Foundation - Mail Online

Increases in IRA Contributions Show People are Saving More and Spending Less - Business Wire

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Fidelity Investments® today released its second annual analysis of over seven million Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), which revealed that average contributions for tax year 2013 reached $4,1501, a 5.7 percent increase from tax year 2012 and an all-time high. Average balances were $89,100, a nearly 10 percent year-over-year increase.

“Saving more, paying off debt and spending less were the top three New Year financial resolutions cited in a recent Fidelity study2 and our IRA analysis indicates that Americans are taking those financial resolutions seriously,” said Ken Hevert, vice president, Fidelity Investments. “The fact that IRA contributions are up across all age groups is a positive indication that many people are indeed committed to saving for retirement by putting at least a portion of what they earn into tax-advantaged vehicles such as an IRA.”

Read more: Increases in IRA Contributions Show People are Saving More and Spending Less - Business Wire

How to Pass on Financial Independence to Your Children - WSJ

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You want to give your children everything. But sometimes you can go too far and create a spoiled, entitled brat.

The consequences can be severe: In addition to acting like whiny complainers now, spoiled children are more likely to grow into financially dependent, irresponsible adults plagued by overspending and debt.

Read more: How to Pass on Financial Independence to Your Children - WSJ

Why the FED wants to downplay Inflation

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Government Data is useless

The final GDP calculation came out on Wednesday, and we have several takeaways from this latest revision. First of all government reporting data is all over the place, and not in a good way. I have no confidence that any of these numbers are actually right, and second with an ever changing economy, most of these data gathering tools are obsolete at best. The GDP number has now become a complete farce, the components used to calculate growth are so useless that we literally could have a plus 7% GDP quarter, and it mean absolutely nothing regarding the real health of the US economy!

Read more: Why the FED wants to downplay Inflation

Do you want the government to help you buy a house?

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Fannie Mae  (FNMA_) and Freddie Mac  (FMCC_) overseer, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), has asked the public for input regarding the fees those government sponsored entities charge to lenders.

It is amazing how many people think banks decide whether to lend them a home, and that banks are the principal entities that lose money if they don't pay their mortgage.

Read more: Do you want the government to help you buy a house?

What do millennials need to do to retire?

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The United States will soon fully understand what a millennial workforce means. The generation, which includes present-day adults aged 18 to 33, will make up some 50% of the nation's employees by 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And the workforce they're entering promises a much different retirement from the version their baby-boomer parents are now beginning to enjoy.

As adult millennials get their professional careers fully into gear, they face a post-recession milieu in which student loan debt, fewer matched savings plans, Social Security changes, and fears about the market brought on by the recession all pose challenges to proactive retirement planning.

Read more: What do millennials need to do to retire?

Parents may be able to choose where their money goes, public or private schools

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Parents would be able to spend the money that goes to their public school as they see fit under a new bill proposed in the legislature.

While they acknowledge it is unlikely to pass this session, the Republican leaders who proposed the bill say parents deserve more control in their children's education.

Read more: Parents may be able to choose where their money goes, public or private schools

What couples learned living through the recession

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American couples are a little wiser now when it comes to dealing with personal finance matters. It appears to be the silver lining of the Great Recession.

More than 80 percent of couples married after the recession said they discuss financial goals with their spouse at least once a month, CNN Money said. Before, it was 65 percent.

Read more: What couples learned living through the recession

Iraq and our gas prices

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Escalating tensions in Iraq spilled over to energy markets for a second day Friday, pushing crude oil prices to ten-month highs and setting the stage for stubbornly high gasoline prices in the U.S. to rise even further.

After jumping over $2 on Thursday, the benchmark U.S. oil contract for July delivery was up 15 cents to $106.68 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It had earlier hit a high of $107.68.

Read more: Iraq and our gas prices

Giving up your constitutional rights for money

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How would you feel about a physician who requires that you first agree not to sue if she were to botch your treatment? What about promising to never report the food poisoning you may end up contracting before the waiter agrees to take your order?

Ridiculous demands? Sure. So why is it OK to surrender these same rights to your lenders and the loan servicing companies that administer the contracts?

Read more: Giving up your constitutional rights for money

How to talk to your spouse about money

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Men and women have very different opinions on money in marriage. When asked how much they would spend before telling their spouses, men gave a figure more than three times the amount women gave, in a survey of married people by Experian Consumer Services.

On average, men said they'd spend a maximum of $1,231 before consulting their spouses, while the average limit among women was $396. That's a huge difference. Perhaps this disparity wouldn't be an issue in some marriages, but spending disagreements are likely problematic in others. A Utah State University researcher found money fights are the top predictor of divorce, so relationships would really benefit from an agreement on how to deal with finances.

Read more: How to talk to your spouse about money

 

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