Insights & Recordings
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.
I can only say: I'm sorry, America. As a former Federal Reserve official, I was responsible for executing the centerpiece program of the Fed's first plunge into the bond-buying experiment known as quantitative easing. The central bank continues to spin QE as a tool for helping Main Street. But I've come to recognize the program for what it really is: the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time.
The Congressional wrangling that's led to a partial shutdown of the federal government has helped dent Americans' already waning confidence in the economy to a degree surpassed only by the damage done when Lehman Brothers went bankrupt in September 2008.
According to polling by Gallup, U.S. residents have had the second-biggest drop in their economic faith since the survey began in January 2008. The 12-point week-over-week decline in confidence led to a reading of negative 34, continuing a downward trend in the measure in recent weeks. The magnitude of the decrease trails only the 15-point falloff that surrounded Lehman's collapse, the key development for the global economic crisis.
An insurance industry survey finds that fewer middle aged Americans are buying life insurance. The numbers show that between 2008 and 2013, there was a 35-percent decline in the number of middle aged Americans carrying life insurance. Many of them say the weak economy is the reason.
One Denver mother is on a mission to change that. Essie Curtis-Rockwell suffered the loss of her husband two years ago. Paul Rockwell was a pastor at a local church, a beloved husband, and the father of four. He died suddenly and had no life insurance for his family to fall back on.
In the past decade, college tuition has risen three times as fast as the consumer-price index and twice as fast as medical care.
How can that be—and what can be done about it?
To answer those questions, The Wall Street Journal invited three economists with distinctly different orientations within higher education to discuss the issue.
What do you buy when you win the lottery? An exotic new car? Likely. A sprawling luxury home? Sure.
Life insurance? Not so much.
A young, unmarried grocery store worker, with no children, won half of a $336 million Mega Millions jackpot and did just that: bought a $100 million life insurance policy. Now he is suing the financial advisors who sold him the policy, along with other investments that encouraged him to "assume tens of millions of dollars in debt," according to the Courthouse News Service.
General Motors of Canada President Kevin Williams is warning that subprime loans could doom the auto industry just as it did the housing industry in 2007.
Williams told the editorial board of Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper on Monday that record Canadian auto sales could be attributed to cheap credit loans.
How would you like to lower your property tax bill by eating in restaurants and shopping in stores that are in your home town? It would be possible if an innovative new measure becomes law.
The bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Ron Dancer allows New Jersey municipalities to authorize property tax reward programs in which residents who patronize businesses in their towns receive property tax credits on their tax bills.
Here's something you don't often see in Washington: a businessman trying to repeal a law that helps his company. That's Bob Funk's latest mission in life. He's the president and founder of Express Employment Services, the fifth-largest employment agency in America, with annual sales of $2.5 billion and more than 600 franchises across the country. This year he will place nearly half a million workers in jobs.
More than 90% — ninety percent! — of Americans throw out food prematurely, as TIME reported last week. Basically, consumers are confused by phrasing like “use by” and “sell by” and so, to be safe, they end up tossing perfectly good produce, snacks and more. In reality, food dating really just indicates when an item is at its peak freshness, not when it becomes inedible.
All of this got Doug Rauch, the former president of the Trader Joe’s supermarket chain, thinking about a potential solution. And now, it seems he might have found one: a market that specializes in preparing and repackaging expired food and selling it at deeply discounted prices. He plans to launch this project, called the Daily Table, next year in Boston’s working-class Dorchester neighborhood, NPR reports.
Just in time for Halloween, chocolate prices are expected to hit record highs.
The Wall Street Journal reports that one kilogram of chocolate will soon hit $12.25, an all-time high, and an increase of 45% compared to 2007.
Surprise: student debt is having a depressing effect on Americans' life choices.
According to a new report from the Boston-based nonprofit American Student Assistance, a quarter of college students said their student loans made it difficult to buy daily necessities, and nearly two-thirds said their debt prevented them from making large purchases, like buying a car.
In 2011, Elias Whitmore signed a 24 month lease while earning a fixed income as a flight mechanic at the Hartsfield Jackson Airport in Atlanta. After the initial lease expired, he attempted to extend it, but Whitmore's landlord had decided to sell the home. As a result, the 35-year-old flight mechanic was forced to move out at a moment's notice.
"I thought about buying the home, but my credit score isn't all that great for a mortgage," said Whitmore, a motorcycle enthusiast. "Had I known my landlord wanted to sell two years ago, I would have saved up the money."
The Social Security Administration has begun warning the public it cannot guarantee full benefit payments if the debt ceiling isn’t increased.
When asked by the public, the agency is notifying beneficiaries that “Unlike a federal shutdown which has no impact on the payment of Social Security benefits, failure to raise the debt ceiling puts Social Security benefits at risk,” according to a person familiar with the agency directive.
Researchers stated that the striped 7-inch mammal displayed a degree of foresight and determination far exceeding that of the average U.S. citizen. In contrast to most Americans, the chipmunk was said to routinely work toward meaningful goals in an orderly and decisive manner without procrastinating for days on end, melodramatically sighing and complaining, or becoming immediately sidetracked by emails or online videos.
It is no secret that we have an aging population: Each day 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 and start collecting Social Security and Medicare benefits. This trend is expected to continue for the next 19 years. However, what's less well known is that the vast majority of retirees are underfunded for retirement. The reasons for being underfunded are many: lack of savings, poor investment choices, excessive spending or unforeseen expenses.
No matter what the cause, it is becoming clear that neither they nor we can rely on the federal government to take ample care of our senior citizens.
In fact, it truly does take a family to care for their elders and we are seeing more and more situations where children are pitching in to help out parents with both care and financial support
When the news hit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's re-election to a third term, I quickly picked up the phone and dialed Jim Rickards, manager and author of bestseller Currency Wars, to get his take and guidance on the potential outcome for investors.
Angela Merkel's smashing victory in the German elections Sunday has implications not only for politics but also for markets. It is well known that Merkel has been an outspoken advocate for what she calls "More Europe." The idea is the European Union and the euro must be preserved and expanded as part of a European integration project that stretches back almost 70 years.
Swipe your card at a local store and you might be creating some serious tax headaches for the business owner.
The Internal Revenue Service has sent out letters to 20,000 small businesses since fall 2012, notifying them of "possible income under-reporting."
The IRS says it is trying to identify businesses that get "an unusually high portion" of their reported sales through credit card transactions. The thinking is that a lot of cash transactions might be going unreported.