Category Archives: Personal Finance

Money makeover: Investing opposites

There are certain things that Charlie and Sandy Hicks love to do together – like ski, hunt and hike with their two sons near their Livermore, Colo. home. Then there are things the Hickses hate to do as a couple – like invest their money.

Good salary, no savings

Question: I make a decent salary, but I can’t seem to save any of it. By the time I’m done paying my bills, there are only a few dollars left over. I have no car payments or credit cards, but still can’t save. Help! Mike J., Manalapan, NJ

Education stocks make the grade

A 7.2% unemployment rate may be a sure sign of a lousy economy, but it can also spell opportunity for publicly traded education companies.

Gambling with your retirement stash

Question: I’m 57 and I’m planning to retire at 66. Prior to this year’s stock market turmoil my 401(k) was balanced at 70% stock mutual funds and 30% bond funds. Now it’s 59% stock and 41% bonds. To take advantage of very low stock prices I was thinking about re-balancing to 75% stocks and 25% bonds. Does this sound like a good plan or should I just re-balance to 70% to 30%?

The last stocks standing

For businesses, competing in a downturn is a lot like being in the wild, wild West at the end of a gold rush. Once the lode dries up, you have to be resourceful to survive and thrive.

Let your retirement money grow

Question: I’ve reached the age where I’ve got to start taking mandatory withdrawals from my retirement accounts. I don’t need the money, so I’m wondering where I can stash it to earn more gains and possibly get some tax advantages as well. Any suggestions? –Joe, Redondo Beach, Calif.

The new rules of car buying

You can hardly escape the grim news surrounding the car industry: an 11th-hour federal loan package to help General Motors and Chrysler survive to the new year, frugal consumers shying away from big-ticket purchases – especially four-wheeled ones – and tighter credit making it tougher for the few willing buyers to borrow. November auto sales plunged 37% from a year earlier, according to Autodata, a sales tracking firm. Even after production cutbacks, ports are stacked high with new cars that can’t fit on dealer lots.

Global stocks for a world recovery

For value investors like Causeway Capital Management’s CEO Sarah Ketterer, last year’s punishing market quickly became a bargain-hunter’s paradise.

Tax tips for the unemployed

Tax season can be a frustrating and confusing time for those with a spotty employment record and little spare cash. But people who were out of work in 2008 will still have to report to Uncle Sam.

Retirement investing made simple

Question: Since I’m getting close to retirement, I’ve moved my money into the target-date retirement fund offered in my company’s 401(k). Do you think these funds are good investments? –Lucia Cannon, Johnson City, New York