The Economy

Current Federal Reserve Chairperson Jerome Powell recently indicated that the Fed may soon cut interest rates for the first time since the start of the financial crisis in 2009. What would such a change in the federal funds rate mean for you? In today’s world of 24/7 cable TV and Internet news, people are more
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Beware of Credit Score Inflation America’s credit scores have improved along with the improving economy. Compared to 2006, there are approximately fifteen million fewer Americans with credit scores below 660 and a corresponding increase of fifteen million Americans with scores greater than 740. That’s good news, with a potential downside. Federal Reserve research suggests that
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Survey Suggests Economic Overconfidence If the economy is so great and unemployment is so low, why do so many Americans live paycheck to paycheck? And why don’t we seem to care? The February PYMNTS.com Financial Invisibles Report attempts to answer these questions, noting, “For three consecutive quarters, consumers have been optimistic about their financial futures
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The Shutdown’s Housing Market Woes It’s a great time to buy a home, and you’re ready. You’ve saved up a suitable down payment, found a home, and settled on a lender. As an added bonus, interest rates are at their lowest point in the last nine months – despite the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes.
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Another Day, Another Breach Have we reached the point where Americans react to data breaches with a yawn? Given the constant stream of new attacks and the staggering number of accounts involved, that’s an understandable reaction. The sportswear retailer Adidas recently joined the list of companies successfully attacked by hackers. The size of the
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Affordable Housing? What Affordable Housing? Affordable housing is increasingly hard to find in today’s market. According to data from Trulia, America’s inventory of starter homes has decreased by almost half compared to six years ago while prices rose by almost 58%. As consumers recovered from the housing crisis and Great Recession, more people became financially
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Millennial Retirement Idealism How will millennials do in retirement? Very well…or so they think. A recent survey by Aperion Care on millennials and aging found that many millennials have fairly ambitious – and, in some cases, unrealistic – expectations regarding their golden years. Millennials expect to live to age 81 on average – which is
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More Savings, More Debt Do you participate in a 401(k) plan at work? If so, were you automatically signed-up by your employer? A new study suggests that if you were auto-enrolled in the plan, you may be accumulating more debt – but that may not necessarily be a problem. Whatever… Just Sign Me Up Policymakers
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Costs Increase, Defaults Follow Americans owe the government approximately $1.37 trillion in student loans – and, according to recent information from the U.S. Department of Education, student loan debtors are having an increasingly difficult time paying back those loans. The Wall Street Journal reports that some $631 billion of the $1.37 trillion debt load is
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Should I stay or should I go? With apologies to The Clash, that’s the question many homeowners are asking themselves. Does it make more sense to renovate your current home, or should you look for a home that is a better fit for your current needs? Data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) suggests
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Stocks Outpace Housing Few can argue that the stock market has experienced great growth under President Trump. The “Trump Bump” consists of an approximate 20% increase in both the Dow Jones and S&P 500 during the President’s first year in office. Does the same Trump Bump translate to the housing market? A recent study by
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What’s the best time of the year to rent a home? That depends on what factors are important to you, and how much time you have to act. People don’t always have the luxury of taking their time in renting a house or apartment. They often have to assess a market in a fairly short
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It’s that time of year when the leaves change colors, pumpkin flavoring is crammed into everything imaginable (who needs Eye Drops with Pumpkin Spice?), and scary things come out on Halloween – but will you open your door on October 31 and be confronted by anything scarier than these hair-raising financial horror stories? They Stole
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Beware of KRACK KRACK Attack? Is that the name of a new video game, dance craze, or rock band? Unfortunately, it’s none of those things – it’s the acronym for a new path identity thieves have to steal your personal information. KRACK stands for Key Reinstallation AttaCK. It’s a recently discovered systemic vulnerability in wireless
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A Burden for You, An Opportunity for Scammers Educational debt has reached levels that are hard for the average American to fathom. By some estimates, outstanding student loans have reached a whopping $1.45 trillion dollars. Over 44 million Americans have some form of student loan debt, with 2016 graduates averaging over $37,000 in debt. That’s
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It’s tough living on the lower end of the credit score scale. If you have a credit score below 640 or so, you are generally given “subprime” lending offers for any form of credit that you request. From credit cards to auto loans and mortgages, you will be hit with higher interest rates and potentially
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Treasury Report Targets Dodd-Frank In February of 2017, President Trump issued Executive Order 13772, which gave the Secretary of the Treasury 120 days to create a report reviewing financial laws and regulations with respect to seven “Core Principles”. Those principles are generally related to streamlining the financial markets and, in the President’s opinion, reducing constraints
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America Breaks the Debt Record According to the New York Fed’s recent Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit, America has more debt than ever before. Do you? Should you be concerned in either case? The report shows that American household debt reached $12.73 trillion in the first quarter of 2017. That tops the previous
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Which Is True? The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is an independent consumer and financial watchdog agency that offers advice to consumers and levies fines against financial institutions engaged in questionable practices. The CFPB is an unchecked, poorly controlled agency that restricts the opportunity of financial institutions to operate within a free market and applies
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