personalfinance.gif (15885 bytes)

Business Page






On a budget
Each phase of life comes with its own set of financial circumstances, goals and necessities. The question is, how should we be spending, or saving, our income as we move through different stages?

Local Investing
Locally grown. Locally sourced. These days it is all about going local. But what about investing? Can a portfolio be locally sourced? Is it a good idea?

Crowdfunding as collateral
So you want to start a business, but don’t have the start-up money or the collateral to ask the bank for a loan? And you don’t want to ask friends or family? Do the next best thing — ask a stranger. 

Planning for your retirement
Is your retirement plan on track? How do you know? According to a survey by Employee Benefit Research Institute, 60 percent of Americans aren’t sure they’re on track to retire successfully. Unfortunately, many of them may be right.

Credit card hacking
Although credit card companies and financial institutions are becoming smarter about protecting people’s personal information online, credit card fraud and identity theft are still very real threats.
Millennials and managing money
While millennials have been labeled with negative stereotypes like materialistic and entitled, the reality is that crippling debt and lack of employment opportunities have significantly impacted this generation’s financial future.
Estate essentials
"Picture this. You’ve been invited to a meeting; when you get there you realize it’s the first meeting after your own death. You can’t say anything. You can only observe. What do you see? Is your family celebrating your life or are they sitting there helpless not knowing what to do or whom to trust." 
In the hot seat
If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur seeking money from angel investors, you’d better be prepared with a snappy pitch to get their attention.
The new normal
With the Great Recession becoming a distant bad memory, people are once again thinking about the future ­— including retirement planning. But the recent economic setbacks have left many wary of the market and the security of their retirement investments.
Fiscal fitness
When it comes to wealth management, there are several ways good intentions can go awry. Our panel of experts outlines five common mistakes and advises how to avoid them. Knowledge is power, and in this case, it’s profitable.

Creative Sisterhood
Growing up in Glendale with six siblings in a single-parent household, the Bendfeldt sisters learned to be resourceful at an early age. "We were forced to be MacGyvers," says Amy Bendfeldt Barnum. "If there was something we wanted, we had to get creative."
Hot jobs
Gaining employment in today’s marketplace depends on the ability to offer relevant skills, especially those considered "nonroutine analytical," says Dennis Winters, chief economist for the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

Managing your wealth
Most of us have financial goals, whether it is to retire at a reasonable age, fund our children’s education, do some traveling or simply manage debt. While overall plans haven’t changed, people’s attitudes have gone through a period of adjustment — and that’s occurring across all age groups, local industry experts say.

Susan Tompor: Pockets of angst — and higher interest rates — cloud picture for car sales 02-05-18
The big economic headlines scream about a better jobs picture, one-time bonuses and a ginormous rally on Wall Street. All good things that could keep driving car sales.
Tax season confusion: What you need to know before you file this year 02-05-18
Confused about how the new tax law will affect you? You’re not alone. With the ink barely dry on a new tax law, uncertainty abounds on what moves to make or even what to ask a tax preparer.
Here’s why banks aren’t paying more for your savings … unless you’re wealthy 01-29-18
The economy continues improving, but here’s one thing that’s not: what banks pay ordinary savers for their deposits.
In the military? You may be eligible for a new retirement plan 01-29-18
If you serve in the military, you may have an important decision to make in 2018: whether to stay in the current retirement system – the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan — or opt into the new Blended Retirement System (BRS).
Credit card defaults on the rise as holiday bills come due 01-29-18
Americans are defaulting on their credit cards at the highest rate in nearly a year. Experts blame the improving economy: Consumers are feeling more confident in their overall financial situations and they’re loosening their purse strings because of it.
Susan Tompor: How do you pay off all that credit card debt? 01-22-18
Like the holiday pounds, credit card debt doesn’t just melt away — especially after the latest binge.
The cold reality is credit card debt hit a record $1.02 trillion in November, according to figures released by the Federal Reserve.
The Journey: Social Security numbers to know 01-22-18
The 2 percent cost-of-living hike in Social Security benefits this year isn’t the only number affecting workers and retirees.
Tips on saving for a new home 01-22-18
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to become a homeowner, now is the time to start a plan to save for that new dream house
Susan Tompor: How does a pitch for a $3,000 advance on your tax refund turn into $500? 01-15-18
People who are looking for fast cash to pay holiday bills, unexpected car repairs or skyrocketing heating bills are being bombarded with TV ads, window signs and other pitches for tax refund advances.
The Journey: Long-term unemployment hits older workers hard, but some rise above it 12-25-17
Workers expect to keep working past traditional retirement age, and continue working in some capacity even after they retire from their main careers, according to a new study.
Sarah Berger: Tips for savings success 12-25-17
Doing some housecleaning for the holidays? Don’t forget to spruce up your savings, too.
Returning gifts may be harder than just keeping them 12-25-17
One unwelcome byproduct of the holiday season is that at least one gift among Hanukkah’s eight nights or Christmas will be as unpopular as the name Irma in South Florida.
Susan Tompor: 5 ways you won’t save money by opening a new credit card at the store 12-18-17
Walk into any store during the holidays and the odds are good that you’ll be pitched with a credit card offer. Need an extra 15 percent or 20 percent off on the spot? Open a credit card.
Why Americans have more credit card debt 12-11-17
When used responsibly, credit cards are a useful addition to your wallet. They’re not only safer than cash, they can also build your credit rating. 
Suddenly disabled, unable to work and need benefits? Prepare for financial ruin first 12-04-17
FORT WORTH, Texas — Coming to grips with never again being able to work because of a debilitating disease on injury can gnaw at one’s self-worth.
On Philanthropy: This Thanksgiving, carve more than turkey 11-24-17
Soon, many of us will gather around the Thanksgiving table with family and friends — to indulge in an abundance of delicious traditional foods and give thanks for abundant blessings and freedoms.
Susan Tompor: Veterans targeted by phone scams, pitches for benefit buyouts 11-20-17
Military veterans are a prime target for telephone scams and even more likely to end up as fraud victims than the general public, according to a new survey released by AARP.
The Journey: 2nd or 3rd time around –– money matters 11-13-17
If gray divorce doesn’t rain down enough financial stress on a retirement plan, a second (or third) marriage or domestic partnership certainly will. What to do?
‘Spoofers’ complicate fight against robocallers, scammers 11-06-17
ORLANDO, Fla. — A local number on Evan Dimov’s caller ID and a confident voice on the other line had the Orlando restaurant owner convinced he was in imminent danger of having his power shut off.
Buy vs. rent: Can you afford to wait? 10-30-17
Buying a home is probably the biggest financial decision most of us will make. While many variables factor into that decision, one key element is whether it makes more financial sense to buy a home rather than renting one.
Can’t find a coupon code? This startup does all the work for you 10-30-17
LOS ANGELES — Ryan Hudson was trying to order pizza online for his two children when he was prompted to enter a coupon code at checkout.
Things successful people never pay full price for 10-23-17
No matter how rich and successful you become, there are some things for which you should never pay full price. 
Want to retire wealthy? Start with your ‘money personality’ 10-16-17
DALLAS — For those seeking ways to build wealth (or just get rich quick), there’s no shortage of advice out there.
In the wake of Equifax, there’s a fourth credit bureau you might want to contact 10-16-17
When news broke about the colossal data breach at Equifax a few weeks ago, experts recommended that affected consumers help protect themselves from ID theft by freezing their credit reports at each of the three main credit bureaus.
Carrying credit card debt? You’re not alone 10-16-17
More than a quarter of Americans — some 28 percent — say they carry balances on their credit cards from month to month, according to a new survey by
More parents are finding ways to save money for college 10-09-17
As college costs climb, parents are doing a better job of saving for their children’s college needs instead of relying too heavily on debt.
Giving employees a hand in learning how to handle money 10-09-17
PITTSBURGH — With one credit card paid off and two more to go, Bill Stiner was determined to stick with his plan of total debt elimination after finishing a nine-week course at his Pittsburgh church with other members of the congregation who also had declared war on their debt.
Who needs to buy life insurance? Doesn’t it come with the job? 10-02-17
American workers have gotten so used to getting free life insurance coverage as a benefit through their jobs that a growing number of them — especially young workers who have delayed starting families — aren’t bothering to go through the hassle and expense of purchasing individual policies.
Gail MarksJarvis: How to build a rich life, even if you aren’t a financial genius 09-25-17
You don’t have to be a genius, a math brain or know anything about the stock market to invest your money well and retire comfortably.



bottomcorner2.gif (430 bytes)