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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.

Gail MarksJarvis: America, retailers would really, really like you to go shopping 01-25-16
Have you thought of buying a new outfit, adding a little spark to your home, or treating yourself in some way?
Most Americans don’t have enough money to cover a $500 emergency 01-25-16
Most Americans don’t have the money to handle common emergencies like a car breakdown or a trip to the emergency room for a broken bone.
Author offers tips on how to find competent financial adviser 01-25-16
The No. 1 red flag that an investor may be dealing with a bogus financial adviser, according to money coach Liz Davidson, is if he or she guarantees a high percentage return with no risk.
Susan Tompor: Tax season opens Tuesday as IRS starts taking returns 01-18-16
H&R Block has already rolled out its TV commercials promoting a chance for 1,000 people a day to win $1,000.
Gail MarksJarvis: If this is a bear market, what should you do? 01-18-16
The violent plunge in the stock market this past week stoked fears of a bear market.
So far the market is merely in a correction, with the Standard & Poor’s down about 8 percent this year and 11 percent from its 2015 peak.
The Journey: Retirement moves to make this year 01-18-16
Face it: You probably could have done more in 2015 to help your retirement picture, and you weren’t alone. A Capital One Bank survey released in December found that only a third of respondents accomplished their financial goals last year.
Cameron Huddleston: How to negotiate hospital bills 01-18-16
Medical bills can blow up anyone’s budget. A survey by the Commonwealth Fund found that 64 million people had difficulty paying their medical bills.
The Journey: Your birth date affects how Social Security change affects you 01-11-16
The cuts to a couple of key Social Security claiming strategies — squeezed into federal budget legislation in October — continue to confound seniors, whether or not they’re actually affected by the changes.
Getting Started: A few money resolutions for the New Year 01-11-16
Saving more, spending less, paying for college. These might be some of the financial resolutions you make for the New Year.
Cameron Huddleston: 3 most common money mistakes when you’re living paycheck to paycheck 01-11-16
Millions of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. But while around one-third of Americans, or 38 million households, are living hand-to-mouth.
Susan Tompor: Got a complaint? Or compliment? BBB has new tool 01-04-16
Melanie Duquesnel, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving eastern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, gets the obvious question every now and then in this 24/7 online world.
The Journey: As rates rise, more pensions offer lump-sum payouts. Now what? 01-04-16
The Federal Reserve’s move to inch up interest rates for the first time in nine years won’t immediately hand seniors the decent yields they’ve been craving on safe money, but it may prompt some new pension and fixed-income dilemmas.
Getting Started: The Fed has raised interest rates: What do millennials need to know? 01-04-16
At long last, the Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark interest rate. But the impact on savings accounts and loans won’t be big, at least for now.
Barbara Friedberg: How to invest in yourself when you’re in your 40s 01-04-16
You’ve reached your 40s, have a family and a job, and maybe you think it’s time to coast into the future. Think again.
Gail MarksJarvis: Lick your wounds: Neither stocks nor bonds were kind in 2015 01-04-16
After a dismal stock finish to 2015, your natural conclusion might be: Why did I bother?
If you glance at the markets and stock funds in your 401(k), IRA or college fund and subtract the money you plopped into the accounts during the year, you likely will see a sum that looks a whole lot like where you began 2015
The Journey: Understanding the new Social Security claiming rules 12-28-15
Q. I am 66, retired, and have not filed for Social Security. My monthly benefit will be about $2,100. My wife is 64, filed for Social Security on her own record in November, and has a primary insurance amount of $2,080, but a reduced benefit for filing early of $1,837.
New prepaid debit cards target niches or aim to replace bank accounts 12-28-15
When Steve Streit conceived the prepaid debit card, he had something very specific in mind: a way to let kids spend money online without using a parent’s credit card.
Some lenders judge you on much more than finances 12-28-15
All it takes is a keystroke, maybe two, to hurt your chances of borrowing money from online lender Basix.
Mom left me money, but does Uncle Sam get it as repayment for my subsidy? 12-21-15
This week, I fielded questions about the circumstances under which people have to repay premium tax credits for health insurance purchased on the marketplaces and about Medicare coverage of dental services.
Deadline nears for certain seniors to withdraw from IRAs 12-21-15
PITTSBURGH — For senior citizens age 70 1/2 or older who have not yet taken the annual required minimum distribution from their IRAs, time is running out.
Gail MarksJarvis: Worried about junk bonds? Check your fund ratings 12-21-15
Now you see why high-yield bonds are called junk.
They can be sloppy and unreliable — sometimes the stinkiest garbage from the junkyard of the bond market. And they can stink up your investments, too. They have lost about 8 percent this year.
Stress takes a bite out of ‘Sandwich Generation’ 12-14-15
PITTSBURGH — It was challenging enough for Joy Robison to care for her terminally ill mother while she lived only a few minutes away.
High tide of spending, debt swamps pair 12-14-15
SEATTLE — Jason Newquist had a good job with a six-figure salary, and Kristin Mueller was building her mental-health counseling practice, but something was amiss with the couple’s household finances.
Losing your life savings to long-term care 12-07-15
SAN DIEGO — When he was growing up in Queens, N.Y., in the 1930s, Robert Raymond’s family struggled with money. He remembers vowing that he wouldn’t be in the same financial position when he got older.
One-third of college grads plan to move back home, study finds 12-07-15
PITTSBURGH — When the scholarship and grant money that Danielle Newman received to attend the University of Pittsburgh did not cover the full price tag of attending, the 18-year-old freshman used a student loan to cover the difference.
Gail MarksJarvis: 8 easy ways to cut your taxes now 12-07-15
Right now you’re probably thinking more about Santa Claus than Uncle Sam.
But a little attention to Uncle Sam between now and the end of the year may make his visit less painful when you do your tax return in a few months.
The Journey: How divorce and remarriage affect your Social Security benefits 11-30-15
Q. I am 64 and work full time. I plan to claim Social Security benefits at 70. My ex-husband is 66 and we were married for 19 years. 
Gail MarksJarvis: Scared about investing? You can let robots handle it 11-30-15
If you feel dumb about investing, maybe a robot can do it for you.
In fact, that’s what traditional investment advisers are worried about as more flesh-and-blood investors turn to computer-driven "robo advisers."



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