All Financial Originals

From the Tower to the White House

The enigma of the presidential candidate’s business affairs WHEN Donald Trump announced that he was running for the White House, there was only one venue for his speech: Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. The skyscraper has been central to Mr Trump’s business life. Built between 1979 and 1984, it was ...
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checking_account1

In Checking Accounts, the Less You Have, the More You May Pay

Financial complexity doesn’t happen only on Wall Street. Even a basic checking account is often no longer simple, because account rules and fees can vary widely — so widely, in fact, that the annual cost can range from zero to more than $700, according to the 2014 survey of checking ...
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student cards

Credit Cards for College Students and Recent Grads

Graduating from college can be an exhilarating and daunting experience -- all at the same time.  With the average student leaving college with record levels of debt, managing your money now is much more complicated that it has been in years past.  For these reasons, it makes sense to watch ...
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5 best

5 best stocks for a long term portfolio strategy

Picking stocks to buy and hold requires investors to identify companies with great long-term fundamentals that still offer value.  Timing the stock to buy it at a good entry point in its cycle or fairly priced versus its growth potential are both keys.  The stocks listed here all fit that ...
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Housing Outlook is Mixed, Investors Should Look for Indirect Exposure

Housing Outlook is Mixed, Investors Should Look for Indirect Exposure

The U.S. housing market periodically shows signs of life, but with each resurgence in optimism follows a period of disappointment as expectations rise too quickly.  Housing starts remain below normalized levels based on historic data, and the timing of a recovery is uncertain despite improvements across other sectors in the ...
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taxes

Tax Preparation: Should You Do It Yourself Or Hire A Pro?

Filing income taxes is no small task to undertake. You must compile income earnings reports, tax statements, receipts for deductions, and certain legal documents in order to get started. Once tax preparations begin, you must also significant amount of free time to go through the nuances of the ever-changing IRS laws. These ...
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long term view

Ready to Invest in an Index Fund? Make Sure You Take the Long-Term View

Stock market investing has surged in popularity over the last five years.  This is largely because stocks have rallied strongly and earned back all of the losses that were seen during the collapse of 2008.  It seems as though the Dow Jones Industrials and the S&P 500 are making new ...
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filing taxes

Need to Know Info About Filing Your Income Tax

January is nearly at a close, which means most residents of the US are preparing their 2014 income tax returns. Whether you are expecting a big refund or dreading writing that check to Uncle Sam, make sure you have all the information you need before you complete this yearly chore ...
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vacation

Stretch Vacation Dollars With Off-Season Travel

Travel dollars are often thought of as strictly entertainment expenses, which means that they are inessentials that are sadly pushed aside with relative ease. This is unfortunate, because many studies have shown that vacations are essential for overall health and happiness. Those who take regular vacations lower their risk of heart disease ...
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bad_debt

3 Ways to Overcome Debt

After the financial crisis of 2008, the average level of household debt rose to new records.  This was true of debt in many different forms, as outstanding credit card balances, student loans, and problematic mortgage were all seen at their highest levels in recent memory.  Because of this, it has ...
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The European Central Bank in Frankfurt

ECB Announces Welcomed Stimulus Plan, However the Outlook Remains Uncertain

The European Central Bank (ECB) announced a €1 trillion stimulus plan this week designed to combat deflationary pressures in the Eurozone.   Stagflation and deflation have emerged as the latest threat to economic recovery in Europe and around the world.  In December, consumer prices actually fell by 0.2% across the Eurozone ...
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FederalReserve

Why Is Inflation Still So Low in the US?

When we look at the last decade, we can see some significant changes taking shape in the US economy.  For a good portion of this time, we have seen a rising unemployment rate and falling consumer inflation levels.  These are troublesome trends that have only started to get better in ...
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Consumption

Two Stock Ideas in an Attractive Retail Sector for 2015

The U.S. economy is one of the lone bright spots in the increasingly muted global outlook.  In addition, the job market continues to improve which should start to stimulate wage growth.  The U.S. consumer has continued to increase spending since late 2009, and this trend could further accelerate. There is ...
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AAPL Earnings:

AAPL Earnings: What to Expect on 01/27/2015

Every time earnings season rolls around, one of the first words on the minds of investors is Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).  As the world’s most valuable company, Apple’s ability to generate strong revenue is intimately connected with underlying consumer strength.  Big ticket items from Apple are more difficult for consumers to afford ...
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credit_cards_

3 Excellent Rewards Credit Cards For Millennials

When millennials are looking to build a solid credit history, rewards cards offer some excellent choices.  This personal finance approach is much more efficient than using cash for purchases and many of these credit cards grant carrier rewards that far exceed anything that is usually offered through bank debit cards ...
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credit-card-success

10 Tips for Credit Card Success

Credit card companies offer a number of benefits to those users, and those benefits are increasing in both quantity and quality with each passing day. As the number of credit card holders continues to decline, the industry finds itself needing to revamp its image as well as its offerings. A ...
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long-term-value

3 Long-term Value Stocks Created by the 2014 Commodity Selloff

In 2014, commodities and oil & gas sold off, and the related stocks underperformed the market.  A slowing global outlook, largely in Europe and developing economies, and increasing supply in both sectors compounded to cause the selloffs.  Oil prices are just over $50/bbl currently compared to over $100 for most ...
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credit vs debit

Should You Use Credit or Debit? The Answer May Surprise You

Credit cards have long been treated as the scourge of the financial world. Too many people get far too overextended in credit card debt, resulting in financial struggle, poor credit ratings, and even bankruptcy. One of the first suggestions amateur financial planners make to individuals is to cut up their credit ...
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Why You Should Buy a Home in 2015

Why You Should Buy a Home in 2015

If you are looking for a starter home, a second home, or an upgrade, 2015 may offer your last best chance to buy for a while. With mortgage rates set to rise in the near future, more people will be competing over the same properties. If you buy now, you could ...
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electricity-bill

Why Your Electricity Bill Could Be Higher in 2015

Most consumers tend to think that there are some economic constants, and that prices for certain items generally remain the same.  But the global economy is is a highly dynamic organism, and it should be remembered that prices for many regular consumer items change all the time.  When we look ...
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GDP Eurozone

Can the Euro survive this situation: The Euro, Greece, Germany and the rest of Europe?

Deflation and weak growth combined with another possible crisis in Greece threaten the existence of the Euro.  This time the economies of southern Europe on not teetering on a collapse, an election in Greece is largest threat to the future of the Eurozone.  A win by the opposition party in ...
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dimes-to-million

Turning Dimes Into Millions

You have a one in 175 million chance of winning the lottery. Your ancestors may expect to leave you an average of $177,000 as an inheritance, but sudden catastrophes and medical expenses drop that number to about $60,000. That is, if you are fortunate enough to inherit anything at all ...
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Will Illinois’ Automatic Retirement Plan Become U.S. Model?

By Lisa Kaplan Gordon: Getty ImagesFiled under: Retirement, Retirement Plans, IRA... If you live in Illinois, saving for retirement is no longer just a good idea, it's automatic. Beginning in 2017, Illinois residents who don't have a retirement plan at work will be automatically enrolled in individual retirement accounts and ...
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Will Mortgage Rates Go Up Again?

The financial crisis of 2008 was something of a “double-edged sword” both for consumers and for the economy as a whole.  On one side, we did see worsening economic data, especially in areas like the unemployment rate.  But on the positive side, interest rates were reduced to near-zero levels.  This ...
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new-earnings_season

First Earnings Season of 2015: What Should Investors Be Watching?

If you talk to most stock investors, you will almost certainly hear that 2014 was a stellar year for the market.  Both the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial average traded at consistent records with very little to be seen in the way or corrective pullbacks.  These gains were ...
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new-Housing-Market

How Promising is the Housing Market for 2015?

Over the last decade, the sub-prime mortgage crisis was one of the most impactful financial events.  Net losses for US homeowners rose to more than $1 trillion and this significantly diminished the buying power for large numbers of families across the nation.  But we have seen some major economic improvements ...
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