Got a Raise? It’s Time to Bump Up Your Savings, Too

Getting a raise is a good thing, right? It is unless you increase your spending each time you get a bump in pay. The result may be that you’ll fall short of what you need for retirement. Raises, oddly, “can actually make it harder to achieve a comfortable retirement,” according to a new analysis from […]

Rental Cars and Cashless Tolls: Convenience Might Cost You

No one wants hassles on vacation, so this fall my wife and I accepted the offer of a rental car agent in San Francisco who suggested there was a fast, easy way to pay any tolls we might encounter. We were in California to see friends on a trip that took us north into Sonoma […]

To train more workers, companies turn to virtual reality

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The future of employee training involves no embarrassing role-playing in front of new colleagues or boring web modules which take an hour each to click through. An Oculus Quest all-in-one VR device is shown in an undated 2019 photo released by Facebook January 22, 2020. Facebook/Handout via REUTERS For the next […]

Federal Workers Profit From Tobacco and Oil, Even If They Don’t Want To

Many people who work for the Office of the Surgeon General have exposure to tobacco stocks. At the Environmental Protection Agency, scientists make money when polluters do well. And Justice Department lawyers who keep weapons off the streets stake some of their net worth on retailers that sell guns. All these federal workers share the […]

You Really Can Lower Your Car Insurance Cost

It’s getting more expensive to insure your car, but there are some steps you can take to keep premiums affordable. Average annual automobile insurance rates in the United States rose to $1,548 in 2019, according to an analysis by The Zebra, an insurance comparison website. While that was just a 2 percent increase from 2018 […]

A New Generation Seeks to Give It All Away Now

When the Robina Foundation was created in 2004 with $150 million, it had an unusual mandate: Spend all the money within 20 years. Family foundations are typically created to establish a philanthropic legacy that can span generations. But James H. Binger, the former chief executive of Honeywell who married into the family that started the […]

ValueAct's Ubben cheers BlackRock's new stance on climate change

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Investor Jeffrey Ubben, already betting there is money to be made from coaxing corporations into being better citizens, gained an ally on Tuesday when BlackRock Inc chief Laurence Fink told companies to tackle climate change or face his wrath. FILE PHOTO: Jeffrey Ubben, Founder & CEO at ValueAct Capital, speaks on […]

In next war, soldiers will leave their smartphones at home: Peter Apps

LONDON (Reuters) – As the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division departed for the Middle East amid rising tensions with Iran, their divisional commander gave a simple order. All personnel entering the region were told to leave smartphones and personal devices in the United States. It was a clear sign of […]

Your money: Avoid divorce money regrets by taking control now

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Emotions — and expenses — often run high during a divorce, but people and their bank accounts can bounce back given enough time. A new study from Fidelity Investments, released Tuesday, shows that by five years after a divorce, most people feel recovered from the psychological and financial blows. FILE PHOTO: […]

'Green is good.' Is Wall Street's new motto sustainable?

NEW YORK (Reuters) – If you have gone to Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s internet home page since mid-December, it would be reasonable to wonder if you had stumbled into some kind of parallel universe. FILE PHOTO: A cow is seen in a farm in Azul, in Buenos Aires, Argentina September 30, 2019. Picture taken September […]

The Secret of Their Success: It’s Not About the Money

What does it take to start a successful business these days? A lot of passion, for sure, but it’s really perseverance that matters. Bob Parsons is best known as the founder of GoDaddy, the domain registration company that grabbed attention with provocative television commercials in the early 2000s. The company quickly came to dominate the […]

How to Get Socially Conscious Funds Into Your 401(k)

If you want to make a big difference in the world using your hard-earned money, you don’t have a lot of tools at your disposal if you’re not extremely wealthy. But everyday people have an untapped multimillion-dollar advocacy opportunity staring them in the face each pay period: workplace retirement plans that haven’t added socially responsible […]

New Law Expands Uses for 529 College Savings Accounts

Tax-favored savings accounts known as 529 plans can help families save and invest to pay for college. But until now, the funds could not be used to repay student debt. That changed as part of the Secure Act, a law attached to broader federal spending legislation enacted in December. The law was aimed mainly at […]

Risk of pension meltdown grows due to inaction by U.S. Congress

CHICAGO, Jan 7 (Reuters) – The window is closing on the chance to avert a pension meltdown that will slash the retirement benefits of more than a million U.S. workers. FILE PHOTO: The dome of the U.S. Capitol Building is seen as the sun sets on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 26, 2019. REUTERS/Erin […]

What to Do if You Overspent During the Holidays

Thanks to credit cards and one-click shopping, it’s almost inconceivable to get from Black Friday (which is now more of a mind-set than a specific day) to the new year without dipping your card or entering its numbers at a digital checkout. According to the National Retail Federation, shoppers expected to spend a little more […]

Low Rates, Cheap Gas and Deeper Debt Sustain Car Buying Boom

The auto industry has been on a roll for a decade, and its resurgence shows few signs of coming to a halt — at least for now. Strong employment, low interest rates and robust consumer confidence combined last year to extend a record run of auto sales. Americans are also continuing to buy ever bigger […]

Opening the Door to Unicorns Invites Risk for Average Investors

Many investors may have fantasized about those “if only” investments. If only I had invested in Peloton. Or Uber. Or Lyft. For most people, though, that’s not possible — and not just because they don’t have a million dollars to drop on a billion-dollar idea. Under current law, only individuals with at least $200,000 in […]

Tips for Paying Off Your Holiday Credit Card Debt

The holiday decorations have been put away, the gift boxes recycled. Now it’s time to pay the cost of December’s gift and entertainment binge. Many consumers had credit card debt even before the holidays. Average card balances climbed to $6,629 in mid-2019, up from $6,354 two years earlier, according to a report from the credit […]

Your Money: Ditch the Resolution – Do a year-end review instead

NEW YORK(Reuters) – It is hardly a secret that people rarely stick to New Year’s resolutions – only about 8% of people actually make it to the finish line with their goals, according to studies from the University of Scranton, in Pennsylvania. FILE PHOTO: U.S. one hundred dollar notes are seen in this picture illustration […]

No Line to Board Private Jets, but There Is a Line to Buy Them

No lines to check in for your flight, barely any security, certainly no jockeying at the gate waiting for the moment your boarding group is called. It’s a fantasy, perhaps, unless you’re rich enough to be part of the private-jet set. There’s no denying that flying private is easier, faster and more comfortable than sitting […]

Diane Terman Felenstein, 79, Dies; Financial Guru to Women

Diane Terman Felenstein, who represented celebrities as a publicist before gaining renown herself with a best-selling financial advice guide for women, died on Dec. 8 at her home on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. She was 79. The cause was complications of ovarian cancer, her husband, Marshall Felenstein, said. Ms. Terman Felenstein had been […]

Activist hedge fund Marcato Capital to shut down after drop in assets

BOSTON (Reuters) – Activist hedge fund Marcato Capital Management, backed by Blackstone Group and billionaire William Ackman, is shutting down as assets have shriveled after two years of poor returns, sources said on Sunday. FILE PHOTO: Blackstone Group CEO and Co-Founder Steve Schwarzman speaks at a Reuters Newsmaker event in New York, U.S., November 6, […]

D.E. Shaw's Orienteer strategy posts double-digit returns this year

BOSTON (Reuters) – D.E. Shaw’s Orienteer platform, the backbone of the $50 billion investment firm’s multi-asset class offerings, posted high double-digit returns this year, the best ever in its six year lifetime. The Orienteer platform’s HV variant gained 41.3% through November while the main Orienteer strategy gained 25.8% during the same time, a person familiar […]

Country Clubs Where Drives Can Hit 150 M.P.H.

As his days throttling IndyCars up to 240 miles an hour begin to wind down, Helio Castroneves is looking forward to kicking back at a country club. But Mr. Castroneves’s drives won’t be down a fairway. A new country club for the car set in Miami is more his speed. “I don’t know what I’ll […]

U.S. retirement legislation aims to improve workplace saving, income options

(The opinions expressed here are those of the author, a columnist for Reuters.) FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Capitol building is pictured at sunset on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 22, 2019. REUTERS/Loren Elliott/File Photo By Mark Miller CHICAGO (Reuters) – News flash: Members of Congress managed to walk and chew gum at the same […]

SEC proposes allowing more investors access to private companies

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday proposed changes to its decades-old definition of a professional investor in order to allow more Americans to buy shares in private companies. Chairman Jay Clayton participates in a U.S Securities and Exchange Commission open meeting to propose changing its decades-old definition of an “accredited […]

Fund investors pull back from U.S. stocks as year-end nears

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. fund investors started closing the books on 2019 by withdrawing more than $10.9 billion from mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that hold domestic stocks last week, the largest pullback since early October, according to Investment Company Institute data released on Wednesday. The declines marked the 10th out of the last […]

YOUR MONEY – Don't die yet: new U.S. law will muddle estate plans

NEW YORK (Reuters) – It is not often that a spending bill in Congress will make regular Americans run to their financial planners for emergency help before the holidays. But the Senate is poised to pass a spending bill on Friday that includes a huge swath of long-anticipated retirement changes, collectively referred to as the […]

Presidential Material: Life Lessons with Bellamy Young

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The United States may not have had a woman president quite yet, but on TV it certainly has. One of those was Mellie Grant, the character played by Bellamy Young on the Shonda Rhimes hit “Scandal” before it ended last year. FILE PHOTO: Cast member Bellamy Young poses at the premiere […]

How can Generation Z compete with robots? Focus on the human touch

NEW YORK (Reuters) – It sounds counterintuitive, but members of Generation Z will have to focus on human connections if they want to compete with robots for the jobs of the future. Born after 1996 on the heels of the millennials, Gen Z is just entering the workforce. Its members are the first true digital […]

The Decade in Retirement: Wealthy Americans Moved Further Ahead

Retirement in America has become a tale of two very different realities in the decade now drawing to a close. In 2010, the economy was just beginning to recover from the worst recession and financial crisis in recent memory. The unemployment rate was high, the stock market was coming back and millions of workers were […]

YOUR MONEY: Year-end money moves for your ETFs

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Tax-loss harvesting is all about finding losers in your investment portfolio to offset winners so you pay less tax. FILE PHOTO: A screen on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., August 26, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly That is not easy in a year […]

Battle Over a $9 Million Will Rests on Just One Clause

Jill Morris and Joan Anderson met decades ago in New York City and were romantically involved for close to 20 years. Ms. Morris, a psychologist, died in 2016 at age 84 after suffering for years from cancer. Twelve days later, Ms. Anderson, 76, died of a stroke. For Emilie Anderson, the loss of her mother […]

Check Out the New W-4 Tax Withholding Form. Really.

If you are starting a new job next year or if you want to adjust the amount of income tax withheld from your paycheck, the form that you’ll have to complete and give to your employer will look much different. Form W-4, which instructs employers how much tax to withhold, got a makeover for 2020 […]

U.S. banking regulators unveil proposal to update low-income lending standards

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two U.S. banking regulators unveiled a proposed overhaul to community lending standards on Thursday, kicking off a contentious policy fight over the proper way to ensure banks are supporting lower-income borrowers where they do business. The proposal would offer banks more specific examples of what sort of activity qualifies for credit under […]

DoubleLine's Gundlach sees risk for U.S. credit when dollar weakens

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Jeffrey Gundlach, chief executive of DoubleLine Capital said in a webcast on Tuesday that the U.S. dollar’s next big move will be lower, which could lead to a significant fall in U.S. bond prices and a slew of downgrades. The fund manager only sees a 35% chance of a U.S. recession […]

BlackRock Investment Institute 'modestly positive' on risk assets for 2020

FILE PHOTO: A sign for BlackRock Inc hangs above their building in New York U.S., July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo LONDON (Reuters) – BlackRock Investment Institute said on Tuesday it was cautiously rotating into cyclical assets, Japanese equities and emerging markets. “We are modestly positive on risk assets,” said Scott Thiel, chief fixed income […]

Ackman's Pershing Square makes new bet on Agilent Technologies

BOSTON (Reuters) – Billionaire investor William Ackman’s hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management said Monday it bought shares in testing equipment company Agilent Technologies Inc, only its second new investment this year as the fund has reported a 51% return. Agilent Technologies’ stock price jumped nearly 5% in after-hours trading after Ackman’s investment was made […]

When U.S. Citizenship Starts Looking Like a Bad Deal

When Donald J. Trump was elected president in 2016, some people, many of them Democrats, talked about renouncing their United States citizenship and moving abroad as a political protest. But now, a different group of Americans say they are considering leaving — people of both parties who would be hit by the wealth tax proposed […]

Last Tax Season Was a Mess. Now’s Time to Prepare for This One.

The first tax season under the Republican-sponsored overhaul brought an odd combination of pleasant and unpleasant surprises: lower tax burdens, but also lower refunds — and, for some, an unexpected bill. Anyone who didn’t take a proactive approach after getting a big tax bill last time around could end up in that situation again, only […]

Investor to oppose Instructure's plans to sell to Thoma Bravo

BOSTON (Reuters) – Rivulet Capital, a large investor in Instructure Inc, on Thursday said it will resist the U.S. educational software company’s plan to sell itself to private equity firm Thoma Bravo for $2 billion, calling the deal too cheap and too hurried. Rivulet Capital, which owns 5.23% of Instructure, said in a regulatory filing […]

Top U.S. stockpickers keep low profile

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The co-managers of the best stock mutual fund of this decade work out of a small office in Los Angeles, rarely talk with the financial media and have never appeared as guests on CNBC looking to raise their profile. The Charging Bull or Wall Street Bull is pictured in the Manhattan […]

U.S. banking regulators urge 'responsible use' of alternative lending data

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. banking regulators said on Tuesday that lenders must have robust compliance tools in place to ensure “responsible use” of non-traditional sources of financial data to help determine whether a potential customer is credit worthy. In a joint statement, the country’s five chief regulators acknowledged that using consumer information originating outside of […]

U.S. consumer watchdog proposes exemptions for banks, credit unions on remittances

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. consumer watchdog on Tuesday proposed making permanent an exemption that allows certain banks and credit unions to estimate the international remittance fees they charge consumers in instances when it may be too expensive for the firms to provide exact figures. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) also proposed raising the […]

U.S. stock funds see fourth straight week of outflows: Lipper

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., November 27, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. equity stock funds saw $390 million in outflows in the week ended on Wednesday, the fourth straight week of outflows for such funds, according to data released by Lipper […]

Yes, You Can Get Free Trading. But There’s Often a Catch.

Investing is cheaper than ever. Trading is free, some index funds may as well be, and a diversified portfolio can be built by machines for a fraction of the cost of live professionals who deliver advice in an elegant leather binder. In the space of a few days last month, the price war among the […]

Climate Change Adds Wrinkle to Art Collectors’ Concerns

Marc Atlan, a creative director in the fashion and perfume industries, moved to Los Angeles 20 years ago, with a substantial art collection he amassed in France and has continued to add to it, often to his wife’s chagrin. But, he admits somewhat sheepishly, he has no idea how many pieces he has. “It’s a […]