Here we present discussions of private or public funds, their management, and the financial system that serves them. And, as with mostother topics, we want to know the impact of politics across state and global markets.

Financial Literacy Gap among U.S. Students

Student financial gap

American students have been found to be way too behind in the financial literacy arena. According to a recently conducted study, U.S. students’ financial literacy scores were below average. Although this study was for high school students, the findings among students beyond high school was the same. While students are pushed to towards higher education, in spite of them being unable to afford it, they make some very basic mistakes due to their lack of understanding regarding finances – and this ends up costing them even later on in life.… [Read more]

Affordable Care Act and Taxes for 2015

Taxes and the Affordable Care Act

Since the Affordable Care Act took effect in 2010, the number of uninsured Americans has dropped from 18 percent to 13.4 percent at the end of the 2014 enrollment period, according to a Gallup poll. The law has had its ups-and-downs, but appears to be working the way Congress and President Barack Obama envisioned it.

Each year more provisions of the law go into effect.… [Read more]

Green Greed: Biggest Money Scandals of 2014

Green Greed Biggest Money Scandals of 2014

Money is often said to be the root of all evil, and from cartoon villains, to real life businesses, scandals involving big bank accounts and lawsuit settlements with advances, can devastate the economy and many different businesses. There was no shortage of scandals involving large amounts of money in 2014. Let’s look at a few of the most outrageous.… [Read more]

Why Are More Americans in Need of a Budget?

Wallet with cash and credit cards

Financial woes are burdening the majority of Americans, which is why it’s more important than ever for people to get their budgets on track.

If you’re a victim of today’s sluggish economy, then it’s time to turn things around by making your personal budget your top priority.

With money management in mind, here are just a few tips that will help you steady your budget and make your money last longer:

Personal Budgets and the Economy

If you’re still feeling the fallout from the financial crisis of late 2007 and 2008, you’re not alone.… [Read more]

Bank on Better Savings

Retirement Piggy Bank

This article looks at how Americans can get better returns on their banking investments. Are more people using credit unions? If your bank offers low interest returns on savings accounts etc. is it time to move to another one? Many banks collected an enormous amount of fees from customers yearly. How can consumers cut down on these?… [Read more]

How Does Your Credit Score Measure Up?

Credit Score

Do you know what your credit score is? Do you at least have a ballpark figure? We all have far too many numbers to memorize in life to keep all of them around for instant recall, but your credit score is probably among the more important ones to know.

I’m not here to tell you how a credit score is calculated; frankly, there’s a lot that goes into it, and even financial experts are occasionally in disagreement about which factors actually influence your score.… [Read more]

Is Health Insurance Ever Going to Be Perfect?

Healthcare

Hearing the words “Obamacare” and “Affordable Care Act” strikes confusion into the minds of many Americans as the quest for the best health insurance plan continues for many.

People hear these terms and how health care and health insurance will be affected, but often times the outlook and options are misunderstood. The public wonders if health insurance will ever be perfect and what their coverage will look like in a few years.… [Read more]

The State of the Mortgage

home-price

Looking to buy a home? Believe it or not, it might be easier than it’s been during the last two decades to secure a mortgage from financial institutions.

According to a survey of senior loan officers commissioned by the Federal Reserve, at negative 18.3 percent, the net percentage for prime mortgages was the lowest it’s been since the central bank started tracking it in 2007.… [Read more]

The True Cost of Cashing out Your 401(k) – And Some Better Options

Piggy bank 401K and dollar

A leaky roof, a damaged septic system, a child getting ready to go to college—if you are facing any of these expensive propositions, you may be thinking about taking money out of your 401(k). Before you call your HR rep, check out the true cost of tapping your retirement account and these valuable alternatives.

You’ll Pay Penalties

If you are under the age of 59.5, you can withdraw money from your 401(k) for hardship distributions.… [Read more]

Top 5 Tips to lodging a successful workers compensation claim

Workers Compensation

If you are injured at work, you may find you are entitled to a certain amount of compensation. However, it is never as easy as simply claiming this and it then being awarded to you. You will have to go through a procedure to prove that not only were you injured, but also that it was the fault of your employer.… [Read more]

The Crisis in Pensions and Retirement Plans

Retirement Piggy Bank

Despite being considered the financial centre of the world, it’s still very possible for the United States to learn from other countries. See the infographic below; it presents a brief history of retirement plans in the U.S. including state and local government pensions and Social Security. Now let’s put things in perspective: Countries with strongest pension programs (based on 2013 pensions, both public and private) rank the U.S.… [Read more]

Tax Traps to Beware of in 2014

Taxes

When Americans all across the country rang in the New Year, many breathed a sigh of relief for more than a few reasons. First of all, taxpayers no longer have to wait for Congress to finish constituting the tax laws that impact their 2013 returns and, secondly, the American Taxpayer Relief Act — which went into effect last spring —  will extend many advantageous provisions for recently filed returns.… [Read more]

Why Payday Loans Should be Made Illegal

stack-of-dollars

Despite the many benefits that they pose to those who use them, payday loans have been outlawed in fifteen states – Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia – as well as in the District of Columbia. New York in particular expressly prohibits making such loans over the Internet as well as in person.… [Read more]

Bank regulators modified debt rules – How will it change things?

Bank

U.S. bank regulators have come up with some modified rules for the least possible holding company debt requirements. By the first week of July this year, the U.S. regulators disclosed the new set of rules which are supposed to limit the leverage that banks can engage in business. As per the economists, these new rules may have significant impact on the business decisions of eight of the most important financial institutions in U.S.… [Read more]

In Search of the Best Jobs in America

Man_consults_with_pharmacist_(1)

The best jobs are rewarding, fulfilling and have room to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) gives growth estimates for the 2010 – 2020 period for several occupations. The average growth rate predicted was around 14 percent, but some of the best jobs may experience 25 percent growth and more. If you’re looking for a new career path, these jobs show the most growth potential.… [Read more]

Equal Pay: Women Still Lag Behind Men, Young Women Closing Gap

Fighting for wage equality tug of war concept

It’s depressing to read that in 2013, women continue to be paid less for men for the same work. Weekly paychecks for full-time female workers are 82.4 percent of men’s earnings, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Pay inequality is lessening at the younger end of the age spectrum, thanks to the increased efforts of high-achieving women in high school and college.… [Read more]

The Case for Expanding Social Security

Social Security

Our friends at Democracy for America and MoveOn.org posted this infographic that we want to see shared far and wide. The mission is to “combat this growing retirement security crisis and tell Congress that Americans support expanding Social Security — not cutting it.”

On this site we’ve commented about this issue repeatedly; we note that when politicians talk about cutting so-called “entitlements” they neglect to note that if a person has worked and contributed to the system, s/he is ‘entitled’ to receive funds back from that system because it’s actually an earned benefit.… [Read more]

Diagnosing the Causes of Medical Debt in the U.S. (Infographic)

medical bills

With the rollout — and consequential fallout — of Obamacare, the real importance of healthcare reform had been temporarily swept aside to clear the stage for politics. While the dust settles on the budget battleground, we are revisiting the initial reasons behind the reform. As the average age and weight of the people in the United States increases, health issues become more pressing.… [Read more]

Janet Yellen nomination for Fed Chair set for today

Janet Yellen

It was a good day when Larry Summers, former Secretary of the Treasury and economic advisor to President Obama withdrew his name for consideration as new the Chairman of the Federal Reserve. It’s an even better day now that Janet Yellen has been nominated for the position. If confirmed, Ms. Yellen will make history as the first female chair of the Federal Reserve, the nation’s central banking system.… [Read more]