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Showing posts from January, 2011

10 Jobs That Didn't Exist 10 Years Ago

Thinking about a career change? For the best odds of snagging and hanging onto a job for the long haul, you'll want to avoid professions on the decline in today's economy (think bookbinders, textile workers and machine-tool operators) and focus on professions whose outlook is rosier (such as health care, financial analysis or social work).

Technology, cultural shifts and changing demographics combine to create new career fields all the time. Here are 10 of our favorite new roles for 2011 and beyond, ones that didn't even exist 10 years ago:

Social Media/Online-Community Manager

Salary range: $38,000 - $83,000
Education required: Bachelor's degree

Social media strategists focus on building their employers' or clients' brands through the use of social media sites and tools, whereas online-community managers specialize in fostering user discussion for the marketers they support. What does a social media or online-community manager need to succeed? Essentials include gr…

Character Traits and Behaviors That Make You Rich

by Laura Rowley

There's been much ado about a new book by Yale law professor Amy Chua, "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother." It chronicles her traditional Chinese approach to parenting, including strategies that many Westerners find extreme and bordering on abusive. A child of immigrants, Chua requires that her own daughters be No. 1 in every subject (except gym and drama), practice their instruments for hours at a stretch and refrain from social activities like play dates, sleepovers and school plays.

A Wall Street Journal excerpt of the book, which drew more than 6,000 (often caustic) comments, describes a screaming match in which Chua forced her younger daughter to stay at the piano after dinner and into the night — no water, no bathroom breaks — until she mastered a difficult piece. When her kids fall short of her expectations, Chua calls them "garbage."

Chua defends her methods based on the results: One of her children played at Carnegie Hall at age 14, and both…

The 5 Dumbest Things on Wall Street: Jan 14

5. Goldman's Recommitment Ceremony

So long Goldman Sachs, the inscrutable, all-powerful money-making machine. Hello Goldman Sachs, re-committed to being an all-powerful money-making machine.

Goldman dumped a 60-something page report on the public on Tuesday after an extensive review of the company was carried out by something it calls its "Business Standards Committee." This is a newish committee made up mainly of Goldman Sachs executives, plus one or two people intended to add outside perspective, such as Wal-Mart Chairman Lee Scott.

The choice of Scott has a certain poetry to it. It's as if Goldman, not knowing or trusting any ordinary people it could consult with to see how its behavior affects them, figured it would talk to someone who got very rich by understanding how to sell stuff to ordinary people.

But Scott only knows one way to sell stuff to ordinary people -- make it really cheap. Goldman apparently took that advice to heart when writing up its report. It'…

How to Keep Cash Coming in Retirement

Glenn Ruffenach

Chances are good you have a large-cap fund as part of your nest egg -- say, one based on the S&P 500. So, two quick questions: First, what direction has that fund been going in the past few months? (Up? Down? Sideways?) Second, what's the yield on the S&P 500? The fact that many investors can answer the first question -- and are clueless about the second -- reveals what's wrong with retirement finances today.

In short, we focus most of our attention on price movement or capital gains at the expense of income. That's no surprise. The bull markets of the past three decades, with gains of 30 percent or more in a single year, made us "greedy," says Jack Gardner, president of Thornburg Securities in Santa Fe, N.M. "We became so tilted toward growth that the whole discussion of income has virtually disappeared."

Well, let's talk. Recent history has taught us that we can go a decade or more without capital gains. That's less of a …

What Investors Really Want

by Laura Rowley

Must investors be rational to be successful?

This question constitutes the underlying tension between classical economics and behavioral finance. The classical model assumes that what people want from their investments is the highest return relative to risk. Behavioral economists say people act stupidly in how they pursue that goal.

Meir Statman, a finance professor at the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University, is calling for a diplomatic truce. In his new book, "What Investors Really Want," Statman argues we don't necessarily have to be rational to be good investors. We just have to be smart.

The financial crisis spotlighted extremes in investor irrationality, and since then we've lost sight of "the normal people in the middle — and of course normal people is who we pretty much all are," Statman says. "We all do stupid things. What we need to do is increase the ratio of smart to stupid behavior and know we are not going to be…

What Investors Really Want

by Laura Rowley

Must investors be rational to be successful?

This question constitutes the underlying tension between classical economics and behavioral finance. The classical model assumes that what people want from their investments is the highest return relative to risk. Behavioral economists say people act stupidly in how they pursue that goal.

Meir Statman, a finance professor at the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University, is calling for a diplomatic truce. In his new book, "What Investors Really Want," Statman argues we don't necessarily have to be rational to be good investors. We just have to be smart.

The financial crisis spotlighted extremes in investor irrationality, and since then we've lost sight of "the normal people in the middle — and of course normal people is who we pretty much all are," Statman says. "We all do stupid things. What we need to do is increase the ratio of smart to stupid behavior and know we are not going to be…

Goldman vows to boost disclosure, avoid conflicts

By Dan Wilchins

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc, responding to pressure from shareholders, regulators and clients, said it will disclose more information about how it makes money, bolster internal compliance and seek to avoid conflicts of interest.

The investment bank released a 63-page report on Tuesday that details 39 plans for how it will change after years of investor accusations that its financial statements are opaque and client complaints about conflicts of interest.

The internal review was kicked off after Goldman was accused by U.S. securities regulators of creating and selling collateralized debt obligations linked to subprime mortgages without telling investors that hedge fund Paulson & Co had helped choose and bet against the debt.

Goldman agreed in July to pay $550 million to settle the lawsuit brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, one of the biggest arising from the U.S. housing and credit crises.

The report also follows the passage of a swe…

7 Ways to Make Extra Money in 2011

by Kimberly Palmer

Job security might be out, but freelance, contract, and temporary work is in, which makes it easier than ever to moonlight as a graphic designer while you spend your days as a public relations rep. Slimmer staffs mean companies often need the extra help, and new websites offer free tools that match potential employers with workers. And earning extra money beyond your steady paycheck, if you're lucky enough to have one, can provide a big boost to your financial security.

Here are seven ways to make extra money off the new economy in 2011:

Launch a Brand
When Kimberly Seals-Allers, former senior editor at Essence magazine, was expecting her first child, she discovered that black women face higher risks during childbirth and pregnancy. "I realized we were a special group, and I wanted to write a book about everything in black women's lives. Not just pregnancy, but money, men, and myths in our community. [I wanted] to create a new way forward."

Her first bo…

Slow and Steady Saving Still Pays

by Tom Lauricella

The path toward having enough money to enjoy a comfortable retirement is a long one. And as the recent decade in the U.S. stock market shows, it's one where patience pays off.

For younger retirement savers who diligently put money away, that long march of time also provides a crucial ally: the ability to recover from inevitable losses. That's especially the case for 401(k) investors who don't pass up the essentially free money that comes by taking full advantage of any matching contributions provided by their employers.

There's no reason to sugar-coat the miserable experience most stock investors have had since the collapse of the technology-stock bubble beginning in March 2000. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index, the most commonly used market barometer, has risen an average of just 1.4% per year over the past 10 years, a 3.6% gain once dividends are included.

It was only last month that the Dow Jones Industrial Average pushed above where it st…

Happy New Year to all my readers!! Wishing you success and good health ahead! :)

2011: A hiring boom, even at 9% unemployment

After three years of economic pain, a growing number of economists think 2011 will finally bring what everyone's been hoping for: More jobs and a self-sustaining recovery.

"We're looking at some leading indicators on employment, and they're all flashing green lights," said Bernard Baumohl of the Economic Outlook Group, a Princeton, N.J. research firm.

Though most economists still expect a painfully high unemployment rate of about 9% at the end of this year, some think that stat masks more important signs of strength.

Economists surveyed by CNNMoney are forecasting an average of 2.5 million jobs added to the U.S. economy this year, which would be the best one-year gain in hiring since the white-hot labor market of 1999.

Of the dozen economists who responded, several of the more bullish are predicting more than 3 million jobs added -- about 250,000 jobs a month. Even the most pessimistic of those surveyed, David Wyss of Standard & Poor's, expects 1.8 million jo…

Sure, Stocks Are Rallying, But Are Investors Too Bullish?

The stock market's path to prosperous times ahead is unlikely to be smooth, with increasing volatility along the way and hazards both domestic and foreign.

While the new year begins with most strategists expecting big things, a recurring theme is that investor complacency is nearing an end.

The market's main fear gauge, the CBOE Volatility Index (Market Data Express: VIX), is just above its holiday season lows and around a level last seen in April 2010, before sovereign debt concerns drove a summer-long slump in stocks.

Indeed, market pros have their eyes open for any number of obstacles that could make the journey higher a bumpy one.

"While stocks should be boosted by good economic news flow, a variety of troubling factors...could all contribute to fairly uneven progress for the S&P 500 with a number of spikes and dips for investors to navigate," Tobias Levkovich, chief investment strategist at Citigroup, wrote in a research note for clients.

Among the most commonly …