Showing posts from October, 2012

6 Ways to Screw Up Your Retirement Plan

Contributing to an employer-sponsored retirement plan is an important step toward a secure future, but experts warn that, like any other financial asset, it takes oversight as well as common sense to reap its benefits.

Avoid these six critical mistakes to improve your chances of having a successful retirement.

Mistake No. 1: opting out

One of the biggest mistakes is to decide not to participate, says Robert Gordon, senior financial adviser at Miami-based Investor Solutions.
"As the saying goes, 'you've got to be in it to win it,'" he says. "Be it a 401(k), 403(b), 457 or other similarly numbered options, the responsibility is on the employee to take the initiative and complete the paperwork."
In an attempt to encourage more people to take advantage of employer-sponsored retirement plans, the 2006 Pension Protection Act provides safe harbor to companies who offer automatic enrollment that requires employees to opt out rather than opt in, says…

‘Era of Uncertainty’ May Be Drawing to a Close


If economists, business executives and investors have been sure of one thing this year, it is that uncertainty — over economic policies, political leadership and central-bank actions — is largely to blame for the shambling global economic pace, spotty job growth and serial bouts of anxiety in financial markets.
But the bull market in "uncertainty" has likely peaked -- not that many have noticed amid the political noise and unsettled stock market, which is falling sharply Tuesday amid disappointing earnings and worries over Spain.

Like most overplayed market themes, there's a set of plausible facts and resonant conditions at the core of the uncertainty obsession:
A close and contentious presidential race, with economic philosophies at its core, is about to culminate.The "fiscal cliff," in which spending cuts and tax increases of up to $600 billion could be triggered, is just ahead in January.China is undertaking a once-a-decade l…

7 ways to save money in your 20s

There is a paradox that exists when you're in your 20s; you have the energy and freedom to do whatever you want, but not necessarily the funds to do so. Often the two sides are at odds with one another, but they don't inevitably have to be. There are a number of ways to exercise your youthful exuberance, whether it be venturing out into the world on your own or pursuing your passions, without hemorrhaging money.Here are a few tips to survive and thrive in your 20s without breaking the bank.Live with Roommates
If you attended college and shared a place with peers, why not continue to do so after you enter the workforce? It's a good way to begin the onset of personal budgeting and household running without having to incur the higher prices that come with a single-bedroom residence. Living with roommates will also allow you to build up some experience dealing with financial responsibility and living under the same roof as other people before you dive headfirst into…

What to Do When You're Denied a Promotion

If you were expecting to get promoted, but got passed over, you're understandably confused and probably frustrated. But how you react and what you choose to do next can greatly affect your career path, so carefully consider your actions.

Withhold the negative emotions. If you feel like you deserved the promotion, you probably are angry, confused, and have a short fuse. But keep it under wraps until you know the entire situation. After all, you may not know the whole story; maybe someone was better qualified than you, or maybe your boss envisions you in a different role down the road.

No matter what you're feeling, try to be diplomatic and neutral in your reaction. Flying off the handle won't better your position. Instead, take time to regroup and consider your next steps.

Find out truth. If you're comfortable talking to your boss about why you were passed over, you might find out some key areas you can improve. Perhaps you were deficient in one area that t…

Worried About Global Economy? Here's One Possible Refuge

As slowing global growth bites into multinationals' earnings, investors may be more willing to give small-cap US stocks a look.

The New York Stock Exchange.The Russell 2000 (^RUT) is up 12 percent for the year, trailing the 14 percent gain in the S&P 500. But micro caps are up 17 percent, in line with the Nasdaq's gains.
"I think you've got a lot of nervousness coming up to earnings. With small caps, you don't have to worry so much because they're more domestic and you don't have a lot of international exposure," said Lori Calvasina, small-cap and mid-cap equity strategist at Credit Suisse.

She said the Russell 2000 stocks generate just 19 percent of their revenues internationally. As for the S&P 500, 46 percent of revenues are from overseas sources.

Through Thursday, the S&P 500 lost 2 percent over a five day period, while small caps were down just 1.8 percent. The small-cap energy sector was actually up 0.3 percent in that s…