By now we know that celebrities (and pseudo-celebrities) often lend their names to products that may or may not have devastating effects on consumers. Of course, hawking a product for a paycheck doesn’t automatically make the spokesperson in question an expert on the product or the consequences of using it. [More]
Americans’ positive feelings about the economy have officially returned to the level they were at on the eve of the Great Recession, according to a new study from Pew Charitable Trusts. While that might sound comforting, it doesn’t mean consumers are actually feeling secure in their own financial stability. [More]
Dealing with finances is one of the least fun aspects of being an adult. Dealing with finances when you’re in a committed relationship is even less enjoyable. Of course you love your spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, fiancé, or whatever, but you don’t have to love the way they handle money. Seamlessly transitioning to a ‘we’ financial situation doesn’t have to be full of mistakes or a completely painful situation. [More]
Ever heard of price-fixing chocolate? How about fish or rubber shoes? Those are just a few of the price-fixing schemes found by competition authorities in a record-breaking year of anti-trust abuse. [More]
If you’ve decided 2012 will be the year you get your finances in order, you’ll need to take concrete steps toward making that goal a reality. It takes sound, consistent choices to chug along in the right direction. [More]
While anyone with $1 million in the bank is technically a millionaire, it apparently takes a lot more money than that for the merely rich to feel truly wealthy. According to a survey of the ultra-rich by Fidelity Investments, the real benchmark for being wealthy is $7.5 million. [More]
You already know that it’s not healthy to fight about money all the time, but it might be a bigger risk factor for divorce than you think. A 2009 University of Virginia study found that couples who argue about finances every a week are 30% more likely to divorce than those who argue less frequently. In addition, a couple that marries with no assets are 70% more likely to divorce in three years than a couple bringing $10k in assets into the union. [More]
Adam Baker at Get Rich Slowly suggests you’ll be able to better stick to a budget if you pick one non-essential hobby or interest instead of cutting them all out. The key to figuring out whether or not it’s something worth “wasting” money on is to identify any hidden benefits, and then to make sure there aren’t hidden drawbacks. [More]
The person-to-person loan website Prosper.com has been talked about in mostly positive ways since it launched a few years ago. Mark Gimein at Slate’s The Big Money says it’s a lot less awesome than you’ve been led to believe. In fact, he says it’s just a microcosm of what happened in the real financial world: “Loans to unqualified borrowers; reliance on mathematical models that turn out to be a lot less useful than they seemed; failed hopes that high interest rates could make subprime loans profitable; sky high default rates [of 39%]—Prosper has it all.” [More]
Liz Davidson at Forbes has an article about ways you and your spouse can fine-tune spending and investment patterns so that your marriage isn’t a financial drain. It’s easy enough to compare financial health before marriage (although lots of couples don’t do it, she notes), but even if your net income increases, your net worth could flatline or drop:
You might be doing well with your expenses as a married couple but making poor investment decisions, causing your financial situation to worsen even though your day-to-day money management has improved. [More]
If you’re still struggling to find a job in the current economy, you’ll be happy to know that this morning President Obama is expected to sign legislation to extend benefits for few more months. The New York Times has more info on how the extension will work, and who qualifies for it.
When news broke back in September that Intuit, the company behind Quicken, was buying personal finance website Mint, everyone wondered how the two services would co-exist. The worst case scenario was that Mint would be absorbed somehow into Intuit’s in-house competitor, Quicken Online. Thankfully, it looks like the opposite will happen.
The trustee who’s liquidating Bernie Madoff’s firm has released $534.2 million in repayments to some of his victims, reports Bloomberg. The half-billion is a drop in the bucket of total verified losses, which are now more than $21 billion. But hey, those 1,558 victims whose claims were approved for this partial payout are probaby pretty happy—which is more than you can say for the 2,500+ Madoff customers who may be sued to return fake profits.
Before you tie your destiny and your credit rating to the person you love, there are some decidedly un-romantic conversations that you need to have in order to prevent discord and catastrophe later in life.
A reader wants to know whether or not he’s going to be held responsible for his fiancée’s old, bad debt now that they’re getting married. Because we went to Google Lawyer University just now, we’re happy to try to help.