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Despite subprime mortgage foreclosures and rising debt and interest rates, Americans feel confident in October about their overall financial security, according to a survey released by Country Financial Security Index.
During a random sampling of passersby on Tejon Street last week, the overall mood about personal financial security was positive. Continue Reading Public feeling confident about financial security

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Merrill Lynch reports record loss

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Merrill Lynch & Co. reported the biggest quarterly loss in its 93-year history after $8.4 billion worth of writedowns. The third-quarter loss of $2.24 billion, or $2.82 a share, was about six times higher than the New York-based company estimation on Oct. 5. Merrill Lynch wrote down the value of subprime mortgages, asset-backed bonds and… Continue Reading Merrill Lynch reports record loss

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The most recently tallied retirement savings numbers show Americans’ savings assets totaled $16.6 trillion at the end of the first quarter of this year. The numbers, which come from the Investment Company Institute, also show that retirement savings account for 38 percent of all household financial assets. The news makes March of this year a… Continue Reading Retirement savings watermark set during first quarter

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Today is the 20th anniversary of the largest one-day Dow Jones Industrial Average percentage drop since 1914. After a five-year bull market, the market fell 508 points, or 22.61 percent, on Oct. 19, 1987.
Michael G. Willis, president of Colorado Springs-based Giant 5 Funds, recalled Black Monday and how it altered his investing philosophy. Willis was an undergraduate at the time but had started trading full time. Continue Reading Local mutual fund president looks back at Black Monday

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AMEX card ranks No. 1 for customer satisfaction

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American Express ranks highest among credit card issuers in overall customer satisfaction, according to a J.D. Power and Associates Credit Card Satisfaction study released this week.
The inaugural study measures satisfaction based on benefits and features, rewards, billing and payment process, fees and rates, and problem resolution. Continue Reading AMEX card ranks No. 1 for customer satisfaction

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Department of Treasury officials said last week that they estimate Social Security is speeding toward a $13.6 trillion shortfall, and that the only solutions to the problem are higher taxes or reduced benefits.
The announcement came by way of a brief, Social Security Reform: The Nature of the Problem. Continue Reading Payroll tax pitched to stave off Social Security shortfall

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Whistle-blowers donning SOX-like sheep’s clothing

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Whistle blowers who file retaliation claims under a provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act hardly ever win, and the reason appears to be the motives behind the filings.
So says the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law, which plans to release study results next month of more than 700 Occupational Safety and Health Administration filings made between August 2002 and July 2005. Continue Reading Whistle-blowers donning SOX-like sheep’s clothing

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Baby boomers spending their savings on relatives

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An Ameriprise Financial study shows that two-thirds of the baby boomers surveyed were helping their adult children pay college loans or tuition, and more than half were contributing to the purchase of a car for their children.
Nine in 10 boomers are financially assisting their adult children in at least one area, the study showed. And some boomers also are helping their parents financially. Continue Reading Baby boomers spending their savings on relatives

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Just in time for back to school season, the college savings plan industry has unveiled an array of marketing campaigns
Many of the plans emphasize the benefits of 529s in response to changes in the “kiddie tax,” which was created in 1986 to keep parents from sheltering income by putting accounts in the names of their children. In its original form, a portion of investment earnings held by a child were tax-free. Continue Reading 529 plans poised to grow after ‘kiddie tax’ changes

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Dow Jones Indexes and Barron’s magazine have launched the Barron’s 400 Index which will track the performance of highly liquid U.S. stocks.
Dow Jones Indexes and Barron’s are business units of Dow Jones & Co. Continue Reading Barron’s 400 Index latest stock-tracking offering

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