"; ?>

ELEANOR BLAYNEY: Hindsight is always 20/20, whereas foresight can be pretty blurry.

Even certified financial planning professionals make financial blunders they wish they could do over.  In my case, I would have bought more Apple stock in 2003, and sold less of it in 2008.

I would have opted for a high-deductible health insurance policy five years earlier than I did and thereby accumulated $20,000 more in my health savings plan than I have now. I would have mortgaged my last home purchase instead of paying cash and put more money in stock investments.

But these are pretty trivial “woulda, coulda, shoudas” in the grand scheme of things. None of them represented...

How To Use A Secured Card To Rebuild Your Credit

Who among us hasn’t needed a second chance? Or a first opportunity? For the millions of Americans who were battered by the Great Recession and came out of it with a tattered credit score, plus the legions of young people who haven’t had a chance to earn and spend money wisely, these are not abstract questions.

Even though the emergence of financial products like prepaid debit cards have made it easier to get some of the ease and benefits of plastic, solid credit still matters. Try to buy a house or a car and you’ll quickly learn how important it is. If you have bad or no credit, you’ll be turned down for a loan or offered an ugly interest rate.

This is where...

Seek help early, unsecured credit borrowers urged

Credit Counselling Singapore (CCS) is bracing itself for what could be a deluge of requests for help next June, when new rules on unsecured loans come into effect.

The organisation, which helps debtors come up with repayment plans, says it is planning to hire more staff and upgrade its IT systems for the potential influx.

New central bank rules state that if someone owes money on an unsecured loan, such as a credit card, and does not pay even the minimum sum for more than 60 days, he will not get further unsecured credit from that bank.

The minimum payment is normally $50 or 3 per cent of the amount owed, whichever is higher.

Other banks will also be barred from...

Take, for instance, recent research on Oregons Medicaid program. A team of researchers found that people given access to Medicaid were more likely to be diagnosed and treated for diabetes and depression. Or consider a recent study of the 2007 Massachusetts health care reform. Researchers found that being covered by Medicaid can lower the risk of dying.

But an expansion of Medicaid might do more than just improve health.  Medicaid coverage can have some surprising, positive side-effects. Along with another researcher, Matt Notowidigdo, I studied the effect of Medicaid on consumer bankruptcy. Families declare bankruptcy when they are overwhelmed with debt. In exchange for their assets, a bankruptcy...

I am pleased to present my Third Quarter 2014 portfolio review. This review helps clarify my current approach to dividend growth investing. It should not be read that I am in any way suggesting it is the single best approach to investing or the approach that will always amass the largest amount of capital gain. Instead it represents an approach that best matches our risk tolerance — one that helps both my wife and I sleep well at night when the market is as turbulent as it certainly was in October.

My portfolio finished the quarter with 50 holdings and yields roughly 4.6% at todays cost. Each holding represents less than 3% of the overall portfolio with most positions under 2%.


How Operation Choke Point Hurts the Unbanked

This is the second article in a two-part series adapted from a keynote speech delivered recently at the annual meeting of the Financial Services Centers of America, a trade group representing nonbank financial services companies.

In any line of business, there are some good operators and some who refuse to play by the rules. The same holds true among payday lenders, check cashers and other alternative financial service providers. Its clear that we must protect consumers from those who seek to take unfair advantage. Regulators and law enforcement agencies need to be aggressive with companies that are ethically challenged or lax in observing the law.

Where regulators and law enforcement...

HOUSTON, Nov. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ –BBVA Compass pledged today to put $11 billion in lending, investments and services toward supporting low- and moderate-income individuals and neighborhoods, a significant step in delivering on its promise to boost economic development across all the communities in its footprint.

Over the next five years, the bank will originate $2.1 billion in mortgage loans to low- and moderate-income (LMI) homebuyers and in LMI neighborhoods, $6.2 billion for small business lending, $1.8 billion for community development lending, and make $900 million in community development investments. The bank also plans to unveil new delivery channels, products and services...

Starting out: Business plans promote financial success

Nathan Glynn didnâ??t originally plan on being an interior designer. Instead, the owner of The Mezzanine in Winona built his business client by client and sale by sale.

While working full-time for another company, Glynn took on his first interior design project the summer of 2013. He took the money from that first job and put it back into the business, letting him take on even more work.

Continued success, along with around $2,000 in personal capital invested in the first four months of the business allowed him continue to grow until he had the finances to open up his downtown showroom and become an interior designer full-time. Although Glynn started his business in a non-traditional...

Feds Say Bay Area CEO Ran a Ponzi Scheme

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – The Justice Department has charged a Bay Area investment manager with conning investors out of millions by selling securities in the form of membership interests in investment funds.
Mark Feathers, CEO of Small Business Capital Corp., was charged Oct. 29 with 17 counts of securities fraud and 12 counts of mail fraud, according to unsealed court documents released by the US Attorneys Office.
Feathers, 51, allegedly raised more than $50 million from over 250 investors starting in 2009, and promised prospective investors that the funds would pay member returns of at least 7.5 percent, prosecutors say.
By 2012, the Los Altos man had allegedly funneled more than...

The New York Times is again on the warpath against what it calls predatory lending. Just what is predatory lending? It is lending that charges a higher interest rate than people like those at the New York Times approve of.

According to such thinking — or lack of thinking — the answer is to have the government set an interest rate ceiling at a level that will be acceptable to third parties like the New York Times. People who believe in government-set price controls — whether on interest rates charged for loans, rents charged for housing, or wages paid under minimum-wage laws — seem to think that this is the end of the story. Yet there is a vast literature on the economic...