Dear Moneyist, My wife and I are in our mid 30s and have been blessed enough to be relatively debt-free and purchase our first home together. Should we use that $200,000 to recast our mortgage — reduce the outstanding sum without altering the original terms — or invest the money? Our interest rate is low at 3.5%. We were able to make a 20% down payment, but our remaining balance is still over $1 million. I decided to sell the town house I purchased years ago, and was able to come up with an additional $400,000. We decided to pay off all of our remaining debt — $25,000 for a car and $15,000 for a student loan — make some home improvements to our bathroom and install solar electricity. We also
Dear Moneyist, My husband is 16 years older than me and, two years after our marriage, I discovered that he was five years older than his official age. At the same time, we found out I was pregnant with our first child. He explained that there was some controversy about his date of birth as he was born at home in the Philippines. There was a fire and he lost his parents at a very young age. I found it hard to believe at that time, but we have a good relationship and — other than that — things were okay. Moreover, we were expecting our first child, so I let it go. I have very little financial education and have always trusted him to handle our finances while I worked hard. We have three kids together,
Not only do defined-benefit plans still exist, they are just the ticket for investors in particular situations. I’m referring, of course, to the kind of retirement plan that used to be the most common way in which corporations funded their employees’ retirement. These plans, also known as pensions, guaranteed a certain level of payment during retirement. Corporate defined-benefit plans fell out of favor a couple of decades ago, however, and few investors are even aware that they still exist. But they very much do, though now it’s up to us to set them up. And there can be huge tax advantages for doing so. A personal defined-benefit plan provides a guaranteed payout in your retirement years, just
You’ve spent your whole life saving for retirement . Now you’re finished working, and it’s time to start spending what you’ve saved. For many investors, the transition can be confusing or even traumatic. How will you tap your portfolio? As investors approach this transition from saving to spending they should take three steps: start with a retirement income plan, keep their portfolio invested and diversified, and then rebalance their portfolio periodically to generate the cash they require. Here we’ll discuss the last step — creating your paycheck when rebalancing. Why is this important? If you’re an investor, you’ve almost certainly heard of having an appropriate asset allocation to stocks and
Getting old in America isn’t what it used to be. In a worldwide study, the U.S. fell to No. 17 (down three spots from last year) in the Natixis Global Asset Management Global Retirement Index. The index ranks 43 mainly developed countries on their ability to offer its citizens a secure retirement. Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Sweden top the list. Why did the U.S. have such a dismal showing? The U.S. took hits in income equality, health care spending and life expectancy. While America may have the fifth-highest income per capita, we have the sixth lowest score for income equality, suggesting that retirement saving is difficult for average workers. Our life expectancy fell, yet we spend the
Goldman Sachs says the government shutdown will result in a 0.2% reduction in first-quarter GDP for every week it persists. Expect the government shutdown to slowly drain the US economy, says Goldman Sachs. Now that the federal government has failed to successfully negotiate a funding bill, first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) will slip by 0.2 percentage points for each week the shutdown persists, according to Goldman.
Insufficient investment, payment delays to suppliers, and the sanctions imposed by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump have hammered Venezuela's oil industry and saw crude oil production fall 13 percent in 2017. On Friday, Schlumberger disclosed a $938 million write-down on its Venezuelan assets and receivables, citing political and economic woes affecting the country. Schlumberger and other suppliers accepted promissory notes or reclassified Venezuelan receivables in recent years as a way to manage debts from PDVSA [PDVSA.UL].
Apple Inc. announced a series of plans Wednesday that were celebrated as promises to hire thousands of workers and bring home all of its overseas cash. Well, not necessarily. Apple AAPL, -0.45% said in its release that the company planned to “create over 20,000 new jobs through hiring at existing campuses and opening a new one.” The key word there is “create,” which Apple really likes to use when discussing jobs: The company even has a portion of its website dedicated to “job creation” that claims it is “responsible for 2 million jobs” in the United States, most of which are jobs “attributable to the App Store ecosystem.” Apple currently employs 84,000 people in the U.S., it said Wednesday,
After nearly a year's delay, Amazon Go is finally opening to the public on Monday morning. Amazon's first automated grocery store promises "no lines, no checkouts, no registers" — and it could be a game-changer for the grocery and retail industry. It'll test whether the technology can deliver after reports that the automated check-out technology wasn't working as planned early in 2017. It will raise questions of job creation and destruction by the e-commerce giant, and it'll test whether consumers will warm to an omnichannel, technologically advanced retail experience. The single 1,800 square foot located in the middle of Amazon's Seattle campus was first unveiled in late 2016, and was supposed
Canada's largest utility, Hydro Quebec, is reviewing its commercial energy strategy after being inundated with demand from global digital currency miners rushing to the province to benefit from political stability and low energy prices. Hydro Quebec will not have the long-term capacity to meet all the anticipated demand, a company spokesman said, after the utility's potential mining projects more than doubled in a week to 70. Bitcoin mining consumes large quantities of energy because it uses computers to solve complex math puzzles to validate transactions in the cryptocurrency, which are written to the blockchain, or digital ledger.
The lawsuit, filed by Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn in a state court, targeted drugmakers Purdue Pharma LP and Endo International Plc along with several wholesale drug distributors and the retailers CVS Health Corp and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc . The lawsuit accused Purdue and Endo of engaging in a massive marketing campaign aimed at concealing the risks of using opioids to treat chronic pain in order to overcome a medical consensus that using the drugs for that purpose was unsafe.
Gilead Sciences’ GILD subsidiary Kite announced that it has entered into a collaboration with Pfizer, Inc. PFE to evaluate a combination of its newly approved CAR-T therapy Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel) and Pfizer's utomilumab, a 4-1BB agonist, for
Tesla Inc.’s roaring start to the year has left short sellers about $1 billion in the red. Tesla TSLA, +1.58% shares overcame steep losses and a rocky late 2017, when the Silicon Valley car maker was beset by doubts about its ability to produce the Model 3 in larger numbers, to rise more than 12% so far this month. That compares with a 4.6% gain for the S&P 500 index. SPX, +0.44% Short interest in Tesla stock— money betting on a stock decline—is around $10.88 billion currently, said Matthew Unterman, a director at S3 Partners, a financial analytics company that has access to and tracks real-time short interest data. That would peg Tesla’s short interest at 23.5% of the free float, he said.
Jim Cramer advised investors on stocks to watch as earnings season begins in earnest and companies guide toward tax reform benefits.
Delta Air Lines is tightening the requirements for passengers traveling with onboard service and emotional support animals, the carrier said on Friday, following a sharp uptick in pet-related safety issues in recent years. Effective March 1, Delta, the second largest U.S. airline by passenger traffic, said it will require passengers seeking to fly with pets to present additional documents outlining the passenger's need for the animal and proof of its training and vaccinations, 48 hours prior to the flight. This comes in response to what the carrier said was a 150 percent increase in service and support animals - pets, often dogs, that accompany people with disabilities - carried onboard since 2015.
Administrative Law Judge Lauren Esposito in Manhattan said that even though the trial is expected to wrap up as soon as next week, McDonald's, its franchisees, and the National Labor Relations Board's general counsel should have a chance to pursue a settlement. The office of General Counsel Peter Robb, appointed by President Donald Trump and took office in November, requested the stay on Wednesday.
Today's Research Daily features new research reports on 16 major stocks, including UnitedHealth (UNH), Amgen (AMGN) and United Technologies (UTX). Buy-rated UnitedHealth’s shares have outperformed the Zacks Medical Insurance industry in the last year (up +53.2% vs. +52.9%). The company’s fourth-quarter earnings beat expectations and grew year over year, led by higher revenues in both its segments and membership growth.
As part of its defence against Broadcom, Qualcomm has argued that any deal faces a long antitrust review. Broadcom said that it had anticipated the second request as a normal part of the regulatory approval process.
An order of nuns brought their fight to stop a natural gas pipeline project on their rural Pennsylvania property to a federal appeals court Friday. The Adorers of the Blood of Christ argue that the construction of a pipeline through their cornfield in Lancaster County represents a violation of their religious freedom and duty to preserve the earth.
Anthony Noto, Twitter Inc.’s chief operating officer, is in talks with Social Finance Inc. to become the online lending company’s new chief executive officer. San Francisco-based SoFi has been searching for a leader since September, when co-founder and CEO Mike Cagney departed amid turmoil at the firm. Noto has yet to accept an offer, and talks could still fall apart, according to people familiar with the matter. He is one of fewer than a handful of finalists for the role, with as many as two women and two men in the running, said the people, who asked not to be identified since the matter is private. SoFi declined to comment. Twitter spokeswoman Kristin Binns said, “As a policy, we don’t comment
The chief executive officers of Alphabet Inc.’s Google and YouTube pledged to scour videos and other content more closely for misleading news and inappropriate messages on their web services ahead of elections in the U.S later this year. "We have more elections coming, so we’re all working harder," Google CEO Sundar Pichai said during an interview at an event in San Francisco on Friday hosted by MSNBC and Recode. Later this year, midterm elections will determine which party runs Congress, now controlled by Republicans. YouTube chief Susan Wojcicki said the online video service is trying to hire as many employees as possible to scrutinize videos in tandem with computers running artificial-intelligence software to identify and quickly remove offensive and inaccurate material.
General Electric Co. (GE) has followed up its dismal 2017 performance with an even bleaker start to the new year. The stock closed trading Friday down 3.04% and has declined nearly 11% over the past five sessions. A string of bad news concerning costs from legacy businesses and rumblings that the company will be broken up have weighed on shares. Here are some of the lowlights from a week GE investors would love to forget. Activist Interest in GE Breakup News that GE was considering a breakup of its business sent the stock tumbling earlier in the week. But regular investors aren't the only ones paying attention to GE's troubles, activists are too. No News Is Good News RealMoney chartist Bruce
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said it would keep tabs on Bitcoin futures trading and other markets during a government shutdown, even though it would be forced to halt many other normal activities. “One component of the agency’s mission is to oversee orderly derivatives markets, and to police those markets to ensure they are free of fraud and manipulation,” the CFTC said in a statement Friday. “In the event of a shutdown, the agency will have ‘excepted’ staff in place who will continue to perform this function across the derivatives markets -- including the virtual currency derivatives market.” The regulator’s cryptocurrency oversight responsibilities greatly increased last month
The major U.S. indexes moved higher over the past week despite mounting concerns over a government shutdown, record-setting equity valuations and weak inflation. Earlier this week, the Federal Reserve indicated that the economy and inflation were expanding at a modest to moderate pace. The central bank is widely expected to continue increasing interest rates this year despite overall inflation remaining below its 2% target rate. The S&P 500 P/E ratio spiked to 26.17x this week, which is its highest level since the 2007-2008 financial crisis and the dotcom boom. International markets were mixed over the past week. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.61%; Germany's DAX 30 rose 1.43%; and Britain's FTSE 100