Greg Heberlein

Financial Commentator

Greg Heberlein spent 32 years at The Seattle Times.  In 12 years in the Sports Department, he was the only reporter to cover every game in the Seattle SuperSonics' championship season.  Towards the end of his 20 years in the Business Department, an award was established to honor the Northwest's top business columnist.  He won in each of the first three years and shortly after, wisely took early retirement.

David Goehring (CarbonNYC) / flickr.com

There are a lot of worthy (and, perhaps, not-so-worthy) charitable organizations asking for your support at this time of year. How should you decide which ones deserve your money?

One website that can help you is charitynavigator.org. It rates charities according to their financial health, accountability and transparency. Financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer talk about the ratings on this week's Money Matters.

Dave Meyer / KPLU

As we approach the dreaded fiscal cliff, many financial pundits are sounding the alarm: “Take your capital gains now to avoid higher taxes next year!”

Should most of us be worried about this? On this week’s Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein says you should hang on to your winning investments. He tells KPLU’s Dave Meyer that the push to sell because of capital gains concerns may be the biggest idiocy since the sale of no-money-down, balloon-payment mortgages. 

nikcname / flickr.com

If you can define compound interest and inflation, then pat yourself on the back!

A recent report by the Securities and Exchange Commission finds that most Americans don't understand such basic concepts.

Commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer talk about financial literacy on this week's Money Matters.

Alex Cockroach / flickr.com

When it comes to retirement, some people turn to variable annuities for guaranteed income.

These annuities, provided by insurance companies, offer a guaranteed return, even if the stocks and bonds you're invested in go down the drain.

Thanks to the shaky economy, some companies are asking clients to give up that guaranty, in exchange for a lump sum buyout.

Should you take them up on the offer? That's the big question on this week's Money Matters with financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer.

Alex Proimos / flickr.com

There are few guarantees in the world of finance. Every investment involves risk. But one thing is guaranteed: everyone makes mistakes.

On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein warns us away from some of the most common errors.

Thomas Hawk / flickr.com

Municipal bonds are relatively safe investments. So insured municipal bonds should be a sure thing, right?

That's not a safe assumption.

Thanks to the financial meltdown, that insurance may not offer any protection. Financial commentator Greg Heberlein explains why on this week's Money Matters with KPLU's Dave Meyer.

Tom Heberlein

Last Friday, India's main stock index suddenly experienced a 16% drop in value. $58 billion temporarily vanished in the blink of an eye thanks to a computer problem. 

Computer errors have also been blamed for Facebook's IPO troubles and 2010's infamous Flash Crash. Financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer look at the world of computer driven, high-frequency trading on this week's Money Matters.

s_falkow / flickr.com

The numbers are staggering. Three-quarters of the population approaching retirement (aged 50 to 64) earns less than $53,000 a year. That group has saved an average of $26,000 in their retirement accounts. Even adding in social security, one forecaster estimates retirees will be able to pay only $5 a day for food.

Financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer look at the looming retirement crisis on this week's Money Matters.

Insider trading

Sep 11, 2012
Securities and Exchange Commission

As legendary money manager Peter Lynch once said, "Insiders might sell their shares for any number of reasons, but they buy for only one; they think the price will rise."

On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein explains why you should pay attention when executives buy or sell shares in their own companies.

www.seniorliving.org

Last summer, financial commentator Greg Heberlein became more pessimistic about the economic recovery, predicting it would take 10 to 15 years to get back to "normal".

Now that a year has gone by, has anything changed?

Sadly, Greg says we have another 9 to 14 years left to go.

Greg and KPLU's Dave Meyer look at the prospects for a slow recovery on this week's Money Matters.

LaughingRhoda / flickr.com

Have you ever received a letter from your bank stating "we have learned that some information from your credit card account may have been compromised at an undisclosed third-party location"?

Financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer had their cards canceled and replaced by the same bank in recent weeks. They gripe about it on this week's Money Matters, and offer tips on how to minimize the damage.

Social Security Administration

One of the great debates among those approaching retirement is whether to take Social Security benefits at age 62, 66 or 70.  

There's no one-size-fits-all answer. Financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer explore the options on this week's Money Matters.

Cell Therapeutics, Inc.

Stock splits are often a sign of a booming economy. But these days, many companies are experiencing reverse stock splits. 

On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein tells KPLU's Dave Meyer that Seattle's Cell Therapeutics appears to be a prime candidate for a reverse split.

cobalt123 / flickr.com

Gold has been trading for more than $1,600 an ounce lately. That's down from its high of nearly $1,900 an ounce last year.

Will gold stay at these relatively high levels? Or is the bubble going to burst?

Financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer look at the warning signs about gold on this week's Money Matters.

Adam Fagen / flickr.com

When it comes to assigning blame for the 2008 financial meltdown, some fingers are pointing at the 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act. But others aren’t so sure.

Financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU’s Dave Meyer look at banking regulations on this week's Money Matters.

Michael Daddino / flickr.com

JPMorgan Chase is the largest banking corporation in America. It stood out as a beacon of stability during the recent U.S. financial meltdown. But not anymore.

The bank shocked Wall Street last week with a $2 billion loss. More losses may be on the way.

On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer look at some of the lessons to be learned from this surprising development.

401kcalculator.org

Retirement planning can be hard. Traditional, defined benefit pensions are going the way of the dodo bird. The majority of us will depend on a mix of Social Security, IRAs and 401(k) plans.

On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer look at the best way to take money out of your IRA during "the golden years".

401kcalculator.org

Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) are a popular alternative to mutual funds.

Are they right for you? 

On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein tells KPLU's Dave Meyer that a well diversified ETF can be a great investment.

Tracy O / flickr.com

Every investor dreams of beating the market. But very few money managers are able to pull it off on a consistent basis.

SmartMoney magazine recently profiled a fund manager who has beaten the odds. Allan Mecham, of Arlington Value Management, has racked up an impressive 400 percent gain in the past 12 years. An initial investment of $100,000 in his fund 12 years ago would be worth $500,000 today.

Nate Bolt / flickr.com

Facebook filed for its initial public stock offering in February, and the IPO could take place at any time in the next several weeks.

Should you buy the stock? We ducked that question a month ago on Money Matters but now, financial commentator Greg Heberlein is willing to offer some advice. 

As with many financial issues, the answer is dependent on your personal circumstances.

Carl Glover / flickr.com

When you're not paying with cash, do you prefer a credit card or a debit card?

Organizations such as the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Reports prefer the security of credit cards. 

On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer agree that credit cards offer the most security and benefits, but find debit cards still have a useful role to play.

Steve Rotman / flickr.com

Should you buy Facebook stock when it goes public in the next few months?

Like any individual stock, it's a gamble. Most investors are better off with the relative safety of a stock index fund.

But sometimes it's hard to resist the dream of striking it rich like early investors did with the Microsoft or Amazon IPOs.

On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer look at what to expect when Facebook finally goes on the market.

mediafury / flickr.com

2011 was a terrific year for the Seattle-based Starbucks coffee chain. The stock shot up 43% last year and recently hit record highs.

Financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer look at the successful company on this week's Money Matters.

Evan Leeson / Flickr

Local economist Dick Conway unveiled his economic forecast for the region recently, and he painted an optimistic picture, describing it as "a sunny day, with some clouds".

On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein tells KPLU's Dave Meyer that he thinks there's a good case for optimism this year.

woodleywonderworks / flickr.com

It's been hard to make money in stocks and bonds lately. 2011 was a great year to sell gold, but prices are too high to buy it now. Where does that leave us?

On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein tells KPLU's Dave Meyer that 2012 might be a great year for investing in real estate.

allerleirau / flickr.com

Greg Heberlein and Dave Meyer usually talk about ways to save and invest money. But on this week's Money Matters, they concentrate on how to give it away!

Charitable giving is more important than ever this year. Thanks to the ailing economy, federal, state and local governments have less money to help the needy. More and more people are turning to nonprofit organizations for help.

Keith Ramsey / flickr.com

The end of the year is a great time to review your finances. Are you saving enough for retirement?

According to U.S. News & World Report, about a third of all Americans have nothing saved for retirement. Fortunately, it's never too late to start building your nest egg.

On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer look at ways to prepare for "the golden years".

John Henderson / flickr.com

Should you spend more this holiday season and give the economy a boost? Or cut back on shopping and save your money for possibly tougher times ahead?

That's quite a conundrum.

McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants, Inc.

McCormick and Schick's Seafood Restaurants are a popular dining choice in the Seattle area. The Portland-based company is being sold to Houston-based Landry's Restaurants.

On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein says the sale demonstrates why you should be skeptical about the recommendations of securities analysts.

David Paul Ohmer / Flickr

Over the past 30 years, U.S. Treasuries have out-performed the stock market. Bloomberg's Cordell Eddings reports the last time that happened was 150 years ago. What's going on?

On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein says this is a rare event and not "the new normal."

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