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.

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"One theory is the world must reach the brink to find the leadership needed for resolution ..."

Greece is the epicenter of the European debt crisis so, naturally, financial commentator Greg Heberlein went there on vacation! Unfortunately what he found there and elsewhere outside the U.S. were divisive politics, blame all around and the potential for economic doom.

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If you’re spooked by the volatile stock market, you may want to put your money into bonds.

On this week’s Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein tells KPLU’s Dave Meyer that short term U.S. Treasury bonds are a safe bet.

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If gold is part of your investment portfolio, or you have some old jewelry you'd like to get rid of, now may be a great time to cash in. Gold prices are at record highs, recently approaching $1,900 an ounce.

On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer talk about how to get the most money for your gold.

Amazon.com

Until this year, only one Northwest based company has topped $100 billion dollars in market value: Microsoft. But now a second local company has crossed that line: Amazon. 

On this week’s Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer talk about Amazon.com and the importance of market value.

s_falkow / Flickr

Is the economy recovering … or heading for another recession? Uncertainty has been growing in recent weeks with conflicting economic indicators and high volatility on Wall Street.

On this week’s "Money Matters" with financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU’s Dave Meyer, Greg changes his mind about how soon the economy will recover. Instead of a 5 to 10 year recovery, Greg thinks it'll be more like 10 to 15 years.

Jim / Flikr

What do you do when the Dow drops more than 500 points in one day? Above all ... don't panic! When you're investing for the long haul, short term swings in the market shouldn't bother you.

On this week's Money Matters, Greg Heberlein and Dave Meyer talk about how to weather volatile times in the stock market.

Tracy O / flickr.com

How safe is your money market fund? Money-market funds have long been regarded as a safe place to park cash. They paid higher interest than banks and savings and loans, and your deposits were easily accessed. 

But that all changed in 2008. The collapse of investment bank Lehman Bros. caused something of a panic as depositors wondered if they’d get their money back. To stem the outflow and prop up the funds, the government temporarily guaranteed money market accounts.

Money funds are still seen as a relatively safe harbor, but on this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein explains to KPLU's Dave Meyer that you need to know where your fund is investing your cash. More importantly, you need to know if your fund is holding European debt.

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It's been an up and down year for the stock market. Every time the market rises 5 or 6 percent, it seems to slide back by the same amount. Should you invest, or keep your money on the sidelines?

On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein tells KPLU's Dave Meyer that now is not the time to get discouraged.

Sjoerd van Oosten / flickr.com

A rising Consumer Price Index (CPI) has caused more doom and gloom on Wall Street. But on this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein tells KPLU's Dave Meyer it's nothing to worry about. A bane for Wall Street can actually be a boon for Main Street.

Gerard Van der Leun / flickr.com

Sixty percent or more of American families have 401(k) or 403(b) retirement plans. If you're under the age of 50, you can invest up to $16,500 in tax sheltered dollars each year in your retirement fund (and your employer can put in even more). If you're 50 or older, you can invest $22,000. But how many of us know how to manage these investments? You need to have a plan and stick to it. On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein tells you how to do it.

IPO fever

May 24, 2011
Zillow, Inc.

LinkedIn's IPO seemed like a flashback to the heyday of the 1990's. The company's stock doubled in value on its first day of trading. On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein thinks this will be a good year for IPOs. At least three locally based companies are preparing to go public, and more may be waiting in the wings.

gonzalo_ar / Flickr

Shareholders often get excited when their companies announce share buyback programs. If a company reduces shares in the marketplace, an investor’s share of the company goes up. So that's good, right? Usually, it is, but sometimes it can be a sign that the company is in trouble.

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Gas prices are topping $4/gallon. Oil is over $100 a barrel. Gold and silver are at record highs. Food is more expensive. Does all this mean inflation is about to pounce on us? On this week's Money Matters, KPLU financial commentator Greg Heberlein says things may look discouraging, but there's no need to worry about runaway inflation.

Should you pull out of the stock market?

Standard & Poor's downgraded its credit outlook for the United States this week; gas prices are rising; Europe is facing serious debt problems and Japan continues to struggle with its nuclear crisis. There's an awful lot to worry about these days.

But financial commentator Greg Heberlein reminds us that Wall Street climbs a wall of worry, and says you should stay in the market and look for buying opportunities.

PLU

How to pay for your children’s college tuition can be complicated. Washington state's Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) program has been very popular, with about 130,000 families taking advantage of it. But there have been concerns about the long term financial viability of the program, and the legislature is considering changes. For those not already in the program, what the state agrees to cover may be less than what it pays for current enrollees. In light of this uncertainty, financial commentator Greg Heberlein thinks it’s a good time to point out the alternatives.

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A couple of weeks ago, financial commentator Greg Heberlein said it was time for a stock market correction. Sure enough, we've seen the market drop, spurred on by events in the Middle East and the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan.

Is it time to buy back in? One never knows for sure, but on this week's Money Matters, Greg tells me what to watch for.

Are you losing sleep over your pension fund?

Public and private pension funds are under a lot of stress due to the Great Recession. The Washington Post's Peter Whoriskey recently reported state and local pensions may be underfunded by $1.5 trillion more than previously thought. NPR has reported the states are facing a $3 trillion pension shortfall.

But financial commentator Greg Heberlein tells KPLU's Dave Meyer the situation may not be as bad as it looks.Greg says there's cause for concern, but he's optimistic. 

wsilver / flickr.com

The market has had a phenomenal run up in the past two years, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining nearly 6,000 points. Recent volatility indicates the market may be ready to fall.

But financial commentator Greg Heberlein tells KPLU's Dave Meyer there's no reason to panic. It's all part of the natural market cycle.

Asim Bharwani (modenadude) / flickr.com

The revolution in Egypt serves as a reminder of the risk of investing in foreign stocks. On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein tell's KPLU's Dave Meyer that events in Egypt don't just make him wary of investing in foreign stocks, he's "horribly fearful"!

How risky are Egyptian investments?

On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer look at a couple of oddball stock market indicators: the Super Bowl and the Hindenburg Omen. These indicators (especially the Super Bowl) have received a lot of attention over the years, but both Greg and Dave say they should be for novelty use only.

The Super Bowl indicator

KPLU

If you and your spouse can correctly answer three simple math questions, a recent study suggests you'll have plenty of money in retirement. Financial commentator Greg Heberlein gave the quiz to KPLU's Dave Meyer, and you can take it, too. Patricia Sabatini of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette obtained the questions from the RAND Corporation.  They are:

1. If the chance of getting a disease is 10%, how many people out of 1,000 would be expected to get the disease?

2. If five people all have winning numbers in the lottery, and the prize is $2 million, how much will each of them get?

3. Let's say you have $200 in a savings account. The account earns 10% interest per year. How much would you have in the account at the end of two years?

You'll find the answers at the end of this post.

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All signs point to 2011 being a good year for the stock market. On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein tells KPLU's Dave Meyer this is a good time to invest.

Want to know the secret to building wealth? It's pretty simple, and it's financial commentator Greg Heberlein's Christmas gift to you.  He shares it with KPLU's Dave Meyer in this encore edition of Money Matters.

echiner1 at flickr.com

Ever wonder why the stock market rises to a certain level and then pulls back?  That’s called a resistance point.  Financial commentator Greg Heberlein explains it to KPLU’s Dave Meyer on this week’s Money Matters.

KPLU photo

You may be noticing more ads tempting investors to enter into limited partnerships. The scheme is looking pretty attractive in the down economy. But KPLU's Money Matters commentator Greg Heberlein says they come with risks.

KPLU

 When it comes to investing, everyone makes mistakes.  It’s virtually unavoidable.  Financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU’s Dave Meyer share some of their blunders on this week’s Money Matters.

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