Money Matters

Money Matters
5:00 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Take advantage of your 401(k)

Tax Credits flickr.com

Are you saving enough for retirement? Most Americans aren't. 

According to a report from the National Institute on Retirement Security, 45 percent of American households don't have anything saved for retirement. Four out of five working households have retirement savings less than one times their annual income.

Financial commentator Greg Heberlein says one way to turn this around is to encourage more people to take advantage of 401(k) retirement plans.

Read more
Money Matters
5:00 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Don't worry about rebalancing your portfolio

 

The financial markets have been roiling lately, a sign that a change of direction might be about to occur, or already is underway. However, crystal balls tend to be more cloudy than clear. No one consistently appraises the markets accurately. 

No matter the market direction, financial advisers are not timid about telling you to rebalance your portfolio. But KPLU financial commentator Greg Heberlein says it's OK to ignore that advice.

Read more
Money Matters
5:00 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Could your money-market fund 'break the buck'?

Tracy O flickr.com

If you think the money in your money-market mutual fund is as safe as the cash in an FDIC insured bank account, think again.

Although money funds have been very safe investments in the past, there's always the possibility they could drop in value or "break the buck".

Federal regulators are considering new rules that could impact the cash you park in money-market funds. But it looks like the targets at this point are funds catering only to corporations and other large institutional investors.

Read more
Money Matters
5:00 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Warren Buffett is investing in newspapers. Should you?

Doug88888 flickr.com

In our digital world of social media, blogs and the like, is the newspaper industry a dinosaur? 

Only 11 newspaper businesses are publicly owned. Is it foolish to invest in them? Legendary investor Warren Buffett doesn't think so. He's acquired 28 papers in the past couple of years.

A veteran of 32 years at The Seattle Times, financial commentator Greg Heberlein, can't help but believe Buffett is on the right track.

Read more
Money Matters
5:00 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Cash in your portfolio? It's nothing to feel guilty about

Andrew Magill Flickr

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 have been hitting record-high levels this year.

Many investors retreated from the stock market a few years ago and have cash sitting on the sidelines. Are you feeling pressured to invest?

Financial commentator Greg Heberlein says there's no need to rush back into the market.

Read more
Money Matters
5:04 am
Tue April 23, 2013

How an Excel error derailed the federal deficit debate

dabblelicious flickr.com

Some call it the spreadsheet error heard 'round the world. 

The 2010 Reinhart-Rogoff paper, Growth in a Time of Debt, was the most authoritative report providing hard data on why government spending needs to be cut. Too much debt, the study said, impedes economic growth.

But a mistake in coding the Excel spreadsheet skewed the results. Mike Konczal at Business Insider says the spreadsheet mistake is one of three glaring problems in the study.

The whole debacle serves as a prudent reminder to maintain a healthy sense of skepticism about economic statistics.

Read more
Money Matters
5:00 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Stocks: Should you sell in May and go away?

Those who sold in May and went away in 2008 managed to avoid the worst part of the stock market crash.
jking89 flickr.com

The financial media are full of suggestions for timing the stock market. We usually discredit those schemes on Money Matters, but this month we talk about one that might have at least a little merit to it.

The strategy is to “sell in May and go away.” 

It’s based on the notion that the six months from late fall to late spring are great for owning stocks. Conversely, the period starting in May is not.  Those periods are often referred to as the winter months vs. the summer months.

Does it really work?

Read more
Money Matters
5:01 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Greg Heberlein goes to Vietnam, finds American companies

Greg and Carolyn Heberlein at Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum in Hanoi

Financial commentator Greg Heberlein has just returned from a vacation in Vietnam and Cambodia. While there, he couldn't help but notice how westernized the Southeast Asian economy is becoming.

Read more
Money Matters
5:30 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Dividend vs. stock buyback: which is better for you?

SalFalko flickr.com

When publicly held companies have excess cash, they often face two main choices: issue dividends, or buy back shares from the marketplace.

Both actions are considered roughly equal in terms of benefit to stockholders. On this week’s Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein explains why he prefers dividends.

Read more
Money Matters
5:30 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Tax mistakes you can avoid

www.SeniorLiving.org flickr.com

It's the second week of March and April 15th will be here before you know it. Have you started preparing your 2012 income tax return yet?

On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer help you avoid some common tax mistakes.

Read more
Money Matters
5:30 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Should you buy stocks while the market is high?

wonderwebby flickr.com

Financial commentator Greg Heberlein firmly believes the stock-market axiom that says "history repeats, but never exactly". So when he see the market at or near record highs, he gets nervous. Conventional wisdom is that individuals buy near the high and sell near the low.

What’s an investor to do? Greg and KPLU’s Dave Meyer look for answers on this week’s Money Matters.

Read more
Money Matters
5:30 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Stocks soared in January. Does that mean it'll be a great year?

The Wall Street bull
David Paul Ohmer flickr.com

According to an old adage on Wall Street, "as goes January, so goes the year".

Last month, we cast aspersions on the "January effect" as a predictive tool. And then the month turned out to be the best January for stocks since the 1990s.

Financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer take a second look at January on this week's Money Matters.

Read more
Money Matters
5:00 am
Tue January 22, 2013

How to get paid for not collecting Social Security

SalFalko flickr.com

When it comes to collecting Social Security, there’s a way for some people to “have their cake and eat it, too”.

On this week's Money Matters, Greg Heberlein explains a spousal benefit that is sometimes overlooked.

If your spouse is already collecting Social Security and you decide to postpone collecting your own benefits, you may be able to collect payments equal to half of what your spouse is getting. 

Read more
Money Matters
5:00 am
Tue January 15, 2013

The folly of trying to predict the stock market

The Market Volatility Index of the Chicago Board Options Exchange is a popular tool for attempting to predict the stock market
Alin S Living with Autism flickr.com

Investors encounter numerous indices claiming to predict the future. Some are ridiculous, and some are based on facts. But most are worthless.

This week on Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU’s Dave Meyer look at the January effect, sports indicators, and the fear index.

Read more
Money Matters
5:00 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Seattle-based HomeStreet is an IPO success story

HomeStreet Bank

HomeStreet, a Seattle bank company, sold its first shares publicly on Valentine’s Day, 2012. It's been a love affair with investors ever since.

This is a stock that didn’t split its shares only once, but did so twice in just nine months. Factoring in both two-for-one splits, the stock started out at $11 a share. They finished up at $25.55, more than a double their initial value.

Financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer talk about Home Street on this week's Money Matters.

Read more

Pages