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Jan 12,2007
If you were watching TV talk shows in Beijing last month, you might have caught a glimpse of lawyer Jim Zimmerman trying to explain the intricacies of trade policies and currency rates to a Chinese audience. At the time, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and other U.S. officials were on a mission to encourage Beijing to raise the value of the yuan as a way of relieving the United States' massive ... [full story]
1363 times read - No comment posted

Jan 12,2007
Q: I'd like to donate some of our profits. How can I do this so the company gains, the community gains and the charity gains a gift in perpetuity? - Jean R., business owner, Chicago. A: First of all, thanks for giving back. Too often, companies that make their profits locally don't focus on giving back to the local communities that help make the profits in the first place. One creative solution to constructive charitable ... [full story]
1332 times read - No comment posted

Jan 12,2007
I've received thousands of e-mails since I began writing this column 2 1/2 years ago and, by far, the most frequent SOS I get is from readers who want to know where they should turn for financial help. At this time of year, there are probably even more investors eager for an expert to examine what may look more like a skillet of scrambled eggs than a functional portfolio. Acknowledging the need for help is ... [full story]
1858 times read - No comment posted

Jan 12,2007
Opening gifts during the holidays is fun; opening the resulting bills is no fun at all.  Yet every holiday season millions of consumers use their credit cards to finance gifts they don't have the cash to pay for.  Around the middle of January, holiday bills start arriving and a strong case of post-holiday remorse sets in.  When faced with the post-holiday blues, debt can seem overwhelming and impossible to handle.  If you are feeling sick ... [full story]
1680 times read - No comment posted

Jan 05,2007
Instead of preaching to people about what kind of financial resolutions they should be embracing for the New Year, I decided to ask people to share their own financial goals. I began my research at the dog park, where I was headed with my golden retriever. While there, I became so engrossed in a conversation with a woman with a handsome Siberian husky - her admirable goal for 2007 was to reduce her debt by ... [full story]
1927 times read - No comment posted

Jan 05,2007
Booming virtual economies in online worlds such as "EverQuest II," "World of Warcraft" and "Ultima Online" are fueling the real-world economy - and spawning real-life moral and financial issues. "The lesson of these virtual economies is that the line between play and work is not as solid as we used to think it was," said Julian Dibbell, author of the book "Play Money: Or, How I Quit My Day Job and Made Millions Trading Virtual ... [full story]
2139 times read - No comment posted

Dec 29,2006
A power of attorney is a valuable estate planning tool; however, it has the potential for perpetrating fraud.  It can be used to deplete an estate. That is what happened in a case brought to the USD Senior Legal Helpline by a 69-year-old woman who was named in an aunt’s will to receive a parcel of farmland.  When the aunt died six months ago at age 82, the caller learned that the land had been ... [full story]
1811 times read - No comment posted

Dec 29,2006
Even though the holidays have just passed, I'd like to share an inspirational tale that I've been sitting on for several months. This is a story about some kindhearted souls, who seized upon a simple plan to leverage their charitable donations far beyond what they could have done by writing their own checks. The plan, which you could now argue has been elevated to more of a phenomenon, began during the Sunday services a few ... [full story]
1099 times read - No comment posted

Dec 29,2006
Mortgage rates moved higher for the third consecutive week following strong consumer spending figures for November. The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 6.23 percent as of Wednesday, Dec. 27. According to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey of large lenders, the 30- year fixed rate mortgages had an average of 0.25 discount and origination points.  The average 15-year fixed rate mortgage popular for refinancing nosed higher to 5.96 percent. On larger loans, the average jumbo 30-year ... [full story]
1478 times read - No comment posted

Dec 26,2006
New rules to further protect consumers from high-cost loans Governor Ted Kulongoski and the Oregon Department of Consumer & Business Services (DCBS) recently announced new rules that will close potential loopholes in the payday lending legislation the governor signed in April. “Last April, the Legislature and I worked to enact important legislation to protect hard working Oregonians from predatory lending practices,” said Governor Ted Kulongoski. “These new rules will help us ensure that we carry out ... [full story]
1902 times read - No comment posted

Dec 22,2006
The New Year marks the beginning of new goals, opportunities and exciting adventures.  For some, it is a time of reflection on past experiences, accomplishments and failures.  For most, the New Year is a time to determine and undertake new improvements and to set new financial goals.  Setting financial resolutions and keeping them are two different issues.  It's easy to know what you want and to get excited about your New Year's aspirations.  The hard ... [full story]
2692 times read - No comment posted

Dec 15,2006
Just about every time I visit the grocery store, I am reminded this is the season of giving. Standing next to a big red kettle swinging from an old chain, a bell ringer from the Salvation Army wishes everyone a merry Christmas, even those who ignore his ringing entreaties to help. Charities excel in cajoling us into reaching into our wallets to help the less fortunate, whether it's families trapped in the Darfur chaos or ... [full story]
1185 times read - No comment posted

Dec 15,2006
Life spans have increased and will continue to edge upward, even as older Americans are becoming more vital. That has yielded a new life stage—the first since social scientists identified adolescence a century ago. It’s extended middle age, anywhere from age 50 to 90.Old approaches to retirement are obsolete in light of this change, and we have new opportunities to make this new stage meaningful. The way to do this is to adopt a life ... [full story]
1177 times read - No comment posted

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