Monday, February 28, 2011

Right to Work on the Move to Missouri?

As a Finance and Economics student, oftentimes current news affects the direction of our class discussions. A Right to Work law secures the right of employees to decide for themselves whether or not to join or financially support a union. This debate started happening in Wisconsin and since then has moved into Ohio, Minnesota, and Indiana. The Right to Work has been a main news topic and many predict the law will go in effect in Missouri also.

Here are two articles I found on the topic:

This one is from the Wall Street Journal.
This one is from the National Right to Work Committee.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Families gather around a table to catch up on events of the day. Table Talk is Dan Danford’s way of keeping family and friends informed about Family Investment Center and related topics.

By: Dan Danford, MBA, CRSP of Family Investment Center

One hard thing to understand about investments is how much the environment determines short-term performance. The overall economy, market conditions, interest rates, and/or political factors drive short-term performance far more than most people think.

And, yet, the interaction between these factors isn’t very predictable. I love watching pundits nearing a meeting of the Federal Reserve Open Markets Committee. Some economists predict an interest rate decrease, others an increase. Some say a rate decrease will be good for stock markets, others predict it as negative. Amazingly, 3/4 of these predictions will be dead wrong, and nobody thinks a thing about it … talk about market noise!

There’s powerful research saying that most market noise is useless. That our stock markets constantly ebb and flow, but with a strong upward bias (fueled by corporate pressures to grow). Predicting long-term growth is easy, predicting shorter-term gyrations nearly impossible.

That’s why we don’t “time” the market. Instead, we choose sectors and managers with proven long-term potential. Listen to the late PBS investment guru Louis Rukeyser:

“… in the long run, it doesn’t matter much whether your timing is great or lousy. What matters is that you stay invested. Because the real danger isn’t picking a bad day to invest – it’s missing out on the powerful market surges that come in brief and unpredictable spurts.”

Brief and unpredictable spurts are a problem. If you aren’t there when they happen, you don’t get the rewards. Since spurts are unpredictable, jumping in and out doesn’t work. The lesson is clear, to get solid returns, we need to stay in through tough times.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How To Plan For Retirement

Danford, MBA, CRSP, of Family Investment Center, explains the need to start increasing your savings now, what type of growth investments you should be utilizing, and the importance of developing an emergency fund.

For more about this topic, click here.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Asking for Student Loan Forgiveness

I found this article on Business Week about former students asking for student loan forgiveness. Robert Applebaum, a 35-year-old attorney in New York, started a Facebook group in January called "Cancel Student Loan Debt to Stimulate the Economy." The group now has 292,703 members.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“Applebaum is one of thousands of graduates struggling with the repercussions of student loans years after graduation. There were nearly $131 billion in outstanding private loans in 2008, according to Mark Kantrowitz, founder of, which tracks the college financial aid industry. In addition, there is $544 billion in outstanding federal loans for fiscal year 2009, up from $502 billion in 2008, according to the Education Dept.”

To read the rest of the article, click here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Do you have a Facebook?

I found this article about Facebook I thought was interesting. It seems like every couple months a new facebook feature comes out. Although Facebook’s growth is great for them, it comes at an expense for companies like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. These companies never dreamed they would have to compete with a social networking site. Facebook was for people to create online profiles and connect with one another. But with Facebook constantly integrating new features like web search, email, online gaming, and chat, it’s hard to draw the line at just social networking.

To read the article, click here.
To visit our facebook page, click here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Aging Population Changes Retirement Planning

In this article Aging Population Changes Retirement Planning, from Medical Economics Dan Danford, MBA, CRSP of Family Investment Center, answers this financial question from a viewer. "Why would you include a question about parents on a form designed to collect information to begin retirement planning? Aren't most parents gone by the time someone retires?"

To see how Dan responded, click here.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Dad's Divorce: How To Save Money on Taxes

Dan is a weekly contributor to Dad's Divorce, a web site for men going through the divorce process. The site may have been designed for men, but the advice usually can apply to anyone. This week Dan Danford answers a popular tax season question in this week's edition of Money Made Easy: How do you save money on taxes?

Danford, MBA, CRSP of Family Investment Center, explains the need to understand how the tax system works and how the tax forms work. He also offers tricks to reduce your taxable income without actually earning less money.

For more information on taxes, click here.
For more information on taxes for students, click here.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Dad's Divorce: Explaining Interest Rates

Dan is a weekly contributor to Dad's Divorce, a web site for men going through the divorce process. The site may have been designed for men, but the advice usually can apply to anyone. In this week's edition of Money Made Easy, host Dan Danford answers this financial question from a viewer: Why are interest rates currently so low and when are they expected to increase again?

Danford, MBA, CRSP of Family Investment Center, offers his financial opinion on the current interest rates and when they might increase again.