Kids start to gaze out classroom windows, the grass turns green again and the temperature slowly rises. If you and your family are like most, you now plan summer vacations. Beware of daydreams of fun in the sun: If you aren’t careful, vacation expenses can put a large dent in your wallet and potentially wreck your full year’s budget.
People tend to lump all debts together, yet they are not all equal. Knowing the distinction between a good debt and a bad one can help you make better financial decisions.
What does President Barack Obama have in common with TV’s President Frank Underwood? Both think a government program can create jobs and bring down high unemployment. And both plans are absurd.
With the price of oil slashed in half since last summer, we keep hearing predictions that a reversal is waiting in the wings. Forget it. The showing of another energy product, natural gas, shows us why: Ever-improving technology keeps prices low, amid more efficient and cheaper production methods.
Don't be surprised with a weak gross domestic product number out of the first quarter given the very harsh winter in some places around the country. And that may give the Federal Reserve pause from hiking interest rates. But this winter quarter shouldn’t be as nasty as last 2014’s first period.
Giving money to people you love probably makes you happy. Spending money on others also probably makes you happier than spending it on yourself, just as spending money on experiences makes you happier than spending money on things. So does that mean you should max out your credit card to take your entire family on a cruise? Not exactly.
Will the world’s economy keep growing? Despite the doomsters’ wails, the answer is: Yes, it will. Why? Largely because the world’s population is growing. Sure, some individual nations lag (particularly those with shrinking populations). But an examination of the demographic data shows that the overall global outlook is encouraging.
Economic growth is still tepid and myriad problems confront the U.S. and the world. But take a step back: There’s lots of underappreciated progress occurring or about to. That positive outlook is vital for investors – and everyone else – to understand.
An iconic symbol of American consumerism and prosperity is the shopping mall. What a shame that so many are hurting, as they are the casualties of the decline of the U.S. middle class.
It’s temping to relegate inflation to the ash heap of history. Price increases are minuscule in the U.S. and are actually negative in Europe. But history shows that no economic trend lasts forever. That said, let’s enjoy low inflation while we have it.