Founded in 1996, the Alliance for Investor Education Web site at http://www.InvestorEducation.org provides investors with access to a full range of information they need to make wise investment decisions. The 19-member Alliance for Investor Education is dedicated to facilitating greater understanding of investing, investments and the financial markets among current and prospective investors of all ages. We pursue initiatives for education and join with others to motivate Americans to obtain objective information and increase their knowledge and understanding of
Friday, October 31, 2008
Nearly 39 percent of the people who complained to the FTC last year accused an agency of either demanding a larger payment than legally allowed, or seeking money they didn't owe at all.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Most bank consumers seem to have accepted changes to their checking accounts from check truncation. In interviews with bank consumers, the majority of them accepted not receiving their canceled checks and being able to access information about their checking account activity online. Several reported that they did not need the "extra paper" from canceled checks and that image statements and online reviewing was more secure than receiving canceled checks. Eleven percent of the 108 consumers still preferred to receive canceled checks. Most consumers reported that they were not significantly concerned about their ability to demonstrate proof of payment using a substitute check or check image rather than a canceled check and few reported that they suffered errors from the check truncation process. Also, GAO found that the federal banking regulators reported few consumer complaints relating to Check 21.
The stock market, as measured by the broad-based Wilshire 5000, declined by 42 percent between its peak in October 9, 2007 and October 9, 2008. Over that one-year period, the value of equities in pension plans and household portfolios fell by $7.4 trillion. Of that $7.4 trillion decline, $2.0 trillion occurred in 401(k)s and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), $1.9 trillion in public and private defined benefit plans, and $3.6 trillion in household non-pension assets.
This brief documents where the declines occurred. This information is interesting and important in its own right. But the declines also highlight the fragility of our emerging pension arrangements. Today the declines were divided equally between defined benefit and defined contribution plans, but in the future individuals will bear the full brunt of market turmoil as the shift to 401(k)s continues. Much of the reform discussion regarding private sector employer-sponsored pensions has focused on extending coverage. But the current financial tsunami also underlines the need to construct arrangements where the full market risk does not fall on pension participants.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Expectations at Age 50 of Years Spent in Various States of Health, 1970-2000
Monday, October 27, 2008
Sales of new one-family houses in September 2008 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 464,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 2.7 percent (±12.1%)* above the revised August rate of 452,000, but is 33.1 percent (±8.9%) below the September 2007 estimate of 694,000.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
The survey found that people are more likely to have a will as they get older. More than half of Americans age 50 and older have a will. But the numbers steadily drop among younger adults. Only about a quarter of people between the ages of 25 and 34 have a will. Among Americans between the ages of 18 and 24, the figure drops to less than ten percent.
- 54% of mutual fund assets were in stock funds
- More than four in ten U.S. households own mutual funds and among these households the average mutual fund investment was about $100,000.
- 64% of households have more than half their financial assets in mutual funds
- 76% own defined contribution retirement accounts and 57% of households purchased their first mutual fund through their defined contribution retirement account
Saturday, October 25, 2008
The Federal Deposit Insurance Reform Act of 2005 combined the Bank Insurance Fund (BIF) and the Saving Association Insurance Fund (SAIF) into one fund the, Deposit Insurance Fund, that provides protection for all federally insured deposits at banks and savings and loans. Deposits at credit unions are covered in a parallel manner by the National Credit Union Insurance Fund that is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government
One does not need to invoke the menace of unscrupulous and imprudent lenders or of equally predatory borrowers to explain the rapid collapse of the mortgage market as house price increases slowed in 2006, before ultimately declining. There were certainly enough unscrupulous lenders and predatory borrowers in the market, but the incentives faced by decent people—mortgagors and mortgagees—made their behavior much less sensitive to the underlying risks. The only actor with a stake in the ultimate performance of the loan was the mortgagee. Everyone else had been paid in full—way before the homeowner had made more than a couple of payments on the loan.
Friday, October 24, 2008
You always knew it was a lot harder to pull money out of your wallet rather than a credit card. It is now a proven fact according to a study produced by Priya Raghubir, PhD, of the Stern School of Business at New York University, and Joydeep Srivastava, PhD, of the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park. Their study showed that people were willing to spend more when they used plastic money.
The conceptual underpinning of our research is that payment modes differ in transparency or the vividness with which individuals can feel the outflow of money, with cash being the most transparent payment mode. We argue that the more transparent the payment outflow, the greater the aversion to spending or higher the “pain of paying” (Prelec & Loewenstein, 1998), leading to less transparent payment modes such as credit cards and gift cards (vs. cash) being more easily spent or treated as play or “monopoly money.” Further, to the extent that the transparency of paying underlies differences in spending behavior, altering the salience of parting with money should attenuate the difference across payment modes.
Want to cut back on your expenditures, then experience the “pain of paying” by using cash. Are we no more than rats in a cage responding to electro shock?
IRS Seeks to Return $266 Million in Undeliverable Refunds And Economic Stimulus Payments to Taxpayers
You can check your payment at Where's My Stimulus Payment?
The Internal Revenue Service is looking for taxpayers who are missing more than 279,000 economic stimulus checks totaling about $163 million and more than104,000 regular refund checks totaling about $103 million that were returned by the U.S. Postal Service due to mailing address errors.