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Investing While Distracted in the Trump Era
Distracted much? That is the question we must all wrestle with in the Trump era. An endless stream of tweets, announcements, firings, policy shifts, outrages and absurdities greet us each day -- and that is before the market even opens. Psychographic microtargeting, the president and the porn star, CPR for gunshot victims, fine people among neo-Nazis -- events and ideas that in the context of U.S. political life would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. Investors can easily fall down this rabbit hole, where their adventures are filled with nonsensical distractions.

Many Americans Try Retirement, Then Change Their Minds
Ms. King felt ready. She’d turned 66, her full Social Security retirement age. She’d invested fully in the hospital’s 401(k) plan and consulted with a financial adviser. She and her husband, who had already retired, had paid off the mortgage on their three-bedroom ranch. They took a week’s trip to Hilton Head, S.C., to celebrate their impending freedom. But her retirement lasted just three months. 

This is How Much Guests Actually Spend at Weddings
A wedding is an expensive proposition, and not just for the bride and groom. Between possible travel expenses, hotel stay, special-occasion attire and, of course, the wedding gift itself, guests often shell out hundreds, if not thousands, to attend — not to mention the shower and bachelor or bachelorette parties leading up to the big day, according to a Bankrate.com report released Wednesday.

A Historian on the Myths of American Trade
Trade policy wonks are gluttons for punishment. In good times, their pet topic is dismissed as dull. In bad, they find trade being faulted for everything. 

Most Couples Plan to Start Married Life With This Costly Ball and Chain
About a third of couples getting married in the next year plan to borrow up to $10,000 to cover wedding bills, according to a new survey from Student Loan Hero.

What Kind of Housing Does N.H. Need, and Why Don't We Have Enough Of It?
In the southern region of New Hampshire and on the Seacoast, vacancy rates are low, housing prices are high, and there is a lack of affordable housing for families and young adults. In the northern and western parts of the state, substandard housing remains a problem. As part of the The Balance series on NHPR about the cost of living in the Granite State, we look at why our state continues to have issues, and how some cities, like Londonderry, are turning to mixed community developments. 

NH Boasts ‘No New Taxes,’ But Watch Out For Property Tax Whoppers This Session
For decades New Hampshire politicians have stood on political stumps from Pittsburg to Hinsdale to Seabrook trumpeting the righteousness of no new or increased taxes or fees.

10 Years After Financial Crisis, Senate Prepares to Roll Back Banking Rules
The Senate is preparing to scale back the sweeping banking regulations passed after the 2008 financial crisis, with more than a dozen Democrats ready to give Republicans the votes they need to weaken one of President Barack Obama’s largest legislative achievements.

In Age Of Division, Author Says 'It's Better Than It Looks' When You Stick To The Facts
It might feel like the world is always on the brink of disaster, but Gregg Easterbrook says we're better off than we think. NPR's Sarah McCammon asks him about his new book, It's Better Than It Looks.

The Financial Literacy Problem
Financial literacy has been dropping for years, making the need for a personal finance education even more crucial.

I'm a Millennial Millionaire. Here's How I Got So Rich
By any definition, becoming a millionaire by your 30s isn’t easy, unless you happen to come from a lot of money. Tips abound on how you can accumulate wealth through saving and smart investments, but unless you’re putting away a lot of cash, a seven-figure net worth at such a young age can seem like a pipe dream. But it is attainable, at least if you’re resourceful, driven, and of course, lucky enough. 

So It's Your First Market Hiccup. What Should You Do Now?
We’ve been here before. Stocks can fall fast and bounce back hard, even if they haven’t moved all that much or that quickly in recent years. But perhaps you haven’t been here before. 

How Consumers Should Approach a Volatile Stock Market
The stock market plunged more than 1,000 points on Monday, reversing the growth in the markets throughout 2017. Richard Salmen is chair of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards talks with NPR's Ari Shapiro about what consumers should be doing.

Check This Simple Chart Before You Buy Anything
“Remember that all you’re committing to is slowing down and asking yourself what you really want, rather than acting on impulse,” she wrote. “That’s it. That’s what being a ‘mindful’ consumer is all about.”

As Big Firms Exit Broker Pact, Investors are Uneasy
For years, wealth management firms agreed not to stand in the way of such broker recruitment, putting client needs ahead of their own. But now, some firms are balking at letting clients go, and are threatening legal action to make them stay put. At the root of the fight is money, billions of dollars in client fees that wealth management firms reap every year.

Can We Be Brutally Honest About Investment Returns?
With U.S. stocks at all-time highs, it’s more important than ever that investors be brutally realistic about future returns.Some of the most purportedly sophisticated investors in the world, the managers of giant pension funds for state and local government employees, might not have absorbed that lesson yet. You can learn a lot from these folks — if you listen to them and then do the opposite.

Downsizing Baby Boomers Face a Key Decision: Is it Better to Rent or to Buy?
The rent-or-buy decision is more commonly thought of as a dilemma for young professionals establishing their households, not people approaching retirement. But whether it’s a financially savvy decision or simply the only solution when they can’t find a suitable place to buy, some baby boomers are choosing to rent an apartment downtown when they downsize.

Why 2017 Was the Best Year in Human History
We all know that the world is going to hell. Given the rising risk of nuclear war with North Korea, the paralysis in Congress, warfare in Yemen and Syria, atrocities in Myanmar and a president who may be going cuckoo, you might think 2017 was the worst year ever. But you’d be wrong. In fact, 2017 was probably the very best year in the long history of humanity.

Giddy Markets and Grim Politics
Economic growth worldwide picked up in 2017, and the best guess is that the global economy will perform strongly in 2018 as well. At the same time, a rising tide of populism and authoritarianism poses a risk to the stable democratic institutions that underlie long-term growth. And yet headlines seeming to portend political instability and chaos have not prevented stock markets from soaring. What gives?

How to Be Happier, Safer, Healthier, and Smarter in 2018
To welcome in 2018, here is some our best advice from this year for doing things better, whether you’re trying to fix your finances, your relationships, your health or your happiness. And don’t forget to set strong, reasonable New Year’s resolutions!

Investors Should Study 'Broker Protocol' for Their Protection
It's 4 p.m. on a Friday, and out of the blue you get a phone call from your brokerage firm — but it's not the trusted advisor with whom you have worked for 20 years. Instead, it's a new voice from a person you don't know, who tells you that your former advisor has left the firm and your account has been reassigned to him.

Under New Tax Plan, the Cost of Aging Could Rise
In the coming days, a small group of Republicans will meet in Washington to try to settle a simple question: Should their revised tax bill eliminate a deduction for medical expenses and take away thousands of dollars each year from many people who are sick and, often, old?

America's Looming Fertility Collapse
The United States is in the midst of an historic collapse in childbearing. Ten years ago, the typical American woman had about 2.1 children. Today, it is about 1.77, representing a collapse in fertility on par with the declines in other countries that yielded Japan’s rapidly graying population in the 1990s, or Canada’s massive present-day demand for immigrants. This decline creates new long-term problems for the United States: obligations like Social Security will be substantially harder to finance than current projections suggest, because all current projections use out-of-date, excessively optimistic forecasts of fertility. Far from creating mass joblessness, large-scale automation will become a vital necessity simply to maintain current economic activity with fewer workers, as care for the aged eats up all growth in productivity. 

Tax Changes are Coming Next Year, but You Can Plan for Them Now
The Senate and House may spend most of the month ironing out the differences in their tax bills. Or they may be delayed by other legislation and not enact a new tax code until the new year. Either way, high-earning taxpayers cannot afford to wait and see what happens; they need to act this month before certain opportunities go away. And betting on a delay in a final vote is not wise planning: Accountants predict that the new code will take effect on Jan. 1 even if it has to be made retroactive at some point next year.

Four NFL Players Who Save More Than 70 Percent of Their Salaries
The average NFL salary is $2.1 million, according to Forbes. Still, an alarming 15 percent of NFL players end up declaring bankruptcy. A handful of financially savvy players are making sure they won't fall into that category. Here are four current and former NFL stars who are also pros when it comes to money.

A Bull Market Should Make Investors Happy. This One Isn't. 
One day in September, investors with fading summer tans mingled with their brokers over a three-course lunch at Cipriani in Lower Manhattan. Stocks were soaring and they swapped market tips and touted apps that allowed them to buy Bitcoin on the golf course. But the full stomachs and fat portfolios couldn’t mask a sense of unease that pervaded the gathering: that the good times could suddenly end, derailed by nuclear war, political upheaval, a sudden rise in inflation or simply from stratospheric stocks crashing down to earth.

How to Protect Yourself After the Equifax Breach
Weeks after Equifax acknowledged that hackers had breached the company’s system, the company’s interim chief executive, Paulino do Rego Barros Jr., apologized for its messy response. The breach meant that potentially millions of Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers and other information had been stolen, leaving many of us to wonder how vulnerable we might be to identity theft.

They're Out to Reveal the 'Dirty Little Secret of Higher Education'
For all its faults, you can give the Internet credit for at least one big win: making prices far more transparent than they were in those dark days before http://everything. Sitting on a bench with a mobile phone, it’s easy to compare the price of a ride across town with Uber versus Lyft; buying a used Toyota from any dealer in the country; getting a home mortgage; or embarking on a kayak tour in Maui. But a Boston startup launching this month contends that the price of one important thing is still pretty opaque: going to college. 

Nobel in Economics is Awarded to Richard Thaler
Richard H. Thaler, whose work has persuaded many economists to pay more attention to human behavior, and many governments to pay more attention to economics, was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences on Monday.

Pension Storm Warning
This time is different are the four most dangerous words any economist or money manager can utter. We learn new things and invent new technologies. Players come and go. But in the big picture, this time is usually not fundamentally different, because fallible humans are still in charge. (Ken Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart wrote an important book called This Time Is Different on the 260-odd times that governments have defaulted on their debts; and on each occasion, up until the moment of collapse, investors kept telling themselves “This time is different.” It never was.)

If You're Dreaming of Retiring, It's Important to Make a Plan - and Commit to It
The go-to strategy to encourage people to save for their retirement years has been to frighten them with the numbers. The average cost of retirement is more than $700,000, according to a study released this year by Merrill Lynch. If you want a swanky retirement, you’ll obviously need more. Fidelity Investments estimates that health care and medical expenses alone will total $275,000 for the average 65-year-old couple retiring in 2017. And then there’s the scariest number of all. If you retire at 65, you could live an additional 25 years. The horror: You could outlive your savings.

The American Protectionism Bill That Made The Great Depression Worse
One of the most memorable movie scenes from 1986's "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" was comedian Ben Stein as the droning high school teacher, trying to teach his bored students the lesson of “Smoot-Hawley,” the tariff bill of 1930. “Anyone? Anyone?” is the line Stein repeats over and over, trying to elicit answers about a disastrous piece of American legislation. But the real story of that terrible tariff bill is far from boring. It’s actually a fascinating tale of protectionism, politics, piety and patriotism. It’s also a legislative tragedy, a tale of a bill going off the rails, careening off a cliff and helping to sink the world economy.  



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