The recession is cranking up into full gear. There is a little boutique downstairs from my office that is going out of business.  I always thought it was a such a cute little store and I even bought my favorite candle ever (voluspa’s vanilla bourbon–which is so romantic and boudoir-ish) there.  I thought their window […]

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Oprah and Suze Orman have teamed up to provide people a free financial plan for 2009.  I went ahead and downloaded it (I love Oprah, not as much of a Suze fan, but she has good common sense advice), and here is my summary: Get out of credit card debt.  Credit card companies are trying […]

finance Comments Off on Free Financial Plan for 2009

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I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!  I am finally back, after a bit of a winter hiatus.  We had some pretty fantastic weather in Seattle, with over a foot of snow!  It was fun–we built a snowman and frolicked in the snow, but not being able to drive and being cooped up in […]

finance Comments Off on Retail Sales Decline 4%, More Sales Expected in January

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I have been worried about the economy for some time.  It seems like everyday there is more news of lay offs and everytime I look at my 401k I worry about how the rest of America is doing.  I consider myself lucky since I have a in-demand skill set and make enough money to be […]

finance Comments Off on Real Estate — when will it rebound?

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Over the past month or so we have been hearing about big banks failing under the credit crisis (you can’t really call it a mortgage crisis anymore).  Merill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual all have suffered headlining losses.  Now there are rumors that Morgan Stanley and Wachovia are next (and possibly Goldman Sachs).  We know […]

finance Comments Off on The Bank Failures and What It Really Means

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No. Not long ago I wrote my thoughts on real esate and where I thought we were headed.  I articulated my concerns and researched data to support my arguments.  However, I have come across a lot of individuals and propaganda that tell me “Oh no, Kate, now is the best time to buy.”  Since I […]

finance Comments Off on Real Estate — Could We Be At the Bottom?

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Part of the reason I chose to open my IRA at ShareBuilder was that there has been a stock I have been wanting to purchase but didn’t want to shell out the whole purchase price. Hence part of the appeal of ShareBuilder was that you could buy dollar amounts of many stocks including Berkshire Hathaway. […]

finance Comments Off on My First ShareBuilder Stock Purchase: BRK-B

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When most people ask about setting up their 401k and which mutual funds to pick the easiest answer is to choose index funds. Since most people don’t actively manage their retirement accounts (most people just direct deposit and forget about it, they aren’t interested in following the ups and downs of the stock market) this […]

finance Comments Off on How Fees Can Eat Away At Your Returns

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If your employer offers a 401k, then by all means you should make sure you are contributing (this is particularly good if they match your contributions, since that is basically free money you are missing out on if you don’t participate).  If you don’t have a 401k though, you should definitely have an IRA (and […]

finance Comments Off on Using Your IRA as an Investment Vehicle

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Last week UPI published an article: Beach goers in France going topless less French academic Dr. Guy Fournier said while female beach goers in France have traditionally bared their breasts without a second thought, the trend has declined due in part to the declining economy, The (Britain) Daily Mail said Friday. “Bare breasts are viewed […]

finance Comments Off on Interesting Side Effect of the Economic Downturn

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