The Advocate Blog

The Right Beneficiary

Who have you chosen to inherit your assets? It may be wise to review your choices. Here's a simple financial question: who is the beneficiary of your IRA? How about your 401(k), life insurance policy, or annuity? You may be able to answer such a question quickly and easily. Or you may be saying, "You…
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America Fights Foreclosures

Will Obama's strategy make a dent in the problem? A day after signing his massive stimulus plan into law, President Barack Obama unveiled a strategy to stem the tide of American foreclosures. Some borrowers and lenders cheered; some housing industry analysts were unimpressed. When does it take effect? The program officially begins on March 4,…
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The Aggregator Bank

What would a storehouse for toxic assets do for the economy? Could a "bad bank" rescue the credit markets? Imagine a government-run bank that would buy up assets from private banks in order to ease the credit crunch. That's the vision circulating through Washington D.C. right now, and it looks like this plan may be…
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The ABC's of Short Sales

In real estate, what are "short sales" and who needs them? It's an all-too-common scenario ... Changes in the financial climate can leave even the most responsible homeowners struggling to keep mortgage payments current. When and if that happens, there is more than one way to proceed. First things first. If you're faced with a…
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What Will 2009 Bring

A Potential Rebound? It's time to leave 2008 behind. We've heard the sound bites. We've seen the headlines. It's all yesterday's news. Let's turn our attention to 2009. There is reason to be optimistic. We have a new administration and a huge new stimulus/infrastructure plan that may bode well for the economy. We have the…
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Are You Still Practicing Patience?

I believe this is a time for perseverance - the type of financial climate that separates disciplined investors from impatient ones. Barring an amazing Santa Claus rally, 2008 should end up as the worst year for stocks in about 35 years. That's what you have to remember: we've witnessed a once-in-35-years kind of year. Chances…
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The Big 3 Get Closer To A Bailout

Billions in relief may soon reach U.S. automakers. Will the Big Three get what they've asked for? Maybe. This week, Congress could approve approximately $15 billion in bridge loans to help General Motors, Chrysler and Ford make it through the next few months. The central question last week was where the money would come from.…
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