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Tag: behavior

Shop till you drop!

Shop till you drop!

​It seems that shopping has joined food, football, and family as a favorite pastime on Thanksgiving Day. Did you log on and do a little holiday shopping last Thursday while your holiday feast was cooking? If so, you are not alone. MarketWatch reported consumers spent $1.1 billion between midnight and 5:00 p.m. eastern time on Thanksgiving Day. That was a 22 percent increase over the year before.After taking a break to give thanks, gorge on Thanksgiving delicacies, and enjoy family…

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It Wasn’t Just About the Budget

It Wasn’t Just About the Budget

​ Last week, the bipartisan budget bill was signed into law, averting a U.S. default and deferring further battle over debt and spending levels until presidential and congressional elections are over, according to U.S. News & World Report.The new law includes provisions that CBS Money Watch said are likely to strengthen Social Security and Medicare by improving the programs’ finances. Since the provisions also have the potential to reduce benefits for some Americans, they may not prove to be all that…

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Most Americans Agree

Most Americans Agree

​Most Americans agree. In a recent newsletter, Jeremy Grantham of GMO, a global investment management firm, discussed research on wealth inequality conducted by Duke University Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics, Dan Ariely, and Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, Michael Norton. Grantham wrote:“The title of the article pretty much says it all: “Americans want to live in a much more equal country (they just don’t realize it)”. The guts of the data is a survey of…

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It’s Important To Ask the Right Questions

It’s Important To Ask the Right Questions

​A recent article in The Economist examined the “gig” economy. You know, people selling crafts online, offering their services as taxi drivers, renting their cars and spare bedrooms for short periods. Some folks even rent space on their driveways to commuters. It’s that old American ingenuity and, as it turns out, it’s difficult to quantify.Analysts expected this employment revolution to be reflected in self-employment statistics. However, the self-employment rate in the United States has declined during the past two decades,…

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Rollover – Good Idea or Bad Idea?

Rollover – Good Idea or Bad Idea?

​It’s not always a good idea to rollover company stock from a 401(k) plan to an IRA. In fact, doing so might mean you pay more in taxes to Uncle Sam than necessary.If company stock held in an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan has appreciated, the difference between the amount paid for shares (the cost basis) and the current value of those shares is known as net unrealized appreciation (NUA). For instance, if an investor paid $10 a share for 1000 shares…

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Talking Cars

Talking Cars

​What will they say? Soon, cars will be able to talk with one another. Vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V) has been tested in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a relatively mild and polite Midwestern town. Now, V2V is being rolled out in New York City, along with technology that allows traffic signals to contribute their two cents. Just imagine what a New York cab might have to say to another New York cab that changes lanes without signaling.Enter your text here…Okay, it’s nothing like…

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First Laugh, Then Think

First Laugh, Then Think

​It’s official. the IGs are in. Ignoble is a word rarely heard in everyday conversation. Merriam-Webster defines it as meaning, “of low birth or common origin, or characterized by baseness, lowness, or meanness.”The 25th First Annual Ig® Nobel Prize Ceremony was held last week at Harvard University. Improbable.com reported, “Winners traveled to the ceremony, at their own expense, from around the world to receive their prizes from a group of genuine, genuinely bemused Nobel Laureates…” Winners completed research that made…

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The Big Picture

The Big Picture

​Are we seeing the big picture? It’s safe to say many people are worried about whether economic growth – in the United States and abroad – will be stifled by changing monetary policy in the United States. As a result, all eyes have been on the Federal Reserve, which is expected to begin raising the Fed funds rates sometime soon.However, the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy isn’t the only game in town. Fiscal policy – the actions taken by our government…

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Stuck in Traffic?

Stuck in Traffic?

​How bad is traffic congestion in the United States? It’s so bad, the average American spends the equivalent of about five vacation days sitting in traffic every year – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.As it turns outs, the Great Recession had a silver lining – less traffic and less congested roads. Today, according to researchers at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, employment is up and so is the number of commuters on the road:“According to the 2015…

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From Abstract to Reality: The Potential Effects of Rising Rates

From Abstract to Reality: The Potential Effects of Rising Rates

When the economic data align, and the Federal Reserve pulls the trigger on tighter monetary policy, rising interest rates may affect everything from mortgage rates to bond yields to economic growth. Here are a few of the possible consequences: Higher demand for short-term bonds. When interest rates rise, bond values fall, and vice versa. However, changes in bond values will be influenced by the speed and magnitude of the rate change. A sharp increase over a short period would have…

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