Graph showing dollar decline

Inflation Cuts into Wage Gains

Driven by labor shortages, median hourly wages increased at an annual rate of 5.2% in December 2021, the highest level since June 2001. However, inflation cuts into buying power, and real wages — adjusted for inflation — actually dropped as inflation spiked in 2021....
Buy Now Pay Later

When Buying Is Easy, Paying Later Can Be a Problem

If you shop online, you might have noticed a growing number of buy now, pay later (BNPL) services that offer the option to spread out the payments on your purchases. Buyers who make one partial payment upfront and agree to several additional interest-free installments...
ETF

ETFs Are Gaining on Mutual Funds: Here’s Why

Investor demand for exchange-traded funds (ETFs) has increased over the last decade due to some attractive features that set them apart from mutual funds. In December 2021, almost $7.2 trillion was invested in more than 2,500 ETFs. This is equivalent to 27% of the...
April 15

Key Retirement and Tax Numbers for 2022

Every year, the Internal Revenue Service announces cost-of-living adjustments that affect contribution limits for retirement plans and various tax deduction, exclusion, exemption, and threshold amounts. Here are a few of the key adjustments for 2022. Estate, Gift, and...
HENRY

Plan Ahead to Help Ease the Burden of Tax Season

Most U.S. taxpayers "completely agree" (68%) or "mostly agree" (26%) that paying their fair share of taxes is a civic duty.1 However, no one wants to pay more than his or her fair share. To help avoid doing so, consider addressing some important priorities before you...
IPO

Going Public: How Are Direct Listings Different from IPOs?

An initial public offering (IPO) is the first public sale of stock shares by a private company. IPOs are important to the financial markets because they help fuel the growth of innovative young companies and add new stocks to the pool of potential investment...

Smoothing Market Ups and Downs

After the wild ride of 2020, the U.S. stock market was relatively calm in 2021, but there was still plenty of volatility. There were 55 days when the S&P 500 index - generally considered representative of U.S. stocks - closed with a rise or fall of 1 % or more...
House

Home Prices Have Risen at Record Pace

U.S. home prices rose 20% during the 12 months ending in August 2021 as buyer demand far exceeded the supply of dwellings for sale. This was the largest annual price increase in the history of the monthly S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index going back...

How to Correct an Error on Your Credit Report

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), credit report errors more than doubled during the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, the CFPB found that many pandemic protections which were designed to help consumers, such as loan forbearance periods on...
Graduation

Building Blocks for Financing College with Less Debt

Financing a college education with the least amount of debt involves putting together a variety of resources in the most favorable way for your family. It requires planning, savings discipline, an understanding of financial aid, smart college research, and good...

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