Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Chrysler Unveils Deep Discounts

Buyers will get 'employee-pricing' on almost all models, plus low-interest financing and rebates.

By Peter Valdes-Dapena
Posted by Jennifer Ng

Chrysler LLC, which suffered a 30% drop in sales last year, announced a massive new incentive program to move vehicles off dealers' lots. The carmaker will begin marketing the incentive plans, called "Employee Pricing Plus," in ads on Monday. Under the program, all 2008 and 2009 Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles will be available at prices similar to those Chrysler employees pay -- typically thousands of dollars below the sticker price.

In addition, customers will receive discounts of up to $3,500 on 2009 vehicles and $6,000 on 2008 models. The Dodge Sprinter work van is the only vehicle specifically excluded from the program, according to Chrysler's announcement. An additional $1,000 rebate is also available on vehicles financed through Chrysler Financial, Chrysler's financing arm, or through a customer's local credit union. These latest incentives come on top of a 0% financing program Chrysler announced last Friday, just hours after the U.S. Treasury Department said it would lend Chrysler Financial $1.5 billion. The 0% offer applies to select Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles for loans of not more than four years. The $1.5 billion low-interest loan to Chrysler Financial was separate from the Treasury Department's $4 billion loan to Chrysler LLC itself.

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Invest in a Roth IRA

By Jennifer Ng

According to the IRA (, an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is “a personal savings plan that provides income tax advantages to individuals saving money for retirement purposes.” You invest money in an IRA and the purpose of this is to help you get ready for your own retirement. However it can be quite difficult to choose best IRA to fit you. According to, we should choose from Roth, deductible or nondeductible flavors. Their favorite flavor is the Roth because Roth withdrawals after age 59 ½ are generally not taxed. The traditional IRA is both tax-deductible and non-deductible. Both these IRAs allow savers to collect more money than tax-deductible IRAs. The Roth IRA, in addition though, has flexible withdrawal rules. You can withdraw for any reason without any penalty. Another article from also mentions the advantages of investing in a Roth IRA. They state, “If a 25-year-old contributes $5,000 each year until she retires and makes an average annual return of 8% on her investment, she'll have $1.4 million saved by the time she retires at age 65. And the money is all hers -- she won't have to give the IRS a cent of it if she waits until retirement to cash out.” Investing in a Roth IRA at a young age will definitely pay off in the future.


Changing Your Credit Score

By Andrew Cho

Investing vs Paying Credit Card Debt

Spread Your Money Around

Diversifying won't totally protect you from losses, but it can boost your returns by limited your risk.

by Walter Updegrave

NEW YORK (Money) -- Question: All the financial gurus tell me to diversify my investments. But if I am making money on some investments but losing on others, how is this a great investment plan? Why not just buy a CD and not worry? --John D., Idabel, Oklahoma

Answer: There have always been a lot of misconceptions and erroneous expectations when it comes to the benefits of diversification.

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posted by Greg Lipinski

Every Student Should Study Finance

by Greg Lipinski

Many students enter college unaware on how they should financially interact with the real world. No more allowance for mowing the lawn to spend on the movies. They have no entered the realm of high priced textbooks, rent, and scarce jobs to fit in between classes. Now it’s a whole different ball game.

“Too many college students go off to school without understanding finances,” said Shalonda Jones, a representative of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. “Parents make the mistake of not introducing financial literacy to children at a young age and most parents are equally clueless as to what it takes to remain financially stable, she said.” Students of finance and business do have the advantage of education on the matter, but can still fall wayward in their expenses.

This is a very real problem as well. According to an advisor at a major university, more students drop out of college due to credit card debt than to academic failure. And though the books, rent, and other large expenses can deliver a serious blow to a student’s bank account, small expenses are to be feared as well. Small thinks, like daily coffee or cigarettes, are an easy way to spend hundreds of dollars a year.

As if that weren’t enough, banks are now placing even more pressure on students financially. Banks are more and more eminent on campus, constantly giving handouts and incentives to open accounts and credit cards. This packs on the potential of even more debt.

Essentially, everyone needs to take it into their own hands and either take a course or learn themselves up on methods for staying fiscally sound. Accountability is entirely in there hands. My word of advice? Learn a fake name and address and those handout shirts and blankets are yours, without the potential of a $1000 credit card bill. “College can be a crash course in debt”, Phillip Lucas, 2/28/2007 “Money and the College Student” “Colleges Profit as Banks Market Credit Cards to Students”, Jonathan D. Glater, 12/31/2008

To Save Or Not to Save

BY Ryan Dennin

During time of this recent economic crisis it seems most Americans are going crazy. Since around September it appears that the world has gone “mad” Recently people begin to do things they wouldn’t normally do, and there is quite a bit of fear of the unknown. This is quite understandable, as most of us have never experienced anything like this in our lifetime. As people begin to struggle during a recession they may start to think about tapping into savings accounts, get 2nd or 3rd mortgages on their homes, or even dip into their retirement. The effects of dipping into your retirement should really be the last stop. In fact, in a recent article from “Bargaineering” the blue print is actually quite simple. “the biggest fear you have and the biggest thing you should prepare for is the possibility that you could lose your job. In a recession, companies often scale back operations as sales lag and when that happens employees are often one of the things to hit the chopping block.”

If that is the case it would appear the thing to do is increase savings into 401k or independent retirement accounts and slow down unnecessary spending. Your ability to have a “nest egg” is crucial in a time where you may lose your job. It seems hard to grasp the concept of taking more out of your paycheck when some can barely get by and putting it into 401k accounts, but that is the strategy that long term would make the most sense. It's important to have faith, that this isn't a permanent problem. When the world goes mad, those that follow their daily 401k updates may start to see negative growth, and the desire may be to abandon the concept of contributing at all. CNN Money article says “resist the urge”. Many of us will be working for many years when our economy bounces back from this. The fear of the unknown, and the urge to pull out of our retirement now is the not the answer.


Backgrounder: The U.S. Economic Stimulus Plan



President Barack Obama took office in January 2009 facing the country's biggest economic crisis since the Second World War. Obama and Democratic Party leaders have suggested an economic stimulus package to confront the crisis. This package, they say, will save or create over three million U.S. jobs and provide most Americans with tax cuts. In the longer term, Obama says his plan will stimulate vital sectors of the economy such as energy and health care, making U.S. firms more competitive internationally. When Democratic lawmakers first introduced stimulus legislation in early 2009, they presented a bill with a price tag of $825 billion, though many analysts say the total cost of the plan will likely increase as it makes its way through Congress. The package comes amidst a global wave of stimulus spending, and if it succeeds in pulling the U.S. economy from recession, economists say, the positive impact could be felt around the world. Yet experts also see a number of ways the plan could go wrong. Some encourage targeted, temporary spending measures and say lawmakers should take budgetary concerns into consideration. Doing too little to solve the financial crisis could prove calamitous, they say, but legislative overreach could also have serious consequences.

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Posted by JieYing Peng

Unemployment rates up, State funds low.. will $825 billion be enough??

Written by: Stephanie King

As the global economy continues to take a deeper plunge toward the bottom, unemployment rates are continually rising to its highest in decades. With the massive amount of company layoffs in the past couple months, it is not surprising that filing for first-timer unemployment benefits have increased dramatically from 62,000 to 589,000 in one week of January alone. More than 2.6 million jobs have been lost in just 2008 alone, a record high since 1945. Unemployment rates have been reported by the U.S. Department of Labor to have increased in all 50 states for the first time in history since 1976.

As these unemployment numbers continue to increase, so will the number of filings for unemployment benefits; gradually decreasing funds for states. Indiana, New York, South Carolina, Ohio and Michigan are borrowing funds from the federal government to pay for these benefits due to insolvency. As the unemployed continue to receive benefits, the states are suffering. It is estimated that 13 states are at "major risk" of insolvency that will leave them with about eight more months or less of funds to provide benefits. These states include: New Jersey, California, Kentucky, Missouri, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Idaho, Minnesota, Connecticut and Illinois. Wisconsin is predicting that the state’s unemployment benefits reserve will be used by February. With the shortage of funds in these states continue to occur, states will make it harder for filers to collect these unemployment benefits. Therefore, potentially will raising the minimum earnings needed to qualify, disqualifying a large number of people, such as part-time or temporary workers.

President Barack Obama’s push to pass the $825 billion stimulus package will be able to provide some relief for these states to cover some of the interest from these federal government loans. It is believed that this package will help create three to four million jobs. Although, some critics argue that it will not be enough to bring back the economy to life and aid these states to continue helping the unemployed.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Inspiration Factor and Why Obama has it

Copied and Posted By Rie Umano

Watching the swearing in of our new president, I started to ponder -- Why do so many people feel inspired by Barack Obama?
Very often we cannot predict what or who will inspire us, any more than we can explain why one person favors ketchup over mustard or classical over country. That's why it's pretty remarkable that one man has triggered so much anticipation, loyalty and willingness to chip in to help put our country on a peaceful, financially sound course.
I have become something of an expert on the topic of inspiration -- my two career paths as a writer and a life coach require me to seek it and provide it, respectively, on a regular basis. One of the reasons I attract so many creatives, or would-be creatives, into my life-coaching practice is they know I am also an artist. They are often, not always consciously, seeking support or permission to tap into their own creative well.

How to live through the recession

Posted by Rie Umano

During this recession, the unemployment rate is hitting numbers we haven’t seen in our history. Over the last few decades, advanced degree guaranteed that you will have a job after graduation. However, in these days, the advanced degree like M.B.A. does not equal job security. During this recession, many managers think laying off employee would be a great cost saving; however, it is actually not an effective way to save the costs. Laing off an employee is effective in the short-term, but not for long-term. Once these rough times are over, the companies will be hiring more people and our life would get better. However, even though you are not fired, there are things that affect your finances in a bad way: wage cuts and freezes. Also, rising food and medical costs would harm your budget as well. On the other hand, as I mentioned, it is not a long-term problem. So, you should stay calm and think how you would get through this economic crisis rather than going into panic mode. There are many ways to overcome and control your budget and financials such as cutting family expenses, making change in your retirement investment. As good news, although many people would think there is no hope for a salary increase during this recessionary period, but actually it is not true. It is a fact that a salary increase is not realistic, but it really depends on your motivation and performance. It is important that you have to make significant contribution to the company in order to raise your salary in this severe economic situation. Things get harder and harder in these days; however, there are many ways to overcome these economic hurdles by making significant changes.


Money before Marriage?

By Brian Redhead

Recessionary Spending

By Brian Redhead

The article, “The Recession: Personal Choices” by Kirsten Tagami discusses the way in which the recession impacts personal spending, and how changes in personal spending have an even greater negative affect on the economy. The author discusses how during an economic downturn, people either lose their incomes completely or experience a decline in their incomes as compared to previous years (Auerbach and Kotlikof 93). Even more, for those people that have not been laid off or seen a decline in their incomes, there is still the fear of experiencing economic problems. The news of job losses and slowdowns typically means that people cut back on their spending just in case they personally lose their jobs or experience a decline in income (Dent 4).

When all of this occurs, it has a negative impact on businesses. Customers may not necessarily stop buying particular products and services, but they will cut back (Maginn, Tuttle, Pinto and McLeavey 174). The author notes in the article that a hairdresser explains that customers who used to get a haircut every two weeks have cut back to coming once every three weeks. In addition, other customers that use to get a color and cut when they visited now forego the color and just get a basic haircut. The end result is lower revenues and lower profits for the business owner, which means even more cuts in spending for people that affects other business owners.