Charleston Financial Blog

AARP The Magazine Contest Winners

Posted by Diane H. Blackwelder on 29 December 2009

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Diane Blackwelder provided a financial plan for AARP The Magazine's Money Makeover contest winners, Peter and Carolyn Waters.  Watch the video and read the full story at AARP Magazine online.


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Energy Efficiency Could Be a Win-Win

Posted by Myles B. Brandt on 21 December 2009

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It's safe to say that most people could use a little break in their monthly expenses these days.  When investments go down in value, people focus on controlling what they can.  One thing you can control that can make a huge impact in your monthly expenses is energy efficiency in your home.  A small investment in improving energy efficiency can pay off big. Eco-Unit, an Energy Star Partner, offers a free evaluation of what you can do to make your house more energy efficient and can even tell you how much money you will likely save.  A few of the benefits:

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Safety Tips for Online Shopping

Posted by Diane H. Blackwelder on 9 December 2009

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Whether you shop online routinely or infrequently, it will help to follow some precautions this holiday season. The risk of identity theft rises as you offer more and more information about yourself online.

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Financing the Federal Debt

Posted by William C. Prewitt, M.S., CFP® on 4 December 2009

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The United States government is financing its more than trillion dollar a year borrowing with IOUs on terms that seem too good to be true. The New York Times article, Payback Time; Wave of Debt Pyaments Facing US Government, takes a deeper look at the situation.

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Moving Forward after Divorce

Posted by Diane H. Blackwelder on 30 November 2009

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After a divorce, you have a unique opportunity to revisit your financial plan. Making sure your finances are on track will help you put the past behind you, and provide a foundation for the future.

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Curtain Call

Posted by William C. Prewitt, M.S., CFP on 20 November 2009

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Is the Opera on Wall Street drawing near to the Final Curtain?  Last year Wall Street grabbed many of the headlines and it wasn't pretty.  All the while, investors have been drifting away toward independent advisors.  With increasing focus on objective investment advice, Wall Street seems to be losing out.  Read more in Wealthy Investors Weary of Wallstreet

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ID Protection: Worth It?

Posted by Diane H. Blackwelder on 3 November 2009

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Have you ever considered "identity theft" is a brilliant marketing term: a fear campaign designed to get us to buy expensive services we don't always need?  Julia Angwin of the WSJ.com reports identity fraud is on the wane and customers aren't getting very badly hurt: The median victim has to pay nothing out-of-pocket and has his or her complaint resolved within five hours.

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Let's Be Reasonable

Posted by Myles Brandt on 7 October 2009

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Two hundred and eighty nine years ago Sir Isaac Newton exclaimed, "I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people." Judging from the past year it would seem that nothing has changed.  It is important to be aware of the types of biases that affect our investment decisions so we can base our decisions on reason - not fear or greed.  The following video by Dimensional Fund Advisor's Scott Bosworth examines the biases and how they affect our decisions: http://www.dfaus.com/library/videos/behaviora/

 

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The Great Debate

Posted by Diane H. Blackwelder on 28 September 2009

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As the health care debate rages on, the Wall Street Journal describes how the three major bills in Congress offer different blends of penalties and perks.  Here's how the various measures could affect you.  What Consumers Need to Watch for in the healthcare debats - WSJ.com

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Living like a King, Working like a Slave

Posted by Myles B. Brandt on 21 September 2009

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It should be no surprise that the most common advice given by financial planners is "spend less, save more." (Hint: You don't need to pay someone to tell you that; but if you want to anyway, I'll be happy to assist you.)  Many Americans work all day, 5 days a week, for years.  When it's finally time to stop, they have nothing to show for it. What did they work for?

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