Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.

Be Careful About Over-Improving Your Home

We spend a lot of money improving our homes, sometimes too much.Home owners just love to make their home-sweet-home a little sweeter. We spend a lot of money, put in some hard work, and then relax and take in the beauty of it all. It can be a never-ending process; often, we don't stop at that one project that originally prompted us to improve our home. One completed project often leads us to see the other...
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Inaccurate Credit Reports - Mixed and Split Files

Your credit report may not be completely accurate.It's not uncommon for consumer's credit reports to have inaccurate information. These mistakes in your credit report can mean higher interest rates, larger down payment requirements, and less competitive loan administration fees. Catching those inaccuracies before you take out a big loan can save you big bucks. Check your credit report at least once a year, and especially before any major loan purchase, such as a home mortgage or...
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Creating Your Business Name

Choosing your business name can be fun, but it's one of the most important choices you'll have to make. Many other business decisions can be adjusted later on down the road if they're not working, but it can be difficult to successfully change the name of your business. As your business grows and you develop a customer base, a big reason they'll come back is familiarity with your business name. Changing it later can confuse customers...
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Choosing the Right Business Partner

A good business partner can make your life easier.Choosing to go into business with a partner definitely brings some benefits. Shared expenses, shared workload, and shared profit means that you'll be counting on this person. The right partner can help alleviate some sources of stress in running a business. But, the wrong partner can become one of your major sources of business stress.Is your prospective partner a good candidate?Your buddy from college may be a lot...
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Becoming Self-Employed - The Pros and Cons of a Partnership

When you start your own small business, you'll have many decisions to make. One of them will be whether to tackle all the responsibilities of business management as a sole proprietor, or to get some help. Having one or more business partners can alleviate much of the burden that you would otherwise have to handle on your own in running a business. As with any business choice you make, there are pros and cons to a...
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401(k) Loans

401(k) loansAmerican workers may find themselves considering their 401(k) plans when they're in need of a loan. 401(k) loans are pretty easy to get, especially when compared to other types of loans. First of all, there's no credit check and no collateral required, since you're borrowing money from yourself. And, the payments and interest you'll pay are going back into your 401(k) account. A loan on your 401(k) is always better than taking an early withdrawal...
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Your 401(k) - Choosing the Right Investments

Investments within your 401(k)Your 401(k) is your tax-advantaged retirement account, sponsored by your employer. You've made a smart decision if you participate in your company's 401(k) plan. But simply putting money into a 401(k) isn't enough to ensure a comfortable retirement. You must manage your 401(k) portfolio just like you would with any of your other investments. Proper investment management is vital to your future security, whether your 401(k) is one of your many investmentaccounts, or...
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What To Do With Your Old 401(k)

Americans are fickle with their employers, and many will change jobs as often as they change cars. And considering that the 401(k) is the retirement plan of choice for most large companies, there's a good chance you'll need to decide what to do with your old 401(k) when you move on to greener pastures.So what do you do with your 401(k) when you move to your next job? You basically have four options: Take it and...
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Drawing a Partnership Agreement

Is a contract really necessary?There is no law that requires a partnership to draw up a written contract. The mutual agreement, between two or more people, to run a business together is really all it takes to form a partnership. It's possible that a very simple, straight-forward business with little financial investment may be successfully run without a written contract, but the more complicated your business, the more important it is to get it in writing....
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The 411 on the 401(k)

What the heck is a 401(k) and how does it work? I remember the first time I ever heard of a 401(k) plan. I was barely twenty-one years old, and was just hired for my first good job that offered benefits. At the time, I didn't really understand much of what the human resources director told me about it all, except that I could buy company stock, they would match part of what I put in,...
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