Weiss Ratings Upgrades 12 Life & Annuity Insurers; Downgrades 10
Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 9:37am
JUPITER, Florida (January 30, 2013)—Weiss Ratings upgraded the financial strength ratings of 12 life and annuity insurance companies and downgraded 10 based on its analysis of third quarter 2012 results. Weiss, the nation’s leading independent provider of bank, credit union and insurance company ratings, analyzed 823 life and annuity insurers. Weiss Ratings Scale: A=Excellent, B=Good, ...
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Weiss Ratings Upgrades 1,814 Banks; Downgrades 350
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 9:33am
JUPITER, Florida (January 16, 2013)—In a sign that the U.S. banking industry continues to improve, Weiss Ratings upgraded the financial strength ratings of 1,814 banks, while downgrading only 350 based on its analysis of third quarter 2012 results. Weiss, the nation’s leading independent provider of bank, credit union and insurance company ratings, analyzed over 7,200 ...
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Nielsen Netview Total Audience – April 2011
Unique Monthly Visitors
|CNN Digital Network||43.9|
|ABCNEWS Digital Network||22.7|
|Fox News Digital Network||21.9|
|CBS News Network||15.2|
|New York Post||4.6|
|The Washington Times||2.6|
Newsmax hits the 'Heartland'
By: KEACH HAGEY
It’s not yet clear whether Donald Trump’s moment as a Republican presidential candidate has come and gone, but it is clear which media outlet had the most to do with Trump’s sudden rise - and thereby solidified its role as a major conservative voice.
It was Newsmax, the website that Media Matters dubbed the “No. 1 Promoter of Trump 2012,” but which founder Christopher Ruddy describes as a voice of a Heartland populism that more established conservative publications do not understand.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0511/54514.html#ixzz1LxTqSemg
Nielsen: Newsmax #1 Conservative Site in the Nation
By: Jim Meyers
Newsmax is Number One!
More than 51 million visitors tune in to conservative Web sites each month, according to Nielsen Online, and Newsmax.com is ranked first as the most popular site in America.
Newsmax tops a large and growing list of conservative sites, with Rush Limbaugh’s popular rushlimbaugh.com taking the second spot. Limbaugh is the nation’s most-listened-to talk radio host.
Of all Internet sites Nielsen ranks in the United States, Newsmax is the 12th-most-popular Web location focusing on news and politics. Among identified Republicans, it ranks No. 2.
The Nielsen results are part of the Winter 2010 “At Plan,” a demographic survey the ratings company takes four times each year.
The demographic study also offers some interesting insights into Newsmax readers. Newsmax packs a powerful punch when it comes to affluent readers, ranking No. 5 overall for all Web sites in visitors with a portfolio of $500,000 or more, and No. 5 in visitors who own a second home, Nielsen reports.
And Newsmax readers include many entrepreneurs, as the site ranks 12th in Web visitors who are self-employed.
Although Nielsen figures indicate that significant numbers of Newsmax readers are financially well off, its readers share many of the same traits and tastes as the ordinary Joe and might be described best with the title of the best-selling book “The Millionaire Next Door.” Despite their wealth, Newsmax readers are modest, and they prefer casual restaurants, such as Olive Garden, Cracker Barrel, and IHOP, according to Nielsen.
And no surprise here: Newsmax readers are ardent fans of Fox News: Its Web site ranks No. 3 among those who have watched Fox in the past week.
Newsmax is a powerful brand achieving remarkable success. Founded in 1998 by journalist Christopher Ruddy, Newsmax.com ranks consistently as one of the country’s most-trafficked news Web sites, with more than 3 million unique visitors a month. Newsmax also publishes a financial news Web site, Moneynews.com; a health site, Newsmaxhealth.com; and an international news site, Newsmaxworld.com.
Its monthly print magazine, Newsmax, is soaring, with its circulation more than tripling during the past year to a readership well over 800,000. The company also has more than 2 million opt-in e-mail subscribers. The company also publishes several financial newsletters and health newsletters.
In all, Newsmax estimates it reaches about 6 million Americans each month.
Opinion makers frequently cite the magazine and the Web site. When Fox News’ Sean Hannity asked former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin what she reads regularly, she listed Newsmax first and later described its news as “very valuable.”
Other conservative and Republican leaders are turning to Newsmax as the “go-to” place to make sure their views are publicized widely. For example, after the 2008 election, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush gave his first interview assessing the results to Newsmax. When former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee faced his recent commutation controversy, he issued his statement first and exclusively to Newsmax.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s exclusive story on a new 2010 Contract with America will be featured on the cover on Newsmax magazine’s February edition.
Newsmax also has a history of breaking stories. As recently as Jan. 4, major media outlets widely reported on Newsmax’s exclusive report by its chief Washington correspondent, Ronald Kessler, that a third person had crashed the recent White House state dinner.
“We owe our success to our readers,” Newsmax CEO Ruddy said. “We provide the news and perspective, but they provide us with their loyalty. We at Newsmax don’t forget that. Never.”
The most influential US conservatives:
64. Chris Ruddy (-)
Founder and CEO of Newsmax
Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge may be household names but the low-profile Chris Ruddy is an increasingly powerful and influential player in the conservative media and beyond. Ruddy, a former investigative newspaper reporter, relentlessly investigated the Clinton administration, in particular the events surrounding the death of aide Vince Foster. He founded the Florida-based Newsmax magazine in the wake of the Monica Lewinsky scandal of 1998.
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Chairman-CEO Split Gains Allies
Corporate Leaders Push for Firms to Improve Oversight by Separating Roles
The effort to separate the roles of chairman and chief executive at U.S. public companies is gaining prominent new allies. More than 50 corporate leaders, investors and governance specialists Monday will urge companies to bolster board oversight of management by splitting the roles.
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10 Questions with the Bear Who Called the Bubble ... Four Years Ago
As Washington debates another bailout for an economic decline no one saw coming, John H. Richardson talks to a guy who did see it coming, Martin Weiss from Weiss Research.
By: John H. Richardson
So the Democrats want to bail out the auto industry to save the autoworkers. And the Republicans want to bail out the auto industry to crush the autoworkers.
This makes dismal sense -- in the worst crisis since the Great Depression, the leaders of both parties are flailing around in utter confusion, reverting to their ideological set-points. This sorry spectacle just encourages partisan hatred while reinforcing our worst fear -- that when it comes to this economic crisis, William Goldman's old line about Hollywood applies: nobody knows anything.
Except maybe Martin Weiss, the financial advisor who heads up Weiss Research. Way back in February of 2005, Weiss predicted the collapse with the headline "Real Estate Boom ... and Bust!" In June of 2005, he predicted the "Final Stage of the Real Estate Bubble." He said that when the bubble popped, "stocks of big banks, construction companies and mortgage lenders will be shattered." In March 2006, it was "Housing Slump Begins! Housing Bust on the Way!" In September 2007, "Housing Bust Driving U.S. to Recession!" In July 2008, "Major U.S. Bear Market Just Beginning to Unfold!"
Weiss may be one of those perpetual bears, the stopped clock that is right once a day, but his warnings are the reason I managed to save most of my kid's college fund. So I turned to him for help navigating this sea of spin.
JHR: Why was this crash so obvious to you at a time when all the geniuses from Wall Street and Washington were bopping along like happy little girls?
MW: The housing market bubble followed pretty closely along the same pattern as the tech bubble and bust -- it had the same origin, excessive easing by the Fed and artificially low interest rates held down for a period of time. Close to 40 percent of homebuyers buying homes based on the new-fangled financing options like ARMs and liar loans. All of that data painted a clear picture of a housing bust. Any objective, clear-eyed analyst would have seen it.
JHR: Then why did so few people see it?
MW: There's a broad general bias toward good news in forecasting on Wall Street and the ratings agencies too -- they're earning massive amounts of revenues not only from selling their ratings, but also as consulting fees to help sell the mortgage-backed securities in the first place. As far as Washington was concerned, if they were to admit that the housing market was vulnerable to a bust, the dots connect straight to an admission that their monetary policy is a failure.
JHR: So what's in your crystal ball now?
MW: I believe the best-case scenario would be for an economic decline and deflationary spiral to happen quickly so we can put it behind us quickly. The debt problem is far too big for the government to be able to address with its limited resources, so they should back off and let the marketplace resolve the two big problems our economy faces -- too much debt, and prices that are too high. But what the government is trying to do is precisely the opposite -- we have too much debt and yet the government's response is to encourage more debt.
JHR: So you basically agree with the Republicans on the auto industry?
MW: There are really two issues. Do we bail out corporate America? And what do we do for American citizens? I believe we should give up the war we can't win, which is the war against the economic decline. Instead we should fight the battle we must not lose, and that's the battle to protect the health and well-being of the citizens of the country. Right now, for example, hospitals are going broke and the states are running out of money to pay unemployment benefits -- we have already 19 states that are in the red with respect to their unemployment benefit funds, and it could grow to 30 or 40 states very quickly. That's where the government's role has always traditionally been since the New Deal, and that's where our resources need to go.
JHR: So you're saying, kiss the auto industry goodbye.
MW: The first concern is sales. What's going to happen to auto sales, bailout or no bailout? For the past couple of weeks we've had the spectacle of the CEOs of Detroit's Big Three parading before Congress, begging for money, hat in hand, repeating over and over that they are going to be bankrupt within weeks. Who would want to buy a GM or Chrysler car in this environment? The second factor is unemployment. Whether there is a bailout or not, the reality is the Big Three have to reduce their workforce dramatically because of the plunge in sales. They have to shut down factories and plants all over the country.
JHR: That's the best-case scenario? What's the worst-case scenario?
MW: Because of all these bailouts and all the funny money the Fed is now proposing, we're going to see runaway inflation and the destruction of the dollar, the U.S. goes into a fatal long-term decline, the fabric of society unravels. I don't believe that scenario. I believe the purchasing power of the dollar goes up -- most people won't have the cash, but everything will be a lot cheaper.
JHR: So what should I do?
MW: You should build up as much cash as you can, and keep that cash in dollars.
JHR: How bad will it get?
MW: In some ways, it will be similar to the 1930s. It's hard to say right now if it will be less severe, equally severe or more severe. This time, the unemployment may not be as high.
JHR: Everybody says the recovery will begin in a year or two. I have a feeling you are not going to agree.
MW: It's too soon to say. But if this is primarily driven by housing, then you have to consider the fact that recovering from a housing depression is much more difficult and time consuming. A housing depression can last a decade. So the next question is, to what degree is that going to hold--
JHR: Hey, that's my job! To what degree is that going to hold back a recovery?
MW: We don't know yet.
NONPROFIT ALLIANCE FOR INVESTOR EDUCATION ELECTS NEW OFFICERS
WASHINGTON, D.C.//September 3, 2008//Dallas Salisbury is the new president of the Alliance for Investor Education (AIE), a nonprofit consortium of 19 leading U.S. organizations involved in investor education. The other newly elected AIE officers are: Joy Howell, vice president; John Gannon, secretary; and Gloria Talamas, treasurer.
Salisbury, who also serves as the president and CEO of the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and chairman of the American Savings Education Council (ASEC), replaces Michael Jones, formerly of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), as the top officer of AIE.
In addition to his duties at EBRI/ASEC, Salisbury is a fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources and a member of the board of the NAHR Foundation, the Commonwealth Commission on a High Performance Health System, the board of directors of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, and the board of advisors to the Comptroller General of the United States. Prior to joining EBRI, Dallas worked for the Washington State Legislature, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Employee Benefits Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
Joy Howell is the executive director of the Financial Publishers Association. She has a background in working for independent investment research firms and financial publishers, helping them to function as a resource on issues at the intersection of Wall Street and Capitol Hill. With a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Redlands and a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Howell brings over 25 years of public policy experience to AIE.
John Gannon is senior vice president for investor education at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and president of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. In his capacity as senior vice president of investor education, he is responsible for the development and operations of FINRA’s investor education program. As president of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, he manages the Foundation’s grant program, which funds educational projects and research aimed at educating and protecting the investing public. The Foundation’s efforts are particularly focused on assisting underserved groups of Americans, including young adults, women, Native Americans, seniors, and members of U.S. military. He has been with FINRA since September 2001. Before assuming his present duties, Gannon was deputy director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Office of Investor Education & Assistance. Gannon also served for seven years as senior counsel in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, where he brought cases and investigated violations of federal securities laws.
Gloria Talamas is vice president of education services for the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA). Talamas is the director of SIFMA’s Securities Industry Institute at The Wharton School; staff advisor to SIFMA’s Continuing Education Committee, the Continuing Education and Training Managers’ Roundtables and; responsible for the management of SIFMA’s Foundation for Investor Education’s Path to Investing Web site, an objective investor education resource for the investing public. Talamas has been in the financial services industry for more than 20 years and has experience in program development, marketing and promotion, committee and board relations with exposure in multiple sectors, including trade associations and corporations.
Founded in 1996, the Alliance for Investor Education Web site at http://www.InvestorEducation.org provides investors with access to a full range of information they need to make wise investment decisions. The 19-member Alliance for Investor Education is dedicated to facilitating greater understanding of investing, investments and the financial markets among current and prospective investors of all ages. We pursue initiatives for education and join with others to motivate Americans to obtain objective information and increase their knowledge and understanding of investing.
Full members of the Alliance include: American Association of Individual Investors, Employee Benefit Research Institute/American Savings Education Council, BetterInvesting, CFA Institute, Financial Planning Association, Financial Publishers Association, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Investment Company Institute Education Foundation, Investor Protection Trust, National Council on Economic Education, National Endowment for Financial Education, National Futures Association, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the North American Securities Administrators Association are the governmental and quasi-governmental advisors to the Alliance.
CONTACT: Ailis Aaron Wolf, (703) 276-3265 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Newsmax Nielsen NetRatings Soar
With the election season in full drive, Newsmax.com continues to lead as the nation's most visited Web site for independent Americans seeking a conservative perspective on the news.
The Nielsen NetRatings for August show 3.9 million unique visitors to Newsmax.com.
If Newsmax was ranked with the top 10 newspapers Web sites in the nation, it would be ranked No. 8.
"Americans are voting for us with their keyboards," said Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax Media, the parent company of Newsmax.com.
Ruddy noted Newsmax has no affiliation with any major media company, but continues to outpace many well-known media brands. For example, Newsmax.com had more than twice the Web traffic of Oprah Winfrey's Web site, Oprah.com.
In addition to the popular Newsmax.com, Newsmax also publishes the financial Web site Moneynews.com, a print monthly magazine, Newsmax, and has more than 1.6 million email alert subscribers. The company also publishes several health and financial newsletters.
Select Nielsen NetRatings follow:
Unique Visitor Audience – in Millions (000)
|3.3||New York Post|
|1.2||The Washington Times|
Business Financial Publishing Ranks 185 on Inc. 500 List of Fastest-Growing Private Companies in U.S.
Internet content publisher of investment news, investment research, and stock picks for individual investors also ranks 2 in media industry and 16 in Washington, DC metro region.
Washington, D.C., August 20, 2008 - Business Financial Publishing today announced it ranks 185 on Inc. magazine's just-released annual list of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States. Ian Wyatt, the founder and President of Business Financial Publishing, attributed the company's rapid growth to a talented staff and a client base that consists of some of the biggest names in the investment content and financial services business.
Business Financial Publishing's Inc. 5000 company profile can be found at:
In addition, Inc. magazine also ranked Business Financial Publishing:
- #2 in the Top 50 Inc. 5,000 Companies in the Media Industry
- #16 in the Top 100 Inc. 5,000 Companies in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria-DC-VA-MD-WV
"Inclusion in the Inc. 500 is an impressive accomplishment that every entrepreneur aspires to achieve," said Wyatt. "For the past three years, this has been a goal for our company. This honor is an achievement that everyone at Business Financial Publishing is proud of."
High quality investment research, investment news, and stock picks are a cornerstone of the success of the company. "Our team of dedicated professionals provides our audience of individual investors with the highest quality research and valuable investing ideas," said Wyatt.
Business Financial Publishing works with email advertisers and lead generation marketers to ensure the success of their online marketing advertising campaigns. Recent advertisers include Agora Financial, Barron's, Financial Times, Fisher Investments, Forbes Magazine, Investors Business Daily, The Motley Fool, InvestorPlace Media, MetaResponse Group, Schaeffer's Investment Research, TheStreet.com, 21st Century Investor, Tycoon Research, Value Line, The Wall Street Journal, and Winning Investments.
Learn more about Business Financial Publishing by visiting the website at: http://www.bfpublishing.com
Business Financial Publishing grew sales an impressive 1,303.7%, from $511,703 in 2005 to $7.2 million in 2007, the years reviewed and measured by Inc. magazine. "This rapid growth was the result of aggressive launches of new products that contributed revenues in the areas of both online advertising and product sales," said Wyatt.
Wyatt founded Business Financial Publishing in the summer of 2001, and began publishing the company's first paid subscription newsletter, the Growth Report, in August of that year. Since 2001, Business Financial Publishing has grown into a diversified publisher of investment news, investment research, and stock picks for individual investors through websites, free e-letters, regular special reports, and paid subscription newsletters and trading services.
Business Financial currently publishes three paid subscription newsletters (Growth Report, Rising Star Stocks, and Top Stock Insights); two weekly email newsletters (Big Idea Investor and Financially Fit); four regular special reports (BrokerAdviser.com, 4xAdviser.com, MutualsAdvisor.com, and NewsletterAdvisors.com); and SmallCapInvestor.com, an investment website with daily analysis of small cap stocks. Business Financial Publishing recently launched TradeMaster Daily Stocks Alerts, a long short service for investors looking for momentum stocks in up markets and down.
"Our second annual Inc. 5000 continues the most ambitious project in business journalism," said Inc. 5000 Project Manager Jim Melloan. "The Inc. 5000 gives an unrivalled portrait of young, underreported companies across all industries doing fascinating things with cutting-edge business models, as well as older companies that are still showing impressive growth."
Complete information on this year's Inc. 500, including company profiles and a list of the fastest-growing companies that can be sorted by industry and region can be found at http://www.inc.com/inc5000
J.P. Morgan Adds to Derivatives Muscle
March 19, 2008
With J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.'s rescue of Bear Stearns Cos., a behemoth in the complex world of derivatives trading has become even bigger, and the business is now more concentrated.
"'Many pathways through this maze of derivatives lead back to J.P. Morgan," said Martin Weiss, president of Weiss Research, an investment-research firm in Jupiter, Fla. "The domino effect of a major firm like Bear defaulting on its derivative transactions may have hurt other counterparties in the marketplace, many of which trade with J.P. Morgan."
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The latest Nielsen Netratings numbers for February have been released, and Newsmax, for the second month in a row, is #1 among the nation's leading independent news sites.
Our unique monthly visitors grew from 3.9 million visitors in January to 4.1 million visitors in February.
If Newsmax was ranked among the web sites of the top ten newspapers in the nation, it would rank #6, just behind the Wall Street Journal.
Nielsen Netratings — February 2008
|ABCNEWS Digital Network|
|Fox News Digital Network|
|CBS News Digital|
|New York Post|
|The Washington Times|
Nielsen Netratings recently released their web ratings for last month. Newsmax now leads the pack among independent news web sites, surpassing many well known web sites.
Newsmax is a growing and vital source for Americans seeking the latest news on the 2008 elections.
Nielsen Netratings — January 2008
|New York Post|
|The Washington Times|
Senate Turns Back Attempt To Loosen Sarbanes-Oxley Act
(April 25, 2007)
by Bill Swindell, Congress Daily
The Senate beat back Tuesday an attempt to weaken the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley corporate governance law, signaling congressional support is still strong for the landmark measure despite criticism from some in the business community.
The chamber voted, 62-35, to table an amendment by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., that would have exempted companies with market capitalization of less than $700 million, revenue of less than $125 million, or with fewer than 1,500 shareholders, from a key provision of the law that was passed in the aftermath of the Enron Corp. and World Com Inc. scandals.
The "no" votes were all Republicans with the exception of Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La. And 14 Republicans voted against DeMint.
The DeMint measure would have exempted those firms from Section 404 of the law, which requires public companies to establish and maintain internal controls and financial reporting procedures, which also must be certified by an outside accounting firm.
Business lobbyists have complained that Section 404 is too burdensome for smaller companies to comply with and contains language too vague for the SEC to implement. The DeMint amendment mirrors language in a bill by Reps. Tom Feeney, R-Fla., and Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y.
"Let's not continue to allow investment capital to continue to be shipped out of this country," DeMint said.
But Senate Banking Chairman Dodd and ranking member Richard Shelby, R-Ala., both rose to oppose the DeMint amendment, saying that the SEC and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board intend to release new rules regarding Section 404 implementation within the next three weeks and that Congress should not interfere with the process.
"It would be inappropriate ... for us to jump in here to draw a conclusion on what the SEC ought to be doing. [SEC Chairman] Chris Cox is doing a very, very good job at the SEC. The staff and the other commissioners are doing the job we asked them to do," Dodd said. "Allow them to complete their work."
Instead, the two offered a non-binding resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that the SEC and PCAOB continue to finalize their rulemaking on Section 404. Dodd said the agencies were going through 200 comments on the matter to finalize their rule. The Dodd amendment was adopted by a 97-0 vote.
Cox has argued that Congress should not try to pass further legislation because the two agencies are capable of making the tweaks to provide relief for firms while also maintaining the law's integrity. During a hearing with Cox on the issue last week, Small Business Chairman Kerry said the cost of compliance for small firms is disproportionately higher than for big corporations.
DeMint also argued that the 2002 law could have an unintended effect of forcing companies to foreign exchanges when they opt to go public to avoid adhering to Section 404 conditions. He said a recent study commissioned by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., found that in the first 10 months of 2006, U.S. exchanges attracted barely one-third of the share of initial public offerings than they captured in 2001.
He said the study found the trend was "due to non-U.S. issuers' concerns about compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 and operating in what they see as a complex and unpredictable legal and regulatory environment." The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has raised similar concerns.
A group of consumer advocates, including Consumer Federation of America, U.S. Public Interest Research Group and Consumers Union, opposed the DeMint amendment, noting that since Sarbanes-Oxley's passage, the number of and value of U.S. initial public offerings has actually increased.
House passes executive comp bill
(April 20, 2007)
Legislation giving shareholders of public companies an advisory vote on executive compensation plans was approved by the House of Representatives today by a vote of 269-134.
he legislation, introduced by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), also would give shareholders an advisory vote if a company gives executives new “golden parachute” benefits during negotiations to buy or sell a company.
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A Contrarian View: Save Less and Still Retire With Enough
(January 27, 2007)
Could it be possible that you are saving too much for your retirement?
Such an idea would fly in the face of almost every exhortation to a nation of spendthrifts that saving more is an imperative. After all, even as people are living longer, corporate pension plans and Social Security can no longer be relied on to ease most Americans through their retirement years. Fidelity, the nation's largest provider of workplace retirement savings plans, says the average 401(k) account balance is only $62,000.
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O.K., Financial Planners, Grab a Calculator and Let’s Get Started
(January 27, 2007)
The only way to know whether you have saved enough for retirement is, when you suck in your last breath, for someone to show you your bank statement.
And you smile.
Until then, you'll have to depend on financial planners and software.
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Congress's Last Acts Include Tax Breaks
(December 10, 2006)
Postal, Trade Bills Wrap Up Session
The rancorous 109th Congress adjourned yesterday morning with final passage of measures to expand civilian nuclear trade with India, establish permanent trade relations with Vietnam and extend a bevy of expiring business tax breaks.
Legislation that would overhaul the U.S. Postal Service for the first time since 1970 and could hold down the cost of mailing letters also cleared the Congress and was sent to the president. A presidential commission and the Government Accountability Office had called for changes in how the Postal Service operates as Americans increasingly communicate and do business through e-mail and the Internet.
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