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Entries in Cash (10)

Sunday
Jun092013

US Employers Sitting on Piles of Cash

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Based on Friday's jobs report from the Department of Labor, the jobs market has improved in the past year, but unemployment is still way above average levels. Brian Hamilton, CEO of the financial research firm Sageworks, says businesses are very cautious. “Not only are companies not really hiring a ton but they’re not borrowing a bunch either.” Most firms have solid balance sheets. “The default rate for private companies is going down meaning they’re much more credit worthy and they’re much more solvent.”

But Hamilton says companies and their senior executives are also risk averse. “They really are just reluctant to take on overhead much more so than in the past.” Hamilton’s views are echoed in a new report from Federal Reserve, which says US firms are sitting on a record pile of cash. Non-financial corporations held $1.78 trillion in cash and other liquid assets in the first three months of this year.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May102012

Want More Money? Move to the Mid-Atlantic or New England

Nick M Do/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Want to get richer during your lifetime? Live in New York, New Jersey or Maryland, according to a groundbreaking study released Thursday by the Pew Center on the States. People living in the Mid-Atlantic and New England states tend to be the most economically mobile, while those in the South are the least mobile, the study found.

The best places to climb the economic ladder are Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Utah, while the worst states include Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas.

And just the act of moving could also could also help you attain the American dream, the study found. One-third of Americans who live in a different state from where they were born are more likely to be upwardly mobile, according to the data.

"Where you live matters for your economic mobility prospects," study author Erin Currier told ABC News. This is the first time economic mobility has been analyzed on a state-by-state level. And while the study did not look at why the states performed the way they did, past research suggests that higher education, savings and assets, and neighborhood prosperity or poverty during childhood drive economic advancement, said Currier.

Drawing U.S. Census and Social Security data from nearly 65,000 individuals in all 50 states over a 10-year period, the study analyzed three measures of economic mobility: individuals' earnings growth; individuals' earnings growth relative to others in their state, and state-wide economic mobility compared to national averages.  

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Mar192012

Apple Announces Dividend, Buyback

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(CUPERTINO, Calif.) -- In a major turn away from the years when Steve Jobs was in charge, Apple Inc. is finally loosening up its purse strings, announcing both a $10 billion stock buyback plan and a dividend for shareholders.

Apple’s announcement Monday morning was a cautious one, and widely expected by investors. The quarterly dividend of $2.65 a share is equal to a yield of 1.8 percent based on the current stock value. The payout by the world’s most valuable company is less than the dividend awarded by Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and several other big tech companies.

Because of soaring sales of iPads and iPhones even with this announcement, Apple’s $100 billion horde of cash is likely to keep on growing in the future.

“A quarterly dividend will provide current income for shareholders and we also believe it will broaden Apple’s investor base by attracting new investors who don’t currently own Apple stock,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said.

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The divided opens up ownership of Apple shares to a wider range of mutual funds. Many value-oriented products are not allowed to buy stocks that don’t pay dividends.

For years, Steve Jobs resisted calls to pay dividends. He used to say that the money was better used to give Apple maneuvering room, for instance by giving it the ability to buy other companies.

Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer reassured analysts and reporters that they have more than enough cash to grow their business.

During a conference call Cook said he doesn’t see a “ceiling for opportunities” and that “innovation is the most important objective at Apple and we will not lose sight of that.”

He added that “these decisions will not close any doors for us.”

Oppenheimer pointed out that Apple has plenty of domestic cash to go ahead with the dividend and buyback plan. When asked how Apple will be using its large overseas cash holdings, he said Apple’s position is that U.S. tax law “provides a considerable economic disincentive to U.S. companies that might otherwise repatriate cash.” In other words, Apple does not want to pay the tax.

Apple stock rose 1 percent in trading Monday morning.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug292011

Moms Sell, Trade, Swap Baby Clothes for Extra Cash

Tom Grill/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A new addition to the family is a joy, but there is no joy in the bills that come with outfitting an infant that can outgrow clothes before you take the tags off.

The average American home spends $700 to $1,000 on baby clothes in a baby's first year, and hundreds more on all of the baby gear, like toys and carriers, according to the Consumer Expenditure Survey. Most agree that's a big investment for items that are only used for a few months before they are outgrown.

We all know parents would love to get back a little of that cash they're shelling out, so ABC’s Lara Spencer showed parents ways they can save a little cash and help others in the process.

The most valuable items are usually clothes that are still new with tags, and name-brand baby clothes, said Gayle Raskin, co-owner of Jane's Exchange, a New York City consignment shop that specializes in children's items. Some brands that will re-sell easily are Ralph Lauren, Gap, Gymboree, and Tea. Even non-brand essentials can make money, especially if grouped together. A group of hats will sell better on eBay compared to packing them individually. Lastly, baby gear that still has its original packaging or directions can get top dollar.

How to Swap, Donate Your Gently Used Baby Clothes:  Parents who have old baby clothes can trade gently used clothes with fellow parents for other clothes. There are several websites available, including Thred Up, where moms can trade clothes that are too small for the next size up of gently used clothes. Also, there are a number of places moms can donate old baby gear, including Goodwill, Baby Buggy, Baby2Baby and Room to Grown.

How to Sell Your Gently Used Baby Clothes:  For those looking to sell, a reminder that there are some items that should never be sold, and that you should never buy stained and soiled items and recalled items.

If you are unsure about an item's safety or selling condition, it is always a good idea to do an online search before you sell any gear, especially cribs, car seats or carriers, to make sure the item you're selling is not recalled. In addition, most lactation experts advise against re-selling breast pumps. Additional great places where mom can sell their baby items are on eBay, Craigslist, or a consignment store.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug232011

10 Tips for Selling Your Gold for Cash

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- In today's swerving economy, stocks are out, and gold is in.

The price of gold is up 20 percent since the beginning of 2011, and by mid-August gold was going for over $1,700 per ounce. At times on Monday, its spot price hovered near $1,900 per ounce.

So how do you cash in? If you're like thousands of Americans, you go to a gold party, the hottest trend on the block, where you can have your jewelry appraised and get paid cash on the spot.

But not so fast. With every good deal comes a case of buyer's and, in this case, seller's beware, a reminder that consumers should do their homework before selling their jewelry at gold parties or in a local jewelry store.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises consumers that while gold parties may be a fun and convenient way to make some cash, they may not provide you the best deal.

Follow these tips from BBB to make sure you're getting the best value for your gold.

1: Understand the Scales:  The weight of gold helps determine its value, but keep in mind that jewelers use a different measurement standard called a Troy ounce. U.S. scales will measure 28 grams per ounce, while gold is measured at 31.1 grams per Troy ounce. Some dealers may also use a system of weights called pennyweight (dwt) to measure a Troy ounce, while others will use grams. A pennyweight is the equivalent of 1.555 grams. Be alert that a dealer does not weigh your gold by pennyweight but pay you by the gram, a sneaky way for the dealer to pay you less for more weight of gold.

2: Know Your Karats: Pure gold is too soft to be practically used so it is combined with other metals to create durability and color. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires that all jewelry sold in the U.S. describe a karat fineness of the alloy. One karat equals 1/24 of pure gold by weight. So 14 karats would mean the jewelry was 14 parts gold and 10 parts other metals. It is illegal for jewelry to be labeled "gold jewelry" if it is less than 10 karats. It is important to know the karats of your gold to make an informed decision on the scrap value of your jewelry.

3: Keep Your Karats Separate:  Don't let jewelry of different karat value be weighed together. Some dealers will weigh all jewelry together and pay you for the lowest karat value. Separate your jewelry by karat value before attending a gold party.

4: Know the Value:  Call a local jewelry store or check with an online source, such as www.goldprice.org, to verify the current market price for gold before you sell. Some dealers know people are just looking for quick cash to put in their pockets and will offer you money for your gold that is lower than the actual value.

5: Know Your Buyer:  Check out jewelry stores and gold buyers registered with BBB at www.bbb.org. A BBB Business Review tells basic information about the business as well as any complaints and whether the complaints have been resolved when presented to the business by BBB.

6: Know What You Are Selling:  Some gold items may be worth more when sold as they are, rather than if they are melted down. If your gold necklace or bracelet comes from a well-known designer or maker, it may have a value to some buyers beyond the gold it's made of.

7: Know the Fine Print:  If you choose to use a mail-away service, make sure you understand the terms and conditions. Send the items insured. Find out how long before you get reimbursed, how long they will keep your gold before melting it down, and how many days you have to turn down the offer. Take photos of your items before sending and make sure you hold on to all relevant paperwork and filings.

8: Shop Around:  Remember, you don't have to jump at the first offer for your gold. Shop around for a few different bids. To ensure you are really getting the best price for your jewelry, have it appraised before selling. This may cost you more up front, but your jewelry may be worth more than its weight when you include workmanship, artistic value, and embedded gems for the piece as a whole.

9: Be Realistic:  Keep in mind that gold parties, often hosted by friends and neighbors, are really more about fun than value. Taking all factors into consideration, sellers at gold parties will likely get between 70 and 80 percent of the real value of their item.

10: Bring Your I.D.:  Gold buyers are required by law to ask sellers for government-issued identification. This requirement is designed to protect consumers by helping police investigate the sale of stolen property and prevent money laundering. All reputable gold buyers comply with these rules, so if you don't get asked to show your I.D., be warned.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug162011

Unclaimed Money? Five Signs You're Being Scammed

Ian Waldie/Getty Images(CHARLESTON, W.Va.) -- A new scam has surfaced that uses the promise of finding unclaimed money to lure would-be victims.

The scam arrives in email form, with a message telling people they have "millions of dollars" in unclaimed property waiting, according to West Virginia state treasurer John Perdue. The fraudulent message purports to come from Jeff Smith of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, but it's a fraud. NAUPA is a real organization of unclaimed property chiefs from around the country, but it does not have control over any actual money -- much less the authority to dole it out to people.

"My office has worked diligently over the years to return unclaimed funds to rightful owners. It is very disturbing to know scam artists are trying to exploit our hard work and take advantage of those people who trust the state to return their money," said Perdue.

Officials in Nevada, Maryland, Louisiana, and Ohio have also heard from citizens who received the false email. The crooks make their money by tricking people into calling an overseas toll telephone number to retrieve their supposed funds, then using various schemes to keep them on the line as long as possible.

Mary Pitman, a staunch advocate of searching for missing money on your own and author of "The Little Book of Missing Money," offers these five signs that somebody contacting you about unclaimed money is illegitimate:

  1. It comes as an email. State unclaimed property offices do not use email to contact you. They simply don't have that information. It's too hard to verify that the email is truly yours.
  2. It claims to be from the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. NAUPA is an organization that unclaimed property administrators belong to. NAUPA does not do anything with reuniting people with their missing money.
  3. You get referred to someone else. State treasurers and comptrollers normally oversee unclaimed money and property. The work is never outsourced.
  4. You're asked for your bank account information. You may have to supply personal information such as your social security number to make a legitimate unclaimed money claim, but you will NEVER be asked your bank account information.
  5. There is a fee to file the claim. State governments do not charge money for searching their database of unclaimed accounts or for making a claim.


Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul142011

3 Things You Should Never Carry in Your Wallet

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- More than eight million Americans were the victims of identity theft last year. What the personal information thieves are looking for can often be found right in your wallet -- which is why it's so important to know what's in there. Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments, talks about what you should and should not have in your wallet.

1. Your wallet can contain your life, which is not always a good thing. Let's start with what we should keep in our wallets. Credit cards? Yes, you should carry a credit card. But just one credit card. The good news is that most people now have two credit cards, which is down from three cards just a year ago. The more cards you carry, the more likely you are to over-extend yourself. Also remember even if you have a credit card in your wallet but never use it, it adds to your available credit, which affects your credit rating.

2. So you should carry some cash? It is important to carry some cash. Studies show that when people use plastic versus cash they spend 12-18 percent more. Also, you don't want to use your credit card or debit card to buy things like gum and other small purchases. If you're just paying your minimum balance, you could end up paying interest on those small purchases.

3. Should we save all our receipts, and is our wallet the right place to keep them? Receipts not only clutter your wallet, but they could contain information about you that identity thieves could use. So you should take any receipts out of your wallet every night. Either reconcile them at the end of the week online against your bank account or credit card website, or save them until the end of the month and reconcile them against your monthly statements. But don't store them in your wallet.

4. What else should you not have in your wallet? The number one thing you should not carry in your wallet is your social security card. If it gets into the wrong hands, it can be used for everything from buying a car to opening a credit card. You should also never carry your passport in your wallet. Even if you are traveling in a foreign country, leave your passport in your hotel and just carry a photocopy of the picture page. And of course do not keep a list of your PINs and passwords in your wallet. That would be a gold mine to a thief. Keep those passwords at home.

5. What else should we take out of our wallets? Don't keep anything in your wallet that has expired. This includes old credit cards or membership cards. Just because they've expired doesn't mean thieves will not try to use them. Also remember most of them have at least your name on it, and probably your address and other personal information. The more information you can keep out of the hands of others, the better. Many people carry old hotel key cards in their wallet. Although almost all U.S. hotels do not put personally identifiable information on their key cards, the cards can often be used to make purchases at the hotel spa or gift shop. My best advice is destroy them after you have checked out, you don't need to return them to the hotel.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May312011

Rich Keep Getting Richer, New Report Claims

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The world's rich continued to get richer over the last year, according to a report from The Boston Consulting Group issued Tuesday.

Their figures show that globally, there is about $121.8 trillion in global wealth around the world today, up $20 trillion since the depths of the financial crisis. The firm, which looks at investable global wealth assets like cash, money market, stocks and bonds, excludes from their calculations the value of a person's owned businesses, homes and luxury goods.

According to BCG's data, millionaire households represent just 0.9 percent of the global population, but control some 39 percent of the planet's wealth -- up from the 37 percent the group represented in 2009.

The U.S. has the largest population of millionaire households (5.2 million), but Singapore has the densest population of wealth with 15.5 percent of the city-state’s population qualifying as super rich.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr082011

Submit Your Ideas, Make Some Cash

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Have you ever had what you thought was a simple, money making idea and wondered if anyone would be interested?

Well, guess what?  "Companies are looking for those ideas," says Steven Key, author of One Simple Idea.

And you don't have to reinvent the wheel to pocket some cash.  Key says you can make a profit by simply coming "up with small improvements on existing ideas."

For example, he explains, "If you got a new kitchen gadget, that's perfect."  You make your pitch "and if they like it, they take it to market for me, they take all the risk, and I get the royalty check every time they sell one."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr062011

Get Cash, Gift Cards by Trading in Your Old Gadgets

Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Many consumers who have old cell phones, e-readers, laptops and video games lying around could be banking on them if they turned them in.

Several websites, like Gazelle.com, pay consumers in cash or gift cards for trading in their old gadgets.  You simply need to answer a few questions on the site and then "they will literally send you a box, they'll send you a prepaid shipping label and they'll just take your item back," says ABC News' Technology Contributor Andrea Smith.

Nextworth.com is another such site, which has a partnership with retail giant Target.  Consumers looking to turn in their old devices with Nextworth can go to a Target store and "they will right there on the spot give you a Target gift card," says Smith. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio