Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 9:59 am
A small solar power company hopes to become a winner in a market littered with losers.
San Jose, Calif.-based SoloPower is opening a $60 million manufacturing facility in Portland, Ore., Thursday as it works toward receiving a major government loan — like the one given to now-bankrupt Solyndra. SoloPower thinks it has a strategy to succeed where Solyndra failed.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:42 pm
An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but what do you do when there are no apples? It's a question western Michigan's apple growers are dealing with this season after strange weather earlier in the year decimated the state's apple cultivation.
Michigan is the third-largest apple producer in the U.S. after New York and Washington, but the state's apples will soon be in short supply. Now in the middle of harvest season, growers are picking only 10 percent to 15 percent of their normal crop.
Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 11:43 am
The U.S. population is growing. In normal times, the labor force — working or not — would be growing too. But these are not normal times, and the labor force is actually smaller than it was four years ago, meaning millions of people who should be there aren't.
The reasons people drop out of the workforce are myriad. People go back to school. Others have health issues or family priorities that keep them from looking for work. But some stop looking because they are discouraged.
I hope you enjoy my video this month on fixed-income investments. Back in the old days, people would say, "Well, as we approach retirement, we have more in bonds and CD's because that provides us with a steady flow of income." Well today, with interest rates as low as they are, you can't survive on income that's in the 1.5 to 2% range. I believe that you have to look at alternatives.
I'd be glad to speak to you personally about your financial investment needs and concerns. Please contact me at 614-888-2121 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today, with interest rates at 60-year lows, it's extremely difficult to get the income that we need from traditional types of fixed-income investments. For example, dividend-paying stocks may provide an income stream that is higher than today's fixed-income bonds. You can't just look at income in a vacuum, you have to consider the impact of inflation and taxes.
Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 9:59 am
Remember the dark days of 2008 when insurer American International Group Inc., better known as AIG, nearly collapsed under the weight of the mortgage crisis before Washington rode to the rescue to the tune of $182 billion?
Then there was the public outrage when AIG executives got millions in bonuses after receiving the largest of all of the Wall Street bailouts.
Since then, the New York-based insurance giant has been essentially a government-owned enterprise, with Uncle Sam holding a controlling share.
Meanwhile, the nation's unemployment rate edged down to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent the month before. Often, the jobless rate dips even when employment growth is weak because the size of the labor force shrank as many Americans gave up looking for work.
It's a report that will surely add to the presidential campaign rhetoric.
Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 4:13 pm
McDonald's, home of the iconic Big Mac, is going vegetarian. Well, at least in India, where 20 to 42 percent or more of the population (depending on how you count) eschews meat, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization.
Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 4:14 pm
Ladies, if the thought of showing up at a party or a picnic with a box of wine seems a little gauche, there's now a product for you: Vernissage's "bag-in-a-bag" of wine. It's boxed wine, shaped like a handbag.
Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 3:51 pm
Many travelers using United Airlines faced delays Tuesday, but they weren't connected to Hurricane Isaac. Instead, the airline's computer network crashed, leaving large parts of its system paralyzed Tuesday afternoon.
First noted around 2:15 p.m. EDT, the problems persisted until about 6:30 p.m. EDT, when the airline tweeted that it is "in the process of resuming operations and rebooking customers."
The food world is buzzing today about the latest news on just how often we waste perfectly good food. And we admit, the statistics are pretty depressing.
About 40 percent of food in the United States today goes uneaten. The average American consumer wastes 10 times as much food as someone in Southeast Asia — up 50 percent from Americans in the 1970s. Yet, 1 in 6 Americans doesn't have enough to eat, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And food waste costs us about $165 billion a year and sucks up 25 percent of our freshwater supply.
Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 4:10 pm
What your next smart phone or tablet computer might look like is in the hands of a California jury. In one of the biggest patent infringement cases ever, Apple is suing Samsung — charging that in creating its products, Samsung ripped off iPhone and iPad technology. Samsung countered with its own allegations.
This case is complex, the legal issues are daunting, and the jury's decision has to be unanimous.
"What's at stake here is the future of smartphones and the tablet market," says intellectual property expert Christopher V. Carani.
Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 1:50 pm
Ever wonder how charitable the people are who live in your state or community? It turns out that lower-income people tend to donate a much bigger share of their discretionary incomes than wealthier people do. And rich people are more generous when they live among those who aren't so rich.
Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 2:35 pm
Refinance activity continues to boom, fueling the home-loan market. Low interest rates have created a class of "serial refinancers" — those lucky enough to borrow at lower rates — and given them new opportunities to spend their freed up cash.
Settlement attorney Robert Gratz never used to be on a first-name basis with his clients.
"In the past, our practice was such that you'd see people, and that was the end of it," he says.
Gratz now sees the same faces all the time, of clients refinancing again and again — these days in the mid-3 percent range.
Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 2:37 pm
Families often pull together to help finance a college education, with parents and grandparents chipping in or co-signing loans. And now, a SmartMoney report finds the U.S. government withholding money from Social Security recipients who've stopped paying on federal student loans.
Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 11:29 am
If you've been applauding yourself recently for choosing the apple slices over the french fries for your kid's fast food meal, or an apple-laden prepackaged salad for your own dinner, you might want to hit the pause button.