Alpha Consumer

October 2008


With Economy Down, Consumers Nest

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Are you spending more time on your sofa? Settling in with a good movie? Retreating to coziness is the new "painting the town red" as consumers try to deal with depleted investments and rising prices.

The futurist and business consultant Faith Popcorn has upgraded the trend she has previously ...

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TAGS:
economy
consumers

How to Improve Your Credit Score

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With banks increasingly picky about giving out loans, now is the perfect time to boost your credit score. Anyone with a 720 or above will have a much easier—and cheaper—time borrowing money. Because few people go to the trouble of getting their credit reports, they often don't even realize there ...

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TAGS:
credit

Walker: Don't Expect to Retire at 65

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Yesterday, David Walker, former head of the Government Accountability Office, criticized both presidential candidates for failing to lay out a plan for cutting the national debt. He has long railed against the lack of spending controls and mounting government debt, and this financial crisis has ...

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TAGS:
GAO
debt
economy

How to Pick a Good Retirement Calculator

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We’ve been talking a lot about retirement calculators lately, but how do you pick a good one? A Web search for “retirement calculator” will bring you all kinds of free, online tools. But not all of them are equally useful. Some ignore inflation while others assume an overly optimistic view that ...

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TAGS:
retirement

Using Online Retirement Calculators

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I could have taken a vacation to Greece with the money I've lost in my retirement account this year. When I told my husband that my 401(k) balance had plunged 17 percent since January, he said the solution was to stop looking at it.

He has a point, but there's something to be said for embracing the ...

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TAGS:
internet
retirement

William Isaac: Confidence Is Key

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William Isaac, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in the 1980s, says banks need confidence, not a bailout. "I don't see how the expenditure of $700 billion will give people any confidence in the economy. It's not going to happen," he says. Instead, he'd prefer tax incentives and ...

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TAGS:
FDIC
Wall Street
banking