In one particular chicken-and-egg debate, what comes first is clear: It makes sense to hire a financial adviser only after you can afford one — not in the hopes of building wealth someday. Financial advisers often require a minimum amount of investable assets (for many advisers that amount is at least $250,000), and their fees can place financial planning out of reach for many. Fortunately, there are less expensive — even free — resources that make financial planning accessible to most people. Because time is a powerful ally when it comes to building your money, it’s important to get started as soon as possible. Here’s how to begin. Find quality free advice A good financial adviser asks questions to understand a client’s finances and goals; do-it-yourselfers can find tools to replicate those steps. The internet is awash with information, including tools for creating (and keeping to) a budget, seeing how much home you can afford, and calculating … [Read more...] about DIY financial planning
(CNN)Ethics experts are crying foul after requests for the public financial disclosures of Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker have gone unfulfilled. In a letter sent to the US Office of Government Ethics Friday, American Oversight, an outside watchdog group, said that the Department of Justice had not produced a copy of Whitaker's public financial disclosure reports, despite regulations requiring them to do so, and asked the ethics agency to investigate. Whitaker, who served as chief of staff to the former attorney general up until his appointment to the top role earlier this month, would likely have had to file two sets of public financial disclosures since joining the Justice Department last year. According to federal ethics law, agencies must make those reports available to public requestors within 30 days of their filing -- a deadline that would have already passed for Whitaker. "The idea that they wouldn't release this report promptly is mind-boggling," said Walter Shaub, … [Read more...] about Failure to turn over Whitaker’s public financial disclosure forms angers critics
I have a friend with school-age children who is a professional in a fairly lucrative field. The spouse is in a nonlucrative field. My friend chose to work fewer hours to spend time with their growing children, greatly reducing the family’s take-home pay in the process. This friend wanted the kids to go to an expensive private school that has a scholarship program with income requirements to qualify for student aid. Aid was applied for and received. I feel that it is inappropriate to use scholarship funds when the lack of income was merely a choice and not a circumstance. That scholarship money (which is limited) could have gone to a parent who had no capacity to make more money, regardless of effort. Do you think it was right that this friend received scholarship funds? Name Withheld Your letter scrupulously avoided specifying the genders of the parties. That’s helpful, because I have a hunch that many people would respond more sympathetically to a woman who decided to … [Read more...] about Should Kids Whose Parents Could Earn Higher Salaries Get Financial Aid?
This article was reported and written in a collaboration with ProPublica, the nonprofit investigative journalism organization. One of the world’s top breast cancer doctors failed to disclose millions of dollars in payments from drug and health care companies in recent years, omitting his financial ties from dozens of research articles in prestigious publications like The New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet. The researcher, Dr. José Baselga, a towering figure in the cancer world, is the chief medical officer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He has held board memberships or advisory roles with Roche and Bristol-Myers Squibb, among other corporations, has had a stake in start-ups testing cancer therapies, and played a key role in the development of breakthrough drugs that have revolutionized treatments for breast cancer. According to an analysis by The New York Times and ProPublica, Dr. Baselga did not follow financial disclosure rules set by … [Read more...] about Top Cancer Researcher Fails to Disclose Corporate Financial Ties in Major Research Journals
Here’s a simple idea I bet most Americans agree with: No qualified high school student should ever be barred entrance to a college based on his or her family’s bank account. Yet it happens all the time. When colleges review applications, all but a few consider a student’s ability to pay. As a result, high-achieving applicants from low- and middle-income families are routinely denied seats that are saved for students whose families have deeper pockets. This hurts the son of a farmer in Nebraska as much as the daughter of a working mother in Detroit. America is at its best when we reward people based on the quality of their work, not the size of their pocketbook. Denying students entry to a college based on their ability to pay undermines equal opportunity. It perpetuates intergenerational poverty. And it strikes at the heart of the American dream: the idea that every person, from every community, has the chance to rise based on merit. I was lucky: My father was a … [Read more...] about Michael Bloomberg: Why I’m Giving $1.8 Billion for College Financial Aid