Color of Money: Don't gamble on becoming a bitcoin millionaire

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- A lot of people have the "FOMO" disease.

It's a common ailment defined as the fear of missing out. And now that bitcoin is the hottest financial craze, I'm afraid that you might be extremely anxious that you'll be proven a fool if you don't invest in this virtual currency.

There's no question that the price of bitcoin has been ...Read more

Avoid the awkward office party. Employees prefer money.

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- In the era of sexual harassment, a lot of office parties will be different. At least we should hope they are.

No sexual innuendo. No leaning in too close after partaking of generously poured drinks provided at an open bar. No pressuring a fellow colleague -- male or female -- for a chance at romance.

But here's another reason the...Read more

Color of Money: When it comes to personal finance, seeing is believing

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- What's your style of learning?

Me, I'm a verbal learner. I love words. I love lectures.

The way I learn works well when I'm reading a book on personal finance or attending an investment seminar.

But what if your learning style is visual?

A visual learner absorbs information better if there are pictures, graphs, charts or ...Read more

Color of Money: Being debt-free for the holidays is a feeling you can't buy in a store

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- I was intrigued by a letter that a little boy from Virginia wrote to Santa recently as part of a class assignment.

His mother posted the letter -- which was decorated with both green wreaths and skulls -- on Twitter. It quickly went viral.

Contrary to what one might think, it wasn't what the boy asked for that drew so much ...Read more

Color of Money: Financial vulnerability keeps many women quiet

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- A lot of folks are questioning why, after so many years or even decades, scores of women have finally come forward to report sexual harassment.

There are many factors that keep a woman quiet. But chief among them is money. They fear losing their ability to make a living. And we shouldn't judge them for this decision.

It's easy to...Read more

Color of Money: We must all fight to defend a key watchdog for financial fairness

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- I am an unapologetic advocate for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was created in the wake of a crippling financial crisis that I fear is becoming a distant memory.

But we have to remember: It was not that long ago when financial institutions did some funky stuff that pushed us into the Great Recession.

Now the ...Read more

Color of Money: When you know better, you'll be inspired to do better

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- What's more inspiring than the testimony of someone who faced adversity and triumphed?

Every week, during my live online chat, I invite people to talk about their financial successes. I call it "Testimony Thursday." And what better time of year -- when we express gratitude for what we have and enjoy the holiday gift-giving spirit ...Read more

Color of Money: Don't be embarrassed if you can't afford a holiday visit

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- Like it or not, this is the season of a higher level of expectation and pressure to visit family.

But what if the trip is too much financially? Or even though you adore your family, you just don't want to spend the money. How do you tell your relatives this without all the guilt or even condemnation?

During my regular online ...Read more

Color of Money: Will consumer watchdog become a lapdog for the financial industry?

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- The federal agency charged with safeguarding consumers is in jeopardy.

Richard Cordray, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, announced last week that he's leaving by the end of the month. Cordray's departure gives President Trump an opportunity to appoint a new leader, and I'm concerned that this will derail ...Read more

Color of Money: Don't get paralyzed by open enrollment -- just do it

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- I hate open enrollment season.

I know I'm not supposed to say this, but it's true. The long list of benefit options can be flat-out overwhelming. Which health care choice is right? Do I just go with the cheapest option? What's the right amount of life insurance? Make a wrong move and you're stuck with your decision for a year, ...Read more

Color of Money: Spending should be painful, not painless

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- People often ask me what's the best budgeting tool to help them better track and control their spending.

I always pause, hoping the person is ready for an answer that's different than what he or she asked.

There are a number of websites and mobile apps that can turn you into a budgeting wizard, doing everything from downloading ...Read more

Color of Money: GOP tax plan would take away financial lifejacket for seniors

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- Many seniors are scared right now that the Republican tax plan, if passed, will eliminate an important deduction that helps them defray the high cost of medical care.

Under current tax law, if you itemize, you can deduct medical expenses for yourself, your spouse and your dependents if the cost exceeds 10 percent of your adjusted ...Read more

Color of Money: Ask and you might receive

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- One of the financial tips I've passed on to my children is the concept that "it never hurts to ask."

I was reminded of this during a recent online chat. Every Thursday, during my live discussions, I encourage people to share a testimony. It's my way to get good news amid all the accusing and aggrandizing we see in politics. (With ...Read more

Color of Money: What allegations of Manafort's lavish spending say about society

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- Living too large is often what brings criminals down.

Topping the news right now is the indictment of two Trump campaign officials as part of the government's investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election.

The indictment alleges that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates earned ...Read more

Color of Money: The 401(k) millionaire next door

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- If you have a 401(k) or similar workplace retirement plan, you need to be up in arms.

As part of the GOP's push to overhaul the tax code, some in Congress want to drastically reduce the amount of pre-tax money you can contribute to this savings plan. Simply put, one of the best investment vehicles out there is under attack -- and ...Read more

Color of Money: Contribute as much as you can to your 401(k) -- just in case

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- Several days before President Trump's tweet telling folks they didn't have to worry about changes to their 401(k)s, the IRS made an announcement that didn't get nearly as much attention: Starting next year, you can contribute more pre-tax dollars to your employer-sponsored plan.

But you also might not have realized that tax-reform...Read more

Color of Money: Data breaches are no laughing matter

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- The epic Equifax data breach could make for some creative Halloween costumes. If there's a contest, I bet you'll win if you dress up like a horrifying hacker holding stolen credit reports.

Editorial cartoonists have certainly captured the rampant sense of dread and fear. Signe Wilkinson's depiction of the compromise of 145.5 ...Read more

Color of Money: Don't fall for student loan relief scams

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- If you're in the market to buy a home, you might hear a real estate professional say it's all about "location, location, location."

Those in the business of deceit also look for the best location -- but not necessarily a physical place. For scammers, it's all about where they'll get the most money victimizing people. And one of ...Read more

Color of Money: Learn how to protect seniors from fraud

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- With every data breach comes an increased need for fraud sentinels for seniors.

And by that I mean if you are a caregiver for a senior, you should become familiar with schemes targeting the elderly.

Clearly there are many seniors who are fully capable of avoiding conmen trying to get their money. But particularly for those who ...Read more

Color of Money: What you don't know about cybersecurity can cost you

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- You know the screams you hear when watching a horror movie in a theater?

That's what I want to let out every time there's another data breach. And I'm not alone.

"We're really scared," wrote readers Ellen and David, who are still scrambling for a feeling of security after the massive Equifax breach that left 145.5 million ...Read more


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