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The bank branch of the future is coming, with coffee bars, cozy nooks … and no teller windows

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

CHICAGO -- The branch bank of the future is coming, and your friendly neighborhood teller may be history.

With transactions migrating online, customer traffic down and once-bustling branches closing their doors, major banks including Fifth Third, Chase and Capital One are racing to create cozier, millennial-friendly spaces offering financial ...Read more

How millennials are changing corporate giving

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Corporate generosity took center stage in May when Robert F. Smith, the founder, chairman and CEO of Vista Equity, announced his plan to pay off student loans for Morehouse College's entire 2019 graduating class.

At the same time, MacKenzie Bezos, the ex-wife of Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, signed the Giving Pledge, agreeing to earmark ...Read more

On Philanthropy: Philanthropy is the ultimate 'risk capital'

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The definition of "risk capital" varies greatly depending on context.

In the world of private equity, risk capital refers to the funds used for speculative, high-risk, high-reward investments. Depending on the success of the investment, it can either earn spectacular returns or dwindle to a fraction of the initial amount.

In the charitable ...Read more

Vanguard Considering Private Equity for the very wealthy: report

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Vanguard is again considering jumping into the private equity realm, an alternative investment generally considered only for the very wealthy.

Vanguard has been in talks with HarbourVest Partners in Boston and Pantheon Ventures in London, plus at least one other firm, to give private market strategies to clients of its advisory services, ...Read more

Susan Tompor: Don't do your boss any favors buying gift cards — it's likely a scam

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

We've had the "one ring" phone scam, the fake IRS phone calls, the scam that tricks you into thinking that your Social Security number has been connected to some car in Texas that was involved with running drugs across the border.

And now we have the "Can you do me a favor?" scam.

Sure, you're thinking "Hey, I know quite a few folks who ask ...Read more

Student loans were canceled? Great, but you are still on the hook for taxes.

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Good news: If you have private student loans from the now-defunct ITT Technical schools, your loans have been canceled.

Bad news: You may owe taxes, as the IRS views the loans as income.

Pennsylvania's attorney general last week announced a national settlement for more than $168 million in debt relief for 18,000 former students of ITT Tech. In...Read more

Hot Property: Donald Trump wraps up some business in Beverly Hills

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- President Donald Trump has visited California three times since entering the White House, but he'll have one fewer place to stay for the next trip. The Trump Organization has sold one of its last two properties in Los Angeles County, a Tudor-style home in Beverly Hills, for $13.5 million in an off-market sale.

The Trump ...Read more

Sen. Feinstein pens letter to Google after $1 billion housing announcement

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

In the wake of Google's announcement this week that it will spend $1 billion tackling the Bay Area's housing crisis, one California lawmaker wants more information from the tech giant.

Longtime Sen. Dianne Feinstein sent a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Wednesday saying "any information you are able to provide about this investment is ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: How can I get out of condo contract?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: Several years ago, I signed a contract to buy a new construction condo unit. I have made all the required deposits, and we are six months from closing. I found out I have to relocate for my job. What can I do? -- Don

A: Many things can happen between signing a contract for new construction in a development and closing time, often several ...Read more

Backyard tech for summer that will make your neighbors jealous

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Make the great outdoors even greater with cool gadgets to make life easier so you can further enjoy all of summer's awesomeness.

Yes, we know that you may get outside to get away from technology, but items like a Wi-Fi barbecue thermometer means you can check on dinner without having to step away from your guests. A robot lawnmower will quietly...Read more

Wells Fargo mistakes cost people their homes. It was just the start of their problems

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

BURLINGTON, N.C. -- About nine years ago, a Burlington woman begged Wells Fargo to keep working with her to lower her mortgage payments. She had just lost her job, and the single mom was struggling to pay for the house she shared with her three kids.

Ultimately, the bank said no.

Her problems continued to mount. Choking back tears, Zsa Zsa ...Read more

WeWork becomes largest office tenant in downtown Chicago

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

CHICAGO -- WeWork has signed its 12th lease in Chicago, pushing its footprint to more than 1 million square feet and making the co-working giant the largest tenant leasing office space downtown.

The New York-based company's latest deal is for almost 92,000 square feet in a 20-story tower at 625 W. Adams St., where the company said it will move ...Read more

We break down Vanguard's 'How America Saves' 2019 report

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Want some highlights of how Americans save for retirement? We read Vanguard's latest "How America Saves" 2019 report issued on Tuesday for trends and other takeaways.

Here are some key highlights from Vanguard's report on the popular workplace "defined contribution" (DC) retirement plans, those filled by matching contributions from the employee...Read more

Why Stanford may be more affordable than a lot of state universities

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Prestigious, selective, world-ranked are all ways to describe Stanford University. Add this to the list: bargain -- at least by some measures.

Students who graduated from Stanford with a bachelor's degree had the lowest debt burden in the Bay Area and the fourth lowest in California. The average Stanford student's total debt of almost $13,700 ...Read more

Susan Tompor: How a 25-year-old hairstylist drives a six-figure Mercedes

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Alex Pardoe, 25, is what some might dub the anti-millennial. Except, he's not really.

Much like others in their 20s or 30s, he's savvy about building a brand, marketing his talents and recognizing how to use Instagram and YouTube to turn a head and grab a headline.

He's just making a whole lot more money than you'd imagine for someone in a ...Read more

The Journey: How to unload your debt burden

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Americans' debt load has risen nearly 23% since 2013 -- despite record stock gains and low unemployment -- and that can't bode well for their future.

Household debt totaled almost $13.7 trillion in the first quarter, with credit cards, auto loans and home equity loans accounting for 18% of that figure, according to the New York Federal Reserve'...Read more

Housing crunch sends bigger populations to smaller towns

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Cities with fewer than 200,000 residents grew faster than larger metropolises between 2017 and 2018 as high housing prices chased many people away from big cities and their closest suburbs.

The biggest cities grew by a collective 326,000 people, less than half the number earlier in the decade, and less than the number for smaller cities -- 421,...Read more

How hackers used little-known credit-card feature to defraud woman, $1.99 at a time

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Whoever stole Leslie Robison's credit card number could have bought a new computer, a flat-screen TV, or an expensive trip overseas.

Instead, the thief tried to scam her just two bucks at a time.

In January, Robison discovered more than a dozen charges at a $1.99 each from Google for hundreds of gigabytes of cloud storage she never ordered. ...Read more

Hot Property: Tyra Banks' next top remodel

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Supermodel, television host and home flipper Tyra Banks has bought a Pacific Palisades home for a little more than $3 million.

The 1949 traditional house, which has been owned by the same family for 70 years, is in the Bluffs area and in need of a makeover.

Banks, who in recent years has bought and sold a number of homes in the ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Falling interest rates encourage refinancing — but often for the wrong reason

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The usual reasons to refinance are to reduce the monthly payment or to raise cash. A third reason -- which is underappreciated -- is to shorten the period of indebtedness.

The third motive is seldom acted upon. Indeed, borrowers who refinance into a new mortgage that has the same term as the original mortgage -- a new 30-year supplanting an old...Read more


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