Smaller companies may pay big dividends

By By Stan Choe
Posted on November 07, 2014

In the hunt for dividends, biggest doesn’t always mean best.Big, blue chip stocks are often the first stop for many dividend investors. Companies like Exxon Mobil or Procter & Gamble have long histories of paying dividends and higher yields than the market’s average.But smaller companies pay dividends too, and some mutual-fund managers count them among the best opportunities ... READ MORE

Mutual funds falter in the third quarter

By Stan Choe
Posted on October 20, 2014

Take a breath.After delivering solid and consistent returns through the first half of this year, most types of mutual funds faltered in the third quarter. It wasn’t a disaster — most of the declines were modest, and the largest categories of stock and bond funds were virtually flat — but it was a letdown for anyone who got accustomed to steady and widespread quarterly... READ MORE

Ditch rising stocks or stick with them?

By Bernard Condon
Posted on October 12, 2014

Is it time to cash out of stocks?The market has nearly tripled in a little over five years, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index closed above 2,000 for the first time in late August. With each record, the temptation grows to take your winnings and flee.Plenty of experts think stocks are about to drop. But many others offer compelling arguments for the rally to continue for... READ MORE

Sun and wind energy empower portfolios

By Jonathan Fahey
Posted on October 08, 2014

You can now fit a wind or solar farm into your portfolio, even if your portfolio isn’t exactly vast.Energy companies are wrapping renewable energy projects and other power-related assets that generate steady cash into new companies they hope attract investors hunting for dividends.In an unfortunate victory for corporate speak, they are called yieldcos. They’re the electric power ... READ MORE

How you can profit from the merger surge

By Anne Kates Smith
Posted on October 03, 2014

Every week, it seems, brings news of a corporate coupling (or at least an invitation). Buyouts are brisk in industries ranging from technology to healthcare, from finance to consumer goods.Halfway through 2014, U.S. companies had announced more than 9,000 deals (counting minor ones, including those for parts of businesses), with a collective value of more than $771 billion.... READ MORE

If you need it, Indio Open Air Market has it

By John Annarino
Posted on September 30, 2014

While strolling under the stars, you get to shop for bargains galore.That’s the beauty of Indio’s Open Air Market held every Wednesday and Saturday from 4 to 10 p.m. at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio. Actually, it’s a farmers market, swap meet and flea market all rolled into one, making it one of the biggest of its kind in Southern California.It’s a... READ MORE

How you can profit from the merger surge

By Anne Kates Smith
Posted on September 05, 2014

Every week, it seems, brings news of a corporate coupling (or at least an invitation). Buyouts are brisk in industries ranging from technology to healthcare, from finance to consumer goods.Halfway through 2014, U.S. companies had announced more than 9,000 deals (counting minor ones, including those for parts of businesses), with a collective value of more than $771 billion.... READ MORE

Is it wise to transfer a credit card balance?

By Alex Veiga
Posted on August 27, 2014

Offers from credit card companies to temporarily skirt interest charges can be enticing. Reducing interest payments by transferring a balance from one card to another is a quick way to lower monthly finance charges. But taking advantage of such a promotion, even one offering a zero interest rate on balance transfers, doesn’t always pay off. That’s especially true for cardholders who... READ MORE

Tapping retirement accounts penalty-free

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on August 21, 2014

Workers are retiring earlier these days, whether by choice or not, and many find they need to withdraw funds from retirement accounts prior to age 59½. That’s the age when account holders can take distributions from 401(k) plans and traditional and Roth IRAs without a 10 percent penalty.Tax law makes early withdrawals difficult without penalty, but if you need to tap the... READ MORE

An ounce of prevention boosts travel safety

By Ellen Gilbert
Posted on August 13, 2014

Lucinda Alvarez stood last year in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, packed into the ever-present crowd and totally absorbed by Rembrandt’s “Flora.”  She was absorbed until someone bumped against her — just enough to raise her suspicions. Alarmed, the La Quinta resident stepped aside and checked her purse. No wonder it seemed lighter. Missing were... READ MORE