BONUS call: Student Loan Debt

Help! I'm drowning in debt thanks to high interest student loans. My mom has the money to help. Is it worth having a conversation? That's the dilemma facing Megan from North Carolina on the latest BONUS call.

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Have a money question? Email us here or call 855-411-JILL.

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"Better Off" theme music is by Joel Goodman, www.joelgoodman.com.

Alternative Investments

Alternative Investments

April is Financial Literacy Month, a perfect time to answer your questions about the murky world of “Alternative Investments.” These vehicles fall outside of the more commonly utilized individual stocks, bonds, mutual and exchange-traded funds. In general, they are used by large institutions, like pension funds, endowments, foundations and wealthy (“accredited”) individuals.

Listener Questions: Real Estate, Roth 401(k), Pension, Retirement Planning

Calls, calls, calls and emails, emails, emails! Today's show is all about your questions. We're so backed up that this may become a regular thing!

Hour one kicked off with Neil from Oregon who was wondering if now is a good time to buy a house. Neil currently rents but is worried if he waits much longer he may be priced out of the market. 

Next up was Brianne from the Bay Area who was looking for some pointers as she tries to help her parents get their financial lives in order. 

The final call of hour one comes from Samantha in North Carolina. Samantha is a grad student at Duke and wants to make sure she's on the right path for retirement when she retires in May. I love super young people who are already thinking about retirement! 

We kicked off hour two with Andrea from Minnesota who was wondering if it makes sense for her to start using the Roth 401(k) option at work. 

Next was Nathan from Albany, New York who is weighing the possibility of a new job. One huge factor is that his current job has a great pension plan and the potential new job does not offer a pension. 

The final call of the show comes from Ruth in Cleveland. Only 24 years old Ruth is finding herself with more cash in the savings account than she needs. What should she do? Is there a better alternative? 

Have a money question? Email us here or call 855-411-JILL.

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"Jill on Money" theme music is by Joel Goodman, www.joelgoodman.com.

Inside the World of Financial Regulation

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As the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is defanged and the Department of Labor rolls back rules that would require retirement professionals to put the best interests or customers first, it’s easy to feel like nobody has our backs.

The good news is that individual states are coming to the rescue when it comes to financial regulation and protecting consumers. In my conversation with Maria Vullo, the Superintendent of Financial Services for the State of New York (DFS), you will learn how Vullo and her department attempt to regulate a wide swath of industries.

DFS has a lofty mission: “To reform the regulation of financial services in New York to keep pace with the rapid and dynamic evolution of these industries, to guard against financial crises and to protect consumers and markets from fraud.” Here’s what Vullo and her team are attempting to do on a daily basis:

  • Eliminate financial fraud, other criminal abuse and unethical conduct in the industry
  • Educate and protect users of financial products and services and ensure that users are provided with timely and understandable information to make responsible decisions about financial products and services
  • Ensure the continued solvency, safety, soundness and prudent conduct of the providers of financial products and services
  • Protect users of financial products and services from financially impaired or insolvent providers of such services
  • Encourage high standards of honesty, transparency, fair business practices and public responsibility

Over the course of her distinguished career, Vullo’s specific legal experience has included litigations and investigations involving the financial services sectors and fraud, real estate, health care, insurance, tax, consumer protection, bankruptcy, antitrust, and constitutional law. She has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits, and the New York State Appellate Division.

Ms. Vullo is a recognized leader in protecting women’s rights, including representing women raped by soldiers during the 1992-1995 Bosnian War, a case in which she secured a $745 million jury verdict for the plaintiffs. Her pro bono work also includes securing a $100 million jury verdict representing abortion providers whose lives had been threatened by an online “hit list.”

“Better Off” is sponsored by Betterment.

Have a money question? Email us here or call 855-411-JILL.

We love feedback so please subscribe and leave us a rating or review in Apple Podcasts!

Connect with me at these places for all my content:

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"Better Off" theme music is by Joel Goodman, www.joelgoodman.com.

BONUS call: Helping the Parents in Retirement

By now you know that we're all about helping you prepare for retirement and making sure you have a solid game plan in place. But what happens when for whatever reason your parents find themselves struggling in their retirement years? That's the theme on the latest BONUS call with Jessica from New Jersey who we've decided wins the 2018 Daughter of the Year Award.

“Better Off” is sponsored by Betterment.

Have a money question? Email us here or call 855-411-JILL.

We love feedback so please subscribe and leave us a rating or review in Apple Podcasts!

Connect with me at these places for all my content:

https://twitter.com/jillonmoney

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https://apple.co/2pmVi50

"Better Off" theme music is by Joel Goodman, www.joelgoodman.com.

CBS Evening News: Using Your Tax Refund for Retirement

Many people admit they don't save enough for retirement, but it's never too late to invest in the future. I joined the CBS Evening News with Jeff Glor to explain how your tax refund could be a good jumping off point.

Have a money question? Email me here.

Don’t Blow Your Tax Refund

Don’t Blow Your Tax Refund

Syria! Tariffs! Mueller Investigation! Facebook under Fire! Corporate Earnings! All of these headlines have moved markets over the few weeks, leaving investors whipsawed and exhausted. If you’re keeping score, the Dow and S&P 500 are down slightly on the year (-1.5 percent and -0.7 percent, respectively), while the Russell 2000 and NASDAQ Composite are up (+0.9 percent and +3 percent, respectively).

The China Hustle + Asset Allocation

We started off the show this week with a great call from Bill in Salt Lake City. Bill knows he's in it for the long haul. In fact, Bill may never need to touch his 401(k), so he's not too spooked by the recent market volatility. That said, he's concerned that his current allocation may be too aggressive. While he doesn't need to access the retirement account, he certainly doesn't want the money to disappear either. 

After chatting with Bill for a couple segments we wrapped up the first hour by answering a handful of emails. 

The new documentary film The China Hustle begins amid the depths of the 2008 financial crisis, when we meet protagonist Dan David and a band of Wall Street outsiders. These detective-like investors operate on the fringes of the financial world, scouring global markets for money making opportunities. With the U.S. economy and markets in a tailspin, they turn to China, where there is what seems like a modern day gold rush. Chinese stock market indexes are doubling every year and the potential seems endless.

There’s one problem, though: U.S. investors can’t participate because they are barred from investing directly in Chinese markets. But this is America, and people always find a way. A few Wall Street operators create a novel solution by bringing hundreds of promising Chinese companies directly to U.S. stock markets. All of the sudden, US investors can get in on the Chinese miracle, without leaving the comforting confines of the NYSE and the NASDAQ.

It all seems to be going well, until detectives discover that most of the companies they’re investing in are frauds, producing phony balance sheets, claiming sham inventory levels and celebrating non-existent profits. The investors flip their strategy on its head and begin to master the art of short selling - essentially, betting that a company will fail.

With the help of a team of Chinese researchers who risk their freedom to uncover the truth behind these fake companies, the investors discover the frauds and bet against them in the market.

There are no good guys in this story. But there are a few people who are sick of a financial system built on lies. The China Hustle follows their story through Wall Street, China and your retirement savings to uncover the biggest heist you’ve never heard of, and to challenge all of us to wake up and demand accountability and transparency in our markets before it’s too late.

Have a money question? Email us here or call 855-411-JILL.

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"Jill on Money" theme music is by Joel Goodman, www.joelgoodman.com.