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Parents: Time for Your College-Bound Student to Get Some Financial Savvy


Listen up, parents of college-bound children. If your student isn't prepared to handle his or her financial affairs, it's time for a money-management crash course.

Sharon Burns, a clinical associate professor in Purdue University's Department of Consumer Sciences and Retailing, offers this timetable for getting your student financially ready for college:

  • Immediately visit a financial institution such as your credit union or bank. Each college-aged child should have a checking account, the most basic money management tool. Make a small deposit to open the account, then begin moving college funds into it. You may want to deposit only enough for the first...

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Ag Economist: Commodity Prices Cyclical, but Unpredictable


PurdueLogo.jpegWhat goes around comes around, even with commodity prices.

Prices climb unusually high and then drop quickly about every 30 years, said Chris Hurt, a Purdue University agricultural economist. The price spikes often are brought on by wars and currency devaluation - unexpected events that are difficult to predict, he said.

Hurt will discuss price spike cycles during a session of Top Farmer Crop Workshop. The 43rd annual workshop, hosted by Purdue Extension and Purdue's Department of Agricultural Economics, will take place July 18-21 in the Pfendler Hall Deans Auditorium on Purdue's West Lafayette campus and at Purdue's Agronomy Center for Research and Education, located west of campus.

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Report: Indiana Crop Conditions Better than Expected


PurdueLogo.jpegAlthough wet weather across Indiana has hampered fieldwork and raised questions about crop conditions, things may not be quite as bad as they seem.

The "Indiana Crop and Weather Report," issued June 28 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service, shows 65 percent of the state's corn crop and 62 percent of soybeans are in good to excellent condition, and only 11 percent of corn and 12 percent of soybeans are poor to very poor.

"There are areas where fields were ponded, and in some areas of the state crops look better than others, but when we look at the overall average of the state, we're seeing pretty good crop condition numbers," said Greg Preston, USDA-NASS Indiana Field Office director. "We have to think of the entire state of Indiana as one big field. You can lose a few acres and still have a great...

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Report: Americans Saving Less, Spending More


IndianaChamber_clr.gifKiplinger.com issued a report indicating that, despite recent economic woes, the general trend in America remains that Americans are spending more and saving less. Whatever your thoughts on personal finance, this, of course, would seem to be good news for the business community:

In 2008 and 2009, consumer spending collapsed and the saving rate climbed. After hitting an all-time low of 1.4% in 2005, the rate averaged 4.2% last year and even briefly exceeded 6% during the month of May. But instead of some fundamental and lasting change in consumer psychology, the heightened thrift is better explained by cyclical forces that are already in retreat.

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TraderPlanet.com Achieves 40,000 Member-Milestone And Announces Launch of Web Video Service


TrPlanet_Today.jpgwww.TraderPlanet.com, a social-networking site for traders and investors, announced today that the TraderPlanet community has reached its 40,000-member milestone. Since its launch in January 2009, the TraderPlanet community has attracted over 350 contributors offering educational information and resources to its members from over 150 countries around the world.

"We're happy to have achieved this significant milestone -- bringing us one step closer to achieving our mission to provide the best educational resources for individual traders and investors to help them navigate today's volatile global markets," said Lane J. Mendelsohn, Founder and President of www.TraderPlanet.com. "Our community allows experts to share their knowledge and experience with traders and investors who want to learn more about the challenges and...

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Standard & Poors Assigns 'A+' Bond Rating for Proposted Portage Municipal Sewage Works Revenue Bonds with 'Stable' Outlook


The City of Portage received excellent news last week when it received astrong investment grade rating from Standard & Poors, a National bond rating agency. The City’s underlying bond rating, relative to its proposed issuance of $16.5 million of sewage works revenue bonds, is a key factor in the upcoming bond sale and underwriting process.

City Officials were pleased with the S&P rating and believe that the City’s diligence in planning for this project, including the recent implementation of storm water user fees, will pay off when the bonds are sold in April pursuant to a competitive bidding process.

The proposed bonds are being issued in order...

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Purdue Press Releases 2nd Edition of Retirement Guide for Boomers


People often think about setting aside money for retirement, but how often do people plan for their happiness?

"When Every Day Is Saturday: The Retirement Guide for Boomers," by Purdue University professor emeritus Richard E. Grace, explains how adults can plan for a happy, meaningful retirement.

"We always hear about financial planning, but people should also think about what it will take to achieve happiness during their retirement years," says Grace, an emeritus professor of materials engineering and retired vice president from Purdue University.

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Investing Against the Tide


In November 1974, few people thought it was a good time to invest. The Dow was low and people were feeling it. Jim Fullerton, former chairman of the Capital Group, however, offered some perspective by reflecting upon the past. The article Investing Against the Tide is his account of the 1942 market turnaround. 

Each economic, market and financial crisis is different from previous ones. Today there are thoughtful, experienced, respected economists, bankers, investors and businessmen who can give you well-reasoned, logical, documented arguments why this bear market is different;  why this is not a good time to invest in common...

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When It Comes to IRAs, Know Your Limits


In recent years, IRAs have become the single largest vehicle for retirement savings in the United States. At the end of 2007, IRAs held $4.8 trillion in retirement savings, whereas employer-sponsored defined-contribution plans like the 401(k) held $3.5 trillion and defined-benefit plans (traditional pensions) held $2.3 trillion.1

As a retirement savings vehicle, the IRA has become more attractive with age. When IRAs were created in 1974, the annual contribution limit was $1,500. In 2009, workers can contribute up to $5,000 to all IRAs combined, and those 50 and older can contribute an additional $1,000 in catch-up contributions.

Contributing the maximum amount to...

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Inflation Goes to College


Over the past 10 years, tuition and fees have grown more than 4% faster than the rate of general inflation at public four-year colleges and more than 2% faster than inflation at private four-year colleges.1

That’s pretty scary stuff, but it doesn’t have to be the end of your dream to see the kids (or grandkids) go to a college of their choosing. You have a friend with the answers to this test: the Section 529 savings plan.

Take Some Notes:

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