Gail MarksJarvis is an award-winning financial columnist for the Tribune, a TV commentator and the author of the Excellence In Financial ...

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Gail MarksJarvis

Gail MarksJarvis

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Japan falls into recession as economic fixes fail to do the job

November 18, 2014

Japan has fallen back into a recession, a continuation of more than two decades of struggles and a warning about the overwhelming challenge of getting an economy healthy again after massive debt and a real estate bubble poison it.

  • About two-thirds of Americans are limiting spending, survey finds

    November 17, 2014

    Americans are feeling better about their finances than at any time since the Great Recession of 2007-09, but that doesn't mean they are ready to go on a spending spree.

  • 'Buying frenzy' overcomes recent investor fears

    November 11, 2014

    A month after investors fretted that Ebola, Middle East fighting and worldwide deflation would pull the rug out from under the stock market, stocks have taken an impressive turn for the best.

  • Smart tax tips for the end of year

    November 7, 2014

    Halloween has just passed so should you be getting ready to serve Thanksgiving dinner, shop for Christmas or Hanukkah, or plan for April?

  • Could buybacks spell bubble for the market?

    November 4, 2014

    One of the magic ingredients that's been sweetening the stock market the last couple of years has been the popular practice of companies buying back shares of their own stock.

  • Markets shifting gears, so buckle up

    October 28, 2014

    That was fast.

  • Eurozone troubles weigh on investors

    October 21, 2014

    If a new bout of recession and deflation takes hold in the eurozone, investors worry the U.S. could be infected too.

  • Weathering a stock market correction

    October 20, 2014

    Q: I've been planning to invest a large amount of money in a Vanguard index fund. Just when I was ready to fill out the forms the Dow Jones industrial average started to fall and alarming news stories were calling it a correction. I don't want to put money into this fund and immediately lose it. Can you explain correction and what I should do about it? Is this temporary? How will I know when it's over?

  • Dow closes down 173 points, not nearly as bad as the 400 earlier

    October 15, 2014

    Investors continued to run for safety Wednesday, driving the Dow Jones industrial average down another 173 points, to 16,141. But it could have been worse. In a rush to the exits earlier in the day, the Dow had plunged more than 400 points.

  • Markets slow their fall, but is correction near?

    October 15, 2014

    Finally, some relief. But barely.

  • Should you get out of the Pimco Total Return Fund??

    October 10, 2014

    If you have a 401(k), there's a good chance you have money in the Pimco fund, because it's been one of the darlings of the fund industry. The fund's longtime manager and founder, Bill Gross, has been a rock star among mutual fund managers, with his every word followed in the media and people throwing billions of savings into the fund in the hope of benefiting from a genius.

  • Stakes high for coming earnings season

    October 8, 2014

    Will a stronger American economy be enough to bolster U.S. corporate profits and calm investors at a time when the world is unmistakenly turning weaker?

  • Uncle Sam won't forget about your student loans

    October 3, 2014

    Want to spot the "no exit" of painful debt?

  • Investors expected to stick to stocks

    September 30, 2014

    As the stock market enters the last quarter of the year, investors are expected to stick with stocks. Not because they think stocks are a great deal. Rather, professional investors see no other game in town.

  • You may be your retirement fund's worst enemy

    September 23, 2014

    Ask just about anyone near retirement age if they think they will have plenty of money to last through retirement and you're likely to see their insecurity.

  • Benefits, not just paychecks, have fallen on hard times

    September 11, 2014

    Paychecks have been disappointing investors for years, but that's not all that's been putting pressure on household spending.

  • Low interest rates not helping Europe's economy

    September 9, 2014

    Europe is hurting. But the continent's debt and stagnation problems aren't going to end soon.

  • Recent college grads face stagnant pay prospects

    September 2, 2014

    As college freshmen begin to lay the groundwork for their futures, the job experiences of many recent college graduates may take some of the thrill and promise out of early days on campus.

  • Take steps to limit damage if hackers snare your data

    August 29, 2014

    You might have gone to a supermarket, mailed a package at UPS or gone to a restaurant or hospital and thought nothing about holding your wallet tightly.

  • In time, S&P 500's milestone will mean little

    August 26, 2014

    The Standard & Poor's 500 index, the most commonly used representation of the stock market, made history Tuesday as it crossed over the 2,000 mark and closed at 2,000.02.

  • Debate grows over value of lower unemployment rate

    July 9, 2014

    More companies hiring and struggling to find workers means higher pay and price increases could be coming.

  • Can't decide where to invest? You're not alone

    June 25, 2014

    If you are agonizing over where to invest your money, you aren't alone.

  • Cost of MBA teaches tough financial lesson

    May 18, 2012

    Joe Mihalic wasn't thinking at all about how he was going to pay off student loans — which would end up totaling $101,000 — when he was accepted to Harvard Business School.

  • For parents, the ABCs of college finance

    February 4, 2011

    Look at your child, and think of college.

  • College aid: Think like a shopper when seeking financial help

    April 12, 2009

    Can you afford college?

  • How to save for college during a recession

    January 9, 2009

    5 tips on saving for education

  • Tune out hysteria to build your wealth

    January 7, 2009

    5 tips on recession investing

  • What now? Resist urge to flee or freeze

    January 22, 2008

    Are you OK?

  • Housing tilting economy down

    January 7, 2008

    It's not a pretty picture, and it didn't have to come to this.

  • Long-short funds flopped during slump

    October 14, 2007

    Maybe plain-vanilla stock and bond mutual funds will do the job after all.

  • Racial divide in savings

    October 12, 2007

    If middle- and upper-income African-Americans continue to save and invest the way they tend to do, they stand to struggle financially through retirement in greater proportions than whites at similar income levels.

  • Investors find boring often can be fruitful

    October 7, 2007

    Q. I am 24 and have been saving in my 401(k) for about a year, but I find mutual funds boring. So I started paying attention to stocks. I discovered that I was good at spotting those that would do well. For a while, I just made a mental note of stocks I liked, but when I saw them go up I decided to buy my first stock. It was Garmin, which makes navigation devices for cars. I bought it for $70 and I made money immediately. Now I'm wondering how to decide when it's time to sell. Are there some rules of thumb?

  • Make up lost time with swift, smart action

    September 30, 2007

    Q. I have only $20,000 saved for retirement and am 50 years old. I know I have to get going, but my head is swimming with things I have heard about a deferred compensation plan and a 403(b) variable annuity at work. I'm a teacher, and can use either of the plans. But some people at work say the annuity isn't good and the deferred compensation plan is better. I tried to get help from a person in benefits, but they sounded like they were talking in code. So I haven't been doing anything, although I did pay off my house. What should I do?

  • Act early to prevent foreclosure

    September 16, 2007

    Keep the wolf away from the door.

  • Look at jobs, confidence for investing hints

    September 9, 2007

    According to Wall Street folklore, investors can expect results for September to turn out like the first trading day of the month.

  • Saving money for college? Study aid rules

    July 15, 2007

    Q You recently warned a parent not to let his son open a Roth IRA because it could keep him from getting financial aid for college. We opened a UTMA account for our niece some time ago and wonder if that would reduce the amount of financial aid she could receive when she goes to college.

  • Fears crawl into minds of investors

    July 9, 2007

    Call it the "cockroach theory."

  • Fears crawl into minds of investors

    July 9, 2007

    Call it the "cockroach theory."

  • Roth can be expensive gift for 16-year-old

    July 8, 2007

    Q. My wife and I are thinking about opening a Roth IRA [individual retirement account] for our 16-year-old son. I've paid attention, as you have suggested that small savings early in life can turn into million-dollar nest eggs. Is there any reason why we shouldn't open a Roth IRA for our son?

  • Emerging markets ready to step back

    July 1, 2007

    Your emerging-market fund might have climbed 50 percent during the last 12 months, but that doesn't mean it will be immune from the interest rate worries, housing woes and subprime mortgage angst that have tainted U.S. stocks recently.

  • Treasury yield's rise above 5% unnerves market

    June 8, 2007

    Investors ran for the exits Thursday, second-guessing the enthusiasm that has powered the stock market to one record-breaking high after another the last few weeks.