TV Appearances

WDIV: Robin Hood App

What is the Robinhood app?
Robinhood is a mobile app developed for iPhone and in the past week Android, that lets users trade stock for no commission.

WDIV: Black Monday

Yesterday is being called “Black Monday” on Wall Street, after a huge sell-off. Stocks plunged 1,000 points in early trading.

Scott talked with Rhonda Walker from WDIV about what’s behind the drop-off and what people should consider.

Q: Should we panic?

The numbers can be startling, but keep in mind- stocks have gained 200% since the financial crisis. The slide over the summer has wiped out 10% of those gains, after hitting an all-time high in May. That’s a market correction. But it’s important not to panic. Corrections will happen. The last one was in April, 2011, and the economy is much healthier today than it was then. In 2011, unemployment was at 9.1%, and today it’s down to 5.3%.

Q: What does it mean for our 401(k)s?

Your 401(k) is fluctuating; but it is too early to say how much. But I caution my clients against any knee-jerk reactions, over-reactions. You should set up your investments to have the appropriate risk for your age and how close you are to retirement and a good financial plan will do that. For my clients who in retirement, they may want to withdraw from savings accounts or other money that is not tied up in stocks to give their 401(k)s & IRAs time to recover. For younger clients, they have years to make up the losses. A good financial plan does not let short-term volatility impact a long-term approach.

Q: What’s causing the steep drop?

Growing fears about China’s economy are causing the sell-off. China is the world’s second-biggest economy, and it is slowing more than many investors had thought, which some people worry could cause a global economic relapse, hurting corporate profits in the U.S. and around the world. Stocks around the world […]

WDIV: Student Loans

Relief is on the horizon for college students and their families. Interest rates on federal student loans have dropped as of July 1st.
Interest Rates on Federal Student Loans will drop by .37% for any new loans taken out on July 1 or later. That’s because Congress passed a bill tying the interest rate to the 10-year treasury note in 2013. This drop applies to federal loans taken out for the 2015-16 school year. That includes federal Stafford Loans, graduate Stafford Loans, and direct PLUS loans, which are available to parents and to graduate students, which are available to parents and to graduate students. The rates will be locked in for the life of the loan.
A 0.37% decrease can add up to big savings over the life of the loan. A college freshman who borrows the maximum amount allowed for a subsidized Stafford Loan ($5,500) will save about $117 over the life of the loan. A graduate student will save about $457 and a parent taking loans for a child will save about $916 over the life of the loan.

As mentioned, the rate is tied to the 10-year treasury auction, which is linked to the strength of the economy. It’s expected to keep rising, and some financial aid experts are predicting student loans rates will rise by as much as 1% per year for several years. Rates are capped at 8.25% for undergraduate, 9.5% for graduate, and 10.5% for Plus loans.

More than 40 million American are now paying back more than $1.2 trillion in student loans, with an average debt of nearly $30,000 per person. Graduates and young adults report they are unable to get loans to buy a home b/c of the impact on […]