Ask Money - Most Commented

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Ask Carmen: Dropping dead weight

Dec 6, 2013
Financial resolutions, cutting back frivolous spending and big student loans. Must be another round of Ask Carmen!
Posted In: ask carmen, Personal Finance, student loans
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elvis picture

Question: How do I know if my financial adviser is doing a good job?

Submitted by elvis | Nov 06,2013

I have about a quarter of my retirement money with a financial advisor who charges the following: The advisor gets 1 percent of assets under management; 0.2 percent goes to the third-party custodian; 0.3 percent goes to the company that decided the asset allocation that was set up, based on my age, answers to questions about risk, volatility.

Now I find out there is an expense ratio for the ETFs; as well as the costs of commissions when buying and selling the ETFs to rebalance, as well as something called the bid/ask spread. I am thinking of moving this money to Vanguard. 

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augustm picture

Question: Can I afford to go back to grad school to make more money?

Submitted by augustm | Oct 23,2013

I am 35 years old and only began saving for retirement this year through a combination of a 401k and Roth IRA. I would really like to return to school in three or four years to get a double-Masters in economics and finance, taking off one year to study Chinese in China. I know that I will earn twice as much once I complete my degrees as I earn now, but I am concerned about stepping away from full-time work and benefits for five years while only taking part-time jobs or internships in my new field. While I am in school and traveling, although I will be able to support myself financially, I won't be saving for retirement. Can I really afford to go back to grad school to make more money?

August Mileaux

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Ask Carmen: Family secrets

Nov 29, 2013
How should you handle keeping things secret from your family? Carmen and guest Dr. Gail Saltz talk to listeners.
Posted In: ask carmen, family advice
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Featured Voicemail: Building credit

Nov 22, 2013
Nick from Chicago left a voice mail for Marketplace Money host Carmen Wong Ulrich about how to get a higher credit limit without going into debt.
Posted In: ask carmen, Personal Finance, Credit card, credit limit, buying a home
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Having a baby? Here's 5 money questions to consider

Nov 22, 2013
Marketplace Money listener Andrew is expecting his first child. What should he make sure to account for when getting ready financially?
Posted In: raising a child, Personal Finance, advice, ask carmen
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Ask Carmen: Home-buying checklist

Nov 15, 2013
We get a lot of questions on when to buy a home. Carmen Wong Ulrich shares some tips to make sure you're ready.
Posted In: buying a home, real estate, advice
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Chrometophobia picture

Question: Should I accept 'free' life insurance from my bank?

Submitted by Chrometophobia | Nov 10,2013

I've been getting a lot of these solicitations from my bank about free Group Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance. I can get $3,000 in free coverage. Getting "free" money or protection always seems like a good idea but, I wonder what the bank is getting out of it. Is the bank taking life insurance out on me too or is there anything else I should worry about before I take this freebie?

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To IPO or Not IPO: Twitter's debut

Nov 6, 2013
Twitter's unveils on the stock market. Should you make the plunge?
Posted In: listener questions, Twitter, Investing
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bomgd3 picture

Question: Can accepting so many credit card offers hurt my credit?

Submitted by bomgd3 | Nov 06,2013

Hi, I love your show and never miss an episode! It's a great way to learn something new while I'm working out.

I have a question. I'm a 25-year old medical student in my final year of school. I have $100k in school debt, and I have five credit cards with a TransUnion credit score of 771. I've always heard that I shouldn't sign up for too many credit cards because it will ding my credit. Despite those vague warnings, I probably sign up for two per year and cancel them as I go. The terms are just too tempting. I get something like $700 per year in introductory bonuses, 2 to 5 percent cashback on all daily purchases, and other great perks.

One of the best perks has been to put daily purchases on credit cards with very long zero percent APR introductory rates, saving me a significant amount of loan interest accrual. I think my credit has not suffered too much, but at the same time I realize that the biggest factor dragging my score down is a short history.

I will graduate from school in six months and would like to buy a house/condo perhaps in 18 - 24 months. I have never paid a dime of interest in my life, nor have I ever had a late fee. Is there a major downside to taking advantage of these credit card offers?

Additionally, is there a period before buying a home that I should stop obtaining new cards in order to optimize my credit?

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