Marketplace Money for Friday, December 7, 2012

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Episode Description 
With less than three weeks to go until Christmas, what are you dreaming of? Maybe getting the perfect gift, landing the perfect job, or fulfilling your dream of buying a house? This week we take a look at the economics of gift giving, why the perfect job in paradise doesn't pay, and if owning a home is still part of the American Dream. Plus, can an independent liquor store still survive against the big-box retailers? And financial advice for investors worried about the fiscal cliff.

Uncorking what keeps independent liquor stores afloat

Conventional wisdom says that big-box stores and supermarket chains offer cheaper alcohol than independent shops. But private liquor stores offer something big retailers can't.
Posted In: wine, big box, independent stores

The economics of gift giving

Not sure what to give your Secret Santa? Here's some advice on how to re-think the gift-giving process so that everyone is left satisfied.
Posted In: gift giving, gift cards

The financial reality of investing for women

We often hear that women are more risk averse than men. Commentator Helaine Olen says yes, male and female investors may approach risk-taking differently, but that's not why women have less money to put away.
Posted In: Investing, men v. women, women

After all those foreclusures, not so many houses for sale

Some cities with high foreclosure rates actually have housing shortages now, not a glut of foreclosed houses on the market. President Obama's mortgage-relief plan has helped, but another factor is hedge funds investing in houses to rent out.
Posted In: Housing, foreclosures, hedge funds

Lifeguard: A dangerous job in paradise

For lifeguards on Hawaii's North Shore, the office is beautiful, the work is dangerous, and the pay is surprisingly low.
Posted In: salary, Hawaii, surfer

What's helping the housing market bounce back?

Things are looking up in the housing market. People are starting to buy houses again. Mortgage rates are at an all-time low and there's lots of inventory. Or is there?
Posted In: Housing, rent vs. buy, rent, shadow inventory

Advice for investors ahead of the fiscal cliff

A lot of investors are on edge about what's going to happen with the fiscal cliff. Economics correspondent Chris Farrell says take a deep breath and don't make any rash decisions.
Posted In: fiscal cliff, Investing

Letters: It's my first time negotiating a salary!

L.A. Times consumer columnist David Lazarus tackles trip insurance, low income housing, first-time salary negotiations and why on earth someone would still choose to still pay bills by check (we're looking at you, Tony Cox!).
Posted In: letters

Music from this show

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Jump Around [Explicit]
House Of Pain
House Of Cards
Ladies First (Greatest Hits Version) [feat. Monie Love] [Clean]
Queen Latifah
The Ventures
Pour Me
Trick Pony

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