Thursday's Personal Finance stories
- What to ask before buying an annuity
- Large firms seek to change, not repeal, health law
- Emerging-markets consumers fill their carts
- Job growth seen for first time in fourth months
- Investors face murky outlook, on taxes and more
So, before you buy, ask some questions. Read Robert Powell's column today to find out which questions, specifically. Also, don't miss Kristen Gerencher's Vital Signs column on how, despite a lot of noise in Congress now about repealing health-care reform, most employers say they're not seeking repeal but perhaps a few tweaks.
Advisers often say most people don't buy an annuity — they're sold an annuity. Don't be one of those people. And don't write off annuities entirely, because they really may be the best way for you to ensure a slice of guaranteed income.
—Andrea Coombes , Personal Finance editor
Somewhere in the blogosphere, a salesman is at this very moment posting an outrageous claim about an annuity that "has some AWESOME benefits for YOU!"
Read more: What to ask before buying an annuity.
Republican lawmakers emboldened by victories in the midterm elections are angling to repeal or defund the health-care overhaul that President Obama signed into law earlier this year. But many large employers are pushing for changes and not full repeal.
Read more: Large firms seek to change, not repeal, health law.
The midterm elections have passed, but investors still face plenty of uncertainty, especially on taxes. One expert says rebalancing is difficult, and investors should consider the Fed's plan to buy bonds a signal to do the opposite.
Watch video: Investors face murky outlook.
For most of the past 30 years, investing in emerging markets meant supporting arsenic-fouled strip mines, roads hacked through rain forests, underpaid factory workers, corruption, inequality, meanness and squalor.
Read more: Emerging-markets consumers fill their carts.
The government's report on nonfarm payrolls in October is expected to show job growth for the first time in four months that nonetheless won't be enough to make a dent in the high unemployment rate.
Read more: Job growth seen for first time in fourth months.
U.S. productivity rose 1.9% in the third quarter as labor costs fell, marking the sixth increase in the last seven quarters, government data showed Thursday.
Read more: Third-quarter productivity increases 1.9%.
Some 457,000 workers filed new applications for unemployment benefits last week, an increase of 20,000, indicating that employers are still reluctant to hire.
Read more: Weekly jobless claims jump 20,000 to 457,000.
Let's be clear. The economy is far from strong. Jobs are scarce. Home values are shaky, at best.
Read more: Some people aren't afraid to spend.
Despite concerns about unseasonably warm weather and economic pressures, many retailers' October sales beat analysts' lowered expectations, offering hope that consumer spending may remain resilient heading into the key holiday selling period.
Read more: October's sales offer hope for the holidays.
Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke defended the central bank's decision to start a new bond buying program in an unusual op-ed in the Washington Post on Thursday, arguing that the benefits from the plan are already being felt in the economy and concerns that it will foster inflation are overstated.
Read more: Bernanke defends bond-buy plan.
President Barack Obama's administration will have to shift to the right if it wants compromise with congressional Republicans, the GOP leader in the Senate said Thursday, as the president's spokesman hinted that a deal on taxes may be possible.
Read more: GOP calls for shift as White House drops tax hint.
With all the excitement of the House and Senate races, the state attorneys general campaigns were pretty much ignored. Too bad. AGs are the first-round draft picks of the political world.
Read more: State AGs get career boost from Dodd-Frank.