Day: October 28, 2020

Personal Finance Daily: Domestic workers are struggling even as other job sectors bounce back and how many lives a mask mandate could save

This post was originally published on this site

Hi there, MarketWatchers. Don’t miss these top stories:

Personal Finance
Wayne Gretzky is selling his $22.9 million Sherwood Country Club mansion

NHL legend Wayne Gretzky and his wife, Janet, have a soft spot for the sparkling estate they built with the help of architect Richard Landry back in 2002.

Even vampire bats practice social distancing when they get sick: study

Animals often isolate to avoid spreading disease in their communities — yet many humans refuse to do so

‘It is now a full-blown depression for domestic workers.’ Nannies, house cleaners and home-care workers continue to struggle even as other job sectors bounce back

Meanwhile, some highly-educated nannies are finding work for families dealing with remote schooling.

I offered my son $30K for a down payment on a home. His fiancée wants a written agreement for my gift to be split 50/50

‘My son had already agreed that any house they buy would be split 50/50 in case they divorced. She is still paying off student debt and has little savings.’

What’s covered by renters insurance—and what’s not

There’s a reason insurance policies have all that fine print: You might not have the coverage you expect.

Mayor Bill de Blasio urges New Yorkers not to travel out of state for the holidays. Here’s how to safely visit family this season

’Realize that by doing that, unfortunately, you could be putting yourself and your family in danger,’ the New York City mayor said.

A national mask mandate could save 130,000 lives by February, study finds

Dr. Anthony Fauci says he’s in favor of a national mask mandate, even though it would be difficult to enforce.

My parents gave my brothers and me $8 million in bonds, stocks and ETFs. I’d like to use my profit to travel. My parents refuse

‘I’m a 36-year-old man with no plans on having children, and I’d like to be able to use this very small amount to pursue one of my passions in life.’

The weird pandemic trend that’s sticking: people are switching to alternative flours

Demand for alternative flours such as sweet potato, banana, almond and corn has grown during the pandemic. Some consumers appear to be making a more permanent switch to them.

Elsewhere on MarketWatch
The 2-cent solution to close the racial wealth gap: A call for U.S. companies to invest in Black communities

By supporting Black-owned businesses, corporations and banks would create jobs and boost the economy.

Europe is now closing its doors, but its recovery had been running ahead of the U.S.

Current headlines aside, the European recovery has been faster than the U.S.

How Biden’s war chest has eclipsed Trump’s — in one chart

President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign and its affiliates raised more money than Joe Biden’s side in the past two years, but they’ve also spent more, so the Democratic effort started this month with a cash advantage.

Stock-market rout: How did rising coronavirus cases catch investors by surprise?

Stocks are headed for their worst week since March, but the pandemic never went away, and the threat of an autumn rebound in cases as cooler weather returned was long identified as a potential risk.

Deep Dive: Here are Wednesday’s biggest losers in the stock market as 97% of S&P 500 companies dropped

This post was originally published on this site

Pre-election jitters and an elevated number of new COVID-19 infections helped send the S&P 500 Index of the largest U.S. stocks down for a third straight session Monday.

There have been a record 500,000 new coronavirus infections in the U.S. over the past week, according to reporting by the New York Times.

In the S&P 500, three cruise-line companies were among the 15 worst performers. They are listed below.

• The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -3.43%  fell 943 points (or 3.4%) to close at 26,519.95. It is now down 7.1% for 2020. This was the largest one-day decline for the index since June 11.

• The S&P 500 SPX, -3.52%  was down 3.5%, but was still up 1.2% for 2020.

• The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -3.73%  dropped 3.7%, but was still up 22.6% for 2020.

The Dow

All but one of the components of the Dow were down for the day, with Microsoft Corp. MSFT, -4.95% showing the greatest decline of 5.1% and Travelers Cos. TRV, +2.02%  being the lone exception with a 2% gain:

Company Ticker Price change – Oct. 28 Price change – 2020 Decline from all-time intraday high Date of all-time intraday high
Microsoft Corp. MSFT, -4.95% -5.1% 28.4% -13.1% 09/02/2020
Visa Inc. Class A V, -4.83% -4.8% -3.7% -16.8% 09/02/2020
Salesforce.com Inc. CRM, -4.74% -4.7% 46.6% -16.2% 09/02/2020
Apple Inc. AAPL, -4.63% -4.6% 51.5% -19.4% 09/02/2020
Nike Inc. Class B NKE, -4.61% -4.6% 20.5% -7.1% 10/21/2020
Boeing Co. BA, -4.57% -4.6% -54.5% -66.8% 03/01/2019
Caterpillar Inc. CAT, -4.27% -4.3% 2.4% -12.7% 01/16/2018
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. WBA, -3.91% -3.9% -41.3% -64.5% 08/05/2015
UnitedHealth Group Inc. UNH, -3.90% -3.9% 4.8% -8.2% 10/23/2020
Coca-Cola Co. KO, -3.88% -3.9% -13.4% -20.2% 02/21/2020
Walt Disney Co. DIS, -3.92% -3.9% -18.1% -22.8% 11/26/2019
Chevron Corp. CVX, -3.78% -3.8% -44.5% -50.5% 07/24/2014
McDonald’s Corp. MCD, -3.71% -3.7% 8.6% -7.4% 10/16/2020
International Business Machines Corp. IBM, -3.53% -3.5% -20.4% -50.6% 03/15/2013
American Express Co. AXP, -3.50% -3.5% -26.4% -33.7% 01/24/2020
Honeywell International Inc. HON, -3.35% -3.4% -8.9% -12.4% 01/17/2020
Johnson & Johnson JNJ, -3.34% -3.3% -5.1% -11.9% 04/23/2020
Procter & Gamble Co. PG, -3.30% -3.3% 10.2% -5.6% 10/16/2020
Amgen Inc. AMGN, -3.16% -3.2% -10.2% -18.3% 07/06/2020
Cisco Systems Inc. CSCO, -3.14% -3.1% -25.5% -56.5% 03/27/2000
Intel Corp. INTC, -3.04% -3.0% -26.1% -41.6% 08/28/2000
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS, -3.02% -3.0% -17.5% -31.1% 03/12/2018
Dow Inc. DOW, -2.98% -3.0% -17.4% -25.3% 04/04/2019
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. JPM, -2.80% -2.8% -30.7% -31.6% 01/02/2020
Home Depot Inc. HD, -2.57% -2.6% 23.5% -7.9% 08/27/2020
Merck & Co. Inc. MRK, -2.32% -2.3% -16.2% -17.8% 12/20/2019
Walmart Inc. WMT, -1.98% -2.0% 17.8% -7.5% 09/02/2020
Verizon Communications Inc. VZ, -1.86% -1.9% -8.3% -9.6% 10/04/1999
3M Co. MMM, -1.55% -1.6% -10.1% -39.0% 01/26/2018
Travelers Cos. Inc. TRV, +2.02% 2.0% -11.3% -21.7% 07/16/2019
Source: FactSet

Scroll the table to see all the data. You can click on the tickers for more about each company.

S&P 500

On Wednesday, 97% of S&P 500 component stocks ended lower. Here are the day’s 15 worst performers in the benchmark index:

Company Ticker Price change – Oct. 28 Price change – 2020 Decline from all-time intraday high Date of all-time intraday high
 C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc.  CHRW, -11.44% -11.4% 13.3% -17.0% 10/08/2020
 Carnival Corp.  CCL, -10.61% -10.6% -75.8% -83.1% 01/30/2018
 Unum Group  UNM, -9.20% -9.2% -43.2% -73.5% 01/21/1999
 Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.  NCLH, -9.07% -9.1% -74.3% -76.6% 11/02/2015
 United Parcel Service Inc. Class B  UPS, -8.81% -8.8% 33.1% -12.5% 10/21/2020
 Akamai Technologies Inc.  AKAM, -8.72% -8.7% 12.8% -71.8% 01/03/2000
 Halliburton Co.  HAL, -8.71% -8.7% -53.3% -84.6% 07/24/2014
 DexCom Inc.  DXCM, -8.27% -8.3% 59.6% -23.5% 08/07/2020
 IPG Photonics Corp.  IPGP, -8.12% -8.1% 27.9% -29.8% 01/16/2018
 Mastercard Inc. Class A  MA, -8.11% -8.1% -2.4% -20.7% 08/28/2020
 Royal Caribbean Group  RCL, -7.42% -7.4% -60.2% -60.8% 01/29/2018
 Diamondback Energy Inc.  FANG, -7.41% -7.4% -73.5% -82.5% 10/03/2018
 Raytheon Technologies Corp.  RTX, -7.41% -7.4% -40.7% -44.0% 02/11/2020
 Idex Corp.  IEX, -7.22% -7.2% 0.3% -11.2% 10/20/2020
 HollyFrontier Corp.  HFC, -7.21% -7.2% -66.0% -79.3% 06/04/2018
Source: FactSet
Nasdaq-100

All components of the Nasdq-100 Index NDX, -3.93%  declined on Wednesday except for one: Automatic Data Processing Inc. ADP, +6.19%.  

The day’s worst 10 performers among the Nasdaq-100 included several names that had shown high double-digit, or even triple-digit, gains for 2020:

Company Ticker Price change – Oct. 28 Price change – 2020 Decline from all-time intraday high Date of all-time intraday high
 DexCom Inc.  DXCM, -8.27% -9.0% 59.6% -23.5% 08/07/2020
 Moderna Inc.  MRNA, -6.97% -7.5% 236.1% -31.0% 07/17/2020
 Ross Stores Inc.  ROST, -6.74% -7.2% -26.7% -31.3% 02/20/2020
 Nvidia Corp.  NVDA, -5.74% -6.1% 114.7% -14.3% 09/02/2020
 Ulta Beauty Inc.  ULTA, -5.60% -5.9% -20.4% -45.4% 07/17/2019
 Facebook Inc. Class A  FB, -5.51% -5.8% 30.4% -12.1% 08/26/2020
 Alphabet Inc. Class A  GOOGL, -5.50% -5.8% 12.8% -12.5% 09/02/2020
 Booking Holdings Inc.  BKNG, -5.45% -5.8% -21.8% -28.0% 03/13/2018
 Autodesk Inc.  ADSK, -5.18% -5.5% 29.5% -11.5% 10/19/2020
 Microchip Technology Inc.  MCHP, -5.01% -5.3% -2.1% -12.0% 10/09/2020
Source: FactSet

Don’t miss: The high yields on municipal bonds are tempting, but you need to be mindful of these hidden risks

Dispatches from a Pandemic: ‘It really wears me down’: Domestic workers are still struggling even as other sectors of the economy start bouncing back

This post was originally published on this site

A new study looked at how more than 20,000 Spanish-speaking domestic workers have fared during the pandemic.

It’s more than half a year into the coronavirus pandemic and Amalia Hernandez de Ramirez hasn’t been sleeping well.

‘Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about this and it’s hard to go back to sleep, how I’m going to make it through.’

— Amalia Hernandez de Ramirez

“Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about this and it’s hard to go back to sleep, how I’m going to make it through,” she told MarketWatch through a Spanish-language interpreter. “It really wears me down.”

What’s keeping the 57-year-old Albuquerque, N.M. woman awake are worries about partially paid bills, whether she can buy all the groceries she needs, and the new reality of her biweekly paycheck, which shrank from $1,500 before the pandemic to $800.

In a grim way, she’s lucky.

That’s because Hernandez de Ramirez is at least making some income in the especially hard-hit domestic worker sector. She supervises caregivers for senior citizens in the cooperative care organization she helped found. She used to manage 20 people. Now it’s 12.

Amalia Hernandez de Ramirez of Albuquerque, N.M. has seen her paycheck shrink from $1,500 to $800 — but she’s faring better than many domestic workers.

Before COVID-19 struck, 9% of domestic workers didn’t have any jobs lined up in a week, according to a new National Domestic Workers Alliance survey of more than 20,000 Spanish-speaking house cleaners, nannies and home-care workers.

Then came the pandemic, along with shutdown orders and social distancing efforts that kept families at home and crimped demand for caregiving and cleaning.

As of late September, 36% to the polled workers were jobless, according to the survey. That’s an improvement from the 68% without work in early May. Most of the participants are mothers of school-age children or younger, the report noted.

More than half of the surveyed workers couldn’t pay their rent or mortgage from April through September. Around two-thirds of the workers didn’t get a stimulus check and the large majority (86%) didn’t apply for unemployment insurance of as June. For those that did, 43% ended up getting the benefits.

Hernandez de Ramirez earned a little too much to qualify for unemployment benefits in her state, and that locked her out of the $600 weekly supplemental benefits under the $2.2 trillion CARES act.

Hernandez de Ramirez and her husband received stimulus checks, as well as her daughter. Her son is still waiting on his.

‘It is now a full-blown depression for domestic workers.’

— Ai-jen Poo, co-founder and executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance

“It is now a full-blown depression for domestic workers,” said Ai-jen Poo, co-founder and executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, a nonprofit advocacy organization.

The country’s estimated 2.5 million domestic workers include some of the fastest-growing jobs in the country, she said, but they are some of the least lucrative.

Home health care aide jobs will grow by 34% more than average job growth through 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median pay is almost $25,300 a year.

“Our economy is simply not working for domestic workers,” Poo said.

Domestic workers and the ‘she-cession’

The economy is not working for many women right now, data suggests. So much so, that some observers are calling this a “she-cession.”

Woman have been losing more jobs than men since the pandemic’s onset, according to the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning think tank. From February to April, woman lost 12.1 million jobs while men lost roughly 10 million, researchers said, looking through Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers.

From February to April, woman lost 12.1 million jobs while men lost roughly 10 million, researchers said.

One big reason is the service sector — a spot of the economy where many jobs are premised on in-person interactions — has been disproportionately hit during the outbreak.

The sector employs more women than men, researchers noted. Another reason is women still perform the majority of unpaid child care, and many dropped out to handle the prospect of remote schooling and disrupted child care arrangements.

Talks for a stimulus deal before Election Day have now collapsed. But back in August, the domestic worker survey asked participants to rank what should be in a relief package.

The top priority was free COVID-19 testing and treatment regardless of immigration status. Access to child care help was a near second, the report said.

The consequence of pay that’s ‘off the books’

Most of the surveyed domestic workers who didn’t apply for unemployment benefits said they didn’t bother trying because they didn’t think they would qualify.

Undocumented workers are not eligible for unemployment benefits, but people with a work authorization can collect benefits, according to the National Employment Law Project.

The domestic worker survey purposely didn’t collect information on status because questions were conducted via social media, where privacy policies were beyond pollsters’ control. Still, researchers said it was “reasonable to conclude that a significant percentage of our survey respondents” were foreign-born documented and undocumented workers.

But another complicating factor could be the informal “off the books” pay arrangements where workers get cash or payments via apps and have no pay stubs to demonstrate their earnings.

‘I feel very uncertain. I don’t know what the future brings.’

One New York City nanny, “V.C.”, is one example.

During the nanny’s seven and a half years with one family, she was paid with cash, checks and apps. In March, the family moved two and a half hours upstate and asked V.C. to come with her. (The nanny did not want to be identified for privacy reasons and in order to avoid jeopardizing her future job prospects.)

The family’s request was a tough ask for a woman who had aging family members in Queens. She applied for unemployment in April and received her first check in September.

It was a long wait for a woman who’s still looking for new employment. “I was very jittery, very nervous and didn’t know what to do,” V.C. told MarketWatch.

In normal times, state labor officials might have processed a case like V.C.’s in two to three weeks, according to Victor Brito, a senior paralegal at Legal Services NYC who handled V.C.’s case. That’s the time to review earnings documentation, which can include PayPal data, he said.

During the pandemic, the turnaround time has been three to four months. “Meanwhile, the claimants are still getting credit card bills and still have to put food on the table,” Brito said.

V.C. has been looking for new jobs but many openings are for live-in nannies, which won’t work for her. “I feel very uncertain, I don’t know what the future brings.”

‘It’s largely popping back for highly-educated nannies’

Many caregivers are falling through the cracks of the formal temporary safety nets arranged by government, so they are creating their own.

The Nanny Relief Fund popped up in the spring, powered by some company donations and small dollar donations from nannies. In June, the fund disbursed 80 $500 grants to nannies, said Rachael Lubin, a founding board member with the idea for the fund and a nanny herself. Some recipients said they used the money for bills and back rent, Lubin said.

‘Even the jobs that have come back have come back for those that likely were not struggling anyway.’

— Rachael Lubin, a founding board member of the Nanny Relief Fund

The organization, which is applying for nonprofit status, is eyeing another round of fundraising next month, said Lubin, who is also on the board of the International Nanny Association, an umbrella group for the in-home child care industry.

Demand for nannies revived in August, as parents planned for care and assistance with a remote school year starting for many, Lubin said.

“The industry is popping back, but it’s largely popping back for highly-educated nannies” who can double as tutors and teachers, Lubin said. “Even the jobs that have come back have come back for those that likely were not struggling anyway.”

Back in New Mexico, so much has changed for Hernandez de Ramirez since March. But one thing hasn’t: the wear that comes with managing her finances and eking out hours for herself and her staff.

“Things are going the same since those early scary days … We’re still really anxious and worried about our health and protecting others,” she said.

NerdWallet: What’s covered by renters insurance—and what’s not

This post was originally published on this site

This article is reprinted by permission from NerdWallet.

Insurance is designed to offer peace of mind, but there’s a reason your policy has all that fine print: You might not have the coverage you expect. Like any other insurance policy, renters insurance has exclusions, and knowing about them ahead of time can help you avoid unexpected bills in a disaster.

Just as important, though, is knowing what is covered. All that fine print in your policy likely includes coverage you might not expect, which could save you money down the line.

Covered: Belongings outside your home

Most renters know insurance covers personal belongings within their home but may not realize their things are probably covered off-premises too, including when traveling. Barbara Madvin, an insurance agent at Gaspar Insurance Services, says vehicle break-ins are some of the most common insurance claims she sees for renters. While damage to the car itself is generally covered by your auto policy, your renters insurance pays for items stolen from the vehicle, as long as their value exceeds your deductible.

Your renters policy will also cover your belongings if you move them from your home to a storage unit, a friend’s house or anywhere else to protect them from a covered disaster. In the event of a wildfire or hurricane evacuation, this can be particularly valuable, according to Christine G. Barlow, a chartered property casualty underwriter. This coverage typically lasts 30 days.

Covered: Living expenses if your rental is uninhabitable

While your home is undergoing repairs due to a fire or other covered disaster, your insurance company will usually pay for you to maintain your normal standard of living somewhere else.

Also see: Landlords are still evicting tenants even though there’s a national ban on evictions — how renters can protect themselves

A “normal standard of living” is broader than you might think. For instance, if you live in a rental home with a pool that you use every day, “the carrier needs to put you someplace where you have access to a swimming pool,” says Barlow, who is also managing editor at FC&S Expert Coverage Interpretation, a trade publication. If you have pets, your insurer should find you pet-friendly accommodations or board the animals where you normally would.

Not covered: Common disasters

Most renters insurance covers your possessions only in the case of specific scenarios, or “named perils” listed in the policy — things like fire, theft and wind. “If something’s not mentioned in that list, then there’s no coverage,” Barlow says.

For example, flood damage is almost always excluded from renters policies and typically must be purchased separately. (One exception: USAA, which serves military families, includes flood coverage with standard renters policies.)

Not covered: Brand-new stuff

Madvin recommends asking whether replacement cost coverage is included in your policy. If not, your belongings are covered only for their depreciated value, which often isn’t enough to buy brand-new replacements.

Also read: This graduate degree will be a job magnet as the world recovers from COVID-19

Say your 10-year-old TV is stolen and replacement cost isn’t included. “The carrier’s going to say, ‘OK, you paid $1,000 for it 10 years ago; we’ll give you $250 for it now,’” Madvin says. With replacement cost coverage, you’ll receive enough to purchase a new TV.

Not covered: Expensive valuables

Most renters policies cover jewelry and other costly items only up to a specific limit named in the policy, typically $1,000 to $2,000. So if you have an expensive engagement ring, for example, both Madvin and Barlow recommend adding separate coverage for it. An appraisal is usually required.

How to avoid surprises

Before buying renters insurance, take inventory of your belongings. “Most renters underestimate how much stuff they have,” Barlow says, which can leave a coverage gap. Barlow recommends using the Encircle app to upload photos of your belongings and estimate their worth. Other similar apps include Sortly and Allstate’s ALL, -1.96%   Digital Locker.

Read your policy thoroughly. Barlow suggests marking it with what’s covered in green and what isn’t in red. Madvin advises paying particular attention to the policy’s endorsements, which are typically add-ons or exclusions to standard coverage.

Read: Moving right now could cost more than you think: 3 things to consider

Confused by all the legalese? Turn to an expert. Talking through your options with an insurance agent or broker can ensure you understand the policy you’re buying. “Unless you really know insurance,” Barlow says, “it’s very easy to miss coverages that you need or to not realize something isn’t covered.”

More from NerdWallet:

Sarah Schlichter is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: sschlichter@nerdwallet.com.

The Moneyist: I offered my son $30K for a down payment on a home. His fiancée wants a written agreement for my gift to be split 50/50

This post was originally published on this site

Dear Moneyist,

My 29-year-old son is engaged to be married in June 2021. He is living with his fiancée in a small one-bedroom rental. About a month ago, I told them that I would like to help them purchase a house by giving them money to help with their down payment. Perhaps $30,000 or more.

Their lease ends in January 2021, and winter is generally a good time to purchase a house. I encouraged them to start researching neighborhoods, various cities in the area, etc.

However, because they are not married, I said that money would at first go to my son. That caused a firestorm with his fiancée, who through my son said that she wanted a written agreement that if they were to break up and divorce in the future, she wanted 50% of the gift.

The Moneyist:I make $140K a year. I’m trying desperately to help my half siblings: 2 are refugees in Turkey, 3 are in Syria. But how?

She said her parents agreed with her that “she should protect herself”. Her parents have been divorced, and reportedly their primary residence down payment had been financed partially by her mother’s father. When they divorced her mother retained that portion.

My son had already agreed that any house they buy would be split 50/50 in case they divorced, even though he would essentially supply the rest of the down payment, as she is still paying off student debt and has little savings.

I have no problem with what my son wants to do, but find it hard to believe she wants a written agreement that she is entitled to 50% of the gift if they divorce.

Not only that, but reportedly because of this they have completely stopped even looking at homes because they are so discouraged by this situation. They have enough to purchase a house, though maybe one not as expensive as one they could buy with our help, and they do not have enough to put 20% down. My future daughter-in-law has also stated that because of this, she would feel that she would just be a “renter”.

The Moneyist:My parents gave my brothers and me $8 million in bonds, stocks and ETFs. I’d like to use my profit to travel. My parents refuse

In addition, she is adamant about never having children. As a professional woman who will not have children to support or raise, she should be capable of supporting herself in case they do divorce.

Not wishing to lose my son, I told them that I would give them $30,000 for their use to do as they please, but I would not sign any agreement.

It just seems so strange that a woman who is contemplating marriage is so concerned about her finances in case their marriage ends, even though she is perfectly capable of supporting herself.

What are your thoughts?

Completely flabbergasted

Dear Flabbergasted,

Your son is marrying this woman. You are not.

For that reason, I agree with the major part of your letter, and I disagree with a relatively minor part.

It’s certainly an unorthodox request. Let’s put it that way, shall we? (If this was an SMS, I’d insert a perplexed emoji here.) You only need to be comfortable with the knowledge that this $30,000 will enable your son to buy a home he wants.

What happens to that home and that money after it lands in his bank account is his business. He can do what he wants.

The Moneyist:‘We bet on the wrong horse’: I co-signed my nephew’s $55K student loan: He has no degree and no job. What should we do?

But being asked to sign a document to split that $30,000 50/50 when it’s to be used for their home is surprising. (Insert another emoji here.)

I don’t agree that whether your future daughter-in-law decides to have a baby or not should determine her income or her profession. If they do divorce, once again that will be her affair to live her life as she sees fit with half of the home they purchase together.

Your daughter-in-law should ask your son to sign a document, not you, and your son will sign a document very soon.

The document he will sign? His marriage certificate.

The Moneyist:My brother is in his mid-50s and nearly lost his home twice. Should I give him half of my inheritance to pay off his mortgage?

You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions related to coronavirus at qfottrell@marketwatch.com. Want to read more?Follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitterand read more of his columns here.

Hello there, MarketWatchers. Check out the Moneyist private Facebook FB, +2.23%  group where we look for answers to life’s thorniest money issues. Readers write in to me with all sorts of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or weigh in on the latest Moneyist columns.