Women & Investing Survey Finds: Widows = Model Investors

Single, Married and Divorcees Can Benefit From Their Financial Approach

 

Retirement On the Mind Yet Half of Women Respondents Do Not Participate in a Retirement Plan

 

 

NEW YORK, Nov. 19 /PRNewswire/ — A newly released national survey finds that whether women are single, married and co-habitants, divorced or widowed can have key differences in their attitudes and behaviors with regard to investing.

The OppenheimerFunds, Inc. 2007 Women & Investing Survey (1), released today, found that attitudes about investing differed among marital demographics, especially in the case of widows. Widowed women had more confidence when it came to managing their money, with nearly 65% of widowed respondents giving themselves a rating of 8 or better on a scale of 1-10 when asked how good of a job they are doing managing their money. This compares with nearly 40% of married/co-habitants and single respondents and 52% of divorced respondents who answered in the same way.

“It makes sense that women who are responsible for their own finances through a major life event such as widowhood or divorce have more confidence in their money management skills,” said Lauren Coulston, Assistant Vice President, Advocacy and Training Manager at OppenheimerFunds. “One possible reason for this confidence could be because we see more widows working with financial advisors. Widowed women are often forced to deal with their own finances and appear to approach financial planning methodically. Often financial planning occurs in a time of crisis but it does not have to.”

Widowed respondents were also more likely (almost 68%) to list retirement as their primary investment goal followed by divorced (59%), married/co- habitants (57%) and single (54%), and least likely to cite a lack of extra money as the reason they are not currently participating in a retirement savings vehicle or plan. When asked which source of information they relied on for investing advice, widows accounted for the highest percentage (40.5%), that relied on a financial advisor followed by divorced (17.3%), married/co- habitants (16.7%) and single (11%), and were the least likely group to rely on no source of investment information.

“The fact is, eighty to ninety percent of women will be solely responsible for managing their own finances at some point of their life due to longer life expectancies and higher divorce rates, said Coulston. “Regardless of marital status, financial advisors should bring women into financial conversations as early as possible.”

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Rent-to-own risks, rewards

November 12, 2007, Inman Blog

Salerent Some home sellers are turning back the pages of an old playbook in offering to turn renters into buyers. The market slump has resurfaced contracts that can bring rental income to sellers and give renters the ability to work toward the purchase of the home they are renting.

These rent-to-own contracts, which are also known as lease with an option to buy or lease-option deals, typically allow prospective buyers to rent a property for a designated period of time while providing an option to purchase that property at a specific price, according to real estate columnist Ilyce R. Glink. Prospective buyers are typically asked to pay an option fee, and the deals can be structured so that this fee and a portion of the rent count toward the down payment in the purchase.

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Is buying home today a good investment?

Answer depends on whether goals are short- or long-term

Monday, November 05, 2007 Inman News

Up until the recent slowdown, homeowners in many parts of the country saw the value of their homes rise rapidly. Home prices, in many areas, seemed to move in just one direction: up.

A combination of record-low interest rates and rapid price appreciation turned many homeowners into serial refinancers. When interest rates dropped, one mortgage was exchanged for another, sometimes several times within one year.

As home values rose, cash-out refinances allowed homeowners to pull equity out of their homes to remodel, send children to college, take vacations and buy new cars. It was good for the economy while wiping out billions of dollars of homeowner equity.

Tapping into home equity seemed like a great idea until the housing market softened. Now there are millions of homeowners around the country who can’t sell their home for enough to pay off the loans secured against the property.

HOUSE HUNTING TIP: Buying a home is still a good investment if you can afford it, if you are ready to put down roots in a community, and if you want to invest in your personal happiness. Profit potential shouldn’t be your only reason for buying a home, even though in most cases your home will appreciate in value if you maintain it and if you own it long enough.

The housing market, like any economic market, is cyclical. There are periods of robust activity followed by periods of sluggishness. Prices can go down as well as up. Now that the market has softened in most areas, it’s time to look at owning your home as a way to gain control over your personal domain — not as a source of quick cash.

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Housing Inventory Snapshot

Housing Inventory Snapshot

October 31, 07
Average List Price Median List Price Average Days On Market
Santa Clara County, CA
Single Family under $1M $677,331 $655,000 70
Single Family over $1M $2,081,736 $1,499,999 74
Condo/Townhome under $600K $431,154 $423,888 70
Condo/Townhome over $600K $737,048 $695,000 62
San Mateo County, CA
Single Family under $1M $715,505 $699,950 65
Single Family over $1M $2,350,851 $1,559,000 68
Condo/Townhome under $600K $460,472 $469,000 74
Condo/Townhome over $600K $942,612 $775,000 103
Santa Cruz County, CA
Single Family under $1M $649,161 $645,000 93
Single Family over $1M $1,934,603 $1,495,000 100
Condo/Townhome under $600K $440,022 $450,000 85
Condo/Townhome over $600K $858,676 $799,000 74
Monterey County, CA
Single Family under $1M $560,896 $535,000 104
Single Family over $1M $2,436,153 $1,695,000 135
Condo/Townhome under $600K $386,174 $365,000 111
Condo/Townhome over $600K $1,023,955 $799,000 111
Contra Costa County, CA
Single Family under $1M $502,599 $467,000 79
Single Family over $1M $1,716,292 $1,399,000 85
Condo/Townhome under $600K $350,574 $339,000 83
Condo/Townhome over $600K $709,256 $689,000 70
Alameda County, CA
Single Family under $1M $560,507 $545,500 67
Single Family over $1M $1,651,635 $1,350,000 72
Condo/Townhome under $600K $404,438 $399,000 65
Condo/Townhome over $600K $720,582 $679,000 51

MORTGAGE. National Averages (October 31, 07)*

30-year fixed Rate – 5.91% APR – 6.1%
15-year fixed Rate – 5.54% APR – 5.83%
5/1 ARM Rate – 5.63% APR – 6.64%


* Mortgage rates were collected from publicly available sources (yahoo.com) on the date stated. The accuracy of the information and the availability of these rates are not guaranteed by the publisher. Rates are provided for informational purposes only and are subject to change without notice. Actual market interest rates may vary.

The New ‘Wealth Management Exchange’ Website Helps High Net Worth Investors Gain Control Of Their Portfolios and Estates

NEW YORK, Nov. 1 /PRNewswire/ — High net worth investors now have the opportunity to exchange investment strategies and ideas as well as tap into the knowledge and experience of some of the world’s foremost financial advisors, writers and market experts.

Wealth Management Exchange (http://www.wealthmanagementexchange.com/) is a new online community for affluent investors.

“Our estates and investments are too important to completely hand over to someone else,” says Wayne Cooper, CEO and cofounder of Wealth Management Exchange. “We can delegate select functions like money management to those who have the training, and experience but ultimately we must monitor them, make sure that they are performing well, executing our plans and charging reasonable fees. We must retain the quarterback position.”

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What Women Need to Understand About Retirement

The Heinz Family Philanthropies, who along with the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER), is working to improve the financial futures of millions of women.  

An innovative online book entitled, What Women Need to Understand About Retirement is available for free at www.womensretirement.org and provides the reader with a blueprint to both get started planning a retirement and to grow that investment. It contains seven easy-to-read chapters, each written by an expert on retirement security issues. The book was written as an acknowledgment of the fact that poverty in old age is most often the face of a woman. As you may know, women face a lot of financial difficulties in their senior years. Here are some scary statistics from the publication:

 * Two-thirds of working women earn less than $30,000 a year.

* Nearly half of all women work in low-paying jobs that do not offer a pension or 401(k) plan.

* The median income in 2004 for retired women was $12,080, compared with men’s income of $21,102.

Clearly, it’s important to get this valuable information into the hands of as many women as possible.

Heinz Family Philanthropy

Subprime Mortgages Will Return, But With Some Changes

BOSTON (MarketWatch) — Although “subprime” has become a four-letter word in the country’s collective lexicon and no one is sure when the credit crisis that was spawned by a meltdown in the risky lending sector will ease, mortgage bankers say you can count on this: Subprime shall return.

The next generation of subprime mortgages, however, will look much different than the loans issued during the height of the housing boom in the first half of the decade that are now causing so much trouble, mortgage professionals say.

“So long as we have a policy position in this country of maintaining or further increasing homeownership rates there is going to be subprime lending,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist with First American CoreLogic, a provider of mortgage-risk management and fraud-protection technology.

“We have been very successful in increasing homeownership rates. One of the ways we’ve done that is by creating liquidity and offering credit to people who we traditionally wouldn’t have 20 years ago — the subprime borrower.”

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