Forced arbitration strips consumers of rights

Virtually every consumer contract for goods and/or services you enter into these days has an arbitration clause that puts conflict resolution in an alternate universe almost completely outside of the court system.

Sounds attractive. It’s allegedly quicker and cheaper than the courts. The clause is often hidden in the fine print and, if read, its consequences are difficult even for attorneys to understand. You see, the smaller the print in your standardized, prewritten contracts, the larger the issues likely are.

How to avoid the top financial mistakes retirees often make

Any mountain climber will tell you that a greater number of accidents and fatalities occur on the descent rather than the ascent to the summit. Similarly, during our working years, we strive to provide and save for retirement, without giving too much thought to developing a solid plan for making our funds outlast our lifetimes.

People are very focused on the accumulation phase and don’t pay enough attention to the distribution phase, which starts at the moment they stop receiving a regular paycheck.

Is real estate investing the best way to build wealth?

When asked in a Bankrate study last July “What is the best way to invest money you wouldn’t need for 10 years or more?” 28 percent of millennials picked real estate and 23 percent chose cash. Only 17 favored stocks.

This is the wrong way to build wealth.

How to deal with a car dealer who fails to deliver the title

I am a local resident and business owner, and my law office, which currently employs three attorneys, handles consumer issues on a statewide basis.

Most of our matters revolve around automobile issues, ranging from lemon laws, where the manufacturer makes a bad car, to auto fraud, where a selling dealer rips off a consumer.

Are individual bonds better than mutual funds when rates rise?

With the U.S. Federal Reserve poised to start raising interest rates more aggressively this year, many people – including some investment advisers – have expressed concerns about investing in fixed-income mutual funds.

For those unfamiliar with bonds, the dilemma is that when rates rise, bond prices fall, and vice versa. The fear is that bond funds, which hold numerous bonds, risk losing value whenever the Fed increases rates.

Writing a love letter to clinch the house deal

It’s Valentine’s Day, so don’t forget to write a love note to your spouse, your children, your significant other – and the owner of the house you’ve fallen in love with.

Playing hard to get isn’t going to work in the current housing market. Potential buyers are pulling out all the creative stops to make an impression and win over the hearts of sellers, and I’m here to tell you that it works.

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