Selling Your Gold Jewelry?

Gold-buying stores have been popping up all over, with some even posting costumed individuals out near the street to lure you in. It’s tempting to search through your house to see if you have something of value that you can sell. The reality is that most people aren’t going to make a great deal of money. However, if you do decide to go ahead with it, make sure you find the best deal.

  • Prices may change daily, since the amount you will be offered depends on what gold is going for on any given day. You can track this here: http://www.kitco.com/. Naturally, you’re not going to get the full price since the buyers have to make money too.
  • Take your gold to several different places. The amount each one pays may differ by quite a bit.
  • If you have valuable jewelry, have it appraised at a jewelry store.
  • Refer to the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org)  about the company or store before selling. There is also a very good article here about selling jewelry: http://www.bbb.org/us/article/gold-soars-but-be-careful-when-selling-your-jewellery-warns-bbb-28799.

Use Credit Card for Deposits on Purchases

Unfortunately, a lot of stores and companies have gone out of business due to the downturn in the economy. Even places that have been around for a long time and that you thought were safe have gone under.

If you are thinking of purchasing an appliance or other large item for which you need to make a deposit, it would be wise to choose the store carefully. If it files bankruptcy before you get your merchandise, you may never get your money back.

Making this kind of deposit is also one of the times when you should use your credit card instead of writing a check or paying in cash. If the store does go out of business and you contact your credit card company immediately, you might not be charged.

Last, but not least, never pay the whole amount of the item before you receive it. You may think that you can trust the store or salesman completely, but it pays to be cautious.

Unclaimed Money

Ever dream of finding free money – a pot of gold?

There might not be a pot of gold, but there might be some money with your name on it just waiting for you. Sounds too good to be true, but it’s not. It is called unclaimed property – such things as dormant bank accounts, old retirement accounts, unclaimed refunds, safe deposit box contents, stocks, mutual funds, bonds, dividends, uncashed checks and wages, insurance policies, CD’s, trust funds, utility deposits, escrow accounts, etc. Such unclaimed property reverts back to your state, which then tries to find the rightful owner. You have to fill in an easy online form, and who knows, you might be lucky. An acquaintance of mine tried it and found out that he had an old retirement fund that was worth $1,500. He had forgotten about the fund, but was able to recover the money – a nice little windfall.

Here’s where you go: www.missingmoney.com. This is a website put together by the the states to reunite owners with their unclaimed property. The site is easy, informative and free. It works for Canada, too.

This is what they have to say:

“The states and provinces have implemented active outreach programs designed to reunite unclaimed property owners with their lost or forgotten assets. To enhance the states and provinces outreach efforts, MissingMoney.com, a national database, was established in November 1999 and is the only database endorsed by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA). MissingMoney.com enables owners to perform comprehensive searches for lost assets required by law to be turned over to the states and provinces.”

A word of caution. This is a government sponsored free service. There are people who will offer to search for you and find your unclaimed property for a fee, as much as 50 percent. Why pay a fee when the service is offered by your state or province for free?

What is Inflation?

Inflation is a rise in the general level of prices over a period of time. When the price level goes up, your dollar buys less. Another way to look at it is an erosion in the purchasing power of money. If a loaf of bread cost $1 last year, but costs $1.10 this year, that is inflation.

Why is Insider Trading Illegal?

Insider trading is illegal because it is unfair to those who have no access to the inside information as it can lead to unethical manipulation of the market, and might lead company managers to become more interested in buying and selling company stock than in managing the company.

It is illegal for company officers, directors, and other insiders to trade their company shares based on information not available to the general public. Let’s say a company officer of XYZ Corporation learns that his company is going to report poor earnings for the quarter. The stock price will go down, so he sells his stock before the announcement and avoids that loss. Unfortunately, some other person bought this stock without the insider information, and this person loses money when the announcement is made public. This is unfair and illegal. What if the company officer doesn’t sell his shares, but informs his friends and relatives about the earnings report and they sell out? This is what happened in the famous Martha Stewart insider trading case, and it is illegal.

Of course, insiders are allowed to buy and sell shares in their own companies. This is legal when these corporate insiders report these trades to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). That way the insider trading is not kept a secret and anyone can find out a corporate insider’s opinion of his company.

Who Invented the Stock Ticker?

The stock ticker was invented by Edward A. Calahan of the American Telegraph Company in 1867. It was later improved by Thomas Edison. The stock ticker was a device that transmitted stock prices over the telegraph lines and printed them on a strip of paper. It was in use primarily in the 1900s, and got its name because of the characteristic clicking or ticking sound of the telegraph.

Today the term “ticker” or “ticker tape” refers to a device that shows the price and volumes of stock trades as they become available. An example would be the ticker tape that runs across the bottom of your TV screen while you watch a financial channel.