5 unexpected wedding expenses

By Andrew Housser

June is still the most popular month to say “I do,” but the fall months are growing in popularity. Brides and grooms love to tie the knot on unforgettable dates, such as this year’s upcoming 11/12/13. Many couples plan to walk down the aisle that day, even though it falls on a Tuesday. Besides being memorable, having a wedding on a weekday is also a smart money-saving move. Because caterers and reception venues are often not as busy, it is less expensive to book during the week. Still, weddings are notoriously pricey. And no matter how carefully you plan, unexpected, unbudgeted expenses always seem to pop up.

Whether you’re caught up in the 11/12/13 wedding date excitement, or planning for a ceremony later on, you can say “I do” without going into extra debt by being prepared for these last-minute monetary surprises.

1. Gratuities. It is customary to tip those who provide services, such as the wedding official, band, limo driver, bartender and hair stylist. Gratuities range from 15 to 20 percent of the total cost of the service. Some service providers, like caterers, may include tips with their price quotes, so check contracts carefully. You do not need to tip owners, such as a photographer who owns his studio or the stylist who owns a hair salon. If you are marrying in your house of worship, it is customary to give the wedding official a donation. This typically ranges from $100 to $500. For nondenominational officiant, tips typically range

Article source: http://www.myfoxny.com/story/23488085/5-unexpected-wedding-expenses

5 things you should know about the new health insurance marketplace

By Jean Folger

When Obamacare, otherwise known as the U.S. Health Care Reform Act, goes into effect January 1 next year, Americans will be faced with yet another way to find and buy health insurance. For the 50 million who don’t get health insurance through their employers or Medicare or Medicaid or on the private market, they’ll have to buy it through the new health insurance Exchanges. Those who don’t have health insurance and don’t buy it will face a federal fine. Blue Cross, Cigna (NYSE:CI), Humana (NYSE:HUM) and Kaiser among others will sell insurance to those who don’t already have it. They must follow standards set out in the federal act.

For some who are currently buying insurance on the private market, the exchanges may offer lower premiums and lower out-of-pocket costs. Some employers have already announced they plan to end insurance plans for certain employees and instead send them to the Exchanges. October 1 is the first date you can sign up; enrollment ends March 31, 2014. Here are five things you should know about the new Exchanges, also called the Health Insurance Marketplace.

1. There are four health plan categories – Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum

The Marketplace plans are separated into four primary levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

The different levels are intended to meet various health and financial needs, and are based on the percentage that each plan pays towards health care services. The plan levels

Article source: http://www.myfoxny.com/story/23479151/5-things-you-should-know-about-the-new-health-insurance-marketplace

The auction method: How NYSE stock prices are set

By Lisa Smith

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), sometimes referred to as “the big board,” is the oldest and largest stock exchange in the United States. NYSE is the place investors think of when they picture traders shouting out prices and making wild hand gestures in a visually chaotic live securities auction process known as open outcry. While electronic trading technology is now used to facilitate the majority of trading in a high-speed and high-volume operation, human traders still play a significant role, and the way opening closing prices are set continues to be based on supply and demand in a modern-day auction style format.

The Opening Auction

While the NYSE’s official market opening time is 9:30 AM Eastern, orders to buy and sell securities can be entered as early as 7:30 AM. In particular, the two types of orders that are accepted before the market officially opens are Market on Open (MOO) and Limit on Open (LOO). MOO orders seek to purchase shares at the current market price at the time the market opens. LOO orders seek to purchase a specific number of shares at a specific price when the market opens. If the requested price is not met, the trade does not take place.

The first data stream of the new trading day includes a reference price for each security. This price generally matches the previous night’s closing price. The data stream also includes data regarding the

Article source: http://www.myfoxny.com/story/23541738/the-auction-method-how-nyse-stock-prices-are-set

Financial risks that don’t pay off: The cost of reckless financial behavior

By Lewis Humphries


The culture of boom and bust is very much a part of Western civilization, with the U.S. economy particularly vulnerable to periods of sudden growth and sharp decline. This has been the case for generations, even through America’s “gilded age” of the nineteenth century, and in the wake of the Great Recession it appears as though the U.S. economy is more vulnerable than ever.

In terms of the most recent recession, however, there are two things that have distinguished this from previous economic declines. First, the pace of recovery has been far slower and less robust than normal, with the second quarter U.S. GDP growth forecast recently cut to just 0.3% by Morgan Stanley. Conversely, citizens seem to be regaining their confidence in the economy at a rapid pace, as consumer confidence soared for three consecutive months from April and June.

Financial Risks that Consumers Continue to Take

Even though consumer confidence diminished slightly at the beginning of July, the figure of 83.9 remained just a shade below the six-year high of 84.5 recorded in May. This suggests that consumers are typically adopting a less risk-averse approach when it comes to spending in the current economic climate, although whether this is a result of robust sentiment or a general apathy towards the perpetual cycle of boom and bust remains unclear.

If consumers are becoming desensitized to the impact of economic decline and harsh austerity

Article source: http://www.myfoxny.com/story/23570647/financial-risks-that-dont-pay-off-the-cost-of-reckless-financial-behavior

Citigroup to pay Mass. $30M over analyst’s leak

BOSTON (AP) – Citigroup Global Markets Inc. will pay $30 million to Massachusetts to settle charges that a company analyst in Taiwan improperly shared research with four major clients several days before making the information widely available to all.

Secretary of State William Galvin says by giving the information to certain clients in advance, it allowed them to profit from weaker sales of iPhones.

The settlement was filed Wednesday.

Galvin tells The Boston Globe  that when elite clients get an unfair edge, it’s like average investors “going to the supermarket and having a weighted scale.”

Galvin had the authority to pursue Citigroup because the company is registered to conduct business in Massachusetts.

Citigroup said in a statement it is “pleased to have this matter resolved.” The analyst has been fired.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Article source: http://www.myfoxny.com/story/23598179/citigroup-to-pay-mass-30m-over-analysts-leak

Going Dutch on the engagement ring?


Traditionally, the man pays for the sparking engagement ring. But what do you think about the idea of the woman pitching in? It seems to be happening more and more. Some couples are splitting the cost.

Mark Turnowski is an engagement ring wholesaler and has been in business for 37 years. He said he has noticed that women are more involved than ever with buying their engagement ring. He said that if a woman wants a bigger ring that doesn’t fit into the groom’s budget, she will chip in.

In fact, Turnowski says many of the traditions are changing.

It all comes down to the couple and what works best for you.

Article source: http://www.myfoxny.com/story/23584832/going-dutch-on-the-engagement-ring

NY suing Wells Fargo in mortgage crisis settlement

Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – New York’s attorney general says he’s suing Wells Fargo to force compliance with terms of last year’s national mortgage case settlement.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman also says he’s dropping a similar action against Bank of America, which has agreed to reform its lending system.

The settlement of charges of improper lending practices sets standards that prohibit lenders from pursuing foreclosures while negotiating loan modifications. The standards require the banks to acknowledge refinancing applications in writing within three business days, notify borrowers of any missing documents within five days and make decisions on complete applications within 30 days.

Schneiderman said Tuesday the settlement has brought relief to thousands of New York homeowners during the housing crisis and recession.

Wells Fargo says it remains committed to the national settlement.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Article source: http://www.myfoxny.com/story/23586790/ny-suing-wells-fargo-in-mortgage-crisis-settlement

Extravagant parties for toddlers

It appears as though kids as young as 1, 2 and 3 are learning the ABCs of over-the-top party planning. While they may be too young to remember their fabulous party, the guests certainly will.

Traditionally when a girl turns 16, a lavish party is thrown to celebrate this numerical milestone. Now it appears as though the age of extravagance is getter younger and younger

The average amount spent on children’s parties has steadily increased since 2010 and the popularity of themed events is also on the rise, according to gigmasters.com.

In New York City, Red Carpet Kids hosts a unique movie star-themed party complete with makeup, wardrobe, and paparazzi. Owner Craig Saslow believes that celebrities are leading the way.

“Everybody wants the red carpet experience, everybody watches entertainment shows and reads magazines about their favorite celebrities on the red carpet,” Saslow said.

For Suri Cruise’s second birthday, $100,000 was spent on a party with 1,000 live butterflies.

“I definitely think there’s a trend in birthday parties where people want to do things that are unique and different,” Saslow said. “The child’s birthday is the one specific day that’s a real opportunity to do something above and beyond for your kid. What better way than to throw an extravagant birthday party.”

That is definitely the case in New York City where a 90-minute party for your potty-training toddler at the famed Dylan’s Candy Bar can run you $1,200.

For $10,000 you can book the entire wonderland of toys for an overnight at FAO Schwarz.


Article source: http://www.myfoxny.com/story/23584569/extravagant-parties-for-toddlers

Marc Jacobs to step down at Louis Vuitton

PARIS (AP) — French luxury conglomerate LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton says Marc Jacobs is stepping down as creative director of its flagship brand Louis Vuitton.

Jacobs, who is also the director of an eponymous brand, is one of the biggest names in the fashion industry. Under his tenure, Louis Vuitton became the most lucrative fashion house in the world, in part thanks to his creation of a ready-to-wear line.

He held Wednesday what will likely be his last show at the head of Louis Vuitton.

LVMH, which owns the Louis Vuitton brand and an array of other luxury names in everything from jewelry to champagne, would not say who would replace Jacobs or what his next move would be.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Article source: http://www.myfoxny.com/story/23588102/marc-jacobs-to-step-down-at-louis-vuitton