Oil prices rose marginally Thursday, but energy stocks dropped. Trading was subdued, and U.S. stocks ended a little lower overall during the shortened Christmas Eve trading session. For the week, the Dow rose 0.32 percent to close at 17,552.17. The S&P gained 0.97 to finish at 2,060.99, and the NASDAQ climbed 0.92 percent to end the week at 5,048.49.
Done in Dollars –
Of all global financial business, 45 percent is transacted in U.S. dollars, including all oil and natural gas trading worldwide (source: Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication).
State and Local Taxes –
For every $100 the average American pays in state income tax in a year, they also pay $103 in sales tax on consumer purchases throughout the year and $145 in property taxes (source: Tax Foundation, BTN Research).
Gas Prices -
The building of an average single family home creates the equivalent of 2.97 jobs for a full year. The building of an average rental apartment creates the equivalent of 1.13 jobs for a full year (source: National Association of Home Builders, BTN Research).
WEEKLY FOCUS – A Credit Card for Two?
Sharing a credit card is a bigger commitment than dividing household bills or co-signing a lease or an auto loan. So it’s best to weigh advantages and disadvantages thoughtfully before applying for a joint card.
On the plus side, a person with a lower credit ranking may have access to better offers and be able to raise their score easier. Having a card in common instead of separate accounts reduces bills and offers built-in accountability and transparency. It can also decrease annual fees and let holders pool rewards or frequent flyer miles. Both joint account holders will have full privileges. Each can call the company to inquire about balances, dispute a charge, request a limit increase or ask for a lower rate. When a spouse’s name is on the account, it can be simpler to close the account after the other spouse dies.
The biggest drawbacks to joint credit cards are the inherent risks associated with them. Both card holders are equally responsible to pay charges. Suppose an adult child shares a card with an aging parent who becomes ill and forgets to pay a bill; both of their credit scores will be affected. Or consider what might happen when a parent opens a card with their 18 to 20-year-old student who can’t qualify individually – but also has little experience handling credit.
When a spouse dies, the other will be liable for the entire balance of the joint card. Unless the couple lived in a joint property state, the surviving spouse would not be liable for debt from credit cards held only in the deceased spouse’s name. No matter what a divorce decree says, credit card issuers will hold both spouses responsible for unpaid debt on a joint card, but a judge can order the account closed. Unmarried couples have even less protection.
Adding an authorized user to an individual card is an alternative that provides consolidation and transparency, but holds the original card owner solely responsible for the debt. As safeguards, primary cardholders can often limit the amount their authorized users can charge and can easily cut them off if it becomes necessary to do so.
We’re concerned about every aspect of your financial security and are happy to arm you with knowledge to help you make informed credit decisions. Please contact us if you would like help deciding which type of credit card is right for your life-stage situations. We’re always happy to help.
The Dorion-Gray Team
Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc. a Registered Investment Advisory Firm. Dorion-Gray Retirement Planning is a trade name of Dorion-Gray Financial Services, Inc. located at 2602 IL Route 176, Crystal Lake, IL 60014. Dorion-Gray and the Securities America companies are separate, unaffiliated entities.
Diversification seeks to reduce the volatility of a portfolio by investing in a variety of asset classes. Neither asset allocation nor diversification guarantee against market loss or greater or more consistent returns.
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