August 21, 2013 |
Nearly 180 California hotels changed hands in the first half of 2013, a 12% increase from the number sold in same period last year, according to a mid-year report by Irvine consulting firm Atlas Hospitality Group. The dollar value of these sales grew even faster. The report said the combined value of the sales jumped 24% to a total of nearly $2.2 billion in the first half of this year as investors gambled that the hospitality business will continue to improve. FOR THE RECORD: This story incorrectly lists the number of rooms at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa; it has 607 rooms.
August 16, 2013 |
Lil Miller-Fox's individual retirement account has three bedrooms, two baths and a two-car garage. Better yet, the rental house in a gated community in Sebastian, Fla., not far from the Atlantic, isn't run by an advisor that charges exorbitant monthly fees. Rather, Miller-Fox makes all the decisions, and she doesn't have to pay anyone to execute them. Her IRA is called a "checkbook IRA," an investment vehicle created nearly 20 years ago in a landmark court ruling that essentially said: It's your money, so you can run the show - as long as you follow the rules.
August 16, 2013 |
Dear Liz: If I plan to stay invested for more than 15 years and I can tolerate the ups and downs of the market, why would I want to put any of my 401(k) money into bonds instead of putting it all in various stock funds? The bond funds in my 401(k) have a five-year return of 5% to 6% whereas the other funds are 8% to 13%. Answer: If you look at the more recent performance of those bond funds, you'll notice that their returns are considerably worse. Many have been losing money lately as interest rates have risen.
August 7, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - California billionaire and clean energy philanthropist Thomas Steyer is spending $400,000 on television ads critical of Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, the latest effort by the former hedge-fund-manager-turned-environmental activist to inject climate change into statewide elections. Steyer's donation through his political action fund, NextGen Climate Action, helped widen distribution of a League of Conservation Voters ad against Cuccinelli from northern Virginia to Norfolk, Richmond and Charlottesville, starting Wednesday night.
August 6, 2013 |
In an age of rampant online investment fraud, it's almost refreshing that the latest scam involves only a telephone. Federal regulators are warning investors to beware of scammers pitching high-yielding certificates of deposit. The thieves pose as brokers of a big-name investment firm, then coax victims to reveal financial data so they can steal their identities and loot their bank accounts. The twist is that the scammers steal money the old-fashioned way: by calling unsuspecting victims on the phone.
August 5, 2013 |
MEXICO CITY - If Mexico had a crown jewel, it would be the giant state oil monopoly Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex. Year after year, it has poured billions of dollars into the state treasury, historically paying for schools, hospitals, dams, highways, ports and more. The seizure of foreign oil companies 75 years ago that created the company is a cause for annual celebrations affirming Mexico's fierce sense of independence from outside interference. Yet even as the country's new president, Enrique Peña Nieto, credits Pemex with building the nation, his administration acknowledges that the notoriously inefficient conglomerate is in trouble: If it is not opened to private and foreign investment, Mexico, the world's ninth-largest oil producer, will become a net energy importer by 2020, officials say. As Peña Nieto moves ahead with a plan to overhaul Pemex, he is navigating the most perilous political minefield of his young presidency.
July 31, 2013 |
NEW YORK -- Another Wall Street tycoon has reportedly joined the battle over Herbalife Ltd., the Los Angeles nutritional products maker. George Soros, the legendary investor known for his support of liberal causes, has taken a big bet on Herbalife, according to the financial news network CNBC. Soros has purchased a significant chunk of Herbalife shares, wagering that the company's fortunes will rise, according to the the television station, which cited anonymous sources. A spokesman for Soros declined to comment.
July 28, 2013 |
Emulex Corp. in Costa Mesa designs and makes chips that help data move faster through computer servers and storage networks. The company's Ethernet and Fibre Channel products have been built into the server and storage products of such well-known companies as Dell Inc., Intel Corp., Cisco Systems Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., Oracle Corp. and IBM Corp. Fibre Channel is a rival networking standard to Ethernet for transmitting data between computer devices. The company, founded in 1979, said in its fiscal third-quarter financial report that its products can be found somewhere in the data centers "of nearly all of the Fortune 1000" companies.
July 25, 2013
Re "An electronic leg up for U.S. students," Opinion, July 19 I've got a better idea than giving our students yet more hardware and Internet connectivity: Invest in students by investing in teachers. How? Take all that money spent on technology and instead cut class size to 18 students. Build teacher mentorship, so that folks joining the teaching profession will be brought into the fold naturally. Do whatever possible to make working conditions better for teachers. Believe me, new computers will not make our children better students; iPads will only give them more distractions.