Greg Heberlein

Financial Commentator

Greg Heberlein spent 32 years at The Seattle Times.  In 12 years in the Sports Department, he was the only reporter to cover every game in the Seattle SuperSonics' championship season.  Towards the end of his 20 years in the Business Department, an award was established to honor the Northwest's top business columnist.  He won in each of the first three years and shortly after, wisely took early retirement.

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Money Matters
5:14 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Learn more about the charities you give money to this holiday season

Do you know where your charitable contributions are going?
David Goehring (CarbonNYC) flickr.com

There are a lot of worthy (and, perhaps, not-so-worthy) charitable organizations asking for your support at this time of year. How should you decide which ones deserve your money?

One website that can help you is charitynavigator.org. It rates charities according to their financial health, accountability and transparency. Financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer talk about the ratings on this week's Money Matters.

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Money Matters
5:34 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Don't worry about a hike in the capital gains tax

IRS Form 1040, Schedule D
Dave Meyer KPLU

As we approach the dreaded fiscal cliff, many financial pundits are sounding the alarm: “Take your capital gains now to avoid higher taxes next year!”

Should most of us be worried about this? On this week’s Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein says you should hang on to your winning investments. He tells KPLU’s Dave Meyer that the push to sell because of capital gains concerns may be the biggest idiocy since the sale of no-money-down, balloon-payment mortgages. 

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Money Matters
5:00 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Are you financially literate?

nikcname flickr.com

If you can define compound interest and inflation, then pat yourself on the back!

A recent report by the Securities and Exchange Commission finds that most Americans don't understand such basic concepts.

Commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer talk about financial literacy on this week's Money Matters.

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Money Matters
5:01 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Should you give up the guaranty on your variable annuity?

It pays to be a fierce guardian of your investments
Alex Cockroach flickr.com

When it comes to retirement, some people turn to variable annuities for guaranteed income.

These annuities, provided by insurance companies, offer a guaranteed return, even if the stocks and bonds you're invested in go down the drain.

Thanks to the shaky economy, some companies are asking clients to give up that guaranty, in exchange for a lump sum buyout.

Should you take them up on the offer? That's the big question on this week's Money Matters with financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer.

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Money Matters
5:00 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Financial pitfalls to avoid

Alex Proimos flickr.com

There are few guarantees in the world of finance. Every investment involves risk. But one thing is guaranteed: everyone makes mistakes.

On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein warns us away from some of the most common errors.

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Money Matters
5:00 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Beware of bad municipal bond insurance

Thomas Hawk flickr.com

Municipal bonds are relatively safe investments. So insured municipal bonds should be a sure thing, right?

That's not a safe assumption.

Thanks to the financial meltdown, that insurance may not offer any protection. Financial commentator Greg Heberlein explains why on this week's Money Matters with KPLU's Dave Meyer.

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Money Matters
5:00 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Computer trading glitches undermine investor confidence

Greg Heberlein sitting on a bench advertising Greg Glover's morning show on KNRK in Portland.
Tom Heberlein

Last Friday, India's main stock index suddenly experienced a 16% drop in value. $58 billion temporarily vanished in the blink of an eye thanks to a computer problem. 

Computer errors have also been blamed for Facebook's IPO troubles and 2010's infamous Flash Crash. Financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer look at the world of computer driven, high-frequency trading on this week's Money Matters.

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Money Matters
5:00 am
Tue September 18, 2012

Are you saving enough for the golden years?

s_falkow flickr.com

The numbers are staggering. Three-quarters of the population approaching retirement (aged 50 to 64) earns less than $53,000 a year. That group has saved an average of $26,000 in their retirement accounts. Even adding in social security, one forecaster estimates retirees will be able to pay only $5 a day for food.

Financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer look at the looming retirement crisis on this week's Money Matters.

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Money Matters
5:00 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Insider trading

Securities and Exchange Commission

As legendary money manager Peter Lynch once said, "Insiders might sell their shares for any number of reasons, but they buy for only one; they think the price will rise."

On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein explains why you should pay attention when executives buy or sell shares in their own companies.

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Money Matters
5:00 am
Tue August 14, 2012

The economy continues to slowly limp toward recovery

www.seniorliving.org

Last summer, financial commentator Greg Heberlein became more pessimistic about the economic recovery, predicting it would take 10 to 15 years to get back to "normal".

Now that a year has gone by, has anything changed?

Sadly, Greg says we have another 9 to 14 years left to go.

Greg and KPLU's Dave Meyer look at the prospects for a slow recovery on this week's Money Matters.

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Money Matters
5:00 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Sooner or later, your credit card number will be stolen

The only way to be completely safe is to cancel all your cards and shred them. But who wants to do that?
LaughingRhoda flickr.com

Have you ever received a letter from your bank stating "we have learned that some information from your credit card account may have been compromised at an undisclosed third-party location"?

Financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer had their cards canceled and replaced by the same bank in recent weeks. They gripe about it on this week's Money Matters, and offer tips on how to minimize the damage.

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Money Matters
5:00 am
Tue July 17, 2012

When should you start collecting Social Security?

Social Security Administration

One of the great debates among those approaching retirement is whether to take Social Security benefits at age 62, 66 or 70.  

There's no one-size-fits-all answer. Financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer explore the options on this week's Money Matters.

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Money Matters
5:00 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Another reverse stock split for Seattle-based Cell Therapeutics?

Cell Therapeutics, Inc.

Stock splits are often a sign of a booming economy. But these days, many companies are experiencing reverse stock splits. 

On this week's Money Matters, financial commentator Greg Heberlein tells KPLU's Dave Meyer that Seattle's Cell Therapeutics appears to be a prime candidate for a reverse split.

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Money Matters
5:00 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Is the gold bubble going to burst?

cobalt123 flickr.com

Gold has been trading for more than $1,600 an ounce lately. That's down from its high of nearly $1,900 an ounce last year.

Will gold stay at these relatively high levels? Or is the bubble going to burst?

Financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU's Dave Meyer look at the warning signs about gold on this week's Money Matters.

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Money Matters
5:00 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Can we regulate our way out of the financial crisis?

The Glass-Steagall Act may have been repealed in 1999, but the FDIC, which it created, lives on.
Adam Fagen flickr.com

When it comes to assigning blame for the 2008 financial meltdown, some fingers are pointing at the 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act. But others aren’t so sure.

Financial commentator Greg Heberlein and KPLU’s Dave Meyer look at banking regulations on this week's Money Matters.

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