MarketWatch Columns

Invest in yourself to maximize your return on (human) capital

Robert Powell's Retirement Portfolio

By Robert Powell
June 24, 2015

After you graduate from college, when you’re just starting out in the work world, economists will tell you that you’re rich. Not rich in the sense that you can donate $400 million to your alma mater. But rich in the sense that you’ll be earning, hopefully, lots of money over the course of your career.

Warren Buffett is now the world’s richest cartoon character

By Charles Passy
June 23, 2015

In each episode, Buffett — well, a cartoon Buffett — meets with a group of children and helps them solve a basic money-related problem of one sort or another, be it where to locate a lemonade stand (“Remember, if the people won’t come to your business, bring your business to the people,” Buffett advises) or how to manage spending (“Credit cards can seem like an easy way to buy things, but it’s not a good idea to make a habit of using them”).

Compound Interest: Your Superpower

June 22, 2015

For new college grads, compounding interest is your superpower. At a panel discussion at Champlain College, MarketWatch's Robert Powell talks with finance experts about interest and ways to protect it from inflation.

Marshmallows, mirrors and saving money

Outside the Box

By Eleanor Blayney
May 20, 2015

Americans are gripped by the power of now. Waiting for anything is practically un-American. It falls to one profession in particular — financial planning — to preach the gospel of savings and investing for tomorrow, and there is no audience better to hear the message than young adults.

How to start with pennies and retire a millionaire

Robert Powell's Retirement Portfolio

By Robert Powell
May 20, 2015

If you knew then — when you graduated from college — what you know now, what might you do differently with your money? What advice would you give your younger self? We posed those questions to financial advisers in hopes that newly minted college graduates might benefit from the collective wisdom of those who have gone before them.

Money for life: 3 secrets to financial success

By Robert Powell
May 20, 2015

It won’t take much for you to be successful with your money. But it will require learning three basic financial concepts. Yes, to improve your odds of building a large nest egg for retirement or earning as much money as possible over the course of your lifetime, you’ve got to get a handle on compound interest, inflation, and risk diversification.

Delaying Gratification: It Pays To Wait

May 15, 2015

Every consumer purchase represents a tradeoff: You buy something now at the expense of saving for the future. MarketWatch Senior Editor Robert Powell talks with experts about delaying gratification at an event at Champlain College in Vermont.

MyRA plan is good news for younger workers

Commentary: MyRA not a panacea, but it’s a way to start saving

February 11, 2014

President Obama wants more Americans to plan for retirement. He should. The system is broken and isn't working for the 34% of America’s workforce that have no savings set aside for retirement, for nearly half of our workforce that lacks an employer-sponsored retirement plan like a 401(k), and especially for workers under age 30.

Bank Scandals Can Aid Financial Literacy

By John Pelletier
November 12, 2012

Since the financial crisis began in 2008, Americans have witnessed a constant stream of scandals and settlement by the financial services industry. Banking, securities, consumer protection, commodity, asset management and brokerage regulators have all fined and penalized large institutions for putting profit and personal economic gain ahead of the law and doing the right thing for their clients.

Interest-Rate Seesaw Tips in your Favor?

Commentary: Good for loan-seekers, not for savers

October 1, 2012

Interest rates are like the seesaw you played on as a kid. Savers are on one side and borrowers are on the other side. In a normal economy, you want there to be a balance between these groups. The person taking a loan gets a fair deal and the person lending money through their savings makes a fair return.

Why Go to College if I Can't Get a Job?

Commentary: Because not getting a degree is much worse

August 23, 2012

Late summer is when parents bring their children to college. As they drive to campus they're worried about tuition increases, the burden of student debt and whether their children will find jobs when they graduate. Some parents and high-school students are beginning to question the value of a four-year college degree in this post-Great Recession world.

Avoid These 10 Money Mistakes Your Parents Made

Strategies for college grads to start on the right financial footing

May 9, 2012

Not being a best-selling author, film star or U.S. senator, I won't be giving commencement speeches this spring. But as I imagine myself at the podium in front of eager young college graduates, I know exactly what I would say.

College Grads: Think About Retirement Now

Start saving early; avoid your parents' problems

April 16, 2012

The majority of this spring's college graduates are not ready to take on the world financially. On average, two-thirds of students will graduate with student loans of $25,250 and more than $4,000 in credit card debt.

Financial Literacy Must be Taught in Our Schools

Commentary: Few of us are trained to deal with our own money

Published July 26, 2011

This summer marks the fourth anniversary of the beginning of the financial crisis that led to America's recent Great Recession. In the summer of 2007, the first warning tremors were felt in our credit markets, and U.S. citizens began to learn about terms like mortgage-backed securities, sub-prime loans and credit default swaps.