Archive for October, 2009

More life in the bull market?

Is the bull back to stay? Or just to visit?

The Dow Jones industrial average passed the 10,000 mark in early afternoon trading Wednesday — a level not seen in a year.

Is this just a nice round number, or is the market poised for further gains? If you’ve been on the sidelines, is it time to get back into stocks?

Or will the jobless recovery and profit-taking subdue the market in short order?

Continue reading More life in the bull market? »

Tips for older workers seeking jobs

With jobs tough to find, older workers are experiencing a particularly rough go of it.

A new study from the MetLife Mature Market Institute says that many Americans over the age of 55 plan to work at least until age 69.

But the survey of more than 1,200 individuals ages 55 to 70, “Buddy, Can You Spare a Job? The New Realities of the Job Market for Aging Baby Boomers,” paints a sobering picture of the prospects.

If you’re in that group, here are some dos and don’ts:

Seven Common Mistakes

  • “I’ll just do what I was doing before.”
  • “My experience speaks for itself.”
  • “I don’t have time for this touchy-feely stuff about what work means to me.”
  • “I know! I’ll become a consultant…!”
  • “Of course I’m good with computers.”
  • “I’ll just use a recruiter for some career coaching.”
  • “I’ve always been successful, so why should things be different now?”

Instead, the study offers the following suggestions:

Five Tips for Success

1. Acknowledge the New Realities of the Job Market. First, …

Continue reading Tips for older workers seeking jobs »

Has your home been undervalued?

As we all know too well, Atlanta’s once super-heated housing market has cooled down considerably in this recession. From 1998-2005, metro Atlanta was the nation’s No.1 housing market. But since July 2007, home prices here have dropped nearly 20 percent.

Now, some say a new wrinkle in the home-sale and refinancing process is causing additional problems.

New rules, called the Home Valuation Code of Conduct, are intended to head off future real estate bubbles by reducing the pressure on appraisers to produce inflated home values. The rules bar loan brokers and real estate agents from ordering appraisals. Instead, they delegate that duty to banks and appraisal management companies.

But the change has many homeowners, appraisers, agents and others upset. According to critics, appraisals have become maddeningly inconsistent, and are often far lower than expected. That leads to deals falling apart — on home sales and refinancings.

Have you had this experience in selling or …

Continue reading Has your home been undervalued? »

Power Breakfast: GM Doraville site, no more Clayton transit, stimulus, Ford, Delta, AirTran-Falcons

There’s an interesting story today about development of the old GM Doraville mega-site.

A Florida developer says DeKalb County will help his company convert the property into a “true urban center” with homes, restaurants, businesses and offices, AJC reporters April Hunt and Ty Tagami write.

“DeKalb has agreed to work with us, to develop this project for them, for us and for Doraville,” David Pace, president of New Broad Street Companies, told the reporters.

Redevelopment of the 165-acre site has been a hot topic since GM announced the plant closing in 2007. It would be the largest “brownfield” project in metro Atlanta, meaning it involves the cleanup of a heavy industrial site. By comparison, Atlantic Station in Midtown Atlanta, a former steel mill, is 138 acres.

Also in the AJC:

Continue reading Power Breakfast: GM Doraville site, no more Clayton transit, stimulus, Ford, Delta, AirTran-Falcons »

What should be done in Clayton?

As if traffic congestion in metro Atlanta isn’t bad enough, Clayton has now decided to end bus service in March.

That’s only going to make our commutes — already among the most time-consuming in the nation — even worse.

What do you think should be done? Fare increase? County sales tax increase? Regional transit tax? Revote? Nothing?

Continue reading What should be done in Clayton? »

Atlanta Spirit owner: Lawsuit didn’t hurt teams

Michael Gearon Jr. won an “entrepreneur of the year” award in 1997 for building his cellular tower business into a fast-growing enterprise that he sold for $100 million.

Michael Gearon Jr.But growing fast has not been his fate as part-owner of the Atlanta Spirit – that money-losing, litigious group of eight which owns the Hawks and Thrashers.

In business and sports, Gearon said, it’s important to build a strong foundation. But that has proven to be more elusive on the court and ice than in the cellular-tower fields.

Why?

I sat down with Gearon, 44, at his Vinings office last week to try to find out. With the start of the hockey and basketball seasons and a fresh court ruling on the prolonged ownership dispute, I thought the timing was right.

Gearon, an Atlanta native who attended Marist and then Georgia State, doesn’t see the dichotomy that I do when discussing his business and sports careers.

In business, his record has been impressive. He took a $3,000 real estate commission to start a …

Continue reading Atlanta Spirit owner: Lawsuit didn’t hurt teams »

Power Breakfast: Health reform vote, Kings, UPS, jobless, office leasing

There’s a key health care vote today in the Senate Finance Committee.

And much of the debate is focused on a proposed tax on high-cost or “Cadillac” health insurance plans to help pay for the uninsured, the New York Times is reporting.

The tax is one of the few remaining proposals under consideration by Congress that budget experts say could lead directly to a reduction in health care spending over the long term, by prompting employers and employees to buy cheaper insurance, the Times writes.

Supporters say that the tax is essential to tamping down medical spending and that over 10 years it would generate more than $200 billion, nearly a fourth of what is needed to pay for the legislation.

Critics say the tax would quickly spiral out of control and hit middle-class workers, people more closely associated with minivans than Cadillacs.

The Times points out that the debate on the tax is taking place in the House as well, and a resolution will be key to what happens with the …

Continue reading Power Breakfast: Health reform vote, Kings, UPS, jobless, office leasing »

Power Breakfast: Foreclosures down, Comcast, luxury homes, Gwinnett stadium

There was good news on the foreclosure front today in metro Atlanta.

Published foreclosure notices fell significantly this month, although another annual record was set.

A total of 9,549 foreclosure notices were published in October in a 13-county metro area — down 22 percent from September, according to Equity Depot. The notices published this month are for public auctions scheduled for November.

Still, after 10 months this year, there were 97,339 notices  — well above last year’s previous annual record of 79,484.

The blog item below this one has more details.

Also in the AJC:

In other media:

Continue reading Power Breakfast: Foreclosures down, Comcast, luxury homes, Gwinnett stadium »

Atlanta foreclosures decline for month, but set annual record

The foreclosure picture in metro Atlanta improved significantly in October. But notices for the year continue at a record pace.

A total of 9,549 foreclosure notices were published in October in a 13-county metro area — down 22 percent from September, according to Equity Depot. The notices published this month are for public auctions scheduled for November.

Five other months this year had more notices than October, Equity Depot data shows.

Still, after 10 months this year, there were 97,339 notices  — well above last year’s previous annual record of 79,484.

“Reasons for so many remain the same — the continuing sub-prime crisis, unemployment numbers continuing to rise,” said Barry Bramlett, president of Equity Depot.

Bramlett also said the September numbers were partially swelled by the calendar.

“We have a quarterly bump when the calendar creates an extra week for advertising [foreclosures],” he said. “This  happens when the auction is a full week into the next month and …

Continue reading Atlanta foreclosures decline for month, but set annual record »

New ideas to prevent foreclosure?

Foreclosure filings are occurring every 13 seconds in this country.

And government programs to fight the foreclosure crisis look increasingly inadequate and should be reworked and supplemented with new ideas, a congressional watchdog said today, Reuters is reporting.

“Rising unemployment, generally flat or even falling home prices, and impending mortgage rate resets threaten to cast millions more out of their homes,” according to the report, which focused on the Treasury Department’s efforts to curb foreclosures.

Should more be done beyond the current programs? What?

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

Continue reading New ideas to prevent foreclosure? »