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Featured Advisor

Kim Butler

Partners for Prosperity, Inc.

City:Mt. Enterprise

State: TX

I have 20+ years of handling alternative investments in cash, growth and income for clients nationwide.  I strive to help my clients with all things financial in every way possible over the phone and the web.  I own an alpaca farm which I enjoy working during my downtime.  I also enjoy gardening, writing and reading books.  I also train other advisors on Prosperity Economics.

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After a miserable third quarter, fourth quarter begins with falling worldwide markets. After surviving one of the worst quarters on record, the Dow fell on Friday 2.2 percent closing at 10,913. Asian and European markets are once again plummeting on Monday, primarily due to the eurozone debt crisis and fears regarding economic numbers about the US economy that will be released later this week.

Greece to Miss Deficit Targets

According to the Associated Press, Greece announced that it will miss it deficit targets for 2011 and 2012. The deficit will be at 8.5 percent of GDP compared to the 7.8 percent demanded by European lenders. Greece blames the change in percentages on a deeper recession than anticipated. Its citizens are refusing to pay many surcharges and tax collectors are being blamed for failing to collect required taxes. Greece cut 28,000 police jobs instead of the required 30,000 and those cut will be receiving full pensions. Greece has been reliant since May on cash disbursed from the eurozone and will fail to make payments if it does not receive more cash by mid-October.

Dollar Stronger against Euro and other Currencies

The US dollar is stronger than it has been for many years primarily due to investors flocking to safety. The Financial Times reports that the dollar is stronger due to default rather than other economic reasons. The Japanese yen and Swiss franc are no longer viable options having been regulated by their governments. Yet many investors, including finance ministers in Saudi Arabia, are unhappy with the dollar indicating they feel "hostage to the irresponsible behavior of politicians."

Bank of America Being Hacked?

According to USA Today, Bank of America's homepage and online banking services have been having problems since Friday, the day the $5 debit card fee was announced. Rumors persist that the site has been subject to hacking but Bank of America denies that rumor.

Piracy Costing World Trade $7 Billion Annually

A report from the Indian National Shipowners Organization indicates the piracy is costing the world $7 billion annually, according to the Associated Press. The costs include increased insurance, longer routes, security guards and others. They are recommending that the United Nations create a safeguarding force to ensure safety.

Specialty Items Up

While overall consumer spending is down, shoppers are buying specialty items in much larger percentages. The USA Today indicates the Halloween purchases are up, especially for pet costumes. Total Halloween spending is anticipated at $6.9 trillion with purchases of pet costumes up 15 percent. Gourmet goodies, such as truffle butter and lobster macaroni and cheese, are up 7.7% to $70 billion. Nail care has also increased with the purchases of polishes and other items up $14.2 million from January to August, an increase of 61% from 2010. Nail salon services have also increased.