Cover image of The Clark Howard Podcast
(2079)

Rank #3 in Investing category

Business
Investing
Entrepreneurship

The Clark Howard Podcast

Updated 5 days ago

Rank #3 in Investing category

Business
Investing
Entrepreneurship
Read more

Save more and spend less is more than just a motto for money expert Clark Howard; it’s a way of life. Clark and his crew — Team Clark — are on a mission to empower people to take control of their personal finances by providing money-saving tips, consumer advice, hot deals and economic news to help everyone achieve financial freedom.Clark is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host and a consumer reporter for television stations around the country. His podcast, The Clark Howard Show, receives more than one million downloads each month and is a hub for listeners to get valuable advice on-demand any time. Clark answers questions on the most popular business and consumer topics including; how to buy a cars, financing a home, retirement planning, shopping for insurance and getting the most out of your savings. Join the conversation and submit your question to www.clark.com/askclark . Clark spearheads two free resources — Clark.com and ClarkDeals.com — to encourage consumers to save more, spend less and avoid ripoffs.

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Save more and spend less is more than just a motto for money expert Clark Howard; it’s a way of life. Clark and his crew — Team Clark — are on a mission to empower people to take control of their personal finances by providing money-saving tips, consumer advice, hot deals and economic news to help everyone achieve financial freedom.Clark is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host and a consumer reporter for television stations around the country. His podcast, The Clark Howard Show, receives more than one million downloads each month and is a hub for listeners to get valuable advice on-demand any time. Clark answers questions on the most popular business and consumer topics including; how to buy a cars, financing a home, retirement planning, shopping for insurance and getting the most out of your savings. Join the conversation and submit your question to www.clark.com/askclark . Clark spearheads two free resources — Clark.com and ClarkDeals.com — to encourage consumers to save more, spend less and avoid ripoffs.

iTunes Ratings

2079 Ratings
Average Ratings
1638
215
94
67
65

Great podcast

By Jaggu Pat - Aug 23 2019
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Love you Clark and your priceless address.

Cusumer

By kelvconsumet - Jul 15 2019
Read more
Thanks for your show to help from getting ripped off Kelvin

iTunes Ratings

2079 Ratings
Average Ratings
1638
215
94
67
65

Great podcast

By Jaggu Pat - Aug 23 2019
Read more
Love you Clark and your priceless address.

Cusumer

By kelvconsumet - Jul 15 2019
Read more
Thanks for your show to help from getting ripped off Kelvin

Listen to:

Cover image of The Clark Howard Podcast

The Clark Howard Podcast

Updated 5 days ago

Read more

Save more and spend less is more than just a motto for money expert Clark Howard; it’s a way of life. Clark and his crew — Team Clark — are on a mission to empower people to take control of their personal finances by providing money-saving tips, consumer advice, hot deals and economic news to help everyone achieve financial freedom.Clark is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host and a consumer reporter for television stations around the country. His podcast, The Clark Howard Show, receives more than one million downloads each month and is a hub for listeners to get valuable advice on-demand any time. Clark answers questions on the most popular business and consumer topics including; how to buy a cars, financing a home, retirement planning, shopping for insurance and getting the most out of your savings. Join the conversation and submit your question to www.clark.com/askclark . Clark spearheads two free resources — Clark.com and ClarkDeals.com — to encourage consumers to save more, spend less and avoid ripoffs.

12.11.18 The smartphone decline; How to give gift cards; For-profit college closures

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Smartphones aren't getting much smarter these days. So Clark tells you how to avoid the hype and avenues to pay less on your cell phone hardware; Gift cards aren't the best gift. But you can make it a decent gift with a couple smart strategies; A few for-profit colleges went bust today. It's important for students to apply for student loan cancellation.

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Dec 11 2018

38mins

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3.1.19 Cars that stay on the road longer; Clark Stinks

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Clark tells you which cars end up staying on the road longer. It might be worth considering one of these in the future; Christa reads listener posts about how Clark has missed the mark in his advice this week. If you have a "Clark Stinks" to share you can leave it here.

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Mar 01 2019

38mins

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11.25.19 Workers fleeing big cities; Avoid this health insurance with terrible coverage

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Even with solid education, skills and jobs, it's difficult for many in high-cost cities to live without wheezing financially all the time, often with dim prospects of home ownership. Especially in the NE, DC and the I5 corridor from Seattle to SanDiego - people work hard to just tread water. If this is your situation, think about relocating. Even taking a lower paying job in a community with a much lower cost of living can pay off, and allow for home ownership. If such a move buys you a better lifestyle and allows you to accomplish financial goals, it can be worth it. More companies are relocating or establishing branches in lower cost areas for their employees- who want an affordable life often not found on either coast.


There’s a type of health insurance originally designed for young adults between jobs. These were designed as temporary policies. They exclude pre-existing conditions and generally don’t cover major illnesses. Because of a loophole in the law, unethical insurers are selling these policies to anyone, renewable up to 3 years. Only when someone is down do they find out they have no real coverage. These policies are cheap, don’t have big deductibles and cover routine care. So people think they’re great …. until. Stories have emerged of people facing huge medical bills forcing them into bankruptcies. Relatively brief hospital stays aren’t covered and can be billed in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. There are tight limits on what these policies cover and a long list of exclusions. These policies are marketed as health insurance, but are NOT real health insurance at all. They pretend to cover you, but the low premium you pay isn’t worth it. There’s not a free lunch. The real issue is dealing with the cost of health care itself. Clark will be forthcoming with his solutions to get the cost of healthcare down.

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Nov 25 2019

38mins

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3.7.19 How and when to buy travel insurance; Deactivating Facebook makes you happier

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Clark gives a primer on how and when to buy travel insurance; Deactivating Facebook makes you happier - and puts a lot of time back in your life

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Mar 07 2019

38mins

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11.22.19 When to use a travel agent when booking travel; Clark Stinks

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Travel agents are a thing of the past, right? Nope! While booking travel online has become incredibly easy and also allows you to compare prices more easily, travel advisers still have a helpful role to play in how you book. Specifically, if you tend to book stays at more expensive hotels or love to go on cruises, booking via a travel agent can gain you perks and discounts that you wouldn't otherwise have been able to score booking on your own.


Christa reads listener posts about how Clark has missed the mark in his advice this week. If you have a "Clark Stinks" to share you can leave it here.

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Nov 22 2019

38mins

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12.12.18 Cheapest used cars to repair; Equifax report sheds light on mistakes; Best & worst store return policies

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Which brands and models are the cheapest to repair? Clark fills you in; A new report about the Equifax breach sheds light on the myriad mistakes they made that exposed the data of tens of millions of Americans; What stores offer the best and worst return policies is something you need to keep in mind while doing your Christmas shopping.  

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Dec 12 2018

38mins

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10.31.18 Credit card issuers canceling cards; Kids and screen addiction

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Discover, Capital One, and other credit card issuers are cancelling cards that haven't been used in a while. Clark talks about what this means for the broader economy and how you as an individual should handle your plastic; Screen addiction in youth is looking like a major problem. Wealthier and more educated communities are striving to ban screens for youth altogether - especially in schools. 

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Oct 31 2018

38mins

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12.10.18 Obamacare enrollment ends soon; Best deals today; How much your data is worth

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Obamacare open enrollment ends this Saturday. Plus Clark talks about Fidelity's new HSA offering!; It's Green Monday and there are some great deals out there; How much is your data worth? Clark tells you the info that identity thieves will pay a lot for...and how to protect yourself.

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Dec 10 2018

38mins

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2.19.19 What's up with tax refunds?; Social security impostor scam; Best deals today

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There's been a big stink about Americans getting smaller tax refunds. But what's the real explanation?; Beware of social security impostor scams; Clark talks with Charis, the head of Clarkdeals.com, to discuss the best deals happening today

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Feb 19 2019

38mins

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8.15.18 Millennials eat out too much; Why to avoid auto-pay; Aldi organics

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Most Millennials spend more money eating out than they save for retirement. That's not good!; Auto-pay could be a disaster for your bank account. Clark tells you why to avoid it and how to pay your bills properly; Aldi is massively expanding their stores and their organic food selection. And their prices are still the best around.

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Aug 15 2018

38mins

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2.27.19 Virtual credit card numbers; Fake Netflix email scam; Social media makes us spend more

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Virtual credit card numbers are becoming more rampant. Capital One offers them to its credit card users and its helps in preventing massive amounts of fraud; Watch out for this Netflix email scam floating around; Social media makes us spend more. So stay off it or watch your impulses!

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Feb 27 2019

38mins

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2.18.19 Car repossessions are up; Widow denied pension; No Amazon in NY

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Car repossessions are becoming a bigger problem; A widow with MS has been denied her husband's pension based on one form that can't be tracked down; Amazon will no longer be erecting a second HQ in NYC.

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Feb 18 2019

38mins

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2.28.19 Best places to retire; Grandparent scam; Happiest cell phone customers

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Clark talks about the best places to land for retirees. Spend less on living expenses when you aren't working anymore!; Help your elderly friends and family avoid the grandparent scam; Which cell phone companies have the happiest customers? Clark shares that info.

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Feb 28 2019

38mins

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2.25.19 Apps giving your data to Facebook; VA problems persist; Skiplagging to score cheaper airfare

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Facebook has stepped in it again. Apps were giving Facebook loads of data about you including some really personal stuff; Incredibly sad and disturbing news - Vets are committing suicide in VA hospital parking decks as a protest to how poor the VA service has gotten; Lufthansa has sued a passenger for getting off the plane before finishing their reservation. Clark is in favor of using skiplagging services to save on your flights!

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Feb 25 2019

39mins

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5.31.19 Is a Tesla cheaper than a Camry?; Pay TV is losing massive numbers of subscribers

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A Tesla is actually cheaper to own than a Camry when you consider the total cost of ownership; Cable and satellite companies are losing lots of subscribers. Streaming for the win!

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May 31 2019

38mins

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1.16.19 Netflix price hike; Verizon's insane price hike; A 70% tax rate? Really!?

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This Netflix price hike has a lot of people freaking out. Clark discusses; Verizon just massively increased the price on a service that helps school aged children. Not cool!; And one young congresswoman has proposed a 70% tax bracket. Clark talks about why that isn't a good idea even though it is popular with a majority of Americans.

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Jan 16 2019

38mins

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3.4.19 Lower housing costs are huge for your budget; Flight attendants working for tips

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Lower monthly housing costs are a boon to your budget and a big predictor of how much money you'll be able to save and invest; Flight attendants on some airlines are working for tips now. Clark is not in favor of this policy.

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Mar 04 2019

38mins

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8.20.18 Home internet prices; Credit scores on the rise

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5G is coming to certain markets by the end of the year. Home internet prices are currently on the rise...but not for long. Clark discusses how 5G technology will create more competition in the home internet space and drive prices down over the long haul.; Clark recounts a story of one man taking the time to help his fellow man having a really difficult time.; Credit scores are going up for many Americans. Clark discusses why that is happening and how you can maximize your credit score.

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Aug 20 2018

38mins

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2.21.19 Credit card fees on the rise; FDA cracks down on fake supplements; Making your home WiFi safe

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Credit card fees from Visa and Mastercard are going up. Small businesses and consumers will bear the brunt; The FDA has issued a warning about supplements touting miraculous cures for Alzheimer's disease; A new Clark.com article details how you can make your home WiFi network safe.

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Feb 21 2019

38mins

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2.13.19 Risky home loans; broker kickbacks; Eyeglasses are super expensive

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Risky home loans are back. Avoid them at all costs; Incentives lead brokers to steer you towards pricier investment options; Clark talks with David Lazarus of the LA Times about why eyeglasses are so expensive. 

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Feb 13 2019

38mins

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12.6.19 Big travel deals around the corner; Clark Stinks

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Next year we’ll see many great airfare bargains domestic and international. Allegiant, Frontier and Spirit, the 3 hard discount airlines are having a big impact on airfares all over the country. When they come into a marketplace with a flight even just twice a week, airfares in that market on other airlines decline. According to Hopper, there’s a 17% rate drop when a new flight comes in from a discounter. Another factor for lower airfares in 2020: Eventually the Boeing Max is going back in the air. The influx of more aircraft will have an effect. The Southwest effect: Fares drop by over 60% when that airline enters a market. As Southwest gets the Max back, there should be a bargain affect. When a new route is introduced, deals appear.


Christa reads listener posts about how Clark has missed the mark in his advice this week. If you have a "Clark Stinks" to share you can leave it here.

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Dec 06 2019

38mins

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12.5.19 Stopping robocalls; Public pension problems; Deterring porch pirates

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One recent study reports a record 5.7 billion robocalls were made in Oct. alone, up 25% from the month before. That translates into 182 million robocalls per day, or over 2 thousand per second. Experts predicts by year’s end, Americans will have received about 60 billion for the year. Phone companies make money from robocalls. The FCC is putting heat of telecom to address the problem by the end of the year. The industry solution – Shaken/Stir, could take years to meaningfully remedy the problem. Shaken/Stir will reduce robocalls at best but the problem will not go away. Filters like NoMoRobo can only block numbers known to be spam, while robocallers & scammers keep switching lines to get around filters, or commit spoofing.


Most workers don’t receive pensions anymore, except for many state and local employees, many of whom are underpaid. Generous pensions are promised in return for years of service. The Economist reports state and local pension plans are underfunded. Either pension promises will be broken or taxes will have to go up. The real solution is better pay for state and local workers and 401K plans like workers in the private sector. Underfunded pension don’t work for taxpayers or government workers.


About 1/4 of Christmas shopping is being done online.That means a massive number of packages circulating. Criminals are engaging in porch piracy on a scale never seen before. Many homeowners are putting in cameras. For theft prevention, several companies are selling connected package receiving boxes, accessed by delivery workers via one-time use codes, able to alert the owner to a delivery. The boxes can be at the street or at the front door. It’s become a burden for apartment and condo staffs to handle packages. Amazon is pushing their lockers in Whole Foods locations. Walmart and Target have package pickup. FedEx and UPS stores have pick up locations.

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Dec 05 2019

38mins

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12.4.19 Riskier consumer loans; Stop unplugging things; Unsafe toy list

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It’s estimated 1 in 5 U.S. adults has a thin or no file by traditional credit reporting methods. A new regulation was issued yesterday giving the green light to new methods of measuring credit worthiness. Rent and utility payments can now be considered along with other behavioral analyses. Many young adults can benefit from this. What you spend vs what you earn is a new and very valid criteria for new scoring models. Do you live on less than what you make? Good saving habits are an indicator of a good bill payer. This hasn’t been a factor until now, to determine credit worthiness. The banking industry moves slow, so expect to see this first adopted by fintechs. Petal Card is among the first to use alternative scoring models.


Many have made a habit of unplugging everything before leaving home for a few days, to cut down on power use and for safety reasons. Vampire electronics – Dracula devices are thought to eat up home energy. USA Today’s Know Your Stuff column reports that today’s modern appliances and electronics do not eat power when not in use. The energy consumption of at rest appliances and electronics is only 10% of what it used to be. If you’re going on a trip, consider unplugging power strips. The number one thing you should do to save on energy is use LED lighting. Smart thermostats auto adjust to maximum energy efficiency. These are simple ways to save on power. 


Clark discusses which toys made the list of unsafe items this year. Be careful what you buy for your kiddos!

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Dec 04 2019

38mins

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12.3.19 Fake reviews online; Gift cards are awful; Revolutionary recycling techniques

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There’s been a huge increase in the number of fake reviews. Consulting firm Pattern found for an item listed on Amazon, a one star higher rating leads to a 30% increase in sales. The marketplace incentives for fake reviews to boost a score are so enormous, fake reviews have infiltrated the retail landscape. According to Fakespot, in addition to Amazon this is a problem at Walmart.com. There’s no reason to believe it’s not a problem across retail sites. 35% of all reviews on Amazon are fake, often generated by paid writers from overseas. This makes it important to read reviews because you can tell when they’re bogus. Most people only look at the number of stars. Red flag: when an item only has 5 stars be suspicious and read on. Check Consumer Reports rating for the most trustworthy assessments.


Gift cards remain popular, but 40% of Americans no longer wish to receive them because of all the fraud. Criminals gain access to secret codes enabling them to empty the cards upon activation. LA Times columnist David Lazarus reports gift card fraud has gotten more sophisticated. Now hackers have compromised the entire gift card system, able to use a computer program to figure out secret codes and card numbers for most every card issued. They can now compromise cards at will, and generally the retailers don’t make good on the ripped cards. Caution! Know the risk has increased and retailers have failed to provide adequate security to protect gift card purchases.


Dealing with trash is a huge expense for municipalities. But city and county recycling efforts are not profitable today and attempts to do so are burdening tax payers. There’s been a technological breakthrough developed by an Israeli company that’s gotten worldwide attention. Startup UBQ Materials is using a new method that’s achieving zero waste. New machinery can sort, chop, grind, shred, clean and heat garbage into a thick liquid, which can be turned into pellets and reused in manufacturing. Full upcycling has been achieved here. The conversion of all waste into a potentially valuable product has enormous advantage to society, including the elimination of landfills. Key: solutions must be economically sound to be sustainable. We face strong demands on water and other resources, disease from waste and other problems. Solving these problems in such a fashion will make it green (profitable) to be green. 

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Dec 03 2019

38mins

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12.2.19 Clark tells his Black Friday experience; Personal loans for presents!?; Tenant screening goes futuristic

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Stores were not crowded on Black Friday this year. Clark visited Costco, Target, Walmart, Microcenter, Ollie’s & Five Below just to get a feel for retail that day. There were no real crowds. Patterns have changed. Around 23% of holiday shopping during Black Friday month will be done online, up significantly from last year. So much of shopping has shifted to click and collect. It’s convenient for shoppers to order online and pick up their merchandise. Costco stepped up promotions this year with an emphasis on Costco.com, but marketing got ahead of operations, resulting in a massive computer failure, crashing the site.  


It’s gotten too easy for consumers to take out personal instant loans right on their smartphone. This is a booming business, with solicitations everywhere including on social media. The average loan is over $15K and as much as $30K. 20 million have done so thus far. These loans carry a moderately high interest rate. Many of these loans are being taken out for lifestyle. An Experian survey finds that 1 in 3 Americans acknowledge taking out a personal loan for Christmas shopping. Anytime you borrow for lifestyle, it comes back to burn you because it leaves no cushion in your life for the unexpected. Remember what really matters is time spent with loved ones. Bake or do something nice for someone in lieu of spending, because going into debt to keep up appearances is unwise, creating anxiety and financial pressure in your life.


More than 1 in 3 Americans rent. The screening process is important to this 37% of U.S. adults. Historically a landlord would run a credit check and maybe check references. But today, large scale landlords are adopting more sophisticated tools using AI and deep data to come up with a renter score. Being judged on broader criteria can be a plus for those in the gig economy, no longer limited by traditional income ratios, and for those without traditional credit. The algorithms vary, but all use an array of factors – totally different than how screening has been done in the past. One model considers the type of debt an applicant has, weighing student loan debt less than credit card debt. Different factors are in play to determine suitable tenants. Small landlords generally are not using these models. Large corporate apartment complexes may be using several. One complex may reject you or require a large deposit, while another may give the go ahead.

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Dec 02 2019

38mins

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11.29.19 Credit Karma bank account; Avoid cable modem monthly fees

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We get many calls about online banks. Last December Clark was talking about stock trading app Robinhood launching a 3% checking account. That was shut down in 2 days by regulators because it was non-compliant with insurance rules. Robinhood has just launched a savings account paying 2%+ with a debit MC - this time with FDIC insurance of 1.25M. They followed the playbook of Seedrs (?) - a private program that allows you spread money over multiple institutions. Robinhood has 5 banks that have joined them in offering FDIC insured saving/spending accounts. Credit Karma has launched their savings account to their 100M members.


If you get internet from a cable monopoly, they make you rent your modem from them. That's a ripoff of $10- $12 a month on a modem you can buy for $40- $60. Go to the company to search what modems are compatible with their internet service - and buy your own. Check speed requirements. Docsis 3.0 is an example of what you'll need. Also know if you get TV from a cable monopoly, they my quote you a package price of $59, and not to mention additional $40 junk fees. Look into streaming to save money.

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Nov 29 2019

38mins

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11.28.19 How Clark would fix healthcare; Americans are saving more

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Clark promised recently to convey the key components for fixing healthcare in the U.S. He starts by asking how to align free market incentives with more efficiency and less cost. We have by far the highest % of national income going towards healthcare of any country in the world. It's shocking we spend 1/5 of our nation's wealth each year on healthcare. The next highest is 8 or 9% of a nation's output for healthcare. We must address cost first. How do we make healthcare more affordable? The industry doesn't think of patients as customers. The system is distorted with employer coverage creating corporate incentives. Big employers have a marketplace advantage, creating job lock. Employers being able to deduct employee health care from taxes should end right away. The best marketplace will happen when the customer is the buyer and chooses where to go for care. Healthcare cost will never come under control unless we get federally mandated price disclosure for any treatment in advance, to inform consumer decisions. Consumers should make the cost/benefit choice. In addition to requiring easy-to-read price lists - those prices must be guaranteed. No more surprise balance billing. The price is the price, period. ACCESS: Many American counties have no access to primary care providers. We need national law allowing Physician Assistants and NPs to set up their own practices independent of any doctor where needed. INSURANCE: More than half of all medical care comes through the government at federal, state and local levels, eliminating private marketplace incentives. The role of government should be providing reinsurance, after an insurance company cap is reached. This would get us away from insurers cynically manipulating the political process, selling fake policies full of exclusions and riddled with limits. Insurers could sells medigap like policies with clearly stated coverage and no requirement to buy. There could be no exclusions for any pre-existing conditions UNLESS the insurance was allowed to lapse for a period exceeding one year. Then they could exclude a pre-existing condition for a period of 6 months. This would create a marketplace incentive to stay covered. Selling insurance would be less risky if they capped it in the hundreds of thousands of dollars vs. the millions they now fear and refute. Having government in the reinsurance role would lower risk for the private market for routine healthcare. And allowing consumers to truly be shoppers changes the equation as well. There are many other elements to this including Rx. Know the arguments we've had in the prism of politics have looked at this as a zero sum game. Wrong. How do we make improvements to make healthcare more affordable and more predictable? That's the central question. 


The Commerce Dept. has issued a new report indicating Americans now save the most % of their pay in a very long time - 8%. Last decade, Americans had a NEGATIVE net spending rate, spending $1.01 for every dollar earned. Today, people on average are living on .92 of every dollar made - greatness. But it's not evenly distributed. We're of 2 minds about money. Some shiftied their thinking after the Great Recession and have become savers. At the same time, we have record credit card debt. There are many circumstances that lead to deficit spending. But for some, it's lack of planning. Take Clark's 1% challenge. If you're not saving yet, just divert 1% to savings and step it up another 1% every 6 months. If no employer retirement plan, set up a savings account or Roth and have money automatically put in every pay period. We build new habits over time. Slow and steady wins the race. Ideally, work up to saving at least a dime of each dollar. It changes your future and lowers anxiety in your life. 

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Nov 28 2019

38mins

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11.27.19 Lowest cost of living cities; Beware online micro-loans

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Move.org has published a new survey on the average cost of living in the 75 largest metros in the country. San Francisco is the most expensive city, costing over $4200 a month on average. The cheapest: El Paso at $1100 month - 1/4 the cost! Honolulu: $2600. Of the 75 metros surveyed, more than half require less than $2k a month to live comfortably. See list. Clark names each affordable metro because so many live in high cost cities where home ownership out of reach. If you're at an inflection point, be aware of affordable alternatives. Your future, your wallet - You're NOT stuck wherever you are. 


More products and services have become available for purchase on a per use basis. Transportation via ride sharing or Zip car, renting vs. buying a home, music and video subscription services. Renting or paying via micro loans for various things is trending. But clothing? The WSJ reports many retailers are offering this option for inexpensive clothing items. You can finance a $30 pair of pants over 3 to 6 months, usually with interest. If there's a piece of fashion clothing you want and you can't afford to pay for it, you should wait until you can. If it's gone it's gone. Borrowing for lifestyle harms your financial future. When you RENT something like clothing, or pay with a microloan from the register - these are not good choices. Just as with a car, you don't lease because you can't afford to buy. Make good long term choices for your wallet, not just what feels good at the moment.

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Nov 27 2019

38mins

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11.26.19 Is plant-based meat tasty?; Make your smartphone last longer

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Clark loves the Impossible Burger - not a fan of Beyond or veggie burgers. Recent reports reveal the Impossible burger isn't particularly healthier. That high calorie meat taste comes from multiple plant fats. Experts initially thought these meat substitutes would only sell in white collar environments and high end restaurants. Turns out Carl's Jr. and Burger King are successfully selling meat substitute burgers and manufacturers are penetrating world markets. Just know it's not a guilt free card healthwise, but much greener on the manufacturing side. In addition to meat substitutes, expect lab grown meat on the market in the future. Lab grown diamonds are chemically the same, eliminating danger and cost. So lab meat will be real meat, but will not come directly from cows.


Is it a deal - smart - to buy the latest greatest smartphone? Cell phone carrier contracts incentivised consumers to buy new phones every 18 months to 2 years. That's not the case anymore. We're out of contracts, making for happier customers. We're all free agents but we have to pay the real price for phones. So now we keep phones 3 years on average. Keeping phones longer - buying last year's model - makes sense. Clark buys various phones frequently to test and finds them all to be fantastic. Apple learned the hard way you can only drive up the price so much, and has regained initiative introducing the Apple 11 at $699 (The 10 / 10S was over a grand). Samsung has also adjusted pricing. Your phone will perform longer than you might think. As long as you can get the updates on the OS, there's no reason to prematurely dump your phone anymore. It's cheaper to just replace the battery when needed. It's AOK now to keep a phone 4 or 5 years.

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Nov 26 2019

38mins

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11.25.19 Workers fleeing big cities; Avoid this health insurance with terrible coverage

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Even with solid education, skills and jobs, it's difficult for many in high-cost cities to live without wheezing financially all the time, often with dim prospects of home ownership. Especially in the NE, DC and the I5 corridor from Seattle to SanDiego - people work hard to just tread water. If this is your situation, think about relocating. Even taking a lower paying job in a community with a much lower cost of living can pay off, and allow for home ownership. If such a move buys you a better lifestyle and allows you to accomplish financial goals, it can be worth it. More companies are relocating or establishing branches in lower cost areas for their employees- who want an affordable life often not found on either coast.


There’s a type of health insurance originally designed for young adults between jobs. These were designed as temporary policies. They exclude pre-existing conditions and generally don’t cover major illnesses. Because of a loophole in the law, unethical insurers are selling these policies to anyone, renewable up to 3 years. Only when someone is down do they find out they have no real coverage. These policies are cheap, don’t have big deductibles and cover routine care. So people think they’re great …. until. Stories have emerged of people facing huge medical bills forcing them into bankruptcies. Relatively brief hospital stays aren’t covered and can be billed in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. There are tight limits on what these policies cover and a long list of exclusions. These policies are marketed as health insurance, but are NOT real health insurance at all. They pretend to cover you, but the low premium you pay isn’t worth it. There’s not a free lunch. The real issue is dealing with the cost of health care itself. Clark will be forthcoming with his solutions to get the cost of healthcare down.

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Nov 25 2019

38mins

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11.22.19 When to use a travel agent when booking travel; Clark Stinks

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Travel agents are a thing of the past, right? Nope! While booking travel online has become incredibly easy and also allows you to compare prices more easily, travel advisers still have a helpful role to play in how you book. Specifically, if you tend to book stays at more expensive hotels or love to go on cruises, booking via a travel agent can gain you perks and discounts that you wouldn't otherwise have been able to score booking on your own.


Christa reads listener posts about how Clark has missed the mark in his advice this week. If you have a "Clark Stinks" to share you can leave it here.

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Nov 22 2019

38mins

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11.21.19 T-Mobile home internet adds competition; Juice jacking invades public charging ports; Five Below raises prices

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Home internet has been way too expensive without much competition. Monopoly cable companies have cornered the market in most of the country. Clark predicts this is the last year we’ll be suffering that lack of competition. In 2020 & 2021, we’ll see the roll out of various forms of high speed home internet, changing the equation for consumers. T-Mobile has launched a wireless home internet service for a flat $50 a month, no contract – no data caps. It’s largely rural now with expansion expected. Over the next 2 years, overhyped 5g will be rolled out. For cellular customers, T-Mobile is launching 5g for about 2/3rd of the country’s population the first week of December, but certain phones are required. This will be for early adopters in the first wave. AT&T and Verizon will also roll out fast home internet, plus satellite internet will be an option. T-Mobile is out of the gate here early.


Criminals have infiltrated courtesy USB charging stations in airports, café’s, hotel rooms etc. They have installed illegal reading devices that can skim the info from your device. Ports and cables now pose a risk. They can install malware allowing them to steal your data. Go back to charging your devices in a traditional outlet, with a charging brick or portable batty. Don’t use the easy USB port, cause they’re also easy for criminals to invade in order to drain your info.


This Christmas season is the first that one of the nation’s fastest growing retailers has a presence in much of the country. Five Below – a shopping mecca for teens, offers affordable gifts. Most items are sold at $5. Five Below sources their own goods, overseeing the design and manufacturing of their private label merchandise. Hurt by tariffs, they now have ‘Ten Below’ corners within their stores, forced to break the $5 barrier. Five Below follows a business model perfected by Aldi. Aldi sources their private label goods as well, allowing consumers to save around 40% on groceries. Sourcing allows retailers to undercut the price of competitors’ goods. Five Below shoppers determine quality of goods over time.

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Nov 21 2019

39mins

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11.20.19 Amazon expands free music; Buckle up this holiday season; Nursing home abuse tool

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Clark has a Spotify family plan. $15 a month includes 5 different streams - $3 per person. Spotify faces competitive market threats from Apple Music. Pandora seems to be fading a bit. Now all face a new threat from Amazon. Amazon’s free, ad supported music service for Prime members has greatly expanded music offerings in an effort to hook users on the pay service. Joel’s already paying. This competition is a win for consumers. Maybe someday the artists and composers will win too.


Unbelted passengers at impact in an automobile accident: Centrifugal force has no mercy. As we move into the holiday season, make sure backseat passengers wear seatbelts, as well as front seaters. According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, many fatalities occur each year due to back seat passengers not wearing seatbelts. Uber and Lyft passengers typically ride in the back and seldom put on their seatbelts. This endangers all in the car. Buckle up for safety. 


Episodically around the country, scandals of neglect and abuse emerge concerning nursing homes, assisted living and other senior facilities. When trying to find a suitable environment for a loved one needing care – it’s a shot in the dark. You’ll get a pitch designed to earn trust. But what goes on during the third shift? What’s actually happening in these places. You can hire a geriatric social worker for evaluation and placement consultation. They know which facilities do a good job. But most don’t go this route, and fly blind trying to choose a facility. Nursing Home Compare -  Find and compare Nursing Homes | Nursing Home Compare. Cited nursing homes are marked with a red icon as a warning to consumers. These homes have to be in compliance for a full year before they lose that red mark of shame. This helps consumers ferret out potentially harmful places.

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Nov 20 2019

38mins

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11.19.19 Wire transfer warning; No Christmas decorations!; Dollar Tree FDA warning

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According to the FBI, wire transfer fraud is growing exponentially. Typically homeowners, small to mid-size business owners and nonprofits are targeted. When buying a home, you receive wire transfer instructions for the home closing from your real estate agent, escrow agent or closing attorney. Criminals are infiltrating email services, taking over the email of real estate agents, lawyers and escrow agents. They’re lurking. When they see a wire transfer instructions email, they wait until just before closing, go into the email and send a revised wiring instructions email. This diverts the wired money to them. You show up for the closing and they money has not been received – gone forever. The banking industry hasn’t come up with any security procedure to protect your money. This is having enormous consequences for consumers. Businesses and nonprofits have suppliers. Crooks lurk in email to discover payment patterns, duplicate payment instructions via ACH or wire, and money is sent to them on a one-way trip. Know that you cannot trust wiring or ACH instructions that come by email. Call the party and verify instructions over the phone using a verified phone number. Follow this procedure every time, because there is no way to recover money stolen this way.


The New York Daily News reported on a family in San Antonia required by their HOA to pull down their Christmas décor because they put it up too early. Really! They decorated in November because the woman of the house is 8 months pregnant and wanted to get it done while she could. The couple told the HOA to sue them, they’re NOT taking down their decorations. HOA board members should anticipate being visited by 3 ghosts this Christmas Eve.


Clark has long recommended buying OTC meds at Dollar Tree for a buck. The same items at chain drug stores go for $7 or $8. But Dollar Tree has harmed their reputation. The FDA has issued a warning to Dollar Tree for having foreign manufactured drugs on their shelves found to be adulterated. This pertains to topical medications on their health aisle – not any type of pills or medicine you take orally. Dollar Tree says they’re cooperating with the FDA.

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Nov 19 2019

38mins

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11.18.19 Healthcare price transparency; Gift exchange scam; Black Friday preview

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The Trump administration has issued rules that has the medical industry in furious. New rules will require consumers have access upfront to costs for medical care and procedures. What other industry is so arrogant to think they could avoid price disclosure forever? They’ve hired lobbyist to spread money around to politicians, most pretending to be non-profits – all to hide their prices. Many consumers have suffered bankruptcy. Half of negative credit items are due to medical debt, while the industry works hard to keep costs secret, which leads to financial harm to people because it’s impossible to price shop. Hospitals will be required to show pricing per insurance provider and non-insured pricing. Consumers will be able to compare prices across all hospitals to make informed decisions on upcoming procedures.


Last holiday season’s Secret Sister social media scam has roared back the BBB warns. You get a solicitation about a Secret Santa gift exchange. If you send cash or gifts to people on a provided list, you’ll be showered with money and gifts 36 fold! This is a pyramid and just a con. You’re just sending money / gifts to scammers. If you see this on social or receive a text or email, ignore and delete.


Clark talks about the best current deals and also upcoming Black Friday deals with the Chief Deal Digger Charis from ClarkDeals.com.

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Nov 18 2019

38mins

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11.15.19 Carry-on bag warning; Clark Stinks

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Many fly only during the holiday period near the end of the year. Airlines gouge you on checking a bag, so many bring carry on bags. Airlines quickly run out of overhead bin space during boarding so – gate check - they seize and tag some of them at the gate. If you put everything important in your carry on, once it becomes a checked bag, airlines don’t cover anything of value. You are vulnerable to having things disappear with no compensation. If you do carry on, have a personal item that will fit under the seat in front of you, that will not be seized at the runway. That way you can keep your meds, jewelry, electronics and anything you valuable to you. If your bag is seized at the jetway, you only have to worry about losing clothing. If there’s a dishonest person, don’t tempt them with anything of value.


Christa reads listener posts about how Clark has missed the mark in his advice this week. If you have a "Clark Stinks" to share you can leave it here.

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Nov 15 2019

38mins

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11.14.19 Google gets into medical records; Designer purse lawsuit; iBuyer companies great for consumers

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Google’s Project Nightingale is a huge initiative by the second largest hospital system in the U.S. Some are hostile to Google doing this. But this is an important initiative. With the tech available today, it’s ridiculous we don’t have solid medical databases for continuity of care. Patients themselves don’t keep track. It’s important this succeeds and expands.


A woman at an exclusive country club in the tri-state has wine spilled on her $30K purse. She sues the country club, which in turn sues the waiter. Really? A $30K purse for starters, and the rest is Clarkrageous as well.


Clark shared his iBuyer selling experience this summer. The iBuyer market uses deep data to establish an accurate selling price and make an offer, allowing the seller to choose their departure time. No showings or traditional hassle. They may front the money for repairs and updates the seller agrees to, and get the money back at closing. They’re own staff gets the work done and the home is listed. A recent analysis of Zillow and Open Door found the prices being offered are actually too good. After expenses and sell prices, they’re not making money. Zillow agrees. It’s very important to get offers from multiple companies, which include Knock, Zillow, OfferPad, Opendoor and more in different areas. They have to have the right data to make an offer. IBuyers are working the great middle of the market, eschew both the high and low end. Clark’s experience turned out great. Research suggests this is a fair deal for home sellers, offering certainty, and eliminating hassle.

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Nov 14 2019

38mins

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11.13.19 New privacy law and your data; Fake Costco coupon; Real ID law info

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California passed a law that is having national impact. In the U.S. we lack any digital rights to privacy, while internet behemoths collect our data, compiling deep dossiers to sell off for marketing purposes. Due to the breakdown of political function in D.C., technology is moving faster than a do-nothing Congress. So California has emulated Europe’s privacy law, The Right to be Forgotten – which works magnificently there. Ironically, California has defied all it’s tech firms and passed a Right to be Forgotten law. Microsoft has announced they will follow, leading the way in the right direction. Other companies will hopefully follow the California standard in other states.


Take caution over the next 6 weeks when you receive notifications by text, social, email or popups promising free coupons, gift cards or vouchers – assume it’s a scam with nothing good coming next. Last year there were fake Walmart gift card solicitations. When people clicked the link viruses were unleashed. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports on a new one circulating all over the country claiming Costco is giving away $75 coupons. Costco cries SCAM! These are recurring hoaxes showing up as internet popups, websites and social posts.


100 million American adults don’t have Real ID yet. Without Real ID or a passport, you won’t be able to fly. 40% of Americans, 2 out of 5 are not compliant to fly. The full fare airlines – American, United and Delta are taking reservations past the deadline. Only American so far is alerting ticket buyers of the requirement. There should be an automatic popup when booking past the late summer deadline, warning people they will NOT be able to board without Real ID with an explanatory link. If you don’t have a star, call your DMV, make an appointment to have your identity verified.

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Nov 13 2019

38mins

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11.12.19 Managing a Waffle House; AT&T forces price increase; Scaling back on Christmas purchases

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Waffle House has been in the news lately!One recent late night, only 1 cook showed up for his Birmingham Waffle House shift. So the customers pitched in taking & serving orders and washing dishes. The customers ran the joint for no pay. Waffle House acknowledged the incident as gracefully as possible, suggesting the customers fill out applications. What’s it take to work there? Ironically, the day before that happened, the WSJ ran a story about how working at Waffle House is great training for corporate management. Waffle House managers do every job that needs doing so employees know they’re all in it together. An experienced Waffle House manager can make $115K per year. But it’s not for the faint of heart.


AT&T wireless customers in grandfathered plans are being moved to more expensive plans without being told. You don’t have to pay this. As AT&T struggles, you don’t have to suffer in the wallet. There are plans a lot cheaper with other players in the industry. Visible, T-Mobile and more – check the alternatives. Do not be a sitting duck for AT&T's financial problems.


Money is tight this Christmas season for most of us. Before you spend out of obligation, consider alternatives. Forget deals if money is really tight and consider what people cherish most, like experiences together. Bake for a loved one. Don’t spend yourself into debt that takes months to pay off. If there are young kids in the family, buy for them, but not for the adults. This season you’ll see deals online at sites including Amazon, eBay, Craig’s List, Facebook marketplaces - where some items may be counterfeit or recalled. When a deal looks too good to be true, be suspicious. If it's new inbox electronics listed for way less than elsewhere, there’s a chance the item is stolen. Use your common sense. 

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Nov 12 2019

38mins

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11.11.19 Veteran's Day; Disturbing Boeing revelations; Best streaming TV deals

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Clark comes from an immigrant family. All 4 of his grandparents were born overseas. From the time they became citizens, serving in the military became part of the Howard family culture. Clark’s had the privilege of speaking at 3 Veterans Day events over the last 3 days. All gratitude to the brave people who have served our nation. The all-volunteer military structure today means only a small portion of the American people serve and are called upon time and time again to redeploy. We ask so much of so few to serve so many. Most members of Congress have never served and are clueless about military service. We’ve lost an understanding of each other in the U.S. because of this schism. On this Veteran’s Day, Clark expresses his belief that it would be an enormous benefit to America if we had 2 years compulsory public service. Young adults would work for nonprofits, charities or serve in the military, to work for the common good of all. This gives us the shared purpose we need to get back. People have become tribally divisive in America. We need to return to the core principle of America – an incredible republic offering religious and democratic freedoms and economic opportunity. We have a phenomenal country. Take a moment this Veterans Day to think about the freedoms we enjoy, that our veterans have served to protect. Hating those we disagree with makes us weak, narrow-minded and diminishes our world status as a beacon of hope.


We’re approaching a year since Boeing 737 Max aircraft have been grounded after the 2 tragic crashes. A disturbing cultural problem at the root of Boeing emerges. Leaked information indicates Boeing is attempting legal maneuvers to reduce their financial risk and legal liability to the grieving families of those killed in Boeing crashes due to the company’s gross negligence. Boeing may have known as early as 2015 of design safety concerns, did nothing, covered up defective devices, and now they’re trying to shirk liability. When asked if he was aware of the liability avoidance, the Boeing CEO denied knowledge. Others dispute that. Either way, the CEO needs to go. This company seems to have no focus on safety.


We are right at 500 different series being produced in the U.S. That’s up from 80 in 2014. There’s never been a time in the history of video with so much compelling content. This has created a battle for market share. Disney is launching its new streaming service tomorrow. Apple is in early stages. Netflix remains the behemoth and Comcast is launching Peacock. AT&T is launching HBO products in addition to their traditional streaming service. See our guide, continually updated. We’ll see more change in this area in the next 2 – 3 yeas than has existed since TV began, around 1953. Fast forward to 500 series available on demand, and they’re subsidizing us, while losing money for various reasons. Amazon’s losing on Prime instant video. Google’s is losing on YouTube TV trying to become dominant. Hulu is offering both on demand and live streaming – Yes it gets confusing. Be wary of signing up for programming packages with AT&T. In financial trouble, they have a tendency to raise prices without notice.

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Nov 11 2019

38mins

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