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A Week's Worth

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average resisted the pattern of its rival stock indices and rose last week while they fell. As of Friday's close, the Dow gained 0.1 percent, while the Nasdaq slumped 2.1 percent and the Standard & Poor's 500 lost about 0.1 percent.

Now that those charge-account bills that you ran up before Christmas are coming due, it's time to prevent the temporary effects of indebtedness from becoming "permanent financial crises," the Freedom Financial Network and its educational portal Bills.com say. They advise charging no more, making more than the minimum payment when possible, and mailing the largest of your checks to the card issuers with the highest interest rates. And, oh yes, always pay on time.

Even the wealthiest investors appear to be losing their appetite for hedge funds. Or so says the strategic consulting firm Spectrem Group of Chicago. The Ultra High Net Worth cohort – households with assets of at least $5 million – cut their exposure to 14 percent last year, or 3 percent lower than in 2005, its data show. Raise the bar to $25 million, and only 27 percent of households owned hedge funds – down from 38 percent in 2005. Net worth in this case does not include the value of one's primary residence.

While it may seem obvious, how you dress for work affects your potential for career advancement, an overwhelming majority of business executives has told a survey by the administrative staffing service Office Team. Ninety-three percent of respondents said a subordinate's choice of clothing "significantly" or at least "somewhat" influences his or her prospects for promotion. A key question to ask, according to Office Team: Would my manager wear this? If the answer is no, then you probably shouldn't either, it says.


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