Trading Floor

The Trading Floor features comments, feedback and insight submitted by Marketplace sources. Help advise us about stories we’re working on, discuss the news of the day, and share your insight by joining the Public Insight Network.

FEATURED QUERY: Do you rely on tips for a living? Tell us more


Category: Query

  • Are you buying stamps instead of stocks, or art instead of bonds?

    • Posted by Alison Brody
    • on October 19, 2010 11:21 AM

    Marketplace Money hears daily from people who feel turned off by the stock market and unnerved by real estate. They say that they’re looking for alternative investments that will make them feel good about where their money is going and secure that it will be there tomorrow.

    Have you invested your money in a non-traditional way? Tell us here.

    We’re particularly interested to hear from people who’ve taken what investment dollars they have and traded them for objects of value. Maybe you’ve put your hard earned dollars toward art, antiques or coins. Or perhaps classic cars are more your thing (or American Girl Dolls, or musical instruments, or heirloom vegetable seeds).

    Whether your non-traditional investing story is one of success or utter failure, we want to hear about it. Click here to share your experience.

  • What's your employer doing to help avoid worker burnout?

    • Posted by Alison Brody
    • on October 7, 2010 10:27 AM

    Marketplace is working on a story about actions companies are taking to improve worker morale.

    Although the recession didn’t create worker burnout, it certainly didn’t help matters, either. Over the last few years, people have been asked to do the same job for less money or the job of two people for the same money.

    Given the discouraging environment many workers are facing, what can an employer do to keep their employees happy (and productive)?

    If your employer has bright ideas about improving your workday (or if you’re an employer with bright ideas), click here to share them with Marketplace.

  • Have you ever been fined - or rewarded - for your trash?

    • Posted by Alison Brody
    • on September 30, 2010 12:38 PM

    If you have, you can help Marketplace and Freakonomics launch their new collaboration …

    Beginning this fall, the people who brought you Freakonomics (the books, the blog and now the movie) will have a regular segment on Marketplace. They say they explore “the hidden side of everything,” and they do this mostly by looking at what motivates people to do what they do - it’s not always what you think.

    One of the first topics they’ll be tackling for Marketplace is trash. Cities around the country are trying to figure out how to reduce the amount of waste they produce. Collecting it is expensive, and the question of where to put it is becoming an even bigger problem. Some city governments charge individuals fees for producing too much trash, while others have opted to reward those who reduce the amount of waste they produce.

    Have you ever been charged - or rewarded - for your trash? Click here to share your story with Marketplace (and Freakonomics).

  • Do you own your home free and clear?

    • Posted by Alison Brody
    • on September 24, 2010 11:19 AM

    Roughly 32% of Americans own their own homes free and clear. They have paid off their mortgages and the title is held in their name alone.

    Are you one of the select few in this country who can claim to be mortgage free? If so, tell Marketplace about it here.

    Unfortunately (and perhaps not surprisingly) housing economists we’ve spoken to say that the ranks of the mortgage-free homeowners will likely shrink in the future. So, while you’re still out there, we have some questions for you: How did you do it? How did it feel when you made your last payment? What does it mean to you that you are the sole owner of your home?

    Share your story with Marketplace here.

  • Do you have a reverse mortgage?

    • Posted by Alison Brody
    • on September 22, 2010 12:25 PM

    The last couple of years have been a boom time for the reverse mortgage industry. The mixture of an aging population and a lousy economy has meant more people than ever are taking out reverse mortgages on their homes.

    Do you have a reverse mortgage? Marketplace wants to hear about your experience. Click here to tell us.

  • Is your company hiring for the holidays?

    • Posted by Alison Brody
    • on September 22, 2010 12:18 PM

    It’s already late September, which means that Halloween is nearly here, which means that Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means … the beginning of the holiday shopping season. And if you work in retail you’ve been planning for that moment for a while now. But do your plans include hiring seasonal workers?

    A new report says that the hiring picture for the 2010 holiday season looks better than last year, but still far from rosy.

    Do work in retail? If so, will your company be hiring this year? Click here to share your company’s plans with Marketplace.

  • What's the worst piece of financial advice you've ever gotten?

    • Posted by Alison Brody
    • on August 17, 2010 12:17 PM

    When it comes to financial advice, Marketplace Money is usually in the business of highlighting the good stuff. This week, however, we’re after the bad. We want to hear the absolute worst, most awful pieces of financial advice you’ve ever gotten.

    Tell us here.

    Maybe your uncle Larry convinced you to invest in a company that went bust, or perhaps it was a financial professional that led you astray. In this case, I’m sure reality is better than anything we can come up with, so click here to tell us your story.

    And, who knows, your tale of woe may save someone else from falling into the same trap.

  • Marketplace Money wants to know: is your summer break a boon or a burden?

    • Posted by Alison Brody
    • on July 22, 2010 1:44 PM

    When you’re a kid, summer means one thing - vacation. For most adults, however, summertime is just another season of five day work weeks and dress down Fridays. Unless, that is, you do something like teach or work in Hollywood. Then you’re on break, or hiatus, or whatever your chosen industry chooses to call it.

    Marketplace Money is working on a series about people who year after year face a gap in employment during the summer months.

    If your job breaks for summer, we have a question for you: is your time off a welcome change or does it cause a financial headache? Tell us here.

  • Is Groupon too much of a good thing?

    • Posted by Alison Brody
    • on July 21, 2010 2:03 PM

    Want to get $50 worth of parts and services from Midas for just 25 bucks? How about a green tea facial for 75% off the original price? Of course you do. So do thousands of other consumers who flock to the online coupon site Groupon, where individuals harness their collective buying power in exchange for daily deals.

    It’s a win-win for customers and businesses, but is it too much of a good thing? Some small business owners who sold products and services on the site have been overrun by customers, making it difficult for them to deliver on what was promised.

    Are you a Goupon user? How did it work out for you? Tell us here.

  • When online comments run wild, what's a company to do?

    • Posted by Alison Brody
    • on July 19, 2010 1:21 PM

    Earlier this month, game developer Blizzard announced - and then quickly retracted - a plan to require forum participants to comment using their real names. The company created the policy in an attempt to cut back on “unpleasantness run wild,” but the announcement was met with an onslaught of criticism. A discussion thread slamming the proposal on one of Blizzard’s forums reached more than 2,000 pages.

    Now, the company has softened their approach. They’ll give users the ability to rank and flag comments, but anonymous posts will still be allowed.

    Blizzard isn’t the only company grappling with the question of how to manage user comments. Newspapers, tech companies, even individual bloggers continue to experiment with ways to keep conversations vibrant, yet civil - without dedicating too many resources to the task.

    What do you think of the ability to comment anonymously? Does it cause people to behave badly? Has it ever caused you to behave badly? Tell Marketplace here.

  • Are you struggling with a low credit score?

    • Posted by Alison Brody
    • on July 14, 2010 12:25 PM

    The Great Recession has resulted in all sorts of record-breaking numbers - more foreclosures than ever before, more credit card defaults than ever before. And, on Monday, we added another number to this grim list: personal credit scores.

    FICO, the company that created the credit score, released new data that showed Americans’ credit scores have sunk to new lows, with 43 million people scoring below 600.

    When the news came out, Marketplace talked to Joan Goldwasser of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine to shed some light on the current state of personal credit.

    Now we want to hear from you. How’s your credit score doing? Has a low credit score negatively affected your life? Tell Marketplace here.

  • Jobs are returning to Wall Street. Are you part of the hiring spree?

    • Posted by Alison Brody
    • on July 8, 2010 11:25 AM

    Wall Street is hiring again! Between February and May, the financial industry added 6800 jobs in New York City alone, the largest three-month increase since 2008.

    This new wave of hiring prompted us to ask some questions: Who’s getting hired and for what jobs? Do applicants now have more choice? Are firms being forced to pay more and offer better bonuses? What does this mean for the industry as a whole? What does it mean to the city?

    Marketplace wants to talk to recruiters, new hires, and job candidates to get a feel for the current Wall Street job market. If you have an experience to share, click here to tell us.

  • Was college worth it?

    • Posted by Alison Brody
    • on July 7, 2010 1:36 PM

    The Department of Education is cracking down on for-profit schools like the University of Phoenix and Kaplan because of the promises they make about career training and advancement. The worry is that students rack up debt only to find themselves working low paying jobs.

    But graduates of for-profit schools aren’t the only ones in this situation. Students who pay $200,000 to go to non-profit institutions like NYU are also having trouble finding wages that match the price of tuition.

    If you’re the proud recipient of a B.A., B.S., A.A., M.A. or Ph.D., Marketplace has a question for you: Was it worth it?

  • Do you have any experience with the current job market in Silicon Valley?

    • Posted by Alison Brody
    • on July 6, 2010 11:49 AM

    We’ve been hearing news of a mini-hiring boom in Silicon Valley, especially for engineers and other tech types. Is it true?

    We’re looking to talk to folks who have personal experience with the job market there. If you work in the field of hi-tech or live and work near Silicon Valley, tell us how the employment market looks from your vantage point by clicking here.

  • Are tight budgets putting the squeeze on your pension plan?

    • Posted by Alison Brody
    • on June 29, 2010 1:34 PM

    As cities and states continue to struggle with their budgets, lawmakers are discussing cuts that a couple of years ago would have been unheard of. One target they have their eye on is public pension funds.

    Proposed changes include raising the retirement age and required years of service before a worker gets a full pension, lowering cost-of-living increases, and making adjustments on how pension payments are calculated in an effort to lower payments.

    If changes to your pension plan are in the works, tell Marketplace about it here.

Inform the news

Overheard on the Trading Floor