Clark Howard Show Notes – June 11, 2010

Today’s Topics: Home Buyer Tax Credit Extension – Inventories Rose – Retail Sales Slipped

Home Buyer Tax Credit Extension Possible?

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev) joined forces with Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Chris Dodd (D-Ct.) to push for an extension of the home buyer tax credit deadline. Apparently, lenders are overwhelmed and nearly 200,000 home buyers might not be able to schedule their closings in time to qualify for the tax credit.

**iRead the whole story, which includes Sen. Reid’s press release, in my new blog post.](

Business Inventories Rose – Retail Sales Slipped

The Commerce Dept. reported today that inventories held by businesses rose for a fourth consecutive month in April while the total business sales increased for a 13th consecutive month. Inventories were up 0.4 percent in April after an upwardly revised estimate of 0.7 in March.

On the other hand, retail sales plunged in May by the largest amount in eight months as consumers reduced spending across the board, including in on cars and clothing. Spending fell 1.2 percent in April. These are dreadful numbers and raise questions about the true strength of the recovery.

I was on the phone with one of my mortgage lender friends and he tells me that the Federal Reserve is deeply concerned – but that won’t stop them from putting on the happy face. Do you feel better when Ben Bernanke says everything is fine and getting better? Or, does it make you just distrust the government that much more?

Real Estate Market is in Freefall

That’s the conclusion of a number of real estate experts who have see interest from home buyers plummet since the end of the home buyer tax credits on April 30. Many real estate experts are predicting another 5 to 15 percent drop in home prices by 2012. The housing marketing crisis isn’t over – not by a longshot. If anything, we’re just going into Phase 2.

Would You Comparison Shop Your Doc If You Could?

New start-ups and pouring money into ventures that help consumers price shop doctors, and prescription drugs. Castlight Health, which is a joint venture between venture capitalists and the Cleveland Clinic, are building a search engine for health care prices. You’ll be able to shop for a doc that offers a service nearby and find out how much they charge, depending on your own insurance coverage.

Other ventures are popping up: Thomson Reuters, Change:healthcare (Tennessee), New Hampshire government has a tool for residents, Aetna and others.

The New York Times has a complete rundown on it.

Equifax Personal Finance Blog

If you’re looking for great personal finance information, check out the new Equifax Personal Finance Blog.

I’m blogging about real estate, but serving as managing editor of the entire site. We have fantastic content about the five pillars of personal finance: Credit (provided by Equifax’s own credit experts), Tax, Insurance, Investment/Retirement, Real Estate.

How to Find a GREAT Financial Planner

Check out the financial planners who spoke at our recent HOW TO INVEST YOUR MONEY IN 2010 event last March. They’re all excellent, and won’t try to sell you anything. They’ve all agreed to do a free one-hour consultation and you should take them up on it.

Here’s the link to our list of speakers from HOW TO INVEST YOUR MONEY IN 2010.

We’re planning our next event for October 2. Sign up for my free weekly newsletter, to get the early information on the event and the best ticket prices!

Thinking About Converting Your IRA to a Roth IRA? Check out what my friend Dan Solin has to say

Dan Solin is a Senior Investment Advisor with Index Fund Advisors. He also has written several bestselling books about 401(k)s and retirement. He is now writing about retirement and investment issues with me at the new Equifax Personal Finance Blog.

Check out Dan’s take on the IRA to ROTH IRA conversion issue.

Introducing the Equifax Personal Finance Blog

On the blog, you’ll find great information about the five pillars of personal finance:

Tax (written by Eva Rosenberg, an enrolled agent)

Insurance (written by Linda Rey, who is president of her family’s insurance company)

Retirement/Investing (written by Dan Solin, see above)

Credit (written by Equifax’s own credit experts)

Real Estate (written by yours truly)

The blog is a great resource of information and ideas on how to save money, better manage your credit and make smarter decisions with your money. Check it out, RSS it, bookmark the page, and follow all of us on

Tune in to hear all of these questions and my complete answers. We should have the show podcasted later this week.


If you haven’t checked out the Store, go there and order your free copy of my book, 50 Simple Steps You Can Take to Disaster-Proof Your Finances.

You can order as many copies as you like of my 50 Simple Steps You Can Take to Disaster-Proof Your Finances or The REALLY Useful Guide To Working Smarter Not Harder.

Our PODCAST is up from our recent HOW TO INVEST YOUR MONEY IN 2010 event in Atlanta. Our attendees told us the content was amazing and they think everyone should hear this information. Order your podcast today!

Our **5-pack of EBOOKS on How To Invest Your Money is up and ready for you to buy. Check it out!

Don’t Forget to Pick Up Your Copy of My New Book, BUY CLOSE MOVE IN!.

Our next event will be on OCTOBER 2, 2010. Go to REALWORLDSEMINARS.COM for details as they are announced!


If you buy 300 copies of my new book, Buy, Close, Move In!, I will come and do a free half-day training sessions for your agents or a book talk and signing for your clients.

Giving away this book to your customers not only will be one of the best lead generation tools you can use, it tells your buyers you’re interested in educating them so they have an exceptional experience buying their next property.

I recently gave a very successful speech entitled “Reinventing Yourself” at a high-level conference full of Realtors and they felt it was full of Ah-Ha moments. Would your agents benefit?

Ask yourself: How can I help you today?

Are you interested in having Ilyce Glink appear or speak at your next event? Want her to moderate a panel at a conference? Are you interested in having terrific, relevant content on your website or to give away to your customers and clients that will help differentiate you from your competitors?

Email me at for details or email