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Oil demand drops in U.S.

Improved fuel efficiency, demographic trends and more widespread use of renewable energy are reducing U.S. demand for oil, even as the nation’s oil production reaches its highest level in decades. Oil consumption, which economics professor Christopher Knittel says used to be linked to growth in…

HARP offers relief for clients with underwater mortgages

The Home Affordable Refinance Program was established by the federal government to assist people whose homes are worth less than their mortgage balances. This column explains how homeowners can qualify and lists the steps that must be taken to refinance through HARP. ThinkAdvisor (12/12)

Not deferring taxes sometimes makes sense

A staple of financial planning is to defer taxes on investments. However, paying taxes early can be a shrewd move in some cases, especially for those seeking flexibility during the drawdown phase. WealthManagement.com (U.S.) (12/12)

Dow industrials suffer biggest weekly loss since 2011

U.S. stocks took a beating on Friday and the S&P 500 ended the week with the biggest loss in two-and-a-half years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average recorded its biggest weekly decline since Sep 2011. MarketWatch.com (Dec 12)

What you need to know about will and trust contests

Contested wills or trusts can be disastrous for your clients’ intended beneficiaries. This article outlines the essentials of will and trust contests, including what they are, when they can be filed, legal grounds for them and how clients can avoid a contest. WealthManagement.com (U.S.) (12/10)