Jewish World Review Oct. 31, 2000 / 2 Mar-Cheshvan, 5761
Employment ads that make you pay
DEAR BRUCE: We are really having financial troubles. I have three children under the age of 5, with the youngest one being a newborn, so it's just not possible for me to work outside the home. I have answered many ads from the local newspaper promising home employment, and in each case they have asked me to send money so that I can learn the secrets of working at home. I did answer two of the ads, sending $35 on one occasion and $50 on another and received absolutely nothing worthwhile. Are there any of these advertisements that are worth pursuing? We really need the extra income. -- M.W., via e-mail
DEAR M.W.: You are part of a very large sorority: women who want to stay home with their children and, for practical reasons, are required to do so. The vultures who place these ads feed off of people like you, and that is a crime. Most, however, stay within the limits of the law. The litmus test that you should apply to any of these ads is, if they want money up-front, run. You will just wind up poorer than you were before you answered their advertisement. There are legitimate things to do at home, but seldom will you find them in the classifieds.
DEAR BRUCE: Lately the stock markets, as you well know, have been going down. We have a good deal of our retirement money invested in securities. Is it time for us to get out and wait until things settle down? -- C.P. Freeport, Ill.
DEAR C.P.: That's a question that I would never attempt to answer for anyone else. Certainly in most endeavors there is a time to hold and a time to fold. It's my opinion that over the long pull the markets will prevail, and you will do fine. But if your retirement is eminent, this may not give you enough time to ride out the rough spots.
With this being such a personal decision, it should be made only by you and perhaps a close personal adviser. Never be influenced greatly by information one sees in a column such as this. It is far too important and personal to make a judgment on a general statement.
DEAR BRUCE: My father had a small business, and he felt that he had to be there every day. As a consequence, he never registered to vote because he was very much afraid that he would be called to jury duty, which would take him away from the store. I am in a similar situation now.
Now I am told that they use the driver's license list, not a voting list to select jurors. What would happen it I were to get called? I run my business completely alone. If I am not there the door is closed, and if the door is closed my kids don't eat. -- C.P. Asheville, N.C.
DEAR C.P.: I have a strong feeling that if you were to present this to the presiding judge, he would excuse you from jury duty. Jury duty is a responsibility, and it's really unfortunate that so many people are not able to serve. It would be interesting to see how many business people would be able to serve if they were to have trials in the evening. Then perhaps many of us, including this writer, would be a lot less reluctant to serve. Of course this is never going happen, because it would disturb the judges and the lawyers. But it's a novel idea: have the courts at the convenience of the public and not the anointed
Send your questions to JWR contributor Bruce Williams by clicking here. (Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.) Interested in buying or selling a house? Let Bruce Williams' "House Smart" be your guide. (Sales of the book help fund JWR).
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Yes, a contract means something
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07/03/00: When to diversify assets
06/30/00: I'm buying my dad's house
06/29/00: How social security seniors should invest
06/27/00: Waiting before re-establishing credit
06/21/00: Insuring an older car
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06/15/00: Insurance settlement is no bargain
06/13/00: A straightforward form of bankruptcy
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06/01/00: The truth about nursing home insurance
05/30/00: Keep mother-daughter loan simple
05/25/00: CDs for security, not investment
05/24/00: Battling with collection agency
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05/11/00: Your heirs, your choice
05/09/00: Mutual-fund investigations
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05/03/00: The binding nature of contracts
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03/22/00: Old cars as hobby, not investment
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03/01/00: Is time-sharing a scam?
02/29/00: Paying for nursing-home care
02/28/00: Rely on a real-estate lawyer
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02/16/00: Just how important is a 401(k)?
02/14/00: Shaky partnership buying house
02/11/00: Protection by residential zoning
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02/07/00: Ensure your insurability
02/04/00: Absurd community zoning laws
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