Fox Business Network anchor Lori Rothman where the economy has been — and where it’s going
Why has America has become so fascinated by business news – enough to support three major channels devoted exclusively to business coverage?
Nearly three years ago, we witnessed the collapse of the financial markets and subsequently the economy. People lost huge amounts of money in their savings and retirement funds; they lost their jobs and their homes. Today the economy is still fragile with the housing market weak and the job market showing only minor improvement. This has all been a wakeup call that you have to keep follow the markets and the economy because it can impact so aspects of your life.
Business has for so long been predominantly a male industry; do you see this changing? What’s it like being a woman in business?
We are seeing more and more women enter into business. We’re especially seeing a lot of women starting or holding influential positions in small and mid-sized businesses. Wall Street is growing again, and you see more women involved with investment banking and hedge funds and other alternative investment-type firms. There are, however, only a handful of female CEO’s right now, among Fortune 500 companies. I’d like to see that change. As for me, there happen to be a lot of female business journalists, so I certainly don’t feel alone in my field. But we do interview a lot more men than women on various subjects.
We are bombarded with two political agendas, it seems. Is it possible to create more jobs and spend less at the same time?
This is a very hotly debated right now on Wall Street, Main Street and Capitol Hill. My thoughts are that we can create jobs and spend less. Job creation by the private sector comes from increased demand from consumers and confidence in the state of the economy. Spending cuts in Washington can actually help spur hiring. If we cut spending we may not need to increase taxes, as many have argued we don’t have a revenue problem we have a spending problem. The less taxes we impose not only on corporations but on individuals the more it encourages spending and in turn hiring.
What’s the most important story you’ve covered to date?
I was covering the New York Stock Exchange on the morning of September 11, 2001. We were four blocks away from the World Trade Center. It was a horrifying day for everyone. And returning to Ground Zero, in the immediate days and months after the attack, reporting on the human and economic crisis, were among the most challenging of my entire life and career.
Tell us the story that you are covering right now that will have the most impact on consumers.
The most important story for consumers right now is the state of employment in the country. While the unemployment rate is down to its lowest level in two years, there are still 13.5 million people who are still unemployed — and the average length of unemployment is at a record 39 weeks. Consumer spending accounts for over 70% of the nation’s GDP, but if those consumers don’t have jobs, they aren’t spending. We need a healthy consumer to have a healthy economy and that can only happen if we see significant job growth.
Many of wOw’s readers are approaching retirement. It used to be thought that the percentage of your portfolio that was in bonds should be your age. (If you’re 60, it should be 60%, etc.) Is that still true?
It’s hard to generalize what everyone’s portfolio should look like, but in general the older you get the more conservative you want to be in your portfolio. Rather than put one solid number on it as you enter your 60s, try to talk to your financial advisors and fine-tune your asset allocations every 2 to 3 years. If your situation changes, for example if you sell your home, the way your investments are allocated may also need to change. However, most investment advisors would still recommend that at least 50%-60% of your portfolio be in bonds or other assets considered safe.
Tax Day is Monday! For Lori’s top five last-minute tips, click here
Lori Rothman joined FOX Business Network (FBN) in September 2010 as an anchor.
Previously, she served as a dayside anchor at Bloomberg Television covering markets, corporate earnings, and the global economic recession; as a morning news anchor at NBC affiliate WPTZ-TV Burlington/Plattsburgh; and as a weekend anchor for CBS affiliate KREX-TV in Grand Junction, Colorado.