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Charitable Giving to Colleges Grew to a Record $28 billion; Top 20 Colleges and Sources

Charitable contributions to higher education grew 9.4% to a record $28 billion in the last academic year, according to a report by the Council for Aid to Education. Contributions to Stanford University rose 50% to top $911.6 million, the largest amount ever raised by a U.S. university in a year, according to the report.

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Affluent North Americans to Reach 37.7 million and $19 trillion in Assets by 2010

The population of affluent and wealthy individuals in North America will grow 24% to 37.7 million by 2010 from from 30.4 million in 2006, according to Celent. The report expects this affluent group to control over $19 trillion in assets by 2010. 

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Identity Theft Loss Falls 12% to $49 billion in 2006

Americans lost about $49.3 billion in 2006 to identity theft criminals, a 11.5% decline from $55.7 billion identity theft loss in 2005, on increased vigilance among consumers and businesses, according to The 2007 Identity Fraud Survey Report by Javelin Strategy & Research. 

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2006 Personal Savings Rate Was at a 74-Year Low

Personal savings rate for all of 2006 declined to a negative 1%, lower than a negative 0.4% in 2005 and was the lowest since a negative 1.5% savings rate in 1933 during the Depression, according to data from the Commerce Department.

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Debit Card Overdraft Costs $2 for Every Dollar Borrowed; Banks Get $53B in Fees

More banks are allowing customers to overdraw with debit card purchases and at ATMs, then hitting them with fees of up to $35, according to the Center for Responsible Lending.

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Americans Spent $27.8 billion on Gift Cards, More than Expected; Less Than Half Redeemed

American consumers spent an average of $164.81 on gift cards, up from the $146.20 they expected to spend, driving the total gift card spending during the 2006 holiday season to $27.8 billion, according to an NRF survey, conducted by BIGresearch. 

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Richest Americans Reduce Exposure to Hedge Funds; Ownership Fell 29% in 2006 

image source: www.offshoreworldsl.comJust 27% of the richest Americans, with household net worth of $25 million or more, owned hedge funds in 2006, down from 38% in 2005, according to a new Spectrem Group report, “What’s in Your Portfolio?” That represents a decline of 29% in one year.

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Global Financial Assets Hit Record $140 trillion, 3 Times World GDP: McKinsey

The world's financial assets reached a record $140 trillion worth of stocks, bonds and other financial assets as of 2005, more than three times as large as the total worldwide GDP, according to a study by McKinsey & Co., the Wall Street Journal reported.

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67% Americans Upbeat About Family Financial Prospects in 2007: Pew Research

Most Americans are moderately upbeat about their family's financial prospects in 2007, with 57% expecting some improvement in their financial situation and another 10% expecting a lot of improvement, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

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TowerGroup: Gift Cards Approaching $100B Mark in $2 trillion Prepaid Cards Industry

Gift cards, which find their roots in the prepaid card product, have sustained growth better than 20% for the past three years. Consumer gift cards, the hottest gift item of the 2006 holiday season, are in the hands of more than half the consumers in the United States.

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