How many Americans actually own stocks and why one company will handle close to half of all student-loan payments

02/09/18 05:23 PM EST

By Maria LaMagna

Friday's top personal finance stories

Take a deep breath, MarketWatchers, it's Friday! It was a crazy week. Here are your top stories in personal finance.

Personal Finance

One company will now handle close to half of all student-loan payments

What the merger of two payment processors means ( for America's $1.4 trillion student-loan burden.

Millennials are afraid stocks are too risky, so they're investing in bitcoin

People under the age of 30 are more likely to spend money ( on cryptocurrencies than older generations.

Millennials are killing marriage -- here's why that's a good thing

Generation Y is marrying older (, and many are avoiding the altar altogether.

Here's the really bad news: Only half of Americans actually own stocks

And the wealthiest among us own 81% ( of their value.

Here's the problem with using investment apps while markets are volatile

Apps like Acorns and Stash can be great learning tools for first-time investors (, but they may inadvertently encourage people to overreact.

From restaurant meals to late fees -- which expense is your biggest waste of money?

Commenters on Reddit confess their biggest money wasters (

Why your Amazon packages may soon arrive faster

The company's latest innovation could change delivery (

'The past 7 days have been the worst of my financial life' (and he didn't even buy one stock)

One man made a costly mistake ( along with millions of Americans.

5 things to do right now instead of panicking about the stock market

Many consumers could benefit from some simple changes ( in their behavior and finances.

Elsewhere on MarketWatch

Trump Today: President defends embattled staffer, says budget deal proves need for more Republicans

President Donald Trump on Friday defended a staffer ( who resigned in the wake of spousal abuse allegations as he signed into law a bill raising spending by over $300 billion over two years.

Fed officials sound almost glib discussing stock-market correction

Fed officials may regret trying to brush off ( the stock market's slump, analysts said.

This was Trump's craziest promise yet

It seems Trump has completely forgotten about one of the crazier campaign pledges he made in 2016 -- to eliminate the national debt (

John Maynard Trump? President's tax cuts, spending spree evoke liberals' favorite economist

The theories of John Maynard Keynes -- using the government to turbocharge the economy ( -- are apparently alive and well thanks to a Republican party historically hostile to the early 20th-century economist.

For Black History Month, a look at African-American home ownership

The housing market is often less accessible and more risky for African-Americans ( than other racial groups.

Trump's Fed pick in danger of being rejected by Senate

Marvin Goodfriend, a scholar of monetary policy, is in danger of being rejected by the Senate ( as Democrats find him too strident on inflation.

Congress votes to approve 2-year budget deal and end government shutdown

The House of Representatives voted early Friday for a two-year budget deal ( that raises both defense and domestic spending by hundreds of billions of dollars, approving a package that would also reopen the federal government after it shut down just past midnight Thursday.

-Maria LaMagna; 415-439-6400;


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02-09-18 1723ET

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