The week's best financial advice

Three top pieces of financial advice — from the mythical "summer rally" to teens and the minimum wage

Remodel your kitchen to increase the value of your home.
(Image credit: iStock)

Here are three of the week's top pieces of financial advice, gathered from around the web:

The mythical 'summer rally'

Don't fall for the "urban myth" that the stock market always surges during the summer, said Mark Hulbert in The Wall Street Journal. Many advisers begin talking about a "summer rally" in early June as a reason to buy stocks. But if the market does rise between now and Labor Day, "its strength will have nothing to do with those three months being June, July, and August." Historically, stocks have actually performed worse during the summer, with the Dow Jones industrial average producing an average monthly return of just 0.1 percent in the summer months compared with 0.7 percent for all other months. The summer-rally myth may have started during the Great Depression, when the Dow gained 76.5 percent between June and August of 1932. Bottom line: If someone suggests portfolio moves based on some kind of pattern, ask for the data backing it up.

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Teens and the minimum wage

"Can teens be paid less than minimum wage for a summer job?" asked Karla Miller in the Los Angeles Times. In some cases, yes. While the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, the Labor Department also has a "youth minimum wage." Unless prohibited by state or local laws, employers may pay workers under 20 years old as little as $4.25 per hour for the first 90 consecutive calendar days of their employment. That 90-day period doesn't start over because of a break in service. A teenager who works over the summer, returns to school, and then takes the same job the next summer will be eligible for the federal minimum wage. The Labor Department offers resource guides for young workers at

Lucrative home renovations

Remodeling? As with any good investment, “you should get a return on the money you're spending,” said Sharon Epperson and Katie Young at CNBC. The interior improvement that will have the biggest positive impact on your home's value is a kitchen remodel. Upgrading a kitchen costs about $30,000 on average, with homeowners able to recoup about $20,000 when they sell, according to the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. The top exterior renovation is a new roof. Such projects run about $7,600 on average, but sellers are often able to recover as much as $8,000. The upgrades that have the least impact on home value? Closet renovations and new front doors.

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