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IS RENTING THE AMERICAN DREAM?

New York Times columnist David Leonhardt has written a lot about the pros and cons of renting vs. owning a home. He recently quoted Jordan Rappaport, a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, in a paper published last year: "(The) analysis in this article shows that while homeownership often builds more household wealth than renting and investing the saved cash flow, it also often does not. More specifically, for most ten-year occupancies beginning during the 1970s and 1990s, homeownership unambiguously built more wealth. In contrast, for most occupancies beginning during the 1980s, renting and investing unambiguously built more wealth. Renting and investing is also likely to build more wealth than homeownership for many of the occupancies that started in 2000 through 2009. These results suggest that either homeownership or renting and investing can be reasonable strategies for building household wealth. In other words, the conventional wisdom that homeownership is usually the better strategy is probably too strong. For many households in many years, renting and investing the saved cash flow has built more wealth than homeownership. ..."

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THE WEEK THAT WAS

WINNER: Raymond James

Smart Money magazine's annual broker survey named St. Petersburg-based Raymond James as the nation's top full-service brokerage, edging out perennial competitor and last year's winner Edward Jones.

LOSER: Local super couponers

Publix revealed its first companywide coupon policy, which tightened its rules on redeeming competitors' coupons at all of its stores.

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The average number of weekly, nonstop flights outside of the United States:

1,300 Miami

359 Fort Lauderdale

199 Orlando*

24 Tampa

Last week a consultant helped identify cities that Tampa International Airport could target to help bolster its anemic overseas lineup. Enough local travelers go to other cities and then fly to Frankfurt, Panama City, Mexico City and Sao Paulo, Brazil, that direct flights from TIA would be viable, the consultant said. Even if those routes materialize, TIA would still have a lot of ground to make up on its Florida rivals.

*includes Orlando International and nearby Orlando Sanford International

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Looking ahead: Florida's official employment numbers come out Friday.

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