A Week's Worth: Quick takes on the world of work and money

Another record high for the Dow; Financial planner blunders; diesel cars have their advantages.

Signs that the economy is accelerating again – without an increase in inflation – helped to lift the Dow Jones Industrial Average 1.2 percent last week, to its 26th all-time high this year.

Almost without exception, Americans err in choosing financial advisers based on marketing that they're ill-equipped to evaluate properly, says Paladin Registry, an online resource on the investment industry's ethics and practices. In a study of 1,285 cases, it says 97 percent of clients admitted their No. 1 mistake was in selecting advisers who boasted of being trustworthy, without trying to validate such claims. Mistake No. 2: allowing themselves to be swayed by the force of an adviser's personality.

Baby boomers have different needs from their younger brethren, and a wise employer develops retention strategies with that in mind, according to Birkman International, developer of a leading method for measuring organizational strengths. It says senior employees aren't motivated by pay alone, so keeping them – and their experience – in the fold can require crafting creative assignments and hours that allow them to remain enthusiastic about their work.

Planning to join the green revolution? Then maybe your next vehicle should be diesel rather than a gas/electric hybrid, a new report suggests. Ricardo PLC, an auto industry consultant, and financial services giant UBS say diesel has a clear cost advantage over hybrid, even when fitted with stringent exhaust-treatment technologies.

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