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« Archive for the ‘Investing’ Category

‘Financial Independence’ Sale Is Back

The annual “Financial Independence Days” sale is back at Capital One 360, and while the deals aren’t nearly as good as they once were, some are worth noting.

IRA CDs Offer Protection, Complications

I’ve been dealing with IRA CDs for about two years now, learning as I go along. No doubt these accounts represent a good way for the risk-averse, like me, to preserve accumulated retirement nest eggs while realizing a modest return. FDIC insurance, up to $250,000, is available, separate from other personal accounts. Opening certificates of […]

CD Rates Drop 25% to 40% During 2010

CD rates ended an abysmal year by falling for the 26th straight month in December. The average return on 3-, 6-, 12- and 24-month CDs declined by about 40% during 2010. The average return on 60-month CDs fell by about 25% over the course of the year. All five of the certificates of deposit we […]

CD Rates Enter 3rd Year Of Steady Decline

CD rates fell for the 25th straight month in November, with no end in sight for the decline. The average return on four of the five certificates of deposit we track fell and ended the month at record lows. The one exception was for 3-month CDs, whose average return actually ticked up from 0.21% at […]

Another ‘Real Housewife’ Goes Bankrupt

Surprise, surprise. Another “real housewife” is flat broke. Teresa Guidice from “Real Housewives of New Jersey” was the first of Bravo’s reality stars to file for bankruptcy. Now Sonja Morgan, who appears on Bravo’s “Real Housewives of New York City,” is seeking Chapter 11 protection from her $19.8 million in debt. We could blame Morgan’s […]

FDIC Offers Unlimited Coverage For Non-Interest Bearing Accounts In 2011

The FDIC is tweaking its insurance rules to give savers a little extra protection in 2011. It will provide unlimited deposit insurance coverage to noninterest-bearing transaction accounts. This means that no matter how much you have in a traditional checking account, or demand deposits accounts that earn no interest, that money is insured should the […]

Pirates Of The Caribbean – The Sequel

Have we found the latest in a long line of off-shore bank scams? A Web site that claims to be a Panama-based “Internet brokerage service” has begun to gain traction with the serach engines, and it’s promising the most eye-popping CD rates we’ve ever seen. Comexonline says: “We offer online risk-free investment solutions with fixed […]

The Secret To Melrose’s Great Rates: Taxis

Who’d have thought Melrose Credit Union could offer some of the best CD rates in the country because it’s developed a lucrative business putting those deposits to work financing New York cabs? Not the actual cars, but the municipal licenses that those taxis must have to pick passengers up on city streets. Those licenses are […]

Yes Virginia, There Really Is A Melrose Credit Union (And We Went There)

Many of the nation’s biggest banks are based in the glistening skyscrapers of Manhattan. But to find the little New York credit union that’s offering many of the best CD rates in the country, we had to hop on the E train and venture out to Queens. There, in the Briarwood neighborhood about 12 miles […]

CD Rates Kept Falling In October

Savers have been taking it on the chin for two years now, as CD rates fell for the 24th straight month in October. The average return on all five of the certificates of deposit we track fell and ended the month at record lows. The biggest declines were on longer-term CDs, with the average yield […]

It Could Be Worse. Like In India.

In our endless search for the best returns we stumbled across a story that said banks are offering about 7.90% to 8.10% on 1-year CDs – in India. That sounded pretty good since the average 12-month certificate of deposit is paying 0.56% in the United States. But are the higher rates Indian savers earn being […]

Rates Cuts Come Quickly At Failed Bank

It used to take new owners at least a couple of months to decide whether they would honor the CDs they acquired from failed banks. Now it’s only taking a couple of weeks. A recent story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tells the story of Tom and Carol Spidell, who were customers of Maritime Savings […]

Reward Checking Bucks The Trend

Five banks are still paying 4% on high-yield checking accounts open to all savers regardless of where they live. That’s really remarkable, because it’s about what the best high-yield or reward checking accounts were paying this time last year. We certainly can’t say that about the top returns on CDs, savings or money market accounts. […]

Top Savings Account Rate Slashed, Leaving Two New Leaders That Pay 1.40%

This is really unforgivable. Tennessee Commerce Bank jumped to the top of our rankings of the best savings accounts in late August by offering 1.50% APY, with a minimum deposit of just $250. Anyone who entrusted more than $150,000 in one of its Classic Savings accounts could earn an even better 1.75%. Now the small […]

Illinois Deal: 4.25% on Reward Checking

American National Bank of DeKalb County is offering northern Illinois residents a very good high-yield checking account. It’s paying 4.25% APY on balances up to $25,000. That’s a quarter-point more than you can earn with the best nationally available high-yield or reward checking accounts. American National, with branches in DeKalb and Sycamore, limits this account […]

More Savers Are Raiding Retirement Plans

Here’s a troubling report: More people are taking hardship withdrawals from their 401(k) plans, or borrowing against their retirement accounts. According to Fidelity Investments, which administers 401(k) plans with 11 million participants, 62,000 workers initiated a hardship withdrawal in the second quarter. That’s up from 45,000 in during the same three months (April through June) […]

Ben Bernanke Offers No Hope To Savers

Chairman Ben Bernanke says the Federal Reserve still has ways to rescue our flagging economic recovery. Regrettably, it seems most of those options involve pushing interest rates even lower than they are right now. Good grief. Does Mr. Bernanke really think the economicrecovery is faltering because interest rates just aren’t low enough? We know everyone […]

The Fed Parties On As Savers Suffer

The debate over the Federal Reserve’s punishing interest rate policy moves to the central bank’s annual party, I mean symposium, in Jackson Hole, Wyo., today. Raghuram Rajan will carry the banner for all of us who have endured two years of lower and lower returns on our savings. The University of Chicago professor, and former […]

ShoreBank Among Those Seized Aug. 20

As we had feared, ShoreBank was among the eight banks regulators seized over the weekend, pushing the total number of failed banks to 118 for the year. ShoreBank was the first bank we can recall that actually failed while it was in any of our rankings of the top CD rates and savings accounts. In […]

“It Ain’t Right!” Should We March On The Banks To Demand Higher Savings Rates?

Why aren’t savers marching on their local banks and demanding better rates? I suspect it’s because we don’t have anyone to get us organized and out the door. Foreclosures are an easier, more emotional topic to get up in arms over. Many left-leaning community, religious and labor groups have been organizing protests about the way […]

Companies Have To Stop Hoarding Cash

Corporate America needs a quick refresher course in Capitalism 101. Here it is. Companies are not supposed to hoard large sums of cash. The shareholders who own those companies expect them to do one of two things with the profits they earn: Spend excess cash to grow the business and make our shares more valuable. […]

Congraulations Ed, Bring On The IPO

A little more than a year ago I wrote a post called “Invest in the ‘New GM?’ I don’t think so.” The thrust of the post was this: I understood the government’s desire to sell its 60% stake in the bankrupt automaker as soon as possible. But “I wouldn’t invest a dime in the new […]

The Wall Street Leaderboard For July 9

These are the 10 stocks in the Standard & Poors 500 that had the worst week from Friday, July 2 through Thursday, July 8, according to Capital IQ: These are the 10 stocks that posted the biggest percentage gains:

The CD Rate Leaderboard For June 28

Here’s where to find the best nationally available rates on 3-month to 5-year certificates of deposit from : 3-month CD: 1.00% APY from Hudson City Savings Bank and Earthstar Bank. Hudson City requires a $5,000 minimum deposit from online applicants, but only $500 for in-person applications at any of its New York, New Jersey or […]

The CD Rate Leaderboard For June 24

Here’s where to find the best nationally available rates on 3-month to 5-year certificates of deposit from : 3-month CD: 1.00% APY from Hudson City Savings Bank and Earthstar Bank. Hudson City requires a $5,000 minimum deposit from online applicants, but only $500 for in-person applications at any of its New York, New Jersey or […]

Buy government bonds from the Treasury

If you like the security of government bonds, TreasuryDirect is the cheapest and easiest way to buy them. It allows you to purchase a wide range of government debt, including Treasury bills and notes, U.S. Savings Bonds and Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) online. The minimum investment for most types of Treasury securities — bills, bonds, […]

The CD Rate Leaderboard For June 23

Here’s where to find the best nationally available rates on 3-month to 5-year certificates of deposit from : 3-month CD: 1.00% APY from Hudson City Savings Bank and Earthstar Bank. Hudson City requires a $5,000 minimum deposit from online applicants, but only $500 for in-person applications at any of its New York, New Jersey or […]

Fed To Run Consumer Protection Agency

The Federal Reserve, which totally failed to protect consumers from the abusive lending that led to the 2008 financial crisis, is apparently going to run the new consumer protection agency Congress is creating. Reuters is reporting that Democrats from the U.S. House of Representatives have agreed to go along with a Senate proposal to make […]

Americans Love Their Treasuries

Foreigners are still the biggest buyers of U.S. debt, scooping up $198 billion worth of Treasury-issued securities during the first quarter of the year. But Fortune magazine says U.S. households poured $147 billion into Treasury bonds and bills between January and March of 2010. That left Americans holding $796 billion worth of federal debt — […]

The CD Rate Leaderboard For June 21

Here’s where to find the best nationally available rates for the most popular certificates of deposit: 3-month CD: 1.00% APY from Hudson City Savings Bank and Earthstar Bank. Hudson City requires a $5,000 minimum deposit from online applicants, but only $500 for in-person applications at any of its New York, New Jersey or Connecticut branches. […]