CNN’s Walter Updegrave fielded a question this weekend which, simply, sort of shocked me. A reader wanted to know if he and his wife should temporarily stop paying the full balance on their credit cards in order to build up an emergency fund. Is this really an option that some people are considering?
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is a federal company created to insure commercial banks in the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. Member banks pay a percentage of their deposits into the fund in exchange for the backing of the “full faith and credit” of the United States Government. Seemingly, this means that any bank failures which drive the fund to undercapitalization would trigger the backing of the United States general fund. It also means that when the trust fund is low, as it is now, the FDIC should make moves to ensure the banks it serves don’t ‘bankrupt’ the trust! In that vein, new FDIC rules which started January 1st limit the amount of interest ‘problem’ banks can charge to 75 basic points above the national average rate (weighted by bank capitalization).
Merry Christmas Eve to all my Christian readers, I’ve got a gift for you a day early. What if you could take your credit card now, make it so you can’t run a balance, and add an annual fee? Sound like something you might be interested in? Me neither. However, that’s exactly how a charge card compares to a traditional credit card.
One pays a dividend, has enterprise value, and has the potential for growth. One is a piece of metal long accepted as a store of value. Which one do you invest in: gold (or silver) mining stocks, or gold (or silver!) itself?
A few years back my cousin visited me while I was still in school. Since he had never been to Vegas, my roommate and I decided to take him there… as soon as he landed in Los Angeles. Hilarity ensued… and nothing was learned at all about retirement saving except how not to approach it.
Recently I received an out-of-the-blue request from Keith Morris, the editor of the new LifeTuner Chat Carnival and the Community Manager for LifeTuner, to write an article for the upcoming carnival on “Financial Lessons Learned the Hard Way”. First off, I’d like to thank Keith for tossing an invite my way and having the optimism to think that I might have something interesting to contribute. I hope I can offer you some first person narrative which you enjoy enough to finish. That’s the thing about introspective pieces… I wonder the utility my experiences have to you readers? Well, let’s toss aside the deep commentary and cornucopia of supporting links for a second and do some old fashion writing. Who’s with me?
Unlike the swine flu, the personal finance bug is a relatively hard bug to get. Unfortunately (for them), far too many people avoid putting any thought into their future until that ‘future’ is right around the corner. Investing is a topic that comes up a lot when I talk with people. How you field open ended questions like “How do I invest in stocks?” is a make or break question in which you need to figure out before your trust is deserved. I’ve come up with a step by step method which I use to narrow my confidant’s thoughts and distill their true intentions. Read on, then leave me comments on your style.
Thank you Bernie Madoff! Bernie Madoff set the news on fire with a $50 billion Ponzi scheme for which he recently went to prison. Since then, a number of other financial schemes have come to light: Allen Sanford, Joseph Forte, even the Yacht scheme. But what are Ponzi schemes? How are they different from Pyramid schemes (and Matrix Schemes)? And, most importantly, what are the signs of each?
I’ve written plenty about gasoline lately, but only about gas taxes. Let’s shift gears a bit… Do you think gas prices will increase? If gas prices increase, is there a way for you to hedge against that increase so it doesn’t affect you? Of course!
If you saw $1,377.71 lying on the ground, would you pick it up?
I hope you would. That’s the sort of savings you could find from opening a Roth IRA. Any increase in your future tax rates means you made money simply from choosing the right account to invest in. Sound good? Read the article.