The Labor Department released the March CPI-U numbers on Tuesday, and with these numbers, the next I Bond inflation component can be computed. Inflation as reported by the government continues to be on the low side. Thus, the next I Bond inflation component that will be announced in May won’t be anything to get excited about. Nevertheless, it will be high enough to make I Bonds a good deal as compared to 1-year CD rates. Based on September and March CPI-U numbers, the inflation component for the May I Bond...Continue Reading
I’m about to offer you the best opportunity in the history of investing. I promise you that it is going to be absolutely, completely, totally, can’t-miss awesome. I’m going to let you buy some of my Legos.
Before you rush to the phone or your email, let me tell you why. Early last year, Lego discontinued set number 9516, "Jabba’s Palace." The reason, allegedly, was that it contained racist undertones (and indeed, one Muslim group in Austria had complained that it depicted offensive stereotypes, but Lego said that had...Continue Reading
Third Federal Savings & Loan is offering a competitive CD special. It has a 1.50% APY with a 39-month term. There’s also a special 19-month CD with a 1.00% APY. Minimum deposit is $500. These special rates are listed in the bank’s CD page as of 4/16/2014. According to the bank's disclosure, the early withdrawal penalty for the 39-month CD is 12 months’ interest. That’s a harsh penalty.
Third Federal has a long history of offering competitive 6-year CDs. but the 6-year CD rate is currently only 1.75% APY which...Continue Reading
Ally Bank had another release of its Ally Mobile Banking app. If you have a smartphone, you can now do a lot of banking by using this app on your smartphone. I decided to download this latest version on my iPhone and give it a test. The app was easy to use. I don’t think it will be long before I log into my Ally account more with my iPhone than with my laptop. This will likely be the trend especially for the younger generation.
This latest release of the...Continue Reading
Avidia Bank is offering a nice cash bonus to new checking account customers. You can earn up to $200 for opening a checking account and for using some of its banking services. The full $200 can be earned without direct deposit. The qualifying checking accounts are the Smart Checking and the Value NOW Checking. The Smart Checking is a free checking account with no monthly service charges. Once the checking account is opened, you can earn $50 for each of the following services:
The big drop in the stock market last week reminds us of the benefits of deposit accounts, even when interest rates are low. However, the stock market downturn isn’t good news for savers, even for those who don’t own any stocks. A tanking stock market often is the result of disappointing economic news, and that will give the Fed another reason to delay rate hikes. Also, many investors will leave the stock market when it starts to tank. That money is moved to safe places like money market funds, Treasuries...Continue Reading
Too much of a good thing can become a bad thing, and that's true for even time-tested investing tenets like diversifying investments.
Any financial advisor worth their fee will no doubt tell you that you don't want to count on one type of "ship" to sail you safely into your retirement years. But by the same token, a vast fleet of investments could mean failure too.
Like with everything, moderation, balance is key. Here's how being too diversified can do you in.
"A portfolio can be too diverse. Spreading wealth across too...Continue Reading
Treasury yields fell this week after the release of the FOMC minutes which indicated that rates will likely stay low for a longer time than what analysts were saying right after the last FOMC meeting. As I had thought, the markets were putting too much into Chairman Yellen’s press conference which suggested rate hikes could begin as soon as early 2015. Based on the FOMC statement changes, it sure seemed that we would be lucky to get rate hikes in late 2015. The FOMC minutes confirmed that the Fed is...Continue Reading
PNC Bank has some new promotions for its Virtual Wallet accounts. If you live in one of the qualifying states, you can earn up to $400 in bonuses. This is a big increase from its past promotions. You still have to be careful to avoid monthly service charges.
Here’s the link to PNC’s $400 promotion page. The offer is scheduled to end on 5/31/2014. You can open the account online or choose to have them email you a coupon to take to a branch. There are three levels of bonuses. Here's...Continue Reading
A major security flaw in the internet may have allowed the personal information of millions of web users to be leaked. The security flaw has affected all types of websites including bank websites. It’s important to understand that there’s currently no indication that personal information has been stolen. The flaw has been out there for the last couple of years, and hackers could have used it to quietly steal personal information. The fix for the security flaw is available, and many websites have already applied the fix. However, it may...Continue Reading
Discover Bank increased the rates of its long-term CD and IRA CD rates. The new rates aren’t the highest, but it’s nice to see a large internet bank increasing its CD rates. Hopefully, it’ll push other banks to follow with rate hikes. Below is a summary of the new and old rates as of 4/9/2014:
Minimum deposit is $2,500, and these same rates apply to Discover IRA CDs.
Liberty Bank in Connecticut is offering some good deposit specials. The first is called the "Pick Your Term CD Special", and it offers three competitive rates: 2.50% APY for 5 years, 2.25% APY for 4 years and 2.00% APY for 3 years. Minimum deposit is $1,000, and the maximum is $250,000 with a limit of one account per household. A checking account is required. More details are listed in the bank’s promotions page as of 4/8/2014. One thing not mentioned at that page is the early withdrawal penalty. According to...Continue Reading