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Buy Like Buffett: Finding a Bank that Values Your Business

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Mark.Riddix)
at 8:59AM Tuesday February 22, 2011
under Personal Finance

Finding a bank that values your business may seem like a hopeless endeavor. There have been so many mergers in the industry that banks have become huge conglomerates that take your business for granted. You may feel like a small cog in a huge wheel but it doesn't have to be that way. You still have some rights.

If you want to make sure that your bank is properly valuing your business, look for these three things. Read More »

Create Your Own Stimulus Package by Adjusting Your Tax Withholding

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Guest_Blogger)
at 10:57AM Monday February 21, 2011
under Personal Finance

As we learned at the close of last year, there was a small stimulus added to the tax package that would give each person a discount of 2% on their Social Security payments. Depending on your salary, this 2% reduction could be as much as two thousand dollars in your pocket over the course of the year. For most, it'll be a more modest increase.

Fortunately, there is another way for you to give yourself a stimulus: Adjust your withholding. Read More »

Getting Started with Mint.com

By (view all posts by DCStewart)
at 9:56AM Monday February 21, 2011
under Personal Finance

Like Tiffany Ivanovsky of mylitter, I set up a Mint.com account. Last year. Got a few email notifications. And let it sit. No bells and whistles went off. So I just left it alone. Partially, I was a little hesitant to link my financial information to an unfamiliar website. Besides, I balance the check book, what more could I possibly get from staring at my finances? Read More »

Avoid Wasting Money on Bank and Credit Card Fees

By (view all posts by CreditCardForum)
at 10:57AM Friday February 18, 2011
under Personal Finance

Of course fee-based banking services (checking, credit cards, etc.) have always been around, but they've become much more common ever since the "The Great Recession" happened. The banks are sure reaping hefty profits from this practice, and in turn, spending lots of money on marketing to try and convince us their fee-based products makes sense...but do they? Are you wasting money on a "premium" credit card's annual fee? Or a fee-based checking account? Read More »

Ask the Advisor: Types of Investment Risk

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Kent_Thune)
at 11:56AM Thursday February 17, 2011
under Personal Finance

Question: What are the different kinds of risks associated with investing?

The primary difficulty in investing arises from the presence of risk; however most investors make the mistake of not understanding the different sources of investment risk. These sources, or risk types, include market risk, inflation risk, interest rate risk, business/default risk, liquidity risk, political risk, exchange rate risk and tax risk.

Each type of investment risk deserves a great deal of study but I will give you a basic understanding here: Read More »

Ballers on Budgets: Book Review - Don't Buy the Bull

By (view all posts by PennyRay)
at 8:55AM Thursday February 17, 2011
under Personal Finance

We've been intently following a few of the personal finance gurus over the last month in an attempt to not only gauge the current state of the economy, but also to find a common ground of advice that we all should take into consideration when deciding to spend, invest or save. After comparing the rantings and recommendations of several different "experts," it's no wonder that people are so confused and uncertain what to do or not do. Read More »

Buy Like Buffett: Profiting from a Stock Market Drop

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Mark.Riddix)
at 10:57AM Tuesday February 15, 2011
under Personal Finance

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is churning upward and the Standard & Poor 500 index is sitting pretty as well. Excitement is in the air as investors are optimistic about the stock market and the business environment as a whole. Corporate profits are at record levels, companies are flush with cash and unemployment is dropping.

While all of these are great, investors should brace themselves for the inevitable market pullback that is to come.

Here are three things that you could do to profit from a market drop. Read More »

NPSL vs. Credit Card Rewards

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Odysseas.Papadimitriou)
at 7:54AM Monday February 14, 2011
under Personal Finance

Choosing a credit card for excellent credit seems like a welcome burden. Do you want travel perks or cash back? Maybe you would prefer added rewards on your gas purchases? It's a can't lose situation. Or so you might think.

Unfortunately, many people with excellent credit eschew these traditional perks and instead open a Visa Signature credit card, a World MasterCard credit card or an American Express charge card because they believe that these cards allow limitless spending. In doing so, however, consumers not only forgo conventional rewards but also jeopardize the credit standing that made them eligible for such benefits in the first place. Read More »

Ask the Advisor: How Confirmation Bias Can Affect Your Investment Strategies

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Kent_Thune)
at 10:56AM Thursday February 10, 2011
under Personal Finance

Image by Christopher Thomas (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

Question: I read your post last week on Behavioral Finance. Can you tell me more about "confirmation bias?" How is it good or bad for me as an investor?

Confirmation bias is a technical name for the human desire to find information that agrees with their existing view. As I said in last week's post, Behavioral Finance 101, people don't like to be wrong so they tend to seek information that proves them right. Read More »

Tips for Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft

By (view all posts by NerdWallet)
at 8:57AM Thursday February 10, 2011
under Personal Finance

We've all seen the Citibank commercials where young criminals speak through the mouths of their identity theft victims. It's not a pretty picture.

Yet, the reality of getting your identity stolen may be even more ugly. Think of all the time spent and hassle involved with retracing your new enemy's tracks. After using your personal info to set up credit card accounts, having fun literally at your expense, your credit score's gone to pot and you have to spend months if not years digging yourself out of their hole. Read More »

Buy Like Buffett: Investing in Junk Bonds

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by Mark.Riddix)
at 8:58AM Tuesday February 8, 2011
under Personal Finance

Image Courtesy of DRB62 via Flickr

I am sure that just about everyone reading this post is familiar with bonds. Savings bonds are one of the most popular investments with young and old investors. You can buy them at your local bank or online at sites like Treasury Direct. Even corporate bonds are now relatively known products by just about all investors. You can purchase these bonds at online brokerages like Scottrade or e*Trade. There is, however, another type of bond product that most investors may not be as familiar with. These bonds are the riskiest of all bonds but also have some incredible yields.

The class of bonds that I am speaking of is junk bonds. Read More »

The ABCs of Credit Card Disputes

By (view all posts by CreditCardForum)
at 9:55AM Monday February 7, 2011
under Personal Finance

According to a U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics study that was released at the end of last year, 11.7 million Americans were victims of identity theft during the past two years and more than half of those cases involved credit card fraud of some sort.

Disputing unauthorized charges on your credit card due to identity theft is a relatively straightforward process. However, things aren't so clear cut when you are disputing the quality of a purchase you actually made (for goods or services). But whether it's blatant fraud or a problem with quality, make sure you know these ABCs of credit card disputes...

A for Always know the rules

First and foremost, the most important step to successfully winning is knowing the credit card dispute rules. Read More »