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Mar 16,2007
Bankrate, Inc. announced that it has released its exclusive 2007 Check Card Study. Bankrate examined the top five banks' and top five thrifts' check card programs in the top 10 U.S. markets. The survey finds that transaction fees have almost vanished, zero-liability fraud protection is increasing and new rewards programs are helping to drive check card usage across all age and income demographics. To view Bankrate's 2007 Check Card Survey go to http://www.bankrate.com/checkcardstudy.  "The convenience and ... [full story]
2520 times read - No comment posted

Nov 16,2007
Bankrate, Inc. this week published its Fourth Annual Holiday Gift Card Study. 31 issuers of gift cards were surveyed, including American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa; major retailers; and the six largest shopping mall operators. The study examines new trends, expiration dates, fees, and dormancy policies associated with gift card purchases.  "In some cases, the $100 gift card you buy for your loved-one could be worth nothing when they try to make a purchase," said Ellen ... [full story]
2493 times read - No comment posted

Jun 21,2007
Credit Report, Credit Score - What's the difference? Bankrate, Inc. this week released the findings of a national poll which found that 45% of consumers do not know their credit score. Furthermore, 32% of Americans have never checked their credit report, a report which is now offered free to consumers on a yearly basis. The poll is included in this month's segment of Bankrate's Financial Literacy Series: Credit Scoring Demystified. To view Bankrate's Financial Literacy ... [full story]
3578 times read - No comment posted

Jan 12,2007
I've received thousands of e-mails since I began writing this column 2 1/2 years ago and, by far, the most frequent SOS I get is from readers who want to know where they should turn for financial help. At this time of year, there are probably even more investors eager for an expert to examine what may look more like a skillet of scrambled eggs than a functional portfolio. Acknowledging the need for help is ... [full story]
2075 times read - No comment posted

Jan 12,2007
If you were watching TV talk shows in Beijing last month, you might have caught a glimpse of lawyer Jim Zimmerman trying to explain the intricacies of trade policies and currency rates to a Chinese audience. At the time, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and other U.S. officials were on a mission to encourage Beijing to raise the value of the yuan as a way of relieving the United States' massive ... [full story]
1444 times read - No comment posted

Feb 28,2007
U.S. Senate declares March 'Go Direct Month' to shed light on safety and security benefits of direct deposit for Social Security payments WASHINGTON - Financial crime is a widespread concern among Americans, with four in 10 saying in a new Treasury Department-commissioned survey that they have been victims of identity theft or know someone who has. But the survey also reveals that people often leave themselves open to financial crimes -- even in their own ... [full story]
2525 times read - No comment posted

Oct 26,2007
Five Steps to Get You Back on Track The housing market is in shambles and every day the bleak news seems to get worse. With foreclosures at a record high, economists predict the pace won’t slow down for at least another 6 months. Behind these grim statistics are families who are struggling and desperate, trying to figure out how to hang on to their homes and ease their money woes.  If you’re one of those ... [full story]
1303 times read - No comment posted

Aug 03,2007
Shortly after our first child was born, my wife and I realized we needed to remodel our kitchen and family room to accommodate our new family focused lifestyle and our new arrival. But, like most first-time remodelers, we had no idea what we were up against. Whether you're making cosmetic changes to improve your home's resale value or undertaking major renovations for the long haul, it's essential to plan carefully so your home doesn't turn ... [full story]
1565 times read - No comment posted

Dec 08,2006
The Elderlaw Forum:  Money is needed to keep a family intact.  But, often, a lot of money tears a family apart; particularly when those with the money approach the end of their lives. “I never thought it would happen to us,” said the USD Senior Legal Helpline caller, a 73-year-old woman whose husband died two years ago.  “We used to be a loving family.  Now my daughters won’t talk to me.  And, they are attacking ... [full story]
1940 times read - No comment posted

Jul 06,2006
Inflation has spooked Wall Street. Fearful of inflation, the stock market has lost its traction and is behaving like a kid careening down a slip and slide. These inflation worries have prompted plenty of 60-somethings to wonder if a box of Raisin Bran will someday cost them $49.99. Not everyone, however, is perspiring at the prospects of price spikes. The inflation willies have opened up a new marketing opportunity for investment firms and insurers that would ... [full story]
5160 times read - No comment posted

Jun 08,2007
There is plenty of blame to go around for the subprime mortgage meltdown that has reduced access to credit and sent lenders scrambling to tighten loose underwriting standards. "It was a multipart failure," said John M. Robbins, chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association. "It's not one segment of the industry." The recent spike in foreclosures and the closure of scores of subprime lending companies was caused by "everybody who participated in making those kinds of ... [full story]
1596 times read - No comment posted

Jan 19,2007
About a year ago, Smith Barney, the brokerage giant, announced that it would start calling its stockbrokers "financial advisers." Most Smith Barney clients, if they heard this pronouncement, probably greeted it with some variation of "duh." These investors already assume that the brokers, who handle their accounts, are advisers. While the clients would have been puzzled by the need for a press release, many of the investment advisers who belong to the National Association of ... [full story]
2655 times read - No comment posted

Feb 02,2007
Insurance.com, the largest online auto insurance agency in the United States, reports a decrease in auto insurance rates depending on geographical location. The company’s 2006 Auto Insurance Pricing Report shows a national decline in premiums of 5.7% or approximately $116 in 2006. Insurance.com, the largest online auto insurance agency in the United States, reports a decrease in auto insurance rates depending on geographical location. The company’s 2006 Auto Insurance Pricing Report shows a national ... [full story]
1763 times read - No comment posted

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