Managing your personal finances is quite complicated. There are many aspects and subjects to cover and it often takes years of active work to get everything in order. It is so complicated that many people give up on the small things and just focus on the major things. Yet, small things do matter. As the popularized “latte factor” has illustrated, a few bucks here and there over decades adds up really fast. The same is true for bank accounts. A recent article on MSN Money drew attention to the fees associated with bank accounts. This only highlights the fact that it is important to consider the smaller details of bank accounts when selecting the best one as it can mean the difference of thousands of dollars over your lifetime. A few minutes of research will be sufficient once you know what factors to consider.
How long has it been since you earned any money by saving? You definitely can’t include the 1 percent interest you earned last year, which was taxed at 15 or 25 percent by the federal government and 5 to 10 percent by your state. No, the interest that you think you made lost ground to the over 2 percent inflation that boosted prices last year. Honestly, it’s been years since you’ve actually saved any money. What your savings accounts have been doing over the last few years is losing money.
I have a strange love of the UCC where personal checks are involved. When you get your checking account, you are handed a check register and an ATM card. No one at the bank hands you a user’s manual. Yet, there are tons of rules about those little slips of paper called checks that you’ve never been told. You’ve also been taught many myths about checks that aren’t true.
After several months of improvement, we are beginning to see home foreclosures pick up again. Last month, data showed that nearly half of states are seeing a dramatic increase in foreclosures. It’s not a giant surprise, many experts are expecting 2012 to be a boom year of foreclosure filings and there are a number of interesting developments that help us to understand why.
The news is abuzz over Bank of America’s latest program, mortgage-to-lease, to help homeowners abate impending foreclosure. Unfortunately, when you hear anything with Bank of America’s name on it, you’ll be faced with a lot of dishonest reporting from those with political agenda from both the bandwagon and peanut gallery of detractors. If you want an impartial opinion of the program, you’ve come to the right place.
Most of the time people think that the best way out of debt is to file for bankruptcy. They are quick to think that their appeal for bankruptcy will be approved no matter what their financial condition is. However, there are some tests that individuals must go through before they are granted bankruptcy. This is one way the government gets to protect companies that have accepted the loan request of individuals. If bankrupt is always approved, then individuals will keep on filing for bankruptcy when they are unable to pay off their debt. Individuals who file for bankruptcy need to go through a Means Test. This Means Test was created by Congress in 2005, as a reformation of the Bankruptcy Code. One vital component of this test is to calculate the individual’s current monthly income in order to determine if the person has disposable income.
Have you ever heard of the term debt to income ratio? Although this term may not be as popular as the credit score, this is also something that lenders like to look at when evaluating their borrowers. This figure is important because it represents the cash flow of an individual. So, if you are planning to get a mortgage, it’s important for you to know what your debt to income ratio is so you can self-assess how well you qualify.
In a decision I consider nearly as bad as the “New Coke” experience, Lending Club has decided to limit the questions an investor can ask potential borrowers. The resulting policy only allows investors to ask a limited series of pre-approved questions. For me, this is unacceptable. The primary reason for the change in transparency was […]
After posting my Lending Club investment strategy and returns for over a year now, I thought today was as good as any to post a quick summary and track my net annual return volatility. Summary Outperforming Lending Club’s benchmark index of 9.7% by ~4.5%. Loan payments generate ~$250/month of cash for reinvestment. Defaults: 2 loans […]
The Mortgage Electronic Registration System, known as “MERS”, fallout just keeps getting better. In recent months legal challenges have arisen regarding alleged inadequacies and improprieties in the foreclosure process including allegations of insufficient or incorrect supporting documentation and challenges to the legal capacity of parties right to foreclose. Consistent with the Membership Rules there will […]
One would have thought Michael Lewis’ The Big Short would be the pinnacle of financial post-mortem exams. But his latest masterpiece on Ireland’s financial house of cards poignantly summarizes the “Perfect Storm” effect of behavioral economics: unregulated financial markets, greed for making money trumps fear of losing money, and good old fashioned herd psychology. Most […]
With the rise of web based and mobile financial tools, I’ve been something of a late adopter. Actually, I’m more of a “no” adopter. Sure, I trade a few stocks online or I’ll purchase a few gifts using a one time use only credit card number, but other than that, my trust in placing all […]