Some interesting articles I read this week…
Some interesting behind the scenes tips on shopping at Target. Look for those “4”‘s to get the best deals!
Most of us at one time or another have found ourselves in an unpleasant circumstance where if we are honest we have to admit it was our own poor choices that got us there. This can be especially true in financial matters. Some wise words here from Andy Andrews on what to do if we find ourself stuck in a place we don’t want to be.
Very important to make sure you understand your coverage. Read over your policy. If you find things you don’t understand then ask questions of your agent. It’s part of a good agent’s job to make sure you understand what you have bought. It’s also a very good idea to review your coverage once a year or so to make sure it has been updated for any changes you have had in your life and also to make sure you are still getting the best deal for your money. Bottom line is you want to understand what you have. After you have had an emergency it is too late.
Some good advice here. I still believe the best choices for investments are good mutual funds that have long 10-20 year track records. The longer the better. You want a fund that has been through the ups and downs of the economy and still made money over the long haul. There is no guarantee of future results obviously, but if the fund has survived things like the tech bubble burst or 9/11 and still made money over the long-term then you can be hopeful that it will do ok through future bumps in the economy. The best advice is to have a trusted adviser that can help you and never ever invest in something that you don’t understand.
Last year Congress passed legislation to limit the fees that banks could charge retailers on debit card transactions. One of the unintended consequences of this is that banks are now finding ways to increase fees in other areas to make up for the loss of debit card fees. The article points out several areas where fees are on the rise including the fact that it is getting increasingly hard to find free checking accounts. I have used a credit union along with all three of the online banks (Ally, Perkstreet, and ING) mentioned in the article for several years now. Primarily because I think I have received much better service with very minimal, if any, fees.
There is a wide range of types of debt collectors. Many are very reputable and do a legitimate work but there are some that are very sleazy. Making up fees as they go along, breaking federal law routinely, and using outright bullying tactics to get people to pay debts that sometimes aren’t even theirs. Good article here exposing some of the seedier parts of the collections business. Two main things to remember if you find yourself dealing with collectors. You want to maintain open and honest communications with them but you do not need to allow yourself to be abused. Secondly, if you feel you are being chased for a debt that is not yours, it is their responsibility to prove that the debt is legitimately not yours.