Advanced Investment Strategies for Certificates of Deposit, Money Market Accounts, Savings Accounts, Checking Accounts and other investments

8 Common Investment Mistakes

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | April 2, 2014

Investors make these mistakes all the time, but there's no reason you should.

Stock Market May Be Too Fond of Low Interest Rates

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | March 12, 2014

Stocks recently rallied on news of economic weakness, but is the market putting too much faith in low borrowing costs?

Why You Should Watch CDs as Interest Rates Rise

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | February 5, 2014

Investing isn't always easy when interest rates are climbing, but knowing which areas to watch can help.

How to Reduce Your Risk From Stocks

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | December 4, 2013

As the market soars, investors need to consider strategies for reining in their risk exposure. Here are five ways to do it.

Retirement Savings: 6 Changes That Affect Them

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | November 27, 2013

The long-term nature of retirement planning makes it subject to major surprises that can shake up your previous plans. Learn how to adjust.

Handling Sudden Market Downturns

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | November 20, 2013

With stocks soaring this year, investors need to be mindful of basic principles that can help prepare for unexpected setbacks.

3 Ways to Beat Low Savings Account Rates

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | November 13, 2013

If you have to give up the flexibility of short-term deposits for a higher yield, consider these three alternatives.

Is It Time to Sell Stocks?

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | November 6, 2013

Given the recent strength of the market, it might be wise to sell some stocks as the end of the year approaches. Learn what to keep in mind when doing this.

Considering Indexed and Raise-Your-Rate CDs

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | September 3, 2013

Indexed and raise-your-rate CDs have their own risks, but does today's low-interest-rate environment make them worth considering?

CD Rates: A Good Defense Against Inflation

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | July 31, 2013

While gold has been the best overall inflation hedge in recent years, another investment has been more reliable during rising prices.

Will Rising Interest Rates Revive CDs in 2014?

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | July 8, 2013

After years of dismal yields, a rising rate environment would bring a new dynamic to choosing CDs.

CD Ladders: Ready for a Comeback?

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | May 29, 2013

Collapsing rate spreads have diminished the appeal of CD ladders in recent years, but a recent turn in the bond market could help laddering stage a comeback.

Changing Interest Rates: How to Adjust

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | May 22, 2013

Interest rates changed noticeably in early May, with some rates rising and yield spreads widening. Learn how you can adapt if this trend continues.

Today's Interest Rates: A Curious Case

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | April 17, 2013

In an ordinary world, borrowers may pay much higher rates on longer-term loans. But today's interest rate landscape is anything but ordinary.

Adjusting Your Investment Portfolio for Retirement

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | April 3, 2013

Your investment portfolio needs to adjust as you grow older, but today's market conditions bring even more variables into the mix.

Weakening Dollar May Impact Investments, Bank Rates

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | February 26, 2014

Weakness in the U.S. economy is starting to hurt the value of the dollar, which may call for new risk-management measures in your portfolio.

Challenges Successful Stocks Face

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | February 19, 2014

Twitter's recent stock dive is just one example of the growing pains young companies go through.

Liquidity Planning: How to Do It Sensibly

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | January 30, 2014

Accumulating wealth is important, but so is arranging sufficient financial liquidity to meet your needs. Learn how to do it.

Index Investing: Is It Right for You?

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | January 15, 2014

Though often touted for its simplicity, indexed investing does involve some complications.

Is Your Portfolio Headed for Tax Trouble?

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | January 8, 2014

Strong market gains in 2013 may mean tax consequences for investors -- and not necessarily when they expect them.

Hot Stocks: Why You Should Be Wary

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | January 2, 2014

Investors looking to hop on the bandwagon of this maker of sugary treats -- or any other company on a hot streak -- should ask a few fundamental questions first.

Strong Year for Your Stocks? Don't Let Your Guard Down

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | December 25, 2013

It's been an excellent year for stocks, and a surging market should lead to a careful examination of your retirement investments.

How to Avoid Investment Disasters

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | October 30, 2013

A recent case of mistaken identity on the stock market raises some valuable reminders of how to avoid investing mistakes.

Oil and Gold: Are They Finally Bargains?

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | October 23, 2013

Both gold and oil prices have taken a step back recently, but a look at their recent history should spark concerns in investors.

Long-Term Treasury Yields Vs. Short-Term Interest Rates

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | October 9, 2013

Long-term Treasury yields have been rising much faster than short-term interest rates. Find out what this could mean for your portfolio.

Is a Section 529 Plan Right for You?

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | October 2, 2013

Thinking about a Section 529 college savings plan? Here are some ways to determine whether one of these is right for you and your family.

Why Is The Stock Market Still So Strong?

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | September 26, 2013

The stock market has performed impressively in 2013, but the reasons for this are less than inspiring.

Stock Market Uncertainty: How to Cope

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | September 4, 2013

As the recent Nasdaq shutdown showed, uncertainty is an ever-present part of investing. Learn how to manage unforeseen threats to your portfolio.

7 Smart Steps for Managing a Career

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | August 21, 2013

A career is like any investment: You have to manage it sensibly to get a decent return. Take these steps to improve your career-management skills.

Fed Tapering: Should the Stock Market Fear It?

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | August 7, 2013

The stock market clearly fears a change in Fed policy, but history shows that its anxieties may be overblown.

Why Past Performance Doesn't Equal Future Success

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | April 9, 2014

Investment professionals love to display past returns, but there are numerous ways for them to tilt the picture in their favor.

Why Investors Should Focus More on Company Earnings

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | March 26, 2014

Want to make more businesslike decisions for your portfolio? Then don't ignore this number in your planning.

Retirement Planning for the 21st Century

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | March 20, 2014

A radically different investment environment calls for a new set of assumptions on retirement planning.

How to Successfully Manage Your Money in Retirement

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | March 5, 2014

Retirement saving may stop when you leave the workforce, but the challenge of successfully managing your financial affairs continues.

MyRA: Will It Bolster Retirement Savings Rates?

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | February 12, 2014

This new vehicle aims to help grow Americans' nest eggs, but a close look at the benefits raises some questions.

Why Consumers Still Behave Like the Recession Never Ended

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | January 6, 2014

The economy continues to show signs of new strength, but few consumers appear to be feeling prosperous.

Could the Economy Withstand a Rising Federal Funds Rate?

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | December 11, 2013

Concerned about the prospect of a higher federal funds rate? Here's how the economy and stock market have fared during past rate climbs.

Are Higher Interest Rates Good or Bad?

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | September 18, 2013

While rising interest rates can create panic in financial markets, they can also come with some significant benefits.

How to Prepare Your Finances for a New Baby

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | August 28, 2013

If you haven't checked what it costs to raise a child today, you may be in for a shock. Here's how new parents can prepare their finances.

Turning Saving Into an Investment Strategy

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | August 19, 2013

When returns are low across the board, this approach can help keep your financial goals on track.

How Couples Can Maximize Social Security Benefits

By Lucy Lazarony | Money Rates Columnist | August 19, 2013

There are numerous ways couples can get more from Social Security. Read five suggestions for maximizing you and your spouse's payout.

Reasons to Save if Your Child Isn't Prince George

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | July 26, 2013

Being royalty is nice, but other families should be prepared to save for these childhood expenses.

5 Simple Money Mistakes Retirees Make

By Lucy Lazarony | Money Rates Columnist | July 25, 2013

These mistakes might be most common among the financially inexperienced, but many retirees still make them too.

Why Your Retirement Plan Must Evolve With Time

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | July 17, 2013

Species that can't adapt to their surroundings don't often survive. Learn how your retirement plans are similarly vulnerable to change.

7 Steps to Preparing for Social Security

By Ollie Geiger | Money Rates Columnist | July 17, 2013

Deciding when to draw Social Security retirement benefits can be a complex process. Learn what factors you should consider before you file.

Best Banks in America 2013: Time to Switch?

By Ollie Geiger | Money Rates Columnist | November 12, 2013

MONEY Magazine has announced its top banks for 2013, but are these institutions good enough to attract your business?

Year-End Financial Moves

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | October 16, 2013

Tax deadlines and holiday shopping make the end of the year a natural time for some financial maintenance.

Is Your Teen Immature About Money?

By Naomi Mannino | Money Rates Columnist | August 28, 2013

If your son or daughter displays these signs, some remedial financial education may be in order -- fast.

Examining Walmart's Bluebird Prepaid Debit Card

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | November 2, 2012

Walmart's Bluebird prepaid debit card is a very competitive product, but there are some inherent drawbacks to using any prepaid card.

Consumer Still Paying Billions in Overdraft Charges

By Jim Sloan | Money Rates Columnist | May 14, 2012

While bank customers have risen in opposition to some checking account fees, they are still paying billions in overdraft charges. Learn five ways to avoid them.

The Trouble With Big Banks Today

By Jim Sloan | Money Rates Columnist | April 4, 2012

Federal regulations and a sluggish housing market have kept large banks on the ropes lately. Can they recover?

Can the CFPB Handle the Overdraft Fee Issue?

By Jim Sloan | Money Rates Columnist | March 2, 2012

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is examining overdraft fees, but can they succeed where other efforts have failed?

Banks Still Need Revenue, But Will Customers Pay?

By Jim Sloan | Money Rates Columnist | February 3, 2012

Last year’s customer exodus will likely force banks into being more creative about adding fees. Find out how they may do it.

When A Prepaid Debit Card Makes Sense

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | January 24, 2012

Knowing the ins and outs of prepaid debit cards can help you use them effectively and avoid the excessive fees that some include.

Chase Adopts Streamlined Checking Disclosure

By Jim Sloan | Money Rates Columnist | January 5, 2012

Chase's move to a new form could signal a renewed interest in customer relations from the nation's big banks.

Get Savvy About Gift Cards

By Doresa Banning | Money Rates Columnist | December 26, 2011

While they make a fun and easy gift, you could get shorted if you don't pay attention to the terms.

Will Banks Charge Customers for Using Checks?

By Jim Sloan | Money Rates Columnist | December 6, 2011

Banks have moved to reduce the volume of paper statements already. Could your checks be the next victim of the paperless revolution?

Banks Back Away From Debit Card Fees

By Jim Sloan | Money Rates Columnist | November 6, 2011

Banks have retreated promptly from plans to charge customers for using their debit cards.

5 Ways to Dodge New Bank Fees

By Jim Sloan | Money Rates Columnist | October 5, 2011

Direct deposit, credit cards and careful ATM shopping can help you duck the fees.

How To Find the Best Deals on College Student Checking Accounts

By Jim Sloan | Money Rates Columnist | August 31, 2011

Minimum deposits and ATM fees are among the added-on costs that can drain a student's finances.

Should Your Move Debt to Your Mortgage?

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | January 23, 2014

Shifting your debt burden into a mortgage can save you money, but it can also put your home at risk. Learn when this approach makes sense.

Using Rising Long-Term Rates to Your Advantage

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | January 10, 2014

Rising long-term interest rates should impact how you shop for income vehicles and loans.

Why the Housing Bubble Could Be Returning

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | July 26, 2013

Home prices may be the same as in 2004, but other conditions have changed since then. Is history ready to repeat itself?

How Changing Bank Rates Are Hurting Consumers

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | July 2, 2013

The recent shift in interest rates has hurt borrowers without helping depositors. Here's how to cope.

Bank Rates Move in Different Directions

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | March 27, 2013

Various interest rates are moving in different directions, which may require consumers to fine-tune their borrowing and deposit strategies.

Investing in Real Estate: 5 Things to Know

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | February 27, 2013

Real estate investments can provide growth and income, but they also carry some special risks.

What 'Downton Abbey' Can Teach About Finance

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | January 15, 2013

Though "Downton Abbey" is set in a distinctly different era, its plot holds some financial lessons that are relevant today.

Financial Moves You Should Make After the Fiscal Cliff

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | January 15, 2013

The fiscal cliff deal contains some possible clues about the country's future. Learn what financial choices you may want to consider as a result.

Why to Consider Refinancing Before Inflation Strikes

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | October 2, 2012

If you have been dragging your feet on refinancing, you shouldn't ignore a certain warning sign that has appeared lately.

Refinancing in Retirement

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | August 8, 2012

Retirees often don't think of refinancing, but current conditions make refinancing worth a fresh look to older Americans.

Low Mortgage Rates Fail to Lift Refinancing

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | July 13, 2012

A drop-off in mortgage applications suggests that low interest rates may have exhausted their stimulative impact, which may leave the Fed out of options.

FHA 203(k) Loans: A Solution for Renovation Costs

By Michele Lerner | Money Rates Columnist | May 31, 2012

If you need to finance a home renovation, an FHA 203(k) loan may be your solution.

Reduce Your Mortgage Payment by 'Recasting'

By Michele Lerner | Money Rates Columnist | April 27, 2012

Recasting is another way to lower your monthly mortgage payments, but there is one catch.

FHA Streamline Refinance Costs to Drop

By Michele Lerner | Money Rates Columnist | March 21, 2012

If you are a homeowner with a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), you may soon be eligible for an streamline refinance at a lower cost.

Congress Excludes Mortgage Fees from Payroll Tax Deal

By Michele Lerner | Money Rates Columnist | February 22, 2012

After mandating higher fees on mortgages with the last payroll tax deal, Congress showed mercy on lenders and borrowers with last week's version.