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

What You Should Know About CD Rates Today

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | October 16, 2014

Understanding these things about today's CD rates can boost the interest you earn on your savings.

Anticipating When Bank Rates Will Climb

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | July 16, 2014

It's been a long time since interest rates rose, but these pressures could be what finally pushes them upward.

How Inflation Impacts Retirement Planning

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | June 25, 2014

Inflation may be relatively mild today, but even a minor acceleration in price increases could profoundly affect your retirement planning.

Can Bank Rates Sink Below Zero?

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | June 18, 2014

Negative interest rates are starting to become a reality in Europe. Will they come to the U.S. next?

Comparing CD Rates and Bond Rates

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

Both Treasury bonds and CDs can be safe sources of income, but the length of your investment may determine which is the better choice.

Why Variable-Rate CDs Aren't Always a Good Deal

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | May 28, 2014

Variable-rate CDs can offer savers some intriguing options, but not always at a favorable price.

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?

Why a Strong Dollar Is Good and Bad for Investors

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | October 22, 2014

A strong U.S. dollar may sound like a great thing, but there are some drawbacks to the dollar's recent rise.

Beta: An Imperfect Way of Measuring Investment Risks

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

The beta metric and others like it are imperfect ways to gauge investment risk. Here's why.

Investing: When it Helps to Think Differently

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | October 1, 2014

These five investment guidelines run counter to the usual thinking, but they could help your long-term returns.

Stock Market Speculation: A Growing Danger

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | September 25, 2014

More and more signs of risky behavior are emerging in today's bull market. Learn how you can protect your portfolio.

Gambling Lessons That Can Help Investors

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | September 17, 2014

Taking these pieces of gaming wisdom to heart can lead to a stronger portfolio.

Investing in Retirement? Here's How to Manage Risk

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

Once you start withdrawing from retirement savings, investment volatility can be especially devastating. Learn how to manage it.

Mutual Fund Performance: Why It Can Be Misleading

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | August 25, 2014

Mutual fund performance is not always easy to gauge, and a report from S&P helps explain why.

The Latest Stock Market Drop: What Happened?

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | August 4, 2014

There are numerous possible explanations for last week's market drop, but only some of them make real sense.

Investing's Hard Truths

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

Noting these realities on investing can help you avoid some of the most common pitfalls.

How to Focus on What Matters in Investing

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

Making sense of information is a key to successful investing -- as well as filtering out everything that isn't relevant.

Investing in Pot Stocks: A Good Idea?

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | June 4, 2014

Legal marijuana may indeed become the next big business trend, but that doesn't necessarily mean pot-related stocks are a good buy.

The Dangers of Investing in European Bonds

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | May 14, 2014

The low-yield environment has led some investors to consider risks that aren't likely to be justified by their returns.

Save for Retirement or College First?

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | April 16, 2014

Conventional wisdom says you should prioritize retirement saving over college saving, but this black-and-white approach isn't right for every family.

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.

6 Money Lessons for Both Boys and Girls

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | September 3, 2014

Recent studies indicate that girls are getting shortchanged on financial education, but these lessons can help them -- and boys -- get a firm grip on money concepts.

Retirement Saving: Why Uncertainty Still Reigns

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

The abundant confusion surrounding retirement finances seems to reflect an unwillingness to plan.

Retirement Planning: Why 'When' Is More Important Than 'If'

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

When planning an exit from the workforce, the key question shouldn't be if you can do it -- it should be when.

Measuring the ROI of an Education

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | May 22, 2014

At its core, education is an investment. Here's how you can assess its return in advance.

6 Essential Savings Efforts: When to Start

By Richard Barrington | Money Rates Columnist | May 7, 2014

Virtually everyone needs these types of savings funds, and here are the best times to start them.

Comparing Taxes on Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs

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

Both traditional and Roth IRAs have advantages and limitations when it comes to taxes. Learn how to address the tax liabilities of these vehicles wisely.

Targeted Savings: A Way to Save for Specific Goals

By J.D. Roth | Money Rates Columnist | April 23, 2014

If the idea of saving doesn't excite you on its own, it may help to put your goals in the forefront of the process.

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.

Why You Should Rethink Your Bank Today

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

Banking has changed over time, and it's likely your banking needs have too. Here's why you may want to reconsider where you're at today.

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.

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.