Personal Finance Blog By MoneyRates - July 2007
June 29, 2007
The Federal Reserve kept their benchmark lending rate at 5.25%. The statement released by the Fed indicates that the Fed anticipates that despite slow economic growth inflation could persist in the economy.
"Economic growth appears to have been moderate during the first half of this year, despite the ongoing adjustment in the housing sector. The economy seems likely to continue to expand at a moderate pace over coming quarters.
Readings on core inflation have improved modestly in recent months. However, a sustained moderation in inflation pressures has yet to be convincingly demonstrated. Moreover, the high level of resource utilization has the potential to sustain those pressures."
source: Federal Reserve web site
Posted in: The economy, the Fed, and interest rates
June 27, 2007
Credit card rates have increased across national averages, but excellent no-fee balance transfer options are still available. Visit the money-rates.com credit card report for more information and searchable card options. A solid offer from HSBC Bank is their Union Plus Mastercard which offers 1.99% APR on all purchases for 6 months, 6.99% APR on balance transfers until paid in full, NO annual fee, and points earned for purchases which can be redeemed for rewards. More.
Other credit card deals today include:
Union Plus Mastercard offers 1.99% APR on all purchases for 6 months, 6.99% APR on balance transfers until paid in full, NO annual fee, and points earned for purchases which can be redeemed for rewards.
Starbucks VISA card with rewards and 0.00% for 6 billing cycles
Pulaski Bank VISA/MasterCard 7.99% APR for balances and cash advances, 0.00% for 6 billing periods on balance transfers
BP (British Petroleum) VISA card with a 10% intro rebate offer on gas purchases
United VISA mileage card with 20,000 bonus miles after the first purchase.
Discover Miles Card. 0.00% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months. 12,000 bonus miles and double miles on travel and restaurant purchases up to $3,000.
GM Flexible Earnings Card rewards cardholders with 1% cash back on every single card purchase, 1% toward any GM vehicle and 0% on all balance transfers for 12 months
Posted in: Credit Cards
June 19, 2007
Money fund rates have held steady in the last week. Typically these funds are comprised of short-term government securities or highly rated commercial paper and maintain extremely high safety ratings. Below are listed 7-day average annualized yields of some leading money funds:
TIAA-CREF Money Market Fund 5.18%, $2,500 minimum
Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund 5.12%, $3,000 minimum
Harbor Money Market Fund 5.05%, $1,000 minimum
PayPal Money Market Fund 5.04%, $1 minimum
Fidelity Money Market Fund 4.99%, $25,000 minimum
June 17, 2007
everbank.com is offering foreign-denominated CDs with terms from 90 days to 10 years which allow some international diversification for income investors. Everbank.com is a FDIC-insured bank, but principal invested in their WorldCurrency CDs is subject to currency appreciation or depreciation during the term of the CD. The current 90-day APY for various WorldCurrency CDs are listed below:
British pound 4.32%
Canadian dollar 2.78%
Hong Kong dollar 2.52%
Icelandic krona 12.55%
Indian rupee 5.09%
Japanese yen 0.00%
Mexican peso 4.84%
New Zealand dollar 6.66%
Norwegian krone 2.91%
South African rand 7.71%
Swedish krona 1.89%
Swiss franc 1.26%
June 15, 2007
Independent 529 plans offer parents the chance to pay for college in the future at today's price which can lead to large discounts on future costs. The program co-sponsored between Independent 529 plan and TIAA-CREF allows allows you to prepay tuition today that your child can use later at any participating college. This program protects against increases in tuition and has no initial fees, no maintenance fees, and no annual fees��and is free from federal taxes. If one assumes that private college tuition inflation continues at an average rate of 5% per year and an Independent 529 Plan annual discount rate of 1%, then this is the equivalent of earning a 6% increase on those savings funds each year��tax-free