Don’t Pay for Your ‘Missing’ Money

You may be entitled to a portion of the billions of dollars in “unclaimed property” that sits in state treasuries — money from forgotten bank accounts, insurance policies and safe deposit boxes; uncashed paychecks and stock dividends; never-returned security deposits paid to utility companies; and the like. But you certainly don’t have to pay to claim it. It costs nothing, and takes only minutes, to check for yourself if any money is owed to you. Just visit www.MissingMoney.com or www.Unclaimed.org, …

How to Evaluate Free-Money Offers

I’m typically not one to jump on promo offers, as they usually take a ton of time and have too many strings attached. Every now and then, however, I see a great offer that holds up to scrutiny. That’s why I took up Capital One 360 on its offer for free money and will make $500 on the deal. Capital One 360, by the way, is an FDIC-insured unit of Capital One Bank. Below are the reasons I chose this …

Brokered CDs: Worth Exploring for Good Rates

If you want to earn more on your “safe” money than you can get from buying certificates of deposits directly from a bank, you might want to consider something called brokered CDs. Although going directly to banks to buy high-paying CDs with easy early withdrawal penalties is still my core strategy for safe-money investing, I’ve started adding brokered CDs for my clients’ portfolios and my own. Brokered CDs are certificates of deposit sold through brokerage firms such as Fidelity, Schwab …

Where to Stash Your Cash This Spring

If you want to make a hundred bucks or even thousands for just an hour of your time, then this post is for you. All you have to do is pick the right place to stash your cash and perhaps change your thinking on certain certificates of deposits (CDs). Read on, and you’ll see that CDs which appear too good to be true really do exist. The power of inertia often has us leaving large sums of cash at our local …

Interest Rates Are Low Until You Do the Math

I often hear that interest rates are awful and that it’s the worst time ever for retirees needing to live on fixed income. Yet when you look at after-tax, inflation-adjusted returns, a different picture emerges. Many people smile when I tell them that back in 1980 they could have earned 12 percent on a 10-year U.S. Treasury or certificate of deposit (CD). Depositing $10,000 would have returned $1,200 a year. But if a third went to taxes, that gain would …