Picking a Financial Adviser? This Tool Can Help

Investors are generally advised to check the background of brokers or other financial professionals before doing business with them. Yet, how many of us really do that, even though it could protect our life savings? It’s safe to say, not a lot. One reason: Even though this information is available online, it’s not been that easy to navigate the multiple websites to find it. >> Should You Invest in Collectibles? Now the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission has created the CFTC SmartCheck, …

Debt Collectors Fined, Told to Back Off

Here’s some good news for people hounded by relentless debt collectors and hauled into court. Two of the nation’s biggest debt collection companies have agreed to stop lawsuits against borrowers and drop collections on some $16 million in judgments. In a settlement with New York authorities, Portfolio Recovery Associates, based in Norfolk, Va., and Sherman Financial Group, based in New York, also agreed to pay fines to settle allegations that they violated state law by pursuing borrowers for debts that …