Swiss Bank to Traders: Here’s Some Hot Cocoa in Your Face

The Swiss central bank sucker punched the financial community by unlinking the Swiss franc from the euro. As a result, those who trade in currency markets saw huge gains or losses. And while some blamed the bank’s move for the ensuing market volatility, both U.S. and international stocks gained that day. But there are some very important lessons to take from last week’s events, and those lessons are best learned before fortunes are lost. Foreign currency futures are contracts that allow you to buy …

Money Market Funds Just Got Safer … Or Did They?

After years of debate, the Securities and Exchange Commission this week finally adopted new rules designed to shore up the stability of the $2.6 trillion money market  industry. The question now is, will it help? While the changes largely affect institutional investors, one provision also applies to small investors by temporarily restricting their access to their money if a fund has liquidity problems. For decades money market funds were seen as reliably boring, investing in government securities or high-grade corporate debt. Though the funds’ …