The average customer has more to lose than to gain from the high-stakes world of bank investing. That's why rules to separate such speculative activity from traditional banking operations would benefit customers who depend on bread-and-butter products like checking and savings accounts.
With bank rates falling, where should you look to find the most competitive rates? The banks on the above top 10 lists are great places to start, but you should always do some comparison shopping before you make a final decision.
Is your money market account stuck in a rut? If so, you're not alone. Money market rates have been locked into a long and steady descent for a few years now. Finally, though, there are signs that this could change in the months ahead.
In the second week of February, money market rates slipped yet again, falling by one basis point to 0.14 percent. This happened despite at least four economic trends that suggest that interest rates should be rising rather than falling.
A series of inaccurate forecasts could make people doubt the ability of the FOMC. Opinions on the new reporting detail will vary, but ultimately the verdict may lay in the hands of whoever eventually succeeds Ben Bernanke as Fed chairman.
Looking back, 2011 may be remembered as the year that world leaders passed the buck. And much to the chagrin of people with savings accounts< and other interest-bearing deposits, this flurry of buck-passing may have doomed them to another year of low interest rates.
Which banks offered America's best rates in the second quarter of 2011? These are banks that offer high savings and money market rates day in and day out, rather than those that offer high rates as a short-lived marketing promotion.
From a money rates perspective, the immediate concern about the quantitative easing program announced by the Federal Reserve is that it is yet another blow to interest rates on savings accounts, money market accounts, and CDs.
It's OK to buy gold, as long as you're sure you aren't buying hype.As with any investment, you need to consider the price you pay and keep the size of your position in proportion with your other investments.