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The mutual fund industry says it has some good news: expense ratios and other costs have come down dramatically over the years. There’s no reason to doubt this week’s new number from the Investment Company Institute, the fund industry’s trade group. But the ICI, which issues a fee report every year at this time, has taken the rosiest view it can, as it usually does. Read more»
The idea seems simple enough — stash your important papers, the family jewels and even a gold bar or two in a bank safe deposit box. But not so fast — take these measures first before locking up your valuables, which might not be as safe as you think. Read more»
Last-Minute Tax Thoughts
By: Jeff Brown
So here we are, the final countdown to April 15 and the tax deadline. What’s left to do? Hopefully, not too much. Most tax-reduction strategies had to be complete by the end of December, so at this point the most important thing to do is to get your return sent electronically, or postmarked, by April 15. Read more»
Experts Not Sure if Recession is Over
By: The Associated Press
By Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — A panel of academics that date the beginnings and ends of recessions isn't ready to declare just yet when this downturn ended. The National Bureau of Economic Research said that although most barometers show improvements in the economy, it would be "premature" to pinpoint the end of a recession based on economic data seen so far. Read more»
Here’s an intriguing idea for fixed-income investors: an exchange-traded fund that invests in a basket of bonds but, like an individual bond, has a fixed maturity date. It should help control the interest-rate risk that has bedeviled people who invest in bonds through funds. Read more»
Perhaps floating a trial balloon straight from the oval office, a key economic adviser to President Obama warned large banks that nobody is immune to government closure — and that the U.S. needs a government arbitrator with the power to shut down banks that pose a “moral hazard.” Read more»
By Eileen A.J. Connelly, Personal Finance Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Many consumers feel like they got the short end of the stick from their banks despite following all the rules. Soon they may be able to leverage their good behavior into some advantages. Read more»
The Better Business Bureau is out with its latest list of top consumer complaint targets, and banks are moving up the charts like a Beyoncé single. Read more»
The proposed consumer financial protection agency, currently being constructed in Congress, would leave some potentially unscrupulous predators off its radar screen if the current version of the package makes its way out of Washington. Payday lenders and pawnbrokers are at the top of the list of industries that would largely escape the scrutiny of the federal government. Read more»
Many bond funds have enjoyed terrific returns during the past decade, and investors have been pouring money into them. But now the good times may be ending, so it will pay to look for three warning signs when picking a bond fund. Bonds have done well in recent years because interest rate were falling, causing bond prices to rise. Think of it this way: investors will pay more for an older bond yielding 8% than for a newer one paying 4%. Read more»
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