Inside the Economic Rescue Plan: One Giant Bailout

The big news today was that the White House is pushing for a so-called “Rescue Package” for the economy. While details are still being fleshed out, the Treasury Department will apparently seek authority to spend “hundreds of billions” of taxpayer dollars to purchase illiquid assets from U.S. financial institutions. These buybacks will be managed by […]


Market Turmoil, Portfolio Drift, and Asset Allocation: Time to Rebalance?

Last night, I decided to login to Vanguard to check out the damage from the recent market turmoil. Their Portfolio Watch feature actually makes this very easy, as I can now see our entire portfolio (including non-Vanguard investments) on a single screen. Surveying the damage What I learned upon logging in was mildly depressing. Not […]


How to be Sure Your Money is FDIC Insured

With all of the recent financial turmoil, I’ve received a number of questions from readers on topics ranging from the safety of their bank to whether or not their money is FDIC insured, etc. While I’ve written about these topics in the past, several of the questions that I’ve received have outlined very specific scenarios, […]


The Sky is Falling: Reacting to Recent Stock Market Turmoil

Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’re aware that United States financial system is in the midst of an ever-worsening crisis, and that the stock market has gone a bit haywire. In fact, we experienced the largest single-day drop in the stock market since the markets re-opened after the September 11th attacks. […]


HSBC Drops APY, FNBO Direct and WaMu Hold Steady

Over the past couple of months, HSBC Direct has been offering a promotional rate of 3.5% APY*. As of this week, however, they’ve dropped their rate to 3.25% APY*. That means that WaMu and FNBO Direct are at the top of the heap amongst the major online banks. For their part, WaMu is offering an […]


More ING Direct Bonus Links Posted

This is just a quick note to let you know that I’ve refreshed my list of ING Direct Electric Orange bonus links. In case you’re not familiar with the offer, new ING Direct customers can get a $25 bonus for opening an account with a $250 deposit. If you’re interested, simply click through to my […]


Weekly Roundup – Porn in the Airport Edition

Early yesterday morning, I headed to the airport to catch a flight out of town. After clearing security, I headed to the news stand to pick up a couple of magazines – paying face value for magazines is one of my traveling vices. And speaking of vices… When I reached the magazine rack, I noticed […]


From the Archives (September 7th – September 13th)

Here are some of my favorite FCN articles from a year ago this past week: Front Loading Washer and Dryer Recommendations? Q&A: Using IRA Funds to Purchase a Home Outside the U.S. High Electric Bills and the Battle Against Increasing Energy Costs “Borrowing” Money from an IRA Q&A: Using IRA Funds to Pay Off a […]


Is it Un-American to Ask for a Discount?

Every once in awhile I get a comment that just make me shake my head. Take, for instance, this one (edited for grammar and clarity) that an anonymous reader left on my article about asking for a discount: Don’t ask for discounts. It’s just tacky and rude. If you’re known as the “discount” person, you […]


Amex Costco True Earnings $25 Signup Bonus

The TrueEarnings Card from Costco and American Express reward credit card was offering a $25 signup bonus (sadly this offer is no longer valid). Here are current features of the card: 3% cash back on gasoline at U.S. stand-alone gas stations, including at Costco, for purchases up to $4, 000 per year (1% thereafter) 2% […]