The End of an Era

Nearly eight years ago – on May 1, 2005 – this site went live. In the time since then, we’ve published nearly 3, 300 articles. I say “we” because, though I ran this site solo for nearly four years, it eventually became a group effort. In the spring of 2009, I took on my first […]

Lending Club Update – March 2013

Time for another Lending Club update… Our balance is now down below $500 and we should be completely cashed out within the next few months. Last month our portfolio looked like this: 110 loans were current 295 loans had been paid off 1 loans were currently 16-30 days late 6 loans were currently 30-120 days […]

Twelve Tips for Minimizing Your Tax Bill

Want to reduce your taxes? Of course you do. We all do. Well, the latest issue of Money Magazine has a list of 12 ways to reduce your taxes. Here’s a quick rundown along with some thoughts on each. Deduct state sales taxes. You have a choice between deducting state income taxes or state sales […]

Taxes Done, I-Bonds Requested

With Tax Day fast approaching – and a soul-crushing week in my rearview mirror – I’m pleased to report that our taxes are done. We once again ended up owing and we did the old overpay to get I-Bonds trick. So now… We wait. As a reminder, the Treasury (mostly) eliminated paper savings bonds a couple […]

Figuring the Value of Our Benefits

Last week, Suba Iyer wrote about factoring in the value of your benefits when evaluating compensation packages. That got me to thinking about the value of my benefits at the work, and so I did a bit of digging. As it turns out, my employer breaks everything down in terms of deductions from my pay […]

Ally Financial Failed the Fed’s Stress Test

Not sure how I missed this, but the WSJ reported last week that Ally Financial recently failed one of the Fed’s stress tests. They tested the 18 biggest banks in the country and 17 passed. Apparently their “Tier 1 Common” ratio came in too low (1.5% vs. a required 5%), though they have responded that […]

Savings Rates Over Time

In his post yesterday, Richard talked about the remarkable decline in savings rates over the years. Inspired by this, I visited the St. Louis Fed’s website where they have an excellent graphing tool that lets you visualize the savings rate over time. Below you can see a graph of savings rates in the US from […]

The Safest States for Banking

As a followup to Friday’s post about bank failure rates, I thought I’d highlight a recent analysis of the best and worst states for banking. They rates banks based on customer satisfaction, stability (state-by-state failure rates), availability of high interest rates, and size of the banking community (more choices is better). The top ten […]

Bank Failure Rates

It’s been awhile since I’ve talked about failed banks. Back in the height of the financial crisis, bank failures were all the rage and the media couldn’t stop talking about it. But we don’t hear about it nearly as much anymore. Is that because bank failures have slowed down? Or because we’ve become immune to […]

When Will the Bull Market End?

Not quite four years ago — on March 9, 2009 — the stock market bottomed out. The Dow Jones Industrial average hit 6507.04, the S&P 500 hit 676.53, and the NASDAQ hit 1268.64. At that point, all three indices had fallen by more than 50% since their pre-bear peaks in October 2007. And yet, here […]