A Guide to Buying Gift Savings Bonds Online

Saving Bond Gift Certificate

As you may already know, you can no longer buy paper U.S. savings bonds. The Treasury phased out the paper certificates and now sells all bonds only online. As we enter the graduation time of year, many may be wanting to buy savings bonds as gifts for high school and college graduates. Ann Carrns over […]

Published or Updated: May 31, 2012

Virgin America Visa® Signature Card

Virgin America Visa

When it comes to free flights from an airlines rewards credit card, one free bonus flight for new card members is standard. From time to time, you’ll find a special bonus of two free flights (these deals usually don’t last long). With the Virgin America Visa® Signature Card, you get bonus points worth up to […]

Published or Updated: June 10, 2012

How to Get the Best Mortgage Rates

Current Mortgage Rates

The Wall Street Journal had a report this weekend on how to snag the best mortgage rates. While some of the tips you’ve probably heard before, I thought it was worth sharing. With rates at historic lows and real estate prices ready to rebound, it seemed like a good time to review the basics. Repair […]

Published or Updated: June 18, 2014

Get Your Social Security Statement Online

social security statement online

Once a year my wife and I each receive in the mail our Social Security Statement. It shows us our earnings record for both social security and medicare. And it gives us an estimate of our future social security benefits depending on when we decide to retire. Recently the Social Security Administration made these statements […]

Published or Updated: May 25, 2012

Mortgage Points and Fees, They Are a Changing

If you’ve ever applied for a mortgage, you know just how convoluted the whole process can be. Just trying to read a HUD-1 statement is enough to send you over the edge. And then there are origination fees and discount points. Discount points are fees charged that generally result in a lower interest rate on […]

Published or Updated: May 22, 2012

The Best Hotel Rewards Credit Cards Offering Elite Status

Hyatt Credit Card

A former boss of mine had travel down to a science. He bought the most expensive luggage and could pack a week’s worth of clothes into a single, carry-on roller. He had elite status on just about every airline and rental car company. But it was his premier status with hotels that really caught my […]

Published or Updated: March 29, 2013

SmartMoney’s 2012 Broker Survey (the Best and Worst)

SmartMoney's 2012 Broker Survey

Surveys are worthless. SmartMoney just released its 2012 survey of the best and worst brokers. Let’s be honest here. I don’t trust movie reviews, so why would I put stock in a survey of investment brokers? Part of the problem is that even the best surveys are of limited valued. For example, here are the […]

Published or Updated: May 16, 2012

Is the Press Pumping Facebook’s IPO?

This morning I read an article on CNN with the headline, “Seniors clamoring to invest in Facebook IPO.” Of all the silly articles written about Facebook’s impending IPO in an effort to draw readers to news websites, this one has to be the lamest. So of course I read the article. It turns out the […]

Published or Updated: May 15, 2012

Credit Scores and Fannie Mae–What You Need to Know

FICO Score Distribution

Here are three facts about mortgage applications that at first glance are difficult to reconcile: Fact 1: Mortgage rates are at historic lows. Fact 2: Real Estate prices have fallen substantially over the past few years. Fact 3: The number of mortgage applications over the past 2 months are DOWN. So what’s going on here? […]

Published or Updated: October 28, 2012