Welcome to my blog where I discuss money, investing, politics, and anything else import in the world. I find it surprising that most people in their 30s have very little knowledge or interest in these areas. Of course everyone is interested in money, but very few take the time or have the discipline to properly save and invest it for the future or short term. For those who at least have the interest, I'll write about my experiences and methods of investing, and hopefully give you a head start in investing.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Yes, CDs are still safe

Over and over again the ultra-conservative investor seems to ask the question on financial shows like MoneyTalk, "Are my CDs safe?". Especially when relating to banks or institutions that have been in the news such as Countrywide. Of course these troubled institutions are the ones with the best rates on deposits, since they are the most desperate for money. You know there is a real panick, when people start to question the riskiness of CDs.

The simple answer is make sure you are insured by the FDIC at the bank and sit back and relax. FDIC insurance covers deposit amounts up to$100,000 per person per bank. You can verify the bank has FDIC insurance by visiting http://www.fdic.gov/. If your bank does fail, its assets will either be taken over by another bank or you will be paid principal and interest by the FDIC in usually one day.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Stimulus Package Rebate Checks

The checks are on their way for those eligible for the Government's economic stimulus package. Here are the rules for how much you should be getting:
  • If $0 to $300 in tax liabilities, but still earned at least $3000, you will get $300
  • $301 to $600 tax liabilities, and greater than $3000 in earnings, you will get back an equal amount
  • >$600 tax liabilities and earned <$75,000 you will get $600
  • 5% decrease in benefits for any amount over $75,000 (or $150,000 for couples)

So, for every $1000 over the limit you lose $50, which means no rebate for those making $87,000+ (or $174,000+ for couples).

For some, the actual checks have been less than expected. I know of people who make well under $75,000 (more like around $19,000) who only received a $530 check (direct deposited). This is probably due to the first two bullets above. Since this is a rebate on taxes, it is limited to the amount of taxes actually paid, so if you paid less than the $600 last year, you will only get the amount back. The exception is that you can't get less than $300 if you have at least $3000 in income. This was put in to take care of seniors. Comment below if it seems like you are getting cheated out of the rebate. Call the IRS at 800-829-1040 if you run into problems and have your IRS letter that explains how they calculated the refund handy.