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MARKET TRENDS: U.S. Construction Spending Falls Unexpectedly
Posted on January 20, 2016

While spending on U.S. construction unexpectedly declined in November, mortgage application volume for the week ended January 8, 2016 showed a 21.3% rise (compared to the preceding week on a seasonally adjusted basis). On January 4, the Commerce Department reported that U.S. construction spending in November last year sank 0.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual [...]


Guess How Much Money the Credit CARD Act Has Saved Consumers
Posted on January 14, 2016

Have you experienced a marked decrease in your credit card bills since 2011? If yes, you are not alone. From 2011 to 2014, credit card holders have seen a reduction in credit card related fees to the tune of nearly $20 billion! This phenomenon didn't really happen on its own. It is an effect of [...]


MARKET TRENDS: Pending Home Sales Decline by 0.9% in November
Posted on January 11, 2016

Despite warmer than normal temperatures across much of the nation, contracts to purchase previously owned homes fell in November, signifying that growth in the U.S. housing market could be cooling down. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), pending home sales, a measure of signed contracts (not closings), decreased by 0.9% to a reading [...]


MARKET TRENDS: U.S. Existing Home Sales Decline Sharply in November
Posted on January 8, 2016

Existing home sales sank considerably in November to the lowest pace in 19 months, but some of the decrease was due to delayed closings and disruption from a new lending disclosure rule. Last week, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced that existing home sales fell 10.5% month-over-month in November to a seasonally adjusted annualized [...]


Credit Card Company Junk Mail Solutions!
Posted on January 4, 2016

The good news about getting endless email solicitations from credit card companies is that these companies target customers who have good or excellent credit – and that means you! The bad news is... that you get all this junk mail. If you are an environmentalist like me, you might find it especially galling that all[...]


Coinbase Has Launched a Visa Debit Card for Bitcoin Users
Posted on December 31, 2015

Holiday shopping just got a little more interesting. A bitcoin wallet, known as Coinbase, has teamed up with VISA to offer the first ever bitcoin debit card in the US. Consumers can now do their holiday shopping directly with bitcoin, instead of converting it first into fiat currency over a bitcoin exchange – or searching[...]


MARKET TRENDS: Watershed Moment: Fed Raises Interest Rates for the First Time in Seven Years
Posted on December 28, 2015

Last week, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time in almost a decade. The Federal Open Market Committee unanimously voted to set the new target range for the federal funds rate at 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent. Policy makers separately forecast an appropriate rate of 1.375 percent at the end of 2016. This[...]


What Is Tokenization and What Are the Benefits Associated With It?
Posted on December 16, 2015

Given the escalating number of data security breaches being reported every day, organizations, both large and small, are increasingly adopting various methods to safeguard their customers' data. While preventative tools like cyber insurance policies, help organizations mitigate the financial risk that follows after a data breach, security measures such as EMV smart cards, data encryption[...]


MARKET TRENDS: Pending Home Sales Increase By Just 0.2% in October
Posted on December 14, 2015

In a recent report, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced that pending home sales index edged up to 107.7 in October, eking out a gain of just 0.2%. While this increase marked the end of two straight months of declines, it fell decidedly short of economists’ expectations for a 1.0% rebound. Pending sales were [...]


How to Use Store Credit Cards Wisely
Posted on December 12, 2015

Store credit cards are available at just about any place you exchange currency for goods. They may get you some extra percentage off on your purchases, but too many of them can hurt your credit score. Store credit cards have advantages and disadvantages that general purpose cards don’t have. They're tempting and easy to get [...]