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Financial News

Workers see their paychecks get smaller as inflation continues to rise

Worker paychecks in July actually declined when accounting for inflation, according to Labor Department figures. On a year-over-year basis, wages were essentially flat in real terms, dragged down by price pressures from housing costs and other areas. The lag in wage growth comes while most other areas of the economy are performing well. While the rest of the economy pointed higher in July, American workers took a step backwards. Hourly and weekly earnings languished when factoring in the rise in cost of living, according to figures the Labor Department released Friday. Average weekly earnings actually decreased 0.2 percent over the one-month period and increased only fractionally from the same period a year ago. Average hourly earnings were unchanged over the month and actually two cents l...

Don’t believe the hype

These Rappers Are Not Rich, Bro Rap is deeply rooted in outspoken, unapologetic braggadocio, but the extravagance that comes with the entertainment is often misleading. The pilot episode of NBC’s The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air premiered on September 10, 1990. Will Smith—the star of the series—was new to acting, but acclaim as a prominent rap artist made the Philadelphia native a household face before the sitcom first aired. Two years prior to his debut on network television, Smith and his partner-in-music Jeff Townes released their sophomore album, He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper, as DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. At the time, it was the highest-selling hip-hop album to date. Selling three million albums gifted the duo plaques made of platinum, and winning hip-hop’s first GRAMM...

Plane tickets are about to get more expensive

Play Video A look back at the year in aviation By Nathaniel Meyersohn Flying to the beach may be more expensive this summer. Rising fuel prices are pressuring airline profits. That means airlines will charge higher airfare. It’s difficult to predict how much more expensive seats will become or the timing of fare increases, but the message is the unanimous from the major carriers. “Consumers will pay more to travel because of higher fuel costs,” said Henry Harteveldt, a travel analyst and the founder of Atmosphere Research Group. “I think it will affect summer travel for people who have not already booked their flights.” Related: Southwest bookings fall after fatal accident Airlines have a few ways to build in higher fuel expenses, he explained. Some might rais...

Chase axes perk from its Sapphire Reserve card—why your issuer could do the same

Issuers are quietly scaling back some of their perks after the fanfare surrounding their cards’ release Price protection can help consumers save big, especially on pricey items. Price protection can help consumers save big, especially on pricey items. Chase’s Sapphire Reserve card just got a little less generous. Chase JPM+1.94% is no longer offering price protection as a perk on its Sapphire Reserve card, the company announced earlier this month. That perk — which allows cardholders to be reimbursed for purchases they make, if the item can be found for cheaper at a different retailer — will no longer be offered, starting Aug. 26, 2018. At least a few consumers expressed their dissatisfaction with that on Twitter. At least a few consumers expressed their dissatisfaction with that on Twitte...

Fine Art of Obtaining a Zero Interest Credit Card 

Yes, they do exist If your credit is decent, and you know where to look, a zero-interest credit card offers financial consumers some definitive advantages. The fact is, a zero-interest credit card is worth pursuing, just based on the numbers alone. In 2017, the current average credit card interest rate was 12.77%, according to a recent study by Credit Donkey. That rate level hasn’t changed much since 2011 (at 12.74%), when Credit Donkey started tracking average credit card interest rates. Still, a 12.77% card interest rate is more than enough to start getting financial consumers clamoring for zero-interest rate cards. Such cards allow cardholders to shift high-interest rate debt to a new zero-interest rate credit card – a card that doesn’t charge an interest rate during a...

The Best Bank Sign-Up Bonuses and Perks

Photo by CafeCredit. Let’s say your bank sucks, treats you poorly, and you’re ready to break up with them. While you’re on the hunt for a new, better place to store your money, remember this: some banks will pay you to switch. Wells Fargo Customers Should Check Their Bank Accounts Read more That’s right, many banks offer sign-up bonuses. They’re sort of like credit card sign-up bonuses, but instead of points, you get cold, hard cash. Not all bank bonuses, however, are worth it. Some of them come with frustrating fine print details, like monthly maintenance fees. You don’t want to switch from one bad bank to another, so we combed through some of the most popular offers to pick the best of the bunch. Chase Bank If you open a Chase Total Checking account and set up a direct deposit into it, y...

Why Your Credit Score May Not Be As Good As You Think It Is

Daily Worth If you’re in the market for a car or home loan, chances are you ran a free credit report to see how good (or bad) your score is. Maybe you’re feeling good about yourself, and then all of a sudden you’re denied outright. What happened? Well, it’s likely because an individual can have dozens of credit scores, and your potential lender pulled one that deemed you less credit worthy than a different model. “On reports pulled the same day, I’ve seen credit scores vary by as much as 100 points across various scoring models,” writes Cassie Price, who worked in credit repair, for Daily Worth. “A potential lender may look at one score or three, and they may pull from different models for the same loan. The only score that matters is the one your lender is using.” There are two main credi...

Bitcoin Plunges 17% in a Week, While Ethereum Reaches New Record Highs

Will South Korea ban cryptocurrency trading? The thought of it has investors spooked. Bitcoin (BTC-USD) continues to drop on Friday, adding to earlier losses on the news that South Korea could ban bitcoin trading, but remains well above its Thursday lows. In the meantime, Ethereum (ETH-USD) reached a new record high this week and continues to perform well, while Ripple (XRP-USD) is giving back some of Thursday’s gains. And altcoin Stellar (XLM-USD) is soaring higher after retreating from its all-time high earlier this week.With that in mind, here’s a rundown of the latest prices and news in the cryptocurrency world. Today’s cryptocurrency prices Here’s a look at the 10 largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization and how much each has changed over the past 24 h...

Decrypting Crypto Currencies, There’s More Opportunity Than Just Bitcoin

Beyond Bitcoin, You May Want To Check Out Ripple (XRP), A Crypto Currency That I Believe Holds Vast Potential If you haven’t heard by now, Bitcoin is up more than 1,500% this year. You’re asking, what is Bitcoin? Basically it’s a digital currency, kind of like an alternative to the dollar or euro. It was 6 cents in 2010. Yeah. If you would have bought $1,000 worth of BTC back then it would be valued at $296 MILLION today. That’s million. 2-9-6. And a few weeks ago I had a chat with one of Bitcoin’s biggest investors, Tim Draper. Tim got there early and bought 30,000 Bitcoins in 2014 for $20 million. Now valued more than $500 million. But fret not, Bitcoin is not the only digital currency in town. A few more have started to pop. Read on to which I think could be one of the next few outsized...

Wells Fargo aggressive with consumers, careful with companies

While Wells Fargo branch employees aggressively pressured consumers to sign up for new accounts, commercial bankers adopted a relatively stingy approach to lending money to companies. While Wells Fargo branch employees aggressively pressured consumers to sign up for new accounts, commercial bankers adopted a relatively stingy approach to lending money to companies. Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan says the company’s growth reflects some good credit decisions made by colleagues. Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan says the company’s growth reflects some good credit decisions made by colleagues. Wells Fargo’s admission that its employees created up to 3.5 million fraudulent accounts suggests a reckless, out-of-control culture. But the San Francisco banking giant seems to have a split personality of sorts. De...

Collateral Damage From The Inevitable Bitcoin Crash

Bitcoin is well off its all-time high, due in large part to moves by China to shut down domestic Bitcoin exchanges. Also putting pressure on Bitcoin: The People’s Bank of China recently banned initial coin offerings (ICO), thus outlawing the practice of creating and selling cryptocurrency to investors to finance startup projects in the country. Bitcoin-watchers take solace, however, in Bitcoin’s price resilience around the $4,000 mark – and hopes that China will see the light and ease its newly-minted restrictions. And then there are skeptics like myself who see China’s moves as the first few dominos to fall, heralding a complete collapse of the Bitcoin speculative bubble. I’m not going to use this article to argue that Bitcoin is in a speculative bubble, however. That fact is too obvious ...