Archive for November, 2013


All Hail The World’s Weakest Currencies

A few years back we posted an article titled “The 5 Worst Currencies in the World.” Somewhat to our surprise, the topic generated an incredible amount of traffic, which – belatedly – led to this post. Anyone can sit down to a computer and cast aspersions at the currency of the latest war-torn, totalitarian hellhole […]

Read More...
AMA

Digital Currency Trades Strong in a Changed World

When James Howells tossed out an old hard drive recently, he didn’t realize he’d tossed out a fortune. But the hard drive contained 7500 Bitcoins the Welsh-born IT professional had “mined” several years before – now worth a whopping $7.5 million, as the digital currency is trading for $1,000 a coin. That’s a strong showing […]

Read More...
AMA

Invest to Protect Investments

Smart investing creates opportunities for building wealth over the long term, and that’s what makes investing – and real estate investing in particular — so appealing. But there’s another kind of investment that many would-be entrepreneurs miss – the smaller investments needed to protect those wealth-building assets. One of those initial investments that protect a […]

Read More...

Mortgage Lending: A New Direction for 2014?

After nearly five years of ups nd downs following the massive housing collapse of 2008, the mortgage industry may be facing a watershed year in 2014 – and the shift from refinancing to purchases could mean good news for the economy as a whole. According to a new report from HousingWire, real estate industry professionals […]

Read More...

Is Foreign Investment Driving the Recovery?

By several major benchmarks, the economic recovery appears to be on the upswing. The employment picture is rosier and the housing market –always the backbone of economic stability – is humming too. But a recent report by the National Association of Realtors reveals that much of that growth is fueled by foreign investment – a […]

Read More...

Ten Quotes In Praise of Property

In a volatile world filled with economic uncertainty, real estate endures. That’s why a healthy housing market supports a rosy outlook for other indicators such as employment and consumer purchasing. The value of real estate as a stable commodity that supports the economy as a whole has long been known, as we see from this […]

Read More...

Can the Coin Make Wallets Obsolete?

The boundary between the physical and digital worlds continues to blur. More and more financial transactions are one-click easy thanks to an array of digital tools. Now, a new device called the Coin aims to convert a user’s entire wallet to a single digital device with the aid of a smartphone – and that has […]

Read More...

Are Big Banks in the Government’s Cross Hairs?

Last week, JP Morgan Chase settled yet another banking fraud case for a cool $18 billion – the largest single settlement ever for an individual company. As the US Department of Justice readies yet more criminal charges against Chase and other megabanks, some financial experts question whether the government’s targeting of the nation’s largest financial […]

Read More...

When Banks Say No, Private Loans Open Doors

By some key benchmarks, this is a good time to borrow money. Interest rates are staying relatively low and more consumer protections are in place to help borrowers avoid becoming victims of bad baking practices. But in spite of – and in part because of – those conditions, loans are harder to get. And that […]

Read More...

Mortgage Lenders Send Mixed Messages

It’s been five years since the housing crash of 2008 and the subsequent unfolding of widespread malfeasance in the banking and mortgage lending industry, but the dust hasn’t settled yet. The complex interplay between bank fraud lawsuits, government-backed legislation and the self-interest of individual lending institutions means that loan applications can be accepted – or […]

Read More...

AMA 69 – Stock Trader's Almanac with Jeffrey Hirsch

Jeffrey Hirsch is President of The Stock Trader’s Almanac, Chief Market Strategist of Magnet Æ Fund, and President of the Hirsch Organization. He’s the author of “The Little Book of Stock Market Cycles” and “Stock Trader’s Almanac 2014. Hirsch tells us if we can expect a Santa Clause rally at the end of the year. […]

Read More...

A QE Architect Tells All – And It’s Not Pretty

The Federal Reserve has spent over $4 trillion buying up mortgage-backed securities in it much-publicized Quantitative Easing plan to boost the economy. But, according to a new op-ed confessional by a former QE architect, the main beneficiaries have been the big banks of Wall Street. In a recent piece for the Wall Street Journal, former […]

Read More...

Do Bank Fraud Settlements Help Customers?

Another day, another bank fraud settlement. This time it’s Bank of America again, as the US Justice Department seeks damages to the tune of nearly $864 million in an October 23, 2013 verdict involving the “Hustle” – a loan trick practiced by its subsidiary Counrywide. Banks are paying up big in these cases – but […]

Read More...

VA Loans Open investing Opportunities

In various forms, the Veterans Administration loan has been around for decades, helping military personnel launch new lives4 after leaving active duty. These loans allow veterans to go back to school, start new lives and buy homes – assistance that benefits not only individual lives, but also the economy at large. Now, a little known […]

Read More...

Economic Turmoil Creates Reluctant Landlords

Economic downturns and life’s unexpected twists and turns are forcing homeowners across the country to become reluctant landlords. As home prices continue to sag in some markets and a cool job market sends workers in search of employment in other areas, truing the family home into a rental may become the only option. But in […]

Read More...

Is the Gold Standard Becoming Obsolete?

After months in free fall, the price of gold is expected to rise in 2014, and changing conditions both in the US and around the globe are fueling an increase in gold investments. But as the prices of this precious metal swing up and down – in recent times, mostly down – some market watchers […]

Read More...

Can Digital Currencies Stay Free?

Though they’ve been largely ignored by the media, alternative digital currencies such as the Bitcoin have quietly been making inroads into financial realms once controlled by mainstream institutions and the government. With no fees, no central issuing authority and virtually complete anonymity for users, these alt-currencies represent a major challenge to the usual way of […]

Read More...

Are Vampires Draining the Housing Recovery?

Hollywood may be making headlines with tales of vampires and zombies, but these bloodsuckers and walking dead are also stalking the housing recovery. According to a new RaltyTrac report, these aptly named unsellable foreclosures are keeping bank inventories high and threatening to stall a recovery that ripples throughout the entire economy. We’ve reported here previously […]

Read More...

Fannie Mae Sues US and Foreign Banks

Bank fraud goes international once again in a new lawsuit filed by mortgage megalender Fannie Mae. Joining the long line of lawsuits filed against the nation’s major banks by the US Department of Justice and various state attorneys general, the new action by Fannie Mae targets both domestic and foreign lending institutions and exposes more […]

Read More...