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Freebies - 3

Freebies - 3

Published 9/24/07  (Modified 1/3/12)

By MoneyBlueBook

People just can't resist themselves from signing for freebies.Free this four letter word has that power to get your attention Read the full article »

MySurvey - Pays You To Answer Surveys

Published 9/23/07  (Modified 3/22/11)

MySurvey - Pays You To Answer Surveys By MoneyBlueBook

If you occasionally have free time to spare, then I recommend that you make some extra money on the side while you're at it. MySurvey is one of the online survey companies that has drawn positive reviews. Spam does not appear to be an issue and the surveys are well designed and easy to complete. Doing online paid surveys is not the most efficient use of time, but if you approach it like a hobby like I do, it's just a quick and easy way to make a small sum of money.

After completion of each survey, you receive reward points that can be later redeemed for prizes, merchandise, and even cash. You are also automatically entered into a cash sweepstakes after completion of each survey. The payouts for each completed survey averages from 10 points to 200. However, I have completed at least one offer worth 1000 points. If you decide to redeem your accumulated points for cash, 1000 points = $10.00.

If interested, you should sign up for several online paid survey companiesto maximize your survey opportunities. I suggest expressing interest in many things during the initial profile setup to increase your chances of qualifying for more survey opportunities. The companies are not all the same. I personally prefer MySurveymore than some of the other companies like Greenfield Online because MySurvey doesn't trick you into completing a lengthy survey only to wait till the very end before informing you that you didn't qualify for the survey.

I've Earned More Points

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Review - Free Stock Trades With Zecco

Published 9/22/07  (Modified 3/22/11)

Review - Free Stock Trades With Zecco By MoneyBlueBook

Zeccois a discount broker that's been generating a lot of buzz since they started offering free stock market trades last year as part of their very pinkfriendly trading platform. They currently offer 10 free market or limit trades per month, so long as you maintain $2,500 in total account equity (stocks and cash). There is no minimum balance requirement to open an account, but if you have under $2,500, trades will cost $4.50 each. There are no inactivity fees, which is quite a bonus for those who don't trade too frequently. Your securities accounts are also insured and protected against loss by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).

Is There A Catch With Zecco?

According to the Zecco website:
There is no catch. We can give away free trades because the cost of executing a trade has become very low. And like other brokerages, we make money on interest income and option trades. Pretty simple right?
If you're an active trader, the lure of free trades is tempting. However, keep in mind that free trades isn't everything. Zeccohas been around for only a year, which is still a relatively short amount of time in the brokerage world. Questions remain such as whether they will be around for the long haul. What about customer service and trust? Can they execute timely trades and can they offer trading platform services that can compete with those offered by other brokerages?

Moving Towards a Free Trades Market

It is interesting to note that Zeccomay have signaled the

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Get a Higher Interest Rate for The Idle Cash In Your Brokerage Account

Published 9/21/07  (Modified 3/9/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

Are you like me? Do you keep idle cash sitting in your investment brokerage account while waiting for a juicy investing opportunity to come along? If so, you might want to make sure that idle cash is getting the best interest rate it can.

The stock market's been volatile lately so I've chosen to park a sizable amount of cash in my primary investment account as I wait for the right buy opportunity. But if you're like most people who adopt an old fashioned buy and hold strategy, you might not realize how low of a return you are getting on that idle cash. Your cash pile may be missing out on some great opportunities as it sits parked in your brokerage account. That's because many brokerages only pay you a pitiful rate of return on idle cash by default. Oftentimes, brokerages pay an interest rate as low as 1%, while they make a bundle by investing your money for themselves.

Upgrade to a Higher Interest Rate Money Market Account

If you want a higher rate of return you must ask your brokerage because usually most deposits are automatically swept into a low interest holding account by default. If you don't contact them and ask, they have no particular incentive to let you know that you have higher interest rate options for your idle funds. For starters:

  • Research higher yield money market accounts. Most brokerages have a selection of money market funds that will provide you a higher but stable rate of return while you decide
  • Read the full article »

    The National Association of Realtors' Wacky Predictions

    Published 9/20/07  (Modified 3/9/11)

    By MoneyBlueBook

    I am currently not a home owner, but just a few months ago I wanted to be one. But now with the housing bubble pop in full swing, I've decided to hold off on my original plans until the housing environment improved. The bubble correction is still rippling through the real estate market, and the effects from the mortgage and credit crisis are likely to last for a while.

    The Funniest Prognosticator Of Them All

    I have been following the real estate market for some time and try to track the various projections out there. Of all of the market opinions that I follow, there's none funnier than the regularly issued opinion releases by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the largest trade group in North America representing real estate agents.

    Prior to and during the recent downturn of the housing market, NAR was represented by their chief economist David Lereah, who served as the association's spokesman and cheerleader on forecasts and trends affecting the U.S. real estate market. He has been frequently criticized by many for his perpetually rosy and outlandish spins on the state of the housing market, and has even been accused of encouraging the rise of the real estate bubble. He finally stepped down from his position earlier this year and was replaced by the new chief economist Lawrence Yun.

    I've always found NAR's opinions to be very entertaining. As the real estate ship Titanic slowly sank, you could be sure the NAR's chief spokesman was busy running the decks proclaiming how wonderful of

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    My Not So Diversified High Rate of Return Portfolio

    Published 9/19/07  (Modified 3/14/11)

    By MoneyBlueBook

    As was expected, the Federal Reserve cut a key short term interest rate yesterday by a half percentage point to 4.75%, sending investors into a frenzy. Investors went bonkers and jubilantly bought shares, sending the U.S. and world stock markets soaring. The Fed also indicated that more rate cuts could be on the way. Interestingly, federal funds futures on the Chicago Board of Trade are now pricing in a 100 percent chance that the Fed will cut rates at least one more time before the end of the year.

    I have to applaud the Fed for being gutsy enough to take aggressive action amid the credit and mortgage market meltdown. While this certainly won't solve the sub prime mortgage mess immediately, at least it's a move in the right direction. I personally think the housing recession still has a long ways to go before recovering. But why am I still very skeptical that this resurgence is for real? That's probably why I still have un-invested cash on the sidelines, waiting for the right opportunity.

    My Current Investment Portfolio for 9-19-07

    I logged onto my Fidelity Investment account at the close of trading and took a peek at my gains for the day. My portfolio was up 5% due to the Fed's announcement, a remarkable one day gain with impending recession fears only a few weeks ago. With today's Fed announcement, I think now is a good time to evaluate my investment portfolio and financial strategy. And it's a doozy.

    Looking at my portfolio it's plain to

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