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Archive for December 2008


The MonaVie Acai Berry Super Fruit Juice - Mona Vie Scam?

Published 12/30/08  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

Review of MonaVie and The Acai Berry Fruit Juice Company's Health and Marketing Claims

MonaVie. Mona Vie. The word actually sounds like a spin off of some french phrase (mon ami), but when I hear the name, two things immediately come to mind - acai berry juice and multi level marketing pyramid scheme. The MLM business scheme or pyramid marketing concept usually elicits a series of red alert alarm bells in my brain's BS scam detector, however, I'm willing to take a closer look at MonaVie before rendering my personal critique and verdict. After having tried out and actually tasted the MonaVie acai berry fruit drink, I have to admit, it's a rather sweet and tasty beverage - sort of a crisp combination of grape juice, blue berries, black berries, and a hint of dark chocolate. There's not much negative commentary I can sling at the MonaVie product in terms of taste alone, but the outrageously expensive price tag and the rather suspicious marketing approach of the company leave much to be desired.

As an ordinary American consumer and a casual observer, I'm not sure what to make of this whole MonaVie acai berry fruit juice craze that seems to be sweeping the health and fitness world. The product's been featured on the Food Network and on daytime talk shows for women like the Rachel Ray show, and eagerly touted by popular television hosts like Oprah Winfrey as the ultimate nectar of the gods. At least several medical commentators have appeared on The Oprah

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Review Of E*Trade Bank High Interest Savings and Checking Accounts

Published 12/27/08  (Modified 3/22/11)

Review Of E*Trade Bank High Interest Savings and Checking Accounts By MoneyBlueBook

When most people think of ETrade, the popular online discount brokerage firm with the cutesy talking baby commercials probably comes to mind. Since 2000, E-Trade has been well known for its slew of strange, but memorably funny TV commercials, starting with its series of odd-ball Superbowl monkey commercials in 1999 and 2000. Who can forget the grand daddy of them all - the one with a monkey dancing a jig on an upside down bucket for a quarter of a minute with two old fellas on rocking chairs clapping away to some goofy Latin beat - followed by the message "Well we just wasted 2 million bucks. What are you doing with your money?" While the message might have been a bit lost in the commercial's zaniness, it certainly was good for future brand name recognition.

Since its days as a leader in the do-it-yourself stock investing movement, E-Trade has grown and developed itself into a full service financial holding company with a wide array of banking and trading related services. Eager to shed and change its old image as merely a low cost discount broker, the company has���� jumped into the online banking business. Hoping to change the public's perception, E-Trade has heavily promoted its rapidly growing online savings and checking products in an attempt to leverage its established reputation as one of the best brokers into a similar position in the online banking market. Despite the presence of formidable competing online banks like ING Direct, HSBC Direct, and FNBO Direct, E-Trade

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Review Of EverBank Online Savings and High Interest Checking Accounts

Published 12/26/08  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

Since 2000, Everbank has quietly grown and emerged as a top tier banking institution, offering a diversified array of full service online banking products that include mortgage loans, high yield savings accounts, money markets, high interest certificate of deposit (CD)���� products, and most intriguing of all, high interest checking accounts. While not as well known as popular online banks like ING Direct, HSBC Direct, or even E-Trade Savings Bank, EverBank has steadily grown to become one of the top online high yield savings banks in the market (reviews shared by several news sources such as CNN Money). Because the online bank apparently did not dabble in toxic subprime mortgages, the company is in a much stronger position today than many of its competing rival banks.

About a year ago, I opened an Ever Bank savings and checking account for review purposes and have been generally pleased with the annual percentage yield (APY) interest rates I've received over many months. Consistent with its marketing pledge to stay among the top 5% of savings banks in terms of interest rate, I'm pretty pleased to say upon examination of its past, that EverBank has stayed true to its word over the last few years. Despite market fluctuations in bank interest rates, EverBank has remained one of the top banking choices for those seeking the highest FDIC insured rates of return for their savings and investments. This is not to say that EverBank is the absolute best online bank out there, but it's certainly one that

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New Credit Card Rules and Regulations - The Good and The Bad

Published 12/24/08  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

Note: The New Credit Card Rules Do Not Go Into Effect Until July 1, 2010

These days, it seems like whenever there's a good thing going or some attractive opportunity for pecuniary gain or profit, the masses ultimately swarm the offer like locusts until they've completely ruined it for everyone else. This is how I feel about credit cards and the credit card industry. Credit card rewards and interest free balance transfers were once the easiest ways to make some free money on the side, but now that the Feds have enacted the new credit card law, all of that's about to change.

As a big proponent of credit card use and an eager partaker of reward credit cards, balance transfer deals, and credit card arbitrage, I've been taking advantage of all that they've had to offer for some time now. Over many years, I've applied for and been approved for more than 25 credit cards. I've owned, carried, and used most of the major credit cards from Capital One, Bank of America, Citibank, Advanta, Discover Card, to American Express. Throughout college and into adult hood, I've used my squadron of credit cards to earn more than $10,000 worth of cash back rewards, redeemed point rewards for countless free gift cards, and accrued more than $15,000 of interest profit from balance transfer arbitrage. At its peak, I was carrying more than $100,000 in total credit card balances at one time, taking advantage of 0% APR credit card funds deposited into ahigh yield savings account

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December 2008 - Net Worth Update and Personal Finance Status

Published 12/19/08  (Modified 3/8/11)

By MoneyBlueBook

Honestly, I'm starting to regret posting my financial numbers online for all to see. It's one thing for anonymous strangers or random online readers to be intimately aware of my current financial net worth, but it's another mild hassle altogether when friends or family know where I stand financially at all times. It just injects a bit of awkwardness into my personal and social relationships I feel.

Just a few days ago my brother asked me to contribute to his law school tuition fund. He's currently working full time and juggling evening law school classes. His federal government office pays for the majority of his law school tuition expenses, but there is still a little bit leftover that he needs to cover out of pocket. I'm sure his awareness of my current financial state via my personal finance blog at Money Blue Book makes it easier for him to feel comfortable approaching me for money knowing that I probably have the means to provide some measure of financial support. I doubt he would have felt as comfortable asking me for a handout or a loan if he were not acutely aware of the specifics of my monthly cash flow or personal balance sheet.

Offering Loans To Family and Friends Is A Bad Idea - Don't Give Money To Others That You Wouldn't Feel Comfortable Giving Outright For Free

I have an unwritten rule for myself that I will never loan money to family or friends, even if it's to bail them out of a difficult financial situation

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Reviews Of The Best Capital One Credit Cards and Offers

Published 12/18/08  (Modified 8/7/14)

By MoneyBlueBook

Updated List Of The Best Capital One Credit Cards Below

Editor's Note: Thank you for your interest, these offers have expired and are no longer available.

What's In Your Wallet? - So goes the motto and promotional tag line from those zany Capital One credit card ads we're always seeing on TV. When it comes to Capital One, the credit card company's message is clear -  it wants you to evaluate your choice of credit cards and make sure you are taking steps to maximize all cash back credit card rewards and low interest opportunities available to you.

Capital One is one of the major credit card issuers in the United States, having distinguished itself over the years with its wide reaching mass marketing efforts, particularly during the 1990's when the company experienced tremendous growth and a phenomenal surge in market share. Through its aggressive marketing and promotional efforts, Capital One has situated itself as a major player in the credit card market with its huge and broad lineup of credit card products. Since its initial start into consumer lending, Capital One has joined the ranks of Citibank Citi Cards, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Discover Card, and American Express as the dominant credit card lenders in the U.S. and Canada. Today, the company is actually one of the largest, if not the largest independent issuer of Mastercard and Visa credit cards. The company has since transformed itself into a giant bank holding company with a diverse brevy of financial services and products that include credit cards, auto loans, home mortgage loans, small business loans, and various interest-bearing high yield

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