Category Archives: Consumers

How Much Does Your 401(k) Cost You?

Many workers around the country participate in their company’s 401(k) plan.  While these are great vehicles to save money toward retirement, they are often loaded with high expenses and hidden fees.  This artice in the Wall Street Journal reviews what kind of information to look at when selecting mutual funds in a 401(k) plan and what to look out for.  While not necessarily groundbreaking news, the author mentions to be on the lookout for high expense ratios, 12b-1 fees, and short term trading costs.

Here’s an excerpt:

You may not realize it, but you could be paying thousands of dollars a year in fees on your 401(k) retirement account, hidden expenses that affect how your savings will grow. The government is now trying to expose those charges so you can make better investment decisions.

Under regulations proposed by the Department of Labor, 401(k) plans every year will have to disclose each investment’s annual expense ratio — the percentage that goes to management and other costs — along with more detailed performance data. In addition, any administrative or other fees deducted from your account will have to be spelled out. New regulations may go into effect as soon as Jan. 1.

Matt / Google+

Want to Make Millions? Dilbert Has the Secret

Have you ever been asked or tempted to attend a seminar that supposedly will tell you how to turn a small amount of money into millions?  You see these seminars promoted on late night television infomercials and advertisements in newspapers.  While it is certainly might be tempting to try out, many people are well aware that they are a scam.  These seminars are full of empty promises and require participants to open their checkbooks in order to hear the “secret” to making millions.  Take a look at this Dilbert comic strip to see what happens at these seminars without having to spend a dime of your own money.

Matt / Google+

Link of the Day: The Death of the Credit Card Economy

The days of easy credit appear to be coming to an end.  Credit card companies have been decreasing credit limits for consumers over the past six months.  As a result, some people are finding it harder to buy things when they are forced to pay immediately.

While easy credit is coming to an end for some people, card companies are continuing to mail pre-approved credit offers to those with a solid credit history.  Remember, one can opt out of these pre-approved mailings.

Matt / Google+

Link of the Day: Food Makers Feel Economic Pinch

Consumers aren’t the only ones facing financial troubles. Many food makers are beginning to cut back on ingredients in their food

The Wall Street Journal writes, “Major food makers are quietly altering their recipes on candy, dairy products and other top-selling lines, adding fillers and substituting cheaper ingredients to cut costs amid the commodities boom.”

Follow this link to see if manufacturers are altering your favorite foods.

Matt / Google+