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  1. The pros and cons of online banks If you love your local bank but want loans with better terms or more interest on your savings, you may want to consider an online bank. Many online banks offer interest rates that are 20 times the national average on their savings accounts and CD products, and many come with no fees at all. Online banks intentionally make it easy to transfer money into and out of their accounts, and some come with mobile apps that make mobile banking a breeze. Take the CIT Bank Savings Builder account, for example. This high-yield savings account lets you earn 2.45 pe
  2. The pros and cons of using your local bank According to a 2018 Bankrate and Money survey, the average U.S. adult has used the same bank account for 16 years. If you fall into that category, you’ve most likely been with your local bank since you opened your first checking account at age 13. They gave you your first auto loan when you barely had any credit history, and you may have even went to them for your first mortgage. Why wouldn’t you want to keep your savings with a bank that has played such a constant role in your life? The answer is simple — opportunity cost. The average brick-
  3. 8. Do your homework You don’t want to become a member of a credit union or a customer of a bank without knowing exactly what you’re getting yourself into. Once you’ve reached the point where you’re comparing a handful of banks, consider reviewing what experts have to say about them. Find out where your bank of choice might stand in terms of customer service and whether you’re the type of person who would benefit most from what they have to offer. Consumers tend to remain customers of their banks for a long time. Carefully weighing your options is best before agreeing to begin a r
  4. 7. Understand terms and conditions You shouldn’t open a bank account without knowing what’s in the fine print. If there are monthly service fees, ask whether you can get them waived. If there are out-of-network ATM charges, find out whether the bank offers refunds. Make sure your savings will be federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (just in case your bank closes). Finally, as you’re comparing CD rates and other products, watch out for promotional deals that expire. “Teaser rates or things like that — these
  5. 6. Examine digital features Most banks offer basic services through their mobile and online channels, McAdam says, like the ability to transfer funds, pay bills, check balances and make mobile check deposits. But not all banks offer advanced digital capabilities. Some banks are missing features that are increasingly being demanded by consumers, McAdam says, like the ability to lock a debit card (and prevent a stranger from using it) or manage mobile banking alerts. In certain cases, there are online banks that don’t offer a smartphone app. If you value a high-tech online or mobil
  6. 5. Find a bank that fits your lifestyle The bank you choose should meet your needs. If you’re entrepreneurial, you’ll want a bank that can provide support as you build a business. If you’re trying to save more money, Ben Brown, founder of the investment advisory firm called Entelechy, recommends looking for a bank that lets you open and name separate accounts. “What I typically do is have clients open their main checking account, which acts as sort of a clearinghouse and then multiple savings accounts for different goals,” Brown says. “You might have a travel fund, a gift fund an
  7. 4. Don’t rule out credit unions Many consumers are familiar with the biggest banks. But you’ll want to shop around and consider credit unions, too. Finding out what local credit unions offer may take time. However, doing some research could pay off. “By not having shareholders, credit unions can reinvest their earnings in the form of lower, reduced loan rates and higher earning rates on savings,” says Jaspreet Chawla, vice president of membership at Navy Federal Credit Union. “This creates a unique relationship that generally leads to more opportunities for members to engage wit
  8. 3. Think about accessibility When it comes to banking, another key factor is accessibility. Most consumers will want to take into account ATM location convenience, branch location convenience and the availability of online and mobile banking, says Paul McAdam, senior director of banking services at J.D. Power. The characteristic that’s most important, however, varies, particularly by generation. For younger consumers, mobile banking capabilities trump branch location convenience. The opposite is true for older bank customers. Still, branches continue to play a role in the lives o
  9. 2. Focus on the numbers Don’t like wasting money? Find a bank that doesn’t levy unnecessary charges. “Why would you pay $100 a year for checking, savings and basic banking if you can pay $30 or $5 or nothing?” says Douglas Boneparth, a CFP professional and president of Bone Fide Wealth, a New York City-based financial adviser firm. Since online banks have few (if any) branches, they have fewer operating costs. That’s why they usually don’t charge as many fees as brick-and-mortar banks. Fees you should watch out for include monthly maintenance fees, ATM fees and the cost of o
  10. 1. Identify the type of account you need Banks offer many different types of products and services. Trying to compare all of them at once could seem overwhelming. A good place to start is deciding which type of account you want to open based on your financial goals and priorities. If you’re interested in saving more money, you could open a high-yield online savings account. The Federal Reserve has cut interest rates twice so far in 2019 and many banks have lowered savings account yields. But compared to their brick-and-mortar counterparts, online banks are still offering competitive r
  11. A trader is an individual who engages in the buying and selling of financial assets in any financial market, either for himself or on behalf of another person or institution. The main difference between a trader and an investor is the duration for which the person holds the asset. Investors tend to have a longer-term time horizon, while traders tend to hold assets for shorter periods of time to capitalize on short-term trends. Understanding Traders A trader can work for a financial institution, in which case he trades with the company's money and credit, and is paid a combin
  12. Rule 10: Keep Trading in Perspective It is important to stay focused on the big picture when trading. A losing trade should not surprise us—it is a part of trading. Likewise, a winning trade is just one step along the path to profitable trading. It is the cumulative profits that make a difference. Once a trader accepts wins and losses as part of the business, emotions will have less of an effect on trading performance. That is not to say that we cannot be excited about a particularly fruitful trade, but we must keep in mind that a losing trade is not far off. Setting realistic go
  13. Rule 9: Know When to Stop Trading There are two reasons to stop trading: an ineffective trading plan, and an ineffective trader. An ineffective trading plan shows much greater losses than anticipated in historical testing. Markets may have changed, volatility within a certain trading instrument may have lessened, or the trading plan simply is not performing as well as expected. One will benefit from remaining unemotional and businesslike. It might be time to reevaluate the trading plan and make a few changes or to start over with a new trading plan. An unsuccessful trading plan i
  14. Rule 8: Always Use a Stop Loss A stop loss is a predetermined amount of risk that a trader is willing to accept with each trade. The stop loss can be either a dollar amount or percentage, but either way it limits the trader's exposure during a trade. Using a stop loss can take some of the emotion out of trading since we know that we will only lose X amount on any given trade. Ignoring a stop loss, even if it leads to a winning trade, is bad practice. Exiting with a stop loss, and thereby having a losing trade, is still good trading if it falls within the trading plan's rules. Whi
  15. Rule 7: Develop a Trading Methodology Based on Facts Taking the time to develop a sound trading methodology is worth the effort. It may be tempting to believe in the "so easy it's like printing money" trading scams that are prevalent on the internet. But facts, not emotions or hope, should be the inspiration behind developing a trading plan. Traders who are not in a hurry to learn typically have an easier time sifting through all of the information available on the internet. Consider this: if you were to start a new career, more than likely you would need to study at a college or
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