You know that your consumer profile is used by financial services providers to make a number of decisions about you. Before I could get satellite TV service, I had to submit to a credit check. Employers increasingly want a peek at your credit report, and insurers often use your credit as one of the criteria in determining your premiums. But your credit history isn’t the only thing that others are interested in. Consumer behavior — and how to protect against risks — is becoming a major concern of many financial services companies. Which is why banks are increasing their efforts to learn more about you.Continue Reading
ING Groep NV (NYSE:ING), the Dutch parent company of ING Direct USA, has agreed to sell its online bank to Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE:COF)
The sale will be for $9 billion in cash and stock. This move helps Capital One move up from the 8th largest bank in the U.S., based on deposits, to the 5th largest depository bank. Capital One also becomes the largest direct bank with the acquisition.
Why sell ING Direct?
ING Direct is a successful division and a pioneer in online banking – why sell it? Back in 2008 ING Groep NV received a 10 billion Euro bailout from the Dutch government. As part of that loan, ING Groep NV is required to restructure and divest itself of ING Direct USA.
ShareBuilder has undergone a facelift! Not only has their parent company, ING DIRECT, redesigned the site to make it easier to use, they have also renamed it – ING DIRECT Investing.
It’s still the same awesome site it’s been when it was created over 10 years ago. Their goal has remained the same: Bring Wall Street to Main Street.
I think they have succeeded. They make it easy for the average investor to invest in the market.
So why a redesign and rebrand?
Capital One’s online checking account, 360 Checking (formally ING Direct’s Electric OrangeSM), is offering up a cool bonus to people who sign up for new accounts – a $50 bonus!
When you open up a new 360 Checking account and make at least 3 card purchases or Person2Person Payments within 45 days of opening your account, Capital One will give you a $50 bonus. You can click here to go right to the 360 Checking page.
You need to open the account through one of the banners/links in this article. If you open a 360 Checking account going directly to the 360 Checking site, you won’t be eligible. This is a special promotion you won’t see on the 360 Checking site. Continue Reading
ING Direct Electric Orange SM online checking (now Capital One 360Checking) came through for us recently and I want to tell you about it.
See, we’re having some work done our house. After a few estimates we settled on one contractor to do the work. He had a great plan and the price was good. All he needs is a check for a deposit so he can started ordering supplies and such. No problem, right?
Ends up we ran out of checks. Major oops! We knew we were on the last book and had to re-order but I guess the bills overtook the checks and we ran down our checkbook quicker than we realized. So we have no checks.
I re-ordered checks of course, but it will take a little while for them to get here. The contractor is great and told us we can mail him a check as soon as we get a chance. But the sooner he gets a check the better. What to do?
A few years ago, it was a credit card user’s world. As long as you paid on time and didn’t go over your limit, you could have your choice of credit cards and interest rates. However, with the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act (CARD Act) that went into effect last year, meant to crack down on credit card companies, consumers are finding that they are paying higher interest rates. In addition, it can be harder to negotiate a lower interest rate.
I had a credit card for over 15 years that routinely offered an interest rate below 10%. Now, the interest rate is 15.99%. When I called to have it lowered, they would not negotiate with me as they had in the past. When I threatened to take my business elsewhere, they were unfazed. “Sorry,” I was told, “there is nothing we can do at this point.”
CNNMoney has put together a list of the 8 least-evil banks. What do they mean by least-evil? Since legislation passed not long ago to reign in bank fees and unfair practices, more and more free banking is disappearing and many banks have been implementing all sorts of fees to make up for lost revenue from the new laws. Some banks offer ways to avoid their fees but you have to jump through hoops to figure out how to qualify.
Why is this important? Bank fees can drain your account! You can easily find yourself paying a good amount of money in bank fees every month. According to a Wall Street Journal article (The New Bank Fees: How to Fight Back, June 19, 2010), the average fee for falling below the minimum balance on an interest-bearing account is $12.55 while the average overdraft fee was $29.58. Add to that the fact that banks will be looking to either limit debit card transactions or add fees to the transactions and you can see how it’s getting expensive to bank!
Are you sick of your credit card? A lot of people are! Now you have a chance to win cash prizes by destroying your credit card.
Perkstreet Financial and Lending Club are teaming up to help people end their reliance on credit cards. They are declaring January 31,2011 Shred Your Credit Card Day. When credit isn’t used wisely it can snowball into tremendous debt. Perkstreet and Lending Club want you to know there are alternatives to using a credit and that you can end your debt!
From December 15th, 2010 through January 29th, 2011, can can enter a video of yourself destroying your credit card(s) or why you are done with credit in 2011. Upload the video to ShredYourCreditCard.com and you can be entered to win!
Why you should participate (from the ShredYourCreditCard site):
There has been a lot said about peer to peer (P2P) lending lately. With the economy and credit market crunch making it difficult to get more traditional loans, “alternative” lending opportunities are arising. Peer to peer lending is a way for those who might be turned down by a bank to get the loans that they want/need, while providing an opportunity for investors to make some money by lending to others.
What is P2P (Person to Person) Lending?
Busting Common Investing Myths – A Tweetup With Motley Fool’s Tom Gardner and ShareBuilder’s Dan Greenshields
A little while back I had the pleasure of attending a Tweetup at the NYC ING Direct Cafe hosted by Sharebuilder‘s president Dan Greenshields with special guest speaker Tom Gardner, CEO of The Motley Fool.
For those wondering what a Tweetup is, it’s basically an organized meeting of sorts over the social site Twitter. The meeting was held at the ING Cafe and people from all over could follow along and participate via Twitter.
The premise of the Tweetup was to help investors bust common investing myths and take the complexities out of investing.
I tried to takes notes as best I could so I could pass them along to you. Keep in my I’m paraphrasing here and some of the words are mine, but I think you’ll get the general ideas of what was being said.
To start, Tom Gardner talked about four basic investing rules we should all follow (this is just part of his full list of rules):