Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

interest-rates-300x225Today’s top story: When to expect a fed rate hike. Also in the news: The hazards of long-distance home shopping, what being a landlord means for your taxes, and why back-to-school shopping doesn’t have to be a budget-buster.

Fed Rate Hike Likely Later Rather Than Sooner, Experts Say
When you can expect a jump.

The Hazards of a Long-Distance Home Purchase
Proceed with caution.

Want to be a landlord? Here’s what it means for your taxes
It’s a whole new ballgame.

Back-to-school shopping doesn’t have to be a budget buster
It’s already that time of the year again.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: NerdWallet dads share their personal finance tips. Also in the news: Why college grads need more education, how minimalism can help your wallet, and what the Fed meeting means for investors and home buyers.

NerdWallet Dads Share Their Personal Finance Tips
Learning from the dads.

College grads are educated, but not in matters of personal finance
More education is needed.

8 Ways Minimalism Can Help Maximize Your Wallet
Less can equal more.

What Fed meeting means for investors, homeowners/buyers
Keeping an eye on interest rates.

Fed interest rate hike means it’s time to review your credit cards

Pile of Credit CardsYou may hardly notice the first Federal Reserve rate increase in nearly a decade, but it makes now a good time to consider making changes to the credit cards you use. If you carry a balance, you may be able to reduce the future cost of your debt. If you don’t, you should be looking for better rewards deals.

The Fed on Wednesday increased its benchmark short-term interest rate, which it last raised in 2006 and which has hovered around zero since 2008, 0.25 percent.

In my latest for Reuters, what this hike means for you and your credit cards.

In my latest for Bankrate, how to balance diversification and simplicity in your financial life.

Secret Fed recordings should scare you–a lot

watchdogPeople remember where they were when they heard about big historical events, like the planes flying into the World Trade Center buildings. Finance geeks remember where they were in September 2008 when they heard that the Prime Reserve Fund had “broken the buck.” A money market fund’s share price had just dropped below $1 for the first time, and this was a huge deal. Money market funds were supposed to be safe–I almost said “safe as houses,” but given the subsequent real estate recession, maybe not. Anyway, it wasn’t hard to envision this news triggering a Depression-era run on the funds where individuals and institutions stored trillions of dollars of cash. The funds wouldn’t be able to meet all the demands for withdrawals and the banking system would grind to a halt. From there, the collapse of the whole financial system would no longer be a fantasy of end-of-the-world preppers. Of all the bad news that fall–and there was a ton–that’s the story that really made it clear how close we were to the brink.

We avoided the worst, but our close call should have put every financial regulator on his or her toes. Unfortunately, secret recordings made by a now-fired Fed attorney make it clear that watchdogs are instead cuddled in the arms of the financial institutions they’re supposed to regulate. This is a gigantic story, one that financial author Michael Lewis calls “The Ray Rice video for the financial sector.”

Listen to the This American Life podcast here, and read ProPublica’s story here.  This is news you really need to know.