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Financial News from Consumer Reports

  • Why bigger ETFs are usually better Consumer Reports - 8 hours ago

    Although there were already more than 1,600 exchange-traded funds available to U.S. investors, almost 200 new ETFs were rolled out in 2014. However, 88 of them also closed last year, according to...

  • Sales of cellular connected tablets have gone up 95 percent in the past year, according to a recent report by the NPD Group, a consumer analysis company. But it’s not because people suddenly real...

  • If published reports are true, you'll soon be able to get HBO without a cable subscription when the premium channel launches its much-anticipated streaming service next month. Called HBO Now, the...

  • Do you really need a new car? Consumer Reports - Wed, Mar 4, 2015 2:45 PM EST

    New-car envy. It can creep up anytime. It may snag you at a stoplight when a muscle car or luxury sedan sidles up. Or maybe when the gleaming SUV parked next to you makes the dents in your jalopy...

  • Can a foreigner collect Social Security? Consumer Reports - Tue, Mar 3, 2015 11:45 PM EST

    Q: I’m working in the U.S. on an H-1B visa and pay Social Security taxes. Can I collect Social Security from my home in India one day? —V.S., White Plains, N.Y. A: People with H-1B and other work...

  • 5 tough mobile devices that can take a bath or a beating Consumer Reports - Tue, Mar 3, 2015 3:15 PM EST

    Life can be tough, so sometimes you need a device that's tough, too. It's all too easy to drop your phone in the lake (or the toilet, as my young nephew did recently) or splash the tablet you lef...

  • Protect yourself from robocalls Consumer Reports - Tue, Mar 3, 2015 3:00 PM EST

    You’re relaxing on the couch or having dinner with your family when the phone rings. Maybe it’s “Rachel from Cardholder Services” offering to lower your credit card rates in return for an upfront...

  • The first step to figuring out your cost basis is to determine when your shares were purchased. That can be tricky, especially if it was a long time ago or if the stock was a gift or came in the ...

  • Calculating the cost basis for shares you sold Consumer Reports - Tue, Mar 3, 2015 1:45 PM EST

    To figure the capital gains taxes you would have to pay on a stock sale, you need the purchase date of the shares you bought, and the price, adjusted for splits, including any reinvested dividend...

  • Hackers steal more data but get less money Consumer Reports - Tue, Mar 3, 2015 8:00 AM EST

    Hackers stole more than 85 million records in 783 reported data breaches in 2014, according to a report by the Identity Theft Resource Center. Several of the breaches impacted high-profile busine...

  • How to protect yourself against uninsured drivers Consumer Reports - Mon, Mar 2, 2015 2:30 PM EST

    Although you might never consider driving without automobile liability insurance for bodily injury and property damage, many people do. An estimated 30 million U.S. vehicle owners “go naked”—indu...

  • Samsung Galaxy S 6 and S 6 Edge: What you need to know Consumer Reports - Mon, Mar 2, 2015 8:45 AM EST
    A row of Galaxy S6 edge smartphones are seen on display after the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event in Barcelona

    Today at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Samsung unveiled the latest version of its flagship smart phone, the Galaxy S 6. We got a sneak peek at the new device, as well as its ...

  • What you need to know about medical care on cruise ships Consumer Reports - Mon, Mar 2, 2015 7:00 AM EST

    From aqua parks to Michelin star chefs, cruise lines aren’t shy about advertising their high-end amenities. But what the ads don’t reveal is that the medical facilities on board are likely to be ...

  • How to get Obamacare help from tax preparers Consumer Reports - Mon, Mar 2, 2015 6:00 AM EST

    For those looking for help purchasing health insurance and taking advantage of a new enrollment extension, the three major storefront tax-prep companies—H&R Block, Jackson-Hewitt, and Liberty Tax...

  • Best ways to finance home repairs Consumer Reports - Sun, Mar 1, 2015 9:00 AM EST

    Fixing up your home makes sense from a financial standpoint. That’s because the IRS rewards certain types of loans for home improvements with special tax treatment, making that type of borrowing ...

  • No living will? What you must know about end of life documents Consumer Reports - Sun, Mar 1, 2015 6:00 AM EST

    Fewer than half of Americans older than 65 have a living will (also called an advance directive), according to a recent Consumer Reports National Research Center survey. “The ramifications of not...

  • More consumers get health insurance enrollment extensions Consumer Reports - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 5:45 PM EST

    Maryland is the latest state to give consumers extra time to enroll in health insurance for 2015 and avoid a tax penalty. Maryland Health Connection, the state-run health insurance marketplace, a...

  • A few weeks ago, controversy erupted over smart TVs after a series of reports, including one from Consumer Reports, revealed that televisions made by Samsung and others could be recording their o...

  • FCC to make net neutrality the law Consumer Reports - Thu, Feb 26, 2015 2:40 PM EST

    Update: The FCC voted 3-2 today to reclassify broadband providers as common carriers under the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and to adopt rules to ensure net neutrality. Ellen Bloom, senior dir...

  • Tips from the pros to get top dollar for your house Consumer Reports - Wed, Feb 25, 2015 5:30 PM EST

    The spring home selling season is nearly here, so if you're thinking about entering the market, now's the time to get your house in order. A home can be ready to list in as little as a month, esp...

  • 5 products on deep discount in March Consumer Reports - Wed, Feb 25, 2015 1:30 PM EST

    You might think that because you faithfully compare prices online before buying, download coupons to your phone, and watch for deep discounts on yesterday's inventory as new models appear in stor...

  • Top cameras with 16 megapixels or less Consumer Reports - Wed, Feb 25, 2015 10:15 AM EST

    For years, camera makers have waged war with each other, engaging in what many in the industry have called the megapixel wars. Their strategy? Get you to buy a camera simply because it had a high...

  • Should you keep cash in your portfolio? Consumer Reports - Wed, Feb 25, 2015 8:51 AM EST
    Save money

    Cash is king or cash is trash. That sums up the two points of view on whether you should keep a cushion of cash in your investment portfolio. As with pretty much everything in investing, there ar...

  • Were the Thomas and Greutman families ever to meet, they’d have some stories to trade about helping children out of financial crises. About a year ago, Joyce and Peter Thomas, both approaching 60...

  • Does your portfolio need alternative investments? Consumer Reports - Tue, Feb 24, 2015 1:15 PM EST

    Alternative investments are a little like alternative music: Ask 10 people what they are and you’ll get 10 different answers. Simply put, alternative investments are anything that aren’t mainstre...

  • How to find products that are better for the environment Consumer Reports - Mon, Feb 23, 2015 2:00 PM EST

    Odds are you're seeing more products carrying labeling claims that suggest they're “eco-friendly” in some way. They’re popping up on everything from laundry detergent, lawn furniture and house pa...

  • How to get personal data off your devices Consumer Reports - Sun, Feb 22, 2015 8:00 AM EST

    With so many of our gadgets going online these days, credit-card and Social Security numbers, banking information, passwords, family photos, and more accumulate in places you might not expect.   ...

  • Obamacare coverage signup extended for some Consumer Reports - Fri, Feb 20, 2015 4:30 PM EST

    Some individuals who had trouble completing their signup for health insurance through their state's health insurance marketplace by last Sunday's deadline have until this Sunday, Feb. 22 to compl...

  • More than 11,500 people will soon be receiving refund checks from the Federal Trade Commission totaling over $646,000 as part of a settlement for shoppers who bought Double Shot dietary supplemen...

  • How Lenovo's dangerous Superfish adware put its customers at risk Consumer Reports - Fri, Feb 20, 2015 1:20 PM EST

    The Internet is lighting up with warnings about Superfish, an adware program that came preinstalled on many Lenovo laptops in the past six months. Like a lot of the bloatware that comes on new co...

  • Social Security retirement benefit rules to know Consumer Reports - Fri, Feb 20, 2015 9:49 AM EST
    Social Security

    Social Security retirement benefit rules are complicated and exhaustive. Below are a few key ones to consider. Check with the Social Security Administration for a more complete discussion. The p...

  • New Nintendo 3DS XL is full-featured fun for gamers Consumer Reports - Fri, Feb 20, 2015 8:00 AM EST

    Nintendo has been creating popular handheld gaming devices since the original GameBoy back in 1989. The New Nintendo 3DS XL—yes, that’s the official name, confusingly enough—is its most full-feat...

  • How to avoid a retirement identity crisis Consumer Reports - Fri, Feb 20, 2015 6:00 AM EST

    Keeping connected to your industry after retirement might not be your inclination once you’ve handed in your ID and packed up your desk. But if what you do is very much connected to who you feel ...

  • Safeguard your portfolio with international stocks Consumer Reports - Thu, Feb 19, 2015 5:30 PM EST

    Since the Great Recession, U.S. stocks have been the envy of the world. Although the recovery has been tepid at times, the slow, steady upward trajectory of the U.S. economy and the stock market ...

  • Cell-service prices from the major mobile companies are falling, and new providers are popping up to compete for customers. Freewheel, a new low-cost mobile phone service from cable giant Cablevi...

  • Pebble Time smart watch is an intelligent step forward Consumer Reports - Wed, Feb 18, 2015 5:15 PM EST

    Smart watch maker Pebble today returned to the place that made it famous to give its new watch a running start: The Pebble Time can now be pre-ordered via Kickstarter, the crowd-sourcing site. An...

  • Inkjets can now print text as fast as lasers Consumer Reports - Wed, Feb 18, 2015 12:00 PM EST

    Just a couple of years ago, if you wanted to buy a printer that could produce many pages of text very quickly, you generally would choose a black-and-white laser printer. The reason? At the time,...

  • How to protect yourself from credit card fraud Consumer Reports - Tue, Feb 17, 2015 11:30 PM EST

    Q: Someone stole my wife’s two credit card account numbers and tried to make fraudulent charges online. Fortunately, Visa stopped both payments. But how could that happen? Will it affect her cred...

  • Why lower energy prices could be good for stocks Consumer Reports - Tue, Feb 17, 2015 12:45 PM EST

    Everyone likes to pay less at the pump, and with energy prices recently falling and some economists predicting they will fall further and stay that way for two years, cheaper gas is something dri...

  • The tax-deductible dog, and other surprises Consumer Reports - Tue, Feb 17, 2015 11:25 AM EST

    While you're watching the finale of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show this evening, consider this: All those breeders and handlers and other folks who make dogs their living get to deduct thei...

  • When your doctor's bedside manner is vital Consumer Reports - Sun, Feb 15, 2015 11:00 AM EST

    When a friend discovered that he needed heart surgery, he wanted only one quality in his physician: medical skill. He didn’t care whether the doctor was a good communicator, com­pas­sionate, and ...

  • Get your cordless phone to work with your cell phone Consumer Reports - Sun, Feb 15, 2015 9:00 AM EST

    Cordless phones might strike you as hopelessly out of date in the age of smart phones, but they’re not as irrelevant as you might think. In fact, new cordless phones have features that can make y...

  • Should you get a new Social Security number? Consumer Reports - Fri, Feb 13, 2015 11:30 AM EST
    Social Security

    The security breach at Anthem Blue Cross might have you wondering whether can get a new Social Security number. You can get a replacement Social Security number. But government officials and priv...

  • 7 Social Security pitfalls and windfalls Consumer Reports - Fri, Feb 13, 2015 9:36 AM EST
    Social Security

    Social Security is like a game with innumerable twists and turns, and different winners and losers. High-income folks pay less Social Security tax as a percentage of income than do lower-paid wor...

  • A new ETF focused on buyback stocks Consumer Reports - Fri, Feb 13, 2015 6:00 AM EST

    Dividend exchange traded funds are old hat by now: There are more than 60 of them currently available to U.S. investors.  But starting this month, State Street Global Advisors are launching an ET...

  • 9 smart ways to save on health care Consumer Reports - Fri, Feb 13, 2015 6:00 AM EST

    Health insurance is a must-have (not to mention a legal requirement), but it doesn’t protect you fully from medical costs. The average employer plan has an individual deductible of $1,135, and th...

  • Time's running out to sign up for Obamacare Consumer Reports - Thu, Feb 12, 2015 1:45 PM EST

    Tick tock. The Feb. 15 health insurance deadline for enrolling in a plan, changing plans, or getting subsidies to help with insurance costs under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is almost ...

  • Why paying for health care with a medical credit card can be costly Consumer Reports - Thu, Feb 12, 2015 12:00 PM EST

    If you mention that you may have trouble paying a big medical bill–because, for example, you need major dental work–your dentist might suggest that you get a medical credit card such as the Citi ...

  • Getting engaged? Enjoy the tax benefits of marriage Consumer Reports - Thu, Feb 12, 2015 12:00 PM EST

    Expecting to pop the question—or answer the question—this Valentine's Day? The tax benefits of marriage are most likely are the furthest thing from your mind. But personal finances loom large in ...

  • Investors flee Pimco, but should you? Consumer Reports - Wed, Feb 11, 2015 9:30 PM EST

    There may have never been a greater exodus of money from a fund family than the one experienced by the Pacific Investment Management Company, otherwise known as Pimco, this past fall. Legendary f...

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