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Financial News from Consumer Reports

  • Eight years ago, Donna and Tom Dawson of St. Albert, Alberta, retired from their jobs in Canada and put down roots on the outskirts of Panama City. The couple, now in their early 60s, rave about ...

  • Updated 8/19/14: Sprint is quietly abandoning the “Framily” plans it introduced just last January in favor of a complicated data-sharing scheme similar to the ones offered by AT&T and Verizon.   ...

  • Take control of your target date fund Consumer Reports - 4 hours ago

    You may have thought that after you put your money into a target-date fund, it would stay there until you retire. But taking such an approach could be a bad idea. The reason: Fund managers tinker...

  • If you’re selling, recycling, or otherwise getting rid of an old smart phone or tablet and think simply deleting your data is enough, you could be exposing yourself to identify theft and other vi...

  • A remote control for your credit card Consumer Reports - 19 hours ago

    If your smart phone is loaded with apps that sounded nifty when you loaded them but that you seldom actually use, here's a new one that might make you a repeat customer.  It’s an app that lets yo...

  • Roku takes over Hisense and TCL TV home screens Consumer Reports - Tue, Aug 19, 2014 6:00 AM EDT

    We've seen Roku-ready TVs before, but upcoming models from Hisense and TCL take it to another level—they use the Roku operating system as the TVs' main interface. One of the coolest features of d...

  • Is EZ Pass contacting you? It may be a scam Consumer Reports - Fri, Aug 15, 2014 11:00 AM EDT

    I recently received an e-mail that appeared to come from EZ Pass New York, warning that I had outstanding unpaid tolls and that repeated failed efforts to get me to pay up would result not only i...

  • Computer problem? Why tech support often isn't the best place to start. Consumer Reports - Fri, Aug 15, 2014 6:00 AM EDT

    When it comes to computer tech support, Apple and its stores get top marks from our readers. Still, Apple isn’t perfect and is not without its own horror stories, though they are fewer than the s...

  • Pricey printer ink has consumers seeing red Consumer Reports - Thu, Aug 14, 2014 1:15 PM EDT

    Although manufacturers continue to pack a variety of features into their inkjet printers, from the ability to print documents and photos faster and with better quality to allowing you to print wi...

  • 2 bargain sound bars that'll pump up a TV's sound Consumer Reports - Thu, Aug 14, 2014 1:00 PM EDT

    Do you love your TV’s picture, but find its sound quality about as engaging as the acting in "Sharknado 2"? One of the quickest fixes for a TV with less-than-satisfying sound is to add a sound ...

  • LG G3 smart phone smokes Amazon Fire in Consumer Reports' tests Consumer Reports - Thu, Aug 14, 2014 12:00 PM EDT

    We’ve just completed our tests of Amazon’s first smart phone, the Fire, and LG’s latest flagship model, the G3. Both phones are outstanding in their own ways, with unique and compelling features ...

  • A bitcoin warning you should know about Consumer Reports - Thu, Aug 14, 2014 12:00 PM EDT

    If Google Trends is any indication, many of us have already consigned bitcoin and other virtual curencies to the trash heap of investment history, along with auction rate securities and the Pets....

  • Don't fall for fall home improvement scams Consumer Reports - Thu, Aug 14, 2014 11:00 AM EDT

    With autumn on its way, you’re probably thinking about preparing your home for cooler weather. While you do that, scammers are thinking about how take advantage of you. Here are four fall home im...

  • What is the Internet of Things, and why should you care? Consumer Reports - Thu, Aug 14, 2014 9:00 AM EDT

    The Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to the growing number of Internet-connected devices that can perceive their environment in some way, share data with one another—and, of course, communicate...

  • 7 ways to make the most money at your garage or yard sale Consumer Reports - Wed, Aug 13, 2014 5:15 PM EDT

    Would you like to get rid of your clutter and make some money? Garage sales (or yard sales or tag sales) are big business, even if the average selling price of goods is only 85 cents. Just multip...

  • Are activity trackers a 'privacy nightmare'? Consumer Reports - Wed, Aug 13, 2014 1:15 PM EDT

    Earlier this week, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) made some headlines by calling out FitBit and other activity trackers as a "privacy nightmare" for collecting user data that “can potentially ...

  • Why are product prices quick to rise, slow to fall? Consumer Reports - Wed, Aug 13, 2014 6:00 AM EDT

    If you follow the news, you’ve probably heard that the cost of gasoline has dropped significantly after reaching a six-year seasonal high in June. But if you’re like me, you probably wonder why a...

  • Is PlayStation Now the Netflix of gaming? Consumer Reports - Tue, Aug 12, 2014 12:30 PM EDT

    Sony’s PlayStation Now game-streaming service lets you play PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Network games over the Web without having to store them on your system’s hard drive—similar to movie stre...

  • Watch out for these impersonation scams Consumer Reports - Tue, Aug 12, 2014 12:00 PM EDT

    Judging from warnings we’ve seen online, impersonation fraud is rampant. Scammers are trying to get your money, your personal information or both by pretending to be a government worker, a utilit...

  • 6 ways to improve your vacation or staycation Consumer Reports - Tue, Aug 12, 2014 9:15 AM EDT

    Whether your coming time off is a staycation or the voyage of a lifetime, the gadgets and products featured here will help make your R&R that much more enjoyable. Be sure to read our advice for m...

  • Where to get in-flight Wi-Fi when traveling Consumer Reports - Sun, Aug 10, 2014 6:15 PM EDT

    Hoping to unplug from the digital world during an impending flight? You no longer have the excuse that you can't get online in the sky. More than 20 percent of the worldwide fleet of commercial a...

  • What to do after your home is destroyed Consumer Reports - Sun, Aug 10, 2014 6:15 PM EDT

    What can a homeowner expect in the aftermath of a major catastrophe—say a fire or tornado that destroys a home completely? Pam Johnson, a Property Field Adjustor with USAA Property & Casualty Co....

  • How do you research assisted-living homes for your parents? Consumer Reports - Sun, Aug 10, 2014 9:00 AM EDT

    Q. How do you research an assisted-living facility for your parents?—Marilyn McCabe, via e-mail A. Start by asking sources that you know and trust—word-of-mouth referrals can be very helpful. Car...

  • Make your vacation memorable, not miserable Consumer Reports - Fri, Aug 8, 2014 4:00 PM EDT

    If you're planning a final summer getaway, take note of these travel gotchas so your trip is memorable, not miserable. Car-rental hassles To avoid getting sucked in by aggressive sales pitches fo...

  • First Look: Kudos to the Samsung Gear Live smart watch Consumer Reports - Fri, Aug 8, 2014 2:45 PM EDT

    In July, Google introduced Android Wear, a new operating system for wearable tech devices. The LG G Watch was the first Android Wear smart watch we tried, and we were impressed with Google’s appr...

  • Time to withdraw funds from your 529 college savings plan? Consumer Reports - Fri, Aug 8, 2014 1:45 PM EDT

    More than ever, 529 college savings plans are being tapped for higher education expenses. In 2013, distributions were taken from 1.6 million 529 accounts, according to the College Savings Plan Ne...

  • Comcast plus Time Warner Cable: Together isn't better Consumer Reports - Fri, Aug 8, 2014 12:30 PM EDT

    Sometimes together is better. Think apple pie and ice cream, or peanut butter and jelly. But together isn’t better when it comes to the proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Of course...

  • 5 questions to ask before you buy a tablet Consumer Reports - Fri, Aug 8, 2014 11:25 AM EDT

    Thinking about buying a tablet? There’s quite a variety, and if you don’t do a little prep work before you walk into the store, you might find the choices confusing. Ponder these five questions b...

  • Americans watch more DVR recordings and streaming video than live TV Consumer Reports - Fri, Aug 8, 2014 11:25 AM EDT

    Many consumers spend most of their TV time watching DVR recordings and movies, along with shows from Netflix and other streaming services. The commercials on live TV are a turn-off for many viewe...

  • 5 questions you should ask before buying headphones Consumer Reports - Fri, Aug 8, 2014 8:00 AM EDT

    Shopping for a new set of headphones can be a daunting task, given the wide array of styles, types, and prices. But it doesn't have to be—and we're here to help. If you can answer these five ques...

  • Vizio 39- and 42-inch E-series TVs recalled due to tipover concerns Consumer Reports - Thu, Aug 7, 2014 12:15 PM EDT

    Do you own a 39- or 42-inch Vizio E-series TV? If so, be aware that the Consumer Product Safety Commission is recalling these sets due to concerns that the TV stands can fail, causing the televis...

  • 4 terrific electronics products you can actually afford Consumer Reports - Thu, Aug 7, 2014 11:30 AM EDT

    If you’re looking for a new television set or a speaker system, these choices won’t disappoint. Following our recent story on stupidly expensive tech toys, we selected four products that won’t co...

  • Seeing stars: The inside scoop on hotel ratings Consumer Reports - Thu, Aug 7, 2014 11:15 AM EDT

    You’re planning a getaway to Chicago and find a great deal at the James Hotel off the world-famous Magnificent Mile. So you look beyond the property's website site for independent confirmation by...

  • Not all UHD TVs can stream Netflix 4K video Consumer Reports - Thu, Aug 7, 2014 9:00 AM EDT

    While we were testing our latest batch of 2014 TVs, which includes several new Ultra HD sets, we found out something interesting: Despite having built-in HEVC decoders, not all TVs can play Netfl...

  • Why mid-cap funds have a history of beating the market Consumer Reports - Wed, Aug 6, 2014 4:45 PM EDT

    Mid-cap funds have long been the sweet spot for stock investors. Over the last five years alone, they have returned 19 percent, handily beating large-cap stocks, which make up much of the Standar...

  • How to protect yourself from the latest 'Russian hacker' breach Consumer Reports - Wed, Aug 6, 2014 4:00 PM EDT

    It’s being called “the largest data breach known to date,” according to Hold Security, the company that discovered the theft of 1.2 billion user names and passwords by a group of Russian cyberthi...

  • A slick new aftermarket device is aimed at eliminating any reason for a driver to pick up the phone while driving by using a small, dash-top projector to create a head-up display. In the process,...

  • Can students use smart watches to cheat on tests? Consumer Reports - Wed, Aug 6, 2014 1:00 PM EDT
    New report claims Apple might delay the iWatch until 2015

    When is being constantly connected not such a good thing? Here’s one scenario: Say a student is wearing a smart watch while taking an exam. Could the watch be used to cheat—and is that possibilit...

  • When driving with GPS is against the law Consumer Reports - Wed, Aug 6, 2014 8:00 AM EDT

    We love our GPS navigation devices, if only because they spare us from begging for directions from clueless strangers. And whether we get our GPS data from a stand-alone personal navigation devic...

  • How to protect yourself from credit-card bullies Consumer Reports - Tue, Aug 5, 2014 5:15 PM EDT

    For some people in financial turmoil, getting a new credit card from First Premier Bank is like being kicked while you’re down. First Premier Bank, based in Sioux Falls, S.D., markets its credit ...

  • 5 most useless smart phone features Consumer Reports - Tue, Aug 5, 2014 4:30 PM EDT

    I pour a lot of myself into the smart phones reviews for Consumer Reports—literally. I log into my e-mail and social network sites, stream video, and use cloud services to see how the phone handl...

  • Why the Comcast-Time Warner merger is bad for consumers Consumer Reports - Tue, Aug 5, 2014 1:20 PM EDT

    Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, is releasing a new video today to voice its opposition to the proposed purchase of Time Warner Cable by Comcast. The merger has b...

  • Love or hate your cell phone service? Tell us. Consumer Reports - Tue, Aug 5, 2014 9:00 AM EDT

    How do you find the best cell phone service in your neighborhood? AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless all tout their excellent coverage areas and other wonderful service benefits on their...

  • Target gives you 50 reasons to get an Apple iPad Consumer Reports - Mon, Aug 4, 2014 3:40 PM EDT

    If you're in the market for one of Apple's sleek iPad tablets, you might want to rush out to Target or jump on its website. The retailer is offering a $50 Target gift card with the purchase of ei...

  • College dorm sheets that will last until graduation Consumer Reports - Mon, Aug 4, 2014 1:45 PM EDT

    College students will be off to campus in the coming weeks and are shopping in earnest to furnish the rooms where they'll be spending the next nine months. Towels? Check. Pillows? Check. Sheets. ...

  • Luggage tips that will make you a happier flier Consumer Reports - Mon, Aug 4, 2014 1:45 PM EDT

    How big? How many? How heavy? How much? These are the four key questions for understanding airlines' byzantine luggage rules. Unfortunately, there’s no universal standard—each airline sets and en...

  • 4 Ultra HD TVs for early adopters Consumer Reports - Sat, Aug 2, 2014 6:00 AM EDT

    Ultra High Definition TVs have four times as many picture elements, or pixels, as a 1080p full HD set. That's the highest resolution of any TV screen yet, 4K, enabling UHD sets to display super-d...

  • Contact-lens pricing-policy shift is a bad prescription for consumers Consumer Reports - Fri, Aug 1, 2014 4:15 PM EDT

    New tactics by the contact-lens makers might soon leave consumers seeing red. Major manufacturers have recently begun shifting to a new pricing policy that requires retailers and eye doctors to s...

  • 5 things you can negotiate in an early retirement package Consumer Reports - Fri, Aug 1, 2014 2:30 PM EDT

    During the recent economic downturn, cost-cutting, restructuring, and downsizing were the norm. Microsoft’s recent announcement that it will lay off 18,000 workers over the next year shows that i...

  • Lytro Illum light-field camera lets you refocus images after you shoot Consumer Reports - Fri, Aug 1, 2014 2:30 PM EDT

    When the first Lytro camera came out two years ago, it promised to eliminate a fear almost every photographer has experienced: that a once-in-a-lifetime shot will be out of focus. No Instagram fi...

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