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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos takes Bill Gates' place as world's richest man

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon and owner of The Washington Post, is the richest man in the world, taking the spot previously held by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Forbes reported Thursday

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Bezos, who owns just under 80 million shares of Amazon, had a net worth of $90.6 billion when markets opened Thursday, which put him $500 million ahead of Gates, Forbes reported.

Forbes said Bezos is the third American to top the global ranks aside from Gates and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett. He is also now the seventh person to hold the world’s richest person title. 

6 Tips For When An IRS Letter Arrives In The Mail

MoneyTipsFew things are more frightening than opening your mailbox and finding a letter from the Internal Revenue Service. You may wrack your brain wondering what you've done to receive an IRS notice. But there’s no need to pretend it didn’t arrive, or go on the lam. Relax. The IRS sends out millions of letters each year for a variety of reasons. An IRS letter does not necessarily carry bad news – and if it does, ignoring it is not going to make the situation any better. Take a deep breath, resist the urge to panic, and follow these tips to help you get past your initial shock. 1. Read The Letter Promptly – Putting off opening the letter won't help you, and delaying can even cause you harm. In many cases, the IRS is simply seeking more information or clarification of some aspect of your tax return, which makes it time-sensitive by definition. 2. Check for Incorrect Information – Review the notice for any errors such as a misspelled name or an incorrect Social Security number and compare any noted corrections or changes in your return with your original submission. These could be simple mistakes, modifications to correct errors on your original return, or signs that someone has tried to send in a fraudulent tax return in your name. If you would like to prevent tax identity theft, check out our credit monitoring service. 3. Reply Promptly When Necessary – Not all IRS notifications require a reply, but when they do, it's important to reply quickly. Typically, you will have thirty days to respond. Your response should be in writing, and you should retain copies of your correspondence, as well as any information that you send along with the correspondence – for example, proof of a particular deduction that you have claimed. 4. Address Any Required Payments – If you have underpaid your taxes and received a balance due notice, you must address the issue immediately in order to avoid penalties. If you can't pay the amount due immediately, you may qualify for additional time to pay or for alternative payment options such as installment agreements. Review your options in IRS Tax Topic 202 and contact the IRS to set up the payment options that work best for you. If you believe the payment request is in error, you can attempt to resolve your dispute within the IRS Office of Appeals, or ultimately, in Tax Court. In any case, you need to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. 5. Seek Professional Help if Needed – If you are being audited or have a serious issue with the IRS request, don't try to handle it by yourself. Depending on the situation, you may need assistance from your tax preparer, a Certified Public Accountant, or even a lawyer. 6. Keep all IRS Correspondence – Keep the IRS letter, along with any replies that you make, with your important tax records. You may need this information in case of future questions or disputes. Keep in mind that real communications with the IRS will be made by traditional mail. The IRS will not use e-mail or social media to contact you, or call you threatening to lock you up. Tax scammers often send notices by these methods, pretending to represent the IRS and demanding personal information, financial information, or payments by specific methods. Don't let scammers fool you into releasing personal information – but conversely, don't ignore mail correspondence from the IRS on the assumption that it may be a scam. The worst thing you can do with an IRS notice is to ignore it… or blow town. If you would like to monitor your credit to prevent identity theft and see your credit reports and scores, check out our credit monitoring service. Photo ©iStockphoto.com/pawel.gaul Originally Posted at: https://www.moneytips.com/6-tips-for-when-an-irs-letter-arrives-in-the-mailWhat To Do If You Are AuditedIRS Audits Fall to 11-Year LowHow Long Should Tax Returns Be Saved?

Don't Go Into Debt For Vacation

MoneyTipsYour summer vacation is supposed to be a time to relax and recharge. However, if you want to stay relaxed when you return home, make sure that you do more recharging and less charging – with your credit cards. A new survey from LearnVest.com finds that most Americans will be paying off their summer vacations for an extended period. On average, Americans spend 10% of their annual income on their vacations, and it takes an average of six months to recover from vacation expenses. Among the 74% of respondents who reported going into debt to take their vacation, the vacation debt averaged $1,108. Almost two-thirds of survey respondents said their spending on a week's vacation surpassed their monthly rent or mortgage payment. If you want to reduce your interest payments and lower your debt, try the free Debt Optimizer by MoneyTips. You don't have to be so miserly that your vacation is not enjoyable, but you can minimize the chances of an extended financial hangover from your vacation by taking some pre-emptive actions. Set a Budget – Impulse buys are great for racking up vacation debt. Limit impulse buys by setting up a realistic budget for your vacation, allocating a reasonable amount for souvenirs and for spur-of the-moment expenses. Leave a little discretionary money in the budget; otherwise, you may have a hard time sticking to your budget and decide to give up on the concept entirely. Fund Your Vacation Upfront – Start months in advance and allocate a bit each week or month toward your vacation fund. Try placing the funds in a separate account so you are less tempted to spend them on day-to-day expenses. If it looks like you may not hit your goals, reassess your plans and your budget. Consider scaling back your plans a bit – or delaying your vacation, if that's feasible. Look for Deals – If you can afford to travel in the off-season, you are likely to find significant discounts. Even in the busy season, you can find special deals by scouring travel-related websites in advance of your trip. If you are flying to your destination, buy your airline tickets far enough in advance and monitor the fares regularly for the best deal. Look for attractive cross-promotion deals between hotels, theme parks, and other attractions at your destination. Keep It Simple – Do you really need to spend large sums of money at a theme park to have fun? Look for less expensive vacation destinations that the whole family can enjoy, such as trips to state parks. Picnic lunches and snacks from the grocery store can reduce your dining expenses significantly. Check the tourism bureau at your preferred destination for free or reduced price entertainment options or promotional deals that may not be widely advertised. Consider Credit Card Rewards – If you are going into debt on vacation, at least get something back in the process. If your existing credit card has a specific rewards program with certain hotels or airlines, try to use those vendors whenever possible – but don't overspend on the front end just to get rewards on the back end. Check competing credit card offers for useful introductory offers that may make switching cards worthwhile. If you want more credit, check out MoneyTips' list of credit card offers. In essence, planning is the key to a successful vacation with minimal expense and limited stress. Find the balance of planning that allows you to keep expenses under control but still gives you the freedom you expect out of a vacation. You can certainly spend money on your vacation however you choose – but eventually, you will need to fund your permanent vacation, otherwise known as retirement. Keep that in mind as you decide whether to upgrade your vacation accommodations, dine at an expensive restaurant, or load up on overpriced souvenirs. You do want to retire eventually, don't you? Photo ©iStockphoto.com/kwanchaichaiudom Originally Posted at: https://www.moneytips.com/dont-go-into-debt-for-vacationThe Best Time to Book a FlightThe Rich To Get Their Own Airport TerminalFunding That Romantic Dream Vacation

Income Bridges 101

MoneyTipsFor those who have invested unwisely or not saved much money for retirement, the bridge to Social Security income is clear — keep working. If you still have debts you want to pay off before retirement, the free Debt Optimizer by MoneyTips can help you reduce your interest payments and lower your debt. However, if you have saved and invested wisely, you may have the option of retiring before you are eligible for Social Security. Enjoy your early retirement, but remember that you need to manage your money just as wisely through this "bridge" period between early retirement and Social Security as you have during your working years. Since your income stream will now be dependent on your investments, planning becomes more important than ever. Take these steps to make sure that you will have sufficient income to meet your needs and are truly ready for an early retirement. Determine Your Needs – Your first impulse on retirement will be to splurge, now that you have the free time to travel and do things you couldn't do while working. Resist that impulse until you evaluate your long-term needs. If you are retiring early, you may be looking at 5-10 years before Social Security kicks in and 35-40 years of total retirement. How much can you live on per year, assuming you are enjoying your retirement with travel or other expenses you did not incur before? Do you need $30,000 or $100,000? Compare this amount to your existing assets and calculate the percentage of your retirement money you will need to draw out to live on per year. A typical safe range of withdrawals is 3%-4% annually, and you will be tempted to go higher in the early years as you explore your new lifestyle. If that percentage is not enough, consider delaying your early retirement and build up your funds or be prepared to reduce your spending in the early transition years. Build a Cash Buffer – Typically, early retirement income options will be dividends, fixed-income investments such as bonds and annuities, interest on various accounts, and long-term capital gains. Aside from that, you will be dipping into some existing asset account, and dipping into retirement accounts prior to age 59-1/2 usually comes with a significant tax penalty. It is wise to have a cash buffer on hand in case of a market downturn that drains some of your growth investments — especially if your spending is at the higher part of the safety percentage range. Keep your liquidity and get at least some return by mixing cash with investments like laddered CD's and short-term bonds. A safe cash buffer holds three to five years of living expenses; adjust that amount according to your risk tolerance. Reassess Your Investments – You are now entering the transition period where safety is taking on similar importance to growth. It is time to rebalance your portfolio to reflect that strategy. Consider your investments as two separate baskets — one to meet the intermediate-term needs of safety with some income and growth, as well as another to represent longer-term growth. Harvest any poor performers for the capital gains (or losses to go against tax obligations) as part of your cash strategy and then set the general ratio of stocks to bonds according to your risk tolerance. A typical strategy is 50/50 for the intermediate term and 70% stocks for the longer-term accounts, but take into account current conditions. For example, with the extremely low interest rates available today, bond yields are poor enough that the balance may need to shift more toward equities. Set Up a Withdrawal Strategy – In general, avoid drawing out of tax-deferred accounts as long as possible to allow as much tax-deferred growth as possible and avoid any early withdrawal penalties. Plan to draw off taxable investments and Roth IRAs first. However, you must be flexible depending on your needs and the accounts you have to work with. If you are successful with this approach, you can consider extending this bridge policy beyond your Social Security qualification date and delay Social Security benefits up until age 70, allowing these benefits to increase by 8% for every year that you delay taking them. Don't give up on planning now. With some extra effort, you can successfully make your way across your "income bridge" and transition into early retirement as smoothly as possible. Let the free Retirement Planner by MoneyTips help you calculate when you can retire without jeopardizing your lifestyle. Photo ©iStockphoto.com/Ismailciydem Originally Posted at: https://www.moneytips.com/income-bridges-1017 Top Retirement Roadblocks7 Retirement MilestonesSocial Security Statements 101

Roomba robot vacuum cleaner could collect data about users' homes

The maker of the Roomba robotic vacuum, iRobot, could collect data about the floor plans of customers’ homes.

iRobot’s chief executive, Colin Angle, told Reuters that iRobot may begin selling floor plans of customers' homes to Google, Amazon or Apple. The information would be sold to tech companies in a push to create “smart homes” controlled by internet-enabled devices, Reuters reported.

>> Read more trending news

The robotic vacuums can collect data about the dimensions of rooms and information about the distances between tables, furniture and home furnishings.

“There’s an entire ecosystem of things and services that the smart home can deliver once you have a rich map of the home that the user has allowed to be shared,” Angle told Reuters.

Read more.

Michael Kors purchases Jimmy Choo for $1.35 billion

Fashion brand Michael Kors announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire footwear and accessories brand Jimmy Choo for $1.35 billion.

The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both Michael Kors and Jimmy Choo, according to a company statement. Founded in 1996 by former British Vogue accessories editor Tamara Mellon and Malaysian fashion designer Jimmy Choo, the company has more than 150 stores worldwide.

>> Read more trending news

“We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Jimmy Choo, an iconic brand with a rich history as a leading global luxury house. Jimmy Choo is known worldwide for its glamorous and fashion-forward footwear,” John Idol, chairman and chief executive officer of Michael Kors, said in a statement, Vogue Paris reported. “The company is a leader in setting fashion trends. Its innovative designs and exceptional craftsmanship resonate with trendsetters globally. We believe that Jimmy Choo is poised for meaningful growth in the future and our company is committed to supporting the strong brand equity that Jimmy Choo has built over the last 20 years.”

Forbes reported that a pair of Jimmy Choo stilletos typically cost more than $1,000. Famous fans of the  brand include Sarah Jessica Parker, Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez.

The Associated Press reported that Michael Kors announced in May that it would close up to 125 stores because of weak sales.

“Jimmy Choo is poised for meaningful growth in the future and we are committed to supporting the strong brand equity that Jimmy Choo has built,” he said.

Michael Kors said the acquisition is expected to deliver a number of benefits for Jimmy Choo, including the opportunity to grow its sales to $1 billion.

The AP reported that Jimmy Choo shares were up 17 percent Tuesday and Michael Kors was down 2.5 percent.

How To Read Your Credit Report

MoneyTipsHave you read anything lately that was so important that it changed your life? If not, we would like to suggest something to read — your credit report. Granted, simply reading your credit report may not have any effect on your life, but failure to do so can harm your life if identity thieves are opening accounts in your name and racking up bills without your knowledge. A review of your credit reports can reveal several issues to correct, including false accounts and errors in reporting your bill payments. Erroneous data can cost you money by lowering your credit score and also potentially cause you to be denied credit cards, mortgage loans or other forms of credit. Your credit report represents a relatively comprehensive record of all of your credit activity. It contains information from any creditor that reports activity to the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). Information is not automatically reported to all three agencies, so it is best to check all three reports to get the full picture. You can see all three credit reports right away by using Credit Manager by MoneyTips. Each agency's credit report differs slightly in format, but they will all contain the same basic types of information. Personal Information – Your name, addresses associated with any of your accounts, birthdate, and any other personal information such as telephone numbers or employment information. There may be multiple names including misspellings, nicknames, and maiden names. Check for any names that may be signs of errors or fraud. Any fraud alerts or personal statements that you have included should show up in this area of the report. Public Records – This section contains financial account information from legal actions that are public record. Civil judgments against you, tax liens, and bankruptcies are the types of information recorded here. Account information – This is typically split into two main categories: Accounts in Good Standing and Adverse Accounts. Up to two years of your credit activity may be available for each account. Both installment accounts (such as auto and student loans) and revolving credit accounts (such as credit cards) will be included and may have their own subheadings. Mortgage accounts may be listed separately. Each account listing contains items such as creditor information, account numbers, loan status, date opened, current balances, high balances, credit limits, estimated date of removal for installment accounts, monthly payments, and the date of last activity. Payment histories are often shown with color-coding as green for paid and yellow/red for missed or delinquent payments. Credit Inquiries – These are requests to view your credit report, including your own requests as well as those from potential creditors. One section covers soft inquiries such as your own requests or promotional inquiries that can only be seen by you; the other section covers hard inquiries based on credit applications that can be seen by both you and the requesting lender. The date of the request is noted, along with information on the requestor such as business type and date of removal (requests may remain on the report for up to 2 years). Not every creditor reports to the credit bureaus; do not be worried if you do not see all of your accounts. Focus on any information that is erroneously reported, accounts that you did not open, or unsolicited hard pulls on your credit. Errors in your personal information could be inadvertent, or a sign of someone attempting to open a false account. In either case, it's important to contact the credit bureau to get the discrepancy resolved. Similarly, review your account history for any incorrectly reported payments and anything in the adverse account section that gives an inaccurate reflection of your account. Follow up with creditors on any unsolicited hard pull that you do not recognize. You may be able to stop a fraudulent account before it can be activated. In the case of accounts that have already been opened, you must take immediate action with the creditors to close these accounts and limit the damage. If you find evidence of identity theft, apply a credit freeze on your account to prevent any more fraudulent accounts to be opened without your consent. You will need to lift the freeze temporarily to open any legitimate new accounts. By keeping up with your credit reports, you can have the peace of mind that comes with secure credit accounts — or the peace of mind that comes with stopping a thief from stealing your identity and draining your accounts. Either way, peace is yours. You can check your credit score and read your credit report for free within minutes using Credit Manager by MoneyTips. Originally Posted at: https://www.moneytips.com/how-to-read-your-credit-reportVideo: How to Resolve Negative Items on Your Credit ReportVideo: Top 2 Factors For High Credit ScoresHow Millennials Can Improve Their Credit Scores

Today's Headlines: Should the US Ban Credit Card Surcharges?

MoneyTips Who's For Paying More? Let's take a quick vote. How many consumers are in favor of surcharges just for the convenience of using a credit card? Anybody? That's what we thought. The European Union and the United Kingdom agree with that assessment. New rules from the British government will soon prohibit retailers from charging customers extra for paying for their purchase with a credit card. The UK rule stems from an EU directive set to take effect on January 13, 2018, and, according to the UK Treasury Ministry, British consumers could save a sizable portion of the millions of pounds spent annually on card surcharges. Calling credit card surcharges "rip-off charges", Economic Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay said that such charges "have no place in a modern Britain." Do they have a place in a modern America? Some states already say no, but the situation is not straightforward – and, despite Barclay's comment, lack of surcharges does not guarantee lower prices to consumers. Variations on the Theme Currently, Puerto Rico and ten states do not allow credit card surcharges (California, New York, Kansas, Florida, Maine, Connecticut, Texas, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, and Colorado). Merchants in the other states are generally allowed to pass on a surcharge that is equal to their costs associated with accepting the card (up to 4%). Surcharges on debit cards are already banned throughout the US via an amendment to the Dodd-Frank legislation. However, each card network has a specific set of surcharging requirements that retailers must follow in order to apply surcharges using that card brand. Combine different card requirements with differing state rules and you can see why relations between retailers, banks, credit card companies, and the credit card processors are complex and tense. For example, the American Express guideline does not allow retailers to charge a higher fee for one card network (swipe fee) compared to another. This is troublesome because fees are not the same among all card networks, and merchants are then limited to passing on only the lowest rate — or refusing to take cards with higher rates altogether. Retailers can get around this by applying product level surcharges (types of cards) instead of brand-level surcharges, but the situation remains complex. They must still abide by any state laws and limits/restrictions imposed by each card network, post an appropriate notice of the surcharge within their store, and include the surcharge amount as a separate line item on the receipt. There's Always a Way What about states where surcharges are not allowed? In many of these states, merchants are permitted to offer discounts for using cash or debit cards – thus the standard price is raised to cover the cost of credit card processing. The Supreme Court recently addressed a New York case challenging the execution of this approach, ruling that state law may be challenged with respect to the way prices are advertised on free speech grounds. New York state law allows that a merchant can advertise an item for a specific cash price (for example, $5) and a specific credit card price (for example, $5.10), or advertise the item for $5.10 with a 10 cent cash discount – but the merchant can't advertise a $5 item and a 2% surcharge for credit. Of course, retailers are welcome to raise prices straightaway without explanation and charge the same price to every one regardless of payment type. They risk losing business in doing so, but each merchant must do the risk/reward calculation. In short, if the US bans credit card surcharges nationwide, retailers can — and almost certainly will — continue to find ways to recoup their costs. What can change, however, is making these costs fully transparent, so consumers can decide which cards best meet their needs. The free market should take care of the rest. The Takeaway Nobody wants to pay extra fees on their credit card transactions, and it's laudable that the EU and UK are trying to protect their consumers from such fees. But it is naïve for them to assume that by removing card fees, merchants will mostly absorb the costs of processing credit cards, and not pass those costs on to consumers in other ways. We remain skeptical. Your job as a savvy consumer is to consider all fees and taxes before making a purchase, regardless of what you are buying and where you are buying it. This is not always easy – especially if you are buying an airline ticket or booking a hotel online – but you can't truly comparison-shop until you understand the total costs associated with your purchase. New regulations may make your job of assessing costs a bit easier, but they have an equal chance of making it harder. In either case, it's still your responsibility to shop wisely for credit products, comparing features, benefits — and costs — on an apple-to-apple basis. If you want more credit, check out MoneyTips' list of credit card offers. Photo ©iStockphoto.com/LDProd Originally Posted at: https://www.moneytips.com/todays-headlines-should-the-us-ban-credit-card-surcharges/560Credit Card Fees Consumers May Not Know AboutMany Credit Cards Drop International FeesThe True Cost of Your Credit Cards

Rent-To-Own Homes 101

MoneyTipsYou have spotted the house of your dreams, and it is on the market – but you cannot afford to buy it at the moment. Perhaps you do not have enough down payment funds, or your credit score is not good enough to get a mortgage loan. Don't give up yet. You have one other possibility to consider – a rent-to-own contract. In a rent-to-own arrangement, the potential buyer agrees to rent the home for a given period (typically 1-3 years). At the end of the rental period, the renter will either have the option to buy the house or be obligated to do so, depending on the terms of the agreement. To retain the option to buy the house, a renter puts up a payment (option money) which can range anywhere from 2.5%-7% of the sale price of the home. This gives the renter the right to buy, but not the obligation to do so. Meanwhile, the current homeowner/landlord agrees not to sell to any other potential buyers during this time. Option money may be refundable (usually not) or partially applied toward the eventual purchase price (usually so). Why would you want to rent-to-own? Here are a few potential reasons. Finding the Perfect Home – If you find the perfect home but cannot afford to buy it, the rent-to-own relationship gives you time to gather the needed down money or repaired credit score to qualify for a mortgage. You can check your credit score and read your credit report for free within minutes using Credit Manager by MoneyTips. Quick Relocation – If you need to relocate for a job transfer or other involuntary reason with limited time, a rent-to-own can let you take advantage of the best fit you can find in a short timeframe without locking into a 30-year mortgage. Another example would be a move into a more desirable neighborhood or school district for your children. You have to weigh the advantages of rent-to-own over a straight rental. Inability to Get a Traditional Mortgage – Poor credit, previous foreclosures, or other historical problems that still count against you on mortgage applications may make rent-to-own a superior option. This does assume that the problems have been rectified, and that your current income allows you to make your rental payments. Unfortunately, there are also some downsides to consider. Expense – Renting-to-own is more expensive than a straight rental. Your rent will be higher as a premium to the current homeowner to accept the rent-to-own arrangement. You will generally receive a portion of your rental payments back as credit on the purchase price, but in the short term, the expense is greater. In essence, there is no point in renting-to-own a house if you do not reasonably expect to buy it. Risk – If you choose not to buy, you will lose any non-refundable option money as well as any credit you had built up toward the purchase of the home. Overextension – Beware of overestimating your ability to pay rent and still save up enough funds to buy the house at the end of the term. Make sure you have sufficient fiscal discipline to make this work for you. Before executing a rent-to-own agreement, have a real estate lawyer look over the terms before you buy. Clarify any ambiguities on expected maintenance and upkeep, payment terms and conditions, and expectations and obligations at the end of the term. Rent-to-own housing arrangements work well for some people, but they are not for everybody. Consider whether a straight rental is better while you save money for a future home purchase, and before you decide that a rent-to-own is best for you, make sure that you fully understand all of your obligations and options. MoneyTips is happy to help you get free refinance quotes from top lenders. Photo ©iStockphoto.com/joebelanger Originally Posted at: https://www.moneytips.com/rent-to-own-homes-101Making the Choice Between Buying and Renting5 Reasons Not to Buy a HomeHome Buying vs. Renting

Have You Done Your Homework On Your Bank?

MoneyTipsHow do you know that your bank is the best one for you? You can consult all the advertising flyers and conventional information available at bank branches — or you can do some homework on the fundamentals of your bank with help from the online Bank Data Guide from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). What better source of information could you find than the organization that insures your deposits up to $250,000? The FDIC Bank Guide has links to lots of information, far more than you are likely to care about as a depositor. However, it does have several functions that are geared to depositors, starting with the BankFind menu. BankFind does just what the name implies — it allows you to find information about a particular bank. A drop-down menu will attempt to guide you through options as you type in the bank name. The main menu will give you the FDIC certificate number, when the bank was established and insured, the Bank Charter Class, location of the headquarters, and the webpage contact for the bank. FDIC contacts for consumer assistance regarding the bank are also included. The location drop-down menu allows you to find a specific location or all locations where your bank does business. The history tab lists all major changes within the bank including acquisitions, mergers, name changes, organization type, and changes of regulatory agency. The identification tab lists all relevant identifiers from the FDIC and the Federal Reserve. The financial snapshot tab gives the basic financial information about your bank's relative strength. Available information includes total assets and deposits, bank equity capital, and year-to-date and quarterly reports on net income, post and pre-tax return on assets, and return on equity. Click on the link for comprehensive financial reports and you will find a menu that goes further in depth, even allowing you to create comparison reports and to check FDIC ratings via the Community Reinvestment Act. The Details and Financials - ID tab will take you to that same menu, and the Reports and Analysis tab allows you to go to a user-friendly comparison page where you can compare dollars/percent of assets or rankings for up to four banks. Once you have located the branches of interest, you can use the Branch Office Deposits tab to find out the deposits at any particular location. Totals are available for each branch, including the countywide total for all branches in that category, and the statewide total. Bank robbers, don't get any ideas. The Bank Guide contains far more information that is useful primarily for analysts and regulators, such as downloadable reports on various banking institutions and cumulative data about the banking industry. As an individual depositor, you are probably not going to care about such in-depth information, but it is available if you find it interesting. The FDIC Bank Guide's real benefit to most people is the ability to find basic bank information quickly, to help you make decisions about your banking options. Do the locations and services at those locations match your convenience needs, is the bank stable with sufficient deposits, assets and returns, is it prone to acquisitions or changes, and how does it rate among its peer institutions? You may find that you have a better banking choice available to you, or you may find peace of mind in confirming that you already use the best bank for your needs. If you are starting from scratch with no credit history, check out MoneyTips' list of credit cards for limited or no credit, which can help you to build a credit history. Photo ©iStockphoto.com/Rawpixel Originally Posted at: https://www.moneytips.com/have-you-done-your-homework-on-your-bankHow Much Do We Trust Big Banks? (Infographic)Do We Trust Big Banks?Federal Reserve 101
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