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Monday, November 1, 2010

Five Totally Worthless Financial Products

This excellent article by John Persinos in "Investing Answers" deserves repeating. I could easily expand it to twenty-five. But here is my summary of the article:
#5. Extended warranties for consumer electronics- Odds are that after the manufacturer's warranty expires you can find a superior replacement for less than you paid for the original.
#4. Payment protection insurance- This is an emotional purchase. Read the contract and do the math and it just doesn't add up.
#3. "Special" credit cards- just look for the lowest interest rates & fees. If you can get those paired with bonuses like extra airline miles, great. Just be sure there are no extra costs as long as you pay off your card balance during the grace period.
#2. Debt management plans- look for free or low-cost services like: Budget Calculator
#1. Any credit report that is not free- You can get a free report from any one of the credit bureaus annually. But why? Who cares? Plus, my understanding is that every request for a report actually lowers your score.