CFPB Seeks 23 New Advisors: Do You Qualify?

Written by Amanda Morgan on January 17, 2014 – 2:18 pm

Whether you think the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) can do better, or youre their biggest fan, here is an opportunity to give them your two cents not just via general public comment now and then, but for 2 to 3 years time as a member of the agencys Advisory Board or Councils.

Before you presume theres no way you qualify, take the time to review what theyre looking for.

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Tags: Cfpb, Cfpb Seeks
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Getting paid on a prepaid card? Know your options

Written by Jacob Nelson on January 16, 2014 – 6:18 am

If your employer pays you on a prepaid debit card instead of a check, it doesn’t have to be that way. Last fall, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a warning to employers in regards to how employees must be paid. According to the bulletin, employers can no longer force employees to accept payment on a payroll card, although they may still offer the option. In addition, employees who choose to accept payment on a payroll card became entitled to certain federal protections.

So, what is all the hubbub about? Basically, it’s this: Many employers, particularly those of hourly employees, have moved away from traditional payroll checks and toward the use of prepaid debit cards over the last few years. And apparently, they have a big incentive to do so. According to Visa payment solutions, employers have a lot to gain from making the switch, with benefits such as convenience, less paper waste and significant financial savings.

Unfortunately, the benefits of prepaid debit cards aren’t necessarily as obvious for employees. Firstly, according to the CFPB bulletin, some employees have complained about fees related to the use of their prepaid debit card, including fees for ATM use, teller withdrawals and balance inquiries.

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Tags: Card, Card Know
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Australia’s Mining Boom Isn’t Quite Over for Iron

Written by Melissa Stewart on January 6, 2014 – 8:39 am

In recent months, we’ve noted the surprising strength of Australia’s iron ore exports to China during what historically has been a seasonally weak time of the year. This pocket of strength was particularly noteworthy given the country’s struggling economy, as the resource boom wanes amid falling commodity prices.

Over the past year, the Reserve Bank of Australia’s Index of Commodity Prices, which tracks the prices of base metals, bulk commodities, energy products and rural commodities, has declined by 4 percent. The index achieved its all-time high in July 2011, while its most recent reading is 25.3 percent below its peak level and 4 percent below its five-year average.

Meanwhile, after suffering sharp corrections in September 2012 and June 2013, the prevailing price per metric ton of iron ore imported to China is near USD135, according to data aggregated by The Steel Index Ltd. That’s

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Tags: Iron, Quite Iron
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A Monthly Chart for the 52 Week Money Challenge

Written by Jacob Nelson on January 5, 2014 – 10:19 pm

Ive had a few people request a monthly chart that uses the 52 week money challenge numbers. Ive been hesitant to make this one because my initial thought was that it was so far removed from the 52 week money challenge that it doesnt even look much like it anymore. The more I thought about it, however, the more it became apparent that if youre only paid once a month, probably the best way to save that money is to immediately pay yourself first, rather than each week. I finally realized that if this version helps even one person follow through and create an emergency fund, then its worth creating.

Monthly Challenge (click on image to print)

There were a few issues when creating this monthly chart. The 12 months dont work well when incorporating the 52 weeks, so there are four extra weeks that need to be squeezed in over the course of the twelve months. If you strictly followed the calendar year, these payments would end up throughout the year, but I felt that the beginning numbers are so low that the best time to sneak those weeks in was at the beginning.

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Tags: Challenge, Money Challenge, Week Money, Week Money Challenge
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Transaction Tax Considered in China

Written by Amanda Morgan on January 2, 2014 – 10:09 pm

BEIJING – China is looking to use new tax measures to reduce excessive currency fluctuations and to eliminate unwarranted market risks.

Late last week in an article in Quishy, a publication of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the head of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange of China Yi Gang said that new studies will be conducted into the feasibility of introducing a tax on certain currency exchange transactions.

The potential tax, which is similar to the so-called Tobin Tax, would be levied on all spot conversions of RMB to another currency, and is designed to reduce the potential profits on high-risk speculative currency trading.

According to Yi Gang the tax could coincide with the government’s intention of … pushing forward capital market opening, improving and perfecting the foreign debt management system and accelerating the advance of renminbi capital account convertibility.

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Tags: China, Considered China
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