Finance

5:42am

Mon December 30, 2013
All Tech Considered

Can Robots Manage Your Money Better Than You? Startups Say Yes

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 9:14 am

Several Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are developing services that manage consumers' investment portfolios with algorithms rather than people.
iStockphoto

Millions of people are turning their thoughts to self-improvement and New Year's resolutions this week. And one of the most common resolutions, after promises to lose weight or get in better shape, is to be better about money.

A handful of entrepreneurs in the Bay Area have taken note — and they believe the time has come for you to try a different way of managing your money.

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3:03am

Thu December 5, 2013
Business

Banks Come Under Fire For Filling In The Payday Loan Gap

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 2:05 pm

Federal regulators are setting new rules for banks that offer deposit advances.
iStockphoto

A payday loan is a costly form of credit operating on the fringes of the economy. That's why the target of a new crackdown by federal regulators may surprise you: Instead of a forlorn-looking storefront with a garish neon sign, it's your familiar neighborhood bank.

A small but growing number of banks, including some major players, have been offering the equivalent of payday loans, calling them "deposit advances."

That is, at least, until bank regulators stepped in Nov. 21 and put new restrictions on the loans.

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1:38am

Fri September 6, 2013
Business

Rates Come Down On Jumbo Mortgage Loans

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 10:40 am

iStockphoto.com

There is something new and different for home mortgages: Jumbo loans are being made at lower interest rates than traditional home loans. That's kind of like a first class airplane ticket being cheaper than riding in coach.

At first this seems crazy. For as long as anybody can remember, homeowners have had to pay a premium to get jumbo loans. That's because they're not guaranteed by the federal government. If they're not guaranteed, they're riskier, so they cost more in interest payments.

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12:43pm

Thu August 29, 2013
Shots - Health News

How Money Worries Can Scramble Your Thinking

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 1:29 pm

Worrying about finances can tax the brain just as much as staying up all night.
Illustration by Katherine Streeter for NPR

There's no question that dealing with mortgages, car payments and other bills takes up time and energy. But having a tight budget may also zap our ability to think clearly, scientists report Thursday in the journal Science.

In a series of clever experiments involving farmers in India and shoppers in New Jersey, scientists found that people are worse at solving puzzles — similar to those on the IQ test — when they're first reminded of money problems.

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1:07am

Fri August 9, 2013
Planet Money

Tourre Juror: 'We Saw Goldman As The Bigger Problem'

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 10:06 am

Fabrice Tourre, outside the courtroom. "We didn't feel any malice toward him," one of the jurors said.
Richard Drew AP

Beth Glover was a juror on the trial of former Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice Tourre. When the lawyers were discussing the mortgages tied to the securities at the center of the case, Glover realized that, for all intents and purposes, they were talking about her mortgage.

"When they were looking at the subprime mortgage groupings, I think I would have been in one of those," Glover told me. "I didn't have as great as FICO score at that time."

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