Personal Finance: Credit card offers are back
News from Sacramento Bee:

Seem like you’re seeing more credit card offers lately? You aren’t dreaming.

Targeting everyone from teenagers to 80-somethings, credit card companies are cranking out more offers, especially to those with good credit ratings.

Lee Marengo, a retired state employee in Sacramento, said she and her husband have been getting lots of tempting credit card offers in the mail.

A longtime credit card user who faithfully pays off her balance each month, the 84-year-old is getting “wonderful” offers for rewards cards, such as a Chase Visa that dangles 5 percent cash-back on gas, groceries and pharmacy purchases.

Marengo typically only uses one card but, “If something new and better comes along, by golly, I’m gonna grab it.”

She’s certainly not alone in getting credit card offers.

During the recession, card issuers kept a low profile. They got hammered by record rates of defaults by consumers who couldn’t pay off their monthly balances. They also got pi…………… continues on Sacramento Bee
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Personal Finance: ETFs offer greater control at lower cost | Philadelphia …
News from Philadelphia Inquirer:

Posted on Sun, Jun. 26, 2011

People hate feeling that they lack control. So it’s no wonder that exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, are becoming the investment of choice for many people who’ve been shaken by two of the worst bear markets in history in the last 11 years.

ETFs are quickly gaining on old-style mutual funds in the competition for investors’ money. Since the launch of SPDRs (known as “spiders”) in 1993 in the United States, ETFs now number roughly 1,250 in the United States and 4,000 globally, according to Morningstar Inc. About $ 1.5 trillion is invested in them globally, compared with $ 12 trillion in traditional U.S. stock mutual funds.

Sophisticated investors, such as hedge funds, use ETFs as a trading device to make short-term bets for or against a particular type of stock, bond, commodity, or currency. But for individuals, much of the appeal is that ETFs are a more agile cousin to traditional mutual funds …………… continues on Philadelphia Inquirer

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