Deja vu? As predicted in my earlier post, HSBC Direct drops there rates to 3.80% APY.

We are writing to inform you that based on the recent drop by the Federal Reserve, HSBC Direct has adjusted your Online Savings Account rate to 3.80% APY*. At 8x the national savings average**, you are still earning one of America’s highest savings rates.

HSBC Direct will continue to evaluate and respond to market changes so we can provide you with competitive rates. And if your rate changes, whether up or down, we are committed to always letting you know.

And with today's 50 basis point reduction, we'll expect once again that high-yield savings accounts will continue to reduce their rates next week. Tears falling from my eyes...


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Everyone knows that Bernanke has instated an emergency rate cut to resist an impending recession. Dropping the 4.25 percent interest rate by 75 basis points down to 3.5 percent would also lead to the reduced interest rates at the numerous banks with high-yield savings accounts. So far, ING Direct has already dropped their rates from 4.10% APY to 3.65% APY.

I'm with HSBC Direct which still has its 4.25% APY but this rate would most definitely not remain. Again, I'm frustrated at the continuous rate cuts that has followed the U.S. markets ever since I finally got the initiation to open a high-yield savings account.

By next week, I expect HSBC Direct to have a rate around 3.80% APY since their reductions seem follow the same amount that ING implements. A rate above my prediction would make me really happy.....


Sold: 29 shares of ESLR @ 10.46

I'm sick of the stock market! I HOPE THAT DAMN RECESSION COMES SOONER!

Whew! Venting is good... I'll be back in the investing field when I deem it profitable.


At last, it is here! After the search for my first credit card, I applied for the Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Card for College Students and it finally came in the mail. Oddly, I was entitled to only a $3000 credit limit but that doesn't put me down since I know that I wouldn't be carrying a balance that is anywhere close to that amount.

One great feature that I found to be very practical and defensive, with regards to unauthorized purchases, were Virtual Account Numbers. It generates a substitute account number for an online purchase so that I won't be surprised by a fraudulent charge on the card.

Uncharacteristically, I charged the credit card the day that it arrived. I bought a prepaid refill minutes for my phone and a book from Amazon. So, I actively used that great Virtual Account feature to my advantage. Looks like it will become a frequent practice...

It's the FIRST DAY and I already have credit card debt? Well, of course not. I'll be paying it off online soon. (I hate to owe people stuff.)

P.S. Here are the links to carnivals in which The Search For My First Credit Card was presented.


As everyone else has done already, setting goals are important in financial planning. with realistically achievable goals, it gives purpose and motivation to complete them. I might as well do the same although I already had goals set in mind a while ago. To join the hype of resolution-making, I'll create a checklist as a record. In the order that I hope to pursue them, here are my financial goals for the year:

  1. Open a Roth IRA.
  2. Have $2,000 funded in my brokerage account.
  3. Have $2,000 funded in my Roth IRA.
  4. Have $5,000 funded in my high-yield savings account.
  5. Reach the total net worth of $10,000.
These goals are considered downgraded since I'll using the end of the year as the deadline instead of early summer. The previously configured setup of my financial accounts will not change. This year would prove to be painful and the impending setbacks include:
  • College tuition
  • DAT prep
  • DAT fees
  • Dental school applications
A couple thousand of dollars would vanish with ease. I guess this is what is called "investing in your education".


So as I have said in an earlier post, I've been looking around to get my first credit card.

First off, I had no knowledge of how credit cards work besides knowing that swiping it is similar to borrowing money, instantly, and that I had to pay it back with interest. They seemed confusing to me and so I was sort of determined to never deal with credit cards. All these perplex terms, numbers, percentages, and offers have definitely drove me away from understanding them.

Now, I see that credit cards are not as frightening. They can be very beneficial to boosting my credit score and some provide specific discounts and offers that can also help save money. Before jumping to the process of filling out credit card applications, here are the steps I took to choosing the right card for me:

  1. Learn the terms and the numbers. I've spent some time researching the terms online at the Federal Trade Commision, CreditCards.com, and Bankrate.com. Those are some of the best places to find information about credit cards. After looking through the sites, I had a much more educated know-how of the credit card industry. It felt great to be able to be able to understand the Terms and Conditions of my credit card offers. I try to pick up the tricks the issuers use to lure in customers - it helps to find right card for me.
  2. Check my credit report. I visited AnnualCreditReport.com and requested my free credit report from only one of the three major credit agencies, I'll save the other two for the rest of the year. This procedure is a checkup of my credibility and to make sure that I was not already a victim of identity fraud. Seeing that my credit report claims that I am clean besides my subsidized loans for school, I'm cleared to continue.
  3. Do a self-evaluation of my financial habits. I am not an impulsive spender. Besides shopping for groceries once a week, rarely do I shop for other things. Since I look at my financial situation pretty much everyday, I would always be aware of my balances and know to pay it off.
  4. Know what I am looking for in a credit card. Based on the self-evaluation, I know that the standard APR on purchases would have very little effect on me since I'll most likely pay the balance quickly. I'm looking to SAVE money so I definitely would hunt for a rewards or rebates card. Here is criteria that I decided to choose a card from:
    • A rewards/rebates card (preferably a Cash Rebate card)
    • No annual fee
    • Identity theft protection
    • $0 liability on unauthorized purchases
    • Online account management
    • A photo card
  5. Find the right card. Looking at the offers I get in the mail, none fulfill the offers I want so I once again turned to CreditCards.com. From there, I reduced the favorable card issuers down to Capital One® and Citi®. Then, one specific card caught my eye - the Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Card for College Students. It completely meets all my requirements.
Result: I applied for the perfect card for me: Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Card for College Students. I've read many satisfying reviews of the protection that Citi® and this student card also comes with educational information and tips that I'm sure will be useful for a rookie like me. This is a great start to improving my credit.

Maybe, after I feel that I've become acquainted with the system and have increased my credit limit, I'll start to look into making money by borrowing and putting the money into my high-yield savings account as the author of My Money Blog had successfully done. Here is his guide for How To Make Money From 0% APR Balance Transfers.