The news this week was dominated by the news that Mitt Romney, Republican candidate for president, thinks that slightly less than half of America is basically comprised of no-good layabouts. We sort of are, but definitely not in the way that he thinks. His comments were callous, and they weren’t meant for our ears. They were meant to be heard by the plutocrats who paid $50,000 a plate to be there. But, alas, you don’t serve yourself when you pay $50,000 for a luncheon, and it appears that a high-end caterer might have been the cameraman who caught Romney’s comments. How does a waiter graduate from wearing a clip-on bow ties while toiling for wealthy, who consider them to be basically invisible, and become a wealthy waiter-hating plutocrat? It’d probably take some smart investing.
This week, we were heavy on the financial advice. Take heed, young waiters, there is hope yet.
Interest rates are going to be low until we get into the next, presumably worse, presidential election, according to the Fed. We put together a guide for savers on how to deal with years and years of low rates. You want some risk-free investments that yield some sort of return, but that’s basically impossible to find now. We show you your other options.
Even if you manage to protect your money from inflation, you’re still going to need to make some sensible investments to grow your wealth in the meantime. But you’re going to have to look outside your current banking relationship — at least that’s what we recommend. Bank brokerages have higher fees than other sorts of brokers, and if you’re just starting out investing, it’s really not worth it for you. Also, we learned about ChartLabPro, a site that costs just $9.95 a month and gives you access to the sort of rich data and graphs hedge fund wizards get to look at while they sort of make money for their investors.
Maybe this waiter works for a really great catering company, one that offers a 401(k) for its employees. Here we enter the realm of wild speculation, but only to arbitrarily suggest that he or she definitely think hard about ever taking a loan out of his or her 401(k). It’s risky, and you have to pay yourself interest, which is sort of odd.
Less unlikely, this waiter may very well get married someday, and in that event, we have advice for how to deal with joining finances with your spouse.
There was banking news this week, too. We learned that ING Direct had planned on launching a mobile payments app called EO Wallet. But, alas, it turns out that the app is not ready to be released, despite it apparently being available on Google Play and iTunes. And Citibank rolled out a new digital receipt platform, which is both eco-friendly and just plain practical (for customers with smartphones anyway).
Lastly, we have bad news for our cater-waiter: he might want to hold off on seeing the movies. They’re outrageously expensive.