Consumer Comeback Blog

The Essential Finance Directory

The Essential Finance Directory

 

Banking

Addresses and contact information for the Federal Reserve Boards, as well as a listing of consumer protection regulations which apply to banks, and Federal agencies which can be of help to consumers with complaints.
Consumer regulatory protections and information on branchless banking from Mobile Money for the Unbanked.
Information on Federal Reserve policies, research on banking and useful consumer information, provided by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
Mini-lesson for children on banking presented as a powerpoint, from the State of Indiana.
Information on a variety of consumer issues, such as bank safety, mortgages, financial privacy and identity theft; from the FDIC.
Money Smart is a financial education program for low to moderate income individuals about money management. It is offered free of charge by the FDIC and has been shown to increase awareness and improve the money management skills of those who complete the course.

 

Bonds

10 Tips for Investing in Bonds, from the AARP.
EMMA is the official source for Municipal Disclosures and Market Data.
Guide to investing in bonds for consumers, from the Texas Cooperative Extension System.
Guidelines for filing complaints regarding municipal bonds, from the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board.
A list of the registered dealers of municipal bonds.
This resource guide offers a detailed information on corporate bond investing, including how to calculate yields and purchase prices, what to do if a company goes bankrupt or merges, as well as regulatory bodies to contact in the event of problems or to certify a sales agent.

 

Commodities/Futures

Comprehensive listing of commodities market prices, including gold, oil, gas, and agricultural products from CNN Money.
The Chicago Mercantile Exchange is the largest commodities and futures exchange in the world.
The Commodities Futures Trading Commission oversees the industry. Their official site has news, information, and rules for consumers, traders, and overseers.
Facts and Fantasies about Commodity Futures is a study regarding commodity trading, movement of prices, profiting when prices are falling, and which corrects common mistaken beliefs.
File a complaint or report suspicious activity regarding commodities and futures trading.
Rules and regulations for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

 

Federal Reserve

Addresses and contact information for the Federal Reserve Boards, as well as a listing of consumer protection regulations which apply to banks, and Federal agencies which can be of help to consumers with complaints.
Current interest rates are provided at this Federal Reserve website.
The Federal Reserve Education Organization provides information on the structure, ownership, structure, and process of the Federal Reserve.
Partnership for Progress was established by the Federal Reserve to promote minority ownership of financial institutions. A variety of resources and guidance are available at the site.
The Modern History Project offers information on the founding and history of the Federal Reserve.

 

Financial Directories

All Finance, a directory highlights the very best finance websites.
Business and financial news, as well as current pricing of many stocks, bonds, and futures products – at the Wall Street Journal.
Financial 4 provides a directory of a variety of financial services, brokers, analysts, price quotes, and even tax planning.
Investor’s Business Daily provides stock prices, as well as bonds, commodities, and news.
Worldwide information on stocks, regulations, news, sales agents and more, which can be sorted by country or category, at the Beacon Financial Directory.

 

Insurance

Americans for Insurance Reform offers information and case studies about problems in the insurance industry.
The Better Business Bureau offers news on insurance, advice on purchasing insurance products, and consumer tips.
Complaints from consumers regarding health insurance will be addressed to the CCIIO, The Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight.
Consumer brochure on Auto insurance produced by the California Department of Insurance.
Consumer protections for health insurance under the new health reform act, summarized at the White House website.
Directory of State Insurance Commissioners, with the exception of healthcare, most insurance in the United States is covered under state regulations and oversight. Complaints or inquiries must be addressed to state agencies.
Information about Affordable Insurance Exchanges, as well as information on a variety of insurance and health related issues.

 

Journals and Scholarly Publications

The Center for Responsible Lending provides a study on practices that led to the mortgage problems of 2007-2008. It is titled “Neglect and Inaction.”
The Pew Trust offers the testimony of Susan Weinstock, director of the Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project, to the Senate Banking Committee’s Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protections
Problems of stock selection within mutual funds from the University of Rhode Island.
Size and Heterogeneity Matter, discusses the fact that bond market regulation cannot simply be a copy of stock market regulation, as the specifics of the bond markets are unique and may require different regulatory mechanisms.
These studies on consumer complaints produced by the California Department of Insurance can be an invaluable resource for anyone attempting to study the insurance industry in the United States.

 

Mutual Funds

A guidebook for mutual fund investors from the SEC.
File complaints regarding mutual funds with the SEC using this form, or contact your state regulator.
The Fund Analyzer offers information and analysis of over 18,000 funds, a no charge service from FINRA.
Information on mutual fund investing from The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, also known as FINRA, the largest independent regulatory body for securities firms in the United States.
Spotlight on Mutual Funds webpage, for information about mutual funds and a handy cost calculator. It also includes tips for how to read a mutual fund prospectus.

 

Real Estate

“100 Questions and Answers About Buying a Home” from HUD.
Confirm that the mortgage professional is licensed and in good standing with the National Mortgage Licensing System and Registry.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers resources and information for borrowers, including their program, Know Before You Owe.
Final Rules regarding mortgage licensing requirements under the SAFE Act of Congress.
Track home prices with Standard and Poors/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.

 

Securities

Bureau of Labor Statistics on securities trading as a career.
Buy securities and government bonds, from Treasury Direct, at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, provides information on trading the many different types of government securities. The site also offers tools for direct purchase online.
Check quotes on securities and get inside regulatory news and information with Emma.
File a securities complaint with FINRA, with guidance from Cornell University. However, one should also file with the regulator in one’s state of residence.
Regulatory information, consumer protection and investment knowledge from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

Stock Markets

AARP provides 6 Tactics for Investing when the market slumps.
Business, stock and financial news at The Wall Street Journal, as well as current pricing of many stocks, bonds, and futures products.
News on NYSE traded stocks, which tend to be among the highest rated investment stocks.
Stock prices, analysis and technical charts are available at Investor’s Business Daily.
Up to the minute quotes and analysis at the NASDAQ site.

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