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The Biggest Trends in Forex We’ve Seen This Year

Published on July 12, 2016, by in Personal Finance.

In market trading, profits are hard to come by but losses come by quick. This is no different with Forex. In 2016, this market has seen improbable benefits and pitfalls as well. Forex is one of the most popular trading markets; it’s known to trade an average of $ 5.3 trillion a day. It’s the large size and liquidity of this market that attracts traders of all types in and out of it instantaneously. It is very rare for buyers and sellers to not find each other in such a market.

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The Anchor of the Asian marketplace

The Asian marketplace was once thought as the powerhouse of the modern world and has had its influence in Forex for over a decade. Unfortunately, its strength seems to be weakening. 2016 has been and will continue to be a trying year for this part of the world. The regional economies have been declining with dismal production data. The Yen and the Renminbi have lost their confidence, which has led to speculations of a possible financial bubble. Yet despite these speculations, the Yen has gained in Asia and Japan in particular is said to be ready to act on any current speculations.

The Brexit impact

With Britain having voted out of the European Union, the risks for a downside global economy are popping. The existing uncertainties can alone restrain economic activities all over the world which would subsequently lead the Pound staying on the sidelines much longer. The dollar is speculated to benefit immensely from the period of uncertainty and stress in the financial market. With this move the battle against deflation in Europe and Japan is far from won and puts the Euro and Yen in a vulnerable situation towards losing to central banks policies.

The emergence of the mobile trading platforms

With astute platforms like CMC markets having embraced this eventuality, a widening probe of the Forex is agitating as mobile platforms displace human traders. Mobile trading is expected to rise to 76% in five years from 66% in 2013. Moreover, the buying and selling of currencies is expected to have gone full electronic by 2018. The margin is however expected to be very skinny in foreign exchange as it is quite easy to move on to a mobile platform. The move is expected to improve transparency of pricing and lower costs for customers. It is also expected to squeeze margins for banks. Foreign exchange options might be much more expensive for banks to take on and clients to trade. The increased operational costs might force banks into creating more revenue possibly from traditional cash businesses into mobile technology to facilitate trade.

Tax incentives from the French government to take hold of UK banking business

France sees an opportunity in the Brexit vote, as the French government has pledged its tax rule for expatriates which is the best in Europe in attempt to grab London’s banking business. London’s place as the heart of Europe’s banking sector is under a huge question mark.

10% trade deficit growth in US in May

The trade deficit grew by 10% in May as US exports fell flat and the much maligned China imports rose. The exports decreased by 0.2% while the exports grew by 1.6%. The trade gap with the European Union widened by 13.5 %. Despite the huge jump, the figure went only slightly higher than the first quarter average in 2016,possibly due to the strengthened dollar value.

France overtook UK as the fifth largest economy

In the wake of the Brexit vote, Reuter’s calculations indicated France to have overtaken the UK as the fifth largest economy, a position they had been fighting over for quite some time.

Though not stable, the results have been speculated to be as a result of Britain’s vote of referendum to quit the European Union which has hammered financial markets and rattled businesses thereby punishing the pound in epic volumes .There’s still a lot to be learned from the trends in Forex.

The market requires to be approached with the right skills, knowledge and attitude. The basics towards thriving are a good knowledge of the market, the ability to balance profit and loss and an excellent understanding of the buying and selling signals all the time.This however needs to come hand in hand with extensive research into what influences the market at different points in time.

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5 Fun Ways to Boost Your Finances in 2016

Published on May 25, 2016, by in Personal Finance.

If you’re like most people, you will find yourself in an uncertain financial situation at some point. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be something one accepts but rather something you can change. Thanks to the internet, there are numerous ways in which you can make money and have fun at the same time.

Design an App

Apps today serve a wide range of purposes and even more have yet to be created. If you have a winning idea for a new app, you could turn it into extra cash. Once developed, app stores can approve it for inclusion. Every time the app is downloaded, you would receive a portion of the sales.

Online Gambling

Ever wished you could make money while playing games? It’s possible by gambling online. While tournaments are an option so are playing bingo or your favorite table game. Secure bonuses and other incentives to further augment your winnings. You can find various other tips such as reviews like when Mobilecasino.co.nz reviews Gaming Club casino, keep track of these and your finance will be well on its way up.

Video Ads

Numerous sites can be used to make money simply by performing simple tasks which can range from taking surveys, using a specific search engine or writing a review. Sites like the popular swagbucks are a great way to earn money when you have a little time to kill.

Sell your Photos

If you are someone who likes to spend time behind a camera lens, why not consider converting this hobby into cash? Several different websites will pay good money to host your images for people to download.

Website Flipping

Sure, you’ve heard about flipping a house, but a website? Virtual property can be just a profitable. Simply purchase various websites with the intention to sell it later for a profit. You can opt to make improvements to the site or simply keep it for a short period to boost its value.

Choosing one of the online opportunities will help you find your way to a better financial picture.

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Financial Matters to Discuss Before Walking Down the Aisle

Published on May 2, 2016, by in Personal Finance.

As the peak marriage season arrives in early summer and while you may be in full wedding planning mode, it is as good of time as any to discuss finances before the big day.  After all, your wedding day may be one of the most important days in your life, but long after the honeymoon is over, “thank you” cards are written, and begin your new life together, marriage may very well be forever but so are finances.  You will need to discuss with your future spouse your funds currently stand, and grasp a plan for the future.

Review Credit History

Discussing credit with anyone may be difficult if you have had trouble in the past, but is a necessary conversation.  As a married couple you may buy a house, a car, or have joint credit cards, so rather than have a surprise when you are declined for a loan, it is best to discuss any credit issues.  If you are unsure where you stand, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report once a year from the major credit bureaus, so now may be a good time to go line by line to make sure everything is in order.

Understand Your Retirement Goals

Do both, or even either of you, want to work until your 65? Maybe one finds their career fulfilling and the other can’t stand waking up each morning and going into the office. These are issues you need to understand right off the bat. It’s up to you both to determine how you will run your financial house in order to achieve your long term investment goals. Do you want to be overly conservative with your investments? Savings and bonds only? Or perhaps something more aggressive like investing with Banc De Binary, which can be a great option for those of you with plenty of years left until retirement.

Disclose All Debt

While you are on the credit topic, the next item for discussion would be debt.  Make sure that all debt is transparent to your spouse, anything from a current mortgage, auto or school loans, and credit cards.  If both partners have no debt, it will be a great start to build for their financial future, but if there is debt involved, then a payment plan will need to be carried out to eliminate.

Now a Team, Join Bank Accounts

What’s mine is yours and what’s yours is yours.  Kidding of course, but now it is time to join accounts, for paying bills and spending accounts, but also savings.  Now that you are a dual income family, you can begin to work on a household budget.  See how much comes in each month, what the needed bills are, having some leftover for spending, and begin to learn what you can reserve in a savings account each month.  It is never too early to begin to save for your future, so make sure that as soon as you start cashing the wedding checks that you put some into savings.

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Forex Charts And Their Importance In Online Trading

Published on January 21, 2016, by in Personal Finance.

Forex charts are the charts plotted on X and Y axis showing the movement of currency prices over a specific period of time. The y-axis represents currency price and x-axis represents the time. The price movement of a currency over a definite period of time is predicted by the Forex charts, making them a critical tool in the field of Forex online trading. Based on the trends observed in the previous sessions the new trends in future are predicted.

What are Forex charts?

There are basically three types of Forex charts – line chart, bar chart and the Candlestick charts.

Line charts – This is a  simple Forex chart providing an easy way to understand the currency price movement but these charts do not provide much information as it is formed by just connecting the end points of the currency closing points.

Forex bar charts – These provide more information with high, low and close price points in a given period of time. Thus the trader gets closer report of the price movement in a given period of time and can conduct online trading accurately.

Candlestick charts – Candlestick charts are the most popular Forex charts today which are similar to bar charts but provide the information in a clearer way. There are open and close points along with the wicks which show the highest and lowest points reached in a given period.

How Forex traders use charts for online trading?

A chart is used by the traders to perform the technical analysis of the Forex market which ultimately helps them to take better trade decisions. The charts contain the real time data and this helps the traders to remain updated on the currency movements. Based on the interpretation of the Foreign exchange charts the Forex online trading decisions are taken by the technical traders.

It is important for the Forex traders to understand how to read the FX charts because technical analysis of the currency price trends help them to become more aware of the new trends coming in the market. This enables traders to make the right buy and sell decision at the right time using the technical analysis done through the charts. Today a number of charting tools can be found by an online trading provider – Xtrade. These tools help to customize a chart and make it more analytical. A chart can be made for any type of currency pair and any type of Forex chart can be used to the show the movement of a currency pair.

But it has to be understood that though Forex charts are absolutely helpful and helps in understanding the trends for future, they are not an absolute or final solution. There are many other factors like socio-economic, political, interest rates, other economic factors which cause fluctuations in currency pricing.

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Job Prospects are Favorable for Business Analysts, Find Out What They Do

Published on November 13, 2015, by in Uncategorized.

As opposed to other jobs that have their roles and duties specified, the business analyst job description tends to vary. If you intend to pursue a career as a business analyst, you must be prepared to wear multiple hats. Besides negotiation, motivational and listening skills, the analyst is also expected to be a good leader.

Business analysts have various job titles depending on the environment, capacity and the organization that they are working in. In fact, most of them do not have degrees in business analysis. Neither do they have profound knowledge in computing or writing code. Rather, they are versed in the processes surrounding programming and other useful information technology concepts. Also, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, their job growth outlook is 19 percent.

So what does a business analyst really do?

In a nutshell, analysts are meant to solve problems. They need to possess the relevant skills in data analysis and consequently determine if there are losses or discrepancies within an organization. Here is how they spend their day at work:

Investigating

Investigating is all about looking for clues and pointers to possible causes of certain situations. Business analysts will be seen asking questions and making a big deal out of them. Often, questions seek to find out aspects such as why, who, when, how and what if. To get all the answers, a business analyst may end up asking even more questions by conducting interviews, reading and observation. Their core mandate is to explore all possible options within and outside the organization.

Analyzing

As the name implies, analyzing entails sifting through information and studying the elements selected for patterns and trends that might point to something. The information is further examined to probe for problems so as to ensure that it is accurate, current and thorough. For business analysts, more problems imply many possible solutions. So they will spend a great deal of their time comparing solutions to see if they can match the actual needs.

Communicating

Communicating is a crucial aspect of any analysis. Analysts who are good at their job spend most of their time actively communicating with each other, their juniors and their superiors. In sophisticated environments, analysts are keen to observe verbal and non-verbal messages just to ensure that they understand what they hear. Being open to dialogue and establishing a proper line of communication gives them an upper hand in making decisions.

Documenting

Steps mentioned above such as analyzing and investigating require constant documentation so that no detail is lost or forgotten. Also, the results acquired through analysis must be documented. This can be done in several ways including audio and video recording to using charts and graphs.

Evaluating

Business analysts weigh the options available to see if they are viable for solving particular problems. An option that is chosen is continually reviewed to ensure that it fits the implementation process and is constantly improved on to meet the business needs. Evaluation also helps to find the best implementation method that suits a specific project.

The business analyst career path may seem confusing at first, but as you continue to explore, you will discover that it is a pretty straightforward profession. Their duty can be summarized as the important bridge that fills the gap between various stages of project development.

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Shopping at a Warehouse Store? Follow these 5 Rules to Save Even More

Published on May 9, 2015, by in Saving Money.

The old axiom in business is that, if you want to make money, you have to spend. If you shop at warehouse stores however, you actually have to spend money in order to save money.

That’s the premise behind belonging to warehouse clubs like Costco Wholesale, Sam’s Club or BJ’s Wholesale Club, warehouse stores that are member wholly and charge the in order to allow members to save a lot of money on bulk purchases. These huge warehouse stores rationalize that their customers won’t mind spending a little extra money on an annual fee if they’re getting deeply discounted products and, according to First Research, a market analysis firm, that rationalization is paying off as warehouse clubs are today a nearly $400 billion industry.

Of course just like shopping at a regular supermarket, it pays to shop at a warehouse store with a little bit of forethought and planning. If you don’t, you might find that you just spent $150 on things that you really don’t need or that will “go bad” before you can actually use them. With that in mind, below are some basic rules from veteran warehouse club shoppers that should help you to not just save money but save a lot of money. Enjoy.

Rule 1: Always bring a list. Just like shopping in a regular supermarket, having a list when you shop at a warehouse club will keep you focused on what you need and help you avoid overspending. The fact is, with warehouse clubs you’re buying a large volume but paying a smaller price per unit, meaning that you’re still spending a significant amount of money up front. If you waste your money on things that you don’t usually buy you will certainly save money per product but spend a lot more than you would have at a regular store.

Rule 2: Try to avoid perishable items. Unless you have a very large family, buying 5 gallons of milk probably isn’t a good idea. The same thing can be said for meat, cheese, produce and anything else that can spoil. If you have a large freezer and are well equipped to freeze, can and/or bottle all your fresh produce, you should be okay. Besides that however, purchasing perishable items in bulk is very risky.

Rule 3: If something you use all the time goes on sale, stock up. Warehouse clubs have coupons and markdown items just like regular supermarkets. If you keep an eye on warehouse club flyers and also have a keen eye when you are actually in the warehouse club shopping, you will undoubtedly find products that are marked down significantly. If these are products that you actually like a lot and use all the time, take advantage of those savings by purchasing as many as you can, as long as you are sure to use them in the future.

Rule 4: Have a good idea about which products are cheaper when purchased in bulk. Marvin Williams, a Costco super shopper from San Jose, California, says that “generally, electronics, wine and food staples offer the best value.” Williams also said that, when buying blue all, make sure it’s staple foods that won’t spoil like cereal, pasta and other dry foods.

Rule 5: Don’t be afraid to ask for a price reduction. Like many supermarkets and other retailers, if you purchase something and then see it go on sale in the next week you should probably go back and ask for an adjustment or reduction on your price.

These 5 excellent Rules will help you to save even more the next time you go to your favorite warehouse club. As for us, we’re quite fond of those big cheese balls but always have to throw away a lot because it dries out before we can eat it all.

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The New Single Majority and the Financial Challenges they Face

Published on May 2, 2015, by in Personal Finance.

The United States, surprisingly, has a new majority, and it’s single people. For the first time since 1976, when statistics were first kept and 37% of adults were single, there are more single than married people living in the US.

While this might not sound like a bad thing, the actual implications are enormous. The fact is, while being single definitely has its perks, there are more expenses and things can be a bit harder to plan for and plan around. For example, there is less financial flexibility, a bigger need for an emergency fund and the right insurance is necessary as well.

Let’s take a look at some of the financial challenges that singles in the States have these days, and some of the biggest financial risks they face. Enjoy.

1) Not saving enough money. As many young people are waiting to get married and then have kids, many end up in their 30s and 40s facing retirement planning, saving for a house and saving for college all at once. Since many people in their 20s don’t save a lot, if at all, it can become financially difficult, especially if they are trying to maintain a new household while paying off student at the same time.

2) Trying to figure out long-term care. Long-term care in the United States, for example a private room in a nursing home, can cost over $100,000 a year. Young people generally don’t look at long-term care insurance but waiting until they are in their 40s or 50s is a bad idea because more will be declined long-term care insurance. Women especially, who tend to live longer, should consider getting long-term care insurance when they are younger.

3) The financial risks of divorce. The divorce rate for people 50 years of age and older has doubled since 1990, with more women than men initiating divorces later in life according to the AARP. The biggest problem is that these divorces, in many cases, destroy their finances because they are so costly and they are forced to split their assets before retiring. In fact, financial planners are under the opinion that women who do their best to keep the family house after a divorce are actually taking on a long-term burden rather than getting a benefit.

4) Being a single senior. While the idea of dying alone can certainly be terrifying for many people, recent studies suggest that seniors who are also single are actually just as happy and even more social than their married peers. The problem however is that many don’t have their documentation, including healthcare proxies and power of attorney, in place. In order to avoid spending copious amounts of time and money in the courtroom if you become sick or disabled, having those documents filled out is vital.

As you can see, there are a number of risks that single people have over their married peers, especially as they get older. There are perks yes, but there are also risks. That isn’t to say that being married is any less risky, but just that there are a number of other factors that need to be kept in mind. If you’re single and approaching retirement, seeking out a financial planner to help you is probably a good idea.

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Simple steps to prioritize your debts

Published on April 25, 2015, by in Personal Finance.

All forms of debt are not equal, so it’s important to prioritize your obligations before you pay them down. It actually pays to have some forms of debt. Home mortgage interest, for example, on acquisition loans of up to $1 million are fully tax deductible. Mortgage interest on a second home can also be deducted in many cases. Meanwhile, $2500 of your student loan interest can be deducted if you’re a single taxpayer with a modified adjusted gross annual income of $50,000 or less, or a married couple filing jointly earning $100,000 or less.

In addition to serving good purposes, these loans also happen to charge relatively favorable interest rates. Anyone who purchased a new home recently or refinanced their existing mortgage is paying only around 5 or 6 percent interest. In 2003, student loans were being consolidated at 4 percent rates or lower. By comparison, the average credit card was charging nearly 15 percent, and many were charging 21 percent or more. It seems obvious, then, that you should pay off your cards first. Not only do cards charge the highest rates, the interest isn’t deductible. And by paying off your cards first, you’re also likely to improve your credit profile faster. A person’s credit score—used by lenders to set interest rates on loans—factors in that person’s mix of Debt, and unsecured revolving debt is looked upon less favorably than mortgage debt.

After you’re done paying off your cards, attack other forms of high-rate nondeductible debt, such as car loans. Then work your way down the food chain. If you have a home-equity loan outstanding, consider paying that off next. Home equity loan interest is deductible provided the loan itself does not exceed $100,000. Home-equity loan rates also tend to be relatively low. And the money can be used for any reason, such as paying off credit cards or going on vacation.

Home equity loans aren’t always desirable, however. Despite rising home values, many Americans own less of their houses today than 20 years ago. That’s largely because of the record amount of equity we pulled out of our homes through “cash-out refinancing,” where a homeowner refinances a mortgage for more than is currently owed on the property, in order to pocket the difference. To whatever extent you can restore that equity, great. Despite the attention we pay to our stock portfolios, our homes are by far our most valuable assets. Among middle- and upper-middle- class families, home values represent more than 40 percent of total wealth (versus just 17 percent for retirement accounts). It’s in our best interest, then, to own a larger percentage of this appreciating asset.

Next, pay off the student loans, particularly if they charge higher rates. Finally, that leaves you with the mortgage, which offers the most flexibility of all debt. And thanks to record–low-interest rates at the start of this decade, it’s also probably your lowest-rate loan. The amount you save each month and the amount you set aside to pay down debt ought to be based on what you make and what you need to live on. That’s a simple budgeting exercise.

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Save more by Freezing Your Spending

Published on April 12, 2015, by in Saving Money.

The first step toward paying down card balances is to stop adding to them. There are a couple of easy ways to start this process. First and foremost, stop using your cards to make basic purchases. Wherever possible, use cash for day-to-day transactions, such as paying for groceries or buying clothes. There is a tendency among consumers to differentiate their money sources. The cash in our wallets is ours, but money pulled from a credit card feels like someone else’s. All things being equal, we have an easier time spending other people’s money than our own.

Two professors at MIT documented this fact in an experiment a few years ago. They set up two different auctions for a pair of Boston Celtics tickets. In the first auction, would-be bidders were allowed to pay by credit card. In the other auction, bidders could only use cash. You might assume that the average bid from both auctions would be roughly the same, since both sets of bidders had equal knowledge of what they were purchasing: basketball tickets. As it turned out, the average credit card bidder was willing to spend twice as much as the average cash bidder.

A more recent study, of the behavior of fast-food customers, sheds some additional light on this phenomenon. Visa International analyzed more than 100,000 transactions at fast food restaurants, which are increasingly accepting plastic as a form of payment. It found that the average purchase made by a person paying with a card was 20 to 30 percent higher than purchases made by cash-paying customers. This puts a modern-day spin on that famous phrase that Wimpy used to utter in those Popeye cartoons: “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” The implication is clear.

When posed with the classic question, “Would you like fries with that?” consumers paying with cash are far more likely to say no than those paying with plastic. It’s important to recognize this all-too human foible. Obviously, some things are hard to purchase with cash. Hotel rooms, for instance, require a credit card for insurance and security. Some customers can pay with cash, but they would have to call the hotel weeks in advance and jump through several hoops. It’s also hard to rent a car with cash. And you’re actually better off renting with plastic due to the insurance coverage many cards provide. Nevertheless, given our propensity to spend more on credit, it’s in our best interest to avoid plastic when possible.

Another way to freeze your spending is to freeze your plastic. Literally. This is an idea that a financial planner, mentioned to me, and I think it’s inspired. Put your credit cards in a sealable plastic bag, and immerse the bag in a tin of water. Then put the tin in your freezer, creating a block of ice. The purpose of this exercise is to force you to wait to make purchases.

The next time you get an impulse to buy something with plastic, you’ll have to wait for the cards to thaw out—which could take hours—before you can use them. Hopefully by then your urge to splurge will have subsided. Of course, you may decide to use cash to make the purchase. But since, as the MIT experiment showed, consumers aren’t willing to spend as much using cash as plastic, I’m guessing this will end up saving you some money in the long run. Or you could get your credit card number off of your latest statement. But that’s only good for Internet and catalog purchases. To buy something in a store, you’d have to thaw out the card. If you really want to spend that badly, you’ll find a way to break through the ice. For instance, you might try to microwave the card, but then, that would destroy the magnetic strip on the back.

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Where to Store Your Emergency Funds

Published on April 5, 2015, by in Saving Money.

Where should you put the money? Keep in mind that this is your emergency savings, not your emergency investments. Not a single drop of this money belongs in the stock market, not even in the most well-diversified, dividend-paying blue chip stock fund you can find. During the bull market, many of us were literally using our stock fund accounts as de facto banks. When stocks were consistently returning 20-percent-plus returns a year, cash accounts, with their single-digit yields, looked paltry by comparison. But anyone who “saved” money in Enron stock or even in a broadly diversified S&P 500 fund learned how risky it can be to bank in the market. It’s imperative to match your money with your needs.

The less time you have to work with—that is, the less time there is to make up for losses, should they occur—the more conservative you need to be with your money. Money that you’ll need to tap in a year or two, or sooner, should be put into the most conservative and accessible asset: cash. Money that you won’t need for, say, two to five years, should be allowed to grow. But it should be held in moderately safe securities such as short- and intermediate-term bonds, so there’s little chance that its value will diminish during that period of time.

Money that you won’t need for five years or more should be invested more aggressively, in a combination of stocks, bonds, and perhaps other assets, in order to meet your long-term financial goals and outpace the long-term effects of inflation. Because an emergency could arise tomorrow, an emergency fund, by definition, must be held in an ultrasafe and ultra-short-term account. Though fixed-income investments, or bonds, are inherently safer than stocks, they still aren’t safe enough for emergencies.

Even Treasury bonds, backed by the full faith and credit of the federal government, should be considered investments, not savings. Held in a mutual fund, for instance, government and corporate bonds can easily lose value in the short term. It typically happens when market interest rates spike, as they did in 1994 (see “Mistake 4: Overlooking Risks”). Over time, this risk subsides. But if you need to tap your emergency fund tomorrow, you’ll require an account that offers total principal protection. One option is a bank certificate of deposit, or CD. The problem is, most CDs, which are federally insured, hit you with penalty fees for withdrawing money before the term of the contract expires. And who knows if an emergency might arise before a one- or twoyear CD comes due? (As an alternative, there are so-called penaltyfree CDs that allow customers to withdraw money early, but, as you would expect, they return less than traditional CDs.) Earlywithdrawal fees on traditional CDs vary, depending on the financial institution and the term of the CD. But an early withdrawal would typically cost you three months’ worth of interest income on a one-year CD and up to six months’ interest on a two-year CD.

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