New E*Trade iPhone App

E*Trade announced a new iPhone App this week called E*TRADE Mobile Pro for iPhone.  The App provides the same core functionality as the desktop and is fully synchronized in real time with the online account.  (They also have an service for BlackBerry users – see

Customers are provided:

  • Streaming real-time quotes, news and market information
  • Easy stock and options trading
  • Live accounts, watch lists and portfolios
  • Quick free cash transfers


See also:

Quicken iPhone App

This week Quicken Online, which is a free service, released a new free iPhone App called Quicken Online Mobile.  The new app features:

    • A dynamic tilt and turn Money Forecaster which is a forward-looking visual representation of your cash so you know if you can spend what you want and still have enough to pay the bills.
    • Tracking spending on the go where you simply enter your cash or other transactions and you’ll be updated real-time with Quicken Online so you have the most current view of your money.
    • A GPS-enabled ATM Finder to help you avoid unwanted ATM fees.  The app points you to the closest ATM from your own bank so you don’t have to pay to withdraw money.
    • Updated balances from all of your accounts: Includes checking, savings, investments and loans – in one place from over 8,500 financial institutions.
    • Secure mobile access to your account information.
    • The only app on the iPhone that gives you a forward-looking view of  your money so you can avoid costly mistakes.
    • Easy budgeting on the go, so you can set budget goals and track how you’re doing before you’re at the register making a purchase.



$250 Social Security Checks Coming Soon

Retirees and other eligible Social Security beneficiaries will receive $250 this month as part of the recently enacted stimulus plan.  All eligible recipients should have their money by the end of May and will arrive in the same manner as current payments (e.g. check or direct deposit).  The government has a website with all the relevant information.

Nearly 55 million Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries will receive a one-time payment of $250 each. Individuals who were not eligible for Social Security, SSI, Veterans, or Railroad Retirement benefits at any time during the months of November 2008, December 2008, or January 2009 are not eligible for the one-time payment.

The government website has many more details, including answers to frequently asked questions and an informative video.


Quicken Extends Discounts

Quicken has extended their discount program until May 31st.  Their discount program can save you from $20 to $50 on popular Quicken products and includes free shipping.

Quicken Discount




Home & Business


Rental Property Manager


Quicken - Save Now

More on HELOC Situation

Recently we wrote about Chase’s approach to getting rid of it’s WAMU Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs).  This is not much different than what banks are doing to their credit card customers.  (See yesterday’s blog post.)  Basically, banks have now decided that their interests in lending are no longer aligned with their customers’ interests in borrowing.  Not a good situation if you are the borrower.  Because banks are throwing all these curve balls, we are trying to keep up with them and keep our community aware of what’s going on.  Hopefully, armed with this information consumers can plan accordingly.

Here is what we found out about how Chase is handling its HELOC customers.  If Chase decides the price of your house has dropped since getting your loan, they have been freezing and suspending lines of credit.  The equity in the home or your payment history is not being considered when making their determination.  The trigger is simply whether the home value has dropped since getting the loan.  There is no way to find out how many people are affected, but it seems this approach would include just about everybody.  For instance, let’s say you have a home that was worth $600,000 but is now worth $500,000 and have a $200,000 first mortgage and a $200,000 HELOC, because your value dropped they have frozen the line of credit and reduced the line to zero.  Even though you have $300,000 in equity they will not allow you to access your line of credit.

If you are stuck in this situation, Chase has laid out a path to unfreeze your HELOC.  They are putting the burden on the borrower to prove that the value of the house still supports the original loan.  If you pay several hundred dollars for an appraisal using their appraiser […]