MERGER MANIA

From Toby Gottfried: “It seems that every week we hear about ‘the largest corporate merger ever.’ (Or, if need be, ‘the largest in industry X’ or ‘the nth largest.’) And each time the executives trumpet the efficiencies and wonderful prospects. Well, it seems to me that the logical conclusion of all this is to just merge everything into one company. We could call it ‘the company.’ Or ‘the government.’ Oh wait. They tried that in Russia. It didn’t work.”

APR vs APY

From T.S.: “I had to put in my two cents worth and remind everyone that you CANNOT earn an APR on a deposit account! APR – annual percentage rate – refers strictly to loans. Deposit accounts are stated as APY – annual percentage yield. Of course, no one intelligent enough to shop APY versus nominal rate will be foolish enough to put money in an account (with the possible exception of CDs) that is quoted as APY. (Hint: get a good mutual fund money market account instead!)

ATCALL

From Victor Smith: “Thank you for ATCALL. I have been a long time user of AT&T having been a stockholder in years gone past. After reading your commentary on Ameritrade I got a postcard from AT&T announcing HIGHER rates starting June 1. I’m not taking it any more! I called ATCALL at the 800-411-9696 and am now going to be switched to them within ten working days. My local phone company will charge me $5 for the switch but ATCALL will give me $5 credit so it cost nothing to switch plus I now will get 10 cents a minute anytime any day. This will be great because we’ve got six kids and grand kids and Nannie is a great talker!”

A.T.: And now you can get 9-cent-a-minute calling through a deal America Online has arranged. But if you use AOL, you certainly know about it – talk about “in your face” advertising.

 

 

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