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This now merged to: Finance Forum: Topic Links ~ How to Search ~ Q & A ~ more! <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif" border=0>


PLEASE READ THIS THREAD BEFORE CREATING A NEW THREAD!.

Reposts clutter this forum and reduce its usefulness. This thread lists many of the most common questions, and also gives tips on searching, so that you may quickly find the answers to your questions on your own.


COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS Are listed below. Please read the FAQ THREAD (stuck at the top of this forum) , or search bankrate.com or Google to get more detailed information.

1. Q: What do I do / where do I invest $xxxx amount of money for XXX time?
A: Presidential, ING Direct, VirtualBank and many others all offer good rates that are usually much higher than local banks. See the FAQ The Mother of All Online Banking, Checking, Saving, and Money Market, Interest Rate Threads.

2. Q:How will doing XXXX affect my credit score?
A: We don't know. And since we also dont know about the specific loan you may be applying for, no one here can tell you whether doing XXX may cause your credit score to drop to the point where they increase the rate they offer you , or deny you entirely. There are many factors involved in the mysterious and elusive credit score. See how certain actions may affect someone's score here (more threads on how various actions can affect your credit score are found in the Credit Card FAQ)

3. Q:Can I pay my mortgage with a Credit Card?
A: Yes, there are ways to do it, but you generally wont earn rewards unless you use some "roundabout", multi-step strategies. See this thread.

4. Q:I want to start/build my credit. Whats the best card to get?
A: Department store cards, gas cards, and "student" cards (they are all over campus) tend to be the easiest ones to get. Credit unions and Secured credit cards are also good to look into, especially for those new to this country or with prior credit problems see this thread (and be SURE to check out the Credit Card FAQ)

5. Q:My lender offers a biweekly mortgage payment plan. Is this good?
A: If they charge you any fees for this service (which you can accomplish yourself for free), its generally NOT a good idea. see this thread to see an example of how many biweekly plans work.

6. Q:I have a problem with XXX company
A: Again, its time to read the FAQ THREAD, particularly the Debt Collection/Disputes FAQ , and Winning Disputes With a Company That's Giving You the Run-Around


7. Q: I have several debts with different interest rates. Which should I pay down first?
A: Pay down the loans with the highest interest rates, taking into account possible tax benefits (for instance, a mortgage at 5% verses a credit card at 4%, with the tax write-off you may be better off paying down the credit card).

8. Q.: I am $xxxx in debt. Shall I file for bankrupcy?
A.: Post at creditnet.com , a specialized discussion site for people with credit problems. Also see the Overcoming debt FAQ.

9. Q.: I want to open a bank account. Which bank account is the best?
A. What is best depends on individual situations. If interest is important to you, see the FAQ The Mother of All Online Banking, Checking, Saving, and Money Market, Interest Rate Threads. If you are interested in account opening bonuses, see the Free money for bank accounts thread

10. Q.: Which credit card is the best?
A.: What is best depends on individual taste, whether you want CashBack, airline miles, o%, etc. See the Credit Card FAQ), read existing threads and pick whichever you like the best.

Also, cardoffers.com lists many more credit cards with promotional terms. You can compare and pick your favorite.

11. Q: I have a car buying / car selling / car warranty / car repair/ car financing question
A: Chances are the general topic has already been covered here.

For purchasing, read through The Father of all Car Shopping, Financing & Leasing threads

Posting information on current automotive financial deals of general applicability is relevant to this forum. Questions related to a specific deal or specific make/model, specific problem, etc. are better handled by posting in a discussion forum for your particular car. Many makes and models have their own discussion forums. You can get better responses from owners of the same model, rather than starting a new thread for each make and model of car in this forum.

12. Q: I a) Have a legal problem
b) am getting/about to get screwed by a business/individual
or c) thinking of entering an agreement for several thousand/hundred thousand dollars.

It will probably cost me a lot of money, but I do not want to invest in professional competent legal advice, so I am coming here for free advice from a bunch of strangers on the internet. By doing so, I will save hundreds in legal fees, even if it costs me thousands in the long run.


A. BAD IDEA. This is not a legal forum, and an internet forum is no substitute for professional advice from someone who can see the relevant documents in front of them. See the LEGAL FAQ in this forum for some tips on obtaining low cost legal advice. And if you are determined to get free internet armchair lawyering, there are forums such as freeadvice.com and lawguru.com better suited to such discussions.




TIPS ON SEARCHING

1. USE JUST A PORTION OF THE SEARCH WORD.
The FW search function offers more help if you just type the first few LETTERS of the word you want to search...for example, if you want to look for a thread on "online brokerages", dont type that whole thing into the search box. Type BROKER, so it will pick up threads with broker, brokers, brokerages, etc. in the title. You are much more likely to find the thread you want.

2. TRY MULTIPLE SEARCH WORDS
If you are looking for a thread on auto loans, try searching using the words AUTO, CAR, etc. If you are looking for home loans, try HOME, MORTGAGE, LOAN, etc. The search function is only as smart as the person using it.

3. IF SEARCHING USING THE LITTLE BOX DOESNT WORK, GO TO THE SEARCH PAGE
There is a separate search page which lets you perform more detailed searches. you can search active and old threads, threads started by a particular user, etc. I frequently use this function when I remember that a specific member posted some good info but I cant find the thread...

4. TRY SEARCHING THE NET BEFORE POSTING A QUESTION. Doing a Google search will often yield an answer quicker and more accurately than posting a topic on FW and waiting for a reply...often times, when someone posts a question, someone else just googles it and posts the results. Save yourself and others the wasted time and try Google FIRST.

5. READ THE FAQ TOPICS IN THIS FORUM. Many prior threads have been categorized into FAQ threads. Please read through them.

6. READ THE GUIDE TO POSTING
Following the simple tips in the Guide to Posting will help ensure that your post contains the information needed for others to best help you.

Add your tips...

My tip: regarding sub-string search was posted a while ago, but moved immediately off the forum as too off-topic. <<shrug>>
It is in the FW forum now.

SUCKISSTAPLES said:

<< 3. IF SEARCHING USING THE LITTLE BOX DOESNT WORK, GO TO THE SEARCH PAGE
>>



Bump for that tip.
The normal search is mediocre often, use the search page (next to customize, profile, etc).

The next trick is to get ppl to actually bother, that and to read the FAQ.

There are actually two "little boxes".
One is in the Topics bar, with a box and a button labeled "search". That one usually is the most limited.
The other is the one on the top right of the entire page, with a box and a button labeled "go". This one actually googles the entire FW site.

Then there is the comprehensive search page.

Whatever tips we gather here, it will be useless if this thread is not made easily visible to users.In my view, this thread should be put in
1.FAQ thread
2.also in "New Post" page :Something like "Did you search before posting?FOr effective search see here?"

On the other hand,I strongly feel this whole search feature in FW is not intuitive.How can one imagine that clicking on that search button only SEARCHES 90 DAYS and moreover searches in TITLE ONLY.I had put my recommendations few months back in the sticky thread here.
Please read BEFORE posting: A Guide to Maximizing the Usefulness of FW Finance

Anyways,improving search feature is not in our hands.

Moving to search tips:
1.I use a lot searching "messages by user". Whenever I feel I have lot of time, I use "threads by user" feature and search for archive threads posted by SIS.

2.This tip is more useful for longer threads ,and may be more useful in hotdeals than here.Anyway here is the tip to search for text inside a thread across multiple pages.Click on "print topic" that will give all messages in one single window where you search by usnig CTRL+F.

EDIT:spell fixes .(spell checker is another feature I would love to have <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> There are lot of third party freeware available for basic checkers)

Does anyone have an effective way of searching within a thread, besides a straight Find using your browser?

DWJoe said:

<< Does anyone have an effective way of searching within a thread, besides a straight Find using your browser? >>

I like to use the print thread function and then print to a pdf file. I then search that file with Adobe. It makes searching long threads much easier. The newewst versions of Adobe allow you to make bookmarks within documents also, which really helps to organize threads.

zender said:

<< I like to use the print thread function and then print to a pdf file. I then search that file with Adobe. It makes searching long threads much easier. The newewst versions of Adobe allow you to make bookmarks within documents also, which really helps to organize threads. >>


Ahhhhh! Thanks.

You can also use the Text Only function which opens a separate window containing the entire thread, which you can then search using your browser's search function.

zender said:

<< DWJoe said:

<< Does anyone have an effective way of searching within a thread, besides a straight Find using your browser? >>

I like to use the print thread function and then print to a pdf file. I then search that file with Adobe. It makes searching long threads much easier. The newewst versions of Adobe allow you to make bookmarks within documents also, which really helps to organize threads.
>>


You don't even need Acrobat; at least with IE, just use Find Text (Ctrl + F).

DeGlass said:

<< You don't even need Acrobat; at least with IE, just use Find Text (Ctrl + F). >>

And both Opera and Mozilla FireFox allow you to use the same shortcut (as well as more convenient ones such as hitting . and typing text to automatically go to it). They also have a convenient find in page search box that is adjacent to the address bar. I believe the advantage of the acrobat approach is that newer versions have a frame with hotlinks and some context, so you can quickly jump to a specific hit without needing to find next too often. There are bookmarklets for the major browsers that make for more powerful in-page searching. Here, for example, are some that will highlight search matches for you.

Never tried before Adobe way.Just tried and am not able to open pdf file.
How do you print pdf file? I tried this. Print topic->click "print"->Check "print to file" -> save as "1.pdf".
When opened,it gives msg like "not a pdf file".

Thanks Suckypussy I never knew you could search by letters, I'm used to stupid forums where you have to spell the word exactly as in the thread title, down to the capitalization.

You're awesome man.

bozango123 said:

<< Never tried before Adobe way.Just tried and am not able to open pdf file.
How do you print pdf file? I tried this. Print topic->click "print"->Check "print to file" -> save as "1.pdf".
When opened,it gives msg like "not a pdf file".
>>

Print to the "Adobe PDF" printer without checking print to file. Acrobat will come up and prompt for a filename. Seems like a lot of trouble for searching, though...

Great topic! I hope this gets linked to the FAQ at the top off this page.

Thanks Suckisstaples

Hmmmm... I was just wondering how to search within a thread, and now I know. Never thought of using 'Print Thread' to view it all at once, then do keyword searches. Guess I'm just slow.

bump

today is one of those days that reminds me why we need to keep bumping this thread.

boing

Is the plan to keep bumping this up forever? HAhaha. Just wait.

When it falls off the front page, the people who really need to know how to search will be the same ones who can't find this thread.

bounce

Alert mod and ask for it to be a sticky

ahh here is the search thread

Sticky request/bounce/compliments

how to prevent threads from getting archived:

if you are the originator of threads you dont want to expire, (or you know whose threads you dont want to expire) you can easily do a "search for threads by user XXX" on the search page, then bump the ones about to expire....

bump

You stuck!<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif"border=0>

rocking. i just noticed it got stuck. thanks mod.

now to get people to read it and we'll be all set here.

SUCKISSTAPLES said: [Q]...you can easily do a "search for threads by user XXX" on the search page, then bump the ones about to expire....
OR FW's "alert" mechanism could be enahanced to alert poster about the umpcoming expiry.This would make frequent posters' life lot easier,you dont have to goto forum, forum comes to you.Being an architect in IT field, i couldnot resist throwing ideas that makes users' life easier.

huh?

kupop2 said: [Q]SUCKISSTAPLES said:

<< 3. IF SEARCHING USING THE LITTLE BOX DOESNT WORK, GO TO THE SEARCH PAGE
>>

Bump for that tip.
The normal search is mediocre often, use the search page (next to customize, profile, etc).

The next trick is to get ppl to actually bother, that and to read the FAQ.

If "using a little box" often does not work properly, why haven't it been fixed?
it would be better if it worked the same as search page, i.e. typing the word and submitting would be equvivalent to typing keyword on a search page, selecting only current section of the forum (Finance) and hitting submit.
If you don't want to bother rewriting it, just remove it and put a link to search page in it's place.

Why give user something that does not work properly half the time?

also, more suggestions for improving FW forum functionality:
1) Search results should be sortable. If you don't want to link the columns on the result page, at least give the user an option to select a column to sort on the search page
2) user name in the post should be linked to user profile, next to it should be a link to find all posts by this user(sorted by date - most recent first).

3) E-mail notification when new PM arrives would be also very nice to have

PS MrBean, I'll submit the suggestions

foto, good suggestions.

Please also submit these same suggestions in the "FatWallet Suggestion Box" at the bottom of your screen. I think that would give them better chance of noticing your suggestions, as I doubt the FW team regularly read this thread.

Posting in the "FatWallet forum" also has a better chance.

Use google advanced search and specify http://www.fatwallet.com as the search domain. "ONLY return results from the site or domain"

Google search gives the features and flexibility that are lacking in the forum software search mechanism.

Learn to open search results in a new window so you can leave the search result page open. Hold the shift key and click the link or right click the link and select "open in new window".

http://www.google.com/advanced_search?hl=en

i pm'd sis the folllowing, but it wasn't posted...

got question #12 for the common question in finance sticky...

12. Q: Is now a good time to buy/sell house in (insert location)?
A. Yes/No/Depends - buy a dice roll it. it will provide the answer you need.

13. Q: Is now a good/bad time to lock in mortgages? or will mortgages/stock market go up/down?
A: See answer to 12.

14. Q: I have $X to invest in 401k/IRA/under my mattress. What stock/mutual fund/commodity should I buy?
A: See answer to 12.

15. Q: I want to start (insert business type here) but have no clue. Please help me...
A: well, you know...


ok, maybe some of sarcasm needs to be edited, but i am trying to see if there is anyway to stem the tide of "can you predict the future" combined with "o' tell me what to do with my $ decisions" kinds of questions. was inspired by sis's post on a should i buy a house in so cal house thread.

BUMP THREAD - great reading

can't google or other search engines be used to search this ite's results only?

veryhungry said: [Q]can't google or other search engines be used to search this ite's results only?
Just add "site:fatwallet.com" as a search term, and it works great. Here's your post as first hit - Google search for veryhungry+search.

Can we get rid of this sticky now that SIS is alone in a holding cell somewhere?

StaplesCouponGuy said: [Q]Where can I fond a thread called "How to EFFECTIVELY search, and a List of the Most Common FW Finance Questions - READ BEFORE POSTING"?
ummm

it sure would be nice if people took the time to search



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