WEB HOAX Shares of Emulex Corp. plunged some 67% last Friday, after a fake press release appeared on the Internet Wire site. It was soon picked up by other media, and the rout was on. The stock recovered, but some investors were burned. The lesson: if the news is sensational, check the source or the company's website. Second lesson: once a panic starts, if you're not out first, you're toast.
STATE AFFAIRS IRA products generally offer more investment options than traditional 401(k)s. But beware that unlike your 401(k) plan, IRA products do not offer federal protection from creditors. While some states like New Jersey and Texas have extensive protections, others like California, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire offer only limited protection in the event you find yourself held liable in a lawsuit or declaring bankruptcy. So before rolling over your nest egg into a Roth IRA, review your state's laws. One source is www.ici.org
GET YOUR FIX For home buyers undeterred by increased housing costs, good news: borrowing is getting cheaper. Last week, 30-year fixed mortgage rates hit the year's low, dipping below 8%. More important, the spread between fixed-rate and adjustable-rate loans narrowed. While ARMs may provide short-term benefits, most financial advisers favor fixed because of the uncertainty of future rate hikes and refinancing costs.
--By Carole Buia