In brief

LOANS

LOANS

Fix to thrive

RateCity says two-year fixed interest-rate home loans are sufficiently below variable rates that those who fix are likely to come out ahead, even if the cash rate was cut further. RateCity finds the big four banks' lowest two-year fixed rate is 4.99 per cent compared with their lowest variable rate of 5.67 per cent.

INVESTMENT

Increased investor appeal

Australians are increasingly looking to invest in the US, according to Andrew Formica, chief executive of fund manager Henderson Global Investors. "The Americans have always shown themselves to have the ability to grow and reinvent themselves," he says.

SAVINGS

Deposit with bonus return

Westpac-owned RAMS has bucked the trend of falling deposit rates and set its online account at a market-leading 5.01 per cent, which includes a 0.9 per cent bonus. But there's a catch: you must deposit $200 a month and leave it there.

RISK

Swap with caution

Beware credit default swaps. Half of the 2000 financial experts who took part in a survey named credit default swaps on government bonds in emerging markets as the world's "most dangerous" financial product.

InvestSMART FORUM: Come and meet the team

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