Smart Money

DEAR BRUCE: I am about to finance a new vehicle. I have no problem paying the $350 monthly payments, but I am a little unsure about purchasing an extra warranty. The warranty is quite pricey. Do you think it's worth it to have a warranty on a new vehicle? -- Reader

DEAR READER: You're very perceptive noticing that the extra warranty is quite pricey. This is a profitable proposition for the dealer, and he will sell you as many of these coverages as he is able.

Do I think it's worth it to have a warranty? On balance, no. If you drive a lot and are putting tons of miles on the car, there would be some merit. But by and large, a warranty on a new car today is just not a good purchase.

DEAR BRUCE: I need a new bank. Any suggestions what to look for? -- Chris

DEAR CHRIS: First thing, look for a bank or a branch that is convenient for you. The fact is that when you have to run across town to do your banking, you're not going to use the bank to its fullest advantage. Second, you want to determine if it's FDIC-insured. In all likelihood, it will be.

Beyond that, perhaps the bank is offering special incentives to become a member. Take a look at what it has to offer for people in your age bracket. I would check out one or two local banks in your area, or more, before making a decision.

(Send questions to bruce@brucewilliams.com. Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.)

(The Bruce Williams Radio Show can now be heard 24/7 via iTunes and at www.taeradio.com. It is also available at www.brucewilliams.com.)

More like Smart Money