Portfolio, Banking, and Other Tidbits

Yes, I know it’s been a couple weeks. It’s actually been a big couple of weeks, but more on recent developments coming soon. In the meantime, my 12 half-written blog posts were giving me the evil eye, so yet again, I’ve returned to my neglected blog.

A New Portfolio
However long I dreamed of this blog redesign before I actually acted on it, I’ve been dreaming of a portfolio redesign for much, much longer. Over the past couple years (and especially the past two weeks) I’ve gone down a number of different roads, yet none of them really seemed to express me in just the right way.

After a ton of iteration, I ended up with yet another primarily-grayscale design. Only it’s darker this time.

A shot of my new portfolio

You can check it out at the same ol’ URL: zszaiss.com. I always welcome feedback!

A Diminishing National Average?
I’ve been trying to decide where the best place is to house a Savings account. Lately, we’ve been bombarded with ads from e*trade telling us that their rates are 8x the national average:

Aside from being hilarious, this ad was pretty effective. Ten days ago, I decided to jump on e*trade and check things out: And sure enough, the interest rate was 4%, among the highest I could find in my searching. It beat ING (my current bank) by 1%, so I started thinking of switching.

Well, today, I was ready to act on it, but when I returned to open a savings account, I found this:

A shot from the etrade savings website from April 10 showing their interest rate at 3.01%

Interesting. E*trade has gone from being 1% higher than ING to being only 0.1% higher.

Now, I know that the rates fluctuate; ING has fallen victim to this too. But this seems like a drastic reduction in a very short period of time; almost like e*trade might have debuted with a super high interest rate and then started lowering it once they got people signed up.

Any tips on the best place to hold a Savings account? ING has served me pretty well for over 3 years, but if there’s another unheard of bank out there with better rates, I’d love to learn.

Blog Upgrade Time
Wordpress 2.5 has been released, and as with all WordPress releases, I’m hesitant. Positive reviews like the one on Scott Berkun’s blog make me feel a little more reassured, but I can’t help but think back to the early days. I started with a WordPress install and a WordPress-approved theme. And yet, each time I went to upgrade, something inevitably went wrong. On the latest upgrade (right before I launched Zaissian Logic), it broke the theme all together.

So now, here I am, rolling my own theme. Do I really have more confidence in my abilities to make a theme than I do in one approved by WordPress? (… of course… I do…). It’s all enough to give me pause when I read an article on TechCrunch about Six Apart incenting WordPress users to switch. Movable Type does look interesting, but… at what point have I already invested enough energy making a WordPress theme that a switch wouldn’t be worth the cost?

Any advice for a good blog engine? Or is WordPress 2.5 the way to go?

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The conversation continues...

  1. On April 11th, 2008 at 11:42 am, julian said:

    For high-ish interest rate savings accounts, there’s pretty much ING, HSBC, and E*TRADE. They all vary. E*TRADE is usually slightly higher than the other two, but it depends on how their accounts are doing. Most of last year they were significantly higher, but it’s been going down the past few months.

    The differences in interest rate usually aren’t large enough to make the choice obvious. If you’re happy with ING’s web site and their service, stick with them. If not, try something else.

  2. On April 11th, 2008 at 4:40 pm, Tracy said:

    Last week I attended a seminar for which Suze Orman was one of the keynote speakers. She works with AmeriTrade to encourage people to start saving. Her Save Yourself campaign has an account there – and it works like this – if you save at least $50 a month with them, at the end of year, they’ll deposit an additional $100 in your account! So I think that makes a pretty good effective yield. You may want to check it out. And, the account’s insured.

What do you think?