checking

5 crafty ways to spy on your bank

Tap SEC filings
Next
4 of 7
Back
text

You can access a bank's financial filings online at the Securities and Exchange Commission's website, and you can also get a lot of the financial basics through Google Finance.

"The good news is that there's a lot of information out there," says Platt. "Unfortunately, very little of that information is going to be useful in terms of gauging the health of your bank, because the bad news usually comes out after the event."

If you have a sophisticated background in finance or accounting and have the time, Platt says it might be worthwhile to pick apart the balance sheet for clues. But according to Platt, a better option for most consumers is to look at the executive compensation.

"Banks all make their money in pretty much the same way," he says. "When you see salaries that are way out of line, that's a good indication that the management team might not have the right long-term priorities."

Another quick indicator is owner equity as a percentage of total liabilities. "The greater the percentage, the better," says Platt, "because it means that they've made money and been stable over the long run."


 

 

advertisement

Show Bankrate's community sharing policy
          Connect with us
advertisement
CD & INVESTING NEWSLETTER

Learn the latest trends that will help grow your portfolio, plus tips on investing strategies. Delivered weekly.

Ask Dr. Don

Quickest path toward $1 million?

Dear Dr. Don, This question involves how best to make for a better life for my family. How can I make a one-time investment of $5,000 grow into $1 million or more over 60 years? One of my broader goals is to encourage my... Read more

advertisement
Partner Center
advertisement

Connect with us