If whispers of the "I word" (inflation) had you rushing into I bonds (inflation-adjusted), you may be disappointed in their recent performance. The federal government's inflation-fighters are looking a bit wimpy compared to the returns of certificates of deposit, another low-risk investment. The I bonds will earn only 3.74 percent interest if issued between May and October, a drop from 4.52 percent for those issued in the previous six months. Rates on the bonds are reset every six months, on May 1 and Nov. 1. A 12-month CD, on the other hand, is generally paying about 5 percent these days.
CMS is offering free web-based help for physicians eager to learn how to use health information technology. DOQ-IT (Doctor's Office Quality Information Technology) is an e-learning program with sections on how to assess your office's readiness, redesign workflow, choose a vendor, and implement electronic health records. To sign up, go to elearning.qualitynet.org. Registration is free.
If gas prices are making you shudder, buy a qualified hybrid from Toyota or Lexus before Sept. 30 and you can still get a tax credit of up to $787.50, depending on the model you pick. Can't decide that soon? After September, you can still get a tax break for one of Ford's or General Motor's hybrids, plus those from other manufacturers. The credits are subject to certain restrictions, so check with your accountant for full details.