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Alex Silady

Home Buying and Banking Expert

Alex is a graduate of New York University's journalism school. He has penned and edited articles, features and videos for news, politics and entertainment websites, both in the US and abroad. His specialties are archival research and the history of finance. His areas of expertise include home buying, small businesses and banking. Alex's hobbies include video games, especially RPGs, and following NHL hockey.

Posts by Alex Silady:

by Alex Silady Feb 20, 2020

Wondering who ate your bank? If your bank was small, chances are it’s been swallowed by a bigger bank. Even if your bank was medium-sized, it’s likely merged with another. The consolidation of banks has been a trend over the past 35 years. In 1985, there were 14,427  banks in the U.S. (that were insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation). In 2018, there were only 4,718. Meanwhile, the number of branches has jumped from 43,790 to 78,014. On one hand, fewer banks mean less competition, which is bad for consumers. But on the other hand, big banks have lower costs, which they can pass on to their customers. And no matter where you live, you can open an online account with a big bank. Read on for more about the 10 biggest banks in the U.S. by total assets, according to the Federal Reserve. Read more

by Alex Silady Dec 17, 2014

Des Moines, Iowa has three very different possible origins for its name, all of which speak to its historical heritage in different ways. Most commonly accepted is that it comes from the French for “the monks,” due to an early presence of Trappist brothers, but it may also come from the Algonquian name of the Loon-Clan Sauk Indians, or from an insulting nickname those same people gave to explorers Marquet and Joliet to disparage them behind their backs. Regardless of the name, Des Moines is a major financial services center, with many insurance companies headquartered there, and is by some measures the wealthiest city in the country. Read more

by Alex Silady Jul 18, 2019

Across the country, real estate markets are much healthier than they were a few short years ago, when a housing bubble precipitated a much larger economic crisis. But some places have recovered better than others have, and continue to grow beyond even pre-recession levels. These local markets are creating a good climate for real estate agents. SmartAsset wanted to find out which cities are the best for real estate agents right now. Read more

by Alex Silady Dec 17, 2014

If Nashville can be said to have a Southern twang, it’s not just because of the accents – it’s the food and the guitars too. Nashville has long been America’s musical capital, and it’s well-known as… Read more

by Alex Silady Aug 06, 2014

What’s the price of a sunny day? Well, if you’re high-minded, you might say money can’t buy the experience of the sun warming your skin. But in a more down-to-earth sense, residents of some places… Read more

by Alex Silady Dec 17, 2014

The name of Indianapolis, Indiana’s capital and largest city, is usually associated with one of the world’s most notable auto races (alongside Le Mans and the Monegasque Grand Prix), the Indianapolis… Read more

by Alex Silady Dec 18, 2014

With Germany’s victory this past Sunday, the World Cup ended. Instead of suffer silently in withdrawal, we have decided to obsess just a little more. We want to look back at the triumphs and defeats… Read more

by Alex Silady Aug 05, 2015

There are many reasons to choose a city to live in, but most of them revolve around our basic needs: employment, cultural stimulation and education. But sooner or later, we all need healthcare,… Read more

by Alex Silady Jul 09, 2018

Ah, Portland: Where the outdoors are great, men have beards and everyone is gluten-free. It may be unfair to characterize the City of Roses as purely a hipster haven, but what do you expect from the… Read more

by Alex Silady Dec 18, 2014

If it’s a nice place to visit, you may not want to live there – or vice-versa. SmartAsset has compared the percent growth in tourism and population in America’s twenty largest cities from 2009 and… Read more

by Alex Silady Jun 30, 2014

Once every four years, in the height of the summer, the whole world turns its gaze to a single nation for the defining championship of the most popular sport on the planet. The FIFA World Cup (of… Read more

by Alex Silady Dec 19, 2014

Most people know Salt Lake City for something that’s right there in the name – the Great Salt Lake – as well as for being the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, thanks… Read more

by Alex Silady Jan 02, 2015

Planning a summer road trip or vacation? National parks can be a big draw. But some are gaining in popularity while others are seeing fewer visitors. SmartAsset wanted to find out the current most… Read more

by Alex Silady Dec 19, 2014

Once upon a time, Houston was the crown jewel of the independent Republic of Texas – and some of the residents may be convinced it still is. In many ways Houston was the first space-age city in the… Read more

by Alex Silady Dec 19, 2014

Atlanta – or “Hotlanta,” as it’s so commonly said – has long been an iconic bastion of Southern culture. It was built on commerce – quite literally, as its location was chosen because two train… Read more

by Alex Silady Jul 05, 2018

Once upon a time, chocolate was unheard of across most of the world. From the 1800s BCE to the 16th century CE or so, it was exclusively consumed by a small group of people – Aztec nobles in what is… Read more

by Alex Silady Dec 19, 2014

Phoenix has to have something going for it: It’s the most populous state capital in the US, and the sixth most-populous city overall, while being in the middle of a desert. Founded on the economic… Read more

by Alex Silady Dec 21, 2017

As the last traces of the long and brutal winter disappear across the country and the weekends start to get warmer and sunnier, people of a certain mindset – let’s call them history nerds – start to… Read more

by Alex Silady Dec 21, 2017

The largest city in the rainy Pacific Northwest is Seattle, that Emerald City on the Puget Sound. Seattle’s name conjures up images of the Space Needle, depressing weather, flannel, and, as a… Read more

by Alex Silady May 20, 2014

Cars are some of the most complex machines we use in daily life. With so many moving parts, slight mishaps are a case of when rather than if, and most non-mechanics lack the know-how to fix them.… Read more

by Alex Silady Dec 22, 2014

Ah, San Diego – Birthplace of California itself. Europeans first hit the West Coast in what is now SD 450 years ago or so, and a lot of them were Spanish friars, hence the name of the current very… Read more

by Alex Silady Dec 21, 2017

SmartAsset wanted to know who in the country is getting the best deal for their property taxes. To find that out we answered 3 questions: how good are the schools, how safe is the area and how much… Read more

by Alex Silady Dec 22, 2014

It’s not just cowpunchers who hang their spurs in Dallas, the country’s ninth-largest city, anymore. From the place where America got its meat and textiles, Dallas has become one of the major places… Read more

by Alex Silady Jan 02, 2015

The long and difficult winter that much of the United States faced is gone, and with its departure comes warmer weather, the promise of renewal, and, of course, baseball season. Both idealistic views… Read more

by Alex Silady Jan 02, 2015

When you get delivery or takeout from your favorite restaurant on the job, chances are you’ll get, along with your plastic cutlery, a handful of tiny paper packets of salt. If food needs it, we… Read more