Phrases like “bank bailout” and “too big to fail” have left a sour taste in the mouths of consumers. The results are easy to see in recent consumer confidence polls, suggests Bankrate. The question “Do you trust your bank?” posed by banking consultants BAI & Finacle in their biannual Index of Bank Sentiment survey received negative replies from consumers. Not only that, but the survey shows that bankers’ assessment of consumer confidence is entirely out of whack.
The divide between consumer and banker opinion
The Index of Bank Sentiment survey polled a large group of bankers and more than 2,500 U.S. banking [...]
If you’re a novice to investing, mutual funds and 401(k) accounts, you may be confused by some of the terminology. Diversification is one of the more misunderstood terms. In basic terms, diversification means investing in a variety of different assets so that if one drops, the whole portfolio won’t plummet. But it doesn’t always work that way, depending upon market forces. Here are some of the most common myths about diversification, designed to help give the neophyte investor a better understanding.
Myths about diversification No. 1 – Owning many mutual funds
When you sign up for a 401(k) plan through your employer, [...]
It is conventional wisdom that at least half of all marriages end in divorce. Recently, that vague figure has come under fire, with some experts saying that divorce is on the decline. But whatever the figure, divorces are common enough. While it is unromantic to consider the possibility after saying “I do,” the fact is, nobody knows the future. For those who have serious assets, a “post-nuptial agreement” helps ensure that neither spouse will take the other to the cleaners should the marriage go south.
Post-nuptials reduce stress for some
For many couples, keeping their assets separate can make for a more [...]
A recent study shows that Generation Z — those young people between the ages of 13 and 22 — are already saving and thinking about how they will pay for college.
Growing up in downturn
Earlier studies have indicated that young adults — so-called Generation Y, or Millennials — are more knowledgeable and concerned about money than was the generation before them. Experts generally agree that their coming of age in a time of economic uncertainty has a great deal to do with that. But what about those who lived through the Great Recession at a much younger and more impressionable age?
The year’s halfway point is still a month away. However, it is a good time to start thinking about and preparing for your mid-year financial checkup. Much like a yearly physical or an annual tune up for your car, a regular checkup of your financial health can do much to keep you on track monetarily.
Nothing in the financial world stays the same for very long. Regular assessments can help you spot weak areas in your finances, or to point out areas that are working for you and possibly need to be bolstered.
Andrew V. Tignanelli, president of the Financial Consulate [...]
As a nation, we are woefully under-informed when it comes to money management. In an attempt to change that, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has teamed up with the American Library Association to bring you Money Smart Week.
In more than 30 states
Money Smart Week started in the Chicago area. Since then, it has spread to more than 30 U.S. states. This year, it runs from April 21 to April 28. All this week, concerned consumers can attend free classes, seminars and other finance-related activities at any of the more than 200 participating libraries across the nation.
‘To promote personal financial [...]
Financial literacy is an essential life skill that public education systems have largely neglected. According to a recent survey conducted by the nonprofit group Community Financial Education Foundation (CFEF), the time for Web-based financial education has come. With its MyStartingPoint program, CFEF believes that it can deliver to an intellectually starved public.
Healthy financial habits recognized in April
April, which is officially recognized as National Financial Literacy Month, is here, which is a perfect time to teach sound financial habits to both young and old. With MyStartingPoint, the CFEF makes it clear that this is achievable through Web-based instruction that can easily [...]
Do you live to work, or work to live? Anyone who does either of these things runs the risk of becoming a wage slave, trading freedom for meager subsistence, day after day. It’s a slippery slope that leads to choreographing every aspect of your lifestyle around living paycheck to paycheck. If you have given up your freedom to the whims of your employer, here’s how to regain control and avoid wage slavery.
Making the mental shift away from wage slavery
Fear is a key factor in becoming a wage slave. To borrow a phrase from English Romantic-era poet William Blake, the bonds [...]
For most first-time homebuyers, understanding mortgage banking is like taking a crash-course in theoretical physics. Taking out a mortgage is one of the biggest financial investments most people will make in their lifetimes, so it is important to make sure you make good choices for your situation. The right mortgage can create a solid investment that will mean financial security. The wrong one can drag you down into bankruptcy and debt.
Understand each type of mortgage
Understanding how each type of mortgage works can save you thousands over the length of your loan. Adjustable Rate, Fixed Rate, FHA, HUD and Assumable; the [...]
According to the website Cost of Wedding, the typical wedding in the U.S. today costs about $26,542. And what happens if, after putting down thousands on a reception venue months in advance, the hall files for bankruptcy? More and more often, engaged couples are opting to take out wedding insurance to guard against such events.
More common than you think
These kinds of events are more common than one might think. Robert Nuccio, CEO of the insurance administration firm, Nuccio & Associates, said:
“The claims are shooting up through the walls — the DJ goes out of business, the photographer goes out of [...]
This concludes your Valentine’s Day money quiz. CLICK HERE for part one.
Communication is key
As with anything else in a lasting relationship, communication is vital. When you and yours last talked money, how did it go?
Ideas were exchanged
Silent moments were prominent
Food was flung
While food fighting may be a normal part of your love and money relationship, I tend to settle for a free exchange of ideas. It tastes great and won’t attract ants after you pass out in the ambrosia afterglow.
[There's no afterglow with short term loans for bad credit - just results.]
Student loans and joint credit ratings
When two become one [...]
When it comes to love and money, couples should always have a plan. The whirlwind fervor of hot romance may burn, but if we aren’t careful, it can also burn through major cash. If you aren’t sure where your financial future as a couple stands, here’s a helpful Valentine’s Day money quiz, courtesy of Bankrate. I’ll even share my responses, along with my final love and money score.
Not just for the love of money
The first question posed by the love and money quiz involves the overall impressions one has over their financial future as part of a couple. The multiple-choice [...]
It’s 2012, and New Year’s resolutions are currently in effect. Are your resolutions more of the physical or financial variety? Are you planning to spend more time fixing your waistline or your wallet?
Americans prefer dieting
According to a recent survey by Allianz Life of Minneapolis, Minn., 49 percent of Americans say they are more likely to make resolutions pertaining to their physical health through diet and exercise and that they will stick to their goals.
Shifting from the waistline to the wallet, however, the level of commitment decreases. A whopping 80 percent of respondents had no financial resolutions at all. Only 43 [...]
The end of the year is only a few days away. Now is the time to think about ways to improve your fiscal outlook for the coming year. In these times of financial hardship, it is especially imperative to watch every dollar and get the most out of your money. These simple rules will help in developing healthier financial habits for a more prosperous 2012.
We can’t get to where we want to be without setting a course. Sit down and write out exactly what you want to achieve financially for the year. Try to be as specific as possible. [...]
The modern ritual of camping out in front of stores on Thanksgiving night in order to be the first to snatch up “Black Friday” bargains may be losing its appeal for many Americans. A new survey says that this year the turnout could be its lowest in three years.
Survey indicates focus and caution
Accenture, a management consulting firm, recently released the results of its annual online holiday shopping survey. The survey polled 500 consumers around the nation about their holiday shopping plans. Shoppers will be focused on getting just what they are after for the lowest price, the survey suggests.
Janet Hoffman, [...]
Life is full of surprises, and not all of them are pleasant. A family, living comfortably today, can be below the poverty line tomorrow if one or both breadwinners lose their jobs. The boyscout motto of “be prepared” is a sensible one for all of us, particularly when it comes to finances. Having an emergency fund has never been more important than it is in today’s volatile economy.
Unexpected financial emergencies come not just in the form of a lost job. There are medical emergencies, home and auto repair, legal expenses or any number of unfortunate things that can come [...]