Your credit score is an indicator of your creditworthiness. Your credit history and credit score are vital pieces of information which are key to helping you secure your financial life. Think about it this way, every credit and debt move you make is tracked and then used to compute a FICO credit score for you. The interest rate you get on a home or car loan, for example, is, in part, determined by your credit score. Also, when you apply for a credit card or a charge card at a retailer, your interest rate is influenced by your score. Your FICO score is often used by insurance companies as one factor they consider when they set your premium rate. It also can come into play when you try to rent a home, as landlords will check your FICO score to see if you are reliable. Even employers will sometimes check the FICO score of job candidates and cell phone companies might not offer you a plan if your FICO score is too low. Continue reading “What’s Up with the Whole Credit Score Thing?” »
THE MONTH IN BRIEF
Stocks seemed set for just a slight July loss until developments on the last day of the month rattled Wall Street. Argentina effectively defaulted on its debt (for the second time in the past 13 years), and new data out of Washington showed that wages were finally on the way up (a caution flag for higher interest rates). The blue chips lost 317 points on July 31 (the Dow’s worst day since February 3) while the S&P 500 sank 39 points. The S&P lost 1.51% in an eventful month in which the Fed set an exit plan for QE3, a pair of geopolitical events troubled global markets, and U.S. economic indicators looked pretty good even as earnings were mediocre.1,2 Continue reading “Monthly Economic Update” »
No one ever meets the expectations of their customers. You can, however, exceed their expectations or your can fall short. The difference in falling short and exceeding is often the little things, which add up to make a big difference. Continue reading “1 + 1 = 3: Doing the Little Things for Your Clients Add Up” »
What if you died today? Do you have a revocable living trust in place so your assets will easily pass to your heirs without any cost or time delay? If so, does your trust have an incapacity clause in it? It’s important to have your affairs in order to protect yourself and your family and make certain everything is handled according to your wishes in the event of a tragedy. Continue reading “Do I Need a Trust if My Last Name isn’t Rockefeller?” »
Financial advisors William Buehler and Jordan Berryhill of Buehler & Berryhill Financial Partners in Henrico, VA, have recently joined Summit Brokerage Services, Inc., the #1 Independent Broker-Dealer in the Country*. Continue reading “Summit Brokerage Services Welcomes New Advisor” »
Do you know what your clients want or expect from you?A survey on client views, sponsored by the CFA Institute and entitled “The CFA Institute & Edelman Investor Trust Survey”, asked respondents which of the following factors were the most important to them in selecting an investment manager: Continue reading “Price is Only an Issue in the Absence of Value” »
Howard Mash of Margate, FL recently joined Summit Brokerage Services, Inc., the Highest Rated Independent Broker-Dealer in the Country*. Continue reading “Summit Brokerage Services Welcomes New Advisor” »
One in three Americans who participate in a retirement plan say they have taken out a loan from the savings in their plan, according to a study by TIAA-CREF. Forty-four percent of people who have borrowed against their retirement plan regret the decision, while an additional 23 percent do not regret taking out the loan, but said they would not do it again in the future. Among those who took out a loan, 43 percent have taken out two or more loans, according to the survey, 2014 Borrowing Against Your Future. Continue reading “Should You Ever Borrow From Your 401(k)?” »
No one can predict the future or the financial hardships which can result from a job loss, disability, or death. Planning for the “what ifs” of life with an emergency fund is one of the most important tools you have to help sustain your independent financial security.
How much should you have in your emergency fund? Most financial broker experts recommend having between three to six months of living expenses in a savings account. Personal finance broker expert Suze Orman advises people to have at least eight months of a safety net – the average number of months it takes to find a new job, in the case of unemployment. Continue reading “How Much Should you Have in Your Emergency Fund?” »
Maybe you had a stroke of luck and won the lottery. Maybe you just inherited a trust fund or were awarded a large sum of money in a lawsuit. Maybe you are a college student who just signed with the NBA or NFL and will become an instant millionaire in the next few months.
No matter where your money comes from, it isn’t a guarantee for an easy life. Continue reading “What to do When You Come into a Large Sum of Money” »