financial institutions – Sun National Bank Center http://sunnationalbankcenter.com/ Tue, 29 Mar 2022 04:04:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://sunnationalbankcenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/sun-national-bank-center-icon-150x150.png financial institutions – Sun National Bank Center http://sunnationalbankcenter.com/ 32 32 DOBI Regulated Entities Must Fully Comply with US Sanctions on Russia and Belarus https://sunnationalbankcenter.com/dobi-regulated-entities-must-fully-comply-with-us-sanctions-on-russia-and-belarus/ Thu, 17 Mar 2022 17:23:45 +0000 https://sunnationalbankcenter.com/dobi-regulated-entities-must-fully-comply-with-us-sanctions-on-russia-and-belarus/

Advises insurance companies and financial institutions to protect systems against increasing cyber risks, among other actions

The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance today ordered insurance companies, financial institutions and other entities it regulates to comply fully with sanctions imposed on Russia and Belarus by the United States. United. The directive follows Executive Order No. 291, issued by Governor Phil Murphy on March 2, directing the department to take action in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Our administration is committed to using the full reach of the law to ensure that Russia is held accountable for its brutal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine,” Governor Murphy said. “This bulletin makes it clear that we expect all entities regulated and licensed by DOBI to comply with the sanctions and restrictions imposed by the Biden administration on the Russian Federation and Belarus.”

Pursuant to Executive Order 291, the department directed regulated entities to monitor all communications from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Department of Treasury and other federal agencies in real time to keep aware of the latest developments and ensure compliance with the restrictions imposed on Russia and Belarus. The department also advised regulated entities to assess their systems for cyber risk and take appropriate steps to mitigate that risk, given that the Russian invasion of Ukraine significantly increases cyber risk to the U.S. financial sector. .

“New Jersey stands with Ukraine against unprovoked aggression that has resulted in devastation, widespread human suffering and unnecessary loss of life. Under Governor Murphy’s leadership, the state is taking action to hold Russia accountable in the face of this illegal and immoral invasion. There is also a need to ensure that financial institutions operating in our state are protected from increased risks resulting from the invasion,” said Commissioner Marlene Caride.

In addition to specific actions related to complying with U.S. sanctions and protecting against cyber threats, the department’s bulletin directs regulated entities to take additional steps to review, identify and mitigate other types of risks resulting from the Russian invasion. from Ukraine. Specifically, the bulletin directs and reminds regulated entities that:

Banking

The Department reminds regulated entities and licensees that they must have policies, procedures and processes in place to implement the necessary internal controls, with appropriate training, risk assessments, testing and audits against their risk profile, and that they should promptly report any suspicious activity. to FinCEN, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and applicable law enforcement agencies. It is especially important at this time for money transmitters to ensure that their transaction monitoring appropriately identifies designated persons, entities and countries sanctioned by OFAC. Remittance senders who send and receive correspondent banks or pay through accounts located in Russia or Belarus must submit a report to the department within 30 days that includes an assessment of the impact of current sanctions and an implementation plan. work to deal with it.

Assurance

Russia’s ongoing attacks on Ukraine could affect risks including, but not limited to, market risk, credit and liquidity risk, cyber and operational risk, strategic and other risks . The Department expects risks to be mitigated by a comprehensive risk management process overseen by senior management and the boards of directors of insurance entities licensed to do business in New Jersey, and that risks important are identified in reports to the department. Regulated entities are reminded of their obligation to actively identify and manage risks and actively engage with the Department, as required.

Compliance

The department’s bulletin also indicates that under various state laws, the department may suspend or revoke the licenses, permits, registrations and certifications of businesses, including businesses owned or controlled by the government of Russia, Belarus or their instruments, and companies that invest directly in such companies.

The bulletin released today by the department can be viewed here: https://www.nj.gov/dobi/bulletins/blt22_05.pdf.

For more business news, visit NYC News Now.

Related Articles:

]]>
How to protect your purchasing power from inflation | Business https://sunnationalbankcenter.com/how-to-protect-your-purchasing-power-from-inflation-business/ Tue, 15 Mar 2022 05:00:00 +0000 https://sunnationalbankcenter.com/how-to-protect-your-purchasing-power-from-inflation-business/

Inflation – the rise in consumer prices – is a slow erosion of your money over time. Prior to 2021, the United States had not seen annual underlying inflation well above 3% for nearly 25 years, says Michael Ashton, managing director of Enduring Investments, an investment and advisory firm in Morristown. , New Jersey.

For example, the 7.5% increase seen over the past year in the cost of fuel, used vehicles, groceries and just about everything else is the kind of sudden, systemic increase that can boost most people’s day-to-day expenses.

Ashton also says the COVID-19 pandemic stimulus checks and tax relief, combined with the reopening of the economy, have fueled consumer demand but not replaced product inventories. The result: shortages that lead to higher prices.

“Having difficulties in the supply chain is part of what inflation looks like,” Ashton says.

With inflation eating away at your purchasing power, how can you protect yourself?

REVIEW YOUR EXPENSES

— Cut discretionary spending, voluntary spending in categories like entertainment or travel, by just 5%. It’s one of those gradual changes that isn’t that hard to make and goes straight to your personal bottom line.

— Do not delay a major purchase; prices are likely to rise.

— Shop strategically. Buy more generic branded products and prescriptions. Save on necessary expenses by using coupons and in-store loyalty programs. Use membership cards (like Walmart+ and others) to pay 5 cents less per gallon of gas.

LOOK FOR SAVINGS

— Eliminate any fees you pay for credit cards or bank accounts (late fees, monthly or annual service fees, ATM fees, etc.). Many banks waive these fees, and credit cards often offer no-fee options.

— Renegotiate your cable, streaming or cell phone bill for possible savings.

“I can say from my own personal experience – it’s amazing how easy it is,” notes Ashton. He says that every time he called his cell phone provider, they would offer him a much better plan than the one he currently had. “And that only happens if you call,” Ashton adds.

He’s now making a habit of calling once a year and asking, “What’s the best plan you have and should I be on that?”

— Reduce the number of subscriptions you have, even just one.

“You should check on these once in a while, because sometimes they sneak in a price increase, and it just shows up on your credit card,” Ashton says.

TRY TO BRING MORE MONEY

— Look for financial institutions that pay higher interest rates than what you currently earn (if you earn anything). Online banks and credit unions often offer high-yield savings accounts that sweeten returns, especially when interest rates rise.

“Perhaps the most powerful idea of ​​all: asking for a raise. If you haven’t received a raise in a few years, you’ve probably taken what amounts to a pay cut because of inflation, Ashton says.

THE INFLATION CORRESPONDING SAVINGS ACCOUNT

Another inflation-fighting idea: Series I savings bonds. They were created specifically to protect consumers’ purchasing power against inflation, says Zvi Bodie, professor emeritus of finance at the University from Boston. Bodie holds a doctorate in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has become a strong supporter of Bonds I.

Bond rates are pegged to the rate of inflation, which recently topped 7%, he notes. They are a perfect haven for short-term savings. And it’s not a bad addition to your long-term nest egg, either.

A minimum investment in I bonds through TreasuryDirect.gov is just $25, and an individual can invest up to $10,000 per year in savings bonds with electronic purchases. Bonds pay fixed interest plus the rate of inflation, adjusted twice a year.

You can withdraw your savings without penalty after one year, but if you cash it out before five years, you will lose interest for the last three months.

“So what you get is basically a savings account that can’t go down, and will go up with inflation,” adds Bodie. “Do I need to say more?”

INFLATION IS NOT THE SAME FOR EVERYONE

Inflation hit a national average of 7.5% in January, but that probably won’t be your inflation rate, Ashton says.

You may consume different items than the average person and you may not live in an average place, so your particular inflation rate most likely varies from the average, according to Ashton.

So, rather than agonizing over a single number like losing purchasing power to recover, use the small money moves above to improve your financial situation slowly but surely.

]]>
Essex County man sentenced to 108 months in prison for mortgage and securities fraud schemes | USAO-NJ https://sunnationalbankcenter.com/essex-county-man-sentenced-to-108-months-in-prison-for-mortgage-and-securities-fraud-schemes-usao-nj/ Thu, 10 Mar 2022 21:45:54 +0000 https://sunnationalbankcenter.com/essex-county-man-sentenced-to-108-months-in-prison-for-mortgage-and-securities-fraud-schemes-usao-nj/

NEWARK, NJ – An Essex County, New Jersey man was sentenced today to 108 months in prison for conspiring to obtain mortgages to finance the sale of properties to unqualified buyers, fraud in securities by tricking a victim into investing more than $1.2 million in real estate businesses under false pretences and violating supervised release, US Attorney Vikas Khanna has said.

Maurice Bethea, 54, of Newark, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to an information charging him with one count of bank fraud conspiracy and one count of securities fraud. Judge Wigenton handed down the sentence today in federal court in Newark.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From May 2009 to June 2012, Bethea and others recruited buyers to purchase multi-unit residential properties owned by Westinghouse Redevelopment Act Inc., a company controlled by Bethea. Bethea and its conspirators used false information about buyers’ assets and income to support fraudulent mortgage applications with a mortgage company. They falsified buyers’ loan application by increasing cash. Bethea and his conspirators transferred money from Westinghouse and other accounts to buyers’ bank accounts and forged documents to hide the transfers. Once the loans were approved, Bethea and his conspirators caused the funds to return to Westinghouse. Upon closing the deals, Bethea and his conspirators defrauded the mortgage company by concealing that Westinghouse and others, not the buyers, had provided the money to complete the deals. Ultimately, the buyers were unable to repay the loans, resulting in losses for several financial institutions.

From April 2017 to May 2018, Bethea tricked an individual into investing in Bethea’s real estate companies. Bethea told the victim that he would invest his money in businesses that Bethea owned that bought foreclosed homes, renovated the homes, and then resold the properties. Bethea falsely promised the victim that Bethea would pay him a 12% return on investment and $10,000 each time one of Bethea’s companies sold a property. In reality, Bethea took the victim’s $1.27 million investment, spent the money on other purposes, and then lied to the victim about Bethea’s failure to pay the monthly interest and the condition of properties under Bethea’s control.

The 108-month sentence handed down today includes a 21-month sentence for violating probation; Bethea was on probation for a prior conviction at the time he committed the counts to which he pleaded guilty in this case. In addition to the prison sentence, Judge Wigenton sentenced Bethea to five years of probation. Refund will be determined later.

United States Attorney Khanna credited special agents from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Robert Manchak; US Department of Housing and Urban Development Special Agents, Office of Inspector General, Mid-Atlantic Region, under Special Agent in Charge Shawn Rice; and FBI special agents, under Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, the investigation leading to conviction.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew M. Trombly of the Cybercrime Unit and Ari B. Fontecchio of the Special Prosecutions Division in Newark, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kevin V. Di Gregory and Charlie L. Divine of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. , Office of the Inspector General.

]]>
How to Choose the Best Loan Company for Bad Credit https://sunnationalbankcenter.com/how-to-choose-the-best-loan-company-for-bad-credit/ Tue, 08 Mar 2022 20:59:55 +0000 https://sunnationalbankcenter.com/how-to-choose-the-best-loan-company-for-bad-credit/

A bad credit loan could be a viable option if you can’t get approved for a loan from a bank, credit union, or borrow money from friends and family.

It is relatively easy to apply and most lenders issue quick loan decisions. Interest rates can reach up to 36% on unsecured and secured personal loans for bad credit or triple digits for payday loans and cash advances.

However, not all loan options are the same. Before applying, consider how to choose the best bad credit lender.

What is a bad credit loan

A bad credit loan is a personal loan for consumers with credit difficulties. You may also qualify for a bad credit loan if you have little or no credit history.

Loans for bad credit generally have no restrictions on how the funds can be used. Some borrowers cover financial emergencies, medical bills, or make expensive home repairs. Others use the money to consolidate their debts or as they see fit.

These loan products usually come with high interest rates because they are risky for the lender. But the interest rate on most bad credit loans is fixed, so the monthly payment amount won’t change. Loan proceeds are allocated in a lump sum and payable in equal monthly installments over a specified period.

Payday loans and cash advances are alternatives to bad credit personal loans. However, interest rates and fees tend to make these loans very risky options.

Types of loans for bad credit

There are four main types of bad credit loans.

Secure loan

You will need collateral to get approved for a secured loan. However, the rate will generally be lower than what you would get with an unsecured loan. Your lender can seize your property and sell it to recover their losses if you fail to repay the loan.

These loan products are also easier to obtain if you have bad credit. However, they should only be used if you can comfortably afford the loan repayments.

Unsecured loan

This type of loan is preferred if you need a bad credit loan. You won’t need collateral to qualify and you could be eligible for a hefty amount. The downside is that your interest rate will be higher with a lower credit score.

Consider targeting online lenders. They tend to offer more flexible personal loan options for borrowers with bad credit than traditional banks and credit unions.

payday loan

A payday loan can be used as a last resort if you cannot qualify for a personal loan or borrow from family or friends. It is a short term loan of $500 or less. It comes with an excessive interest rate, usually in the triple digits, and is payable on the day of your next payday.

These loans are extremely risky and can trap you in a dangerous cycle of debt if you are unable to pay and are forced to extend the term of the loan. You could rack up several hundred dollars in interest and fees each time you carry over the balance.

Cash advance

Like payday loans, cash advances are another expensive way to borrow money. They are available from some credit card issuers and involve withdrawing funds from your credit card’s available balance.

The amount you borrow will be added to your existing account balance, but you can expect to pay a higher interest rate than that charged for purchases made with the card.

How to Choose a Loan Company for Bad Credit

Beyond funding timelines, there are other factors to consider when evaluating bad credit lenders.

Borrowing costs

The cost of borrowing varies by lender and loan product. Get options from multiple lenders and compare them to see which offers the most competitive interest rate and doesn’t charge a fortune in fees.

Reputation of the lender

Bad credit loans are readily available from several financial institutions, both physical and online. Not all lenders are the same and some should be avoided. Some lenders may even be scammers.

Avoid lenders that aren’t registered to do business in your state, offer guaranteed approvals without a credit check, or require an upfront payment to approve you for a loan. It is equally important that they have a secure website and a physical address.

Loan conditions

An extended repayment term means that your monthly payment will be lower, but you will pay more interest over the life of the loan. So, a shorter loan term might be more ideal if you want to pay off what you owe faster and save a lot of interest.

Client experience

The lender should offer customer support by phone, online, or both at times that suit your busy schedule. It’s also essential that the application experience is seamless and that the lender gives you the ability to manage your loan online through a mobile app once it’s approved and you start making payments.

At the end of the line

Several loan options for bad credit could be suitable. But before applying for a loan, research loan types and shop around for quotes. When narrowing down your options, you also want to evaluate lenders based on their reputation, loan costs, terms, and customer service to find the best one for you.

]]>
Why You (and I) Should Appoint a “Trusted Contact” https://sunnationalbankcenter.com/why-you-and-i-should-appoint-a-trusted-contact/ Fri, 04 Mar 2022 14:31:05 +0000 https://sunnationalbankcenter.com/why-you-and-i-should-appoint-a-trusted-contact/

For the past few years, financial services companies have asked me to appoint a “trusted contact”. Banks, brokers and insurers increasingly want to have someone to call or email in case they notice suspicious activity and cannot reach the account holder.

I ignored these requests. Trusted contacts are a great idea for older people with cognitive decline, I thought, but that’s not me.

Then a younger friend developed dementia praecox and I realized we don’t always get enough warning to put such protections in place.

Obviously, trusted contacts aren’t just good for older people. Anyone’s financial accounts could be vulnerable if they are displaced by a natural disaster, end up in hospital, suffer a brain injury, or travel and are hard to reach. Helping your brokerage, bank, or insurer connect with someone who knows what’s going on in your life could protect your money and prevent financial disaster.

“I love the idea of ​​the trusted contact because it can really prevent any fraud or exploitation before it gets out of hand,” says Amanda Singleton, AARP Family Care Expert and St. Petersburg, Florida.

TRUSTED CONTACTS CANNOT MAKE CHANGES

Naming a trusted contact does not give that person authority over your accounts or the ability to see balances or make changes, says Gerri Walsh, senior vice president of investor education at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. , known as FINRA. FINRA is the non-governmental organization that regulates the securities industry, including brokerage firms.

Instead, your trusted contact can help financial services companies reach you (if you’re reachable) or identify others who might be able to help you. If you are incapacitated, for example, your contact can link the company to your legal guardian or the person with power of attorney over your accounts. If you are deceased, your support person may provide contact information for your estate’s executor or the successor trustee of your living trust.

You don’t have to name a trusted contact, but financial services companies, as well as regulators and consumer advocates, recommend it. You can change your trusted contact whenever you want or name more than one. Ideally, a trusted contact is someone you know will protect your privacy and act responsibly.

“It could be an adult child, close friend, lawyer or other trusted person that the financial institution can contact for further assistance in trying to reach you,” says Deborah Royster, Deputy Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. for older Americans.

A TRUSTED CONTACT COULD STOP FRAUD

The push to name trusted contacts began out of concern that older Americans would be ripped off with their savings. More than 369,000 cases of financial fraud by older adults are reported to authorities each year, causing losses estimated at $4.84 billion, according to a January report by Comparitech, a cybersecurity research firm.

But this type of fraud is notoriously underreported, often because victims are embarrassed, fear others will think them incapable, or protect the perpetrators, who may be relatives, caregivers or neighbours. Comparitech estimates the actual toll could be 8.68 million cases and more than $113.7 billion in losses each year.

To help reduce this toll, two new FINRA rules were approved in 2017. The first allows brokerages to temporarily suspend withdrawals when financial abuse is suspected, and the second requires brokerages to “make reasonable efforts” to get customers to name trusted contacts.

Until now, other financial services companies such as banks, credit unions and insurers do not have similar rules. Even so, some offer the ability to name trusted contacts on accounts, Royster says.

BEWARE OF FRAUDULENT EMAIL REQUESTS

One thing you shouldn’t do is respond to emails that appear to be from your financial institution asking you to name a trusted contact. These can be scams to steal your passwords or create other havoc, says FINRA’s Walsh. Instead of responding to these emails, consider calling your financial institution or searching their website for a form to name a trusted contact.

If your financial institutions offer this option, it’s a relatively quick and easy way to add a layer of protection to your accounts, says Abby Schneiderman, co-founder and co-CEO of end-of-life planning site Everplans and co. -author. from “In Case You Get Hit by a Bus: How to Organize Your Life Now for When You’re Away Later.”

“People should take two minutes out of their day and name a trusted contact,” Schneiderman says.

_________________________

This column was provided to The Associated Press by personal finance website NerdWallet. The content is for educational and informational purposes and does not constitute investment advice. Liz Weston is a NerdWallet columnist, certified financial planner and author of “Your Credit Score.” Email: lweston@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @lizweston.

]]>
NEW YORK COMMUNITY BANCORP, INC. ANNOUNCES THE APPOINTMENT OF MARSHALL LUX TO ITS BOARD OF DIRECTORS https://sunnationalbankcenter.com/new-york-community-bancorp-inc-announces-the-appointment-of-marshall-lux-to-its-board-of-directors/ Mon, 28 Feb 2022 14:52:00 +0000 https://sunnationalbankcenter.com/new-york-community-bancorp-inc-announces-the-appointment-of-marshall-lux-to-its-board-of-directors/

HICKSVILLE, NY, February 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — New York Community Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE: NYCB) (the “Company” or “NYCB”) today announced the appointment of Marshall Lux – a prominent and highly regarded professional in the financial services industry – to the Boards of Directors of the Company and its principal banking subsidiary, New York Community Bank (the “Bank”), effective immediately. He was also appointed to the Audit Committee and the Risk Assessment Committee.

Mr. Lux has a long and distinguished career in financial services, spanning nearly 40 years and encompassing a wide range of industry sub-sectors including commercial banking, consumer finance, insurance, brokerages /dealers, wealth and asset management, credit cards, private equity, and FinTech. After attending princeton university and Harvard Business School, in 1986, he began his career at McKinsey & Co., where he advised companies on fundamental strategy and operational matters, including consumer protection, mergers and merger integration, business development new products, expense management and capital initiatives. Mr. Lux’s experience at McKinsey also included advising financial institutions on various risk and compliance matters, including consumer compliance in retail banking, mortgages and other consumer lending. .

He left McKinsey as a senior partner after more than 20 years to join JP Morgan as global chief risk officer for Chase Consumer Bank, where he served from 2007 to 2009, managing a team of 10,000 employees across the world, reporting directly to the Board of Directors. , and working closely with the CEO on Consumer Bank’s risk strategy Jamie Dimon. During his tenure, he developed a number of risk mitigation strategies and models by interacting frequently with various regulatory bodies regarding the bank’s consumer compliance practices and helping to successfully steer the bank to through the mortgage crisis.

He left JP Morgan in 2009 to return to his consulting roots with the Boston Consulting Group (“BCG”), where he was the firm’s first directly elected senior partner. At BCG, Mr. Lux continued to focus on advising financial services companies, including residential mortgage lenders and other consumer credit providers on various consumer compliance issues. He ended his full-time professional career in 2014 at BCG, where he remains Senior Advisor.

Commenting on the appointment of Mr. Lux to the Boards of Directors of the Company and the Bank, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer, Thomas R. Cangemi said: “Marshall is a highly respected finance professional and thought leader in the financial services industry. He possesses all the qualities one would expect of a director – deep industry knowledge, hands-on experience significant, in-depth understanding of our business and its strategies, as well as a strong regulatory background. I know that his knowledge, care and unique work experiences will be invaluable in helping us meet our commitments. meaningful to our customers, communities and shareholders.”

He is currently a member of several boards, including Mphasis, a publicly traded global IT company, DHB Capital, a public SPAC, and Kapitus, a private small business lender. He is also a director of the Guardian Life Mutual Funds Board, part of the Guardian Life Insurance Company. In addition to his board responsibilities, he advises a number of FinTech companies involved in payment systems, mortgages, digital assets, cybersecurity and wealth management.

Mr. Lux is also a member of Harvard University, where he teaches and writes. He is a prolific writer having authored or co-authored ten articles to date. Some of his most prominent articles focus on consumer compliance and the particularly important role of community banks in the retail and small business lending markets. His expertise has also been recognized by the public sector, where he has advised the Federal Reserve Board, the 9/11 Commission, and has also testified before Congress on a number of financial matters.

“We look forward to benefiting from Marshall’s decades-long knowledge, expertise and experience,” Mr. Cangemi continued, “as he joins our boards of directors and as a member of management committees. ‘Audit and Risk Assessment.’

About New York Community Bancorp, Inc.
Situated at Hicksville, NYNew York Community Bancorp, Inc. is a leading provider of multifamily loans on rent-regulated non-luxury apartment buildings in New York City, and the parent company of New York Community Bank. As of December 31, 2021, the Company declared assets of $59.5 billionloans from $45.7 billiondeposits of $35.1 billionand equity of $7.0 billion.

Reflecting our growth through a series of acquisitions, the company operates 237 branches across eight local divisions, each with a history of service and strength: Queens County Savings Bank, Roslyn Savings Bank, Richmond County Savings Bank, Roosevelt Savings Bank and Atlantic Bank in new York; Garden State Community Bank in New Jersey; Ohio Savings Bank at Ohio; and AmTrust Bank at Florida and Arizona.

Investor/media contact:

Salvatore J. DiMartino


(516) 683-4286

SOURCE New York Community Bancorp, Inc.

]]>
Cost of Living Crisis: Top Tips to Protect Your Wallet Against Spiraling Inflation https://sunnationalbankcenter.com/cost-of-living-crisis-top-tips-to-protect-your-wallet-against-spiraling-inflation/ Fri, 18 Feb 2022 11:20:29 +0000 https://sunnationalbankcenter.com/cost-of-living-crisis-top-tips-to-protect-your-wallet-against-spiraling-inflation/

Inflation – rising consumer prices – is a slow erosion of your money over time and it’s starting to seriously bite.

Prior to 2021, the United States had not seen annual underlying inflation well above 3% for nearly 25 years, says Michael Ashton, managing director of Enduring Investments, an investment and advisory firm in Morristown. , New Jersey.

The spike seen over the past year in the costs of fuel, used vehicles, groceries and just about everything else is the kind of sudden, systemic increase that can shock everyday spending. of most people.

Inflation is not the same for everyone

Inflation hit a national average of 7.5% in the United States in January, but that probably won’t be your inflation rate, Ashton said. In the euro zone, inflation rose to 5% in the same month.

You may consume different items than the average person and you may not live in an average place, so your particular inflation rate most likely varies from the average, according to Ashton.

With inflation eating away at your purchasing power, how can you protect yourself?

Rather than agonizing over a single number like losing purchasing power to recover, use the small money moves below to improve your financial situation slowly but surely. Here’s how:

Review your expenses

First, prune discretionary spending, voluntary spending in categories such as leisure or travel, by only 5%. It’s one of those gradual changes that isn’t that hard to make and goes straight to your personal bottom line.

Don’t delay a major purchase; prices are likely to rise.

If you can, shop strategically by buying more generic branded products. Save on necessary expenses by using coupons and in-store loyalty programs. For readers in the US specifically, using membership cards (like Walmart+ and others) to pay 5 cents (€0.04) less per gallon of fuel could help keep you on the road.

Look for savings

Eliminate any fees you pay for credit cards or bank accounts (late fees, monthly or annual service fees, ATM fees, etc.). Many banks waive these fees, and credit cards often offer no-fee options.

Renegotiate your satellite TV, streaming or cell phone bill for possible savings.

“I can say from my own personal experience – it’s amazing how easy it is,” Ashton noted. He says that every time he called his cell phone provider, they would offer him a much better plan than the one he currently had. “And that only happens if you call,” he added.

Ashton now makes a habit of calling once a year and asking, “What’s the best plan you have, and should I be on that?”

Reduce the number of subscriptions you have, even if there is only one.

“You should check these every once in a while, because sometimes they sneak in a price increase, and it just shows up on your credit card,” Ashton said.

Try to bring more money

Look for financial institutions that pay higher interest rates than what you currently earn (if you earn anything). Online banks and credit unions often offer high-yield savings accounts that sweeten returns, especially when interest rates rise.

Perhaps the most powerful idea of ​​all: ask for a raise at work. If you haven’t received a raise in a few years, you’ve probably taken what amounts to a pay cut because of inflation, Ashton said.

Get an inflation-indexed savings account

Another inflation-fighting idea: Series I savings bonds. They were created specifically to protect consumers’ purchasing power against inflation, says Zvi Bodie, professor emeritus of finance at the University from Boston.

Bodie holds a doctorate in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has become a strong supporter of Bonds I.

Bond rates are pegged to the rate of inflation, which recently topped 7%, he notes. They are a perfect haven for short-term savings. And it’s not a bad addition to your long-term nest egg, either.

A minimum bond investment through TreasuryDirect.com is just $25, and an individual can invest up to $10,000 per year in savings bonds with electronic purchases. Bonds pay fixed interest plus the rate of inflation, adjusted twice a year.

You can withdraw your savings without penalty after one year, but if you cash it out before five years, you will lose interest for the last three months.

“So what you get is basically a savings account that can’t go down, and will go up with inflation,” adds Bodie. “Do I need to say more?”

  • This article was provided to The Associated Press by personal finance website NerdWallet.
]]>
Early Financial Literacy Lessons Can Put Students on the Right Path for Life https://sunnationalbankcenter.com/early-financial-literacy-lessons-can-put-students-on-the-right-path-for-life/ Sat, 05 Feb 2022 15:27:04 +0000 https://sunnationalbankcenter.com/early-financial-literacy-lessons-can-put-students-on-the-right-path-for-life/

Every high school student must take courses in physical education, fine arts, and social studies to graduate from Montgomery County Public Schools. It is time that financial literacy was also required for graduation.

It is exciting that MCPS and district leaders are taking notice and that there is a stronger effort at work to make this a reality. But financial literacy at a young age is important enough to be required and should carry the same weight as the other credits needed to earn a degree.

Currently, five MCPS high schools offer the financial literacy option which attracts approximately 200 students per year. This means less than four tenths of 1% of more than 50,500 high school students in the county learn these skills.

And yet, every day, these same students make decisions about spending and perhaps their entire family’s finances whether they have a job or shop.

It is imperative that MCPS students graduate with skills to succeed. Knowing how to budget, plan spending, complete a W-4, apply for and pay car and student loans, and establish good credit are key to avoiding mistakes that can affect their financial health for years or even years. decades.

Early financial education allows people to lay a solid foundation instead of fixing problems and putting out fires because they were never taught the right principles.

Financial literacy should be taught in high school because resources for later financial education are less predictable and less reliable.

While some financial institutions offer educational workshops or meet with customers one-on-one, many people – especially in minority and low-income communities – are unbanked, meaning they don’t have bank account and are not serviced by a bank or similar financial institution. institution.

Many adults don’t know where to learn or are too overwhelmed to start, so they remain financially illiterate and subject themselves to poor credit scores and poor decisions. Often, they pass on this lack of focus on a solid financial plan to their children because finances are simply not talked about at home.

Credit card companies can start recruiting new customers as soon as they turn 18. If students are unaware of interest rates and payment schedules, and instead view credit as “free money,” they can get into debt quickly. Debt snowballs as interest rates mount and late fees pile up.

It can be easy to think that technology can make up for a lack of financial education, but that’s rarely the case. Apps can track expenses and create budgets, but only enter data and perform calculations. Students need to know the basics and learn discipline when it comes to spending.

As we move away from brick-and-mortar banks towards online banking, the possibilities for a face-to-face conversation with a finance professional diminish, making a solid foundation of proficiency more important. finances.

Financial education for high school students will likely create a ripple effect at home. Kids can start teaching their parents, or at least eliminate the stigma, of asking about finances and learning best practices and principles.

A The 2018 survey revealed that 77% of respondents find it easy to spend money, 59% don’t track their spending, and 40% have never had a budget. Another survey in 2019 found that the average American spends about $7,429 more than expected each year.

The survey results show the need to teach children about financial principles when they are young.

Budgeting and decision making are at the heart of financial literacy. Creating a budget and knowing how much money is coming in and how much money needs to be spent each month should be simple, but the survey shows that many people don’t plan that way.

Once a budget is established, spending decision-making skills are the next piece of the puzzle. Lessons should use scenarios and stories that secondary school students can relate to and will get them thinking about what is important to them.

They’ll learn to decide if they really need another pair of sneakers or if it’s a good time to update their iPhone.

If adding a course can positively impact over 50,500 high school students, their families, and the wider community, why wait? Why make it an optional course? Financial literacy must be a mandatory requirement for graduating from MCPS.

Audra Pettus is the Director of Community Relations for SkyPoint Federal Credit Union, a member-owned financial institution serving the DMV region.

***

Editor’s note: Bethesda Beat encourages readers to send us their thoughts on the local topics we’ve covered in the form of a letter to the editor or an opinion piece in our Saturday newsletter. Email them to editorial@bethesdamagazine.com. Here are our guidelines. We need a name and hometown for posting. We also need a phone number (not intended for publication) to verify who wrote the letter. Please provide a source for any facts contained in your letter that were not part of our coverage; if they cannot be verified, they will probably be omitted. We do not accept third party submissions; it must come directly from the writer. We do not accept any piece that has been published or submitted elsewhere.

]]>
Where to put your money when inflation is on the rise: 5 expert tips https://sunnationalbankcenter.com/where-to-put-your-money-when-inflation-is-on-the-rise-5-expert-tips/ Sun, 30 Jan 2022 12:30:00 +0000 https://sunnationalbankcenter.com/where-to-put-your-money-when-inflation-is-on-the-rise-5-expert-tips/

Trying to time the markets is often a wild ride. If you need proof, just look at the dot-com meltdown of the 90s or the housing crash of 2008. But react to what you almost know is about to happen? This is called being notified. In December, the Federal Reserve released an economic forecast indicating that it could raise interest rates up to three times this year. And let’s face it – there’s only one direction for them at this point.

So the question to ask is, where is the best place to put my money right now, given these expected rate increases and the inflation that is already eating away at cash reserves? To get some insight, we reached out to several financial advisors to see what savvy investors should do. Here’s what they recommend.

1. Equity funds

Most investors who are at least a few decades away from retirement are likely gearing their portfolios towards equities. Fortunately, owning a globally diversified basket of stocks turns out to be a good place to put your dollars when interest rates are likely to rise, says Elliott Appel of Kindness Financial Planning in Madison, Wisconsin.

“When inflation rises, businesses can pass on price increases to consumers, which increases their income,” says Appel. “Over time, this should drive stock prices higher.”

In the stock market, some companies tend to do better when rates rise slightly. Financial institutions have always done well, for example, as have commodities like corn and oil.

Carleton McHenry, a planner in Leavenworth, Washington, says ETFs can be a good way to gain exposure to these commodities, albeit indirectly. For example, he owns the Energy Select Sector SPDR fund (NYSE: XLE), which invests in some of the biggest names in oil and gas exploration, drilling and energy-related services.

You’re not exactly navigating new territory by diverting some of your assets to the fossil fuel industry right now – for example, XLE is up about 50% in the past 12 months as of this writing. . But McHenry sees a good possibility that this growth will continue for some time.

“I would take some of the other areas that may be more growth oriented like technology and reallocate them to an area like this, but I would keep the overall exposure at 10% or less,” he says.

Not all commodities behave the same during a period of rising interest rates, so investors need to do their homework, warns Stephanie McElheny of Aspen Wealth Strategies. “It’s important to research and analyze what might provide the most benefit,” she says.

2. I-Bonds

When property prices begin to rise, investors often seek cover in the form of Treasury Inflation Protected Securities, or TIPS. These government-issued bonds have a few big advantages: they are extremely safe and their principal increases with the consumer price index, or CPI.

But there is another government security that might be even more attractive right now: Series I Savings Bonds. Currently, I-Bonds offer an attractive rate of 7.12% on an annual basis. And, unlike TIPS, I-Bonds cannot fall below their initial value. “That’s not the case for TIPS, which can lose principal in a deflationary environment,” says Greg Plechner of Greenspring Advisors in Paramus, New Jersey.

The I-Bond rate is adjusted twice a year according to changes in the CPI. In the recent past, this has not resulted in astronomical payouts. But with consumer prices continuing to soar, paying for those federally backed notes is starting to turn heads.

Plechner also likes the fact that you can defer paying tax on your interest income until final maturity — that is, in 30 years — or when you choose to redeem your bonds. You can completely exclude interest from your income if you use it for higher education expenses.

Series I bonds are not without limitations, however. You can only buy electronically $10,000 per year from TreasuryDirect – or $5,000, if you use your tax refund to buy them in paper format.

They are not very liquid either. Once you’ve purchased your bonds, you can’t access that money for a full year. And if you decide to sell them within five years, you will have to pay 3 months of interest.

Still, if you have money that you know you won’t need for a while, that’s a relatively minor inconvenience at the moment. “It’s worth it compared to today’s savings rates,” says Derek Hensley, advisor at Sound Stewardship in Overland Park, Kansas.

3. High yield bonds

Most corporate bonds pay a fixed interest rate until maturity, which can lock you into low yields during a time when the Fed is expected to raise rates. But there are several ways to navigate this financial quagmire.

According to Ed Schmitzer, president of River Capital Advisors in Jacksonville, Fla., one way to increase your potential interest payment is to focus on short-term bonds. Once mature, you can use the money to invest in new bonds, which will generally offer a better return after a Fed rate hike.

You can increase your payout potential even further by investing in high yield bonds – sometimes referred to as “junk” bonds. As the name suggests, high yield bond issues offer a more generous interest rate than other forms of debt. There’s a reason for that — they’re offered by companies with lower credit ratings or a shorter borrowing history, so there’s a higher chance they’ll default.

But Schmitzer explains that the level of risk is proportional to the maturity date. So if you focus on the shorter end of the maturity spectrum, you’re on safer ground. “The potential is better than principal and interest being paid over two to four years,” Schmitzer says.

Senior Loans are another option for investors looking for above-average yield, says Jay Lee, founder of Ballaster Financial in Jersey City, New Jersey.. In the event of bankruptcy, issuers must redeem these bonds before their high-yield bonds, making them a good choice for more risk-averse investors. Senior Loans also come with a variable interest rate, so they help families cope with rising rates and inflation.

4. Floating rate bonds

Another option for investors looking to follow inflation? Floating rate bonds issued by corporations or government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs).

Fixed rate securities are great when rates across the economy are stable or falling, but not so much when newly issued bonds offer higher payouts. Variable rate, or “floating” bonds are different. Their interest rate changes according to a specific reference interest rate. So as rates increase in general, the coupon rate you get from the bond also increases.

Appel warns that because floats are a smaller subset of the bond market, investors really need to do their homework before making a purchase. “Every bond is different, which means you have to research the credit quality and the interest adjustment is calculated,” he says.

One way to mitigate your risk is to buy ETFs that invest in these specialty bonds, Appel adds. By spreading your exposure across multiple issuers, you won’t be rolled over if one of them defaults.

5. REITs

The U.S. housing market was absolutely on fire in 2021, and many economists are predicting continued price growth — albeit at a slower pace — in the new year. But owning your own home isn’t the only way to take advantage of soaring prices.

Another option is to divert part of your portfolio to a real estate investment trust. REITs pool money from multiple investors, which they use to buy income-generating properties or mortgages. According to the REIT, it could be a basket of apartments, commercial buildings or healthcare facilities. By law, they are required to transfer at least 90% of their taxable income to investors in the form of dividends.

According to McElheny, REITs can be an effective hedge during periods of rising consumer prices. “In an environment of rising inflation, rents generally tend to rise and landlords are able to charge more,” she says. Much of this additional income is then distributed to shareholders.

That’s not the only way REITs counter the effect of inflation, McElheny says. Over time, inflation erodes the value of any long-term debt the trust carries. If, for example, a particular REIT is carrying $1 million in loans today, ten years from now the value of that debt would be reduced due to the impact of rising prices.

Certainly, current economic conditions will benefit some REITs more than others. This means that investors need to be careful which segments of the real estate market they are targeting. Wells Fargo, for example, now has a “favorable” rating for real estate funds that focus on apartments and single-family homes, but an “unfavourable” designation for office, healthcare and lodging REITs.

]]>
Missouri Small Business Loans | Navigation https://sunnationalbankcenter.com/missouri-small-business-loans-navigation/ Mon, 24 Jan 2022 22:52:29 +0000 https://sunnationalbankcenter.com/missouri-small-business-loans-navigation/

More than half a million small businesses call Missouri home and in turn employ some 1.2 million Missourians according to the SBA Advocacy Office. Small business loans are essential for many new and existing businesses, as well as those struggling to survive the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. If you’re a business owner in Missouri, learn how to find and access small business loans.

How a Small Business Loan Can Help Your Business in Missouri

Small business loans can be vital for businesses, providing much-needed capital for:

  • start-up costs
  • Working capital
  • Expansion
  • Inventory and supplies
  • Equipment
  • Marketing
  • Hiring new employees

Whatever the purpose of the loan, finding the right source of financing is essential.

Types of small business loans to choose from

There are many types of small business loans and choosing the right financing option can be confusing. Here is an overview of the most popular choices:

Lines of credit: offers accessible financing if needed. Interest is paid on unpaid balances. Good for short-term needs, including working capital.

Term loans: Fixed financing amount with a defined repayment period (2 to 25 years and more). Excellent for specific projects such as renovation, equipment, etc.

Commercial real estate loans: Used to acquire real estate for the company to occupy and/or rent to other tenants.

Business credit cards: Fast and flexible financing for short-term needs. Cards with 0% introductory APRs can be particularly useful.

Equipment financing: Loans or leases, it allows the company to acquire the necessary financing without a lot of upfront money.

Factoring invoice: Used by businesses that have unpaid invoices owed to them by other businesses. Provides financing quickly based on these invoices.

Merchant Cash Advance: An advance on future sales (usually credit and debit card sales). Popular with businesses that need very quick funding but don’t qualify for other funding.

Microcredits: Small loans, usually less than US$50,000, often available from non-profit community development financial institutions. Can be useful for startups as well as disadvantaged companies.

Crowdfunding: Funding obtained by introducing potential lenders through online platforms. Can take the form of debt (loans), equity (investment in the business) or rewards (like products).

What it takes to get approved for a small business loan

Most small business loan decisions depend on several key factors. Each of these can affect eligibility:

  • Company turnover and finances
  • Credit (professional and/or personal credit)
  • Time spent in business
  • Industry

business finance: Most lenders will have minimum income requirements which can vary greatly depending on the type of loan and the amount of the loan. They can verify income using business bank statements or by asking the entrepreneur to link a business bank account during the loan application process.

Some lenders (especially banks) may require borrowers to provide business tax returns as well as personal tax returns. Some will require financial statements such as an up-to-date profit and loss statement.

Credit: Good credit will help increase loan options. Some lenders have minimum personal credit score requirements, and some will check business credit.

However, small business owners with bad credit may still have options, including crowdfunding, invoice factoring, merchant cash advances, and some microloans. And some financing options don’t require excellent credit, including equipment financing and some term loans or online lines of credit.

Time spent in business: Most lenders prefer that the business be at least two years old. This makes it harder for startups to secure funding. Business credit cards, crowdfunding, and some microloans can be a good option for new businesses.

How to Choose the Right Loan for Your Missouri Small Business

Choosing the right small business loan involves a few steps.

  1. Determine how much you need to borrow and how you will use the funds.
  2. Identify the types of financing you are likely to qualify for based on the lender’s requirements and your qualifications.
  3. Find the best financing options you qualify for
  4. Complete your loan application

This process can seem overwhelming, so don’t be afraid to get help from trusted sources who can help you understand your options.

Small Business Loan Options for Missouri

Here are several options to consider for financing your business in Missouri. In addition to these lenders, you may want to talk to a local bank or credit union. If you qualify, their terms will likely be favorable.

Credit line

term loan

Invoice financing

Commercial real estate loan

Equipment financing

SBA loan

Business credit cards

Small Business Grant Options for Missouri

A small business grant provides money that the business does not have to repay. The grants are competitive and it is important to understand that the federal government does not give free money to start a business. Still, if you’re willing to put in the work, you might be able to find a grant program that’s right for your business.

Learn how to find and apply for small business grants here.

Additional Resources for Missouri Small Businesses

There are a number of great organizations providing business resources for small business owners in Missouri:

Free counseling or mentoring and business training is available through several SBA resource partners, including the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) and SCORE. They can also provide resources for businesses seeking government contracts and doing business with local, state, or federal government agencies. Vetbiz (formerly Veteran Business Outreach Centers) helps veterans, transitioning military members, and their spouses looking to start a business.

All of these organizations can be a great resource for starting or growing a business in Missouri.

the Missouri Business Services Division has three units that may be useful to those doing business in Missouri: the Corporations Unit, the Notaries and Commissions Unit, and the UCC Unit. Their services are available statewide.

Local governments and economic development agencies may also provide funding or technical assistance to local businesses in a specific geographic area (eg, Greater St. Louis, or Jefferson County).

There are some 35 community financial development institutions (CDFIs) in the state of Missouri. CDFIs promote community development in struggling urban and rural communities by increasing the availability of credit, investment capital, and available financial services. A list of Missouri CDFIs can be found here.

This article was originally written on January 24, 2022.

Rate this article

This article has no ratings yet.

class=”blarg”>

]]>