September 26, 2013

Podcast- Take Financial Control: Track Your Spending

"The first step to getting your finances under control is to know where your money is going. It's easy to track your spending if you focus on a short time frame. Just follow these five steps." Listen to this 4 minutes podcast from FINRA:

September 19, 2013

Do Not Call Registry

"Scammers have been making phone calls claiming to represent the National Do Not Call Registry. The calls claim to provide an opportunity to sign up for the Registry. These calls are not coming from the Registry or the Federal Trade Commission, and you should not respond to these calls. To add your number to the Registry you can call 888-382-1222 from the phone you wish to register, or go click on “Register a Phone Number” at
Your registration will not expire. Telephone numbers placed on the National Do Not Call Registry will remain on it permanently.
Click Here to Register Now 
"The National Do Not Call Registry gives you a choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls at home. Most telemarketers should not call your number once it has been on the registry for 31 days. If they do, you can file a complaint at this Website. You can register your home or mobile phone for free." (

Understanding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare)

There are many misconceptions and much misinformation about the Affordable Care Act—the health reform legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama. 

If you don’t understand the basics of health insurance how can you assess Obamacare?  (Obamacare Hurdle: Consumers Flunk Health Insurance 101):
The Kaiser Family Foundation website, has an amazing amount of information and resources on health insurance.
To learn more about health care reform and how it will affect you and your family: 

The Kaiser Family Foundation website, has an amazing amount of information and resources on health insurance.

Utah Health Policy Project  The Utah Health Policy Project (UHPP) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to building lasting solutions to the crisis of the uninsured and rising health care costs.”
Watch YouTube videos:

Health Reform Explained Video: "Health Reform Hits Main Street" (9 min.) Kaiser Family Foundation
The YouToons Get Ready for Obamacare (7 min.) Kaiser Family Foundation
Health Reform Explained in less than 2 min! Affordable Care Act & Health Insurance

Protect Yourself & Others from Financial Fraud

"The FINRA Investor Education Foundation has issued a new research report, Financial Fraud and Fraud Susceptibility in the United States, based on a survey of nearly 2,400 U.S. adults age 40 and older. The report reveals that over 80 percent of respondents have been solicited to participate in potentially fraudulent schemes, and over 40 percent cannot identify some of the classic red flags of fraud." 

According to experts, this fraud activity may be costing Americans about $50 billion annually (view the infographic).

"When it comes to financial fraud, America is a nation at risk," said FINRA Foundation President Gerri Walsh. "Fraudsters are very effective at reaching and enticing vulnerable populations into turning over their money. And far too few Americans are able to detect likely fraudulent sales pitches."

Survey results revealed that financial fraud solicitations are commonplace, and Americans age 65 and older are particularly vulnerable. Read more about the report.

September 17, 2013

Which approach is best: Trim Daily Expenses or Don't Sweat the Small Stuff?

Thanks to certified financial planner Lon Jeffries for his excellent blog post helping people decide the best approach to cutting expenditures, making ends meet and finding money to save and invest. His column reminds me of similar advice written yeas ago from former Wall Street Journal personal finance writer Jonathan Clements. The media is full of advice on how to count pennies and cut expenses through frugal living.  Read Mr. Jeffries' thoughtful comments (backed up by research) at:

Comparative Income Data

People like to see how they compare to others. The U.S. Census Bureau just released median (midpoint) income figures for 2012:
household income: $51,017
family income: $64,053
non-family income: $30,880

"A comparison of real household income over the past five years shows an 8.3 percent decline since 2007, the year before the nation entered an economic recession."

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