Equifax Update: How to Protect, Freeze & Unfreeze Your Credit

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are probably aware that Equifax dropped the ball in terms of leaking consumer data last year. In fact, many experts now say that the Equifax data breach that took place on July 29th, 2017 may have impacted as many as 143 million consumers in the U.S. The internet is full of helpful information about this incident, but there are two things I really want you to know when it comes to how to protect your credit. First…
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Investment Policy Statement Defined

Define Investment Policy Statement

While there are a lot of tricky terms used in the world of investing, the concept behind the Investment Policy Statement should be fairly easy to understand. Simply put, the Investment Policy Statement (IPS) is a document that dictates how you invest your money. If you are working with a financial planner, the IPS will also dictate how that money manager invests your money on your behalf. Here’s why creating this document is a good move: while your financial planner may make plenty of smart investing…
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Cybersecurity: Little Known Ways to Protect Yourself Online

Safe Online Shopping Tips this Holiday Season

Why is cybersecurity so important? The internet is fraught with scammers and rip-offs. And since our entire lives live online, it’s more important than ever to learn how to protect yourself. Use Complex Passwords One of the best ways to protect yourself is to make sure you avoid using the same password for every website. Also, please don’t use “password” as your password! Passwords should be a random string of alpha-numeric characters and symbols, such as b0R@m3ir or !@$#!@K$223. Basically, your password needs to be…
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Should I Open a 529 College Savings Account for My Grandchild?

Should I open a 529 for my grandchild?

Does opening a 529 College Savings Account for your new grandchild make sense? Probably not. Because of the way 529 College Savings Accounts are set up and the way the money grows tax-free, it may be more advantageous to make a financial gift to your grandchild instead. Should that gift be added to a 529 College Savings Account? Absolutely. Keep reading to learn why grandparents should shy away from opening their own 529 College Savings Account for a grandchild, and what method might leave everyone…
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Investing Fairy Tales are Expensive

When it comes to the way you invest your hard-earned cash, you have a big choice to make. You can: A.) earn the most money possible via a solid investing strategy, or B.) enjoy and consistently rehash a neat little fairy tale about a mighty investing wizard doing magical and fanciful things with your money. Unfortunately, you can’t have both. If you want to make the most money possible, you won’t be able to wow your friends and family with whatever inane investment strategy happens to…
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Disability Insurance Defined: Protect Your Income

define disability insurance

Before I define disability insurance, let me set the scene for you: Joe Danger, CPA earns $100,000 a year working at a Big Four accounting firm. In his free time, Joe likes to practice juggling chainsaws. During a recent chainsaw-juggling performance at the Del Mar Fair, Joe injures his hands. Without any working digits, Joe is no longer able to use the number pad on his keyboard. He can’t work – and he’s not entitled to his salary! Pretty unfortunate for Mr. Danger, right? But he’s…
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Side Letter of Instruction Defined

Side Letter of Instruction Definition for Estate Planning

If you’re wondering what a side letter of instruction is, you’re not alone. To help you understand what this term really means, I want you to consider the following story: Imagine a husband and wife who have been married several years. Like many couples, only one spouse has taken a big interest in the household finances. In this example, let’s assume that the wife is the household Chief Financial Officer and that the husband trusts her judgment completely. Because of this, the couple’s mortgage is…
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Is Loaning Money to Friends or Family a Good Investment?

Is a personal loan to friends or family a good investment?

Has a friend or family member asked you to borrow money? Maybe they need cash to start a business, want to a buy a new home, or have fallen on hard times. Whatever the reason, the question of whether you should loan money to family and friends still remains. Thoughts On Giving a Personal Loan to Family and Friends Before you decide to loan money to family or friends, consider some advice from an expert in the field. Consumer expert Clark Howard likes to make the…
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