Category: Financial Topics


Free Financial Education Workshops for Boston Residents

July 9, 2013

Financial Topics

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BOSTON, June 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ –Money Management International, in collaboration with Bank of America and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, is offering several financial education workshops designed to help make complicated financial topics simpler for area residents.

Participants at these free public financial education events will gain valuable knowledge about practical tools and strategies for building and managing a successful budget and spending plan. These workshops offer easy-to-use materials that will help individuals and families set short and long-term goals, as well as tips for staying motivated throughout their journey towards financial success.

Residents in and around the Boston metropolitan area who are interested in learning practical money management tips and strategies for reaching long-term financial success are invited to register for these free workshops.

WHEN/WHERE:

Bank of America Centers
Workshops will take place from 6:30 until 8 pm


Calendar & Singles

July 8, 2013

Financial Topics

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Calendar

Saturday

Valley Beth Shalom: Shabbat services followed by luncheon to honor special members and endow a scholarship fund. $35. 15739 Ventura Blvd., Encino. For reservations or more information, call (818) 788-5447.

Congregation Shir Ami: 10:15 am Anniversary Shabbat, participatory service with guitar, a creative approach to the liturgy. For more information, call (818) 348-2926.

Shomrei Torah Synagogue: 6:30 pm Aces Chai Casino Night with dinner, games and prizes. $25. 7353 Valley Circle Blvd., West Hills. For more information, call (818) 346-0811.

Bnai Tikvah Congregation: 7 pm Comedy night featuring Richard Tanner, Fred Stoler and Wendy Kaminoff. $27. 5820 W. Manchester Ave., Westchester. For reservations or more information, call (310) 645-6262.

Bay Cities JCC: 8:08 pm-11:55 pm Vintage Israeli dancing group. 2601 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica. For more information, call (310) 828-3433.

Sunday

Zimmer Discovery Childrens Museum: 1:30 pm Create Shalach Manot baskets for Purim. 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 761-8999.

Beth Hillel Day School: 4:30 pm Musical Pajama Party, with Stephen Michael Schwartz of Parachute Express. $10. Temple Beth Hillel, 12326 Riverside Drive, Valley Village. For tickets or more information, call (818) 784-5025.

Valley Beth Shalom: 7 pm The Sounds of Tradition, concert featuring cantors Alberto Mizrahi, Israel Rand, Stephen Texon and Aaron Bensoussan. 15739 Ventura Blvd., Encino. For more information, call (818) 788-6000.

University Synagogue/Americans for Democratic Action: 1 pm The Other LA — A teach-in on poverty. 11960 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 651-4440.

Committee of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism:
2 pm The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict — An alternate view. 6120 S. Vermont
Ave., Los Angeles. For more information, call (562) 432-2609.

Monday

Conejo Jewish Academy: 8 pm Two classes begin today, each class is four sessions. Whose Life Is It Anyway? A Jewish response to the moral and ethical issues of our day. Also: Starting Over: The 12 steps of recovery adapted to Judaism. $25. 30345 Canwood St., Agoura Hills. For reservations or more information, call (818) 991-0991.

Em Habanim Northridge: 8 pm-10 pm Purim and the Dangers of Assimilation, with guest speaker Rabbi David Rousso. CSUN Hillel House, 17729 Plummer St., Northridge. For more information, call (818) 832-8293.

Beth Chayim Chadashim: 7 pm Four-session class on male homosexuality and Jewish law, with Rabbi Benay Lappe. $12 (members); $18 (nonmembers). 6000 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 931-7023.

Tuesday

University of Judaism, University Women: 10:30 am Prof. Erwin Chemerinsky discusses The Vanishing Wall: Separating church and state. $7 (members); $10 (nonmembers). 15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air. For reservations or more information, call (310) 476-9777.

Conejo Jewish Academy: 8 pm In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust rescuer, with righteous gentile Irene Gut Opdyke. 30345 Canwood St., Agoura Hills. For reservations or more information, call (818) 991-0991.

Temple Aliyah: 7:45 pm Womens financial forum with professionals discussing financial topics of concern to women. 6025 Valley Circle Blvd., Woodland Hills. For more information, call (818) 346-3545.

Womens American ORT: Noon. Business Professional Chapter luncheon with special Chinese New Year program. $7. Fus Palace, 8751 W. Pico Blvd. For more information, call (310) 552-1514.

Wednesday

Jewish Home for the Aging: 9:30 am Authors Day program featuring presentations from Susan Estrich and Jonathan Kirsch, benefitting the JHA. $36 (members); $46 (nonmembers). Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. For reservations, call (818) 774-3342.

Adat Ari El Sisterhood: Noon-1 pm Contemporary Challenges discussion, with Mayor Richard Riordan. Free (registered students); $3 (guests). 12020 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood. For more information, call (818) 766-9426.

Thursday

The Jewish Federation/Valley Alliance: 6 pm Mens Event II, gala dinner with inspirational presentation by sports agent Leigh Steinberg. Warner Center Marriott, Woodland Hills. For more information, call (818) 464-3263.

Valley Beth Shalom Family Center: 7:30 pm Surviving Your Turbulent Teen. 15739 Ventura Blvd., Encino. For more information, call (818) 788-4667.

Friday

Workmens Circle/Arbeter Ring: 6:30 pm Potluck dinner followed by discussion with Bernard Gordon of his book Hollywood Exile or How I Learned to Love the Blacklist. 1525 S. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles. For reservations, call (310) 552-2007.

Skirball Cultural Center: 8 pm Performance by USCs Thornton Classical Guitar Ensemble. $10 (general admission); $8 (members); $4 (students). 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. For tickets, call (323) 655-8587.

Kol Tikvah: 7 pm Shabbat services with guest Martin Sheen, introducing Rhoda Berensons discussion of My Daughter, Wrongfully Imprisoned in Peru. 20400 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills. For more information, call (818) 348-0670.

Singles

Saturday

Jewish Singles Dining Club (30s-40s): 7:30 pm-10:30 pm Dinner party at a fine restaurant in West LA For more information, call (310) 261-6779.

Jewish Association of Single Professionals: 7 pm-1 am Studio City cocktail party and dance. $20. Sportsmans Lodge, 12833 Ventura Blvd., Studio City. For more information, call (323) 656-7777.

Conejo Jewish Singles Connection: 6 pm Dinner at Lakeview Garden Chinese Restaurant, followed by art house movie at Westlake Twin Theater. Dinner, $15. 4697 Lakeview Canyon Road. For reservations, call (818) 929-7475.

Jewish Stars: 8:30 pm Jewish singles soiree in Encino. $9. For reservations or more information, call (818) 319-0608.

Sunday

Singles Helping Others: 11 am-2 pm Volunteering for the Jewish Federations Super Sunday. 6505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (818) 717-9136.

Eden Outdoor Adventures: 9:45 am Hike in Pt. Magu State Park. Hike is rated intermediate. Carpool from Westwood at 8:30 am $5. For more information, call (310) 459-4020.

Garys Place: 5:30 pm Dinner at Shalom Pizza, 8715 Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (310) 276-5442.

Westside Singles Networking Club (25+): 2 pm Discuss real estate and stock investment, followed by a swing lesson. Free (members); $10 (nonmembers). 1021 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica. For more information, call (310) 828-7326.

Monday

Israeli Folk Dancing: 8 pm All levels of experience welcome, with instructor Israel Yakovie. Lessons until 9 pm; open session 9 pm-12:30 am Also meets Thursday. $5. 2244 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles. (800) 750-5432.

Tuesday

The Wise Years: 7:30 pm Reflections and Introspections, lecture by Herb Badler. Taub Annex, Stephen S. Wise Temple, 15500 Stephen S. Wise Drive, Los Angeles. For more information, call (310) 889-2345.

Wednesday

Westside JCC: 7:30 pm-11 pm Salsa and other Latin dances class for Jewish singles with instructor Yossi Conde. $4 (members); $5 (nonmembers). 5870 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (323) 938-2531 ext. 2228.

Social Circle: 7 pm Interactive lecture with Gail Burgess on 911 Urgent Dating Solutions, with wine and cheese reception. $12 (members); $16 (guests). Hershenson Hall, Stephen S. Wise Temple, 15500 Stephen S. Wise Drive, Los Angeles. For more information, call (310) 889-2345.

Elite Jewish Theatre Singles: 8 pm Going to see The Lion King. $75. For reservations or more information, call (310) 203-1312.

Thursday

Jewish Single Parents and Singles Association: 6:30 pm Laguna Beach Art Walk. Meet at Surf Sand Hotel, 1555 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach. For more information, call (714) 804-0028.

 

Friday

New Age Singles (55+): 6:30 pm Dinner at Nicks Restaurant, followed by Shabbat services at 8 pm at Adat Shalom. Dinner, 10839 National Blvd. For reservations, call (310) 854-0358.

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Start a Money Club: Fun Money Friday

July 8, 2013

Financial Topics

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Saving, investing, and educating yourself about finance can be lonely and boring if you go it alone. Unfortunately, too many people try to tackle money issues without support and end up giving up because theyre bored or because they arent getting any validation for their efforts. Sure, if youre an introvert you may prefer to go it alone, but even then a little interaction with like-minded people can be fun and lead to new discoveries. If you want to share your journey with other people, you can start (or join) a money club.

Starting a club about money doesnt have to be a big deal. You dont need officers or rules. All you need is a group of willing people and someplace to meet. You can start by recruiting people you know. People from church, coworkers, neighbors, friends, members of other social groups, and family members all make prospective members. You can just casually mention that youd like to start meeting to trade ideas and resources about investing, retirement, frugality, debt reduction, or whatever other topics interest you. Chances are that youll find more people than you think who are also looking for support and inspiration.

If you want to branch out and make a bigger club, you can post the details of your club at the local library, in the local newspaper, at the local community college, or on a site like Meetup.com. If you look around your area, you may also find an existing club that youd like to join, saving you the hassle of creating one from scratch.

If youre starting a club from scratch, youll need meeting space. You want this to be free of charge, if possible. Libraries often offer meeting space, and they may also help you spread the word about your group. You may also be able to use a classroom after school hours or a room in a church. Coffee shops and casual restaurants can work for smaller groups. They may be happy if you buy a drink, but most dont require it. You can also use your house, or the houses of your group members, but if youre recruiting people you dont know through the library, newspaper, or websites, make sure you have your meetings in public places, at least at first. You dont want total strangers coming to your home.

Once youve got some people and a space, you can let the conversation rip. If you want to stick to one topic thats fine, although many great ideas are found when the conversation ranges over the course of the evening. You can share success stories and problems, discuss articles you saw online or in a magazine, talk about something you heard from an advisor, or swap recipes and frugal tips. You can also have an occasional book club month where everyone reads the same finance book and discusses it. Just be sure to listen as well as talk. No one likes a group member who monopolizes the conversation and makes it all about themselves and their problems.

A money club doesnt have to be serious or dull. If your venue allows for food, you can arrange potluck dinners or have members sign up to provide refreshments on a rotating basis. You can occasionally play games related to money, or watch a movie/documentary about money. You can celebrate birthdays and holidays, all while you discuss the financial topics you want to learn about. Occasionally, you can just shelve the money talk and do something fun like plan a group outing to the park or a free concert.

A club can give you support and friendship that might make those hard financial days seem a bit easier. And you get to capitalize on the knowledge of those who might know more than you or have great ideas that you never thought of. At the very least, its a chance to get out and make some new friends and have a little fun.

(Photo courtesy of snickclunk)


NerdWallet: Hiring a Financial Advisor Who Understands Your Situation

July 7, 2013

Financial Topics

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When looking for a financial advisor, many people prefer to work with an advisor from their community. This can mean working with an advisor who shares your religious faith, your gender, or your ethnicity.#160;

When can working with a Latino advisor help you achieve your financial goals? Beyond attributes like bilingual communication and his or her understanding of international financial topics, which may be of use to immigrants, many people prioritize working with someone they feel understands their situation.

Unfortunately, a 2009 study from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority showed just 38 percent of Latinos surveyed had met with a financial advisor in the past five years – a lower rate than any other of the ethnic demographics the survey tracked.#160;

Who Is the Right Advisor For You?

“The really good advisors I know don’t try to be all things to all people,” said Brian Frederick, a Scottsdale, AZ.- based CFP. “They focus on serving the needs of a particular group. I’ve been in the business for 13 years and worked with a diverse client base in terms of age, occupation, net worth, and life stage. What I discovered is that the most fulfilling, productive client relationships are [those on which] I work with clients that are similar to myself. For that reason, I chose to focus my practice on successful Generation X professionals.”

Brian defines that group as made up of people who are mid-way in the career and have already experienced some measure of success, but are still worried about things like paying for a child’s education, how to accumulate enough for retirement in an era of low interest rates and high market volatility, and having enough time to devote to their finances between work and family commitments. For him, defining a community and working with its members is leading to success for his clients.

Understanding the Full Picture

“A financial advisor can’t work effectively with a client unless he or she thoroughly understands a client’s unique financial life situation,” said Michael Philips, a Marina Del Ray, CA.-based planner. He added that he thinks it’s common for financial advisors to work with certain community groups or ethnic group because they often understand the community’s needs better than someone who may not be familiar with their unique needs, attitudes towards money, risk tolerance and desires, among other financial issues.

When Is It Not A Good Idea?

One thing to remember is that, unfortunately, opting to look for a Latino advisor may limit your choices. “One of the black eyes of the financial services industry is that minorities of all types are under-represented as financial advisors,” commented advisor Brian Frederick.#160;

Advisor Keith Watson pointed out that one reason a financial advisor may work exclusively with clients of a certain ethnicity is because they only get new clients through referrals. “The main way financial advisors grow their practice is through referrals,” Watson explained. “So as they grow and know people, it will generally be in the same community.”#160;

But a referral isn’t always the best way to select an advisor — just because they were right for your friend, they may not be right for you. Michael Philips pointed out a well-documented occurrence of people frequently being scammed by unscrupulous advisors from their own community. Advice-seekers should not allow a perceived personal connection to act as a shortcut to fully researching a prospective advisor’s credentials.

Remember that wherever you choose to look for professional financial advice, you want an advisor who understands you – whether you come from the same background or not.#160;

“I do not think it matters what community the advisor is from,” Keith Watson added. “I think all that matters is that the financial advisor understands the situation their client is in. As long as it is clearly stated what needs to be accomplished, then it doesnt really matter where they come from.”

Amelia Granger writes for Nerdwallet, a personal finance website dedicated to helping consumers make better financial decisions when choosing a credit card, bank account or financial advisor.

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New Article from Valley Auto Loans Give Advice on Avoiding Used Car Warranty …

July 7, 2013

Financial Topics

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Greenville. SC (PRWEB) June 27, 2013

Buying a used car can be a strenuous process, especially when trying to navigate around the vehicles with hidden malfunctions or other issues. This quickly becomes a much worse experience when the seller throws in a warranty scam that turns out to be bad news. Valley Auto Loans recently posted an article that gives detailed advice on how to identify and avoid these used warranty scams. The article along with many other useful topics are all available here: http://valleyautoloan.com/blog/

Valley Auto Loans has maintained their advice blog since day one, and its vast stores of advice and information on hundreds of different automotive and financial topics have become a well known and followed element of Valley Auto Loans. The business specializes in providing high quality auto loans to all applicants, including those who have been rejected by other lenders due to financial issues or bad credit scores. Anyone at all who needs some professional advice on a financial situation, or who needs an auto loan as soon as possible, can find exactly what they need at Valley Auto Loans.

To apply for an auto loan today visit https://valleyautoloan.com/apply-now2/

About Valley Auto Loans

Valley Auto Loans is the leading auto and cars finance provider in USA fully dedicated to help its customers acquire national car and auto financing. They design and develop customized no credit auto and car financing, bad and good credit auto and car loans. Voted the best for Quality Customer Service; Best National Auto Loans Service by thousands of people, their finance experts focus in providing its customers information and various tools available for different auto loan offers, help them to choose the best that fits their budget as well as the related eligibility guidelines in detail.


The Toll of Financial Stress in the Workplace

July 6, 2013

Financial Topics

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Liz Davidson, CEO and founder of El Segundo (Cal.)-based Financial Finesse, said such disparities in outlook slowly close as low-income employees create an ongoing habit of good money management and their savings accumulates. Over the long term, as employees become more financially savvy and the US economy improves, stress levels tend to go down.

Davidson said that higher health expenses, higher turnover, absenteeism, and drops in productivity can create significant costs for companies that have a large percentage of employees in vulnerable demographics. She cited a 2010 Federal Reserve study that employee financial stress costs employers an average of $5,000 per employee per year in lost productivity.

Companies should look at the demographics of their workforce to gauge the impact of financial stress, Davidson says. She suggests paying attention to “warning signs” such as a high percentage of 401(k) plan loans and hardship withdrawals, garnishments and pay advances. The study found that 51% of employees with overwhelming financial stress have taken a loan or hardship withdrawal from their 401(k) plan. Any withdrawal of more than 25% should be considered problematic, according to calculations provided by Chepenik Financial, a retirement plan advisory firm.

In 2007, the Aetna retirement and financial benefits team noticed a rising number of calls to the 401(k) retirement plan center, mostly inquiries about withdrawing money from retirement funds for immediate use. Aetna brought in Financial Finesse to launch its financial wellness program in late 2007. The program now provides workers with one-on-one consultations with financial planners from Financial Finesse, and retirement education specialists from Aon Hewitt, a provider of risk management, insurance services and human resources help. The program also provides workshops and live interactive webcasts on financial topics.

Other providers of financial education programs include CLC, the EDSA Group, Heartland Institute, Money Management International and Stacey Braun Associates.

Carol Klusek, head of retirement and financial benefits at Aetna, said 91% of workers who have participated in the program now say they have a better handle on their cash flow; 100% contribute to the company’s 401(k); and 47% say they are on target to replace at least 80% of their income in retirement.

Greg Ward, director of Financial Finesse’s certified financial planner program, added that programs focusing on basic money-management skills would best serve employers with high levels of employee financial stress, while employers with low levels of employee financial stress could use investment planning to help employees grow their wealth.


First Federal Helps LHS With Financial Literacy Program

July 6, 2013

Financial Topics

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A partnership between First Federal of Lakewood, EverFi and Lakewood High School has helped the schools seniors become financially literate and First Federal and EverFi representatives were at LHS in the classroom recently to recognize the students new-found financial knowledge.

First Federal has generously signed on to sponsor the EverFi Financial Literacy web-based program for Lakewood City Schools at a cost of $12,000 over the next three years. The sponsorship enables LHS to bring the interactive financial management program to our students at no cost to the district.

We as a bank knew it was important to bring financial literacy to students because they are future customers and its important to educate our students about this topic, said First Federal Lakewood branch manager Heidi Finiff.

The students in the schools Government classes worked on the program, which uses the latest in new media technologies video, animations, 3-D gaming, avatars, and social networking to bring complex financial concepts to life for todays digital generation.

The celebrationwith First Federal and Everfi representatives in Mayrecognized students for completing the program and becoming certified in over 600 topics in financial education. The state of Ohio, since 2010, requires a financial literacy component for high school graduation.

The 10-unit course offers six hours of programming aimed at teaching, assessing and certifying students in a variety of financial topics including credit scores, insurance, credit cards, student loans, mortgages, taxes, stocks, savings, 401Ks and other critical concepts that map to national financial literacy standards.

This knowledge is something you will carry for the rest of your life, House Principal Bill DiMascio told the students prior to receiving their certificates. It will definitely be of use to you.

Students echoed DiMascios sentiments of the programs usefulness. They particularly commented on the college loan section as many students are going through that process right now.

The partnership with First Federal is the second substantial collaboration that the district and the bank have created. Earlier this year, First Federal was awarded naming rights to the Lakewood Stadium, which is now named First Federal of Lakewood Stadium.


Going on vacation? Protect yourself, as banks seek to protect you from fraud

July 6, 2013

Financial Topics

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Few things can derail a day like a debit card that has been disabled by the bank. Accounts get frozen for two main reasons, bankers say. The first is fraud, unauthorized use by criminals. The second is the suspicion of fraud when none has occurred. The first is a cause for celebration and relief, while the second can be a frustrating headache, especially when far from home, such as during summer vacations.

Banks have gotten much more sophisticated about tracking events that can trigger fraud alerts, said Casey Bond, managing editor of GoBanking.com, which conducts surveys on consumer financial topics. It is both reassuring and the source of frustration when an account gets frozen for no reason.