Category: Financial Forecasting

Do You Know How Your FICO Credit Score Is Calculated?

April 21st, 2017 by


credit scoreGuidewell Financial’s’ “Incredible Edible Credit Score” Has the Answer

Credit scores and reports aren’t just used to determine if consumers qualify for loans and credit cards. They also help determine what interest rate and terms borrowers receive and are increasingly used in decisions by landlords, cell phone companies, utility companies, insurance companies, and employers. Most Americans know that it’s important to have a good credit score, but fewer are fully aware of the factors that affect the score they receive.  To help remedy this situation, nonprofit Guidewell Financial Solutions has created the “Incredible Edible Credit Score,” a one-minute video that’s informative, tasty and FUN. It shows how your FICO score is calculated. This is the credit score most lenders will use to evaluate your financial standing.

Why not join their virtual pizza party and share the video with your co-workers, family, and friends? In return here are three credit score facts everyone needs to know:

  1.   Credit reports and credit scores are not the same. 

Studies show that many of us don’t know the difference between credit reports and credits scores. To keep them straight, just remember when you were in school: Your credit report and credit score are a lot like the school report card and grades you used to receive.

Like report cards, credit reports provide an overview of your performance, showing how well you manage your finances and credit. Compiled by the three major credit reporting companies — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, they each contain a detailed history of your current and past credit accounts and debt, (more…)

The ABCs of Retirement Planning

April 5th, 2016 by

by Kathy Armstrong

Are you saving enough for retirement? You know, “the golden years”, the time when you kick back, relax and enjoy a life of leisure?  It’s possible that a very large percentage of people who answer that question with a nod may be mistaken.

 Ouch! While whether or not you are saving enough depends partly upon the lifestyle you expect to have at retirement age, there are some general rules you should be following to help ensure you can focus on your newfound hobbies – and not whether or not you can afford to replace your aging Buick.

The general rule of thumb has been to save 10 percent of your income for retirement, but for women, that percentage needs to be bumped up to (more…)

10 Things Millennials Should Do to Reach the Next Financial Level

March 29th, 2016 by

Millennials have come a long way, but they’re still behind on many key measures.

ObstaclesMillennials have had a rough road when it comes to money.

Not only did they come of age during the Great Recession, which made jobs scarce and benefits even scarcer, but many saw their parents lose big time in the stock or real estate markets, which scared them off of making their own investments. Still, there’s no more time for excuses, because millennials are all grown up and taking on increasing amounts of responsibility. From mortgages and parenthood to (more…)

10 Bad Financial Habits You Need to Break to Get Out of Debt

March 8th, 2016 by

We all have our creature comforts – those habits that, for better or worse, we indulge on a daily basis. However, while a regular morning latte or a new pair of shoes might seem harmless, you’ve got to consider their effect on your bottom line. A dollar here and a dollar there add up over time – and, despite your efforts in other areas, they could be one of many reasons you’re still mired in debt.
Those of us who find ourselves experiencing chronic debt problems often share similar behaviors and financial habits. If you catch them early enough, you can avoid trouble. But even if you’re already in the red, recognizing and adjusting these behaviors can help you get back on track.

Bad Habits of Perpetual Debtors
According to data compiled through the U.S Census Bureau and the Federal Reserve, average household credit card debt in 2014 was a whopping $15,191, with Americans owing more than $854 billion to their credit card providers altogether. It’s a set of consistent habits that sets those prone to debt apart from those who stay in the black. By watching out for the following behaviors, you might be able to stop some of those bad habits in their tracks and reassess the way you think about and approach debt.Debt
1. Impulse Buying
Those who are constantly in debt are often the type to snatch up something whether it’s on sale or not – even if the purchase wasn’t exactly planned. However, impulse buying can lead to a series of dangerous spending behaviors:
• Justifying Unplanned and Poor Purchasing Decisions. By justifying a “need” for an expensive bag or new gadget, you allow yourself to (more…)

Don’t Just Sit There. Be The Ethical Guy!

March 1st, 2016 by

Who is the Ethical Guy?…..

The Ethical Guy is the guy who is confident in their ability to participate in scenario planning and strategy but is still able to identify if the risk is a long shot or unethical.

Don’t Just Sit There. Be The Ethical Guy!

Ethical Guy


Banking On The Weatherman…… And Your Banker

February 5th, 2016 by

First Friday- February 5th is National Weatherman’s Day. This day honors weathermen, and woman who work hard to accurately predict the often fickle weather. Despite major technological advances and supercomputers, forecasting the weather is still a tricky, and ever changing business. Knowing the weather is important in so many ways. It helps you make wise decisions on how we dress, where we go, and even if we go.  The most obvious example is knowing when and where hurricanes or tornado’s may hit.

Another person that you should bank on is your Banker.Your Banker also helps you make wise decisions with your financial forecast. Your Banker must understand their customer needs and make recommendations of products that are suitable. By investing their time, energy and resources into one business after another, one family after another, your Banker will help to assure you are prepared when that financial “hurricane” or “tornado” hits. Whether it be face to face, over the telephone or in writing you should be able to Bank on Your Banker!

If you see a Weatherman or your Banker, give them your appreciation for a job well done.

6 Money Strategies for the Sandwich Generation

January 28th, 2016 by

SandwichWhen you’re caught between the financial pressures of parents and children, you have to plan ahead.When caring for your children and parents, it is especially important to hone your budget and routinely assess your financial situation.

The Sandwich Generation – adults who simultaneous care for children and aging parents –Individuals who find themselves in the sandwich generation are forced with contemplating taking care of things today in a way that may negatively impact their future. Family members might cut back on their work hours or sacrifice savings in order to care for aging parents, she adds. The pressure, both financial and emotional, weighs on people.

Those pressures are one reason that 37 percent of Gen X, who are between ages 35 and (more…)

Are Your Financial Planning Goals in Order?

January 23rd, 2016 by

Save, save, save is a message you’ll hear me drive home on more than one occasion.

But the fact of the matter is, tucking the money away is only about half of the story. The other half involves doing everything in your power to see that all those dollars you’ve so faithfully set aside are where you want them.

Studies have shown that asset allocation is the single most important factor in achieving a successful portfolio; but there is no guarantee that asset allocation will prevent a loss in declining markets. The key is to have a proper allocation of your portfolio, one that matches your investment objectives. While what’s “proper” may vary from one (more…)

7 Financial Mistakes to Avoid in 2016

December 28th, 2015 by

The start of a new year often means a fresh financial and life start for many people as they contem253x256xpay-off-credit-card-debt.jpg.pagespeed.ic.n46Phxau4bplate their goals and dreams. Some of those goals and dreams can increase their quality of life; others, not so much.
Today we’ll share seven money mistakes you should avoid in 2016 if you’re interested in stepping up your financial game for the long term.

1. Not taking advantage of your employer’s 401(k) match.
Every year, billions of investment dollars are left on the table by employees who choose not to take advantage of their employer’s 401(k) match program. Yep, that’s billion with a “b.” In fact, an estimated $24 billion in unclaimed 401(k) match funds are left unused in the United States every year, according to a 2014 analysis of 4.4 million retirement plans by investment advisory firm Financial Engine.
If your employer offers 401(k) match dollars, don’t give away this valuable addition to your retirement fund by not taking advantage of the benefit. Instead, contribute at least up to the match percentage to instantly double your retirement investing dollars.

2. Buying a new car.
With gas prices at the lowest they’ve been in over six years, consumers might be tempted to (more…)

What Does Football And Finances Have In Common?

December 21st, 2015 by

Your personal finances Football-moneyhave a lot more in common with a football team than you might think.

Most people like football and it is especially exciting to watch. Although we don’t always understand all the strategies just yet, we enjoy watching the carefully planned plays. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t, but nevertheless, very fun stuff to watch.

Football and finances have a lot in common. The plays are carefully planned, the teams spend countless hours (more…)

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