Financial Adviser Designations Do Matter

If you’re in search of financial advisers, pay attention to the designations behind their names. For a financial planner, look for a CFP (Certified Financial Planner), ChFC (Chartered Financial Consultant), or MSFP (masters in financial planning). For an investment adviser, add a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) designation. This is advice Read More

For Seniors: Giving Up the Checkbook, Part Two

For seniors, arranging to entrust financial affairs to someone else is an important part of preparing for old age. Once you have chosen a surrogate and dealt with some of the details laid out in last week’s column, one question remains. How will the transition occur? Here are some suggestions, Read More

Joining the 800+ Credit Club

Lenders use credit scores to determine a borrower’s ability to repay debts like mortgages and vehicle loans. Credit scores impact lending terms, mortgage rates, and financing eligibility. Typically, scores above 700 are considered good. TransUnion reports only about 20% of Americans have a score above 780 and even fewer rank Read More

For Seniors: Giving Up the Checkbook, Part One

One area that few seniors prepare for is arranging for someone else to handle their financial affairs when they can no longer fully care for themselves. This is easy to put off, for three primary reasons. First, there are a lot of difficult emotions involved with the thought of losing Read More

What to Expect From Rising Interest Rates

In December, the Federal Reserve raised the federal-funds lending rate by .25%, only the second increase in the past decade. The day the rate hike was announced I received several calls from journalists, all wanting to know what this means for the economy. My email inbox also started filling up Read More

HUD Lowers FHA Premiums, Combatting Higher Rates

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julian Castro announced on Monday that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will reduce annual insurance premiums by 25 basis points. The move affects most new mortgages with a closing or disbursement date on or after 1/27. The HUD expects these new rates to save Read More

How to Whip Your Credit Into Shape Before Buying a Home

Mortgage interest rates have dominated the news lately, but there’s another aspect of buying a home people shouldn’t forget about: credit scores. It’s one of those things many individuals don’t even think about it until it’s time to make a big purchase. But a poor credit score can be a Read More

Has the Millennial Homebuying Wave Arrived?

Home builder sentiment posted a strong score of 63 on the Wells Fargo/NAHB’s Sentiment Index for October. This was a two-point slip compared to September, but September was a five-point surge over August. The bottom line is that builders remain overwhelmingly optimistic, and they are even more optimistic about future Read More

Change Money Behaviors with Three Flow System Forces

At a recent workshop sponsored by the Center for Action and Contemplation, I was introduced to a principle that could be a helpful way to frame and change hurtful money behaviors. It’s based on the work of Adrian Bejan, a professor of mechanical engineering at Duke University, whose Constructal Law Read More