Bag Over Bae: Study Says Consumers Favor Money Over Love

Valentine’s Day, depending on who you ask, is a day filled with Instagramable moments of bae goals, or a time to totally go the anti-beau route and focus on self-love. You can’t get through February 14th without seeing an oversaturation of all things related to love.

However, a recent Merill Edge report reflects that for many people, money trumps love with 56% preferring a partner who provides financial security over grandiose love (44%). Respondents also favor a partner who is career-focused (63%) over socially conscious (37%), frugal (55%) over philanthropic (45%), and a saver (83%) over a big spender (17%).

“Americans are saving money at record rates, and yet we’re seeing people of all ages look to their current and prospective partners to secure their financial futures. Economic uncertainty and a lack of financial planning seem to be creating this burgeoning trend of dependence on others for financial security,” Aron Levine, head of Consumer Banking & Merrill Edge, said in a statement. “We believe that it’s crucial to have a financial plan at every life stage in order to achieve financial goals and stay on the right path to financial success.”

Though many are attracted to a go-getter who is all about getting that coin, things can get a little sticky when it comes to the oh-so-inevitable “money talk” with bae. The report found the majority of respondents admitted they “rarely talk about their debt (60%),” salary (57%), and investments (55%) with their partner.

Respondents in the study also ranked almost all major relationship milestones ahead of discussing their finances, including meeting the family, being intimate, traveling together, and discussing politics.

According to Merrill Edge, the nationwide survey is delivered semi‑annually and “takes an in‑depth look at the financial concerns and priorities of “mass affluent Americans—U.S. households with investable assets ranging from $ 50,000 to $ 250,000.” Respondents in the study included those aged 18-40 (Gen Z and millennials) with investable assets between $ 50,000 and $ 250,000 or aged 18-40 who have investable assets between $ 20,000 and $ 50,000 with an annual income of at least $ 50,000.

If money is a major factor in a choosing a love or spouse, experts recommend getting over the awkward silence and procrastination and asking key questions about debt, money morality, and financial plans for the future—including retirement—early. Having open and honest conversations about money with someone of serious romantic interest—especially as millennial households are earning more money at their age than generations before—can help those in the dating pool avoid a lot of heartbreak and relationship woes down the road.

Merrill Edge Report: Fall 2018 infographic

 

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Teva Shares Fall As Q4 Adj. Profit Misses View, Outlook Disappoints

Israel-based generic drug maker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. on Wednesday reported a loss for the fourth quarter that narrowed from last year as a decline in revenues was more than offset by lower costs and expenses. However, adjusted earnings per share missed analysts’ expectations, while revenues beat estimates. Teva provided its financial outlook for fiscal 2019 also below estimates.
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It will take more than a tax on the rich to fix the wealth gap, says former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp

The call to increase taxes on the wealthy has been gaining steam — but that isn't enough to stop to the growing wealth and income gap in America, says Democratic former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.
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Portugal Inflation Eases To 9-month Low

Portugal’s inflation eased further in January to its lowest level in nine months, preliminary data from Statistics Portugal showed on Tuesday.
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The Four Financial Love Languages Spoken in Every Relationship

Financial fights are one of the leading causes of divorce. Many couples find it difficult to effectively communicate with each other about money matters because they are actually speaking different financial languages. That’s right! Finance is a language, and unfortunately, most people are not financially bilingual. It is actually more difficult to speak or understand someone else’s financial communication when you don’t really understand your own financial language.

In 2004, Gary Chapman introduced the concept of Love Languages to help people improve their relationships through communication. In my upcoming book, 4 Financial Languages, I explain that financial languages are identified by behaviors and words that represent an individual’s financial value systems. By understanding these behaviors and words, couples can improve communication and establish a collective financial value system.

Put the two concepts together and you have financial love languages.

Learning how to speak in your mate’s financial love language will not only help you avoid money misunderstandings, but it will help you and your mate enjoy the journey toward your financial goals.

The 4 Financial Love Languages

SAVING

Financial security is usually the primary concern of people who speak the dominant language of saving. A Saver primarily saves money because they like to see their money grow like a strong tree.

Some savers also save to protect themselves and their family from financial hardships and emergencies. It is vital for them to be able to help their loved ones financially — now, and in the future.

One of the best ways to communicate with Savers about money matters is to talk about how much money they will save or including them on a purchase to find the best deal.

For example: “You are the best at saving us money. Can you help me find the best deal on a big screen TV so we can stay within our budget?”

GIVING

People who speak giving have a philanthropist’s heart. For most givers, giving is an expression of love. They give their time, money, resources, etc. to help those in need.

Givers should be cautious if they find that they are giving out of an act of insecurity in exchange for an emotional connection or to be liked.

The best way to communicate with givers is to praise them for their giving spirit. In most instances, givers simply like to feel appreciated.

For example, “You have such a wonderful heart of giving. Let’s find some more ways to give where it will be a bigger impact.”

INVESTING

Those who speak investing take relative risks and enjoys watching their money grow as well.

They like to invest in the stock market, retirement, business opportunities, education, or other people.

The best way to communicate with investors is to discuss transactions or opportunities as “investments” and as well as share the potential return on those investments.

For example, “We could make some great contacts for our business if we invest $ 200 in attending this conference.”

 

SPENDING

Spending deals directly with the pleasure principle. Whether the spending is for someone else or themselves, spenders find ultimate pleasure in spending money, usually on stuff.

True spenders can be rebellious when they feel financially deprived or restricted.

The best way to communicate with a spender is not to judge, but rather give parameters of spending.

For example, instead of telling a spender they can’t spend because of the budget, tell them, “We have $ 200 to spend this month.”

Understanding financial love languages will aid in having more effective financial conversations with your mate. If needed, seek help from a financial professional to mediate your cash conversation. Finances, just like love, can be a beautiful experience when both partners respect and appreciate the other’s language.

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Getting a Tax Refund is Not Always Good

Despite the news that more tax paying Americans will have to pay more taxes due to Trump’s “tax cut,” many people are anticipating their tax refund. What has been celebrated as “bonus money,” is actually a financial facade of a bigger issue. The most common cause of a tax refund is tax credits, like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), for low-income households, particularly with children. Also, entrepreneurs and homeowners are able to leverage qualified tax deductions, which can produce hefty tax refunds. However, if you receive a large tax refund, but do not qualify for the EITC and are not a home or business owner, then, Houston, we (may) have a problem, as the saying goes. Here’s why getting a tax refund is not always good.

3 Reasons Why Getting a Tax Refund is Not Always Good: 

Gives the Government an Interest-Free Loan

Outside of tax credits, like the EITC, or business and homeowner tax deductions, a tax refund is the payment of overpaid taxes to the government throughout the year by an individual or household.

“Essentially, a tax refund is an interest-free loan that consumers give to the government,” explains Edeline Dryden, CEO of Dryden Tax & Accounting Services.

Cheats You of Needed Cash

As workers wait for their tax refund, they are giving the government the use of their hard earned money to run or “shutdown” the government. This leaves many workers to struggle financially, living paycheck to paycheck throughout the year.

The amount of income from the paycheck withheld for taxes is determined by the W-4 completed when hired. The reality is the last time the W-4 was updated was when the person started their job.

Neglecting to update or complete the W-4 correctly can cause the over payment of taxes to the government.

Dryden suggests “Review and/or update your W-4 at least annually, as necessary. The goal is to keep that income in your paycheck to use throughout the year.”

More Money Magnifies Bad Money Behaviors

As Biggie Smalls said, “More money, more problems.” If a person has poor spending habits, having access to more money will just magnify that bad behavior. Even with good intentions of saving and paying off debt, financial fornicators may surrender to the temptation of excessive spending of the “bonus money.”

“If spending habits are questionable,” Dryden advises “divide the refund into three even categories. These categories can include savings for emergencies, debt repayment, and spending for pleasure or necessity.”

By breaking the refund into these three categories, you will start a savings safety net, knock down some debt, and enjoy some of the cash so you won’t feel deprived.

Dryden also shares a few ways to make sure you get the most out of your paycheck throughout the year:

Adjust withholding to get your money throughout the year

If you have life changes, like a marriage, divorce, birth or adoption of a child, death of a spouse or child, or even an income change (i.e., pay raise); your W-4 should be updated appropriately. This will ensure that your employer is not withholding more than necessary.

“The real winner of the tax game is the person who doesn’t owe taxes or gets minimal or no refund.” Dryden explains, “This means they kept their income throughout the year.”

Dryden recommends speaking with a tax accountant or tax professional for assistance in completing the W-4 correctly.

Use the extra income to pay off debt or build your emergency fund faster

“Use that extra income in your paycheck to pay off debt or to build your emergency savings fund.” says Dryden.

The importance of having an emergency fund was realized when over 800,000 federal workers and contractors did not receive paychecks for over 30 days due to the government shut down. The extra income is an excellent opportunity to build a savings fund for unexpected emergencies, job loss, etc.

The extra income can also be used to pay down debt to produce more future disposable income.

Use the extra income to invest

Some people try to rationalize a tax refund as a forced savings technique.

Instead of giving the government an interest-free loan, keep that extra income throughout the year to invest and earn more money.

“Increase your contribution to your Employer-Sponsored Retirement Account, like a 401K, 403B, 457, Thrift Savings, etc.,” recommends Dryden. “Or set up a direct deposit or automatic transfer to a brokerage account. Instead of buying stuff — buy stock.”

Dryden recommends speaking with your employer’s retirement investment administrator or a licensed investment adviser for assistance with stock investments.


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Australia Construction Index Climbs To 43.1 In January – AiG

The construction sector in Australia continued to contract in January, albeit at a slower pace, the latest survey from the Australian Industry Group revealed on Thursday with a Performance of Construction Index score of 43.1.
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GlaxoSmithKline FY18 Pretax Profit Rises; Sales Up 5% CER – Quick Facts

GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK.L, GSK) reported profit before tax of 4.80 billion pounds for the year ended 31 December 2018 compared to 3.52 billion pounds, previous year. Earnings per share was 73.7 pence compared to 31.4 pence. Adjusted operating profit was 8.75 billion pounds, up 2% AER or an increase of 6% from previous year. Adjusted earnings per share was 119.4 pence compared to 111.8 pence, prior year.
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Jeff Bezos accuses National Enquirer of extortion, shows emails threatening to publish nude selfies

Bezos claims a lawyer for the National Enquirer threatened to post sexual pictures he had sent via text to his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez.
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GM Turns To Profit In Q4; Results Beat Estimates

General Motors Co. on Wednesday reported a profit for the fourth quarter, compared to a loss in the year-ago period that included a non-cash charge related to the U.S. tax reform. Both revenue and adjusted earnings per share for the quarter beat analysts’ estimates. The automaker’s shares are rising almost 4 percent in pre-market activity.
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TUI AG Now Expects FY19 Underlying EBITA Rebased To Be Broadly Stable With FY18

TUI AG (TUIFF.PK) announced the company now expects fiscal year 2019 underlying EBITA rebased at constant currency to be broadly stable compared with the record performance in fiscal 2018 of 1.18 billion euros. Consequently, TUI AG said it is not reiterating guidance of at least 10% CAGR in underlying EBITA at constant currency for the three years to fiscal 2020.
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New Zealand Jobless Rate Climbs To 4.3% In Q4

The unemployment rate in New Zealand came in at 4.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, Statistics New Zealand said on Thursday – above forecasts for 4.1 percent and up from 3.9 percent in the three months prior.
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Hannover Re Affirms Outlook For FY18 And FY19 – Quick Facts

German re-insurer Hannover Re AG (HVRRY.PK, HVRRF.PK) said Tuesday that against a backdrop of modestly improved conditions from an overall perspective, the company increased its premium volume in traditional property and casualty reinsurance by 15.4 percent on a currency-adjusted basis to 6.4 billion euros in the 1 January 2019 treaty renewals.
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Larry Summers, ex-advisor to Democratic presidents, isn’t jumping behind Warren’s wealth tax

Larry Summers, who served as Treasury Secretary under President Bill Clinton and as director of the National Economic Council for President Barack Obama, says he'd rather investigate other changes before moving "into whole new areas of taxation."
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New Zealand Building Consents Climb 5.1% In December

The total number of building permits issued in New Zealand advanced a seasonally adjusted 5.1 percent on month in December, Statistics New Zealand said on Monday – standing at 2,382.
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YOUR MONEY, YOUR LIFE: EPISODE 6 – “Ways To Finance Your Emergency Fund”

Establishing and maintaining a cash emergency fund, with an amount equal to six months up to a year’s worth your annual living expenses, is a foundational principle of financial wellness. Author, speaker, and financial coach Tarra “Madam Money” Jackson answers the question of where to get the money to finance your emergency fund



The new personal finance podcast, Your Money, Your Life is sponsored by Prudential and hosted by Black Enterprise’s own Alfred Edmond Jr. This special series features a lineup of great guests, including The Breakfast Club’s Angela Yee; DeForest B. Soaries Jr., founder of the dfree Financial Freedom Movement; Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche; and Jacquette M. Timmons, president & CEO of Sterling Investment Management. The show will cover money topics ranging from how to control your debt to our psychological relationship with our finance. A can’t miss!

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Novartis Stock Dips As Q4 Profit Misses View; Plans Buyback; Sees Growth In FY19

Shares of Novartis AG (NVS) were losing around 2 percent in the early morning trading in Switzerland after the drug major reported weak profit in its fourth quarter, and core earnings were below market estimates. Net sales, however, increased and topped analysts’ view. Further, the company proposed higher dividend as well as up to 10 billion Swiss francs share repurchase program.
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4 Ways to Help Loved Ones Dealing with Financial Hardships

After experiencing the longest government shutdown in history, many federal workers and contractors who experienced financial hardships are still trying to recover.

The government shutdown tested people’s financial preparedness, and many unfortunately failed. Also, with another possible shutdown looming, many people are frightened that this will catapult them into homelessness.

Approximately 1 in 3 Americans do not have emergency savings to cover a $ 500 emergency, according to personal finance website Bankrate. This statistic became a heartbreaking reality when real life financial hardship stories recently surfaced due to the federal furlough.

Unexpected emergencies like medical bills, the death of a family member, job termination, or an unwarranted furlough, are common causes of most financial traumas. The reasons people do not set aside money for these unexpected emergencies range from unlivable wages, sluggish salary raises with rapid inflation, unfair wage gaps, or even poor financial habits.

When a loved one is dealing with a temporary financial hardships, there are ways to provide assistance or relief.

4 Ways to Help Loved Ones Dealing with Financial Hardships

 

Lend money

If you have the financial ability to lend money to a loved one and are confident you will be repaid, offer a short-term loan. Treat the loved one with compassion, but explain the offer is a loan and is expected to be paid back.

Write up and sign an agreement between you (lender) and the loved one (borrower) to clarify the financial transaction as a loan.

Debt.org shares that a loan agreement between loved ones should include:

  • The names of the parties involved
  • The date of the loan agreement
  • The amount borrowed (principal)
  • Interest rate (if applicable)
  • Repayment terms (monthly payments over a specific period or a lump sum on a certain date)

In the event of nonpayment, the loan agreement should also include:

  • Modification of loan terms
  • Taking ownership of collateral
  • Possible legal action

Hard feelings and arguments between relatives and friends occur when money is lent in good faith but not repaid. So, take the advice I give to my clients who consider lending a loved one cash …

“If you can’t afford to give the money, don’t lend it.”

 

Give money

Instead of lending the money, give the loved one the amount of cash you can afford as a gift.  By giving money as a gift you release the possible future tension in the event the loved one does not pay you back. Consider it as a few early birthday or Christmas gifts.

When giving money, do it privately, discreetly, and without pity. Many loved ones suffer in silence, financially, because they do not want their business shared.

Assure the loved one that you will not share the monetary gift to anyone. Respecting the loved one’s need for privacy is important, especially if they are a very private or prideful person.

 

Pay a bill directly

Consider paying a specific bill or expense directly if you prefer not to give a loved one cash, or they do not want to accept your loan or monetary gift.

Paying a utility, car payment or insurance, or even a rent or mortgage payment, will release a significant financial burden.

Some companies, like PECO, formally Philadelphia Electric Company, allow people to help out and pay a bill on behalf of their customers.

 

Provide a service

Perhaps you may be unable to give a loved one money.

An act of service will go a long way when it comes to helping a loved one experiencing financial hardship. Sometimes, taking time to do something for someone is more helpful than giving money.

Some amazing acts of service can include:

Care for the kids

Offer to babysit or care for their elderly family member who requires special attention. This will free up some time for the loved one to work another job, or get some much-needed rest.

Cook a few meals

You may be aware of a loved one who is struggling to feed their family. Cook and deliver meals for a few days to offset their grocery bill, and relieve the burden of cooking.

Chauffeur for a day

If a loved one does not have transportation, be their chauffeur for one or a few days. Driving them to appointments, run errands, or their job will be much appreciated.

Clean up the house

Clutter can sometimes cause just as much stress as the financial trauma. Offer to clean a loved one’s kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, or the entire home to eliminate that responsibility from their list. Often a clean environment can calm our consciousness to better deal with difficult situations.

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AT&T Q4 Profit Matches Estimates, Revenue Up 15.2%; Reaffirms FY19 Guidance

AT&T Inc. (T) reported fourth-quarter net income attributable to company of $ 4.9 billion, or $ 0.66 per share, compared to $ 19.0 billion, or $ 3.08 per share, in the year-ago quarter which reflected the impact of the December 2017 federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Adjusting for items, earnings per share was $ 0.86 compared to an adjusted $ 0.78 in the year-ago quarter, a 10% increase. On average, 24 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $ 0.86 for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.
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Japan Jobless Rate Slips To 2.4% In December

The unemployment rate in Japan came in at a seasonally adjusted 2.4 percent in December, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday.
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People Share Why They Don’t Use Financial Advisers; Some Alternative Ways to Get Financial Help

Many people just do not want to meet with a financial adviser despite the fact that using one may provide numerous financial advantages. Financial advisers provide objectivity of financial situations and give advice to help establish a more secure financial position.

A few personal finance professionals, authors, teachers and bloggers, from the Elevate Community, dedicated to uplifting people of color financially, shared their perspectives:

“Just Not Ready”

Just like weight loss, financial wellness is one of the top three new year resolutions and personal goals. Most people generally know what to do to improve their financial situation, but some are just not ready to do it.

“We like comfort!” says Andre Albritton of The Millennials Next Door. “A financial adviser will give recommendations outside of our comfort zone which can be a frightening experience.”

Money mantras like “save more and spend less” and “pay yourself first” have been stated by every financial expert. The reality is if a person is not mentally ready, they will not execute any plan.

Cost

On television, rich and famous people seem to be the only ones talking about meeting with financial advisers. This creates the perception that it takes thousands or millions of dollars to work with a financial adviser. The consumers living paycheck to paycheck with minimal or no assets (like a home, investments, etc.) may presume it is too expensive to meet with a financial adviser.

Many middle-class Americans are working hard to pay their bills and make ends meet. Paying to meet with a financial adviser may seem premature or unrealistic.

Denial

“People put off seeing a financial adviser for the same reason they avoid going to the doctor or dentist” shares Alfred Edmond Jr., BLACK ENTERPRISE Your Money Your Life Podcast host and co-author of Loving in the Grownzone. “They don’t want to deal with the choices, remedies, or lifestyle changes that will likely be necessary to improve their condition.”

People that practice avoidance in the hope that the problems will go away, or correct itself will deny the problem, and chose not to deal with the financial situation. Unfortunately, avoiding the dis-ease in the bank account will leave a person vulnerable to more financial hardships.

“People are embarrassed about their current (financial) situation and believe their choices got them in that predicament” explains Atiya Brown of Live Financially Savvy Podcast. “Since they don’t know the extent, they may tend to ignore and avoid.”

Pride

Almost 10 years ago, my pride almost put me in the poor house. I remember being ashamed to admit my major money mistakes and felt like a failure. I locked myself in a self-inflicted private prison of shame.

People suffer in silence because of their pride and the shame they feel because of making money mistakes. Making the decision to let go of the shame and ask for guidance will help to release the guilt.

Product Pushers

Julien Saunders of rich & REGULAR states, “Some financial advisers have a tendency to be pushy. Although well-intended, some (financial advisers) can make a person feel pressured. Consumers must fully understand the implications, alternatives, or cost to them as the investor.”

Some financial advisers are perceived as product pushers. Product pushing financial professionals turn off and scare away many consumers. Even though consumers know that financial advisers sell products, they do not want to feel pressured into purchasing products they don’t understand.

Stranger Danger

People do business with people they like, know, and trust. Sharing secret financial skeletons with  someone you don’t know can be extremely uncomfortable. It is even more frightening to give control of your money and assets to that stranger.

Patrina K. Dixon of It’$ My Money says, “Some people have trust issues. Therefore, if they do not trust the financial advisor, they will not be safe to share relevant information the adviser may need to assist the client.

 

Some Alternative Options to Using Financial Advisers 

Many are not ready for the financial commitment to meet or work with a financial adviser. Here are some alternative options and resources to help you “start where you are.”

Financial Blogs and Podcasts

Financial blogs are an excellent resource for free money tips and strategies. Here are a few blogs and podcasts to check out.

Tanya Rapley’s My Fab Finance Blog teaches millennial women of color how to regain control of their finances, overcome financial challenges, and pay off debt.

Talaat and Tai McNeely host the His And Her Money Podcast. Their podcast and blog aim to help married couples reach their financial goals together.

Marsha Barnes’ The Finance Bar Blog connects individuals to their financial wellness. She offers one-on-one coaching and an app that shows where your money is going.

Online Financial Tribes

John Hope Bryant, the founder of Operation Hope stated, “If you hang around nine broke people, you will be the tenth.” Connecting with people who have similar financial goals or have achieved the success desired is essential to financial success. Here are a few online financial tribes to check out.

The Live Richer Academy founded by Tiffany Aliche, who is known as The Budgetnista, is a membership-based online platform that offers courses designed to help participants take their finances to the next level.

Founded by Sandy Smith, of Yes I Am Cheap blog, Hustle Crew is a private Facebook group community that provides resources on entrepreneurship and starting a side hustle.

Financial Coaches

Financial coaches educate clients on the basics of money and credit management. They help their clients establish financial goals and create a customized plan to reach those goals. Financial coaches act as accountability partners to encourage and challenge their clients to success.

Financial coaching services range free through a non-profit programs to a few hundred dollars per hour to work with popular financial coaches privately.


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Tesla Expects FY19 Vehicle Deliveries To Rise Approx. 45% To 65%

Tesla, Inc. (TSLA) announced the company is expecting to deliver 360,000 to 400,000 vehicles in 2019, representing a growth of approximately 45% to 65% compared to 2018. In this range, the company expects positive GAAP net income and to generate positive free cash flow in every quarter beyond first quarter, 2019. The company said these results will be substantially driven by its restructuring action and the ongoing financial discipline. For 2019, Tesla projects full-year Model 3 volumes will grow substantially over 2018 due to a full year of high production rates at its Fremont facility.
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Here Are 3 Ways to Be Prepared for Tax Season 2019

While many have concerns about filing 2018 returns in the dawn of the federal shutdown which ended temporarily on Jan. 25, the government has assured taxpayers that the IRS will process returns in  the event the shutdown continues after the Feb. 15, the date government goes back to the table to hash out border negotiations.

Regardless to what goes on in the government, as residents we are required to file taxes. That said, it’s important to stay current with tax laws and any income tax changes — most of which can be found on the Internal Revenue Service website: www.irs.gov

Here are three things to get in check for tax season ’19 

Verify Credentials

When it comes to choosing a tax preparer be sure the person has verifiable credentials. Many consumers are unaware that you can only legally file a tax return for someone else in exchange for compensation, if you have a PTIN – Preparer Tax ID Number. A PTIN is numeric identification for tax preparers which may also be used for credentialing. To verify this credential, go to the IRS website, click in Renew Your PTIN, which allows people to not only sign up for the program, but look up tax preparer credentials.

Understand Tax Law Changes and Deductions

Tax laws change each year and its important as a taxpayer and consumer to understand how changes will affect your tax return and liability. The IRS website typically announces changes with credit, deductions, etc., each year. Taxpayers can also call IRS with questions at 1-800-829-1040.

Make A Tax Checklist

The best thing to do prior to filing taxes, is make a list and check it twice because no one wants to be audited. Create a checklist of everything you may need to file on your taxes, this includes, W-2’s, school documents, self-employment forms, childcare expenses, donations receipts, healthcare expenses, interest documentation from banks accounts, retirement account documentation 401k/IRA, student loan interest, etc.

Join me on Facebook to ask your tax questions or for complimentary tax checklist.


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Australia Q4 CPI Gains 0.4% On Quarter, 1.8% On Year

Consumer prices in Australia were up 0.4 percent on quarter in the fourth quarter of 2018, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday – unchanged from Q3 and in line with expectations.
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EBay To Return Approx. $7.0 Bln To Shareholders Over Two Years – Quick Facts

eBay Inc. (EBAY) announced the company expects to return approximately $ 7.0 billion to shareholders through dividends and repurchases over the next two years, with approximately $ 5.5 billion in 2019 and approximately $ 1.5 billion in 2020. eBay announced the initiation of a quarterly dividend of $ 0.14 per share, with the first quarterly dividend to be paid on or about March 20, 2019 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on March 1, 2019. The company also announced an increase in share repurchase authorization by an additional $ 4.0 billion with no expiration, with an expected 2019 share repurchase of approximately $ 5.0 billion.
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Deutsche Börse 2018 Adj. Net Profit To Significantly Exceed Guidance

The Executive Board of Deutsche Börse AG (DBOEY.PK, DBOEF.PK) announced, after consolidating the preliminary results for the financial year 2018 for the first time, that the guidance for the growth of the adjusted net profit for 2018 will be exceeded significantly. The Executive Board reported that currently it is expecting growth of the adjusted net profit of around 17 percent. This is against a guidance of more than 10 percent.
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Money Management Matters for Black Millennials

Money management is a multilayered concept, that if applied correctly, can start anyone on the road to financial freedom. The topic of wealth in the black community has become the center of discussion, especially among black millennials. Between Jay-Z’s “4:44” to the blockbuster film Black Panther, and more history-making pop cultural accomplishments from black creatives; our mentality has changed in recent years.

A more futuristic view of the black existence is taking shape. We’re breaking free from the perception of a powerless existence that hindered our forward progression for generations. A perception carved into our psyche over years of beatings, killings, segregation, drug epidemics, impoverishment, and imprisonment. All mechanisms of oppression made possible by a system built to keep us running in place.

Welcome to a new day.

We now have a generation more educated and entrepreneurial than the parents who raised us with the fearlessness of the great grandparents who fought for the rights we enjoy today. Eighty-nine percent of African Americans ages 25–34 completed high school, compared to 77% of African Americans ages 55 and older. Twenty-one percent of African Americans ages 25–34 have an associate’s college degree or higher, versus 17% of those who are 55 and older. Our buying power is at $ 1.2 trillion, and we have a bad habit of investing that money in everything but ourselves.

African Americans make up 14% of the U.S. population, but have outsized influence over spending on items. These items include $ 810 million on bottled water (15% of overall spending) and $ 587 million on refrigerated drinks (17% of overall spending). Luxury, non-essential products such as women’s fragrances ($ 151 million of a $ 679 million industry total), watches and timepieces ($ 60 million of $ 385 million in overall spending). Meanwhile, the racial wealth gap in America continues to widen.

What’s apparent is that our spending habits don’t match our declining financial state as a people. We’re spending more money than we’re retaining, and it’s a poor person’s mentality. The road to generational wealth is a marathon, not a sprint. The starting point of that marathon is an act of discipline called budgeting. If we want generational wealth to become a standard instead of a fantasy, we must start respecting every dollar from a young age.

More often than not, advice from a professional weighs more than the opinion of someone who just wants you to do better. I spoke with the founder of Melanin Money, George Acheampong, a financial planner and investment adviser who knows the ins and outs of making your money work for you.

For BLACK ENTERPRISE, he broke down the intricacies of budgeting for young, black America in a Q&A: 

BE: Many people think they don’t need to start budgeting until they’ve got a certain amount of money coming in. What are some more common misconceptions about budgeting?

George Acheampong: Most people think budgeting is about preventing you from doing what you want to do, quite the opposite. The purpose of budgeting is telling your money where you want it to go, so you don’t have to wonder where it went. Which actually gives you more foresight on how to plan out the things you want to do.

For college students, what are some recurring expenses that most students don’t give second thought to?

Ideally, there shouldn’t be many. Cell phone, car insurance, which in some cases your parents might still be taking care of, and a couple of subscriptions like Netflix or apple music, but if you have a friend who’s the real MVP, you may be able to use their account for the love. Food will probably be your biggest expense, so you want to closely monitor what you are spending because those $ 5 meals here and there can add up quick.

Are there standard budgeting practices that young adults should begin incorporating now, that they’ll need for life?

I wouldn’t say that there is a one-size fits all approach because everyone will have different goals and needs, but there are some basic fundamentals that will always be true. it’s important to lay the foundation of spending what’s left AFTER saving. If you get a pay check, what you see is not what you get. Treat your savings like taxes, have that money come out before any money is spent. Ideally, have it automatically go a savings account so you don’t even have to think about it. Anywhere between 10-20% ideally, more if you are able to.

As prices continue to go up for goods and services, pay rates usually take a while to increase. How can young adults save substantially while still having money to spend freely?

For most college students they have not yet accumulated a lot of bills. Do not start acquiring more debt by getting the nice car or the expensive apartment. Stay humble, stack your money. A lot of young adults have aspirations to start a business or pursue a dream, you know what makes it harder to do so? Having too many bills. I know you think your big time and want the nice apartment, car or clothes, but while you are in the building phases the best thing you can do is keep your expenses low. Have the roommate or two, keep the old beater car or use ride share services to keep cost low.  Low expenses = more savings.

Can you recommend any apps or tools that can help with budgeting?

Yeah, I used Mint.com when I first got out of college, it’s still the leading free budgeting tool.

Using personal experience, what’s the biggest piece of advise you have for young adults who are just starting to see their first income without any major responsibilities to consider?

I hate to beat a dead horse, but the best thing you can do is to continue to live as modest as possible. Our natural instinct is if we start making more, to start spending more. Resist that urge. Save as much as possible because there will come a time when you do have to spend more, or you can’t have that roommate. So while you can, take advantage of it and stack as much as possible. That extra money will give you options and choices. If you find yourself in a job you really hate, you can quit if you have enough money in the bank. If you have a dream you want to pursue full-time, you can do that with money in the bank. You can’t do that when you are living paycheck to paycheck.


Steve KingThe ideas and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author’s and not necessarily the opinion of Black Enterprise.

 

 

Black Enterprise Contributors Network

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Ready, set, file: Here’s what you need to know to file your 2018 tax return

The only certainty is death and taxes: The 2018 filing season will kick off on Monday, Jan. 28, even amid the shutdown. Here's what you need to know to make the process a little less painful.
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Lithuania Industrial Output Rises In December

Lithuania’s industrial output expanded in December, led by growth in output in the utilities sector and mining and quarrying, preliminary figures from the Department of Statistics showed on Wednesday.
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How to Raise Your Credit Score in 2019

Working at Experian and in banking, I have knowledge on how to raise your credit score in 2019. For instance, did you know you should have two credit cards maximum, for personal or business use? As always: pay your bills on time; keep long-line history. And two new credit programs can help you boost your credit score in 2019.

New Credit Program from Experian 

Experian recently announced Experian Boost, which will allow consumers to influence their credit scores by showing on-time payments for utilities, phones, and cable TV.

In order for the program to work for you, you have to give Experian permission to access your bank account information so that the agency can access your payment history. Once access is given, you can calculate your immediate score. Roughly 8 million people could potentially move into the fair (580-669) or good (670-739) credit ranges under the new system,” according to Experian. This credit boost can help with getting apartments, homes, insurance, and more.

UltraFICO Program 

Another new program is Ultra FICO. UltraFICO was created for people with dings on their credit histories. About 4 million consumers may see an increase of 20 points with the new program, according to representatives at FICO. The average card interest rate is currently at a record 17.41%, according to CreditCards.com. That’s up from 16.15% one year earlier and 15.22% two years ago. Credit card debt is now $ 1 trillion. In addition, tax liens have now been excluded from credit reports for a little time now.

In addition, remember:

  • Keep your credit utilization below 30%
  • Dispute inaccuracies on your credit report either online or by letters in the mail
  • Use 0% interest balance transfers to your advantage
  • Do not close long-standing credit card lines
  • Keep inquiries to a minimum

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Procter & Gamble Q2 Profit Up 28%; Results Beat View

Consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble Co. on Wednesday reported a 28 percent increase in profit for the second quarter from last year, when results were impacted by a charge related to the U.S. tax reform. Both revenue and core earnings per share for the quarter beat analysts’ estimates. Looking ahead, the company affirmed its outlook for fiscal 2019 earnings.
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Some recalled IRS employees aren’t showing up to work amid the shutdown

Some recalled employees at the Internal Revenue Service aren't coming into work, citing financial hardship, according to published reports. Here's what that might mean for your tax return.
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Australia Unemployment Data Due On Thursday

Australia will on Thursday release unemployment figures for December, highlighting a modest day for Asia-Pacific economic activity.
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Johnson & Johnson Q4 Results Top Estimates

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) Tuesday reported a profit for the fourth quarter, compared to a loss last year. The year-ago quarter’s results included the impact of a hefty charge related to the U.S. tax reform. Quarterly sales increased 1.0% from the prior year. Both adjusted earnings per share and quarterly sales topped analysts’ expectations.
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Japan Overall CPI Rises 0.3% On Year In December

Overall consumer prices in Japan were up 0.3 percent on year in December, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday.
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Lenders promise savings on student loans, but here’s why the reality is different than advertised

Student loan refinancing companies say they offer borrowers a way to save thousands of dollars on their debt, by allowing them to pay off their loans at a lower interest rate, in less time.
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Sherwin-Williams Lowers FY18 Earnings Outlook – Quick Facts

Sherwin-Williams Company (SHW) on Tuesday announced preliminary unaudited sales and earnings results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2018. The company lowered its earnings outlook for fiscal 2018, citing non-operating expenses and lower fourth-quarter sales.
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JPMorgan Q4 Profit Rises, But Revenues Miss Estimates; Stock Down

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) reported Tuesday a profit for the fourth-quarter that grew 67 percent from last year. It took a one-time charge, as a result of the U.S. tax reform in the prior year. Net revenue for the quarter rose 7 percent from the previous year. Revenue for the quarter missed analysts’ expectations.
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Australia Home Loans Data Due On Thursday

Australia will on Thursday release November numbers for home loans and investment lending, highlighting a modest day for Asia-Pacific economic activity.
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Bank Of America Q4 Profit Surges; Revenue Up 6% On Adjusted Basis

Bank of America (BAC) reported fourth-quarter net income of $ 7.3 billion, up 208% from prior year, driven by continued strong operating leverage and asset quality, as well as the benefit of tax reform impacting 2018. Fourth-quarter net income was up 39% adjusting for the impact of the Tax Act in prior year. Pretax income was $ 8.7 billion rose 41% (22% on an adjusted basis) from previous year. Earnings per share was $ 0.70, up 250% (49% on an adjusted basis). On average, 25 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $ 0.63 for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.
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Ford Motor Q4 Prel. Earnings Below Estimates – Quick Facts

Ford Motor Company (F) reported, for the fourth-quarter, preliminary adjusted EPS of $ 0.30 compared to $ 0.39, last year. On average, 17 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $ 0.32 for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.
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Japan Core Machine Orders Flat On Month

Core machine orders in Japan were roughly flat on month, the Cabinet Office said on Wednesday.
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The Importance of African American Wealth Management Advisers

Manhattan West Asset Management is an extremely diverse firm in the wealth management sector, existing in a world that is overwhelmingly white and male-dominated. The firm is made up of high character, highly-educated financial advisers with incredible backgrounds that previously reflect leadership roles at Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan among others. It currently has a mix of African American employees that hold executive roles, Latino American partners, and a list of high ranking women.

Although extremely impressive, this is not the norm. Stats that include this type of makeup are extremely low. According to the Center for Financial Planning Board  (CFP), less than 3.5% of all the 80,000 certified financial planners in the United States are black or Latino. So what is going on?

BLACK ENTERPRISE caught up with executive Justin McCurdy to find out what got him involved in wealth management and the importance of African American wealth management advisers as a career option for people of color.

Black Enterprise: How did you break into Wealth Management?

Justin McCurdy: I do not have the typical background of most wealth management professionals, but I believe that is why I am able to serve such a diverse client group. I came to the United States as an immigrant from Canada. My family moved from Jamaica to Canada before I was born in search of more opportunity. I won’t go too far into my personal life, but my background contributes to how unusual it is for me to be in my current role. My mother had me at a young age and we moved from apartment to apartment, city to city, before finally settling in Los Angeles when I was 11 years old.

I worked hard and was accepted at the University of Southern California. I financed my education through financial aid and the revenue earned from the youth sports organization I founded at the age of 18, which I still operate today. After about a dozen internships, I graduated and took a position as an advisor at Morgan Stanley. With no family connections, financing or an existing Rolodex, it was an uphill battle to build a client base. Fast forward 5 years and I am now at Manhattan West Asset Management holding a leadership role and realizing the abundant opportunities available when you’re willing to go after what you want in life.

What attracted you to wealth management?

My passion in educating those who did not come from backgrounds that gave them the skillset to properly manage wealth is what initially attracted me to the industry. I came from a traditional working-class family and although supportive, I was not exposed to wealth accumulation or preservation concepts. I worked extremely hard to educate myself and with the help of mentors I met through sports was able to develop a strong understanding of finance.  Ultimately, I want to use my knowledge to educate and empower those around me, with a special focus on those that might have encountered the same roadblocks as me along the way.

What types of clients do you advise?

My clients stem from all walks of life but I have a special emphasis on professional athletes and entertainers.

African American wealth management advisers

Justin McCurdy and client, retired NBA veteran, Ryan Gomes (Image: Instagram)

Why do you think there is such a drastic shortage of African-American Advisors?

It’s simply a matter of exposure. African American kids do not often see Financial Advisors of color, making it hard for them to envision themselves taking that career path.

Why is it beneficial for African-Americans to be involved in a career like this?

It’s my belief that the more African-American advisors there are, the more educated the black community will be about finance. This will only lead to more wealth accumulation and preservation within the community.  Living in such a unique time where people from all demographics/walks of life are acquiring wealth at sometimes rapid paces leads me to believe that professionals servicing them need to evolve and represent this newfound diversity as well.

Many African-American children have not had the opportunity to see successful Financial Advisors of color and that needs to change.  I want the upcoming generation to see wealth management as a viable career opportunity that embraces those willing to work hard for their clients. Class, background or socio-economic status should not be a factor.

 

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Citigroup Turns To Profit In Q4, Beats View; But Revenues Miss

Citigroup Inc. on Monday reported a turnaround to profit in the fourth quarter as the year-ago quarter’s results included the impact of a hefty charge related to the U.S. tax reform. The latest quarter’s results also benefited from a reduction in expenses, lower cost of credit and a lower effective tax rate that helped offset a decline in revenues.
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Südzucker 9-month Operating Result Declines; Confirms FY Forecast – Quick Facts

Südzucker AG (SUEZF.PK) reported that in the first three quarters (1 March 2018 to 30 November 2018) of the current fiscal year 2018/19, group revenues were 5.19 billion euros compared to 5.30 billion euros, prior year. The consolidated group operating result fell significantly to 116 million euros from 384 million euros. The company said the decline was driven mainly by the sugar segment losses as of the third quarter. The CropEnergies segment’s operating result also dropped substantially.
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Japan Household Spending Climbs 0.3% In November

The average of household spending in Japan was up 0.3 percent on year in November, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Friday – coming in at 281,041 yen.
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Philips Announces Realignment Of Reporting Segments – Quick Facts

Royal Philips (PHG) announced a realignment of its three reporting segments Diagnosis & Treatment, Connected Care & Health Informatics, and Personal Health. The company said the most notable changes are the shift of the Sleep & Respiratory Care business from the Personal Health segment to the renamed Connected Care segment and the shift of the Healthcare Informatics business from the Connected Care segment to the Diagnosis & Treatment segment.
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The government just made applying for student aid easier

Many people who apply for college financial aid are forced to go through an audit-like process in which they must prove that the information they provided is accurate.
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Your Money, Your Life: Episode 5 – ‘Biggest Threat to Financial Wellness’ with Ash Cash

Too much debt is the biggest threat to financial wellness. Financial motivator Ash “Cash” Exantus, co-founder and CEO of MindRight Money Management, explains why your mindset and lifestyle determines how you manage debt, and offers valuable actions you can take to get and keep it under control



The new personal finance podcast, Your Money, Your Life is sponsored by Prudential and hosted by Black Enterprise’s own Alfred Edmond Jr. This special series features a lineup of great guests including The Breakfast Club’s Angela Yee; DeForest B. Soaries Jr., founder of the dfree Financial Freedom Movement; Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche; and Jacquette M. Timmons, president & CEO of Sterling Investment Management. The show will cover money topics ranging from how to control your debt to our psychological relationship with our finance. A can’t miss!

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China Inflation Data Due On Thursday

China will on Thursday release December numbers for consumer prices, highlighting a light day for Asia-Pacific economic activity.
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“Budgetnista” Helps Create Financial Literacy Law for Kids in New Jersey

Last Thursday, acting New Jersey governor Sheila Oliver signed a new law requiring financial literacy education for New Jersey’s middle school students. New Jersey assembly woman Angela V. McKnignt and personal finance expert Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche were both key in getting the legislation passed.

According to NJ.com, the new law, (A1414) says “the lessons should provide students with knowledge to make ‘sound financial decision-making,’ with content on budgeting, savings, credit, debt, insurance, investment, and more.”

“Many young people go into adulthood knowing little about finances and end up making decisions that cost them in the long run,”  Assemblywoman McKnight said to NJSpotlight.com.

“Teaching our kids early about the importance of managing their money and making sound financial decisions can prevent them from making costly mistakes and set them on the right financial path.”

On her Instagram, Aliche outlined how she came to work with Assemblywoman McKnight on the bill.

“3 years ago, HISTORY was set in motion… Assemblywoman Angela V. McKnight @aswmcknight reached out to me and asked for my help with a financial literacy bill. That meeting took place at a Starucks in Dec. 2015, and yesterday after years of hard work, committee meetings, follow-ups, social media pushes, and an initial veto by our former Governor, WE HAVE A LAW! Angela is a POWERHOUSE and worked to make sure this day happened despite the many setbacks.The law takes effect during the next school year, Sept. 2019. Woot woot!”

Aliche, who most recently appeared as a guest on the BLACK ENTERPRISE personal finance podcast “Your Money Your Life,” says similar legislation is being considered in Texas and Maryland.

Currently, few states—only 17—require high school students to take a course in personal finance, yet the Council of Economic Education survey states that the country’s low level of financial knowledge exacerbated the effects of the Great Recession.

Black financial literacy is critical for African American economic well-being. For instance, nearly half (49%) of all black borrowers default on their student loans within 12 years of entering college.

-Robin White Goode contributed to this report.

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Australia Has A$1.925 Billion Trade Surplus

Australia had a seasonally adjusted merchandise trade surplus of A$ 1.925 billion in November, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday.
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Hong Kong Retail Sales Data Due On Thursday

Hong Kong will on Thursday release November numbers for retail sales, highlighting a light day for Asia-Pacific economic activity.
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South Korea Manufacturing Contraction Eases In December

South Korea’s manufacturing activity decreased at a slower rate in December, as inflationary pressures eased and business confidence improved, data from IHS Markit showed on Wednesday.
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Higher Health Insurance Costs for Small Businesses Coming in 2019?

A recent ruling by a Texas federal judge insisting the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—otherwise known as Obamacare—is unconstitutional is potentially bad news for millions of small businesses, the national advocacy group Small Business Majority maintains. U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor agreed with an alliance of 20 states that a change in tax law last year eliminating a penalty for not having health insurance nullified the overall ACA.

‘Obamacare’ will continue to remain in effect for now. The case could be appealed and possibly reach the U.S. Supreme Court, observers say. They say that process could take months or even years.

The ruling occurred a day before the deadline for Americans to sign up for coverage in the federal insurance exchange created under the ACA. Roughly 11.8 million U.S. consumers enrolled in 2018 healthcare exchange plans, the federal agency Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported.

The ruling has “no impact to current coverage or coverage in a 2019 plan,” Seema Verma, the administrator for the Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency that oversees ACA, tweeted.

Former President Barack Obama posted on Facebook that Obamacare will “likely”  survive the judge’s ruling. He urged people to proceed with open enrollment and get coverage.



President Donald Trump saluted the decision as “great news for America,” boasting that Congress will now create a “great” healthcare plan, though that will likely be difficult if large numbers of the pool of uninsured Americans opt not to pay for insurance.


However, the Small Business Majority says the ruling’s impact could hit entrepreneurs, including black small businesses owners soon.

“While this federal court decision does not change the status of the ACA right now, it injects a degree of uncertainty into the ACA marketplaces that many entrepreneurs depend on for quality, affordable health insurance,” Simon Brown, a spokesman at Small Business Majority, told Black Enterprise.

“That uncertainty could cause consumers to leave the marketplaces, meaning prices could rise for those who continue to buy insurance through ACA marketplaces.”

John Arensmeyer, Small Business Majority founder & CEO, added through the ACA’s individual mandate penalty was previously repealed, its remaining components must be upheld in full because the law is absolutely critical to the success of small businesses, their employees and solo entrepreneurs.

Before Obamacare became law in 2010, the Small Business Majority says small businesses and their employees represented a disproportionate share of uninsured workers, and small business owners paid 18% more on average for coverage than larger companies.

Yet, the growth in small business healthcare costs slowed dramatically since 2010, occurring after regular double-digit gains before the law’s enactment. The law made health insurance more affordable for smaller firms, resulting in many entrepreneurs launching their own businesses.

More than 5.7 million small business employees or self-employed workers are enrolled in the ACA marketplaces, and more than half of all ACA marketplace enrollees nationwide are small business owners, self-employed individuals or small business employees, the Small Business Majority states.

Plus, the advocacy group says the law has enabled most states to expand their Medicaid programs, allowing low-income small business employees and entrepreneurs to obtain health coverage.

Arensmeyer says ending the ACA would be an unmitigated disaster for America’s entrepreneurs.

“For the good of America’s job creators, the constitutionality of the ACA must be upheld, and we hope this decision is immediately appealed.”

 

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Turkey Capacity Utilization Steady At Lowest Level Since 2015

Turkey’s manufacturing capacity utilization rate was unchanged in December at its lowest level since early 2015, figures from the Turkish central bank showed on Wednesday.
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7 Signs of Identity Theft

Tis’ the season for identity theft. This is the time of year ID theft rises. Although your identity can be stolen at any time you want to be more careful around the holidays. During the holiday season your credit and debit card transitions increase whether it’s in store or online. We are all aware of retail systems being hacked, but remember to stay aware of phishing emails — emails that may resemble a known person, creditor, etc. with ‘phishing’ links that allow the hacker(s) access to your personal information — within your email or computer system. Scammers seem more desperate around the holiday season so it’s important to stay aware and be safe.

According to The 2017 Identity Fraud Study released by Javelin Strategy & Research, $ 16 billion was stolen from 15.4 million U.S. consumers in 2016.

Information obtained during the holidays may not necessarily be used right away so it’s important to stay on top of monitoring your personal information. Pay careful attention to the signs below to be sure you aren’t a victim of identity theft.

Unknown credit inquiry

If you notice unauthorized credit inquiries on your credit report, this can be a sign of identity theft. A credit inquiry means a potential lender is seeing how credit worthy you are. Inquiries can remain for 2 years. If you need to review your credit report, you can do so for free at annualcreditreport.com

Unknown charges on credit card or bank statement

Unknown charges on your credit card or debit card are a red flag. As soon as you see an unknown charge, be sure to report it to your bank or creditor. Even if the charge is less than $ 1. Some thieves will start by pilfering money from your account cents at a time to see if a consumer notices. Then overnight wipe out your card or account. Immediately report unknown charges and replace your card if you become a victim. Many banks and credit card companies cover unauthorized charges and should refund your money without any issues.

Receiving bills that aren’t yours

We all get the monthly bills in the mail and sometimes an occasional bill or one that isn’t monthly, but if you start receiving bills or collection notices for services or products that aren’t yours, you may be a victim of identity theft. There is a chance someone opened an account in your name, and now you are being tracked down by skip tracers to pay the cost. Be sure to contact the bill collector and file a police report immediately, you will need the report to dispute, if the bill hits your credit report.

Address changes on credit report or accounts

If you are one who monitors your credit report, be sure to look at the personal information tab. Many consumers only look at account information. Personal information is very important as well, if you notice an address you have never resided at, you may be a victim of identity theft. Once a credit application is filed in your name, the address reported on the application is updated within your credit file. Any inconsistent information can be corrected with the appropriate credit bureau. Remember, there are three separate credit bureaus and each may contain different information: Experian, Transunion, Equifax.

Tax return already filed

Tax season opens the end of January each year, but the deadline to file taxes isn’t until April, many consumers are still waiting on important documents to file and rarely file early. Criminals have now begun to file fraudulent tax returns, typically in the first few weeks of tax season, beating the consumer to the punch. If you find a tax return has already been filed in your name, contact the IRS immediately as well as a police report.

Denial of Credit

If you know you have good credit and all of a sudden you are denied credit, check your credit report to be sure everything is in order. While Identity theft can be a reason, there are other factors for denial as well.

Traffic Tickets in Your Name

If you’ve ever received notice of traffic tickets for which you weren’t the offender, someone may be using your ID. Believe it or not, this happens more times than it should with many officers only glancing at the ID and not comparing identity. You want to get any mistaken identity straightened out and see about changing your ID & Drivers License number.

 

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Carl Zeiss Meditec AG FY EBIT Rises; Revenue Up 7.6% – Quick Facts

Carl Zeiss Meditec AG (CZMWF.PK) reported that its fiscal year 2017/18 earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose to 197.1 million euros from 180.8 million euros, prior year. The EBIT margin was at 15.4 percent compared to 15.2 percent. Earnings per share was 1.41 euros compared to 1.57 euros. The company said this decrease was attributable to negative currency effects and to the increased number of shares.
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Japan Housing Starts Data Due On Thursday

Japan will on Thursday release November numbers for housing starts and construction orders, highlighting a light day for Asia-Pacific economic activity.
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What You May Not Know About a Down Payment for Buying a Home

A new study proves something many may already know: Saving for a down payment for buying a home is the biggest hurdle for would-be home owners. However, the study reveals some facts you may not have known about down payments.

First, down payments are particularly hard for millennnials, the largest single group of home buyers and the biggest group of first-time buyers, according to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2018.

Millennial buyers also are the most likely to put less than 20% down. When they decide to buy a home — one of the biggest investments ever for many Americans — millennials are most likely to use multiple funding sources for the down payment. Nearly half used a gift or loan from family or friends for at least some of their down payment, making up one-fifth of the down payment on average. They also use investments and retirement funds toward down payments.

Zillow also reported coming up with a down payment can be a game-changer. For instance, it can help make a monthly mortgage payment that is affordable and does not bust your bill-paying budget.

The Zillow report surveyed people in Atlanta, Chicago, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., including 3,000 home buyers. They were asked about their down payment decisions, including how much they put down and where the money came from.

Here are other revelations from the report:

-First-time buyers are more likely to cash out investments or use retirement funds toward a down payment.

-Putting 20% down is conventional wisdom, but fewer than half of buyers do so.

-Buyers in Atlanta put down less than 5% more often than they put down at least 20%, boosting the risk of becoming underwater on their mortgages.

Yet, buyers in Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. are at least as likely as the typical national buyer to put down at least 20%.

Research from Zillow disclosed it takes over seven years for a typical American home buyer to save a 20% down payment on the typical-valued home.

Of course, buyers can put much less down than that amount. Saving up for a down payment can be tough and requires good budgeting and long-term planning, especially when for many the cost of rent and everyday life outpaces what they are able to put in the bank.

Even if you don’t have plans to buy a home in the next year or two, it never hurts to start setting aside savings for a future home purchase,” Zillow senior economist Aaron Terrazas stated.

“There are many mortgage options that require less than 20% down, but buyers should be careful that they don’t set themselves up to be underwater. Interest rates are rising, of course, but for many, waiting a bit longer and saving for a larger down payment might still be the way to go as they weigh their current stability and housing needs against their long-term future.

If your goal is home ownership, check out some more great advice about purchasing a home:

-INSIDER TIPS FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS LOOKING TO PURCHASE A HOME

-HOME OWNERSHIP: IT’S NOT THE SIZE OF THE HOME, BUT THE SIZE OF THE DREAM

-GOOD SIGN FOR BUYERS: HOUSING INVENTORY GROWING AGAIN

 

 

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Associated British Foods Affirms Outlook; 8-week Trading In Line With Guidance

Speaking at the Annual General Meeting of Associated British Foods plc (ASBFY.PK, ABF.L), the Chairman Michael McLintock said the Group still expects adjusted earnings per share for the financial year to be in line with the 2018 financial year. He reiterated the Group outlook statement for the current financial year that was included in the annual report.
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[VIDEO] The Top 3 Millennials’ Money Mistakes

From early 401(k) plan withdrawals to not actively investing in stocks because that is for “old white people,studies show Millennials rank near or at the bottom when it comes to financial savvy. Here are the top three Millennials’ money mistakes:

Millennials Money Mistake 1: Being All For The ‘Gram

Keeping up with the Joneses (or even the Kardashians) for the sake of Instagram can keep you in a world wind of purchases and outings you cannot afford. The continued pictures of you dining out, vacationing on a credit card, and costly “lituations”is an expensive lifestyle when you add it all up.

Yes, you can have fun, especially when you’re young. However, you’re not only losing valuable time, but if you find yourself spending more than you can afford, you will end up robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Just do the math—by time you have added up the cost of that lifestyle for even one year, you could have created your own “bank” by purchasing a new financial solution that offers a cash value via Index Funds. That way, you could vacation or even purchase a new car without putting your checking account and credit cards in the negative.

In this video, financial expert and advisor Robinne Alexander breaks down the other top two financial mistakes Millennials make.



 

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Estonia Producer Price Inflation Eases

Estonia’s producer price inflation slowed in November, data from Statistics Estonia showed on Thursday.
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Retirement Calculators (and Facts) for Real Life

Stashing money away for the golden years can be a huge burden for many people. In fact, saving for retirement is the leading financial stressor for Americans, a new study from Lincoln Financial Group shows. Further, 90% of U.S. residents report stress about their financial situation impacts their daily mood.

The study by the Radnor, Pennsylvania-based financial services company indicated people know that saving for retirement is imperative. Some 57% of Americans say it is important to have room in their budget for a retirement plan. Yet, individuals put household necessities, utilities, and transportation ahead of retirement savings.

“Saving for retirement doesn’t have to be stressful, and it doesn’t have to be difficult,” says Jamie Ohl, EVP, president, Retirement Plan Services, Head of Life and Annuity Operations, Lincoln Financial Group. “It’s all about taking small steps over the course of your working life to help you achieve the retirement you envision.”

Another revelation from the American Consumer Study is that only about half of Americans are confident about saving for retirement, and just a quarter say they don’t plan to retire. The recent study included 2,501 respondents.

The good news is there are steps people can take to help boost their confidence about retirement savings and enhance their ability to retire.

For one, waiting to save can cost you and impact your financial future. This calculator shows the effect that delaying savings can bring.  Another point to consider is that a small change now can make a big difference later. For instance, consider cooking your own meal versus eating out once a week.

This calculator shows what that could mean. For instance, that action could add $ 113,000 to your retirement account.

People also should look at ways to protect their income in retirement. The study suggests many Americans are approaching their retirement years “unprotected”—meaning their savings are not shielded from rising healthcare costs, outliving savings, and other forces. Individuals should talk to a financial adviser to gain options—perhaps utilizing an annuity for instance—to discover ways to help turn retirement savings into sheltered lifetime income.

Interestingly, the study also found that about 1 in 4 Americans don’t plan to retire due to financial uncertainty in the future. Among its findings:

  • Forty-nine percent of us plan to retire, while 24% don’t plan to retire.
  • Twenty-seven percent will not retire because they do not have a good picture of what their financial future will look like.
  • Some 26% of people are looking to live comfortably and keep their current lifestyle in retirement.
  • Fourteen percent of Americans plan on beginning a “second career” later in life, while 32% aren’t sure and might consider the possibility.
  • Of those wanting to begin a second career, 25% say it is because they want to continue to have some income, and 17% say it is to keep busy and try something different.
  • More than 3 out of 4 Americans say they anticipate living in their own home once they are retired. That is particularly true for Young Boomers and Old Boomers (82% and 83%, respectively)
  • Forty percent of Americans are not now contributing to a retirement savings plan.
  • Some 24% of Americans with a formal retirement plan say “I wish I can retire earlier so that I can enjoy my time off doing personal things.”
  • Americans without a formal plan are more indifferent, with 1 in 3 saying “I feel no particular way about retirement.”

 

 

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H&M Group FY18 Sales Incl. VAT Up 5% – Quick Facts

Hennes & Mauritz AB (HNNMY.PK, HMRZF.PK, HEN.L) reported that the group’s sales including VAT increased by 5 percent to 244.27 billion Swedish kronor in the financial year of 2018. Sales excluding VAT increased to 210.41 billion kronor from 200.00 billion kronor. In local currencies, sales including VAT increased by 3 percent.
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Here’s Why Black Investors Should Consider Investing in Commercial Real Estate

Investing in commercial real estate can be confusing to new investorsdizzying numbers and jargon can make investors wary. However, investing in commercial real estate is actually easier than you think—and the perks are great to boot. Sound income potential, solid stability, and downside protection against market volatility are some of those perks.

Investing in Commercial Real Estate Doesn’t Require You to Be an Expert

Investing in real estate doesn’t demand you be an expert in real estate This is where sponsors come in. And no, a sponsor isn’t an advertiser. A sponsor is an asset operator who syndicates the funds and makes the deal happen.The sponsor handles anything from funding to managing the investment. They manage the asset. You collect the income.

 

Commercial Real Estate is a Long-Term Investment

Another upside to investing in commercial real estate is its long-term focus. It protects your downside and is engineered to collect big returns over time. On the flip side, if you’re just looking to make quick buck, real estate might not be the right investment space for you. Plus your money’s locked up for a pre-set contractual period — you can’t just cash out anytime you want.

Crowdfunding Allows Everyday Folks to Own Commercial Property for Under $ 1000

The Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, signed in 2012, allows everyday investors to own a piece of assets such as the World Trade Center through real estate crowdfunding. There are tons of online marketplaces that give you access to syndicated deals. And if you’re not into that? Well, there’s always REITs.

A version of this story appeared on WealthLAB.

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U.S. Leading Economic Index Unexpectedly Rises 0.2% In November

A report released by the Conference Board on Thursday showed a modest increase by leading U.S. economic indicators in the month of November. The Conference Board said its leading economic index rose by 0.2 percent in November after falling by a revised 0.3 percent in October.
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Bayer Sets Growth Targets Through 2022; Aims To Grow Sales By 4-5% Annually

The Bayer Group (BAYZF.PK, BAYRY.PK, BYR.L) announced the company aims to significantly enhance its performance in the coming years and has set itself ambitious growth and margin targets through 2022. The company is targeting sales growth of approximately 4 percent next year and an annual average of 4 to 5 percent in the following years through 2022, based on constant foreign exchange rates. This corresponds to an increase in sales from an anticipated 44.6 billion euros (pro forma) in 2018 to around 46 billion euros in 2019 and to approximately 52 billion euros in 2022.
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Your Money, Your Life: Episode 3 – ‘Key Questions To Ask Before Working With A Financial Adviser’

How to know when you are ready to hire a financial pro and what you need to ask to find the right one for you, with guest Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche, founder of the Live Richer Challenge Movement.



 

The new personal finance podcast, Your Money, Your Life is sponsored by Prudential and hosted by Black Enterprise’s own Alfred Edmond Jr. This special series features a lineup of great guests including The Breakfast Club’s Angela Yee; DeForest B. Soaries Jr., founder of the dfree Financial Freedom Movement; Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche; and Jacquette M. Timmons, president & CEO of Sterling Investment Management. The show will cover money topics ranging from how to control your debt to our psychological relationship with our finance. A can’t miss!

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Here’s how Powerball, Mega Millions jackpot winners fare under new tax law

Although the top federal tax rate was reduced by the new tax law that took effect in 2018, lottery winners could end up owing more to the IRS.
Wealth

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The Street

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Your Money, Your Life: Episode 4 – ‘Creating A Budget That Works For You’

Learn why having a spending plan—also known as a budget—is key to financial wellness and enables you to confidently set and achieve your goals, with guest Angela Yee, host of The Breakfast Club and host and creator of the ‘Lip Service’ podcast.



The new personal finance podcast, Your Money, Your Life is sponsored by Prudential and hosted by Black Enterprise’s own Alfred Edmond Jr. This special series features a lineup of great guests including The Breakfast Club’s Angela Yee; DeForest B. Soaries Jr., founder of the dfree Financial Freedom Movement; Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche; and Jacquette M. Timmons, president & CEO of Sterling Investment Management. The show will cover money topics ranging from how to control your debt to our psychological relationship with our finance. A can’t miss!

The post Your Money, Your Life: Episode 4 – ‘Creating A Budget That Works For You’ appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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U.S. Existing Home Sales Unexpectedly Jump 1.9% In November

Existing home sales in the U.S. unexpectedly showed a significant increase in the month of November, according to a report released by the National Association of Realtors on Wednesday. NAR said existing home sales surged up by 1.9 percent to an annual rate of 5.32 million.
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