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Consumer Information

As a consumer you need to learn more about your rights before entering into any contracts. Getting a credit application approved, transferring money from one account to another, renewing your driver’s license, or even getting a prescription from your doctor at your local pharmacy can be easy and quick. The downside of these conveniences is that they provide more opportunities for your personal information to be accessed. Awareness of where your personal information can be changed, stolen or inaccurate, gives you the power to protect your information.

Homeland Security Cybersecurity Toolkit 20171023

How to Protect Yourself After the Yahoo Attack” 20160925 NYT

Is it possible to refinance too often?” 20160801 WP

When Websites Won’t Take No for an Answer” 20160514 NYT
Something we all see to often.

Long-Term Care Insurance Can Be Costly but Effective” 20151225 NYT
This article highlights some things to consider when looking for long-term care insurance.  These considerations are helpful in an area without “concrete guidelines”.

Lease and Lengthier Loans Can Reduce Car Payments” 20151204 NYT
Leases and longer-term loans are becoming more popular.

The Hidden Reason People Spend Too Much” 20151102 WSJ

Financial experts may have gotten this wrong for years”   20150818 MW

Use Everyday Life to Teach Kids About Money” 20150619 WSJ
This is a common sense approach to helping your children develop  an understanding about financial matters.

Companies’ data collection makes many consumers uneasy” 20150605 NYT
The article mentions a plugin to control and see who is tracking you.

Financial Advice for New College Grads” 20150508 WSJ
Graduation is time to start thinking about retirement.

Even the Tax Man Has a Taxing Time”  20150415WSJ
This is an article about identity theft.

Making Money Decisions When You Lose Your Job” 20150227 NYT
Some common questions and issues when you lose your job.

How Economists’ 2014 Projections Fared” 20150101 WSJ
Last year’s consensus forecasts for 2014 were “off-the-mark”.

2014

Protect Your Medical Data From identity Theft” 20141114 WSJ

Failure to refinance can prove costly” 20140912 CT
Sometimes people do not refinance their mortgages because they do not realize how much they could save.

Got HAMP?” 20140914 CT
Those with home equity loans a decade ago and those how had their home mortgage modified under the  Home Affordability Modification Program (HAMP) may see their mortgage payments increase.

“Who’s Training Your Retirement Navigator” 20140214WSJ
This articles suggest some questions you should be asking your “Navigator” even if they have other titles such as Financial Planner or Investment Manager.

“Sidestepping the Risk of a Privacy Breach” 20140207NYT
Privacy breaches are happening more frequently.  You need to be alert to the issue and steps to take to reduce the chances of this happening to you.

“Give Yourself Some Credit” 20120720CT
This article provides useful information about credit reports and how to respond to errors.

“Online Tracking Ramps Up” 20120617WSJ
“The average visit to a Web page triggered 56 instances of data collection…”

“America’s Fiscal IQ: Don’t Know Much About Deficits” USN20111220
This article discusses the complexity of being knowledgeable about this topic.

“Beware holiday gifts with strings attached” 20111211CT
Actually this is an article about what to watch out for when trying to reduce your debts.  Carolyn Bigda provides helpful hints for those considering co-signing for someone else’s debt and transferring a car lease.

“11 Tips for Safe Online Shopping” 20111121PCM
Worth reading.

“As Car Sales Jump, Deals Disappear” 20111102SM
Provides a summary of the current new car market for those considering a new car.

“FHA Enhanced HARP” 20111024
The enhancements make it easier for the with mortgage balances higher than the value of their homes the ability to refinance.

“5 Things You Should Never Do Online” 20111013PCMAG
This article provides non technical steps you can do to safeguard your email account.

“Troubled home owners get a lifeline” 20111024CNNMoney
For those with mortgages higher than their home values, this program may provide some relief.

“Crowning a Bank Champ” 20111023CT
Gergory Karp’s article summarizes his discussions with 4 authorities on consumer bankng relating to big banks vs. small banks.

“6 Strategies for Dealing With an Underwater Mortgage” 20111007USNWR
Good discussion of some of the alternatives available when the mortgage is more than the homes value.

“Refinance Now? Maybe Not” 20111008WSJ
This is a useful discussion of factors to consider to determine when you should consider refinancing you home mortgage.

“How Debit-Card Fees Ruin Banking Relationships” 20111008WSJ
This article discusses the current status of bank fees on debit cards and gives suggestions as to how they may be controlled or eliminated.

“Tips for a (Nearly) Paperless Home Office” 20111004MS
Very useful if you store any information on computers.

“The Best Banking Deals for College Students” 20110907SM
Useful information about financial products aimed at college students.

“For the Recently Widowed, Some Big Financial Pitfalls to Avoid” 201100902NYT
Other than tasks such as: paying current bills, updating health insurance, claiming insurance proceeds, filing for social security, and paying taxes (such as real estate and estimated) most other financial tasks can be delayed.  Major decisions should be avoided for six months to a year.  Allow time to adjust to the stress, to control your emotions, to reflect on the future, before making significant financial decisions.

“Data Thieves Target Children” 20110827WSJ
Stay on guard, shred documents, use strong passwords and be judicious in what information is posted on line (social-media) for all members of your family regardless of age.

“Can financial advisers be trusted?” 20110819MSNM
A must read.

“Why We Blunder When We Buy” 20110722CT
Consumer behavior studies are finding insights into the modern consumer.

“The 25 Documents You Need Before You Die” 20110702WSJ
This article discuss how to organize your documents so that your intentions can be honored.

“Beware the Financial Fear Mongers” 20110423WSJ
This applies to all financial products.

“IRS Audit? Be Humble And Don’t Rush to Pay” 20110419WSJ
A better idea is to hire an experienced professional to represent you.

“How to Wreck Your Credit Score” 20110409WSJ
Being 30 days late on a mortgage payment has a severe impact on your credit score.

“Law Shedding Light on Bulbs” 20110304CT
Starting January 2012 manufactures are required to make more energy efficient 100-watt light bulbs.

“6 Rewards Programs Worth Loyalty” 20110316SM
Some reward programs are more valuable than others.

“Is Happiness Overrated?” 20110315WSJ
“…too much focus on feeling happy can actually lead to feeling less happy…”

“Throwing your home in reverse” 20110311CT
An introduction to the whats, hows and whens of reverse mortgages.

“When Your Adviser Can’t Be Trusted” 20110312WSJ
Most people do not realize that financial professionals that chose to be Registered Investor Advisers must act as a fiduciary.  The put their clients interests first.  Broker-dealers typically operate under a suitability standard which is much less than a fiduciary standard.

“These Rookie Regulators Have Got Moxie-and Not Much Else” 20110312WSJ
The controversy as to who will regulate investment-advisory firms continues.

“Keep Your Credit Scores From costing you” 20110301MW
Most consumers do not understand credit score or the significant impact on their financial lives.

“Getting a Mortgage Before the Door Shuts” 2011026WSJ
Costs, regulations and restrictions that have or may increase the costs and reduce the availbiltiy of mortgages.

“Entrepreneurs Find Gold in Used Phones” 20110224WSJ
Businesses are buy gadgets to refurbish or mined for materials that can be recycled.

“How to Fight A Bogus Bill” 20110219WSJ
Medical bills need to be reviewed to identify mistakes.  This article discusses some things to look for.  “Billing errors are often correctable…”

“Savers’ Impatience Hinders Retirement Goals” 20110207MW
Our behavior biases are largely because of the way we are “wired”.

“Home Equity Lending Is Back” 20110203SM
But should they?

“When a Friend Grieves, How to Get Sympathy Right” 20110125WSJ
A discussion about how to express sympathy and offer comfort to someone grieving the death of a loved one.

“Hazards of Using Cards Abroad” 20110115WSJ
Interesting informationabout including; fees, fraud, types of cards, etc.

“How we played it smart in ’10” CT20110102
These tips and topics were the ones the readers of “Smart Spending” thought were especially compelling in 2010

“Protecting You…Consumer regulations”
Discussion of regulations relating to “Dangerous products”, “Food safety”, and “Online privacy”.

“FDIC’s focus on overdraft charges grow” 20101223CT
Note “Tips for those who overdraw accounts” at the bottom of the article.

“How to Cram More Into 24 Hours”
Online calendars and other services are replacing Post-It Notes and refrigerator postings.

“Getting rid of unwanted TVs, cell phones,computer” 20101111CT
This article provides alternatives if you want to sell, donate or recycle electronic devices.

“Then vs. Now: How Prices Have Changed Since 1999” 20091231WalletPop

“How to Fix Your Finances in 2010” -20091230 WSJ

“5 Things to Do During Open Enrollment” Kiplinger 20091026

Ten Ways Banks Take Your Money WSJ 20090704

“Tips to tame junk mail avalanche” 20100718CT
You can take steps to mange your junk mail.

“Congress Overhauls Your Portfolio” 20100717WSJ
This is a summary highlighting some changes that impact: Mutual Funds, Retirement Plans, Hedge Funds and other private investments, Individual stocks, Derivatives, and Brokerage accounts.

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