How To Protect Yourself From The Recent Facebook Breach

Facebook announced a data breach on Friday, Sept. 28, in which the personal information of 50 million user accounts was put at risk due to a vulnerability in the social network’s code. The attack potentially exposed personal information and gave hackers the ability to take control of users’ profiles. Since discovering the breach, Facebook has fixed the vulnerability and has informed law enforcement to investigate. Was My Facebook Account Affected? About 50 million Facebook users were affected by the code vulnerability, which gives hackers the ability to steal “access tokens” that allow users to stay logged into their accounts. (When you sign in to a site or app with your username and password, your browser or device typically receives a digital key known as an access token that lets you stay logged in without having to re-enter your credentials every time. That token does not actually store your password.) Fraudsters could use these access tokens to not only take over users’ ...

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How To Complain Effectively Using Social Media

We hear a lot of complaining today about social media.  It’s in our faces daily with political events, people posting too many pictures of their vacations, and stories that we probably better off not knowing before we saw the sixty second video.  As customer service continues to decline across service industries, there may be an angle on how to actually use social media to effectively complain and get what you want. There are those in life who seem to be able to negotiate better than others when making their complaints.  Perhaps they have the right timing.   Possibly it can be related to their instincts.  Or, could it be that they know how to create a well-oiled plan to get their desired outcome? Recently, I had an interaction with Chipotle that can demonstrate how simple it is to get what you want and do it in an effective manner. On September 9th, my family asked me to pick up dinner and ...

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What Insurance Moves Do I Make With Hurricane Florence?

With another major hurricane hitting the east cost over the past week, torrential downpour and flooding, and more than 1,000,000 without power, the questions will be coming soon on what to do insurance wise regarding hurricane Florence.  When any of our homes have floods, it can be difficult to know where to begin no matter what the size of your home.  However, make the wrong financial moves could penalize you severely and limit your ability to get back money that can help you get back on your feet.  Here are four insurance moves to make right now from hurricane Florence. Read Your Homeowner’s Policy – This sounds like such a simple thing, but I’m never surprised about what people learn when they finally read the insurance policy that they have bought and owned for years. You would think that hurricane Harvey and Irma that devastates several parts of the United States would have made people wiser, but it isn’t really ...

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Why This Tech Bubble Isn’t Like The Last Tech Bubble

It has been 18 years since the ‘dot-com’ bubble happened in 2000, and many people are wondering when Ctrl + Alt + Delete button might get clicked again in their portfolio.  As the NASDAQ gently clipped the 8,000 mark this past week, there have been many articles discussing that equities are ending their run especially in the arena of technology.   However, today’s technology run is far different than that of 20 years ago when the NASDAQ traded at triple-digit P/E ratios and anything with a dot-com after it and a pulse would have significant valuation in the marketplace. Here were the top 10 holdings back in 2000 in the NASDAQ Today, the top 10 holdings in NASDAQ include the following: Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Cisco, Intel, Comcast, PepsiCo, and Netflix. So, why is this tech bubble so much different than the tech bubble from almost 20 years ago? Dividends – Companies have lots of choices on what to do ...

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Five Important Money Questions To Ask Your Parents

Almost ten years ago, I wrote an original article about important money questions to ask your parents.  As family units become more complex and brothers and sisters get stretched out across America, there are crucial money questions you want to ask your parents to make sure that their overall financial affairs are in order.   There is never a great time to have this conversation, but in light of the recent death of Aretha Franklin and her not having a will it could present the opportunity to open the door to these money questions. You might want to open this conversation by saying, “Mom (and/or) Dad, when the news came up about Aretha Franklin not having a will, it made me wonder whether you had all put a will together and some other questions started running through my mind.”  This is a great jar opener to the five important money questions. Do You Have A Will? The funny thing is that ...

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Five Reasons You Never Want To Borrow On Your 401(k)

Many millennials are stretching financially to buy homes, and the numbers are getting scary.  People in the younger generation are modeling behavior that is far riskier and more dangerous than they even realize for their future.  According to a new survey by the Bank of the West, approximately 1 in 3 millennials say they raided either their 401(k) or even worse liquidated part of their IRA to put a down payment on a home.  Even more millennials are tapping these retirement accounts to pay down their growing student and personal debt.  There is a reason these are called “retirement accounts”, and specifically there are five enormous reasons you never want to borrow on your 401(k). The Magic Of Compounding – In a recent story I did on CNN Headline News, I discussed the power of compounding. A 25-year-old who puts away $300 a month and hypothetically earns 8%, will have roughly 1 million dollars at the age of 65.  A ...

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Five Numbers Every Investor Should Know About Their Portfolio

Do you find yourself engaged in a conversation sometimes about your portfolio and someone asks you what should seem to be a simple question?   How much of your portfolio is in stocks and how much is in bonds?  Do you know what your biggest holding is in your portfolio?  Why did you pick that XYZ mutual fund? Or XYZ stock?  Nobody expects you to become an expert in investments, but as the CEO of your family finances you sure want to get yourself educated enough to be able to answer some important questions.  Here are five numbers every investor should know about their portfolio. What your risk level is currently – There are a whole number of ways to calculate risk depending on the angle you are taking with the question.  You aren’t going to be asked to know your beta, your alpha, or your Sharpe ratio because they are for the experts to know.  However, you should be able ...

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