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Four Rules Of Thumb That Are Thumbs Down

For many years I have seen articles galore in the major magazines giving consumers “rules of thumb” about making financial decisions.   In a society today where we want to get all of our information in sixty seconds or less, many of these magazines can talk one week about five dollar meals to make and then the next week discuss major financial decisions to make in your household.   I’ve never really been a big fan of “rules of thumb”, so here are four major financial “rules of thumb” that I am simply thumbs down on when it comes to making smart money moves.  Rule Of Thumb #1- 2% Difference In Interest Rate To Refinance –   Many popular magazine and newspaper articles will suggest that you generally shouldn’t consider refinancing unless the difference between the new interest rate and your old interest rate is 2%.    This “rule” makes very little sense to me. What you want to be considering are a handful ...

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Can You Barter For Legal Services?

I wrote a few weeks ago in Your Smart Money Moves about how I found out through my research that the only people who can own or revenue share with a law firm are the lawyers themselves.  You have to give it up to the lawyers to be the only professionals who essentially blocked the rest of us out from owning a law firm.  But does the consumer lose with these sets of laws?    Over the years, I can’t tell you how many times I have heard clients utter the words, “I guess the only one who is going to win here are the lawyers.”    Mostly, I think people fear going to see a lawyer because of the unknown of just how much it is going to cost them to do work.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s estate planning, divorce, or doing contract review. I think over the next ten years we will see the legal field change its pricing ...

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Suze Orman’s New Prepaid Debit Card – Is it really a good thing for consumers?

It’s official.   Suze Orman is now in the game of selling financial products to consumers.    This past week she launched her new card called “The Approved Card” which is supposed to be a low cost alternative to other pre-paid debit cards in the market place.    While Suze gets on television to espouse the latest and greatest ways to make good decisions for your financial future, is a prepaid debit card something consumers need to make their financial picture better? Let me remind you some important notes about Suze Orman.  First and foremost that she isn’t a licensed financial advisor.    In fact, she hasn’t had a securities license since May of 1991.   There are tens of thousands of hard working licensed financial advisors out there trying to help clients every day.   While she spends countless numbers of hours on television trying to tell consumers to stay away from ‘high-priced’ products and avoiding paying people fees and/or commissions, it’s ironic that she ...

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When Are Companies Going To Learn To Just Shoot Straight?

I’m excited that 2012 is here and consumers are starting to realize that they can win the money battle when they know something is just flat out wrong with a new offering from their provider.    Large companies need to begin to realize that the consumer today is evolving.   They don’t mind paying a fair price for a good product or service.  Sometimes they will even pay a premium if the value is created for them.   However, what they won’t put up with anymore are these made up fees that are broadly titled like they are doing something good for the consumer when in reality it is just another tack on fee to add to the bottom line.    All companies need to understand that the consumer can handle that prices will go up.   They just want to know what it is without any gimmicks or tricks in a straight forward way.   Instead, we keep getting these insulting fees added to bills ...

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