A quick review of the focus of the blog and the Miles Weekly Personal Finance Podcast, a vehicle by which to inform, educate, entertain, and cover the basics of personal finance, small business, investing, savings. The primary objective if there is one at all, to close the gap of “information asymmetry” and raise the minimum threshold of financial literacy to anyone that subscribes to the podcast or keeps up with the blog. In communications lingo The “A” End is the originating end or point of origination, for us that would be Episode #1 and Blog Post #1. Conversely the “Z” end is the terminating end, whereas the communications sent have been received. But don’t be fooled, the end also becomes the beginning and Z becomes A to start the cycle all over again. This is “Episode Number “Z”, we have reached the terminating end of these communications …successfully I might add. end.
This week’s episode of MWPF features an interview with Dr. Lois Center-Shabazz of MsFinancialsavvy.com, an author of several highly rated books on Amazon.com that cover saving, investing and management of day to day personal finance. She also offers coaching on finance, workshops and a Facebook support group, (WomenVestors) for women and girls focusing on finance. In this interview, Dr. Lois Center-Shabazz covers her philosophy regarding women and finance along with some very insightful relationship advice on Love and Money. Listen as she details the journey through her professional career and into becoming a financially savvy investor, author and finance coach.
After the much advertised delay in sending out refunds, it’s finally time. In this week’s episode, the focus returns to that once a year so-called pay day that everyone gets all worked up about. “The Tax Refund” Like a windfall, a breathe of fresh financial air. Sometimes it’s spent in our minds 19 times before we even get it, just the idea of getting it. The tax refund is maybe one or two steps away from becoming a holiday, just so folks could have even more time to go spend some of that tax refund money. The car dealers, creditors, retailers and anyone else that typically have slow January sales are all anxiously waiting as they know people are getting the refund checks. Maybe there should at least be some slick moniker like “SupeR Black Friday” or maybe “GAAP Friday”. Either way, there’s a lot of opportunity at this time of year for both making good moves or setting the stage for trouble during the rest of the tax year.
This week’s episode focuses on the recent news surrounding “The Fiduciary Rule”, which has investors, retirement savers and would be investors trying to figure out just what exactly is “a fiduciary” to begin with. We’ve come to expect certain business relationships to work in our favor such with a lawyer, our doctors and even the little league coach sometimes, the same applies to many of the professionals that help us invest for the long term. Investing for retirement, such as IRA’s, 401k’s and similar plans that are handled or managed by investment advisors fall under the rule of fiduciary responsibility. However, new rules expand this definition to include more people who may be involved or have an influence on retirement investing guidance. And those new rules focus squarely on the people you trust to steer you and your money in the right direction for your “best interest”. And, not just steer your money into their pockets.
Anyone that has been looking to just be seen by a doctor for some acute issue, maybe a slight sudden illness like the flu, they now have more options than just the emergency room. At one time regardless of your health insurance coverage, many folks were destined to sit in ER’s around the country for hours and maybe even watch hospital staff change shifts while they wait, and wait some more to be seen. With a lack of primary care physician availability and increasing wait times in the ER, first response of many people was to take an ambulance to get in right away, so they can hurry up to wait. Although there are folks that still believe the ER is the place to go when they have the flu, the landscape has changed quite a bit since then. Firstly, there are flu shots at the local pharmacy, and you can even see a doctor without going to the emergency room and waiting for your doctor to graduate from med school. What happened? One major change that is here to stay, Urgent Care Centers.
Women in business, government, education, medicine, law, running for president, CEO’s, Bankers, and all the rest. Far more than just the supportive standby spouse, women are leading households and all the office too. How about banking and finance? More than just the corner C-Suite, women are starting their own companies and appointing folks to those corner offices.
Now, something entirely new in the space of infinite possibilities for women, an investing platform geared toward women, focused on everything from their specific lifestyles, life cycles and the way women earn, save and invest. You might have thought to yourself “poor Hillary”, if you did, you’re missing the whole thing because Girls Run This M*tha. Check out Ellevest and you’ll see.
During the holiday season is by far the time when pre-paid cards and gift cards are given out the most all year long. Pre-paid Cards and Gift Cards are an easy one shot, quick trick, when it’s hard to think of something as a gift. It’s easy to stop in a local Wal-Mart, Walgreen’s and now even the local Dollar Tree and grab one of these pre-paid cards or gift cards on the go.
Convenience comes at a cost, and sometimes it’s a very high cost. There are too many alternatives to list when it comes to pre-paid cards and gift cards. What’s really crazy is that among the alternatives …buying stock in the very company that sells the pre-paid cards and gifts cards may be the best alternative of all. A quick look at the stock price of company that sells and markets the Green Dot (NYSE:DOT) card at the local Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:DLTR) reveals the stock is up around 45% year to date for 2016! With that sort of return on investment, it would be better to give the company stock as a gift instead of the actual pre-paid card. Dang!
Interview with CEO of PunchTV Studios, Joseph Collins
This episode is a followup to episode 54 “Is It A Scam”, during which, the PunchTV Studios IPO was one of the companies profiled for review. PunchTV studios is within the IPO phase of going public and currently offering company shares for $1. each. This offering has been specifically targeted to the urban market and non-accredited investors. Typically, IPO stocks aren’t available to the average non-accredited investor, however with recent changes in legislation and the SEC Rule Regulation A along with The JOBS Act, companies like PunchTV and others have been able to offer shares directly to the public. In addition to direct to public IPO shares, companies are also able to seek funding through “crowdfunding” practices. With lesser regulations and lesser oversight there’s been both a lot of buzz about companies like PunchTV and a lot of questions about its worthiness as an investment for newbie investors. In this interview, PunchTV CEO, Joseph Collins speaks directly to many of the ongoing questions.
This is the holiday season and you probably deserve to give yourself the gift of of financial fitness. At the end of the year during holiday season there’s still time to wrap up 2016 and put a big bow on it. The Personal Finance Holiday List focuses on maximizing deferred savings, reducing taxes, giving gifts that keep on giving and optimizing your credit profile so you’re not paying the interest that allows other customers to get teaser rates. Keeping yourself financially fit ultimately allows you to go out and buy gifts for whoever you may desire, you included. Just remember, charity starts and home, then travels abroad.
Be careful, a lot investment schemes and even some scams are looking to get over over like a fat rat. Investment schemes and scams are nothing new, as matter of fact, these things are always refreshed and updated for modern times. Whether it’s Ivan Boesky, Madoff, some new unknown investment company promising real estate profits or a foray into Forex. Ask questions, ask questions, ask questions …and look for the tell tale signs.