All Articles Tagged "financial management"
Justin Bieber has signed a 14-month contract with SpendSmart Payment Company, which puts him front-and-center in videos and other messaging directed at his millions of teenage fans. In videos that will be put on his YouTube page today (we don’t see it there yet), and messaging on Twitter and on his Facebook page, he’ll be talking up responsible money management and also pushing SpendSmart prepaid debit cards, according to The New York Times.
The article says Bieber is being paid $3.75 million for his spokesperson services over the next year, with stock options.
The card, previously called BillMyParents and specially designed for teenagers, alerts parents when it’s used, giving them control over spending. “The average SpendSmart cardholder is 16, and the card is used most frequently to buy food (especially fast food), followed by gas, technology (like iTunes, electronics and games) and clothing,” the Times says.
As the paper notes (and as we’ve written about here), prepaid debit cards typically charge lots of exorbitant fees, so they’re generally not recommended as a financial tool. This card also has a ton of fees as well, like $1.50 for ATM withdrawals and $7.95 for a replacement card. Though the SpendSmart folks say the fees are lower than other cards. Experts have gone on the record to say they don’t think they’re a good option for teens.
But with legions of fans willing to stand in line for hours for his concert tickets, spend their allowance on his music, and follow his every move on Twitter, Justin Bieber is likely to convince a lot of kids — and perhaps their parents — that his personal finance talk and SpendSmart endorsement are all good. Is this a responsible use of the Biebs’ celebrity?
Poor Dionne Warwick! The iconic singer had to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy late last week because of tax liens that go back 20 years. According to her attorney Daniel Stolz, who spoke with Rolling Stone, Warwick actually has been paying taxes, but fell victim to a bad business manager and the penalties and fees that come along with mismanagement.
Warwick’s tax problems began sometime around 1998 and by 2009, it was being reported that she owed $2.2 million. The IRS corrected the record to $1 million. Despite her continued payments, it wasn’t enough to pay for the fees that were accruing. This bankruptcy filing is an attempt to clear off the debt once and for all.
Rolling Stone says that her income has fallen and, according to the bankruptcy petition, when you take her expenses into account, Warwick is making $10 per month. An internationally-known singer with decades of celebrity and hit songs under her belt is making a net income of $10 per month at the age of 72. The magazine says this is “a figure that is not unusual for a celebrity after living costs and mortgages are factored in.”
How are your finances looking? Have you been sticking to the goals you set at the beginning of the year, or do you find yourself putting it off for the next month? We have all made promises to save a little more and spend a little less, but life can happen, making plans fall to the wayside. Thankfully there are smartphone apps that hold us accountable. Here are ten to keep you on the road to financial freedom.
When it’s time to make a major life change that involves money — buy a house, a car, or start a business — your credit score comes into play. While you can’t dictate the number that gets attached to your financial name, there are things that you can do to ensure that your credit score is as high as possible.
Today, Black Enterprise columnist Jennifer Streaks laid out five ways that you can bring your credit score up and keep it there.
“When paying your credit card bills try to pay as much of the balance as possible,” the article says. “Your credit balances hovering near the limit increases your debt to income ratio and is a red flag to potential creditors that you may be in over your head.”
For more about how you can keep your credit score in check, click to BlackEnterprise.com.
Death is never a subject many people like to think about. But there are several financial steps you need to take to prepare for the inevitable.
According to a new Forbes article, “7 Money Musts Before You Die,” there are key things to do to make sure your family not only inherits your fortune but also understands the family´s financial situation.
Here’s what Forbes suggests:
1. Make sure you have adequate life insurance.
2. Update beneficiaries on retirement accounts, annuities and life insurance policies.
3. Research whether you can add beneficiaries to your other assets, such as bank and investment accounts.
4. Draft a will.
5. Consider creating a trust. This is an option to take especially if you have a complex financial or family situation.
6. Try to involve your spouse in family finances.
7. Make a record of where everything is.
Besides these steps there are others things to do, according to Investopedia like take stock of what you own, make a list of your debts, the organizations you belong to and charities you support.
You should also make a list of all your social media passwords, so your family can close your email, Factbook, Twitter and other online accounts, a modern issue that tends to get overlooked.
These days, everyone has a credit card. And on that next trip to the mall, you may decide that you “need” that cashmere sweater (“It’s fall!”). Or that new lipstick (“It’s small!”). Or a pair of shoes (“I deserve a treat!”). Or an extra-nice lunch with wine and dessert (“We all gotta eat!”). Just as fast as you can whip out your card, you’re swiping until you can’t swipe no more. Before you go there, just stop.
Black Enterprise cautions readers against racking up credit card debt, even when we’ve worked hard and really, really, really want something. They suggest using cash and offer four tips to help you use green instead of plastic when you take a shopping trip.
“Bring a certain amount of cash with you daily and only spend that,” they suggest. If you need to carry a card, make it a gift card with a monetary value, which will keep the credit card use at bay.
For more about how to keep credit card use to a minimum, click here and read more at BlackEnterprise.com.
More bad news about people taking advantage of the elderly.
Seniors are being swindled out of an average of $140,500 after falling for all sorts of scams. The most common of them is a “free lunch” scheme, which promises a complimentary meal when older attendees show up. Ultimately they’re being sold fraudulent investments. The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards surveyed 2,649 financial planners and 73 percent of them said they know at least one senior citizen who fell for this.
More than half are also receiving cold calls and unsolicited emails with investment offers. Many are being overcharged for medical care. And they’re being tricked into participating in sweepstakes and contests that ask for personal banking information, which is used to siphon cash from the victims’ accounts.
Once again, this survey found that relatives and others that have a close relationship with their elderly victims are the committing these atrocious acts. But also, it’s a reminder that you must have a talk with your loved ones to make sure there’s no funny business going on.
Moreover, it’s worth it to sit down with older members of the family and warn them about the new variety of scams that they may fall prey to. Many older people don’t want to think they can fall for a financial trick, especially one that seems obvious. But the fact is there are some very creative people out there who have come up with new ways to get at people’s money. And they’re banking on an older person’s unfamiliarity with the Internet. It might not be something older and mostly wiser adults want to hear. But it’s worth more than $100,000 to try and send that message.
Research conducted by the Investor Protection Trust (IPT) and Investor Protection Institution (IPI) finds that “elder exploitation” is increasing, with more people taking money and property from older Americans. Even more shocking, most of the perpetrators are family members. Caregivers and strangers are also guilty.
The organizations polled state securities regulators, law enforcement officials, financial planner, health care professionals and others who report that they’re seeing higher instances of theft from older Americans, with the study also finding that the elderly are “very vulnerable.”
Financial services company MetLife reported last year that older Americans were robbed to the tune of $2.9 billion in 2010. That’s up from $2.6 billion in 2008.
“Some older Americans are too embarrassed to disclose financial abuse. Some lack the tools to find a good financial adviser and may not have the knowledge to understand investment advice. Others may be susceptible to fraud because of diminished mental capacity,” USA Today reports.
Don Blandin, president and CEO of the Investor Protection Trust suggests that collaboration between health professionals, who can detect diminished mental capacity in elderly patients, regulators and other officials will prevent some of these crimes.
“Putting a major dent in the problem will require new and innovative collaborative efforts by many different experts and organizations, both public and private,” he said in a statement.
We reported a couple of weeks ago that about half of Americans are dying broke. This could be part of the reason why. Keep an eye out for your loved ones’ finances. If you find that money is missing, bills are going unpaid, or belongings have disappeared, take action.
(Entrepreneur) – ”Experts make people feel guilty about wanting to spend money on lattes, but guilt isn’t a productive emotion when it comes to money,” says Ramit Sethi, author of I Will Teach You to Be Rich. “Being a conscious spender is about making your money match up with your values guilt-free. It’s about spending extravagantly on the things you love while cutting costs mercilessly on the things you don’t.” Conscious spending means actively choosing to spend on some things and not on others.
When it comes to tracking dollars, few people can make sense of the restless financial market, let alone turn a profit. But African-American financial wizards are more common than you might think. In fact, black financial advisers and strategists are some of the most sought after in their competitive profession. Here’s our list of top African-American financial gurus:
When Mellody Hobson was growing up, money was a troubling issue. She was the youngest of six kids raised by a single mother, and the lack of money made Hobson want to become a student of finance. Her attempts to understand money fueled her ambition in becoming one of the most respected financial gurus in the business. Hobson is president of the Chicago based investment management firm Ariel Investments, LLC. She is also the chairman of the board of trustees for the company, which manages billions of dollars in assets. Her financial wizardry goes beyond her work at Ariel. Hobson is a nationally recognized advisor on financial literacy and investor education. She is a regular financial contributor on ABC’s ”Good Morning America”, and a regular columnist for Black Enterprise. Hobson is also a director of three public companies: DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc., Estée Lauder Companies, Inc. and Starbucks Corporation.