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Financial Tips 2011  



Protecting your assets

While economist and the government insist the recession is over there are many that do not feel re-assured about their current and or future financial situation.  Protecting your assets during a time of financial crisis can sometimes be overwhelming and full of uncertainty.  So how do you protect your assets?  Making sure that your financial institution is federally insured (member FDIC) is one way of getting some peace of mind. However, there are new rules concerning coverage and limitations, which accounts are insured and which accounts may not be insured.  Make sure you know what your accounts offer and what protection you have on those accounts.  For more information on FDIC and whether an institution is FDIC insured, you can find a wealth of information on their website  

Protecting your credit 

Credit card companies are changing the rules.  Lowering credit limits, and raising interest rates for cardholders who have never been late on their payments.  They are blaming the current economic conditions and new regulatory legislation for the changes in the terms and conditions of extending you credit.  It is very important to watch your balance to limit ratios so you do not exceed 50% of your credit limits.  If your limit has been lowered and you are, unable to pay down the debt you may have to transfer some of the balance to another credit card that has a smaller balance or higher limit.  The credit card companies are required to notify you of any changes to your account, but most of the credit card companies are sending these notices in forms that really look like junk mail.  Make sure you open and read all your mail.  Some notices indicate that your account will be closed if no transactions are posted to your account in the next 30 to 60 days.  So if you have not been using your credit card or only use it only for emergencies you may need to start using your credit card a little more often.  Purchase a tank of gas and then pay the bill; at least it keeps your account active. This technique will allow you to keep you credit cards active, while not incurring additional debt, because you already buy gas.  Having and using your credit cards “properly” is an important step in maintaining good credit.    

Protecting your identity 

Identity theft is still a problem and with the strain on personal income and the overall economic outlook, it is likely to get worse.  To protect yourself you need to take steps in securing your identity.  You can opt-out on line at which will stop all the junk mail offering you pre-approved credit offers.  Opting out will keep your personal information from being sold by the credit bureaus.  It will also allow you to control who gets your personal information.  Your personal information needs to be in a safe and secure place.  Create a master list of all your accounts, including checking, savings, mortgages, credit cards, and other revolving debt.  Include contact information and other important information concerning the account.  This will allow you easy access to important information if your wallet is stolen or your home burglarized. (Make sure to keep your master list in a safe or safety deposit box).  Your identity and your credit are more important than ever and protecting it needs to be a priority. 

Preparing a budget 

In this financially challenging economy what is important to know and understand when it comes to managing your money?  Making a precise and accurate budget will help you manage your money.  Money is tight and getting a handle on what you are spending will help you make choices on where to cut expenses.  Write down everything you are spending.  This will allow you to see trends in your spending habits. Do you have direct payments made for your electric, phone, water, or other monthly obligations? Items being paid by direct debit sometimes will be overlooked when it comes to cutting costs.  Are there ways that you can cut back on your electric, gas and phone bills?  If you have cut back as much as you possibly can and still struggling, perhaps re-examining a debt consolidation solution may be right for you.  Refinancing your home to cut your overall monthly payments may help you stay within your budget.   

Planning for the future 

As you plan for the future take a few minutes to review your overall financial situation.  Evaluate what is important, determining what your goals are and how you may achieve them.  As your Certified Mortgage Professional, I can help you with Mortgage Planning and set forth a Mortgage Strategy that will help you meet your short term and long term financial goals.  Planning for your future starts now.  Call me today and I can analyze your personal financial situation and develop a plan and strategy that will help you meet your financial goals.  Your home is your single largest asset; protect your asset by working with a Certified Mortgage Professional that has the knowledge and experience to help you navigate the financing options available. 

If you have questions or comments please email them to   

Call Andrew today at 573-302-0600   



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