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Home buying: Prequalification? Debt ratios? Rent vs Buy?

Home buying can be daunting, even for those who’ve done it before. The question of getting loan approval can be tricky. Having your debt to income ratios evaluated for loan qualification is also confusing to some. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has a good short description as to the difference between pre-qualification and pre-approval.  […]

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How do you use APR to calculate loan costs?

Lately it seems that many people are receiving offers to refinance their mortgages. Should you refinance? What does that offer tell you about expenses? It does say something about expenses. Here’s how you may determine what they’re saying those expenses are.   Online there is a lot of discussion about the APR, but not a […]

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You've heard of the "1 percenters" - what percenter are you?

You’ve heard of the “1 percenters” – what percenter are you?

You can get a sense of what “percenter” you are through a handy site that summarizes income or wealth (and other stuff too) called Shnugi. The numbers are based off of the results of the Survey of Consumer Finances by the Federal Reserve.   There are two measures that people often confuse being similar. Income and […]

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Record highs (at anytime) means what exactly?

With stock indices continuing to set new highs, does this mean negative returns for stocks are on the horizon? If prices increasing over time was a troubling development, what would be the point of investing at all? You would think investors would realize there is no potential for future gain, and not invest. So why do […]

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Medical Bill Worries?

Medical Bill Worries?

There’s no shame not understanding your medical bills. They’re filled with medical gobbledygook to the normal person. This is especially frightening when they get large. You certainly don’t want unpaid bills being sent to a collection agency where your credit score will be hurt. Many bills may have common errors and hospital bills tend to […]

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Is Robo-Advising the way of the future?

What is Robo-Advising? From Widipedia: “Legally, the term “financial advisor” applies to any entity giving advice about securities. But most robo-advisors limit themselves to providing portfolio management (i.e. allocating investments among asset classes) without addressing issues such as estate and retirement planning and cash-flow management, which are also the domain of financial planning.”   So, […]

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unclaimed property

How safe is your IRA? Not from the markets, but from the State!

I discussed how inheritances can go amuck and the heirs don’t get the inheritance – the State does. This can happen while you’re still alive too! Did you know that the State can claim your IRA (or any account for that matter) due to inactivity?   A couple of articles to drive the issue home: Protect client […]

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DOW 20,000 … the more things change, the more they stay the same!

DOW 20,000. Is that good? Or is that bad? Guess what – this is simply another way point much like DOW 15,000 was, or DOW 10,000, or pick any DOW number. The Power of the Markets Markets don’t know your specific emotions and behaviors – so the markets march on ignoring them. It is best […]

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Rent vs Buy? What are the considerations?

Before you consider obtaining more debt for a mortgage, how much mortgage should you get? Lenders look at what is called your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio (with target ratio percentages). So what is your DTI ratio? This calculator determines your DTI for you and also discusses the various considerations debt may have. Both sites above help […]

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