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4 Money Lessons Every Teenager Needs to Know

Article by Katherine Vasel | Found on CNN

It’s time to talk to your teenager about money.

The teen years may be the first time kids start to earn their own money. And establishing good habits now can pay dividends well into their future.

Plus, teaching kids to be smart about money will have benefits for parents too.

“Clients that have been more transparent with their kids tend to have children that are smarter with money,’ said Bill Van Sant, a certified financial planner and senior vice president at Univest Wealth Management. “Parents that may not be as transparent tend to have children that stay in the house a little longer.” Read more

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Is Your Credit Score Affecting Your Quality of Life?

Article by Anna Johansson | Found on NBC

The American dream is usually characterized as working hard from the bottom up, making a good salary, buying a house and having time to create and enjoy your family life. But the vision doesn’t always come together so neatly; despite strong buyer demand, the inventory of affordable, available starter homes is relatively low, and to secure a mortgage, you need a strong credit score — something that not all Americans have or understand. Read more

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3 Tips to Getting Retirement Right in Your 20s

Article by Walter Updegrave | Found on CNN

I’m in my 20s and would like to start taking steps to ensure a secure retirement and financial future. But like many people in my generation I’m confused about where to start, who to contact and what to do. Can you point me in the right direction? –S.V.

I’m not surprised that you’re confused. Now that your generation has become a prime target audience for the financial industry’s products and services, hardly a day goes by that one study or another doesn’t purport to offer insights into what Millennials are doing, should be doing or shouldn’t be doing about their finances. Read more

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Improving Your Relationship With Money In 2018

Article by Michael F. Kay | Found on Forbes

The turning of the calendar year is traditionally a time when you feel inspired by the possibilities of a new start, a new beginning, and the onset of positive change. It can be a time that is empowering, energetic and life supporting; it can forever alter the trajectory towards a more successful money life. Read more

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5 Money Mistakes to Avoid in the New Year

Article by Anna Bahney | Found on CNN

We’ve got a much easier approach.

Just stop doing these five financial things and you’ll have more savings, smarter spending habits and a secure identity in the next year. Read more

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How Can I Invest With Just a Little Bit of Money?

Article by Nathaniel Meyersohn | Found on CNN

The stock market is red hot: The Dow hit a record 23,000 points in October and it’s up 18% so far this year.

So you’re not the only one who wants in on the action: More than half of Americans own stock.

As long as you’ve already got enough emergency savings, investing a little extra cash in the market is a great way to start growing your money.

“No amount is too small to get started,” says LJPR Financial Advisors CEO Leon LaBrecque. “Spare change can really add up.”

Starting out when you’re young is even more valuable because there’s more time for your investments to grow. Read more

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How Should I Invest My Inheritance Money?

Article Written by Katie Lobosco | Found on CNN

What are the best ways for 20-somethings to invest inheritance money? — Jason

Staring at a new big balance in your bank account can be exciting. It can also freak you out.

On one hand, an inheritance could open up new financial opportunities: paying off your student debt once and for all, buying a home, going on a big vacation, starting a business.

You’re not alone if your first inclination is to buy a boat, throw a lavish party, or put it all into the stock market. People often don’t treat the money received through some kind of windfall the same way they do their regular income. Read more

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Half of Americans are Saving Next to Nothing

Article by Kathryn Vasel | Found on CNN

When it comes to saving, we aren’t doing enough of it.

Roughly half of Americans are saving 5% or less of their incomes, including 18% that are not saving anything, according to a survey from Bankrate. Only about a quarter of people are saving more than 10% of their earnings. Read more

8 Financial Tips For Young Adults

8 Financial Tips For Young Adults

By Amy Fontinelle | Featured on Investopedia

Unfortunately, personal finance has not yet become a required subject in high school or college, so you might be fairly clueless about how to manage your money when you’re out in the real world for the first time.

Read more

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Americans paid $15 billion in overdraft fees last year, CFPB says

Article by Jackie Wattles | Featured on CNN Money

Americans have racked up billions — yes, billions — of dollars worth of overdraft charges.

In 2016, U.S. consumers paid a total of $15 billion in fees for bouncing checks or overdrafting –which is when a customer tries to make a purchase without enough money in their account to cover the transaction — according to new data released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

All banks with assets over $1 billion must report how much money it brought in via bounced check and overdraft fees, according to CFPB. And this year the industry rang up at $11.41 billion. That’s up 2.2% from 2015, which was the first year banks began reporting total overdraft and bounced check fees to the CFPB.

Adding in its best guess for what smaller banks and credit unions charged, and CFPB says $15 billion is roughly the grand total.

These fees are particularly troublesome for cash-strapped Americans, CFPB Director Richard Cordray said on a press call Thursday.

“Consumers living on the edge can find themselves racking up numerous overdraft charges,” Cordray said. “Despite recent regulatory and industry changes, consumers with low account balances and little margin for error continue to pay significant overdraft fees.”

Related: Money terms you’re too embarrassed to ask about

He also pointed out that the average amount of money consumers overdraft by is about $24 — but that banks often charge fees of around $34 for each overdraft incident.

Richard Hunt, the head of the Consumer Bankers Association, a bank advocacy group, responded to the study on Friday. He said he looks “forward to working with the CFPB on this issue, and we appreciate their concern for providing consumers with clear disclosures.”

But Hunt said banks already provide customers with “clear, concise procedures for opting into overdraft services,” and he pointed to a 2015 survey that found only 1% of respondents were confused by overdraft opt-in process.

Regulators have long been concerned about hefty overdraft charges.

The Federal Reserve decided to crack down on the issue in 2010 by mandating that banks must receive a customer’s explicit permission to approve a transaction when there are insufficient funds, and trigger overdraft fees. Otherwise, the transaction would simply be declined.

That year, the financial services industry was on track to make $38.5 billion on overdraft and non-sufficient fund fees, the economic research firm Moebs Services said at the time.

So, it appears that the fees have been curbed. But Cordray says data indicates some of the poorest Americans are still being hit hard by them.

He said customers that opt in and frequently overdraft “typically” wind up paying $450 per year in fees.

A 2014 Pew study also found more than half of the people who overdrew their checking accounts in the past year didn’t remember consenting to the overdraft service.

To address that issue, the CFPB said Thursday that it’s testing out a new version of the opt-in forms, which are designed to make the issue more clear for customers.

The updated form is meant to “explain that the opt-in decision applies only to one-time debit card and ATM transactions and does not affect overdraft on checks and online bill payments,” Cordray said.

“They also are designed to make clear that debit card and ATM overdraft is entirely optional,” he added.

Despite the agency’s concern, Cordray said the CFPB is not planning to propose stricter rules for banks when it comes to overdraft fees.


Isler Northwest LLC is a firm of certified public accountants and business advisors based in Portland, Oregon. Our local, regional, and global resources, our expertise, and our emphasis on innovative solutions and continuity create value for our clients. Our service goals at Isler NW is to earn our clients’ trust as their primary business and financial advisors.

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(503) 224-5321

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Portland, Oregon 97201