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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.

Isler Northwest

(503) 224-5321

1300 SW 5th Avenue
Suite 2900
Portland, Oregon 97201

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How much life insurance do you need (if any)?

Article by

Before we deal with the downer of your death, let’s talk about your life.

Does anyone depend on you? Like, financially, depend on you?

No?

Then you’re probably fine without life insurance.

Of course, there are certain circumstances in which a single person with no one financially dependent upon them would need life insurance.

But, generally, financial advisers say young, single, childless folks can focus on paying down debts and building up savings first. Read more

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5 Steps to Retire Debt-Free

Article by by Maurie Backman | Found on CNN.com

America is a nation of borrowers, and while racking up debt can be dangerous at any age, it’s especially hazardous for those heading into retirement.

Because most seniors are behind on savings to begin with, carrying debt into retirement will only strain their already limited budget. Yet a growing number of households are kicking off their golden years with piles of debt — in fact, 20% of borrowers actually expect to die in debt. Read more

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Tax Tips for June Weddings

Article Found on AccountingToday

In all the frenzy that goes into the June wedding season, the last thing and bride- or groomzilla is thinking about is their tax situation – but as Mark Luscombe, principal federal tax analyst at Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting points out, there are a host of tax issues that kick in when you say, “I do.”

Luscombe suggested a number of areas where a tax practitioner’s expertise may be particularly useful to the newlyweds. Read more

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Your Money: Strategies to Cope With Permanent Debt

Article by Chris Taylor | Found on Reuters

Most people think of debt as a temporary condition: Something you accumulate early in life, chip away at during prime earnings years, and say good riddance to well before retirement.

But what if your debt is permanent?

Then you might feel like Annette Loos, a 57-year-old mom from Kansas City, Missouri who has around $20,000 in student debt that she pays a bit of every month. Even though she has a good job as a project manager in the banking industry, her debt from her college days just sticks around. Read more