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5 Financial Resolutions blog image

5 Financial Resolutions for 2019

5 Financial Resolutions blog image

We talk with Consumer Reports’ Senior Money Editor Tobie Stanger about timely financial resolutions for 2019.

Consumer Reports published a great article on smart money moves for 2019. On The BIGG Success Show today, we talk about them with Tobie Stanger, Senior Money Editor at Consumer Reports. Here are the highlights of our conversation…

Financial resolution #1: Protect your nest egg from inflation

The best way to do this is to make sure your portfolio is broadly diversified. You should own both stocks and bonds. Consider TIPS (Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities) for a portion of your bond holdings.*

Financial resolution #2: Freeze your credit report

Thanks to Consumer Reports lobbying on behalf of we the people, you can now freeze your credit for free. If you do not anticipate needing applying for credit in the near future, freeze your credit by contacting each of the three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union.

Then, even if a scam artist gets your personal data, they won’t be able to open a new credit account in your name.

Of course, when you want credit yourself, you will just need to contact each of the three majors to unfreeze your credit. While it may not be the case, assume there will be a time lag between your request and the actual unfreezing.

Financial resolution #3: Safeguard against cell-phone account fraud

This is a new scam. But with the number of breaches which occurred last year, there’s a lot of personal information floating around. A fraudster uses that info to get a cell phone account in your name. Now, they can set up a new credit account, even if it requires two-factor authentication.

You can minimize the risk of this happening to you by setting up a PIN on your cell phone account. Note that this is a separate PIN from the one you use to unlock your phone. It provides you with another layer of protection from fraud.

Financial resolution #4: Rethink how you pay for doctor’s visits

Direct primary care (DPC) or concierge medicine is growing rapidly as more and more people discover its benefits. With this arrangement, you contract with a doctor directly, rather than through a health insurer.

In this case, you will actually pay more for medical care. But you also get premium service for about $100 a month. Do you:

– frequently visit your doctor’s office?

– need 24-hour access to a doctor?

– have diabetes, high cholesterol, or hypertension?

– need frequent tests?

– need regular checks on your vital signs?

– have a high-deductible health insurance plan?

Note, though, this is NOT health insurance. Nor does it reduce the need for health insurance (although, you may be able to afford a higher-deductible plan and, therefore, reduce your premium).*

Financial resolution #5: Get maximum returns on your savings

Interest rates are going up. Just a couple of years ago, you could only collect something like 0.01%T on your savings. Now, you can find savings products paying 2% – 3%. Visit the article on Consumer Reports for a great table of your options

*One final note before we go – As with all things financial, we highly recommend that you consult with your financial advisor about the specifics of your situation.

Here’s to your BIGG success!

signatures: George & Mary-Lynn

George “The Professor” & Mary-Lynn
Co-Founders, BIGG Success

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
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Why Entrepreneurs Get Ripped Off

ripped offWe got an e-mail recently. It promised us that we could make over $1,000,000 within the next 90 days by blogging.

Well, hey, we blog already … so why not? However, we were skeptical.

A very small amount of due diligence revealed a tremendous number of people unhappy with this service. It’s the wonderful thing about public customer service.

There is one underlying reason so many entrepreneurs-to-be get ripped off:

They are ruled by their emotions.

So they get caught up in the hype. Not because they’re gullible. Not because they’re lazy. Because they want to believe it.

We would all like to believe it. Because we would all like it to be true.

But it almost never is. Almost nobody gets rich quick. Lottery winners are an exception and it usually doesn’t turn out so well, even in that case.

Nobody has a proven way to easy riches. With scams, the only person who usually gets rich is the person running the scam. And they work pretty hard at separating you from your money.

So do the due diligence that’s required. Do a search with the name of the product or company followed by the word “scam” (e.g. get rich quick scam). And check out Ripoff Report.

Emotions are important in business, but logic needs to rule at the moment of decision.

Image in today’s post from stock.xchng

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5 Ways to Determine if a Work-at-Home Opportunity is Legitimate

By Bigg Success Staff
03-15-08

Home Office

home_office 

More and more people are working at home. If you’re disciplined, it’s a fantastic way to balance work and life. You may be able to schedule your work time around your family time. You don’t have to spend all that time commuting back and forth to the office. There are so many benefits!

The problem is there is also no shortage of scams. Many of these claim that riches will follow. All you have to do is sign on to their program. That’s not a lie – they’ll get rich at your expense!

So how do you determine if the opportunity you’re looking at is legitimate? Here are 5 ways:

#1 – Earnings claims
Does the company you’re considering make claims about how much you’ll make? Legitimate operators won’t do this without telling you the number and percentage of people who actually achieved it. Why? Because it’s against the law! If they do, ask for documented proof and then move on to the next step.

#2 – Get references

Along with the documented proof, ask them to provide references for you to contact. If they’re a legitimate operator with real people making real money, they should be happy to do this. Just be aware that it’s likely that they’ll only steer you to their top operators.

#3 – Quality check
Does their web site and other promotional material look like those of a business serious about building a long-term future? Or do they look like they were put together in a hurry with a small amount of money? You only want to deal with quality operations.

#4 – Internet search
Simply type in the company name to see what you get. Also try entering the company’s name along with words such as “complaints”, “rip off”, “scam”, and “problems”.

Just because you don’t find anything doesn’t mean the opportunity is legitimate. Some scam artists don’t reveal their name or they operate under more than one name. Basically, they make sure they’re a moving target so they’re harder to catch.

#5 – Third-party sources

Check with agencies that receive reports of scams and fraudulent opportunity. The Better Business Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, and the National Fraud Information Center are three examples.

You’ll find great resources for investigating business opportunities and also get information on specific companies.

Technology is making working at home a realistic possibility for a rapidly growing number of people. But as with any other opportunity, you have to do your due diligence to make sure you’re not wasting time … and money.

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(Image by thms.nl, CC 2.0)