Business & Finance

Kids and Money

Updated 1 year ago

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal had some ideas for teaching kids about money and I’m always interested in what’s available. 1.) The Millionaire Kids Club – This series of three books is about four friends with different money ‘personalities.” Sandy saves, Dennis donates, Stephanie spends and Isaiah invests. The series is for kids 3-12 years old. Garage Sale Riches, Putting the ‘Do’ in Donate and Home Sweet Home are available for $12.95 from Amazon, msgen.com and other sites. Home Sweet Home is about a family that losses their home in foreclosure, so I would probably not start off with that volume unless you are looking to help kids understand current events. 2.) Big Pay Day – This board game by Winning Moves, simulates ‘real world’ finances with bills in the mail, investments and getting paid. I am not a game person but this sounds like an easy way to give some financial instruction without pain! At just $14.98 it’s a good deal cheaper than Rich Dad, Poor Dad’s expensive game that I reviewed last year. You can see the game in action on YouTube, 3.) My Smart Budget Kit – At $49.95 (with a 17% discount) this is a more expensive investment in teaching kids about money and it looks complicated, but the organizer has gotten great reviews from parents who were a bit skeptical before handing it over to their kids. Meant for older kids, tweens and teens, the My Smart Budget program helps kids fine tune their allowance to save for clothes, games, candy, as well as charity and savings. One parent wrote that she is thrilled with the outcome as her son immediately ‘got it’ and is already budgeting for a large item, which he had not done before. Available from Glamma Toys at www.glammatoys.com or from www.mysmartbudget.com . Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out or website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008 by Market Surveys of America In compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Norumbega Financial and Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Looking at Your Home Budget

Updated 1 year ago

There is a show produced out of Canada that I really like. Gail Vaz-Oxlade has a balanced, common-sense approach to budgeting and life, and on her show, “Til Debt Do Us Part,” she helps couples get their debt and savings under control. The website has shows that you can watch online as well as some of her articles and materials that will be on the WABI.TV site. Here is Gail’s suggested budget: 25% – Life – entertainment, food, medical expenses, bank fees, kids’ allowances15% – Max debt repayment – except for brief (less than 2 years) of paying off debt15%- Transportation – car payments, repairs, tolls, gas10% – Savings – retirement and emergencies35% – Housing – and this includes mortgage and taxes, electricity and other utilities such as water, insurance, and house maintenance. If you watch her videos you’ll see that when she meets folks for the first time she reconnoiters the budget around to make debt repayment a very high priority even though she still makes savings part of every couples’ budget. Work this around so you can see generally where things might fit and strive for the goal. The journey might not be completed for years. Just keep on keeping on! Helpful web site:Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s “Til Debt Do Us Part:” Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out or website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008 by Market Surveys of America In compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclaimer:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Norumbega Financial and Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Social Networking

Updated 1 year ago

Depending on the source of business leads, social networking may be a helpful part of your business.What is Social Media or Social Networking? It is interaction with people that, instead of being face to face or speaking by phone, generally means the networking done online, through the computer.It is done through web sites – called social networking sites – that allow you to type and send photos to people. This could be helpful for you and your business because this style of networking is similar to, but not exactly like, when you visit with people at a business event.Some of the sites are:LinkedIn – This is a business and professional networking site where you can make ‘connections.’ These connections are friends or coworkers who also have connections. You can see their connections and can ask to be introduced to others. There are professional groups and associations that you can also join on LinkedIn.Facebook – This is popular, though less professional site. The largest growing population of new users are those aged 35- 60. Relatives and friends ‘friend’ you– that is, they add you to their lists of friends. For communication, you need to confirm the friendship. You don’t have to: you can ignore the request. I recently attended a Social Media conference and heard some good advice by one of the presenters, Elizabeth Sutherland of Sutherland Weston Marketing Communication. Elizabeth uses Facebook for her close friends and when asked by a professional acquaintance to become friends, she declines but invites them to connect with her on her professional Social networking site, LinkedIn. That has worked very well for her.Twitter – Twitter is different than the other sites because it only allows 140 characters to be typed in or broadcast per time you ‘speak.’ There are many businesses that ‘tweet,” or communicate through Twitter. WABI-TV5 tweets.These sites are free but cost you time. There are many other sites, these are just a few. If you’d like to learn more about these sites simply do a search for any of the sites, such as ‘what is Twitter?’ And you can learn step by step how to start using these sites by doing a similar search, “How do I use Facebook?” These sites may be a very good compliment to your marketing plan – but really only work well if you have a marketing plan, so get one!LinkedIn http://press.linkedin.com/aboutFacebook http://www.facebook.com/facebookTwitter http://twitter.comDisclaimer:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Norumbega Financial and Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Help for Businesses

Updated 1 year ago

Business owners work hard to grow revenues, promote their visions, and bring jobs and prosperity to themselves and their community. Wow, that takes a lot of strength. If you, or someone you know, own a business, here are some groups and organizations that can provide various kinds of support.  State of Maine – The state web site has info ranging from forms and licensing to free guides from federal, state, and regional resources. EMDC -Eastern Maine Development Corporation is a non-profit founded by area business people to help fellow businesses succeed. Under the auspices of EMDC there are other entities to assist your business with procurement, financing, and marketing, as well as business planning and training. These services are provided at no cost.  KVCOG- Kennebec Valley Council of Governments works with small and medium sized manufacturing firms to assist them in becoming globally competitive. Coastal Enterprises Institute (CEI) and the Women’s Business Center -  CEI is a private, non-profit Community Development Corporation, while the Women’s Business Center is a joint venture of CEI and the SBA (Small Business Administration). The Women’s Center holds special events for women business owners and has an online directory. NAWBO – This non-profit, dues-based organization, with chapters all over the U.S., has only one chapter in Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire, and that chapter is in Bangor. Putting emphasis on business support, networking, and encouragement, this group offers programs and opportunities only for business owners, aiding them in getting involved nationally and internationally. Chamber of Commerce- Every region has a Chamber of Commerce whose goal is to advance the interest of businesses in the community. Non-profit as well as for- profit businesses may join and benefit from the networking. In addition, educational and legislative opportunities exist.  NFIB- The NFIB is the National Federation of Independent Business, a group that represents small businesses. While it has the role of managing both small and large, for- profit and non-profit interests, NFIB works for business owners and offers discounts to members on products and services.  Next week we’ll share social networking ideas for your business. For WABI-TV5 web site    State of Maine web site [ http://www.maine.gov/portal/business/ ]http://www.maine.gov/portal/business/    KVCOG [ http://www.kvcog.org/otherbusiness.htm ]http://www.kvcog.org/otherbusiness.htm    EMDC web site  [ http://www.emdc.org/ ]http://www.emdc.org/    Coastal Enterprises Institute [ http://www.ceimaine.org/ ]http://www.ceimaine.org/

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Compounding

Updated 1 year ago

Initially, compound interest pays you interest on the principal amount of money. Then when it’s time to pay interest again, you are paid on the principal AND on the previously earned interest. The interest you earn adds to – and becomes part of – the principal that accrues interest in the next period. (Here’s an example: a $100 deposit earning 5%, compounded annually. In the first year you will earn $5, $5.25 in year 2, $5.51 in year 3, $5.79 in year 4, $6.08 in year 5, and so on. Simple interest would only accrue on the principal and is usually used for periods of less than one year.) Compounding is what makes seemingly small amounts of money grow to millions over time.APY and APRThese are also interest rates: APR (Annual Percentage Rate)- This is the annual rate of interest without taking into account the compounding of the interest. APR is often quoted for loans and credit cards: it appears LOWER because it does NOT take compounding into account. APY (Annual Percentage Yield)- This takes into account the effects of compounding. When you deposit money this is the rate typically quoted, as it appears higher. These rates attempt to highlight high figures to investors and low figures to borrowers. A credit card company might quote an APR of 12% (for interest compounded monthly of 1% per month) which is APY of 12.68% Here’s an example:A credit card company charges 2% interest. Since this interest is charged each month the APR would be 24% (1% x 12 months = 24%). The APY rate includes compound interest and a 2% rate of interest compounded monthly would equal [(1 + 0.01)^12 - 1= 26.82%] 26.82% annually. If instead of paying off your bill each month you are among the many who carry a balance on your credit card for only one month you will be charged the APR rate of 24%. But if you carry a balance for the entire year, you will pay 26.82 because of interest compounding every month. Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out or website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008 by Market Surveys of America In compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Norumbega Financial and Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Tax Changes for 2009

Updated 1 year ago

I’m not an accountant but here are some of the changes in tax regulations for 2009: Mileage- For business purposes, up to 55 cents per mile, which is different from the 2008 rates (50.5 cents to 58.5 cents) First-time Homebuyer tax credit – As part of the Stimulus plan, up to $7500 for first time homebuyers or people who haven’t owned a home for three years. This credit is for homes bought from April 2008 to June 30th 2009. Income increases for IRA contributions- A slight increase in how much you may earn and still contribute to an IRA for individuals and couples. Please see the worksheet for filing your 1040 or speak with your attorney or tax preparer for details. The dollar amount that you may contribute to an IRA is unchanged for 2009. Generally, to save money on taxes, take advantage of pre-tax savings vehicles. If you haven’t filed yet, you may still have time to maximize your contributions. If you didn’t take advantage of tax savings for last year, commit to more pre-tax saving for next year by saving now. Keep good records and you may be better able to capture all the deductions that you are entitled to take. Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out or website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008 by Market Surveys of America In compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. DisclosureOnly securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Norumbega Financial and Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Starting a Business- Part 2

Updated 1 year ago

Recessionary times frequently birth exciting new start-up firms. According to the SBA (Small Business Administration) there are more than 600k business start-ups each year. Each year, just as many businesses fail or go bankrupt. Failure happens because someone took a risk and there’s nothing to be ashamed of in the trying. But mistakes can be costly, so here are some questions to ask yourself before venturing out in your own business. (The first 5 questions were covered in last week’s segment. If you missed it and would like the list, email me.) Do you follow through? Can you implement your vision? Have you done what you wanted to do in the past? Have you led other efforts: were you class president or did you lead a project for work or church? Or do you dream on the couch as you munch chips? Are you well-spoken? Can you communicate well enough to sell you dream to others: employees and clients, and possibly bankers? If you can’t cold call, find other ways to get your name out there. Are you passionate? If you are starting this to make money, people will realize it and you may not have the success that you dream. It doesn’t matter what you do, just do it well and with integrity. Are you a self-starter? Do you have the energy to get things done? You’ve got to have the “gumption” to get work done even without punching a clock. It also helps if you believe that you are good at what you do and get back up when you are knocked down. Do you need a partner? If you lack some of these characteristics, you may want to partner with someone or to develop relationships with mentors or fellow business owners with whom you can confer. Many partnerships do not succeed, so think that through carefully. One study by the Harvard Business School found that the most successful businesses were partnerships where people had worked together previously and already knew what role each fit into best. The firm benefited from multiple talents and the relationships from earlier ventures made the partnership more stable. Good luck! Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out or website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008 by Market Surveys of America In compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Norumbega Financial and Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Fire Damages Winthrop Library

Updated 1 year ago

Fire investigators will be in Winthrop today…trying to figure out what sparked a fire at the local library.Fire fighters were called to the Charles M. Bailey library on Bowdoin Street at around 2 in the morning.A patrol officer first noticed the fire and called for help.Sergeant Ken Grimes with the Fire Marshal’s office tells T-V 5 the fire started inside the library and did minimal damage to one of the rooms..He’s not sure about the extent of water and smoke damage to the books inside.

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Local Notes

Updated 1 year ago

THERE WILL BE A REUNION AT BLACK MOUNTAIN IN RUMFORD ON MARCH 14th. THE NCAA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS IN NORDIC SKIING ARE AT THE MOUNTAIN THIS YEAR. ATTENDING THE EVENT WILL BE SIX MEMBERS OF THE US TEAM FROM 1952.THE GROUP WENT TO THE OLYMPIC TRIALS THAT YEAR AND CHUMMY BROOMHALL WAS A TWO TIME OLYMPIAN.BROOMHALL LATER GAVE 300 ACRES OF LAND IN RUMFORD TO START A SKI FACILITY. IT LATER BECAME THE BLACK MOUNTAIN SKI AREA.HE AND FIVE OTHERS PLAN ON ATTENDING THE NCAA EVENT LATER THIS MONTH.ASHLEY AMES OF DEXTER HAS BEEN NAMED THE PLAYER OF THE YEAR IN THE SUNRISE CONFERENCE. AMES PLAYS FOR UMAINE FT. KENT AND JUST LEAD HER TEAM TO A THIRD CONFERENCE TITLE IN THE LAST FOUR YEARS. AMES AND UMAINE FT. KENT HEADING THIS WEEKEND TO IOWA TO PLAY IN THE FIRST ROUND OF THE NAIA NATIONAL TOURNAMENT.

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Starting Your Own Business- Part 1

Updated 1 year ago

Ready to start your own business? Early mistakes can cost you money. Here are some tips recently featured in the Wall Street Journal that could help you get a solid footing. This week and next we will cover the ten questions to ask yourself before you begin your new enterprise. Are you willing and able to bear a financial risk? – Can you go without being paid for a while, or being paid less? You may end up far ahead, but it probably won’t be perfect in the beginning, and that’s a possible understatement. Are you willing to sacrifice your lifestyle for a time, possibly years? – Getting started could mean a lot of hours and evenings or weekends of work. It might not all be meetings, but could be paperwork to catch up on the day’s events. Is your partner on board? If earnings are erratic, it sure helps to have the person who loves you on your team. The WSJ article quoted a business coach who related that men frequently start businesses and don’t even tell their wives…! Do you like all (most) aspects of running a business? You probably have a particular skill, electrical or design, but you will also have to keep some records, market yourself, and have a general business plan. Early on, these jobs will be all yours. Can you make decisions on the “fly” – with no answer key? With this new business, all the decisions are new and made by you. In studies, researchers have found that successful entrepreneurs like decision making. If that’s not your style, this venture could be much harder for you. Don’t miss next week for the next five important tips that may save you money with your business start-up.Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out or website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008 by Market Surveys of America In compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Norumbega Financial and Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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A Case Study

Updated 1 year ago

It’s unfortunate that he has insufficient assistance through work, but that’s the benefit of having your own advisor as you have someone with whom to consult. But how can you do this on your own Get to the web site of your company plan. You will have a number of allocation choices available. They will range from a money market account, which usually has an interest rate of about 1- 2 %, to mutual funds that feature U.S. stocks, U.S. bonds, and international choices. There may also be “sector funds” which may feature leisure companies, real estate or energy holdings.

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Your Investment Allocation

Updated 1 year ago

I meet with folks who think that there is one rule for figuring out one’s investment allocation. I disagree with that notion. There are several factors that help determine your allocation choices.

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Back to Basics

Updated 1 year ago

What’s a mutual fund

A mutual fund is a portfolio, a mix of stocks aond/or bonds, that help you diversify your investment. Mutual funds allow you to spread your money around to different investments. If you only own stock in Bank of America or General Motors you might experience a significant loss to your investment if these stocks decreased in value. However, in a mutual fund you might hold 50 or even 100 different companies’ stock in just one fund, so if one stock within the fund drops in value it potentially has less of an impact on your total investment. Please note that a mutual fund maylose value and the price of a mutual fund share will fluctuate daily depending upon the performance of the underlying securities held by the fund

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Make 2009 the year you learn more about your money!

Updated 1 year ago

Adult Education programs throughout the state provide many inexpensive classes to help you. Adult education focuses on five areas: Literacy, high school completion, college preparation, business training and personal enrichment.

Augusta:Making the Most of Your money

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Why Convert a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA

Updated 1 year ago

Traditional IRAs, (whether invested in CDs, stocks and bonds or mutual funds) involve PRE-TAX savings that are taxed upon withdrawl. Roth IRAs do not have the pre-tax benefit, however the account will not be taxed when the money is taken at retirement.

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Controlling Holiday Shopping Expenses

Updated 1 year ago

Have Realistic Expectations – You are probably not Warren Buffet, meaning you don’t have a giant budget for gifts. So be reasonable in your expectations and don’t put undue pressure on yourself. Just because people ask for new trucks or $300 games for the holidays doesn’t mean anything to your real-life budget. Don’t feel guilty for being prudent!

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Finance is Fun

Updated 1 year ago

Ignoring Your gut!

College Savings before retirement-

Beneficiaries are not updated on your HUSBAND’S accounts

You leave Finances to your Husband

Marion R. Syversen, MBA – President

NorumbegaFinancial

207.862.2952

– Get involved in this vital issue. Learn more every year in a way that suits your learning style, seek out info online or at the library. there are many great articles and books out there. Get serious about your financial future, ladies! - Make sure that the appropriate names are on your husband’s life insurance and IRA/ 401(k) accounts. Don’t leave things to others when you have a very dear interest in this issue. NO! You must get your retirement fund under control and it must take precedence over the kids. Please, take care of your future. Who’s going to take care of YOU Is that the way you’d want your daughter to proceed – Sometimes we second guess ourselves too much. Go with your instinct. Trust yourself.

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Updating Your Home

Updated 1 year ago

Detailed information on basic to upscale bathroom and kitchen remodeling projects, plus many more improvement project breakdowns are at http://costvalue.remodelingmagazine.com

Surfaces

Lighting

Cabinetry

No shoddy work-

Take a Class

Trade skills

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Cheap “Do it Yourself” for Your Home

Updated 1 year ago

It doesn’t have to cost a lot to really make somechanges. Here are some ideas from my upcoming book that won’t cost alot but that will make a big impact.

Paint-This is an inexpensive change that will radically transform a space forusually less than $50. Scientists have been studying the effect ofcolor on people for years and have found that culture plays a role indetermining individual’s feelings about color. For North Americans blueand green are calming and are used in bedrooms for their soothingaffect. Red and Orange are energetic colors with red stimulatingappetite. As light changes in your room – and in summer leaves are onthe trees and then those same trees are bare in winter – expect shadesof your chosen color to need tweaking. I tried to use the same shade ofbeige in bathrooms directly in line with each other, one upstairs andthen the downstairs room. A maple tree changed the light so much in thedownstairs room the color looked bad and I ended up using a totallydifferent color for the room.

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Market Turmoil

Updated 1 year ago

Remember when your mother said,&quot:So would you jump off a bridgejust because everyone was doing it&quot: Don’t let emotions determine yournext steps. Here are some tips to help you survive the market turmoil:

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