Latest Posts

How to Determine the Amount of Much Life Insurance You Need

Figuring out how much life insurance you need doesn't have to become an extensive mathematical equation that you can't easily solve. As we know, life happens. What does that mean for you? As you reach different milestones in your life, you will need to determine if that requires you to increase your life insurance coverage. Let's say you receive a substantial pay raise, now your family will rely on that extra income to cover a larger portion of expenses. This is a great example of...Read more

Are Consumer Vehicle Purchase Trends Impacting Lending?

Consumer purchase behavior, economic cycles, and cyclical interest rates come and go, and there is very little that auto lenders can do to prevent or change these trends. Ultimately, the best way to protect your members and your institution from cyclical auto industry trends is to evolve with the times and find creative and valuable ways to provide vehicle protection, all while protecting your bottom line from shrinking margins.       There are two trends in vehicle ownership and...Read more

6 Smart Ways to Use Your Holiday Bonus

While there are unfortunately few "nice problems to have" in life, here's one: you need to decide what to do with unexpected or bonus cash. We all would love to have this problem more often! If you're receiving a year-end or holiday bonus, first, take a little time to enjoy the feeling. Second, let's talk about smart ways to use the extra money. Read more

Subterranean Monetary Policy Blues

Bob Dylan’s big Nobel Prize win means that this week’s Insights piece features a Dylan-esque theme. I was struggling with narrowing down his vast collection, that is until I looked up at my Bloomberg and read this from Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren, “The combination of slow GDP growth and rapid decline in unemployment is one of the clear puzzles of the recovery.” President Rosengren set off a firestorm last month when he “went rogue” and apparently went from being a dove to a...Read more

[Video] Why are Loan Officers Afraid to Offer Products?

There's a big difference between offering borrowers products and services that they need and "pushing" products, yet, for many loan officers and financial institution staff, the two ideas are often seen as one in the same. There are many reasons why loan officers fear the idea of a sales culture, and there are also a few key ways that financial institutions can overcome this challenge to ensure borrowers are being offered the right products and services to meet their unique needs.  Read more

5 Reasons Military Veterans Should Use a VA Loan to Finance Their Home

As a veteran, you worked hard and made unimaginable sacrifices to protect our country and our freedom. It's only fair that you receive some benefits in return! One big benefit of your service is the opportunity to use a Veterans Affairs (VA) home loan to purchase or refinance a home. Here are five great reasons to use a VA loan: Read more

Selling Your Home? Don't Do These 5 Things

Finally! The shiny “FOR SALE” sign has been hammered into your front lawn to advertise to the world that you, indeed, are planning to move into a new house! But for some reason, the metal sign has been swinging back and forth inside the ihooks for about two months, and you’ve had no hits on your home. Most sellers are in denial and think their house is desirable as is, but they’re wrong. You could be the one who’s preventing the sale. If you are doing any of the following things below,...Read more

In the Rearview Mirror, but Driving Backward

Did you know that the United Kingdom has the fifth largest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the world, and the GDP of the remaining European Union countries combined is the world’s third largest? The European Union, including the United Kingdom, accounts for the world’s second largest GDP. I think most people had an idea of the magnitude of their economy when the citizens of the UK went to the polls and shocked the world by voting to leave the Union or “Brexit” in late June. The reaction to the...Read more

5 Useful Tips to Protect Your Financial Institution from Cyber Attacks

Everyone knows that fraud, in all its forms, is expensive. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the typical organization loses 5% of its revenue any given year to fraud. Assuming you don't want to hand over 5% of your financial institution's revenue to fraudsters each year, here are some tips to tighten your electronic controls and prevent cyber attacks, which affect the majority of companies on a daily or weekly basis. Read more

4 Ways a Small Business Can Avoid Cyber Attacks

According to the Small Business Administration, there are almost 28 million small businesses in the United States. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and since the 1970s, they have provided 66% of all new net jobs. However, because small businesses don't typically have the technology and human capital resources of larger corporations, it makes them more vulnerable to fraud and cyber attacks. Hackers have gotten more and more sophisticated with their tactics, making it...Read more

Steps You Should Take AFTER You Pay Off Your Credit Cards

It's the big day! Whoopee! You've graduated to an elite group of consumers who have paid off all of their credit card debt. Congrats! Okay, so there's no pomp and circumstance, no commencement speeches and no one is handing you a diploma, but there's definitely a great reason to celebrate. So, give yourself a high five! You should be proud of your persistence and sacrifice, and soak in the feeling of freedom that comes with being free of credit card debt.  Read more

4 Areas to Save on Your Custom-Built Home

If you're in the process of building a custom home, or thinking about building one, it can be tempting to want to include every high-end feature imaginable. After all, the ability to create a customized, unique home that is suited to your specific wants and needs is one of the primary reasons that consumers believe that building a custom home is the right move for them. However, when it comes to building a custom home—or remodeling an existing home, for that matter—rarely does someone have an...Read more

5 Tips Every Real Estate Investor Should Know

If done right, real estate investing can be a great source of secondary income and even become your primary source of income. Starting on the right foot and understanding the process is imperative and can save you time and money in the long run.  If you are currently a real estate investor or thinking about becoming one, here are five essential tips that every real estate investor should know-no matter where you are in the game.  Read more

10 Must-Ask Questions When Choosing a Contractor

Building a custom home is a big investment and time commitment, so it’s important to choose a contractor who is the best fit for you. Asking the right questions can help you determine if you will get along with the contractor and if he/she perform satisfactorily. This can help you avoid stressful delays, unexpected costs, and inferior workmanship. Before you choose a contractor, here are 10 must-ask questions to help you ensure that you choose the right person for the job. Read more

Whole Life Insurance Policies: What You Need to Know

According to LIMRA, as many as 132 million Americans rely on life insurance to protect their financial security. However, 30% of Americans know they need more life insurance. That’s more than 70 million people! So, why aren’t individuals purchasing the coverage that they need? Many consumers feel that life insurance, in general, is very expensive and confusing, and while this can be true, it’s important to educate yourself on the different types of coverage that are available and know what...Read more

4 Reasons Why Building a Custom Home Could Be Right For You

To build or not to build, that is the question. Looking for your perfect dream home can not only be a daily headache in the search process, it can also result in complete agony when you find out the house you had your hopes on has been outbid by another buyer. After getting over the pain of losing your “dream” house and the “what ifs,” you finally admit to yourself that the kitchen wasn’t exactly perfect, and the fact that the master bedroom wasn’t on the first floor wasn’t a deal breaker,...Read more

Addressing the Benefits Coverage Gap for Executives

In a competitive job market, finding and keeping top management talent is more difficult than ever, and providing benefits that increase financial security is one of the best ways to find and keep top talent. Your organization could be missing a particularly vital aspect of employee benefit plans that help ensure the financial security of your key talent, and ultimately, their loyalty to your organization. Unfortunately, many companies discover this the hard way—when a highly compensated...Read more

6 Areas to Splurge When Building Your Custom Home

If you're at the point where you've decided to build your "forever home," you have several things to consider. Particularly, if you're building a custom home, the possibilities are endless since you're essentially working with a blank canvas and an art set that can include custom cabinetry, a swimming pool, heated floors, media rooms, high-end appliances, outdoor kitchens, so on and so forth.   Read more

The Benefits of Outsourcing Human Resources

There are a number of reasons why your company may choose to outsource many of your human resources functions to a licensed Professional Employer Organization (PEO). In today’s market more and more companies are leaning towards outsourcing because simply put, it makes more sense. Outsourcing HR functions to a PEO allows companies to focus more on their core strengths while saving them time and money. As shown below, all types of businesses can benefit from a PEO arrangement. Read more

Asking the Right Questions is Key to a Successful Exit Interview

Employee exit interviews are an important part of HR management and monitoring employee retention and satisfaction. Just as it is important to hold a sales interview to find out why you did not get an account, it is equally important (if not, more important!) to understand why an employee leaves an organization and how, if possible, that information can be used to avoid future employee separations. Read more