Latest Posts

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

15 Quick Tips to Take Your Sales Staff to the Next Level

Between budget constraints and employees performing multiple functions, it can be difficult for financial institution staff to feel confident and prepared when speaking to members and explaining financial products. Here are some proven tips to help your institution's employees feel more self-assured, speak more knowledgeably, and recognize the right products for each member. 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

Welcome to the Dogpile

The past couple of weeks have seen a rout of long-dated government bonds across the world and a sharp steepening of the respective yield curves. Commentators have tried to explain the move in terms of investors worried about a complacent Federal Reserve with regard to inflation. I think that is nonsense. Sometimes, big moves like the ones we are currently witnessing are all about trader positions and very crowded trades. Read more

A Credit Union Man: Part 3

During college summers, Dad guided my brother, sister, and I to work at credit unions. We met amazing people, with whom we have stayed in touch while learning valuable lessons in enhancing the member experience. Talking with my siblings on their credit union days, one story in particular highlights the extent we all go through to enhance the member experience. Kirby Kangaroo Club is a popular and effective way for children to learn to “spend, save, and share.” Bobby, my younger...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

Time for Everyone to Clean Up Their Own Backyard

Yesterday, many of us, including me, were expecting European Central Bank (ECB) President, Mario Draghi, to deliver an extension of the ECB’s already massive Quantitative Easing (QE) program, as well as potentially announcing more asset classes the ECB could buy. Instead, Draghi announced that at the current time, the ECB is comfortable that it has provided enough stimulus to promote growth and spark upward price pressure. Even though he opened his address by stating that the ECB is ready to do...Read more

6 Questions You Should Ask An Outsourced Collections Provider

Making the decision to outsource some or all of your financial institution's collections work is no easy task. Even when you recognize that your internal staff does not have the time, resources, or ability to efficiently keep delinquencies low, it can still be difficult to trust a third-party vendor, particularly in this day and age of cyber breaches and regulatory scrutiny. Sometimes, after weighing all of your options, outsourcing collections may be the best business decision. In many cases,...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

4 Reasons to Consider a Life Insurance Policy for Your Child

As a parent, you always want the best for your child. Safety and financial security is a number one priority and up until now, you think you've managed to do exactly what you should do to guarantee that. You have a strong life insurance policy for your family that covers the expenses that will ensure your child's financial well-being in the event of your death. But is that enough? 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

Benefits of Participating in Employer-Sponsored 529 Plans

With the cost of college tuition continually increasing at a rate greater than inflation, most parents could use some help saving for children's future college expenses. If your employer offers a 529 college savings plan, be sure to take advantage of this savings opportunity.  Read more

How to Save Money When Using Professional Movers

Let’s face it; nobody likes the long, exhausting, and not to mention pricey, aspect of packing up their house for a move. Did you know that according to a 2010 report by Worldwide ERC, an association that tracks mobility costs, the average household move costs approximately $12,230? In the words of Joey Tribbiani from the TV show Friends, “forget about it!” I’m sure you could think of at least 100 different ways you spend a whopping $12,000; in some cases, that could even be the cost of a down...Read more

The 3 Must-Know Employee Benefits Trends of 2016 (Thus Far)

With the first half of 2016 under our belt, more and more employers are looking ahead to the beginning of 2017 and the possible changes they will have to make to their group employee benefits plan. Likewise, since it is an election year, the uncertainty (and dare I say it, anxiety) is great. The four trends I'll discuss today are areas that are driven largely by changes related to employee's response to social demands in the workforce and the ever-increasing cost of health care delivery....Read more

6 Tips to Streamline Your Open Enrollment Process

For business owners and human resources professionals, open enrollment is often a stressful and hectic time, complete with deadlines and disinterested employees. While we can't take away all the pain involved in open enrollment, we have some tips to minimize problems, maximize efficiency, and make the process flow much more smoothly. Read more

5 Hazards that Could Make Your New Home a Riskier Investment

When purchasing a new home or property, there are many things to consider beyond price, location, and square footage, particularly if it’s a vacation home near a flood zone or the coastline. These picturesque homes that check all your “want boxes” have more considerations to be appreciated. Read more

The Top 8 Questions You Should Ask Your Potential Payroll Provider

When it comes to running your business, there are many key factors that play a huge roll in keeping it well oiled, especially when it comes to expenses. One of the most critical, time consuming, and important components when it comes to employees is payroll. They want to be paid, and they want to be paid on time. Other than the act of paying out employees, businesses also have to ensure they fully understand and comply with all applicable tax and employment laws. When it comes to the IRS and...Read more

The What, When, and Why of  Home Equity Loans

You’ve probably heard the phrase “home equity,” likely during a commercial asking you to pull the equity out of your home through a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC). So, what is home equity? Read more