September 24, 2009


I came across several interesting financial tidbits this week in my reading - I figured I'd just informally share some of the information in a little different format than usual ...

Learning Lessons From the Market.
It would seem that the volatility in the market would have created a prime opportunity to evaluate one's portfolio, reassess risk tolerance, and become more interested in knowing what is going on in your financial world. An ideal learning opportunity! An April, 2009 Charles Schwab survey suggests otherwise. Hopefully you have taken the chance the market has provided to become more engaged in your personal finances (Source - 8/31/09 issue of Barron's). What have you done in the past two years (since the beginning of the market decline?

From the Schwab survey...
- 39% of fund investors changed their portfolio allocation.
- 45% have tried to become more knowledgeable about their investments.
- 47% aren't personally involved in managing their funds.
- 36% don't know what mutual funds they own.

Marriage and Money.
The top causes of arguments among married couples? According to research by the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver, money is the #1 cause of arguments (although it becomes less of an issue the longer you're married); children are #2.
For those married 1-8 years, money is the source of 43% of arguments.
For those married 9-25 years, money is the source of 38% of arguments.
For those married 26+ years, money is the source of 23% of arguments.

Debt Collection.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), nearly 80,000 complaints were received about third-party debt collection agencies in 2008 (more than any other industry). The most common gripes:
- Calling incessantly (35%)
- Demanding more than the amount owed (33%)
- Failing to send the required written notice (16%)
- Calling at work after being instructed not to (10%)
- Broadcasting the problem to neighbors & colleagues (9%)

The FTC is currently seeking reform to modernize the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act. The FDCPA was established in 1977! Consumer debt, the debt collection industry, and technology look nothing like it did 30 years ago. You can read the FTC report here.

Life Insurance Awareness.
September is life insurance awareness month in Missouri. Now is a great time to review your existing coverage/needs. Complete story available here.