Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Making Your Money Work for You

Most of us go into the workplace day in and day out doing all we can to earn that extra buck, but what happens when the money becomes something we realize needs to be managed in an insightful, professional way? Many people fall short of managing their wealth in a truly economic and realistic fashion, thereby explaining the need for individuals like Tony Amaradio, a recognized visionary and innovator in his field of financial services.

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Mr. Amaradio graduated with a BBA from the University of Michigan before furthering his education and graduating with an MBA from the University of Detroit with a concentration in taxation and finance. He was soon thereafter recruited by a prominent Fortune 500 Company, but found his personal professional pursuits veering elsewhere. He ventured out on his own, recognizing that a comprehensive, integrated wealth management system was needed among high net worth clientele.

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He helped clients build, plan and preserve assets, while developing one of the most comprehensive wealth management models in the entire country. The draw caught on, and soon enough he brought in top figures from the financial, tax, legal, and insurance sectors to help develop and build his innovative comprehensive wealth management models. The plan worked.

Today, Tony Amaradio is well-regarded within the industry as the foremost designers, developers, and implementers of advanced financial, tax, and asset protection plans available on the market today. Mr. Amaradio is nationally known, and often speaks at events all over the country.

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Now Mr. Amaradio is the Founder and Chief Strategist for Select Portfolio Management, Inc. His time and prestige in the field has made him one of the most trusted figures in the entire industry.

If you have wealth management struggles that could use some expertise, turn to no other than Tony Amaradio. He is a recognized expert in his field and could very well be the ease of mind your finances need right now.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

REPOST: 7 Simple Steps College Students Should Take To Build Financial Literacy And Responsibility

Encumbered with financial concerns like paying for college loans and figuring out a sound career game plan, college students have a lot of growing up to do, so to speak. But they can get by with the help of sound financial knowledge. Unfortunately, many teenagers find it hard to even make every day financial decisions. Then again, it's not too late to boost their knowledge. lists down seven simple steps to get started.

In raising my own teen children and helping them plan for college and the future, I’ve realized that, for many parents, it’s all too easy to pass on to our children our own blocks, mistakes and blind spots around money and financial health. Sadly, that can be crippling for a young adult, as we’re failing to provide them with the necessary foundations for building a happy, healthy, and productive relationship with money.

To learn more about the steps college students should be taking to create financial stability and literacy, I was excited to catch up with Brendan Coughlin, Citizens Bank’s Head of Education Finance to discuss what students can do today.

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Kathy Caprino: Brendan, are you finding that college students are generally financially literate today?

Brendan Coughlin: Despite recent efforts that mandate financial literacy programs are taught in public schools, many students are still graduating high school and heading to college with little knowledge of these vital skills. In fact, one in six American teenagers are unable to make simple decisions about everyday spending , according to a recent study by the OECD. This can become especially dangerous in college when poor financial skills can lead to dangerous overspending and debt.

Caprino: So what should new and graduating college students do to build their financial skills, and begin planning for financial stability in the future?

Coughlin: Fortunately, this is a ‘fixable’ trend, and with school about to start-up again, now is the perfect time for incoming and returning college students to begin learning how to manage their finances.

Here are 7 simple tips for college students to take to build fiscal responsibility and create healthy money habits:

1. Build a budget.

It may sound simple, but by keeping a budget, students will be accountable for their spending and can avoid overspending. Start with your fixed expenses, such as tuition and rent, and see how much you have left over. Next, calculate how much you’ll need for one-time purchases at the beginning of the semester, like dorm supplies and books. Whatever is left over can be allocated to food, eating out and entertainment. Remember, while your friends may spend $100 in one weekend on eating out, you need to focus on your budget, not your friends’ spending habits.

Once your budget is in place, be sure to keep track of everything – the safest way to avoid unnecessary overspending is to remain cognizant of every purchase. It will also allow you to quickly see if you’re spending too much in one area. There are apps and easy tools available today to help you keep track, such as Mint, BudgetBoss and LearnVest.

2. Open a checking account with a debit card.

In line with developing realistic budget goals, using a debit card allows you to only spend what you have, making for more accurate budgeting and ensuring you won’t end up with high debt, unlike with a credit card. Be sure to understand how your bank processes transactions and sign up for overdraft fee protection if you can.

3. Take advantage of your student ID.

Many colleges offer advantages and perks for students through their ID cards. Having your student ID tied to discounts at local and on-campus stores is a great way to spend less on items you’re already likely to buy, such as books or lunch. Suddenly, shopping for necessities around campus can begin to easily translate to added savings. Most colleges will offer a list of participating stores on their website, so check online before you leave for school so you know where to go.

4. Choose (and use) a credit card wisely.

When you’re in a costly emergency situation, it can be really handy to have a credit card. It’s also a great way to pay off a purchase over a month or two when you don’t have access to all of the necessary cash at once. That said, it’s vital to do your research before signing up for a credit card. Pick the card that has the best offers for your financial situation – whether it’s a low- or no-interest rate for a year or a perks card. Last, always be sure to pay off the balance or at least more than the minimum each month, so you don’t end up owing more than the original price of the charges with accrued interest.

5. Find an on-campus job before you arrive.

College life is expensive and students flock to the convenient and popular supply of on-campus jobs. The popularity is well-deserved, as many jobs fit within class schedules and transportation limitations of students. Be sure to check online for your college’s list of available jobs before you get on campus – they go quickly!

6. Become a saver.

Getting a job can provide working experience, but it is also an opportunity for students to start developing the habit of “paying yourself first.” By setting up automotive savings, students can begin to understand the value of saving for special occasions, big purchases and unexpected emergencies.

7. Think ahead.

While the previous tips have been geared toward first-time and returning college students, this last one is targeted toward students entering their final year. College is one of the biggest investments you will make in your life and most students will graduate with some amount of student loan debt.

According to a new survey, 94% of parents with a child in college and students are concerned about the rising cost of college. Yet, only 63% of college students and 55% of parents with a child in college have a plan to pay for student loan debt. So, take the time to familiarize yourself with when, and what, your payments are going to be after you receive your diploma. Several banks, including Citizens Bank, automatically send borrowers a Student Loan Annual Summary that reiterates their loan amount and interest rate to help borrowers stay informed about their borrowing. There are also many repayment options available to student loan holders which let borrowers refinance loans at a potentially lower rate. This can help them reduce their monthly payments and free up money for other endeavors.

College is loaded with new experiences —and while it’s important to get involved with activities, meet new friends, learn and have fun—it doesn’t have to involve extravagant spending. Students with basic financial know-how can learn to take their finances seriously. With practice and time, students can learn these vital skills that they will carry throughout their lives.

Anthony Amaradio, founder of Select Portfolio Management Inc., has built his wealth with sound financial knowledge and clever investing strategies. Subscribe to this blog for indispensable advice on building and handling your finances wisely.