You may reach me via email:
or the voicemail of death (I may not get to your call):
Ash's favorite wedding pic
Cheat Sheet Q & A:
Topic: Overdraft bank charges:
I remember you mentioning something about it being illegal for the banks to debit the transactions from largest to smallest causing every subsequent transaction after the largest to overdraw your account. I am trying to get clarification to that because I have a main account with my business which thankfully is doing pretty well but I also have an expense account for employees to use which was recently overdrawn by an unexpected charge but during the same processing night four charges came through the largest first which ran my account overdrawn and then the next three which were in the double digits were also overdrawn. Please help with the statute or some other reference that I can go to the bank and dispute these fees with.
Bottom Line: I’ll take this in two pieces. First the reform measures that passed as a result of the card act in 2010. One of the provisions of the
Second there was a provision that prevents the processing of a day’s transactions from largest to smallest regardless of the order of the charges but it only applied to debit card purchases and ATM withdrawals. So unfortunately it’s unlikely that either of those provisions will protect you with a business expense account. That’s doesn’t mean you’re out of luck however.
The general practice of front running the processing of transactions out of the order they occurred with any account types is currently the subject of a Federal Class Action lawsuit. Bank of America and TD Bank have already settled with the state of
The Card Act Summary from the Federal Reserve:
The origin of the Class Action suit:
Banks that have settled with Floridians include TD Bank and Bank of America.
TD Bank settlement: http://www.tdbankoverdraftsettlement.com/
Bank of America settlement: http://www.bofaoverdraftsettlement.com/
If you have a topic or question you’d like me to address email me: email@example.com
Time for a second opinion - staggering amount of unneeded surgeries:
It’s no secret that surgery is often big money for hospitals and doctors and it’s unfortunate that perhaps 20% of doctors are more interested in padding their pockets than protecting your health but that’s potentially the case. Perhaps more than ever before it may be important and prudent for you to get that second opinion before you follow through on a major surgery.
The cost of smoking and drinking per year:
Bottom Line: So how much do your vices cost you these days? For the average smoker and consumer of alcoholic beverages, quite a bit.
First the average smoker:
The average consumer of alcohol:
So… If you happen to do both you’re spending over $4000 this year on those two vices. And if you and your spouse smoke and drink we’re now over $8000 per year. This is based on research from Duke & the
Let me put this a different way… If as a couple you invested that $8000 per year in the stock market at the average rate of return (8.4%) you’d have more than 1 million dollars in 30 years!
As for me… I’ve never smoked but I do enjoy a drink here or there and I’m still inclined to do so… After all a little alcohol in moderation can be good for you… So it’s for my health (or at least that serves as a nice excuse).
Decoding the Fed June edition:
Bottom Line: So the Federal Reserve came out with their monthly policy report yesterday. So what does the gibberish this month mean?
First let’s go back a month for perspective. Last month I mentioned that the Federal Reserve was beginning to provide a small indication that it would likely start scaling back on QE (money printing if you will) later this year and that the likely short term outcome was that borrowing costs would begin to rise with mortgages seeing the biggest impact. Over the past month Mortgage rates have risen above 4% and are about 15% higher than a month ago.
About two weeks ago I indicated that you’d likely see the stock market begin to react to fundamentals for the first time in awhile rather than the perpetual march higher. The point of those items were to try to keep you prepared and ahead of the curve with market the financial markets will do as the Federal Reserve will likely begin to change policy. So now let’s take a look at yesterday’s report.
By a vote of 10-2 the Federal is going to continue the $85 billion in QE for now but it became even clearer that the Fed is likely to pull back later this year. So what can you take away?
In my view:
The S&P 500 continues to be 20% more expensive on a P\E basis than its historical average. If the Fed does pull back on its policy it’s possible that over time stocks will reflect historical valuations. Now hopefully earnings for companies will grow and catch up to stock values rather than the market taking a big dive but it would be a good idea to be mentally and financially prepared for a return to historical valuations in stocks once the Fed does change its ways.