Don’t Panic — Bear Markets are Just a Normal Part of the Market Life Cycle as an Investor

After reaching highs in early January, the S&P 500 and NASDAQ both plunged into a bear market territory, falling more than 20% to close out the first half of 2022. This tumble prompted renewed interest in an age-old question: Are we in a bear market? And if so, what does that mean for the individual investor?

Bear markets are generally defined as a drop of 20% or more in an index or security

Some bear markets are short-lived, as we experienced in 2020 with the COVID-19 lockdown, but some can be prolonged, as we saw with the Great Recession.

Following the six-month tumble to start this year, investors are trying to determine whether security prices will continue falling or if the worst is behind them. Regardless, this news serves as a critical reminder that stock prices don’t simply go up in perpetuity, and a bear market can present investors with new opportunities.

There has been no shortage of bad news for investors in the first half of 2022

Between supply chain issues, labor shortages, spikes in home prices and rent, and the highest inflation in 40 years, investors have to worry about various risk factors to develop a sound investment strategy.

None of us has a crystal ball to peer into the future of the financial markets, so it doesn’t matter that investors can’t predict the future but rather how we respond to market turbulence and build our portfolios.

The Economic and Financial Markets Cycle

Behavioral finance experts tell us that investors often let emotions cloud their best judgment and drive decision-making that is ultimately at odds with their long-term investing goals when it comes to the economy and financial market cycles.

When markets shift, the temptation is for investors to buy high and then panic and sell low. The debate over whether or not we are currently in a recession is a popular topic on social media. Still, financial markets have already priced this economic contraction for equities and fixed-income securities. The real question is how long these headwinds will persist.

Investors have more access to important information about the economy and financial markets

Today, investors have more access to important information about the economy and financial markets than ever before. In addition, it has never been easier to begin trading with numerous financial technology “apps” offering easy access to trading platforms. Consequently, investors are much more likely to react — positively or negatively — to any market changes.

Experiencing nearly 13 years of market growth, many of today’s investors may have felt invincible, buying stocks or trading options before our economy turned toward recession.

Every investment may have seemed like a winner, and many people were making money. However, the extended market cycle — and historically unprecedented fiscal and monetary policy stimulus during the COVID lockdown — created false expectations. People thought that the good times would continue for the foreseeable future.

Unfortunately, many overconfident investors bought high — just as the market crested

“Don’t fight the Fed” is a commonly used phrase on Wall Street. During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, unprecedented fiscal and monetary policies created a significant tailwind for most investments.

Congress enacted laws to put money in the hands of companies and American consumers. As the federal government handed out stimulus money, the Federal Reserve had accommodative policies that pumped cash into the economy as well.

These policies extended the bull market through the pandemic’s early days, and many investors did great.

But “Don’t Fight The Fed” works in both directions. First, the Federal Reserve has pivoted to restrictive policies to try to contain inflation and is now aggressively raising interest rates.

As of this writing, inflation is still at the highest level since the early 1980s, so the Fed is likely to continue to use all weapons in its arsenal in an attempt to tamp down inflation.

With the significant pullback in equities in the first half, particularly in most of the large-cap technology names, fear is causing many retail investors to sell, thereby locking in their losses and limiting their ability to grow their money over the long term.

A Normal Part of the Ebb and Flow of the Market Cycle

Coming down from an extended bull market period, the market’s pullback from historical highs makes it difficult for most investors to understand that these ebbs and flows are a normal part of the market cycle. No market goes up forever, and stocks will eventually have to be repriced.

That said, no one knows what will happen in the markets day-to-day, so trying to time the market is often a fool’s errand — and panic is not a strategy. As long as you have the appropriate diversification in your portfolio based on your individual investment objectives, don’t panic! Instead, sit back, relax and let the market do its thing.

Diversify and Invest According to Your Timeline

A recession is also a normal part of the life cycle. As long as your portfolio is diversified and you’re investing according to the timeline for your specific goals, there is no reason to panic.

Investing to achieve various goals — whether to retire comfortably in 20 years, go on vacation next year or purchase a new vehicle within the next five years — can be pretty straightforward. The key is ensuring your investment allocations sync with the timelines for each goal. In addition, focus on the long term, diversify and avoid products with high fee structures.

Look at your time horizon for the objective for which you’re saving and invest according to that horizon. For example, if you are many years from retirement, your retirement allocation will probably be close to 100% in equities.

Your money should be in a well-diversified portfolio so you can walk away and forget about it.

The money you’re investing for your vacation next year will be mainly in cash and cash equivalents like certificates of deposit (CDs). However, for goals that may be a few years out, you should utilize fixed-income securities — perhaps fixed-income exchange-traded funds.

As your goal investment horizons get longer, equities become a more prominent and more significant part of that portfolio. But always be aware that if you are selling investments supporting long-term goals, you are effectively locking in the loss.

Diversification is Key to Any Long-Term Investment Strategy

Instead of having all your money in one security, it’s essential to allocate investments to each goal you’re saving toward. You might get rich if you’re investing all of your money into one stock, option, or cryptocurrency. But for everyone on social media bragging about how much money they made off one trade, for example, thousands of others lost everything.

As a result, investors need to understand the difference between investing and having a solid investing strategy versus speculation or gambling.

Do you understand the investment you are considering and why it is going higher or lower? While numerous media outlets now focus on short-term trading, investors must realize that this is speculation, not investing.

Long-Term Investing Can and Should be Easy to Understand

Taking a long-term approach to investment should not be stressful, nor should it take a lot of effort or management. But developing a long-term investment strategy isn’t the hard part — it’s sticking to that plan in the face of tumultuous market environments.

As investors, we should feel good about putting our money to work for us, not stressed out, panicky, or constantly checking for updates.

Stay away from get-rich-quick schemes and short-term speculation that is difficult to understand. As Jack Bogle once said, “investors win; speculators lose.”

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Liza Summer; Pexels; Thank you!

The renowned voice millions of internet users grew up with is excited to lend his vocal talent to an application he believes will revolutionize banking

CENTENNIAL, Colo., Aug. 02, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Marygold & Co., a fintech company that seeks to offer a secure way to send, receive, spend and save money through a customizable mobile banking and financial services app, today announced Elwood Edwards, the iconic voice of America Online’s famous “You’ve Got Mail” greeting, as the official conversational AI voice for the company’s new financial services app. 

“When Marygold & Co. first approached me with the opportunity to be featured on its innovative app, I saw this as an incredible opportunity. Reflecting on my journey from AOL to Marygold & Co., I feel very excited about evolving from being the voice of new technology, like dial-up internet, to a transformative fintech solution helping shape the future of banking,” said Edwards.

Marygold & Co. looks to be the first fintech app that will use conversational AI. Edwards’ ultra-recognizable vocal talent will notify users when they receive a payment: “You’ve Got Money!” Combining mobile banking, real-time payments, and goal-oriented “Money Pool” savings and investment accounts with automated funding options, no banking fees, no minimums and no credit checks, the app’s exclusive tools empower users with a digital alternative to traditional banking. The mobile application will also include various greetings from Edwards like “You Got Paid,” “You’ve Reached Your Goal” or “You’ve Sent Money” to help users better manage their finances anytime, anywhere. 

“The fact that my app will directly manage my debit card to make any necessary transaction very easy, in my opinion, is my favorite part,” Edwards continued. “Managing my money on my phone certainly is not a barrier for me. Banking, I think, will be positively affected by what’s happening with the Marygold & Co. solution — and not just because my voice is on it.”

To learn how Marygold & Co.’s fintech solutions seek to transform the future of banking, or to read more about Elwood Edwards, please visit marygoldandco.com.

About Marygold & Co. 
Marygold & Co. is a fintech company that will offer the community a secure way to send, receive, spend and save money through a customizable mobile banking and financial services app. Like having a private banker on your phone offering personalized banking and financial services, the app will provide access to FDIC-insured accounts to anyone in the United States. With no banking fees or minimums, Marygold & Co. seeks to bring best-in-class banking technology solutions for taking control of your money. Marygold & Co. plans to launch its app for Google Play and Apple’s App Store in fall 2022.

Marygold & Co. is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Marygold Companies, Inc. (NYSE American: MGLD), a global holding company with operations in the U.S., New Zealand, Canada and the U.K. For more information, please visit their website at www.themarygoldcompanies.com, or visit www.sec.gov to access The Marygold Companies, Inc.’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 

*Marygold & Co. is a financial technology company and not a bank. Depository services will be provided by Member FDIC bank.

White glove mobile banking and financial services app leverages global issuer processor’s modular technology to expand product portfolio and market reach

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – July 6, 2022 – i2c Inc., a leading provider of digital payment and banking technology, today announced its partnership with Colorado-based financial technology company Marygold & Co., to power the platform’s Tap to Pay Debit Mastercard and new customer-centric savings program.

Leveraging i2c’s plug-and-play payment APIs, Marygold & Co. will build out its “Spend Now Checking” and “Money Pool Savings” interfaces to empower cardholders to control spending and save for important life events, such as a trip to Europe or wedding. Payments will be processed on the Mastercard network, and cardholders will be backed by a best-in-class fraud management network designed on i2c’s secure and reliable platform.

True to its name, the Marygold & Co. Contactless Debit Mastercard program will authenticate payments with no signature or PIN required and enable real-time payments to anyone in the U.S. with just an email or mobile number. The Money Pool Savings Account program will offer unlimited, savings accounts with automated funding, and goal setting features. Marygold & Co. will follow the U.S. roll out of its debit and savings programs by expanding into other global markets within the coming years.

“We built Marygold & Co. to offer clients a truly end-to-end banking and payments experience that anticipated and catered to their unique financial needs. Like having a private banker on your phone, Marygold & Co. is a banking and financial services app that is free to open and will empower users to take control of their finances,” said Nicholas Gerber, Co-founder of Marygold & Co. “We were already familiar with i2c through their widespread presence in the processing space and knew that we wanted to work with them because of their deep domain expertise, global connections to all the major card networks and ability to bring card programs to market quickly.”

“Marygold & Co. is reimagining payments through a modern lens and servicing their customers with a high-tech and high-touch approach,” said Serena Smith, chief client officer of i2c Inc. “i2c was built to enable innovators like Marygold & Co. so that they can launch with faster speed-to-market and innovation cycles, and we’re proud that they selected us to help bring their payment visions to life.”

In addition to debit and savings services, Marygold & Co. will offer their clients investment solutions with portfolios of fixed income and equity Exchange-Traded Funds that align with client-specific goals, ”PayAnyone” capability to send money to friends and family anywhere in the U.S., and payroll deposits up to two days early requiring no minimums or credit checks. Marygold & Co. will offer Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay Support, as well as contactless bracelets and key fobs in the near future.

About Marygold & Co.

Marygold & Co. is not a bank, banking services provided by a bank partner.

Marygold & Co. offers individuals and families a secure way to send, receive, spend and save money through a customizable mobile banking and financial services app built to organize financial lives. The future of banking, Marygold & Co. offers innovative features like the “PayAnyone” capability, advanced security, nationwide surcharge-free MoneyPass ATMs, contactless payment options, Money Pool Savings Accounts and Investment options, and many other best-in-class banking technology solutions for taking control of your money. Come join our community: https://marygoldandco.com.

Media Contacts:

Cristi Kirisits
Vice President, Marketing
media@i2cinc.com 

Chad Butler
President / COO
cbutler@marygoldandco.com

Marygold & Co. is an all-in-one banking app that acts as a private banker on your phone – a payment services and personalized banking app offering FREE FDIC-insured accounts and a Mastercard® debit card to anyone in the United States, providing a secure way to send, receive, spend and save with no banking fees or minimum requirements through a customizable mobile banking and financial services app built to organize financial lives. In this interview with TechBullion, the CEO talks about the future of mobile banking.

Please tell us more about yourself?

Nicholas Gerber, CEO The Marygold Companies and Marygold & Co.  The Marygold Companies are a NYSE American public listed holding company.  Our largest subsidiary is a $4.5 billion ETF money manager and our newest is Marygold & Co, our app led debit card fintech. 

What is  Marygold & Co and what unique solutions do you provide?

Marygold & Co is a fintech debit card and app which combines payments, savings and investing all in one curated high-tech, high-touch place.

Tell us more about the mobile banking industry, how big is this industry and what is the current global market size?

These days mobile banking is banking.  Financial services like banking, brokerage, insurance, mortgages represent 10% of American economy.  It is one of the largest and oldest industries there is.

 Walter Wriston, ex-CEO Citibank once said you don’t need a bank, but you do need banking. Money is a huge and growing global market.

 How does a private banker on your phone work and what are the benefits, could you give us a walkthrough of the Marygold & Co all-in-one banking app?

 Our #2 employee, Nicole, title is head of client satisfaction.  This was two years before we had any clients! Now while that shows we care about the experience our clients get, calling the people who enjoy Marygold & Co clients instead of users or customers also shows it. 

 We benchmark clients experience with the best service available from any business.  From not timing phone centers calls like Zappos, to making sure the app look and feel is clean and easy to understand like Apple, or being consistent from one interaction to the next like a McDonald’s. 

 Bringing high tech and high touch is what we mean by white gloves private banker experience.  Something, until today, you had to have $5 million in assets or more to afford.

Where there is money, there are always security concerns, what are the security issues facing mobile banking?

We take the security of our clients private data seriously.  From military-grade cryptographic encryption of all private individual information on the world’s best cloud providers like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google. To giving granular control in the app to our clients about not just freezing a card on or off but turning swipe on or off, heck, our clients can turn the internet on or off at the click of a switch.  They can continue to use the card as they want but no one can perform a card not present transaction.

The biggest concern all financial firms have is simple fraud.  For example, getting a call from someone saying your bank account has been compromised and in order to restore it, you have to give that person your password.  Don’t do it!

 Reputable firms don’t ask for passwords.  We already know it, why should we have to ask!?

 As financial firms transition towards a digital future, how crucial is it to merge payments with banking solutions?

We have one life, one primary source of income, one way of looking at our wealth.  Because of government regulations, payments, banking, brokerage, insurance, mortgages ect have been broken down into individual uncorrelated silos each with their own businesses offering products and esoteric terminology.

 By combining all these services in one app, we make life easier and simpler.  Finance does not have to be hard. 

Anyone who thinks it should be is selling you FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt).

What other prevalent trends should we look out for in banking and payments and where do you see the future of mobile banking?

Marygold & Co exists to help organize our clients families financial lives.  I would expect future trends to extend our objective.  Helping clients remember passwords, organize important documents like Wills or Medical Directives. And extend sharing or information and permissions so that children and elders can have the extra help they made need. Or so that outside third parties like an accountant can see your account. Or account aggregation so clients can see all their accounts whether with Marygold &  Co or at another bank or brokerage all in one place.  Or…

Are your payment services only available in the United States, do you have plans for global expansion?

Marygold & Co is currently only available in the USA today but we have plans to enter England before year end and then many countries in 2023 and beyond.

 Do you have any available opportunities for investors and partnerships at Marygold & Co?

Marygold & Co is a 100% owned subsidiary of The Marygold Companies, a NYSE American publicity traded holding company.  Our ticker symbol is MGLD.

 Just call your broker or go online to buy or sell our stock any business day.

 Do you have more information to share with our readers today on mobile banking and Marygold & Co?

The best time to have started planting a shade tree is 30 years ago.  The next best time is today.

 If your readers are serious about saving and investing for a goal like retirement, today is a great time to start.

“Welcome.” If you grew up in the internet age, you undoubtedly recognize the iconic AOL catchphrase, “you’ve got mail!”  

AOL, one of the industry’s early pioneers, initially provided dial-up service to millions of Americans. Originally known as America Online, the online service provider grew to become one of the most recognized brands on the web by the early 2000s, providing a web portal and later a web browser, as well as email and instant messaging services. But even if you weren’t a legacy AOL user, you’re still likely to be familiar with the celebrated slogan.  

But now, thanks to the Marygold & Co. banking and financial services solution, a new generation of internet users can familiarize themselves with the voice behind the well-known pop culture reference, Elwood Edwards.   

“You’ve Got Mail Money” 

Our innovative fintech app employs Edwards’ ultra-recognizable vocal talent to notify users when they receive a payment: “You’ve got money!” The app’s exclusive tools — combining mobile banking, real-time payments, and goal-oriented “Money Pool” savings and investment accounts with automated funding options — empower users with a digital alternative to traditional banking. The mobile application will also include other greetings from Edwards like “you got paid,” “you’ve reached your goal” or “you’ve sent money” to help users better manage their finances anytime, anywhere, with no banking fees, no minimums and no credit checks.  

When we first approached Edwards with the opportunity to be featured on our unique app, which introduces conversational AI to the banking and financial services sector, he saw being the voice of the future of banking as “an exciting opportunity.” Like having a private banker on your phone offering personalized banking and financial services, the Marygold & Co. app enables users to legitimately take control of their money.  

From Email to the Future of Banking 

With digital solutions like Marygold & Co. transforming how we interact with our banks and other financial services providers — much like how AOL transformed how we interact with personal computers in the 1990s — let’s take a look back at Edwards’ journey from AOL to Marygold & Co.  

Q: How did you get started with AOL? 

A: “My wife, Karen was a customer service rep at Quantum Computer Services, which is the company that became AOL. She overheard Steve Case, one of AOL’s founders and the company’s former CEO and chairman, talking with some programmers about adding a voice to the software, so she volunteered me. 

I sat in my living room with a battery-operated cassette deck and recorded the ‘welcome,’ ‘you’ve got mail,’ ‘file’s done’ and ‘goodbye’ messages in just one take each. She took the tape to work with her, the software engineers digitized it into the software — and here we are.” 

Q: How much did AOL pay you? 

A: “Unfortunately, only $200.” 

Q: Do you still get residuals from that work? 

A: “No, I don’t think anybody had any idea it would become what it did.” 

Q: Has AOL ever contacted you again? 

A: “Yes, they flew Karen (my wife) and me to New York for the East Coast premiere of the ‘You’ve Got Mail’ movie. I got to see Tom Hanks from 150 feet away and the back of Meg Ryan’s head when she was getting in her limo.” 

Q: What made you want to do voice-over work in the first place? 

A: “I started in radio when I was in high school as a DJ on the Elmo show. The day after high school graduation is when I started working in TV as a booth announcer, a film projectionist and a staff announcer. By now, I have done so many commercial and promotional announcements at various TV stations that I’m quite used to hearing my voice. It’s not a surprise to me.” 

Q: What was your favorite part of working with AOL and serving as the iconic “you’ve got mail” voice? 

A: “I guess the recognition of everybody who grew up — especially during that time — recognizing my voice even today. I truly enjoy the recognition and appreciation. That, to me, is a very satisfying part of this whole adventure.”  

Q: What is it about your voice or the AOL greetings that you think made the AOL user interface so memorable? 

A: “I think it was a first-time exposure for most people to that kind of interaction with a computer.”  

Q: Have you done any other recognizable voice-over work? 

A: “I was the voice of a virtual doctor on an episode of ‘The Simpsons’ in which Lisa, the little sister, was trying to convince Bart and Homer that they were very sick. When Bart and Homer say to the program, ‘help me, virtual doc. You’re my only hope,’ a figure appears on the screen, and you hear my voice say, ‘you’ve got leprosy. Goodbye.’” 

Q: How do you envision or define “the future of banking”? 

A: “Today, all of my interaction with my bank is through my iPhone. Banking, I think, will be positively affected by what’s happening with the Marygold & Co. solution — and not just because my voice is on it. I believe the Marygold solution is going to quickly become a system with great ease of operation, something that is far easier to use than the banking app for my own bank.”  

Beyond the ease of use, Edwards’ favorite aspect of the Marygold & Co. solution is the traditional debit card that provides access to FDIC-insured accounts.  

“The fact that it still uses a plastic card — something that everyone identifies with — to make any necessary transaction very easy, in my opinion, was my favorite part,” Edwards continued. “(The contactless debit card) certainly was not a barrier for me.” 

The contactless Mastercard debit card can be used nationwide across a network of 37,000 surcharge-free MoneyPass ATMs and anywhere Mastercard is accepted worldwide. Additional Marygold & Co. features include: 

  • Convenient “pay-anyone” functionality to send real-time payments to anyone in the U.S. with just a mobile number or email address. 
  • Contactless payment options utilizing NFC technology to enable touch-free tap-to-pay transactions. 
  • Customizable security dashboard and advanced security features, including in-app control of card spending. 
  • Unlimited, customized, individual FDIC-insured savings accounts with automated funding, known as money savings pools.  
  • The ability to receive payroll direct deposits up to two days early.  
  • High annual percentage yield on all deposits. 

As increased demand for a digital banking experience from millennials and Gen Zers continues to transform how the entire banking industry operates, Edwards is “100% very, very excited” about evolving from being the voice of a new technology, like dial-up internet, to being the voice of an innovative fintech solution helping shape the future of banking.  

“File’s done. Goodbye!” 

So many of us are focused on how we can make the maximum amount of money possible. While this is important, learning how to protect your money is equally as critical. There are many different threats and risks out there that you need to be aware of, such as fraud, identity theft, stolen bank cards, and hackers. Thankfully, there are a variety of measures you can take to help protect your money.

protecting your money

Potential Risks

  • Fraud: Fraud is a major risk that you need to be aware of. Fraud simply means somebody attempting to deceive you or someone else for either personal or financial gain. An example of this are the spam calls that all of us have been getting about your car’s extended warranty expiring. In this example, the scammer is attempting to deceive you into giving them your credit card or bank account information to then steal your money. 
  • Identity Theft: Identity theft, although it is a form of fraud, is an extremely dangerous risk to your money. Identity theft is where somebody attempts to steal your identity, usually by obtaining your social security number and other important personal information. In some cases they even use digital synthetic identities that are so realistic most fraud detection services are fooled. They then use your identity to open up new credit cards or bank accounts, among other things. The risk of this is that, as the account is tied to your identity, any debt can potentially be your responsibility and severely impact your credit score.
  • Stolen Bank Cards: Most people, at least once in their life, have checked their bank accounts to see a bunch of charges they didn’t make. Usually, this happens through somebody illegally obtaining your debit or credit card, whether it’s through theft or you simply misplacing your wallet.
  • Hacking: Another common risk you need to be aware of when learning how to protect your money is a hacker gaining access to your bank accounts. This can happen either through hacking the bank directly (which is extremely difficult, as banks and other financial institutions have a ton of safeguards in place) or by hacking either your phone, app, or username and password.

Best Practices: How to Protect Your Money

Now that we’ve shared a few common risks that you should be aware of, we’d like to give you a few basic, simple best practices that will help you protect your money. You might already be aware of some of these, but they are all important when thinking about how to protect your money.

Check Your Accounts Often

One of the easiest things you can do to protect your money is to check your checking, savings, and credit card accounts daily.  Although it might sound a little extreme, taking the 5 minutes to briefly check your accounts allows you to stay on top of any potentially fraudulent transactions. 

monitor credit score

Monitor your Credit

There are many sources available to monitor your credit and even get notified if your credit is being checked or a new account is being opened in your name.

Lock your credit file when you are not applying for new credit. This can be a simple way to protect your identity and restrict fraudsters from impersonating you even if they gained access to your personal data. In order to lock your credit file, you will need to contact each of the following three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion

Do Research on Your Bank

One of the most important steps you can take in learning how to protect your money is to thoroughly research your current and/or future banks. You will want to make sure your bank is FDIC-insured, which protects your money up to $250,000 per account. Another crucial thing to research is whether or not your bank has good customer service. Lastly, you’ll want to learn about any potential missteps that your bank has had in the past, such as the Wells Fargo scandal a decade ago, where employees were fraudulently opening new accounts without customer awareness.

Don’t Share Your Bank Info With Anyone

This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s actually one of the most common ways to have your identity or money stolen. Unless you are calling your bank directly, under no circumstances should you share your bank account information with anybody, even if they seem legitimate. 

two factor authentication

Use Strong Passwords & Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)

Strong passwords and MFA can help prevent unauthorized access to your accounts. By having long, complex passwords that you change frequently, you reduce the risk of somebody or a computer program guessing your password. Multi-factor authentication is another way to keep your accounts safe. MFA uses 2+ checks to confirm your identity, such as entering a password and then inputting a numerical code texted to your phone number. 

Be Sure You’re Using Secure Devices & Networks

You should only log in to your financial information from a secure, personal device and secure (password-protected) wifi network. It’s much easier for hackers to gain access to your data if you are using an unsecured, public device or wifi network. In a perfect world, you’d have a dedicated computer to access your finances, but this obviously is not realistic for most.

Protect Your Money w/ Marygold & Co.

Marygold & Co. is a new financial services app that’s dedicated to helping organize your financial life and reach your financial goals.

Not only is it revolutionizing budgeting and expense tracking through a new feature called Money Pools, but Marygold & Co. is extremely concerned with safety and security. That’s why we employ state-of-the-art technology like biometrics with facial authentication to determine if a government-issued identification is authentic and a selfie of a live person matches the picture on the ID.  This is highly effective because fraudsters don’t like to have their real picture taken and faking a real face is not an easy task. 

Other security measures like multifactor authentication and fingerprint credentials offer additional layers of protection once an account is opened.

You shouldn’t entrust your hard-earned money to just anybody, and Marygold & Co. will not only help protect your money but it gives you all the tools needed to push towards your financial goals.

You’ve worked hard for the things you have under your name – it’s more than a sinking feeling to find out that someone has stolen your belongings, finances, and identity. It can be a real pain to try and sort it all out once it happens. It’s best to try and take preventative measures so that you’re not a victim of identity theft. Here are some tips on how to avoid identity theft.

identity theft on mobile

What is Identity Theft?

When someone deliberately uses another’s identification, that person is committing identity theft. This information might be a name, a driver’s license number, social security number, a fingerprint, a PIN, a passport, a health card identification, a bank account, an electronic signature, a credit card, or debit card number.

The High Cost of Identity Theft 

If you fell victim to identity theft, you’re not alone. Last year, forty-nine million Americans experienced identity theft according to the 2021 Identity Fraud Study by Javelin Strategy & Research. The cost to consumers was $56 billion—for one year!

It’s not just about cleaning out your bank account. With your identity, the thief can make regular bank withdrawals, apply for credit cards, get a loan, buy a car, a house, or a plane ticket.

Writer Asaf Griener paints a frightening scenario. We won’t go into detail here but it is worth taking a look at.

How Technology Helps the Thief

In a NewScientist article “Cyber Crime Made Easy”, the author explains the level to which hackers are making adept use of malicious software. You can purchase an app for credit card theft.

Just as high-tech makes it easy to steal a car, points out CBC’s Sarah Bridge, so too, there is an alarming array of gadgets for identity theft. Ed Oswald describes some of these.

Skimmers

Identity thieves capture data on your debit cards by skimming. A data storage device could be attached to an ATM. They could also be attached to credit card readers. While the transaction is going through a digital copy of your credit card information is being made.

How Can You Combat Skimming?

Never let your credit or debit card out of your sight. Be cautious if a machine looks unusual.  Use cards with an EMV chip if possible.  Cover the pad when you enter your PIN and always monitor your transactions on your app or statements.

Laptops

Some identity thieves simply drive around looking for unsecured hotspots with their laptop.  Then they log into your wireless network looking for vulnerabilities.

How Can You Combat the Laptop Thief?

Make sure your computer’s firewall is up and running. Never leave your home wireless network unsecured. Choose a Wi-Fi password that is hard to crack. Enable all security features on the router.

Your Old Gadgets

How we treat old, broken gadgets is important. Those old gadgets may not work but they contain data. Often before they are discarded, data is not wiped, identity thieves can gather personal information.

How to Combat Identity Theft from Old Gadgets

Be careful what you store there—like passwords and PINs. Keep sensitive information off these devices. Before you discard them, wipe clean every device before you trade it in or sell it. The New York Times offers this easy way to clean data from your device.

Internet Connection

If thieves have one of your credit card numbers, it is easy for them to conceal their actions. All it requires to change a system is a name, address, and a credit card. Once an address is changed, they can open credit cards and other fraudulent accounts in your name. And you probably won’t even realize it until months later!

How Can You Stop Internet Theft?

Use your credit cards wisely. If you lose one, shut it off immediately. Restart it when you know it is safe.  Some banks offer a freeze/unfreeze option for your card. If you aren’t sure if you’ve lost it but want to keep your funds protected, this is a great option! Then you don’t have to worry about cancelling your card and waiting for the bank to reissue your new one.

Lost, Stolen, and Compromised Cards

Identity theft is far from rare. Fraud is a global problem that continues to grow. The Insurance Information Institute claims that in 2020, losses from identity theft cases topped $712.4 billion dollars. Which is a 42 percent increase from 2019. In 2020, the second highest reported identity fraud came from credit cards and opening new accounts. By 2021, losses are forecasted to increase to $721.3 billion dollars. It continues to climb annually.

stolen identity

Common Mistakes of Online Banking

We’re lulled into a sense of security because online banking seems so private and safe. Our naiveté blunders can make us easy victims of fraud and identity theft.

  • Never assume everything is okay.

Check credit card activity and your bank accounts often. Monitor the activity on your accounts. Inform your financial institution if there are any suspicious transactions immediately.

  • Don’t use predictable and/or unchanging passwords.

I know. It’s easier to keep a password forever. It’s tempting to choose one that makes sense and is easy to recall. Don’t be one of those people who use the same password for several cards!

Make it hard for thieves. Change your passwords often. One banking institution recommends changing your password after every transaction!

Write down new passwords and store them in a safe place—not your smartphone or your computer.

  • Guard your smartphone at all times.

Sadly, our lives are stored in our smartphones. Over fifty percent are used for online banking. How can you cut the odds of theft? Use only official banking apps.

  • Don’t decline security features.

Without security alerts to your phone or email, identity thieves can use your information undetected 75% longer. Look for free apps. Some banks even provide information when the account falls below a specific limit.

  • Don’t avoid online banking.

Your financial institution spends millions bolstering online security and keeping firewalls strong. It would be a shame if you avoided the convenience of online banking simply because it might be risky.

Customized security is tailored to your needs and desires.  New features are coming out as technology improves them.

how to avoid identity theft

Why Choose Marygold & Co.?

Marygold & Company has over two decades of experience in financial services. Recently launched, the Marygold & Co. Mastercard Debit Card and mobile app gives customers safe FDIC-insured accounts with a custom security dashboard that allows users to take more control of their finances.

Marygold & Co. has created a new card and app where you can control the use of your card with just a toggle. With the Marygold & Co. app, you can even control where your card is used.

With Marygold & Co’s user-friendly, customized security, you can freeze and unfreeze your account or type of transaction like international with the touch of your mobile phone..

We all have those heart-stopping moments when our card goes missing. Whether it was lost, stolen, or misplaced, canceling is time-consuming and inconvenient. You have to contact businesses to stop recurring payments tied to that card. You have to wait to receive a new one.

With Marygold & Co.’s customized security, you need only use your secure app to freeze  your card. If it turns up, you merely unfreeze it!