Sub-savings accounts and investment options set this app apart from the rest, executive says.
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!
“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.
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 “PayAnyone™” 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!”
The FinTech world has served an important function by showing us the importance of being a lifetime investor. Having some of your money invested in the stock market is a great way to support your long-term financial goals. There is a key theme that resonates in all market cycles – the earlier we start to invest the easier it will be to achieve our financial goals. Some people enjoy investing and others see it as a complicated chore, and that’s OK. Just know that it doesn’t have to be complicated. The important thing is to get started.
“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it…he who doesn’t, pays it”. This quote is attributed to Abert Einstein, but it seems dubious. Whether Einstein said it or not, the core message is true that the earlier we start saving for our goals the better off we’ll be.
If you listen to famous investors like Warren Buffet speak they often talk about the importance of making money work for you. Learning the basics of investing will have benefits, such as giving you more income and building your wealth. Investing can be intimidating if you have no experience, but it doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming if you focus on some simple themes.
Importance of Investing
There are some obvious reasons why learning how to invest can help your financial situation.
For one, investing will help you build your wealth over time, even when you’re sleeping! This phenomenon is known as passive income, which is a big reason why many people begin investing in the first place. Some people have a long-term goal to live solely off of their passive income streams, which means they have complete freedom to spend their time doing whatever they want!
Investing your money is a way of having your money work for you. We all work hard for the money we earn, so it is important to utilize basic methods to ensure our money is working hard for us. For people who are in debt or simply living paycheck-to-paycheck, learning smart investing for beginners may help you get ahead and break that cycle. By committing to investing a certain percentage of your paycheck, even if it’s just 1%, you can begin to build your wealth and financial security. The most important thing is to get started.
Before we start investing we need to have a good understanding of how much money we have available to commit. Most of us don’t like creating a budget, but it is essential if you feel that you “don’t know where your money goes” each month. If this is you, take a little time to track your expenses for a month or two, it will pay off in the long term.
How Can I Start Investing?
Does your employer offer a retirement plan, like a 401(k)?
If so, smart investing for beginners starts here.
You can usually start by investing as little as 1% of your paycheck. In most cases, the employer typically offers a handful of investment options to choose from. Some employers also provide a “company match”, which means the company will match some of your contributions into your account, but you have to be contributing to get the match. Think of this as free money!
A typical matching arrangement is for an employer to provide a 50% match on the first 6% that you contribute, meaning if you contribute 6% the company will add another 3%. Effectively this is a way to get an increase in your pay, but you have to be contributing to get it. If this is available to you it is a very good place to start! Talk to your supervisor or HR department if you haven’t already.
Focus On Your Goals
Retirement Plans offer a pre-defined option to save for one very important goal.
But what about our other financial goals?
At Marygold & Co, we believe it is helpful to define our specific financial goals.
Defining our goals, and a timeline to achieve them brings clarity.
If you are saving up to buy a new car, it’s important to define when you want to buy it. If you say you want to buy a new car in three years, that helps you to understand whether you’re on track to achieve the goal. So rather than having one generic account where you put your savings, perhaps start by asking yourself what your financial goals are? Most of us have numerous goals, so the more specific we can be the more clarity we’ll have. Ultimately this helps us to stay on track. Some people may only have 2-3 financial goals, while others will have a dozen.
There is no right answer here, the important part is understanding specifically why you are saving.
Tips For Beginners
At Marygold & Co., we want to make it as easy as possible to invest money and build your wealth.
If you’re just a beginner and want to learn how to start smart investing for beginners, we’ve compiled a straightforward checklist that will help you start investing.
Do some basic research
You should do your research before you start investing to know what your options are.
Learn about the different types of investments, and pick out a few that appeal to you. Keep in mind social media is flooded with people bragging about the money they made trading options or “YOLOing” in one stock or cryptocurrency. Try to avoid the FOMO factor. Focus on being a long-term investor.
Open an account
Open an investing account.
Not long ago it was difficult to invest if you didn’t have a lot of money. But now there are numerous options to invest with companies that have low or no minimum balance thresholds.
Transfer money with each paycheck
Inertia is a powerful force, so use it to your advantage!
Decide how much money you’re able to commit towards investing. There’s no right number here- figure out what you’re able to contribute. The important thing is to get started.
Invest – Don’t speculate
Now that you’re transferring money, you need to make sure to actually make your investments.
Diversification is key. Know the difference between speculation (e.g. – the YOLO investors) and investment! We are never going to know more than the large Wall Street firms, so don’t try. Use products that give you the investment opportunity you want at a reasonable fee (typically called the expense ratio). Low-fee Exchange Traded Funds are usually a good place to start.
Over the past 100 years, the stock market has returned about 8% every year.
A prudent way to make money, especially in the stock market, is to employ the “set it and forget it” strategy. If you’re able to invest for multiple decades, that is a strategy that should help you to realize your financial goals. And don’t try to “time” the market. Large and sophisticated investment firms are not able to time the market, so we shouldn’t even try. One of the best ways to make money in the investing world is to be a long-term investor.
How Marygold & Co. Can Help with Investing
Smart investing for beginners begins with being able to track and budget.
Marygold & Co. is revolutionizing expense tracking and budgeting, thanks to this incredible feature called Money Pools.
Money Pools are organized savings pools that allow you to easily divert money into different pools for whatever you’d like to save for.
Additionally, you can easily track your expenses by linking your debit card to your Marygold & Co. account. Marygold & Co. has focused on creating an easy-to-use, helpful interface that makes budgeting and tracking your expenses and investments a piece of cake.
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.
- 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Direct deposit has gone from being a cutting-edge feature to the default for most workers and employers, and it’s no surprise why. It eliminates the hassle of cashing your check at the bank. Instead, your employer pays you electronically and the money is deposited directly into your bank account. With Marygold & Co.’s early direct deposit, you can get your money up to two days earlier than traditional banks. We make sure to process your deposits as soon as they arrive, which means you’ll most likely have access to your hard-earned money earlier than the scheduled payday.
Benefits of Direct Deposit
When you set up early direct deposit, there are a few advantages that put you ahead of everyone else (other than just getting paid two days earlier):
Early Access and Increased Accessibility
Setting up this feature not only saves time, it is so much more accessible. Since funds are electronically transferred, they are automatically credited.
Gone are the days of waiting for a check to clear.
Direct deposit, along with the rise of banking technology allows you to get your money deposited without having to physically run to the bank.
Some fintech apps, like the Marygold & Co. app, provide you with direct deposit up to two days earlier*, as well as access to all banking features through your phone.
This means your money is always with you wherever you are!
Pay your Bills on Time and Save More
Another bonus is that it takes away the stress of making sure you deposit your check in time to ensure your bills will be paid on time.
Using an account with early direct deposit can give you extra time to pay monthly bills such as rent and utilities.
Not only can you access your paycheck earlier but you can also receive your tax money up to two days early*, before it’s available at traditional banks.
Yes, we’ve concluded that it is an easy way to avoid missing out on payments, but it can also help you save more efficiently.
The Marygold & Co. interest-earning feature called ‘Money Pools‘ can be set up simultaneously with this feature to ensure that you get closer to your savings goals with each payment. You can customize this feature to have a percentage or specific amount of your paycheck deposited directly into your “Money Pool” savings account and start earning interest on your money while building your savings.
Safer Than Paper Checks!
Using online banking and perks such as this one can trigger concerns about safety.
However, direct deposit is considered much safer than being paid through check. Paper checks can easily be lost, stolen, or fraudulently cashed.
With this feature, your money is automatically transferred from your employer’s account into the bank account you choose.
The biggest hazard is ensuring your account information goes to someone you trust.
How Does Direct Deposit Work?
To start the process, your employer’s HR department or the payroll company your employer utilizes submits payroll files – which contain account information, to their bank, which then sends the data to an Automated Clearing House (ACH). A bank-to-bank electronic transfer takes place once the HR department receives account information, and the money is then deposited into your account.
Direct Deposit with Marygold & Co.
More than 93 percent of U.S. workers receive their pay by direct deposit, according to the 2019 survey “Getting Paid In America”. Direct deposit has become the standard for most workers and employers and with Marygold & Co., you can receive your money up to two days early! Marygold & Co. is a free and FDIC-insured banking and financial services app that allows customers to send, receive, spend and save money safely through their mobile devices. Using early direct deposit, along with other Marygold & Co. features will make your finances easier and more convenient to manage.
Redefine the way you bank and join our waitlist.
*Early access to direct deposit funds depends on timing of payer’s submission of deposits. We generally post such deposits on the day they are received which may be up to 2 days earlier than the payer’s scheduled payment date.
“I don’t have the money” is a common phrase we hear or say when there’s an option to purchase something that doesn’t necessarily align with our financial goals or budget. But is it because we are actually broke or are we trying to save for something? How do we balance our saving versus spending ratio? Knowing how much to save each month can help alleviate some of the stress that comes with financial situations and decisions. Using an app to track your spending and savings habits is an important step to ensure you are holding yourself accountable.
Calculating How Much to Save Each Month
Morningstar writer Holly Black advocates the 50-30-20 rule. This principle splits your monthly income in three ways.
- Half is set aside for necessary living expenses like rent or mortgage, food, heating, phone, credit card or loan payments, and transportation.
- 30% is earmarked for frills like new clothing, entertainment, gifts, dining, or vacations.
- 20% is set aside for savings. You might set up savings accounts or invest this money in stocks, bonds, or an RRSP (registered retirement savings plan).
Advantages of the 50-30-20 Rule
If you allocate earnings this way, it is easier to manage your finances. You know exactly how much you have budgeted for expenses and savings for each paycheck.
Furthermore, you can automatically increase your savings as your income rises and/or as expenses in those other areas decrease.
Experian reported that seventy-five percent of Americans have a credit card balance that is carried over at the end of each month. The average balance is over $5,000.
Making a commitment to saving is the first step.
- Create a budget and stick to it.
- Don’t “window shop” whether at a brick-and-mortar store or online.
- Delay buying. If you fall in love with something, wait a week. By then, you may well have come to your senses.
- If you have outstanding debt, avoid buying something unless it is a necessary purchase.
- Make a shopping list to help you remember what to buy and stick to only things you need to help prevent impulse purchases.
- If it isn’t part of your budget, you can’t afford it.
Making a commitment to saving is important, but make sure you have a way of tracking your spending as well. There are several apps that help keep your budget on track, like Marygold & Co’s.
When shopping, it’s easy to get a little carried away and spend more than expected. These strategies can also help increase your savings while at the grocery store:
- Look for generic labels.
- Build your weekly menu around flyer specials.
- Don’t shop for groceries when you are hungry.
- Clip coupons or use a grocery saving app like foodflash or Flipp. Look into cashback options like BeFrugal.com.
- Plan and shop for food once a week or twice a month.
- Pack lunches instead of eating out. You’ll save money and eat healthier.
- Avoid eating out regularly. Make it a special treat.
- Try get-togethers with friends instead of eating out. Make it a potluck so it is less work for everyone.
The amount you designate for saving each month may be altered by various considerations:
- What you are saving for and how much it will cost.
- How soon you will need the money for an item.
- How much you can afford to save.
- Unexpected expenses.
- Your debt load: While saving is important, you cannot overlook debts like student loans or unpaid credit card amounts. If unpaid, these debts can cost you more in interest. Always know the interest rate you are being charged on outstanding debt. Interest rates on unpaid loans are significantly higher than the interest you would earn on a savings account.
Are Americans Saving?
The Atlantic explored this question.
They discovered that during the Reagan administration, ninety percent of Americans saved an average of 10% of their income. By 2006, their savings rate was negative 10%.
The current reasons given for the lack of saving include:
- Job losses and earnings decline due to economic stressors like COVID-19.
- The “I want to enjoy trips, bigger homes, luxury items now and save later mentality”.
- Unexpected emergencies including medical expenses, broken appliances, vehicle repairs, home repairs, etc.
- Going into debt to purchase a home.
- A shift from publicly funded to private schools for children.
- Employee retirement programs make it easy for people to ignore the necessity of retirement savings.
How Much Does the Average American Save?
Personal finance writer, Marie Backman, discovered that over seventy percent of Americans have a savings account. However, just over twenty percent of them have an account balance between one and five thousand dollars.
A 2018 Federal Reserve report found that over sixty percent of Americans do not have an emergency fund. That means If an emergency occurred of $400, sixty percent of Americans would have to rob their other accounts, put the amount on credit cards, or borrow funds to cover the expense.
A November 2020 Bankrate.com report records that the average personal debt is almost $95,000. These include mortgages, car loans, student loans, and unpaid credit card balances.
Many Americans only have a single savings account. If you are saving for one specific goal, then one savings account will suffice. You might be setting savings aside for future acquisitions like a home or a new car. You might be saving for a vacation.
If you have multiple goals, you might wish to set up separate accounts for each of these savings goals. These goals might include:
- Emergency Savings Account
Financial advisors recommend setting up a “rainy day” account. Everyone experiences sad and unexpected events. Perhaps your car breaks down. Maybe your job vanishes in a company downsizing. A work injury or a car accident may result in you temporarily being off work and saddled with medical expenses that are not covered by your insurance. Your first savings goal needs to be to put enough cash in your emergency savings account to cover your necessary expenses for at least three months.
A good choice for your emergency savings is a money market account. It can be a solution when you suddenly need money. Until then, they earn an attractive amount of interest.
- Retirement Savings
The time to begin creating a retirement savings account is when you begin earning money. Financial experts estimate that a single household needs $45,000 a year or $61,000 for a couple to retire comfortably.
If your budget allows you to put just a few dollars a month into a high-yield long-term investment, you will be much farther ahead than 65% of Americans who fail to save sufficiently for their golden years. Writer John Maudlin warns against failure to save for retirement.
- Special Savings Accounts
If you are saving for a new house, your daughter’s college education, or maybe an anniversary cruise, you might wish to look into setting up a money market account. These accounts pay moderate interest. Withdrawals and transfers from this account are limited. Money market accounts typically have no minimum balance. Interest accrued increases with an increased balance.
You may decide to open separate savings accounts for specific purposes like the kids’ education, a summer home, a new car, or a much-needed vacation.
If you choose accounts with better interest and less liquidity, there will be less temptation to borrow from one or more of these accounts.
What are Money Pool Savings Accounts?
Marygold & Co. has created an app that helps customers establish individual savings goals to save for life’s important milestones. Money Pools are customized and directly aligned with the timelines you create for your savings goals.
How Do Money Pools Work?
Marygold & Co.’s Money Pool savings and financial services app provides customers with a means of separating and organizing their earnings. By using their Money Pool app, Marygold & Co. can help you more effectively reach short-term and long-term savings goals.
Being financially secure is more prevalent than ever, but it still remains a challenge to many people.
Let’s discuss how to achieve your financial goals – and actually stick to it this time.
After a long and arduous 2020, more and more citizens have set their sights on being financially stable. In fact, research shows that almost 50 percent of Americans have a financially related New Year’s resolution.
Unfortunately, as reported by U.S. News & World Report, roughly 80 percent of people fail their New Year’s resolution by the second week of February.
If achieving a financial goal was a resolution for you, here are some things to help you avoid becoming part of that 80 percent.
Setting A Financial Goal
Finances are different for everyone. Perhaps you’ve set a financial goal without fully realizing it. Nerdwallet defines financial goals as “personal, big-picture objectives you set for how you’ll save and spend your money.” Some examples include:
- Purchasing a bike
- Buying a home
- Paying off debt
- Starting a business
- Saving for retirement
No matter how grand the scale of your goal is, there are certain things you should be doing in order to make it a reality.
Basic Steps to Achieve Your Financial Goals
Becoming financially secure or independent means many things to many different people. Money is different for everyone, but there are basic rules that everyone should follow. These include:
- Creating and sticking to a budget
- Building an emergency fund
- Managing credit score
- Money organization
- Savvy shopping
- Knowing where your money goes
Creating a Budget
Budgeting is a word that everyone knows, but not everyone is able to accomplish. According to Investopedia, a budget is an estimation of revenue and expenses over a period of time.
Creating a budget is the first step in achieving any financial goal.
In order to set a budget, you must first determine your income. This is your net, take-home pay each month. Once you’ve calculated that, you need to differentiate your expenses into three categories: needs, wants, and savings.
Comb through at least a year’s worth of expenses to have the most accurate expense chart. Begin by totaling up all of your necessary expenses. This includes rent, car payments, insurance, groceries, etc. Anything you need to live will go in this category.
From there, see how much money you have left over for wants and savings. A portion of this should go into a savings account, emergency fund, and/or investments. But keep in mind you should have some money set aside for yourself to accommodate your wants. This doesn’t mean spending frivolously, but very few people will stick to a budget that doesn’t allow them to have any fun.
Sticking to a Budget
Now that you have created your budget, you need to stick to it. If you budgeted $400 for wants, you have $400 to spend on wants. If it is Friday night and your friends are going to the movies but you only have $20 left in this category, you need to have the willpower to say no. The most important step to achieving your financial goal is not spending above your means. That is why sticking to your budget is so crucial.
Building an Emergency Fund
It is incredibly important to have an emergency fund for whatever life may throw your way. An emergency fund, which differs from a savings account, is an account where the money is saved for major, unexpected expenses. Financial experts have stated that an emergency fund should hold at least enough money to cover three to six months of living expenses.
As we’ve all noticed, especially in the last year, life challenges can come at you unexpectedly. Pew Research found in September that over 15 percent of Americans had lost their job over the previous six months.
Many people have not been able to achieve their financial goals in the past because of unforeseen circumstances or expenses.
With an emergency fund, you can stay on top of these unexpected costs rather than making up for them later.
This will help keep you on the right track towards reaching your financial goals.
Setting aside money for an emergency fund should factor into your budget as to how much you will be saving and spending. Once you have saved enough money to cover at least six months’ worth of living expenses, that money can be budgeted elsewhere.
Managing Your Credit Score
A credit score is a number between 300-850, the highest being the best, based on your credit history. You can check this number by ordering your credit report from Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion. Everyone is entitled to one free report per year.
Managing and maintaining your credit score is a crucial step in accomplishing your financial goals. A good credit score can help you in a litany of ways, most importantly: qualifying for loans or mortgages with more favorable interest rates.
To strengthen your credit score you must first make sure you pay all your bills on time. Generally speaking, a credit card, used wisely, is a great way to build your credit as well.
Attaining a good credit score is an important factor in achieving your financial goals. You’ll spend less money on interest rates, therefore, your loans will be paid off quicker.
Staying organized is key to becoming financially secure. This means keeping a record of your bank and credit card statements, bills, and other expenses.
You should also organize what you’re saving for. With a savings account and an emergency fund, it can sometimes be confusing to keep track of all your money if they flow into the same account. Staying organized is even trickier if you’ve set multiple financial goals, like paying for a trip, saving for a home, and budgeting for new skis.
Trying out programs like Marygold & Co.’s Money Pools is a great way to stay organized and stick with your budget. Separating your goals into Money Pools allows you to visually see how much progress is being made towards each one. Programs like these will keep track of each account while also earning interest on every one of them.
Though it seems like a no-brainer, many people fail to consider their spending habits when trying to attain a financial goal. When making a budget, sometimes ‘necessary’ expenses may not be exactly that.
Every expense adds up.
Consider a trip to the grocery store – are you:
- Making a list and sticking to it?
- Using coupons?
- Buying the cheaper options?
- Comparing prices?
Every time you spend money, how much you’re spending must be taken into account. You can lower your ‘necessary’ spending simply by being fiscally responsible. Did you really need that pack of skittles sitting in the check-out line?
Knowing Where Your Money Goes
Everyone has noticed throughout their lives that sometimes, money seems to magnificently disappear. Though it can feel like that, this is simply not the case. If you are on top of your finances, you’ll know where every penny goes.
A cup of “joe” every day doesn’t feel like it would cost that much; research has found that some people spend up to 1,000 dollars on coffee and 2,000 dollars a year on lunch. Seeing that number, many people would reconsider their drive-through coffee-drinking habits. Coffee is an overused example but you get the point.
When learning about how to achieve your financial goals, it’s vital to know where your money is being spent. Go over your bank statements and account for every single dollar spent to find out how you are spending your money and where you can cut back.
Spring is the season for cleaning and that shouldn’t just end at home. Your finances should go through a little spring cleaning themselves. Having an organized financial life can help you better understand the flow of your money. Tracking your income, how you spend it, and how much of it you save can give you the information you need to set financial goals for yourself.
So, while you’re decluttering your closet, remodeling your back patio, consider some financial spring cleaning, as well.
Here are some ways to organize your finances this spring (or anytime, really):
Review and Establish a Budget
To ensure your finances are in order and that they remain that way, it’s best to set up a balanced and realistic budget, if you don’t have one already. Review your monthly income and expenses then establish what your financial goals are. You could be saving for a long-term investment like a down payment on a home or you could be saving for a new gaming system or a getaway.
Whether it’s a long-term or short-term goal, budgeting is essential to making sure those goals are achieved. Organize your budget on a simple spreadsheet and review it often to ensure you are on track.
Having a budget will make it easier for you to reach your savings goals because it’ll help you determine how much money you can spend and how much you need to put away. You don’t need to plan out the rest of the year perfectly but instead start by creating a monthly budget, then track your finances for that month. Once you get into the habit, you’ll find yourself becoming a budgeting expert.
Set up a Money Pool/Automated Savings
One way to keep yourself organized financially is to set up automated savings, or an interest-earning Money Pool, like the one we offer at Marygold & Co.
Having a Money Pool allows you to separate and categorize your finances all within one account, making it easy for customers to track multiple savings goals at once.
Each individual can customize their automated savings to best align with their goals and current financial standing.
You can choose to contribute to your savings goals on a bi-weekly or monthly basis, and the amount you deposit is up to your discretion as well.
Automating your savings will help prioritize your goals and will reduce the temptation to overspend. You don’t even have to worry about making those regular deposits, it’s all done for you!
Pay Off Outstanding Payments
Look over any outstanding payments, if you have the means to pay them off, then do so. If not, this is the time to work out a way to pay your debts off.
Is there anything laying around your house you could sell? Are there extra shifts you could pick up at work?
Find opportunities that’ll help you earn that extra income to help you pay off your debts.
If you are unable to pay everything off right away, setting up a debt repayment plan can help you stay on track. While you may not pay everything off in one go, at least you have taken steps to reduce that debt and eventually eliminate it.
Make sure you include your debt payment plan in your budget.
This will help you stay on top of your payments by ensuring there is money available in your checking account to contribute to this payment plan.
Automatic Billing and Investments
Having your bills automated can help you ensure that they are always paid on time and that you’re not rummaging around for extra cash to meet your phone bill payment at the end of the month.
The best part about automatic billing is you don’t even have to think about it, it is automatic after all.
Additionally, you can even set up automatic deposits to your IRA or 401k investments. Automating deposits into these accounts will ensure you’re continually investing your funds.
The advantages of investing your money include reducing your taxable income for the year.
Analyze Your Spending Habits
Analyzing your spending habits will help you point out your spending habits, bad and good. When looking over your spending habits, you might find some patterns that are preventing you from achieving your financial goals.
An important step while spring cleaning your finances is to look over your spending habits and find areas where you can save.
Are there any unnecessary monthly subscriptions billed to your credit card?
Are there unnecessary transactions you can eliminate?
These are important questions to ask yourself when analyzing your spending habits. Find areas in your daily life where you can save. Maybe pack a lunch instead of ordering out every day, you’ll definitely see big rewards from the small changes you make in your daily habits.
If you lack financial discipline, the Marygold & Co. app can help. The customizable security dashboard allows customers to limit where the card can be used.
Accounts can also be turned on or off – which can also remove the temptation to unnecessarily spend.
Clean Up and Shred Old Paperwork
It’s easy for those paper bills and bank statements to pile up on the corner of your table.
Marygold & Co. can help you keep your finances organized. The best part about the Marygold & Co. app is that you won’t have to worry about paper – checks, receipts, pay stubs, etc.
Take the time to shred and discard any old paperwork. Make sure you dispose of these documents properly as they contain very sensitive information including personal information and bank statements. We recommend using a shredder to ensure these documents are properly destroyed.
Marygold & Co. Makes It Easy
Marygold & Co. can help you sort your finances and keep them organized throughout the year through an innovative new app launching this spring.
The FDIC-insured fintech app offers customers interest-earning savings accounts and allows them to send, receive, spend and save securely through their mobile device.
Control and organize your finances easily with Marygold & Co.
Your finances will never have to go through a spring cleaning again – instead, you can keep them clean and organized.
**Marygold & Co. is a financial technology company and not a bank. Deposits insured by the FDIC, up to the allowable limit by our issuing and deposit bank partner(s).
**Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date.
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