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Sterling Bank Celebrates Financial Literacy Month with Tips for Every Stage of Life

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Sterling Bank Celebrates Financial Literacy Month with Tips for Every Stage of Life

SPOKANE, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- According to the 2013 Asset and Opportunity Scorecard published by the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), one in three Americans do not have a savings account. In an effort to help its communities achieve stronger financial footing and in recognition of April being Financial Literacy Month, Sterling Bank, a subsidiary of Sterling Financial Corporation (NAS: STSA) , offers the following tips to improve your financial well-being at every stage of life:

Youth / adolescents

  • Start saving: Commit to setting aside a certain amount every month to save for something important, whether it be a new pair of shoes or something much bigger, like a car or college tuition. Open a savings account if you don't have one - it is much safer than keeping your money at home and will allow you to gain interest.
  • Keep a money journal: Keep track of the money you make (from part-time jobs, birthday gifts, allowance, etc.) and what you spend it on. When you see where your money is going, you might decide to change some of your spending habits.
  • Learn the basics of banking: Open a student checking account and learn how to balance a checkbook, even if you use online banking. Make sure you know how much money you have in your account before you write a check or use your debit card and always ask yourself before the purchase, "Can I do without it?" If the answer is yes, walk away.

College graduates / young adults

  • Make a budget: Keep all of your receipts for a month or two to see exactly how you are spending your money, and use that information to create a realistic budget. Include wants as well as needs in your budget, and stick to it - overspending is often caused by impulse purchases. Free online resources and apps are also available to help you in tracking your spending and setting a budget.
  • Pay off debt: Make car and student loan payments on time and create a plan to eliminate credit card debt. Always pay more than the minimum due, even if it is only a small amount more, and pay down the most expensive debt first. For credit cards, aim to pay off your balance in full every month, or use them for emergencies only.
  • Start saving for retirement: Retirement might seem far away, but, thanks to the magic of compounding, money you invest now will be worth much more at retirement than the same amount invested when you are in your 40s or 50s. It is better to start now and invest just a little than to wait until you can afford to invest more. Talk to a financial planner or visit any of Sterling Bank's branches to discuss your investment options.

Working / middle-aged adults

  • Maximize retirement savings: If your company offers a retirement plan, participate - especially if matching funds are provided. Set up automatic payments to a 401(k) or individual retirement account (IRA) with every paycheck to reduce the temptation to skip a deposit.
  • Create an emergency fund: Strive to have six months of living expenses saved in an easily accessible FDIC-insured account so you do not need to jeopardize your retirement security if bad luck strikes.
  • Review insurance coverage: Evaluate your insurance plans to ensure you have the right combination of health, disability, long-term care, life and property coverage to meet your needs.

Retirees

  • Review plans for your legacy: Talk to your financial adviser about estate and tax planning, setting up a trust for your children or heirs, and leaving gifts to charity. Review and update your will if necessary.
  • Organize: Make sure your important documents and accounts are in order, and designate a trusted friend or family member to take over the management of your finances in the event of an emergency.
  • Protect your identity: Seniors are often targets of fraud. Protect yourself from identity theft by keeping your passwords, PINs, bank account information, Social Security number and credit card numbers safe and secure. For extra protection, consider switching to e-bills and e-statements - most banks, including Sterling Bank, offer them - shred documents with sensitive information and watch your mailbox for theft.

From setting up a child savings account, to financial planning and trust services, Sterling Bank is prepared to help consumers and businesses get their financial well-being on track. For more information, stop by any Sterling Bank branch or visit: www.bankwithsterling.com.

About Sterling Bank

Sterling Savings Bank, the principal operating subsidiary of Sterling Financial Corporation (NAS: STSA) of Spokane, Wash., is a Washington state chartered and federally insured commercial bank. Sterling Savings Bank does business as Sterling Bank and, in California, Sonoma Bank. Sterling offers banking products and services, mortgage lending, and trust and investment products to individuals, small businesses, corporations and other commercial organizations. As of Dec. 31, 2012, Sterling had assets of $9.24 billion and operated depository branches in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and California. Visit Sterling's website at www.bankwithsterling.com.

Cts.businesswire


Sterling Bank
Cara L. Coon, 509-626-5348
cara.coon@bankwithsterling.com

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Washington

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:

The article Sterling Bank Celebrates Financial Literacy Month with Tips for Every Stage of Life originally appeared on Fool.com.

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Tech Stocks: The Wind Beneath the Dow's Wings

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New records galore: After a quick dip yesterday morning, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 60 points to close at a new all-time high -- and it wasn't done there. Up 115 points as of 11 a.m. EDT, the index is gaining from positive housing market news and the FOMC's latest meeting minutes, as well as some international economic signs. Not to mention the fleet of big-time tech players on the move this morning.

After disclosing a disappointing 4% drop last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that mortgage and refinancing loan applications were up 4.5% during the previous week. This is great news to investors who have been continually disappointed by more and more signs of a weakening labor market. Since the housing and labor markets are so closely tied with the performance of the overall economy, it's important that at least one of them continues to gain momentum as the other dips.

Released five hours early, the FOMC's most recent meeting minutes gave investors some positive reinforcement as it showed most members in favor of continuing the current QE policy through the middle of the year. The last release of minutes caused most banks to stutter when it revealed that more and more committee members were concerned with the cost of continuing the current policy, and though it appeared that there was a similar case this time, it didn't seem to worry investors as much. Later today, details of the March federal budget will be released.


Overseas, China reported an increase in imports and exports, signaling new opportunities for international trade. Imports were up 14.1%, while exports were up 10%.

This morning's highfliers
Tech stocks are flying high again today, with Cisco taking the lead as the stock jumped 2.5% this morning. Hand in hand with Cisco is Microsoft , up 2.03%, as the two announce some joint projects to help IT customers. The companies will join Cisco's Unified Data Center architecture with Microsoft's Fast Track solutions to help reduce complexity and improve functionality for its data center customers. The two are also developing solutions for sellers of the current products to work jointly as a way to expand the data center business operations.

Intel is also on the rise, with a 3.06% gain. The chip maker is making solid gains into the Chinese mobile market, with the second phone to feature its CloverTrail+ Atom processor debuting at Beijing's 2013 IDF. The ZTE Geek (yep, you read that right) is the newest phone to feature the Intel processor, following the Lenovo K900, which scored big in early comparisons over other processors. With its foot in the door and positive feedback so far, Intel is on its way to becoming a true player in the mobile market -- though it still has some catching up to do.

IBM is the tech laggard today, though the company is up 1.34% as of this writing. Analysts at UBS upgraded the company today from neutral to buy, with a $25 bump to its target price, now set at $235. The upgrade was due to the belief that IBM is well positioned for the coming computing transition: With integrated vendors, the transition will be relatively smooth; the majority of new computing will be cloud-based, which is an IBM strength; and the company's hosting capabilities plus OpenStack support will be helpful as computing continues to evolve.

It's been a frustrating path for Microsoft investors, who've watched the company fail to capitalize on the incredible growth in mobile over the past decade. However, with the release of its own tablet, along with the widely anticipated Windows 8 operating system, the company is looking to make a splash in this booming market. In this premium report on Microsoft, our analyst explains that while the opportunity is huge, the challenges are many. He's also providing regular updates as key events occur, so make sure to claim a copy of this report now by clicking here.

The article Tech Stocks: The Wind Beneath the Dow's Wings originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Jessica Alling has no position in any stocks mentioned, but you can contact her here. The Motley Fool recommends Cisco Systems and Intel. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel, International Business Machines., and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

 

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Huntington Bank Named Winner of the 2013 TNS Choice Award for Consumer Banking in Central Region

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Huntington Bank Named Winner of the 2013 TNS Choice Award for Consumer Banking in Central Region

Bank recognized for outperforming competitors in acquiring, retaining and developing customers

COLUMBUS, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Huntington (NASDAQ: HBAN; www.huntington.com) has been named the winner of the 2013 TNS Choice Award for Consumer Banking in the Central Region. TNS, the largest custom research firm in the world, presented the award to Huntington for outperforming its competitors in acquiring, retaining and developing customers.


Huntington was selected based on an analysis of more than 7,900 consumer interviews conducted in the Central Region in 2012, as part of TNS's Retail Banking Monitor research program, which evaluates the competitive momentum of individual financial services firms.

"At Huntington, our customers are our top priority. They have told us they want banking solutions that matter and easier ways to do business with us, and we have responded with continued investments in service and convenience," said Mary Navarro, Huntington's retail and business banking director. "It is this foundation of service and dedication to caring about our customers, in addition to making banking easy, that has allowed Huntington to differentiate itself from its competitors."

Over the past two years, Huntington has developed 24-Hour Grace®, a unique service that provides Huntington consumer checking customers until the next business day to cover overdrafts without any fees. Additionally, the bank has introduced an innovative checking account called Asterisk-Free Checking®, developed mobile applications for the iPhone and Android operating systems, strengthened its commitment to small business by lending $4 billion in the last three years, extended Saturday hours, and opened 107 new branches in Giant Eagle and Meijer grocery stores.

The 20-state Central Region includes: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.

The TNS Retail Banking Monitor research program is developed to identify strong achievement on both the national and regional level. TNS measured customer acquisition, retention, satisfaction, and share of wallet, across a comprehensive set of competing firms, to identify top performers.

"Customers of Huntington are among the most satisfied bank customers in the country. Among consumers in the 20-state Central Region, Huntington is achieving faster organic growth than any significant competitor," said James Meyer, executive vice president for TNS. "Huntington is winning new 'primary bank' relationships at an exceptional rate, and client loyalty scores are among the best in the industry, which is being rewarded with superior client retention."

About Huntington

Huntington Bancshares Incorporated is a $56 billion regional bank holding company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. The Huntington National Bank, founded in 1866, provides full-service commercial, small business, and consumer banking services; mortgage banking services; treasury management and foreign exchange services; equipment leasing; wealth and investment management services; trust services; brokerage services; customized insurance brokerage and service programs; and other financial products and services. The principal markets for these services are Huntington's six-state banking franchise: Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia, and Kentucky. The primary distribution channels include a banking network of more than 700 traditional branches and convenience branches located in grocery stores and retirement centers, and through an array of alternative distribution channels including internet and mobile banking, telephone banking, and more than 1,300 ATMs. Through automotive dealership relationships within its six-state banking franchise area and selected other Midwest and New England states, Huntington also provides commercial banking services to the automotive dealers and retail automobile financing for dealer customers.

The Huntington National Bank, Member FDIC. The logo mark ® , Huntington ® , 24-Hour Grace® and Asterisk-Free Checking® are federally registered service marks of Huntington Bancshares Incorporated. The 24-Hour Grace® system and method is patented. U. S. Pat. NO. 8,364,581.

Cts.businesswire


Huntington Bancshares Incorporated
Cynthia Kincaid, 614-480-5415
cynthia.kincaid@huntington.com

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Ohio

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:

The article Huntington Bank Named Winner of the 2013 TNS Choice Award for Consumer Banking in Central Region originally appeared on Fool.com.

Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

 

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Bank of America Can't Be Kept Down Today

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Shares of Bank of America , the nation's second largest bank by assets, are trading higher this afternoon following the unofficial start of earnings season.

Alcoa kicked things off yesterday, offering a glimpse of how the nation's largest companies performed in the first quarter. While the aluminum giant beat on the bottom line, with earnings per share exceeding the consensus estimate, it came up short on the top line, with revenue falling by 3% on weak aluminum demand.

The true test for banks will come at the end of this week. On Friday, both JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo are set to report. Investors and analysts will be watching for three things in particular: mortgage origination volumes, expense reduction, and trading profits/losses. As I've discussed before, Wells Fargo is particularly important given the fact that it controls roughly a third of the nation's mortgage market.


Beyond earnings season, market participants are still working to parse yesterday evening's remarks by Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve. Despite the abysmal jobs report at the end of last week, Bernanke noted that "The economy is significantly stronger than it was four years ago, although conditions are clearly still far from where we would all like them to be."

And with respect to banks in particular, he said: "The resilience of the U.S. banking system has greatly improved since [2009], and the more intensive use and greater sophistication of supervisory stress testing, as well as supervisors' increased emphasis on the effectiveness of banks' own capital planning processes, deserve some credit for that improvement."

For those hoping that the Fed chairman would signal an end to the central bank's quantitative easing programs, they were left disappointed. It seems safe to assume that banks like Bank of America will continue to struggle against monetary headwinds so long as inflation remains muted and unemployment heightened.

Despite this disappointment, bank stocks are generally up today, with the KBW Bank Index trading higher by 0.7% at the time of writing.

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The article Bank of America Can't Be Kept Down Today originally appeared on Fool.com.

John Maxfield owns shares of Bank of America. The Motley Fool recommends Wells Fargo. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

 

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