Month: March 2015

Avoiding Economic Pitfalls in 2015 Webinar – On-demand

This webinar is now available to watch on-demand. Register to watch the webinar now!

Given the state of the global economy, there is much for planners to take into account when they sit down with their clients in 2015:

  • The end of Australia’s resource boom
  • China’s growth trajectory
  • The future of quantitative easing
  • Falling oil prices
  • International terrorism
  • The patchy recovery in Europe

To help navigate this complex economic landscape, Money Managementand Super Review have brought together some of Australia’s leading business economists to discuss the underlying issues and deliver some solid direction.

Take this rare opportunity to join the conversation with Australias leading business economists on these burning topics:

  • Factors that will play on the performance of the
  • Australian Economy in 2015
  • The Global economy in 2015
  • Possible pitfalls

Guest Economists:Steve HalmarickHead of Economic and Market Research

Head of Economic and Market Research at Colonial First State Global Asset Management
Stephen Halmarick is the Head of Economic and Market Research at Colonial First State Global Asset Management (‘CFSGAM’).

Having over 25 years’ experience as a financial markets economist, Stephen holds a degree in Economics from Macquarie University and a graduate diploma from the Securities Institute of Australia. He is also the current Chairman of the Australian Business Economists (ABE) and has been a member of the ABE Executive Committee for over 15 years.

Stephen WaltersEx-Chief Economist of NAB Capital Markets

Stephen Walters is Chief Economist for JP Morgan Australia. Stephen joined JPMorgan in October 2001 as Senior Economist, and was appointed Chief Economist in August 2004. He heads a team of three economists covering Australia and New Zealand.

Stephen holds a Bachelors degree in economics from the University of Western Australia and a Masters degree in applied finance (Hons) from the University of Melbourne. He also has qualifications in journalism and has published two books. 

Stephen is a member of the NSW State Council of the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), the Executive Committee of the Australian Business Economists (ABE), and the Economists’ Panel for the Australian Financial Markets Association (AFMA).

HostMike TaylorManaging Editor at Cirrus Media: Money Management and Super Review publications

Mike Taylor is Managing Editor of the financial services publications Money Management and Super Review. He has been a journalist for the past 41 years with a career spanning coverage of financial services, federal and state politics and industrial relations.

Dont miss out, register now!


Stocks Landing in the Bullish Zone – Biomed Realty (BMR) E*TRADE Financial …

E*TRADE Financial Corp (NASDAQ:ETFC) declared its Monthly Activity Report for February 2015. Daily Average Revenue Trades (DARTs) for February were 179,420, a four percent increase from January and an 11 percent decrease from the year-ago period. The Company added 37,224 gross new brokerage accounts in February, ending the month with approximately 3.2 million brokerage accounts — an increase of 20,715 from January.

E*TRADE Financial Corp (NASDAQ:ETFC) rose0.35% and closed at $28.38. The 52-week range for the stock is $18.20 and $28.52 and during the previous trading session the stock touched its highest price at $28.52. Its introductory price for the day was $28.06, with the overall traded volume of 1.98 million shares.

How Should Investors React to ETFC Now? Find Out in this Trend Analysis Report

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) reported that it has entered into a new co-brand credit card program agreement with Citi and an acceptance and co-brand incentive agreement with Visa. The implementation of these agreements is subject to the purchase of the existing co-brand credit card portfolio by Citi. Under the terms of the agreements, Citi, the worlds largest issuer of consumer credit cards, would become the exclusive issuer of Costcos co-brand credit cards and Visa will replace American Express as the credit card network for Costco in the United States and Puerto Rico beginning April 1, 2016.

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) gaining 0.3% and closed at $150.03 on a traded volume of 1.97 million shares, in comparison to 2.89 million shares of average trading volume. The company has a total market capitalization of $ 65.99B.

Get a Free Report and Detailed Analysis on COST Click Here to Read

Biogen Idec Inc (NASDAQ:BIIB) and Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB (publ) (Sobi) declared positive top-line results of the Kids B-LONG Phase 3 clinical study that evaluated the safety, efficacy and pharmacokinetics of Alprolix® [Coagulation Factor IX (Recombinant), Fc Fusion Protein] in children under age 12 with severe haemophilia B. Alprolix was generally well tolerated and no inhibitors (neutralising antibodies that may interfere with the activity of the therapy) were detected during the study. In this study, once-weekly prophylactic dosing with Alprolix resulted in low bleeding rates. Alprolix is the only approved hemophilia B therapy with prolonged circulation in the body.

Biogen Idec Inc (NASDAQ:BIIB) surged 1.14% and closed at $426.12 on a traded volume of 1.97 million shares, whereas its average trading volume is 1.44 million shares. The Intra-day range for the stock is $ 417.50 426.48 and Total of 234.56M outstanding shares.

Can BIIB Show a Strong Recovery? Find out in This Research Report

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MSU Extension to hold money management series in Warren

The Michigan State University Extension will hold a free money management series in Warren beginning March 25.

The program will be held over three, two-hour sessions from 6 to 8 pm on March 25, April 1 and April 8 at the Warren City Hall, 1 City Square, Warren.

Topics to be covered include: creating and managing a spending plan; setting SMART goals; cleaning up credit and reducing debt; saving and investing strategies; and selecting financial professionals.

The course is open to people of all income levels. Persons who attend all three sessions will receive a certificate of completion.

Reserve Bank slashes card fees

In a major victory for South African retailers, and possibly consumers, the Reserve Bank has approved changes to the â??card interchange rateâ?, the fees a retailerâ??s bank pays to a cardholderâ??s bank every time a bank card is used at the point of sale.

The changes took effect on 17 March, but have gone largely unnoticed by the market.

The switch from cash payments to card has resulted in a reduction in costs for banks, yet industry insiders say they have not passed on these savings to consumers.

Some of the changes include a reduction in the credit card rate (where both the issuing and acquiring banks are EMV security standard-compliant) from 1,71% to 1,48% of the transaction value. However, in instances where the card is not present, such as in an online transaction, the rate has risen slightly to 1,73% (where both issuer and acquirer comply to 3D Secure security technology).

The fee for offline cheque debit cards and online electronic credit cards has declined from 1,09 % to 0,44%. Online debit cards fees have declined from 0,55 % from 0,48% (assuming 3D Secure compliance by both parties).

â??In essence, the core change was from a regime of three basic rates — credit card, debit card and offline debit/cheque card — to 12 rates at a transactional level,â? explains Payments Association of South Africa (Pasa) CEO Walter Volker.

However, Volker says it is unclear how the reduction in rates will affect retailers and consumers.

â??The extent to which the new rates will be passed through to the various merchants is in the competitive domain, and will determined by factors such as risk profile, volumes and values, and type of business,â? he says.

The estimated loss to banks, according to Volker, is about R2bn/year.

First National Bank has welcomed the reduction in fees, saying it should result in â??lower costs to retailersâ?, which should stimulate increased card payment acceptance in South Africa. This will â??drive increased transaction volumes via point of saleâ?.

FNB says consumers should benefit from greater access to card payments and lower costs to retailers, who should ultimately pass on the benefits to consumers in the form of lower prices.

However, evidence from other countries suggests retailers do not always pass on the savings to consumers, but rather use it to shore up profits.

Banks may also find it difficult to sustain low transaction fees for debit cards and may need to curtail loyalty programmes.

The European parliament this month also voted to reduce the interchange fees for consumer debit and credit card payments.

The new regulations cap interchange fees at 0,2% of the transaction value for consumer debit cards and at 0,3% for consumer credit cards. The regulations still have to be approved.

However, the proposed fees are significantly lower than the ones South African banks charge, even after the cuts.

The new interchange rates are standard across all banks and their implementation is managed by Pasa.  —  2015 NewsCentral Media

Stocks under Bearish Claws – La Quinta (LQ), Infosys Ltd (INFY), Costco …

Tricentis, a global leader in enterprise software testing solutions that accelerate business innovation, recently declared a partnership with Infosys Ltd ADR (NYSE:INFY), a global leader in consulting, technology, outsourcing and next-generation services, to optimize quality assurance (QA) strategy and execution for enterprises worldwide. According to analysts, companies spend over $60B per year or 23% of their IT budget on QA and testing. As part of this agreement, Tricentis and Infosys will work together to create automated QA and testing solutions that will significantly reduce this burden for enterprises.

Infosys Ltd ADR (NYSE:INFY) was moving downward during the previous trading session. The company traded with the decline -0.06% and closed at $35.21, after total volume of 1.47 million shares, as compared to average volume of 2.22 million shares.  During last trade its minimum price was $25.03 and it gained its highest price of $37.28. It’s while its beta value stands at 1.24 times.

How Should Investors React to INFY Now? Find Out in this Trend Analysis Report

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) revealed that it has entered into a new co-brand credit card program agreement with Citi and an acceptance and co-brand incentive agreement with Visa. The implementation of these agreements is subject to the purchase of the existing co-brand credit card portfolio by Citi. Under the terms of the agreements, Citi, the worlds largest issuer of consumer credit cards, would become the exclusive issuer of Costcos co-brand credit cards and Visa will replace American Express as the credit card network for Costco in the United States and Puerto Rico beginning April 1, 2016.

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) moved down during the previous trading session, traded with a down -0.11% and closed at $149.28, after total volume of 1.47 million shares, as compared to average volume of 2.98 million shares.  Its opening price was $149.09.It has total market capitalization of $ 65.68B and a total of 439.97M outstanding shares.

Get a Free Report and Detailed Analysis on COST Click Here to Read

Comerica Incorporated (NYSE:CMA) stated that after the Federal Reserve had completed its 2015 Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR), it did not object to the Comerica capital plan and capital distributions contemplated in the plan.

Increased the Companys quarterly dividend to $0.21 per common share, a 5 percent increase over the current dividend rate. The dividend proposal will be considered by the Board at its next scheduled meeting on April 28, 2015. Equity repurchases up to $393 million for the five-quarter period commencing in the second quarter 2015 and ending in the second quarter 2016.

Comerica Incorporated (NYSE:CMA) closed latest trading day at $45.99, down -1.90%, on volume of over 1.47 million shares. Its average trading volume is 1.69 million shares. In the time frame of the last one month, the share-price has dropped almost -0.93%. Its market capitalization was $ 8.20B

Can CMA Show a Strong Recovery? Find out in This Research Report is a Stock newsletter website that provides free daily alerts on hot Moving stocks. To join and start receiving our FREE e-mail alerts and newsletter, please visit: To receive real-time SMS alerts, Just Text The Word Elite To 555888 From Your Cell Phone.

Paying Money-Management Fees From Your IRA

I may turn my IRA over to a money manager who charges a 1%
annual fee. Can that money come directly from the IRA without
triggering taxes or a penalty? I am under 59½.

Jobs for Life classes teach money management…

The Thursday night Rusk City Council meeting heard from Jason Hoffman, Tree of Promise Director about the possible approval of the resolution 380 agreement. The Tree of Promise is a non-profit organization that partners with the business community, educational system, municipalities and area churches to strengthen families and build a better community. Mr.


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Cap on card fees to ‘save millions’

The c-store sector could “save millions” after a European-wide decision to cap credit and debit card processing fees.

The European Parliament voted by a large majority to limit the fees charged to retailers by banks to 0.2% for debit card transactions and to 0.3% for credit card transactions.

“We are pleased the European Parliament has backed these regulations, which will save the convenience sector millions and make the card charge retailers face much more manageable,” said James Lowman, chief executive at the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS).

The ACS said Visa charges about 8p per debit card and 0.77% of the transaction value for consumer credit cards. Mastercard typically charges 7p to 11p on debit cards and 0.8% for standard credit cards.

Ken Parsons, chief executive at the Rural Shops Alliance, said it was unclear what the long-term implications would be as it was likely the bigger retailers would benefit most from the move as credit and debit cards were used less often in local shops.

David Mann at the price comparison site said that experiences in other countries with caps on fees showed retailers tended not to pass on savings to shoppers.

The new rules should come into force this autumn.

Source: Independent Retail News

US bank Wells Fargo to cap use of subprime auto loans

One of the US biggest banks, Wells Fargo, has said it will cap the amount of money it lends as subprime auto loans, according to the New York Times.

Subprime loans, which are unsecured loans given at higher rates to people with tarnished credit, have been growing in recent years, despite the bad reputation created by subprime mortgages in the financial crisis.

  • Republicans gutting Dodd-Frank as Wall St. goes subprime again
  • Car buyers say dealerships duped them over TDs costly loans

According to Equifax, subprime car loans totalled $129.5 billion US in the first 11 months of 2014, as many US workers struggled to buy cars so they could take on jobs in a recovering economy.

Wells Fargo has been bundling and selling such loans as securities to investorsand other banks are also active in the same sector.

Now Wells Fargo said it will limit subprime borrowers to 10 per cent of its auto loans, which totalled $29.9 billion last year.

The move reflects growing concern that the predominance of subprime loans in the auto sector is a sign of lax lending practices.

It has already drawn the attention of regulators, who are investigating whether banks or auto dealerships are bending the rules to loan to customers with bad credit risk.

The subprime auto sector is much smaller than the subprime mortgage debacle which brought down the banks in 2008, however it still presents a risk, regulators and analysts say.

Top Financial Planning Colleges

All major professions have top colleges and universities associated with the respective disciplines. But while law schools and medical schools have origins dating back to the 18th century, financial planning academia is far greener by comparison. But first, let’s hark back to 1969, when there were no financial planning schools to speak of, at all. A group of 13 industrious financial services experts convened in Chicago to launch a credentialing organization they dubbed The College for Financial Planning. This membership group served to certify qualified financial professionals with a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation, and later developed a board of trustees for the purposes of certifying university curricula, based on course content, codes of ethics, testing scores other factors. (For more, see: The Alphabet Soup of Financial Certifications.)

Today, there are 333 CFP board-registered programs, including 183 certificate programs, 103 undergraduate programs, 41 masters tracks and a half dozen PhD programs. Enrollment in these programs has climbed a whopping 10%, over the last five years. With such a dramatic increase in academic activity in the field, choosing where to matriculate can be daunting. Breaking it down, here are 10 of the most promising institutions, according to industry leaders and veteran planners. (For more, see: Want to be a Financial Planner? Click Here.)

Baylor University (Waco, Texas)

  • CFP Board-registered programs: 1
  • Enrollment: 20
  • Tuition: $30,600 a year
  • Noted for: Undergraduate and grad students gain practical experience in helping run the schools $5.2 million investment funds–one of the biggest student run funds in the country.

Fairleigh Dickinson University (Teaneck, NJ)

  • CFP Board-registered programs: 1
  • Enrollment: 150
  • Tuition: $5,995
  • Noted for: Although there is no Financial Planning Association (FPA) chapter at this school, the University makes up for it with a FPA of New Jersey-sponsored career fair to tee students up for employment. (For more, see: Introduction to Financial Planning Organizations.)

University of Georgia (Athens, Ga.)

  • CFP Board-registered programs: 5
  • Enrollment: 118
  • Tuition: Graduate tuition per semester for in state: $3,600; out of state: $10,950. Undergraduate in state: $3,641; $12,746 non resident.
  • Noted for: Students are mandated to work many hours in providing tax preparation for members of the community to gain direct client contact and experience busy season work environments.

Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, La.)

  • CFP Board-registered programs (online and in person): 2
  • Enrollment: 29
  • Tuition: For Louisiana residents, full-time tuition is $3,940 per semester; its $12,899 per semester for non residents.
  • Note for: A strong relationship with the Financial Planning Association of Baton Rouge, which includes a student member on its board. (For more, see: Is a Career in Financial Planning in Your Future?)

Colorado State University (Fort Collins, Co.)

  • CFP Board-registered program: 1–Bachelor of Science in business administration with a finance concentration option.
  • Enrollment: 50
  • Tuition: $9,313 a year for a Colorado resident, $25,166 for an out-of-state student.
  • Noted for: Members of Financial Planning Association of Colorado mentor financial planning students, to increase their chances of passing.

Depaul University (Chicago)

  • CFP Board-registered programs: 9
  • Enrollment: 150 to 200
  • Tuition: $5,400
  • Noted for: Faculty comprises local CFPs who can help students with job placement after graduating. (For more, see: Financial Certifications with the Best ROI.)

Utah Valley University (Orem, Utah)

  • CFP Board-registered programs: 1
  • Enrollment: 35
  • Tuition: $2,300 a semester in state; $6,740 out of state.
  • Noted for: Faculty from multiple disciplines such as behavioral sciences, finance and legal services, all contribute to teaching the curriculum.

William Paterson University (Wayne, NJ) (for certificate program, click here.)

  • CFP Board-registered programs: 2: undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Business Administration/financial planning and certificate program.
  • Enrollment: 30
  • Tuition: $5,732 a semester in state; $9,314 out of state; certificate program is $4,600, including textbooks.
  • Noted for: Students receive unique exposure to a variety of perspectives from monthly Financial Planning Association guest lectures. (For more, see: The Best Training Programs for CFP Exams.)

San Diego State University (San Diego)

  • CFP Board-registered programs: 3
  • Enrollment: 110
  • Tuition: BS: $3,289 per semester in state, $8,869 out of state; MS: $6,970 per semester in state, $11,434 out of state; executive financial planner advanced certificate: $7,416 total cost, including books. (For more, see: Outside-the-Box Financial Strategies to Pay for College.)
  • Noted for: One of the oldest Financial Planning programs, dating back to 1980.

Texas Tech University (Lubbock, Texas)

  • CFP Board-registered programs: 11, from undergraduate to PhD, including minors and dual graduate degrees in financial planning and business or law.
  • Enrollment: 280
  • Tuition: Undergraduate, per semester, in state: $3,690; out of state: $7,446; graduate, per semester, in state: $4,290; out of state: $8,046.
  • Noted for: Mandatory 300-hour internships help undergrads prepare for real-world experiences.

The Bottom Line

There are a myriad of CFP board-registered programs to choose from. Some of the best and most well known, outlined in this article, may help narrow down the choices if you are a financial planner seeking higher education. (For more, see: The Best Schools for Financial Planning.)