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Monthly Archives

August 2014

Be Smart. Be Brave.

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There’s a lot to be said about a person who listens to, adheres by and acts according to their gut. For a lot of us, that gut feeling isn’t enough to make a decision. We need facts. Research. The probability of something bad happening. So we exercise restraint when it comes to our most valued decision‐making assets: our intuition.

When was the last time you made a choice that resulted in something negative? Maybe you took a job opportunity that you thought would pan out differently ‐ even though you had a feeling that it may not be a good idea.

As women, we are the masters of ignoring our gut and instead going with our heads. And as a business owner with a financial practice, I understand that there is a time and a place for using your head over your heart when it comes to help with money. I practice conscious spending for myself and I teach that to my clients. But I also stress the importance of aligning your spending with what’s in your heartspace. Read More

Discover matches American Express as America’s Favorite Credit Card

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news-imageAlmost everyone has a credit card today to help with personal finance, which means some credit cards are going to be better than others. American Express finally has some competition after topping the list of America’s favorite credit cards for the last seven years. Discover tied American Express for the top spot on the list this year, according to J.D. Power’s yearly report on credit card satisfaction.

20,000 credit card customers were surveyed based on their satisfaction of their experience with their card issuer that asked questions on their terms and conditions, interaction with customers, billing and payment policies, rewards programs, resolution of cardholder issues and other services offered. Both companies received scores of 819 out of 1,000.

It seems as though the key to success for both American Express and Discover is extremely effective and accessible customer service, especially when it comes to getting a human representative on the phone, online or via available mobile apps. Across the countries 10 biggest card issuers, the average satisfaction score was 778 this year – a record high that was up from 767 last year.

Much of the increase seen in ratings is likely due to issuers piling on rewards, hoping to differentiate themselves from competitors, says Jim Miller, senior director of banking services at J.D. Power.

Since the pool of creditworthy Americans without a card is growing smaller, issuers need to attract customers away from each other to succeed in growing their customer base. It seems to be working as 10 percent of customers said they switched card issuers this year – up from 8 percent last year.

Tim Hortons Purchased by Burger King

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news-imageIn an effort to keep pace with McDonald’s, American fast food chain, Burger King, has decided to purchase Canada’s favorite coffee shop, Tim Horton’s. The move was finalized early Tuesday for a total sale price of $11.4 billion.

The new corporate headquarters for the fast food giant will be relocated to Canada in an effort to relieve corporate taxes faced in the U.S., which comes under heavy criticism due to loss of revenue for the U.S. government.

The purchase will create the world’s third largest fast food company with approximately $23 billion in sales annually and more than 18,000 locations. Despite this huge acquisition, the chains will operate independently of each other.

Canada’s biggest seller of coffee and doughnuts, Tim Hortons has a cult following that could help boost breakfast sales for Burger King and could also get the burger chain into the grocery selling business by selling packaged coffees at supermarkets in the U.S.

3G Capital, the investment firm that controls Burger King, will retain majority control over the combined company. Help with money needed to finance the transaction will come from one of 3G’s biggest admirer’s, Warren Buffet, who is purchasing $3 billion worth of preferred shares in the new company.

Don’t Be a Slave to Debt

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blog-imageHave you ever noticed how advertisements for credit cards are always so positive? They talk about their zero interest rate and high lines of credit. They entice you with colorful type, glossy paper and a pre-printed plastic card with “preferred customer” displayed in place of a name. And they always talk about how manageable their balance will be. No need to be concerned about your bill getting out of hand; this credit card is better than the others. Less hassle! Better interest rates! A company that cares!

How often have you fallen for that scheme? The pretty paper and encouraging words can be quite the draw, especially when you are in need of some extra cash to help keep your kid in college or to assist in caring for your ailing parent. So you sign up, promising yourself that this time it’ll be different. You’ll pay off the balance at the end of the month. You’ll only use it when you absolutely need it. And you won’t overspend just because you haven’t reached your max yet.

Six months and thousands of dollars later, you find yourself with another five-figure credit card bill and a pit at the bottom of your stomach. How did I end up here again, you ask yourself. Why did I do this? I know better. Read More