Economic Perspectives with Hopeton Hay on KAZI 88.7 FM in Austin, TX

Archive for the ‘Budgeting’ Category

Breaking the Chains of Financial Enslavement, and Smart Refueling Focus of March 21st Economic Perspectives

Posted by nchanel on March 19, 2011

Hopeton Hay interviews Rev. Dr. DeForest B. Soaries, author of dfree: Breaking Free from Financial Slavery, on Economic Perspectives on Monday, March 21st, at 5:30pm. Listen live at KAZI 88.7 FM Austin or online here: KAZIFM.org. He will also interview Ann Koerner, Director of Consumer Product for MapQuest on their new initiative to help consumers find low gas prices.

In his book Dr. Soaries details what is means to be debt free. Dfree motivates and teaches people to live without debt, pay their bills on time and live within their means. The book claims financial freedom by making it popular to pursue economic freedom. This claim is presented in four levels – Level I: Get Started; Level II: Get Control; Level III: Get Ahead and Level IV: Give Back. Dr. Soaries developed dfree™ as a response to the culture of debt, specifically among african americans. It is a four- prong strategy to help individuals, families and organizations overcome the culture of debt and attain financial self-sufficiency.

Dr. Soaries is the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey. In addition to his pastoral duties, he has served as New Jersey’s 30th Secretary of State making him the first African-American male to serve as a constitutional officer of the state. He is also former chairman of the United States Election Assistance Commission. Dr. Soaries was featured on the CNN broadcast Black in America…Almighty Debt. Dr. Soaries will be speaking at Greater Mt Zion for a financial summit on March 26th and 27th.

Also featured, Ann Koerner is one of the company’s key strategists. She oversees MapQuest.com developments, as well as the micro site development for features such as gasprices.mapquest.com. Koerner will discuss MapQuest initiative to make the pain at the pump a lot less painful.

MapQuest helps drivers find the lowest prices on gas and keep an eye on fuel costs with tools found at gasprices.mapquest.com.  These tools lay the groundwork for consumers to save money every day with simple, smart ways to conveniently find the cheapest gas prices in their area or around their destination.  Additionally, MapQuest offers a free, voice-guided navigation app for both iPhone and Android users, which can save drivers money on expensive devices and subscription fees.

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LISTEN TO – Young Money Today: Getting Wheels with Elzie Felton

Posted by nchanel on January 23, 2011

For most young adults the first biggest purchase is not a new home, but a new or used car. We have been driving around in our parents old cars, or even worse grandparents old cars and now it is time to get moving on our own wheels.

When I was in college I had a 1996 green Mitshubushi Eclipse with almost 300k miles on it!! Thats Three-Hundred Thousand MILES!

So, I know that getting rid of your old car and finally purchasing a new one is more than just exciting. It is huge step up in the world, and the tells people that you are invested in your future.

I also know that getting the best deal as a young adult without much credit history is a very daunting task.

Young Money Today featured an interview with Elzie Felton of My Car Consulting. He gave us tips on how to purchase a new or used vehicle and how he can help.  To listen to the interview click here: YMT Jan 24,2011-Elzie Felton

Posted in Budgeting, Interview, Radio | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Financing Small Business, Real Cost of Living Focus of January 10 Economic Perspectives

Posted by Hopeton on January 9, 2011

Jimmy Henry and Lloyd Herbert will discuss Prairie View A & M’s Cooperative Extension Program’s Financing for Your Small Business workshop on the January 10 edition of Economic Perspectives on KAZI 88.7 FM, 5:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.  Listen live online on kazifm.org.  Other guests include Carmen Wong Ulrich, author of The Real Cost of Living, and Nikki Green will have the latest segment of Young Money Today focusing on student loans.

The Financing Your Small Business workshop will be held January 20, 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the Carver Library, 1165 Angelina Street, Austin, Texas.  The workshop will cover  how to borrow $500 – $100,000 from AccionTexas, the largest microlender in the nation.  The workshop will also provide information on how to start a small business and how to make money selling to the government.

In The Real Cost of Living, well-known personal finance expert Carmen Wong Ulrich makes personal finance personal and takes into account that we all have motivations that go way beyond number crunching. From marriage and family to career, investing, and more, Carmen examines the “real cost” of the choices we all make every day.

Carmen Wong Ulrich is an expert contributor to The Dr. Oz Show and Glamour‘s personal finance columnist. She is the former host of CNBC’s daily personal finance show On the Money and can be seen regularly on Today, MSNBC, and Extra.

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Financial Literacy and Education Commission Launches Enhanced Web Site for Financial Literacy

Posted by Hopeton on April 30, 2010

The U.S. Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC) announced the launch of its redesigned financial literacy education website, www.MyMoney.gov. The new site has enhanced interactive features and utility to provide more resources to Americans seeking information that can inform their personal financial decisions.  President Obama recently proclaimed April to be National Financial Literacy Month, and this enhanced online offering is just one of the many steps the Administration is taking to expand financial education and access for the future.

“As America recovers from the most severe financial crisis since the Great Depression, it’s critical that we strengthen every aspect of our financial system. That means not only strong reforms and consumer protections, but also improved financial literacy and access,” said Treasury Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin. “Financial education and access is a priority for this Administration, and we’re pleased to provide this critical resource to help Americans find free, reliable and unbiased information that can help inform their daily financial decisions and plan for the future.”

The new MyMoney.gov creates an online point of access to financial information from the 21 Federal agencies, departments and bureaus that comprise the FLEC.   Users will be able to find information about how to plan for a host of life events that have financial implications, such as birth or adoption of a child, home ownership, or retirement. They can also find information targeted to their personal or professional situation. For instance, the site includes resources for teachers, service members, women, parents, youth, employers, and more.  The site also provides money management tools including a financial savings calculator, worksheets for establishing a household budget and a college preparation checklist, among others.  The site is also available in Spanish. The effort to make the website as helpful and useful to Americans will be ongoing, with improvements expected to continue.

The web site was made possible by the Financial Literacy and Education Commission, which was established under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003. The Commission was tasked to develop a national financial education web site along with a hotline (1-888-My Money) and a national strategy on financial education. It is chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury and made up of the heads of 20 additional federal agencies.  The Commission is coordinated by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Financial Education.

For details, go to www.MyMoney.gov

Posted in Budgeting, financial literacy | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Texas Received “D” for Financial Stability of Families

Posted by Hopeton on April 7, 2010

When it comes to achieving financial stability, Texans face serious barriers, according to a report released by the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), a national economic nonprofit. The state earned a “D” on the 2009‐2010 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard, with Texas trailing behind the rest of the country in health care, education and asset‐building policies and outcomes, though it does show potential for improvement in many areas.

CFED’s Assets & Opportunity Scorecard—online at scorecard.cfed.org—measures the financial security of families in the United States by looking beyond just income to the whole picture of building ownership and protecting against financial setbacks. The Scorecard ranks the 50 states and the District of Columbia on 58 performance measures in the areas of Financial Assets & Income, Businesses & Jobs, Housing & Homeownership, Health Care and Education.

While Texas performed well in some housing indicators and ranked in the top 10 in important measures including net worth by race, income by race and asset poverty by race, it ranks 48th in overall net worth and 41st in unbanked households. The state must also address its “D” grades in Health Care and Education. As the nation takes on comprehensive health care reform, Texas ranks 51st in both total uninsured rate and percentage of uninsured low‐income parents, as well as 50th in percentage of uninsured low‐income children. And the state performs far behind the rest of the nation in key education measures, ranking 51st in high school degree attainment and 49th in Head Start coverage.

“The Scorecard provides a broad picture of how families stand, and what it tells us is that many American households were already very vulnerable economically going into this recession,” said CFED President Andrea Levere. “It also shows state by state what is being done to address these vulnerabilities, and while many states are taking some action, in most cases they haven’t been putting a very strong commitment into their efforts.”

The Scorecard also assesses states on the strength of its policies to help families build financial security. The Scorecard includes a detailed look of state‐by‐state information on 12 policy priorities, as well as information on 23 additional policies. Together, these policies provide a comprehensive picture of what states can do to help residents build and protect assets.

The Scorecard notes that Texas’ policymakers have significant opportunities to support the financial well­being of their constituents. Texas’ asset poverty is particularly striking; to address its low net worth and high asset poverty rate, Texas should promote financial security through investments including matched Children’s Savings Accounts, Individual Development Accounts and Community Tax Centers. To address its high rate of uninsured residents, Texas should expand eligibility standards for working poor parent Texans in public insurance, and increase enrollment of currently eligible Texans in public health insurance by reducing barriers to enrollment and renewal. To address financial abuses, the state should also provide regulatory oversight for credit service organizations offering payday and automobile title loans and enforce sound underwriting standards for all credit and mortgage products. Of the 12 policy priorities, Texas currently has taken action on six of them, with only one state policy rated strong or very strong by the Scorecard.

“If Texas were a nation, its economy would rank 12th by GDP. Texas must be bold in advancing asset‐building policies to enable more residents to achieve financial stability and prosperity,” says Alfreda Norman, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Nationally, the Scorecard notes that even before the current recession, economic vulnerability was growing, especially among low‐and middle‐income families. Among the findings:

  • While U.S. households overall registered a 27% increase in net worth between 2004 and 2006, median net worth fell over that period for the 40% of U.S. households earning less than $37,000 a year.
  • The number of individuals with employer‐provided health insurance fell sharply, to 60.9% from 63.2%, leaving more families vulnerable and financially unprepared for health emergencies.
  • The median amount of revolving debt, including credit card debt, rose 64% between 2006 and 2008 from $1,805 to $2,960.
  • Slightly more than 12% of households live below the federal income poverty line, but nearly double that amount (22.5%) are asset poor, meaning they have insufficient assets to keep them out of poverty for three months in the event of job loss. Over 14% of American households live in extreme asset poverty, meaning they have zero or negative net worth.

Top performers on the 2009‐2010 Scorecard—those states that earned an overall “A” in performance measures—include Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming.

For more information and to access the Assets & Opportunity Scorecard, visit scorecard.cfed.org.

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President Obama’s Proclamation for National Financial Literacy Month

Posted by Hopeton on April 5, 2010

In recent years, our Nation’s financial system has grown increasingly complex. This has left too many Americans behind, unable to build a secure financial future for themselves and their families. For many, financial literacy can mean economic prosperity and protection against fraud and predatory banking practices. During National Financial Literacy Month, we recommit to teaching ourselves and our children about the basics of financial education.

President Barack Obama

Our recent economic crisis was the result of both irresponsible actions on Wall Street, and everyday choices on Main Street. Large banks speculated recklessly without regard for the consequences, and other firms invented and sold complex financial products to conceal risks and escape scrutiny. At the same time, many Americans took out loans they could not afford or signed contracts without fully understanding the terms. Ensuring this crisis never happens again will require new rules to protect consumers and better information to empower them.

The new Consumer Financial Protection Agency I have proposed will ensure ordinary Americans get clear and concise financial information. We must put an end to confusing loan contracts, hidden fees attached to mortgages, and unfair penalties that appear without warning on bank statements. The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 began reining in some of these deceptive tactics when it recently took effect. The President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability is also looking for new ways to help individuals make informed decisions and to educate our children on core financial competencies.

While our Government has a critical role to play in protecting consumers and promoting financial literacy, we are each responsible for understanding basic concepts: how to balance a checkbook, save for a child’s education, steer clear of deceptive financial products and practices, plan for retirement, and avoid accumulating excessive debts. To learn more, visit: MyMoney.gov or call toll-free 1-888-MyMoney for helpful guidance and resources.

Our Nation’s future prosperity depends on the financial security of all Americans. This month, let us each take time to improve our own financial knowledge and share that knowledge with our children. Together, we can prevent another crisis and rebuild our economy on a stronger, more balanced foundation.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2010 as National Financial Literacy Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month with programs and activities to improve their understanding of financial principles and practices.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this second day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.

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Personal Finance & Selling to Corporate Executives Focus of April 26 Economic Perspectives

Posted by Hopeton on March 13, 2010

Economic Perspectives will feature two guests on the April 26 edition.  Christine Benz, author of 30-Minute Money Solutions, will be the guest on the first segment and Nicholas Read, author of Selling to the C-Suite will be the guest on the second segment.  Information on both guests is below. Listen live online at kazifm.org.

Christine Benz, author of 30-Minute Money Solutions: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Your Finances is the first guest for the April 26 edition of Economic Perspectives on KAZI 88.7 FM, 5:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. central time. 

In her book, Benz:

  • Lays out the tools to get organized, including setting up a system for tracking your money and important financial documents, setting financial goals, and developing a budget and financial plan
  • Shows you how to match the right investments to your goals, whether you’re just making your first investment or have an established portfolio of securities, using time-tested investment strategies and Morningstar insights
  • Coaches you on tackling other important tasks for a healthy financial life, such as estate planning and managing your taxes

Christine Benz is Director of Personal Finance for Morningstar. She is also editor of the monthly newsletter Morningstar® PracticalFinance and writes a weekly column on Morningstar’s popular Web site, Morningstar.com. Benz is coauthor of Morningstar® Guide to Mutual Funds: 5-Star Strategies for Success and is author of the book’s second edition. Before assuming her current role in 2008, Benz served as Morningstar’s director of mutual fund analysis. She has also served as editor of Morningstar® FundInvestor, a monthly newsletter for individual investors.

Nicholas Read, co-author of Selling to the C-Suite, is the guest on the 2nd segment of the April 26 edition of Economic Perspectives on KAZI 88.7 FM.

Selling to the C-Suite is based on the result of a 10-year global study by Read and his co-author, Stephen Bistritz, to learn how executives get involved in the corporate buying cycle, and what salespeople need to do to become trusted advisors at that level.  With 60 years combined experience selling to corporations around the world, Read and Bistritz conducted in-depth interviews with executive-level decision makers of more than 500 organizations. One of the key things they learned might surprise you: Leaders at the highest corporate levels don’t avoid sales pitches; in fact, they welcome them – provided the salesperson approaches them the right way. Inside this invaluable book, these CEOs reveal exactly which sales techniques they react best to, as well as those you should avoid.

Read is president of SalesLabs, which helps companies drive predictable and repeatable revenue growth through the application of improved process, measurement, and skills. In 2005, he was awarded Winner of the Best Sales Trainer category in the International Business Awards, an annual awards show that has been dubbed “the business world’s own Oscars” by the New York Post.

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Author of “In Cheap We Trust” Guest on December 28 Economic Perspectives

Posted by Hopeton on December 17, 2009

Note: Weber was scheduled for December 21, but a miscommunication resulted in the interview not being conducted.  We apologize for the mishap.  Weber will definitely be on Economic Perspectives December 28.

Cheap suit. Cheap date. Cheap shot. It’s a dirty word, an epithet laden with negative meanings. It is also the story of Lauren Weber’s life. As a child, she resented her father for keeping the heat at 50 degrees through the frigid New England winters and rarely using his car’s turn signals-to keep them from burning out. But as an adult, when she found herself walking 30 blocks to save $2 on subway fare, she realized she had turned into him.  Lauren Weber, author of In Cheap We Trust, is the December 28 guest on Economic Perspectives on KAZI 88.7 FM.  You can listen live to the interview online at http://www.live365.com/stations/kazifm?site=pro&play.

In this lively treatise on the virtues of being cheap, Weber explores provocative questions about Americans’ conflicted relationship with consumption and frugality. Why do we ridicule people who save money? Where’s the boundary between thrift and miserliness? Is thrift a virtue or a vice during a recession? And was it common sense or obsessive-compulsive disorder that made her father ration the family’s toilet paper?

In answering these questions, In Cheap We Trust offers a colorful ride through the history of frugality in the United States. Readers will learn the stories behind Ben Franklin and his famous maxims, Hetty Green (named “the world’s greatest miser” by the Guinness Book of Records) and the stereotyping of Jewish and Chinese immigrants as cheap.

Lauren Weber, photo by Isabelle

Weber also explores contemporary expressions and dilemmas of thrift. From Dumpster-diving to economist John Maynard Keynes’s “Paradox of Thrift” to today’s recession-driven enthusiasm for frugal living, In Cheap We Trust teases out the meanings of cheapness and examines the wisdom and pleasures of not spending every last penny.

Lauren Weber was formerly a staff reporter at Reuters and Newsday. She has also written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, American Banker, and other publications. Weber has a masters degree in business journalism from Baruch College, and was a Knight-Bagehot fellow, a fellowship that invites 10 business journalists each year to study finance and economics at Columbia’s Graduate School of Business. Since 2007 she’s been working on her book full-time and trying to live as cheaply as possible.

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