Money Wisdom & Musings

Here's your source for thoughts and observations on all things financial (and otherwise). Topics can range from tips on your personal well being to the well being of your investments. As always, we welcome your comments and feedback.

“Hi Handsome…What’s your credit score?”

Posted by Jill Boynton on June 12, 2014

A recent study by Experian Consumer Services indicates that credit scores were important when choosing a mate for half of married adults. 95% of participants rated “financial responsibility” more important than “career ambition” or “physical attractiveness.”  The survey shows that, when asked about the importance of having similar goals, financial compatibility ranked higher than sex…

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Meaningful gift that makes a difference

Posted by Mackenzie Arsenault on May 19, 2014

Not sure what to get the person who has everything? Try giving a Charity Gift Card, it works like a gift card but instead of purchasing items in stores, the recipient 'spends' the card online by selecting from 300+ charities. Visit for more information. 

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Here They Go Again

Posted by Susan Veligor on May 5, 2014

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal reported on big banks maneuverings around the pending “bank swaps” regulation. Swaps are derivative instruments whose purpose is to transfer risk to a third party. The new regulation is intended to make swaps activity more transparent and to protect the US financial system from banks amassing huge derivatives positions in non U.S. markets. The…

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Tax refunds: wise strategy or poor planning?

Posted by Jill Boynton on April 10, 2014

If you are like many Americans you held your breath when you finished filling out your tax return this year, hoping for a refund (and if you haven’t finished your return yet, save this blog for after April 15th.) After completing all the forms you look at the bottom line and…great news! The IRS owes you money! But is this really a good financial strategy? First of all yes, of course it’s…

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Do Your Emotions Affect Your Ability to Make Sound Decisions?

Posted by Susan Veligor on March 5, 2014

With permission from Dr. Moira Sumers, C.Psych, here is a link to a great article from her "Money, Mind and Meaning" blog page about how your emotions can sometimes lead you astray when making sound decisions. The piece is titled, My Dog, The Quaker - A Lesson in Neuroeconomics. Enjoy!

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It's all in your head

Posted by Jill Boynton on February 14, 2014

Carl Richards has a knack for simplifying a concept. He creates back-of-the-napkin drawings that explain stock market concepts so simply and elegantly that you can't miss the message. His latest blog, about how investors tend to buy when prices are high and sell when prices are low is not to be missed. The real message of the piece is that good investing is not about knowing more about finance…

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Be romantic, but practical

Posted by Jill Boynton on February 7, 2014

Valentine’s Day will be here shortly and with it many happy new brides-to-be.  If you are planning on proposing to your beloved and have gone shopping for a ring, you will want to protect your investment even before you pop the question. As soon as you’ve purchased a ring get a written appraisal.  This can come from the store at which you purchased the ring or from another jeweler.  Use…

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How to Best Meet a Goal

Posted by Susan Veligor on January 23, 2014

Recently I was speaking with Mandy Schumaker, a Portland-based small business coach. One of the primary benefits of working with a coach is the accountability factor; that is, when you set a goal for yourself it is more likely to come to fruition if you have a partner of sorts to whom you must report. Related to this, Mandy shared some probability statistics with me from the American Society of…

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Year-end charitable gifting ideas

Posted by Jill Boynton on December 4, 2013

Thinking of making some year-end charitable gifts? Instead of giving cash consider donating stocks that you own with a low cost basis. Maybe you have stock you inherited years ago, or bought at the market lows in 2008 and you’re sitting on some hefty gains. You are probably not relishing the idea of a big capital gain when you sell it. You can bypass that headache by donating the stock directly…

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Cost of Thanksgiving Dinner Goes Down

Posted by Jill Boynton on November 17, 2013

When you are sitting around the Thanksgiving table this year, give thanks that the cost of the dinner you are about to eat actually went down from last year. The American Farm Bureau Federation, which publishes an informal price survey of items found in a classic Thanksgiving dinner, estimate the average cost of dinner for 10 people to be $49.04. This is down $0.44 from last year. The AFBF prices…

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