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Experienced financial professional shares reader-friendly guide to economics, finance

 In “The Most Important Lessons in Economics and Finance,” Dr. Anthony M. Criniti IV uncovers the time-tested secrets of wealth management

PHILADELPHIA – In “The Necessity of Finance” he laid a foundation, introducing readers to the characteristics of the economic and financial worlds. Now, after multiple requests, Dr. Anthony M. Criniti IV is back with a follow-up book, “The Most Important Lessons in Economics and Finance” (ISBN 0988459523), uncovering the most significant truths of these two important sciences.

Dr. Criniti knows that reading these principles alone is not enough to master them; after many years of experience in the financial field, he knows that you must incorporate the lessons into your life while making the decision to take control of your own wealth—a process that can take a long time. But this helpful guide provides the best place to start, particularly for advanced level students and professionals who have already read “The Necessity of Finance.”

Through incorporating and summarizing the teachings of some of history’s top contributors to these two sciences, Dr. Criniti draws upon a wealth of experience to pass these lessons on to the next generation of practitioners in the worlds of economics and finance.

“I give these lessons to you from the bottom of my heart, with the best intentions, to reveal the secrets of two of the most important sciences….Mastery may take decades, but choosing not to try to master your own wealth can result in harsh consequences, as noted in my previous work,” says author Dr. Criniti.

The Most Important Lessons in Economics and Finance” is available for sale online at Amazon.com and other channels.

About the Author:

DR. ANTHONY M. CRINITI IV is a former financial consultant and a current professor of finance at several universities. He earned a PhD in applied management and decision sciences, with a concentration in finance. A native of Philadelphia, he has also received many financially related designations, including CHFC, CLU, REBC, and RHU. Dr. Criniti is an active investor and has traveled the world studying various aspects of finance. He is also the author of the acclaimed finance book, The Necessity of Finance. Finally, Dr. Criniti has just released his new book, The Most Important Lessons in Economics and Finance.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Dr. Anthony M. Criniti IV

E-mail               info@learn-about-finance.com

Web:                https://learn-about-finance.com/

REVIEW COPIES AND INTERVIEWS MAY BE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

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No Silver Spoon: Most Millionaires Credit Hard Work And Smart Saving As Keys To Financial Success

– Few Gain Wealth Through Inheritance Or Spouse, PNC Survey Finds –

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 21, 2014, Most American millionaires cite smart saving over investment choices as the key ingredient to their financial success and very few have benefited from inheritance or a rich spouse, according to the PNC Wealth and Values Survey.

Saving early and regularly is named most often (56 percent) as the personal decision that most influenced their financial success, according to the survey by PNC Wealth Management, a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). Controlling spending (38 percent) and making good investment decisions (38 percent) were next, while “earning a lot of money” is fourth on the list, mentioned by 26 percent. Even fewer cite an inheritance (12 percent) or marrying someone with money (3 percent) as significant.

Asked to rank the greatest influences, two-thirds (65 percent) said “hard work” followed by good decisions (16 percent), discipline (8 percent) and luck (7 percent).

“For individuals who aspire to be millionaires, the survey results are positive.  The most likely path to building wealth is not through inheritance, marriage or luck,” said Joseph Jennings, director of investments for PNC Wealth Management.  “Most of the millionaires surveyed have controlled their own destiny by working hard and saving early and regularly.  These are personal choices over which we all have control.  This indicates that the ‘American dream’ is still very much alive.”

Other Findings
The seeds of success were planted early for most American millionaires, but they have yielded an outcome that goes beyond what they expected. Three out of four (76 percent) expected as they were growing up that they would be successful financially but most (81 percent) express pleasant surprise at the scale of their success.

Slightly more than one third (36 percent) have accumulated at least $1 million within the last decade, with the same number (36 percent) having done so within the past 10-20 years.  Fewer than one in three (28 percent) have had at least this much money for more than 20 years.

Most millionaires (53 percent) say that whatever financial acumen they have is largely self-taught, but the vast majority (77 percent) now work with a financial professional to help manage their wealth. For most, the relationship is very much a collaboration; fewer either delegate most decisions to their advisors or rely solely on their own judgment.

American millionaires report that now they are more at peace and enjoying life more, whereas 10 years ago they were much more likely to be pushing to achieve more.

Most have been able to move beyond a concern about saving enough for retirement (a key priority now for just 8 percent) or paying down debt (a priority for just 2 percent). Now they are most concentrated on having enough money to live comfortably in retirement (the top concern for 57 percent).

Preservation of capital continues to be the main focus for this group, cited more than twice as often (51 percent) as accumulation (23 percent) as a major concern.

An online media kit containing survey highlights and background information are available on PNC’s website at http://www.pnc.com/pncpresskits.

The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (www.pnc.com) is one of the nation’s largest diversified financial services organizations providing retail and business banking; residential mortgage banking; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. Follow @PNCNews on Twitter for breaking news, updates and announcements from PNC.

Survey Methodology
The Wealth and Values Survey was commissioned by PNC to identify attitudes about wealth among high-net-worth individuals, how it affects their lives and their needs in managing wealth. Artemis Strategy Group conducted the online survey in September and October 2013, 923 interviews were completed nationally including 473 with assets of $1 million or more, including 169 with $% million or more. Sampling error for 473 respondents is +/- 4.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. DISCLAIMER: This report was prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as specific advice or recommendations. Any reliance upon this information is solely and exclusively at your own risk.

The survey was designed and managed by HNW, Inc. (www.hnw.com), an integrated marketing and technology firm with a focus on financial services and understanding and connecting with the affluent. The survey was supported by Artemis Strategy Group (www.ArtemisSG.com), a communications strategy research firm specializing in brand positioning and policy issues.

This report has been prepared for general informational purposes only and is not intended as specific advice or recommendations. Information has been gathered from third party sources and has not been independently verified or accepted by The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. PNC makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of the information, assumptions, analyses or conclusions presented in the report. PNC cannot be held responsible for any errors or misrepresentations contained in the report or in the information gathered from third party sources. Any reliance upon the information provided in the report is solely and exclusively at your own risk.

CONTACT:

Alan Aldinger
(412) 768-3711
alan.aldinger@pnc.com

SOURCE:

PNC Wealth Management

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Younger Canadians not getting ahead financially and can’t count on inheritance, Manulife Investor Sentiment Index shows

WATERLOO, ON, Jan. 8, 2014, Younger Canadians feel that they are not getting ahead financially and they shouldn’t count on an inheritance according to the Manulife Financial’s latest Investor Sentiment Index. The Index also showed that despite robust capital markets at pre-financial crisis levels, Canadians’ overall investor sentiment remains mired in the recession.

Almost half (46 per cent) of Canadians aged 25-34 say they are worse off financially than they were two years ago while 40 per cent of those aged 35-44 say they are worse off financially. Despite that, 62 per cent of Canadians aged 25-34, say they’re optimistic that they will be in a better financial position two years from now, while 60 per cent of those aged 35-44 say they remain optimistic for the future.

The latest survey results also show that it isn’t likely that younger Canadians – part of a generation which has traditionally been challenged by a difficult job market and underemployment – will receive much help in the form of future inheritance. Nearly half of Canadians (43 per cent) report that they haven’t given any thought to how much cash or assets they’ll leave to their heirs. As many as 13 per cent say they plan to leave nothing, while more than one in four (29 per cent) say they will leave less than $100,000. Only two per cent of Canadians report that they will leave an inheritance of $1 million or more.

“The reality is that young Canadians will be the first generation to not be better off than their parents. Many Canadians haven’t even thought about what cash or assets they will leave to their children,” said Paul Lorentz, Executive Vice-President, Retail Markets. “Young Canadians might need some of the financial discipline of their great grandparents, those who lived through the Depression, coupled with modern financial solutions.”

Investor Sentiment Index dips despite continuing market recovery
Overall, investor confidence in Canada was down slightly since May of 2013 as the Investor Sentiment Index dipped by one point, to +21. The Index is up one point from a year ago when it was +20 and it remains substantially higher than it was at the start of the economic downturn in 2008 (+5).

“In these latest results, we saw a marked change to a positive trend we’ve been seeing for some time,” said Mr. Lorentz. “Typically, the Investor Sentiment Index follows the same general pattern as the markets, but despite the gradual recovery there, the Index slipped suggesting that Canadian investors still aren’t finding much comfort in more robust markets. Canadians are still wary.”

Provincially, Alberta residents appear to be Canada’s most confident about investment and savings vehicles, posting an overall Investor Sentiment Index score of +30, while Quebec posted the lowest score at +8.

Maintaining current lifestyle no longer a priority for Canadians
Index results also point out that Canadian investors of all ages have made one significant shift in their financial priorities for 2014. Entering 2013, Canadians were focusing on paying down debt (top priority: 31%) while still maintaining their current lifestyle (second priority: 22%). Today, only 1% of Canadians indicate that maintaining their current lifestyle is a financial priority – a drop of 21 percent.

Regardless of income or age, Canadians’ top financial priority for 2014 is to pay down debt (29 per cent), followed by reducing spending (11 per cent), saving for retirement (9 per cent), saving for a rainy day (8 per cent) and paying down a mortgage (8 per cent.)

“We’re seeing that debt management, reducing spending and saving are, more than ever, top of mind for Canadians but just as importantly, that Canadians are also more aware of the financial choices they’re making. They’re making good financial decisions to put their finances in order for the future even knowing that they may not be able to maintain their current lifestyle because of them,” added Mr. Lorentz.

Advisors make significant impact
Four in ten Canadians report having a financial advisor which proves to be one of the most significant influencers on Index score. The Investor Sentiment Index score for individuals with an advisor is +27, while it is +16 for those without an advisor.

“Clearly, having access to professional financial advice will help you stay on track,” added Mr. Lorentz. “We see time and again that having an advisor is also the single most important positive influence on an individual’s peace of mind with their financial position now and in the future.”

Canadians with an advisor are less likely to cite paying down debt as a priority, but they are more likely to mention saving for retirement. Those who work with an advisor are also significantly more likely to feel that they are on track with their current financial goals (52 per cent vs. 36 per cent) and they are more likely to say that they are in a better financial position than they were two years ago.

About the Manulife Financial Investor Sentiment Index
The Manulife Financial Investor Sentiment Index is a semi-annual measure of investors’ views on a range of asset classes and savings and investment vehicles, as well as their confidence in these areas. The index is based on an online survey of 2,000 Canadians aged 25+ that was conducted November 12-22 by Research House, an Environics Company. A national probability sample of this size would have a margin of error of +/-2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

About Manulife Financial
Manulife Financial is a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Clients look to Manulife for strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most significant financial decisions. Our international network of employees, agents and distribution partners offers financial protection and wealth management products and services to millions of clients. We also provide asset management services to institutional customers. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$575 billion (US$559 billion) as at September 30, 2013. The Company operates as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia and primarily as John Hancock in the United States.

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘945’ on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.

SOURCE:

Manulife Financial Corporation

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Small Businesses Up the Ante this Holiday Season: Offer Discounts and Invest in Advertising to Get More Out of Small Business Saturday, According to NFIB/American Express Research

Number of business owners who say they’ll rely primarily on paid advertising to promote Small Business Saturday doubles; 67% will offer discounts to drive consumers to ‘Shop Small’ on November 30

Washington, D.C. – November 6, 2013 – With five fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, many small business owners say they’ll be pulling out all of the stops to get customers into stores during the critical holiday shopping season. According to the second annual Small Business Saturday Insights Survey, released today by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and American Express, more independent merchants will feel the Christmas creep as they start their promotional activity earlier than last year.

For many of the small business owners who are aware of Small Business Saturday, the day will be a part of their promotional calendar. Of those small business owners incorporating Small Business Saturday into their holiday plans, 70% say Small Business Saturday will be helpful in attracting new customers.

Small Business Saturday has become an important fixture on the business calendar for merchants and an increasing number are investing more money and providing additional incentives to reach customers.  Even as social media and word of mouth remain the top methods for business owners to reach customers with their Small Business Saturday offerings, the number of business owners who say they’ll rely primarily on paid advertising (TV, radio and newspaper) to promote Small Business Saturday has doubled (18% vs. 9% in 2012).  Discounts continue to be the top incentive used to encourage consumers to Shop Small, but more business owners are planning to reward customers by offering them a free gift with  purchase (33%, up from 20% in 2012).

The busy holiday season often demands a more robust workforce; a large number of business owners are looking to their local communities to hire the help they need to meet consumer demand this holiday season. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of local small business owners aware of Small Business Saturday said they make it a point to hire employees from their neighborhood.

Small Business Saturday, now in its fourth year, falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday and serves as the traditional kick off to the holiday season for independent retailers and restaurateurs. The day was created in response to small business owners’ most pressing need, more customers, and has since grown into an annual celebration of the independent businesses that help boost our local economies.

“Small-business owners are always looking for new ways to creatively promote their products and services—especially in a tough economy,” said NFIB president and CEO Dan Danner. “Small Business Saturday is a reminder of how important the small-business sector is to our economy and why it’s so important to Shop Small all year around.”

Findings from the survey also uncover the lengths to which small businesses are ready to go to promote their activities on Small Business Saturday. Among those that plan to incorporate Small Business Saturday into their holiday promotions:

•    75% say the day would be more effective if communities participated together by hosting events;
•    39% are planning to collaborate with other small businesses in a community event to promote Small Business Saturday; and
•    33% rely on social media most to promote Small Business Saturday to their customers.

The Small Business Saturday Insights Survey was created to provide a window into holiday planning for small business owners. Other key survey findings relating to Small Business Saturday activities include:

•    67% will offer discounts on specific items or general discounts on the day;
•    36% will offer coupons for future offers or discounts;
•    32% are starting their holiday promotions earlier than last year; and
•    21% are planning to increase the number of employees working on Small Business Saturday.

Communities Come Together To Take Small Business Saturday to the Next Level
American Express has created a Neighborhood Champions program, working with business organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA), the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., the Latino Coalition and the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) to organize Small Business Saturday events in communities throughout the country. To date over 1,000 Neighborhood Champions have signed up to rally businesses in their municipalities to partake in local activities leading up to and on the day.

“In 2012, small businesses took ownership of the day by offering great deals and amazing experiences for their customers,” said Susan Sobbott, president, American Express OPEN. “This year, with more than 1,000 ‘Neighborhood Champions’ rallying communities, the country will be blanketed with Small Business Saturday events that can undoubtedly help keep the registers ringing.”

Tools for Making the Day Their Own
For the past three years, small business owners have embraced the day and developed creative and effective ways to promote their businesses.  American Express is again helping to amplify those efforts with free digital and in-store marketing tools to help small business owners expand their local footprint on Small Business Saturday and throughout the holiday season.

The Small Business Saturday Marketing Toolkit provides businesses with turnkey, personalized assets and materials to better promote their efforts.  These tools are available at ShopSmall.com and include:

•    Printable signage and decals to print and display in a business
•    Logos and imagery for business websites, custom materials, and social media pages
•    Suggested social media and email templates to get the word out to customers on the Web

American Express has also rallied organizations from across the country to lend a hand in providing resources to mobilize businesses and consumers for the day. Premier partners include:

FedEx Office
A longstanding supporter of Small Business Saturday, this year, FedEx Office is offering two copies of the free 11” x 17” printed poster that small business owners can create as part of their customized marketing campaign on ShopSmall.com.  In addition, FedEx Office will offer a special discount to small businesses that take advantage of the free printing offer. FedEx will also promote Small Business Saturday to small businesses and consumers through their marketing channels. Offer terms apply and are available http://local.fedex.com/?promo=sbs2013.

Foursquare
New this year, Foursquare and American Express are offering small businesses $250,000 in free credits to use on the recently launched Foursquare Ads for Small Business platform. The credits will enable businesses to create local campaigns that can help drive new customers into their stores based on where they are, or what they are searching for. Additionally, Foursquare will highlight millions of small businesses in their app to help drive foot traffic to local merchants on Small Business Saturday. Offer terms apply and are available at http://business.foursquare.com/shopsmall.

Twitter
Twitter is offering one million dollars in free advertising to small business owners who have not advertised with Twitter previously, to help drive customer engagement and increase sales on Small Business Saturday and throughout the holiday season.  Business owners can also get ready for the big day with an educational toolkit containing helpful tips on gaining more followers and launching exclusive promotions. Offer terms apply and are available at https://business.twitter.com/shop-malsl.

United States Postal Service (USPS)
As a Premier Partner of Small Business Saturday, USPS is providing shipping of Shop Small branded merchandise orders placed on ShopSmall.com as well as Neighborhood Champion Activation Kits.  In a move to help drum up support and activity on Small Business Saturday, USPS will also distribute a consumer mailer and place signage at approximately 1,500 Post Offices to emphasize the importance of supporting their neighborhood business and to help motivate consumers to go out and Shop Small on the day.

Consumer Incentives to Shop Small
Again this year, American Express will give Card Members a special offer for shopping on Small Business Saturday. Card Members who register an eligible American Express® Card will get a one-time $10 statement credit when they use their registered Card to spend $10 or more on November 30, 2013, in a single, in-store transaction at a qualifying small business location that appears on the Small Business Saturday Map. Enrollment is limited and opens on November 24th at ShopSmall.com. Offer terms apply and are available at ShopSmall.com/offerterms.

About the Survey
The Small Business Saturday Insights survey was conducted among a nationally representative sample of 500 owners/managers of retail establishments with physical storefronts, kiosks, and restaurants/bars/pubs that are not part of a franchise.  In order to qualify, all establishments had to have fewer than 100 employees.  No quotas were established for this criterion, in order to allow for a natural representation of retailers.  The average number of employees of all establishments in the survey was 6 (with the vast majority falling in the 0-5 range).  The study was conducted anonymously via telephone by Redshift Research from October 4 to October 16, 2013.

About Small Business Saturday

November 30th marks the fourth annual Small Business Saturday, a day to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country. Small Business Saturday was created in 2010 in response to small business owners’ most pressing need: more customers.

About NFIB
NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C., and all 50 states. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small and independent business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB’s powerful network of grassroots activists sends their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America’s free enterprise system. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. More information about NFIB is available online at www.NFIB.com/newsroom or NFIB.com/shopsmall.

About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, foursquare.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/companies/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.

SOURCE:

NFIB

 

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Deloitte Annual Holiday Survey: More Consumers Shopping Mobile and Local

Smartphone ownership rises to 61 percent of consumers; Two-thirds of Americans plan to shop small businesses or independent retailers

NEW YORK, Nov. 6, 2013, Increasing smartphone ownership is taking more consumers down the digital shopping route, while many shoppers plan to frequent local small businesses when visiting stores this holiday season, according to Deloitte’s 28th annual survey of holiday spending intentions and trends.

Overall, smartphone ownership has risen to 61 percent of respondents from 42 percent just two years ago.  Women, younger generations and households earning less than $100,000 annually showed the most significant leaps in smartphone ownership, expanding the base of shoppers that retailers can access via mobile devices. For example, nearly six in 10 (59 percent) of women surveyed own smartphones, up from 46 percent last year, and 79 percent of consumers ages 18-24 own a smartphone.

Among smartphone owners, nearly seven in 10 (68 percent) plan to use their devices for holiday shopping.  These consumers will primarily use smartphones to search for store locations (56 percent), check and compare prices (54 percent) and obtain product information (47 percent).

Consumers that use smartphones to assist in holiday shopping will likely help retailers’ registers jingle this year, as these shoppers plan to spend 27 percent more on holiday gifts than non-smartphone owners.

The survey also found a significant number of consumers expecting to shop using their tablets.  Among the 38 percent of respondents that own tablets, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of these owners indicate they plan to use it for holiday shopping this year, with “shop or browse online” ranking as the No. 1 activity.

“Tablets are a two-way street for retailers,” said Alison Paul, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP, and retail & distribution sector leader.  “They have opened up an entirely new consumer touchpoint, where shoppers can view multiple retailers’ products regardless of their location – from their couch to the point of purchase.  Retailers can also put tablets to work in their stores, providing both their sales team and customers with a broader lens into merchandise selection.  Now that the majority of consumers also own smartphones, these two devices have altered the way they interact with a brand, while also yielding a higher spend per customer.”

Shoppers stay close to home

This year, two-thirds (66 percent) of shoppers plan to shop locally at small businesses, independent retailers or boutique shops which are not part of national chains.

The survey indicates that one-third (34 percent) of consumers’ budgets will be spent at local stores. Among the reasons for shopping locally, consumers cite desire to support the local economy (60 percent), to find one-of-a-kind gifts (53 percent) and because it is more convenient (44 percent). Nearly one-third (30 percent) report having greater loyalty for the local store over national chains.

Stores still make consumers’ spirits bright

While the Internet ranks as the top shopping destination for the 2013 holiday season, 37 percent of respondents still prefer shopping in a physical store rather than online for holiday products. Service levels continue to influence respondents’ willingness to give a retailer their business.

More than half (54 percent) of shoppers say that knowledgeable store associates will lead them to making an in-store purchase, and 32 percent of shoppers feel store associates can provide customers a better shopping experience when equipped with the latest mobile technologies.  Yet, nearly six in 10 (59 percent) shoppers feel they are better connected to consumer information, including coupons, competitive pricing and product availability, than store associates.

“In the store, retail associates can be engaged to drive loyalty rather than just complete a transaction,” continued Paul. “The most successful retailers are empowering their associates to become devoted brand advocates who are knowledgeable, connected online, have the authority to price match and are aware of products available through other channels.”

Retailers also benefit from providing shoppers with self-help technology in the store. Nearly six in 10 (58 percent) of shoppers will use self-help technologies – the most common being price checkers (60 percent) and self-checkout payment lanes (57 percent).

About the Survey
The Holiday Survey was commissioned by Deloitte and conducted online by an independent research organization between September 13 and 23, 2013. The survey polled a national sample of 5,018 consumers and has a margin of error for the entire sample of plus or minus one percentage point.

About Deloitte’s Retail & Distribution Practice
Deloitte is a leading presence in the retail and distribution industry, providing audit, consulting, risk management, financial advisory and tax services to nearly 75 percent of the Fortune 500 retailers.  With more than 1,400 professionals, Deloitte’s retail & distribution practice provides insights, services and solutions assisting retailers across major subsectors including apparel, grocery, food and drug, wholesale and distribution and online. For more information about Deloitte’s retail & distribution sector, please visit www.deloitte.com/us/retail-distribution.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

SOURCE:

Deloitte
http://www.deloitte.com/us

 

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New Survey Finds Millennials Rely on Friends’ Financial Habits to Determine Their Own 

AICPA and Ad Council release results of national survey as they launch new ads and website encouraging young adults to ‘feed the pig’

Contacts: AICPA, Kristin Vincenzo, 212-596-6138, kvincenzo@aicpa.org, Ad Council, Ellyn Fisher, efisher@adcouncil.org, 212-984-1964

New York, October 30, 2013 – Doing alright financially? The answer, if you’re 25 to 34 years old, depends on your friends, according to a new survey from the American Institute of CPAs and the Ad Council. They released the results today to coincide with a new series of national public service advertisements and a redesigned website for their Feed the Pig financial literacy campaign.

The national poll found that three quarters of young adults, or 78 percent, use their friends’ financial habits to determine their own. The vast majority, 66 percent, wants to keep pace with their peers on where they live; 64 percent say the same thing about what they wear. Nearly two-thirds experience pressure to keep up with the types of places they eat and the gadgets they carry.

At the same time, in the past year alone, almost half of those in the age group had to use a credit card to pay for necessities like food or utilities and more than a quarter missed a bill payment or were contacted by a bill collector. Sixty-one percent still get financial help from their family.

“As the old saying goes: Be careful about the company you keep,” said Ernie Almonte, CPA, chair of the AICPA’s National Financial Literacy Commission. “Many young adults are building financial foundations with the wrong blueprints. They need to make sure they’re modeling the best behavior for their long-term financial stability.”

The new series of PSAs, developed pro bono by kirshenbaum, bond, senecal + partners (kbs+), taps into millennials’ desire for belonging and its impact on their financial well-being in a light-hearted way.  The PSAs are designed to remind this demographic that they need to forge their own path to financial security. The television PSAs feature scenes of over-the-top spending contrasted by financial achievement. In one ad, for instance, a college graduate celebrates paying off her student debt while a friend, lounging in a formal dress, surrounded by designer shoes and feeding a pet horse, complains that she can never save enough money to get ahead. Earlier this summer, the campaign released print, outdoor, radio and digital PSAs, urging viewers, “When it comes to financial stability, don’t get left behind.”

“Young adults are in the midst of making critical financial decisions about family and careers and are establishing the spending and saving patterns that often last throughout their lives,” added Peggy Conlon, president and CEO of the Ad Council. “Our new PSAs tap into the insight that this generation is strongly influenced by their peers when it comes to lifestyle purchases, but our goal is to extend that peer pressure to also include saving for the future.”

The PSAs direct viewers to www.feedthepig.org, which was relaunched this month. In addition to a myriad of money management tips and tools, the new website features personal finance calculators and short-, mid-, and long-term action plans for achieving goals like buying a house, starting a family or paying off debt. The campaign also directs young adults to Facebook and Twitter to ask questions and engage with financial experts.

“The AICPA cares about the financial literacy of 25 to 34 year olds and they wanted to communicate to them that understanding your finances is crucial at a young age. To do this, the AICPA, the Ad Council and kbs+ created a campaign that humorously brings to life the poor financial decisions that many young adults make every day,” added Will Bright, kbs+ creative director.

The AICPA and the Ad Council first launched the Feed the Pig financial literacy campaign in 2006. To date, the campaign has received over $277 million in donated media support. Per the Ad Council’s model, the new series of PSAs will be distributed to over 33,000 networks nationwide and continue to run in airtime and space donated by the media.

The AICPA and the Ad Council commissioned the new nationwide online survey earlier this month of employed adults between the ages of 25 to 34. It was administered by the Ad Council, conducted by LightSpeed Research and reached a representative sample of men and women. The survey also found:

·         For 70 percent, financial stability means paying all the bills each month.

·         Women feel more financially stable than men.

·         Men find it more important than women to keep up with their friends.

Source:

AICPA

http://www.aicpa.org/

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Most Women Working Today Will Not See Equal Pay during their Working Lives

WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2013, 2012 earnings figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau yesterday do not hold much good news for women. Real earnings have failed to grow, and the gender wage gap is at the same level as it was in 2002.  Women’s median annual earnings for 50 or more weeks of full-time work in 2012 were $37,791, compared with $49,398 for men, a gender earnings ratio of 76.5 percent. Real earnings did not increase compared to 2011, and the typical woman earned $11,607 less in 2012 than the typical man.

“Progress in closing the gender wage gap has stalled during the most recent decade. The wage gap is still at the same level as it was in 2002,” said Dr. Heidi Hartmann, President of IWPR. “If the five-decade trend is projected forward, it will take almost another five decades—until 2058—for women to reach pay equity. The majority of today’s working women will be well past the ends of their working lives.”

A new fact sheet released today by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, maps the gender earnings ratio since 1960 and analyzes changes in earnings during the last year by gender, race, and ethnicity. While there is a gender earnings gap between women and men of each major racial/ethnic group, the median earnings of all women are below those of white men. During 2012 the median annual earnings of Hispanic women were only $ 28,424, just 54 percent of the median annual earnings of white men, and at a level that would qualify a woman head of a family of four to receive food stamps.

“While there is no silver bullet for closing the gender wage gap,” said Ariane Hegewisch, a Study Director at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and author of the fact sheet, “strengthened enforcement of our EEO laws, a higher minimum wage, and work/family benefits would go a significant way towards ensuring that working women are able to support their families without having to rely on welfare.”

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that conducts rigorous research and disseminates its findings to address the needs of women and their families, promote public dialogue, and strengthen communities and societies.

SOURCE:

Institute for Women’s Policy Research
http://www.iwpr.org

 

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