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Finding Extra Money To Save For Retirement C By Philip P. Andriola, J.D.

hances are you would like to be able to save more money each month toward your retirement or other financial goals. Who couldn’t use a little more? Given the reality of lower interest rates and investment returns that many have experienced in recent years, simply saving more money is the key to building a sufficient nest egg for retirement. But unfortunately it’s not so simple to come up with the extra cash to sock away. It may be challenging, but not impossible. Start by looking at it this way; if you decide to set aside another $100 per month for your retirement, it amounts to $3.33 per day. If you’d like to be more aggressive and save an extra $500 per month – you would need to set aside $17 per day or about $120 each week. In some cases, saving these manageable amounts daily can add up – and lead to a more secure financial future. Here are a few savings opportunities to consider: • Refinancing your mortgage If the equity position in your home is favorable and you are paying interest on your mortgage at a rate that is noticeably higher than today’s low rates, refinancing could save you a significant amount on your mortgage. The way to benefit the most from refinancing is not to increase your spending on other things, but to invest each dollar saved in a retirement plan or to help you fund other financial goals. • Changing your tax withholding According to the IRS, as of the end of April 2012, the average tax refund paid on

Putting a little extra money aside now can help ensure a financially secure retirement.

a 2011 tax return was $2,700. If you are consistently receiving a sizable refund and don’t anticipate major changes in your income or deductions claimed on a tax return, you can adjust the amount withheld from your paycheck. Talk to your employer about completing a new W-4 form, and put your bigger paycheck to good use. • Reducing gas costs With gas prices hovering around $3 to $4 or more per gallon, it’s become more expensive to drive. Cut back on unnecessary driving and consider finding alternative ways to get to work such as public transit. Walk and bike more to nearby places. More careful use of vehicles could generate $50 to $100 extra dollars each month.

• Managing your food budget Food can be one of the biggest expenses for a family. Better meal planning can help you stretch your grocery dollars by reducing the amount of food you throw out and the number of times you pay for meals at restaurants. In addition, think about other ways to cut back, such as eating fewer lunches out during the week or cutting back on expensive coffee drinks that can easily add up. • Identifying home expenses you can live without Many of us pay exorbitant bills for services like cable or satellite TV without actually using the service enough to justi-

fy the expense. Consider whether a movie rental service might be a cheaper alternative. Explore whether there are cheaper ways to access phone service than what you pay now. A little frugality now could make a difference in the future. • Making a big difference over time Nobody will claim that saving an extra $5 here or there will create instant financial security. But a patient, consistent strategy of saving and investing more for your retirement or other financial goals can truly add up. If you can save an extra $100 per month and invest it in a tax-deferred IRA or workplace retirement plan earning an average annual return of 7 percent per year, that money would accumulate to a before-tax value of $17,409 in ten years, $52,394 in 20 years and $122,699 in 30 years. If you increase your contribution to $300, it would, based on the same return and tax assumptions, grow to a value of approximately $368,000 in 30 years. Saving an extra $500 per month with the same assumptions would accumulate $613,495 in retirement assets in 30 years. Extra effort now could significantly improve your financial standing in retirement. Consider meeting with a financial advisor to help you get started and explore more saving and investment options. Philip P. Andriola, J.D. is a private wealth advisor with Andriola, Goldberg & Associates, a financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. 401 Franklin Avenue, Suite 101, Garden City. Phone 516-345-2600; email:


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By Ronald Fatoullah, Esq. or her current spouse, half of your any people erroneously assets could go to the spouse. With think that estate plans are a plan, you can set up a trust that for someone else, not ensures that your assets will stay in them. They may rationalize that they your family and, for example, ultiare too young or do not have enough mately pass to your grandchildren. money to reap the tax benefits of a 7. Financial security. Will your plan. The following list makes clear spouse and children be able to surhowever, that estate planning is for vive financially? Without a plan everyone, regardless of age or net and the income replacement proworth. Here are ten reasons why vided by life insurance, your family creating your estate plan now, is may be unable to maintain its curimportant. rent living standard. With a plan, 1. Loss of capacity. What if you owning life insurance can mean become incompetent and unable to that your family will enjoy finanmanage your own affairs? Without a cial security. plan, the courts will select the per8. Retirement accounts. Do you son to manage your affairs. With a have an IRA or similar retirement plan, you pick that person through a account? Without a plan, your descomprehensive power of attorney. ignated beneficiary for the retire2. Minor children. Who will raise ment account funds may not reflect your children if you die? Without a your current wishes and such desigplan, a court will make that decision. nation may result in burdensome With a plan, you are able to nomitax consequences for your heirs. nate the guardian of your choice. With a plan, you can choose the op3. Preparing a will. Who will intimal beneficiary. herit your assets? Without a plan, 9. Business ownership. Do you your assets pass to your heirs acWhile many may not think they need to do estate planning, everyone should think about own a business? Without a plan, doing it to ensure a brighter future and that their wishes are carried out. cording to your state’s laws of intesyou cannot name a successor, thus tacy (dying without a will). Your risking that your family could lose family members (and perhaps not child with special needs, risks being disqualified from control of the business. With a plan, you choose who will the ones you would choose) will receive your assets withreceiving Medicaid or SSI benefits, and may have to own and control the business after your demise. out benefit of your direction or of trust protection. With a use his or her inheritance to pay for care. With a plan, 10. Avoiding probate. Without a plan, your estate may plan, you decide who gets your assets, and when and how you can set up a supplemental needs trust that will albe subject to delays and excess fees (depending on the they receive them. low the child to remain eligible for government benefits state), and your assets will be a matter of public record. 4. Blended families. What if your family combines while using the trust assets to pay for non-covered anWith a plan, you can structure things so that probate can more than one marriage? Without a plan, children from cillary expenses. be avoided entirely if necessary. different marriages may not be treated as you would wish. 6. Keeping assets in the family. Would you prefer that For more information on estate planning, contact the With a plan, you determine which assets pass to your curyour assets stay in your own family? Without a plan, your offices of Ronald Fatoullah and Associates located at 60 rent spouse and children from prior marriages. child’s spouse may wind up with your money if your Cutter Mill Road, Suite 507 in Great Neck. The phone 5. Children with special needs. Without a plan, a child passes away prematurely. If your child divorces his number is (516) 466-4422.

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The Wyndham Condominium A luxury condominium residence within walking distance of the 5-Star Garden City Hotel and the village of Garden City. The 12.5acre park-like grounds comprise manicured lawns, landscaped gardens, scenic walking paths, Gazebo, sun deck, and a large pond with fountain. 24-hour concierge, doorman and parking valet. Private health club and spa with hot tub, sauna, massage room and aerobics studio: indoor pool, private conference facilities with board room and private office; social lounge and media room. The Wyndham Condominium is set in the 19th Century town of Garden City, with stately private homes, lovely gardens, tree-lined streets, elegant shops and a distinguished 5-star hotel.

Currently there are 1, 2, and 3-bedroom apartments available. Some examples are:

3-bedroom with eat-in kitchen. SD #18. MLS# 2416894. $1,150,000.

2-bedroom, Gallery entrance, 2-terraces. SD #18. MLS# 2476142. $825,000.

2-bedroom corner unit, southern exposure. SD #18. MLS# 2465781. $799,000.

2-bedroom, eat-in kitchen with 2 exposures. SD #18. MLS# 2428711. $749,000.

1-bedroom, L-shaped living/dining room. SD #18. MLS# 2488185. $615,000.

1-bedroom with Western vista’s. SD #18. MLS# 2497155. $575,000.

All apartments have laundry rooms and additional private storage areas. Please call for an appointment to view our current listings.

Alfred S. Kohart

Patricia Costello

Abby Winston

Licensed Salesperson The Wyndham Resale Center 100 Hilton Avenue, Garden City, NY 516.739.7171, c.516.263.4272

Licenses Associate Broker The Wyndham Resale Center 100 Hilton Avenue, Garden City, NY 516.739.7171, c.516.371.7279

Licensed Salesperson The Wyndham Resale Center 100 Hilton Avenue, Garden City, NY 516.739.7171, c.718.757.6672

Each office is independently owned and operated. We are pledged to provide equal opportunity for housing to any prospective customer or client, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.




The 21st Century Bank Robber; How To Avoid Cyber Threats By Ronald Scaglia oth computers and the Internet have made our lives so much easier. Communications, shopping and education are all greatly enhanced by the leaps and bounds that have occurred in technology. Another area that has been drastically revised by the technological boom is banking. Today, consumers can pay bills, view account balances, transfer money, apply for loans and accomplish so many other tasks from the comfort of their homes – tasks which previously required a trip to the bank or a visit to a mailbox to physically mail a check. However, those added conveniences have also come with a potential negative component – identity theft. Today, just as consumers are finding it easier to conduct banking transactions from their notebook computers and tablets, hackers are also finding ways to break into computer systems and pilfer funds. It’s a scenario that will frighten many. An unsuspecting bank customer goes to an ATM or to an online banking website and discovers that a bank account has been wiped clean or a credit card holder checks a monthly statement and finds many fraudulent charges. In an even more terrifying scenario, unsuspecting individuals find out that their credit scores have been destroyed because of loan and charge accounts that have been opened in their names using their good credit history. “There is a great risk for the consumer,” says Dr. Steven P. Bucci, a recognized expert in security who served as military assistant to Secretary of Defense, Donald H. Rumsfeld. He has also served as one of IBM’s lead consultants for cyber security policy in IBM’s Public Sector Team and is currently a senior research fellow for defense and homeland security at The Heritage Foundation. He is also a faculty member with Long Island University’s Homeland Management Security Institute. According to Bucci, criminals will expend money, time and effort to write malicious software that allows them to tap into financial databases and steal money. While some will attack individual accounts, Bucci says there are more advanced operations that go after bigger targets. “There are bigger operations that go right after the banks themselves and instead of using the credit cards, they try and hack straight into the bank’s actual system and then they can drain multiple accounts all at the same time, and do it all electronically,” says Bucci. Bucci says that consumers eventually pay for the costs associated with such thefts. While most financial institutions will replace money that is stolen and remove fraudulent charges, he says that banks will have to make this up somewhere, and, ultimately, consumers will bear the costs. Additionally, even though consumers may be reimbursed for money stolen or deceitful charges on their accounts, it is quite a hassle to get the situation resolved. Therefore, Bucci recommends that consumers take steps to protect their security when venturing out into cyberspace. “Most consumers use their home computer very cavalierly,” says Bucci. “They don’t have good software protection. They don’t have firewalls, anti-virus software and anti-spyware software. And if they do have those things, they’re probably not kept up to date.” Bucci advises everyone to be vigilant about taking preventive measures to avoid becoming the victims of a cyber attack. Below are his suggestions.


requesting an update, it could be a threat. “Make sure that the request from the company is from the company that you have purchased the software from.” Bucci says.

Hackers are employing 21st century tactics to steal from banks and their customers.

4. Be cautious when surfing the Web. One devious method that hackers will use to steal information is to set up authentic looking, fraudulent websites. Bucci says that some false websites look strikingly similar to an actual banking website, even down to the copyright dates. To protect themselves, computer operators should be careful when visiting a website and should be suspicious if something doesn’t seem quite right, such as poorly structured grammar or logos that just don’t seem perfect. There are free add-ons available that will inform about a website’s reputation. Another possible defense method is to use a search engine such as Google or Yahoo! to find the bank or financial institution’s website. When typing an address into an address bar of a browser, a simple misspelling can lead to a false website. Using a search engine can provide an added layer of security. “Even when you open a website, check it out, look at it,” advised Bucci. “If you think it’s going to be the Bank of America site and the logo just doesn’t look right or anything sets of your antenna, then just close it.” If you do land on a website that seems suspicious, be sure to close the browser without downloading any material or providing personal information. Bucci says that clicking on a link or downloading something consciously installs most malware from websites. “Be real cautious for anything that you get which says, here open this, this will interest you,” recommends Bucci. “Assume they’re wrong.”

By following simple but required steps, most computers can be protected from cyber attacks.

1. Have protective software. According to Bucci, computer owners should have an anti-virus program installed on their computer as well as an anti-spyware program, a firewall, and an anti-spam filter. He says that some versions of these programs are quite good, while others are mediocre. While not endorsing one product over the other, he does suggest that consumers research the different products by reading reviews and asking others who have technical knowledge about their recommendations. “Do your homework, look around, talk to people that are smarter in tech than you are,” he says. “You need an anti-virus software, an anti-spyware software and you should have some sort of firewall and spam filter that allows you to not be bothered by a lot of this.” Since some of these programs can be expensive, costing about $100, some may choose to take advantage of free programs that are available online. He says, while there’s probably a reason why some programs are inexpensive, those who are looking for less costly alternatives should research the products they will be using. “It kind of depends,” says Bucci about using free security software programs as opposed to the more costly options. “If it’s just your private computer and you want to take the chance, you can do that. I would still do a little homework. Google them. Read some reviews, say if you were going to buy a car or buy something else. Nowadays most people will check things out to see what other people think of them. Do that kind of research.” Many security software programs will conflict with each other. Therefore, run-

ning two security programs in an effort to create an extra layer of protection can actually be counterproductive, as the programs will pick each other up as a threat. 2. Keep software updated. Just as having an alarm on an automobile is ineffective if it’s not armed, having security software that’s not updated is just as useless. New threats are discovered on a daily basis, so it is extremely important that computer owners keep their security software updated so as to catch any new threats. However, Bucci says that many are lax in doing so. According to the security expert, many will go to their computers to send an email, check out a website or some other activity and not want to be interrupted by downloading the necessary updates. He says that to prevent cyber attacks, it is important that all software be kept updated. “We act poorly and don’t do the updates, and that makes us more vulnerable,” he says. 3. Make sure that updates are valid. While it is important to keep software updated, some cyber threats will masquerade as updates when in actuality, it is a trick to get the computer operator to download malware. While it’s important to keep programs updated, it’s just as important to verify that the updates are from the software that is on that computer. For example, those with computers running Windows should expect updates from Microsoft and those using Norton security software programs should receive updates from Symantec. However, if a program that is not on a computer is

5. Beware of suspicious e-mails. Another common scam that has been occurring is to receive emails from friends claiming to be in some sort of emergency and in desperate need of money. When someone has their email account compromised through password stealing or some other method, phishing emails can be sent which actually come from a trusted email address. If the message seems suspicious, it should be handled very cautiously. In addition, malware can be spread by emails that trick computer users into clicking on a malicious link. Most malware is installed by fooling the computer operator into clicking on a link, and it is surprising at how crafty hackers can be and how easily people can be deceived. Unless an email can be authenticated, recipients should be extremely cautious about clicking on links or downloading items. 6. Windows and Mac users should beware. Since the majority of computers use Windows operating systems, most malware, spyware, and computer viruses are written for these computers. It simply gives the hackers a greater chance to succeed if they go after a bigger target. Accordingly, many PC viruses and other PC malware is not a threat to Apple’s Mac computers. However, Mac owners should not be fooled into a false sense of security. “Macs can be hacked,” says Bucci. “They are hacked. But because there’s less of them in the world, it’s a better business model to write malware for Windows computers because there’s more targets. As Macs continue to grow in usage, people will write more malware. It will be worth it continued on page 14B



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APR=annual Percentage Rate. Rates effective 6/22/12. Automatic payment from an Island FCU Checking account required for the life of the loan to receive these promotional rates. Promotional rates for New Loans Only. Rates and terms subject to change without notice. All offers are subject to credit approval; applicants may be offered credit at higher rate and other terms. Loans rates featured are the lowest for the product advertised. Homeowners insurance required on all loans secured by real property; flood insurance may also be required. Membership in Island FCU is open to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Nassau County or Suffolk County with the exception of the townships of East Hampton, Southampton or Shelter Island. Share account with $5 minimum balance required. 1Home Equity Line Prime Minus 0.55%, 2.70%APR best available rate in effect. 22005 Vehicles or newer. 3 Must have a 700 FICO score and Loan to Value must be 70% or less. One family, primary residence in Nassau or Suffolk County.

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*APR = Annual Percentage Rate. 1.99% HELOC introductory rate is for new home equity lines of credit only. **Intro rate good for six months and then adjusts using the WSJ Prime Rate plus an agreed upon margin and adjusts quarterly. 4.0% APR is the lowest rate offered for HELOCs with a maximum term of 60 months and is for A+ credit tier, LTV below 75% and credit score of 720 or above. 9.75% APR is the highest rate offered for HELOCs with a maximum term of 60 months and is for D credit tier. Other rates and terms are available. A credit is issued up to $1,200 to cover any or all closing costs associated with the HELOC. Any additional costs due to loan amount property type and or lien position may be paid with loan proceeds. Rates and terms subject to change without notice. Sperry FCU does not refinance existing Sperry HELOCs. Membership open to all those who live, work, worship or go to school in Nassau County. Share account required for membership. 51512


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By Ronald Scaglia any investors were eagerly anticipating the initial public offering of Facebook as children do the first day of summer vacation, hoping that Facebook would be the next great tech stock, reminiscent of the days prior to the economic turndown, when companies like Google had IPOs and investors reaped huge gains. However, when the stock’s price fell quickly after the May 18 offering, it helped to further the uneasiness that investors have about the financial markets. With the European debt crisis still hovering, many are afraid to invest in stocks, fearing a recurrence of the 2008 meltdown. However, a finance professor with decades of experience in the financial sector says that this fear may cause some investors to miss an opportunity in the equities market and not get the best returns on their financial investments. “From my almost 30-year career on Wall Street, the one thing that I’m certain of, is if the whole world is leaning one way, you got to kind of go the other way,” says Michael Driscoll, a visiting professor of accounting, finance, and economics at Adelphi University. “I don’t pretend to be any kind of market seer or forecaster, but I do know that the whole world right now is terrified of owning stocks and is leaning toward bonds.” For many, bonds are a safer investment alternative, especially U.S. government bonds. They offer security because they have the backing of the U.S. government. However, because investors have flocked to U.S. bonds, seeking security during unsettling times, the yields on these investments are now terribly small. According to Driscoll, because of these low yields, some investors many not reach their financial objectives if they have a financial portfolio that is comprised exclusively of U.S. government bonds. “I just don’t think buying U.S. government fixed income securities that are


yielding one and a half percent is going to be able to fund me and my family’s lives in the future,” he said. Therefore, Driscoll says that he personally has diversified his portfolio so that a portion of it is invested in solid companies with a history of successful growth, wide investor interest, and an apparently strong future, such as blue-chip stocks. In seeking these high quality stocks, he also seeks companies with high dividend yields. As defined by the IRS, dividends are distributions of property (which can include money, stock of another corporation or other property) a corporation pays you because you own stock in that corporation. “Companies have two ways of returning cash to shareholders- they can pay dividends or they can buy back their own stock,” Driscoll explains. “I would much prefer, particularly in the environment that we’re in, that companies reward me by paying me with a dividend.” Driscoll is adamant that he does not make recommendations on any particular stock. However, he says that one example of a company that fits his profile of a high-yielding dividend, a good history of success and an apparently secure future is Johnson and Johnson (JNJ). “Johnson and Johnson is currently yielding almost 3.7 percent,” explains the professor. “I have no particular recommendation on Johnson and Johnson, good, bad or indifferent. I do know that I’m fairly familiar with their products. This is a company that has been around for 100 plus years and is going to be around, I’m pretty confident, for another 100 and they’re paying me 3.5 [percent] plus a year to invest in the shares, with the potential still for capital appreciation if the markets or the company does okay. That to me, I’m willing to take on the that kind of risk of owning shares in a company like Johnson and Johnson versus 10-year U.S. government bonds that are only going to pay me one and a half percent.” continued on page 12B



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To be eligible to apply you must be a Senior Citizen 62 years or older. Town of North Hempstead residents will be given first preference. Applications must be requested in writing or in-person at our office, 899 Broadway, Suite 121, Westbury NY 11590, open 9am-4pm, Monday through Friday. All applications must be fully completed, signed, and submitted in-person or via mail. No emailed or faxed applications will be accepted. We will not be accepting applications after 4pm, August 3rd, 2012. 83942



Eight Questions To Ask Before Selecting A Financial Professional By Ronald Scaglia ecause of the high-profile arrests that have resulted from Ponzi schemes and other investment scandals, investors may be apprehensive about placing their hard earned money, as well as their financial future, in the hands of an investment professional. However, sewing one’s money into a mattress is not very practical either. According to Gerri Walsh, vice president of investor education with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States, investors should ask a series of questions before deciding upon an investment professional and entrusting someone with their money. The first two of these questions, investors ask of themselves.


Investors who do not properly inquire about the credentials of their financial professionals are putting their finances at risk.

2. Why type of investment professional should I speak with? After determining what their goals are, investors are then able to seek out the right professional to help them achieve those goals. Among the different types of professionals are brokers, investment advisors, accountants, attorneys, insurance agents, and financial planners, all of whom can be a part of helping investors achieve their financial goals. “As you figure out your goals, you want

to figure out who you need on your team and make sure you understand the different types of professionals who are out there,” recommends Walsh. “They can all be part of an overall financial planning picture.” FINRA’s website ( has information on the services offered by different professionals, as well as regulatory agencies. Click on “investors,” followed by “smart investing,” then “getting started,” and finally, selecting investment professionals. 3. What kind of experience do you have working with people like me? Just as important for investors as finding the right professional for their specific financial goals, is also finding a professional that has the expertise which is demonstrated by helping others in similar situations. Walsh says that it’s important to find a professional who has knowledge and experience in achieving specific goals such as college savings, retirement planning, or supplementing income. “You want to make sure that the professional that you’re working with can help you achieve those goals,” says Walsh. “And they’ll be different for every individual.” 4. What licenses do you have? Are you registered with a securities regulator? How long have you been with this firm? Walsh says that it is critical for investors to verify that the financial professional is licensed and registered. In addition to asking this of the professional, Walsh also recommends independently verifying it.

5. Are there any products that you don’t recommend and if so, why? If a married couple with four children is searching for a minivan, it’s probably not advisable to speak with a car salesman whose inventory is comprised exclusively of two-seat sports cars. The same theory holds true for investment products. If a professional is not licensed to sell a particular product, investors might be guided in a different direction, and that might conflict with what is in their best interests. “It’s important to find out if they’re limited in any way with respect to what they can offer you,” says Walsh. “Some investment professionals are licensed only to sell annuity contracts and mutual funds. And while that might be appropriate for your investment needs, if it’s not, if you wanted a broader array of products, you would want to know that in advance – what they can and cannot do.” 6. How are you compensated? “You can’t control your returns but you can control your costs,” states Walsh. She says that investors should question their investment professionals about commissions, account fees, overall management fees, and if investors are paying for the services of the financial professional by virtue of assets under management. These can take an unexpected chunk out of the portfolios of investors who do not pay close attention to this detail. continued on page 14B

BANKING & FINANCE Published by Anton Community Newspapers 132 E. Second St., Mineola, NY 11501 – 516-747-8282


1. What are our goals? Before seeking out a financial professional, investors first must determine what their goals are so they can determine who will be the best person to speak with. There are many different types of financial professionals to choose from including brokers, certified public accountants, investment advisors and attorneys. For example, Walsh advises that investors, whose primary goal is to leave an estate for their heirs, should probably seek the counsel of an estate planning attorney and a tax professional. By contrast, she says that those who are doing retirement planning would probably be better served by speaking with a broker, an investment advisor, or perhaps even a CPA. “Depending on what your goals are will drive the type of professional that you use,” Walsh explains.

“The reality is that most investors don’t check out their investment professionals and so often the difference between a smart relationship with an investment professional and one that isn’t so good is checking out that person in advance,” she says. One tool that investors can use is BrokerCheck from FINRA. Through this tool, investors can determine if a broker or a brokerage firm is licensed and regulated. It also provides information on disciplinary history. Walsh says that investors should use this and be warned if they see a history of complaints against a broker or firm or sanctions from regulators, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or FINRA. With BrokerCheck, investors can also find out how long a broker has been with a firm. Walsh advises being cautious about a broker who switches firms rather frequently. “It’s important to find out how long somebody has been with their current firm,” she recommends. “If they’ve moved around from firm to firm, why? And again, you can verify on BrokerCheck, how long they’ve been in the business and have been working at different firms and if you see a pattern of having moved around a lot – let’s say they’ve been to five firms in three years – that might be a red flag for you.”

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Consider Buying Shares In Equities Bethpage Federal Credit Union ATMs sive, owning stocks is not an option. There is an increased risk to investing in any kind of equity securities, even blueWhile again strongly stating that he chip stocks. In addition, some people may does not make recommendations, he did be at a point where they are not seeking reveal that he has invested in Altria (MO), any significant financial returns and are which also fits the profile of a company looking to simply supplement their inon solid financial ground that pays a high come. A retired individual with enough dividend. He added that he has achieved assets for the remainder of his longevity significant gains from that holding. is a good example of this. Altria is the parent company of Philip “It does take a certain degree of confiMorris USA and other companies. While dence in corporate U.S.A,” Driscoll exinvestors shied away from tobacco stocks plained. “There’s more following the health-rerisk in owning even bluelated lawsuits brought chip U.S. companies than against them, Driscoll “If the whole world in owning debt of the stated that there are sigis leaning one way, U.S. Government, but it’s nificant reasons to be a risk I’m willing to take, bullish about Altria, proyou got to kind of go particularly if you have vided investors are willany kind of time horizon the other way.” ing to accept that its revthat stretches out over a enue is generated by can- Michael Driscoll, visiting quarter or two.” cer-causing tobacco prodOthers may not be professor of accounting, ucts. He says that the willing to take on the stock is attractive because finance, and economics same level of risk that it is currently yielding at Adelphi University he does. However, for about five percent on its those who are hoping to dividend. He further achieve higher returns, a added that because the higher level of risk can result in an incompany produces a product that is inexcreased return on investment. Additionalpensive to manufacture and also addicting, ly, Driscoll also explained that the wellits long-term business model appears to be established, high-yielding companies, are solid. Furthermore, he said that other parts not quite as risky as younger, less estabof the world do not have the same restriclished companies. tions and social taboos about smoking as “You can vary depending upon whether there are in the United States. “I don’t smoke myself and I certainly you want a defensive name like McDonwouldn’t condone it,” Driscoll said. He ald’s, Anheuser Busch, or an Altria,” he later added, “You’re being paid five persaid. “Big all-American names, people cent to sit and wait if the stock does nothare very comfortable owning. It’s a reaing, with the potential for any kind of sonable place and a reasonable time for capital appreciation.” investors depending upon what their risk For those who are completely risk averprofile is to be investing in these names.”

Now Located In CVS Locations

continued from page 8B

By Ronald Scaglia ethpage-branded ATM machines are now located in CVS stores throughout Long Island. According to Robert Hoppenstedt, Sr., vice-president of operations and marketing with Bethpage Federal Credit Union, 118 CVS stores throughout Nassau and Suffolk will have ATMs with Bethpage’s logos and its orange and teal colors. Bethpage customers, who make withdrawals at these Bethpage-branded ATMs, will not incur a surcharge for the transaction. “It’s really a great benefit,” said Hoppenstedt about the relationship between CVS and Bethpage Federal Credit Union. “Our members have realized that they don’t have to travel very far, and they can do it as part of their shopping visits to go and access cash. Before they had to go to a Bethpage branch or look someplace else. Whereas, CVS, they’re very much destinations. People go to them not once a week, but multiple times per week so they can take advantage of that.” Bethpage customers already can make surcharge-free withdrawals at ATMs in King Kullen supermarkets and 7-Eleven convenience stores, although those machines are not Bethpage-branded. Bethpage also has a relationship with Walgreens, which has surcharge-free ATMs available for Bethpage customers, although Hoppenstedt said that would be ending in August. Bethpage-branded ATM machines, like the However, he added that the new one seen here, are now located in 118 CVS arrangement with CVS makes locations throughout Nassau and Suffolk. about three times as any ATMs available to Bethpage customers as cult to use a credit card. The prepaid cards were available through Walgreens. available at Bethpage will have the chip, “Between CVS, 7- Eleven, King making it much more convenient for travKullen, we probably have almost 400 elers going to Europe. ATMs that are surcharge-free throughout “We launched this about a month ago, Long Island,” stated Hoppenstedt. particularly for members,” said HoppenstHoppenstedt also spoke of new prepaid edt. “Them, their children, whomever, are Euro MasterCards and Visas, which are traveling abroad and find it difficult to use now available at Bethpage. In Europe, a typical striped card. credit cards do not have magnetic stripes Hoppenstedt said that the prepaid cards and instead use a chip embedded in the are available in dollars, Euros, or English cards. For U.S. travelers with credit cards pounds. that have magnetic stripes, it can be diffi-


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he Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, has prepared a brochure, Your Access to Free Credit Reports, explaining your rights under the FCRA and how to order a free annual credit report. A credit report includes information on where you live, how you pay your bills, and whether you’ve been sued, arrested, or filed for bankruptcy. Nationwide consumer reporting companies sell the information in your report to creditors, insurers, employers, and other businesses that use it to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, or renting a home.


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Tips For Saving Now To Be Finanically Strong Later By Ronald Scaglia any people do not prepare for financial emergencies which can be small, such as an unexpected car repair bill, or something very large, such as sudden unemployment or an unforeseen medical expense. Just like the other emergencies, the best way to handle a financial crisis is to be prepared for it and the way to do this is by having a savings account built up. “An individual’s ability to save over time is innoculation against all types of high risk and high cost credit products,” said Nancy Register, associate director of the Consumer Federation of America and the National Director of America Saves. “It helps to avoid financial crises and to meet unexpected financial expenditures.” Register said that research shows that most familes, no matter what their income level, will incur about $2,000 of unexpected expenses per year. She said that those who do not build up a savings account to rely on for such emergencies are then forced to turn to credit cards and other means to pay their bills and this can lead to accruing high levels of debt that they are unable to escape from. And while America Saves targets lower income families, Register says that the advice can apply to all income levels as even those with high incomes still need to spend within their means. Even those with higher incomes were left struggling when the economic downturn eliminated jobs at all income levels. “The recession has shown why savings are important,” said Register. Ellen Weber, senior vice president and district manager with Capital One Bank concurs that consumers should make an effort to boost their savings. Whether sav-


Nancy Register of America Saves, advises everyone to have a savings account with enough funds to cover unexpected financial events.

ing their tax refund or planning to set aside taxes they might owe for next year, she advises consumers to consider ways in which they can boost their savings. She also says it is important for students who will soon be entering college. “Proactively managing personal finances while preparing for college will position students for brighter financial futures,” says Weber. So what advice do these experts have to help get people started down the road to savings? Register said the first thing that should be done is to set goals – short term, intermediate term and long term. “If you know that you’re saving for

something, you are less likely to use that money for something else,” said Register. Examples of short-term goals might be enough to cover the cost of a vacation or the down payment on a car. An intermediate goal could be an amount equal to the downpayment on a home. And a long-term goal, which is probably a very common one for most folks, is retirement. Another sensible goal is to have enough in savings to cover expenses for a three-month period should something unforeseen occur and income suddenly be halted. After setting those goals, the next step is to develop a plan. ‘Our research shows that those who save the most successfully are those that have a plan,” said Register. She advises everyone to examine how much revenue they earn in a time period, such as one month, and compare it to how much they spend. Surprisingly, she said that many fail to do this and wind up spending more money than they actually earn, resulting in a lack of savings and possibly high interest debt. “Spend less than you earn,” said Register.“A lot of (financial) tips are not so much about savings but about spending less. Once they save on one thing, they spend it on something else.” Weber adds that consumers should begin to save immediately. She says that while some may find it challenging to make an effort to save in a fluctuating economy, the quicker that people start saving, the quicker interest will be earned and the higher the savings fund will be. After setting a goal and making a plan, Register says that another key component is to find a way to do it automatically. Some banks offer programs where money is automatically moved from a checking to a savings account, as a means of auto-

matically saving money. Weber concurred that an automatic savings program is a great way to set aside money and says that one of the easiest ways of accumulating savings is to have funds automatically moved to an account every month or with every paycheck. In addition, Weber also says that although some may find it difficult to set aside money, it’s always a good idea to get into a routine of doing so and it is particularly important for those who need to set aside savings at the end of the year for taxes. When choosing a savings account, Weber also advises that consumer look for the best rate of return that will match their lifestyle and needs. According to Weber, some checking accounts offer higher interest rates than CDs, which gives more flexibility and access to the money than a CD does. She also adds that Capital One Bank’s High Yield Free Checking account earns an interest rate that is five times the national average and that the rate is guaranteed for one year. Additionally, Weber also suggests that consumers choose a product without unnecessary fees. She suggests looking for a product that offers no recurring monthly fees, and also advises seeking the security of FDIC insurance, so that the money, up to FDIC limits, will be safe, Another way that consumers can increase savings, according to Register, is by the traditional method of not spending change, and instead letting it build up in a jar or other container. She said the same strategy could be used with bills as well, such as stashing away every five dollar bill that is received in change. For more information on the America Saves program visit their website, The website for Capital One Bank is

Paychecks stop. Life goes on. Retirement can include a steady income. Understanding and managing your retirement income strategies can help you put a confident retirement within reach. As an Ameriprise financial advisor, I’ll work with you to define your retirement dreams. Then, I’ll apply our disciplined financial planning approach, considering all aspects of your finances. And together, we’ll create a plan that works for you — with the products and strategies that are right for your goals. Learn how you can put your confident retirement more within reach. Our Advisors. Your Dreams. MORE WITHIN REACH® Call me today at (516) 345.2600 Philip P. Andriola, JD Private Wealth Advisor Andriola, Goldberg & Associates A private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. An Ameriprise Private Wealth Advisory practice

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Selecting A Financial Professional

How To Avoid Cyber Threats continued from page 6B

to them to do that. And then everybody will get it. There’s no inherent additional security to a Mac, there’s just less people writing malware to attack them.”

continued from page 10B

Investors should also find out if their investment professional has any relationship with a particular product or company, which might be an incentive to guide investors to one product over another. She explains that just as items in a grocery store that are placed at the end of an aisle tend to have higher sales, the same analogy holds true for investments. She recommends that investors inquire about this to make sure they are not being directed toward a particular fund or investment product because the broker or firm has an incentive for doing so. “The investment advisors are required to disclose those kinds of conflicts of interests,” says Walsh. “With brokers, they’re not. They have to disclose all the fees available to them, but that’s why it’s so important to ask the question because it will help you to understand.” She further adds that investors could learn about this by asking questions such as “Is there some sort of sales contest?” Another way of doing so is to ask, “Why are you recommending this product over a different one when the two products are similar? Is compensation to you or to the firm any way related to that recommendation?” Investors who are seeking information on mutual funds, Exchange Traded Funds, and Exchange Traded Notes can go to FINRA’s website and use the Fund Ana-

7. Don’t get hacked when sipping coffee. Bucci advised that it is best to do any online banking and other web-based activity on secure networks, preferably a home Internet connection if possible. While many are taking to coffee shops and other free wi-fi hot spots, Bucci advises that signal stealing occurs in these types of settings.

There are online resources available for investors to gather information about financial professionals and products. Two useful websites are and

lyzer tool. This will help investors learn about the costs associated with these products.



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7. Is this investment registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission? Walsh said that most securities are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. According to her, there are some exceptions such as Treasury securities issued by the United States government and some securities from small companies. However, most investments are required to be registered so if a financial professional is recommending a product that is not registered, investors are advised to examine it more closely. According to the SEC, registration is important because it provides investors with access to key information about the company’s management, products, services, and finances. Investors can check whether an investment is registered with the SEC by using the SEC’s EDGAR database or contacting the SEC’s toll-free investor assistance line at (800) 732-0330. Information is also available at FINRA’s website. “If it’s not, you want to understand more about the particular investment,” cautions Walsh. “You want to ask about the costs, the risks, the liquidity – how do you make money on the investment – how do you lose money on the investment. Those are all important considerations.” 8. Do you know what my expectations are? Before choosing an investment professional, Walsh also suggests being sure that your expectations are well communicated. It’s also important for investors to know how they will communicate with their financial professional. If a decision is made, investors have to be able to pass the information along and have their requests acted upon. “You really want to understand how you will communicate with the investment professional,” says Walsh. “If you have expectations for what services they will be providing, you want to be clear about that because if they are unable to provide those services or if it isn’t within their business line to provide those services – you just want to be aware – that’ll influence your decision.”

“Most consumers use their home computer very cavalierly. They don’t have good software protection. They don’t have firewalls, anti-virus software and anti-spyware software. And if they do have those things, they’re probably not kept up to date.” - Dr. Steven P. Bucci, a recognized expert in security and a faculty member with Long Island University’s Homeland Management Security Institute

8. Be smart with your phone. With the explosion of smartphones and apps, many are using their phone for operations traditionally done on a desktop or notebook computer. Bucci advises that smartphones are actually mini computers and can have some of the same security vulnerabilities. He recommends that smartphone owners install security software for those models that it is available for. 9. Have a strong password. Bucci also recommends that passwords be chosen which are difficult for hackers to guess. Strong passwords have a combination of capital letters, lower case letters, symbols and numbers. He also advises that passwords be changed every 90 days, at a minimum. 10. Don’t panic. Although, the cyber threat can be frightening, by performing simple, reasonable steps, computer owners can keep themselves protected from most threats. Even those who do not use computers can be compromised through check washing and dumpster diving tactics. While nothing is 100 percent guaranteed, hackers with the sophistication that is required to break through a reasonably protected computer are more likely to go after bigger targets such as banks. “I tell people they really need to have good cyber personal hygiene,” advises Bucci. “They need to be smart with where they go on the Web, what they click on, what they open. They need to keep their computers updated with all of latest software and all of the updates from that company. And that’s as good as you can do as an individual.”



Maintain a Diversified Portfolio Even In Turbulent Times While it is always important to maintain a diversified portfolio, it is especially vital to remain diversified during volatile market conditions. As an investor, you should be careful not to get caught up in any panic selling and should maintain your focus on long-term goals. This point is especially key if you have already built a well-diversified portfolio. If you are concerned about any particular securities, it may be better to discuss these with your Financial Advisor before cashing out. Although no one can be certain about how the market will react long-term, history shows that cataclysmic events that prompted shortterm market losses later led to a more stable investing climate across all industry sectors. But still keep in mind that past results are not indicative of what will happen in the future. The more your portfolio is diversified, the less chance you have of one security or investment having a detrimental effect on your entire investment strategy. Bonds, stocks and cash are the three major asset classes. Analyzing your investment objectives and tolerance for risk with your Financial Advisor will help determine the right mix of these asset classes for your situation. Within these asset classes, you can diversify further by owning stocks in different industries and countries; purchasing different types of bonds and different types of short-term cash instruments. Defensive stocks typically outperform in a slowing economy or recession. These are typically stocks of companies that provide necessities like food, utilities, pharmaceuticals, toiletries or other consumer products with a short shelf life. The theory is that consumers will continue to buy necessities like food and address their medical needs regardless of economic conditions. As a result, companies that sell these types of products should not be as negatively affected by a slowing economy as

companies that produce more discretionary types of products. It also is important to remember that even in good times the value of stocks and bonds go up as well as down. When the market is experiencing more volatile movements, gains and losses can seem enormous. It is important to keep your long-term strategy in mind when experiencing these changes and realize that they can balance themselves out over time. Unfortunately many investors associate a weak or volatile period in the economy as being the same as a weak time in the stock market, a perception that is not always correct. Not all market declines lead to a recession. The truth is that the United States economy is cyclical, meaning that it moves through stages of growth and decline, varying in duration. A mistake made by many investors is that they buy and sell securities based on fluctuations in the economic data currently being reported rather than anticipating what the economy will look like in six to 12 months (based on a variety of factors including leading economic indicators) and making their investment decisions based on that outlook. Most successful investors take a long-term view — at least three to five years — rather than expecting stellar returns overnight or panicking when the value of their securities declines. While diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against loss, a long-term diversified investment strategy based on your investment goals and risk tolerance can create a winning approach for you regardless of whether the economy is booming or experiencing a brief downturn. You should talk with your Financial Advisor about what the best combination of investments is to accomplish your long-term goals.

This article was written by Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of Jason Lane , Vice President, Financial Advisor- Investment Officer. You can reach Jason in New York at 917-351-2201 or Investments in securities and insurance products are: NOT FDIC-INSURED/NOT BANK-GUARANTEED/MAY LOSE VALUE Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Member SIPC, is a registered broker-dealer and a separate non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.





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Anton News Banking & Finance, July 2012  
Anton News Banking & Finance, July 2012  

Banking & Finance special section of Anton Community Newspapers.