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• Risky Business; How Diversification Can Protect Investors from Market Swings • It Isn’t Your Father’s Bank; Many Changes Have Come to Banking • Clothes Can Make the Man and the Career on Wall Street

• Going From CPA to CD-ROM: Some Taxpayers Choosing Software to Prepare Their Own Taxes • Auto Loans: Does Refinancing Make Sense? • Save Now to Be Financially Strong Later

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Risky Business; How Diversification Can Protect Investors from Market Swings By Ronald Scaglia though he speaks of diversification as a good financial strategy, he states that everyone has to deariety may be the spice of life, but it also termine their own financial goals and plans and can be a good strategy for investment portfor some this could be a lack of diversification. folios. Varying what their money is investWhile taking on risk is, well, risky, everyone has ed in, or diversification, as it is referred to in fidifferent goals and situanancial circles, is a good tions. Those who invested way to protect investors all of their money into Apfrom the drastic swings in “By maintaining a properly ple stock at the turn of the the markets. century and have left it “When you think about balanced portfolio there since are probably diversifying, it really allows very glad that they did not you to manage your expowithin and across different diversify. For others, insure to volatility,” said vesting in different types Oliver Guerin, Financial asset classes. diversification of securities and different Consultant for Charles will help you manage products within those seSchwab & Co. curities may make good fiBy spreading their assets the risk and help nancial sense. out across different types of “With anything you want securities such as stocks, you achieve your to try and reduce risk as bond, cash etc. investors can much as possible,” said protect themselves if one overall goals Guerin. “With that said, the market declines while the more conservative, the lowothers remain stable. Simiand objectives.” er the reward you are going larly, within those different to receive. There are clients types of investments, in- Oliver Guerin, that are willing to take on vestors can protect themFinancial Consultant for more risk.” selves further. For example, Charles Schwab & Co. However, he later added, the equity part of a portfolio “You don’t want to be in a can be divided into large and concentrated position in one small cap stocks and differparticular stock because the reward may be great ent industries within those stock holdings, to provide but the downside risk can be enormous. You want further reduction from risk. The tradeoff of reduced to spread out that risk overall in the various asset risk is also the likelihood of diminished reward. classes.” “By maintaining a properly balanced portfolio So what is the right level of risk to have in an investwithin and across different asset classes. diversifiment portfolio? According to Guerin, that depends on cation will help you manage the risk and help you each investor’s, goals and objectives as well as their achieve your overall goals and objectives,” said Guerin. Guerin said there are some individuals who continued on page 10B will want to seek as much risk as possible so even



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It Isn’t Your Father’s Bank; Many Changes Have Come to Banking By Ronald Scaglia within supermarkets. He has been in banking for 30 years and he remembers ee you later alligator,” something else from the ’80s that is very “Groovy”, and “You look different from today - high interest rates. mahvelous” are all very popular He recalls when it was quite common expressions of days gone by that are for customers to receive more than five rarely, if ever, spoken in the 21st century. percent in interest on their certificates of Another one is “banker’s hours.” Back deposit. To control soaring inflation, the when pet rocks, lava lamps, and Rubik’s Federal Reserve raised interest rates in cubes were all the rage, banks were open the early ’80s to try and remove money weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and confrom the market and rein in inflation. sumers drove to the bank (usually on their “Paul Volcker (Federal Reserve Chairlunch hour) with their passbooks to make man 1979-1987) wrung inflation out of deposits, withdrawals, have interest postthe marketplace,” said Hoppenstendt. ed and check out interest rates. However, Of course, the Internet has a hubanking has changed tremendously. mungous impact on banking, as it has on “If you go back 20 or 30 years, banking many other industries. Today customers was done on the bank’s terms,” said Ancan log on to their accounts, transfer mondrew Kaplan, Executive Vice-President and ey, make payments, apply for loans and Director of Retail Products and Services do a whole array of for New York Bancorp, banking from the conof which the Roslyn Savings Bank is a sub“Today, banking is done venience of their homes without physically vissidiary. “You banked on the customer’s terms” iting a branch, someaccording to when your thing that was unimagbank told you. Today, Andrew Kaplan, inable when leisure banking is done on the Executive Vice-President suits were in style. customer’s terms.” Hoppenstendt recalls Indeed, it doesn’t and Director of Retail when consumer comseem all that long ago when customers rushed Products and Services for puter banking programs were in their infancy. to the bank on Fridays New York Bancorp He said that at the time, in order to have enough customers had to call money for weekend acup the bank and get a tivities. Checks for program for use on their computer. Today, credit card and mortgage payments were because of the Internet, a whole array of mailed days ahead of their due dates in orbanking can be done with a couple of der to ensure on-time payments and making clicks of a mouse or touches on a tablet a withdrawal on a holiday was unheard of. through the use of a browser or app. “Every branch has ATMs and just a Hoppenstendt said he helped to build decade ago not every branch of certain the banking call center in the ’90s, somebanks had an ATM,” said Kaplan. thing which was uncommon at the time For those who prefer the old-fashioned but is now essential for banks who want to method of visiting the bank and making a keep their current customers and attract deposit with a teller, even that process is new ones. now more convenient than ever. PreviousCheck clearing is another huge adly, withdrawals could only be made at the vancement. Those who banked in the ’80s client’s home branch location where sigwill recall when there could be a wait of a nature cards were kept on file and week or more for deposited checks to get checked before a transaction was completthrough a clearing house and the money ed, Now with electronic networking and to be available in a customer’s account, because of an easing of banking regulaparticularly if the check was from out-oftions, most transactions can be done in state. And those who paid by check would any branch location, so a Long Islander sometimes have to wait the same long pecan go into a branch of their bank in riod to receive merchandise purchased Florida and still conduct their business. until the receiver of the check could verify “Or you can go to your iPhone, or your that the check had indeed cleared. Today, Blackberry or your laptop, or your branch or most checks clear overnight and are availyour ATM or the telephone,” said Kaplan. able the next business day. And the hours when that branch is And as much as banking has changed available are now significantly expanded. over the last three decades, there figures Many banks today are now open nights, to be even more advances to take place in weekends and holidays and as Kaplan, the coming years and Hoppenstendt expoints out, The Roslyn Savings Bank has pects smart phones to be a big part of branches inside of supermarkets, so shopthose changes. pers can make a deposit after picking up a “That is going to expand more and quart of milk. more,” he said. Robert Hoppenstendt is a senior vicepresident with Bethpage Federal Credit continued on page 12B Union which also has branches located




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Clothes Can Make the Man and the Career on Wall Street By Ronald Scaglia re you looking to begin a career in the financial industry or advance one that is already started? If so, you need to ask yourself a question. How do you look? For success in the board rooms of Wall Street, or for that matter right here in Nassau, how well you are dressed can determine how far you will go. “We are very visual creatures,” said Victor Talbot Scognamiglio, owner of Victor Talbot men’s store in Greenvale which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. “People do not realize the power of getting dressed up.” Scognamiglio said that a sharp look can help individuals get more of a credible look whether they are trying to get ahead in business or simply trying to get the best table in a restaurant. He said that those with professional images and dapper appearances are more likely to separate themselves from the crowd and command the coveted leadership roles. “It’s wearable art,” said Scognamiglio. However, Scognamiglio said that to have a well-polished appearance, gentlemen need to keep abreast of the fashion trends. He said that men who have not purchased a new suit in the last three or four years are woefully behind the curve. In fact, as an example he alluded to the presidential candidates who he says have wardrobes that are more appropriate for 2008 as opposed to 2012. He said that today’s modern style calls for younger, trimmer looking suits such as those worn in the late ’50s, and ’60s, with a blend of ’70s fashion, such as worn by John F. Kennedy. “Business casual is out,” said Scognamiglio who added that the look of wearing a suit or jacket without a tie may be suited for a nightclub but is disastrous for those in the corporate world. Furthermore, Scognamiglio said that while going without a tie


Narrower lapels, as seen on this suit, help to give a leaner, more athletic look which is the current fashion style according to Scognamiglio.

Victor Talbot Scognamiglio, owner of Victor Talbot’s men’s shop in Greenvale says that double-breasted suits like he is wearing in this photo, are the current fashion trend.

had become a somewhat popular look, ties are making a big comeback. To look their best, gentlemen should wear ties that go in conjunction with the lapels of the suits they are wearing. According to Scognamiglio, the current fashion trend has lapels narrowing and thus ties have gotten thinner, with ties of widths of between 2 3/4 and 3 1/4 inches being popular. He also said that bolder shirts with printed ties are also in style, a look that comes from England, and therefore paisley and foulard ties are also the “now” look. He added that Italy is setting

the trend for colors and yellow, orange, green and pink are currently in fashion. In addition, Scognamiglio also said that full Windsor knots are also currently in style. As for suits to go with those ties, Scognamiglio said that the current trend is for coats with sharp shoulders and higher arms and pants that have flat-fronts and pants with shorter lengths to show a bit more of the shoes. He said that double-breasted suits are regaining their popularity and two-button suits are the best choice to be in step with the current fashion trend. With lapels narrowing,

7 , ° 1- -- -

wide lapels are out of style as are double and triple-pleated pants and the monochromatic look made popular at the turn of the century. Again, following the lead of European style, blue, gray and tan are good color choices as are pinstripes and chalk stripes. “Fashion trends are driven by fashion designers in Europe,” said Scognamiglio. He said that shirts are also keeping with the same theme as suits and are now designed to be more fitted and trimmer with medium spread collars being the current style of choice. Scognamiglio recommends pink, blue and white when choosing a color and also advises gingham checks and stripes. According to Scognamiglio, there has been a resurgence in shirts with white collars and white cuffs, but gentlemen should avoid shirts with narrow point collars. For those who worry that they may not fit well into the fitter and trimmer look that he is advising, Scognamiglio says that if the apparel is tailored properly there should be no issue. He said that European suits are designed to be worn in board rooms for individuals who quickly move between meetings and the trimmer suits should be as comfortable as other fuller cut suits, if tailored correctly. “You should really seek the advice of a specialty store,” said Scognamiglio. He added that his store has won an award for having true bespoke apparel. Scognamiglio also advises that gentlemen be sure to maintain their new fashions properly, as there is no point to having in fashion clothing if it doesn’t fit properly or looks ragged as that will defeat the purpose of wearing fashionable apparel. To accomplish that, his store offers lifetime maintenance of apparel including free pressing and free alterations to keep clothing looking sharp and professional.

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Going From CPA to CD-ROM: Software to Prepare Your Taxes By Ronald Scaglia om Eckert had enough. Every year, the fee charged by his accountant to prepare his income taxes had increased so that within five years he went from paying $125 to $200, without any major changes in his financial situation. So, after five years he once again went to his accountant and paid him to do his taxes but he also purchased Turbo Tax software and simultaneously did his taxes with the program. When the difference in the return prepared by his accountant and the one Eckert prepared was a miniscule $5, Eckert became a loyal Turbo Tax user and has since done his own taxes with the help of the tax software. “I didn’t see the value,” said Eckert who is the general manager of the Microcenter store in Westbury. “I wasn’t getting more out of using the services (of accountants).” Like many tax filers, Eckert will again be using Turbo Tax to complete his taxes. Microcenter had four versions of the tax software in stock with the basic package costing $29.99 at Microcenter. The Deluxe package which has an added feature for maximizing deductions costs $59.99 at Microcenter, The Premier Edition which has added features for those with investments costs $89.99 at Microcenter and the Home & Business edition for those who own their own business retails for $99.99 at Microcenter. According to Eckert, Turbo Tax is by far the most popular tax software product sold at his store. He believes that consumers are drawn to it because Turbo Tax has positioned itself as the dominating presence in the marketplace. “It had brand recognition and that’s what drew me to it,” said Eckert. For those who prefer another option, H&R Block also produces tax software.


Tom Eckert (l) and Chris Robertson with some of the tax preparation software available at Microcenter.

Eckert said it is the second most popular software sold at his Microcenter store. At that store the basic edition costs $19.99, the Deluxe edition which has guidance for homeowners and investors costs $49.99 and the Premium edition, for the self-employed and those with rental property, retails for $64.99. Chris Robertson, sales manager at the Westbury Microcenter said he has personally used the H&R Block program. “It’s very easy to use,” said Robertson of the program. “It walks you through everything and gives you a check to make sure you didn’t miss anything.” There are other tax software programs such as Tax Act for those who are looking for another choice. However, whichever

program taxpayers choose, both Eckert and Robertson say that taxpayers will find it more affordable and also more convenient to prepare their taxes with a software program as opposed to paying an accountant. “Every year I go, they (accountants) ask a couple of questions and I don’t know what I’m getting for it,” said Daniel Martins, Retail Sales Manager at Microcenter. In addition to the savings, Eckert said that preparing his own tax return has made him more knowledgeable about his portfolio. For example, he said that he is now better aware of how frequently some of his stock holdings pay dividends, and how high those dividends are. He said that he is also more aware of changes so he is able to determine if one of his investments

is not performing as well as it should be. Robertson added that preparing his own returns makes him more aware of what items are deductible and he keeps this in mind throughout the year. In fact, he said that he is saving more receipts than he previously had done. “You would never know what’s available unless you do it yourself,” said Robertson of deductible items. New York State taxpayers should be aware that this year, the state has implemented a new e-file requirement. The new e-file requirement mandates that individuals who prepare their return with software that supports electronic filing, and who also have access to the Internet, must file electronically. Those who fail to do so may be subject to a $25 penalty unless they can document that failure to electronically file was due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect. The website of the New York State Department of Taxation ( lists the software programs which are approved for electronic filing. The department also advises that software providers can charge you for using their software to prepare and calculate your tax return, but they can’t charge extra for e-filing as this is prohibited by New York law. Additionally, according to that website, about half of all New York State taxpayers can prepare and e-file their federal and state income tax returns at no cost. Those with incomes of $57,000 or less in 2011 may qualify for FreeFile and can use free tax preparation and free e-filing software. It is available through the website of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, where software companies make their products available for free. Those who believe they may qualify and are interested in the program should visit that website.

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Protecting Investors from Market Swings properly diversifying within and across different asset classes,” said Guerin. time frame for getting there. That is why he “Even within an equity component, urges clients to sit down with a professional make sure you have the right amount in and plan a solid financial strategy. large cap, the right amount in small cap “Managing risk really comes down to (and) the right amount in international trying to identify your financial goals and because we never know which asset understanding your comfort level.” classes will tend to do better within a “Are you saving for retirement?” given time.” Guerin said is one consideration that inHe also said that there are different levvestors should have. “Are you saving for els of risk within stocks. Guerin said that your child’s education, a new car, a large companies that are listed in the S&P house? Really take a few minutes to write 500 offer analysts the opportunity to do those things down and to have a financial plenty of research and offer a best guess as plan. There’s no right or wrong answer to where the prices of those stocks may whether you’re aggressive or conservatrend. Conversely, he said that the retive. It’s really having a plan that matches sources of information in efficient markets your financial profile.” of international and small cap stocks may Guerin said that those with short timebe limited, making those equities more lines, such as those who plan on retiring risky. within five years might want to be less agGuerin gives the same advice about digressive and not risk the volatility and unversifying in fixed holdings. He said that predictability that can occur with a short investors sometimes forget that bonds span. Again, he hold risks as well, strongly emphasized even though they that each individual’s are fixed income se“Based on the leading situation is different curities. and that someone “Although we indicators and based on with short-term goals think of bonds berecent earnings numbers, might still want to ing a fixed rate of take on risk and those return, there are there’s a sentiment in the with long-term goals risks with bonds,” may want to be conmarket that’s more said Guerin. “You servative, which is have the credit risk. on the positive side, but we why he advises makWe have the risk ing a plan and speakthat we’re seeing in always want to be ing with a financial Europe. Sometimes cautiously optimistic because clients may be foadvisor. He said that those so much on we’re still not out of the woods cused investors looking to the yield but not on avoid risk may want the actual risk with with the European debt to consider having a issues they’re situation and also the political the maximum of 35 to participating in. So 40 percent of their I think there’s an tension in the Middle East.” assets invested in important piece of equities and the rest - Oliver Guerin, Financial Consultant diversifying within of their portfolio inyour fixed income for Charles Schwab & Co. allocation by buyvested in fixed income investments ing government as with about 10 perwell as good investcent of that in cash. He also said that ment grade corporates and still being such investors might want to be espewithin a specific time frame within those cially cautious about investing in small bond equities.” cap stocks and emerging markets, as As for an overall picture of the financial these tend to be very volatile. However, markets, Guerin was reluctant to make those with longer term goals might be any specific prognostications as to where willing to increase their risk and the the market may be headed. He said that possibility of a loss in the near term in recent indicators have been conveying order achieve a greater reward further positive news but there is still great uncerdown the line. tainty in the world, both politically and fi“For those clients who have a signifinancially. Therefore, it is all the more reacant amount of time on the horizon son for investors to constantly be speaking overall, it’s more reassessing your risk,” with their financial advisor, monitoring said Guerin. “How much risk are you their portfolio and goals, and being sure to willing to take and have the ability to be diversified. look at different sectors and ask the “We don’t have a crystal ball but based questions that will maximize the rate of on the leading indicators and based on return while sticking to your overall firecent earnings numbers, there’s a sentinancial plan.” ment in the market that’s more on the Again, Guerin said that everyone’s fipositive side,” said Guerin. “But we alnancial situation is different and there is ways want to be cautiously optimistic beno magic formula of what percentage to cause we’re still not out of the woods invest in different securities. However, as with the European debt situation and also an example of a somewhat more aggresthe political tension in the Middle East. sive portfolio that is also diversified, It really comes down to managing the Guerin said that those with longer timerisk, staying properly diversified within lines to reach their goals might consider a and across asset classes and staying the scenario in which 60 percent of their portcourse. Even in times when you’re seefolio is invested in equities (stocks) and ing appreciation and rallying in the mar40 percent is invested in fixed income seket you should always be in a position to curities such as bonds, with 5 percent of re-evaluate and review your holdings bethis in cash. cause anything can happen at a given Again, within both aggressive and time.” conservative portfolios, diversification For those who wish to learn more about can still be the key to limiting risk and the products and services offered by preventing financial pain. So within Charles Schwab and Co., you can visit both types of strategies, Guerin recomtheir website at or visit one mends consulting with a financial adviof their branches. Locally, they have sor and speaking about diversifying branches on Frankin Avenue in Garden holdings. City, Great Neck Road in Great Neck, and “I do think there are some rewards by Wall Street in Huntington. continued from page 3B





REITs Are a Way for Individuals to Invest in Commercial Real Estate hose seeking another sector of the financial markets to invest in might consider commercial real estate. An easy way for investors to do this is to invest in real estate investment trusts (REITs). According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, a real estate investment trust, generally, is a company that owns – and typically operates – income-producing real estate or real estate-related assets. REITs provide a way for individual investors to earn a share of the income produced through commercial real estate ownership – without actually having to go out and buy commercial real estate. The income-producing real estate assets owned by a REIT may include office buildings, shopping malls, apartments, hotels, resorts, self-storage facilities, warehouses, and mortgages or loans. Real estate investment trusts were a pretty good investment in 2011 based on data released by the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT). According to the data, the total return of the FTSE NAREIT All Equity REITs Index was up 8.28 percent for 2011 and the FTSE NAREIT All REITs Index, which includes both equity and mortgage REITs, was up 7.28. The following is information about REITs from of The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy. What are REITs? Real estate investment trusts (“REITs”) allow individuals to invest in large-scale, income-producing real estate. A REIT is a company that owns and typically operates income-producing real estate or related assets. These may include office buildings, shopping malls, apartments, hotels, resorts, self-storage facilities, warehouses, and mortgages or loans. Unlike other real estate companies, a REIT does not develop real estate properties to resell them. Instead, a REIT buys and develops properties primarily to operate them as part of its own investment portfolio. Why would somebody invest in REITs? REITs provide a way for individual investors to earn a share of the income produced through commercial real estate ownership – without actually having to go out and buy commercial real estate. What types of REITs are there? Many REITs are registered with the SEC and are pub-



licly traded on a stock exchange. These are known as publicly traded REITs. Others may be registered with the SEC but are not publicly traded. These are known as nontraded REITs (also known as non-exchange traded REITs). This is one of the most important distinctions among the various kinds of REITs. Before investing in a REIT, you should understand whether or not it is publicly traded, and how this could affect the benefits and risks to you. What are the benefits and risks of REITs? REITs offer a way to include real estate in one’s investment portfolio. Additionally, some REITs may offer higher dividend yields than some other investments, but there are some risks. And because they do not trade on a stock exchange, non-traded REITs involve special risks. What are the special risks involved with non-traded REITs? Lack of Liquidity: Non-traded REITs are illiquid investments. They generally cannot be sold readily on the open market. If you need to sell an asset to raise money quickly, you may not be able to do so with shares of a non-traded REIT. Share Value Transparency: While the market price of a publicly traded REIT is readily accessible, it can be difficult to determine the value of a share of a non-traded REIT. Non-traded REITs typically do not provide an estimate of their value per share until 18 months after their offering closes. This may be years after you have made your investment. As a result, for a significant time period you may be unable to assess the value of your non-traded REIT investment and its volatility. Distributions May Be Paid from Offering Proceeds and Borrowings: Investors may be attracted to nontraded REITs by their relatively high dividend yields compared to those of publicly traded REITs. Unlike publicly traded REITs, however, non-traded REITs frequently pay distributions in excess of their funds from operations. To do so, they may use offering proceeds and borrowings. This practice, which is typically not used by publicly traded REITs, reduces the value of the shares and the cash available to the company to purchase additional assets. Conflicts of Interest: Non-traded REITs typically have an external manager instead of their own employees. This can lead to potential conflicts of interests with

shareholders. For example, the REIT may pay the external manager significant fees based on the amount of property acquisitions and assets under management. These fee incentives may not necessarily align with the interests of shareholders. How can you buy and sell REITs? You can invest in a publicly traded REIT, which is listed on a major stock exchange, by purchasing shares through a broker. You can purchase shares of a non-traded REIT through a broker that participates in the non-traded REIT’s offering. You can also purchase shares in a REIT mutual fund or REIT exchange-traded fund. Are there special fees? Publicly traded REITs can be purchased through a broker. Generally, you can purchase the common stock, preferred stock, or debt security of a publicly traded REIT. Brokerage fees will apply. Non-traded REITs are typically sold by a broker or financial adviser. Non-traded REITs generally have high up-front fees. Sales commissions and upfront offering fees usually total approximately 9 to 10 percent of the investment. These costs lower the value of the investment by a significant amount. Are there special tax considerations? Most REITS pay out at least 100 percent of their taxable income to their shareholders. The shareholders of a REIT are responsible for paying taxes on the dividends and any capital gains they receive in connection with their investment in the REIT. Dividends paid by REITs generally are treated as ordinary income and are not entitled to the reduced tax rates on other types of corporate dividends. Consider consulting your tax adviser before investing in REITs. Are there concerns about fraud? Be wary of any person who attempts to sell REITs that are not registered with the SEC. You can verify the registration of both publicly traded and non-traded REITs through the SEC’s EDGAR system. You can also use EDGAR to review a REIT’s annual and quarterly reports as well as any offering prospectus. For more on how to use EDGAR, please visit Research Public Companies. You should also check out the broker or investment adviser who recommends purchasing a REIT.



Coming Soon In Your Anton Newspaper! VACATION & TRAVEL


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August 2011


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Refinancing an existing auto loan could save car owners a significant amount in interest charges.

Does Refinancing Make Sense? any of us have thought about refinancing our mortgages, but have you ever considered refinancing your auto loan? Bethpage Federal Credit Union, which specializes in auto refinancing, says that even just a small decrease in the interest rate you are paying could make a huge difference in your monthly payments and the amount paid over the life of your loan. In just 15 minutes, Bethpage can calculate your savings with auto refinancing. Here’s an example: You purchase a vehicle for $25,000 at 3.24 percent APR for five years and then, a month later, you see that a financial institution like Bethpage is offering 1.99 percent APR*. Here’s how much you can save by refinancing:


Approximate Loan Comparison



Approximate Remaining Loan Balance



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Monthly Payments



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The refinance kept you in a 5-year loan, lowered your monthly payment, and saved you $828.30 over the life of the loan. So when does an auto refinance make sense? Bethpage offers these tips: * You need to lower your monthly loan payment and/or extend the loan term. * Interest rates for auto loans have gone down since your purchase. * Your credit score has improved and you qualify for a lower rate. * The rate your dealer gave you is much higher than your credit union. For more information on Bethpage’s auto refinancing and rates, call 1-800-628-7070 or visit Or, stop by any of Bethpage’s 26 Long Island branch locations.

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Many Changes Have Come to Banking

January 2012

continued from page 4B

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He also said that he expects person to person transfers of money through smart phones to become even more common. He also added that in parts of Asia, it is possible to make purchases at a vending machine by having a smart phone send a signal to that machine, and he expects that to be utilized in the United States in the future. Hoppenstendt also said that he expects credit and debit cards to change significantly in the United States by 2014. He said currently, Europe is making use of technology in which microchips are embedded into the cards instead of magnetic stripes which are currently in use here. Hoppenstendt said that the chips are read and the customer puts in a pin code when making a purchase. Because the chips are constantly changing their algorithms, it makes fraud very difficult. “In Europe, it’s taken fraud out of the mix,” said Hoppenstendt. But fear not, fans of traditional banking. While it seems as if banking will become nothing more than a rapid series of computer transactions, Hoppenstendt said there will always be some of the traditional methods of banking that have been used

for years. “There is always going to be branches,” said Hoppenstendt. “There is always going to be a part of the population that wants to use branches.” However, because of the new technology, banks will have to become more advanced and consumer friendly in order to survive, as it is even easier for consumers to compare rates and banking option. “Customers expect their banks to have branches; customers expect their banks to have Internet access and online banking and a wide selection of products and choices,” said Kaplan. “They expect their banks to be competitive because they can shop other banks from their desktop and not from their dashboard by having to drive from bank to bank. And they expect the bank to be available, when they’re available. I think that is the biggest difference in banking from 20 years ago or 30 years ago. We need to be able to service a customer as a customer expects to be serviced and when they want to be serviced.” “Our mission is to give a good return on savings or loan products because our members are shareholders,” said Hoppenstendt. “What we return is value to our members.”



Professional Advice About Investing With Time on Your Side An investment retirement account (IRA) is also one of the best bets for your extra investment dollars. In 2012, the maximum allowable contribution to an IRA is the lesser of $5,000 or the amount of your taxable earnings for the year. IRAs come in several varieties, all of which offer important tax advantages. A traditional IRA is funded with Five Years Out pretax dollars, while a Roth IRA is funded with after-tax When you’re just starting out, you may have specific fidollars and offers the future benefit of tax-free withnancial goals such as buying a car or making a down paydrawals in retirement. There’s also the Education IRA, ment on a home that you hope to realize in the near fuwhich provides a tax-sheltered investment option to save Adopt the Saving Habit and ture. When your financial goal is attainable in as few as for education costs. This is an important tool to help manfive years, you may want to utilize laddered Certificates Get a Head Start age the skyrocketing cost of college tuition for Like any behavior, saving is a habit that reyour children. quires discipline. The more you do it, the easier You may decide to invest directly in stocks and it becomes. Focus on the rewards of being fiBecause the process can be complex, bonds to help build future investment income. A nancially independent to instill a saver’s mindgenerous time horizon allows you to patiently consult a financial advisor when you’re ready to invest set. With careful investing, your savings have wait for companies to reach their potential and the potential to grow which will reinforce your can help you ride out bumps in the market. Mainwho can help you apply strategies suited to good habits. taining a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds Remember that time is a powerful ally in the your financial goals. A financial professional can offer is one way to balance risk and reward. investor’s portfolio. Investment earnings that Keep in mind that wherever there’s more poinsight and experience and help you are allowed to grow over time benefit from tential for reward, there’s also more risk. Unless compounding. With compounding, you earn inyou have the time and skill to analyze and track adjust your investments as your terest on your interest earnings, creating a fibusinesses, investing in mutual funds may be a nancial snowball effect over time. circumstances change. better option than trying to select individual stocks or time the market. But understand that Employ Time-Sensitive Strategies there is no fool-proof way to invest; mutual funds While investing for the long-term is an imalso fluctuate in value and can cause you to lose some of of Deposit (CDs) to make the most of your savings. portant goal, it shouldn’t be your only consideration. In what you originally invested. Laddering involves buying CDs with staggered maturithe years to come, you will encounter short, moderate and ty dates. This strategy strikes a balance between the oplong-term savings needs that can be addressed with differposing need for liquidity and returns. As your CDs maSeek Investment Advice ent strategies. ture along the ladder, you can reinvest the money for a Because the process can be complex, consult a financial longer period at a more competitive rate knowing that anadvisor when you’re ready to invest who can help you apother CD will mature and be available when you might Short-Term Needs ply strategies suited to your financial goals. A financial need access to your cash. First things first — establish an emergency fund. With professional can offer insight and experience and help you money set aside for emergencies, you won’t have to resort adjust your investments as your circumstances change. 20 Years and Beyond to credit or empty your bank account to manage an unexPhilip P. Andriola, J.D. is a Private Wealth Advisor pected car repair, medical expense or layoff. Set a goal to with Andriola, Goldberg & Associates, a financial advisoEmployer-sponsored retirement plans are an optimal save aggressively until you have six months’ salary set ry practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. 401 way to build savings for a retirement that may be decades aside for this purpose. Franklin Avenue, Suite 101, Garden City. Phone 516-345away. Take advantage of matching contributions if they Your short-term savings need to be liquid, for easy ac2600; email: are available to you. By Philip P. Andriola, J.D. nvesting is an activity that belongs in every stage of your life. By investing early and steadily, young investors can seize the opportunity to achieve financial security sooner rather than later. Yet when you’re young, it’s tempting to delay saving and investing until a more convenient time. The truth is, the best time to start socking money away for your future is right now — before you have a mortgage, children or other obligations.


cess to cash when you need it. Don’t rely on your piggy bank or mattress, which offer zero growth and invite temptation. Better to stash emergency funds in a standard savings account or, for a slightly higher yield, a bank money market account.

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Taking action toward your retirement goals A complimentary roundtable dinner discussion to help you plan your way to a comfortable retirement Increased inflation. Longer life. Rising healthcare costs. Managing income. Volatile markets. These are all part of the new realities of retirement, and the reason why you should attend. Taking action toward your retirement goals. Specifically focused on your retirement needs and objectives, the seminar presents ideas on how you can prepare for and manage the many changing circumstances on the road to retirement, and answers such challenging questions as: • How can alternative investments help your portfolio? • How do you protect your portfolio during declining financial market conditions? • Are you prepared to potentially cover up to 60% of your income needs with your existing assets? • Do you know how to generate a reliable income stream to last throughout your retirement, which for some of us could be 30 years or more? • Do you know how to manage your portfolio to help withstand the effects of inflation and rapidly rising healthcare costs?

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RSVP Philip G. Palumbo 516-745-8849 UBS Financial Services Inc. 333 Earle Ovington Boulevard, Suite 600 Uniondale, NY 11553 This event is funded in part by Jackson National and Lincoln Financial. Jackson National, Lincoln Financial and UBS Financial Services Inc. are not affiliated. Neither UBS Financial Services Inc. nor any of its employees provide legal or tax advice. You should consult with your personal legal or tax advisor regarding your personal circumstances. As a firm providing wealth management services to clients, we offer both investments advisory and brokerage services. These services are separate and distinct, differ in material ways and are governed by different laws and separate contracts. For more information on the distinctions between our brokerage and investment advisory services, please speak with your Financial Advisor or visit our website at 79678

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Banking and Finance February 2012  
Banking and Finance February 2012  

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