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/   Spotlight

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Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services

April 11, 2011
/   Insights

Today, Intuit released the latest edition of the Intuit 2020 report, Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services, which identifies and examines four key trend areas that will  transform the financial services industry...

Fast Facts: Student Loans

January 22, 2013
/   Insights

The Financial Services Roundtable recently released another iteration of its Fast Facts, reliable, bullet-point research about issues facing the financial services industry. Topics span TARP, Dodd-Frank, insurance, lending, retirement savings and more.  Below are some updated Fast...

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/   Spotlight

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Making Banking Fun: Gamification in Financial Services

August 5, 2013
/   Insights

Recently, the team sat in on American Banker’s webinar, “Gamification in Financial Services: Five Proven Ways to Get an Edge,” which shared how leading brands in financial services have applied gamification to reach...

Technology M&As: The Beats Go On

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/   Insights

The ongoing fascination with Apple’s $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics is entirely understandable, because it’s a cool story. However, it also says a lot about what’s going on between finance and tech.

What We’re Reading

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/   Spotlight

Below are interesting stories the staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below. Virtual Banking Worlds Provide Tangible Lessons American...

Small Business: Perception vs. Reality

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/   Insights

In the most recent election cycle, like most others before it, the one sector of the economy that got the most attention was small business.  This is the future, we were told by every...

What We’re Reading: Thanksgiving Edition

November 22, 2012
/   Spotlight

Below are interesting stories the staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below or Tweet @bankingdotcom. Mobile Thursday? Plans for Thanksgiving...

Between family and friends and today’s almost endless digital resources, young people have more information than ever before about how to manage their money. Yet, despite this wealth of information, the resulting financial advice may conflict, causing Millennials to feel confused about how they should really allocate their finances.

In recognition of Financial Literacy Month this April, it’s time to separate the money myths from the facts. Keep reading to learn about common financial misconceptions and how you can take charge of your financial journey.

  1. Myth: I’m in debt from my student loans; I can’t afford to save right now.

Fact: You can’t afford not to save. You’re likely to earn a much higher income with a college degree than without. So you may actually be in a much better financial position than you think. And while it can feel overwhelming to start a career already in debt, you need to view saving money as an equal priority to paying off debt, because an emergency expense could put you even further in debt.

Tip: Know your starting point. You need to know where you stand with your debt before you can take steps to improve your student loan situation. Consult your lender for available loan repayment options to understand the types of loans you have and their current payment terms. Then create a plan for paying off debt, which can make it much more manageable. To help with savings, start by automating your savings from each paycheck so you can achieve at least three to six months emergency funds.

  1. Myth: I’m too young for life insurance. 

Fact: You’re never too young to get life insurance. In fact, the younger you are, the lower the cost it will be. It’s important to protect your financial well-being whether you’re married or single, young or old, with or without kids. Plus, while the primary purpose of life insurance is the death benefit, most people don’t realize permanent life insurance can have a cash value and living benefits that are worth considering a part of your plan. 

Tip: Apply while you’re young and healthy. Not only will your premiums be lower, but it’s easier to qualify for a policy and you can acquire a larger cash value over the course of your life.

  1. Myth: I don’t make enough money to meet with a financial representative.

Fact: There is no minimum income requirement to meet with a financial representative, but there is much to gain when you work with an expert to create and understand your very own personalized financial plan. Your financial professional will help you understand how to make your money work for you, including how to save, spend, grow and protect your income. You only spend money when and if you decide to purchase a product or service.

Tip: Find someone who’s right for you. Find a financial representative who specializes in areas of importance to you. Your financial professional will guide you through a detailed discovery process to better understand your personal financial situation and your goals.

  1. Myth: I don’t need to purchase additional insurance; my employer benefits cover my needs.

Fact: If someone asked you to take a 40 or 60 percent pay cut, would you do it? While most employers do offer basic insurance as part of their benefits package, most plans only partially cover the employee, leaving a vulnerable gap in the event of a disability. Most people can’t live off only 40 or 60 percent of their income, which is what could happen if there is an accident or unfortunate circumstance that prevents you from working. 

Tip: Close the gap. Make sure you know exactly what percentage of your income your employer benefits cover and then meet with an expert to understand which insurance products or services can help bring you closer to full coverage. Disability insurance and life insurance are all worth considering.

  1. Myth: I can’t afford to invest in my retirement if I’m not earning enough money.

Fact: You can’t afford NOT to invest in your retirement. One of the most important things is to put as much as you can toward retirement today, even if it’s only 1 percent of your income to start with. Each year, try to increase your contributions to your retirement fund by 1 percent until you are maximizing your contributions. By starting early, you can also take better advantage of compounding, which can really add up over the years. 

Tip: Start early and invest as much as you can. Meet with a financial representative for guidance on which investments will work best for you. While all investments carry some level of risk, including the potential loss of principal invested, no investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss. But there are many options to choose from including stocks, bonds and mutual funds to tailor your investment strategy to your personal financial situation and future goals.

This Financial Literacy Month, commit yourself to your personal financial education. You’ll not only feel more confident and empowered to make smart money choices, but you’ll also have the tools and resources to set a solid financial plan for your future.


Emily Holbrook is the Director of the Young Personal Market for Northwestern Mutual. In this role she leads the company’s cross functional efforts to develop a strategy to help young singles, couples and families make progress toward achieving financial security. 


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James W. Gabberty

Gabberty is a professor of information systems at Pace University in New York City. An alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and New York University Polytechnic Institute, he has served as an expert witness in telecommunication and information security at the federal and state levels and holds numerous certifications from SANS & ISACA.

Marisa Mann

Marisa Mann brings over 15 years of experience in consulting and financial services industries to the Solstice team, working on large scale enterprise initiatives across many technologies, including specializing in the digital space – Internet and mobile. Mann is passionate about mobile and the endless possibilities for the enterprise, delivering business value through strong brand recognition and driving to excellence in the consumer experience. Prior to Solstice, Mann worked at JP Morgan Chase, Diamond Management and Technology Consultants, Washington Mutual, Inc, and Accenture.

Zachary Ehrlich

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Brad Strothkamp