Archive for March, 2014

Housing Bubble 2.0: ARMs & Reverse Mortgages are Back

Posted on March 31, 2014 by Saldutti

The housing recovery may have already peaked but some hallmarks of the boom era are making a comeback: Adjustable-rate mortgages and reverse mortgages In the fourth quarter, 31% of mortgages between $417,000 and $1 million were adjustable vs. fixed-rate, up from 22% a year earlier and the highest percentage since the third-quarter of 2008.  For mortgages above $1 million, 61% were adjustable, up from 56% a year earlier. In 2013, $15.3 billion in reverse mortgages loans were issued – via a government-backed program that allows seniors to borrow against the equity in their homes – up 20% vs. 2012, Reuters…

To Save or Pay Down Debt – That is the Question

Posted on March 26, 2014 by Saldutti

Sometimes it’s hard to figure out when you should save and when you should pay down your credit card debt. You don’t want to have debt and owe money; however, you also want to make sure you have some savings built up. With the average U.S. household credit card debt standing at $15,252, many Americans are in this predicament, according to Nerd Wallet. So, what should you do? How do you determine what’s the smartest move? Here are some ways to help you prioritize paying down debt and building up savings from Wall St. Cheat Sheet.   Make sure you…

U.S. Businesses Love to Write Checks

Posted on March 20, 2014 by Saldutti

A growing number of consumers don’t hesitate to buy a cup of coffee using an iPhone, bid for a dress on eBay and pay for it via PayPal, or purchase a sofa on OverStock.com with virtual bitcoins. But for American businesses, the old-fashioned paper check remains the preferred payment method. Businesses in the U.S. still pay50% of their bills by check, according to a September survey by the Association for Financial Professionals. That’s down from 74% in 2007, but the rate of decline has slowed, suggesting stubborn barriers to change. “Businesses know the check system works. It’s been around for…

Was Target Too Slow to Blow the Whistle?

Posted on March 19, 2014 by Saldutti

Target Corp.’s computer-security team was alerted when hackers broke into the retailer’s systems during the holiday shopping season, but decided the warning didn’t need a follow-up. In an emailed statement last Thursday, Target said it is investigating its response to the episode, which ultimately grew into one of the largest corporate credit-card heists in history. The attack began during the Black Friday shopping weekend and ran for three weeks, compromising 40 million credit and debit-card accounts and personal information of as many as 70 million customers. The acknowledgment raises questions about whether it might have been headed off.  “With the…

Visa & MasterCard Announce Payment Security Working Group

Posted on March 18, 2014 by Saldutti

MasterCard and Visa have announced the formation of a new cross-industry group focused on enhancing payment system security to keep pace with the expectations of consumers, retailers and financial institutions. The group will initially focus on the adoption of EMV chip technology in the United States, in addition to addressing other security-related topics, including tokenization, point-to-point encryption and broader needs of the region. “One of the critical roles we play is to protect consumers and businesses against criminals and fraudsters,” said Chris McWilton, president of North American Markets, MasterCard. This new group will include a diverse group of participants in…

St. Patrick's Day Brings the Green …

Posted on March 17, 2014 by Saldutti

As St. Patty’s Day falls on a Monday this year, and we can only imagine how many revelers will call in sick from work on Tuesday.  While “sick day” tallies elude our grasp, other numbers surrounding this mid-March holiday can be counted, and quite a few of them green. The National Retail Federation forecasts that St. Paddy’s spending for 2014 should grow modestly to $4.8 billion, up slightly (about 2%) from last year. Talk about a heapin’ pot o’ gold. So whether Irish green runs in your blood, or simply down your Celtic sweater in the form of spilled St….

5 Things That Are Stopping You From Getting Rich

Posted on March 14, 2014 by Saldutti

We would all love to have extra money, and it would be even better to have enough money to never worry about finances again. According to 2013 UBS Investor Watch findings, being wealthy means living with no financial constraints, but investors feel that at least $5 million is necessary to be wealthy. We can all agree that being rich means living without worrying about your finances, but is $5 million really the magic number? It probably depends on the person. What we do know is that most people would be happy to never count their change again or worry that…

Saldutti Alumni Deployed

Posted on March 13, 2014 by Saldutti

Over the last few months, we have received numerous requests concerning our former colleague, Ryan Murphy. Lance Corporal Murphy, a former team member of Saldutti, LLC, landed safely with his unit in Afghanistan for his deployment. Ryan is a machine gunner assigned to C Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines – also known as Suicide Charley. As a member of Suicide Charley Company, Ryan is proud to be a part of one of the most storied units of the Marine Corp. Legendary Marines Chesty Puller and John Basilone both served in this battalion. Ryan is serving in the Sangin area, Helmand…