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3 Things 3-11-24

Thing One


 Identity Theft Follow Up


Last week we talked about the prevalence of identity theft and the need to guard against it. In doing so, we shared with you a list of identity theft companies and their subscription prices. Today we share an actual alert that went out last week to all subscribers to LifeLock who hold American Express credit cards. We believe it provides emphasis to last week's points about remaining vigilant in protecting your personal information and also considering getting outside help in case you are ever an ID theft victim. Please see the letter below:


"Data Breach Exposes American Express Cards


Why are you receiving this?

A security incident has surfaced. You may or may not have been affected, but as always, we want to make you aware of the incident and remind you that you can take steps to help protect yourself. Check to make sure that you’re responding to LifeLock alerts, updating any software you use, changing your passwords often, and always watching out for phishing attempts.


What happened?

American Express is warning card members of a third-party data breach. Several other companies that use the hacked merchant processor could also be affected. Exposed American Express Card member data includes account numbers, names, and expiration dates. If exploited, cybercriminals can use this information to commit identity theft.


We have your back.

You can feel confident knowing that your membership gives you the tools you need if your information becomes exposed from this incident or others. You’ll get an alert if we detect possible fraudulent use of your information or find it on the dark web. If you become a victim of ID theft, we work to fix it.


Any new info you’d like us to monitor?

Your plan already includes Dark Web Monitoring, so make sure your information is complete and current. Take a moment to add or update information like your email, home address, phone number, credit card numbers, and more. We’ll send you a notification if we detect your personal information on the dark web. In the event this happens, please refer to our dedicated support page."


Thing Two


CDs or Not CDs, That Was The Question


We were asked recently by a client whether he should buy CDs. The following excerpt from nerdwallet covers our sentiments on the topic pretty well:


"...3 situations when CDs work best

CDs have historically offered some of the highest guaranteed returns among bank accounts, but that doesn’t automatically make them the best home for your savings or investments.


“You can go golfing with a baseball bat, but it doesn’t work as well as clubs,” says Derek Brainard, director of financial education at the nonprofit AccessLex Institute. Similarly, “a lot of people think of CDs for investing goals, but they might not be the most appropriate depending on your required rate of return.”


CDs can work well in the following three scenarios:


1. Locking up savings for a near-future purchase

This may include savings for a down payment on a home or car you plan to buy within five years. Other goals might be moving to another city, saving for a child’s education or going on a dream vacation. Whatever the goal, the money won’t be used until you’re ready and can stay safely out of reach in CDs. (If you have savings goals but don’t want to lose access to your money, consider high-yield savings accounts instead.)


2. Keeping some savings at a distance

CDs can be a way to stop yourself from spending an earmarked sum, whether that’s money you’ve saved up over time or a windfall such as from an inheritance. In addition, by creating a barrier to those funds with a CD, you have time to determine what to do with the money later, whether that’s investing, saving or spending it. In the meantime, your money can earn more interest than it would in a regular savings account.


3. Ensuring returns without market risk

Investing in CDs without a future purchase in mind might make sense for those who want to avoid risking their money in the stock market.

But remember that CDs are more for short-term safety than for long-term growth. For retirement savings, financial advisors often suggest an asset allocation that involves holding more stocks than bonds or CDs when retirement is decades away, and shifting to more bonds or CDs as retirement nears, to minimize the risk of losing money..."


Thing Three


"Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can." - Arthur Ashe


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