Resources

Georgia State University has an Executive MBA program that fosters international business relationships.  Curriculum is agile and innovative.  Internships are offered in Asia, Cuba, and Silicon Valley.  Classes meet every other weekend for 17 months, beginning in August.  The deadline to apply is 3 April 2017.  Information sessions are offered Feb 10, Feb 22, and Mar 31.  emba.gsu.edu

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The Veterans of Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church offer at no cost to Veterans Job Networking, Resume writing, Interviewing skills, research guidance and VA Support and educational options through local colleges. The attendees and presenters share a common bond of military service and work one on one to further the Veterans abilities to expand their goals. Contact louparratt@gmail.com

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“Ministry with those who Serve” is an outreach of the United Methodist Church to spread the word on resources for Veterans. Visit them at http://www.UMC.org/military.

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“Action Ministries” leads communities and volunteers in serving their neighbors in need by providing hunger, housing and education solutions.  Funded by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the SSVF program is administered through Action Ministries Housing to provide supportive services to extremely low or very low-income veteran families residing in or transitioning to permanent housing.  Visit them at www.ActionMinistries.net.  Contact John Moeller at 404-968-8315 or JMoeller@ActionMinistries.net.

2 responses to Resources

  1. When it comes to finances, advice should be a good thing. Unfortunately financial predators exist and active military personnel and veterans are often the target as shown by this recent case in Texas.

    http://www.thinkadvisor.com/2015/04/14/army-vet-posed-as-broker-to-bilk-soldiers-sec-says?eNL=552d5c55160ba00f19bb2ebc&utm_source=dailywire041415&utm_medium=enewsletter&utm_campaign=dailywire&_LID=173612368

    Here are some tips to protect yourself:

    1. Check Qualifications
    Ask for a bio of the advisor to review background and years of experience. While there are many designations in the financial industry, some highly respected designations are the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM (CFP®) for financial planners, Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®) for investment managers, and the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) for life insurance specialists.

    There are services available online that help consumers learn more about financial advisors. FINRA has a Broker Check system (brokercheck.finra.org) which allows viewers to see where an advisor is registered and to view licenses, examinations, work history, criminal record, and regulatory background. For advisors of RIA firms (which includes fee- firms), use the SEC’s Investment Advisor Public Disclosure website (adviserinfo.sec.gov) to view the firm’s ADV Part 1, which includes an overview of the firm and information on fees and disciplinary history of the firm and its advisors. Be sure to also request a copy of the ADV Part 2 from the firm to review the advisor’s background such as education, licenses, designations, and other credentials.

    You may also consider asking the advisor for existing client references to learn more about the level of satisfaction, the customer experience, and how the advisor communicates with clients.

    2. Find out how they get paid
    Getting a clear picture of how an advisor gets paid is a critical part of the due diligence process. On one end of the spectrum, some advisors receive a commission when an investment or insurance product is sold. On the other end, “fee-only” advisors may be paid a stated fee (flat rate, hourly rate, or a percentage of assets under management) by their clients in exchange for services.

    A huge middle ground also exists between these two models called “fee-based” compensation. Fee- based advisors have the ability to accept both stated fees and commissions, so steering through the formal relationship to understand which capacity the advisor is serving under is often confusing. Regardless of the method, it is important to know what you are paying, so be sure to ask the advisor for a detailed listing of commissions for each product or a fee schedule in writing.

    3. Check for conflicts of interest
    Understand how incentives are aligned for an advisor so that you can properly evaluate any potential conflicts of interest. One such example is with the recommendation of investment or insurance products. Some firms create proprietary products which they offer to clients, while firms with an “open architecture” have the ability to offer products created by another firm in addition to their own proprietary products (if they have them). Typically, a higher commission is paid to sell proprietary products.

  2. What is a FICO Score and How Does it Work?

    Credit is important as it becomes a factor in many parts of a person’s financial life – from getting loans and credit cards to auto insurance and life insurance rates. While there are several credit scores, the most frequently used is FICO. AARP provided a great outline on what affects your credit score and how these items are weighted which I have summarized below.

    Payment History – 35%
    Your credit score is affected by how responsibly you manage your debt. Late payments or not making payments at all can have a big effect on your credit due to the high percentage weighting. Work to make the minimum payments on time, but note that if a payment was late, the score takes into account how recently this occurred.

    Amount of Debt Owed – 30%
    The amount of total debt affects your score, but debts like credit cards have a bigger impact to lower your score than a mortgage or student loan. It is recommended that you keep the outstanding balance at 25% of the available credit limit or lower.

    Length of Credit History – 15%
    The longer the credit history, the better! While paying off credit cards is a great thing when it comes to managing debt, note that actually closing the credit card instead of leaving it open can negatively affect your score as it reduces the length of your credit history and raises your credit utilization score (total debt/total credit limit).

    Mix of Credit – 10%
    The calculation takes into account the different types of debt that you can successfully manage, so the score is positively impacted when you have a variety of different types of loans like a mortgage or student loan as opposed to just credit cards.

    Inquiries or New Credit – 10%
    There are two types of inquiries that show up on your credit history – “hard” or “soft”. Hard inquiries occur when you are actually trying to obtain a loan, and according to AARP, one inquiry can reduce your score by 5 to 35 points. A “soft” inquiry is when you check your own credit (which you should do annually!), and this does not affect the score. Only apply for credit when you really need it and avoid chasing the hottest credit card promotion.

    http://www.aarp.org/money/credit-loans-debt/info-07-2011/what-affects-credit-score.print.html

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