NBC’s Today Show – Money 911 & Live Chat – November 30, 2011

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Hope you were all able to tune in to NBC’s TODAY Show Money 911 and watch me answer America’s Money Questions, if not watch the video above. Afterwards, I did a live chat where I answered MORE of your questions! If you missed the CHAT make sure to CLICK HERE and check it out! Hopefully, my answers can help you!

Live Rich,

David Bach

 

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4 Tips For Saving On Holiday Shopping

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Make sure to check out my latest video from Today.com about ways to save when it comes to Holiday Shopping! I discuss my Top 4 Tips on how you can save BIG this Holiday Season, then we take some tips from Today Show Viewers on their ways to save!

MY TOP 4 TIPS -
1) Create a holiday shopping budget – from the very beginning!
2) Make a list for the people you MUST buy gifts for.
3) Shop online at stores like amazon.com (that’s where I do the majority of my shopping.)
4) Shop early to get the best bargains!

Live Rich,

David Bach

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THE FASTEST WAY TO FEEL RICH—WITHOUT BEING RICH

As we head into the holidays—especially Thanksgiving we know we’re supposed to feel thankful.  We know that this is a special time of the year and that we now is the time to feel lucky for those we love and who loves us.  We’re supposed to feel blessed to be healthy and happy to be alive. 

But let me ask you something—do you really feel lucky? More importantly, when was the last time you really felt joy?

There are some questions that stop you dead in your tracks. This is definitely one of them.

I know it stopped me. So, let’s think about it…

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU EXPERIENCED JOY?

I first heard this question on the Oprah Winfrey Show.  Oprah was talking about how her trainer had asked her this very question during a run.  It forced Oprah to think back in her own life and remember when she had last felt pure joy.  She thought about it and realized it had been more than seven years earlier!

Oprah went on to explain how the trainer’s question made her remember how much joy she had felt while she was filming The Color Purple, and how the memory of that joy and its meaning to her, ultimately inspired her to change her own life. As she put it, it led her to take her TV show out of what she called the “yak, yak, yak” genre and transform it into a platform to help people truly lead better, more meaningful lives.  The world is better place today because of how this one woman was inspired by that one question about joy.

THE NEXT DAY THE JOY QUESTION HIT ME HARD 

After I finished watching Oprah that day, I tried to go back to whatever I was doing. But that question—“When was the last time you experienced real joy?”—continued to rattle around in my mind.

The next day it hit me…hard.

I remember driving up to my office at Morgan Stanley, where I ran my financial planning business back in 2001. It was 5:45 in the morning and I asked myself again,—when was the last time I had experienced joy?

The answer was—during a tour across the country teaching Smart Couples Finish Rich™ Seminars.  Being on stage in front of a thousand couples, helping them live and finish rich was my last truly joyful experience (fortunately, this had taken place only a month prior). Then, I asked the question—when was the last time I felt joy at work?  The answer was a shocker—I realized it had literally been years.  I started to realize how I no longer felt fulfilled at work.  And realized that I wanted to spend my life writing books and teaching others. More importantly, I wanted to spend my life helping people live and finish rich, and essentially become financial free. 

That singular realization would change my life.  Within 18 months of that experience I left Morgan Stanley where I was a Senior Vice President to move to New York City and start FinishRich Media, LLC.—a company dedicated to teaching others about how to live and Finish Rich®.  It wasn’t easy and still isn’t but it I can honestly say, it has brought me true joy. Hearing your success stories is always the highlight of my day!

                                                LET THESE HOLIDAYS TRULY BE FILLED WITH THANKS AND JOY 

So this Thanksgiving ask those you love when was the last time you felt joy?  Make sure you share your answer with others.  Especially, with your family and those you love most.  Look back and be honest—you’ve had great times in your life.  Remember every time and experience you can because these memories are priceless and can change your life!

And most importantly—reconnect with yourself.  Go get a piece of paper now and do the following: Take FIVE MINUTES and tell yourself the truth…

  1. When was the last time you experienced joy? 
  2. When did you last feel joy with your family? 
  3. When did you last feel joy at work? 
  4. Who do you love? 
  5. Who loves you? 
  6. Who could you love more today—by picking up the phone and tell them—how much they mean to you.
  7. If we were getting together one year from today, what would have to happen for you to be able to tell me that you now more joy in your life?

You deserve to be joyful!                                                                       

Happy Thanksgiving!

Live Rich,

David Bach

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Should You Consolidate Your Debt?

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Hi all,

Each week, for the next 8 weeks, I will be answering questions from viewers of NBC’s TODAY Show on TODAY.com. Check out my first Q&A on the topic of debt consolidation. Get my advice on consolidating debt from multiple credit cards and then learn the mistakes many people make when doing it.

Live Rich,

David Bach

 

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It’s Time to Get to Know Your Credit Score

While everyone says you should check your credit score, what you should be checking are your scores. In fact, you have more than one.  That’s because lenders, creditors, and the three national credit-reporting agencies—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—all have their own particular methods and formulas for calculating what kind of a credit risk you are.

The most widely-used rating is the FICO score. Many people think the term “FICO score” is just another way of saying credit score (sort of the way people call all adhesive bandages Band-Aids and all facial tissues Kleenex). It’s not. While FICO is the oldest and most popular credit-scoring system, the Big Three credit-reporting agencies have their own rating system (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion).

That said, the credit-reporting agencies all base their individual scoring systems on mathematical models developed by Fair Isaac. So while your FICO score may differ slightly from the scores calculated by the credit-rating agencies, it’s not likely to be wildly different. In other words, if you have a great FICO score, chances are your credit score from the three credit bureaus will be pretty good too. The opposite is also true: bad FICO score, bad score from the bureaus.

WHAT GOES INTO YOUR CREDIT SCORE

So how do the credit-rating companies decide what credit score to assign you? What they do is take your credit history based on your credit reports and run it through a complicated series of calculations. In the case of FICO, the result is a number somewhere between 300 and 850. This is your FICO score. Anything over 720 is considered good. Score 740 or higher and most lenders will give you their best deals.

On its website, Fair Isaac spells out how it weighs the various factors that go into calculating your score. They are, in order of importance: 

35% of your score: Payment History. Do you always pay your bills on time or do you have delinquencies? Any bankruptcies, liens, judgments, garnishments, etc., on your record?  PAY ATTENTION TO THIS! Simply paying your bills on time impacts more than a third of your score.

30%: Amounts Owed. How much do you owe? What kinds of debt do you have? What proportion of your total credit limit is being used? Most experts agree that a credit utilization of more than 30% will hurt your score. So if your Visa card has a credit limit of, say, $5,000, you’ll want to avoid carrying a balance of more than $1,500 at any one time. According to FICO, more than half of all credit card users manage to do this. On the other hand, one in seven are using more than 80% of their available credit. 

15%: Length of Credit History. How long since you opened your first credit account? How old is your oldest active account? (The average is 14 years; the longer your history, the better.) This is why you should no longer close old accounts you don’t use—and why when you are asked to “opt out” now by credit card companies you should still keep the accounts open even after you have paid them off.

10%: New Credit. How many accounts have you opened recently? How many recent inquiries by potential lenders? A lot of new activity makes the credit-rating agencies nervous.

10%: Types of Credit Used. How many different kinds of active credit accounts do you have? A varied mix of credit—e.g., credit cards, installment loans, mortgages, retail accounts, etc.—is a plus; too much of one type is a minus. According to FICO, the average consumer has 13 active credit accounts at any given time—nine of them for credit cards and four for installment loans.

The reality is, your credit score is your financial GPA, and you need to know where you stand in the eyes of  the creditors. To get your scores and explore how you can work on your financial health click HERE!

 

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What I’m Up To This Week…

Hey friends,

I just wanted to let you know what I’m up to this week and tell you about some of my upcoming speaking engagements!  If you’re in the area, I hope to see you there!

Who: Chrysalis 2011 – Inspired Financial Health Event
An educational evening including opportunities to learn from local financial professionals in a variety of small group seminars!
Where: Wells Fargo Jordon Creek Campus
800 South Jordon Creek Parkway, West Des Moines, IA
When: November 8th 2011
5:30pm – Reception and Small-Group Seminars
7:30pm – (My speech begins) Inspired to Live Rich – Financially
For more info and to purchase tickets: Click HERE or call 515-255-1853.

Who: Nation Association of Realtors (NAR) – 2011 Realtor Conference and Expo Every fall, real estate professionals from across the U.S. and around the world come together for the annual REALTORS® Conference & Expo. This annual four-day event includes more than 100 education sessions, featuring nationally-recognized speakers, trainers, and industry experts, who discuss timely topics and critical issues of value to REALTORS®
Where: Anaheim/Orange County Convention Center
800 W. Katella Avenue, Anaheim, CA
When: Wednesday, November 9th – Monday, November 14th *NOTE: I will be speaking on November 12th – at 9:00am on the topic of Building Business in 2011 – How To Serve More Homebuyers.
For more info and to purchase tickets: Click HERE or call 800-650-6893.

Live Rich,

David Bach

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The Five Crucial Questions You Need To Ask Your Partner Before You Say “I Do”

He popped the question but now it’s time to ask a few questions of your own. Even though fighting about money is the number one cause of divorce in America, many couples spend more time thinking about where to hold their wedding and which flowers to purchase than they do thinking about their financial lives together. With so many marriages torn apart because of finances, I created five crucial questions every bride and groom must ask (and answer) before they say “I do.”

  1. What is your partner’s credit history?
    The smallest mistake can cause big trouble for your financial future as a couple when it comes to your credit score. That one credit card with a $500 balance that your partner forgot to pay since college can seriously damage your credit history once you become legally married.
  2. Do we need to sign a pre-nuptial agreement?
    Not signing a pre-nuptial agreement can be one of the biggest mistakes a couple makes before they tie the knot. If one of you has significantly more assets than the other, it is crucial that you protect yourself against the legal repercussions of divorce, no matter how unlikely the prospect may seem at the time.
  3. Is your partner currently saving any money?
    The time to find out if your fiancé is financially clueless is before you get married. Ask them if they are putting any money away. Find out if they’ve ever taken a finance class or read a book on investing. This is a great way to suggest that the two of you take an investment class together. Couples that learn together… stay together.
  4. How did your partner’s parents handle their money?
    This is one of the most overlooked issues with couples today. How your partner’s parents handled money in their marriage can give you a pretty good inclination of how your partner will handle money in your marriage. If their parents were constantly relying on credit cards, for example, there’s a good chance that they have inherited this bad financial behavior as well.
  5. What are your partner’s plans and dreams for retirement?
    Don’t wait till you are both in your sixties and your spouse informs you that they plan to retire to the Carolina coast to go fishing every day, when you thought the plan was to go to Europe. Make sure you take the time to talk about your dreams for the future, and that you have the same plan for your retirement accounts.

You need to know exactly who you are marrying before you say “I do,” especially when it comes to their financial life. If you want to learn more about couples and money and how you can effectively communicate in your relationship make sure to listen to my interview from the teleseminar entitled “The Art of Love.”  You will have 24 hours to access the interview for FREE so SIGN UP NOW!  My interview will be airing at 6pm EST on Sunday, November 6th, 2011 – you won’t want to miss it!

Live Rich and Happy,

David Bach

 

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