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What’s The Difference Between a Credit Card and a Charge Card?

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In the world of personal finance, plastic rules. This small square can simplify transactions, provide emergency funds, and even give us cash back or airline miles. While most people are well-acquainted with the concept of credit cards, another financial instrument—charge cards—might not be as familiar. So, what’s the difference between a credit card and a charge card? This article aims to unravel the mystery and provide clear, easy-to-understand distinctions.

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How to Help Your Child with Financial Planning

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When you have teenagers or young adults in the house, it might seem like everything requires some learning on your part. While they are no longer a child you can tell what to do, they also don’t have the life experience they need to make important decisions on their own, like how to manage their money. There are a few ways you can teach your child how to better handle their money so they can prepare for the future.

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WalletHub Reports Labor Day By the Numbers

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, 87% of people think they should get a raise to keep up with inflation, the personal-finance website WalletHub found in its Labor Day Survey. This nationally-representative survey examines Americans’ Labor Day plans and how people have been impacted the current economic environment. Alongside this survey, WalletHub also released its Labor Day Fun Facts report to educate and entertain consumers with stats on all aspects of the holiday – from hotdogs and history to financials and 5Ks.

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New Jerseyans losing interest in crypto following recent crash, finds survey

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  • New Jersey workers would have each lost $3,415.21 if they had opted for their salaries to be partly paid in crypto.
  • Employees in Montana would have made the biggest losses following the crash.
  • Infographic showing crypto salary losses across America.


the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, a recent survey by CouponBirds conducted prior to the recent crash in crypto currencies revealed that the average New Jersey employee would have liked to have received 43% of their monthly salary in a virtual currency. However, since the recent crash in crypto currencies, which has seen the value of Bitcoin drop by 57.01% since January, it appears New Jersey workers’ enthusiasm for crypto currencies has cooled.

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How To Grow Your Retirement Savings Safely

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Retirement is a time for enjoying life. You can take trips that you always wanted to take or stay home with the kids after school is out. However, this is only possible if you have retirement savings. Many people don’t know exactly how their retirement savings are growing until it’s too late. Don’t wait till it’s too late. Here are safe ways to grow your retirement savings. 

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Global Children Financial Literacy Foundation and the “Wesley Learns Book Club”

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog


Ridgewood NJ, Research suggests that financial literacy has been on the decline in recent years*.

In a test of financial knowledge among young Americans, only around one third can answer even four or five basic financial literacy questions correctly.

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WalletHub Survey : 66% of college students say COVID-19 has changed how they feel about their financial future

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Two-thirds of college students (13.3 million) say the coronavirus has changed how they feel about their financial future, according to the personal-finance website WalletHub’s 2020 College Student Financial Survey, released today. The survey also revealed that students feel the pandemic is the biggest thing holding them back financially right now, ahead of a lack of money and a lack of financial literacy.

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Bank of America Announces Closing of Westwood Branch

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Westwood NJ,  according to Bank of America , on 11/20/2020, the financial center at 1 Westwood Avenue, Westwood, NJ is closing in an email the bank said ,

We’re sorry for the inconvenience this closing causes. Keep in mind, your account remains the same, and there are other ways to continue banking with us.

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Is Binary Options Trading Legal In The Philippines?

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Everybody is looking for a get-rich-quick scheme in this day and age. It isn’t really because people are greedy or anything like that, but rather because the financial systems around the world have become quite exhausting. Many people work for long hours every day, and they often have nothing to show for it, barely making ends meet. This is why some try investing in the different markets so they can make a profit with little investment and minimal effort. Unfortunately, reality can be disappointing, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can lose money. One of the better options that you can explore is binary options trading.

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The Pros And Cons Of Getting A Personal Loan


People take out personal loans for various reasons. But there’s one thing for a fact. Personal loans are less common compared to credit cards. In the US, for instance, only 10% of the citizens apply for personal loans compared to a soaring more than 60% of the population applying for credit cards. Nonetheless, the popularity of personal loans is increasing every day.

So what exactly are personal loans and why should you consider (or not consider) taking one?

Personal loans are quite different from credit cards. The loans are obtained from banks, credit unions and other financial institutions and they require monthly payments over an agreed upon period of time. They are also a type of installment loan. The loans have a term of between two to five years, but this term can be less or higher depending on the loan amount and your agreement with the lender.

The Benefits of Personal Loans

The Loans Can be Used for Different Purposes

There are loans, like mortgages, student loans, auto loans and many others that have restrictions on usage. But with a personal loan, you can use the funds for any purpose. Just ensure that the money is used for a productive project to manage repayments.

No Collateral Required

Some personal loan lenders may need collateral for you to secure the loan but most of them don’t. They can, therefore, be a good option for those who do not have any asset to secure the loan.

You Can Qualify for Large Amounts

Personal loan limits range from $500-$100,000. It is, therefore, possible to borrow huge sums of money if you have large projects to undertake. There are other lenders, like Bonsai Finance who offer the loans with a limit of $500 to $5,000 and they also have flexible terms.

Affordable Rates

Personal loans also have lower rates when compared to credit cards. Provided you have a good credit score, the rates can be as low as 5%.

Disadvantages of Personal Loans

Fixed Payments

With credit card debts, you can take your time for you to pay off your bills, but personal loans require timely payments. If you do not pay the loan, you may risk losing your collateral or if it is an unsecured loan, you can be sued for failure to repay the loan.

Prepayment Penalties

If you apply for a credit card, you can avoid paying interest provided you pay off the balances on time. But when it comes to personal loans, paying the loan before the due date tends to attract a prepayment penalty and this can increase the total cost of the loan.

Personal loans can be a good option if you need funds for carrying out your personal projects. But these loans can also not be suitable for every situation. You, therefore, should do the math to ensure that you can afford to pay the debt on time. If not, you can consider other borrowing options to avoid hurting your credit score by defaulting or making late payments.

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5 Smart Financial Tips to Young Professionals

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, You might be clueless about managing your finances when you are out in the real world. There is a lot of things to consider on budgeting your money once you get your paycheck or from your
sidelines if you are a freelancer. Unfortunately, personal finance was not a subject taught in high school or college. So, I will be giving out a few important bits of advice to understand money.

1. Learn how to manage your spending.
Most parents taught us about this skill when we were kids. If not, always remember that the sooner we learn about finances, the sooner we will find it easy to keep in order. Perhaps, it is very easy to purchase an item on credit but it is better to wait and save. Do you really want to pay the interest on that item? Or pay it in cash? If you make it a habit to put all your expenses on credit cards be sure to pay it in full on time or you have to pay it in the long years. There is nothing wrong with carrying a credit card especially with the convenience and rewards they offer. Make sure to always pay your balance in full. Do not carry more cards if you are not confident with your spending habits.

2. Keep your finances in order.
When we are starting our career path, the first thing we have in our mind is long-term financial planning and security. It is our main goal once we start earning money. There is a lot of how’s and why’s that we have in our mind. That is why we always need to organize our expenses such as paying rent, utility bills, and loans. It is a lot harder if you are financially independent. First, to solve the problem you have to create a budget. This is the key solution to our financial problems. There’s no way around of keeping track of where your money goes and where it should be going. Always make it realistic. You don’t have to deprive yourself of everything that doesn’t fall in the categories of “needs”. You simply have to make yourself responsible for your spending. In case you need extra cash, make sure to get it only from cash mart licensed money lender. This will endure that you get loans with fair terms and charges. Read moneylender reviews to know which licensed lender gives the best borrowing experience.

3. Be specific on your financial goals.
Always prioritize making your money work for you. Ask yourself, “What I am investing for? What is the long-term goal?” Avoid saving your money for traveling, or saving money for your lifestyle. Get specific with your goals. It is quite exciting and it also helps your financial advisor know where your money should be invested. This is a perfect exercise to decide the amount of risk you are willing to take on. Don’t waste money for something that is not worth your sacrifice. Figure out what you really need. Create SMART goals. This will make your certain ambitions to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely.

4. Learn the art of the deal.
This is the tool that will serve you well at every step of your career. Getting the first real job is excellent, but it is only your starting point. Negotiation is not only for the billionaire nor presidential candidates, but it is also for everyone. Know how to negotiate. Even if you stay in the job for a long time, you should take advantage of negotiation to increase your pay and benefits.
This has a lot of benefits for you. Not only do you get additional money but you also build your professional confidence. Don’t agree with something that would not be enough. Always consider everything like how much would could you save once you agree with this? What about your retirement plan? What about increasing your savings?

5. Invest your hard-earned money.
Investing is not as mysterious as it seems. It is actually pretty easy. Once your savings reach a certain level, put this in a high-yielding investment. Your choice may include, mutual funds, condominium, or house and lot investments, trust funds or equities. These are already available to retail investors for low opening account. Don’t invest too much in a low-interest earning accounts. Your goal is to maximize your earning. On the other hand, you can also start a small business opportunity. Your main goal here is to grow your income. Think of everything that can make it happen. Perhaps you can talk with financial advisors or your businessman friends. It is better to gain ideas at first before you move.

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3 Ways To Talk With Aging Parents About Finances


December 3,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, One benefit of the increasing life expectancies for Americans is that more people have bonus years for enjoying the company of their aging parents.

But all is not rosy. Those extended years also boost the odds that parents could go broke or suffer from dementia and be unable to make financial decisions for themselves.

That can leave adult children perplexed about when and whether they should step in and find out what’s happening with their parents’ money, says Carolyn Rosenblatt, a registered nurse and elder law attorney.

“Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to have those conversations,” says Rosenblatt, co-author with her husband, Dr. Mikol Davis, of The Family Guide to Aging Parents ( and Succeed With Senior Clients: A Financial Advisors Guide To Best Practices.

“Some stubborn parents just refuse to talk about their money. No matter what their adult children say to them, they put it off, change the subject or tell their children it’s none of their business.”

Of course, many adult children aren’t in any particular hurry to broach the subject either, says Davis, a clinical psychologist and gerontologist.

“They have their own discomfort about it and procrastinate,” he says. “Then a crisis comes up and no one has any idea what the parents have or where to find important documents.”

But Rosenblatt and Davis say it’s critical that these conversations take place so that the offspring can gather information about such subjects as the parent’s income and expenses, where legal documents are kept, and what kind of medical or long-term-care insurance the parent might have.

The success of these conversations often comes down to how you approach the subject, Rosenblatt and Davis say. They offer a few tips:

• End the procrastination by picking a date for the talk. Make an appointment with yourself to bring up the subject at a specific time. An opportune time to schedule this is after a birthday, a family event or a holiday where other family members are together who may share in the responsibility for the aging parents in the future.
• Show respect. Tell your parents you understand and respect their reluctance to discuss their finances. You can even make the conversation about yourself rather than about them. Say that you’re concerned that if something went wrong, you would be completely lost as to how to help them.
• Address their fears head-on. Let them know you understand they are worried that if they talk about their finances their independence might be taken away. You might add that you want them to maintain their independence as long as possible and you’re willing to help accomplish that, but you can’t do it without the correct information.

“Getting past an aging parent’s fear about talking about finances can be daunting,” Rosenblatt says. “But a well-planned strategy for approaching the subject will give you your best chance.”

About Carolyn Rosenblatt and Dr. Mikol Davis

Carolyn Rosenblatt and Dr. Mikol Davis are co-authors of The Family Guide to Aging Parents ( and Succeed With Senior Clients: A Financial Advisors Guide To Best Practices. Rosenblatt, a registered nurse and elder law attorney, has more than 45 years combined experience in her professions. She has been quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Money magazine and many other publications. Davis, a clinical psychologist and gerontologist, has more than 44 years experience as a mental health provider. In addition to serving his patients, Davis creates online courses and products to assist professionals and the public with understanding aging issues. Rosenblatt and Davis have been married for 34 years.

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How To Watch The Market In Uncertain Election Times


October 11,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, With the presidential election dominating the news cycles, many investors may be keeping an eye on the stock market as well as the voting booth as they wonder what impact the election of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump could have on their portfolios.

“Presidential elections are almost always a big part of the greater theme of markets, but in this case even more so,” says Benjamin Lupu, a Certified Financial Planner and founder of Kensington AMI (, an asset-management firm.

Lupu says it’s important to understand that how voters weigh their Election Day choices and how the market views the candidates aren’t necessarily the same thing.

As hard as it might be, he says, investors should lay aside any personal political leanings as they assess what factors might keep the market humming and what factors might upset the market – and affect their investments in the process.

“From an investment standpoint, this isn’t about being for one candidate or the other,” Lupu says. “It’s a matter of trying to gauge what the markets might do depending on different scenarios, and trying to plan and respond accordingly.”

He says factors to consider include:

• The Clinton impact. What ever opinion people may have of Clinton, she represents status quo, continuity and predictability, which markets prefer, Lupu says. Markets in general have been buoyant in recent months as a decisive win for Clinton had been the consensus expectation and has been priced into the markets. Those expectations could change quickly, though, and investors would need to consider adjustments if they do. “Harsh reality may have something to say about this before the process is over, and any reversal in the polls can greatly upset markets,” he says.
• The Trump impact. Trump is extremely popular with his populist base in the U.S., and some people would consider a Trump victory good for business. The wild card, though, is that he’s immensely unpopular in much of the rest of the world, Lupu says. If the race is seen as close, or if Trump is considered to have a strong chance of winning, global markets could react negatively, at least initially. If the odds of a Trump win appear to be improving, it might be a good idea for investors to reduce exposure, stay partially in cash and see what transpires, Lupu says.
• A general approach. Financial security in the U.S. has traditionally come from three things: sound, long-term process; clear, unemotional thinking; and American optimism, Lupu says. “I like to say keep it clean, be disciplined and have faith in the future,” he says.  In this case, that means be aware of market expectations, follow what happens, but stay focused and make prudent decisions based on facts and not emotions – or personal political preferences.

In any other presidential election year, Lupu says, he wouldn’t advocate keeping such a close watch on who’s ahead in the polls and the implications behind the poll numbers. But Clinton vs. Trump is far from the typical race.

“I admit this is not the usual playbook for election years,” Lupu says. “But then, this election is not the usual affair.”

About Benjamin Lupu

Benjamin Lupu, a Certified Financial Planner, is founder of Kensington AMI (, an asset-management firm in California. He has 36 years experience as an investment advisor, and his primary expertise is dividend and income investment and total return methodology.

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Could Trump University Help Highlight The Importance of Asset Protection?


March 17,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Years ago, Donald Trump endorsed a series of books for his university written by experts in the financial sector, including one titled, “Trump University Asset Protection 101.”

With his meteoric rise in politics as a truly one-of-a-kind candidate, controversy is bubbling around the former reality-TV star’s past business dealings, including his university, with thousands of former students claiming the courses they took had no value.

“The world has had its fill of Trump, yet it seems to want more,” says attorney Hillel Presser of the Presser Law Firm, P.A., which specializes in comprehensive domestic and international Asset Protection.

“Love him or hate him, there could be at least one great takeaway from Trump’s media storm: maybe it’ll encourage some to look more closely at their financial vulnerabilities.”

Helping educate the average person on asset protection is why Presser wrote “Financial Self-Defense” ( He says there are several reasons people should take steps to safeguard whatever wealth they have.

• The world is a minefield of threats to your hard-earned money.Lawsuits, which can be unpredictable, often drive people to asset protection – and for good reason. The tort system in the United States is the most expensive in the industrial world, accounting for 2.2 percent of the gross domestic product. The annual cost of litigation in the U.S. is $867.4 billion. And don’t assume your good behavior will always protect you. Consider the school teacher defending a $5 million lawsuit because she dismissed a student caught cheating on an exam.
• You don’t have to be wealthy to benefit from financial self-defense. Wealth is relative. If an old car and a small bank account are all you have financially, it still makes sense to protect them. Hard-working folks across the country are worried about creditor problems or lawsuits, and what little they have is precious to them. There are cost-effective ways for them protect their money.
• Liability insurance doesn’t always protect you. Liability insurance is important, but it’s just a starting point. Most lawsuits and other financial claims aren’t insured, or your insurance company may deny you coverage on your claim because of an exclusion. You need more than insurance, which covers few financial catastrophes. You need a full, robust self-defense plan. 

“I wouldn’t have thought that a presidential election could possibly highlight the importance of asset protection, but here we are,” Presser says. “These are interesting times.”

About Hillel L. Presser, Esq., MBA

Hillel L. Presser’s firm, The Presser Law Firm, P.A., represents individuals and businesses in establishing comprehensive asset protection plans. He is a former adjunct faculty member for law at Lynn University and offers complimentary copies of his book “Financial Self-Defense”