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Banking and Finance
Banking And Finance

1st Security Bank of Washington
www.1stsecurityofwa.com • (800) 683-0973

  • Poulsbo: 21650 NW Market Pl. • (360) 779-4488

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union
www.alaskausa.org • (360) 876-0119

  • Port Orchard: 3355 Bethel Rd SE

AmericanWest Bank

  • Bainbridge Island: 921 Hildebrand Lane • (206) 842-6929
  • Poulsbo: 18960 Hwy 305 N • (360) 394-1701

Bank of America
www.bankofamerica.com • (800) 442-6680 read more »

Banking And Finance

On Arbor Day, which we celebrate in late April, people across the country plant trees. Of course, trees provide us with many benefits, including beauty, fruit and oxygen, as well as protection against land erosion. But the act of planting and nurturing trees can also guide our behavior in other areas of life — such as investing.

First of all, consider the vision and patience exhibited by tree growers when they plant their saplings. As an investor, you, too, need this type of perseverance and long-term outlook. When you invest, you should be focused on the long term yet be prepared for the inevitable short-term market downturns. How long is “long term?” Many investors hold quality investments for decades. It’s a long process, but the potential growth you seek will need this time. read more »

Banking And Finance

First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day has grown into an international movement whose goal is to raise awareness of the need to take action to sustain a healthy, sustainable environment. You can do your part through recycling and other measures, but you can also apply some of the lessons of Earth Day to your financial situation — and, in particular, to your approach to investing.

Give these ideas some thought:

Make the most of your existing resources. One of the most valuable lessons of Earth Day deals with the need to be responsible managers of the natural resources we have available. As an investor, it’s important to maximize the benefits of the resources to which you have access. For example, are you contributing as much as you can afford to your 401(k)? At the very least, you should put in enough to earn your employer’s match, if one is offered. read more »

Banking And Finance

Mortgage rates are no longer at “historic lows,” but they have steadily remained down. While rates can change daily, so far the federal government has still kept them as close to those historic lows as ever. Which means savvy homebuyers are taking advantage of the market, especially of the variety of loans that still allow people with good credit to buy a home with very little or no down payment.

But it’s not business as usual for the mortgage industry. Consumers used to the easy process of 10 years ago may be in for a big surprise.

“Heavy documenting is the trend. The process can be intrusive,” said Val Hawryluk, branch manager for Eagle Mortgage in Silverdale.

The reason for this trend is the change in federal rules that came as a result of the mortgage crisis a few years ago. A relatively new federal agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has established a variety of mortgage lending and servicing rules and is monitoring compliance by lenders. read more »

Banking And Finance

Gary and Julia Reynolds enrolled in BE$T after owning a business for a few months and said they were able to implement many ideas to improve their business.While the Washington CA$H program is no longer officially in Kitsap County, the program, which provides training for nascent entrepreneurs, continues to go strong. Now called BE$T — Business Education Support Training — the program is under the umbrella of Kitsap Community Resources and is providing the same type of hands-on education for small business owners.

CA$H has operated in Kitsap since 2000, helping more than a thousand entrepreneurs start or expand their businesses. read more »

Banking And Finance

1st Security Bank of Washington
(800) 683-0973

  • Poulsbo — 21650 NW Market Pl. — (360) 779-4488

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union
(360) 876-0119

  • Port Orchard — 3355 Bethel Rd SE
Banking And Finance

Not long ago, the Federal Reserve announced that it plans to keep short-term interest rates near zero until late 2014. The Fed initially pushed rates to that level in 2008, in an effort to stimulate economic growth. Clearly, low interest rates have a wide-ranging impact — but what effect will they have on you, as an individual investor?

If you need income from your investments, then the continuation of ultra-low interest rates may be a matter of some concern, particularly if you own certain types of fixed-income investments, such as certificates of deposit. While CDs are insured, offer return of principal at maturity and provide regular interest payments, they are not risk-free. read more »

Banking And Finance

The Western Union Co. recently launched WU Pay, a new electronic payments platform that the company said will significantly improve the customer experience and safety for millions of people seeking to make online payments or transfer money.

The new WU Pay platform allows online shoppers in the United States to pay for purchases from their existing bank accounts or in cash at Western Union agent locations. WU Pay is based on the eBillme platform, which Western Union acquired in October 2011. read more »

Banking And Finance

A bill changing credit union lending limits was expected to come to the U.S. Senate floor in April. The Small Business Lending Enhancement Act (S. 2231) would increase the business lending cap for credit unions from 12.25 percent of their total assets to 27.5 percent.

The bill is opposed by bankers, who say the change would mean a major loss of revenue-generating loans for tax-paying community banks. Supporters say the cap increase could bring billions of dollars in new capital for small businesses and create as many as 140,000 jobs in the first year. read more »

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