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Are we nearing the top of the inflation mountain? The Federal Reserve says consumer cost inflation is seeing “some degree of moderation,” but “substantial” price increases were reported in August for food, rent and utilities. You know, the things we can’t live without.
Wall Street is betting on another 0.75% rate hike by the Fed on September 21. Higher interest rates are the bitter pill we need to take to remedy rising prices. We may whine, but we have to swallow the medicine.
Meanwhile, the pain still hurts like hell.
Many Gen Z Parents Facing Financial Struggles
The impact of inflation is particularly severe among young adults, especially those with children. To show how dire the situation is for some households: more than a fifth (21%) of Gen Z parents with children under 7 have visited a food bank to feed their family or get household items. That’s the startling news from an online survey of 1,000 adults in July by insurance company Nationwide.
The survey indicates that most (87%) young parents would like to have started saving earlier. And 20% of Gen Z parents surveyed have taken on additional credit card debt to cover rising inflation costs, which leads us to…
Consumers under 40 rely on credit cards but don’t realize the downsides
Another survey, this one by JD Power, indicates that nearly 1 in 5 bank customers don’t know how their credit score is determined. “The highest rate of respondents who are unsure are vulnerable populations and those under 40,” according to the June survey of 4,000 US retail banking customers nationwide.
Like many, you may find that carrying a balance on your credit cards from month to month helps your credit. Not true. It could actually lower your credit score through a credit score factor called use of credit.
Of course, inflation is a price poison that can slowly bleed away the value of a dollar, and credit cards can help ease budget difficulties. But debt is not a long-term cure. Work for protect your purchasing power from inflation and carry credit card balances as sparingly as possible.
Messages from brokers result in massive fines
Receiving an email or text from your financial advisor’s personal phone can feel like high-quality customer service. But the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission consider it a violation of record-keeping rules.
In an investigation made public late last year, some of the industry’s biggest banks and investment firms faced record fines for failing to monitor their employees’ client communications. As a result, by the end of this month, Wall Street could face penalties totaling a staggering $1 billion.
Written financial and investment communications with clients are intended to be monitored and recorded for the purposes of employee supervision and investor protection.
Consumer messaging apps and personal email accounts installed on advisers’ phones are not authorized by financial firms for client contact – but, according to SEC filings, have been widely used by some employees of the Wall Street companies. Violators included customer-facing representatives and office executives.
“Indeed, supervisors, including managing directors and other senior supervisors – the very people responsible for implementing and ensuring compliance with…policies and procedures have used their personal devices to communicate about…securities-related activities said an SEC statement last December regarding one of the cases. .
More than half a dozen companies are expected to be fined $200 million each. And there is more to come. According to information released so far, no investors have been harmed in the messaging breaches, and there have been no privacy breach claims.
What if your financial advisor communicates with you in writing on a consumer messaging app or using their personal email account?
It may not mean that they are trying to hide anything, but should any future dispute arise regarding what you were told in this message, there would be no official records held by the company. It’s probably a good idea to ask your advisor to send you this information through company-approved communication channels, such as a branded email account.
California Mandates Electric Cars, But Is the Grid Ready?
The State of California is blazing a new trail – and burning it up at the same time. Late last month, state regulators issued a mandate to start curbing the sale of gas-powered vehicles, with a full ban by 2035.
Just a week later, the state was urging residents to refrain from plugging in their electric vehicles due to a record heat wave causing unprecedented demand on the power grid.
Can America’s electric grid handle the future of a predominantly electric automobile nation? Not without significant improvements, experts say.
A case study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Davis, the results of which were published in January, indicates that there is a lot of work to be done to prepare the state plug-in.
“In our highest adoption scenario of 6 million electric vehicles in California, we find that in PG&E’s service territory, 443 circuits will require upgrades (nearly 20% of all circuits) and only 88 of these departures have planned upgrades in the future,” the completed report said.
It will have to be done, otherwise your Tesla will be nothing more than court art.