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US economy chugging along at 3.5% growth

Thursday, October 30, 2014 9:13 am

The economy had a smooth summer.

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  • What Does Memorial Day Mean to You?

    Sunday, May 27, 2012

    Memorial Day is one of those holidays that mean different things to different people.  To some it is the time to remember those that have given their lives to serve our country. To others, it’s a time to remember those we love who have passed on.  To most of us, though, Memorial Day weekend is a long weekend and one that indicates the beginning of summer.  Whatever reason you celebrate this holiday, it’s a good time of year to think of your financial health and future plans.

    As you water-ski, you might not be thinking about your 401K or the bank CD in which you have invested.  But half way through the calendar year is a good time to make an appointment with someone that can give you a “check-up” on your money and how it is working for you. 

    Here is a short checklist of things to take with you as you discuss your financial future:

    • Bank Statements- Your financial advisor will need to see your total financial picture to give you advice that is best for you.
    • Other investment statements- Again, a total picture will help your trusted advisor give you the best advice.
    • Detailed plans on your future. Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, 15 and 20 years? Is your money helping you reach those checkpoints?

    What does that last one mean? Have you ever tried to reach a destination without directions? It’s not easy. Similarly, your financial goals need a compass and the compass is you.   It’s important to think about and discuss your future.  Most people spend more time planning their vacation than they do their retirement.  So, if you want to retire in 10 years or in 30, your advisor will need to know that so they can design a plan that works for you. 

    Memorial Day weekend is certainly a fun weekend, but can also be a profitable one if you use it as a milestone towards your financial future!  

  • Protect Your Email Account

    Thursday, May 10, 2012

    At MutualBank we offer our customers many different ways to communicate with us regarding the products and services offer.  One of those methods is email and we would like to focus some attention to helping you keep your email accounts safe.

    We have seen an increased number of customers who have had their email accounts compromised…in other words someone has gained unauthorized access to an email account.  From there someone can attempt to initiate fraud using your email account.  However, by following some easy steps you can secure your email account to make it less likely to become compromised.

    Steps to securing your email account:

    • Frequently (every 45 to 90 days) change your email account password.
    • Do not click on links inside of an email from an unknown source.
    • Do not write your email password down anywhere visible even in your own home…if you need to write your password down please keep it secured in a wallet or purse.
    • Make sure your computers have virus detection/removal software such as the ones listed below and that they are updated frequently.
      (Many times your Internet Service Provider provides these tools free of charge.)
    • Remember that if something in an email sounds too good to be true…it probably is.
    • Only share your email with friends on social media sites making sure that it’s not visible to everyone on your public profile.

    MutualBank does not endorse the products listed below, but are provided as examples of free anti-virus/malware detection and removal tools.

    http://free.avg.com/us-en/homepage

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/products/security-essentials

    http://www.sophos.com/en-us/products/free-tools.aspx

    Remember, you can call us anytime. Let us know if you have questions or concern for your bank accounts. Call 800-382-8031or email customersupport@bankwithmutual.com.

  • Are You Creating a Successful Business?

    Tuesday, May 1, 2012

    An important part of a successful business is meaningful, regular communication with your banker. This dialog centers around a budget and first quarter review. Why, you ask? Let me share a quick analogy.

    Picture this . . . its summer vacation.  A family heads off to French Lick (after all, they are good Hoosiers and want to keep their money here in the state!) to enjoy all that vacation has to offer them once they arrive.  As they begin the trip they realize that their primary route is closed due to construction.   The family has no GPS, no paper map, and due to a dead iPhone, they can’t even rely on that technology.  Without any of those tools, they are unsure how to handle the numerous detours, and unforeseen circumstances.  Businesses are just like this family; issues arise that may change the planned course or destination. Without a good map or GPS (a budget and a plan), the business may become unsteady or lose focus on how to reach their destination (business goal).

    What is the business’ plan?  As one of my colleagues says, those who are living off the bottom line will continue to succeed, those that are living off the top line . . .  well, it isn’t as pretty.  So, what can a business person do?   Consider the following steps:

    1. Put a good annual plan into place.
    2. Know where you want the business to go and figure out the mile makers with which you will measure progress
    3. Determine the resources needed to accomplish this plan
    4. Communicate with your CPA, attorney, insurance agent and business banker - help them understand your desired outcome. 

    At the end of the first quarter you may be saying, “Chris, it’s too late, we already are three plus months into the year, we can’t do that now.”  Or maybe the statement is “we put our budget in place, we are one-fourth of the way through the year and we are ‘knocking it out of the park’ we don’t need to worry.”  My response to the first statement is this - it is NEVER too late to budget and plan.  My reaction to the second statement is, “Congratulations! Now, what else can you do to enjoy your trip and ensure you remain on course?” 

    It is never too late to plan your trip and it is never too late to plan for unforeseen circumstances.  Is your trip a bottom line or a top line trip?  If it is the latter, now is the time to consider changing direction and switch to a bottom line perspective.  And if you have questions, make sure that you include your banker in that discussion.  We want to help you live a better life and succeed, because when our clients do well, MutualBank succeeds too.

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