Tips & Advice
What are financial products?
Financial products are designed to help you achieve objectives such as saving money, obtaining insurance, establishing a line of credit, investing, or getting a mortgage. Financial products are issued by organizations such as banks, credit unions, investment management firms, mortgage companies, insurance agencies, credit card companies, and stock brokerages.
What is a financial consultant?
A financial consultant is a professional who is qualified to provide guidance in the area of financial management. Some of these experts work for financial institutions, while others are self-employed and work directly with the public. A financial consultant can help you develop a financial strategy focused on savings, retirement, investments, or insurance, and Many are licensed to sell financial products such as stocks and bonds.
Types of financial services
- Financial planning: With financial planning, a financial adviser can help you chart a course to achieve a specific financial objective. Financial planning can be focused on things such retirement planning or funding your child's college education.
- Insurance: Insurance can be used to protect your most valuable assets, and policies are available to cover items such as your car and your home. Insurance can also be used to provide a source of income if you become disabled, and it can cover the costs associated with long-term care. Life insurance can be used to provide funds for your dependents after your death.
- Investment management: A well-chosen investment portfolio can provide you with consistent income over the years, and professional investment management can provide guidance to make smart portfolio choices. Investment management might involve the purchase of products such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.
- Loans: A loan can help provide the funds you need to finance large purchases, and can cover your expenses in emergency situations. Loans can be used to finance the purchase homes and cars, and they can be used to provide the funds for home remodeling or major car repair.
- Credit cards: A credit card allows the holder to purchase goods and services using credit issued by the card's provider.
Trust and estate planning: With trust and estate planning, you can create a strategy to ensure that your assets are passed on to the beneficiaries of your choosing.
What do financial services companies do?
Financial services companies provide financial planning, insurance policies, estate planning, investment management, loans, and credit cards. These financial services companies include retail and commercial banks, internet banks, stock brokerages, credit card companies, insurance companies, investment banks, credit unions, savings and loans associations, and mortgage companies.
What are financial services?
Financial services are professional services associated with the management of money and assets. These services include investment activities, such as those related to stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Loans and lines of credit also fall under this umbrella. Additionally, financial services include insurance coverage and tax preparation.
What documents are necessary when opening a bank account?
Generally, when opening a standard domestic bank account you will need two forms of government issued identification, like a social security card and a driver’s license (or legally issued ID), or a passport. Some accounts may require an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) or a proof of address, meaning you need to bring in something like a utility bill with your name and address on it. More complicated accounts can have different requirements. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you might be able to open an account with a state-issued identification from your country of citizenship.
The best way to pick a bank is to identify exactly what your financial needs are and find a bank, or banks, that provide those services. If you need basic checking and/or savings accounts, nearly any local bank can set you up. Some banks can cover the entire spectrum of needs, while some are more specialized toward businesses, international account holders, or high-end clients. If you are in a specific industry that has a corresponding credit union, those can be a great place to go. Do some research or get referrals or recommendations.
Online banking allows you can access your bank accounts on your computer (or smartphone) and pay your bills, write online checks, deposit checks (via the bank’s app) transfer money, check on account balances from the comfort of your home. Online banking is the new normal and is a convenient tool to manage your finances without ever having to step foot in a bank.
What is an overdraft fee?
An overdraft fee is when a checking or savings account is overdrawn. If you don’t have electronic notification set up when you balance gets below a certain amount, you might find out when a check bounces.Usually your bank will cover the difference and charge you a fee. These fees vary depending on the amount of the overdraft, how long you’ve been with the bank, how much money you keep there, etc. These fees can sometimes be waived if the overdraft is minor and/or if you are a valued customer in good standing with the bank.
Credit unions are non-profit banking institutions that are set up to serve their members. Credit unions provide many of the same services other banks provide, such as checking and savings accounts, loans and investment opportunities. The big difference between credit unions and banks is credit unions are also member owned -- the depositors are the owners and it works as a cooperative institution -- which provides a lower-interest loans and services.