EQ Bank Savings Plus Account

More Tales of Indiscretion

No, I will not be regaling you with stories of folks who took part in the Vancouver Riots, only to find their faces splattered all over Facebook (aka the new Big Brother), incriminating them in a crime (that really is Dumber than Snake Mittens too), no my wife told me a story from the Charlotte, North Carolina Airport and how maybe some conversations should be kept private. Yes more tales of indiscretion (financially speaking).

My wife was having a lay over waiting for a flight to another place, so she was sitting patiently at the gate. She noticed that the Airport had many private looking alcoves and areas where “telecommuters” could get things done with some privacy (all of them seemed to have rocking chairs too?!?), however she then also noticed a gentleman sitting in the middle of the waiting area talking on his cell phone (in a very loud tone as well (if you think that my wife is a professional interloper or nosy body)).

This gentleman was concerned because he seemed to have had to purchase his airline tickets twice and he was not sure whether he had enough money in his account to pay for all of it (or he was afraid of bouncing cheques or something like that), so he was talking to his bank (my wife assumed).

The gentleman said loudly, “… yes take the money from the account that had $40,000 in it and transfer over $3000 just in case…”, or something to that effect. He then announced boldly and loudly, “… my access card number? It is xxxx xxx xxx xxxx…” (no my wife did not write it down and she did not recall it either).

As I heard this story I went WTF, is this person insane? I don’t care if he has not given out his PIN number for his access card or which bank he deals with or any other info, people who know how to defraud folks need less than this to break into your bank account and cause some severe damage. I was flabbergasted by the story, but my wife assured me the gentleman did not seem ill at ease doing this and nobody else around him pointed out what he was doing was very financially dangerous.

Rules for Telephone Banking

It’s pretty simple the rules for using telephone banking:

  1. Never do it in a public place where nasty folks can listen in
  2. Don’t use your wireless phones at home (all a thief needs to do is listen in to the tones and they have your banking info)
  3. Don’t really do this over your cell phone if you can help it

Sometimes being paranoid is the right way to be, especially when it comes to the security of your money. Careful or you may end up in another one of my tales of indiscretion posts.

 

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Does Your Money Work For You?

Various Hucksters, Charlatans, Confidence Men, and some Financial Analysts have commandeered this useful expression for use in their nefarious fast money making schemes, however, the question Does Your Money Work For you, or do you work for it? is an excellent question to think about in terms of your personal finance position. As a quick note, remember anybody who says they are not a huckster or charlatan, you should be skeptical of their comments (as you should with anything in a Blog as well).

If your money is working for you, it is helping you reach your goals in life and is being helpful, whereas, if you are working for your money, you simply are feeding the money monster which seems insatiable, this is my simplistic interpretation of this phrase (others may disagree and if so, please feel free to comment on my opinion).

How do you get your money to work for you? That is an excellent question, or possibly another more obtuse question might be how do I stop having to feed the money monster? Either one of these questions is asking how do I get control of money in my life? This blog and many other excellent sites are dedicated to this exact topic, and the easiest way to get back control of your monetary world, is by information and education.

Information

What kind of information do you need to get your money working for you?

  • How much money do you make in a year?
  • How much do you spend in a year? This is a very hard question to answer honestly.
  • How much do you  save? Why do you want to save is the other question attached to this one (House, Retirement, vacations, etc.,).

Lots of other information about your monetary situation needs to be collected not just this small subset, however, if you start here, that would be a very good thing.

Education

That one is simple, read useful books, sites and such to collect as much information as you can about how money can work in your life. Understand the various savings vehicles that are available to you, and understand what debt is and how you want to treat debt. Make a plan based on what you have learned, and execute it (and then fix it when you have made mistakes).

I have made Debt my arch nemesis, in my opinion there is no Good Debt anywhere, anyhow, and I have had a lot of folks disagree with me, but this is part of my Personal Finance concept, and after all my opinion should really only matter to me.

The Twist

Will this mean your money will be working for you? No, the actual expression is a Binary query about whether your are Rich or not. If your money works for you (i.e. it grows and builds faster than you need it), you are rich, if not, you are a working stiff and you are working for your money. I am in the latter category, and can’t see where I’d ever end up having my money work for me, but maybe one day if I am lucky I can break even (maybe when I am much older, and have less financial liabilities, my pension will be sufficient).

Sorry, this was a trick post (nasty trick for a Monday).

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OK My Man! (Rudeness in my Opinion)

A new set of sales dweebs appeared at my doorstep a few days ago, attempting to shill more Rogers services to me (if someone can point me towards a NO SOLICITORS sign cheap I’d appreciate it). The way I was spoken to was rudeness personified.

The two young folk, addressed me by my actual name (no unfortunately they did not call me Big Cajun Man), and asked me how I was doing, I said fine, and gave my best, Can you please get on with wasting my time look. The sales team consisted of a  young lady and a portly young lad who seemed to be the mouth piece of the duo. He asked me about how I enjoyed my Rogers services, so I ranted about the overcharging game they play with their Internet Access products, and the young man smiled, but never really addressed my concerns.

The young man then made a classic sales blunder, that this generation of sales folks never seems to grasp, which is, if your customer is old enough to be your Father, do not address him as either:

  • Dude
  • Stud
  • By his First Name (before they say it’s OK)
  • Friend -or-
  • My Man

I am very old fashioned, and anyone who is the age of one of my kids addressing me with one of those colloquialisms, is the ultimate in terms of rudeness, and guarantees that this sales person will not be making a sale to me. If this young salesperson had thought about it, he should have started with Sir , and if I had then said, “Call me C8j or Mr. Big…” then become more familiar, but leaping to My Man as your title for your customer is just a loser 10 times out of 10.

I know that I am a sadistic bastard (another colloquialism I occasionally answer to) once I have decided I dislike a salesperson or their product, and I will then let them ramble around, give them as little information as possible, and then when they throw their sales pitch I answer with a quick, “No Thank You”, and will start closing the door on them. I must admit I did this and then the young gentleman continued blundering along and asked, “Can I ask you why not, My Man?”.

Once you have addressed me in an inappropriate manner and then insulted me with a crap deal, please don’t feel that I will follow any normal rules of engagement (i.e. I feel that I no longer need to be polite with you), and I will start to create complete fabrications about why your offer is a load of festering canine feces. I went on for a short period about how I had gotten a much better deal with Rogers through their phone center (which is true) and that I am a former Bell employee and get a great deal on all other services (a fabrication). I then said, “Thank you and have a good night”, and started to close the door.

“Wait, my man…”, my portly adversary blurted again as the door started to close. I gave an inquisitive look which hopefully suggested he now was at the level of the bacteria that causes cold sores, but he then thanked me for listening and he and his sidekick left with their tails between their legs.

My question is this, am I just too old fashioned to be assuming that someone who is at least 1/2 my age might address me with some level of respect? If you are dealing with your elders should you address them as Sir or Ma’am, or is it just the way things are that a door to door shill can address you with whatever odd colloquialism they wish? I guess I was lucky he didn’t call me Big Dude, or Home Boy?

Opinions?

Oh and if you have pieces of metal sticking out of parts of your face (other than your ear lobes) or have a really bitchin’ tatoo on your arm, please don’t knock on my door (yup, that bugs me too).

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Random Thoughts: Let’s all skate!

Now that the Rideau Canal Skateway has opened for it’s 40th year of operation, I think we can say that Winter has come to Ottawa. The canal is one of those things that you just assume is there and when it is not, you wonder why not. Will I skate on it this year? I don’t think so, but it is still a possibility (how ever slim that might be) that I may.

Given the horrible sites we are seeing on TV from the Haitian earthquake I urge my readers to find Aid Groups (the Red Cross, or your Church) and give what you can to help out. For those who are going there to help, you have my respect and my hope that your good works help those in need.

Birthday Blogs

Given it was someone’s birthday this week, what was new in the Personal Finance blogosphere? Let’s just poke around and see:

  • Michael James points out that not all Hospital User Fees have anything to do with the care you receive at your hospital. Luckily he didn’t try to buy something in the cafeteria!
  • Larry MacDonald continues this discussion with his post about the Inner workings of walk-in clinics and the other fees you can incur if you simply want a wart removed!
  • Million Dollar Journey is most definitely putting their money where their keyboard is, with My Financial Goals for 2010, I am astounded by his (her?) intestinal fortitude to write that kind of challenge for themselves.
  • Preet at WhereDoesAllMyMoneyGo.com points out that January’s Returns Predict Rest of Year’s Performance 74% of the time, which is an interesting idea. I have found that the team that scores the most points in most NFL games, win, but I can’t be sure.
  • Gene (a frequent commenter on this blog) asked the Canadian Capitalist about Opening a US Dollar Self-Directed RRSP account with Qtrade and the Capitalist (as usual) brings up some important points to consider. Glad to see Gene knows who(m) to ask these kind of questions to (i.e. not ME).
  • Gail Vaz-Oxlade comments on the problems with a prominent golfer with her article Out of the Woods?, OK, it has nothing to do with that, but still an interesting article about the CDIC.
  • Ellen Roseman asks Who has seen the wind? asking if anyone has started dealing with Wind Mobility, I await to see someone say “Yes it works for me”, before I change my carrier.
  • Can Skinner Conditioning be used for aversion therapy to stop folks from buying into Ponzi schemes? Canadian Financial DIY wants to know.
  • The Four Pillars tries the daunting task of explaining how a Metropolitan Mass Transit system thinks with The TTC’s Idiotic Approach to Fare Increases hopefully they won’t look at Ottawa’s OC Chancepo, or they may go off the deep end

Enjoy the winter!

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DeCluttering Never Bad Even Financially

My wife, a while ago, took on the daunting task of creating a space for a gas fitter to come in and work on a new project in our house. Our back room in our basement was very cluttered and there was no way anyone could get anywhere safely. My wife took on the task of attempt to declutter the chaos.

I came home and was very impressed with the work done and the amount that was being thrown out. The area was swept and cleared so that the work could be done .

My wife was not impressed when the workman finally showed up and was able to do all the work needed on the main floor of our house and went nowhere near the basement.

Was this a waste of time? NO! That kind of de-cluttering is a good thing for many reasons:

  • Safety: that mess was going to injure someone. It was a fire hazard, so it needed to be cleaned up.
  • DeClutter: the amount of crap that we were never going to use again is now reduced by 9.75% now. This means we only have 90% of it still to clean up (but still a good start)
  • Security issues: although it might be possible for an Al-Qaeda cell to hide out in that mess, I did not mean that exactly. We found a whole set of banking records for an organization my wife no longer works for, and those records have now been destroyed. That kind of security is very important.

Do you have a lot of old financial records hidden in the clutter of your “secret stash” (be it in your basement or in that closet you just never open)? Maybe it’s time to at least find all the old credit cards, banking cards, pass books, cheque books and bank agreements that you no longer need and destroy them. Leaving that kind of stuff around is just asking for problems later in life.

What To Do ?

If you destroy it now, you know it no longer exists, if you simply “leave it”, do you know if there are records hanging around that can easily be used for identity theft? Maybe it’s time to go clean up a bit? Before you destroy those credit cards, make sure the accounts aren’t still active, as well.

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