Banknotes Blog

Senate Bill 451: Understanding the Differences Between Credit Unions and Banks

By: Stephen Eager

The Wisconsin State Senate is currently considering a bill to help modernize some language that no longer applies in today’s financial landscape, and therefore causes some administrative hassles for credit unions, specifically. To be clear, we are in support of the majority of the bill. However, there are four provisions that blur the lines between credit unions and banks that we believe should be removed.

People are concerned that everything that could go wrong with the economy is going wrong right now. But the truth is that our economy tends to balance out. When one aspect is less than ideal – let’s say inflation – another aspect is thriving. For example, during times of high inflation, jobs tend to be strong, resulting in low unemployment. The trick is to find the parts of the economy that are doing well and figure out how your small business can fit into that trend.

You don’t have to look back very far in history to realize that the financial industry was built by men, for men. In fact, as recently as 1974, single, widowed, or divorced women were required to have a man cosign any credit application, regardless of the woman’s income. Luckily, most modern wealth management professionals not only include women in the process, but often recognize and respect that women have developed significant financial power.

When choosing a banking partner, non-profit organizations need to consider many factors to determine the best financial relationship for their size and operational needs – things like cultural fit, security, account accessibility, fair pricing, and opportunity to earn revenue on excess funds. Here, we explore the importance of these considerations in helping to further an NPO's mission.

One of the only things hotter than this Wisconsin summer and recent inflation data is the debate surrounding whether the economy has officially entered a recession. Some economists say, and have been saying for some time, that it has; others, including those at the White House, beg to differ. So, who’s correct? The short answer is, it’s complicated, and in this article, we’ll explore why.

It's every business owner's worst nightmare: They attempt to log in to their computer, only to find it's been hijacked by malicious software that's demanding money in exchange for access. That software, called ransomware, has become more and more prevalent since its inception more than 30 years ago, but its potential to do damage hasn't diminished any in that span. This article from the Federal Trade Commission contains helpful information that you can use, should you find yourself an unwitting victim of ransomware scammers.

It's a job seeker's market, with open positions in many regions and fields outnumbering available candidates. For that reason, employers have needed to be increasingly creative in the ways they find and attract talent. Applicants are looking for more than just a salary – when considering new career landing spots, they're paying closer attention to the benefits a company offers than ever before. One such benefit that a small company can provide to its staff is a SIMPLE individual retirement account (IRA) plan.

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) can serve as a useful tool in your overall financial toolbox. It's a line of credit that uses your home as collateral, in a general sense working more like a credit card than a typical loan. Let’s look at how a HELOC can help you meet your cash flow needs.

Revenue quality matters, because ignoring it often leads to poor decisions that commoditize the business and threaten profitability, particularly when facing economic headwinds similar to those currently in play. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to significantly improve your quality of revenue and overall financial well-being. Here are several, for your consideration.

In the beloved children’s folk tale, Chicken Little famously tells anyone who’ll listen that the sky is falling. You'll hear a similar refrain about the economy from the talking heads on any given market-focused cable program. There are reasons for their prognostications, but are things really as bad as they're made out to be? Cover your head, if you must, but read on.

One of the most frequent questions we in Treasury Management hear from our business clients is, “Should I pay by an Automated Clearing House (ACH) payment or a wire transfer?” After all, choosing correctly can translate to enhanced security, sounder cash management, and a better position to capitalize on trade discounts. But the short answer is, it depends on the situation, as both methods have their pros and cons.

If you're in the market for a new job, you've got enough on your plate without adding the consequences that come with falling prey to scammers. However, bad actors know that job seekers can be especially vulnerable to their schemes, so they target them relentlessly, and often with much success. If you count yourself among the many exploring new career opportunities, or if you've been presented with a business proposition that seems like it may be too good to be true, the following article – "Looking for a New Job or Considering a Business Opportunity? Spot Signs of a Possible Scam," by Rosario Méndez of the Federal Trade Commission – has some tips that can ensure you stay safe and free from the clutches of fraudsters.

We’re in the midst of a particularly unpredictable and challenging economic period. Yet, regardless of whether times are tight or plentiful, your bank should serve as a strategic business partner. If your banker simply takes orders and responds to requests rather than getting to know your business and anticipating needs, it could be costing you money.

Most consumers are all too familiar with the term inflation. But stagflation is a rare economic condition that few are familiar with and even fewer have had to experience. While the country is not dealing with stagflation at the moment, it is a term that is starting to be used occasionally in the media that deserves a more in-depth explanation, and warrants some information about steps both businesses and individuals can take to reduce the chances of stagflation occurring in 2022.

Estate planning is an important element of financial preparedness. It confers a wide range of important benefits on you, your family, and possibly others. One group of benefits accrues during your lifetime, while the other set addresses post-death considerations. Let’s explore both.

As expenses increase with inflation and interest rates rise to combat it, small businesses are especially feeling this crunch. The labor shortage has a bigger impact when your team is comprised of significantly fewer people to start with. When you are missing even one or two people, the whole team feels the added burden. Here's what can you do as a small business owner.

In the simplest terms possible, investing is a journey from point A to point B. Thinking about that journey as a road trip, most would prefer the ride to be as smooth as possible. However, bumps, traffic, and even a detour or two are inevitable, and that's often the case when investing, too. As 2022 progresses, we continue to see the markets being quite volatile and bumpy, and this is likely to persist. Let's review what happened in May.

Nationwide, businesses and individuals have seen an uptick in fraudulent theft attempts this year, and we want to help your business be vigilant and avoid losses. Even though you may be busy facing the challenges of supply disruption and inflationary pressures this year, don’t miss an opportunity for a quick system check of your security procedures to make sure you catch any vulnerabilities before someone else finds them.

Preparing for a new baby can be an overwhelming, anxiety-inducing, exciting experience. Strollers, diapers, daycare … there are so many decisions to make in what seems like a long time, but really isn’t. If you’re a new mom or dad, you know how quickly nine months pass. If we can give anyone that is expecting one piece of advice, it’s to add financial planning for your child to your list of to-dos.

If your business needs expensive or specialized equipment like machinery, fleet vehicles, heavy duty trucks, or high-end computers, you may be wondering how to finance these purchases. Let’s consider some factors that might influence your decision to either buy or lease.

Ideally, we would all enter our retirement years fully confident that our investment and retirement planning efforts would translate into comfortably maintaining our desired lifestyles until the day we die. However, retirement planning, like most important things, is not that simple.

You’ve probably heard the old investing adage, “Sell in May and go away.” It’s an expression based on the theory that the stock market underperforms during the warmer summer months, before coming back six months later with stronger growth. By its logic, one would sell their investments in May and not invest again until sometime around the beginning of November. With the market activity we’ve seen so far in 2022 – and specifically, into the last couple of weeks of April – it’s fair to wonder whether the selling came early this year.

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