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Four Questions to Ask Before You Open Your Wallet

Even if you have the best of intentions, it’s easy to overspend. According to a Gallup poll conducted June 9-15, 2014,* 58% of people who had shopped during the previous four weeks said they spent more at the store than they originally intended to. Even if you’re generally comfortable with how much you spend, you may occasionally suffer from a case of buyer’s remorse or have trouble postponing a purchase in favor of saving for a short- or long-term goal. Here are a few key questions to consider that might help you fine-tune your spending.

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I Just Learned That My Credit- and Debit-Card Information Was Part of a Data Breach. What Should I Do?

Now, more than ever, consumers are relying on the convenience of credit and debit cards to make everyday purchases, such as gas and groceries, and to make online purchases. With this convenience, however, comes the risk of having your account information compromised by a data breach.

In recent years, data breaches at major retailers have become commonplace across the United States. Currently, most retailers use the magnetic strips on the backs of credit and debit cards to access account information. Unfortunately, the account information that is held on these magnetic strips is also easily accessed by computer hackers.

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What Is the Federal Reserve and What Does It Do?

If you follow financial news, you’ve probably heard many references to “the Fed” along the lines of “the Fed did this or that,” or “market watchers are wondering what the Fed will do next.” So what exactly is the Fed and what does it do, anyway?

What is the Federal Reserve?
The Federal Reserve–or “the Fed” as it’s commonly called–is the central bank of the United States. Generally speaking, a central bank is a large, centrally controlled bank that’s in charge of a country’s interest rates, money supply, and banking system. Most countries have a central bank.

Jack V. Butterfield Investment Company is a registered Broker-Dealer, member SIPC