Prepare Them For The Future: 5 Unique Ways To Teach Kids About Money

Did you know that 62% of parents give their kids an allowance? 

But it’s not enough to just hand your kids money. You need to teach them the value of a dollar and how to spend it. 

Teaching kids about money doesn’t have to be hard. Money is one of the greatest stressors for adults. But if you can teach your kids early how to budget, you can save them a lot of heartache later on. 

This article will give you 5 ways to teach your kids about money. 

1. Match Allowance to Chores

Don’t start giving your children money until they’re old enough to do chores.

If you give your child an allowance when they’re very young for doing nothing, they’ll question why they have to work for their money later on. 

When your child is old enough to do housework, be sure to match the money you give to the work they do. 

For instance, offer a certain amount for each chose. Vacuuming could be one dollar, washing the dishes could be two dollars. 

It’s important to break down the value of each piece of work they do. This will teach them how labor gets exchanged for money. 

Make a chore chart so they know what they’re in charge of each day. Set a “payday” on Fridays so they have money to spend over the weekend. 

This traditional work schedule will get them used to waiting for their money and spending it wisely. If they don’t do their chores, don’t cave and give them the allowance anyway. This isn’t how money works in the real world and you’ll be sending them the wrong message about hard work. 

2. Make Them Pitch In

There is no way your seven-year-old can pay for every toy they want.

But this doesn’t mean they can’t pitch in a portion. When your child asks for a major game or toy, always make them pay for a small portion.

Even if it only takes them saving their allowance for two weeks, this simple act will make them value the toy more.

if you constantly give your child toys without them having to do any work, they won’t appreciate them. The toys will become something they’re entitled to rather than something they had to work for. 

3. Talk About What You’re Buying

Your kids are always listening to you. 

They hear you talk to your spouse about big purchases coming up. Next time you buy something large, include your child in the conversation.

Explain to them how long it took you to save up for that item. This way, when a brand new minican arrives in your garage, your child doesn’t think it got there by magic. They will start to understand that all those days you go off to work, you were earning the minivan. 

Talk about how long it will take to pay off the minivan if you haven’t already. 

When you go to an ATM, tell your child how much money you’re taking out. Don’t make the process of withdrawing money look easy. 

4. Cook More Meals

Eating out every night and buying your child food from the drive-thru sets the wrong precedent.

It teaches your child that food comes easily and that it’s accessible when you want it. Your child will have no framework for how much it really costs to feed themselves.

Instead, focus on cooking the meals you put on the dinner table. 

Take your child to the grocery store with you and get the ingredients to make the food he or she loves to eat a restaurant.

For instance, if her favorite restaurant food is a burger and fries, then go to the store and buy those ingredients. Add up how much each ingredient costs together and compare that number with how much you would have spent at the restaurant. 

You’ll notice that getting food in the grocery store is far less expensive- and your child will too.

Then take the ingredients home and cook together. This will teach your child the importance of working for the food they ear. 

5. Use a Clear Piggy Bank

As an adult, you know what to look for in a bank, but your child doesn’t 

Sure, traditional piggy banks are cute. But they’re also impossible to see in without opening them.

You want your child to store their money in a clear receptacle so that they can see how much is in there. 

This will help them understand the process of earning and saving money. They can visually see how much further they have until their goal. 

A good practice is to teach them to wait until the piggy bank is full before spending the money. Maybe offer them a couple of bonus dollars if they keep the money in the piggy bank long enough. Think of this as teaching them how interest works. 

So Now You Know The Importance of Teaching Kids About Money

Remember, teaching kids about money is crucial to their success later on. 

High school courses don’t often cover important topics like how to spend money, and once your kid is in college it will be too late. 

You want them to be smart about earning money early so they don’t make mistakes later on. 

On the flip side, remember that your child is still a child. Don’t overstress them about money issues that you’re having. It’s important they know how the world works, but they shouldn’t be so worried about finances that they can’t sleep at night. They’ll have the rest of their lives to worry.

Wondering the best adult bank to save your money? Check out our advice here. 

Don’t Gamble With Your Future: Why Everyone Needs a Financial Advisor

50% of Americans don’t have anything saved for their retirement. Another 34% have nothing in their savings account at all. Part of this problem is the inability to understand personal finance and planning. A financial advisor is trained and experienced in the art of how to save and use your money.

Personal financial planners help everyone from recent graduates to those trying to save for their retirement. While they aren’t free, the money they can potentially save you, in the long run, is worth their advice.

Keep reading to learn more about planning your future and why you need a financial advisor.

Ignoring Your Finances Will Not Make Them Better

Besides the obvious fact that ignoring your finances will not make them better, it will also negatively affect your well-being. One study found that how you perceive items like your current financial situation as well as how well you’ve planned for the future, affects your well-being. These perceptions about your financial state impact everything from your job satisfaction to your physical health.

Needless to say, then, if your finances aren’t in order, the idea of going through them is probably scary. And that’s especially true if you know you’re in a lot of debt, but you’re not sure how much (or how to get out of it). 

The solution to that problem is not to ignore the issue but to tackle it before things get even worse. If you don’t know where to start, that’s where a financial advisor comes in.

More Money

Tackling your money problems with a financial advisor leads us to the next reason you should consult a financial advisor. That is, a financial adviser might actually be able to put more money in your pocket.

Financial advisors help you accomplish this in three ways:

  • They help you manage your income more effectively. 
  • They help increase your cash flow through tax planning, expenditure monitoring, and careful budgeting.
  • They increase your capital by increasing cash flow for potential investments

Overcoming Personal Biases

The benefit of managing your own money is how much you save. But the main disadvantage of having sole insight into your finances is that you have personal biases that are difficult to overcome.

Your biases impact your decisions, and that includes important financial ones. For example, people who lost money in the tech bubble in 2000 might be reluctant to reinvest in this sector, even if the potential for return is great. A financial planner can help you overcome those personal barriers.

At the same time, a financial advisor can help guide you through difficult financial situations wherein your emotions can get the best of you. If you’ve invested in the stock market, for example, a steep decline in the market may lead you to panic where a financial planner knows when to stay calm. With their experience, you can make logical and reasonable decisions with your money even throughout tough financial times. 

A Trustworthy Relationship

You can – and should – trust your financial advisor. These are professionals who have taken a fiduciary oath. That is, they are legally bound to putting your needs before their own.

Some financial advisors are also C.F.P. board certified. This certification indicates that your financial advisor follows a certain level of competency standards set by the Certified Financial Planner Board.

A Financial Planner Can Help You Achieve Long Term and Short Term Goals

Financial planners do exactly what their name indicates: they help you plan your finances for both the long and short term. If you, like most people, struggle to set, prioritize and reach your financial goals, a financial planner will show you how to reach your long and short term goals.

In the long term, a financial advisor can assist with paying off student loans, maximizing your 401k, or becoming consumer debt-free. In the short term, a financial planner helps with building emergency funds, paying for a wedding, or buying your first property.  

Plus, you’ll learn from your financial advisor and the plan they help you build. When you help create a financial plan, you follow it closely, and you reap the results, you’re perspective on controlling your finances is likely to change.

Professional Advice and Knowledge

Let’s be honest, you might know how to set up your online bank, you might even have tried your hand at playing the stock market, but you’re not an educated, certified, or experienced financial professional. A financial advisor has the credentials to handle all of the nuances of your finances and to find things that you’re likely to overlook.

A financial advisor will take an unbiased and holistic look at your finances and offer advice on where you can improve your savings and cash flow. But they can also help you with more complicated financial items like taxation, estate planning, and how to handle your debt.

Keep in mind, too, those finances are dynamic. They’re impacted by volatile markets and economic cotexts that grow and change. Your financial advisor helps you plan for those transitions and changes – and for the ones in your own life (i.e. retirement, career changes, etc.).

More Advice Than a Financial Advisor

Visiting a financial advisor is a good idea at all stages of life, regardless of your financial situation. Whether you’re ready to start saving for retirement, you’ve just graduated from college, or you’re preparing to buy your first property, a financial advisor can help you achieve those goals. 

While the cost of a financial advisor is a hindrance for some people, a financial advisor can actually help put more money in your pocket. They can show you how to better use your income, ultimately increasing your cash flow and your capital. 

But for even more advice than a financial advisor can give you, check out our financial advice blog. It’s full of all the financial information one could need.

Don’t Wait Until You’re Older. Start Saving For Retirement Now

Saving for retirement is so stressful when you feel like it’s all you can do to make it to the next paycheck. With more than half the American public feeling like they’re behind on their retirement planning, that’s a lot of stressing out! 

In the following article, we’re going to address what you can do to turn the tide. But first, let’s look at the obstacles that are keeping you from it.

Why You’re Not Saving

Saving is easy once you get started doing it. But it can be very difficult taking the first step. This is usually due to us believing certain falsehoods we’re about to get into, but also could be due to some seemingly legitimate reasons.

Not Enough Income

Living paycheck to paycheck is an unfortunate reality for millions of people. If it’s all gone by the time the next check comes around, how could you possibly find enough wiggle room to put back for your retirement?

Failing to Track Your Spending

Some families don’t make enough money. That’s indisputable. But a large number of us also spend more than we intend to by failing to scrutinize the things we’re buying with meaningful detail. 

Convincing Yourself You Cannot Afford It

Sometimes you can afford more than you think but you’re so downtrodden from the feeling of not getting ahead that you fail to realize the opportunities. We’re going to say something crazy here, but it’s true. You can always afford to save something.

Spending Therapy

This is one a lot of us have been guilty of. We’re so dejected by the lack of extra money each pay period that we get fed up with never having the chance to enjoy life and end up spending more than we should, thanks to weak sales resistance, a lack of willpower, and a little plastic.

Now you know the behaviors and situations that are causing the drama. It’s time that we looked at some solutions for what to do about it. Follow as many of these as you can, and you’ll have a retirement account before you know it.

1. Design the Lifestyle You Want

Before considering a savings account or any other financial instrument, get your goals in order. Don’t obsess over the harsh reality. Picture where you want to be.

What is a realistic lifestyle you would like to have if you were to ever pay your way out of debt? What does fiscally responsible behavior look like and how does it balance with what you like to buy or do? 

2. Assess Where You Are

Still not quite ready for the retirement account. Instead, it’s time to assess where you are. And we mean where you truly are.

Go over your ongoing expenses with a fine-toothed comb. Account for every dollar you make. Compare the two to see how much discretionary income you have (or how much more you’ll need to earn). 

3. Start Small

The smart saving habits have nothing to do with volume. Few people ever get rich overnight. They do it by incremental savings over time, thanks in part to the concept of compounding interest.

Enjoying any of that, however, requires that you save something, even if it’s just one percent of what you make. Get comfortable saving before upping the ante.

4. Know When to Get More Aggressive

Another important thing to learn when investing money wisely is that there will come a time when you can and should be more aggressive. Many analysts suggest taking the risk on more volatile investments (like emerging markets) when you’re in your 20s, for instance. Then, work in more conservative investments the closer you get to retirement.

That’s ideal. But it may not be for everyone. People who start late and are trying to catch up to their retirement number, namely. 

The point: there’s a time to be aggressive and a time to be conservative in your investment decisions. Learn when those times are for you.

5. Choose the Right Financial Instruments

There are many retirement accounts and investment options to choose from. Employees often have the option of saving pre-tax dollars through a 401k. Self-employed individuals prefer the Roth IRA, which can be withdrawn at retirement tax-free.

You also might consider round-up accounts that go up to the nearest whole dollar and are tied to your debit card transactions. For every purchase you make, whatever change gets you to the next whole dollar goes into an investment portfolio.

6. Target the Amount You Will Need to Retire Comfortably

Use a retirement calculator to gauge how much money you’re going to need for retirement. From there, play with the numbers to see how aggressive you need to be in your savings for where you are at this moment in life.

7. Make More Money

Easier said than done, right? Not necessarily. The Internet has opened up a plethora of ways we can use our existing talents to make extra money on the side.

If you do start a side gig, however, make sure you hold out 30 percent for tax purposes. That’s considered self-employment money, so you won’t have an employer to pay half of your Social Security and Medicaid costs.

8. Cut Unnecessary Expenses

Are there any entertainment subscriptions you can live without? What about meals and coffees out?

Scrutinizing your spending will highlight opportunities to reduce your output. It won’t solve all your problems, but it will free up some money to go into a retirement account.

9. Capitalize on Your Benefit Offerings

This isn’t for everyone. But if you do work with an employer that offers a 401k with matching, take advantage of it. That’s like getting double for each contribution you make, up to three or five percent anyway.

10. Invest in Life Insurance

We recommend this because a) some life insurance builds cash value that can be withdrawn or borrowed against, and b) it will leave your family with options in the event something happens to you and you haven’t saved any money for retirement or unexpected expenses.

Yes, insurance is an ongoing expense. But it also provides you with enough peace of mind to not be discouraged when your retirement planning falls behind.

11. Enjoy Your Money When You Can

You can’t take it with you, and you’re only young once. Take advantage of a healthy mind and body by finding some room to enjoy your money when you can. Do it without feeling guilty, too.

Saving for Retirement Doesn’t Have to Be a Chore

Saving for retirement can be gratifying when you see those small contributions start to add up. Whatever you do, don’t be discouraged by a lack of progress. Start saving whatever you can now, and you won’t regret it.

Good luck! And if you’d like any help with retirement questions or other financial advice, try our Letters to the Editor feature today.

How Many Bank Accounts Should I Have? (At Least Three)

In the past, people had a checking account and a single savings account. But those were the days when you paid by check and had to go into the branch to do any banking.

Times have changed! We can now send and receive money with a click of a button on your smartphones. So why are we still stuck in the same account habits? 

If you’ve asked yourself, “how many bank accounts should I have?” read on. We’ve got all the answers. 

How Many Bank Accounts Should I Have?

The average American has between $6000-$9000 in their checking accounts. But if you are one of those people, your money isn’t working as hard for you as it could be.  

The great thing about multiple bank accounts is that you can separate your money for different purposes.

You can keep your money that is reserved for a vacation or emergency car and home repairs separate from your account that pays your monthly bills.
When your money is altogether in one lump sum, it is easier to spend money on things it wasn’t intended for.

Keep in mind that having multiple accounts is only beneficial if you aren’t paying a lot in fees and if the account doesn’t have minimum balance requirements. 
Here are some of the best ways you can separate your money into various accounts. 

Accounts for Saving

A savings account has many useful benefits. For one thing, these accounts tend to offer you higher interest rates.

Sometimes, these accounts place limits on how often you can withdraw from them. This might help you think twice about taking money out of your savings.
A lot of people have two different bank accounts: one savings and one checking.

But, two or more savings accounts are very useful for people who live paycheck to paycheck. Two or more savings accounts is a digital version of the jar saving system.

But instead of separating your savings into a jar labelled, car, school, and vacation, you have multiple accounts.
Here are some of the saving accounts you might have. 

Emergency Fund

An emergency fund is a separate saving account that you use to save for unexpected costs.

For example, you could stash some funds in this account to save for job loss, unexpected car repairs and so on. Experts recommend 3-6 months of income be saved in this account. 

Treat this account like a fire extinguisher in a glass case. You only break the glass and take out your money in a true emergency.

To grow this account, set an automatic transfer from your checking account on payday. It’s fine if you only deposit a little bit into this account each time you get paid. Over time, this fund will grow.

Short-Term Savings

A separate savings account can be set-up for your short term saving goals such as money for Christmas presents, a holiday or specific expenses like new tires for your car.

The goal of this account is to keep your money safe from accidental spending. You might have one for all your short-term saving goals, or you may prefer to have one for each goal.

The great thing about online banking is that you can name your accounts whatever you want. So you can make it clear what the purpose of each account is. Try to put a set amount into this account each pay period.

One way to help you stay on track is to figure out the total amount you need and when you need it by. Then divide that number by how many paychecks you’ll get until the goal date. This helps you figure out exactly how much money you need to set aside each pay to reach your goal on time.

Like the emergency fund, you do not use this money for bills, going out to eat or other superfluous expenses.

Long-Term Savings

You should also have an account for your long-term savings. You can save for things such as retirement or post-secondary education.
A regular savings account might not be the best place to grow your money.

Learn about investment management to help your money the most.

How Many Checking Accounts Should I have?

Now let’s talk about checking accounts. These accounts allow unlimited transactions such as withdrawals and purchases.

You may opt to have one checking account where you do all your spending. This means your paycheck gets deposited into this account. You also pay your bills from this account and buy groceries, gas for your car and go out to dinner from this account.

You can see how this may be problematic. The last thing you want is to spend money only to realize that now you don’t have enough for your rent or mortgage.
One of the best ways to avoid this is by having two checking accounts.

One account should be for your incoming funds such as paychecks. You should keep the funds you need for all your monthly bills in here.

Then, move the remainder of your money to a separate checking account. This is the account you can use for day-to-day spending. By doing this, you avoid spending money meant for your bills.

Final Words

There you have it. A complete guide to help you answer the question: “how many bank accounts should I have?”

Keep in mind that you may need to adjust this guide to suit your specific financial situation. You might find you need fewer accounts than we’ve suggested.

As long as you have a system that lets you divide your money into manageable and purposeful ways, that’s all that matters.

At CFI.co, we report on business, economics and finance to give you the information you need. Learn more about CFI here.

The Top 7 Best Private Banks Around the World

Exclusivity comes with a winnowing set of risk and a growing set of rewards. It costs money to reach for higher financial status, but obtaining such comes with a bevvy of perks.

It gets harder to manage everything the higher up you go, which is why specialized services come into being. Among the most broadly useful special services for the wealthy is the private bank. A place to house your wealth where it does work instead of collecting dust.

These banks offer more to their clients than other banking organizations. They offer fine-tuned control and added value to the banking experience, which explains why the largest private financial organization takes care of over 2 trillion USD

But which bank does one chose for their own needs? A lot of factors go into making such a choice but this list will provide criteria and options. 

Private Bank Offerings

The majority of what exclusive banks offer is hands-on experience and attention. Instead of dealing with a banker that deals with dozens, if not hundreds, of accounts, each getting a bit of nodding and hand waving when customers ask about their interest rates or money, a private bank offers professionalism.

Wealth Management

The growth and management of wealth ranks among the best private banking services. 

The overlap between wealth management services and private banking is so large that it’s more worth mentioning how they are different. The largest benefit of a bank over a management service is accessibility.

Finances in a bank are more available in a moment without taking time to untie or vest before moving. Not all funds deposited stay completely accessible, but more so than with a management service. 

Dedicated Personnel

Instead of having one banker with quotas and customers, you gain access to a dedicated person looking after you. This person may even be a team of people, depending. Their job is to work with you and your wealth to increase your bottom line and keep you aware of opportunities for growth.

You save time through individual attention. No going through a file each time you call to remember who you are. They know you and your needs on a personal level.

Dedicated Attention

The attention you receive from a personal representative bleed over into personal assistant territory. They anticipate your needs and offer additional help in planning and creating.

Network of Specialists

Your personal banker and banking team also bring you the benefit of other specialists. At some point, you will need to encounter and deal with tax attorneys, trust managers, and estate advisors. 

your personal banker can offer referrals for each of these that they have personal experience working with. This saves you the time to vet and research for these people.

Perks in Pricing

Offerings, in terms of services, from a private bank contain everything you would see at a lower bank but with incentives woven throughout.

You can expect to see discounts and freebies on some services. It’s quite common to be offered free personalized checks or a safe-deposit box. While it’s not everything, can save upwards of $300 annually on a box.

Of course, most private banks have some fees for their services but it’s nice to see the value additions they supply.

Private Bank Profiles

Now that you have an idea of what types of services you’ll find in a private bank, you can evaluate the following. Each of these excels in their service, security, and returns tho their clients. 

1. DBS Private Banking

This Singapore-based institution offers top-class digital transformation. They have trademarked the term iWealth to show their dedication to digital movements.

Their personnel are well versed in tech and connected to Asian and pan-Asian markets that seek to expand influence through the region. They’ve shown impressive growth in the last few years as well, jumping over 31% in assets in 2018.

2. J. Safra Sarasin

For those looking for a social-minded banking experience, Sarasin leads in programs bolstering societal goals. 

The bank has been in operation since 1841 as a family-owned business. They have spent the better part of three decades building a reputation for sustainable technology. 

They’ve grown while doing so, 23% in 2017 alone. They show that responsibility and social awareness can be profitable endeavours.

3. U.S. Trust

This top private bank offers a somewhat different set of offerings than others. Rather than focus on business owners and hairs, they work with executives and heads of industry.

The bank itself is part of a structure, as such, it is more branding than individual institutions. They work on stock options and retirement benefits for industry employees, which gives them substantial assets. Ideally, they work most often with C-Suite executives. 

4. UBS

The top holding private bank is the world’s largest financier. It gained this honour after smart mergers between its U.S. management and its international operations. together they aim to provide the best and most complete investment and client services. 

5. BBVA

Most private bank accounts start at $1 million in holdings. A few offer accounts for less, especially to financial movers, those with a definite possibility of increasing their portfolio rapidly.

BBVA works with a floor of $340,000. 

Currently, it is involved with large housing markets in Spain and holds a presence in Latin American markets. These growing sectors provide new investment opportunities for clients. 

6. Citi Private Bank

On the other hand, if you are looking to work with much more than the minimum, Citi Private is looking for that demographic. The bank caters to those with $25 million or more in assets.

They operate with a global strategic view, considering their high-end clients to be global citizens.

They work with multimillion-dollar investments and huge, intricate hedge funds. Their growth of 18% in 2017 shows they know who to influence and call shots.

7. Pictect

For those looking for something a bit more local, Pictect caters to the Western European market. An old-line Swiss bank in operation since 1805 with a foothold in Asia. 

They work it old school, using investment banking and cross-selling of credit to bolster dividends. Pictect offers a small, cosy feel with a lot of clout in the world.

Finance a Future

Few people get to experience the thrill of shopping for a private bank. It’s not everyone that has the assets to qualify for joining one of these venerable institutions. 

For further information on the banking industry and its impacts, read more here

Opening Your First Account: What to Look for in a Bank

Are you considering opening your first bank or looking for one for your child? Don’t just go with the one down the block due to convenience. There are actually more options out there than you realize – and some that can save you money and keep your cash safer for the long term!

Read on for our top tips on what to look for in a bank so that you can store your wealth the smart way. 

1. What Kind of Account Do You Need? 

Some banks offer you more perks for checking accounts versus savings accounts, and the other way around. This can be due to higher interest rates, convenient mobile checking deposit options, or banks that don’t charge you monthly fees. 

If you don’t want your money to stagnant in a savings account and want to save more, then a high-interest savings account may be for you. Although many brick-and-mortar banks don’t offer very high interest, many online banks do. 

Perhaps you want to replace your current checking out. Larger banks offer more options if you want flexibility, and there are also high-yield checking accounts that are offered by online banks, credit unions, and community banks. 

2. Avoid Minimum Balances

Some banks require you to have hefty minimum deposits, which essentially locks your money up in an account for the foreseeable future without earning much interest. Online banks such as Ally Bank and Capital One 360 offer checking accounts that don’t require a minimum balance. Smaller banks and credit unions are also less likely to require minimum balances. 

3. Avoid Overdraft Fees

Overdraft fees are one of the biggest penalties to hit consumers. Banks can charge $35 or more for each overdraft to your account if you’ve opted for overdraft protection, which can become a vicious cycle. The bank is essentially giving you a loan with a hefty fee attached. 

Overdraft protection isn’t required, even though banks will try to push you towards it. When you don’t have overdraft protection, your purchases or ATM withdrawals are simply declined if you have insufficient funds. Remember to read the fine print of whichever bank you choose and go with the option that has fewer fees, or no fees at all. 

Some banks will allow account holders to link a savings account or credit card to your account and transfer money if you have insufficient funds. You’ll avoid large fees, but you’ll also be able to complete your purchases. 

You’ll also want to see if your bank is capable of sending you text alerts if you have a low-balance or have crossed a threshold you’ve indicated. With banks that offer mobile apps, you’ll have a much easier time monitoring your account’s balance. 

4. Consider Accessibility 

Although online banks come with a lot of perks, they can lack the convenience of big brick-and-mortar banks. If you’re having issues with an account or need to deposit cash, this is much easier with a traditional bank. 

Many online banks require you to mail in your cash if you need to make a deposit. If you’ve noticed any fraudulent activity on your account or need some assistance, you’ll need to chat with a customer service representative online or call. Depending on how effective their customer service is, this can either be a convenience or a major hindrance. 

Carefully think about your accessibility needs and choose the bank that makes your life easier for the longterm. 

5. Consider Spending Habits

You’ll also want to consider your lifestyle. If you’re making an effort to save money, many financial advisors recommend you go with a bank that allows you to open and name multiple accounts. This enables you to have one checking account and separate savings accounts for all your different savings goals, such as emergency money, gift funds, and travel funds. 

Portioning out your money this way makes it far easier to budget. When you access your account online, you’ll see right away how much money you have available to spend and how much you need to save. 

6. Digital Features

There are a lot of digital features available now that make your life a lot easier and your account more secure. This includes the ability to transfer funds, deposit checks, and pay bills all through an app.

Some banks offer the ability to immediately lock a debit card or customize it to not allow international purchases or purchases out of your local area. Overall, banks are pushing towards more high-tech solutions, including utilizing IoT

If you’re predominantly a debit card user, this kind of peace of mind is invaluable. Make sure to browse a bank’s website and read their app reviews to see how convenient and developed their digital features are. 

7. Read Terms & Conditions

It may seem unnecessary, but you really should read the fine print before opening a bank account, especially one that you’ve found online. Here are a few things you should check for: 

  • Monthly service fees
  • Out-of-network ATM charges
  • FDIC insured savings accounts
  • Promotional deals that are expiring

You need to know exactly what you’re getting into before you join a bank or open one for your child – this saves you future headaches. If you find that you want to open a checking account with one bank and savings with another, ask yourself if this will suit your lifestyle and if you’d be able to keep up with it. 

What to Look for in a Bank: Secure Money that Grows

When you consider what to look for in a bank, it’s all about finding one that suits your lifestyle, keeps your money secure through insurance and smart digital features, and doesn’t let your money stagnate.

For instance, if you have thousands of dollars worth of savings, keeping it in a savings account with a low interest rate for years will actually be losing you money. Inflation rates rise while your purchasing power diminishes. You would do better to store this in a CD or high-interest savings account.

If you have a teenager that’s opening his or her first bank account, maybe they would do better with an account that offers the ability to open multiple savings accounts. This will help them learn how to budget effectively.

If you found this article helpful, keep reading our banking section for the latest news and analysis of banking policies around the world!

What Is Investment Banking? (And the Top Investment Banks Out There)

Investment banking plays a key role in global economics. For instance, as of July 2019, JP Morgan constituted 9.0% of the global investment banking revenue. However, for the majority of us, investment banking is a mystery.

By learning about investment banking today, you’ll be ready to make informed choices if you want to improve your financial situation through IPO investing.

Read on as we answer the question: “What is investment banking?” 

What is Investment Banking? 

The duties of investment banks are completely different than traditional banking. While the traditional banks we’re used to visiting take in deposits from consumers and businesses and lend out money, investment banks sell securities. They also help finance large projects that traditional banking won’t touch due to the high risks involved.

Robert Johnson, Professor of finance at Heider College of Business, Brighton University, puts it simply. “Investment banking is a method of controlling the flow of money.” With the huge amounts of money at stake, investment banks have a key role in American economics. 

The projects they finance include: 

Large Financial Projects

Projects such as constructing infrastructure need large amounts of upfront cash. Investment banks are able to accumulate this cash by selling securities to investors. 

Company Sales

Instead of acquiring loans to gain capital, entrepreneurs who want to expand their companies sell portions of their companies to the public, or an initial public offering (IPO). Investment bankers are integral to this process, and it’s one of their most important functions. They find investors looking to buy and companies looking to sell.

Initial public offerings are risky investments – there’s no guarantee that they’ll increase in value, though some IPOs are wildly successful. However, if you’re ready to invest in an IPO, you can do so by opening a brokerage account. 

Typically, the IPO price is fixed for a limited group of investors who fit the eligibility requirements. For most investors, the price of the IPO will be higher once it begins officially trading. 

According to the investment bank UBS, out of 7,000 companies between 1975 and 2011, 60% had negative total returns after five years of public trading. Do your research, buy conservatively, and keep a balanced portfolio to mitigate your risks!

Mergers and Acquisitions

Another way that companies can expand is through mergers and acquisitions. Investment bankers will help companies buy another, which can be more cost-effective than trying to compete. 

Despite the risks, buying companies still has a lot of benefits. A company may want access to international markets through a company that’s already established in another region. A larger company may be interested in a smaller company’s technology. They may also want to integrate vertically, such as buying a supplier of materials they need. 

Asset Management and Brokerage Services

Investment bankers help clients manage their money and generate returns. They do this by choosing individual stocks or putting their money into mutual funds. 

The Top Investment Banks

These top investment banks were able to maintain and grow their market positions throughout volatile years. In terms of investment revenue, the top investment banks include: 

1. Goldman Sachs

Headquartered at 200 West Street, New York City, Goldman Sachs operates branches throughout the world in all major financial centres. In 2018, its investment banking revenue was $7.86 billion. In 2019, they had a market capitalization of $78 billion. 

2. JP Morgan

JP Morgan is the second largest investment bank in the world. In 2018, it reported $7 billion in revenue. It’s also one of the oldest financial institutions in the world with a history that goes back to 1799.

3. Bank of America

In 2019, Bank of America rebranded its investment arm to Bank of America Securities. In 2018, it’s investment banking revenue was $5.3 billion. 

4. Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley is based in New York with branches in 40 different countries. In 2018, it’s totally investment banking revenues were $6.1 billion. 

5. Citigroup

Also located in New York, Citigroup Inc. had reported total revenue of $72.9 billion in 2018. It’s one of the big four banks in the United States and the third-largest bank in the world. 

6. Barclays 

Barclays Investment Bank, the investment arm of Barclays, is headquartered in London and has branches in 30 different countries. Its global investment banking fee share is approximately 4.2%. 

7. Credit Suisse

In 2018, Credit Suisse reported a net income of $1.8 billion, attributable to shareholders in the United States. Based in Zurich and established in 1856, it has branches in 50 countries. 

8. Deutsche Bank

This is the leading financial institution in Germany and one of the largest investment banks in Europe. It has about $2.5 billion in investment banking revenue and a market capitalization of $15 billion in 2019. It has branches in 60 other countries.

9. Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo offers banking and investment services in 40 countries. As of 2018, it’s generated investment banking fees are $1.8 billion.

10. Jefferies Financial Group

This full-service investment bank founded in 1962 is based in New York with regional offices in London and Hong Kong. It also has offices in 30 cities throughout America, Europe, and Asia. In 2018 its investment banking revenues were $1.9 billion.

Demystifying Investment Banking

If you’ve ever asked yourself what is investment banking, you should now understand the basic premise. Investment banking is all about the flow of large amounts of money from one institution to another, and through research, analysis, and recommendations, investment bankers try to find the best deals for their clients. 

Want to read more about the state of investment banking today in the global economy? Keep reading our banking section for more informative articles.