Can You Trust the Big Banks? Should You Move from Wells Fargo?

9646294945_cafa3b828f_bCan You Trust the Big Banks?  Should You Move from Wells Fargo?

Wells Fargo committed fraud. It is plain and simple. You might even say that Wells Fargo committed identity theft. What else would you call it when a bank opens up unauthorized accounts in customer’s names.

Wells Fargo’s scandal resulted in the bank paying $185 million in penalties for opening roughly 2 million consumer deposit and credit card accounts without customer authorization. In addition, they face numerous lawsuits as well as regulatory investigations.

The results of their illegalities are showing up in their business. This CNBC article had this to say about their latest reporting:

  • “Mortgage referrals from retail banking were down 24 percent in September from August.”
  • “Customer visits with bankers, account openings and applications were down on lower referrals, marketing activity and product offerings.”
  • Openings of consumer checking accounts fell 30 percent in September from August, and 25 percent from September last year. Credit card applications declined by 20 percent.

Wells Fargo is not the only bank ripping off people.  Just google Bank of America, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase and the word ‘fines’ and you will be amazed at the list of news stories that come up showing the number of times these banks have violated something.

The biggest problem with the big banks is accountability.  When the consequences are not terminal, these banks take advantage of the system. Sure they get fined. However, that is something that they can absorb. Reputation which is initially hurt gets rebuilt over time. They basically get away with murder and they live to stay in business.

What if the penalties were so great that there was the chance they could go out of business?  After all, what these banks are doing should result in the kind of fines that would question their survival and make them respect the system of law in this country. Who is truly holding them accountable? Even though the politicians put their angry faces on, behind those masks they know that they will take care of the banks. Isn’t that funny that the problem always comes back to the politicians.

So, should you stay or should you go?  Well, rest assured Wells Fargo will be on their best behavior at least until they get out from under the microscope which might take a few years. Personally, I don’t want to do business with anyone I can’t trust and I don’t trust the big banks.

Should you stay or should you go?  Let me answer with my own personal experience. I bank with a regional bank by the name of TBank ( I know my banker and she takes great care of me. Just the other day, one of the bankers saw a transaction that was about to hit my account and called me to make sure it was real. You won’t get that at the big banks. My cousin is another great example. He owns a bank in South Texas and is an incredible banker. He takes care of people, does the right thing, believes in the hand shake deal, and values customer relationships. These are the qualities you look for in a bank and the people who take care of you.

Filter your big bank relationship through that litmus test and then decide if you should you stay or you should go.

What the Penny Can Tell Us About Our Government’s Spending Problem

In God We trust CoinsWhat the Penny Can Tell Us About Our Government’s Spending Problem

I was reading a survey on the US penny and it dawned on me what something as simple as the penny can tell us about the financial condition of this country. The survey was discussing how people viewed the penny. The survey determined that 43% of woman said that we should get rid of it and 62% of men said that we should get rid of it.

Is it even wise to keep the penny considering that it costs 2.4 cents to make every 1 cent penny? Think about that for a moment. 2.4 cents to make a 1 cent penny. President Obama once said this about the penny.

“This is not going to be a huge savings for government. But anytime we’re spending more money on something that people don’t actually use, that’s an example of something we should probably change,” he said. “One of the things that you see chronically in government is it’s very hard to get rid of things that don’t work so that we can then invest in the things that do.”

The penny illustrates why we have such financial problems in this country – We don’t know how to manage the small things and as a result we don’t know how to manage the big things.

President Obama, since when is saving 55 million dollars not a “huge savings”? Yes, it costs the federal government 55 million dollars to produce the penny each year. When does it make sense to produce something worth a penny that costs 2.4 pennies to reproduce?

I realize that when we are talking trillions of dollars, 55 million is not a large number. However, at one point in the history of the country, 1 billion was a lot of debt and a 55 million dollar savings is significant. Just think if you took in all of the government waste of 100 million here, 500 millions here, and added it up, we would have some real savings. However, each one of those sums by themselves don’t put a dent in a trillion dollars. Thus the mentality is unless that number by itself is a “huge savings” or cost it doesn’t matter. The problem is that if you have hundreds of politicians thinking the same way; collective thinking is what is bankrupting our country.

So through the years politicians have disregarded the value of what they perceive as small and looked towards the bigger numbers then the numbers that they thought were big numbers were now small numbers and the big numbers were trillions- what if they were to approach the finances of our country from the standpoint of the value of a penny?

Luke 16:10 ESV / 11 Helpful Votes
“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.”

When 55 million is not considered a lot of money, things have clearly spun out of control.

How to Design the Life You Always Wanted – Prudent Money Show- October 12, 2016


PuzzleHow to Design the Life You Always Wanted

Bob discusses design thinking and how it can impact your financial life.


One Step That Could Improve Your Credit Score

credit-cardOne Step That Could Improve Your Credit Score

Everyone is focusing on credit card debt as it marches towards the 1 trillion dollar mark and a new all-time record high. Credit card debt would join the “I trillion dollar plus club” along with auto loans and student loan debt.

What people should be paying attention is non-revolving debt. This is debt that is paid back in installments. It sits at a record 2.69 trillion and there are tons of companies making these loans with tons of money to lend. It appears that the consumer is borrowing like crazy.

How could this be good for your credit score?  Credit card debt is much worst for your credit score than non-revolving debt and it is because of the credit utilization ratio (CUR).  The CUR is the ratio of credit limits and debt. In other words, how much of your combined overall credit card lines of credit have been used and represent debt?

For example, say you have 10,000 of credit lines through credit cards and you have 2,000 worth of debt.  Your CUR would be 20% which is considered healthy.  However, if it were 3,000 or more then it starts to have a negative effect on your credit score.  The CUA can have a big influence on your credit score.  A CUR over 30% starts to negatively affect your credit score.

The strategy is to take out a non-revolving installment loan and consolidate your credit card debt.  You are probably paying high interest rates and the interest rate on the non-revolving loan probably won’t be much better.  However, it could have a big impact on your credit score.  Let’s go back to the above example with 4,000 debt and credit limits of 10,000. After the consolidation your total debt stays the same and has the same effect.  However, your CUR went from 40% down to 0%.

Of course, credit score improvement is not guaranteed since everyone’s credit profile is unique and the overall scoring system is complex.  However, interest rates are high across the board on all consumer loan debt and non-revolving debt is not that tough to get right now. The key would be to keep those consolidated credit cards open and most importantly to not use them again.

When Do You Get Rid of a High Mileage Car?

AskBobHeaderWhen Do You Get Rid of a High Mileage Car?

Warning: Doomsday for U.S. Dollar Set to Happen

Crumpled DollarWarning: Doomsday for U.S. Dollar Set to Happen 

Dear Reader,

If you have any money at all in a U.S.-based savings account, please pay close attention…

A high-profile ex-CIA advisor just released a  shocking presentation that details a nasty global event about to rock the markets…

And it could spell disaster for the U.S. dollar.

When this event hits – it could completely gut the U.S. stock market, wipe out U.S. jobs and vaporize your retirement savings.

But here’s the good news…

Since you’ve got advance warning, you can actually profit during the fallout, while everyone else scrambles to save their retirement accounts…

Click here to find out how. 


Joe Schriefer

Publisher, Agora Financial

Now, you really don’t think that I would put something out there like this. However, this was circulating around and scaring people into subscribing to a newsletter. It was set to happen September 30, 2016 at 3 PM CST. Well, the last I checked that date and time have come and gone and nothing has happened.

Nothing was ever going to happen. These types of emails are rampant and they are designed to do one thing. They are designed to scare you into thinking that you need to subscribe to a newsletter for survival purposes. Keep in mind the following:

  1. No one can predict exactly what is going to happen – Be suspect of anyone who says they can
  2. If they are pitching something, just ignore it

By the way, a civil action by the SEC against the Agora Publisher starts off with this:

  1. Defendants engaged in an ongoing scheme to defraud public investors by disseminating false information in several Internet newsletters published by Agora or its wholly owned subsidiaries such as Pirate.

Here is the full compliant —

Now what do you think about the crashing dollar? Don’t give these marketers an inch of credibility.

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