Blogs

Come April, a lot of us think about money. It’s tax time, and we’re paying or prioritizing what to do with our rebate. The first warm, sunny days lead to thoughts of summer, and what vacation we’re going to be able to afford. Schools also promote Financial Literacy Month in April, to help kids develop good money habits. In the midst of all of this, thinking about whether your finances will allow you to reach your life goals can seem a daunting task. But it’s important to keep those goals close...
Updated : 2 weeks 1 day ago | more
As a business owner, do you ever feel alone when making a tough decision? If you don’t have expertise in, for example, finance, and you need to know how much cash your business will need throughout the year if you pursue a new growth opportunity? CC by Paul Downey I recommend that you create a business advisory board. What is an advisory board? It’s a group of three to five individuals of your choosing who offer the expertise you need. The group meets with you regularly (at least quarterly),...
Updated : 3 weeks 1 hour ago | more
“Thank you, my friend, for making my golden years golden.” People choose manufactured homes for lots of good reasons. You can find manufactured homes in any style, and in any community. In New Hampshire, manufactured homes make up most of the homes sold for less than $100,000, so they are a good fit for people who want to spend wisely on affordable, energy-efficient homes. The price range is a great fit for first-time homebuyers, retirement downsizers, and people rebounding from the reality...
Updated : 1 month 1 week ago | more
Did you know that flooding is the number one disaster in the United States? It’s typically caused by hurricanes, winter snow melt, and even construction that changes water runoff paths. Regardless of the reason, when a home is flooded, the losses can be devastating. Homeowners insurance does not cover flooding in your home or outbuildings. And federal disaster assistance is usually in the form of low-interest loans that must be paid back and will not cover your losses. This work is licensed...
Updated : 1 month 2 weeks ago | more
In this economy, one of the saddest things to see is a business with a strong management team shelve its growth plan because it can’t find the right kind of financing. Most business owners I know are experts in their fields, but they’re not experts in all of the types of financing available to them. If they knew more about each option, and about the factors that make each option more, or less, suitable for their business, they might be able to dust off those business plans. Capital Compass...
Updated : 1 month 3 days ago | more
The annual Economic and Housing Market Update conference I attended recently was chock full of good news. Home sales in New Hampshire increased 14% from 2012 to 2013, the number of homes on the market for more than six months has decreased, and foreclosures in the state dropped to 2,750 in 2013 from a high of 4,000 in 2010. CC by Nick Bastian, Tempe, AZ Before we break out the champagne, however, let’s keep in mind that 2,750 is still a lot of foreclosures, which are among the most stressful...
Updated : 2 months 2 weeks ago | more
We in New Hampshire are fortunate to have community leaders and advocates who totally “get” that investments in children’s earliest years are good for our state and necessary for healthy and vibrant communities. This goal has become more urgent in recent years as child poverty here has risen significantly. Dick Ober, president of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, framed the issue really well in The Youngest Among Us, a letter he sent last week to partners and supporters. In order for our...
Updated : 2 months 2 weeks ago | more
I was half-heartedly watching the news recently when Diane Sawyer’s voice caught my attention. ABC had reinstated its series, Real Money. As a human resources professional in a community development financial institution, this is a topic near and dear to my heart, especially the inaugural segment, “How to Ask a Boss for a Raise.” The piece followed a marketing executive from Ohio who was about to make “the ask”.  Her story brought to mind numerous employees who have asked me for advice on this...
Updated : 3 months 1 day ago | more
One would think we have reached critical mass in public support for Universal Preschool when a recently published article in Communities and Banking, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston magazine, identifies universal access to early childhood education programs as yielding important societal and economic benefits. Arthur MacEwan, professor emeritus of the Dept. of Economics at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, makes the case for publicly funded early childhood education for all, aligned...
Updated : 3 months 3 weeks ago | more
Today I turn my blog over to Community Loan Fund board member Sara Varela, who volunteered to host our recent 30th anniversary celebration in Portsmouth. Sara opened that night's program with these words: "Hello everyone, welcome to tonight’s event and thank you for coming. "I have been on the board of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund for about three years. I am a resident of the lovely island of New Castle, here in the fantastic New Hampshire seacoast, and I am glad you have decided to...
Updated : 4 months 1 week ago | more