“I’m so poor I can’t pay attention.”

Ron Kittle

Poor and broke are two very different things. Poor is a mentality and broke is just a temporary situation that you know will get better in the future. All I know is that I don’t want to be poor or broke! Maybe just poor in spirit (Matthew 5:3).

37 He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. 38 So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”

Matthew 9:37-38 (NLT)

From the Life Application Bible:

Jesus looked at the crowds following him and referred to them as a field ripe for harvest. Many people are ready to give their lives to Christ if someone would show them how. Jesus commands us to pray that people will respond to this need for workers. Often, when we pray for something, God answers our prayers by using us. Be prepared for God to use you to show another person the way to him.

ingsharebuilder

I wrote about the purchase and acquisition of ShareBuilder by ING Direct last year in December. I wondered back then how they would integrate together. Well, ING finally took a step in the right direction.

You can now access your ShareBuilder account from your ING account. All you have to do is login your ING Direct account and click on “Access your ShareBuilder account(s)”. Then you will login with your ShareBuilder account and you can now see your account value in your ING Direct account.

And on a side note, yes it does say “Kill Student Loan” on there as a nickname for one of my savings accounts. I know it sounds a little violent but it’s only because I’m passionate, intense, and vehement about getting out of debt! The only debt I have left is credit card debt (all at 0%) and my student loans at 6.8%. A month ago I transferred a large portion of my student loan debt to a 0% balance transfer on a credit card.

So what I’m doing is paying the minimum on the 0% credit card and then transferring every month the amount it would take to pay off the card in 12 months into ING Direct to maximize the interest I can get. I’m also making extra payments to my student loan every month. I plan on being completely debt free by September 2009! I can’t wait!

If you’re interested in getting $25 for opening an ING Direct savings account or Electric Orange checking account, shoot me an email and I’ll send you a referral. Help a brother out!

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jpmorganwamu

As many of you know, I bank at Washington Mutual (WaMu). As many of you also know, WaMu actually failed and the government sold it to JPMorgan Chase for $1.9 billion on Friday. This was the largest bank failure ever in the United States. So what caused the downfall of the nation’s largest bank?

The major reason is the huge amount of subprime (bad) mortgages that WaMu made over a period of time. Subprime mortgages are mortgages made to people with less than stellar credit. These people are most likely not able to afford the mortgages that they were put into. However, the bank could charge a higher interest rate and make more money on them. The problem started when house prices took a dive nationwide. The same people were now underwater with their homes and many walked away because they couldn’t make the payments.

But the bigger problem and the catalyst that caused the failure was the many people who took out all of their money based on fear and false rumors. In the ten day period following the collapse of Lehman Brothers, WaMu customers took out $16.7 billion in deposits. This caused WaMu to not be able to conduct day to day business because of the lack of cash.

I keep repeating this over and over. It is not a time to panic. Fear and worry doesn’t solve any problems. Only action solves problems. No one lost any money when WaMu went down. No one, including everyone with more than $100,000 at the bank, did not lose any money at all. Let me say that again; nobody lost any money, period.

So what does this mean to you?

If you bank at WaMu, you now bank at JPMorgan Chase (technically). In the short term, this means business as usual. You continue to use the same account numbers, branches, checks, debit cards, online banking, ATMs, etc. All JPMorgan Chase ATMs are now available to you fee free. JPMorgan has a nice page explaining everything about your banking after the buyout.

The merger is going to take some time. I would say that within the next 6-9 months, JPMorgan will begin to consolidate and get rid of the Washington Mutual name. I’m going to continue to bank there. I’m not taking out my money. I’ll continue to use the online bill pay and have my paycheck direct deposited there as I always have.

If you don’t bank at WaMu, it just means one less bank to choose from. It means less competition. It probably means higher prices. Higher interest rates on loans and less attractive rates on savings devices. Less competition is never good. But the lesson here is, don’t panic. Your money is safe and sound. Just remember to keep less than $100,000 in any account at any one bank. Unfortunately, I do not have that particular “problem”. God bless!

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“I cannot afford to waste my time making money.”

Louis Agassiz

People say that time is money. Sure it takes time to make money. But I would say that time is more valuable than money. And you know why? Because you can always earn some extra money, but you can never earn extra time. Once time has passed, it is gone forever. That’s why managing your time is so important. Don’t waste another minute. Use your time effectively.

14 Wise words bring many benefits, and hard work brings rewards.

Proverbs 12:14 (NLT)

Our words are very powerful. If we are careful with our words and speak wise words, they can bring us benefits. Hard work generally leads to rewards. And it is definitely better than lazy work or no work at all. You can’t expect to succeed without hard work. Behind every successful person is a whole bunch of pain, struggle, and hard work that you might not have seen.

There’s a story about an artist who was sitting on the beach painting a beautiful painting of the ocean. A bystander was watching from start to finish. It took the talented artist maybe twenty minutes to finish the beautiful masterpiece of the ocean. The bystander asked if he could purchase the painting. The artist said, “It’s for sale for $1000.” The bystander balked and said, “but it only took you twenty minutes!” The artist replied, “yes, but it took an entire lifetime to get good enough to finish in twenty minutes.”

Hard work pays off.

endoftheworld

Failing banks, government bailouts, corporate bankruptcies, huge buyouts. It must be the end of the world! Jesus is coming soon! We should all take our money and stuff it in our mattresses.

Just in case you couldn’t tell, I was being a little bit sarcastic. People everywhere seem to be panicking and thinking the end of the world is near. It is not the end of the world. Let me say that again. It is not the end of the world! Everything’s going to be just fine. Your money is safe.

You don’t need to pull any money out of any bank. The FDIC insurance (or the NCUA) will cover your deposits up to $100,000 or $200,000 for joint accounts. The FDIC covers savings and checking deposits as well as certificates of deposit. They also cover cashier’s checks, interest checks, and more. Check the FDIC website for more information.

Although the FDIC doesn’t cover money market accounts through brokerages, the US Treasury Department earlier this week established a temporary guaranty program for them. Lasting one year, the government will cover any principal in a money market account. You won’t be insured for any interest but you’re guaranteed not to lose any of your money that you put in.