BENEFIT OF HIRING CONSUMER PROTECTION ATTORNEY FOR CREDIT REPAIR ASSISTANCE AND FIGHT FRAUD

BENEFIT OF HIRING CONSUMER PROTECTION ATTORNEY FOR CREDIT REPAIR ASSISTANCE AND FIGHT FRAUD

 

Consumer protection laws were devised to protect consumers that were taken advantage of by businesses.  The consumer protection laws consist of common law and then state and federal statutes as well. The Federal Trade Commission is the entity that is tasked with enforcing these statutes and protecting consumers’ rights. Within the Federal trade commission, the Consumer Protection Bureau is the entity that addresses consumer complaints and enforces these statutes.  Consumer protection law covers several areas, such as debt collection statutes, deceptive trade practices statutes, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, auto fraud, and the banking and credit statutes as well.

 

The type of cases that I see the most are typically cases under like the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which deals with third-party debt collectors or collection agencies, and that law deals with how they operate when they try to collect a debt from consumers.  It’s under that law, it’s important to note, that only consumer debts are covered under the statute.  So that’s defined as debts that were incurred primarily for personal, family or household purposes.  And business debts are not going to be covered under that.  Some of the things that debt collectors are not allowed to do under that act are: calling you before8 a. m.  or after 9 p. m. , they have to stop communicating with you once you’ve sent them written notice to cease communications, or once you’ve advised them that you are represented by an attorney.

 

Additionally, they can’t threaten you in any way.  So they can’t threaten any physical harm. They can’t threaten to take any action they’re not legally entitled to take.  For example in Texas, where I’m from, there is no wage garnishment.  And so they can’t threaten to garnish your wages because that’s not an action that they’re legally entitled to take.  Okay. Some of the other things like threatening lawsuits, threatening to sue you for a debt – they can’t threaten to do that unless they intend on following through with that threat when they make it.  Some of the other areas that I see a lot of cases would be the TCPA, which is the Telephone Consumer

 

Protection Act, and that deals with mainly robo calling people’s cell phones.  Okay, and it’s probably the number one complaint that I get now.  I get a lot of those calls myself it’s truly annoying. What you have to keep in mind though is that it’s under that law that businesses are allowed to robo call your cell phone as long as they have your expressed consent to do so.  And what most people don’t know is that they’ve unwittingly given that consent when they’ve filled out a credit application and they provided their cell phone number.

 

Although under the law, you’re entitled to revoke that consent any time, and typically what they do is say, “quit calling me. ” I’m dealing with a case right now in Texas were my client purchased some appliances and other stuff from a Texas-based retailer, provided her cell phone number when she bought the stuff, and they robo called her over 1800 times in 13 months. And she repeatedly begged them and demanded that they stop calling her because she was sitting vigil with her dying grandmother.  And so that case, it’s in arbitration and we’re waiting on the arbitrator to make a ruling now. So, we have a good case there I think. Another type of, another area that I see a lot of cases it is the Fair credit reporting act, which deals with your credit reports.

 

Under that law, some of the cases that I see are failing to correct errors in people’s credit reports, and then also failing to properly investigate people’s disputes. Just today there was a three million, over three million dollar verdict, awarded against Experian for just that.  Failing to properly investigate a consumer’s dispute.  Another area that I see a lot of cases it is in auto fraud.  Okay.  I deal with like lemon law issues, and then also failing to disclose defects like prior accidents or flood damage or issues with the title, the title, and then odometer rollback case.  So at some point in time, the odometer was rolled back or the miles aren’t listed correctly, and that stuff wasn’t properly disclosed to the buyer when they purchased that vehicle.  Many states also have their versions of these laws.  Like Texas – where I’m from – has the Texas Debt Collection Act.  Probably the most robust of the state statutes is in California under the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, has received a lot of attention from the financial industry, regulators, and legislators. The bureau’s directive is simple; create a level playing field for consumers. As stipulated in the Dodd-Frank Act, which was passed by Congress in response to the recession, the CFPB has been granted the authority to supervise non-bank entities and their compliance with federal consumer financial laws.

 

The authority extends throughout the financial spectrum, covering industries such as residential mortgages, private education lending, payday lending, and over certain other larger participants and markets for other financial products and services. One of the bureau’s first actions will be to supervise the debt collection industry, which isn’t sitting well with them as you might imagine. We’ll tell you what it means for you.

 

Debt collection agencies whose aggressive tactics have drawn the attention of consumer protection advocates and legislators will come under federal supervision beginning January 2nd, 2013. It’s no secret why debt collectors are high in the CFPB’s list, the industry accounts for a large portion of consumer complaints of the Federal Trade Commission which enforces restrictions against abusive practices. The FTC received more than 180,000 complaints about debt collectors in 2011, up from 13,950in 2000.

 

The complaints are centered on items that are expressly prohibited in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the federal law that protects consumers from collectors. Among the infractions reported are harassment and baseless threats of lawsuits. One thing to note is that not every debt collector will be subject to the new rules. There are about 4,500 debt collection companies in the United States, but the rules will only apply to collectors with annual receipts of more than 10 million dollars; this represents about 175 companies which may not sound like a lot. However, these agencies account for 63% or 7.7 billion of the industry’s 12.2 billion in collections. Also, these rules will only apply to certain types of collectors.

 

According to the CFPB, the businesses within the consumer debt market covered by the rule include firms that, by defaulted debt and collect the proceeds for themselves, firms that collect defaulted debt owned by another company in return for a fee, and debt collection attorneys that collect through litigation. The CFPB stated purpose is to ensure that consumers are treated fairly by financial-service providers and there are many examples of why this is necessary. A report last year by consumers union, found debt collectors filing an increasing number of lawsuits without holding proper documentation of the debts involved.

 

In some cases, companies were suing consumers over debts that were already paid or securing court judgments without proof that they own the debt. Beginning in January the CFPB, will require debt collectors to supply reports and be subject to examination of their compliance with relevant regulations. In the recently released bulletin, the CFPB put collection agencies and law firms on notice that the bureau’s examiners will be accessing every aspect of their practices and procedures. As Steve Rhode, owner of the Get out of Debt website, put it “The basic tenets of this new supervision certainly seem logical and fair to both consumers and debt collection companies.

 

It’s hard to argue that it’s burdensome on collection agencies to treat consumers with civility and honesty, that they must provide accurate information, and that they should provide required disclosures. ”Regulation is a bitter pill for many industries as well and in some instances increased oversight initially causes problems for consumers. For example, most banks reacted to the cost of abiding by the card act by eliminating free checking accounts. Banking is a competitive industry when one bank offers a new product the others soon follow. In the same way, debt collectors are on the business to make money and good companies can still do so under CFPB oversight.

 

While it may be challenging for some smaller agencies, the good that will come from the FPB far outweighs the bad. I’ve heard heartbreaking stories of how collection agents’ abuses have torn families apart and even lead to suicide. I’m sure we can all agree that no amount of unpaid debt is worth the pain and suffering people have experienced after been dealing with disreputable collectors, protecting those consumers in the CFPB’s mission and that’s something we should all support.   Attached to this article is talking points from Thomas Fox for Cambridge Credit Counseling and additional content on consumer finance

 

“talking points. “>> hi, dave.  . >> well, as we begin this conversation, we should start with the gold standard in consumer finance, or the golden rule if you want to call it that. and that is that people need to make sure that they’re not spending more than they’re bringing in every month.

 

>> correct. >> and if they follow that rule, that will avoid a lot of the problems that we’re going to talk about. >>. >> In the process here. so how can people put together a monthly budget that takes into account all of their needs and yet still allows them to have some spending money?>> well, I think the first step is making a budget and following it every month. I don’t think most Americans are doing that and it leads to overspending as you said.

If people sat down and realistically took an inventory of their income and were realistic with their expenses and also made a net worth statement so they had an idea of what their assets and what their liabilities and debts were, they would be better equipped to spend more responsibly. and if they did have some debt, they would be able to come up with a plan and some goals on how to eliminate that debt and life within their means in a more healthy way. >> okay.  well, some surveys have come out recently that don’t bode particularly well for the American public and the way we’re spending our money.

 

one of the surveys was from the federal reserve bank of new york where they asked people if they could come up with $2000in an emergency and 33%, or a third of the folks that responded to that survey, said they would not be able to come up with $2000 even if they used all of their savings, tapped into their credit card, and even borrowed and begged from family and friends. And some other surveys also support that. There was one that was done for Bankrate.com recently where 59%, almost 6 out of 10 Americans, said they don’t even have $500 in savings.

 

Now we want to be careful here that we don’t minimize the financial pain and suffering that a lot of people are going through. >>. >> in today’s economy. but having said that. >> Yeah, people are still recovering from what happened just, you know, almost 10 years ago. >> Exactly. and so how can they straighten things out going forward? what are some things to do?>> again, the most basic elements of financial planning include creating that budget and having an idea of how much money are we working with? how much income do we have? what is, you know, how should our expenses be carried out? by doing a monthly budget and by addressing it for several months in a row, couples can come together and talk about what are our goals, you know, looking at how much we’re spending to live.

 

living expenses, your fixed expenses including your mortgage or your rent, really shouldn’t be more than 70% of your income. and I think in la county, especially, people are spending 100% just to get by and they may need to make some adjustments with their lifestyle. >> well, let’s talk about coastal California because, as we all know, rent is very high here. the cost of buying a home is also very high.

 

Putting aside the idea of the lowest interest rate on a mortgage because everybody wants to pay the least amount of interest possible, but other than that, how can we save or how can we stretch that dollar when it comes to paying rent or buying a property?>> well, once people do make a budget and are realistic with it and are following it for several months and having full transparency within the household on their spending habits, they need to look at how much they’re spending on rent or on their mortgage. and if it is too much, they may need to make some choices. they may need to either downsize their home, you know, there is a lot of room for creativity with real estate. if they do own their home, they may want to consider renting it out and creating a rental income and downsizing and buying a smaller home may be in a more affordable area of California.

 

They may need to possibly move more inland from coastal California or they may need to look for roommates or looks for ways to create more income. >> and when we do solve all of these financial problems that have been the troubling us, we then go to apply for a loan and then the dreaded fico score comes up. >> yes, yes. >> so what does the fico score measure and what causes it to be less than ideal?>> well, people need to realize that credit is very important and credit can’t be avoided.

 

Some Americans don’t have credit established and that leads to problems as well because your credit score is directly linked to the cost of money. When people want to buy a home, they need to get a mortgage and they need to apply for a loan. and the interest rate they will qualify for is linked to that fico score. and what the fico score is looking at is a combination of about five areas –30 to 35% of your fico score is comprised of your credit history and how much debt you have at that moment. and then the other three areas are a combination of what type of debt do you have, is it all credit cards or is there a car loan, is there a student loan?

 

How much credit have you applied for in the last year, you know, you can’t keep applying for more and more credit that hurts you. And your credit history as far as how long have you been using credit? people who are seasoned credit users –that looks better than people that are new to the credit market. >> so to summarize some things that you’ve mentioned if you apply for too many loans or too many credit cards in a short amount of time that’s going to hurt you. >> yes.  and if you are declined for a credit card, you need to stop applying for any credit for at least six months. >> and if you’re carrying a high balance on several credit cards, that’s not good. >>

 

  1. people don’t need to have several credit cards. really, the rule of thumb is to have no more than three. Two credit cards is ideal. in my opinion, people really don’t need to have gas station cards or department store cards. a visa, American Express, a major credit card is essential for emergencies and for traveling. >> all right. So let’s say that we’ve gotten ourselves into trouble with our credit cards and our loans and that sort of thing.

 

okay and we decide to go to one of these so-called credit fixing companies that you hear advertising on the radio and on television and in newspapers and so on, so what about credit fixing companies? are they doing anything that we can’t do ourselves?>> no.  And I’m not a fan because what you just said is absolutely true. These agencies can’t eliminate debt. they can try to negotiate with your credit providers, which is something consumers can do on their own. it’s a time-consuming process first of all. they can help you eliminate errors on your credit report –again, something a consumer can do by sending a letter in.

 

The creditor has 90 days to respond to the letter. so again, it’s a time-consuming process. if there are errors on your credit, it’s something that you can take care of yourself. and keep in mind that these — there are usually laws to prevent these credit fixing agencies from charging upfront but most of them do. they will have people sign a contract. they pay $99, on average, a month to do something that people can do on their own or they can seek help through a nonprofit agency.

 

The federal trade commission has credit repair agencies through every city that is a free service for consumers. >> so if our fico score is low, but we happen to have a lot of cash in the bank for one reason or another –now usually that’s not a combination that you normally see. if people have a lot of money in the bank, they’ve usually taken care of their credit issues. >> right, right. >> but let’s say it happens. for example, someone has a long period of unemployment, which causes them to get behind on their bills, or perhaps they have a medical emergency that was covered by insurance or some tragedy befell them which was unforeseen. okay, so — but on the other side of the coin, perhaps they came into a small inheritance, perhaps they’ve received a settlement from the insurance company or from a lawsuit that was for something that was not of their own making, or maybe they just got lucky with a scratcher card from the lotto, which doesn’t happen very often or what have you, but does that stash of cash operate as a hedge against a bad fico score?>> if it’s documented, if it’s deposited in a bank or a credit union.

 

If it’s in a coffee can in the kitchen cabinet, no, it’s not going to help you. so Americans need to have trust in banks and deposit that stash of cash that you’re talking about and, sure, that serves as collateral that will help somebody’s credit score. but that balance should, part of it should go towards paying down some of those debts. >> okay.  and, all right, so let’s say the stash of cash is off the table or it doesn’t exist. >> right. >> all right. so now we’re talking about bad debt that’s going to a collection agency. what happens when a bad debt goes to a collection agency?

 

What is the collection agency trying to do and what’s their goal?>> well, the collection agency has been hired, usually, by a lot of mom-and-pops, you know there’s neighborhood dentists and doctors and tire stores that provided a service or a product and their livelihood is depending on collecting the money that’s owed to them. so most of these businesses are giving their customer six to nine months to pay back the debt. if they are unsuccessful at that process, they then turn to a collection agency. the collection agency usually then gives the person a good three to six months before they start marking bad marks with their credit score. once they do report the person’s debt to the credit rating company, they’re hoping that the person will not run from the debt, that they will cooperate and try to come up with a payment plan to pay back some if not all of the debt.

Once that is done, the collection agency will then contact the credit rating company again to remove the debt from the file. >> okay, we just have a couple of minutes before we go to the break but I want to also touch on payday loans and quick cash loans, which are now accepting your auto as collateral, the equity in your auto. >> or a paycheck. >> or a paycheck. >> yeah. >> what about these?>> not a good deal. >> not a good deal?>> I’m not a fan at all. several states have ruled themes illegal to operate in their states. the other states that are allowing them to operate are trying to control the apr to be under 40%.

But what I think some consumers are not understanding is that they advertise their interest rate every week and if they do not pay back the small loan of, let’s say,100 to $500 in a couple of months, the interest can grow to 500 to 1000%. so to borrow, let’s say, $100 for one week, there’s a $15 processing fee and let’s say a 30% interest rate. so to borrow $100 for one week, you’re looking at a 45% interest rate. >>, not a good deal. >> not a good deal at all, something to stay far away from. >> We just have a minute now before the break. I want to just touch on interest rates. interest rates really can hurt us a lot in this case that we’ve been talking about but the interest rate can help us if we’re making interest work for us in terms of investment. >>. >> so in 30 seconds, tell us a little bit about interest rates, the plus, and minus. >> okay, compound interest is when interest grows on the principal plus the interest. so when a person borrows money or charges on a credit card, that interest is reflected in an average daily balance. so every day that a consumer carries that debt, the interest is compounding. the only way to stop that is to pay that debt off completely. >> okay, on that note, we’re going to come back after the break and talk about the positive side of money. and stay with us, when we come back, we’ll talk about investing and the future. stay tuned.

 

Should your company buy or sell? expand or not? relocate? or simply stay the same? if you’d like to examine past and present predictions integrating finances and people and make future predictions on all that information,a career in economics is for you. you can become a part of this exciting field with a degree from Cal state long beach. [ music ]>> welcome back to “talking points. “I’m dave kelly and my guest today is Aleta Ostlund. now Aleta, before the break, we were talking about all the negative things and negative behaviors that people engage that get themselves into a lot of trouble financially and extricating themselves from that can be difficult but it can be done. so we’ve resolved that. >> yes. >> okay, now let’s talk about the sunny side of life and investing in particular. so we’ve got everything taken care of, we’ve managed our budget, we have extra money, we can now start investing. We want to think about the future and how to prepare for retirement and let’s say we’ve started early and we have 30 years to work with. what should we be in — well, first of all, we should talk about interest because we talked about, before the break, how interest can hurt us if it’s working against us. >> right. >> but by the same token, compound interest working for us can be a great advantage. maybe talk about that first. >> well, compound interest has been known to be called the seventh wonder of the world.

 

Albert Einstein has been quoted that he sees great power in compound interest because the interest is like a snowball effect, the interest growing on the principal and interest-earning on interest. so with time on somebody’s side, that snowball is going down let’s say a bigger mountain. so if a student hereat cal state long beach starts investing right when they get a job, you can track that money and see that even $25, you know, a week could end up being about $1 million by the time they retire. time is essential when it comes to compound interest. >> all right. and so that leads into the whole idea of investing and planning for the future as I started to talk about before I realized we need to discuss interest and compound interest first. so all right, i know that I’m going to get compounded interesting I start now and I start investing and for 20to 30 years it’s going to add up, okay, what should I be thinking about in terms of investments? Where can I get the best return on that money that I’m going to be investing now regularly?>> that’s a great question and it depends on what people’s goals are and their budget. and when they do sit down to do their budget and let’s say they have been able to pay off some of those debts, they need to look at how much they’re going to save per month and for which goal. retirement planning people need to understand that that money is going to be locked away until they’re 59and 1/2 or older, whereas if they have other goals, let’s say to buy a home or children’s college, you would need to allocate the correct investment to match that goal along with the time horizon.

 

when you do have 20, 30 years on your side, such as retirement, you would want to maximize your tax-advantaged savings options through pension plans and qualified plans like an bra if you don’t have a pension plan through your work. but for somebody who’s looking to buy a home or their college — their child is going to go to college within 10 years — mutual funds would be a great place to look. >> okay.  and if we have a lot of time to work with, we can be more aggressive. >>. >> in the way we invest. and what does that mean, being “more aggressive?”>> well, there’s a kind of rule of thumb in financial planning that if you take the number 100 and subtract somebody’s age, the difference would be invested more aggressively.

 

Then the opposite would be invested a little bit more moderately or securely. so if you take a 40-year-old, 60% would be invested more in the stock market and more aggressive types of investments,40% would be maybe in some income or bond type funds. but if you take a 65-year-old,65% should be invested more securely and 35% would be still trying to achieve some growth. >> so really it depends on how much time you have on your horizon. so if we have. >> well, there always needs to be diversification. and you may have heard the phrase, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” that’s a popular saying. with your money, you don’t want to have all your money in the stock market or all your money tied up in real estate or all your money under your mattress either. you know, there is risk everywhere. you can’t avoid all risk. even for people who are afraid of the market, if they were to put $10,000 into let’s say a 10-year t-bill, you know, we think of t-bills as being very safe, they’re very low interest producing investments, however, there’s interest rate risk, there’s inflation risk, you know, the market could go up, rates could go up and their money’s tied in this very low producing, you know, 3% t-bill. >> right.  so when we talk about being aggressive or being conservative, again, it depends on how much money you have available, how much time you have. >> sure. >> and the whole range of your portfolio.

 

And as we talk about the stock market and that is considered –it can be a very aggressive way of investing, depending upon how you play the stock market –but people say they don’t want to invest in the stock market because they’re afraid it’s going to go down. it’s been historically very high over the last several years and people are concerned that it’s going to drop –of course, it’s going to drop. >> sure. >> it always has a correction. >> it always has, yes. >> but if you have a long-term outlook, you’re still going to come out ahead even if today’s stocks go down because if you set up a plan of continuous investment over time, automatic continuous investment, you’re going to be ahead.

 

explain why that would be the case. >> you know, dave, the first step for people is to create that budget and to make a commitment long-term to commit 2, $300 every month to saving. so if a person is going to put, let’s say $200into their 401(k) plan or their ira plan, they are going to pick what type of underlying investment goes into that plan. so, more than likely, it will be mutual funds. and each mutual fund share is connected to a value and that value does go up and down daily and people need to understand that. but keep your eye on your long-term goal. if you have 30, 40 years here, you need to be comfortable with those fluctuations. because if your $200 is buying a share let’s say $20 per share, then for every $100, that person gets five shares. well, when that share goes up, people applaud and they’re happy.

 

However, if it goes up to $25, now you’ve only got four shares. on the reverse, when it plummets down to let’s say $10 a share, there’s all this panic, but wait a minute, you’re now getting 10 shares per $100. you got it half price. it was on clearance basically, right? so as time goes on, as your 30 years progress, you’re putting that money in, electronic fund transfer is what they’re doing, every paycheck that money’s going into your fund, it’s buying shares. so at the end of the day, when you finally are ready to use your money, you’re going to have a lot of shares.

 

And whatever the value is on that day, that’s going to be the price per value as you start to take it out to live on in retirement. >> so you’re not losing by investing in a stock that happens to be going down. >> you’re dollar-cost averaging, actually is what it’s called, yes. >> it’s the dollar cost average, right. >> and it’s a really smart way to invest over a long period. >> so it’s either a high value per share and a limited number of shares or lower dollar value for each share but lots of shares. >> correct. >> so it’s all going to work out. >> it’s all going to work out. >> okay, well let’s talk about real estate because a lot of folks say, well, real estate is really where the action is.

 

And there are a lot of programs on television now that involve house flipping and it looks exciting, it looks dramatic, it looks like fun to a lot of people and, you know, it can backfire though if you don’t know what you’re doing. >> sure, it’s a lot of hard physical work and it looks like fun to some people but not to others and it can be a little scary because some people aren’t versed in how to buy real estate. not everybody has a real estate license. but what i can say is when you invest your money, you do need to educate yourself on your investment. if somebody wants to study the stock market, they can educate themselves. same way with real estate. most realtors are selling in, let’s say 10 neighborhoods.

 

Whereas a person, if they want to buy a piece of rental property or want to buy their first home, they need to become an expert in that neighborhood. find your neighborhood. once you’ve decided, okay, long beach is my neighborhood, I want to buy a home here, you can study the values of all the homes in the area based on the price per square foot and, you know, there’s going to be some fluctuations that are based on the condition of the home, does it have a pool, you know, what type of upgrades does it have? but become an expert and understand the price per square foot in that area. and again, this is tied to your fico score.

 

rates are really low right now on loans but it’s going to be connected to your credit. if you have good credit, you’re going to be able to qualify for a good loan. if you’re a first-time homebuyer, there’s still a lot of opportunities there. first time home buyers only need to put down 3 1/2%and they can get a decent loan. >> so probably not the best idea to invest in coastal California with your first real estate investment, maybe go further inland. look for something that is in a lower price range. >> sure. >> in terms of making that investment. >> it depends on how much people save. if you can save and have 20% down, you’ll avoid some of the private mortgage insurance and some of those other, you know, expenses that banks will tap onto the loan. >> so let’s talk about house flipping versus being a landlord for a longer period. is it better to flip the house and make the big profit upfront or is it better to have a property that’s going to, over time, increase in value?

Meanwhile, you’re collecting rent. hopefully, you get some positive cash flow out of that. what’s the better strategy?>> again, there’s a lot of room for creativity with real estate and there’s a lot of different ways you can go. but when somebody buys a stock, all of their money is in the value of the stock. so the difference of real estate is you’re putting 20% down, or in the case of first-time home buyers, 3 1/2% down. if it’s a rental property, not only do you collect the rent based on the total value of the purchase price, but hopefully you also have appreciation in the value of the home.

 

And if you ask most retirees in America today what their best investment was where they made the most of their money, almost all of them will say real estate. they will say, I bought this home, you know, back in the ’20sfor $20,000 and now it’s worth $300,000. there’s a lot of opportunity in real estate for appreciation. and for people who are buying undervalued properties, properties that may have been abused or in bad areas of town, there is a lot of opportunities there to fix the home up and take capture rental income. my husband and I have had a lot of success with buying the ugliest house on the street so to say, fixing it up, and putting it on some of the vacation rental websites,

 

Where you’re getting a price per night to rent that home. and we have found that you can collect much more rent that way versus having a full-time, 30 day, you know, tenant, long-term tenant. >> so you’re talking about that creativity and that flexibility when you go into real estate investing. >> sure. >> we’re starting to run out of time again. unfortunately, time flies when we’re having these conversations. but if we’re talking about another kind of real estate investment, there is the real estate investment trust process. >> yeah. >> commonly referred to as a reit. >> a reit. it’s very. >> yeah, what is a reit?>> it is very similar to a mutual fund. if people have confidence in the real estate market, a money manager just like a mutual fund money manager would buy portfolios of either residential homes, commercial, retail, industrial properties,

 

And pool money together from people that are interested in combining this. and you can put are it inside a pension plan. and one thing didn’t mention is that people, for those long-term goals such as retirement, really do need to be looking at their pension plan opportunities first because most Americans are paying a combined income tax of to let’s say 30%. so by putting a dollar in your 401(k) plan, you’re immediately making a 30% return. and most employers are offering a match, let’s say 50% match for every dollar that person puts in up to 6% of the income.

 

Those people that aren’t participating in a pension plan that has a match, they’re leaving a lot of money on the table. >> well, we have run out of time but I’ve got 30 seconds left. what is the point of investing long-term? what is the end goal for our investing?>> you know, I think the end goal for most Americans is to live in security in retirement and not be a burden to their families. I don’t think most people will say, I want to get rich and leave a legacy. I think they want to have a comfortable, secure life to have the ability to make financial choices in retirement and leaving money to the heirs, that’s just a bonus. >> and on that note, we’re going to have to bring the program to a close. but thank you for being here today. >> you’re welcome. >> and thank you for joining us for this edition of “talking points.

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