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Community development financial institutions serve communities that have been systematically left out or overlooked by traditional financial institutions. Unlike traditional banks, CDFIs rely less on credit history and emphasize establishing financial literacy within the communities they serve.
What is a CDFI?
CDFIs provide financing and development services to promote community development in underserved communities. The US government supports CDFI programs through funding and tax credits. Though these institutions must apply and qualify for the status, it opens the door to resources.
To be eligible for CDFI certification, a financial institution must meet the following criteria:
It must be focused on promoting community development.
It must be a legal and nongovernment entity.
It must serve at least one of the program's target markets.
It must provide development and educational services.
What does a CDFI do?
CDFIs provide a range of benefits and essential financial services to vulnerable communities and nonprofits. CDFIs are designed to promote financial growth by offering educational and financial services centered around the community it serves. Some of these services include opportunities for affordable loans for people with poor or no credit histories, as well as financial and technical assistance.
How many CDFIs are there?
CDFIs are divided into five categories: loan funds, credit unions, banks, depository holding companies and venture capital funds. According to the Opportunity Finance Network, there are over 1,300 CDFIs across the US. To find CDFIs in your community, visit the Opportunity Finance Network's CDFI locator to learn more about OFN and CDFIs based in rural, urban and Native communities across America.
What is the difference between a bank and a CDFI?
CDFIs include regulated institutions such as banks and credit unions and unregulated institutions like loan and venture capital funds. To apply for CDFI certification, an organization must be a legal entity with a primary mission of promoting community development, in contrast to banks, which may find it too risky to invest in communities that historically have been economically isolated.
The bottom line
CDFIs aim to build strong relationships with their communities to maximize educational and financial services that help people navigate difficult economic situations. With the help of the CDFI fund, they have support from the federal government to serve neglected communities and help them gain financial literacy.
Fri, 09 Dec 2022 02:36:28 -0600en-UStext/htmlhttps://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/what-are-community-development-financial-institutions/ar-AA156jSPKillexams : How a $50 Certification Lets Her Make $1,000+ a Month Officiating LGBTQ Weddings
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Imagine you could get paid to go to your best friends’ weddings. Hear me out.
When thinking of side hustle ideas, a wedding officiant might be the last thing that comes to mind. However, if you love romance and being around groups of people, it might be the perfect gig for you. And if you’re queer like me, officiating LGBTQ weddings sounds like a dream come true.
“I honestly stumbled upon officiating”, says Samantha Hernandez, a lesbian money coach who runs the Money Institute, a consulting company. Hernandez makes up to $1,125 of supplemental income a month from officiating in Savannah, Georgia, a weddings hot spot described by some locals as “the Vegas of the south.”
More Americans are taking on an additional job or side hustle in order to make ends meet. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most latest jobs report found that 165,000 additional Americans took on multiple jobs in November, the highest jump since June, and an indicator that more people are trying to get ahead of record-high inflation.
Becoming a certified wedding officiant is easier than you might think, and if you position yourself well with local businesses, they’ll often do the selling for you. Here’s what to know about this niche side hustle.
How to Get Started as a Wedding Officiant
Weddings are a $57.9 billion dollar industry, and there are over 336,000 wedding services industry businesses in the United States as of 2022, according to Zippia, a career resources website based in San Francisco.
Wedding officiants find work by either working for or partnering with those wedding service industry businesses. Hernandez explains that she originally stumbled upon the opportunity in a local Facebook group to work as an officiant with a local wedding service company. She was looking for an additional income stream at the time.
“I had to get ordained as a reverend through Universal Life Church Ministries,” she says. “It took two minutes. I did have to pay around $50 to get a physical copy of the certificate of marriage and clergy badge, because the company I work with requires a copy of the certificate.”
Hernandez recommends reaching out to local wedding service companies after getting ordained to make them aware of your services. Start by searching on Google for local wedding service companies in your area. Find their contact information and social media on their website, and send them a message. Keep an eye out on their social media and website, too; they might post announcements that they’re hiring local wedding officiants.
Why She Became an LGBTQ Wedding Officiant
LGBTQ-friendly vendors are an underserved niche in the wedding industry. The right to same-sex marriage was established in 2015 by the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision, but fears of discrimination persist. The court is currently hearing arguments for a case that challenges LGBTQ couples’ equal access to service-based businesses. This comes shortly after the Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas called for reconsideration of Obergefell v. Hodges and the right to same-sex marriage earlier this year.
Some LGBTQ couples specifically request LGBTQ or LGBTQ-friendly service providers in their wedding planning process.
“The company that I work with does a lot of LGBTQ weddings,” says Hernandez. “I believe that it’s important for LGBTQ couples to feel welcomed and loved by all parties on their wedding day. This is why I love being there to show my support for their marriage.”
If you are also LGBTQ and looking to officiate LGBTQ weddings for others, look to partner with LGBTQ inclusive wedding service companies to ensure you work with your ideal clients.
Let the Service Company Do the Marketing For You
Hernandez says the local wedding service company that she works with takes care of marketing and finds clients for her.
“Once they have clients who are interested, they send out a message to all of the wedding officiants, and you can “thumbs up” the message if you are available,” she says. “The company provides scripts for every ceremony, and coordinates date, time, and location. All I have to do is show up.”
Hernandez earns $100 per wedding ceremony she performs. Each ceremony takes up to 20 minutes to perform, including signing the marriage license. Other services she gets paid for are:
Simple marriage license signing stand-alone service: $75 on weekdays, and $100 on weekends.
Rehearsal attendance: $50.
A travel fee: $25-50. Hernandez charges this fee when driving to locations that are over 25 minutes outside of Savannah.
“The most I’ve made in an hour was $150 because I did 2 signing services ($75 each),” she says. “The most I’ve made in a single day was on Halloween, when I made $275. I can take as many or as few weddings as I want; I love the flexibility of officiating.” Hernandez began officiating weddings in September of 2022, and brought in $1,125 in October 2022.
Is Officiating Weddings Worth It?
Hernandez loves officiating, but clarified that if someone wants to get started with this side hustle, they need to be good with people. “You also need to be comfortable practicing in front of a crowd,” she says. “I am dyslexic, and was thinking about the practicing aspect.” She uses an app called Bionic Reading, which makes it easier to read the scripts from her smartphone.
Hernandez also lives in a wedding hot-spot. Your area may not be as busy with weddings year-round. Don’t let that stop you from searching online to see if any wedding service companies are currently looking for officiants in your area.
If this is truly a side hustle you think you’d like to try, deliver it a go! Doing something you love that makes extra money can help you get on track toward achieving financial independence.
Weekly commentary from our senior editor on the state of small business, side hustles, passive income, and pursuing financial independence.
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DENVER, Dec. 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Mercer Global Advisors, Inc. ("Mercer Advisors"), a national Registered Investment Adviser (RIA), today announced the acquisition of Resource Planning Group, Ltd. (hereinafter "RPG"). RPG is a comprehensive wealth management firm located in Atlanta, Georgia focusing on serving the financial needs of its 330+ clients representing over $325 million in assets under management ("AUM"). John E. Howard, Founder and Principal, CPA, JD, CFP®, founded RPG along with his wife Georgia 'Tee Gee' Howard in 1991. Rounding out the partner group are John Evans III, CFP®, Principal & Lead Advisor, and Alan Thomson, CFP®, Principal & Lead Advisor. The entire RPG team will be joining Mercer Advisors.
John Howard ("John"), commenting on the transaction, stated: "As CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals, RPG helps coordinate all our clients' financial decisions, synchronize execution with other professionals into one growth-driven program that is correctly prioritized and executed. The end result is a connected, coordinated, sustainable plan that helps reduce risk and maximizes our clients' resources, while allowing them to remain in control of all decisions. Our goal is to reduce complexities and simplify our clients' lives while providing financial independence. As my wife and I reached the point of doing our own financial planning and considered our need to create a succession and business continuity plan for our staff and clients, we knew it was time for us to partner with a like-minded firm of substantial size and scale that ensured continued and uninterrupted client care for generations to come. We had been introduced to David Barton, Mercer Advisors Vice Chairman who leads mergers and acquisitions, and after several meetings with him and other Mercer Advisors team members we realized they would be a great partner, provide career development opportunity for our staff, and most importantly shared our deep commitment to the success and financial care of our clients. As David Barton put it, 'at Mercer Advisors the only interests to consider are the best interests of our clients.' With that extremely high cultural alignment we knew we had found the right home for our staff and clients. Tee Gee and I, Alan and John were in complete agreement that this was the best partner for us and we could not be more excited to be joining the Mercer Advisors team."
David Barton, Vice Chairman, who led the acquisition of RPG on behalf of Mercer Advisors stated: "John, Tee Gee, Alan and John have built a best-in-class comprehensive wealth management firm, and we share the same mission, vision and values. I call it the 'do right by others character trait' and they have that in spades. This business combination will be a huge success for all three RPG constituent groups, their clients win with Mercer Advisors' expanded service offering, their staff has manifold career development options, and RPG partners get to offload those activities they really do not like doing and can now focus on what they love doing at Mercer Advisors. Everyone wins!"
Dave Welling, Chief Executive Officer of Mercer Advisors, said, "The business combination between Mercer Advisors and RPG is a perfect fit with both firms anchoring on financial planning. We are thrilled they are joining the Mercer Advisors team and expanding our already significant presence in the Southeast."
About Mercer Advisors Established in 1985, Mercer Global Advisors Inc. ("Mercer Advisors") is a total wealth management firm that provides comprehensive, fee-based investment management, financial planning, family office services, retirement benefits and distribution planning, estate and tax planning, insurance solutions, and corporate trustee and trust administration services. Mercer Advisors Inc. is a parent company of Mercer Global Advisors Inc. (RIA), majority owned by both Oak Hill Capital and Genstar Capital, one of the largest Registered Investment Advisors and financial planning firms in the U.S. with over $37 billion in client assets. Headquartered in Denver, Mercer Advisors is privately held, has over 800 employees, and operates nationally through 90+ offices across the country. For more information, visit www.merceradvisors.com.
Data as of September 30, 2022. AUM includes affiliates and wholly owned subsidiaries.
Mercer Global Advisors Inc. is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and delivers all investment-related services. Mercer Advisors Inc. is the parent company of Mercer Global Advisors Inc. and is not involved with investment services.
Mercer Advisors is not a law firm and does not provide legal advice to clients. All estate planning documentation preparation and other legal advice is provided through its affiliation with Advanced Services Law Group, Inc.
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) owns the CFP® certification mark, the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification mark, and the CFP® certification mark (with plaque design) logo in the United States, which it authorizes use of by individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.
Contact: Chris Tofalli Chris Tofalli Public Relations, LLC 914-834-4334
Tue, 06 Dec 2022 23:06:00 -0600en-UStext/htmlhttps://www.yahoo.com/now/mercer-advisors-acquires-planning-group-130500942.htmlKillexams : Here’s your holiday survival kit from 5 financial pros
For Ryan Decker, surviving the holiday shopping season is all about planning ahead. In fact, if he sees a gift for one of his two young sons in March, he’ll go ahead and buy it, instead of rushing through his shopping list in December.
“It very much eases the burden,” he says, making his December bills more manageable because he spreads holiday costs throughout the year.
Decker, a certified financial planner and director of the Center for Financial Literacy at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, says that without that kind of advance planning, the costs this time of year can quickly overwhelm budgets. “Inflation is eating away at our purchase power, so once you throw in the holiday season, it’s a very stressful time.”
Financial educators like Decker are often busy during the holiday shopping season, sharing tips with their audiences about how to avoid debt and save money while still being festive. We asked five of them how they personally navigate the season with their finances intact.
“I know I’m going to be setting a budget so I don’t suffer after the holidays,” says Christine Whelan, clinical professor of consumer science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She makes a list of those she needs to buy gifts for and assigns a spending cap for each person’s gift.
Part of that strategy means limiting purchases to what she can comfortably afford out of savings instead of turning to credit card debt, Whelan says. “One of the ways we can use our limited resources to maximize our happiness is to pay now, rather than get socked with a credit card bill in February, which undermines our financial and emotional well-being.”
Give (and receive) more creative gifts
Jerry Graham, Atlanta-based co-founder of the website KindaFrugal.com, mentioned to his brother that he’d prefer a handmade gift this year. “He is so talented at art and woodworking, I told him I would appreciate a cutting board or something. A DIY gift is more memorable and comes from the heart,” he says. It can often save money, too, and Graham knows his brother is on a budget.
Similarly, Felipe Arevalo, community outreach coordinator for the San Diego Financial Literacy Center, collects family photos throughout the year, then, as soon as he sees a promo code pop up, creates a photo calendar for family members. “I got the idea from my wife’s uncle, but no one had done it in my family yet,” he says. Not only does it save money, but it also helps family members stay in touch and see how his sons, ages 4 and 9, are growing.
The DIY strategy also applies to kids. Says Whelan: “I’m encouraging my kids to deliver coupons for in-kind gifts instead of things. Kids can deliver a card for walking the dog or other chores, cooking dinner for the family, even if it’s just pasta or babysitting. It trains kids to think about other people rather than just buy their way out of a gift.”
The holiday season is the perfect time to make financial plans for the upcoming year, says Bruce McClary, spokesperson for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. “Right now, I’m putting together a rough outline of financial goals and priorities for 2023,” he says. Focusing on things like travel plans or savings goals helps put holiday expenses in perspective. “You can tune out a lot of the advertising and emails related to the sales,” he says, and instead zero in on what’s most important to you.
One of the biggest obstacles to achieving financial goals is debt, which is easy to accrue during the holiday season. In fact, the 2022 Holiday Shopping Report from NerdWallet found that almost one-third of last year’s holiday shoppers who used a credit card to buy gifts (31%) are still paying off their credit card balances.
Given the current economic climate and rising interest rates, McClary says, “It’s probably a better idea than ever to avoid relying on loans and lines of credit to get through the holiday season, and to be as resourceful as possible about how you spend the money you have.”
Graham applies a similar plan-ahead approach as Decker, but with savings. “We put away money starting in January,” he says. He and his wife Sara estimate costs for the holiday season based on the previous year’s spending, then divide by 12 and set aside that amount in a dedicated savings account each month using automated transfers.
“By December, we have enough money to cover holiday spending, including decor, food and gifts,” he says. That’s been especially useful this year, as their incomes have fluctuated due to job changes. Tracking your expenses this year will let you begin this approach first thing in 2023.
More From NerdWallet
Kimberly Palmer writes for NerdWallet. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @kimberlypalmer.
Sun, 04 Dec 2022 20:01:00 -0600en-UStext/htmlhttps://www.msn.com/en-us/money/personalfinance/here-s-your-holiday-survival-kit-from-5-financial-pros/ar-AA14UAGkKillexams : Women, Divorce and Retirement: Build A Multi-Resource Support Team
Hear from Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA®) experts about current or next steps for women experiencing divorce.
By Mary Helen Gillespie
“Sabrina,” 53, recommends women on the cusp of divorce assemble a team of advisers including financial experts, a divorce coach, and a mental health professional to guide them through the long, often painful, process.
How has your divorce financially impacted your retirement plans?
It has had a devastating impact. I probably will never recover from the inequity.
Did you hire a financial adviser, a CPA, or other finance professional to help you plan your retirement needs during the divorce proceedings? Would you today?
No, but I was aware of basic information and did research. I am also personal friends with one of the top certified financial divorce advisors in the United States. I would hire one today, before ever hiring an attorney again on retainer with unlimited billable hours.
From my experience with the attorneys, and I had several, they would just drive their agenda anyway and minimize the necessity or the validation of the data and not do what is required.
Also, this would keep people in conflict and returning to the courts and their attorneys even after the final decree. And that’s what they can bill for: conflict.
Was your divorce attorney concerned about your retirement finances? Was the divorce judge?
No, I believe the attorneys were not at all concerned, and I had a few. They told me to get a job (which I did) and refused to address what the actual amounts of all the retirement assets were or any marital asset for that matter. I especially feel the judge was at fault and had a fiduciary responsibility in a court of equity to stop the attorney games and get to the facts. The language used in my court documents is very vague and/or ambiguous or just silent. It doesn’t even have any basic Internal Revenue Service language to divide the assets so to this day I still can’t get these marital assets after 12 years.
It is my belief that dividing marital assets, aside from custody/support, is paramount to getting a divorce and the powers that be behave negligently and sloppily. They don't do the proper due diligence or intentionally commit outright malpractice -- all under their legal immunity. And then they keep people going back into court and drag it out even more and erode most people’s life savings and their quality of life.
How would you describe the quality of your financial life post-divorce?
It’s been a struggle. I was nearly bankrupt and had to pull myself out of what I felt like was financial quicksand. Was a stay-at-home mom for most of the 20+ year marriage with three young children. I disrupted my career to raise the children and then, upon returning to the workforce, faced the disparity of an income gap and earning potential due to the break in my career. A formula for child support and a minimum wage job is barely surviving.
Plus, many women are made dependent on an ex-spouse to pay child support and/or maintenance; and this is a person whom they can’t trust to begin with or doesn’t pay what’s ordered. There is no consequence nor accountability, and it takes months to years to settle while back in the court system.
I was also saddled with marital debt and there was pressure for me to file for bankruptcy.
What other information would you like to share with women in similar situations?
In hindsight, I believe the lawyer is the last person to the table. What you need is a team approach of a financial neutral, a divorce coach to help with the emotions of divorce and all the nonlegal areas, and a counselor/ therapy support for the kids or if there is any domestic violence. Then when you have this team in place and create a foundational starting point of family dynamics, a lawyer can apply the law and protect the parties especially in equitable distribution states like New York and also in the community property states. We blindly put our 100+ percent trust in one person, this lawyer, to get divorced and it just doesn’t work and becomes an adversarial, litigious, costly, and lengthy process.
I haven’t received any marital portion of the marital retirement assets in my late 40s and now 50s due to a defective settlement/transcript that has had a devastating financial impact on my life. This is the result of the judge who signed it, and a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) that cannot be executed as well as being unfairly assigned all the marital debt. I also have not received back child support payments. Consequently, I have no savings or assets to buy out my ex from the family home. I am making under $50k a year, and now find myself in a devastating housing situation due to rising prices for rentals. I may well find myself working well into what would have been my “retirement years.”
We asked Lili A. Vasileff, president ofWealth Protection Managementin Greenwich, CT, a fee-only CFP®, mediator, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®, and litigation divorce financial expert for her thoughts on Sabrina’s situation. Vasileff agrees with building a team of support and outlines additional steps to take.
Often in hindsight, it comes as no surprise that we wish we did things differently. In divorce, there is the added regret that some decisions cannot be done over and have a long-lasting impact on the rest of one’s life. In Sabrina’s case, she expresses many regrets and describes her current state of financial hardship. What we do not know is the total context for how her divorce unfolded and what her actual outcome was.
In my experience, the number one regret of many home makers in long-term marriages is that they felt rushed or coerced into making financial decisions they did not fully understand.
Here are some pointers for what to do BEFORE you divorce:
Prepare, prepare, prepare. Gather your financial information: know what it costs to live; know where your assets are and what debts you have. Know your state’s divorce laws and what are typical outcomes for a person in your situation. Find experienced attorneys and interview them well.
Know what you don’t know. If you are weak on understanding financials, hire a divorce financial planner. If you need emotional support, hire a divorce coach. Build your team.
Understand that the divorce process (mediation, collaborative or litigation) is a marathon and not a sprint. Pace yourself. Budget for the cost of divorce.
Hold yourself accountable and responsible for advocating for your own needs and interests. No one knows what you need or want, but you. You must not blindly abdicate this role to anyone, including your attorney.
What can Sabrina do post-divorce now 12 years later?
She mentioned that she has not received child support. States legislate the enforcement of child support and can garnish wages for this purpose after just missing a few child support payments. It costs nothing for the payee.
As soon as something goes wrong, act! Sabrina mentions that her QDRO was not executed. One should require that a QDRO specialist be addressed in the divorce agreement. Be specific about who will prepare the QDRO, how much it will cost, when it will be started, and how decision/cost will be shared between ex-spouses. It is not too late to reopen a QDRO that was improperly executed to protect your rights, and the sooner you do, the better. However, if the assets are gone, then you must sue to enforce your divorce judgment.
Sabrina says that all marital debt was assigned to her. Without any context or facts, it is tough to know what this means relative to the total marital estate and her final outcome. Did she agree to it? Did the judge order it? What kind of debt – the mortgage with the house? One negotiates debts as they do for assets. Often, it is best to pay off debts from the marital assets before dividing the balance between spouses. I recommend having a backup plan if the debt is in your name and your ex-spouse is supposed to pay it off. Creditors will always go after the borrower and Sabrina’s recourse to protect her credit rating is to sue under her divorce decree.
Sabrina said she was pressured to file for bankruptcy, but we assume she did not. Before bankruptcy, which should be your last resort, try to negotiate with debt holders, try to consolidate, and work with a Credit Counselor or Qualified Agency, etc. Always check your credit rating regularly and make corrections to any misinformation.
Sabrina has no savings or assets to buy out her ex from the home. We do not know how much equity Sabrina has in the house. There are many options open to her: sell the house, leverage the house, work out with her ex-spouse installment payments of equity over time, ask her ex to refinance the house in his name/take title to the house and have her live in it as his tenant. Her ex has waited 12 years to get his equity out. We do not know what arrangements he may agree to at this point.
Renegotiate post-divorce: If her ex has failed to make back payments in child support, maybe Sabrina can negotiate for more time to stay in home, or, for greater equity in her home, or, not have to move out at all.
Sabrina may have to work into her retirement years. Courts cannot force a person to work past full retirement age. They can compel support payments, but not actually make a person work. If her support ends and she has a $50,000/year job, realistically she may have to work longer to have some savings and meet living expenses.
She can also apply for Social Security on her ex-spouse’s record when he turns 62 if she meets all criteria. This additional income will help her cash flow. Social Security benefits are government entitlements and not rights that can be assigned in a divorce judgment.
Best advice is for Sabrina to work with a financial planner to plan ahead and have a roadmap for her retirement. She has options to consider for improving her financial situation and hopefully, she looks forward to her future and not backwards to her past.
Thu, 01 Dec 2022 03:00:00 -0600en-UStext/htmlhttps://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/relationships/women-divorce-and-retirement-build-a-multi-resource-support-team/ar-AA14N7c4Killexams : The importance of the PCI Forensic Investigator Certification
In a latest interview, Kevin Pierce, COO, of VikingCloud discussed the importance of the PCI Forensic Investigator Certification and what it means for the cybersecurity industry.
As one of the largest providers of compliance and security solutions, and with many of the top global acquirers and payment service providers as clients, VikingCloud is transforming the way organisations approach cyber defence.
We are focused on delivering integrated compliance and security solutions and work with many of the world’s leading brands. Our customer-centric SaaS solutions enable cutting-edge ways to secure network infrastructures, maintain compliance, and provide assurance testing and assessments.
Our platforms, currently used by more than five million businesses, provide real-time intelligence access to an organisation’s cyber risk landscape and enables the VikingCloud team to partner with organisations of all sizes to ensure proactive management of ever-changing cyber threats and business risks.
What’s more, we are also the world’s largest Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) company, and we were recently certified as a PCI Forensic Investigator (PFI) Company for North America by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC)
What is the PCI Forensic Investigator Certification?
The PCI SSC leads a global, cross-industry effort to increase payment security by providing industry-driven, flexible, and effective data security standards and programs that help businesses detect, mitigate, and prevent cyberattacks and breaches.
PCI Forensic Investigators are highly trained independent incident response experts certified by the PCI SSC and approved by the card brands to perform forensics investigations on security incidents that impact Cardholder Data Environments (CDEs).
Certified businesses can perform investigations within the financial industry using proven investigative methodologies and tools.
Thanks to our latest PFI certification, VikingCloud is now certified by the PCI SSC to perform investigations for any breach size, including those larger than 30,000 breached records.
VikingCloud is also authorised to review the outcome of a customer data breach investigation.
Our investigators work to determine the existence of a payment cardholder data breach, the facts and circumstances of when and how it may have occurred and ensure there is no longer an active breach.
How important is it for businesses to have the PCI Forensic Investigator Certification?
It’s vital any PFI can be trusted to get to the root of a breach, stop it, and provide valuable insights that will prevent it happening again.
As a leading provider of cybersecurity solutions for a broad range of organisations, we want to ensure we offer our customers every possible solution to enhance their cybersecurity protocols, and certification gives our customers peace of mind that our process and methodology around forensic investigations go above and beyond the minimal requirements.
What does this certification mean for those in the Global Banking and Finance industry?
The PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry – Data Security Standard) Certification is an industry standard for securing credit card use. Therefore, it’s essential for the financial sector because it involves and aligns all those involved in the transit of banking data. In other words, any company that acts as an intermediary between consumers and their purchases.
PFIs help determine the occurrence of a cardholder data compromise, and when and how it may have occurred. Investigators must work for a Qualified Security Assessor company that provides a dedicated forensic investigation practice. They perform investigations within the financial industry using proven investigative methodologies and tools. They also provide relationships with law enforcement to support stakeholders with any resulting criminal investigations.
And what does it mean for businesses that deal with consumer transactions?
A PCI Forensic Investigation can stop a breach in its tracks to prevent further financial damage while getting the required investigation completed. And the scale of financial damage cannot be underestimated.
Global data breaches and the costs of attacks for companies of all sizes are on the rise.
Investigations not only uncover the information required to prevent future breaches, they also demonstrate the transparency essential to maintaining a business’ reputation.
As businesses become more and more digital, what can we expect in terms of security and payments when it comes to e-tailing and protecting customers?
Between 2020 and 2021, ecommerce fraud rose 18% from $17.5 billion to $20 billion, and fraudsters’ methods will continue to grow in sophistication and diversity in the years ahead.
Tokenization – replacing sensitive data with non-sensitive data with tokens that act as a placeholder for the original data – will become an increasingly invaluable tool for the Payment Card Industry, as it works with all types of data, uses fewer resources, and has a lower chance of failure compared to other encryption methods. Tokenization is also compatible with legacy systems, unlocking new use cases all the time.
Digital identity verification will also become more widespread and trusted. Two Factor-Authentication (2FA) introduces a second level of verification and is one of the most effective ways to protect against password breaches. Although adoption rates are low at the moment, 2FA has already become more accepted over the last two years, with 79% of people having used it in 2021 compared to 53% in 2019.
Furthermore, an increasing number of platforms are switching to 3D Secure 2.0, a new and upgraded version of the protocol that is not just more user-friendly but safer thanks to biometric authentication and a host of other security mechanisms.
What are the most critical obstacles facing the cybersecurity world at the moment?
The stark truth is that hackers are getting better at what they do, which means e-tailers in particular need an expert partner to stay updated with security issues and provide around-the-clock protection.
Many businesses pivoted during the pandemic, to replacing face-to-face transactions with online trading, a practice that continues post-pandemic and presents a particular security challenge.
Hackers usually target e-commerce store admins, users and employees using a range of malicious techniques, such as phishing, spamming and malware.
Do you feel cybersecurity regulations need changing/updating to reflect the rise of digital working?
Digital technologies are key to future business prosperity, but we must also make sure they are developed responsibly to protect businesses and their customers.
Smart devices are already under renewed scrutiny. In the UK for example, makers of smart devices such as phones, speaker, and doorbells now need to tell customers upfront how long a product will be guaranteed to receive vital security updates. Such regulation is important as just one vulnerable device can put a user’s network at risk.
More cybersecurity regulations will need to be reviewed or introduced as more businesses and consumers inhabit the metaverse. Consumers are arguably most at risk because, unlike in the real world, which has consumer-empowering data privacy acts, like GDPR and CCPA, there is currently no equivalent in the metaverse.
About Kevin Pierce:
As VikingCloud’s Chief Operating Officer, Kevin leads global product development, service delivery, QSA consulting, and managed security testing.Viking Cloud is a 900+ employee, global cybersecurity organization that is transforming how customers approach cyber-defense through managed security, testing, and assessment services. With almost 30 years in the technology space, Kevin has designed and built highly scalable cloud systems for secure data exchange, supply chain optimization, and cybersecurity in multiple industries. He also co-founded two technology companies that each grew to hundred-million-dollar enterprises prior to his exit. Kevin’s current focus is on leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence to deliver next-generation cybersecurity solutions across industry verticals. Kevin holds a master’s degree in Business Administration, studied in various Executive Programs at Oxford University and Harvard University, and is a Six Sigma Blackbelt.
Mon, 05 Dec 2022 07:12:00 -0600en-GBtext/htmlhttps://www.globalbankingandfinance.com/the-importance-of-the-pci-forensic-investigator-certification/Killexams : CFP Board issues new crypto guidelines for financial planners
As the conversation around cryptocurrency grows increasingly complicated, the CFP board is rolling out a new set of guidelines related to the controversial asset class.
On Monday morning, the organization with more than 93,000 CFPs under its purview issued a 14-page notice to professionals regarding financial advice and crypto-related assets. The notice was issued to answer questions about how the CFP Board's existing code of ethics and standards apply to digital assets.
The answer? Exactly like you expect it to, just with an extra dash of caution for flavor.
"The code and standards (apply) to cryptocurrency related assets in the same way that it applies to all financial assets. However, as regulators and consumer advocates have noted, cryptocurrency-related assets have particular attributes and present significant risks and uncertainties that warrant careful analysis," said the CFP Board notice. "This includes whether a particular cryptocurrency-related asset is now or in the future may be regulated as a security or a commodity or another type of asset."
The swing at clarification comes as the implosion of Sam Bankman-Fried's FTX continues to send shockwaves throughout the industry, causing crypto CEOs to brace for more difficulty ahead. Bloomberg reports that exchanges are at the epicenter of the crisis because trading volumes have fallen sharply as a $2 trillion drop in cryptoassets' market value drove retail traders away.
The notice issued by the CFP Board covers courses like satisfying the duty of competence; the fiduciary duty; the duty to provide information to a client; the duty to comply with the law; and duties when selecting, recommending and using technology.
"CFP professionals continually seek a better understanding of what they should consider when providing financial advice to a client. As part of their CFP certification, they make a commitment to CFP Board to act as a fiduciary when providing financial advice," CFP Board CEO Kevin R. Keller said in a statement. "Developed with our Standards Resource Commission, this guide on cryptocurrency-related assets is a much-needed addition to our compliance resource library, which is designed to benefit and protect the public by educating CFP professionals on how to put their clients' best interests first."
In the fresh guidance, the CFP Board warns that crypto-related assets can be speculative and volatile investments; are difficult to analyze and present challenges to planners looking to make informed investment decisions; may present unique custodial risks that expose investors to heightened risk of theft or loss; and raise valuation issues because they may not be subject to commonly accepted valuation methodologies.
The guidance also states that a CFP professional is not required to provide, nor are they prohibited from providing, financial advice about cryptocurrency-related assets.
After making that clear, what follows should come as no surprise to planners new and old. The notice advises that CFPs must provide financial advice about cryptocurrency with relevant knowledge of those assets and with the skill needed to apply that knowledge to a client's circumstances.
And in guidance that seems to support the idea of advisors taking the effort to learn more about digital assets, the CFP Board states that crypto comes with certain attributes and features that require "specialized knowledge or expertise to deliver financial advice about investing in them."
"Given the variety of cryptocurrency-related assets available, the competence required under the duty of competence may depend upon the financial assets that the financial advice concerns and how the financial assets meet the client's goals and objectives," said the CFP Board notice. "However, developing competence in this area to fulfill the duty of competence is no small undertaking."
The CFP Board also points out that the lack of information about cryptocurrency-related assets also presents concerns. The fear is that information that a CFP professional needs to do their job well may be out of reach.
"Furthermore, the information that is available may be limited. In some circumstances, a CFP professional's inability to obtain material information will prevent the CFP professional from providing the financial advice," the notice says. In that case, the planner may need to inform the
client of that lack of information prior to providing advice.
The notice also stresses the importance of determining an appropriate exposure limit for a client's investment in crypto. The CFP Board again warns of speculation and extreme volatility with "significant upward or downward fluctuations in value over short periods of time."
"A CFP professional may seek to make assumptions about future volatility, but, because cryptocurrency-related assets lack a historical 'track record,' this may be difficult," the notice states.
The custody of cryptocurrency also presents significant concerns, according to the CFP Board. The notice explains that evidence of cryptocurrency ownership may be held with a private key, which is a secure code that takes the form of a long alphanumeric string. If held with a private key, the cryptocurrency owner must store the private key securely, because if the private key
is lost or stolen, then the owner will not be able to access the cryptocurrency.
In addition, a transfer of a cryptocurrency is typically irreversible, including in circumstances where the asset was transferred to the wrong address, the notice says.
The notice ends with a call to action. That being, advisors confronting some potentially difficult conversations head-on in an effort to learn as much as possible about their client's interest in digital assets if they haven't already done so.
"A CFP professional should know about and consider a client's investments in cryptocurrency-related assets that are held away from the CFP professional, as they also may have a significant effect on the financial planning recommendations," the notice states. "A CFP professional also must consider how cryptocurrency-related assets may require special considerations with respect to estate planning, such as a plan for the transfer of a private key if the client passes away.
"These are only some of the ways that an investment in cryptocurrency-related assets may affect the financial planning recommendations."
Mon, 05 Dec 2022 13:25:00 -0600entext/htmlhttps://www.financial-planning.com/news/what-you-need-to-know-about-cfp-boards-new-crypto-guidelinesKillexams : Can Financial Pros Narrow the Racial Wealth Gap? More Black Advisors Are Trying.
More advisors are stepping up to solve an age-old divide—the Black-white wealth gap.
They’re doing this by focusing specifically on communities of color that have habitually been underserved by the wealth management industry.
“I think there is more of an interest in creating firms that specifically support communities of color,” says Kamila Elliott, the first African-American chair of the CFP Board, who earlier this year launched Collective Wealth Partners, an Atlanta RIA that focuses on creating wealth for Black and other underserved communities.
To be sure, widespread wealth disparities have existed for many years. Notably, the median white family has about eight times the wealth of the median Black family, according to data from the Federal Reserve’s 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances.
And the gap isn’t expected to vastly Boost over time, based on a study by Elliott and co-author Brent Kessel, co-founder of Abacus Wealth Partners. By 2065, they project the median white household ages 70 to 80 will have a net worth that’s 3.53 times greater than the median similarly aged Black household, roughly on par with 2019 figures, according to the authors.
Hence the need to guide and advise communities of color, Elliott says. “It’s a market that’s traditionally been undeserved, but they’re resilient and want to gain financial knowledge.”
Here’s how some advisors are attempting to close the racial wealth gap.
Build trust. With just 1.8% of Certified Financial Planners being Black or African American, it’s hard for people of color to find advisors they relate to and trust, says Jason Ray, founder, chief executive, and investment director of Philadelphia-based Zenith Wealth Partners.
“Shared experiences create relatable advice that is more trustworthy,” says Ray whose firm was launched in 2019 to focus on women and people of color. Working with an advisor who has experienced prejudices and injustices, creates “a safer environment to generate trust and have conversations,” he says.
That said, advisors who want to work with minorities should be prepared to put in more work at the beginning. “Trust is low because this community has been taken advantage of and still is,” says Calvin Williams Jr., founder and chief executive of Freeman Capital, a hybrid financial planning firm based in Charlotte, N.C., that focuses on underserved investors. He says advisors need to have a long-term vision for helping minority clients build wealth. “Once that trust is built, folks are going to stay with you.”
Eliminate asset minimums. Many advisors set asset minimums, which can be a barrier for women and people of color, saysRené Nourse, founder of El Segundo, Calif.-based Urban Wealth Management, whose clients are mostly women of color.
Starting out in 2012, Nourse decided not to set investment minimums for this reason. And she offers a variety of planning and advisory fee options based on a client’s stage of life and ongoing needs. “This helps people move forward,” she says.
Find the right business model. Many advisors who focus on helping people of color charge a flat fee for financial planning services. They may also charge a fee for managing assets, if applicable. Leveraging technology allows advisors to serve more clients less expensively, Ray says. Service models are structured “so we can grow alongside them as they create wealth.”
Still, starting her firm meant a pay cut, Elliott says, because the clients she works with aren’t the “high rollers” she might work with at other firms. But they want to grow their wealth, so she works with them to do this, charging an hourly or fixed fee in some cases or an asset-based management fee. “Our goal is to keep it, grow it, and be able to pass it along,” she says.
Some firms that focus on minorities are venture-backed or have grants from the federal government that allow them to provide their services and still come out ahead. Still, it can be hard to make a living by focusing just on clients in underrepresented markets, says Malik S. Lee, a certified financial planner and founder of Felton & Peel Wealth Management in Atlanta.
His initial business model that focused on underserved markets wasn’t profitable, but now that he’s more established, he’s turning back to the market he feels strongly about helping. He recently co-founded Klondike Financial to provide low-cost financial planning to people who can’t afford his minimums and to provide planning services to employers at no cost to employees. The statistics show that Black and brown individuals have tremendous buying power, but they aren’t building their wealth, he says. “I want to be able to change that dynamic.”
Offer advice, not judgment. There are several seemingly small things advisors can do to help Black clients feel more at ease. For starters, prospective clients want to see others who look like them on an advisor’s website, says Chloé A. Moore, founder and principal of Financial Staples in Atlanta. That’s why she is intentional about the photos and the people she chooses to highlight as success stories.
It’s also important to take a forward-looking approach and not dwell on past financial missteps clients may have made. Many of Moore’s clients are the first generation to achieve a higher level of financial success and don’t have family or community members to turn to for guidance, meaning they may have made bad decisions with their money. “Don’t judge for past mistakes,” she says. “Meet them where they are and help them grow.”
She’s also careful to respect cultural differences when working with people of color. If clients want to send money to a family member outside the U.S., or are adamant about tithing to their church, she tries to help make it part of their budget, like any other need. “It goes back to understanding their core values and what’s important to them,” she says.
Become part of a community. Because there are fewer Black financial advisors, it can be hard to feel part of a community, which is important for networking and referral purposes.
One resource that advisors say helps them find leads is the Association of African American Financial Advisors, which has a find-a-financial-advisor tool on its website. Another could be the recently launched Onyx Advisor Network. For a monthly membership fee of $549, or a yearly fee of $5,599, advisors get a bundled technology stack along with optional add-ons. The network also recently started offering a separate community membership for $125 per month or $1,375 per year, which includes access to monthly practice management workshops and town hall events, as well as access to the network’s online community and other discounts.
Onyx was founded by Dasarte Yarnway, of Yarnway Wealth Management in San Francisco, and Emlen Miles-Mattingly, of Gen Next Wealth, a fee-only independent advisory firm in Madera, Calif. When they founded their respective RIAs a few years back, they felt they lacked resources that would have been helpful. So they set out to build a network that could help minority advisors start, sustain, and scale their practices.
Just like clients appreciate working with advisors who have shared experiences, advisors from underrepresented communities also need opportunities to connect, Yarnway says. “A lot of people feel alone in this space. We wanted to create that community where underrepresented advisors can be seen, heard, and known.”
Mon, 05 Dec 2022 06:51:00 -0600en-UStext/htmlhttps://www.barrons.com/advisor/articles/black-financial-advisors-narrow-racial-wealth-gap-51670259017Killexams : Holiday survival tips from financial pros
For Ryan Decker, surviving the holiday shopping season is all about planning ahead. In fact, if he sees a gift for one of his two young sons in March, he’ll go ahead and buy it, instead of rushing through his shopping list in December.
“It very much eases the burden,” he says, making his December bills more manageable because he spreads holiday costs throughout the year.
Sat, 03 Dec 2022 23:51:00 -0600en-UStext/htmlhttps://www.sfgate.com/news/article/home-holiday-survival-17616369.phpKillexams : CFP Board Announces November 2022 CFP® Certification test Results
WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) today announced the results of the November 2022 CFP® Certification Exam. The test was administered during a November 1-8 testing window to 3,204 candidates, with 4% of candidates testing remotely. The pass rate for the November test was 64%.
According to the November 2022 post-exam survey, most exam-takers (65%) are pursuing CFP® certification to become more skilled at their jobs and to better serve their clients.
The post-exam survey also showed that 68% of November candidates are under 40 years old and 35% are under 30 years old.
Nearly 75% of exam-takers reported receiving some level of financial support from their employers during the CFP® certification process. Further, 68% of exam-takers also reported that while they were preparing for the exam, the CFP Board provided the right information and resources at the right time. The top five CFP Board resources used by candidates were CFP Board Practice test 1, the test Candidate Handbook, CFP Board supplementary resources and guidance documents, the CFP Board Candidate Forum and the Candidate Preparation Toolkit. Other resources used included webinars, the CFP Board Mentor Program and scholarship opportunities.
"The results of our post-exam survey continue to prove that earning CFP® certification is an essential step for financial planners who want to elevate their careers and serve their clients' best interests," says CFP Board CEO Kevin R. Keller, CAE. "CFP Board would like to congratulate all of the candidates who pursued CFP® certification by successfully passing the exam. We appreciate your dedication to helping clients achieve their financial dreams."
March 2023 Exam The CFP® test is offered three times annually in March, July and November. Registration for the March 2023 CFP® Certification test is now open. This test will be administered from March 7 to March 14, 2023. The registration deadline is February 21, and the Education Verification deadline is February 14. Testing appointments are scheduled on a first come, first served basis. We therefore encourage individuals to register for the test at least 60 days in advance for the best date and site availability. Early registrants who schedule exams by January 10 are eligible for a discount.
To begin the path to certification, individuals aspiring to become CFP® professionals should create accounts on CFP.net. Here, they can access resources for all stages of their certification journey.
ABOUT CFP BOARD Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is the professional body for personal financial planners in the U.S. CFP Board sets standards for financial planning and administers the prestigious CFP® certification – one of the most respected certifications in financial services – so that the public has access to and benefits from competent and ethical financial planning. CFP Board, along with its Center for Financial Planning, is committed to increasing the public's awareness of CFP® certification and access to a diverse, ethical and competent financial planning workforce. Widely recognized by the public, advisors and firms as the standard for financial planning, CFP® certification is held by more than 93,000 people in the United States