Banks/Financial Institutions 2

22 September 2012 Categories: Gerry's Corner

         As an addendum to my previous blog on this subject, I feel compelled to make the following comments. On the topic of loans or credit applications, I suggest to be very prudent as the rules for credit have changed and it is not in your favour. There is now a hefty fee for leaving your current bank and an additional fee to change to another bank. The fees can range from $ 400.00 to        $ 800.00 for both leaving one bank and applying at another bank. You have to get a great interest rate (which does not exist) to recoup these charges. Obtaining credit today can be more of a liability than meets the eye.

         Then there is the convenient credit card. This service is like a rattlesnake. Use it and pay it off on a monthly basis and it is great. Breach that arrangement and watch it bite you like a snake. Credit cards are nothing more that “legalized loan sharking”. You may not lose your legs but you will feel the pain. Avoid credit cards all together or use them very wisely.

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Banks/Financial Institutions

21 September 2012 Categories: Gerry's Corner

       Recently I spent 4-5 hours in appointments with various Banks to update myself on current products like savings, loans and credit cards. What an education that has been. More people should do (in less time) what I did to learn about new products and their current products they are paying for. Times have certainly changed. When I was 5 years old I opened my first bank account with money I earned by finding and picking glass pop bottles. At 2 cents a bottle it took hundreds and thousands of bottles to accumulate money in a bank account. As a child growing up my Mother taught us the importance of saving our money for important purchases or as she said “for a rainy day”. She was a master at saving and stretching a dollar into hundred dollars. She had a bank account for all her 6 kids where she would deposit our baby bonus cheques. She had accounts for every occasion like Christmas, Birthdays, special occasions, house necessities, car, and mortgage and more. She would go to the bank once a week with her 25 plus bank books. She was a banker for the family. If times were hard and she needed money for an important purchase, she would borrow from some accounts but always paid the money back. When we reached legal age, got married or bought our first car, she would transfer the account to our name with every penny of interest since the day we were born. She was also my Dad’s banker. As a Farmer my Dad had good years and bad years of income. My Mother would save from the good years without my Dad knowing to support him during bad years. In those days if you had a bank account(s) and dealt with one particular bank everyone in the bank knew you by name. At times if you needed changes to your account, better interest rates or special considerations there was a Bank Manager that you could speak to who would look at all your records and history and take a decision on whether to help you or not. That was the good old days. Today the banks do not know you nor do they care. There is nobody to talk to who wants to listen and understand your needs. There is no one at the branch level that can take a decision including the Bank Manager. The only boss now at the bank is THE COMPUTER. The computer will not allow this or that. The computer dictates this rate. The computer says your options are this or that. Nobody looks at your history. If you have been the model client for 20 years it counts for nothing today. If you make a mistake today then you get treated like every crook on the face of the earth. It is God awful what banking has come to be. The banks forget that it was people like me with their 2 cent deposits that got them to where they are today.

       Don’t get me wrong Technology has helped us tremendously however the price we are paying is questionable. The depersonalizing of banking services, the lack of service where it is important, the continued gouging in fees and service charges of all sorts is a big price to pay for less service. Do you remember the days where banks encouraged you to use the first ATMs because it was FREE and discouraged you to talk to a Teller? What happen to the FREE service?

In my recent research it brought to light how confusing and inflexible banking services really are. It also made me realize how expensive banking services are. I would encourage everyone to take a hard look at the cost of their banking services. You cannot expect the banks to manage your money, you must be an informed client and manage your own money otherwise you are not getting what you are paying for.

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Career Relocation

07 September 2012 Categories: Gerry's Corner

              Our Business provides many services of which one is Career Relocation. This service can also be referred to as: Career Transition, Outplacement, Career Counselling and sometimes Career Coaching. Most of the time Organizations will hire us to work with an individual(s) who is being downsized or let go. The reasons for termination are unimportant but what is important is the Organization feels a need to help the person with their transition to another company. These assignments are never easy. The affected person is forced to make changes that they were unprepared for. Usually there are happy endings to these journeys.

       On rare occasions some individuals seek Professional help to assist them in a Career change they wish to make. These services are usually not inexpensive. My experience has been that the more senior the person ( not in age ) is in an organization the more difficult they are to deal with. For one they expect more out of the program than is explained to them. They feel most of the work should be done by the Consultant like writing a resume and even finding a new job. The resume is a business documentary of one’s work history and can only be best described by the person who has the history. When it comes to Interviewing Skills, no matter how many people the individual has hired in the past or how senior they were in an Organization they fail to realize that now they have to sell themselves therefore they are being assessed. This is very difficult being on the other side of the table. Somehow they feel that their track record should speak for itself. The management of the process for identifying and seeking out new opportunities is tedious, lengthy, some of the time cumbersome and requires a lot of focus and patience. Most Executives are unprepared for this reality. The rank and file employee usually is more open and flexible to follow a career seeking program.

Our Programs are flexible and adaptable to anyone but our biggest challenge is the Senior Managers or Executives.

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Early Retirement

06 September 2012 Categories: Gerry's Corner

               An acquaintance shared a sad story which happened recently and depicts a common trend in modern day business. Here is a person who went to work right after High School and spent 38 years with the same company. She had an unfortunate injury ( almost died ) some 4-5 years ago that put her in the hospital for 2 months plus a recuperation period of 5 months. Fortunately the recovery was 100% successful. She returns to work in her same job but things were never the same. The demands on her became greater and in some cases next to impossible. She was left with the feeling that they wanted to get rid of her. She persisted and met all the demands successfully even though at times they were unrealistic. Her motivation was to make it to retirement in a few short years. Things got so bad that she started hating her job and dreading going to work each day. Unfounded accusations started about her performance. In August, she was called in to the office and told  her performance was below average and that they would have to let her go. Because of her long tenure with the company they offered her an early retirement package of 40% of her current salary with continued benefits. With 2 years to go for full retirement this was a real insult. Her options were to fight it legally which she could not afford or to be fired for less than acceptable performance.

        She accepted the offer but now faces the difficult task of finding more work at the age of 56 to pay her bills. My experience tells me that if she remains in a positive frame of mind, she will find other work and chances are great that she will make more money than she did before plus having a small pension. The difficult part is to get over the short term depression.

This is an all too common scene in business today then companies wonder why there is a lack loyalty from employees. This is not a great motivation for younger workers looking at their futures.

 

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