The Money School Created By A Financial Guru & Bestselling Author Who Triumphed To Build Wealth

New York Times bestselling author and financial guru Nicole LapinIMAGE COURTESY OF NICOLE LAPIN

Long-term goals, budgeting, saving, and enjoying small indulgences are a some of the key things you will often hear explored by financial guru and New York Times bestselling author Nicole Lapin. Lapin founded The Money School after a role as an anchor on major television networks where she noticed a large gap in populations that gained access to financial literacy knowledge. The population Lapin desired to support was the former version of her self. The one, the founder describes as: “that girl who was smiling, nodding, and not joining basic money conversations because she was too freaked out and too scared to do it.”

As a first-generation American, Lapin was raised in a household where financial literacy was not primarily taught or spoken of. Growing up, at age eleven, she encountered the loss of her father due to a drug overdose and a lack of guidance from her mother. During this time, Lapin describes seeing her parents primarily make money moves that were not the most ideal. This sparked her desire to write a new trajectory for her future.

By starting from the ground up, Lapin expresses taking any job she could from working at a low salary to accumulating credit card debt, and more. Finally, with determination and grit, she landed a job as a business reporter and it just happened that the role was in the field of finance. While feeling clueless and freaked out about the language of money, Lapin explains that she had to learn the language of money the hard way because her job demanded that she spoke it to the world.

Learning The Language of Money

At the “school of hard knocks” the financial expert, who then was the process of acquiring greater knowledge, details that she encountered a plethora of funny affirmable moments along the way. Through her work, Lapin shares these experiences to challenge others to embrace being comfortable with learning and growing through unfamiliar spaces.

For example, while Lapin was on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange she gathered her belongings to head to an interview with a few founders. On her way out she recalled her manager asking: “Do you have the P&L?” And she responded: “No” staring with a puzzled grimace. “No, I don’t have to pee,” she thought to herself. In another instance, Lapin describes thinking that a former boyfriend was a garden “hedge manager” given his role at a hedge fund.

To Lapin, money has served as a language to be learned and one that we often don’t realize can serve as the biggest hurdle for bridging avenues to opportunities in our financial lives.

Pervasive Disparities in Financial Education 

Learning the language of money has become instrumentally important due to an ongoing widespread dialogue surrounding the financial literacy education gap in America. Currently, two-thirds of American adults are said not to be able to pass a basic financial literacy test, 54% of Millennials express worry that they will not be able to pay back student loans, and only 16% between the ages 18-26 feel very optimistic about their financial futures.

To counter these disparities at a national scale, Lapin advocates for lobbying for more financial education in our governmental system to bridge what she notes as “a personal budget deficit.” However, in addition to lobbying at the national level, she advocates helping others explore a fundamental piece of the puzzle that they truly can control, which begins with themselves. She articulates this by sharing:

People say all the time I’m freaked out by the stock market; I’m freaked out by all of these things. And all we really have control over is ourselves. This is a deeper component of the conversation because how we each interact within these markets permeates all aspects of our lives.

By founding The Money School, Lapin has created opportunities to support each individual learner where they are in their financial growth journey. Given that so often financial learning exists within traditionally broad topics explored in school such as macroeconomics, by meeting the individual learner where they are in the process Lapin shares practical hands-on tips and tricksfrom writing checks to completing taxes or making a budget.

IMAGE COURTESY OF NICOLE LAPIN

One Solution: The Money School

The Money School is an online community Lapin created where she shares a 12-step plan for helping others get their financial lives together. This plan has been tested in both of her books and the third book due to hit shelves soon. Traditionally, readers and students have found the guides to be easy to follow and iterate upon.

The financial guru and New York Times Bestselling author shares that the first step at The Money School is:

…Admitting you have a problem—and we all have problems—so that you can do something about it. From there, I wanted to create interactive video lessons, worksheets, and quizzes for the school community. Then bring in some cool experts and friends that I know from the business world to help along the way.

Overall, a key goal for the Money School is to rethink the way education around this topic looks. To do so Lapin has broken down finance into a language we often would use daily, like in a meeting with a circle of friends. Similar to friendships, she compares starting a new financial guide to embarking on a long-term endeavor. During the journey, Lapin says it’s “beneficial to set benchmarks and opportunities for small outings and/or indulgences so that you stay on track.”

How to Start Achieving Your Money Goals Today

To start achieving your money goals today, Lapin shares: “We really need to focus on our endgames and goals.” To cover these two areas, she recommends breaking down: 1) a spending plan into three E’s—essentials, endgame, and extras, and 2) goals into three F’s—family, finance, and fun. The Money School founder uses these alliterations to explore how we can look at our goals holistically due to our work lives and personal lives overlapping in numerous ways. In order to achieve true happiness, “we must achieve happiness in all areas,” she shares.

Additionally, when it comes to creating plans for money matters Lapin encourages those who wish to become financially fit to pursue money from a place of aspiration versus deprivation—mentality plays a crucial role in the process. For example, a person aspiring to build wealth settling to clip coupons and digging in the couch for coins may have greater adverse effects than one focusing on creating a savings plan.

As Lapin highlights:

…Figure out where you aspire to go and then reverse engineer your actions. The more I’ve been able to be real, the closer I’ve gotten to reaching my goals and you can too! For me, I had to get to a place where I was super vulnerable, authentic, basically naked, sharing all the stories I wanted to whiteout in the past when I tried to pretend I was perfect. Doing the internal work, only I could do for myself, made all the difference.

[“source=forbes”]

Paytm Says Mobile Wallets Will Become Strong Players in Financial Ecosystem

Paytm Says Mobile Wallets Will Become Strong Players in Financial Ecosystem

Mobile wallets will become strong players in the financial ecosystem as the RBI guidelines on prepaid instruments will allow more features like unlimited transfer of funds between a bank account and a wallet, a top official of Paytm Payments Bank said.

Paytm Payments Bank MD-CEO Renu Satti said the RBI guidelines released this month will enable mobile wallets to gain access to more functionalities like unlimited transfer of funds between a bank account and a wallet and higher limit of up to Rs. 1 lakh for money transfer to beneficiary accounts.

She added that as part of Paytm Payments Bank, customers get the convenience of wallets and can earn interest on their deposits by transferring money from the wallet to their payments bank account.

“This will further strengthen the value proposition of mobile wallets and make them stronger players in the financial ecosystem,” Satti said.

Paytm has over 270 million registered wallet users. However, the mandate to undertake KYC of customers could be a challenge as mobile wallets companies will have to make additional investments in the diligence process.

The KYC (Know Your Customer) process allows banks and other institutions to obtain and verify information about customers’ identity and address.

As per the new norms, mobile wallets that were conforming to a minimum KYC format (like verification of mobile number) will have to get full KYC of customers done within 12 months of setting up the wallet.

Paytm has already said it plans to invest $500 million towards the KYC exercise over the next three years.

Satti said while the process may seem time-consuming, it will also help prevent identity theft, fraud and money laundering and ensure customers’ money is safer than ever before.

“The new RBI guidelines would bring greater confluence and power to m-wallets. It will also ensure money transfers are simpler and financial systems are safer,” she added.

Paytm has introduced a ‘Nearby KYC Points’ section in its app that directs users to nearby partner shops and locations where customers can get Aadhaar biometric KYC done for their Paytm wallets.

Paytm Payments Bank started its operations earlier this year. Its Chairman Vijay Shekhar Sharma owns majority stake in the company, while the remaining share is owned by One97 Communications.

Disclosure: Paytm’s parent company One97 is an investor in NDTV’s Gadgets 360.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Xero, Shopify and More Make Financial Announcements

Businesses that need help managing finances online got some welcome news this week. Xero and Wells Fargo unveiled a new financial tool, and Shopify announced that Apple Pay will be available as a payment option later this year.

Read on for these headlines and more in this week’s Small Business Trends news and information roundup.

Finance

Xero and Wells Fargo Unlock Financial Web for Business

Cloud-based accounting software platform provider Xero (NZE:XRO) and banking behemoth Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) just did their small business customers a huge favor.

Shopify Announces Apple Pay as New Payment Option

The release of the new iOS 10 was not the only announcement made at the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco recently. The tech giant said that Apple Pay, Apple’s mobile-payment service, will come to the Web this fall.

Economy

Texas, Utah Rank High as Small Business Friendly States, Survey Says

Running a company successfully is a challenge no matter where you are located, but in some business-friendly cities and states entrepreneurs have a relatively easier time. Small Business Friendly States and Cities According to a new study by Thumbtack, San Antonio and Nashville are the friendliest cities to small businesses. Among the states, Texas and Utah are the top favorites.

Nancy Pelosi Says Government, Not Apple, Made iPhone – Really?

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has come under heavy fire after arguing the iPhone was “invented” by the federal government rather than Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). It’s only the latest in what seems a trend among political leaders trying to take credit for innovation and economic development away from entrepreneurs and the business community.

Employment

Web.com Announces New Appointments After Yodle Acquisition

Coming soon after acquiring local online marketing startup Yodle, Web.com Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:WEB) has announced some new appointments as it integrates the new acquisition into its company. Yodle, which focuses on local online marketing for small businesses, is an important addition to Web.com.

How the New York Paid Family Leave Act Affects Small Businesses

New York state just passed a paid family leave proposal that some see as the most forward-thinking piece of legislation of its kind ever enacted. Others feel it could turn into a bitter pill that the state’s hundreds of thousands of small businesses may be forced to swallow.

Management

New PayChex WORX Small Business Resource Center Provides Advice

Human resources industry leader Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) has expanded its digital resource base with the launch of an all-new content hub. Paychex WORX is designed to further complement Paychex’s human capital management services by providing businesses of all shapes and sizes with meaningful tips and tricks to assist them in establishing market dominance.

Advertising

New Facebook Ads Promote, Measure In-Store Visits, Purchases

Mobile technology is changing the way people shop. And that doesn’t mean that people are just using mobile payments or completing purchases from their phones. Consumers also use their mobile devices to find physical retail locations where they can make purchases.

Small Biz Spotlight

Spotlight: Black Dinah Chocolatiers Makes Chocolate an Experience

Some businesses can succeed regardless of their location. Others are only created with a specific location in mind. Such is the case for Black Dinah Chocolatiers. The founders fell in love with Isle au Haut in Maine. And they built a chocolate business to support their life on the island. Read about their journey and the business in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

Small Business Operations

Business Plus Introduces Payment Processing Service – 49 More Tools Coming

Business Plus, a small business management software and hardware technology provider, recently launched a payment processing solution that, it says, gives small businesses a “competitive edge.” The payment service represents the first of more than 50 tools the company plans to launch throughout the remainder of 2016, designed with small business management and marketing in mind.

So Long, Spreecast: Video Chat Platform Will Shut Down July 14

Businesses that have used Spreecast for video chat or larger forum discussions got some bad news last week when the company announced it will shut down the service effective July 14, 2016. The platform, unlike popular video chat options like Skype or Google Hangouts, didn’t require any software or integration with a specific platform in order for people to use it.

Social Media

How Much Do Small Businesses Spend on Facebook Marketing? Not That Much

Millions of small businesses are using Facebook but only half are spending any marketing dollars there. New data from Alignable shows that half of the small businesses it surveyed — among more than 1,200 of its users — spent $0 last quarter on their Facebook marketing efforts.

MySpace Hacked — That’s Right, MySpace — for User Info

Shortly before Memorial Day weekend in May, 2016, MySpace (yes, it does still exist), became aware that its user login data was being made available in an online hacker forum without authorization. Time Inc. (NYSE:TIME), the current owner of MySpace.com, later confirmed that indeed the once-popular social media site was hacked and its user data breached.

Startup

Why are Business Accelerators Increasing in Number?

AngelList, an online platform that matches high potential startups with investors and employees currently indicates that 578 accelerators are in operation, up from one in 2005. Why the enormous increase in the number of accelerators in the United States over the past decade? What’s Behind the Growing Number of Business Accelerators in the U.S.

Technology Trends

4 New LG X Series Phones Focus on Different Feature Sets

Smartphone makers are doing all they can to come up with the next best thing and until now, each attempt was designed to put more of the best technology in a single device. But there is only so much you can put in a form factor as small as a smartphone.

Apple iMessage Update Lets You Send Payments, Edit Photos, More

Until very recently, the thought of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) ever opening its applications like other companies for developers with APIs and SDKs wasn’t even contemplated.

Apollo 7 Earbuds Deliver Wireless Experience – with Hiccups

Earbuds and earphones that block out the world and let you experience an audio book or take an important call anywhere are important to productivity. And for small business owners and entrepreneurs on the go, they can be vital to letting you stay connected. Over the last decade, companies have spent considerable time trying to improve both headphones and earbuds.

Meem Creates a Smartphone Backup Every Time You Recharge

MEEM is a charger, mini-computer and backup storage device all rolled into one designed to store the personal bits of data in your iOS or Android smartphone every time you plug it in. There is a lot of data on the smartphones you carry, some much more important than the rest. In most cases, the personal information, such as personal photos, has value that can’t be quantified.

Apple Unveils iOS 10 Update with New 3D Touch Pop Ups, More

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced some updates to its mobile operating systems across the board during Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2016 recently. Those updates included some new features and a more open policy for app developers, which will hopefully bring more innovative solutions in the future.

Apple Includes Siri for Mac in Latest Update

The thirteenth version of OS X got a name change to macOS, also called Sierra, and just like its two predecessors Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has decided to keep the alpine theme with its latest operating system. But the feature that is getting the most attention right now is the availability of Siri for Mac.

69 Percent of SMBs Focus IT Budget on Emerging Tech

Sixty-nine percent of small and medium-sized businesses are devoting part of their IT budget for 2016 to newer and emerging technologies. These include technologies like 3D printers and wearable devices, as well as dashboard and data visualization software applications. The stat comes from a new survey-based whitepaper by technology company Insight Enterprises Inc. (NASDAQ: NSIT).

Image: Shopify

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

8 Ways to Protect You and Clients from Financial Fraud

Fraud Protection Tips

The predicament unfolding at Wells Fargo where 5,300 employees were fired due to phony bank accounts opened to “boost their sales figures and make more money” is not new in the financial world.

Unscrupulous practices have occurred for years in varying degrees.

In 1985, a just-fired employee at a New York-based commercial bank stood in front of his former co-workers to explain how he siphoned money from several bank accounts to which he had access.

The explanation was not to teach other employees how to do the same, but rather, done while the former employee was flanked on either side by his former supervisor and a security guard, it was a warning to workers that such theft would not go unpunished.

Working alongside those employees as a management assistant gave me front-seat access to a situation I did not know was possible until hearing the details.

Wells Fargo’s dilemma provides small business owners with vital lessons to keep financial accounts secure and relationships with clients strong.

Financial Fraud Protection Tips and Tricks

For You

1. Make time each month to reconcile your financial accounts. Even if an accountant is privy to your records, it’s imperative that you personally review statements in a timely manner.

2. Access your credit report every year through the free service, AnnualCreditReport.com or through another preference. Such review won’t help you detect fraud that occurs between yearly audits. However, you will still see details that may negatively impact finances.

3. Set up alerts through mobile banking, and that includes a password on your cellphone that prohibits access to financial records if your phone is lost, misplaced or scanned.

4. Install apps such as Dasheroo and PowerWallet on your cellphone to know what’s coming in and going out of your bank accounts. Most apps are accessible on your computer and tablet so there’s no excuse for not taking action at a moment’s notice.

For Clients

1. Send a letter of assurance by mail and email whenever mismanagement occurs in your industry. You’ll receive praise for reaching out in times of crisis whether it’s stated verbally or acknowledged silently. Send the notice in both formats to ensure notification.

2. Call clients by phone to back up mail and email notices as additional security to strengthen client trust and value in your service.

3. Save notifications that you receive from other industries to re-structure alerts sent to clients. This is helpful if you have difficulty writing copy and do not have staff or an on-call writer to create the content.

4. Become an ally by notifying clients each time disruptions come to light in industries that impact them. For example, if you are not in the financial industry, notification about Wells Fargo and pointing clients to an online article that helps them detect fraud positions you as a valuable and reliable connection.

Which of these internal checks and client-based services will you pursue tomorrow?

Financial Security Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]