April 2006 Newsletter

April 12: What the market giveth, the crook taketh away: Avoiding investment fraud. Utah is the investment scam capital of the U.S. Protect yourself and your parents against the top10 investment scams. Find out how to avoid being a victim of the next $50 million scam.
Speaker: Leigh Davis-Schmidt, Utah Division of Securities
If you think you're too smart to get sucked into a fraudulent investment, then come learn how to protect other people that you care about.
FPW meets 12:30-1:30 p.m. in Family Life room 318 on the USU campus. Bring your lunch. The same program is repeated in the evening: 7-8:30 p.m. at the Family Life Center, 493 North 700 East, Logan (at bottom of Old Main Hill).
Websites of the month:
Utah Division of Securities http://www.securities.utah.gov
Top 10 Investment Scams http://www.securities.utah.gov/forinvestors_scams.html
If you think investment fraud is NOT a big problem in Utah read the Utah Division of Securities January newsletter about the Enforcement actions taken during October- December 2005:
Adjust your W-4 withholding to avoid a large refund.
The average federal income tax refund is over $2,300. It's just plain dumb to get a large refund from the IRS each year. Set up an automatic transfer of the extra income each month into an IRA or use the money to pay down high interest consumer debt.
A plethora of financial calculators to help you make financial decisions:
Retirement Investing: http://www.choosetosave.org/calculators/
One example: What's it worth to reduce my spending?
Take action!
Open an IRA and start investing NOW.
Roth or Traditional IRA: How to Choose
A clear, concise explanation of how traditional and Roth IRAs differ and how to choose between the two (a great follow up to the March FPW and preparation for the May program: Copy and paste the link below into your browser and then search for Roth IRA in Sunday Journal Archives (scroll down to lower right corner of screen). Read The Wall Street Journal Sunday in the Sunday Salt Lake Tribune Business Section or read it online: http://online.wsj.com/public/page/sundayjournal.html
Upcoming FPW:
May10 : The perfect mutual fund for your Individual Retirement Account (IRA).
My Advanced Family Finance students are doing the research this semester to identify the best diversified, low-cost mutual funds for your IRA. Come take advantage of all their work. Also see the PPT for May 2005 presentation on mutual funds for your IRA.
June 14: What women need to know about Social Security. Speaker: Sandy Hunter, Social Security Administration. Check this out: http://www.ssa.gov/women/
Personal Finance Humor:
BROKER:  The person you trust to help you make major financial decisions.  Please note the first five letters of this word spell Broke.
Send some $ jokes to: jean.lown@cc.usu.edu
Upcoming events:
Housing and Financial Counseling (USU Family Life Center) workshops:
April 8: Homeownership workshop 8:30-4:30 (registration required)
April 26: Home Smart 10 a.m. to noon
Details and upcoming workshops at: http://www.usu.edu/fchd/hfc_workshops.pdf
It's not to late to participate!
The Good Life: Planning and Preparing for Your Retirement Future
USU Extension Services and USU Community Credit Union are pleased to co-sponsor this financial education series.  Classes and materials are provided at no cost to participants. 
Jeff Salisbury will be speaking on Feb. 22. He is a great speaker (he is a guest speaker for my investing class each year and the students love his presentation). I highly recommend that you attend his session. Be sure to sign up.
Date Time Subject
Apr 26 7 to 8:30 Protecting Yourself Against ID Theft
May 24 7 to 8:30 Creating a Financial Plan for Retirement
All sessions will be held in the Multi-purpose Room: Suite 109, Cache County Administration Building, 179 North Main, Logan, UT
To register, contact: Adrie Roberts, USU Extension - Cache County, 179 North Main, Suite 111, Logan, Utah, 84321. (435) 752-6263. adrier@ext.usu.edu
Financial Planning for Women (FPW) is a monthly educational seminar that meets the second Wednesday of each month at two times: 12:30-1:30 p.m. in Family Life room 318 on the USU campus. Bring your lunch. The same program is repeated in the evening: 7-8:30 p.m. at the Family Life Center, 493 North 700 East, Logan (at bottom of Old Main Hill). The longer evening time slot allows for more discussion. Programs are free and registration is not required. Bring a friend! For further information: (435) 797-1569; jean.lown@cc.usu.edu
The USU Family Life Center, 797-7224, 493 N 700 East (bottom of Old Main Hill), provides financial counseling and monthly workshops. This is the best source for basic money management and getting out of debt. They offer the PowerPay computer debt analysis.
Counseling sessions cost $5 for first session with sliding scale charges based on family income and family size for subsequent counseling sessions.
Thanks to Zions Bank Smart Women grant for funding for FPW.