Women don’t trust advice from financial experts

Young Business Woman

In a recent report it has been suggested that many women are very skeptical about information given to them by financial advisors, with many not trusting the advice that these financial professionals give to them. A recent survey showed that more than 90 percent of female respondents felt that financial advice companies tended to focus more on trying to sell them financial products and services than providing them with sound advice.

Some believe that those who took part in the survey may be right to some degree following a German report that was released last year by the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy. This report showed that in cases where financial experts had a conflict of interests – for instance, if they made money from selling certain products and services – they tended to give bad advice to clients that did not have financial know-how. One official involved in this report said that clients that seemed more knowledgeable when it came to finances appeared to be getting better advice from financial professionals than those who had little or no knowledge.

Lower financial literacy

One of the authors involved with the report went on to state that on a global basis, women tended to have a lower level of financial literacy than men. She said that this meant that women were receiving bad advice from advisors far more regularly than their male counterparts. She concluded that women and those who were not particularly well educated were therefore most at risk of receiving poor advice that was not in their best interests if they contacted a financial advisor.

Experts have said that there are financial advisors around who do focus on the best interests of their clients but there are others who are only providing recommendations on select investments – those that garner higher fees for the advisor or their company but can result in worse performance and higher fees for the client. New rules are already being readied by the Labor Department that would mean financial advisors have to act in the interests of their client – a rule that is being supported by organizations such as the Consumer Federation of America.

One economist went on to state that something as simply as a bonus or increased commission for selling certain financial products and services could quickly turn some advisors into sales people with their own financial interests at heart rather than those of their customers.

Russian consumers to turn payday loans in poor economy

Russia

Back in the 1920s and 1930s, one of the most lucrative jobs around for mobsters was being a loan shark. These criminal proprietors would lend you whatever amount you needed, but with a very high rate of interest. If you didn’t pay at a certain time then they’d break your legs. Done.

The Russian economy has still been unable to rebound from the collapse in oil prices and worldwide sanctions over its Crimea invasion. Therefore, the government as well as financial institutions have instituted an array of policies, reforms and rules to weather the storm. Some of these new measures have hurt the average Russian consumer in more ways than one.

Russia’s banks have imposed new borrowing rules that have limited consumers’ access to credit. In other words, consumers do not have much access to credit as they did before. And this doesn’t bode well for Russians everywhere with rising price inflation and a high unemployment rate.

Like in the United States or Canada, Russian consumers turn to other financial services alternatives. One of these unconventional options is using the payday loan industry, and by utilizing this alternative means paying exorbitant interest rates, fees and other hefty charges. Consumers are forced to use websites like https://www.landmarkcash.com that give them access to cash but at what cost?

Unlike in the West, Russia has yet to implement rigorous payday loan regulations. This means many stores, entrepreneurs or lenders are running roughshod on the marketplace, and this comes with astronomical rates of interest. If you thought borrowing money in the U.S. would force you to enter into a cycle of debt then you haven’t met Moscow’s payday loan “sharks.”

According to a new report from the New York Times, payday loan businesses in Russia charge customers an interest rate of two percent per day, or 730 percent per year. Simply put: once you borrow $100 then that could immediately metastasize into thousands of dollars. Since banks have cut off consumers from borrowing, the unintended consequence is pushing these people into payday loans. Not only does this lead to financial desperation, but also to threats of violence.

In order to collect the outstanding sums, debt collection agencies have been hired by these payday loan firms. And these aren’t your average debt collection firms that simply call you at all hours of the day. The newspaper highlighted some really devastating and malicious stories.

For instance, one collection agency had robocalled each phone number at a local children’s hospital to find a certain customer. However, this had blocked the hospital’s phone service, which placed children’s lives at jeopardy. Another example involves children: an array of preschools had to be evacuated because there were bomb threats placed against the children of the debtors.

Debt collectors also bring out their juvenile behavior. They create advertisements for sexual services and place the debtor’s phone number and address on the flyer. When this fails, the debt collectors employ violence: broken windows, broken bones, super-glued door locks, kidnapping and even firebombing homes.

To rein in this type of behavior, public officials are trying to pass legislation in the Russian parliament. Some are skeptical that new laws would prevent debt collectors from employing such dastardly methods. They argue that if the police force is not enforcing current laws then why would they enforce new laws?

In the meantime, debtors will continue to experience such unscrupulous behavior from the collectors.

Shocking: Women Failing to Save Money for Retirement

Older Woman

The majority of women in the United States are failing to save enough money to fund their retirement according to a recent report. While there are many people both male and female who are struggling when it comes to retirement funds, the report shows that women in particular are experiencing problems and this stems from range of different factors and issues.

A study was carried out by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies earlier this year, and the data in the report showed that while 62 percent of females said that they were trying to save towards their retirement only 15 percent felt that they were saving an adequate amount of money. More worryingly, around 22 percent of females were found to be saving little or nothing towards their golden years equating to a massive 85 percent of women that were not saving enough.

A variety of contributory factors

Experts that were involved with the research said that there were a number of different contributory factors that were impacting on the ability of many women to save money towards their retirement. One of the key factors that was highlighted was the fact that many women are on lower pay when it comes to their work – this is often the case even if they are doing the same job as a male counterpart. This not only affects their ability to save in the short term but will also impact on their social security when they do retire, which poses additional problems when the time to retire comes around.

Another factor that was mentioned in the report was the fact that many women take a lot of time out of work to have and raise children, often until the child is old enough to start school. Some decide not to return to work at all after having children. An official from the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement said that many women focused on their kids before themselves, not just in terms of looking after them rather than returning to work but also in terms of saving money for their children before thinking about saving money for themselves and their own future.

One of the other key factors mentioned in the report was that women tended to be far more cautious than men when it came to making investments, as many felt that they did not have the knowledge or the confidence when it came to making decisions in relation to investments.

Experts also pointed out that the life expectancy of women is longer than that of men, which means that females need to put aside more money for their retirement in order to fund this extra time because their retirement savings will have to last them longer.