Category Archives: Personal Finance


Howard LIpset of provides some advice on how to protect your personal information.1.  Shred, Shred and Shred some more. And do not be cheap about the shredder. Make sure it cuts in two directions.

2.  Remove your name from mailing lists for preapproved credit cards or other financial offers. This mail could be stolen, your address changed and credit applied for in your name. Some banks have even approved credit on torn applications that were taped back together. (shred, shred, shred). Continue reading


Howard Lipset of Progressive Management and talks about the Affordable Care Act and how it is going to affect all of us.I love to play Duplicate Bridge.

The game is totally logical. It requires that you be able to count 4 suits of 13 cards each AND 10 points in each suit and after a few plays you can figure out where the rest of the cards lie.

The same thing cannot be said for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Despite the fact that we were assured that premiums would go down, they are on the rise. Despite the fact that we were assured that if we liked our policy, we could keep our policy, the truth is that the old policies are going to be squeezed out.

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Howard Lipset of Progressive Management and discusses his mobile deposit banking and how it can be improved.I am so proud.  I have entered modern times with my business. I have become technologically  savvy. I now make bank deposits by using my iPhone.

Congratulations to those people who figured out how to let me take a picture of the check, and then read the amount and compare it to what I said it would be. That is really clever.

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Howard Lipset of talks about some of the negative aspects of Obamacare.At the end of January, both the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Health and Human Services issued two sets of proposed regulations related to the individual mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

And here is what jumps off the pages at me.

If two government bureaucracies have written regulations on the same material, who reviewed it to be sure that there are no conflicts?

If there are conflicts, whose version overrides the other?

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Credit Card Surcharge

I received the below in an email from BLOOMBERG. If a merchant wanted to add this to my bill, I would walk away from the transaction. Let’s see how much they like to lose a sale.


Howard Lipset from shares news about retailers being able to charge customers a surcharge when using their credit card.Starting Sunday 1/27/2013, retailers may add a surcharge of up to 4 percent of your bill if you want to pay with a credit card.

The good news is that even though it’s legal, it’s not expected to become a widespread practice. And retailers have to disclose if they’re adding a fee.

What else you need to know about this change:

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Howard Lipset of provides another example of how he protected a client from losing money from a bogus bank charge.I’m continuing with historical situations that have occurred in which we discovered that our clients were going to be taken advantage of.

This is a very strange story and those of our readers who have a mortgage and escrow their real estate taxes should be aware of what can go wrong.

One day, our client receives a letter from the people who are servicing his mortgage. The letter tells him that there is a shortage in the escrow account and that he needs to make it up immediately ($6,000) and that the next 12 months of escrow will increase by $500 per month. At this point, what would you have done? Would you have paid it?

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“To Protect & To Serve” Originally the motto of the Los Angeles Police Department (1963), its meaning was to “serve the community by protecting their constitutional rights.”

To Serve & Protect: I like to think of it as the goals of Progressive Management Inc. but with a different context.

To Serve our clients everyday by being available for their problems and their needs, in addition to taking care of the basic functions for which we were hired: The administration of the day-to-day financial aspect of their businesses and their personal lives.

To Protect their assets and identity against the modern threats of cyber-attacks and identity theft, as well as preventing fraud and governmental bullying against them.

To Protect them from themselves. This is one of the examples I intend to share: Continue reading


SOUTH CAROLINA’S DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE HACKEDSouth Carolina’s Department of Revenue has been hacked. It has been reported that the hacker had access to 3.6 million social security numbers and 387,000 credit/debit card numbers and/or bank account numbers with the associated bank routing numbers.

For years, I have warned my clients:

1.        Do not give banking information on your tax return.
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‘Tis the Season for Scamming

Howard Lipset of warns readers about email scams.I’ve been receiving email scams on a regular basis these last few weeks. See an example below. I received this one a few weeks ago. It may look like a serious inquiry but it is a scam. Continue reading


Howard Lipset of tells his story of how someone tried to scam him with a bad check.This story is true.  The names have been left out.

On Monday, a client deposited a cashier’s check and emailed me a copy. In the email, I was told that the check exceeds the payment amount and that I need to wire back a refund of $2,600.

In the back of my mind, I recalled that there was a scam involving counterfeit cashier’s checks and when you wire back the money, your deposit bounces, and your wire is gone and along with your money. I told the client that we had to wait before we could send the wire. Something did not smell right.

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