Archive for: February 7th, 2018

Local News
Edward Jones Race for Education to benefit Warren County High School students
February 7, 2018

Norma Jean Shaw interview with Bret Hrbek

FRONT ROYAL – Registration for the 11th Annual Edward Jones Race for Education is underway—and organizer Bret Hrbek hopes runners, walkers and the community steps up to participate in the event, which supports two great programs for Warren County high school students.

Half of the proceeds go to the First Dollar Scholarship, which helps students who want to dual enroll in college or workforce development classes. The other half of the proceeds are divided between the two high school Cross Country teams, which allow them to attend travel competitions hold awards ceremonies and purchase uniforms.

Royal Examiner talked to Bret Hrbek about the annual event:

Register for the race here.

Local Government
WATCH: Town Council Worksession 2/5/2018
February 7, 2018

TOWN COUNCIL WORK SESSION February 5, 2018 @ 6:30pm Town Hall Council Chambers
1. CLOSED MEETING – Interview for Urban Forestry Advisory Commission (UFAC)
Motion to Go Into Closed Meeting Pursuant to Va. Code Section 2.2-3711. A .1. of the Freedom of Information Act, I move that Town Council go into closed meeting to discuss, consider, and interview prospective candidates for appointment to the position of the office of Urban Forestry Advisory Commission.

2. Artisan Trail Proposal – Director of Community Development/Tourism (10 minutes)

3. Agreement for Police Department to Enforce Code of Conduct on Warren County Parks and Recreation Properties Located in Town Limits – Chief of Police (10 minutes)

4. Continued Discussion for East Main St to Become a One-Way – Director of Planning/Zoning (20 minutes)

5. Continued Discussion of Property Maintenance Revisions – Director of Planning/Zoning (10 minutes)

6. Continued Discussion of IT Federal Pumping Station – Director of Planning/Zoning (20 minutes)

7. Continued Discussion on Healthcare – Town Manager (10 minutes)

8. Review of Revenues and General Fund Expenditures – Director of Finance (30 minutes)

Money and Personal Finance
February 7, 2018

Match cards to leisure
Look for credit card rewards that match your leisure activities. It’s a good way to discount the things you buy anyway, according to The Simple Dollar. A frequent Amazon shopper could take advantage of the company’s 5 percent cash back card for Amazon Prime members.

Other cards offer points for dining; perfect for the person who likes to try new restaurants. Capital One offers a gaming card that offers points on PlayStation store purchases. Some cards have online shopping portals offering fitness and sports gear.

Transfer balances with caution
Know all the details of the offer if you plan to use a splashy credit card balance transfer offer.

Here are three points to look at:

Deferred interest: With this plan, if you haven’t paid off the balance by the time the introductory offer expires, you’ll be charged retroactive interest for the entire amount.

New purchase rates: Never make a new purchase on a balance transfer card. According to Forbes, new purchases can and will be charged a fat interest rate.

Missed payment penalties: Always set up automatic minimum payments. If you miss one payment on your transferred balance, you will lose your low-interest deal.

Little economies: Saving on soap
Save money on hand soap by making your own gel foam. Buy a big jug of gel soap and then fill your soap dispensers about half way full. Swirl for 30 seconds. Now you have gel foam. It will still get you clean, but it really stretches the soap purchase, according to The Simple Dollar.

How to make cheap (or free) stock trades
One of the most significant obstacles that potential investors face when they are trying to start building their wealth are the fees associated with trading stocks, exchange-traded funds, and other investment products. According to Clark Howard, keeping costs low in general is one of the best ways to ensure that money is working for the investor instead of the broker and can add up to thousands of dollars over time.

For example, purchasing a $100 stock with a commission of $10 means that the stock would need to appreciate in value by 10 percent just to break even on the trade. Purchasing 10 shares at once lowers this amount to a much more comfortable one percent, but that requires much more money up front.

Luckily, the trend towards low-cost and even free stock trading has been rising in recent years, and it is now possible to find many options to save money initially and over the long term. These options include services with commission-free trades and no fees as well as commission-free trades with fees.

The relative newcomer Robinhood, offers entirely commission-free trades and currently charges no fees to their users with no account minimums. Billed as a way for young, beginner investors to get started with very little money or complications, their platform is only available on smartphones and has a no-frills design with only the most basic information and stock analysis. The company doesn’t want to overwhelm new investors, and removing the fancy tools that other brokerages offer allows them to keep costs low.

Some other exchanges have jumped on the commission-free bandwagon but have decided that they have to charge some fees to make a profit and stay in business. To make up for the costs, one company, Acorns, puts a twist on how users fund their accounts and tries to make it as fun and painless as possible to get started. Investors simply chain their credit and debit accounts to the service and every time they make a purchase it is rounded up to the nearest dollar. The difference automatically goes into the Acorns account and a stock purchase is made whenever it hits a $5 threshold. At $12 per year, the profits can be upside down at first but quickly rebound to gains over the years.