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Money Matters

Missing Mentor: Women Advising Women on Power, Progress and Priorities

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By Mary E. Stutts --

What is my next career move? Am I settling? How can I achieve balance between career and family? Can I have it all?

As women compose 57% of America’s current college graduates, there is a growing number of women in the workforce who are asking these questions. Yet as Mary Stutts explains, there is an unfortunate dearth of female mentors capable of providing counsel, guidance, and answers. Consequently, women who are trying to “have it all” are left on their own to navigate the pitfalls of balancing marriage, home, family, career development, and personal ambition.

In her second book, The Missing Mentor: Women Advising Women on Power, Progress and Priorities (ISBN 0-9772730-1-6; Price $16.99; On-sale May 5, 2010; Publication Date June 1, 2010), Stutts shares her own experiences from her successful thirty year business career in the health care and communications industries. She advises readers on how to increase their confidence, create a life plan, achieve self-awareness, maintain ethical and spiritual well-being, foster personal and professional relationships, and define and achieve their own success in life.

As a seasoned executive who has helped to manage multi-billion dollar companies, thousands of employees, and a busy family life, Stutts has plenty of important advice to offer. Through humorous vignettes, insightful stories, and empowering words of wisdom, The Missing Mentor offers women the advice that they need in order to tackle these problems and to achieve the success that they crave.

Through chapters such as “How to Avoid Getting Derailed” and “Work Life Choices,” Stutts shows her readers how to evaluate opportunities, make the most out of the chances they are given, and to recognize potential in their personal and professional lives. The book is designed to assist women in making positive and empowering choices every day, both at home and in the workplace. In addition to Stutts’ own tips and real-life examples on how to prioritize and keep moving forward in life, each chapter also provides a motivational “Power Up!” interview with successful women from all walks of life who offer their own inspirational advice.

The Missing Mentor features several empowering and influential women who offer valuable insight and advice. Dr. Marianne J. Legato, M.D., F.A.C.P., an internationally known academic physician, author, lecturer and specialist in women's health, imparts knowledge and advice from her life experience in the book. Several other notable female contributors include Dr. Beverly Tatum, President of Spelman College in Atlanta; Mara Aspinall, President & CEO of On-Q-ity in Waltham, Massachusetts; and Marcela Perez de Alonso, Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Hewlett Packard in Palo Alto, California. These powerful and influential women offer mentoring advice and direction on how women can balance their professional and personal lives. Also included in the book are: Catherine Arnold, the Health Care Sector Leader for the Equity Research Department and the Director and Senior Analyst covering U.S. Major Pharmaceuticals at Credit Suisse; recently named California Antitrust Lawyer of the Year, Mary Cranston, Firm Senior Partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman in San Francisco; Evelyn Dilsaver, retired Executive Vice President from Charles Schwab; Kim Thiboldeaux, President and CEO of The Cancer Support Community in Washington, D.C. and author of The Total Cancer Wellness Guide; Eunice Azzani, CEO of Azzani Search and former Principle Partner at Korn-Ferry Executive Recruiting in San Francisco; Julie Abrams, CEO of Women's Initiative in San Francisco; and, Nola E. Masterson, M.S., Chairman of the Board at Repros Therapeutics, Inc. in The Woodlands, Texas.

As a long-term speaker on such issues as career advancement, women in leadership and work and life balance, Stutts is sensitive to the myriad of problems and concerns felt by modern professional women. Together with this understanding, Stutts’ down-to-earth, no-nonsense writing style allows her to quickly forge a connection with her readers. She offers generous insight into how she learned to “have it all” as a successful executive, mother, and a driven individual without ever “talking down” to her audience. Rather, Stutts credits much of her success to the mentoring that she received from two women in her own life: Dr. Susan Desmond Hellmann and Myrtle Potter. Her book seeks to pass on the lessons that she learned from these mentors and from her own experience to other women seeking guidance.

Whether just starting out in the workforce, looking to make a career move, or striving to climb the corporate ladder, The Missing Mentor provides a useful tool for helping women to realize their full strength and potential. It is an important book for any woman interested in achieving confidence, power, focus and balance in a competitive, fast-paced and increasingly demanding world.

Visit www.themissingmentor.com for more information and the Author Tour Schedule.

Savings Trends in America

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By Daniel Teklai –

Even when the US economy is showing signs of improvement and the global recession is coming to an end, households across the country are still very concerned about the future of their personal finances. The ramifications of job losses, the collapse of the housing market and the tightening of access to credit have left a lot of people feeling anxious and worried. And when people feel worried, they spend less and save more.

According to the US Bureau of Economics, the savings rate – the portion of disposable income people save – has sharply increased in the past few months. Of course this is not a big surprise and historically, savings grow more during uncertain economic periods and diminish when we feel confident about the economy at large. As of November 2009, America’s savings rate stood at 4.7 percent, which is quite a jump compared to just 1.4 percent in 2005. By comparison, Americans stashed away over 26 percent in 1944, and over 14 percent in 1975; and since then, we generally saw a steady decline of the savings rate to almost zero.

Many people actually maintained negative savings rates.

While there are many other factors that may influence people to save money for a rainy day, experts agree that economic uncertainty is the leading motivator.

The economy may be suffering because people are afraid to depart with their hard earned income, but as individuals, saving money is the best way to get the things we want, achieve security, and peace of mind. When you take the first step, saving is actually an easy habit to start and maintain. The first step is to make the decision to save and have a goal in mind. After that, there are essentially two ways to save: using income coming in, or cutting expenses –money going out.

Finally, it is all a matter of sticking to a regular savings plan.

Where to Start Saving money is essential to our peace of mind, but how we do it is also as important.

Stashing money under the mattress may be a time honored tradition but that is neither safe nor smart. A deposit account held at a bank that is insured by the FDIC is the safest way to start savings.

Currently, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures up to $250 thousand dollars per depositor per bank. Basic saving or money market accounts are good first choices as your money is always available to you.

Certificates of Deposit (CDs) are ideal when you want to save for a specific period of time and you won’t need the money during that period.

CDs usually pay more interest than money market or savings accounts. For long-term savings goals, there are numerous investment vehicles available including bonds, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), mutual funds and stocks. If you have not started a regular saving plan yet, don’t be left out. Start with a simple one today. It looks like the mindset of the average consumer is changing. America is saving money again. So should you.

Daniel Teklai, is Vice President and Director of Marketing for the Premier Service Bank. He can be reached at dteklai@premierservicebank. com.

The Benefits of Direct Deposit

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By Tina Robinson
Union Bank, N.A. Senior Vice President and Regional Manager

In today’s challenging economic environment, increased control over personal finances has become a priority for many customers. A simple, efficient and productive tool that local residents can utilize to manage their finances and boost their savings is direct deposit—the electronic transfer of your net pay into a designated checking and/or savings account at your financial institution.

According to a national survey sponsored by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Go Direct® campaign, which encourages people who receive Social Security and other federal benefits by paper check to switch to direct deposit, Americans said direct deposit superseded both ATM cards and checkbooks as their most important tool for managing personal finances. Additionally, a Union Bank-sponsored study found that 50 percent of respondents plan to put more money away each month in the accounts they have with their bank to get in better financial shape. The Consumer Federation of America also encourages direct deposit through its America Saves campaign.

By enrolling in direct deposit, you can help build your savings by automatically directing a portion of your income to your savings account and a portion to your checking account. Designating a portion of your earnings toward savings each month forces you to start saving and enforces a good financial habit.

Many employers offer direct deposit. You can establish direct deposit by meeting with your payroll department, filling out some paperwork and providing your banking account(s) information, such as routing number and your account number(s) for the electronic transfer of your payments.

Direct deposit offers additional benefits including:

• Fast. The day your check is issued, it is deposited into your bank account.

• Security. Using electronic transfer helps reduce the possibility of paper checks being lost or stolen, which in turn may also help reduce the possibility of identity theft and mail fraud since there is no actual paper check to steal or forge.

• Efficient. Direct deposit will reduce your trips to the ATM and can save you time.

• Savings. In addition to boosting your nest egg with automatic payments to your savings account, you can also reap savings on checking accounts at financial institutions that offer free or lower-cost checking for clients using direct deposit.

• Practical. If you travel often or have limited time to visit the bank to deposit your checks, direct deposit may be a suitable option.

Direct deposit provides a simple, convenient and productive option to have increased control over your finances while building your nest eggs.

The foregoing article is intended to provide general information about direct deposit and is not considered financial or tax advice from Union Bank. Please consult your financial or tax advisor.

Tina Robinson is a senior vice president and regional manager for Union Bank, N.A., a full-service commercial bank providing an array of financial services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, and major corporations. The bank has 340 banking offices in California, Oregon, Washington and Texas and two international offices. UnionBanCal Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Bank of Tokyo- Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. Union Bank is a proud member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG, NYSE:MTU), one of the world’s largest financial organizations.

Visit www.unionbank.com for more information.

Real Estate News

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By Larry E. Jones, Sr.

Interest rates, although still low compared to a few years ago are rising.  The good news is that lenders are creating new and innovative ways to purchase that new home.  With new home prices not declining but stabilizing somewhat for the time being.

Budget Your Electricity Bill With SCE’s Level Pay Plan

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Rosemead

Southern California Edison (SCE) is reminding its customers to enroll in the utility’s Level Pay Plan, which allows customers to spread high summer and/or winter bills over an entire year into equal monthly payments.

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