3D Glasses and Playing Hookie

3D Glasses, Popcorn, and an Afternoon with Gabby

Working on Saturday has never been a favorite of mine.  Being a glass-half-full kinda guy, I look for the good things and hold on to them tightly.

When I work on Saturdays, we flex time out.  That means that I get to feel like I’m playing hookie on a weekday afternoon.  I abruptly remember by Saturday morning why I should not feel guilty.

This week I was scheduled to do my Saturday duties on Father’s Day Weekend.  That meant less time with the kids, so I decided to “Play Hookie” with Gabby and go see Shrek 3D.  As you can see from the picture, we had a blast.

The smell of popcorn, no one in the theater but Gabby and I, and the feeling that millions of other people were working their butts off on a Thursday afternoon.  Ahhh Bliss.

The movie was ok.  Not as good as the first few hundred Shrek Movies, but it was ok.  It was a little dark with the spells and witches for us, but there were some fairy tale funny parts.  We had the entire theater to ourselves except for 5 or 6 other people.

Although I paid for this afternoon with a Saturday of work, it still felt like hookie!  That was kinda fun.  When Gabby asked me why I was not at work, my answer had nothing to do with Saturdays.  It had to do with her.  The one thing I won’t get to do over is spend time with her when she’s little.  I hope she remembers this fun day with her dad for as long as I will.


Saturday wasn’t so bad at work.  Busy, but definitely worth the afternoon.  I think I won on this deal.

10 Tips to Get The Most From Your Banker

10 tips to Get the most from your banker10 Tips to Get The Most From Your Banker

Before you can use 10 tips to get the most from your Banker, you need to have a banker.  Most of you don’t have a Banker even though we all have a bank.  Whether you want a loan, to know what to do with your money, or simply how you can keep more of your money a Banker is where you should start.

Your probably wondering why I’m qualified to put these 10 tips together to start with.  These actually came from clients I’ve had over the years.  I simply put them in a list.

  1. Give your Banker a fresh Personal Financial Statement at least once a year.
    What does your financial health-o-meter look like? Your doctor sees you at least once a year to help prevent any catastrophic health events from happening and to treat any illnesses that you have.  Why don’t you do the same thing for your finances?  Meeting at a minimum once a year is great, but what do you talk about?  Start with a PFS or Personal Financial Statement.  For the best PFS I’ve found and to get “Banking Bits” go here and register.
  2. Establish how you’d like to be followed up with UP FRONT.
    You don’t want to be called at dinner.  You don’t want to be called at work.  You don’t want to be called on vacation.  Got it!
    Then something happens to your account at the bank and you call and say, “Why didn’t anyone call me?”
    Here’s the TIP: Establish up front how you’d like to be contacted.  I suggest multiple choice.
    (a) Once every 6 months
    (b) Once every year
    (c) When the Banker sees something truly beneficial and specific to me and my needs
    (d) Don’t call me ever (this will NOT help you build a relationship in a church, a bar, OR a bank)
  3. Take Your Banks Temperature?
    Superman: “I’ve got you, Lois”
    [Lois Lane falls from a million story skyscraper]

    Lois Lane: “If you’ve got me, who’s got you?!”
    Regardless of how good your banker is, you need to know how healthy his company is. Check the FDIC’s website for the health of the institution you are banking with and those you are considering banking with.  Here you can find statistical information and company reports.  You can also find FDIC coverage amounts for your money.
  4. Test the Phones
    “Mr. Watson – Come here – I want to see you.”
    ~ Alexander Graham Bell
    Make a special note of how easy/difficult it is to get a REAL PERSON when you call.  Take it a step further.  Make a note of how easy/difficult it is to get a REAL PERSON THAT IS KNOWLEDGEABLE.  This is very important and also very high on the list with the clients I’ve spoken with.  Many of my clients ARE my clients because I picked up the phone AND I know what I’m talking about.  In most cases, I was NOT the first person they called.  I simply picked up the phone and helped them see their situation through to the end.
    If you get a phone tree or you are asked to “Marque numero dos” then hang up and call another bank.  Want an example?  Gather your money questions and call my bank.
  5. Get Personal – Why your banker SHOULD be nosy.
    Did your banker ask you ton of questions about you?  About your money? About your retirement? About your home?  Your Mortgage?  Your balances?
    Answer:  GOOD. That’s your Banker’s job.  For them to be able to help you they have to know all of those things.  The rub is when Bankers do this to qualify you for a specific product that they want to sell.  These are product pushers and NOT Bankers.  That doesn’t mean that good Banker will not offer you some financial product.  The difference is VALUE.  WHAT DOES IT DO FOR YOU?  If it is not a specific fit for a situation you have and it seems wrong for you, it is.  However, if the suggestion makes sense to solve a situation or prevent something bad from happening to your finances then head the Banker’s advice.
  6. “You Can’t Handle The Truth!”
    I see this all the time.   People fill out a PFS and lie about their income or their debt.  This is like telling your doctor you don’t smoke when he’s treating you for emphysema.  Tell the truth and the truth will set you free.  Not only that, but your Banker can help you get out of a mess or prevent one.  If you do lie just remember: That will not build a relationship in a church, a bar, or a bank.
  7. Get References or Testimonials
    “Whatchu Talkin’ ‘Bout Willis?”
    The best way to find someone good is to ask your friends, relatives, and neighbors about who they use.  The next best way is to ask the Banker for References or Testimonials.  If they don’t have any use caution.  Because good Bankers are hard to find, the good Bankers usually have Ringing Endorsements from clients and colleagues.  Can you find the example?
  8. Find a Bank with Special Offers for YOU
    This sounds simple, but there’s more to this one.  I’m talking about special benefits for Where You Work Programs.  These types of programs offer discounts for you simply by being associated with the company or organization you work for.  There are some really good discounts and freebies that come from these programs.
  9. Bring Your Statements to the First Meeting
    Here’s a list of the types of statements that are helpful:

    • Bank Statements
    • Retirement Statements
    • Personal Financial Statements
    • Mortgage Statements
    • Credit Statements

    Now you don’t have to bring all of these at your first meeting.  You don’t have to know how to swim to jump in the water, but it helps to stay alive.

  10. ANSWER THIS HONESTLY: Do You See Yourself Taking Advice From This Person and Acting On It?
    This one is on you.  After you’ve interviewed the Banker, honestly answer this question.  If they told you to refinance your home would you consider it?  If you can’t see yourself acting on the advice of the person you are sitting in front of, thank them for their time, wish them well, then RUN!

I hope these tips for building a rock solid relationship with a Banker have helped you.  If you’d like more “Banking Bits” register for our free weekly Banking Bits eZine by clicking here.