There are many things I love about fall; cool weather, the beautiful red, yellow and orange leaves, shorter days and the State Fair. When I was in high school my Uncle Tom had close ties with the Cooperative Extension Service. He would encourage me and my sister, Laurie, to enter our summer arts and crafts projects. We would help our mom can jams, jellies and vegetables and we did a few sewing projects. We entered theses items in the “State Fair of Louisiana”. It really made us proud to bring home a ribbon of any color, because competition was very stiff! The prize money was great too!
Over the past couple of years, the economic picture has brightened for many cities and states — but some of them are still facing potential financial problems. As a citizen, you may well have concerns about these issues. And as an investor, these financial woes may affect your thinking about one particular type of investment vehicle: municipal bonds.
Identity theft is a big problem. How big? Consider this: In 2015, about 13 million Americans were victimized, with a total fraud amount of $15 billion, according to Javelin Strategy & Research. That’s a lot of victims, and a lot of money. How can you protect yourself from becoming a statistic?
Here are a few suggestions:
• Secure your Social Security number. Identity thieves eagerly seek Social Security numbers — so don’t give out yours to anyone who asks for it. In fact, as a general rule, be reluctant to give it out at all.