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Stories written by Nick Maffeo

Smart About Money: Saddest Kind of Fraud

At a recent banking conference, a banker from the north shore told me about a particularly unfortunate situation she had run into. A young man came into her bank to cash a check. He did not have an account at that bank, but the check was from an account holder. Apparently, everything about this young […]

What Can Your Mortgage Do for You?

Up until about the mid 1980s, a homeowner who wanted to borrow against the equity in their home had to take out what was known as a “second mortgage.” And there was a stigma against second mortgages. Then some enlightened bankers started thinking about homeowners and their equity differently. And so two of the most […]

Smart About Money: Data Breaches

These big data breaches — like the recent Equifax hack — are very frustrating. Especially when they happen to huge companies that you’d think would have multiple layers of systems in place to protect themselves and their customers’ information. And why did it have to be one of the credit reporting agencies that got hit, […]

Smart About Money: How to Become Rich

A few weeks ago, there was a radio commercial for some sort of money-making opportunity. I don’t remember the company or what they were selling. I do remember very clearly hearing the commercial say, “You can’t get rich by saving.” What? Huh? The simple fact is that even if you win a monster lottery or […]

Smart About Money: U.S. Secret Service

Usually when people have a visit from the U.S. Secret Service, it’s not a positive thing. But when the Secret Service came to see us at Canton Co-operative Bank a few weeks ago, it was at our invitation and I think it’s fair to say it was one of the most fascinating presentations I have […]

Smart About Money: Credit Card Rewards?

As I recall, it was the late WBZ radio host Lovell Dyett who used to say, “Spend your time wisely. It’s the only money you’ve got.” I found myself thinking about that when reading a page 1 Wall Street Journal article about people who get credit cards to chase bonus points and credit card rewards. […]

Smart About Money: Financing Tips

A gentleman came into the bank to get an objective opinion on a car loan he was considering. “The people at the dealership asked me what I was looking to pay a month,” he told me. “And that’s the amount the payment is. I can see that. But it looks like this car loan goes […]

Smart About Money: Beware of Scams

Bruce Murphy is the owner of Bruce’s Floor Cleaning Service here in Canton and I have his permission to share this story with you. One day in the mail, Bruce received a letter from the “Embassy Lottery Company of New York & London.” There was a check in the letter, drawn on the Presidio Bank […]

Smart About Money: January Jumpstart

Even people who are super-organized with their finances often don’t have things set up so that anyone could come in and carry on for them in case of an emergency. Whether that’s the one step you haven’t taken yet or you’re just deciding to get more organized with your finances, this is a particularly auspicious […]

Smart About Money: It’s a Wonderful Life

Community bankers often hear that their bank reminds customers of the Bailey Bros. Building & Loan from the classic 1946 movie It’s a Wonderful Life. Which is a great compliment. What was it about the Bailey Bros. Building & Loan that people still remember it so specifically and so fondly seven decades later? A couple […]

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