Author Archive
Stories written by Nick Maffeo

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 […]

Smart About Money: Why leave the home you love?

I recently met with a couple in their very early 70s who were starting to think about downsizing. Why? Basically, because they were under the impression that it was “what everyone did,” that it was the “right thing to do” and they wanted to be “prudent.” They were considering buying a condo and were wondering […]

Smart About Money: Rogue Banks

I never thought I’d find myself writing those words. But as more news comes out about what Wells Fargo was doing to its customers, that’s the only way to describe them. Wells Fargo was a rogue bank. In order to show ever-increasing marketing share and revenue growth to Wall Street, Wells Fargo put so much […]

Smart About Money: Realities of Probate

A family came into the bank recently to make a withdrawal from the savings account of their beloved mother, who had just died. Specifically, they wanted to get the money she had set aside for her funeral plus the amount she’d left in her will to her granddaughter, who had long planned to use the […]

Smart About Money: Credit Reports

A question about credit reports that I have never seen addressed before came up the other day. “I always hear we should check our credit reports annually,” a bank customer said. “So I do. But I don’t even know what I’m looking for, or if it’s really important to check them at all. Am I […]

Smart About Money: Tales of 2 Scam Victims

The other day, a customer called me at the bank from his winter home in Arizona. The gentleman was very upset and said he needed our help. He had recently received a phone call telling him he had won a large cash prize. I asked him if he remembered entering the contest he had supposedly […]

Using sports to improve your financial fitness


We have been very lucky in our professional sports teams here in New England. Local fans have had the chance to see multiple championships in every major sport up close over the past few decades. That’s unusual. Most regions would be delighted to have a single team with that kind of sustained success. One of […]

Smart About Money: Lowdown on CD Rates

Until very recently, conservative savers used to be able to earn 5 percent — or a lot more — safely, conveniently and locally with one-year certificates of deposit (CDs). People willing to go out a little longer could do even better. And it wasn’t just older savers who went with CDs. People who had money […]

Smart About Money: When Things Get Complicated

Santander Holdings USA is the U.S. subsidiary of the Spanish financial services company Banco Santander SA. The banks are known in this country as Santander, and they have a sub-prime auto loan subsidiary known as Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc. Why am I going through all the corporate names and locations? Because when I read […]

Smart About Money: Checking Accounts for Kids

A recent article in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance talked about raising kids who are good with money. One of their key takeaways was that it’s very important to let kids manage money on their own. “Your kids will spend unlimited amounts as long as it’s yours,” Kiplinger’s said. “When their money is on the line, it’s […]

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