Last week Apple effectively dropped the mic on the nation’s banking industry. While the average bank is paying less than a half a percent on savings accounts, the $2.6 trillion technology company announced it would be offering 4.15% annual returns to savers – no minimums, no lockups and FDIC-insured.
The new product rollout comes at a time when regional banks are scrambling in the wake of the Silicon Valley Bank crisis to maintain their deposit bases, and cash-starved fintech startups are likewise struggling. Technically Apple doesn’t have a banking license. It is fronting for Goldman Sachs Bank USA, otherwise known as Marcus, which has a state charter and is FDIC-insured.
In fintech parlance, Apple is a neobank like Chime, Revolut and Monzo – except its brand strength is unparalleled given that there are more than two billion iPhones globally, now serving as Goldman’s branch network. According to polling company Gallup’s annual “Confidence in Institutions” survey, last year, prior to SVB, only 27% of Americans reported to have a “great deal or quite a lot” of confidence in their banks.
That number is down from its peak of 60% in 1979. By contrast, Apple landed in the top spot for the tenth consecutive year in 2022 according to Interbrand’s annual Global Best Brands ranking. The only bank to make the top 25 was JPMorgan, ranked at 24, just ahead of YouTube.“Apple goes at warp speed and a lot of banks are driving 45 mph in the right lane,” says Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives.
The new high yield savings account is only available to customers with Apple’s credit card, Apple Card. These users can have an account set-up in minutes and their spend rewards, called daily cash, are automatically funneled into the high yield account.
The account will be displayed on a dashboard in Apple’s digital wallet where users can track their balance and interest earned. The product allows Apple to offer yet another sticky iPhone benefit by strengthening its built-in digital wallet.
“It’s really a flywheel of keeping everything in the ecosystem,” says David Donovon, executive vice president of financial services for consulting firm Publicis Sapient….
The new savings account is only the latest in a series of high-profile financial offerings from the Cupertino technology blue chip. Last month, the company began offering its own buy now, pay later product giving consumers the option to split payments into four installments with zero interest or fees.
Recent bank collapses mean that banks are starting to change their risk models for lending....getty
If you’re like most business owners, you’re looking at the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank collapses and wondering what it means for your access to capital—but perhaps not in the way in which you originally thought. The question of whether your money will be safe at your bank has, for the most part, been answered affirmatively by the government.
But the question of where you’re going to get an influx of capital this year if you need it, is not looking positive. To date, the explanation for the SVB collapse is that it had gobs of cash deposits from its startup clients during the recent boon, and like most banks, it invested it in the safest bet you can make: U.S. Treasuries. The problem was SVB bought longer-term Treasuries, meaning they couldn’t be converted back into cash quickly and easily.
Ben Lozano, CEO and cofounder of Bay Area fintech startupSMBX and an expert on the bond market, explains, “SVB had a classic liquidity crisis. They issued short-term loans to their customers and bought long-term Treasury bonds at low interest rates. When the rates went up quickly, those long-term bonds lost value and so, they were basically insolvent. Depositors lost confidence and started withdrawing their funds.”
It remains to be determined why the tech community, which is not risk averse, decided a run on the bank was necessary. While it largely seems like there isn’t an endemic banking crisis like in 2008 and everyone’s deposits are safe, banks are already starting to change their risk models for lending.
This means your ability to borrow money for a line of credit or to invest in your business is going to be much tougher for the foreseeable future. Banks will be offering less money at higher interest rates and with more demands from your balance sheet.
How to plan for the cash crunch
This crisis may force you to seek alternative sources of funding, so you must plan accordingly. As we learned during Covid, make sure your books are in order. Remember that the vast majority of American businesses did not get much or any of that government bailout money.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) issued roughly 5.2 million Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans out of a total of 30 million U.S. small businesses—and that doesn’t include solopreneurs, independent contractors, and gig workers.
The main reason that businesses were shut out of PPP was simply that they didn’t have their tax returns, P&Ls, balance sheets, and other documentation ready to go at a moment’s notice. Getting these items prepared does cost time and money, but not as much as you may think.
Accounting software, like QuickBooks, is available for as little as $15 per month. Also, some accounting software comes with invoicing, credit card, and other forms of electronic payment acceptance, and even marketing tools. Credit card companies, in addition to providing access to capital, offer many other services and helpful information on managing your business. Check out Mastercard’s Master Your Card and Digital Doors programs, for example.
Your local community will definitely have resources for finding affordable service providers. For example, in Washington, DC, the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development (CNHED) provides technical assistance, including free accounting and legal advice to small businesses, among other things, to ready businesses to apply for loans.
Steve Glaude, president and CEO of CNHED says, “There are many organizations on the national and local levels that provide free or low cost technical assistance for small businesses, including Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), which provide a range of financial products and services to underserved communities. I’d advise businesses to find a CDFI in their community and start a conversation.”
So, where else should you look for funds outside of your bank? For starters, it’s always worth checking if there is government grant money available. Covid relief funds, like the Small Business Opportunity Fund and Community Navigator Pilot Program (CNPP) authorized by President Biden in the American Rescue Plan Act, are still working their way through the system to state and local governments.
The best place to find information on these federal grants is the SBA. If you can’t find grant opportunities, you can always apply for an SBA loan. While the process is often long and arduous, the interest rates are very competitive and the risk models are lower than conventional banks.
There are also organizations, like Hello Alice, the Accion Opportunity Fund, and even private companies like FedEx, which offer small business grants and vast libraries of “how-to” content. These grants are often small amounts and are typically issued in a lottery format, so they are not overly reliable, but worth looking at.
Finally, crowdfunding is now becoming a much more viable option for debt funding. SMBX, an online marketplace that connects small business owners with everyday investors, for example, can help businesses borrow from $25,000 to $5 million dollars in debt at competitive interest rates with terms ranging from one to 10 years.
An added bonus to crowdfunding is that promoting your business as a strong investment is also a unique opportunity to market your products and services. Plus, your investors are more likely to support your business over the longer term and protect their investment.
“We’ve seen a tremendous uptick in issuer listings the first quarter of 2023, even before the banking problems began,” says Lozano. “I think businesses are starting to realize that they can access the capital they need, engage their customers and keep wealth in their communities in a way they can’t do with traditional banks.”
Unfortunately, with inflation still problematic enough to cause ongoing Fed rate hikes, the corresponding banking crisis, the war in Ukraine, and other issues disrupting supply chains, a recession or down market this year is looking likely. It is critical to learn the lessons of Covid and get your affairs in order. If there’s a storm coming, the time to fix the roof is when the sun is shining.
By: Neil Hare
Neil Hare is an attorney and President of GVC Strategies, where he specializes in small business policy, advocacy, and communications campaigns; follow him on Twitter @nehare and on LinkedIn. See more of Neil’s articles and full bio on AllBusiness.com.
If things you thought were true were actually wrong, when would you want to know? When I was a child, I recall my mother saying that drinking and driving was against the law. For many years after that, whenever I saw someone drinking a soda while driving, I assumed they were criminals. Years later, I figured out that my mother was talking about drinking alcohol while driving.
I can laugh at the absurdity of this today, but it is the perfect example of how easy it can be to carry around half-truths when you don’t know what you don’t know.
Many people go through life believing things without ever considering the possibility that those things are actually wrong. I see it every day in nearly every conversation I have with people: the misinterpretation of financial terms, the misapplication of various wealth strategies and confusion about how much risk they are actually taking.
Why does this happen? Well, the internet gives everyone instant access to unlimited amounts of information. Unfortunately, there is rarely any context, and we have a tendency as human beings to process information as true or false based on the source and a basic understanding of the topic. If Google says it, then it must be true! As a result, people end up with a false sense of confidence and a laundry list of beliefs that aren’t necessarily true.
Misconceptions come with costly consequences
Your financial future rests on your understanding of what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, and the consequences are real. Any misinterpretations you may have about money could potentially destroy your quality of life and reduce your chances of experiencing true financial freedom.
The biggest obstacle to unlearning something you have always thought was true is to accept the possibility of having inaccurate information. Once you do that, unlearning bad financial information is not as complicated as you may think.
The biggest misconception I see over and over again is the focus on accumulation. People tend to evaluate their progress or level of financial success based on how much money they accumulate. While having money in the bank is important, reliable cash flow should be the ultimate goal.
Think about it: You can survive without any money accumulated, but you cannot easily get by without cash flow. Cash flow can be generated in any number of ways: a paycheck from your job, a business you own or a passive-income source. Regardless of where it comes from, cash flow is like water – you simply cannot survive without it. (To see some strategies for increasing cash flow in retirement, check out my Cash Flow Guide (opens in new tab).)
How to know if your money is fulfilling its primary purpose
Money is obviously a big part of our lives, so we have a tendency to desire more of it. But how do you decide how much is enough?
What I find is that people often use arbitrary account balances and rates of return to assess how much progress they have made, but neither of these things actually indicates whether your money is fulfilling its primary purpose: income replacement, also known as cash flow.
While having money is, of course, part of the equation, it is the wrong measurement for success. A lot of people with plenty of money still struggle with not feeling financially free or confident, and that is a problem.
Achieving financial confidence starts with answering these two questions:
How much actual income do you have coming in right now that you don’t have to work to receive? I am talking about actual dollars being deposited into your checking account or brokerage account.
If you quit working tomorrow, how much money would you need to cover all of your expenses? This includes taxes, trips, lifestyle expenses, etc.
If you’re like most people, there is a gap between how much income you’re receiving and how much you need. (That is why you work, to fill that gap.) If you want to stop working, you’ll need to figure out how to close this gap with passive income.
How is financial security different from financial freedom?
So, how do you do that? Start by understanding the difference between financial security and financial freedom.
The idea of financial security cannot necessarily be defined by exact numbers or percentages and is often expressed as a feeling of safety. That’s why most people focus on reducing debt and accumulating money. They believe that spending less, paying less in interest and earning more on their investments is what will lead them to a successful retirement.
Having large sums of money brings a sense of financial security, but it does not create financial freedom. If you’re like most people, knowing creates more confidence than assuming, and a good way to know is to complete a Gap Report™. (Get your GAP Report™ here (opens in new tab).)
Security vs. independence vs. freedom
I speak with people every week who have millions of dollars saved but don’t feel financially free. They say things like, “I think I will be OK,” or “I feel OK with what I have,” but their word choices — “I think” and “I feel” — say it all: They are not confident.
In short, if you have large sums of money, but you are still working to support your income needs, worried about market returns or uncertain about the future… that is not freedom.
There is a middle ground where you have both financial security and lifestyle flexibility in the short term, which I refer to as “financial independence.” For instance, many business owners have companies or real estate that create a revenue stream. Their business runs without their full attention, allowing them flexibility to do what they want when they want, but they must still contribute at some level in order to maintain their income sources.
Rental properties are the perfect example of great cash flow machines that generate income to potentially support your lifestyle and help you achieve financial independence. It is obviously a good thing to have these assets growing and producing income, but it still takes time and effort.
You may have a pretty great life collecting rent from your tenants, but the simple fact that you must collect it is work, not to mention addressing repairs and upkeep, managing expenses and (worst of all) dealing with unhappy people.
There is nothing wrong with running a business to provide cash flow. For some people, their business is their passion, but it is difficult to achieve true financial freedom when the business income relies upon you showing up.
This is why many people who have considerable rental properties often cash out and move to sources of passive income — because they want true financial freedom.
A true source of passive income is one where you don’t have to do anything to generate it, including Social Security, pensions, annuities, private markets and royalties.
Now, we can argue about the definitions of financial security vs. independence vs. freedom, but that would be missing the point.
Passive income is the path to financial freedom
Failing to understand the differences comes with a cost. If the point is to have enough passive income to cover your cash flow needs, why would you spend thirty-plus years measuring your progress based on account balances and rates of return?
As you can see, words matter, and definitions are important. These conflicting ideas could be why so many people think that they are on the path toward achieving freedom but never seem to reach it. They fall short of the goal because they don’t truly understand what is needed to have financial freedom and are steadfast on accumulating assets.
Your bank may have a higher-yielding savings account — but it won’t necessarily let you know. The Federal Reserve has raised its key interest rate five times this year, most recently on Wednesday, as part of its ongoing effort to slow the pace of inflation.
Think of it as the virtuous cycle of the lending and saving relationship that banks have with their customers. But until recently, the interest earned on savings accounts hasn’t been all that impressive. “Every interest rate has fallen quite far from previous decades,” said Bankrate.com chief financial analyst Greg McBride in an email.
Up until this year, McBride said, interest rates had declined for the better part of 40 years — and so has the amount of money that banks pay into those accounts. “Looking back to the early 1980s, the Fed funds rate, Treasury yields, and mortgage rates were in the double digits,” he said. “In 1990, the Fed funds rate was over 8%, Treasury yields were 7% to 9%, mortgage rates were 10%.
“By 2020, the Fed funds rate was near zero, Treasury yields were under 2%, and mortgage rates were 2.5% to 3%.”Now that these rates are rising again, money costs more money. But that means there’s an opportunity to get higher returns on deposits. McBride advises customers to shop around to get the best return on their savings.
Not all banks have significantly increased their interest rates for savings accounts. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the average national savings account interest rate is 0.17%. Those low interest rates on savings account deposits recently caught the attention of lawmakers on Capitol Hill, who pressed big bank CEOs last week on why rates weren’t higher.
“As rates continue to rise, we would expect to continue to raise the rates we pay to customers,” Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf said in congressional testimony Thursday. Some financial institutions, especially those that are Internet-only with no brick-and-mortar locations, have traditionally advertised higher interest rates with their high-yield savings account products. Some of these banks offer more than 1% or 2% — and in some rare cases more than 3% on savings accounts, according to NerdWallet representative Chanelle Bessette.
Bessette said online banks have fewer overhead costs than brick-and-mortar branches, and also must do more to compete for deposits. Both Bankrate and NerdWallet offer lists of institutions currently offering the highest yields. Among them are Discover, Capital One, American Express Savings, and Marcus by Goldman Sachs. McBride, the chief financial analyst for Bankrate.com, said it is easy to enroll in one of those accounts, even if you do your primary banking elsewhere.
“You can open an online savings account with just a few minutes of your time, and link it to the checking account at your current financial institution in order to move money back and forth seamlessly,” he said. “If your bank has rolled out a new savings account with a higher yield than the one you’re currently in, just reach out and ask to transfer your money into the new, higher yielding account.”
In some cases, banks aren’t making it clear to existing customers that they can now obtain a greater savings-account yield, McBride said. “We are seeing some chicanery where banks roll out a new savings account that offers an attractive yield while the existing account holders remain in the original account with the original rate,” McBride said in an email.
“It is easy enough to switch to the new account, but you have to take the action to make that happen, the bank won’t come knocking on your door with that opportunity.”
Savings interest rates have slowly been going up in the last few months, and the Federal Reserve has continued to raise interest rates to address inflation. If you’re ready to take charge of your savings and find ways to earn more interest on your money, here are five options to explore.
1. Ask your bank for an increase in your savings rate
While savings interest rates have tentatively increased in the last few months across various financial institutions, this doesn’t necessarily mean your savings account will see a sudden bump in its rate.
If your bank hasn’t made an announcement yet, Maggie Gomez, CFP® professional and owner of Money with Maggie, suggests asking your bank for an increase in the current rate you receive.
Gomez explains some financial institutions won’t immediately deliver a higher rate unless consumers get proactive. “Later, to be more competitive, they’ll increase their rates more publicly, but I think it’ll be really slow,” Gomez adds.
2. Search online financial institutions for a high-yield savings account
According to the FDIC, the national average rate interest rate on savings accounts is 0.17% APY as of May 2022. However, several financial institutions pay much more than the national rate.
Jerel Butler, CFP® professional and founder of Millennial Financial Solutions, suggests looking at online financial institutions for competitive interest rates on savings accounts.
“It’s a little bit tricky with inflation going on,” Butler notes. “The best savings option for a typical savings account is an online savings account.”
Most banks earn compound interest daily. Meanwhile, credit unions usually earn compound interest monthly. If you’re not sure about your account’s compound frequency, contact your bank’s customer support.
3. Consider switching banks if the rate is worth it
Butler says you should also take the time to explore other financial institutions and compare different savings accounts.
“This is a great chance to take advantage of the rising interest rate market, and you may be able to take advantage of a welcome bonus at another bank,” adds Butler. “A lot of banks — as a result of the higher interest rates — are running special promotions, too.”
If you find a specific account that provides more compelling offers than your current bank, you might consider switching institutions.
4. Buy savings bonds
Savings bonds are federally issued debt securities. Lindsey Bell, chief markets and money strategist for Ally, says federally issued bonds are a safe investment option, although there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
“There’s a limit on what you can invest in those. They are also probably a little more volatile than a CD or savings account, so you have to take that into account,” explains Bell.
5. Build a CD ladder with short-term CDs if you find a competitive rate
Butler says building a CD ladder might be ideal if you find a competitive rate and are generally risk-averse. However, if you’re not risk-averse, Butler adds there are more options you should consider first.
CD ladders offer a way to take advantage of higher interest rates on CDs. Instead of depositing all your money into a single CD and locking your deposits for a set time, you’ll split your savings into a mix of term lengths.
Bell suggests sticking to CDs under one or two-year terms. If interest rates increase during the year, a CD ladder provides enough flexibility to buy a new CD once your short-term accounts mature.
Alpari is one of the largest Forex brokers that acquired experience over the years of operation, while was founded in 1998 by three partners in Russia that started from zero, passed through all complications, crises and managed to become a global trading company.
Currently, Alpari offers a wide range of quality services for modern internet trading on the foreign exchange currency market with over a million clients from 150 different countries and serves global offices in UK, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Belize, Moldova, Mauritius, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Georgia & many more.
Alpari is a reliable broker due to its strong standing and long years of operation. There are numerous instruments available for trading including Binary Options, the education. Research and analysis section is just great, Alpari is good for beginning traders, also provides automatic trading and participates in various projects.
10 Points Summary
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
SVG FSC, FSC
Forex, spot metals, CFDs, Cryptocurrency and Binary Options
💰 EUR/USD Spread
🎮 Demo Account
Available with Demo Contests
💳 Minimum deposit
💰 Base currencies
USD, EUR, RUB, GOLD, BTC
Dedicated education with research tools
☎ Customer Support
An additional feature is the numerous projects and sponsorships that broker performs in various social activities, like supporting Children by Charitable Fund, the partnership with football, biathlon, rugby, chess teams and Mountineers team support.
Alpari is not a scam it operates for many years and has quite good reputation, Yet, Alpari is a well-established and known brand, which proved its history and transparent product offering by the millions of clients they serve and a long history of successful operation.
Alpari is an international company, which holds several regulatory licenses in order to be able to offer its services globally, which includes licenses from the Financial Services Authority of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the International Financial Services Commission of Belize.
In addition, Alpari is a member of The Financial Commission, an international organization engaged in the resolution of disputes within the financial services industry in the Forex market.
Forex trading performed at Alpari additionally to all attractive features also offers highest leverage of a maximum 1:1000.
Generally, the Forex major currency pairs allow levels of 1:500, and then depending on the chosen trading instrument, thus minor currency pair most often allows leverage of 1:400, while commodities are set to 1:100.
Nevertheless, remember to learn how to use leverage smartly, as a high set level may play against you as well, which dramatically increases your risks while trading.Trading InstrumentsAlpari trading offering consists of Forex – currency pairs, spot metals, CFDs along with Cryptocurrency trading and Binary Options.
Moreover, there is a choice between the execution model you want to use, as Alpari offers two options of orders, a Standard which means the company puts only the aggregate position of all client account and execute based on streaming quoted using Instant Execution.
And another option is an automatic ECN technology via MT4 Bridge, which connects Alpari’s servers to the ECN, means trader’s orders executed at market price. Account typesThere are 4 various account types available as retail trading accounts at Alpari, as well investment through PAMM accounts. The available accounts offering includes specifically designed accounts for various needs either through the choice between platforms MT4 or MT5, alpari.binary, as well as the size of lots and Standard trading feature or PAMM.
It is great at Alpari that you can start trading in the Forex currency market with any amount of funds on the account since there are no minimum deposit requirements. There is also a Demo account, as well traders can sign for a Forex live account to keep the risks as low as possible through trading with a nano.mt4 account where the currency is traded through cents.
Alpari offers two types of execution the standard or through ECN connection, hence the charges of spread will be applicable according to the chosen method and starting from 0.0 pips. To see full fees always check funding fees, inactivity fees or other commissions.
While the Alpari trading fees, which are built into the Alparispread considered to be on a very competitive level among the market offering, you can check out and compare Alpari fees to FP Markets. See below Standard account trading fees.
EUR USD Spread
Crude Oil WTI Spread
BTC USD Spread
Overnight fees Also, always consider the overnight fee you will pay in case the order is held longer than a day. As an example, going short for EurUsd currency pair will cost you 0.65, and long position -1.31.
Methods of Payment
So once you need to fund a live trading account, you’ll have a selection through major payment options along with special offers from the company, for commission-free deposits. However, few options may be eligible for fees, thus check it with customer service as to your applicable region.
Payment methods including
Bank Wire Transfers,
credit or debits cards
electronic payments Skrill, Neteller, WebMoney, eBanking, and FasaPay.
In addition, traders within the Alpari are able to perform account-to-account transfer in USD, EUR, and GLD currencies with no commissions.
Alpariminimum deposit amount starting from 0$ for Nano MT4 account and moves on further from 20$ and 500$ respectively for ECN accounts.Alpari minimum deposit vs other brokers
Most Other Brokers
Alpari deposit fees are 0$ for some of the payments, including 0% fee for Cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Litecoin and Zcash. Alpari provides various withdrawal options, however additional payment methods may incur additional charges and depend on the provider and region you sending from.
Alpari offers as a trading platform the most popular and known MT4 along with its advanced generation MT5. There is no matter which device to use since there are available versions for PC, Android or iOS devices that allows earning anywhere.Actually, there is no need to explain a lot about MT4, as it is a choice of millions of traders across the world that are able to enjoy the functionality of the platform and its comprehensive features. Also, EAs at Alpari are allowed with no restrictions, and traders of any style are welcomed.
In case you prefer MT5, which is the latest generation of the earlier popular version, the platform will bring additional orders and instruments for analysis with increased functions assisting in trading even more efficient.And the last, but not the lease is a Binary trader, which is a platform developed by Alpari specifically for binary trading delivers a simple, but effective user-friendly platform along with allowance to perform trading via the mobile application.Therefore, the trader of any experience and size can count on a trading performance powered by the great choice of software that enhances strategies and general possibilities.
Along with that, Alpari designed truly dedicated support to their traders, while novices who have just taken their first steps onto the Forex market can enroll into one of the InvestmentAcademy’s educational courses. The courses will teach not only the basics of Forex but also different methods of analysis that will give some unique insights, how to avoid common pitfalls and minimize your losses.
Also, Alpari provides a vast of analytical support and analysis through trusted sources, alike fundamental analysis provided by Forex economic calendar and news from FxWirePro, with Technical analysis from Trading Central and signals from AutochartistOverall, Alpari review features the company with a long history of operation, which passed numerous crises and hard times nevertheless managed to offer global services to the thousands of their clients. The Alpari brand indeed reputable one among the market offering, notwithstanding the fact of its weak point of recent regulation.
Nevertheless, we can recommend Alpari as a trustable broker to trade with.Alpari solutions meets various traders’ needs, throughout different types of execution and a variety of tools to choose from. In addition, the broker shows great learning capabilities and support, as well as the variety of generous programs alike contest, cashback options, etc that are definitely a plus to the company portfolio and advantage to you as a trader.