Berkshire Broadcast

 

Online security breaches where retailers are hacked and customers’ credit card information is stolen are becoming a regular part of the news cycle.

Cybercriminals can sell the data online to other criminals, who can then use the information to open bogus accounts in the names of legitimate customers, run up charges on the stolen credit cards and commit other acts of fraud.

The going rate for a U.S. credit card number and a software-generated card verification number is worth $5 to $8, according to a report by Intel Security called “The Hidden Data Economy.” If a bank ID number or date of birth is included, the black market price rises to $15.

Add in other details, such as a cardholder’s full name, address, mother’s maiden name and Social

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Your investing style and tolerance for risk can help determine what type of stock mutual funds you invest in. The two main types of funds — growth and value — have different characteristics that can match your investing style.

Owning a mix of both funds is probably a smart move, but it can still be worthwhile to understand how each fund works. Here are some short explanations of growth vs. value funds:

Characteristics

Growth businesses are likely to reinvest profits, instead of paying out dividends to shareholders, as a way to grow. Growth stocks can be seen as expensive and overvalued.

Growth stocks tend to be newer companies with products that are expected to be in high demand in the future.

Value funds are stocks that are undervalued

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The entrance of your home says a lot about your character, from interior design to overall aesthetics. Below are some helpful tips for making sure your space wows you and your guests every time.

Kill the clutter. Clutter is a huge no-no in your entryway, as it impacts the entire vibe of your space from the moment you set foot in the door. However, this can be hard, as the entryway is the space you dump your keys, mail, boots and coat. To remedy this, make sure you have designated, tucked away spaces for everything you store at the entrance of your home. Hooks for coats, baskets for mail and a covered bin for shoes can all work wonders.

Add a statement. Placing a beloved piece of art or furniture in the mouth of your home is a great way to

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Room Update – Try Color-Blocking

Repainting a room is one of the easiest ways to freshen the décor while changing the feel of the room. The hottest design trend this year takes this to a whole new level. Color-blocking techniques are dominating magazines and social media with vivid color palettes and bold geometric patterns, turning the traditional painting project into something special.

Color-blocking takes many forms—everything from a simple way to differentiate one space from another by changing the wall shade, to artistic pairings that would feel at home in a modern art gallery. Your style most likely falls somewhere in between. The common theme is to try something new while changing the feel of the room.

Before you start your project,

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Published by: Daisy Gregg

 

Sparked by pent-up demand, the ability to work from anywhere, and the need for more space, real estate sales are on the rise across the country, making it a prime time for would-be sellers to consider listing their home. But many of today’s buyers are coming to market with a new set of criteria for their next home. Here are some of the features topping their lists:

Home office. With an increasing number of work-from-home situations morphing from temporary to permanent, office space is a must-have for many of today’s homebuyers. If your home doesn’t currently have a dedicated work area, consider turning your guest room into a home office, or staging a quiet corner of a den or family room with a

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Mid-Century Modern vs. Contemporary

There has been a great deal of excitement in the design field concerning the MidCentury Modern style. This ’50s and ’60s home décor trend is evidenced in every furniture store as more brands are incorporating the vintage look with modern lines. Yet what differentiates a Mid-Century Modern style from one that is merely Contemporary?

Both styles tend toward the minimalist look, but Mid-Century often features more color. Colorful carpets, walls, and furnishings—as well as vibrant wall trims and wallpaper—are all signs of a Mid-Century room while Contemporary styles lean toward neutral tone-on-tone elements with limited design extras, such as pillows or rugs.

Another common design element is the clean lines of

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Looking to kick the caffeine? While a moderate amount of the buzzy stuff has been shown to have heart benefits, it’s easy to overdo it or find yourself addicted to that morning jolt. If you’re looking to slay your latte habit, consider the following tips.

Time it right. Quitting anything you’re addicted to is challenging, and coffee is no exception. Choose a time that will support your withdrawal. The Monday your big work project is due? Not the best time.

A long weekend is a great time to begin so that you can distract yourself or, at worst, lay down with that 3 p.m. headache.

Find a suitable substitution. If you don’t want to quit cold turkey, you can find a substitution. Some people like to guzzle tea, water, or even decaf coffee as

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Understanding the Back-Up Offer

When can I consider my home sold? This is one of the most common questions real estate agents are asked. While the laws vary in different states, generally the contract is binding once both parties sign the offer. At that time the closing process begins. This is also the time when sellers must stop considering other offers, but they can accept back-up offers.

What is a back-up offer? This is when the seller accepts an offer contingent upon the first one falling through. There are many reasons why the home purchase might not close—the buyer may fail to secure the loan, the home inspection may find issues the two parties can’t resolve, it could even be that the Homeowner’s Association has rules that the buyer is

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After Forbearance – Now What? 

Covid-19 has impacted homeowners across the country. With job losses and income reductions, many have taken advantage of the ability to enter a forbearance program with their lenders. During the forbearance program, the agreements state that no late fees will be assessed, and the balance of missed payments will be deferred to the end of the loan.

As a result, many homeowners have been able to keep their homes during this time of economic upheaval.

Some of these affected may now have stabilized incomes and are ready to exit forbearance. They might be wondering if they will be penalized for this if they choose to refinance or buy a new home. Fortunately, there is good news for these homeowners. Part of the program

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Looking for space to store your things at home?

Everything you own is competing for space in your house. Everyday items, such as clothes and exercise equipment, along with seasonal things like pool toys and Christmas decorations, are taking over your limited square footage.

You can create more space by moving some things around, but that doesn’t always solve the problem. Here’s where you can find additional storage space in a cluttered home:

Under the Bed
Don’t let the space under your bed go unused or gather dust. Buy some plastic bins and use them to store seasonal items such as winter clothes. Put your heavy sweaters in them during warm weather, and switch them out with your bathing suites and shorts during colder months.

If you

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