Baron Financial Group Supports SCARC Foundation

In support of the SCARC Foundation, members of Baron Financial Group attended the 2018 SCARC Foundation Honors and Leadership Awards Celebration on March 22, 2018.

SCARC Inc., an organization serving people with developmental disabilities, is dedicated to the empowerment and support of persons with developmental disabilities and their families. The organization will facilitate partnerships with community resources, assist in maximum community participation, promote individual planning based on choices, preferences and needs, and foster the development of socially valued roles for each person served. For more information, visit the SCARC website at scarc.org.

At Baron, we recognize that the financial planning challenges faced by families with special needs members are significant.  We take great pride in helping families address today’s needs and plan for those that are likely to follow.  For more information about our services for families with special needs, visit our special needs page.

Responsible Guidance: What to Do If Your Email Has Been Hacked

A 30-second read by the Baron Team:

How do you know if your email has been hacked?

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), your email may have been hacked if:

  • Your family and friends tell you that they received emails from you that you didn’t send
  • You are unable to login to your email
  • Your sent folder shows emails you never wrote or sent, or your sent folder is empty, etc.

What are the next steps if you have been hacked?

If you think that your email has been hacked, the FTC recommends these five steps:

  1. Make sure you have security software on your computer & remove any malware
  2. Change your passwords
  3. See what information is available from your email provider about how to restore your account
  4. Check account settings for anything unfamiliar
  5. Let friends and family know that you are having issues with your email so they know to ignore any messages with links, etc. that might come from your email.

To read more tips from the FTC on this topic, click here.

For more information on Cybersecurity, please view our
Personal Cybersecurity Webinar.

Please reach out to your Baron Team with any questions.

BFG at the ballpark: We say “Thank You” to Our Clients and Friends

A 30-second read by the Baron Team:  With spring right around the corner, Baron Financial Group hosted a client-appreciation event at the spring-training home of the Baltimore Orioles. The March 14th game versus the New York Yankees ended in a 7 to 4 win for the Orioles.  This is our third year hosting a client event at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida. An extra special treat for our guests, and advisors, was a visit from the Oriole Bird!

Victor Cannillo, Tony Benante and Nick Scheibner, of Baron Financial Group, with the Oriole mascot

It is our custom to make a donation to a local charity whenever we host a client-appreciation event.  Continuing with our tradition, a donation has been made in honor of our clients and friends to the “All Faiths Food Bank” in Sarasota.

Baron’s purpose is to help our clients reach their financial goals and to secure a better future for them and their families. In keeping with our goal to help others with their financial security, the firm is committed to helping those less fortunate.

Taking a Closer Look at ETFs – the Importance of Liquidity when Investing

A 30-second read by Nicholas Scheibner: You may have heard about low- or no-expense-ratio Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), but cost is not the most important factor when investing in an ETF – it’s liquidity. You want to make sure that the ETF you’re investing in has a high daily volume of trading. Everything can seem great with an ETF when markets are going up, but when things are going down, and you want to sell out of your fund, you may take a big loss.

To illustrate this, picture a room with 100 people, and a door that can only fit one person at a time.  Imagine everyone wanting to leave the room at the same time.  As you can imagine, there would be a rush to the door, and it would be difficult for everyone to get out – a similar theory applies to ETFs.  If there are very few people trading an ETF on a daily basis, it can be difficult to sell at the price you would like. You want to invest in an ETF that has a lot of activity, (a large door), so that when you want to exit, you can at a reasonable price. 

For more information on ETFs, you can read our “What are some differences between Exchange-Traded Funds and Index Mutual Funds? ” article.

For any other questions, please reach out to your Baron Team

Responsible Guidance: Tips to avoid Phishing Scams

A 60-second read by the Baron Team: It is not uncommon to turn on the news or read an article and hear about a new scam or hacking event. In the past, we have discussed tips to avoid phone scams and provided information about the Equifax data breach. Our Personal Cybersecurity webinar also contains helpful information. Below please find some phishing-scam tips provided by the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA). Baron Financial Group is a proud Fee-Only NAPFA firm, committed to providing financial education.

To learn more about NAPFA, click here.

  • Be cautious about opening attachments or clicking on links in emails. Even your colleague or friends’ accounts could be hacked. Files and links can contain malware that can weaken your computer’s security.
  • Do your own typing. If a company or organization you know sends you a link or phone number, don’t click. Use your favorite search engine to look up the website or phone number yourself. Even though a link or phone number in an email may look legitimate, scammers can hide the true destination.
  • Make the call if you’re not sure. Do not respond to any emails that request personal or financial information. Phishers use pressure tactics and prey on fear. If you think a company, friend or family member really does need personal information from you, pick up the phone and call them yourself using the number on their website or in your address book, not the one in the email.
  • Turn on two-factor authentication. For accounts that support it, two-factor authentication requires both your password and an additional piece of information to log in to your account. The second piece could be a code sent to your phone, or a random number generated by an app or a token. This protects your account even if your password is compromised. As an extra precaution, you may want to choose more than one type of second authentication (e.g. a PIN) in case your primary method (such as a phone) is unavailable.
  • Back up your files to an external hard drive or cloud storage. Back up your files regularly to protect yourself against viruses or a ransomware attack.
  • Keep your security up to date. Use security software you trust, and make sure you set it to update automatically.
  • Report phishing emails and texts.
    • Forward phishing emails to spam@uce.gov – and to the organization impersonated in the email. Your report is most effective when you include the full email header, but most email programs hide this information. To ensure the header is included, search the name of your email service with “full email header” into your favorite search engine.
    • File a report with the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov/complaint.
    • Visit Identitytheft.gov. Victims of phishing could become victims of identity theft; there are steps you can take to minimize your risk.

You can also report phishing emails to reportphishing@apwg.org. The Anti-Phishing Working Group – which includes ISPs, security vendors, financial institutions and law enforcement agencies – uses these reports to fight phishing.

For any further questions, please contact the Baron team