200: How to Improve Your Credit Score

Join Josh and Austin as they dive into the world of improving your credit score. In this episode, the guys break down the basics: what exactly is a credit score, why it matters, and most importantly, practical steps to making it better. This episode is your go-to guide for boosting your credit score and securing a healthier financial future.

 

Main Talking Points

[1:28] – The Basics of Your Credit Score
[4:13] – The Five Criteria That Determine Your Credit Score
[6:48] – How Do I Know My Credit Score?
[9:13] – Dad Joke of the Week
[9:50] – How to Improve Your Credit Score
[18:00] – Josh & Austin’s Final Thoughts & Opinions

 

Links & Resources

 

Full Transcript

Welcome to The Invested Dads Podcast, simplifying financial topics so that you can take action and make your financial situation better. Helping you to understand the current world of financial planning and investments, here are your hosts, Josh Robb and Austin Wilson.

Austin Wilson:

All right. Hey, hey. Welcome back to The Invested Dads Podcast, the podcast where we take you on a journey to better your financial future. I’m Austin Wilson, Co-Portfolio Manager at Hixson Zuercher Capital Management.

Josh Robb:

I’m Josh Robb, Director of Wealth Management at Hixson Zuercher Capital Management. Austin. How can people help us grow our podcast?

Austin Wilson:

We would love it if you’d subscribe if you’re not subscribed already. Hit that plus follow, subscribe, whatever buttons on your podcast player. That way you get new episodes when they drop on Thursdays, and it would really help us out if you would leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, or heaven forbid, if someone uses Google Podcast.

Josh Robb:

It’s the best.

Austin Wilson:

Is that thing?

Josh Robb:

It’s a great podcast playing service.

Austin Wilson:

You could leave us a review there too, and you’ll see five stars, easy to find. Beautiful. Today we are actually going to be revisiting a topic that we had talked about in 2020. This is three and a half, four years ago. Holy moly.

Josh Robb:

It’s a long time ago.

Austin Wilson:

Long time ago. Today we are going to be talking about credit scores, which is what we did talk about back then.

Josh Robb:

Yep.

Austin Wilson:

We’re going to revisit some stuff and we’re going to link that episode of the show notes. We are going to be talking about how to improve.

Josh Robb:

We’re really going to focus on that, your score, how to improve.

Austin Wilson:

And really whether it’s important or not.

Josh Robb:

Yep.

Austin Wilson:

The factors there.

 

[1:28] – The Basics of Your Credit Score

 Josh Robb:

Yep. Your credit score is a representation of your credit worthiness, which all that means is just saying it’s a way of putting a value to how likely you are to pay debt that you incur.

Austin Wilson:

It’s really a way for lenders to be able to compare you to others.

Josh Robb:

Yes, yes, and to then see how much risk they want to take with you. As it works out, the lower the number, the less they’re likely wanting to lent to you, or if they decide to, it’ll be at a higher rate. They’re taking more risk.

Austin Wilson:

It’s not like golf. You want a higher number.

Josh Robb:

You want a higher score here, but that’s how it works. Some jobs run a credit score on you. They’re not lending you money, but that’s an indicator of how you manage your finances, which may, for some industries, be important. A credit check actually could be run by your employer as well. That number’s important for many different things, not just for lending money or getting lent money, but it may also be for jobs as well.

Austin Wilson:

Josh, what is the most common way to find your number? What kind of number is that?

Josh Robb:

Yeah, so FICO score, F-I-C-O, FICO is the score that most people use in the United States for credit tracking. It ranges from 300 to 850.

Austin Wilson:

Remember, higher is better.

Josh Robb:

Higher is better. I don’t know why those numbers are where they are, but that’s where they are. You could actually have a zero credit score if you have no credit history. You don’t get penalized for it, it doesn’t exist.

Austin Wilson:

Right.

Josh Robb:

Anything above 800 and 850 is considered exceptional.

Austin Wilson:

Okay.

Josh Robb:

740 to 800 is very good.

Austin Wilson:

Yep.

Josh Robb:

670 to 739 is good.

Austin Wilson:

Yep.

Josh Robb:

580 to 669 is fair, 300 to 579 is poor.

Austin Wilson:

Gotcha.

Josh Robb:

If you just think in general terms, 300 to 550, poor credit score, 550 to 750 is okay.

Austin Wilson:

Average.

Josh Robb:

Okay. Anything 750 and above is good for the most part. I mean, anything above 800 is awesome, but if you can get above 750, you’re doing good. Most banks are just going to be pretty excited to lend to you. That’s kind of a target point for you from there, and better interest rates, like I mentioned. The other thing I didn’t say is a lot of times when you’re going to try to get an apartment, things like that, they’ll run your credit there too. It really matters from a standpoint of loans that your credit score is good.

Austin Wilson:

You’ve mentioned that we each are assigned a number based on our overall credit worthiness.

Josh Robb:

Yep.

Austin Wilson:

How does that number get calculated?

Josh Robb:

Yes, we’re going to come back to this list later when we talk about how to improve each one.

Austin Wilson:

Okay.

 

[4:13] – The Five Criteria That Determine Your Credit Score

 Josh Robb:

Here’s our five ways that your credit score is calculated. Each of these are weighted differently, and so we’ll talk about that too on how best to improve it. The first one is payment history. How well do you pay your debt? It looks at your history of payments on time, where you late, did you miss a payment, all those things. That accounts for 35% of this credit score, your payment history,

Austin Wilson:

That’s the biggest chunk.

Josh Robb:

Yep. The second one is your total amount owed.

Austin Wilson:

Yep.

Josh Robb:

That measures just how much debt do you have total. If you have a mortgage and you have a credit card and you have a loan, like a car loan or whatever, all that’s added together and that’s your total debt owed. That’s 30% of your credit score.

Austin Wilson:

Well, so it’s as a proportion, right? If you’re looking at credit cards, that factors in the limit and what’s on the card versus the limit, right?

Josh Robb:

Yes. If you have a credit card that has a $5,000 spending limit and you have $1,000 on it, that’s a percentage of your usage of your credit, and that factors into that score as well.

Austin Wilson:

Gotcha.

Josh Robb:

Yep. Length of credit is 15% of your score, and that’s how long have you used credit? That’s one that you can’t really change. It is what it is.

Austin Wilson:

This has an impact on credit lines too.

Josh Robb:

Yes.

Austin Wilson:

If you look at, it’s not necessarily length of your credit history as much how long has any one credit vehicle been open?

Josh Robb:

Yep. When we talk about improving it, that’s one thing, but it’s not something you can quickly improve.

Austin Wilson:

No.

Josh Robb:

You can’t speed time up.

Austin Wilson:

In fact, if you do something quick as we’re going to talk about, you can actually damage it more than help it.

Josh Robb:

Yes. Yep. Another one is new accounts. How many new credit openings have you done in the X amount of years? They usually look at 12 and 24 months. 10% of your overall score comes from that. What types of credit do you have? Different types of credit account differently, and that’s 10% of your score, because again, some are backed by assets like a mortgage and some are unsecured like a credit card.

Austin Wilson:

Yeah, mortgages, cars even, these sorts of things that are asset backed generally are viewed as more favorable and less risky because the bank could theoretically go and take either your house or your car and get some of their risk back.

Josh Robb:

Yep.

Austin Wilson:

Whereas even things like this is the controversial one, even things like student loans, can’t take that back.

Josh Robb:

Yep.

Austin Wilson:

It’s unsecured.

Josh Robb:

Yep.

Austin Wilson:

Credit cards is great. Once it’s spent, it’s done. They’re not going to go get the big screen TV.

Josh Robb:

Yep.

Austin Wilson:

That’s also why interest rates are higher on these things.

Josh Robb:

Mm-hmm. Yeah. There’s a higher risk. That amounts for 10% of your overall score.

Austin Wilson:

Yep.

 

[6:48] – How Do I Know My Credit Score?

 Josh Robb:

That’s how they break up your score. When we come back from our break, we’re going to talk about how you can prove different pieces of those, which ones you want to focus on. Before we do that, the question is, okay, well that’s what a credit score is. How do I know what my credit score is?

Austin Wilson:

True.

Josh Robb:

By federal law, every consumer has a right to a free copy of their credit report once every 12 months. There are three main credit agencies that track your credit. You are allowed to get a free report from each of those every 12 months.

Austin Wilson:

Yep.

Josh Robb:

You can get three reports each time. If you spread that out, you can really just know every four months or so how your credit is doing for free. There are exceptions to that. You can actually get more if your credit has been compromised, so you can keep a better eye on it, or if there’s been certain issues or things that have happened to you, you then can get additional free reports from them.

Austin Wilson:

Checking your credit does not impact negatively your credit.

Josh Robb:

Correct.

Austin Wilson:

Now credit inquiries from a potential lender does, but checking your credit does not.

Josh Robb:

That’s correct. When you use your free credit reports, that does not impact, does not adjust your credit score. I will note a lot of credit cards, banks now have what is essentially an ongoing view of your credit.

Austin Wilson:

Yeah.

Josh Robb:

Again, that does not affect your credit score. It’s services that they may provide, may cost money, may not, depending on what you have, but I know a lot of banks and credit cards are utilizing that as just kind of another incentive to have them. In that case, you can actually get more than three times a year look at it because they kind of have this ongoing way of tracking it for you.

Austin Wilson:

It might not always match up completely, but it’s very close.

Josh Robb:

Correct. There are two federal agencies that have a lot of resources on this. If you’re ever worried or concerned about what’s going on with your credit, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, CFPB, and the Federal Trade Commission, FTC, which I’m more familiar with that one than the other one, there are online websites and portals for them to help people out. The FTC is a great one to go to. In fact, that’s where I got some of this information from. One last thing, the three reports that I talked about, Equifax, Experian, TransUnion, those are the three where you can get your free credit reports from.

Austin Wilson:

Before we get to how to improve your score, that’s really what everyone’s here.

Josh Robb:

That’s what they want to know.

 

[9:13] – Dad Joke of the Week 

Austin Wilson:

We are going to take a little bit of a laugh. Josh, you mentioned you’re going to a wedding this weekend.

Josh Robb:

I’m going to a wedding this weekend.

Austin Wilson:

Have you ever been to a wedding for something that’s not necessarily people?

Josh Robb:

No.

Austin Wilson:

See then this is not going to really be that funny, but it might be. We’re going to find out.

Josh Robb:

I’m going to try.

Austin Wilson:

Suppose you were going to a wedding for a couple of antennas.

Josh Robb:

Antennas? Okay.

Austin Wilson:

What would you think of the two antennas wedding?

Josh Robb:

I would say their wedding was boring, but I liked their reception.

Austin Wilson:

That’s exactly it. You’ve heard that one before.

Josh Robb:

I haven’t. I just thought of the antenna, reception.

Austin Wilson:

I thought that was fun.

Josh Robb:

I like that. I like that. Okay.

Austin Wilson:

All right, and we’re back.

Josh Robb:

All right, coming back.

 

[9:50] – How to Improve Your Credit Score

 Austin Wilson:

Today, now we’re here to talk about how to improve your credit score. As a reminder, we have five components. Number one, payment history, we’re going to talk about these each, 35% of your score. Number two, amount owed or you credit usage, 30% of your score. Number three, length of credit history, 15% of your score.

Josh Robb:

Mm-hmm.

Austin Wilson:

Number four, new accounts, 10% of your score. Number, five types of credit, 10% of your score. As Josh mentioned, step one, look at your credit report.

Josh Robb:

Yep.

Austin Wilson:

Get it, look at it, study it, make sure that it’s not inaccurate, because lot of times there is inaccuracies on there like, “Hey, I thought I closed that,” or, “Hey,” yada, yada, yada. That’s not for me. That’s a red flag. Dispute your discrepancies. Make sure your credit report is as accurate as possible. Once you get to the point where your credit score is good.

Josh Robb:

I recommend that being first because all these other things, if your credit report is not accurate, your score doesn’t really reflect you. You may be trying to improve or change a score that’s not even the right one.

Austin Wilson:

Yep.

Josh Robb:

First and foremost, get your free credit report. Look through it. Look at each and every one. I would say if you haven’t done it in a while, get all three or at least get two of them. You may find sometimes one of those has something that the others don’t.

Austin Wilson:

Right.

Josh Robb:

If this is your first time checking your credit, maybe get all three. I know you can only do it once a year, but your goal is to make sure you’re correct and everything’s lined up and you’re going to try to improve it, get all three, make sure that all three have the same data.

Austin Wilson:

Yeah.

Josh Robb:

They all report it a little differently so you may find it a little separate, but make sure it all lines up. Look at open credit, close credit, reports, how many times people have asked for it. Make sure it all makes sense.

Austin Wilson:

Absolutely.

Josh Robb:

Once you’ve done that, and if you fix anything that you need to, but you just reach out to whoever has something wrong to tell them about it and then take care of it from there.

Austin Wilson:

Once you have your correct score, it’s accurate anyway, then you can work on improving your score through each of the five levers we can pull here, all the buckets. We’re starting number one.

Josh Robb:

Payment history.

Austin Wilson:

Payment history.

Josh Robb:

The first thing is bills on time. Wow, that’s like mind-blowing. I know.

Austin Wilson:

Super simple.

Josh Robb:

I mean it’s common sense, but that’s something that dings your credit score pretty good.

Austin Wilson:

Yeah.

Josh Robb:

Paying on time affects that payment history, and that’s 35% of your score.

Austin Wilson:

Yeah.

Josh Robb:

Paying on time, making sure that you set up automatic payments.

Austin Wilson:

That’s what I was about to say.

Josh Robb:

If you’re so worried about missing a payment, just make it automatic.

Austin Wilson:

There is no excuse to have a late payment.

Josh Robb:

Mm-mm.

Austin Wilson:

With every credit card I’ve ever had, has the ability to automatically deduct the full statement balance every month.

Josh Robb:

Yes. It’s super easy. Set it up.

Austin Wilson:

Don’t think about it.

Josh Robb:

Yeah.

Austin Wilson:

Don’t think about it.

Josh Robb:

Just set up and be done. That comes back to, we’ve had conversations about credit card usage. Credit cards are great for people who have a handle on their expenses because you’re going to have a limit that’s maybe above what you should be spending, and you don’t want to overspend on a credit card because obligated to pay that back. The interest rates are 30% and you don’t want to be stuck with that.

Austin Wilson:

Absolutely.

Josh Robb:

Pay them on time.

Austin Wilson:

That’s not just credit cards, that’s all credit.

Josh Robb:

Yes.

Austin Wilson:

Every credit has the ability to have an on automatic payment, a car loan, a mortgage. It’s all the same. Set it up automatic on or before the due date.

Josh Robb:

Yep. Pay on time’s first one, second one, staying at or below 30% of your total credit limit. This comes to the amount owed section, 30% of your overall score. Well, 30% of your credit eligibility. Again, going back to my example, if you have $5,000 credit limit on your credit card and you want to stay below that, you don’t want to spend more than $1,500 on that credit card to stay 30% or below that limit.

Austin Wilson:

That’s really overall your credit.

Josh Robb:

Yeah, that was just an example.

Austin Wilson:

Yes.

Josh Robb:

What they’re looking at is total amount available to you and then how much you have on all your debt, and then that’s your percentage. 30% or below gives you the best score for that. Don’t spend over your credit limit in any one spot. That’s the other thing too, is you can get exceptions and go above, that can hurt you. Make sure you’re utilizing credit between the right places. For instance, if you have two cards, don’t max out one card. Maybe spread it between the two to keep your limits in range.

Austin Wilson:

It makes a lot of sense.

Josh Robb:

Yeah. All right. Length of credit history. This is one we talked about.

Austin Wilson:

Oh yeah.

Josh Robb:

It’s hard to fix or improve because you just got to wait time.

Austin Wilson:

Yeah.

Josh Robb:

The key to this though is keep your oldest credit card opened, even if you don’t use it as your main credit card. You may have one from your bank from a long time ago, but now you found a better one that gives you good points or whatever the reason is, keep that old one open. It’s got your history to it and maybe just put one automatic bill on it or just make sure it stays active, whatever you need to do to keep it active. That’ll keep your history length going. Then what you said is very important. You can actually hurt your credit score if you say, “I want to clean up my credit,” which is nothing wrong with that.

Austin Wilson:

Right.

Josh Robb:

Just be careful that that longest credit history one is important. Now if you have two, one’s 11 years, one’s 10 years, you could probably knock the 11-year off and not worry about it. In general, that longest one’s given you your best score by having a length of on-time payments, that’s the other piece.

Austin Wilson:

I will say another factor to consider, say you’re trying to close a credit account of some sort, aside from length of credit, is actually your available credit as a pool also goes down.

Josh Robb:

Mm-hmm.

Austin Wilson:

Then all of a sudden your higher usage shows up and you don’t want that to happen either. Actually closing old credit cards can, I’m not a proponent for having them open forever if you don’t use them, but if you’re going to wind them down, wind them down when they naturally turn off after a long time, you’ve got a bunch of other old ones still on or whatever, don’t force it.

Josh Robb:

Yeah.

Austin Wilson:

Otherwise, that can really put you in a bind.

Josh Robb:

Yeah. Unless they have high annual fees or something that is hurting you elsewhere.

Austin Wilson:

Yeah.

Josh Robb:

Again, your credit score is not the end all be all, but these are ways you can improve it or keep an eye on it. There may be other reasons why you know it’ll affect your credit score, but it’s for the long-term benefit, but yes, you’re right. All right. Have a mix of different credit types. It’s important, again, when we talked about that the ones that are secured or backed by something are better forms of debt, but having a variety of ones and showing on-time payments for different types really improves your score.

Austin Wilson:

Yep.

Josh Robb:

Then new accounts, 10% of your score, avoid it. Avoid trying to get credit inquiries on there.

Austin Wilson:

Yep.

Josh Robb:

If you’re saying, “Hey, I am shopping for a new car,” at some point someone’s going to run your credit, but make sure you’re not having every place you go to looking for a car, running your credit because that is not going to be good. Only have a run credit when you’re ready to actually make a deal, of you know I’m going to be getting a home and going to get a mortgage, maybe don’t buy a car in the same year where they’re going to pull your credit because again, that second person’s going to see a ding on there. Understand that it usually stays on for about 24 months, 12 to 24 months. Just keep an eye on how many times your credit is going to be accessed. If you notice those on there, you can resolve those, but again, if it’s a real inquiry, you can’t just ask for those to be removed because they’re legitimate. If there’s a reason for them to request or seek your credit and they have a right to it, no one’s going to remove that for you.

Austin Wilson:

Exactly.

Josh Robb:

All right, now the last thing I want to talk about, those are the main ways you yourself can improve your credit, all right? You may have seen commercials or heard elsewhere, there are companies that help you improve your credit score.

Austin Wilson:

Yeah, I see commercials and whatnot all the time.

Josh Robb:

Yeah. Does hiring one of those make sense? People hire credit repair companies to help them investigate mistakes on their credit report and also look for all the negative information that is on there to see if it’s accurate and correct, and then they can improve your score. Now everything they do is legal and everything they do is fine, but the thing is everything they do, you can do yourself for free.

Austin Wilson:

Oh yeah.

Josh Robb:

It’s just a matter of do you want to pay somebody for the time spent that you don’t want to do?

Austin Wilson:

Exactly.

Josh Robb:

If you look through your credit score and you fix up what’s there, and then you just focus on things we talked about, you’ll improve your credit score without hiring a company.

Austin Wilson:

I agree.

Josh Robb:

I don’t think it’s necessary. We can prove our credit score.

Austin Wilson:

Yes, we can.

Josh Robb:

The biggest thing is on-time payments, making sure we don’t have late payments. All right. That’s the first and best thing you can do. It’s also important as a financial advisor, make sure you’re aware of your finances in being prudent with your spending.

Austin Wilson:

Of course.

 

[18:00] – Josh & Austin’s Final Thoughts & Opinions

 Josh Robb:

From there, just make sure you’re not doing too much debt based on what year’s available to you, not too many new credit inquiries, making sure that you don’t cancel the longest account because that’ll hurt you for time-wise. All those can help you improve here. What are your thoughts on credit score in general, Austin?

Austin Wilson:

Yeah, I mean, I probably used to care more than I do now as I was younger and probably use credit. Nowadays, the only real reason that I would want to use credit on a frequent basis would be a home purchase.

Josh Robb:

Yep.

Austin Wilson:

That’s the biggest one.

Josh Robb:

Mm-hmm.

Austin Wilson:

I tend to try and pay cash for vehicles when I can. My credit cards, I pay on time every month automatically and don’t really have things outside of that. That’s the biggest thing because it’s really hard to come up with $250,000 for a house.

Josh Robb:

Yes.

Austin Wilson:

That’s debt on an appreciating asset. Debt on a depreciating asset, sometimes inevitable but not ideal. I try to avoid that at all costs. I think it’s important. I think it’s important to keep track of your number, to keep track of your reports to make sure it’s not inaccurate.

Josh Robb:

Yep.

Austin Wilson:

I’ve had had some fraudulent things pop up and I’ve had to keep an eye on it, or I didn’t get them removed and clean things up. It’s a headache for one, but it’s good to know what’s out there. I don’t know. I am not hung up on it if my credit score goes up or down by five or 10 points a year or whatever, but some people really want to get a lot better credit for better loan terms on other things in the future, and it may be more important to you. That’s kind of where I’m at. What about you?

Josh Robb:

I’m in the same boat. I think credit is useful. Debt in certain instances is a good tool to utilize because again, there are issues with using money that is compounding and taking it out of that compounding period and shortening the time it has to grow, there’s reasons why debt makes sense, like you said. In order to get the best deal for debt, you need a good credit score. Yes, you need to be aware. The older you get, the more settled you are in where you are and what you’re doing, the less important it is. At some point, like for instance, we were just counseling somebody, a client of ours who is in their latest stages of life and actually are in a nursing home. The question was, “Hey, let’s just freeze your credit, because the worst thing that can happen to you is somebody gets ahold of it and does something.”

Austin Wilson:

Yeah.

Josh Robb:

“You’re not using it, you’re not buying homes, you’re not buying cars, you’re not doing anything that’s going to need a credit check. You’re already where you are.”

Austin Wilson:

Yep.

Josh Robb:

“Just lock it up and freeze it,” and we’ve talked about them pass how to freeze your credit. The thing is, at some point it becomes irrelevant. You’re not going to need it anymore.

Austin Wilson:

You should have everything taken care of.

Josh Robb:

On the other end of things with your kids, that’s another thing to keep on. You could not realize it, but everybody that has a social security number could potentially have credit.

Austin Wilson:

Right.

Josh Robb:

You’d hate to find out when they turn 18 that somebody’s been utilizing them fraudulently and ruin their credit.

Austin Wilson:

Minors too can get free credit reports.

Josh Robb:

Yes.

Austin Wilson:

Run the credit reports on your kids.

Josh Robb:

Check it out, and you could potentially freeze it at.

Austin Wilson:

Maybe it’s not every year or whatever, but once in a while, check it out.

Josh Robb:

Yeah, you could potentially freeze it until they’re a certain age and unfreeze it. That’s where I’m at. 67% Americans have a good credit score.

Austin Wilson:

That’s not bad.

Josh Robb:

21%, almost 22% of that group have a high score of 800 or greater.

Austin Wilson:

Wow.

Josh Robb:

There’s a good group there. It’s a goal. Some people get excited trying to get there, but in the end, if you can get, like I said, about that 750 mark, you’re probably okay from that point. I’m just curious how many, so I had to do a quick look.

Austin Wilson:

Americans in total, we have a love of debt, and so if you compare our debt usage and things to other people around the world, probably looks a lot different.

Josh Robb:

Yep.

Austin Wilson:

It’s good to know that we at least hopefully paying our bills. Awesome. Well, thank you for listening. This was an informative episode. Like we said, we’ll link our original episode talking about credit score in the show notes. I would listen to that one first. We go into more detail on how it’s calculated and all of that. Hopefully this one can help people get in the right direction as they look to maybe improve their credit score over time. Thanks for listening and thanks for being here. Stay tuned for our next episode, and please share this episode if you had someone asking you about how to improve their credit score. Feel free to always email us any ideas for new episodes to hello@theinvesteddads.com. Until next episode, have a great one.

Josh Robb:

Talk to you later.

Austin Wilson:

Bye.

Thank you for listening to The Invested Dads Podcast. This episode has ended, but your journey towards a better financial future doesn’t have to. Head over to theinvesteddads.com to access all the links and resources mentioned in today’s show. If you enjoyed this episode and we had a positive impact on your life, leave us a review. Click subscribe and don’t miss the next episode.

Josh Robb and Austin Wilson Work for Hixson Zuercher Capital Management. All opinions expressed by Josh, Austin, or any podcast guest are solely their own opinions and do not reflect the opinions of Hixson. Zuercher Capital Management. This podcast is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for investment decisions. Clients of Hixson Zuercher Capital Management may maintain positions in the securities discussed in this podcast. There is no guarantee that the statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns. Securities investing involves risk, including the potential for loss of principle. There is no assurance that any investment plan or strategy will be successful.