Tag Archives: Credit Agencies

August 2023 Audio Video Review – The Brain Tests the Systems- Social Security Statement/Web View Reminder – Four Downgrades Reviewed – Financial Planning and Capital Market Review – By John Kvale CFA, CFP

Hello and Welcome to our August Financial Planning and Capital Market Update!

If you are too busy to read, feel free to listen as we describe our post and thoughts in friendly podcast audio format as well as Video!

BREAK IN: Donald the Brain WILL BE reviewing the Schwab TDA Merger information only one of 32k folks to be asked!

Newbies –

We like to articulate our thoughts and review on a Monthly basis our Financial Planning Tips, Capital Markets thoughts and current events!

Hope you enjoy!

August 2023 Video


Financial Planning Tip(s)

Check that Social Security Statement no Matter your age

While a late delivery, we managed to remind all (including ourselves) why we need to review annually our Social Security statement, here in this post…. along with some new features from the SSA (Social Security Administration) in their updated website!

From the post:

Confirm your credits via your Earning History

Confirm you received credits for your hard earned money is very important, and easy…. here is what the screen shot look like – Below- oh, there are new drop downs for excellent help if your credits are not showing

Capital Market Comments

Not one, not two, not three …. but FOUR Downgrades with one called by ourselves – Tap Tap on the back

In this first post we commented that Fitch put a shot across the bow of the USA Credit Boat with a mild downgrade from AAA to AA+

Not to be outdone, another of the big three credit agencies, Moody’s chimed in as we discussed here

Then back into the pool goes Fitch with ANOTHER downgrade…. here we discussed Fitch’s second downgrade and mentioned we were surprised the One of the Big Three were silent….

BOOM that night of our above post, the other big three S&P Global Markets came to the party…. as we discussed here along with a timely fun YTD Bankruptcy Graph from our bud at Visual Capitalist

These downgrades among a couple of other items, not surprising, led to an upward push on rates… highlights to the far right…. already headed back to norms!

Have a Great Day, Talk to You at the End of September !

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.

A Dallas Texas based fee only

Financial Planning Total Wealth

Management firm.



What to do when your Identity is Stolen?

Based on the repeat occurences and popularity of our cyber and most recent Identity updates we wanted to give guidance on ways to help after an invasive event such as this has happened.

Identity theft by our definition is the attempt by someone to utilize your information, either live in person or electronicallly to gain access to your credit or other financial assets.

What to do when your Identiy is Stolen?

First breath easy, you are not the first, will not be the last, and most likely will only incur minor nuances from the event.

Here is a link to the Federal Trade Commissions site on Fraud Alerts. This is our favorite “Go-To” source. It has an enormous amount of sources and information. This directly from the site …

Why Place an Initial Fraud Alert

Three national credit reporting companies keep records of your credit history. If someone has misused your personal or financial information, call 1 of the companies and ask for an initial fraud alert on your credit report. A fraud alert is free. You must provide proof of your identity. The company you call must tell the other companies about your alert.

An initial fraud alert can make it harder for an identity thief to open more accounts in your name. When you have an alert on your report, a business must verify your identity before it issues credit, so it may try to contact you. The initial alert stays on your report for at least 90 days. You can renew it after 90 days. It allows you to order one free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit reporting companies. Be sure the credit reporting companies have your current contact information so they can get in touch with you.

Instruction From the Federal Trade Commission:

FTC Fraud Alert Screen (2)


Place a Fraud Alert Electronically

CAUTION – Be extremely careful when using these systems as they will try to have you sign up for a monthly service. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SIGN UP FOR THIS SERVICE. There is a government mandated 90 day free service.

I use Transunion and they also offer a much more detailed free extended service that requires paperwork sent to them that allows a seven year watch.

Identiy Theft Recovery Plan

Depending on the severity of the attack, you may want to contact the Federal Trade Commission at https://www.identitytheft.gov/ to have them help you set up a recovery plan.

This government site will help you create letters for creditors, debtors as well as specific disputed transactions.

We recommend these actions if someone was successful in gaining access to and withdrawl or charges in your name.

Credit Freeze

Credit Freeze via Federal Trade Commission

What’s the difference between a credit freeze and a fraud alert?

A credit freeze locks down your credit. A fraud alert allows creditors to get a copy of your credit report as long as they take steps to verify your identity. For example, if you provide a telephone number, the business must call you to verify whether you are the person making the credit request. Fraud alerts may be effective at stopping someone from opening new credit accounts in your name, but they may not prevent the misuse of your existing accounts. You still need to monitor all bank, credit card and insurance statements for fraudulent transactions.

Other Paid Sources

There are various outside services that complete much of this for your. One of the more marketed is LifeLock. These sources can be very useful in creating a one-stop-shop aggregation for your credit protection. We are not recommending any of these services, only wishing to make you aware.


While the credit agencies, creditors, govenment and the general public become more sophisticated in watching and protecting ourselves from intrusions, we expect the culprits will also become more sophisticated in their attacks. The good news is prevention and awaremeness will most likely help in only minor nuancances in the future!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.