NEW YORK (MainStreet) No one plans for emergencies to happen, and perhaps that's the first problem. Living paycheck-to-paycheck on the least desirable seems to be more and more the New American Way, if trends are any indication. Some believe the culprit to be the frenzied American consumer, yet others like CNBC's Leslie Kramer evenly lay blame on the banks, the government and the overall culture of the U.S.:
"We are, in fact, encouraged to spend as much as we are encouraged to save, sometimes by different businesses within the same financial services company. A company can have an investment management arm working to educate American workers on the benefits of saving, while it also has a large consumer credit card and mortgage business."
Whomever you blame, the message is clear: the average citizen is still struggling with finances in this sorry excuse for a post-recession recovery. Therefore, in order to tackle this multifaceted idea of emergency money management, MainStreet gathered some fresh financial perspectives from pros in the sector. Each were interviewed separately and presented with a dire proposition: If one of your clients were in a jam with only $1000 left, how would you advise them?
- Personal Financial Planning, Kevin Cimring, CEO Jemstep, an online investment advisory focused on helping people lock in more money for retirement.
- Business Financial Support, David Ehrenberg, CEO Early Growth Financial Services, a firm that provides finance and accounting support to early stage companies that are not large enough to have their own accounting staff.
- Investing, Anthony Grisanti, President GRZ Energy and CNBC 'Futures Now' Contributor who keeps track of the whole gamut from hedge funds to users and producers of energy.
Now, the questions...
What emergency situations do you find your clients dealing with?
Cimring: Unemployment, long-term unemployment, someone suddenly gets laid off, and they haven't planned for that. So they don't have an emergency fund, for example, which we recommend. And so ending up in a situation of unexpected unemployment is difficult for folks to deal with.