Financial adviance available from bankers for all folks

Valid, local advice is available for people wondering how they are going to survive the current economic situation with some of their expectations intact.

Jim Hefley, chair of the Marion County Bankers Association and president of Marion National Bank, said local bankers are prepared to offer that kind of counsel.

Hefley was asked to respond to an article in last week?s Free Press regarding national economic consultant David Kohl?s survival advice to farmers.

Hefley said Kohl?s advice is important not only for farmers, but for all Marion County residents to translate to their own situations.

Of particular interest, Hefley said, was Kohl?s advice that ?earnings and cash flow, not collateral or the sale of assets, pay back loans.?

In other words, people need to make money to pay their debts. A bank really doesn?t want to take your assets to make good on a loan, Hefley said.

He said the adage, ?It takes money to make money??implying that borrowing is good?should be replaced with ?You can?t borrow yourself rich.?

Advised Hefley: ?Build with the long term in mind. Watch your expenses. Live within your financial means. Then, when better times arrive, you?ll have your financial house in order. You?ll get there.?

No matter where a person lives in Marion County, Hefley said he or she should seek financial advice from the local banker.

?They honestly will help you through the good times and the bad,? Hefley said. ?They are there to help you.

?Stay honest with them. If you have problems, go in to talk it over with them. Problems don?t get better by ignoring them.

?Most Kansas bankers want to talk, and have a relationship with their customers. They are here for the long haul, a part of their communities.?

Hefley said the local banks are not part of the investment bank problems that required a federal bailout, and not part of a trend of out-of-the-area, chain-bank conglomerates.

Hefley said he has met Kohl, and listened to him before. The advice the Virginia Tech economist gives is ?right-on? for everybody here.

Hefley advised everyone to make it a New Year?s resolution to sit down and develop a financial plan for the year ahead.

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