Breaking Down the Walls Review

norma yaeger

Today I’m reviewing a book that is more than just finances and numbers, which is always a treat for me. While I enjoy reading about finances, I find it more fascinating to have it in a context of personal lives. Breaking Down the Walls is such a book.

It’s a new memoir from Norma Yaeger, founder of both Yaeger Securities and Yaeger Capital Markets. She had spent several decades in the investment business and has a number of gems and stories to share in her book.

Basic Book Info norma yaeger

  • Full Title: Breaking Down the Walls: 50 Courageous and Successful Years
  • Author: Norma Yaeger
  • Price: $11.95 (on Amazon)

Here’s a summary of what you can expect in Yaeger’s book:

Like most young women in the 1950’s, Norma Yaeger married young, had children, and depended on her husband to support their family. Unlike most women of the times, when things went awry and her husband failed to provide, Norma took it upon herself to make a better life for her and her kids.

It’s a mix between memoir and finances, where you get to see how Yaeger navigates through Wall Street’s male dominated culture and creates a space for herself and eventually others. For those curious about the struggles of balancing work and home back when there wasn’t much support for women, Norma’s tale is an encouraging one. She fought to get equal pay and respect from her superiors and colleagues.

Thoughts on Breaking Down Walls

I think this book will appeal to many readers. It’s not just about a woman breaking barriers, it has some great behind the scenes information about the stock market’s history and culture. Drawing upon her professional experience Yaeger is able to succinctly explain some of the big differences between how investing used to be done and how it done now.

It’s about finding balance between family and work. It also contains an example of maintaining integrity and doing things the honest way instead of taking shorts.

How to Get the Best Possible Price on Your Old iPhone

sell old iphone 5Imagine you’re at your local car dealership, salivating over that hot, red convertible you’ve been eyeing for months. You’re about to say a tearful goodbye to your dream car, but suddenly the salesman says they can give you more cash than you expected for your old, beat-up ride.

Before you know it, you’ve just cut a major chunk off the the out-of-pocket cost of your car upgrade and you’re handed the keys to your new ride. What if upgrading your iPhone could work exactly the same way? What if you could get some cash for your old, beat up old smartphone?

Luckily, you absolutely can. And the time to do it is right now.

Because the new iPhone model was announced just last week, by locking in a sale price right now (many platforms like offer 30-day price guarantees), you can substantially increase the value of your old phones.

How much more can you expect to get? To come up with an answer, I took a look at used iPhone sales from last year immediately after the iPhone 5 launch. Here’s what I found:

  • 1 week after a new iPhone launch, old iPhones lose about 5% in value.
  • 2 weeks after launch, old iPhones depreciate about 12%.
  • By weeks 3 and 4, old phones are worth about 20% less.

So how much more could your old phone be worth if you lock in a good price sooner rather than later?

  •  iPhone 5: Potentially worth $72 more (compared to 3 weeks later)
  • iPhone 4S: Worth $46 more
  •  iPhone 4: Worth $29 more

What does this mean? You can lock in a sale price right now, but then wait to ship your old phone until right after you get your new model.

Using uSell Current App to Sell Your iPhone

To make this process even easier on you, we’ve created a free iPhone app that tells you exactly what your phone is currently worth based on real-time offers from a platform of 50 professional buyers called uSell Current.

So don’t delay…. My advice is for you to start thinking now about selling your phone, and make sure you lock in a good rate!

Nik Raman is Chief Operating Officer of, an online marketplace that helps you sell your used electronics in 3 minutes or less through a network of professional buyers who competitively bid on your gadgets.  Nik is an expert on the used iPhone industry and helps create the user experience for’s smartphone marketplace.  Nik’s path in the “re-commerce” industry began as founder of EcoSquid in 2010, an electronics trade-in and recycling aggregator that acquired in 2012.  He is graduate of Harvard Business School.

Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee

Smart Habits to Lower Health Costs

Try to maintain a healthy lifestyle and it’ll reap dividends beyond money saved. It’s amazing how much health insurance companies charge even if you’re in good health. With some employers finding ways to switch the burden over to employees on finding affordable healthcare, bring proactive with your habits and lifestyle now can help care costs

Some changes  are harder than others, but they are all completely doable.

  • Quit Smoking:This habit can cut your life short and it has been linked to other health problems. This in turn leads to higher costs.
  • Exercise regularly: Try being active 3x a week for at least 20 minutes. You may also want to consider participating in an amateur sports league to get yourself committed to a routine.
  • Watch what you eat: Obesity can increase your chances of diabetes, heart disease, and joint problems.
  • Get a hobby: Hobbies can reduce the stress that you feel. That in turn can help your mental health and enrich your life.
  • Go for generic drugs when possible: Some drugs are available in generic form at less than half the cost.
  • Do routine exams: It’s better to catch something early than to wait until it develops into something worse.
  • Try health clinics: If you’re pinching pennies, this could be a good option. With my health insurance, I pay $30 a month for birth control pills. By going to the university health clinic, I pay $40 for 3 months’ supply. I save $240/year just by doing that.

Please talk to your doctor before you go on a diet or change medications. They are in a great position to assess your health condition and recommend a plan that can work for you.

Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee /

Five Checking Account Fees You Might Not Be Aware Of

For many people, it can be easy to trust banks and not read the fine print that explains various checking account fees that can add up to hundreds of dollars each year for the customer. By becoming aware of the most common fees from banks, it can be easier to avoid hefty fines and save money in the long run. Fortunately, since 1991, the Truth in Savings Act requires banks to disclose fees to each customer when opening a new account and update them on new fees.

1. Returned Deposit Fees

For customers who try to cash checks that bounce, it can end up costing the customer, even if they weren’t the one to make the mistake. This can mean extra fees for the customer, making it important to opt for taking cash or money orders instead when receiving personal accounts

2. Closing Fees

Although it can be an inconvenience, banks are legally permitted to charge closing fees to cover outstanding transactions in order to keep transaction records for a several years. Whether switching banks or opting for a credit union, it’s important to weigh the costs of ending a relationship with a bank.

3. Overdraft Fees

Overdraft fees are most common for checking accounts–covering insufficient funds for many customers–even if extra funds are taken out of the savings account to cover the mistake. It’s recommended to properly calculate a buffer into the budget. The average cost for each overdraft fee transaction is $30 and can cost even more if it’s not the first overdraft to occur in the last 12 months.

4. Check Printing Fees

Although it can be convenient to purchase extra checks from the bank, this fee can be more expensive than ordering personalized checks online. Ask to see what your bank’s fee is for this service. Bank checks also do not offer the option to choose as many styles and designs.

5. Monthly Service Fees

Monthly service fees are an extra way for banks to continue running as a business, usually charging checking accounts at least $10 a month for online statements and $12 for paper statements.
By taking advantage of credit unions that often require a one-time membership fee and limited charges, it can cost less annually. Customers can also save money with banks by only banking online and going paperless, making it easier to manage a customer’s account and saving money on extra resources.

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer from Sacramento, California. A mother of two, Hannah enjoys writing on blogs of all niches. For a one-stop shop for personalized checks visit the professional at