This the interior of the King Street Center, a Burlington-based community center serving over 500 low-income children and families with a variety of programs.

Financing a vision: Building in sustainability

Planning for a new facility is doubly daunting for a nonprofit community organization. In addition to the fundraising and financing necessary for the construction, the nonprofit must create a plan to sustain operating costs for the new facility, knowing it cannot rely on increasing revenue or fees from low-income clients.

Christina Ubl

Is your money invested where your values are?

If you have ever recycled at home, avoided products made overseas by sweatshop labor, grown your own vegetables, supported gender and racial diversity, or owned a fuel-efficient car, then you may be surprised to discover your investments can be working against your values. Do you know what’s in your portfolio? How can you find out what your money is supporting? Old and new values investing
Evaluating your portfolio using traditional socially responsible investing or SRI analysis has been around for a long time. The process involves an investment style that includes or excludes companies in a portfolio based on screens using social, moral, ethical and religious criteria.

Preda gets CFP designation

BURLINGTON — Remus Preda of People’s United Bank recently received his certified financial planner designation. As a certified financial planner, Preda will serve individuals, families and nonprofit organizations for People’s United Bank in southern Vermont. He will also work with local businesses and organizations to design and administer retirement plans.

NY bank to buy Merchants

Merchants Bank will merge with a New York-based bank, according to a statement issued Monday on the Merchants Bank website. Community Bank System, Inc., which is based in DeWitt, New York, will buy Merchants Bancshares, Inc., the parent company of Merchants Bank, for cash and stock worth around $304 million. Merchants Bank is the largest statewide independent bank in Vermont, with assets of about $1.9 billion and deposits of about $1.5 billion. The deal was approved unanimously by the boards of directors of both companies, but is subject to a Merchants Bancshares stockholder vote. The transaction is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2017.

Christina Ubl

How to have the best financial date night ever

Flowers … chocolate … 401k? Let’s face it — talking money and financial planning with your significant other on a “date” may not be your first choice for spending quality time together. Even in the best of relationships, discussing money and finances can send two people running in opposite directions. Yet, establishing the habit of scheduling an annual financial date night nurtures your long-term relationship and future together.

Reed Wilcox

Vote for smart investment moves

The presidential election is little more than a month away. Like all elections, this one has generated considerable interest, and, as a citizen, you may well be following it closely. But as an investor, how much should you be concerned about the outcome? Probably not as much as you might think. Historically, the financial markets have done well — and done poorly — under both Democratic and Republican administrations.

Sessions advise on farm finances

BURLINGTON — Farm-business educators with the University of Vermont Extension are available in October for private consultations with farmers to answer questions on finances and business planning. These farm business and budget clinics will be offered by Mark Cannella, Mike Dolce, Tony Kitsos and Betsy Miller at various UVM Extension Offices throughout the state. Times vary according to location. The cost is $25 for a 90-minute one-on-one session. Slots are expected to fill up quickly, so early sign up is recommended.

Christina Ubl

Your financial health check up

Your annual physical checkup and health screenings are scheduled. Your dental checkups, and perhaps those for your spouse and children, are on your calendar or smartphone. Yet many people fail to schedule time for a regular financial-health checkup.

Meet the 2015 recipients of the $5,000 awards through VSECU's Student LIFT program: Kenzie McDonald of Plainfield, David Narkewicz of Rutland and Daniel Baslock of Barre.

Program eases student debt burden

MONTPELIER — You don’t need a college degree to know that the rising costs of higher education are a huge challenge right now. Research from the Institute for College Access & Success found that 65 percent of Vermonters hold student debt, with an average debt of $29,060. The realities made big headlines this summer, when Vermont State Colleges Chancellor Jeb Spaulding announced a proposal to merge Lyndon State College and Johnson State College under one administration — a cost-saving measure that could have an impact on other areas of the VSC system. Chancellors will vote on the JSC-LSC merger on Sept. 29.