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First Bank Wisdoms

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Tim Lathe, President, Chief Executive Officer's Articles

Let’s Honor the Heroes!

Although technology has improved our lives in countless ways, it’s also inundated us with around-the-clock headlines. That said, the past several months have certainly challenged us emotionally as we’ve witnessed an unprecedented amount of natural disasters and other tragedies. Our hearts go out to those impacted. In times like these, it’s essential to stay focused on the positives–especially the heroes. You see, I’ve always heard in times of tragedy, “to look for the helpers.” You’ll always find people ready and willing to selflessly help their fellow man in times of need. From dedicated first responders to off-duty officers and veterans helping to save those critically wounded; not to mention, good Samaritans putting themselves in harm’s way to rescue fellow strangers, we’ve seen countless acts of heroism. For this, we honor you. First Bank has the privilege to escort WWII veteran Jerome Huelsman and his family to the Blues game ...

Let’s Face It, Life Happens

Since summer’s winding down and area schools will be back in session soon, you may think I’ll discuss last-minute vacations, home equity projects, and other financial-related topics; however, I want to take this opportunity to discuss something unique–the upcoming solar eclipse that everyone is talking about. I certainly don’t claim to be an astronomer, but this event is really fascinating.  I mean, how often will we have the ability to view what some are calling the Great American Eclipse? If you’re in what’s called the ‘path of totality’ you’ll experience the sun disappearing behind the moon, daylight turning into twilight, and will feel temperatures drop dramatically. I’m certain for sky watchers, this will be an incredible experience. Want to know something else that’s really interesting about this rare occurrence? This event i ...

Let’s Achieve It!

I hope you enjoyed your holiday, along with a spectacular fireworks display. One of our favorite holidays, my wife and I attended a local display not far from our home to enjoy the celebration of this great nation’s birthday and freedoms. How lucky and blessed are we? Recently, I heard a sobering statistic that America’s World War II Veterans are leaving us at the rate of 430 per day. This ‘greatest generation’ and their sacrifices helped ensure we’re still afforded our Independence Day. Through our partnerships and support of such first-class organizations as the St. Louis Blues and the Greater St. Louis Honor Flight (GSLHF), we’re able to assist in the mission to honor St. Louis area veterans’ service in World War II and other wars, by providing an all-inclusive trip to Washington, DC to visit the memorials built in their honor.  It’s through this organization that we’ve had the honor of meeting such incredible heroes as WWII Veteran John W ...

We have a heart for our Clients, Community, and History

If you’ve watched any news programs or viewed any popular social feeds lately, you know there’s certainly no shortage of commentary regarding presidential topics from both sides of the platform. While I’m not here to voice opinions or raise discussions on debatable issues, I do wish to commemorate our proud American heritage and democracy. Since President’s Day is tomorrow, I felt it would be a good time to reflect–not on policies or viewpoints –but, simple reflections on what a blessing it is to live in a nation that’s afforded us the right to peacefully choose our voice in government. Of course, history tells us this freedom, along with countless others, has come only from the bravery and sacrifice of our military men and women–past and present. For this, we truly thank you. I’ve mentioned previously that First Bank originated its humble roots as a small, family-owned bank in Creve Coeur, right at the time of William Howard Taft’s presidency. ...

Let’s Prepare for the Change of Seasons

As I write this, a noticeable change is in the air. The temps aren’t necessarily cold yet, but the days are getting slightly shorter. There’s a crispness to the mornings I’ve always found inviting. There’s definitely a change of seasons coming. Although we know the seasons will change and time will march on, we don’t always think it will come as quickly as it often does. In other words, it can really sneak up on us. The same can be said of the change of seasons in our own lives. From our childhood and the progression from grade to grade and on to graduation, jobs, and retirement, the passing of time is inevitable. Planning ahead for them is not. I’ve encountered many ‘change of season’ moments in my own life. The most recent being the change of seasons in my role with my own parents. I remember the time and coordination it took to find comfortable, supportive care for my parents in a care facility. We were blessed to find such an organization that could ...

Are Medals Really Made of Gold, Silver, or Bronze?

The summer games have begun with the lighting of the torch. It’s such an awe-inspiring moment to see, considering the flame has traveled for months, through countless cities, and carried by over 12,000 torchbearers. The teamwork and collaboration it takes to make this a reality is simply miraculous. The ideology of the games and bringing that many people, across multiple continents and cultures, into one majestic moment for one common goal is nothing short of phenomenal. These athletes all aspire to a common goal: to achieve greatness, to overcome obstacles, and to compete for the gold. They, along with the help of innumerable people, are making that dream a reality. And, although medals are made of gold, silver, and recycled electronics (an effort toward sustainability), that’s not really what goes into them. Medals are really made of the young athlete that gets up before dawn to start training; the daily determination to stick with the proper diet plan; and the perseverance to believe he o ...

Let’s Get Moving

As you may know, my family and I relocated to St. Louis just a couple of years ago. Putting down roots and making this our beloved home...we couldn’t be happier. From Forest Park and the world-renowned St. Louis Zoo to the 11-time World Series Champions, the Cardinals, this area is a wonderful place to call home. What’s more, with St. Louis poised for significant job growth, while still maintaining attractive and reasonable housing prices, is it any wonder it’s predicted to be the second “hottest” top real estate market? In fact, St. Louis is ranking ahead of other top markets, even San Diego and New Orleans. That’s great news for home buyers and sellers. This is the perfect time to consider a move. However, serious buyers need to be ahead of the game. I’ve heard our mortgage colleagues comment how buyers really need to be prepared in this housing market. Their recommendations? Show up to open houses educated on the property, prepared to make an offer, and wi ...

Financial Goals on the to-do's before the I-do's

Our calendar at home is starting to fill with a variety of invitations for summertime activities, particularly graduation celebrations and June weddings. Both are joyous celebrations in young lives. June is considered the official month of weddings, or so I’ve been told. I always assumed it was due to the warmer weather and sunnier days, but it actually stems from ancient beliefs, when marrying in June was thought to bless young couples with prosperity and good fortune. If only achieving the American Dream was as simple as luck and chance! Newlyweds and young couples today are faced with many opportunities and choices ahead of them. Life’s bigger questions start to surface–such as the best place to live or raise a family; what are the short and long-term savings goals; who will handle the family’s finances; and what are the shared plans for retirement? Oh, and we can’t forget about determining who will do the nightly dinner dishes. Seriously, though, making smart decisio ...

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All First Bank blog information and content is strictly informational. It is not intended to be specific investment, tax, or legal advice. If you need detailed financial, investment, or tax advice, please contact a First Bank qualified professional. Please note, First Bank occasionally shares third-party content we find to be relevant and helpful to our audiences.