Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pertinent Information About Low Interest Credit Cards

The following article includes pertinent information about low interest credit cards. If you don't have accurate details regarding low Interest credit card, then you might make a bad choice on the subject. Don't let that happen: keep reading. If you're not using a low interest credit card, ask yourself why? This credit card have numerous advantages such as the 0% Intro APR (annual percentage rate) that enables the consumer to save on interest expense. Customers who will be using their credit card to make purchases and take cash advance may be better off with a credit card that offers a low fixed interest rate instead of the 0% intro rate. Knowing what the interest rate will be after the promotional period ends is very important to avoid interest rate surprise. The interest rate customers receive after the 0% promotional period usually depends on their FICO or credit score. Customers who have decided to go with the 0% introductory credit card can use the savings derived from paying no interest to pay down the principal and ultimately pay the loan off much sooner. The main purpose of low interest credit cards is to transfer balance from high interest rate credit cards to interest free cards to save money on interest expense. They are also been used to make large purchases and important to customers who are planning to consolidate credit card loans and carry a balance each month. Banks charge a fee for balance transfers. Since this fee varies from bank to bank, customers should compare offers to find out which banks charge the lowest fees. Customers with excellent credit can request to have the transfer fee waived. Many banks and credit card companies advertise low interest credit cards that have many features similar to a standard credit card to entice new customers to apply. Similar features may be cash back, rewards, bonus miles, no annual fee and more. Therefore, comparing credit card features is very important because it allows you to find the card that meets your lifestyle and one that will save the most money on interest expense. Paying your entire outstanding credit card balance on time each billing cycle is the only way to avoid paying interest expense. This may not be financially feasible for many customers due to the fact that they do not have the available funds. Therefore, by using a low interest credit card to make purchases and maintaining a credit card balance will be the next best choice to save money on interest expense. The amount of interest accrue on your account depends on the interest rate you receive. Individuals with poor credit pay very high finance charges and miscellaneous fees. This situation keeps them indebted to the credit card companies if no action is taken to improve credit score. However, individuals with excellent credit can apply and get approval for a low interest credit card and avoid the burdensome situation of high interest rates and fees. Credit card companies have the option to change the interest rate on your credit card for various reasons such as making late payment, applying for too much credit, making late payments on different accounts or they can change it without any reason at all. Therefore, understanding credit and how to use it wisely is very important. Many individuals use a low interest credit card to consolidate credit card debts to save money on interest expense. Consolidation is the process of combining several loans into one loan with a better interest rate to lower your monthly payment. Because consolidation will extend the term of your loan it may increase the total amount of interest payment paid over the life of the loan. Debt consolidation is an excellent opportunity to keep you out of bankruptcy and get your finances back on track. Credit card consolidation will simplify your life by making monthly payments to one creditor instead of multiple creditors. Learning about grace period as it relates to your specific credit card is very important. The grace period is between 20 to 25 days. You have this free period to pay no interest if your payment is credited to your account during that time frame and your account carries no balance. Customer’s monthly payment must be received by the creditor during this time frame. Learning about grace period as it relates to your specific credit card is very important. Without a grace period in your credit card agreement you will immediately pay finance charges on new purchases regardless of whether you paid your previous month's bill in full. The internet is the best source to get information about various credit cards. Customers can compare credit card offers and submit an online credit card application for online approval. Customers with excellent credit can get instant online credit card approval within a few minutes of filling out their online credit card application. Once approved, the customer will receive the credit card in the mail within a few days. This is the fastest and most convenient way to obtain a credit card. Customers should make sure the credit card features fits their lifestyle before submitting an application. Using your low interest credit card to make purchases and take cash advance may result in paying a very high rate of interest. This is because some low interest credit cards will offer the 0% intro rate for only balance transfers. Therefore, it is very important to read the fine print to know what transactions will be approved for no interest, low interest or high interest. Not knowing pertinent information about your credit card will defeat the purpose of trying to pay less money for interest expense and getting out of debt.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I live in one of the wealthiest countries on Earth, so why aren’t I rich?

A few years ago I began to ask myself some valuable questions. The first question being, Why is it that most people do not make it? After all, the World Bank once considered Australia to be the wealthiest nation on the planet. Unfortunately, now the standard of living for many Australians is dropping rapidly, despite our politicians trying to convince us otherwise. With all the wealth that still exists, why is it that so few Australians get to share in it? What is going on that limits us to sharing in only a fraction of this country’s wealth, and what can we do about it? The other thing I was very curious about was why there are some people that start with nothing and become millionaires, some people even in their early 20s, and there are a lot of examples of that in Australia right now. Some people in their 30s, 40s or 50s there is no age limit for financial success. But there are other people who seem much more intelligent, often with a higher education, that in terms of achieving financial success, fail and their lives are filled with hard work and struggle. What is the difference between the two? Is it luck that has some people acquire wealth, perhaps they buy more lotto tickets? Do they marry into money, or inherit it? Or is there a bit more to it? Let us then look at the success formula that most people have been following. That of going to school, getting a good education and then working long and hard until retirement. It is interesting to note the people following this formula, which is nearly 96% of the population, are the ones who generally by the age of 65 end up dead, dead broke, on a pension or need the family to support them. I have been dead broke before and at one stage I thought that dead would have been better and I am glad I did not take that option, but some people do. 4% of the population become what we call "Financially Independent" which means that at age 65 they are able to stop working and continue to live a comfortable lifestyle. It does not mean they are rich. It just means they have enough money coming in to support them, usually around $42,000 per annum. 1% of the population at age 65 will become what we call "Rich". The Australian Bureau of Statistics classifies "rich" as having a net worth in excess of $1 million dollars. A million dollars used to be a lot of money years ago, but by todays standards, it is not that much. In the future, most people will become millionaires just by paying their house off over 20 or 30 years. There are about 200,000 millionaires in Australia, but even then, do these people necessarily have lifestyle? Remember, what we are trying to learn is how to achieve lifestyle, and lifestyle = time + money. There are many people that become millionaires but still lack time and money. In other words, they need to keep on working. They become what we call asset rich and cashflow poor. You probably know some people like that maybe even intimately. Becoming asset rich and cashflow poor is really not the idea. Having money stuck away that can not be used is pointless. There are many people who die with it and there is not a lot of lifestyle in that. Sadly, the percentage of people that actually have the quality of life they would really like is very small. For those of you into detail, imagine you had 100 classmates. Out of 100 of your classmates, despite their best intentions, 71 of them will end up broke at age 65 and sadly 25 of them will be dead now you may say you can not blame money for that or can you? A lot of doctors talk about a thing called cancer of the wallet. Do you know what that is? It is financial stress and is usually not caused by having too much money but a lack of money. Now, let me ask you a question. When you were leaving school, did your teacher ever say to you, "Who would like to volunteer to go out into the world, get a job that you do not really like and work really hard for 45 years? You will work Monday to Friday, (and some of you will need to work Saturday as well) to pay the bills and never get to do the things you really want to do because you will not have enough time or enough money. Then at age 65 you will get to retire and within 2.7 years you will drop dead."What percentage of students do you think would have volunteered to do that? Maybe one or two up the back of the class who must not have been paying attention and missed the question. Alternatively, how many do you think would volunteer to learn how to set themselves up financially, so that from age 25 to 30 onwards they never had to work another day in their life unless they chose to? Instead they would get to spend quality time with family and friends, travel to all the places they ever wanted, establish a career that they believe in and live the life of their dreams. My guess is nearly 100% except for the ones up the back who must not have been paying attention and missed the question again. So, 25 of your classmates have unfortunately passed away. What about the ones that retired broke. How broke are they? 20 of them will have incomes of less than $15,000 pa at age 65. That, by the way, is below the poverty level! 51 of them will have an income between $10,000 up to as much as $35,000 (with an average of about $18,000) that is not crash hot either! Only four of them will have annual incomes of over $35,000 and only one of them will be classified as a millionaire. It is clear now that this formula definitely is not working for most people. We could look at this as evidence that it is highly unlikely that we are going to succeed and we could say, What is the point of really trying? The people making it must be really, really lucky. Instead it is probably a good idea to take the advice of my millionaire mentor who said, "if you want to succeed, you need to figure out what most Australians are doing and do the exact opposite." I believe that anyone can follow this philosophy if we keep it rather simple. Visit to get your complete 295 page E-book absolutely free and learn more.

Monday, November 28, 2011

New Wave of Contactless Payments Speeds Up Profits

Contactless payments create a whole new field of payment options for merchants. Contactless payments are quick, simple and pave the way for greater profits. A smart computer chip, with data and an antenna is embedded into a credit card, debit card or fob. When the card or fob is tapped on a radio frequency reader, the reader sends out a radio signal that activates the card, the information on the card is read and the payment is processed without a signature for purchases less than $25.00 with no chargebacks to the merchant. “Merchants don’t need to worry about compatibility with their present systems or security” said, Mohamed Khan, President and Founder of ViVOtech, Santa Clara, Calif.-based developer of contactless software, transaction management systems and readers. “We have been working closely with processors, card issuers and terminal providers to create an open system using the IS0 14443 standard. It uses secure encryption technology. The contactless card doesn’t leave the customers’ hands therefore it is more secure and there’s no skimming of data,” assured Kahn who sees contactless as a great opportunity for merchants to increase revenue. He envisions contactless payments as a replacement for cash because they are faster, more convenient and cost less due to less shrinkage and less labor involved. There are two types of contactless readers available: Peripheral Contactless Readers (PCRs) that plug in to existing POS terminals, and Integrated Contactless Readers (ICRs) that replace traditional readers and offer both magnetic-stripe- and contactless-reading capabilities. Merchants can purchase either type of reader. The PCRs usually cost around $150. Some merchant service providers such as Acies, however, are offering deals competitive plans and free readers with terminals. David Robertson, Publisher of The Nilson Report (Carpinteria, Calif.) estimates that there are 12 million contactless cards currently in circulation in the U.S. He predicts that first contactless successes will be at the brand name retailers and then merchants in the areas where cards are deployed will follow suit when their customers ask to use their contactless cards. Customers are asking for contactless in the New York Metro area where many cards have been “dropped,” says Oleg Frier CEO and President Acies, Inc, a New York City-headquartered national payment processing and financial services provider. Other areas where there are substantial contactless readers and cards include Atlanta, Philadelphia, Denver, Dallas and Orlando, says Khan. Studies show the speed and added value of contactless payments because typically when someone does not pay with cash the amount of the transaction increases. Visa trials showed their contactless card transactions were 25% faster than cash. MasterCard PayPass trials showed an increase in transaction amounts and 12 to 18 second reductions in payment times for drive-thru transactions. Aite Group reports that CVS, the drug store chain, has found the average contactless transaction takes 12.5 seconds, versus 26.7 seconds for magnetic-stripe card payments and 33.7 seconds for a cash transaction. Merchants who have a small time frame to service customers, such as fast food restaurants, coffee houses, movie theatres, drug stores, convenience stores and drive-thrus can benefit greatly from contactless payment methods. McDonald’s, AMC Theatres, CVS, Meijer, Duane Reade, Regal Entertainment, Ritz Camera, Arby’s, Cold Stone Creamery, Eckerd, Carl’s Jr., Good Times Burger, KFC, RaceTrac, Subway, Sonic (Drive-In Restaurants) and Walgreens have installed contactless readers. Convenience stores are gearing up to accept contactless payments. Contactless readers are being installed in 5,300 7-Eleven stores and 350 Sheetz stores. WaWa markets is installing over 2000 readers in its 540 stores co-branded with a credit card and loyalty program. Card associations are also gung-ho for contactless payments. “It takes a village to launch a new technology, at Visa, we have an absolute commitment to assure success of contactless payments,” said Elvira Swanson, Visa spokeswoman. Visa, with four million Visa Contactless cards in circulation, offers collateral materials, online demos, and merchant support teams to help educate merchants. “This is the real thing. Contactless is beyond the ‘chicken and egg’ concept stage now, when you look at how many financial institutions have made the decision to offer contactless and the number of national merchants accepting it,” said T.J. Sharkey, Vice President, Business Development, U.S. Acceptance, MasterCard International. MasterCard is supporting contactless in many ways. Merchants who accept contactless payments are listed at the MasterCard Web site where there are demonstrations on how their Tap N Go, PayPass cards work. Television commercials illustrating their PayPass cards are airing nationally. Banks issuing contactless cards include Citibank, MBNA, HSBC (debit cards), JP Morgan Chase, Key Bank (debit cards) and Citizen. There have been several pilot contactless programs in sports stadiums including San Francisco, Seattle, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. Recently, another form factor of contactless has been added into the mix, with the trial of NFC (Near Field Communications) contactless payments from cell phones at the Philips Arena in Atlanta. Season ticket holders with Chase-issued Visa credit accounts and Cingular Wireless accounts can make contactless payments by simply holding their Nokia mobile phones equipped with Philips' NFC semiconductor chips and ViVOtech software near one of the 150 terminals. NFC is compatible with ISO 1443 readers has other features such as the ability to transmit a coupon to a reader. “Contactless payments are the wave of the future and will change the way the world pays for purchases,” Khan said enthusiastically. ###

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Worried about Iran? Well, as shocking as it may sound, you may be talking about India in the same breath within two short years. The world’s largest electoral process will enable a conglomerate of 21st century fascist to take control of the Indian parliament, if the existing government persists with its fatally flawed anti-terrorist policy. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is in agreement with Washington that terrorism poses the biggest threat to the stability of nation states. But, in his view, the primary challenge does not emanate from Islamic extremists. On the contrary, the Prime Minister appears convinced that India’s Maoist (Naxalite) groups are poised to destroy the country’s social fabric. “In many respects the Muslim radicals can be contained, if not eliminated,” a senior Indian intelligence source argued yesterday. “It is the far-left activists who are openly and directly challenging state authority, on a daily basis.” In recent months, cadres affiliated, directly and indirectly, with the Indian Maoist Communist Party have led marginalized tribes and landless peasants in assaults on police and paramilitary forces in at least six Indian states. “We are taking the armed struggle to the next stage, a New Delhi-based Maoist spokeswoman stated over the weekend. “That involves attacking those who collude with what are essentially criminal gangs, sponsored and protected by well-known politicians, who have been engaged in illegal logging, land grabbing, coal smuggling and human trafficking.” The Maoist spokeswoman pointed out that the central government should be more focused on checking right-wing Hindu organizations. “It is people like Narendra Modi (the Chief Minister of Gujarat state) who are taking India towards modern-day fascism,” she warned. Mr. Modi is widely believed to have at least condoned, if not actively directed, the massacre of hundreds of impoverished Muslim residents of Gujarat in 2002. Over the Christmas holidays, orthodox Hindu enforcers orchestrated the killing of dozens of Christians in the eastern state of Orissa. “For how long can we continue to live in fear?” the respected head of a Christian advocacy group asked in anguish at a press conference last week. Not that the Islamic extremists have been inactive of late; since mid-2007, terrorist cells have been concentrating on the heavily-populated state of Uttar Pradesh. India’s intelligence agencies continue to blame Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (the ISI) for funding and ordering acts of terrorism inside the Indian heartland. Intelligence assessments have charged the ISI for many things over two decades: the ongoing violence in Kashmir, the support provided to the Sikh Khalistan movement, the bombings in Bombay and Hyderabad, and the low-intensity wars in the North Eastern region. There is little doubt that Prime Minister Singh is looking at an exceptionally broad terror matrix whenever he speaks to his intelligence officers. Nevertheless, the facts on the ground show that his priorities are completely misplaced, regardless of the intelligence files he is reading. The pick-up in Maoist activity is due, almost entirely, to his government’s failure to comply with promises made to India’s poor by parties within his coalition. More than 800 million Indians live on less than 50 cents a day. Almost 50% of Indian children under the age of three are malnourished. Despite the much-touted growth rate of 10%-plus, income inequality is increasing year after year. And, by conservative estimates, the size of the underground economy has reached 35% of national GDP. In addition, criminal gangs dominate the urban landscape, particularly the shanty towns packed with migrant labourers and factory workers; and armed militias control huge sections of the countryside, particularly areas rich in natural resources. “The role of crime syndicates in the democratic process has been known for many long years,” a veteran Indian journalist conceded earlier today. “The link between crime and politics has been a matter of common knowledge too.” But the matter of terrorism has obviously been plagued by the lack of any type of credible knowledge (and analysis) whatsoever, at least in the public domain. “Manmohan Singh can rely on India’s intelligence operatives to determine the significance of the expanding Maoist influence, but he needs to contextualize the information he receives from his spy agencies,” said a member of the politburo of the Maoist Communist of Nepal in a web posting last November. In other words, it does not make sense to target Indian Maoists if the economic conditions which allow the Maoist ideology to prosper are not addressed, and have not been addressed since Indian independence in 1947. More specifically, there is indeed a clear solution to the Maoist uprising—start solving the evils of poverty. On the other hand, it is difficult to see how Prime Minister Singh’s cabinet will confront the danger of religious extremism, from both the Islamic and the Hindu segments of Indian society. While Muslim radicals may be drawing on the ISI for support, the right-wing Hindu entities are actually positioned to take over power at the Centre, via an electoral process, on the back of an increasingly vocal, and thoroughly misguided, middle class. India needs to search its soul before deciding which is the greater threat to its existence as a secular state: the Maoists who are advocating an armed revolt to eradicate poverty and marginalization, or the fanatics who keep re-interpreting religious texts to justify terrorism of a frightening variety. The Indian nation is now on the brink of completely surrendering the elite Gandhian principles on which it was founded. It is unclear if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s coalition, which includes the mainstream left parties, has the ability and the will to effect a fundamental change in direction.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Offshore Banking Terms All You Ever Wanted To Know

Many investors are puzzled by the various terms used by bankers in describing ways to protect their money. Here is a short list of some of the most common ones. Asset Protection Trust (APT) is an irrevocable trust, usually created (settled) offshore for the principal purposes of preserving and protecting wealth against creditors. Title to the asset is transferred to a trustee. It is used for asset protection and usually tax neutral. Its function is to provide for the beneficiaries of the APT. A trust is a contract affecting three parties, the settlor (who sets up the offshore trust; also called the grantor in U.S. or IRS terms), the trustee and the beneficiary. A trust protector is optional but recommended, as well. Through the trust, the settlor transfers asset ownership to the trustee on behalf of the beneficiaries. Business trust is created for the primary purpose of running a business. These trusts are treated as persons under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). It must have a commercial purpose and actually function as a business. CARICOM is theCaribbean Common Market. Its members consist of 14 member countries of the Caribbean community, including Antigua, Bahamas, Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Surinam, Trinidad and Tobago. The purpose of this organization is to encourage free trade and free movement of labor. Conspicuous by their absence are the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands, the two major players in international banking and finance, which did not wish to be regulated by a small local community because of greater international ties. Discretionary Trust is a grantor trust in which the trustee has sole discretion as to who among the listed beneficiaries receives income and/or principal disbursement. The trustee has full authority over the fund, or it would cease to be a discretionary trust. A letter of wishes, or side letter, can provide guidance to the trustee without having any legal and binding effects. The letter(s) must be carefully drafted, as the trustee cannot be seen as a pawn of the beneficiaries or there is basis for the argument that there never was a complete renouncement of the assets. Estate is the sum of personal interests in real and/or personal property. Flight Capital is money which flows offshore and likely never returns. It is exacerbated by a lack of confidence in government fiscal management. GmbH is a German form of a limited liability corporation. High Net Worth (HNW) Person is any individual with more than $1,000,000 in liquid assets. International Business Company (IBC) is a corporation formed (incorporated) under the Company Act of a tax haven, but is not authorized conduct business within that country. It is intended to be used only for global operations. It is owned and operated by members and/or shareholders, just like other corporations. Limited Company is not an international business company. May be owned by a resident of the tax haven and is set up under a special corporate law with a simpler body of administrative laws. A Limited Liability Company (LLC) consists of member owners and a manager, at a minimum. It has tax advantages and operational flexibility found in a partnership, operating in a corporate-style structure, with limited liability as provided by the state's laws. A LLP is a Limited liability partnership, a form of the LLC frequently used for professional associations, such as accountants and attorneys. A LLLP is a Limited liability limited partnership, intended to protect the general partners from liability. Member is an equity owner of a limited liability company ((LLC), limited liability partnership (LLP), limited liability limited partnership (LLLP) or a shareholder in an IBC. NRA is a nonresident alien of the U.S. An NRA is not a U.S. person as defined under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). Offshore is an international term meaning not only out of your country, but also out of its tax jurisdiction. PLC is a UK public limited company. The Revenue Reconciliation Act of 1995 proposed changes to the Internal Revenue Code affecting foreign trust reporting, among other changes. Securities are shares and debt obligations of every kind, including options, warrants, and rights to acquire shares and debt obligations. Settle. To create or establish an offshore trust. Done by the settlor (offshore term) or the grantor (U.S. and IRS term). Settlor. One (the entity) who (which) creates or settles an offshore trust. TCI are the Turks and Caicos Islands, a popular tax haven. Trustee is the controller of a trust fund. This person is independent of the settlor or grantor and has the fiduciary responsibility to manage the assets of the fund as a reasonable prudent business person would do in the same circumstances. The trustee must defer to the trust protector when required in the best interest of the trust fund. The reporting requirements of the trustee are defined at the creation of the trust include how often, and to whom, the trustee will respond to instructions or inquiries, investment strategies and fees for the trustee's services. The trustee may have full discretionary powers to distribute the fund to beneficiaries. Uniform Partnership Act (UPA) is one of the uniform laws adopted by some states or used as a baseline for other states. Vetting is the process used by the offshore consultant for evaluating whether a prospective client is a good candidate for offshore asset protection. World Bank was formed to be the lender and technical advisor to developing countries, utilizing funds and technical knowledge from member nations. It has often been criticized for promoting austurity programs in indebted third-world nations. Hopefully this short guide will help investors seeking asset havens and offshore banking facilities.

Friday, November 25, 2011

How The Financial Markets Can Grow More Than Just Your Bank Account

The financial markets provide us with the opportunity to grow in ways that most people probably do not even think about. We all know of the gains in wealth to be had buying and selling stock, bonds, commodities, currencies, and other instruments. One need not look far to find stories about the riches to be had. Successful traders, investors and portfolio managers like George Soros, Peter Lynch, and Warren Buffet have become household names. What is less commonly talked about is the personal development which takes place along the way. Trading and investing, like any worthwhile pursuits, provide more rewards than just the obvious accomplishments. To paraphrase the old saying, the destination is not always as important as the path taken to get there and the things seen along the way. While it is true that the expansion of one’s portfolio is what ultimately indicates success or failure in the markets, how those gains are achieved can provide outstanding opportunities to learn important lessons about ourselves with far reaching value. These lessons reach across all areas of our lives. Playing to Your Strengths We all have our strengths and weaknesses and a kind of structure in which we operate based on the demands on our time, education, experience and an array of other factors. In the markets we need to make assessments about these things to help us decide what to trade, the timeframe in which to operate, and how to make our trading and investing decisions. Why? Because it is unlikely that we will achieve our objectives if we do not honestly judge ourselves and how best we can operate. For example, I am unlikely to be a good day trader if I cannot dedicate my days to watching the markets for long stretches and frequently buying and selling. I must either choose another course or alter my schedule to accommodate the demands of being a day trader. It is the same in the rest of life. We must constantly consider our personal inventory and life situation. They dictate what we can do and how we can do it. That said, these are not static things. Just as I noted above that I could alter my schedule to allow for day trading, so too can we change things to expand our options. Education, in all its forms, is part of that equation. So too is seeking out new experiences, meeting new people, and even consciously changing our attitude toward things. If a goal is important enough, there are things we can do to make achieving it possible. Part of that is knowing what we have to work with and how to most efficiently apply it. The other part is knowing how to open up new avenues. Knowing Who to Listen To In the markets there is a vast array of information available. It comes in every form imaginable, from data released by the government to commentary by analysts to tips from Uncle Joe. Some of this information is useful to us. Some is not. A great deal of what came out in the aftermath of the stock markets collapsing in 2000 and after was the number of conflicts of interest those who provided “expert” opinions had. These people did not have the interests of those they spoke to about this stock or that at heart, but rather their own and/or their firm’s. Many, many people listened to these pundits to their detriment. Clearly, a hugely important element of successful trading is knowing what information is of value and which sources can be trusted, and what should be taken with a grain of salt. The same holds true in all other areas of our life. All of us are constantly provided with information and advice. Some is solicited. Much is not. Before we can decide whether to make use of it all we must be able to assess the veracity of the source. Some people are trustworthy and wise. We can depend on what they say. Others do not have our best interests in mind. We must carefully consider what they say and the motivations behind it, before deciding whether it is worthwhile or should be ignored all together. Being able to effectively judge the input we receive from sources such as our family, friends, and peers is a priceless skill. Being Disciplined Success in the markets is achieved by doing what we know is the right thing to do. The single biggest reason people fail to consistently produce the returns they seek is that they fail to maintain a disciplined approach. Sound familiar? It is the same as anything else we do. Want to lose weight? You must be disciplined about diet and exercise. Want to learn how to play guitar? You must exercise the discipline required to practice the hours required to attain the skill. Understanding Why You Fail, Knowing How to Succeed Perhaps the single greatest thing about trading and investing in a meaningful fashion is that it provides a fantastic opportunity to see what you do which causes you to fail and what leads to success. The conscientious trader/investor has a plan and thereby a way to make evaluations. Whether things go to plan and profits accrue, or they do not go well, he or she knows why and what needs to be done going forward. Achievement in life requires that one follow a similar course. No matter the objective or pursuit, we must understand what it takes to succeed and have ways we can judge whether we are doing those things or not. To do otherwise is to act in a random fashion, never sure if we are doing what is right and necessary. These are just some of the valuable life lessons that trading and investing can provide. There are plenty more as worthwhile, to go along with the more commonly thought of value in understanding how the markets can be used to improve your financial well-being. And these lessons need not come at great expense either since modern trading and investing can be done with very small amounts of money – even none at all in the case of demo accounts. All the more reason to make the markets a source of both financial and personal growth.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Seniors: Use Direct Deposit To Protect Your Money And Identity

What if someone stole the monthly check you depend on? How would you survive? Each month about 12 million Social Security and other federal benefit checks are mailed, many of them to senior citizens. Criminals know when these checks arrive in mailboxes. They also know that each month most seniors venture out to cash or deposit their checks. But seniors can outsmart them. "These days, it is imperative that seniors arm themselves with information and practical safeguards to keep their monthly income safe," said Al Lenhardt, president and CEO of the National Crime Prevention Council, a leader in senior fraud prevention. What can seniors do to protect themselves against financial crimes? Often, it's as simple as signing up for direct deposit. During National Safety Month in June and throughout the year, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the National Crime Prevention Council are urging people who receive Social Security and other federal benefits to sign up for direct deposit and avoid becoming a victim of identity theft, fraud or robbery. According to the Federal Trade Commission, nearly 25 million Americans (11.2 percent of the adult population) experience consumer fraud each year. Criminals and con artists often develop scams that target seniors, making them a vulnerable population. "One individual was getting his check stolen several times, sometimes by his own family," said Sgt. Vince Higgins, a public information officer with the Memphis Police Department who works closely with seniors. "Now that he's signed up for direct deposit, he's happy, he's confident-he's no longer worried about where his money is or who's got his money. It's safe in his bank account." Sgt. Higgins and hundreds of other trusted sources like him are partners in Go Direct, a campaign sponsored by the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Banks to motivate Americans who get Social Security and other federal benefits checks to switch to the safer, easier option of direct deposit. Enrolling in direct deposit can offer much-needed peace of mind to seniors, people with disabilities and others who rely on Social Security. Direct deposit eliminates the risk of stolen checks and forgeries and helps protect people from identity theft. It also gives people more control over their money and allows immediate access to funds from virtually anywhere.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Piggy Banks for Grown-ups: How to help yourself save

We encourage our kids to use piggy banks to save up for special purchases like bicycles and sneakers, but then we never consider taking our own good advice and employing the same means to save for ourselves as adults. But if anyone needs to save, it’s the grown-ups, even more than the children, because we are the ones with the strained budgets and awesome financial responsibilities and obligations to meet. Maybe we should revisit the concept of the piggy bank, to find out new ways to overcome the stress and hardship of trying to save money when it seems that every day it becomes an exceedingly more difficult task to accomplish. There are some ways to save that use the same premise, but in more sophisticated ways. For example, “dollar cost averaging” is used by investors to average out the highs and lows of their stock market holdings, so that on average, they make more money than they would by trying to time the ups and downs of the market. This is done by buying a set dollar amount of stock at regular intervals of time, regardless of the price of the stock, and is most conveniently applied to shares of mutual funds, because they can be bought in dollar amounts that are sometimes easier to calculate. For instance, you can have your broker apply $100 every month to buy shares of a mutual fund. Some months you may get ten shares for that price, and other months you’ll get eight or eleven shares. But over time, you will steadily increase your holdings, which increases your assets in the same way that socking away money in a piggy bank works. Another system that applies the same principal is to use automatic withdrawals and deposits that you can arrange with your bank. Each time you get a paycheck, for instance, you can have a portion of it transferred to a retirement account of savings account. Most of the time you won’t even notice that the money is missing, and you can unconsciously – or at least subconsciously – start to save more money. These methods of using piggybank philosophies to grow our money are strategically wise. Not only do they help us with the discipline of savings, but they also tend to do it in a way that is relatively painless and does not require the constant stress of making a conscious decision about whether or not to save.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How to Get Profit from Forex

Forex trading, as one of the important markets worldwide, is a very profitable opportunity and it can bring enormous earnings to traders. Forex trading can also be very risky, especially to the new inexperienced traders. That is why every trader must trade smart and improve his/her own trading tactic that works and follow it consistently. A very good way to understand forex trading better is to start trading with demo accounts. These demo accounts symbolize simulation of actual trading where you trade with “virtual” money instead of real money. Demo accounts are totally risk free and brilliant means to see if you are capable of making cash with forex, or not. They are also very good for practicing forex trading and sharpening your abilities as a forex trader. Once you think you are prepared, choose forex broker and start actual trading. Be also cautious with broker selection. Brokers should be synchronized by globally known institution and must be able to give registration or license number. Also avoid trading with brokers that offer higher leverage than 300:1. Most brokers should offer help and instructions to their traders. Forex brokers must also offer ability to open demo accounts and trade with virtual money. Keep in mind that trading with virtual money can be different from trading with real money and some traders that trade successfully with demo accounts don’t experience same success with real accounts. One of the reasons why this occurs lies in human psychology and emotions. When you trade with virtual money, you can’t really lose anything while in real accounts you can and this fear of loss emotion usually leads to bad decisions. Emotions in forex are your enemy and you have to always stay cool. Also trade with money you can afford to lose so you won’t have to knock your head against the wall if some trades go wrong. Remember, forex is not a way to get out of a debt and stay out of it if you are in desperate need for money. Forex trading requires endurance and lack of emotions. In time, when you become skilled trader, you will know more what you can and what you can’t do and how much money you can earn.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Learn About Prepaid Credit Card

Prepaid credit cards also called stored value card can be ideal for individuals who are unemployed, have bad credit or difficulty obtaining an unsecured credit card. Prepaid credit cards are also excellent for individuals who have a hard time controlling their spending and prevent the individual from overspending and getting into credit card debt. If your objective is to establish or rebuild you credit over a period of time, make sure the prepaid card issuer reports cardholder transactions to the credit bureaus namely Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union. It is very easy to obtain a prepaid credit card because there is no credit check or employment verification since the funds you will be using are yours and not that of the prepaid credit card issuer. Prepaid credit card spending limit or credit line is the amount of money you loaded to your prepaid credit card account. Prepaid credit card carries the Visa or MasterCard logo. It can be used anywhere MasterCard and visa is accepted except renting a car at certain car rental companies and setting up automatic recurring payments. The difference between a prepaid credit card and a debit card is that the spending transactions are deducted from the amount of money you loaded to your account unlike a debit card where the money spent is subtracted from your checking account and could cause Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) charges. The NSF charges are due to a customer drawing funds from an ATM or making purchases that exceeds the balance in their checking account. With a prepaid card this will never happen since the prepaid card holder is not borrowing any money and can only spend the amount of money loaded to their prepaid account. With prepaid credit card there are no interest charges because you are using your own money. To obtain a prepaid credit card requires paying a setup or application fee and may charge a fee each time you load more money to your account. Some of the ways prepaid credit card can be funded is with a wire transfer and a cash deposit at certain locations approved by the issuer.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Wachovia Online Banking

Wachovia online banking is fast becoming the banking method of choice for millions of customers looking to save time. In fact just recently the Wachovia online banking system landed in top place for customer satisfaction as gauged by Keynote System’s “Keynote Customer Experience and Service Level Rankings." What features set Wachovia online banking apart from its competition? Ease of use is what put Wachovia ahead of the rest. Online banking benefits banks by giving customers a way to help themselves. But online banking also has to benefit customers, and if such a program isn’t intuitive and easy to navigate, customers won’t use it. That’s not a problem at Wachovia. Its web site is uncluttered and neatly categorized which enables users to see at a glance exactly where to go to address their immediate needs. Another area in which Wachovia online banking excels is its access to customer service. Even though the site is easy to navigate, there are times when customers won’t know where to go or how to proceed. When that happens, all they need to do is click on the Customer Service link. There customers will find several FAQ’s that have been designed to answer the most common questions. There’s also a site map and a glossary of terms. If that’s still not enough, customers need only click on the Contact Us link. Again, customers will find their banking needs listed by category. They need only click on the appropriate link and in a split second, they’ll have complete contact information including a toll-free telephone number in most cases. So even though Wachovia online banking customers are dealing with a web site access to a human being is never more than a click away. Besides the ease of use and quick access to customer service, Wachovia online banking is offered absolutely free of charge. Better still, many prospective customers claim that the online banking web site is the feature that helped them choose Wachovia as their bank. No wonder Wachovia tops the list!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Purchase Order Financing For Resellers and Trading Companies

Are you a reseller, importer/exporter or own a trading company? Most resellers make their money by buying products from their suppliers at a favorable price, and then selling them to their customers for a markup. The business model is simple, clean, and above all, profitable. Many companies can easily pull margins of 15% to 30%. And I have even seen companies with margins that are close to 100%. So the business model is good. But it’s also challenging. Why? Well, when you buy from a supplier, they always want immediate payment or payment by letter of credit. Coupled with this is the fact that your customers always want to pay in 30 to 60 days. Many times, this payment timing discrepancy creates major problems. When this happens, most business owners will run to the bank and try to get a business loan. But business loans are very hard to obtain. Many businesses – especially small and mid sized businesses – will fall flat on their faces when they go to a bank for financing. But there is an alternative. There is a financing product that will provide you with the funds (or letters of credit) to pay all your suppliers. This enables you to deliver the order and make the sale. And, as opposed to a business loan, it’s easy to obtain. This product is called purchase order financing. Purchase order financing allows you to purchase products from your suppliers, using the financing company’s money, and then resell them to a third party. The biggest requirement is that you have non-cancelable purchase orders from solid commercial or government customers. Purchase order funding can be very helpful if your company is turning away orders because it lacks the financial wherewithal to deliver on them. The transaction is usually very simple. Once you have a purchase order, you call the factoring financing company. They provide you with the letters of credit (or similar instruments) to pay your suppliers. With that in hand, you go ahead and deliver on the order and invoice your client. The transaction is settled once your client pays, usually 30 to 60 days later. Many times, purchase order funding is combined with invoice factoring (also known as receivable factoring). This allows you to lower your overall cost of financing, making the transaction more profitable for you.

Friday, November 18, 2011

What Do Lenders Gain?

With the rising of the consumers spending power and with more debts being taken to repay their old one….the question should be what does the lender not gain? But the fact is that everything is not easy for the lender. With the increase in the acts and regulation passed to hold the lender community in check and with a watch over the ceiling of the interest rates, the lenders are in more trouble than we know. The time consumed in processing the debt and the cost involved in recovering the same is a matter to consider. Of the two types of lenders i.e. the banking community and the private lenders. It is the private lender who is at more risk; this is because most of the private lenders offer credit without actually looking into the credit worthiness of an individual. But to safeguard themselves against such circumstances the lenders charge high rate of interest and ask for security in the form of property or house. The lenders in order to safeguard themselves against various vagaries have formed communities and the interest fixed by them is uniform among all, though there might be some exception. Be it educational loan, car loan or house loan, it is the lender who is at risk. The highest amount of debt taken is for home loan category. It is found that the lenders gain with refinancing. Refinancing is nothing but paying off existing debts and taking a new one. Refinancing is on the increase because of lower interest rates, the lenders gain by the amount of refinancing loans that are applied. It is to safeguard against the various risk that the lenders drawn an agreement between the borrower and themselves. Another method that the lenders have adopted in order to increase the speed of processing the loan and to alert them on any discrepancies is the LEAP system, LEAP is Lenders Easy Access Program where all the details of a borrower are keyed and the processing of the borrowers application is done at a faster pace allowing the borrowers to get the amount at a quicker period of time and helps the lender by reducing the time and the cost involved in processing of documents. Therefore the risk faced by a lender while lending money, are many. The only way to safeguard them is to abide by the rules set forth by the banking community and adopt honest and transparent method of lending.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Understanding How Interest Rates Work

Interest rates are a complex subject. In some cases you will want them to be high, in others you'll want them to be as low as possible. But, what they are is not something that you or I can change. It is determined on many things especially on the way the economy is moving. So, how much you will pay for that car or the home you wanted and how much you will make on your savings accounts is determined by interest rates and factors that you can not control. But, there are many ways in which you can do well with interest rates. One of the most important things that the average consumer can do to lower interest rates that will effect them is to simply shop around. There are many deals to be had when it comes to these rates. You should consider looking not only at your bank and those in your area but also (and especially) at the banks and lending institutions on the web. You can truly save money by shopping around. It also helps considerably to get a low interest rate if you have good credit. While this is not something that you can instantly fix, it is something worth working for. Improving credit by lowering debt and making payments on time helps to increase your credit worthiness. This is very important when it comes to banks and lending institutions in determining whether or not you are a good risk to take. But, how are interest rates set? For the most part, the determination of what the rates are has a lot to do with what the Federal Reserve says it should be. This determination is based on many things but one of the largest is the economy. Should the economy be doing well, interest rates tend to go up to help increase profitability and allow your savings dollar to do more. Likewise, when the economy is doing poorly, it is necessary for the interest rates to fall slightly to help encourage people to open new businesses and purchase more homes. This will then strengthen the economy in the long run. Being smart about interest rates is essential to living a profitable life.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How Fair Lending Protects Us

Fair lending is an extremely important issue in the protection of consumers and their interests. There is a variety of legislation, both state and federal, that will be in place to make sure that lenders do not take advantage of consumers when they are borrowing money. One of the most important is that they explain the terms of the loan to you properly. The annual percentage rate, or APR of the loan, which is the total cost of loan including all extra charges and arrangement fees must be clearly disclosed to consumers. They must also tell you of all other charges, penalties and fees that may be due under the loan. They must tell you how often you must make loan repayments, for example if they are monthly, or weekly or on another timescale. They must also tell you for how long the loan will last; this is the lifetime or term of the loan. Then they must tell you how much each repayment will be. As well as all of these vital details, the lender must also make you aware of any amount that must be paid down, at the beginning of the loan, or at the end of the loan. You must be informed of the ways in which you can repay the loan early and whether such early repayments will incur additional charges. You must also be told how to cancel the loan within a set cancellation period. It is illegal for any lender to force or coerce you into taking a loan, and your bank, a car dealer, a home lease or any other company cannot force you to take on credit from their company if you think you can get a better deal from someone else. For example, if a car dealer offers you credit to buy a car in his lot, then you can always go to your bank or any other lender and see if you can get a better deal or more favourable terms from them. If you are thinking of getting short-term loans such as a payday loan then you will have different rights and you should be given a leaflet or brochure explaining your rights. This is the same if you are pawning something in a pawnshop. If you are not given a list of such rights you should go online immediately and find out these rights from federal trade commission and make sure you have not been taken advantage of.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Retirement Planning and Your Finances

Credit Cards: Having a credit card is often a necessity for most senior citizens – from paying for medicine and emergencies to booking a vacation. But for seniors living on a fixed income, there are concerns about carrying a large balance from month to month and running up significant interest charges. In the worst cases, the debt becomes unmanageable and a major source of stress for the account holder and the family. Another problem for seniors is having too many credit cards. That's because the more cards you have, the more opportunities you have to get into debt. And that possibility could make it tougher for you to get the best deal the next time you apply for a loan, insurance, a mortgage or an apartment. Having a lot of cards also can make it harder to keep track of when your monthly payments are due or to even realize that a thief may have stolen one of your cards. Home Equity Loans and Lines of Credit: These are loans that use the equity in your house as collateral and often are tax deductible (check with your tax advisor). The equity refers to the difference between what you owe on a house and its current market value. A home equity loan is a one-time loan for a lump sum, typically at a fixed interest rate. A home equity line of credit works like a credit card in that you can borrow as much as you want up to a pre-set credit limit. The interest rate for a line of credit usually is variable, meaning it could increase or decrease in the future. "For elderly people on a fixed income who have paid their mortgage in full or whose mortgage is almost paid in full, home equity loans are tempting to use to pay for expenses, but they can also be dangerous," warned Janet Kincaid, FDIC Senior Consumer Affairs Officer. "In the worst-case scenario, if you are unable to make the required loan payments, you could lose your home." In general, the best uses for home equity-type loans are to purchase goods or services with long-term benefits, such as home improvements that add to the value of your property. The riskiest uses of home equity loans include a vacation or a car because you could end up paying a lot in interest charges for a purchase that's only of short-term value or has gone down in value. Also beware that some unscrupulous people or companies (including home repair contractors) push high-cost, high-risk home equity loans to elderly people and other consumers. Reverse Mortgages: These are home equity loans available to homeowners age 62 or older. In general, a reverse mortgage is a loan that provides money that can be used for any purpose, and the principal and interest payments typically become due when you move, sell your house or die. A reverse mortgage also differs from other home loans in that you don't need an income to qualify and you don't have to make monthly repayments. While reverse mortgages can be a valuable source of funds, they also have serious potential drawbacks. In particular, you will be reducing your equity, perhaps substantially, after you add in the interest costs. "Reverse mortgages can help in some situations, such as when you have large medical bills that are not covered, to make major home repairs or to help people on low fixed-incomes make ends meet," said Cynthia Angell, a Senior Financial Economist at the FDIC. "However, you are reducing your ownership share of the home. That means the inheritance you are leaving to your heirs could be greatly diminished or you could have far less money available for other purposes, such as buying into a retirement community later on. That's why a reverse mortgage should usually be used as a last resort, not as an integral part of a retirement strategy." Also, Angell said, the fees can be high, and that could make a reverse mortgage a poor choice to cover relatively small expenses. Life Insurance: People mostly think about life insurance as a source of income when someone dies, but they forget that many insurance policies also can be a source of cash at other times. If you have a life insurance policy with built-up cash value, you can borrow against that money and either repay the loan with interest or reduce the death benefit accordingly. Example: If you have a $100,000 life insurance policy but you owe $20,000 on a loan from that policy, your heirs would receive $80,000 as the insurance payout. There are other options reserved for people who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and have run out of other ways to pay their expenses. One example is a life insurance policy that can pay "accelerated death benefits" to an eligible policy holder — generally up to about 50 percent of the face value of the policy — in either a lump-sum payment or monthly payments that are deducted from the policy's face value. When the policy holder dies, the rest of the death benefit is paid out. Another possibility is to "sell" your life insurance policy to obtain a lump-sum of about 40 to 80 percent of the face value in exchange for the right to receive the full insurance payout when you die. This is known in the insurance business as a "viatical settlement." These and other options for tapping life insurance policies can be complicated (including tax and other implications), and they are not right for everyone. Consider getting guidance from your state government's insurance regulator.

Visa Vs MasterCard – Which Is The Best?

The two leading credit card companies in the world today are the competitors Visa and MasterCard. They both operate along very similar lines. While Visa can claim to have almost a billion cards issued, MasterCard has over twenty five thousand banks issuing its cards and it is difficult to find any difference in the number of locations worldwide that accept the cards, which is now estimated at over twenty million. In fact, as far as most consumers are concerned, there is no real difference between the two. They are both very widely accepted in over one hundred and fifty countries and it is very rare to find a location that will accept one but not the other. However, neither Visa nor MasterCard actually issue any credit cards themselves. They are both simply methods of payment. They rely on banks in various countries to issue credit cards that utilise these payment methods. Therefore, the interest rates, rewards, annual fees, and all other charges are issued by your bank and when you pay your bill you are paying it to the bank or institution that issued your card and not Visa or MasterCard. How Visa and MasterCard make their money is by charging the retailer for using their payment method. So the truth of the matter is that a Visa issued by say the Bank of Scotland will have very little to do with a Visa issued by other banks and may in fact by more similar to the Bank of Scotland’s MasterCard. What this means for the vast majority of customers is that you do not have to overly concern yourself with whether a credit card is MasterCard or Visa. You would be better off concentrating on the interest and other charges on the card, the balance transfer possibilities or their reward scheme. You are very unlikely to ever be effected by the fact that it is one and not the other. If you prefer, if you are going to have two credit cards, you may decide that you want one of them to be Visa and the other MasterCard, this means that if something drastic were to happen to one company, or if you were in the unlikely position of finding a location that accepts one but not the other, then you would have the option of paying with either. At the end of the day however, much more depends on the bank that gave you the card, than on the type of card it is.

Monday, November 14, 2011

MPC Confident In Rate Decision

The Bank of England was confident in its decision to hold interest rates at its last meeting. Minutes released from the monetary policy committee's (MPC) meeting on June 8th show that members voted seven to one in favour of holding rates at 4.5 per cent. Only one member voted for a rise of 0.25 per cent, as the committee appeared to balance inflationary fears against the wider needs of the economy, with the reluctance to raise interest rates welcomed by those seeking a mortgage. The minutes reveal that mixed messages from the housing market, weak growth in the UK, falling equity prices and a slowdown in the US economy all concerned the bank, moving the MPC to downplay concerns over rising inflation. The minutes stated: "Given that recent developments had been broadly in line with the May inflation report, and that there were significant risks to the outlook in both directions, most members felt that the rate should remain unchanged this month." Speaking at Mansion House on June 21st, Mervyn King, governor of the bank, hinted that the minutes are a good source of future predictions for those with an interest in future rate rises. "All those listening to the speeches of MPC members – including this one – for a hint as to the decisions we shall take in the coming months will be disappointed repeatedly," he said. "We make up our minds one month at a time. Those, however, who read our minutes, inflation reports and speeches to understand our thinking will mine a richer seam." © Adfero Ltd TML specialise in providing mortgage and remortgage solutions to homeowners who have current or previous credit issues, cannot prove their income or need to consolidate debt. We believe that your financial history is just that - history; and we will take your mortgage application on its own merits.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

What is a CA Debt Consolidation Loan & What can it do for you?

CA debt consolidation is no different from any other state's consolidation firms, only that the laws may change slightly. Many of the debt consolidation loans offered in CA are lent to families and individuals to help them payoff their debts. If the money is used for any other purpose, the debtor may face penalties. Many firms--instead of giving the debtor cash--will manage the loan them self, using it to payoff the debts owed. Instead of paying your pending debts, you will now be paying off a loan lent to you by one of the debt consolidation agencies in California. Rather, if you are paying for a vehicle, mortgage, or credit cards, then the debt consolidation agency will use the loan to payoff these debts, leaving you owing the amount of the loan, plus interest. Don't be fooled! No one can really reduce your debts in most instances. Rather, no can reduce your debts more than you can yourself. If you contact your creditors before you land in the hands of the collection agencies, you can negotiate on your own. Some creditors will reduce you debts, while others may terminate the debt entirely. The downside is that if the creditors wipe out your debt, or else reduce your debts, then in one instance you will be a 'write off." In other words, the information given to the IRS, which in turns adds the debt back to you by increasing your taxes. The solution isn't entirely a bad deal, since the IRS only comes around once every year, which will give you some time. Most people with credit cards utilize the cards to their limits and fail to make full payments on time. This is one of the primary reasons why people search for debt consolidation.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Planning For Retirement

When looking towards retirement many people just think about the joy of not having to work anymore. Unfortunately, even though a person retires they still have bills to pay. The need for careful planning is perhaps the most overlooked part of retirement. Having a set plan in place before retirement will help to ensure the golden years are golden. The following list gives some great points on how to plan for retirement. 1. Save money. Before retirement setting up a savings account or 401K will get a person prepared for life without a steady paycheck. A 401K is usually sponsored through an employer where the employer matches contributions the employee makes. Money put into a 401K also goes untaxed which can mean immediate savings. IRA’s are also another way to save for retirement. These accounts are also not taxed. 2. Determine your expenses after retirement. A person should have a fairly good idea what monthly expenses they expect to have after retirement. Having a rough idea will help a person determine how much they need to save to be able to make it. Then considerations also need to be made for special purchases like cars and trips. 3. Working after retirement. Many people chose to take on a part-time position after retiring. Most often it is to supplement their income, but for others it is a way to socialize and gives them something to do with all the spare time they now have. If a person is not planning on working anymore at all then they should have some idea what they do want to do with their time. Many retirees find that retirement can be boring after years spent in the work force. These three points will give a person something to think about when planning for retirement. Getting a good financial plan is the first step. It is also important to consider what life will really be like once the daily work schedule is gone.

Friday, November 11, 2011

What Is A Balance Sheet?

A balance sheet is a quick picture of the financial condition of a business at a specific period in time. The activities of a business fall into two separate groups that are reported by an accountant. They are profit-making activities, which includes sales and expenses. This can also be referred to as operating activities. There are also financing and investing activities that include securing money from debt and equity sources of capital, returning capital to these sources, making distributions from profit to the owners, making investments in assets and eventually disposing of the assets. Profit making activities are reported in the income statement; financing and investing activities are found in the statement of cash flows. In other words, two different financial statements are prepared for the two different types of transactions. The statement of cash flows also reports the cash increase or decrease from profit during the year as opposed to the amount of profit that is reported in the income statement. The balance sheet is different from the income and cash flow statements which report, as it says, income of cash and outgoing cash. The balance sheet represents the balances, or amounts, or a company's assets, liabilities and owners' equity at an instant in time. The word balance has different meanings at different times. As it's used in the term balance sheet, it refers to the balance of the two opposite sides of a business, total assets on one side, and total liabilities on the other. However, the balance of an account, such as the asset, liability, revenue and expense accounts, refers to the amount in the account after recording increases and decreases in the account, just like the balance in your checking account. Accountants can prepare a balance sheet any time that a manager requests it. But they're generally prepared at the end of each month, quarter and year. It's always prepared at the close of business on the last day of the profit period.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Where Can You Buy The Dinar Safely?

There are a lot of places where you can buy the Iraqi dinar. It will be a half year dayjob to test them all! So where can I buy the dinar safely? Look for the companies that are involved in more than only selling the new Iraqi dinar. They do not want to destroy their good names by selling counterfit notes or just do not send you anything at all. These companies are better to get in touch with and you can check them out more easily on the search engines. Do not buy at sites where there is no contact information! Always try to email the company first so the least you know is that their customer support is fine. Also try to find out more about the company by doing an IP check. You can fine a lot of sites offering this for free. If it is a hidden id and no info can be given about the domain just leave. When they are hiding means they do not really believe in this opportunity and are just resellers for the quick buck. Why would they otherwise hide? What I can say is that when something is 'hot' you always get fraudland people attracted. There are already scam reports regarding this. People who do not receive anything at all or just copied paper! As soon as you receive your dinars find out what the security marks are (do a search on google!) and check it out. Also look at the prices. It should be somewhere around $100 for 100,000 dinars. When the price is a lot less alarm bells should ring. When it is a lot more look for a better place. I have seen prices on the net ranging from $50 to $200 for the same pack of dinars. Just do not jump onto this, get educated! For the rest I recommend that you use the documentation on my site. The links, ads and articles are there for you, to assist you in your due diligence. The best to you and keep away from the scammers!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Top Rated Home Based Business Ideas

There are a number of profitable small business ideas that you can consider. Many companies looking for investors, for example, advertise themselves in business magazines and newspapers. You can also find a number of profitable small business ideas posted in the internet. It is however important that you always check out with your business bureau to verify the legitimacy of a profitable business idea that has been offered to you.

This will help you avoid the hassles of dealing with illegal companies whose objective is just to steal money from their investors. It is best that you make a research before dealing with a company regardless if a friend or a colleague has referred it to you. Be also cautious of companies enticing you to invest on business ideas that seem too good to be true. Make sure that you seek for a business advice before signing any document to invest in particular business opportunities.

Operating a successful business needs internet marketing

It is difficult to have a perfect formula to ensure that your new business ideas will become successful. There are, however, certain factors that you can consider to ensure that the internet business idea that you have will become a profitable business. Make sure that you seek business advice from experts who can give you helpful inputs when choosing for a profitable industry. It is also helpful that you have the necessary business resources when operating particular business.

Business resources and marketing do not just refer to the business cost. It also refers to the skills and interest that you need to have to make you qualified in running profitable companies. Profitable startup businesses have become successful because they are operated and managed by entrepreneurs who are knowledgeable and have natural interest in the industry that they have chosen to do business with.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Tips, Skills, and Tools you Need to Negotiate Effectively

Negotiating skills are a nonnegotiable requirement for success, but few people understand the structures, techniques and approaches available to them in an attempt to gain successful results. Effective negotiation means more than just getting what you want. It means arriving at a solution that satisfies all parties and creates future opportunities. Fine tune your communication style. Listening is a key part of effective communication. What is and is not said is key during negotiations and in building professional relationship. Establish an assertive approach, communicate in a clear fashion, remain professional, be patient, try to avoid aggressive behaviors. Neutralize objectives presented by the counterpart and negotiate with confidence. Being aggressive means standing up for yourself in ways that violate the rights of others. Aggressive behavior is typically punishing, hostile, blaming, and demanding. It can involve threats, name-calling, and even actual physical contact. It can also involve sarcasm, catty comments, gossip and "slips of the tongue." Negotiation training will give you the crucial negotiation skill, strategies, tools and techniques you must have to effectively handle negotiations ranging from sales, contract, labor and business negotiations, to international negotiations involving business and political conflict to all varieties of personal negotiations. Negotiation Tips and Goals 1. Improve personal and professional profitability. 2. Achieve desired outcomes and create synergy while fostering relationships. 3. Maximize financial returns and value in negotiations. 4. Avoid being cheated. 5. Neutralize difficult negotiators and their tactics. 6. Enter into and conduct negotiations with confidence. 7. Know when and how to walk away from a negotiation. 8. Improve personal relationships with colleagues, clients and loved ones. 9. Build leadership and team building skills. 10. Turn cultural differences into assets rather than liabilities. Strategic thinking and planning is pivotal to your success in this business climate.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Settle your debts the easy way

The process of contacting creditors directly or through a third party and negotiating for a lump sum payoff of your debts is known as debt settlement.

Benefits of debt settlement
  • You can reduce your principal debt amount by around 40% to 60%.
  • Eliminate your late fees, lower your APR.
  • Repay your debts within your chosen time span.
The debts charging higher interest rates are the ones that need to be settled first. This will make the most dramatic change in your monthly budget. Generally a credit card debt settlement case might take up to 3-9 months which can be shortened to 1-3 months if someone wants to speed up the process of settling debts. On an average debt reduction firms generally charges from 8%-15% of the total outstanding debt but is advisable to do a thorough verification of the company.
A certain time period is allowed by a debt settlement company for settling ones debt which is generally 36 months and during this time the creditor needs to agree to on a total amount for negotiation. You need to qualify for the program to use debt settlement to settle your debts. You need to talk to a consultant about your personal debt to see whether you qualify for the program or not. If you do qualify a financial program will be set up to meet your needs whereby you will be able to determine just how much money will be required to put aside every month to start paying off your debts.

Debt settlement is one of the best ways to :
  • Improve your credit report.
  • Avoid harassment by creditors.
  • Make savings for thousands of dollars making a single payment every month and also save a substantial amount of time.
For further reference, you may refer to different debt settlement ways at

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Oil Production May Be At Its Peak, Experts Say

Anyone who has recently visited a gas station has felt the pinch of the impending oil crisis by having to pay more than $3 per gallon for gas. While most people understand that we are facing a worldwide shortage of one of our most precious commodities, the reasons behind the deficiency remain somewhat vague. According to Mammoth Resource Partners, Inc., a Kentucky-based oil and gas exploration company, major media coverage has largely ignored the underlying reasons for the relentless march toward ever-higher oil and natural gas prices. Experts report that the reasons are rooted not only in Middle East chaos and Asia's booming economies, but they also predict that it's in the possibility that the world's oil production may be peaking. By definition, peak oil is the name geologists have given to a proven fact of oil exploration and development: When half of an oil field's reserves have been extracted, the field will begin to progressively yield less oil with every passing year until it yields zero. "As peak is approached, what is left in the major fields is becoming harder to extract, reducing the growth of oil supply, thus increasing its price," said Dr. Roger L. Cory, President of Mammoth Resource Partners, Inc. In short, the world has been consuming more oil while it has been drilling and extracting about the same amount of oil. These two trends cannot continue without some long-lasting effects. "The supply and demand lines are crossing, leading to huge increases in the price of oil and oil-related petroleum products," Cory predicts. Cory said there will always be oil in the ground, but the questions that producers need to ask themselves are, how hard will it be to get out, and thus how much will it cost? And how high will the going rate per barrel have to be to make it worth my while? "We have recently seen crude sold for more than $70 per barrel. Is this a temporary price spike, or part of a major, permanent upward price trend?" Cory said. "It's anyone's guess how high the price of crude will go, but triple digits per barrel certainly do not seem out of the question."

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sell Your Property Without An Agent

For the longest time, owners would always turn to agents to sell properties. These days, you can sell your property without an agent and save a bundle on commissions. Sell Your Property Without An Agent One thing that many property owners get caught up in that they don’t necessarily have to is dealing with a real estate agent. When looking to sell, many property owners think that they need a real estate agent to sell their property. This simply is not so. Sure, a real estate agent knows the ropes (hopefully), but the commission charged is not exactly cheap and often times property owners would be better off selling the property by themselves. Selling your property without an agent is something that every property owner in the market to sell should definitely consider. It can save a lot of money and allow the property owner to end up with quite a bit of extra cash in their pocket that would have gone to the real estate agent instead. The real estate agent will indeed know the ropes of listing the property and dealing with buyers, but doing these things is not as hard as some thing. In fact, for listing a property, just going online and listing on a web site will allow property owners to connect with thousands of buyers and open the door for selling their property very quickly. In terms of dealing with buyers, this essentially comes down to your own resolve. Set a price for your property ahead of time, but make it reasonable. Know what the properties around you are worth and have been selling for and have a number in mind that you want your property to sell for. Be flexible but be prepared to haggle with buyers over the selling price of the property. Dealing with buyers and listing the property are really the only two major things that will change whether or not you have a real estate agent. And, on that note, if you do have a real estate agent then it can be just as difficult dealing with them as it can be dealing with buyers! So, know what your options are and make the right choice for you when selling your property.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Internet Banking could help with your tax retuns

One of the most useful things about Internet banking is that once you have your account information on your computer, you can export it into financial programs such as Microsoft Money and Quicken, to better manage your various household accounts. This can be particularly useful at tax time, if you export your account details into a tax calculator program such as TurboTax. However, getting the software and your Internet banking to talk to each other can sometimes be easier said than done. While many banks (especially Internet-only banks) are good about this and offer an easy download link to save your online statements onto your computer, others offer only a very basic Internet banking service. If your bank doesn’t produce export files, you may have luck with asking your software to access your Internet banking account directly, giving it your username and password (it goes without saying that you shouldn’t give these details to any software you don’t completely trust). If that still doesn’t work, then don’t worry. Search the web for the name of your bank followed by ‘export software’, and you will often find that someone has produced a free script that you can use to save the information from your bank’s website. These scripts generally work by first asking you to save pages from your Internet banking using your web browser’s Save button or menu option, and then taking the files produced and converting them into a format that your financial software can understand. If all else fails, call up your bank and ask them to help you. If they refuse, and it is really important to you, you might consider opening an account at an Internet bank, where they will be much more understanding towards these kinds of requests. You might also want to complain to the company that makes the financial software, as they may be able to persuade (or even help) the bank to do something about the problem.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

How to spot clear warning signals that your heading for financial disaster

Most people don't spot the signs that might help them avoid going bankrupt or losing the house. Going bust on a personal level does not happen overnight it takes and time and bad management in the majority of cases. Over time the walls start closing in and before you know it you've lost the house, the car or the lot. The best plan of attack is to avoid this situation at all cost! You need some foresight when making personal finance decisions, for example the 12 / 24 month interest free deal look great on the surface but the real cost is hidden over the term of the agreement and people get suckered into them time after time. You need to ask you what circumstances are going to change in the future that is going to allow you to pay that debt, why can't you pay it today? If you answer honestly then you most probably will walk away. They don't teach financial literacy in school sadly. The rule is simple, don't borrow to buy consumable items that lose value it's just not smart. Learn to go over the fine print with a microscope, you will need to do this to find the hidden land mines. think national sub prime disaster, I can't offer up a more valuable example. Consider this also, the cheaper the item the worse the finance package is going to be for the consumer. To make it viable for the seller they are going to try and make big margin on the finance. Small item price = high price for you. Credit cards are pretty much evil unless you know how to manage them, if you must have one set the limit low and pay it off inside the monthly interest free period to avoid the bank fees. A small financial hole is much easier to get out of than a big one, never take on extra debt unless it's a matter of necessity. A home loan is the top of the tree, car loans are second, think long and hard about any debt that goes beyond these two items. Cars and homes you need the rest you live without, the don't teach you this in school but it's uncommon sense most people need to learn and seldom will.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Lure of Cash Advances

Getting a cash advance loan may make you feel better about a financial problem, but just think how much better you will feel once you have paid back that loan! This article is the result of the growing use of cash advance loans. The article was written for answering the frequently asked questions about them. As well as other issues people have with bad credit cash advance loans. I hope you find it helpful. It is very easy to become too dependent on cash advances by thinking that since you have paid back one loan, it is very simple and easy to get another cash advance and pay it back too. It may be easy, but it could also be where your trouble begins. Don't become dependent on cash advances getting you out of a financial bind. If you keeping getting cash advances and paying them back on time, the cash advance company will of course like it, but it is not financially healthy to get dependent on cash advances. Quick Note: Is this information helpful? It is hard to find useful information about bad credit cash advance loans. So I decided to let you in on what I have learned. If you fall into a financial bind, your first inclination is to get out of the mess. Think about how you would feel if you borrowed money from a friend. It would probably make you feel bad if you did not pay them back, now wouldn't you? That is much what getting a cash advance is like, but if you pay off the loan, then they will get off your back and quit harassing you. You will also feel a great sense of accomplishment from paying off this debt too. There are many people who rely too much on cash advances and use them regularly to get out of a financial mess. Just keep in mind that taking out a cash advance loan is only going to be a short term fix as you will eventually have to pay them too-plus interest! Now you've finished the article and want more info and resources for bad credit cash advance loans. Visit us today and get the answers you need.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Turbo Charge Your Profits With Options

I know many people who trade stocks. Most of the US house holds have stocks in various companies. Have you tried options? Many people think Options are only for professional traders and the big boys. It is not so. Let me explain in simple terms what are the pros and cons of options. Here is how the option works. Assume that you see a house in your street and the owner is planning to sell it retiring and moving to Florida within one year. The current market price for the house is $215,000. You go and talk to the owner Brad and tell him “Hi Brad; I would like to lock in this house for the price of $220,000; I will have the right to buy this house for this price for one year (i.e. till December 2006). For this I will pay you $2000.”. Now you and Brad come to an agreement; Brad gives you the right but not an obligation to buy the house till December 2006 at a price of 220,000. You have the right and not the obligation that is important which means if the house price goes down you don’t need to buy it at 220K. Now in end of 2006, the house prices came up and now Brad’s house is now worth $235,000. Now you call a real estate agent sell it for 235,000 and give 220,000 to Brad and pocket a profit of 15,000 (minus your option premium of $1000). So your net profit is $14,000 on an investment of $1000. That is like 1400% return on your money. If you had bought the house at 215,000 and sell it for 235,000 you might have made 20,000 or about 10% return on your money. The options trade is explained in the author's website completely with examples. We encourage the users to read the complete example and start getting more profit.