Thursday, March 8, 2012

If You Had To Choose, Would It Be A Ton Of Bricks Or A Ton Of Feathers?

In the world of traditional business and employment, we face several dilemmas. The first dilemma of traditional business is obviously the start-up capital. The amount of capital usually required is enormous in the brick and mortar world. The second dilemma of traditional business is the rise and fall of profits or the "not knowing" if the business will survive. Traditional brick and mortar requires the ownership to participate in a twenty-four hour endeavor just to keep the business in operation. The third. Dealing with employees. I speak to business owners and one of the biggest challenges they face is dealing with employees. Employees in today’s world tend to move around from job to job, therefore for business owners it becomes a continuous, daunting task of hiring.

Being an employee is not without its’ woes either. As an employee, we have to contend with a very competitive business world. In this competitive world of business, we have to compete with competitive wages. I do not know anyone personally who is surviving on today’s wages without having to work two or more jobs to support themselves. It’s a tough world out there, only getting tougher. If we continue down the employee mentality path and not observe more rewarding opportunities out there in the world to benefit our lives, than one thing is for sure. Do not plan on getting ahead if you do not think outside the box.

Now, let’s put together a simple scenario. Here you are now reading this article. Think about your situation.

In the game of life, what really matters is where you end up. What does that mean? After all of the hard work, what is going to happen should you live to be old? A reality we all must face.
Now, what about the quality of life until our passing?

Here is a simple scenario. Imagine there’s a rope in front of you. Now imagine this rope is tied to a hatch above you. When you pull the rope, the hatch opens and something will fall on your head. What falls on your head represents your financial planning decisions. In this case, what falls on your head is either a ton of bricks or a ton of feathers. So, does a ton equal a ton? In weights and measures, yes. But not to the one who pulls the rope.

(c) Copyright 2006.All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

How to Find a Good Inexpensive Hotel

When going on vacation somewhere you have never been it can be hard to find a good quality Hotel working on a budget. So here is a guide to help you find a good place cheap, so you don’t have to worry about where you will stay.

In my life I have done a great deal of traveling, and I have many nightmare stories about the things that have happened to me in some of the cheap hotels I have stayed in. I remember once I was ok a ski trip and half the floor in my room actually dropped about 6 inches. I woke up and my head was lower then the rest of me and was confused for several seconds before I managed to come to my senses. Lucky for me the room was on the first floor. On another trip, the police raided the hotel looking for illegal immigrants, and there was noise all night long. It was probably quiet the next night, but I did not stick around to see.

Finding a good inexpensive hotel should not be a gamble. The best way to find a good hotel is to go to a place you have been before, but assuming that is not an option the next best thing is from someone who has been there.

If you know someone who has been to the same vacation spot as you are planning on going, ask them about the place they stayed, the worst that can happen is they tell you they hated it or that it was too expensive.

But what if no one you know has ever been to where you are going to be? Unless you like to gamble, you can't just make reservations anywhere, if you are looking to gamble on something play blackjack or poker in a casino, but don’t roll the dice with the place you are going to use as your home base for your vacation.

Use the internet to look for hotel reviews. There are many websites that have reviews from people who have stayed in the hotel. Now one mans hell may be another mans heaven, but at least this way you can see that 5 people stayed there and said it was fine and two said it was not good maybe these 2 people were the exception.

Or maybe the two that did not like the hotel were in town for business in an area popular with tourists. This can be an annoying situation when everyone around you is partying and you are trying to sleep, this is one of the reason why no business is conducted in Daytona Beech during Spring Break.

Talking with a travel agent is always a great way to assure your happiness with your lodgings, and helps keep the gambling in the casinos and out of your room.

A good thing to do is to make sure to ask lots of question on the phone with any hotels you are considering staying in.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

How do payday cash advances work?

Payday cash advance loans are essentially short-term loans that may use a borrower’s paycheck as collateral. Working individuals who are mainly dependent on their paychecks for money may occasionally find themselves in a spot where an emergency requirement arises and the next paycheck is still far away.

In such instances, lenders offer cash advances to adult individuals with an assured net income of at least $ 1000 per month. The loan amount is to be repaid by the borrower in full on the next payday. Cash advances charge a rate of interest of up to 20% and should ideally be taken in small amounts so that they can be repaid easily. The high rate of interest is charged as these loans are short term and given without a credit check. Most lenders offer a first-time payday cash advance of up to $1000.

The process of applying for and obtaining a cash advance is automated and can be carried out online. The borrower is required to submit a short application, which is usually replied to via email. The money is transferred to the borrower’s account upon the signing of the loan agreement and submission of postdated checks. Alternatively, the lender can directly withdraw money from the borrower’s account on the designated due date. Inability on part of the borrower to pay the loan in full may imply a violation of the loan agreement which can prompt the lender to demand non-sufficient funds (NSF) costs. If a lending agency chooses to refer a borrower’s poor payment record to the credit bureau, it can harm a person’s credit score and affect his chances of obtaining a loan.

Ideally, a person should refrain from taking payday cash advances often as these incur a high rate of interest. They should be kept as the final option when loans from friends cannot be availed and credit cards cannot be used. Factors that affect the approval of a payday cash advance include federal and state lending regulations, net income, and existing previous payday advances or other loans. Usually payday cash advances are scheduled for payment 15-18 days from the application date. Individuals can avail only one payday cash advance at a time from a given lender.

Lenders allow for an extension of the payment date and deduct an extension of payment fee on the original due date. There is a limit to the number of extensions allowed by the lender. Most allow up to four extensions of the payment date. The next scheduled date for repayment is usually the date of receiving a paycheck.

Monday, March 5, 2012

So, Do You Need Financial Planning?

Well do you need Financial Planning? In this article, I will show you how you can answer this question.

Immediately after we complete our college education, we automatically participate in a race call rat race.

Everyone started the race with a cart. In this cart, we have personal bills, loans and our allowance. As we are single, everything is good and manageable. We can spend what we earn without worry.

Then we meet our partners and get married. Thus we begin our next chapter in life. Our cart becomes heavier and we now worry about our spouse's bills and loans and kids allowance. Some of us must support our parents too. We may even need to bring our family to vocation. As we grow older, our carts get heavier and heavier. Do you have enough savings to meet these expenses?

As we know, life is never a straight and smooth path. We will encounter obstacles. Some of these obstacles may set us back in terms of our financial standing .If we do encounter a big obstacle (e.g. critical illness, operation, surgery, business failure) and need a huge sum of money to recover, Do you have enough money to meet this expense? What if the big obstacle results in us being permanently bed-ridden or out of work for a long time, what is going to happen to our cart? Do you have enough money to support yourself and family if that happens?

Many may say, well we have friends and relatives to turn to for help. But our friends and family have their own carts to pull too. If they help push our cart, who is going to push theirs?

We will all retire from work eventually. From then on till we all rest in peace, we do not have regular income but our life must still go on. We still need to pay our bills and we still need to eat. Do you have enough money to support yourself during retirement?

At old age, our body is no longer working as well as they used to. Our health conditions deteriorate, as we get older. We will need to seek medical help frequently. We may even need to employ a person to take good care of us. Do you have enough money to spend on these medical expenses?

So do you need Financial Planning? If you answer ‘Yes’ to all the above questions, then you are safe and need not worry about Financial Planning. Otherwise, I suggest you start thinking about it.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Why You Need a Virtual Safety Deposit Box

Advances in information technology, paired with recent weather-related disasters and a growing awareness of the need for access to vital documents has lead to the creation of a new solution designed to protect your most important documents: a virtual safety deposit box. Whether you are looking for a safe place to store vital records such as birth certificates or marriage licenses, or other important documents such as health records, insurance policies, living wills or financial data, a virtual safety deposit box can help keep your critical documents just a few keystrokes away from any computer in the world.

Considered a safe alternative to traditional archives in bank deposit boxes or in-home lockboxes, a virtual safety deposit box provides peace of mind paired with instant access in times of need. Gaining popularity during the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, this safe method of document storage has become a preferred method of protecting assets around the world. The news media is filled with stories of families who lost everything during the hurricanes, banks whose records were in shambles and law offices whose records perished in high water and storm-damaged conditions.

Elsewhere in the country and the world, stories are common about houses burning to the ground with vital records still inside, families denied access to important documents after a loved one’s death and important paperwork swept away by vicious tornados. Any asset that you have that is paper-based can easily be converted for storage in a virtual safety deposit box. For a small monthly or yearly fee – comparable to the price you would pay for a bank deposit box and less than the purchase price of an in-home safe – you can choose to upload copies of your documents on your own, fax or mail documents to secured processing sites, or have a technician visit your home or office to complete your archival work for you.

After your virtual safety deposit box is set up, you can access your information safely and securely 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year from any internet-connected computer on the planet. All archived data is guaranteed against breaches in security and fraud and virtual safety deposit box providers utilize many reliable, prove and trustworthy safeguards against any wrong-doing. Securing your family’s future and well-being is job one, and using a virtual safety deposit box only makes that job easier.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Money Counters – Simplifying Money Management

When you hear the word “money counter”, the first thing that comes to your mind is someone who counts money. Money counters do count money, but they are not persons. A money counter is a machine that can count, add, stack, and detect money. Money counters are used by banks, arcades, casinos, restaurants, multi national companies and any firm that handles a lot of cash or change in a day.

Money counters are used all across the world to increase speed of counting cash, eliminate errors and simplify money handling. There are machines that can handle international currencies. These machines can detect the currency from various countries and display their values.

Money sorters come in all kind of shapes, sizes and types, as well as configurations and price ranges. There are simple banks meant for children that help them count their allowance and there are complex counters that place coins into rolls and tally the exact amount. There are other money counters that count and sort cash as well.

Counterfeit Detectors

A counterfeit detector is a built-in setting in a money counter that detects fake currency from the rest of the bundle. If the currency is counterfeit, an alarm alerts the user. A counterfeit detector has the following components

· A magnetic detector scans the bills for the magnetic component that is used while making bills. In case of US bills, the bills when passed over the detector will produce a positive magnetic response.

· A magnifying detector is used to detect and check micro printing, fine-line printing pattern, serial number, inscribed security thread etc that is customized on various currencies. These cannot be seen with the naked eye. Hence magnifying detectors are used.

· A watermark is a specialized marking found on the US currency. It is produced by applying pressure on the bill mold. Holding the currency against a UV bulb will detect the quality of the watermark. A weak watermark means fake currency.

· Every US dollar bill has unique color shifting property on its lower right hand side corner. If you focus the bill on the lighted reflector, that part changes color from green to black. If there is no change in color, then it means the currency is counterfeit.

Use counters to improvise your money management mechanism!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Linking Debt to Solutions

I owe, I owe, it is off to work I go. This is a common no nonsense saying that has been used for many years. Most of the people that make this statement are saying I am in debt.

When you are in debt, you just have to start linking debt to solutions. When you think solutions, your mind often opens up to new ideas. New ideas are a guider that directs you to discovering your choices.

Your choices include

Debt management

Time management

Debt consolidation

Debt counseling


The last option of course is something you want to avoid, so start thinking debt management. Debt management is a structural process. You begin by evaluating your debt. Think of each item you pay for weekly. Once you create a list you commence to eliminating, some of your debt by terminates some of your expenses. For instance, if you pay weekly for cable television, you can save money by thinking of your package. If you spend $11 weekly, which amounts to $55 monthly you may have options to reduce your monthly cable bill. Perhaps you can accommodate to basic cable rather than pay full cost for all features.

With time management, you construct a debt management solution. Instead of focusing first on your debt, you compare the time you spend each week to progress. If you spend too much time eating out, you see that by cutting back on dining out you can save money and time.

Debt consolidation is an option, yet you want to explore each company. The goal is to reduce debt, not increase the debt you owe. Some debt consolidation companies will charge fees, hidden fees, high interest, etc to help you payoff your debt. Look for debt management solutions instead of going this route. If you see no other recourse, then check the background of each company you are considering debt consolidation.

Debt counseling is another option. Like debt consolidation options, you want to find a way to reduce debt, rather than take on additional debt. Check the background of each company to make sure it has a good reputation, certifications, license, etc to offer you debt alternatives.

As I mentioned earlier, you want to avoid bankruptcy. Therefore, start linking debt to solutions to find a way to manage your money.

The best alternative is debt management. If you can set up a structural pattern, you will reduce your debt dramatically. Instead of spending time saying, "I owe, I owe, it's off to work I go" - do something about your debt problem now.

Visit your local library and take out some systematic guides to relieving debt. These resources offer you great solutions that link to debt reduction.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pets: How to Take Care of your Dog

The Bond that can come between a person and a dog can be extremely strong, especially if that bond had been strengthened living with each other for many years, I have personally cried after loosing our family dog that had been like a best friend to me from my birth till I as 15 years old, when he was hit by a car one morning.

Dogs serve many different needs for people. Some people get a dog because they are lonely and need a loyal friend or because they want a dog to protect the home. A dog that is taken good care of and given attention to regularly will give his life to help protect his home and his owner. For the blind a dog can be a pair of eyes to help them get around and for the police a dog can be an important tool and a loyal partner, with a nose that nothing can beat.

The first thing you need to know about taking care of a dog is that dogs need lots of exercise. This is the same for large dogs and small dogs. All dogs need to be let out at least once every 8 hours and should given at least a 20 minute walk to give the dog some fresh air, exercise and a chance to relieve themselves.

It is also important to play with the dog on a regular basis. This can mean going to the park on a weekend or day off and having a good game of fetch, tossing the ball around in your back yard or just wrestling on the ground with the dog, just make sure if you are ruff housing with a little dog that you don’t accidentally hurt the dog. Playing with the dog for a half hour a day, is not only good for the dogs physical health but a dig that is played with regularly is mentally healthier and less likely to become a depressed dog, it also lowers your blood pressure as well and it will form an unbreakable bond between you and your pooch, which will extend to your family if you should start having one after having the dog.

What you feed your dog is very important to the dogs continued good health. The better dog foods will be marked for what are groups the food is appropriate for. Younger dogs need certain vitamins and minerals in larger amounts then an adult dog, and the same goes for an elderly dog they need more calcium in their food to help protect their bones and joints. Feeding your dog the wrong food can stunt the dog's growth and opens the dog to a larger risk of surgery when they are older.

Just like a person a dog should be taken to the veterinarian's office every 6 months, and must receive their shots every year. Regular checkups and vaccinations will also help assure that your dog grows to be an old happy dog.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tenant Loans-No More Torn Pockets

To lead a happy life is the main aim for everyone in this world. For this they will be having a planned monthly budget and they will be maintained it nearly perfectly. But in this fast moving world it’s a bit tough task maintaining the entire family budget easily without any ups and downs. If some ups and downs occur in your monthly budget the first idea that comes in your mind is taking a debt to tackle those problems. But being a tenant it is little bit tough getting debts. For tenants there are specially designed loans called as tenant loans.

Main features:
As you are a tenant, you will not be having an own home to keep as a collateral against the loans from lender. In these cases you can go to the help of tenant loans, which are specially designed to help tenants. In these loans you can get money in huge amounts. The interest rate for these loans will be also very low so you need not get tensed about it. These loans are available online with a variety of schemes.

In tenant loans that come to help you in cases of financial crisis, there are two types of loans available.
1) unsecured loans for tenants.
2) Secured loans.
In unsecured loans for tenants, you need not submit any collateral to the lender for getting loans. All you need to do is to prove to the lender that you will be able to pay the rate of interest in time and the loan amount that the lender provides will be secure.
In secured loans for tenant, you need to submit some collateral some collateral to the lender. The collateral can be any of your personal assets like own car, own land area, jewelries, etc. In these loans the loan amount depends on the equity of the collateral. The repayment term will be 2 to 3 years.

Through tenant loans you can get loans to meet your personal expenses. The loan amount availed can be used according to your wish as you need not explain to the lender about the usage of the loan amount. The luxuries involved in these loans are very large so you can feel free to attain tenant loans. You can get these loans online so it’s very easy

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Offshore Banking - When It Pays To Go Abroad

While you might presume anyone with ‘money in offshore accounts’ is involved in some scurrilous business affairs, the truth is that anyone can use this form of investment as a totally legitimate way to defer or reduce your tax payments.

Locations for offshore accounts can be held in banks in British waters – the Channel Islands or Isle of Man for example, or you could look further afield to the Republic of Ireland or Luxembourg. As with other investments, there are different ways to send your money abroad, with different levels of risk attached.

Some of the benefits include current accounts with higher levels of interest – check out the high street banks, many of which offer offshore instant access accounts. These are a relatively safe way to invest. There are also ‘notice’ savings accounts which can yield exceptionally high rates of interest.

You may choose to put money into an offshore investment fund, which is similar to the normal onshore type, only you usually find that you pay a performance related fee to your fund manager. This could mean that they have more incentive to make sure your money is working hard for you. Check investment companies like Schroders and Gartmore for this type of fund.

Money funds are a high risk form of investing – your funds will be pooled with those of other investors’ and used to buy international currency at wholesale rates. Your shares will be exposed to the vagaries of international exchange rates, and this can be a nerve-wrackingly unpredictable way to invest abroad.

More and more people are choosing to buy property abroad – whether as future dream retirement home or as profit making venture. In Eastern Europe and the Middle East you can pick up property for remarkably low prices – developments and agencies advertise in the property sections of newspapers, and websites abound. While this could prove a sound long-term way of investing, there are numerous things to take into account – the stability of a country’s economy, complicated legal agreements and the cost of travel to and from the property are major factors.

Different countries operate wildly different property law, and you will need to get sound advice on all the implications before buying abroad. Check things like inheritance law – for example, in France, there are obstacles to simply leaving property to named recipients in your will. If you do buy abroad, you will probably find it useful to open a multi-currency account.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Why Planning Your "Re-Fired" Retirement Is Vitally Important

Just about all of us plan to retire one day. You may visualize yourself with plenty of free time on your hands, no commute, and finally with an opportunity to travel with the person you love.

But statistics show that golden dream comes true for only a very few of Americans. Some studies reveal less than 10 percent of us ever retire. Even more alarming, other studies show a large percentage die within a year or two after retirement.

Clearly, an enjoyable, healthy retirement is not something that just "happens." To get past all the challenges that lie in your way, you need to plan for your retirement wisely.

I advise people in my seminars NOT to retire, but to RE-FIRE. Instead of looking at retirement as merely leaving the world of work, look at retirement as a time when you can finally achieve the things you've always wanted to do.

Most retirement advice centers around telling you to put a lot of money in a savings account. While saving for retirement is important, most of what you should do to retire well can be accomplished within five years of retirement.

Much of what you need to do to retire successfully is mental and spiritual. When many of us retire, we walk away from a life of work that filled our days, exercised our minds, and included most of our good friends. Once you're retired, you find your days become empty and unfulfilling, even depressing.

That's why it's critical to plan new tasks, goals, and attitudes for retirement. While sitting in an easy chair and relishing not having to go to work can be fun for a while, you'll soon need activities and relationships to make your days fulfilling. You'll also need ways to create a satisfying social life that often includes important new friends.

That's why RE-FIREING in your retirement years is the right approach to take. Rather than giving up, you're recharging and moving forward to an even more exciting life.

Focus on attaining optimum good health, creating the fine-tuned relationships you've always wanted, and finally accomplishing some of your true purposes in life. Re-firing can help you figure out what has been missing from your life, what you really want to do in your senior years, and help you develop solid strategies for quickly achieving your important goals.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Rules Governing Lenders

There are various laws introduced to have a check on the various Banks and Lending institutions such that there is a limit to the lenders rate and principle amount being lent.

According to the website, the law governing the financial institution is a fusion of federal laws and laws governing the respective states. Article 3 of the Uniform Commercial Code involves negotiable instruments act, Article 4 of Uniform Commercial Code governs bank deposit and collections. Some of the laws governing the lenders and financial institutions are: a. National Banking System. b. Federal Reserve Act of 1913. c. Bank holding company act of 1956. International act of 1978, require foreign banks to fit within the federal regulatory and interest Rate Control Act of 1978, created Federal Financial institutions Examination Council d. Depositors institutions deregulation and monetary control act, this was implemented to remove the ceiling on interest rate e. Crime Control Act of 1990- this provided regulators to combat frauds. F. Housing and community development act of 1992-to combat money laundering g. Reigie-Neal interstate Banking and Branding efficiency Act of 1994, permitted bank holding companies that were adequately capitalized and managed to acquire bank in any state. H. Gramm-Leach Biley Act-restriction of disclosure of non-profitable customer information by financial institutions.

Article 9, which govern the Secured Transaction. Accordingly banks demand for a property or house to be used as security while advancing loans to a borrower. In the light wherein the borrower is not able to pay the loan amount the interest from the property is used by the bank to cover the loan amount, even if the borrower goes into bankruptcy the Bank uses the property to settle the loan amount.

Truth in lending: Part of the Consumer Credit Protection Act requires lenders to disclose the various conditions involved while advancing loans The various areas where the lenders must disclose are the following a. Total amount of principle being lent b. Payment due date’s c. Terms of loans d. Details of valuables used as security. e. Finance charges involved. f. Processing fees. g. Payment penalties. The various private institutions and lenders are supposed to abide by the various disclosure agreements such that the borrowers rights are protected.

These various sets of Acts and rules are actually a merger of both the federal laws and the various state laws. The state tries to implement and pass acts, which can protect the various local financial institutions and lending Banks.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Payday Loan Application Procedures

Payday loan is the fastest way of getting emergency cash within 24 hours. And it’s easy to apply for. Here’s what do for a payday loan application.

Loan approval is the first phase of a payday loan application. Fast cash through a payday loan begins by going online on the Internet. Online payday loan companies line search engines. Once a payday loan outfit is chosen, register with the following information before a payday loan application is made. US citizenship is a must, a job that pays at least $1,000 monthly, a job that has been kept for at least 3 months up to the present, at least 18 years of age or more, a checking account opened for three months now, and a good credit record. All these are to be filled out on the online registration form prior to the payday loan application.

Once the registration is done, the client proceeds to fill out the online payday loan application. Most payday loans offer a minimum loan of $100 and a maximum of $600 to $1,000. But be sure to take note of the repayment term on the payday loan application form. Check out the interest rate and ensure that it is within the acceptable range of 20 to 25 percent. Indicate the amount to be loaned and fill out other pertinent information on the payday loan application.

Bad credit records are no cause for worry. Most payday loans are approved regardless of credit standing---though bad credit records incur higher interest rates. When payday loan application is ready, submit it and wait for an acknowledgement from the loan company. It takes only about a few seconds or 30 minutes, at most, for payday loans to be approved. Bad credit records may take longer. An email is often sent to acknowledge approval. Then, about an hour from the approval of the payday loan application, the loaned amount is transferred to the checking account, ready for withdrawal or for issuing checks on.

Paying a payday loan usually falls on the second week, or just before the next payday, according to the terms specified in the payday loan application. The whole amount must be paid in full on the deadline of payment through the checking account.

A payday loan application is easy to accomplish and submit. No documentation hassles as in traditional loans, no need to fax anything or stand in line waiting. A payday loan application gets approved within the hour and money is sent directly to the checking account within 24 hours or less.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Living Wills and Healthcare Power of Attorneys Help to Make Sure Your Wishes are Met

No one can foresee problems that may arise should he become incapacitated. Yet, you can avoid negative consequences of unforeseen problems by creating Living Wills and Healthcare Power of Attorneys (HCPOA).

Setting up a Living Will or HCPOA is a relatively simple task. The first step it to consult with an attorney that specializes in estate planning to ensure that your documents are clear. Here’s an overview of what you can expect from your Living Will and HCPOA.

Healthcare Power of Attorney
The HCPOA, otherwise known as a “healthcare proxy” is a legal document that enables an individual that you appoint (your “agent”) to act as your healthcare representative if you become incapacitated. The agent becomes your acting representative at the moment you become incapacitated, thus eliminating the need for your loved ones to argue over your rights and wishes in court.

Your agent has the authority to request or deny any medical treatment that he determines to be appropriate. Therefore, it is a good idea to choose someone that you trust as your agent. Please note: In most states, your spouse will be your default agent. If you are not married but are in a lifelong relationship your partner, he does not automatically become your agent. Make sure that you appoint your partner as your agent to ensure that he or she has control over your medical decisions if you are unable to make them.

Because your agent has whatever powers you give him or her, make sure that he or she understands your desires. Some of the decisions he or she may need to make include but are not limited to:
• Deciding whether or not you will receive medical treatment
• Withdrawing life-support

Living Will
A Living Will and HCPOA should be used in tandem, since one document complements the other. Your Living Will is a document that clearly expresses your desires. In short, your Living Will provides your medical team with instructions for how to carry out your wishes should you become incapacitated. For example, if you become brain dead, you can state in your Living Will that you wish to receive or not to receive life support.

By creating a Living Will, you ensure that your desires will be carried out without court involvement that can be costly and stressful for your family. Criteria for enacting a Living Will vary by state; so make sure that you consult with an attorney to ensure that your Living Will complies with the rules in your state.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Is Online Trading In Your Future?

So you've heard about the stock market right? How about the foreign exchange market or forex for short? What about day trading? Did you know that there are now very affordable ways to be your on broker by doing online trading? That's ok not many people who don't do this stuff every day know much about this otherwise excellent opportunity too make many investment dollars. So you are getting in at a good time before there is a glut of investors creating competition and parity and driving profit potential way down.

In the foreign exchange people exchange their money into different (foreign currencies) according to how they think the economy of that country compares with others and/or the public perception there of. Just like in the stock market if you buy low and sell high you make money. And the potential is there to make a lot of money in online trading depending on how knowledgeable you are about international economies and how current events affect people and their confidence or lack thereof in any given economy. People who know the systems whether it is the stock market or foreign exchange and are therefore willing to invest and assume that risk, will make money.

So how do you learn online trading? Well one way is to just strike out on your own and learn by making good and bad choices (hopefully more good than bad!) and weather those first few stormy years before they get good enough to be profitable. The other way (which I prefer) is to learn from those who have gone before and have made the mistakes learning valuable lessons. Basically if you can gain experience without the risks you can start out making a profit. Sounds great right? Sounds worth a small upfront and one-time cost to get this valuable knowledge?

Let me assure you that it definitely is, but you have to be careful. Just like in the rest of life you have to discern between good and bad advice. So look at the track records of the people offering online trading advice. How long have they been at the game? Are they well known in the industry? Are they upfront people, willing to talk with you about their product? When you find this "mentor" latch on to their system and learn it well. This really is your best chance to have good success without the pain of large financial loss from stupid mistakes.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

How to Concentrate in 4 Magic Steps

One of the main problems that deter a person's success is their lack of concentration. Lapses encourage disturbances to get in the way and stall progress. If ones wishes to proceed on their road to success, it is imperative they learn how to concentrate. Here, we show you some easy to learn exercises that are easy to implement.

1) Silence or Noise:
Most people cannot concentrate when it is too noisy, but others work better with music or others in the midst of a crowded room. If you are not aware as yet what best suits you, then try out the different environments. How? Take a notepad and a pencil or pen with you and try and write down a letter in all the three circumstances in a set amount of time. Ten minutes. That is all you will need to determine where your source of concentration lies. How? Check not only for length but also for development as that is more important.

2) Focal Point:
Every morning, before you leave for work or on the way, stare at any object for ten minutes. You can do this while in the toilet, car or bus. You will find this difficult, but whatever happens, do not move your gaze away. Hold it. Wait. And then, as the minutes pass you will find yourself deeply meditating about things that happened to you yesterday or challenges you have to face in a few minutes. Congratulations. You have just conquered the art of meditation.

3) Deep Breathing:
In the beginning, you can do this while staring at the object from tip number two, but if you wish to move towards real concentration, do this separetly. Sit down on the floor. If its hard, place a cushion. Close your eyes. Breathe. Count the number of inhales. When you have reached 100, start counting backwards but this time count the exhales. Mastering this will take you a while, but once you do move on to other kinds of mathemathical calculations such as naming the months of the year from December backwards or alphabetically. After that, make up exercises as you like.

4) Movement:
Focus on an animal: cat, dog or even ant or bird. Follow their every movement as if they exist in a vaccumm. Study every tiny spot on their body. The point of this is to learn how to diversify your concentration in such a way that movement does not deter you from your goal.

Practice the above four tips and like magic, you will start enjoying life to its fullest because you will be able to focus on the things you want to focus on and disregard those that disrupt. Practive the above tips daily and you will be that much more closer to achieving your dreams and goals. Best of Luck!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Should You Pursue Lease Options To Purchase a Home

The real estate market is a place where people can get very creative. This brings us to the rent with option to buy programs you see on the market.

Should You Pursue Lease Options To Purchase a Home

Leasing is a fairly popular form of living arrangement since it basically involves renting over a pre-set period of time, usually 3, 6, or 12 months at a time. Leases provide lower rates than a month by month rent. However, when looking to lease, one will often come across the “Lease Option.” A lease option is essentially the same thing as a lease except that it provides the option to purchase the property at a future date.

The option is just that, an option. It may be an interesting offer for some renters, but others will want to pass it up. The option does not have to be taken, since there is a fee required to purchase the option. Although the amount can vary, the fee is usually up-front and paid when entering the lease. In general, lease options are offered in times of slow real estate markets, since generally owners of property look to simply sell during the hot times.

There are some definite advantages and disadvantages when it comes to a lease option. On the downside, the lease option is rarely exercised and therefore it ends up being money wasted. Many people pay the money thinking they will buy later and then either lose interest or find they can’t qualify for a mortgage. When this happens, the money paid to purchase the option is lost and you will be wondering what you could have possible been thinking when you entered into the agreement.

An area where a lease option is commonly used is real estate investment. In such a situation, a real estate investor believes he or she can flip the home in a short period for a profit. They find the lease option to be very attractive because it allows them to secure the home without dedicating significant cash resources to the deal. Once they purchase the option, they then start hunting for a buyer that will pay more than the seller is looking for in the original sale. If the investor can pull it off, they exercise the right to buy and immediately sell to the third party. In many cases, the two transactions will happen at the same time! This leaves the investor with a smile on their face and the original seller in a grumpy mood.

As with anything, there are upsides and downsides to a lease option. For investors, it makes sense in many situations since it frees up cash flow. For people looking for a place to live and raise a family, it rarely makes sense.

Monday, February 20, 2012

What Is Inflation?

That is a good question and one that unfortunately there has not been an answer that everyone agrees upon. The term is a general description of the decreasing value of a unit of money over time. Therefore if you were to have 5 dollars now and went out and buried it and left it there for fifty years you would not have as much purchasing power with that 5 dollars that you had back when you buried it.

This is what scares lots of people into investing. You see in order to beat inflation and actually have something of their retirement savings when they need it most they will have to beat the rate of inflation with their money. One of the only ways to do this is to is to invest at a rate that beats the rate of inflation. This is often more than the rate that a typical savings account will get you even when you take into account the concept of compounding interest.

So what determines inflation? It can either be described as the increasing prices for goods or services as measured by the consumer price index. Or it can be viewed in terms of the overall increase in the supply of money. This is often created by the government printing more money in order to meet the demands of a larger and larger (more global) demand for US dollars (for example). The government prints and ships this out to the world in order to better meet the demand and stop prices from falling.

Who else, other than the government, has the power to change the rate of inflation? Well who else would it be other than the federal reserve. The federal reserve is a consortium of some of the top banks in our country who serve as a committee that decides where to set interest rates in order to enhance the economy and prevent recession. Lowering interest rates tends to promote buying and selling of goods and services on credit or loan. Increasing the interest rates on the other hand promotes the savings of dollars in the bank and is a sign of a stronger economy when this all happens.

So what is the moral of the story? Well invest to beat the effects of inflation for one thing. And secondly don’t get bent out of shape by the increasing prices that are just a fact of life. No one can explain them and eventually they will probably be reset lower and that will be like the “fall back” of daylight savings terminology.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Protect Your Identity This Holiday Season

With the holiday spending season fast approaching, it’s crucial that you understand the dangers of identity theft. Though many of the methods thieves use to steal identities are out of our control, there are many measures you can take to protect yourself from the threats identity thieves pose.

Protect Your Credit Card Number From Prying Eyes

When making purchases with your credit or debit card, make sure that only the last 4 digits of your card number are shown on the receipt. The first 12 digits should be unknown, and are usually replaced by Xs. If they aren’t, by law you are permitted to mark out the first 12 digits on the merchants copy with a pen.

It is especially important that you check your credit card receipt at restaurants. Don’t leave the restaurant’s copy on the table after your meal if all 16 digits are shown. It’s best to cross out the first 12 digits and personally hand the receipt to the wait staff. Otherwise, you risk an identity thief walking away with your name, account number, and quite possibly your card’s expiration date.

Only Use Your Social Security Number When Absolutely Necessary.

Though it is necessary to use your social security number when applying for credit or opening a bank account, it isn’t always necessary that you use it in other circumstances. Although not that common nowadays, some stores and organizations may want to use your SSN as an ID number within their system. Though this practice is discouraged by law, you will still run across it from time to time. In these situations it is best to use your judgment. If for any reason you feel uncomfortable, there is usually an alternative available if you ask.

Your Trash is Treasure to an Identity Thief

The most important investment you can make in protecting your identity is a good paper shredder. Identity thieves won’t think twice about going through your trash in order to find sensitive personal information that will help them obtain credit in your name. Shred anything and everything that has personal information, such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, dates of birth, phone numbers, etc. Do it at home. Do it at work.

The holiday season is a time for us to enjoy shopping for our friends and family. With every swipe of our credit cards, however, it is imperative that we protect our financial futures from the dangerous threats identity thieves pose.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Men, Women and Their Finances

What do you worry about most when it comes to your finances and debt or your credit card repayments? It seems that men and women have different outlooks and think differently about their finances. A survey was carried out to see whether men and women thought differently or the same about their finances.

Women tend to look at their current levels of debt while men tend to look to the future and are more likely to plan ahead when it comes to their finances. Women worry more about how they are going to pay off all their current credit card bills, store cards and loans along with their mortgage, shopping and living expenses with three quarters of women doing so, meanwhile less than 50% of men worry about the same thing. Only 13% of men know what their current debt levels are.

While men are laid back about their current debt levels they are better prepared for the future. Men are better at investing their money with half of all men investing in an ISA while only 35% of women are doing the same. Only five out of ten of women have a savings account with men in the lead with six out of every ten. Three quarters of men are paying into a pension for when they retire while only half of women are preparing for their retirement.

The only things that were found to be very little difference in when it came to our finances was the fact that both men and women have little knowledge of credit reports and how they work, although we think we do. Three quarters of men and women said they new what affected credit scores and how companies make their decision but nearly all got at least one question wrong when asked about credit reports. Only 5% of men and women have inspected their credit report in the last year.

1 in 4 of people asked did not realize that late payments affected your score; just over 40% of people did not know that if you have asked for credit regularly then this can also affect your credit score. Three quarters of people wrongly thought that if you had unpaid household bills that this would affect a decision made by lenders. Unbelievably, 60% of men and 67% of women thought that credit reference agencies make the decisions about credit applications, whereas it is the credit card companies, banks and other lenders that make the decision.

Knowing your credit score and understanding how credit scoring works is the only way to fully know where you stand financially and help you make better decisions about how and when you apply for credit.

Friday, February 17, 2012

How To Get Out Of Credit Card Debt Much Faster & Save Lots Of Money – Without Filing For Bankruptcy!

The most important lesson I learned about getting out of debt is that you'll NEVER get out of debt playing by the rules of your creditors. No matter what they say, they really don't want you to get out of debt.

After all, the longer it takes you to pay off your debt, the more money they'll make.

So trust me, you’ll NEVER get out of debt by just making minimum payments. Or by paying ridiculously high interest rates...or by paying late fees, overlimit fees, or any other fees charged by your creditors.

How You Can Get Out Of Debt Faster, Too

So, how do you pay off your credit card bills...especially when money is REAL tight?

Work out an agreement with your creditors to pay off your credit card bills at a reduced amount. You'll be able to pay off your bills more quickly, and the credit card companies will get their money faster.

This process is called debt negotiation, or debt settlement.

Most people don't know this type of debt reduction is even an option - which is exactly what the creditors want you to think. (You'll also learn other strategies to help you get out of debt faster.)

But believe me, debt negotiation really does work.

Find Out If Debt Negotiation Is Right For You

Debt negotiation is a more aggressive approach to getting out of debt (usually, you must be behind on your payments to get the creditors to agree to a settlement), and is not necessarily right for everyone.

So make sure to ask lots of questions. And compare different programs. Then decide if it is right for you.

My only regret is that I did not find out about this option until I had already paid my credit card companies thousands of dollars in interest!

The most important point to remember is that you’ll NEVER get out of debt playing by the creditor’s rules.

So take a few minutes to find out how you can pay off your credit card bills faster, and save yourself LOTS OF MONEY at the same time.

If you're looking for a more traditional way to get out of debt, then debt consolidation may be the answer for you. You might not get out of debt as fast, but you still may be able to lower your interest rates and save yourself a bunch of money!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Searching For A Financial Adviser

The market has so many investment choices that it can offer you, people tend to become overwhelmed just with the thought of them. It is important to have a plan, the discipline, and proper guidance when implementing any financial goals. There are many things within the market that can become extremely tempting, that they will come out with portfolio’s that are misaligned, thus resulting in high risks and poor performance within the market.

Any person wanting to become involved with the market should seek out the council and advice of a financial advisor. This professional can help you meet your goals, as well as helping you protect the finances you have. A financial advisor that is a professional should have all the necessary expertise, qualifications, and tools that can help you focus on your long term goals.

When searching for a financial adviser, you will want a person that helps you to build a plan according to the priorities you currently hold, as well as helping you build for the financial needs within your future. You should seek a person that is willing to meet regularly with you to make any adjustments that are necessary and monitor your progress. Here are specific qualities you will want to look for in your financial advisor:

• Personally meet with you for discussion in how your finances are handling and deciding your goals for the long term.

• Answer any and all questions that you have about the financial advisors experience, compensation, and qualifications in their area.

• Reviews your plan in regularly scheduled sessions

• Keeps you informed and current on all changes regarding your portfolio

• Informs you of new opportunities of investments that could prove beneficial to you

Your relationship with your financial advisor should be a personal one, you must communicate with him or her on a regular basis. You will need to convey to them many things such as your risk tolerance and your goals, as well as any other information the financial adviser may require. It is important that you both work easily together, will allow you to help meet your short term needs, as well as those for your future.

When you meet with your chosen financial advisor you should be prepared to ask them any questions you may have, some of these questions should include:

• The qualifications they possess
• Experience they possess
• Services offered
• Their specific approach in financial planning
• How many people you will work with in meeting your goals
• Compensation for services
• Charges for services
• How their company is regulated
• Services, fees, and plan in writing

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Keep your financial troubles at bay – immediate personal loan!

Procure immediate decision unsecured loans and execute your home revamp plans, consolidate your debts, ferry to your dream land or just repay your medical bills…the choice is yours. If instant decision on your personal loan is what you are looking out for…then instant unsecured same day loans is the right loan option for you.
Interested borrowers can avail cheap instant personal loans to refurbish home, finance education, wedding, holiday or even to pay off your debts or bills. If you’re wondering how the personal loan process is completed so quickly, lack of security or collateral will answer your question. Fast Cash Personal Loan since unsecured personal loans don’t require you to pledge any property for the loan amount you can procure these loans without the hassle of any tedious property verification procedure or even long waits for loan approvals. Unsecured fast approval personal loans are available to both tenants and homeowners who are wary of pledging their property.

Based on the rate of interest, personal loans can be classified as fixed rate personal loans and adjustable rate personal loans. However rates of interest on unsecured personal loans are normally higher than rates enjoyed by your counterpart who offers security for the loan amount. But you can overcome this problem by comparing unsecured loan rates online. Lenders outdo each other by offering lower and lower interest rates all in an attempt to attract borrowers. So why don’t you broaden your horizon by logging onto the internet and securing rates as low as 5.7 % APR?

Not true…immediate cash loans poor credit guaranteed approval is approved without a collateral backed up. Run less risk with no collateral, no credit check immediate decision loans, what more can a tenant with poor credits ask for? Clear off all multiple unsecured debts with a guaranteed approval secured personal poor credit loan and fight out bad credits. Don’t just tackle debts but enhance your credit scores as well. Bad credit tenant or homeowner loans instant decision is here to help you out.

You may need repairs or even a medical emergency can arise and leave you stranded. All you need to do is apply online. It is fairly easy to qualify for and get approved for. You just need to answer a few questions, provide verification of employment and banking information and you can be well on your way. It will not only give you cheap rates but up to thirty days to pay it off.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Think Green around the home

There are many things we can all do at home to help out our environment, the following are some tips from HG-TV that we could all use:
1) Use that BBQ! You knew grilling was a healthy way to cook, but did you know it was good for the air? Outdoor grills take less energy than electric kitchen stoves. They also keep heat out of the house, lowering air conditioning costs. Stick with grills that use propane or natural gas; they emit 5.6 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere per hour while a charcoal grill belches 11 pounds of the air-polluting compound for the same.
2) Upgrade your monitor! An LCD flat panel model uses as little as a third of the electricity of conventional tube-based models, saving you on your power bill the equivalent of leaving a 50-watt bulb on all year.
3) Buy local organic foods. Organic food tastes better and it's kinder to the earth. Thirty percent of the fossil fuel used on farms goes into the making of fertilizers. Get greener by buying items grown or produced within 100 miles and you'll reduce the amount of diesel fuel needed to ship food. You can get fresher food and help small-scale agriculture by shopping at neighborhood farmers' markets
4) Buy eco friendly paint. If you feel a little woozy after painting the bedroom with latex-based enamel, choose a product low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) instead. New designer colors and improved quality make these safer paints equivalent to standard ones and they benefit your health as well as the planet's.
5) Upgrade your light bulbs. You've heard that replacing old light bulbs with compact fluorescent ones can trim 5 percent from your monthly electricity bill. But this doesn't mean you have to live beneath the ugly glow of low-end fluorescent bulbs. Go for the premium fluorescents that cast a pure white or buttery golden light across your interior. The cost difference? Bargain basement fluorescent bulbs cost between $3 and $5; the higher grade ones cost $9 to $12.
6) Talked to the garbage man lately? Chances are you're doing a few things with your recyclables that drive him crazy. Local recycling practices vary, but there are some universal no-nos.
7) Shopping bags never go in your bins, even if they do organize the empty wine bottles nicely. Look on the bottom of your plastic items for a number and only put the articles with a 1 or 2 in your bin; most areas don't take the ones with higher numbers. Don't put light bulbs, broken glass, or bits of food in your bin, either. They gum up the process and make your waste professionals feel a little, well, tossed aside.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Shares - Should I, Shouldn't I?

Buying Shares

You should consider buying shares only if:

* You have at least one year's income saved and available on demand

You need to have instantly accessible savings to pay for the unexpected. The unexpected can include funerals, washing machines or repairs to the car after an accident. The unexpected is just that, and you do not want to have to sell your shares at a time when their value may be temporarily low just because you have no other savings to cover that essential expense.

* You accept that share prices can fall and you might lose money

Intellectually you know that prices can fall, but you need to accept this as something that can happen to you. You must be comfortable with the idea of losing a good part of your capital, should the market fall, or the fortunes of your chosen company go down.

* You understand the stockmarket

Only a fool invests money in something that he or she does not fully understand. It is only by understanding the stockmarket that the investor can work out when to sell and when to buy.

* You have the time and ability to research which stocks to buy

Research into a company's financial condition requires time and the ability to understand the company's accounts. It is no good relying on the stock picks from the Sunday newspapers, as so many do. You need to understand terms such as yield, Price/Earnings ratio, historical debt, and many more. If your understanding of theese terms is less than complete then you should consider investing in unit trusts instead and use the managers' expertise. Without this expertise you would be almost as well off putting your $5,000, or whatever, on a horse with a name you liked.

* The time is right

Consider timing your share acquisition to coincide with a general fall in share prices. Go against the herd. If there are few buyers then the price will be low and you will be able to acquire more shares for your money.

Similarly, when the stockmarket is high and everybody and their dog is talking about share prices then consider selling, because these are signs that the market has peaked and is only rising because of its momentum, rather than because of any intrinsic increase in value of companies.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Some Useful Tips on Securing A Good Value Personal Loan

Be sure to ask for quotes not only from your current bank or any other nearby, but also from other finance companies, and online lenders as well. Make sure the lenders you enquire from aren't looking up your credit rating unless you're ready to proceed with them alone. Any more than four credit checks in one month looks suspect, and may affect your credit rating. Ask if they're going to check your credit-rating first, to be on the safe side.

You will be surprised to find that loans offered by online money-lending companies are often more convenient and with less restrictive conditions than those offered by banks. This is because banks earn money by a number of different means, as opposed to online lenders, whose primary income is a direct result of the amount of money they lend.

Depending on how bad your credit history is, it may be very difficult to find unsecured loans, as most lenders will impose very high rates, and others will simply reject your application.

Although it is still possible to find convenient low-rated unsecured or bad credit loans, the chances of that are very small. The smartest choice is to look for a secured loan instead; there are a lot of lenders willing to offer you bad credit loans at low rates if you have any collateral to offer them as a warranty of payback. Depending on the amount of money you are borrowing, lenders will take your car or house as security and happily allow you to get your loan.

Have in mind that it is always better to pay back the money you borrowed as soon as you are able to.

Try to choose among those loans that allow you to make early payments; the quicker you pay back, the less interest you pay. On the other hand, if you extend the duration of the loan, you will have to pay much more money in interest.

Although you may not actually take out a loan, it will be shown in your record and may look very bad on your history when applying for another in the future, so limit yourself to asking for quotes and apply only for that loan offer you consider to be the best. If your application gets rejected, however, you may move on to the next best offer on your list.

In your research it's advisable to review if the provider is a member of the Finance Industry Standards Association (FISA), which follows the confidentiality guidelines set out for this association, and also those providers registered under the Data Protection Act (DPA) who adhere to the letter of the law from the Data Protection Register.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Online Shopping Fraud Prevention Tips

Nervous about shopping online because of concerns about credit card fraud? Here are a few tips to help you shop wisely and protect yourself:

1. Talk to your bank or credit card company and arrange for a separate, low limit credit card to use exclusively for online purchases. This will give you some peace of mind in case your card information is compromised as the fraudulent amount would only total a few hundred dollars rather than thousands of dollars. Remember though, you are not financially responsible for fraudulent charges in most cases (check your credit card terms).

2. Review your credit card terms. Most companies do not hold you financially accountable for fraudulent charges. If you do notice fraud charges, contact your credit card company immediately. They will freeze your account from further purchases as well as remove the charges from your account. You will have to sign affidavits that the charges were not yours and are indeed criminally charged on your account.

3. Use your credit card online rather than a debit card that is attached to your bank account. Although the money in your bank account is normally protected against fraudulent charges as well, it can take a few weeks for your bank to reimburse your account. There is paper work involved and you'll need to sign affidavits.

Since your living expenses still need to be paid while you're waiting for your money to be returned, having an empty banking account only adds stress to an already stressful situation.

4. Consider using an online financial service such as When you use PayPal, online merchants don't have access to your credit card information. Since PayPal transactions require you to login and confirm each purchase, this can reduce the risk of fraudulent charges. PayPal also has a Buyer Protection policy in place.

5. Before entering any confidential information online (such as your credit card information), make sure the connection is secure by looking at your browser's address bar. The url should start with https:// rather than just http:// (notice there is an 'S' with the secure connection). Also look for a small yellow padlock symbol in the browser's status bar at the bottom. This yellow padlock symbolizes a secure connection.

Shopping online can provide you with a much greater selection of goods and save you money with all the price cuts and deals one finds online. By shopping smart on the internet, you can help keep the shopping experience a pleasant one.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Life Advice: Looking Through a Window

Living in today's metropolitan world of cellular phones, mobile computers and other high-tech gadgets is not just hectic but very impersonal. We make money and then invest our time and effort in making more money. Does it end? Not usually because we are never satisfied. How many times have we convinced ourselves that if only we had some more money, life would be so sweet? But then, after receiving a substantial raise, we realize that it wasn't enough and that we need more? What Should You Do? I have read many books on life such as Robin Sharma's Monk says this and the monk says that, and they all seem to say that money is not necessary. But it is. Can you do without cash and a lot of it? I know I can't. So, I went to the neighbourhood Rabbi and asked for advice that will help me find my true way in life. The rabbi nodded and took me to the window. "What do you see?" he asked me. Promptly, I answered, "I can see people walking to and fro and a blind man is begging for alms at the left corner." The Rabbi nodded and guided me to a big mirror. "Now look and tell me what you see?" "I can see myself," I man answered. The Rabbi smiled. "Now you can't see anyone else. The mirror and the window are both created from the same raw material: glass, but because on one of them they have applied a thin layer of silver, when you look at it all you can see is your own reflection." The Rabbi placed his arm on my shoulders. "Compare yourself to those two pieces of glass. Without the silver layer, you saw the other people and felt compassion for them. When you are covered with silver, you see only yourself." I looked at the Rabbi and stared. "I don't understand." The Rabbi continued. "You will become someone only if have the courage to remove the silver covering over your eyes in order to again see and love others." He patted me on my back and sent me on my way. I have thought of what he said and come to the conclusion that he had a point. Yes. We need money and we should not aim to lead a moneyless existence; its pointless and will only cause us and our families many heartbreaks in the future. Instead, I suggest that we should follow the advice the Rabbi gave me. When we approach life through a silver covering, all we are able to see is ourselves. But discard that covering, and you will be able to see and feel everyone else. Conclusion: In life, we are allowed to and should be able to look at both kinds of mirrors, but we should remember that a mirror reflects only us; a window is the door to compassion, health and true wealth. In other words, seek wealth by all means, but don't let it dissuade you from life, people, children and the poor and needy.

How Bankruptcy Affects Student Loans

The vast majority of government student loans cannot be gotten rid of easily, even filing for bankruptcy will not resolve these debts. The only way that these types of loans can be taken care of in bankruptcy is if you can prove that they are a substantial hardship on you and your finances and this is a pretty hard ting to do in most cases, especially since the rest of your debts will be taken care of with the bankruptcy filing. If you do wish to try to get your student loans discharged you will have to prove that there is no way you will be able to pay this debt according to the schedule that has been laid out, that even in time you will still not be able to pay it according to the same schedule and that you have tried unsuccessfully in the past. A good faith effort is necessary. This means that you have not tried lying to your creditors and that you are working as much as you can to get the money that you need but are still coming up short. What can be discharged and what cannot can also fall directly onto the shoulders of the bankruptcy judge. If you are lucky and you get a judge that allows for these discharges then you might just get away without having to pay off these loans, or at least part of them. In many places it is left up to the judge to go with their own gut feeling. Keep in mind that while it is true that lenders cannot be sending you bills to pay while you are in bankruptcy, they have to wait until it is over, that does not by any means mean that interest will not be accruing on your loan. And since you do not have to pay, most people don't and once they come out of bankruptcy they find themselves in a whole new batch of trouble than when they went in. Student loans are flexible loans, they have many more options than some other loans out there. If you find yourself having trouble paying off your student loans let the lender know. Tell them exactly what the problem is and they will most likely be willing to work with you to get around it. If the plan and the schedule that you have set is just not a possible one for you to follow then talk to the lender about coming up with a new one. The thought of contacting lenders scares most people but it works, you are not going to get in more trouble, in fact what you are doing is heading trouble off at the pass. If you have defaulted on your loan you will even find such programs as rehabilitation programs that help you get you out of default. These programs are great, all you have to do is show your good faith effort by paying a lower amount for a set period of time. If you manage to stick to this it will show the lender that you can be depended upon and the lender can take you out of default. Another route that many people take instead of bankruptcy is loan consolidation. The Direct Loan Servicing Center, working under the auspices of the Department of Education will give you several different options to choose from if you need some help to pay off your loans. Their standard plan is a great one, it is simple and it is effective. All you have to do is pay $50 each and every month until the balance is paid off in full or until 10 years is up, whichever comes first. There is another plan which will keep you paying for anywhere from 12 to 30 years. While this is a great option for those who just don't have much money at all it is one of the most expensive ones simply because 30 years of interest really adds up to a significant amount of money. These are just a couple of the payment plans that you can find available to you. If you are in financial trouble talk to your lender! So you might not be able to resolve your debt completely all at once, at least there are options out there that will give you some peace of mind.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What you need to know about home loans

I’m in my 20’s, working hard and my boyfriend and I am thinking of buying a house. Being one of those "creative types”, I have limited knowledge of what exactly is involved in buying a house. Firstly, I want to know, what I have to do to qualify for a home loan / bond. Secondly, I want to know how big a bond I can get. Thirdly, I want to know whether my boyfriend and I can buy a house together, thus apply for a bond together. I set out to do some research before going out to look for our dream house. Starting at my number one question, "What do I have to do to qualify for a home loan / bond?" I started searching the Internet for more information. I discovered that there are certain criteria that one has to meet in order to qualify for a bond. Firstly, I discovered that you have to be at least 21 years of age before you will even be considered for a home loan. You have to earn a minimum salary of between R8000 to R10 000- that's as a single income, or as a joint income of you and your partner. You must take into consideration that your credit history will be checked- any negatives on you credit history will count against you when you apply for a home loan / bond! Further more, you need to have a permanent job, where you have worked for at least 6 months, or in the case where you are self-employed you need to have been at it for a minimum of two years. The above mentioned are the basic requirements in order to qualify for a home loan. Secondly, I was interested to know how big a home loan I could get. As soon as I knew how much, I could start searching for a house. According to numerous reputable websites online, it seems that the size bond I could qualify for is roundabout 25 -30% of my salary (or you and your partners joint salary). The bigger your salary, the bigger the bond you will qualify for and the bigger house, or rather more pricy house you can buy. Thirdly, I was interested in finding out whether or not my boyfriend and I could apply for a home loan together. This means that even though we are not married, I wanted to know if we could still buy a house together and how this will influence us in the long run. I wanted to know whether "partner" or "couple" means married or not. According to my bank manager, my boyfriend and I can apply for a bond together, but there are certain things we must take into consideration when we do. It is best to register the house in both our names just incase our relationship ends somewhere in the future. According to Bonny Feldman (First National Bank's Media Liaison), 'common law' relationships are not recognised by South African law. This means that if a relationship ends and the house/property is only registered in one of our names, the other will lose out. She further states that "because you're not seen as husband and wife, the one in whose name the property is registered in is entitled to the full property, even if the other partner contributed significant amounts to settle the bond, for instance. The unlucky partner could try to recover some of this money, but that would involve a legal case, and you'd have to have records of everything spent over the years - and that's not very practical!". Taking the above into consideration, I've realised that buying a house together is not a small step in ones relationship. There are a lot of things to consider and you will have to work with knowledgeable people who will help you make sure you don’t step into any flames later on. While doing my investigating I came across quite a few websites, which apply for your home loan or bond- making everything easier in the sense that they do all the hard work for you. They call themselves “independent bond origination" companies and all they need from you are certain documents. Their specialised home loan consultants will contact you and help you through the process step by step. I think this sounds like a definite option to consider as we are first time buyers and still need some form of guidance. Who knows, this home loan / bond thing might still be easier than I expected!

What is Financial Securities

debt, pay, interest, money, night, trusted, work, life, credit, creditor, purchase, running debt, money placed interest, habit, creditor, debt consolidation, personal finance,Banking,Bankruptcy,Credit,Currency-Trading,Debt-Consolidation,Debt-Relief,Fundraising,Insurance,Investing,Leasing,Loans,Mortgages,Mutual-Funds,Personal-Finance,Real-Estate,Retirement,Stock-Market,Taxes,Trading,Wealth-Building Article Body: It is true that bankers also invest money in securities, and that some of these are foreign, but here again the proportion invested abroad is so small that we may be reasonably sure that any money left by us in the hands of our bankers will be employed at home. But in actual practice those who save do not pile up a large balance at their banks. They keep what is called a current account, consisting of amounts paid in in cash or in cheques on other banks or their own bank, and against this account they draw what is needed for their weekly and monthly payments; sometimes, also, they keep a certain amount on deposit account, that is an account on which they can only draw after giving a week's notice or more. On their deposit account they receive interest, on their current account they may in some parts of the country receive interest on the average balance kept. But the deposit account is most often kept by people who have to have a reserve of cash quickly available for business purposes. The ordinary private investor, when he has got a balance at his bank big enough to make him feel comfortable about being able to meet all probable outgoings, puts any money that he may have to spare into some security dealt in on the Stock Exchange, and so securities and the Stock Exchange have to be described and examined next. They are very much to the point, because it is through them that international finance has done most of its work. Securities, then, are the stocks, shares and bonds which are given to those who put money into companies, or into loans issued by Governments, municipalities and other public bodies. Let us take the Governments and public bodies first, because the securities issued by them are in some ways simpler than those created by companies. When a Government wants to borrow, it does so because it needs money. The purpose for which it needs it may be to build a railway or canal, or make a harbour, or carry out a land improvement or irrigation scheme, or otherwise work some enterprise by which the power of the country to grow and make things may be increased. Enterprises of this kind are usually called reproductive, and in many cases the actual return from them in cash more than suffices to meet the interest on the debt raised to carry them out, to say nothing of the direct benefit to the country in increasing its output of wealth. In England the government has practically no debt that is represented by reproductive assets. Our Government has left the development of the country's resources to private enterprise, and the only assets from which it derives a revenue are the Post Office buildings, the Crown lands and some shares in the Suez Canal which were bought for a political purpose. Governments also borrow money because their revenue from taxes is less than the sums that they are spending. This happens most often and most markedly when they are carrying on war, or when nations are engaged in a competition in armaments, building navies or raising armies against one another so as to be ready for war if it happens. This kind of debt is called dead-weight debt, because there is no direct or indirect increase, in consequence of it, in the country's power to produce things that are wanted. This kind of borrowing is generally excused on the ground that provision for the national safety is a matter which concerns posterity quite as much as the present generation, and that it is, therefore, fair to leave posterity to pay part of the bill.

Turning a Hobby into a Business

Many of us dream of being our own independent bosses by going into business for ourselves. And most of us would jump at the chance to do what we enjoy, as a vocation. Realizing that kind of dream may be easier than it sounds, and people do it all the time by doing to a business that keeps them involved in the hobby or pastime they are most passionate about in life. If you think this is a path you want to take, make an inventory list of your favorite hobbies and areas of interest. You may have a talent that can be sold as a service, or you may have a hobby that will allow you to turn it into a business supplying products to others who share the same hobby. For example, if you are a mountain biking enthusiast, you may notice the need for a book bike shop in your town. You could open one and put your interest in biking to good use, providing a valuable service to others who needs accessories, bikes, and bike repairs. Or if you live in a place where the biking attracts tourists and other visitors, you could start a guide service, and lead people on organized bike excursions for a fee. Many athletes parlay their talents into businesses this way, by becoming coaches, by sponsoring lines of sports products, or by participating in the sport in ways that involve the kinds of things we mentioned – opening a store, a guide service, or a repair shop. There are retired law enforcement officers who start their own private security businesses, providing services like body guard work for VIPs or security patrols for industrial facilities. Sometimes artists open art supply stores, or musicians open music shops where they also charge a fee for teaching people how to play instruments. The possibilities are endless, and are limited only by your own enthusiasm and expertise in a particular subject. Do you enjoy gardening? You may be a perfect candidate for starting a landscaping business in your community. But others make money by simply acting as consultants. For example, many retired firefighters become consultants to businesses that need advice on fire prevention, or to companies that make firefighting products. Some people who are tired of working in corporate America leave their jobs, and then consult about the same kind of work they used to do. Maybe you are tired of working as a number cruncher in the back office of a big company, but you could leave that job and make just as much or more money by helping small businesses with their accounting systems. The sky’s the limit, and if you have a hobby that you convert into a job, chances are you will enjoy a high rate of worker satisfaction. That’s a huge perk for any kind of job.

The Lowdown on Contractors' Business Credit Cards

All the major business credit card issuers have set their eyes on the growing small business credit card market and are trying really hard to get a bigger slice of the pie. They have also realized there is a strong segment of the small business credit card market that could equally benefit from the features of small business credit cards: the group of small contractors and construction companies. The business credit cards designed for contractors have the objective of inducing them to do away with invoice-based payments by check and to rather shift to more frequent use of their business credit cards. An industry study has shown that less than 5 percent of all spending in 2006 was done by charging the expense to the business credit cards of business owners. The business credit card issuers would prefer small business owners to think of using their business credit cards for everyday business-related expenses and not just for travel and entertainment. MasterCard launched its industry-specific business credit card designed for construction companies last year. This card also allows longer payment cycles than usual. A similar program for business credit card holders is offered under Chase Contractor Visa Business credit card program. These programs give access to promotional financing and enjoy a strong rewards package. There is no pre-determined limit on spending. This enables contractors to pay bigger-ticket business expenses by using their business credit cards instead of writing checks. Purchases of construction materials amounting to at least $1,000 will be subject to a longer 60-day payment term; purchases below $1,000 will not qualify for this promotional financing benefit. There are limitations that you should bear in mind, especially if you are angling for the rewards points and discounts. The bonus points are earned only on net purchases that are made with contractors that have classified their merchant locations to the company as contracted building services, building and construction materials, and landscaping services. There is a limit to the bonus points that can be earned in the categories mentioned above: 20,000 points per month. That is equivalent to $20,000 worth of purchases on your business credit card. However, there is no maximum number of base points that can be accumulated. You will need to distinguish between the two point types. The business credit card holder should examine the fine print closely to inform him- or herself with the particular services, materials and products that will qualify for rewards points if paid with their business credit cards. The qualified merchants may not be quite as confined as those of the usual branded business credit cards, but still there are limitations. Your business credit card has no pre-determined limit on spending. But that does not mean you can spend indiscriminately. If a particular purchase amount will result in your business credit card account going over your credit limit, only the portion that falls below the limit will qualify for the rewards points. Beyond that, every charge that causes a breach in your credit limit will be subject to evaluation before it is authorized; the evaluation will take into account both your spending pattern and payment history.

Forex Trading: The Most Common Flaws

Flaws due to multi indicators and due to the principle of confluence: Many traders are very much attracted to the sophistication offered by the multi indicators and use them in their forex trading systems. Many of the confluence system indicators show the price movement and in no way adds any value to the trade. Due to this, the traders either end up over bought or over sold technical indicators like the stochastic, momentum indicators, candle stick chart pattern recognition, Bollinger band breaks out even neural networks which are supposed to be artificial intelligent systems. The technical indicators just show signals which are similar to buy or sell or hold, making the signal generated to be correct. Theoretically it sounds good but in reality to arrive at a conclusion might be difficult. As a result the traders are confused in making a right decision. They either enter too late or too early or remain still without being able to make a decision to enter the market. The major flaw is due to the use of useless trading system which does not serve the purpose to make profits, but confuses the traders and complicates the forex trading until the trader loses. Another dangerous flaw found in forex trading is of an emotional nature interwoven into the process. It is fear and greed of the trader. A profitable forex trade can lead to exuberance and over joy, but this is the time when greed comes in and crosses the aspects of risk management. When a trader is hooked to winning, out of greed he over-rides all aspects to see more and more profits, only to see them crash to earth. They wait for the prices to regain, but in dismay may some time and with worst possible losses. This is the time when fear crops up and paralyses the trader not making him to open up any position. Hence while trading, the trader should not override the emotional side of trading, stick to discipline of the trade which can prevent them from committing the flaw of forex trading. Another kind of flaw can happen when the trader is an unconcerned person or the one who is lazy, or with no drive to gain profits or feels the need to be profitable. These people would have entered into forex trading due to hearing it as an easy game. For them it is not a trade which involves skill, trade management, preparation and re-investment. It is a fun game for them, where loses do not make any difference to them. Such persons make a wrong footing, with a wrong objective. Flaws in forex trading due to the inadequate knowledge of the trader: Some of the losers start with good purpose in the trade. Even though they had gained some knowledge from here and there they might find it difficult to apply them practically in the trade. Inadequate knowledge might be the major flaw which stops them from achieving success.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Understanding the Basics of Options

Copyright 2006 Billy Williams Options are a misunderstood investment tool but once understood by an individual investor it can be a very versatile investment tool. Options can be used to protect your portfolio, and they can help you pick up huge profits by controlling the stock of a company very cheaply. Plus, options offer strictly limited risk. If an option trade goes the wrong way, you won't lose more than your initial investment plus commissions. So what are options? Options are a type of investment that gives you the right to buy or sell an underlying security at a certain price for a specified amount of time. In other words, options give you the right to bet on the direction of a stock, but you are limited to that bet for a certain period – usually from 1 month to as long as 3 years depending on the option selected. Lets go thru some a couple of examples with different scenarios so that you can see how options can lead to magnified returns with low risk. Say you believe that the demand for gas in the refinery industry will send Valero’s stock higher. Earnings for the stock come out in June, and you're betting the market is going to be very surprised at how the company exceeded their earnings estimate for that quarter. In this case, you'd look to buy "call options" on Valero. Call options are a bet that the underlying stock price will go up. Put options, on the other hand, bet that the underlying security's price will go down. A smart move is to give yourself a little time to make sure that you're right about the trade, but not too much time that it is cost-prohibitive for you to make the trade. Options are referred to as "wasting assets" because they lose value the longer you hold onto them. Also, the longer the time before the option expires, the more premium you will pay. Premium is the price you pay for the option. An expensive option has a high premium; a cheap one has a low premium. Option premiums are determined by the market, just like stocks. And options are traded on an exchange, just like stocks. One other important fact, options expire on the third Friday of the month. So, if Valero's earnings are scheduled to be announced in the last week of June, you'd want to buy an option that expires the next month. So, you'd probably want to buy a July call option on Valero, giving you enough time for the stock to rise and for your position to be profitable. In options language, when a position is profitable, it's called "in the money." Conversely, an unprofitable trade is "out of the money," and a break-even trade is "at the money." What price would you pay for the option so that it's "in the money" when you sell it? Say Valero's stock is currently trading for around $60. You think that it will jump by about 10% when its earnings news hits the market. That means you think the stock will rise to $66. You look up the strike prices offered on Valero July Call options and see that there is a $60 strike and a $65 strike. So, you buy the Valero 60 July Call option. In this example, $60 is your strike price, the price at which your option would let you buy or sell the underlying stock. Not many people are with you on that bet, so the option is cheap, around $1. You can only buy options in lots of 100. So, you'd pay $100 per option contract. If you buy 5 contracts, your premium would be $500. That $500 controls 500 shares of stock. Think about it. If you were to buy 500 shares of Valero stock at $60, you'd spend $30,000 to control the same amount of shares using options – that's leverage! Another advantage to investing in options is that you can never lose more than you invest in an option. If the trade doesn't go your way, you only lose the amount you paid for the option and any commissions related to the trade. But if the trade goes your way, the leverage in options allows you to multiply your profits with just a small move in the underlying stock price. Options can be used for a variety of strategies but, most importantly, options allow you to control blocks of stock very cheaply while confining your risk to the cost of the option itself. Options used this way with good directional methods and systems can yield huge profits when used properly.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Types of Mortgage Refinance Loans

Technically, you can take out any kind of loan and use your loan proceeds to pay off your mortgage. Viewed this way, any type of loan can be a mortgage refinance loan. However, some have restrictions (i.e. some loans do not offer a big enough credit for paying off a mortgage) so they don’t make good refinance loans. This article is about the loans you can use for refinancing your mortgage. Since these are loans that banks have specifically designed for paying off mortgages, they are also known as the common types of mortgage refinance loans that are available in the market. According to Variability of Interest Rate Fixed-rate mortgage refinance loan: This type of home refinance loan is one where the interest rate is locked-in to a fixed amount for the whole duration of the loan. Simply put, the home refinance loan will be kept at a constant interest rate for the whole life of the balance. Variable-rate mortgage refinance loan: This type of home refinance loan is one where the interest rate varies with a certain, predetermined index. The interest rate, in this case can be equivalent to the index or greater than the index by a fixed margin. In this type of mortgage refinance loan, there is usually an introductory rate period where the interest rate is fixed for a few years (3 and 5 years are common) at a very low rate. After this introductory period has passed, the rate becomes a true variable rate – subject to the whims of the market. However, there’s usually a cap or interest rate ceiling to protect the consumers from excessive index rate increases. According to Payment Terms Interest-only mortgage refinance loan: This type of mortgage refinance is one where you will be asked to pay only the interest for a certain period of time. After the set interest-only payment period has passed, you will have to start making payments towards the principal. Balloon-type mortgage refinance loan: This type of refinance loan is one with an initially low, fixed interest rate (the actual period varies from lender to lender but this period doesn’t usually exceed 10 years). After the period for the low interest has passed, however, full payment is required on loan balance. Fully-amortizing mortgage refinance loan: This type of refinancing loan is one where monthly payments are a combination of interest charges and payments towards the balance. This type of loan is ideal for people who wish to add to their equity as well as reduce the balance with every payment. Home equity mortgage refinance loan: This type of loan is one where you actually apply for a loan using the equity you have stored in your home as your security for the loan. In this case, you give up your equity for money which you can get as outright cash or as a revolving credit line. Such a loan usually has a very good interest rate. However, this type of loan is ideal for mortgage refinancing ONLY if you have enough equity in your home to pay off your original mortgage lender. This can happen if your home has appreciated considerably. If you don’t have enough equity to pay off your original lender, you will only be taking on a second mortgage, not a refinancing loan.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Basics Of Online Banking

Banking online has become the quickest growing internet activity, with nearly 4 million users already managing accounts, and paying their bills through a virtual bank. With the convenience and ease of online banking, everyone seems to be in on the newest trend. And there are quite a few other advantages, such as avoiding the lengthy aspects of conventional banking. Everyone must educate themselves on the basics of online banking before truly deciding whether or not it is right for them. Online banking offers a myriad of advantages. Online banking websites are always equipped with secure servers and can perform transactions much faster than any automatic teller. Also, virtual banking sites never close; they are open seven days a week and 24 hours a day. You can access your bank account anywhere. If you are traveling out of the state or even out of the country, you can have admittance to your bank account anytime, anywhere. Another quality benefit is that most online banking sites now allow you to manage a variety of accounts such as IRAs, CDs and securities from just one website. To perform banking transactions online, you will need a computer, access to the internet, and occasionally software provided by your bank. A majority of the larger banks now offer fully operational online banking for free or a small cost. The most advanced banking websites allow you to examine your various credit card accounts, check out brokerage accounts, and even get stock quotes free of charge. Smaller banks or branches, however, may only allow you to view your account balance and transaction history, but you cannot make payments online. As the online banking business progresses, hopefully so will most banks. Paying bills online is extremely simple. First of all, you need to produce an address book listing all of the payment recipients. When a bill is received, choose a payment amount, the date it should be delivered, and send it on its way via cyberspace. The rest is in your bankÕs hands. One of the benefits is that a lot of these payment programs let you schedule your payment so you can pay the same time each month. No late fees! There are a few disadvantages to online banking. Some banking sites can be fairly difficult to navigate at first, especially if you are unfamiliar with the world wide web. You definitely to take time to educate yourself on the many facets of the online banking, and accustom yourself with your virtual surroundings. Another unfavorable point is the time and effort it actually takes to get started with your bankÕs online program. You will most likely have to go to the main bank branch provide identification, and fill out documents. Once this is taken care of, you will finally be ready to begin yo urbankingonline.