bookmark_borderEstablishing an Emergency Fund

Well, the truth is it can happen to any one of us so we have to get prepared. The second concern will be addressed in this discussion. Don’t underestimate your ability to save because in reality, you can start today to build a fund.

Experience being the great teacher that it is put a focus on setting aside money while you are employed for the proverbial “rainy day”. The recommendation is three months of fixed and variable expenses if:

  • You are single with a second source of income
  • You are married and both of you work with a similar income or
  • You are married and only one spouse works but you have a second source of income (income property for example)

What is a second source of income?

  • Alimony (if it is significant I.e. not just a few hundred dollars)
  • You are the beneficiary of a large trust fund
  • You consider yourself “financially well off” I.e. you have substantial investment income and/or other income coming in each month

If the above scenarios don’t apply then use six months as your emergency fund gauge.

Here are some things you can do to establish your emergency fund:

  1. Use a budgeting tool to figure out what your fixed and variable expenses are.
  2. Once you have a good handle on your expenses then determine if you need to multiply by 3 or 6 based on the information I discussed above.
  3. Open a separate account for your fund. Don’t mingle these funds with your day to day checking account, etc. I recommend using a tool like SaveDaily for this account because you can link it to your checking or savings account. You can have as little as $1.00 deducted and invested in your emergency account.
  4. Use systematic investing to build up your emergency account. It works like your 401(k). Again, taking a disciplined approach by having money automatically invested at different times during the month from your checking or money market account is a great way to start..
  5. Be disciplined and vigilant. Think of your emergency fund as untouchable except for those true emergencies like losing a job and/or unexpected healthcare expenses.

bookmark_borderReasons To Choose Credit Unions

Better Interest for Cards

According to information from the NCUA, last year’s average credit card interest rate was 12.85 percent at banks, versus 11.56 percent for credit cards issued from credit unions. This isn’t a huge difference, but less is always better when it comes to interest rates. Union cards also tended to have lower fees and fewer in general.

Easier to borrow

There is no need to await your loan status on tenterhooks since lending decisions are normally made locally, which means quicker turn-around time and more flexibility than loans with large corporations. Some can also offer signature loans to members who have good credit and standing.

Less chance of failure

Banks, insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation fail much more frequently than their counterparts. 44 FDIC insured institutions failed in 2011. That’s not to say credit unions have no chance of failing-9 NCUA insured institutions failed in the same year. However, there is much less chance of this happening since they are generally smaller and not as focused on profit. This means that they will loan less frequently and accept fewer risks

Lower loan rates

More often than not; these lending institutions can offer their customers lower loan rates. Last year, the National Credit Union Administration released information that confirmed that the average rate on a 36-month loan was about 2.85 percent. Compare that rate to an average 5.59 percent at banks, which is nearly twice the amount.

Run by customers

You can have confidence doing business with your credit union. Why, you ask? Because each member is also a partial owner, meaning they also have a stake in the success of the union. It is also managed and staffed by its customers on a volunteer basis. As a member, you even have the option to run for a seat on your union’s board of directors, which is not feasible at a bank.

bookmark_borderMoney and Inflation

Inflation is crafty in his theft. He doesn’t take all the power of your money at once; he bleeds it slowly and steadily, counting on a general naiveté of money, banking, and financial markets to prevent the call for his head. Inflation hides his theft in a snowstorm of official-looking reports and statistics.

Inflation is egalitarian in his theft. Whether a man has 10 dollars or 10 million dollars, he’ll take six cents out of each dollar this year. He taxes each man in direct proportion to the amount of money he holds.

In distributing that money, however, inflation is the lowest type of thief. He takes the 60 cents from the poor man and the 600,000 dollars from the rich man and gives it all to the rich man less a few pennies for administrative expenses. Even when the rich man pays the wages of the poor man, inflation has again stolen a little of its value by the time poor man gets his hands on it.

Who is inflation and where did he come from? In times gone by, inflation was born on a printing press and in the counting houses of kings. Today, with just a stroke of a pen and the clicking of a computer keyboard in a central bank he springs to life.

In simplest terms, inflation is too much money chasing too few goods. In more technical terms, inflation is the result of a total money supply that has become undocked from the total goods and services produced. He owes his entire existence to money masters who have convinced themselves that the process of moving money from hand to hand and around the world is too messy to happen without their meddling.

Who are these money masters? They are lonely, twisted practitioners of the dismal science of economics, confident in their ability to succeed in a task which is beyond the capability of any group of men. With religious fervor they hold tight to their beliefs despite thousands of years of failure, and each quarter proudly proclaim, “this time, we got it right.”

But, it is only by chance that they actually make a correct decision. You see, to truly succeed, they must divine what every man, woman, child, business, corporation, investor, fund, speculator, government, nation, group, and natural force will do today, tomorrow, next week, and on into the future. By its very definition this is an impossible task, but prognostication is only part of the job.

Once the money masters compile their assumptions about assumptions, they must attempt to guide their ship down a narrow channel bounded on one side by confidence in the money they create and destroy, and on the other side by investments they have made in the infamously ravenous governments of the world. Any errors in navigation will take months to detect and years to correct.

If the money masters of the central bank create money faster than the rate of growth of domestic production, prices for goods and services will rise and that money will flow to other nations to buy their less expensive goods. Deluged with a surplus of that currency, foreign monetary exchanges discount it, which inflates the prices of foreign goods in terms of that currency.

The impossible task of predicting how many computers will be sold, how many houses will be built, and how fruitful the farmer’s field will be is further complicated by a government that spends more than it takes in. If the government issues more bonds than the money masters predicted, the central bank has to purchase those excess bonds to protect its previous investments. The supposedly omniscient money masters have to create more money than they intended to pay for them.

If the poor man gets a raise next year, he may, again, be able to afford the goods he could earlier this year. If not, his standard of living is continually decreased. Meanwhile, the government spends the newly-created money with wealthier corporations and individuals, giving them the benefit of using the money before prices become inflated.

bookmark_borderEarn a Pretty Profit With Diamond Investing

Let’s now take a moment to talk about how your investments are affected when a company starts to suffer losses. Companies seeking money from investors usually do so when they are in a tight financial spot that requires them to seek financial help. They turn to the general public when looking for that financial assistance. In these types of situations, the investments made are often in the form of shares, investment bonds, or debentures, with the investor receiving a share of profits if the financial tide turns for the company. These investments are a loan of sorts, with the advantage to the company being that they do not need to pay interest. Each investor, or shareholder, receives dividends and profit share that is dependent on the type of contract signed at the time of the investment. In the case of diamond investing, the investor receives a diamond in return for giving money to the company. They do not receive any interest or profits from the company after that transaction, but they are free to sell the diamond for a profit when the value of diamonds on the open market is on the rise.

One of the great benefits of owning a diamond, besides the status and luxury of the gem, is that it will never see its value decrease, even in cases where the demand for diamonds decreases during a particular period. The supply and demand elements that so often drive the stock market are simply not in play with diamonds, making this investment one where you simply cannot lose. Given the status and luxury of diamonds, which are very often held by kings and queens of many different countries, your investment will be one that is very wise indeed.

The diamond market never experiences a decrease in value. One thing to be aware of is that there are two kinds of diamonds out there: miners across the world dig for natural diamonds, but there are also some synthetic varieties that are hand-made in a laboratory, with the synthetic diamonds often on the market alongside the natural stones, which can help drive inflation. Diamond companies fall under the category of either a public or private limited company, with that distinction usually dependent upon the part of the world where the company resides. Some companies also fall into the semi-government category, which is where the company is owned in part by the government and in part by the residents of the country.

bookmark_borderBusiness Loans

There are many reasons for businesses to get a loan. Some may require additional funds for the expansion of the business, or offering additional services, while others would need funds for making various small or big purchases. Lenders take quite a few factors into consideration while extending these loans. First, they would check the credit worthiness of the business. They would also evaluate how far the business has been successful and the likelihood of its being profitable. Procuring loans for a new company is indeed very challenging, and the credit history of the individual borrower is almost the sole criteria for taking the decision.

As the lender would naturally like to ensure that the borrower has the capacity to pay back the borrowed money, the borrowers need to fulfill some very strict prerequisites for availing the loans.

If the risks connected with the loan are rather high, it is generally a better option to seek investors from within the family or the social circle that could lend money or buy a part of the business. Banks are certainly not keen to offer loans carrying a high risk. Small businesses needing smaller loans could check with government sources that lend money, or other companies offering micro-loans, as their perquisites for extending loans are not so tough.

Businesses that get loans at the time of getting started have the advantage of building their credit history as the business grows. As in case of personal loans, businesses too must ensure to pay back the borrowed funds within the stipulated time. Failure to make timely payments harms the credit history of the business, making it difficult to procure any business loans in the future. Banks plus other lending institutions not only consider the credit rating of the business, but also its profits in the past as well as the profit the business is likely to make when being granted the loan.

As far as the citizens of the US are concerned, those that are looking for loans in order to start a new business or continuing with the present one should look into a good source before approaching any banks. The US Small Business Administration is a government body that provides financial support to small business. Though everybody may not be granted help via this program, one should certainly make a sincere effort and try, as the loans available under this program carry a lower rate of interest, and the terms for paying back the loan are not so difficult.

bookmark_borderAbout Inheritance Loans

If you want to avoid falling into the trap of these terms and policies, you can opt for inheritance loans which are a bit different from the rest of the loans offered by the money lenders. In this of loan, a person who is an heir to an estate can mortgage his share of the property and can get money in turn. It is like getting cash in advance before you actually sell out the property.

This kind of loan is really helpful as one does not have to take additional tension about repayment and other hassles which are attached with a regular loan.

In case of inheritance loans one does not have to take any ownership, the money is repaid to the lender through his share of the estate. Moreover, one does not have to really wait for a long time in order to get this kind of loan approved. If everything goes on fine one can get cash in about three days only. This proves to be a big help to people who are in dire need of money.

The process to apply for this kind of loan is quite simple. With loads of lenders available in the market all you need to do is provide them some information about the property you own, along with information you share with the owner of the estate. Once all the paperwork is done, which hardly takes around 2 to 3 days, you would be able to get the cash. Once you get the money you are no longer responsible for anything. It is between the company and the lender.

bookmark_borderChoose Travel Credit Card

It is a fact that there are too many travel cards available these days and so it becomes a daunting task to choose the right credit card for traveling. Here are a few tips that will help you in making the right choice:

  • A good sign up bonus – most cards come with different types of sign up bonus and in the case of travel credit cards, the cardholders are offered with free air miles or a free air ticket when they use their card for the first time after receiving it. You should make sure that the card you opt for will offer you with a huge sign up bonus preferably in form of air miles so that you can redeem the same for your travel bookings.
  • More air miles for your money – earning air miles is one of the main reasons behind applying for a travel credit card and so the card that you opt for should apply you with more air miles for your credit card expenses. For example, every time you spend a dollar on the card, you should be able to earn at least 1 air mile. If the credit card cannot offer you with sufficient air miles for your expenses, it will not be very beneficial to you.
  • Airport lounge access – the travel credit card should also offer you with complimentary access to Airport Lounges so that you can travel with luxury and comfort. Since most of the top credit cards for traveling offer complimentary lounge access to the customers, it will not be very difficult for you to apply for such a card.
  • Travel Insurance – another feature that you should look for when applying for a new travel credit card is free travel insurance. If you are provided with travel insurance coverage, you can travel in peace as you will be assured that the insurance policy will provide you with the required support in case something bad happens when you are on a trip.
  • Low annual fee – even if the card offers you with a wide range of features, it will be futile to opt for the card if it comes with a high annual fee. The annual fee charged for the travel card should be low so that you will not end up spending a lot of money to avail the benefits offered with the card.

bookmark_borderStrategies of Pair Options Trading

Pair options is a form of trading where you can compare between two stocks. As a trader, your choice is to analyze which stock will outperform the other over a period of time. In this form of trading, you can get the advantage of the fact that it is free of the volatility of the market.

We are all aware of the explosive nature of the trading market. If you are not careful enough, you might end up striking deals that can culminate into losses. However, those who choose to invest in pair options trading will end up opting for deals that will contain less of risk. Those who are tired of the fluctuating market conditions should make it a point to check out options trading and opt for it.

When you are choosing pair options methods that you must use, here are the key strategies which you need to bear in mind.

Different people can choose varying strategies for the sake of making the right kind of investment. One of the best strategies which you can possibly use is to buy a call on such a stock which seems to have the potential to move higher in the days to come. At the same time, you should also invest in a stock that falls in the same sector but is likely to fall down. Doing this will prevent you from suffering terribly because of the unexpected changes and volatility of the stock market.

Further, you need to be sure that you have studied the market thoroughly. There is no doubt about the fact that the trading market is going to change a great deal. When you are looking to make the right kind of investments which will turn out to be profitable, the key is to check the details thoroughly.

Trading is not a field where you can afford to be reckless or complacent. You have to be sure that you have examined all the main points. Check out the main assets, the kind of rise and fall they had, their market history and the future projections as well. With all these points in mind, it will be easier to find the right kind of future projections and this shall improve the ease with which you can make the right kind of profits.

Take all the time you need for the sake of coming to the right decision. When you have done so, you will be able to improve your odds of making profits when you choose pair options trading. The risk factor is considerably lower when you are thoroughly prepared with the details.

Trading is an extremely risky field and there are too many troubles that can occur. This is why you need to keep these strategies in mind. A lot of people are choosing to opt for pair options trading and when you are looking to participate in the same field, it is important to be prepared with the background details. Make sure that you are carrying out your part and digging the details so that you can make the most out of your trading choices.

bookmark_borderFourth Quarter Finance Tricks

We have just entered the fourth quarter of the tax season, which means tax return filings are just around the corner. Now is the time to start organizing your documents and receipts for tax preparation time. Having your paycheck stubs and proof of expenses that can be deducted from your tax liability is the best way to ensure you pay only what you owe or, if you’re lucky, get a nice return check.

Did you get married? Relocate for a job? Have a child? Drive a lot of miles for your job? Pay interest on student loans? or even suffer an injury or illness that cost you thousands out of pocket? All of these, and more, are deductions that could significantly lower your tax liability. Make sure to have proof of these expenditures to show your tax professional.

For many companies, the fourth quarter is a common time for open enrollment season for health insurance and retirement funds. If you are employed by a company that offers benefits it is important to watch for these particular events each year. After the launch of the Affordable Healthcare Act, many people found themselves with better, but also much more expensive, healthcare plans. Open enrollment is the perfect time to make changes to your elective healthcare coverage and retirement benefits at no penalty. Most often, these types of changes aren’t allowed or at least not without a penalty outside of open enrollment. Check with your employer this fourth quarter to see if you can lower your healthcare costs and increase your retirement contributions to put you on a stronger foot.

While most people tend to wait last minute for holiday shopping, the truth is that two-thirds of Americans overspend on holiday purchases. Between buying more than necessary and the excessive use of credit cards to fund these purchases, the holiday season can bring as much financial bloat to your accounts as does all the delicious food does to your waistline.

Start planning now for this holiday season by developing a plan for your gift list. Know who you are buying for and how much you can afford to spend before hitting the shopping malls. Cut back on other expenses for the next two months and put that savings into a holiday fund. Don’t start the New Year with more debt over one day’s party worth of fun. Focus on family time and not what’s wrapped under the tree.

bookmark_borderConvenience of Online Banking

Easy to organize the banking documents:

Online banking has helped the banking industry in going paperless to quite an extent. It saves people from the hassle of maintaining a separate folder for all the important banking documents.

Keeping track of all the essential documents is time consuming and tedious. Online record maintaining is the better way of managing your financial records, in an organized manner. You could print out the documents whenever you need them. It is also convenient to send soft copy of bank statements on emails, or rather than faxing or couriering them. They get delivered instantly, and it is free too.

Security:

Although net banking brings about a lot of convenience in terms of savings on time and money, you will need to make sure that your login information does not reach any unauthorized person.

Banks offer secure environments for making transactions, and they also use advanced security measures to protect their customer information. These days, most of the online bank accounts are also linked to the user’s cell phone, where they receive the security code in order to login successfully.

Please be reminded, that some hackers might send you emails by impersonating your bank. Under any circumstances, do not click on the links that you receive on emails to login to your banking accounts. Always key in the web address of your bank manually in the address bar of your browser, and then log into your account. Also use the virtual keyboard for additional security.