Using Insurance As an Investment Strategy

Using Insurance As an Investment Strategy

With the massive increases to our taxes taking place on January 3rd (barring any major changes), the notion of avoiding taxes or simply delaying payment becomes all the more attractive. Since the 1980's when deductions were largely eliminated except for mortgage interest and charitable contributions, it has become increasingly difficult to protect your hard earned money from the "redistributionists" who want to give it to someone else. Insurance is something you should consider.

Let's start at the basics, what is insurance? Simply stated, insurance is the act of transferring risk from one part to another. So you purchase auto insurance to transfer your driving risk to a company who, because of its broad coverage can pony up the cash in the event of a collision. Or you purchase life insurance to transfer the risk of the financial loss incurred by your death to an insurance company. It's pretty simple really, but there is one key component to insurance that makes it possibly quite attractive to you as an investor; the growth of your money inside an insurance contract is tax deferred!

Let's assume for a moment that you're in that hideous 39.6% federal bracket meaning that you and your spouse make more than $250,000 per year. So the next dollar earned, you keep (including State taxation) only about 55% of your earned money and that does not count the special investment taxes that have been placed on capital gains and dividends. So what do you do? Well, insurance may be an attractive idea. Let's assume you fund a variable life insurance policy and with it, rather than investing money in simply more ended mutual funds or ETF's, you put those investments under the insurance umbrella. The resulting returns are pretty staggering. Due to its tax deferred accumulation, the return inside the insurance contract can be ½ of the return outside and with no additional risk, yield the same future amount. Let's be specific, let's assume you're 35 years old, and earn just over $250,000, so you can save $1,000 per month toward your future retirement. With that money, option one is to invest it with a traditional investment product like a Mutual Fund or ETF, and option two is to purchase a variable insurance product. Here are the results, assuming they both earn 7% per year over the next 30 years, and taxes don't change, and you pay 1.5% per year in cost of the insurance product. At 65, you will have gained over $500,000 more by using the insurance vehicle to invest rather than the non-insurance way.

Now here's an interesting question that sometimes comes up, "what's the difference between using Insurance and other retirement plans like 401k's and IRA's?" Well I would say this, there has been talk in Washington of nationalizing the 401k's and IRA's and while this may be a long shot, there has never even been a discussion of stopping the insurance products. So you make the call, is it less risky to have an insurance product tax deferred or a 401k/IRA?

One final note, all insurance companies and all insurance products are not created equal! Your invested capital is regulated but that doesn't mean the insurance company will be around to honor its commitments to you, so conducting due diligence on your part is required, and is smart. As you evaluate your entire capital structure including your house, your cash, your equity assets, your debt assets and your commodity assets, keep in mind that only you have genuine concern about your future. Your advisor and your agents care, but they have many people to care about. You and you alone bear the ultimate responsibility to know where your money is, what your money is doing, and why it's placed as it is!

Why Should You Opt For Corporate Payment Solutions

Why Should You Opt For Corporate Payment Solutions

Since multi-tasking has become a very big trend in the entire system of globalization, managing the cash is becoming a huge task. And it is a myth that such problems are faced only by big corporate companies. This phenomenon is faced by newcomers and entrepreneurs as there is a greater need to spread a company which means more investments and multiple investments. It is due to this reason that good corporate companies go for corporate payment solutions providers who can actually help you with a complete cash management plan which is smooth and you end up doing good business.

Advantages of Corporate Payment Solutions

• These days whether be new companies, entrepreneurs everyone takes up the schemes of payment solutions. This is because the companies that provide corporate payment solutions has such a system that caters to your problem directly and helps you manage your money very easily.

• Another big reason for taking up the solutions is the fact that it is a cost effective initiative and also saves a lot of time. It is only the experts who know the best way to handle banking and payment related operations. When a company tries to do it alone the risk always remains whether the thing will be conducted securely or not.

• Banks these days actually prefer interacting through corporate payment solutions providers. Such providers/companies centralized all kinds of payments and receipts of different clients under one roof which benefits the banks as they do not have to handle the payments and receipts individually.

• These days corporate payment solutions have been working with cutting edge technologies and applications that hence there is no fixed hour of service, much of the system like accounts details and letters are automatically generated on a fixed date every month. On the other hand, accessing your account is no more limited to the bank. It has transferred to the web space and you can check your account from multiple platforms- be it your laptop or your smartphones. These days Android, Blackberry and iPhone are the multiple platforms where you can check your account.

• The cash management programs become more difficult when you are involved into cross border business. Handling multiple accounts with multiple currencies is indeed difficult to manage as the currency rates are always fluctuating. For such account handling one has to take recourse to a good payment solutions company who has experts to work on such problems.

• It has been found that agility in the business of a company is one of the main advantages that corporate companies have realized after involving payment solutions companies. This is because the entire payment and receipt structure has come under a systematic plan and hence whether be multiple payments or simultaneous payments everything is handled smoothly.

It is due to these advantages that these days there are hardly any company who does not go for corporate payment solutions and the growth of a company also depends on smooth and professional machinery and corporate payment solutions contribute to it immensely.

What Is The Motivation Behind Your Gift?

What Is The Motivation Behind Your Gift?

After Jacob left Laban's employ, he prepared to go home. As he was walking, he worried about how his brother, Esau, would react to his return. Since they didn't have a great sibling relationship, he feared that Esau would attack him and his family.

In an effort to make peace, Jacob sent his servants ahead of him with gifts to offer Esau. He hoped to use the gifts to help him reconcile with his brother.

As we consider Jacob's situation in Genesis 32:20, we can also reflect on how we approach our own relationships. What are the motivations behind the gifts we give?

Are we trying to buy love?

Some of us may find ourselves guilty of using gifts to compensate for the lack of time we spend with family. When we are unable to make it home for dinner, or to sports tournaments and dance recitals, we may bring home a long-desired gift, hoping to turn the look of disappointment into a smile.

Although the gift may bring some joy, it is only temporary. In actuality, no gift can truly make up for not spending time with family. That kind of time is priceless.

Are we trying to fill a void?

We may also choose to purchase gifts for ourselves. We work hard, and we deserve to treat ourselves, right? Another rationalization is buying something nice to celebrate an accomplishment. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we may buy something to help us feel better after experiencing something negative.

But the most common challenge we run into with buying things for ourselves is making purchases within reason. We tend to spend more than we can afford to spend, rather than staying within our budget.

These things are also temporary fixes. They can't really make us feel better. The void that we are feeling will never be filled with anything that is available at the mall. Rather than running ourselves into a financial hole that could lead to a deeper sense of discomfort, we should seek help in being able to identify and correct what is truly lacking in our lives.

Are we showing off?

Another reason that we give gifts is to publicly display our accomplishments and status. When we make sizable donations, we are essentially telling the world that we have "made it" to some degree. Those donations show the world that we can afford to give away large sums of money and still be comfortable.

Giving anything to be noticed by others is an issue of pride. Are we too proud of our accomplishments? We have to remember that pride is a sin. God will not recognize sacrifices and gifts presented with ill intentions.

As Christians, giving is part of our foundation. God set the stage for that when He gave His only Son for our salvation. But God didn't do it to buy our love. He allows us the right to choose whether or not to love Him back. God doesn't have to fill any voids. He is everything and lacks nothing. God is our Creator, so He doesn't have to show off.

Giving has to be done for the right reasons. It has to be out of love and for the betterment of our community. Any other motivation devalues the whole act.

The Only Constant In Our Finances Is Change

The Only Constant In Our Finances Is Change

In Genesis 31:39, Jacob is telling Laban about his experience working for his father-in-law. Although this only gives us a slight glimpse into the challenges that Jacob faced, we can still get a pretty good idea of just how chaotic it must have been. Laban sounds like a man who not only misrepresented his goals and objectives to his employees, but also changed his mind constantly.

We may look at change as a bad thing at times. It changes our routine and throws us off balance. But, in actuality, changes in our life should not come as a surprise. They should be expected.

Financial changes may come our way at any given moment. Our challenge is to be able to withstand the change and go with the new flow.

Loss of income

Income changes can go either way. Let's consider a worse-case scenario first. If the household encounters a loss of income, it can be devastating to the family. More often than not, the household is really counting on that income in order to function. Living from paycheck to paycheck is the norm in many homes.

At a time like this, it is important for the family to start prioritizing expenses to determine the first areas in which to make cuts. Some things may feel hard to let go, but we have to be able to live within our means.

Mismanaging the resources that God has provided may hinder His providing more. Luke 16:10 tells us, "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much." (NIV)

If we prove ourselves faithful to God, His blessings will continue to pour out on us. He will make sure that we, His beloved children, have every need met.

What about more?

The change in income could go the opposite way. We could be blessed with a raise, a bonus, or some other financial windfall. Nevertheless, we should still be careful with how hard we celebrate.

Luke 16:10 still holds true in this situation. If God has entrusted more to us, we are expected to be good stewards of the additional income as well. This is not a time to catch up on all of the toys that we've wanted to buy - for our children or for ourselves.

We should examine our financial position and determine the best way to allocate the additional resources. Do we have an emergency fund in place? Are there debts that need to be paid off? Does God have an area of need within His Kingdom in which He wants you to be a blessing?

Be ready

Life is full of lessons. Some are easier than others. But they all are intentional. God uses every encounter to mold us, to shape us, into His image.

We do have a choice as to whether or not we will be flexible enough for Him to use us. His plans are so much better than anything we can ever imagine. Let's make a conscious effort to be available to God and to follow His path as changes come our way.

Questions to Ask When Meeting With Your Accountant

Questions to Ask When Meeting With Your Accountant

1. Are Your Business Financials in Line with the Projected Business Plan?

When you started your new business, you no doubt created a business plan, and the chances are, that although you started with good intent, you may have failed to update it ever since. If this is the case you are not alone as many business owners fail to utilise the potential of the business plan going forward.

It is important to recheck your business plan regularly so that you can ascertain if your business is actually on track. If not, then you need to re-think your business goals and to reassess your financial situation and your accountant can help with that - asking an accountant to take an unbiased and financial look at this will help give you the right perspective.

2. How Do You Improve Business Cash-Flow

Limited cash-flow can understandably place great pressure on your business and in fact can cause your business to go under if you are not careful. Cash-flow therefore must be monitored accordingly; otherwise day to day expenses cannot even be covered.

The U.S.S.B.A. suggests that small business owners may wish to discuss the problems of cash-flow with their accountants as this can:

• Reduce overheads and to eliminate or significantly reduce some expenses

• Improve processes for collection so that revenue can be increased.

• Re-think pricing and make changes where necessary.

3. What Are Your Financing Options

It may be nerve-wracking leaving your accounts open to such scrutiny but when your business is performing at peak efficiency; it is probably the best time to call in your accountants for a financial health-check. Your accountancy firm may as well highlight affordable new options that will help you to take your business to the next level.

4. Responsible Debt Handling

On a day to day basis, it is easy to become distracted by the various financial responsibilities while forgetting to monitor any outstanding debts. When meeting with your accountancy services firm, it is a good idea to ask the accountant to review any debt attached to the business. Keep the communication airways open with your accountant and encourage them to create and implement new strategies that may help you to manage the debts much more efficiently.

Once you have done your research and if you decide to employ a local Accountant, rest assured you get dedicated accountants who can polish up your financial processes and enable your business to become much more financially healthy as a result.

What Is A Good Or A Bad Trade In Forex?

What Is A Good Or A Bad Trade In Forex?

A good trade is simply a position that was taken and managed according to your trading plan and is not measured by the income or loss.

It is possible to have winning trades that are bad as well as losing trades that are good.

A Good Losing Trade

Let's say that your system requires a long position in a support and a hammer or a doji candle. You watch market movements being eager to jump in, however, you expect that your system gives a signal before executing a trading order.

Finally, the system gives you the green light and you take a long on the EUR USD pair. The trade works for you for a while, but during the transaction, the currency pair finally hits your stop loss.

Do not worry my friend. You just had a good losing trade! It cost you a little money, but you can be proud, because you have been disciplined in following your trading rules.

A Poor Winning Trade

Now, suppose your trading plan states that you can not risk more than 5% on a single trade. You see a pattern on USD / CHF which appears to be an excellent opportunity. The trade is so bright that you can not resist, you end up taking a 20% risk to your account.

The trade is a winner and you're sitting on a wad of cash!

It is not necessary to celebrate this "victory", as you just had a bad winning trade. It may have led to huge profits, but you did not follow your rules. You were lucky! Keep in mind that in the world of forex, luck does not last very long in general.

What to do With Your Good Trades?

If you follow your trading rules with discipline, give yourself a pat on the back! Remember that at the end of the day, traders strive to be consistent in the implementation and the process of trading, your decision to follow the rules is a step in the right direction.

As I mentioned earlier, even if you were not able to make profits with your trade, you just need to learn from this experience by analyzing the course of your trade. You may be able to decide if you need to make adjustments next time. This learning experience can even help you to improve your trading performance later!

What to do With Your Bad Trades?

If you do not follow your rules and your position is still open, close the position while there is still time!

When you're in the middle of a bad trade, do not lose hope just yet. Remember that it is still possible to remedy this situation. For example, if you did not follow your risk management rule which requires you to stop back in slowly, you can always correct your trade by adding a trailing stop according to your predetermined rules.

However, if you have a bad trade, do not feel bad now. We are human beings and contrary to forex robot (Expert Advisor), we make mistakes. However, remember not to make the same trading decisions in the future. All your forex trades must be recorded and filed in a trading journal to keep a track of your progress.

Finally, the key to being a successful forex trader is to focus on the process and not the profits. Each trading decision must be consistent and established according to a trading plan that leaves no room for improvisation.

Upgrading Accounting Training

Upgrading Accounting Training

No one has ever accused the field of accounting of being exciting but it is always relevant. No matter where you want to be in business, having a basic understanding of accounting principles and practices is always beneficial. Plus, you may be surprised at how interesting accounting can actually be. Whether you're a student just starting out in business school and looking for a lucrative career path, or a seasoned business veteran looking to enhance your skills and marketability, accounting training is undoubtedly a solid choice.

Business Training in the Modern Era

In a lot of ways, the business training of today is very different from even ten years ago. Effective business models are always changing to meet the constantly evolving demands and needs of consumers, clients, and a fluctuating market. Accounting training has to keep up with the changing needs of business and accounting principles are frequently modified to cover new ethics problems, changing business needs, and software models that alter the way computerized accounting is done.

Computerized accounting revolutionized the way corporate accounting was done, streamlining the process and allowing for increased complexity of tracking expenses, monitoring depreciation, maintaining assets, and doing taxes. Accounting courses today will focus on understanding how to use complicated accounting software, as well as how to understand the complex financial needs of a business.

One Size Does Not Fit All

All businesses do not have the same accounting needs, and accounting training today recognizes this. Small businesses have very different accounting needs from corporations, and varying business structures can differ substantially in everything from how they file their taxes to how they calculate depreciation and business expenses. Basic accounting courses will cover the different business models and offer a broad overview of how their accounting needs differ. Once you understand the basics, there is ample room for specialization and fine tuning your education to enhance your marketability.

If it has been a few years since your business training, it is a good idea to study up on how computerized accounting has evolved in recent years. It is always a good idea to get well-rounded business training for any field, and staying current with changing methods and techniques is a great way to make your resume stand out in this troubled economy. Accounting training and business school courses add incredible value to your marketability. And accounting can actually be more interesting than you think. Keeping track of the vast needs of business finance is a daunting task, and both creative and analytical minds will find it a rewarding challenge to meet those needs with competent, computerized accounting training.

Keeping the Engine of Business Running

Business graduates with accounting knowledge will always be in high demand, whether as accountants, payroll managers, office finance managers, or even accounting clerks and supervisors. A business cannot succeed without an adequate handle on its finances; knowledgeable and competent accounting experts will always be needed in business today and tomorrow.

Cost-Effective Vegetables For Your Garden

Cost-Effective Vegetables For Your Garden

We're all concerned with saving money. The recession has annihilated the pocket money and food budget of thousands of households across the UK, and we've all had to make certain cuts to acclimate. On top of this the price of fresh produce is actually inflating at an accelerated rate in supermarkets, so it's never been more appropriate to start growing your own food in your own garden. It's tastier, cheaper and creates a fun hobby to occupy your time, though some plants are more cost-effective than others, are few of which you can find below.

Garlic

It's a classic plant for flavouring, but these bulbs can be prohibitively expensive in many supermarkets. It's increasingly becoming a luxury for many households. It's usually grown during the winter, so you're making use of space that usually goes to waste. In terms of cost per pound, you can expect to see a great rate of return, with prices from between one half and one tenth of those you'll find in store. Remember to pay attention to the crop and weed appropriately (garlic is pretty vulnerable to other plants intruding on its space), and you'll have a large amount of storable bulbs on hand for seasoning which taste at least as delicious as anything you would have picked up in store.

Bell Peppers

Again, these are incredibly expensive in store. They have quite long ripening periods as a rule, and this is likely responsible for inflating the price even further. But that's no trouble for you, compared to supermarket prices you'll hit great value. Buy some pepper starter plants in the interests of cutting down on growing time, seeds are very slow, and get planting. You should be able to get them for around 70p, but compared to the supermarket they'll yield about £7 in peppers. It's not a big deal initially, but plant ten or so and you'll certainly notice the savings.

Remember, you usually start pepper in pots and transplant them to the ground when temperatures warm. This saves time, but get rid of any peppers which grow before it's been moved. They stunt growth and reduce the eventual yield, and we are talking about cost effectiveness here.

Lettuce

This wonderful, beautiful specimen comes up a lot, if you're familiar with my work. It's absolutely perfect for beginners in every way. It's delicious, used in sandwiches and salads widely, and it's incredibly cost-effective on top. For a couple of quid you can get a few hundred grams of seeds, and they'll sprout very densely for maximum yield in a small area. Plant these seeds staggered a few weeks apart, and as you harvest one set you'll have enough lettuce to see you through the entire season. There's nothing better than lettuce. Plant a lot of it.

Hopefully this will set you on the path to getting the maximum value from your garden. It's one of the few profitable hobbies, and maximising efficiency can be a satisfying goal.

America's Life Viewed From the Outside

America's Life Viewed From the Outside

The US is a geographically vast, high-population country. So, it can be hard to remember that the things that are normal for us are shockingly different for people who live elsewhere in the world. On Quora, several people from countries all over the world recently discussed the things that surprised them about America most. What came up the most? Money, credit and real estate:

Credit Scores Are Everything
You need credit to get a loan... but, your ability to get loans is based on your credit. A couple of Russian respondents said that it was surprising to them to see how much Americans rely on credit in day to day life. Until recently, consumer debt was not a part of life in that part of the world.

The Way We Shop is Different
People from some countries expressed surprise that cashiers would greet them as they entered buildings. But, people from other countries like India said that we have a less personal shopping experience. And, pretty much no one from outside likes that tips need to be figured out by the customer and that prices are almost always set in stone.

We're Nearly Cashless
Respondents from places like Bangladesh and India expressed surprise that so few Americans carry cash, preferring to use credit or debit cards for almost everything from meals to the grocery store to even admission to events. One Indian respondent said, "Coming from India, where we just need cash because cards are not accepted at most places."

But, We Still Use Paper Checks
Most of the time, if you want to pay a large bill like your rent, you write a check drawn on your bank account. Your landlord then deposits the check into his account. This can take several days, even if you both go to the same bank. Sometimes, when you attempt to pay a debt online, your bank will still send a paper check through the mail to the recipient.

In Europe and many other parts of the world, the entire transaction is digital and fairly instantaneous. Many US banks are starting to offer person to person electronic payments, but, we're pretty far behind in the game.

We Have Huge Houses
Many people from other countries were shocked at how much house we in the US tend to buy. Facts and figures back up the observation: according to the BBC, Americans take up more space, with an average home occupying 2200 square feet, than people from any other country. Even stranger to many people from Asia and Eastern Europe: even with all that room, when relatives visit, they stay in a nearby hotel.

For all of the ways that Americans are different from one another, we have even less in common with our neighbors abroad. These differences help us appreciate our culture and can make us more mindful of how we spend and what we enjoy.

7 Day Trading Tips You Should Know About

7 Day Trading Tips You Should Know About

Capital or stock market provides the highest return on stocks that are held for a sufficiently long period. The second part is what the media does not highlight while screaming from the rooftops about how people make money on the stock market. And it is ignorance of this fact that makes people invest blindly and lose their hard earned wealth.

What you forget when you buy a stock is that you are now part of this work and, just as in any business you will be sharing the profits and losses. When the company makes a profit, you can earn a share of the profits. When the company loses, you will lose some part of your money. This makes investing in stocks risky, but there is no way out of it.

Here are some useful information that will help you understand the trading better. Also, a few day trading tips for a safe investment in shares, while maximizing your return.

1.The stock price may fluctuate in the short term:

When a company issues a share, certain face value is attached to the share. When these shares are traded, their value goes up or down, depending on supply and demand in the market. This value is called the share price. When there is high demand for trading, this price goes up, and vice versa. When the media reports that the stock market is going up or down, it's the share price of the stocks available on the market that has gone down. As an investor, you should not lose heart. The stock prices of good companies will always get back to the price they are worth.

3.Don't pick tops or bottoms

In case you want a sure shot way to make profits, try to choose when the trend is at its end. There are many indicators that give an idea on when the trend may be coming to an end. However, the statistics may be wrong more than they are right. So exercising caution is recommended.

4.Be long-term investor:

Buying low and selling high is the best way to make money on the stock market. Buy stocks in a bear market, when stock prices have gone down. Sell on the market where Sensex is going up. It is impossible to predict in which direction the market will go. Therefore, when you invest, you have to stay long in the market. In the meantime, continue to sell only a small number of shares frequently and book profits if you think that you will get a good price.

5.Enter trades at low risk, high probability areas

The best way I have found to reduce the risks and maximize the rewards is entering into business, when the risk is low. Some traders refer to this as "trend trading".

6.Decide on how much you can afford to lose:

Never forget the fact that everything that gives you more yields also carries a significant amount of risk. So invest only the amount you can afford to lose. If you are young, have no obligations and have a regular job, you can invest a substantial amount in shares. However, if you're nearing retirement or have dependents or debts, reduce your tendency of taking risks.

7.Create trading plan and stick to it.

Successful traders have a plan. Without a plan, both new and experienced marketers can easily lose thousands a day. It is also necessary to have a good financial plan in place with trading objectives and constraints.

Beware of the hot day trading tips by brokers:

Avoid purchasing shares of a strange and unfamiliar company. Avoid following "hot day trading tips" from the brokers that usually turn cold as they reach you. Do your own research. Read the audited income statement of the company. It can give you plenty of information on the future prospects of the company. Understanding the concepts of earnings per share (EPS) and price / earnings ratio (PE) can also be useful.

Banks Have Changed The Face Of America And The World

Banks Have Changed The Face Of America And The World

When the United States was formed in the 1770s, all of the commerce was conducted by local merchants using only locally owned banks. Merchants and traders located in Boston used only locally owned and controlled banks, as did the merchants and traders in New York. There was no national system in place. This was actually done by the deliberate design of the founding fathers as they and their successors had a great distrust of national institutions, especially those of England. In fact, this was the reason that the founding documents specifically prohibited the coining of money by any state or other private entity. In the founding documents, the task of minting Americas coin was only to be done under the express authority of the Congress of the United States. At that time, the common coin denomination was the American Dollar and it was minted using only fine silver or gold of an exacting specification.

The using of precious metals for minting money was part of the uniqueness of our fledgling government. It meant that all the wealth of the nation was put in the absolute control of the average citizen. No other government had ever done this. Early on in our history, there were several attempts by the Bank of England to wrest control of the minting of America's money away from Congress, but they was beaten back by president Andrew Jackson in 1791. This, however, all changed in 1917 when Congress passed the Federal Reserve Act and President Woodrow Wilson signed it into law. This act established America's first permanent national system, The Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve acted as the head of twelve reserve districts that covered the entire country. The Federal Reserve had the authority to print bills and notes, and up until the 1930s these bills and notes were exchangeable for an equal amount of gold and silver. It seemed like nothing had really changed.

In the 1930s, it did change and drastically. Under the Presidency of Franklin Roosevelt, the Federal Reserve and the United States switched from using substance based money to using strictly currency as a medium of exchange. Currency is fundamentally different from real money in that all currencies have no intrinsic value. In addition to this change, the monetary system moved into a new era where wealth was determined not by substance but by a balance of your debits and credits. Credit became King because the idea took hold that it was easier to create and transfer non-physical credits and debits than physical assets like gold and silver. This idea became more and more entrenched as the world of commerce moved into the age of computer transfers and Internet exchanges. The culmination of these changes is that now the entire world is completely entangled in the new money system of instant credits and debits. This was done almost entirely by world banks. It has been heralded by some as a bright new age for commerce and growth but detractors like to point out that we have become so financially entangled that if one country has financial problems and fails, that failure can affect the whole world. This point was brought home by the damaging ripple effect that the housing crash caused not only in America but also around the globe. Other countries financial woes in the European Union have also caused ripple damage to global stock and currency markets.

The Characteristic Features Of A Litigation Case And How You Can
Prepare For One

The Characteristic Features Of A Litigation Case And How You Can Prepare For One

Lodging a case in court can sometimes be a very expensive affair. This is especially so when you are making a complaint that is likely to result in a very large payout from the other party. In such cases, you need to be prepared in order to handle everything that such a case comes with. Not being prepared for it is one of the major causes for such a case to fail, even if you were likely to win the case anyway. This means that if you are thinking of launching a litigation case against another party, it would be a good idea for you to keep some facts in mind, and ensure that you remember them throughout the case.

The first of these is that you need to remember that such cases tend to drag on for very long. Most people wish that they can get the verdict of the case within a few days or weeks, but there are many times when these kinds of cases drag on for months. The reason for this is that there is a lot of information that has to be collected if you are doing some kinds of litigation.

For instance, if you are suing a company for providing you with low quality food, the court might need to do things such as finding out how quality was compromised and how this could have affected you in the long run. These are things that need a lot of time to investigate. This also means that you need to expect this and brace yourself for a long waiting time before you can taste victory.

The other important issue you need to keep in mind is that litigation is expensive. Unfortunately, the complex nature of most litigation cases means that most of the time, you can't rely on a regular lawyer to help you win it. Most of the time, you will need a team of highly trained and skilled lawyers. This means that you would need to have a sizeable legal budget in order to keep them on retainer for the duration of the case.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways around this. The most appealing for many is to rely on third party funding. In a nutshell, this kind of funding involves a company lending you the money needed for the case. In case you end up winning, they will claim a part of the money that you get out of it. If you don't, they typically don't ask for their money back. This means that using such funding poses no risk to you, and is therefore something that you might need to consider.

In summary, litigation cases have many differences compared to regular court cases, and this is why they need to be approached differently. The above are some of the salient features of a litigation case and how you can handle them in order to increase your chances of making money out of the case. Keeping the above in mind also makes it easier for you to tolerate the rigors of a litigation case.

Understanding The Basics Of Gold Investing

Understanding The Basics Of Gold Investing

Investment in a precious metal like gold is one of the best investment decisions that you can ever make, especially during these tumultuous economic times. In fact, investing in gold can safeguard your portfolio against dangers of inflation, wars and natural disasters as well as fluctuations in stock prices. However, like with any other investment option, gold investing does come with its share of risks; and you need to understand and mitigate such risks in order to realize the desired returns on your investment.

Benefits of investing in gold

It is human to seek a rationale for doing something, especially when money is involved. Here are three key benefits that you can realize from gold investments.

1. Protection from inflation

During times of inflation, money tends to lose its purchasing power resulting in a rise in the cost of living. However, forces of inflation never affect gold prices. Thus, investing in gold can be an excellent way of cushioning your money from the forces of inflation, resulting in great returns on capital.

2. Liquidity

One of the greatest benefits of investing in gold is its high liquidity or how quickly you can offset your gold for cash. If you have ever tried to get quick cash from your home or car sale, then you understand how difficult it can be finding the right buyer with the right offer. The same is not true of gold. Exchanging gold for cash is very easy. All you need to do is get to a precious metal dealer in your area and sell your gold at the current market value. No hassle!

3. Safe investment

During tough as well as good economic times, gold has retained its reputation as a safe investment option. For example, an ounce of gold could have bought you a piece of suit at the turn of the 20th century. Today, and ounce of gold is selling for about $1300, which is more than you need for a nice piece of suit. The same cannot be said the dollar which have lost its value significantly over the past century. This makes gold investments the best choice for investors who are looking for the best retirement saving plans.

Gold investments: Your options

Gold investments come in various forms. All you need to do is identify your investment goals. If all you want is grow your portfolio and make profits at the right time, then you might want to consider investing in physical gold. This can be in the form of gold bars, coins or biscuits. Here are some of the best gold investing options that you might want to consider.

1. Physical gold

Gold was one of the first forms of legal tender in the world. If you are considering investing in physical gold then you may want to buy gold coins and bullions. The best way to do this is by buying government produced gold coins and bullions. These are commonly used as currency and are more expensive than other types of gold investments. Examples of gold coins that you may consider buying include American Eagle Coins and Canadian Maple Leafs.

2. Gold IRA investment

If you are looking for a retirement planning tool, then you need to invest in gold IRA. IRAs OR Individual Retirement Accounts were created by the IRS to help American citizens save for their retirement. There are two types of gold IRA investment options -- gold roth IRA and conventional gold IRA.

Gold is justly referred to as the ultimate haven for investors. Investing in gold can provide you with a great hedge against currency weakening, economic and natural crises as well as forces of inflation and deflation. When the going gets rough and other investment options take a beating, gold investments will always deliver positive returns. In addition, unlike currency, gold has a real intrinsic value, retaining its purchasing power through generations.

Email-Marketing - A New Solution for Financial Advisor Recruiting

Email-Marketing - A New Solution for Financial Advisor Recruiting

Recruiting the right candidate is highly essential for every company, irrespective of its size as with a team of efficient employees, a company can reach the zenith of success. The process of recruitment is not just time taking but also it is a painstaking task, which can be made easier by availing the services offered by firms that provide recruitment solutions. However, Financial advisor recruiting is even more tough and time taking than recruiting candidates for other job profiles as it is important to hire the one who has proficiency in finance and has a good knowledge about it. Financial advisers play a major and important role in the growth and progress of any company and hence, they are not only vital for financial companies but for any company. These advisor are the ones who decide and plan out the finance of a company and thus it is to select the financial advisors carefully. In addition, to reach out to the perfect financial advisers and insurance agents, companies need to hire a good recruiting firm.

With digital media or rather Internet marketing gaining popularity, email-marketing can be used for recruiting Financial advisor as well as insurance agents in a more effective manner. Internet marketing has is used by everyone for its convenience. Moreover, it is also used the firms that offer recruitment solutions as it is cheaper, faster and easier way to track the agents. Furthermore, these recruiting firms have Discovery Database that helps them in selecting the right candidate, which saves time as well as resources. These companies also have Insurance Agent lists, which can be accessed by their clients and select the right insurance agent, who will prove to be beneficial for the company.

There are a horde of companies in the market that provides recruitment solutions to Insurance companies as well as other companies for recruiting financial advisors. These companies make use of email-marketing as a method of recruiting. They have Insurance Agent lists as well as Discovery Database to help their clients recruit the most efficient candidate. They have a huge and long list of agents and financial advisors, which can be accessed by their clients and select the best among the lot. Furthermore, with the use of email-marketing, they have become much more capable of helping their clients in recruiting the best agents, who will help progress and growth of a business organization.

The process of email-marketing as a method of recruiting is becoming a popular and effective way for recruiting both Insurance Agents and Financial Adviser. Financial adviser recruiting is becoming much more simpler today for companies than in earlier times with these firms cropping up that provides complete recruitment solution with their various databases.

Where to Find Hundreds, If Not Thousands In Your Normal Budget

Where to Find Hundreds, If Not Thousands In Your Normal Budget

I am asked all the time the question, "if people don't have a savings account or anything else, where should they start building a positive financial future?" My answer is always, start at the beginning and what I mean by that is that folks who do not have any money to start must start by saving small amounts first and growing into larger amounts. OK but where do those small amounts come from?

A recent study concluded that 69.2% of Americans had NO savings account and shockingly around 12% had no bank accounts. That statistic should shock everyone into asking what can be done. Our nation does not have the resources publicly to take care of 69.2% of the population because they've failed to build their own nest-egg. Two issues must be addressed then; a) how does this happen in the wealthiest country in the history of the world and b) how can it be changed?

In terms of how it happens, let's recognize that the average American family of four earns around $60,000 per year. After tax, they bring home around $43,000 or $3,600 per month. The average home when you include all related costs of taxes, insurance, heating, etc is around $1,400 per month so they're now left with $2,200. Cars and transportation on average take $500 per month when maintenance and all costs are considered which now leaves $1,700. Food for four people if you're living frugally runs about $300 per week which now leaves our average family around $500 for clothing, activities, & emergencies. That's not a lot so what happens simply is the average family borrows to accommodate the balance of their spending desires. So saving money, eh... never happens.

OK if the issue is that taxes and living take out the lions share so what can you do? There are some basic things. First, cut up your credit cards... period, no exceptions, no arguments. Utilize a debit card that allows you ONLY to spend that which you make. Second, NEVER use your bank to provide short term liquidity by writing checks for which there are no funds. The average bank charge for returned check is more than $25 per hit and it's shocking how much American's use their banks to float money only to pay enormous charges. Third, to the extent you have debt payments, or service for water, gas, electric, cable, etc, make sure you do everything possible to avoid late charges and over limit fees. The average late charge or over-limit fee is another $25 so these begin to add up quickly to several hundred, if not thousands of dollars per year. Fourth stop squandering the pennies. Yes it does matter if you spend $4.00 for a gourmet cup of coffee rather than $1.00 for a basic of coffee. And while at it, yes it does cost more to go out and eat instead of grocery shopping and further, it costs more to grocery shop at a major chain than a discount grocer like Sam's Club or Costco. Fifth, don't hesitate to visit dollar-stores or places like Big-Lots for basic needs too. You'll be shocked how much you can save by paying a little less for basic household items.

It's not easy to build discipline into your life. I know, I've been there in my life too. But the way out is paved with discipline and you must discipline yourself to begin saving 5% or 10% each month. Just start... Open a savings account and make it a habit to put that money away. This is a poor analogy perhaps but when people start exercising, it's typically painful, but after they've done it long enough, their endorphins begin to flow and they feel good about it to the point of not wanting to miss a workout. Saving is sort of like that. It's painful to start, but when you see your money growing you become enamored by it and actually can get the emotional high from building your savings, rather than spending your money! As the old adage says "take care of the pennies and let the dollars take care of themselves!"

Leveraging Your Stuff - Where To Sell Everything

Leveraging Your Stuff - Where To Sell Everything

Credit repair is a complex process with a lot of moving parts. Part of it is to settle your debts and start building some savings again, a process that many people find frustrating and demoralizing. How can you save money when you're in so much debt already, short of giving up sleep to get another job?

One strategy that works for many people is to take a hard look at all the stuff in their garage, attic, or basement and start selling it. This is a great strategy in many ways: The fact that it's collecting dust somewhere and not being used indicates you don't actually need this stuff, it cleans up your home and organizes your life, and it can lead to some significant extra money that can be used to get you out of debt more quickly or to build up your savings. Here's where you can sell anything you've got clogging up your storage areas.

Clothes: If you've got designer labels in your closets that you never wear or that no longer fit, but are in good condition, your best bet will be a local consignment store. Most cities have at least one second-hand fashion shop - brings your goods there and see what you can get for them.

Books: A fine collection of older, rarer books can fetch decent money; a stack of recent mass market paperbacks, not so much. If you have some quality older books, your best bet is eBay. With tens of millions of people looking every day, you'll have the best shot of reaching an educated collector who will pay good value for the book.

Electronics: If you have devices that are relatively new they can be sold for 50%-75% of their original price, if in good condition. Small items like phones or laptops can be sold on eBay efficiently, but you'll lose anywhere from 10%-15% to fees. Larger items are best sold on Craigslist - plus you'll save the fees.

Toys: If they're classic collectibles from childhood, eBay is probably best. If they're in poor condition or are newer toys leftover from your own kids, a garage sale is your best bet - toys are one of the few items that sell reliably at garage sales. Set your tag price a little high so you can negotiate down at Game Time.

Remember, stuff is just stuff. Slimming down your life while fattening your bank account is a win-win situation.

The Universe and the Federal Deficit

The Universe and the Federal Deficit

Originally published July 24, 2011

I've always been intrigued by the vastness of space. Earlier today I found it fascinating to learn that two teams of astronomers at the California Institute of Technology and the University of Colorado Boulder discovered what they believe is the largest and furthest reservoir of water ever detected in our universe. The amount of water is estimated to be 100,000 times the mass of the sun or 34 billion times the mass of the Earth in a quasar some 12 billion light years distant. The speed of light is 186, 282 MPS (miles per second), one light year is just a bit less than 6 trillion miles. The concept of 12 billion x 6 trillion miles distant is difficult for me to fathom.

To be honest when numbers get into the trillions they become a bit difficult to comprehend in my opinion and that brings me to our Federal Deficit - $14 trillion and unless you've been on holiday on the aforementioned quasar you likely know our government is looking to raise the debt limit.

To get to a 14 trillion debt, if you spent at the speed of light or $186,282 DPS ($s per second) above what you earned it would take almost 2.4 years to get there.

Or perhaps more simply stated, in the 235 years we've been a country we've on average spent roughly $100K PER MINUTE ($163 million per day) more then we've collected every single minute of every single one of those 235 years!

Does that make sense? Not!

Update effective December 31, 2012

The Federal Deficit is now estimated to hit $16.4 trillion by 2012 year's end.

To get to a 16.4 trillion debt, if you spent at the speed of light or $186,282 DPS ($s per second) above what you earned it would take almost 2.8 years to get there.

Or perhaps more simply stated, in the 236.5 years we've been a country we've on average spent roughly $132K PER MINUTE ($190 million per day) more then we've collected every single minute of every single one of those 236.5 years!

Is this perhaps why S&P downgraded U.S. credit rating back in 2011?

Tax Revenue * $ 2,162,000,000,000

Spending * $ 3,456,000,000,000

Deficit/New Debt * $ 1,294,000,000,000

National Debt (est) $ 14,271,000,000,000

Budget Cuts (est) $ 40,000,000,000

Let's remove some zeros and look at this as if it were your Household Budget.

Family Income $ 21,620

Family spending $ 34,560

New CC Debt $ 12,940

Outstanding CC Debt $ 142,710

Total Budget Cuts $ 400

Does that Household Budget make sense? Neither does the other one!

* Source: CBO Fiscal 2010

Personal Income Taxes and Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Personal Income Taxes and Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Over 1.21 million Americans will file for bankruptcy this year, and more than half of that number will include personal income taxes into their bankruptcy petition. Many individuals and bankruptcy attorneys believe taxes will automatically discharge in a bankruptcy upon the final discharge date. This is not immediately the case, there are parameters to determine the discharge status of your personal income taxes. This is especially true in a Chapter 7 case, where, depending on when you filed your bankruptcy can determine the outcome of debt due.

PETITION

Notifying your attorney of all tax debts is necessary, as your attorney will enter the information to appear on the docket. Without this proper notification, the taxing authority may not be aware you are filing bankruptcy, assessing liens and executions against you, which may include garnishment. While, a bankruptcy places these items at a halt, an unaware creditor will still process the information for collections.

THREE YEAR RULE

With proper knowledge of taxes, the taxing authority has the exception of the Three-Year Look Back Rule, which determines if your tax period is discharged. For example, if you filed bankruptcy in 2013, and have an old tax period from 2004, that filing was due April 16, 2005. Count three years, and that equals 2008. This means as long as you have filed the tax return timely and happened not to pay it, the 2004 tax period will be discharged. This can be confusing, and it is urged you discuss the Three-Year Look Back Rule with your attorney.

FILING

Filing your tax returns is essential, regardless you have the resources to pay them or not, filing them timely can mean the difference between a discharged tax liability or a reactivated debt. Under bankruptcy tax law, not filing your taxes creates an estimated assessment and estimated assessments are not discharged in a Chapter 7. If you have not filed a taxing period, you can review holding off filing bankruptcy until your taxes have been filed and work with the Three-Year Look Back Rule as stated above.

PROCEEDING

If you are filing bankruptcy for additional reasons outside of taxes, and must proceed, understand no taxing authority can collect against you during the stay of your bankruptcy. This buys you a few months to adopt a plan. Consider hardship payment plans, or many agencies have a section called Offer-in-Compromise for settlements. Reviewing all facets of taxes due with your attorney is necessary to determine the best outcome for your financial situation and intended bankruptcy discharge goals.

Losing to Win: The New Investment Strategy

Losing to Win: The New Investment Strategy

There is a bit of a learning curve in the world of stock markets, particularly when it comes to higher risk investments such as day trading. This means that you must give some devotion and lose in order to win. Such a method is usually so much appreciated since it gives you a future experience to learn from.

What this means therefore is the fact that for you to invest and become a good investor, you have to be open for some losses especially in the initial stages of your investment. This usually happens when you are still trying to get a footing of your own in the market.

The good thing about these losses is the fact that you will be in a good position to learn so much from them, and you will use the lessons learnt to gain some real experience in trading in the financial markets. The main idea about losing to win is that this spent money in learning the ropes will turn to a well spent investment once you learn the ins and outs of trading. This lost money will not be lost in reality, but will be obtained in the future as money earned in a different way. And you will learn how to earn money and make great investments from just some dollars that you will lose.

About 95% of traders fail. And those who earn good money, they have lost some money in the run up to their gains and as a result they have ended up gaining more and more. This is one of the trading standards that though not popularly mentioned, usually works for most people. Nobody wants to get into an investment where they are sure they will make losses, while at the same time we all want to invest and get the money running in so fast.

In order to succeed, you must pay attention to details, make observations and analysis for the long term. This will help you to make a balance of what you are earning and what you are losing, and at the same time you are making different analysis to get better and better toward success.

There are so many people who will definitely take the steps mentioned herein in order to try and get to learn as much as they can about the markets. However, there are also those who will simply delve into the markets and hope to gain something from the trades they make. Well, you cannot just throw in some money into an investment and hope to get something from the same in the long run. You really have to be very careful about how you invest and go about your investment business in the event that you would like to earn as much as you desire in the long run.

It is therefore also important for you to make sure that you get the information you require to be able to be well informed about the market, and most importantly, be able to make some of the cutting edge decisions about your stocks and portfolio in general.

How Much Do You Know About The World Of Finance Or How Much Do You Know
About Money?

How Much Do You Know About The World Of Finance Or How Much Do You Know About Money?

This topic has been a study of mine now for 6 years. As a precious metals broker I found it imperative that I learn about money, where it comes from, where it's been and where it could be heading.

Without boring you to death with the details, I want to start by saying that I believe even though we use money every single day I find it amazing that most of us don't bother to study it, at all!

Don't worry this won't be some crash course on printing presses or special paper we use to print money. Those things are secondary to the more important issues.

One of the issues that I find fascinating is that the idea of "paper money" came from a human beings mind. Not God, Not the devil and not an animal but a human being. I know, it's crazy... I'm breaking things down into the ridiculous. I guess it's because I've never heard of anyone talking about money in this regard.

What was the purpose behind the creation of the dollar bill or any paper currency at all for that matter? As oppose to using precious metals or any other trinkets we can use to barter with or use as a means of exchange? I suppose the shear convenience it presents is one reason. We can print it and make it elastic so everyone has some. The problem is, is not everyone has some. There are nations on this planet that are poor as poor can be. Then, there are banking dynasty's that want for nothing. They simply have a monopoly on the money supply. Where the bulk of it comes and goes. Pretty crazy when you think about it.

With all of this in mind I do believe that everyone does have the opportunity to make their way in the world and I don't believe that ALL the money is cornered.

This is one of the toughest topics to discuss because it effects so many peoples lives, positive or negative. It's crazy how emotional we get with money. It effects every single person on the planet in some way shape or form. Some would say "money makes the world go round"... I would say that's true indeed.

A lot of folks want to know how to get more of it so they can "want for nothing" as well. Wouldn't it be nice to have enough money so we don't have to worry or suffer about anything when it comes to our finances? The problem always seems to be there for most and the problem doesn't seem to be there for the few. I think it's crazy to think about.

What's preventing you from getting more of it? Do you have some belief that says it's not right to have a lot of money? Did your parents teach you that it was wrong to want plenty of money? Abundance seems to be everywhere if you bother to look around and on the flipside there are countries including the U.S. where poverty is very evident.

Here in the U.S. we're suppose to be the richest nation on the planet. I'd like to know how they're measuring that supposed fact. Again, getting into the precious metals field, I found it to be fascinating, digging for the truth when it comes to paper currency.

My recommendation to you if you know what's good for you is to study up on the subject. There are plenty of resources out on the market to get more of an idea about money. There are also plenty of opportunities to make more money than you have now if you're looking for it.

Just make sure that you read up on these things and that you keep an open mind about what you're reading because it could really help you understand why the world works the way it does and you'll never look at money the same way again.

Take Care and Thanks For Reading.

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