Health Insurance Quotes Available

Health Insurance Quotes Available

An insurance company works by taking the risks of big losses as a result of unforeseen circumstances in exchange for small premiums. This is geared towards giving people protection against losses that can arise and shield them from far reaching financial implications that would otherwise be beyond their control. An insurance company gives people the chance to invest in their security and peace of mind. Insurance serves as a viable solution to the challenge of acquiring financial security.

Insurance policies are designed to assure the policy holder that in case of a loss it will be covered by the company. There is a wide range of insurance policies that cover many areas of both personal and business life. Business auto insurance is an important aspect of insurance for businesses. For businesses that need to use vehicles it is necessary to have this kind of insurance. Business auto insurance is ideal for companies that regularly use vehicles as a primary source of income that. This is because various circumstances can arise that lead to the damage or loss of vehicles. Some of the factors that need to be taken into account include the type of cars, policy terms and premiums.

Contractors insurance is designed for contractors who have to be responsible for their wellbeing as well as that of their clients. Unforeseen circumstances can occur while people work and without insurance a person can end up facing financially damaging costs. There is always a possibility of risk that can result in losses. Contractors insurance protects one against such losses. This type of insurance is important for both the contractor who invests in it and the owner of the property who faces exposure to risks during projects.

With farm insurance farmers are able to get protection from the losses that can result from natural disasters such as drought. This kind of financial security ensures that farmers do not have to worry about compensation in case they suffer losses because they have coverage. Farm insurance is a vital aspect of risk management that all farmers need to be aware of in order for them to remain financially stable.

Healthcare insurance caters for the costs that arise from people falling sick or being injured in one way or the other. Purchasing healthcare insurance involves getting into a contract with an insurance provider that will cover medical expenses in case a person is ill or hurt. This insurance serves as the best protection from the high costs that are associated with quality medical care. People who do not have health insurance face the risk of exposure to high medical bills that are unmanageable.

Auto insurance is a necessity for anyone who owns and operates a vehicle. When people insure their vehicles their minds are at ease. Being found by the authorities driving without auto insurance is a risk that is not worth taking. Vehicles need to be insured because this protects their owners from personal liability if accidents occur. General liability insurance is an essential resource for business owners because any perceived from of negligence ca result in lawsuits. General liability insurance covers the risks that businesses are likely to face.

Big Data Helps Banks Provide Unique Customer Experiences, Not Just
Segmentation

Big Data Helps Banks Provide Unique Customer Experiences, Not Just Segmentation

Just finished reading a great article on big data and segmentation. While segmentation is great, I'd like to suggest that every customer should be treated as an individual and thus their banking experience should be personalized for that moment in time. By personalizing every interaction, banks can reduce cost of service, differentiate their brand and impact customer experience in a positive way.

Customers expect a seamless, individualized experience across all banking channels. They expect a Google or Amazon experience. They want to be able to trust their bank to help them before there's a problem. They want banking to be simple.

One of the greatest advantages banks and credit unions have over non-financial players is the vast amount of data they have on their users. But as we know, getting at all that data isn't always easy. The key is finding a solution that maps to existing data within an institution and augmenting it with industry and proprietary databases and crowd sourcing analytics to create a robust, personalized customer view that can predict the individual needs of each customer. It's about finding those moments of truth and capitalizing on them each and every time.

One trend in the digital banking space is the fact that high digital adoption rates are not being matched by utilization rates. Most users log into online or mobile banking simply to check their account balances or review transactions. They aren't taking advantage of the robust capabilities and services the digital channels provide. As a result, FIs aren't seeing as much of a cost savings as they were hoping. It's time to use the data that's out there to give customers a better experience. Financial institutions need to personalize every experience by bringing relevant features and services to the forefront to simplify the customer's journey.

Let me explain...

The situation today: a customer logs into a digital channel and they are presented with various buttons for accounts, balances and transactions. They can click on one of these buttons and see some basic information. After that, they aren't sure what to do, where to go or what to look for. They aren't being prompted to do anything, so they log out.

Now imagine that same customer logging in and seeing a personalized message alerting them to the fact that a bill is coming due. And let's take it one step further. Once the customer clicks on the message, they are presented with several personalized options to take care of the potential problem such as paying the bill and setting up automatic bill payment so the problem doesn't happen again.

Think of the experience the customer has just had: It's proactive, personalized and it solves the issue at hand. There is no need for the customer to call the bank or go into a branch. You've satisfied three objectives: reducing cost of service, building customer loyalty and promoting adoption of products/services. What could be simpler?

What Is PCI Compliance and Why Is It Important?

What Is PCI Compliance and Why Is It Important?

In response to the rise in fraud and identity theft associated with credit cards, MasterCard Worldwide and Visa International took an initiative in 2005 to institute a consistent data security mechanism for all major stakeholders including banks, credit card service providers, financial institutions and merchants. As a result, PCI compliance standards were developed to ensure better security and protection of personal information during the payment process whether online or in stores. The PCI (Payment Card Industry) standards were further revised and improved in September 2006 and the final document provides more detailed Data Security Standards (DSS) for merchants. In simple words, PCI compliance ensures better security during an online or in store transaction with credit cards.

PCI Compliance Requirements

The PCI security standards include layers of protection that needs to be ensured by financial institutions, merchants and service providers while processing funds using credit cards. These standards include a comprehensive set of requirements from any company interested in processing payments through credit cards like:

  • Maintaining policies like Information Security Policy.
  • Procedures related to implementing Access Control Measures.
  • Security management like maintaining a secure network.
  • Software Design that can protect cardholder data.
  • Network architecture and regular monitoring & testing of networks.
  • Maintaining a vulnerability management program.

Companies that practice and follow PCI standards need to perform activities that can validate their compliance which include onsite review and quarterly scans by qualified data security companies (QDSCs). Beside PCI standard, there are some other data security regulations for merchants like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Accountability Act, but PCI standard is considered as the most accurate, precise and easy to follow even for small merchants.

Why PCI Compliance is Important?

The primary goal of setting up PCI standards was to provide better security during payment card transactions, but today PCI compliance has become a norm and standard in card processing industry. Failing to comply with the set standards for every transaction can result in heavy fines from banks or credit card companies up to thousands of dollars. In some cases, banks or credit card providers can stop providing the services to merchants completely.

Today, complying with PCI standards is an industry norm. It has become a symbol of good business practice and is used to ensure quality levels that clients can trust. PCI compliance also ensures better delivery of financial services to clients and reduces the risk associated with funds transactions. Customers can feel comfortable when doing transaction with company that complies with PCI DSS even when sharing their personal information.

Today, security is an essential part of customer services provided by any company and PCI compliance can project any merchant as a business that is serious about customer's security and protection of their personal data. In simple words, compliance with data security standards like PCI means more customers for businesses today.

Not only with customers, but PCI compliance can bring more recognition and better reputation with banks, financial institutions and credit card providers. In simple words, PCI compliance is important today for any online business to gain trust of their clients, to have better relations with financial institutes and to avoid fines from banks and credit card providers.

Some Information About Forex Rebates

Some Information About Forex Rebates

Right from ancient times, trading has been acting as one of the favorite businesses for human beings. Right from several hundred years ago, people are engaged in business and during the olden days, they exchanged goods for goods, but now it has turned into several different forms. Nowadays, among the different forms of trading, forex trading is gaining more and more popularity among people interested in trading.

Forex rebates can be pointed out as short earnings, which is paid to the short sellers during the sale. This term is used to denote it just because of the fact that the option holder can get a certain amount of money back on his investment made in the stocks and shares. The agents are turning out to be the yield and an exchanger ever looks for backing the share of the investment that is paid to brokers. Generally, brokers provide this type of rebates and traders generally keep a watch on the minimizing the amount paid to the brokers just with a view to expand their investment and reduce the share of third parties.

The Forex rebate is turning out to be a crucial topic these days and it is gaining popularity among those, who wish to invest their money in terms of procuring several expensive and precious metals inclusive of gold and silver. The fundamental idea is to become an expert by removing third parties and securing the investment.

An individual with an intention to earn more from the Forex market will have to focus on earning more of such rebates to ensure that they can enjoy precise transactions. It is better to carefully select a broker or a broking firm providing these rebates so that better profits can be enjoyed from the trading activities.

Ensure whether the broking firm you are selecting is providing the following assurances for getting the utmost profits:

No markup on the spread: Most of the brokers adds markup on the spread. But, only a few of them do not do so. This is because markup can increase the cost of trading. So, select a firm ensuring no mark up on spread.

More number of brokers: They should have a number of brokers to select from.

Competitive rebate: They should be assuring better rebate for trading.

Timely payment: Only a few of them ensure timely payment. Only a few of them pay at the beginning of each month, while some of them delay their payment.

Research Banks to Find the Right Fit

Research Banks to Find the Right Fit

Choosing from the various banks to find one that fits your needs might seem like a daunting task, but it's actually a fairly simple process. You need to decide whether you need a place to put your money so it can sit and grow or if you'll be moving money in and out of the account fairly quickly. The bank you use also needs to fit your schedule, so make sure the hours of availability work with your needs. Financial institutions with online services could be a perfect fit for you because they enable you to handle bills and balances with the click of a mouse. Many big, well-known banks have online bill-pay options and account services. Of course, there are also online-only options. Also keep in mind whether you need an array of options including investment options, mortgages or loans. Find a bank that fits your needs, whether you want to save your money or spend it and at whatever hours necessary.

Although free checking is widely advertised, keep in mind that the services you need might not be available with a free account. Of course, if all you need is basic checking, a free account might be just right for you. One aspect of checking to consider is whether you write a lot of checks. If you do, then free checking is what you want. Also, the convenience your bank offers is important, and there are quite a few things to consider. Something many people don't stop and consider, for example, is how many ATM's your bank has available near you. When you use an ATM out of your banking network you'll be charged a fee. Sometimes you can have the fee refunded, but you usually need to supply the receipts. If you're not willing to hang onto your receipts to get the money you spend on fees back, it isn't worth finding a bank that refunds them.

Ask your friends what banks they use, and why, and take the time to shop around. There's no reason to use the first one you come across. Whatever bank you choose, it should be FDIC insured, and if it's a credit union it should be NCUSIF insured. The FDIC is an independent agency that monitors and supervises financial institutions to make sure they follow the law. The reason banks need to be FDIC insured is because it means your deposits are guaranteed. If the financial institution has trouble, you're guaranteed to get your money back. This practice began in 1934, and the FDIC claims no customers have lost any money in any banks they insure since the day they began. Deposits up to $250,000 are covered but only for checking, savings and certificates of deposit. Stocks, bonds and mutual funds are not insured. If you're not sure if they're insured, you can go to the FDIC's website and find out. Whatever financial institution you choose, make sure it meets your individual needs and provides the services you use most. Although choosing one can take some time, it's more difficult to change institutions later than it is to simply find a good one to begin with.

How to Make Money, With Your Money!

How to Make Money, With Your Money!

I am sure, like me, you keep hearing about how bad the economy is at the moment, and how poor interest rates are on savings, but how high they are on debt. Banks do not seem the safe money-keeping houses they used to be, so people are looking for better things to do with their money, and I don't blame them! Most working adults by the time they are 30 will have either just started saving, or have a substantial amount saved for a rainy day. This money at the moment seems to just be sitting there, yes it may be safe, but it is not getting bigger! I have been exploring ways to get my money working for me, and here are some of the best and most simple options I have found.

Investing money you already have is a bit of a gamble (but not gambling, I am assured), stocks and shares fluctuate depending on the market so it is not easy to predict. There is not a set limit to the amount you can start investing with, £5 a week will gradually show you a return. You can invest in stocks, where you are buying a share of the company, so you also get a share of their profits (dividends). The value of these fluctuates and does not guarantee you any return, but can potentially offer the highest out of any investment, so it is whether you want to take the risk. Or, if this is too speculative for you, bonds are the traditional alternative. There are different types (treasury, agency, corporate, depending on the institution you are buying them from) and they give you a fixed amount of interest on a fixed date. Here you are lending money to that institution, and they give you interest on that amount and eventually pay you back in full. This sounds quite scary so I have left it well alone, but as the results can be so rewarding, you may take your chances!

An ISA account is a savings account where the interest is tax exempt. You can opt for a stocks and shares ISA where you can invest your money in shares or investment funds with a limit of £11,280. Here you encounter the same risks as above, by dealing in the stock market. Or you can choose a cash ISA option which limits you to only 50% of this. Different accounts have different terms and conditions, so some may only offer you tax-exempt interest until you withdraw money, and permit you to transfer between accounts, while others do not. It is important to shop around and see which account works best for your needs. This is a valuable option if you are quite efficient with your money and know your financial stuff (this is not me!).

This is like a savings account with no regular interest, but acts as more of a lottery where every month cash prizes are drawn. You can win between £25 and £1 million, or nothing at all. This option is a bit more fun in that it's like a game, and the amount you pay in (multiples of £100 a time) stays the same regardless of how much you win, so you can withdraw it whenever you like without loss. Having had some of these for years I would recommend them as a safe option, but if you are anywhere near as unlucky as I am (I have only won £200 once in four years!), you may want to take the risk for a bigger return, or just invest as much as possible to increase your chances of a big win, without any chance of loss.

Letting a property is a big investment, but it also has a big return. Obviously it depends on just how big those savings are that you have, but with rent prices climbing very quickly you can expect a minimum of £1200 a month for a four bed house in certain areas, which is isn't bad is it! This does not necessarily have to be a huge hassle either, letting agents work as a go between for you and the tenants and it is their responsibility to manage the property, contracts and rent so you do not have to lift a finger if you do not want to! As popular as this is for many, it completely depends on just how much you have saved. For me, this one may have to wait a while!

How Do We Get There?

How Do We Get There?

If you have read my last three articles, you are starting to understand the true value of Honest Money to society and to you and ME... but we have barely scratched the surface. The well hidden 'magic' of Gold money emerges only once Gold is in free circulation.

However, we do have a slight problem... namely, how in heck do we transition from a paper world, in hock up to its ears, to a world of honest money... to a world of modest, honest debt... to a world where power lies with the people, not with banksters and G'men?

A tough question indeed... and another place where a Big Lie sneaks in... like 'there is no way' to go 'back on Gold'... so don't even try. If we believe this lie, we are damned to continue with the Chinese paper torture... and nature will take its own course... we will be dragged kicking and screaming back to honest money. Better we disbelieve the Big Lie, and find a rational, reasonable way out of our paper dilemma. I quote Hans Sennholz, well known Austrian economist;

"Sound money and free banking are not impossible, they are merely illegal. That is why money must be deregulated. The Gold standard will return as soon as people realize that honesty is the best policy.

As hope of ill gain is the beginning of the fiat standard, so is honesty the mother of the Gold standard. The Gold standard is as old as civilization. Throughout the ages, the Gold standard has emerged again and again because man needed a dependable medium of exchange."

To find our way back, we must understand that a Gold Standard has more than one component; sure honest, real money, Gold and Silver, must be in circulation and in the hands of the people; but this is just the foundation. Once the stable, earth quake resistant Golden foundation is built, we must then build the rest of the edifice.

To create the Unadulterated Gold Standard that is our ultimate goal, we need to build an honest credit system. Credit breaks down into two distinct components; credit (in the form of debt) created by borrowing, and commercial credit, created by clearing urgently needed consumer goods... credit created without borrowing.

The idea of credit and debt are well understood... indeed too well! All the trillions of debt in existence today reflect this emphasis on borrowing... the very stuff we use as 'money', the Dollar bills, the Euros... all paper... are borrowed into existence.

Unfortunately, the other vital component, credit created WITHOUT borrowing, is pretty much unknown. I will be writing another article on this very issue... the third leg of the Gold Standard. The first leg is Gold (and Silver) in circulation. The second leg is Gold-bonded debt; the third leg is commercial credit created by clearing, not borrowing.

For now, we talk about Gold Bonds... the second component of the Unadulterated Gold Standard. Gold bonds will work to absorb and extinguish the enormous debt tower that is presently tottering, and threatening to take the world economy down with it. The situation here is simple; 'if you dug yourself into a deep hole, first stop digging'.

Even a child knows the truth of this; yet seemingly our 'fearless leaders' have no clue... the hole dug so far is approximately sixteen trillion Dollars deep... and instead of stopping the digging, they are encouraging, indeed forcing us to Dig Deeper! What total insanity is this?

We can stop the digging by turning to Gold and Silver as our currency... no more borrowing endless quantities of paper into existence. Then, once we have stopped digging, once we have stabilized the situation, we can think of how to repair the problem... how to fill up that sixteen trillion Dollar hole.

The thought of filling this hole is daunting; it is bigger than the Grand Canyon, and will take an awful lot of filling to heal... but given a stable situation, that is no more digging, even a slow and methodical method will eventually fill the hole; instead of digging, start filling.

Bit by bit, day by day, the wound can be healed... and the economic situation also improve day by day instead of staggering from crisis to ever deeper crisis. After all, it took more than a century of digging to make the debt hole as big as it is... don't expect to fill it overnight.

So how do we start? The plan is simple... start to issue Gold Bonds, instead of paper bonds. Gold bonds are the second major component of a Gold Standard; Gold Bonds are denominated in Gold units, are payable in Gold units at maturity, and pay interest in Gold units... actual, physical Gold, not paper promises.

The key difference between current bonds and Gold bonds is that no paper is involved... only physical Gold. This means that once a Gold Bond is paid, the debt it represents is extinguished... whereas this is not true of paper bonds. Paper bonds issued by the Treasury are never paid off, cannot be paid off... else the Dollars they 'back' are themselves extinguished.

Simply put, by issuing Gold bonds we separate money (Gold coin) from debt... (Gold bond). Once this is done, once Gold bonds are issued, the holders of paper bonds will face a choice; continue to hold paper bonds that mature into worthless paper currency... if they ever mature at all... or trade their paper bonds for Gold Bonds, bonds that not only mature into Gold... but pay interest in the form of Gold.

The choice will be a no brainer... and paper bonds will be gradually replaced by Gold bonds. The Gold bonds will eventually mature, and the debt they represent will be extinguished. Gold income, needed to pay interest on the Gold bond, is assured by the circulation of Gold coin.

As paper bonds are retired, the deep hole will continue to be filled... and financial sanity will return to the planet. It may take years if not decades to make this transition... but that is incomparably better than an outright debt default... see Greece or Cyprus for examples of the destruction caused by default. Imagine a default by a major nation, rather than economically invisible entities like Greece or Cyprus.

The idea of 'inflating away' the debt is another Big Lie; not only is inflation just as destructive as an outright default, inflating the debt away is actually impossible. The idea that inflation is the consequence of 'more money chasing less goods' is false.

In order to create more 'money' to chase the goods, more debt must be created to back the new 'money'... indeed, for every new Dollar created, new debt of exactly one Dollar must also be created. On the other hand, no debt new or old is needed for Gold; Gold IS money, Gold stands on its own, Gold is not 'backed' by anything.

Let's get started. The sooner we stop digging and start filling the better. If we don't stop soon, the tower of debt will indubitably collapse, and take the world economy... and you and 'ME' with it.

Before Starting to Trade, Do You Know Your Broker?

Before Starting to Trade, Do You Know Your Broker?

In order for people to start trading, they need to research on their investment broker. The investment broker is someone whom you shall be sharing important information with. Therefore, people require knowing more on their investment brokers before trusting them. In earlier times, it was easy to do so because the investment broker had their achievements well arrayed in books and the clients they serve. However, with the current age of online investment, there are things that have changed. Online trading has simplified trading, but also there has been an information explosion that makes it hard for all information to be accessed. Therefore, ask yourself the following questions before taking in a broker. The broker can answer some of these questions.

• Brokers have tools that they use to perform their duties. These tools are necessary in order to make wise investment decisions. They will include news, charting, quotes, advanced order types, and level 11 data. These specific tools are a must and the broker has to produce complete evidence of having such tools.

• The speed of execution is important because the of online trading. The orders need to be placed at a reasonable speed because the trading is being done online. Therefore, the person who requires to have their stock traded has an advantage when the transaction is fast.

• The broker needs to explain how they shall give you control over your shares. There are methods used such that you can choose the destination of your investment through online means.

• There are payments that are given for directing payment to a certain sector in the market. This may prompt the broker to make biased investment decisions. Therefore, make sure that the broker does not go for such options.

• The brokers should have a trading demo. The demo is required to teach people about how the trading site operates. Therefore, you will need the demo to learn how to trade your stocks.

• The software that they use should be easy to use and handle. Sites that are heavy and take time to load even when you have a very fast internet connection may be detrimental to your investment

• Is it possible to trade after hours? It is important for people to continue trade when the brokers have closed their offices.

• Look for all the fees adjustments that need to be paid. The broker should disclose all fees including hidden fees.

Your broker is one person that you need to know as much as you can about as possible. The main reason for this lies in the fact that the broker is as a matter of fact the sole person responsible for the safe transactions you will conduct. With this in mind therefore, you have to make sure that your broker is trustworthy, and he or she operates in a manner likely to suggest professionalism in handling transactions related to your investment. Lots of people have lost money through unscrupulous brokers, and woe unto you if you also fall a victim of this kind of carelessness. Therefore always make sure that you know as much as you can about your broker.

The Basics of Retirement Accounts

The Basics of Retirement Accounts

In today's world there are various tax deferred retirement accounts that you can open that will not incur tax until retirement or ever. In this article, I will review the basics of these accounts. You can open one account of each type per person if you choose. That means married couples can have 6 accounts (3 each).

401(k) - This plan is setup by your employer but the choices are limited to funds that your employer has selected with the provider that services it. Many times the selections can be very limited and include my favorite, the retirement year fund. This is another marketing double take that Wall St. is promoting and that I hate. It goes like this. Figure out the year you'll turn 65 and then invest 100% of your account in that fund. What a bunch of baloney. That assumes everyone has EXACTLY the same life situation and retirement income needs. It doesn't get more cookie cutter than this! You can also usually change a standard 401(k) to a self directed 401(k) to get more investing options. 401(k) programs are pre-tax retirement accounts so the funds get deposited before tax and lower your taxable AGI (adjusted gross income).

2013 Contribution limits below:

  • $17,500 per year
  • $23,000 per year (age 50 and over)

IRA - An IRA is a pre-tax benefit plan that is similar to the Roth in structure but in which you get tax savings today instead of in the future. Like a 401(k), your contributions are taken out of your paycheck BEFORE they are taxed. The catch is that you will pay taxes on distributions once you retire. You can change this to a self directed IRA to get more investing options. An IRA already has unlimited buying options within both the stock and bond markets, so the point of a self directed IRA is to buy other investments like gold, real estate, businesses, etc.

2013 Contribution limits below:

  • $5,500 per year
  • $6,500 per year (age 50 and over)

Roth IRA - This is a retirement account that is tax free in the future. The Roth is setup so that you pay tax on your income now but once you put it into your Roth account, it's never taxed again. Except for this key difference it works in exactly the same way as a "traditional" IRA.

2013 Contribution limits below:

  • $5,500 per year
  • $6,500 per year (age 50 and over)
  • For singles, after your AGI reaches $112,000 your contributions start getting limited. If your AGI is more than $127,000 in a year you cannot contribute to a Roth IRA in that year.
  • For married couples, after your AGI reaches $178,000 your contributions start getting limited. If your AGI is more than $188,000 in a year you cannot contribute to a Roth IRA in that year.

Contribution limits for all of these plans are revised every few years so make sure to stay updated on them. You can find them on the IRS website.

3 Strong Banking Steps for Economic Development

3 Strong Banking Steps for Economic Development

Global banking system is facing environment of deep crisis. However, it is emerging gradually from the deep fissures of underperforming economies and failed attempts for revival and growth. Nevertheless, banking system is growing in size with utter brilliant and intelligent moves. Banks and financial institutions are also improving their networks to absorb the strong fiscal shocks and revert with bang. No doubt, this battle is taking new shapes and eventually banking sector will outpace the crisis benchmarks. In order to take full control of the economic spectrums, banking sector need to revive its regulations and expand its risk taking abilities. They also need to improve their geographic coverage and improve facilities so that more and more customer can access banking services.

Governments are also helping banking sector for positive reforms and high-value moves that can foster business class people. Some of the positive steps that banking sector is undertaking at furious rate are as follows:

Offering Better Banking Products

Banks are offering more research-based and customer-centric products to their customers. This will enable them to develop specific products for enterprises. Enterprises can also enjoy these products as per their interest. In fact, banks are developing various wealth management products that are more specific for the neglected industries such as entertainment, dining, travel, and many more. Today, banks have dedicated relationship managers that understand business needs and give professional financial advice.

Offering Business Loans

Banks are very particular about business loans. They are continuously helping business entities to set up their infrastructures and use in a fostered environment without worrying about the risks or entry barriers, or new entrants. They are professionally and timely helping small and medium scale enterprises to reap business opportunities through their extended financial help. Banks are also busy in developing innovative loan programs for business entities to improve their bottom lines.

Advisory Services

In order to introduce growth element in the industries, banking sector is moving forward to offer invaluable advisory services to the industries. They are consistently discussing with the business leaders to raise their capital, dominate their market, grow their cash flow, improve their working activities, and invest continuously in the stocks.

Banking and financial institutions are also helping in niche and investment banking services to the enterprises. They are extending their comprehensive support by offering mobile banking, internet banking, trade services, insurance, money transfer, and other paperless banking services to the under privileged sectors.

Lets Make Financial Management Easy With Rep Databases

Lets Make Financial Management Easy With Rep Databases

Finance is not at all an easy subject. It requires a high qualification to understand and manage finance. However, even the highly adept and skillful people face a lot of trouble, when it comes to financial planning. Course structures of schools and other educational institutions do not contain the fundamental principles of financial planning. Hiring a financial planner can serve a lot in managing one's finance well. Financial managers guide people in managing their finances well. They first try to understand the financial health of the client. Then they suggest him useful ways to improve that financial health. Financial planners work with the client to multiply his money value. Rep Databases contain lists of highly efficient financial professionals, who are capable of managing the financial health organizations. These Rep Databases are actually websites that contain catalogs of financial managers and financial planners. The websites are highly user-friendly.

People usually are highly skeptical in matters of finance. They hate to take financial risks. This is because people have apprehensions of huge financial losses. However, they are not aware of the fact, that higher risk generates higher returns. Today's prudent financial planners make endeavors to mitigate this skepticism of investors. These financial managers suggest their clients tactical ways to double their capital. Finance is not only about augmenting money. In organizational terms, it is also about taking effective financial decisions to expand an empire. Today's organizations lack the knowledge, required to enhance financial health. Financial Adviser Recruiting companies are always ready to extend a hand of help towards these firms. These Financial Adviser Recruiting services, provide highly prudent financial professionals to these organizations.

Financial professionals provided by these database agencies have in-depth knowledge on the subject of finance. They know how to sell financial instruments. It is this quality that makes these professionals indispensable for industries in the financial sector. These experts always stay updated with the ongoing trends in the stock market. They are highly trained and experienced in their field. Financial planners carry out a thorough analysis on the financial needs of their clients. Based on that analysis, they suggest suitable investment avenues to their clients.

The Insurance Agent List of these database services has contacts of highly efficient insurance selling professionals. These professionals boast authentication from all regulatory bodies of the financial market. One can easily access the Insurance Agent List from the websites of these database agencies. These insurance selling professionals make endeavors to enhance the knowledge of people on the subject of insurance. Organizations of the financial sector are leveraging the potential of these sales professionals, to generate revenue.

Owing to these innumerable benefits, financial database companies are gaining huge scale acceptance among corporate clients all over the world. The prices quoted by these agencies for their services are highly budget friendly. Anyone willing to hire such a service, can log on to the web and get in touch with a reliable one. However, it is advisable to read the customer reviews of these agencies, before hiring them.

Challenge to the UK's Big 6 Mortgage Lenders

Challenge to the UK's Big 6 Mortgage Lenders

For those buyers looking to purchase a new residential property in the UK it is increasingly likely that you will not choose one of the Big 6 lending institutions that have traditionally dominated this sector. According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) in 2012 these are Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide, Barclays, HSBC, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander in descending order with Lloyds lending £26 billion and Santander £14 billion after reducing its lending by 38 per cent.

However, what is now happening in this competitive market is that a number of "mid-range" lenders are gradually increasing their share of the mortgage market, and, in particular, some of the leading building societies. Maybe the major banks are no longer the best place to go for a competitive deal on your next mortgage? But should we be concerned that the major banks are not growing their mortgage lending; is this healthy for the market as a whole? The UK government's Funding for Lending scheme should be resolving this problem as should the Help to Buy scheme which is designed to encourage banks to start lending more.

The"mid-range" lending institutions on the other hand have not only increased their market share but are also lending more than in previous years. According to the Building Societies Association gross mortgage lending by building societies and other mutual lenders increased by 30% during 2012 to over £30 billion. The Yorkshire, Coventry, Leeds and Skipton building societies, Northern Rock and Clydesdale bank are amongst those lending institutions taking business from the dominant Big 6. These, and other, mid-range lenders have taken advantage of the plight of the larger banks to increase their share of the mortgage market over the last few years. Competitive deals and careful lending practices have helped some of the smaller lenders to expand their loan books.

However, one of the Big 6 that has not suffered at the hands of its smaller competitors is the Nationwide, which is being viewed as a success story in the mortgage sector in the aftermath of the economic crisis. In the year to April 2013 it increased its share of the mortgage market to over £21 billion; a rise of over 15 per cent that puts it second after only Lloyds as the country's largest mortgage lender.

Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) figures show that ING Direct and the Co-Operative Group are also growing albeit in in relative terms and it appears that days of the large players dominating the mortgage market appear to be coming to an end. Certainly when it comes to large mortgages (typically a million pound mortgage or more) many brokers are increasingly turning to lenders such as private banks as well as some of the mid-range banks and mutual lender that provide not only competitive interest rates but also underwriting flexibility that does not engage in the purely tick-box exercise when assessing a client ability to pay the interest on their large mortgage.

Know the Ins and Outs of Online Iraqi Currency Trade

Know the Ins and Outs of Online Iraqi Currency Trade

There are many things that investors need to be aware before putting their life saving son foreign currencies such as the Iraqi Dinar. Purchasing Dinars from dealers should be done smartly. It is best to prepare not only for the purchase but also for the time to sell Iraqi Dinars when the much-anticipated revaluation of the currency finally happens.

Before discussing how to engage in buying and selling Iraqi dinars with dealers online, here are a few key facts about the currency of Iraq. There are unique markings that distinguish the real currency from counterfeits. For instance, every legal tender from Iraq is embedded with a watermark of a horse head. In addition, when placed under ultraviolet light, the value of the denomination should glow. When viewed from a different angle, the left-hand corner purple symbol becomes green. A few more minutes of online research would reveal unique features of certain banknotes to ensure that they are the real deal. It is useful to have a working knowledge on how to recognize a legitimate Iraqi banknote.

When an investor is ready to sell, it is necessary to conduct pertinent research on which dealer has the best buy back price. Experts recommend that investors make a list of the top three dealers that offer the most promising trade offers. Dealers usually provide a quotation. But they provide more than that to the educated dinar investor who knows what questions to ask. Dealers are quite transparent when potential clients ask them about the exact process of selling the rather controversial Iraqi currency.

Websites serve as great sources of information on many aspects of currency exchange. The exchange rate is usually published on the website and instructions on how the trade will push through are also provided. Many dinar dealers provide online transaction forms complete with security measures that may be used to buy and sell Iraqi Dinars. The manner of payment is another topic that needs to be clarified. If the information is not readily available online, it is advisable to determine the details first. An inquiry can be sent via e-mail or the dealer may be contacted by phone.

If the deal involves shipping of the currency, there has to be an understanding of the scope of services of the delivery firm. The responsibilities of the involved parties must also be agreed upon should anything awry happen. If the dealer or shipping firm does not provide a means of tracking the valuable package, then the risk may not be worth it. A company such as Dinar Currency has the expertise and experience of securing transport of the Iraqi dinar to those who have chosen to stake their future on it.

The Pros And Cons Of No-Load Insurance Products

The Pros And Cons Of No-Load Insurance Products

Annuities and life insurance the main insurance products; they're typically sold on commission by an insurance agent. This essentially increases their cost to the buyer. On the other hand, products sold directly by an insurance company without the use of an agent have reduced costs. They're considered 'no-load' insurance. Let's consider their pros and cons.

*The pros:

Though agents and brokers can market no-load annuities, most products come directly from the issuing company. Nevertheless, most no-load annuity contracts will still charge some fees, such as mortality and expense fees, and investment management fees in variable annuity contracts.

Typically, these fees are less than on conventional annuities. As an example, no-load annuities usually don't charge 12b-1fees like conventional contracts do, because these fees usually cover marketing and distribution expenses.

No-load life insurance charges lower fees than traditional policies, too. Your premiums for a no-load policy are much less during the first year than a comparable policy that pays an agent or broker because much of the first year's premiums go to pay his commission. Also, most no-load policies also have no cash surrender fees and allow for earlier access to any cash value in the policy.

Whether policies are called no-load or low-load, they generally offer substantially lower costs. That often makes them attractive for fee-based financial planners to offer. He'll charge a separate fee for recommending the product and servicing it once it's in force.

Clearly, paying less for a given product is an advantage. Faster cash value build up and earlier accessibility of funds are important too.

*The cons:

But a key disadvantage of buying no-load products on your own is the loss of an insurance agent to service and help you with policy problems and modifications. You may be left with only a customer service representative to assist you.

Additionally, such products often have none of the frills of traditional policies. As an example, no-load variable products that rely on subaccounts for investments may not offer money-management services like portfolio rebalancing and asset allocation.

Insurance riders often sold with traditional policies may not be available either. That can reduce the flexibility to modify what you might need in the future.

Competently buying no-load insurance products requires you to have a somewhat sophisticated level of understanding of what you're buying and what you need now and possibly in the future. Lacking that knowledge may cause you more money in the long run.

*Discretion on your part:

Obviously individuals who like to handle their investments in more detail will find the lower cost of no-load investments advantageous. They must understand their lack of need for any features available under loaded investments. But if you probably need advice and really don't have the time to go into the detail required, then seek guidance from an agent and let him explain the pros and cons for your situation.

Assessing Personal Credit Worthiness

Assessing Personal Credit Worthiness

The credit worthiness of individuals varies depending on several factors. The bottom line, however, is the capacity to pay. This can be measured in terms of income, net worth, collateral, previous credit records, and type of profession or business.

Banks and other lending companies may categorize loan applicants based on the level of risks involved. Some professions, jobs or businesses are relatively unstable to be worthy of large loan grants. Others are too risky to even be granted any type of loan. Obviously, those who are out of jobs or merely starting their businesses are considered as high risk applicants even if they can provide collaterals.

Self-assessment

Hence, it is crucial for would-be borrowers to have honest self-assessment of their personal credit worthiness. This will significantly help in facilitating the application process and will also reduce the probability of rejections and eventual frustrations.

The ancient adage, "know thyself," can be considered as the first rule when applying for credit lines. Individuals must first identify some of the factors that could affect their credibility as borrowers. Records of defaulting or totally abandoning loan obligations, no matter how trivial, are typically red flags for lending institutions that can prompt them to deny the loan application of an individual.

It does not matter if it is large business loan or standard credit card approval an individual is applying for. The same basic rules are applicable regardless of the amount of loan application. It might be more difficult to secure large loan grants as compared to ordinary credit card approvals but there are some simple practices that can increase the probability of being approved.

Pay on time

The records about payment history about utility bills and other recurring financial obligations are basic factors in assessing credit worthiness. If you religiously pay bills on time, it implies that you are a responsible and well-organized person. If you have become delinquent on some payments, strive to update your payments and make them current.

Lenders will initially assess your application based on your bill payment history. The modern digital age makes it easier for lending companies to check your bill records. For instance, if you were blacklisted by a mobile service phone provider, your chance of getting a loan approval will be very low. Even seemingly trivial records on subscriptions such as magazine subscriptions can affect the overall credit standing.

Credit card discipline

Avoid over-stretching your credit limits or impulsively using credit cards for unnecessary purchases. Credit cards are convenient but they should not be abused. It is also important to stay with just one or a couple of credit card companies than keep on transferring from one company to another.

Remember that credit card records are very easy to check. If you cannot avoid defaulting on some of your credit card obligations, try to consolidate or restructure your debts for more favorable repayment schemes.

Top 5 Risks Of NOT Training Your Employees

Top 5 Risks Of NOT Training Your Employees

During a recent visit with a Boston client (CEO and HR Director), I witnessed an exchange that was both poignant and pretty funny at the same time. While we were discussing financial training for their team, the CEO had an appropriate and direct question. In response, the HR Director had a better question. It went like this-

CEO: "What if we train them and they leave in a year?"

HR Director: "Worse -- what if we DON'T train them and they never leave?!?"

The HR Director's response (sarcastic as it were) provided some humor, but there was also a lot of not-so-thinly-veiled truth in her answer to the CEO's question. It inspired us at Vair to do some more research on the fundamental benefits of "Learning & Development" and the dangers of not training your staff. Here's some of the data we found.

Top 5 Risks of Not Training Your Employees

1. Losing your best employees. In an AON survey, respondents ranked "opportunities for personal growth" as the main reason they took their current job and stayed in that job. Significantly, they ranked it ahead of salary. According to a study done by Louis Harris & Associates, companies that fail to train their employees are more than three times as likely to lose them. Moreover, if a current team member decides to leave, it costs an average of US$15,000 to replace that employee according to The Employment Policy Foundation, especially when considering the need to rehire and retrain someone to take his/her place.

2. Losing your organization's competitive edge. "Any company has to recognize that not only is the human capital of their employees a major asset, it is also a depreciating asset that needs continuing investment", Nobel Laureate Gary Becker, professor of economics and sociology, University of Chicago. Maintaining your team members' skills keeps them, and your organization, on the industry's cutting edge.

3. Stagnant employee productivity. Motorola calculated that every dollar spent on training yields an approximate 30% gain in productivity within a three-year period. Motorola also used training to reduce costs by over US$3 billion and increase profits by 47% (source: Tim Lane et al., "Learning to Succeed in Business with Information Technology," Motorola). If you don't continually educate your staff, increases in productively are not a given.

4. Ineffectively dealing with a hiring freeze. As many international organizations still face hiring freezes, most managers are resigned to thinking that productively will not significantly increase until more team members are added -- an assumption quickly negated by appropriate and targeted "hands-on" training for your current staff.

5. Wasting supervisory and administrative time & costs. With insufficiently trained employees comes increasing duplication of effort, time spent on problem solving, and time spent on correcting mistakes. The more time and money a manager has to spend on monitoring and guiding team members, the less time is freed up for more profitable activities. Time = $$$

Plus... 1 BIG reason to train your employees.

1. ROI. The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) collected training information from over 2,500 firms. They found that companies that offer comprehensive training:

  • Have 218% higher revenue per employee than those with less comprehensive training
  • Firms that invest US$1,500 per employee in training experience an average of 24% higher gross profit margins compared with those that spend just US$125 per employee, and
  • Higher price-to-book ratios (by 26%) on average than firms in the bottom quarter

Benefits of Energy MLP ETF Exposure

Benefits of Energy MLP ETF Exposure

The MLP investments are evolving fast, at least in the North American Energy sector where the master limited partnerships and their equity are actually a combined asset of small companies involved in production and transportation of energy forms. The expansion in this sector depends on effective energy transmission logistics and this is where these entities will contribute the most and ditto is the reason for growing affinity for MLP ETFs.

The master limited partnership is publicly traded and is formed by a union of two partners. The limited partners invest their capital in the MLP and in lieu of that receive regular pay outs / income distribution.

The second group consists of general partners responsible for management of the MLP venture and receive reimbursements based on performance of the project. Most of these MLPs are involved in some or the other sector related to energy such as carriage, storage, mining of minerals and natural resources.

The lack of growth in crude oil prices connotes negativity for the commodity sector but has almost no impact on the MLP ETFs or even MLP mutual funds. These businesses are either pipeline operators that carry natural gas, refined products and oil etc. and their incomes are not marred in any which way with a slump (or a jump) in oil and gas prices.

This advantage doubles up for satisfying diversification requirements in a portfolio.

Another plus in this space is that the avoidance of corporate tax leads to a minimum of 90 % (or more) of the revenue going to the partners. Thus yields are much above satisfactory mark.

On the downside the MLP arrangement is faced with complex tax matters in the practice of a need of K-1 form. Sometimes the investors are expected to abide by tax obligations that require filing taxes in each of the state where a certain pipeline extends its reach. Therefore possessing energy MLP in equity traded product construction (ETP formula) the tax intricacies and the associated k-1 form can be evaded as pay-out is treated as being ordinary.

MLP investing especially in ETF or ETN form may ensure steady revenues in a scenario that does not provide decent interest rates to income conscious investors. This asset class has performed progressively well so far in this current fiscal year. There is great potential in furthering the advances in the energy segment and MLPs are projected to appreciate along-side these developments carried on to meet the increasing power demand and production.

The broader market investments in the sector also call for a lesser management fees which are around 45% on an annual basis, depending on the ETF issuer. Now this is not only significantly better than direct equity costs, it is also cheaper than MLP mutual fund. Although both, ETFs and Mutual funds provide the desired diversification in as much as +30 MLPs and their equity but being market traded, the liquidity is much higher in the former product.

Thus to sum it up, investors when indulging in Energy MLP exposure via the ETF route definitely save on operational costs and simultaneously can treat K1s on a reporting basis only, are eligible for quarterly income pay outs and all the profit procured is eligible for 401K investments.

Energy and related infrastructure is an industry that has a proven long term demand, and the current stock valuations are reasonably attractive for the active equity in the sector. The industry also has little or nil correlation with S & P indices as its historical data, which may appear as security to some who want regular incomes in adverse market scenarios.

Why a Mortgage Broker Is Best at Renewing Mortgages

Why a Mortgage Broker Is Best at Renewing Mortgages

Getting your first mortgage is a major step forward and it involves quite a bit of work. Most people see mortgage renewal as nothing more than a chore that they would like to avoid. What these people don't realize is that the mortgage renewal period is actually a great opportunity to save money, or to pick up more favorable mortgage terms. With help from an experienced mortgage broker you can easily improve your mortgage and save yourself a little money in the process.

Shop Around for Better Rates

One of the best reasons to use a broker is that they aren't affiliated with any one lender and are more than willing to help you shop around for the best renewal rate out there. When the time comes to renew your mortgage make sure that you have as many options available to you as you can. By comparing many different lenders you can find out if you are currently getting the best interest rate on your mortgage, or if you can land a better deal instead. Thanks to a wide variety of options through a broker you can often save thousands of dollars by using their services.

Free Transfer to New Institution

Most homeowners assume that when they transfer to a different lender they are going to have to pay a transfer fee, but this isn't the case. The new lender who agrees to pick you up for your mortgage renewal will pay the transfer fees for you. This means you can get a lender who offers better terms and you won't have to pay anything to switch over to them.

A Mortgage Broker Examines More than Just Interest Rates

Relying on a mortgage broker to find you lenders isn't just about interest rates on your mortgage renewal. Most brokers will take a close look at many other aspects of a renewal agreement as well. They will examine things like whether the account has a variable or fixed interest rate, what the amortization rate is, and what sort of payment policy the plan relies on. You may decide it's worth it to pay a slightly higher interest rate to go with a company that locks their interest rate in and also has a more lenient payment policy. This is all information that you can research yourself, but having a mortgage broker do the research for you is simpler.

Start the Renewal Process as Soon as Possible

Don't be one of those homeowners who waits too long to start looking for a new renewal on their mortgage a few weeks before the period is up. Instead begin looking for the best renewal rate about six months before you are actually due for the renewal. Most lenders are willing to guarantee you a renewal rate for up to six months before the time of the renewal. Starting earlier gives you the time you need to really do your homework and find the best deal out there.

Choosing a Mortgage with New Terms

It's simple to renew your mortgage with exactly the same terms that you were following previously, but that may not be in your best interest. For instance if you received a large promotion between when you got your mortgage and time for your renewal you could reduce the amount you spend in interest by upping the payment amount and reducing the length of your mortgage. A mortgage broker can help you look over options like this and determine what will work best for you.

What Is Financial Engineering?

What Is Financial Engineering?

Financial engineering is a discipline that uses knowledge from multiple fields, including computer science, economics, applied mathematics and statistics, and applies them to innovative solutions to financial problems as well as the creation of new finance products. Also known as computational engineering, finance engineering is used in a variety of organization, including investment banks and insurance agencies. One example of the application of financial engineering to a current problem is financial reinsurance products, which allow an insurance provider to write big policies without shouldering too much risk by sharing it with another company in exchange for a portion of the premiums. Another example is bundling several products together into one package that is offered to consumers at a special low price.

Some of the fields in which financial engineering is applied include:

Corporate finance. This is a blanket term that refers to the way the finances of a corporation are managed. Financial engineering can be used to solve problems such as how to allocate limited company resources among a series of investment opportunities in order to maximize returns. Or he can look at the financial records of the company and decide how to cut costs in order to make a company more profitable.

Portfolio management. As a portfolio manager, it is your duty to manage an investment portfolio to ensure the best returns for the investor. Financial engineering is one of the tools that you can use to help achieve this goal. For example, you can choose to hold on to certain investments long-term in the expectation that they would deliver consistent returns over time. Or, if the investor has a higher risk tolerance, you can adopt an active management style in which you will look for opportunities to make a quick profit by aggressively trading securities.

Risk management. This field involves recognizing and minimizing risks in order to increase the probability that a desired outcome will be achieved or an unfortunate event will be avoided. For example, the financial engineer can decide if it is worth it to enter into a particular investment opportunity and to look at methods for minimizing risks. For example, he can limit the amount of money that will be put into the investment. Or he can split the risk by diversifying the portfolio and allocating resources to other investments in an attempt to minimize the possible losses in case the investment does not pay off. You can read download free pdf books on risk management strategies if you want to learn about them and how to apply them to your investment portfolio.

Do You Know What a Bitcoin Is?

Do You Know What a Bitcoin Is?

Recently, I had someone ask me about Bitcoins. I most certainly had heard of them before, but I was not able to give an answer that I felt was acceptable. So, I decided that a little education on the matter was in order.

To start off, the best definition of what a Bitcoin actually is that I was able to find was this-a decentralized digital currency based on an open-source peer-to-peer protocol. Translation-a non-physical item that's tracked through a database that functions as a ledger that records, and processes debits and credits between two parties.

One important thing to add is that it is not attached to any government or entity, so they are decentralized, and has no counter party risk. (In theory)

As I pushed forward, I found a recent interview with Erik Voorhees from bitinstant. A website that offers many services including payment in Bitcoins, exchange locations, and a blog that talks more about the system itself.

Now, the questions in the interview were fair, and addressed some of the concerns one may have with a non-physical currency. How one then interprets those answers would be what is most important if this is something one thinks is worth getting involved with.

As always, each person should always do their own homework before doing anything that is monetary. With that said, the questions, and then of course the answers that followed that I found most interesting were.

Q: If the Bitcoin system is internet based, what if the internet goes down?

A: All Bitcoin accounts would be frozen in time and when the system is back up, your account would be intact. No different from your online banking, credit cards, or ATM machines.

Q: Can Bitcoins be debased?

A: Only to a certain extent. Bitcoins get created every ten minutes based on a formula, and cannot exceed 21 million Bitcoins, ever. That would be the most amount allowed created according to the programs software. Each Bitcoin can be broken in 100 million pieces, allowing for them to increase in value and still be useable in smaller purchases.

Q: Who is behind Bitcoins, is there a company or entity?

A: Nobody is behind Bitcoins. It is a self-governing software program that has artificial intelligence attributes working on a predetermined schedule, and the codes cannot be changed.

Q: What if I want to remove my Bitcoins from the system and convert them to cash?

A: Bitcoins will be exchanged for cash at exchange locations, as well as, with any person that is willing to exchange them for a rate that is agreeable to both parties.

Q: Can one look at Bitcoins as not just a digital currency, but also as an investment?

A: Yes, but one considered highly speculative due to the fact that there are no guarantees that people will decide to use them, and their newness in general.

Fair questions and fair answers I thought. There was more to the interview that went on for about an hour, and I also read a lot more into the system itself.

What I walked away with was that it Bitcoins are a new currency that people are using to either, protect them self from currency devaluation, remove counter-party risk, or to just stick it to the man by not having to play in their system of Central Banks. All of which I have no problem supporting.

For me, I see no reason to jump into the system myself at the moment. However, I truly wish the people who are using this system the best, and I hope it does not turnout like E-Gold, which was then closed when it became a threat to the powers that be.

The system has seemed to try to work that in as it is not a company that you can go kick the door in, and is a coded software system that is running on an open network (I question that).

I do think that there will be some people who make large amounts of money on this due to things that are going on with bank deposits and the looming threat of them being confiscated in part by banks and governments.

But, for me that type of investment strategy seems somewhat questionable. With the last man into Bitcoins possibly left holding the bag if the Bitcoin system should go the other way.

As always, investments or participating in new systems carries risks, and one would be well advised to walk through this world with eyes wide open when considering such activities.

One thing to be added is that at the moment, the price of the virtual currency is approaching parabolic level and that maybe a reason to give pause, and watch what unfolds.

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