Mobile Payment Processing: What Your Business Needs To Know

Mobile Payment Processing: What Your Business Needs To Know

In 2007, Steve Jobs set of a revolution that would have far wide implications for people everywhere. That year he introduced the iPhone which was a revolutionary product very different then the Blackberry in many respects. Several years later the iPad was introduced kicking off another revolution which was referred to as the start of the post-PC era. As consumers from all walks of life embraced these and other competitive smartphone and tablet devices, merchants started taking a hard look at these wonders of technology for use in payment processing. As a result, an entire industry focused on offering mobile payment processing solutions sprang up offering merchants a variety of solutions. However, before selecting a mobile payment processing solution their are a few things merchants need to know when offering this option to their customer.

  • Make sure you lock your smartphone or tablet
  • - Setting a passcode for your device is one of the easiest things to do to prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing your smartphone or tablet. Also when setting your passcode don't use common number combinations (0000, 1234, 1111, etc.) since that makes it easier for unauthorized individuals to access your mobile payment processing device.
  • Do not store card information on the device
  • - If their is no service available for your smartphone or tablet to connect to, it may decide to store your customers card information on the actual device. Be careful when this occurs as it makes the device more vulnerable to being compromised the longer the card information is stored on your device. To avoid this, check to see if the app you are using to process cards has a "store and forward" feature. If it does, simply turn off this feature.
  • Do not use a jailbroken smartphone or tablet
  • - If your device has been jailbroken (meaning you have gained superuser rights to install apps or features not allowed by the manufacturer or carrier) you may be in for some trouble. These type of devices may have vulnerabilities that may pose a risk to the card information your customers have entrusted you with during their time of purchase. In addition, delete any apps that may have been installed as a result of a jailbroken smartphone or tablet.

As more and more merchants become comfortable and understand the importance of mobile payment processing to their business, it becomes even more important to understand certain ideas to fully leverage these new technologies.

Three Technologies That Will Change Your Life!

Three Technologies That Will Change Your Life!

I'm old enough to remember the time before personal computers, cell phones and the internet. A time when sending letters overnight by Federal Express was considered a radical idea. The dawn of the 21st century has seen an explosion in technological innovation with home computers, the internet and smart phones coming of age; and there are three new technologies being developed that will be more important than even these and truly change the way the world works. In fact, they will change things so radically that we could change the very nature of our global economy. A post-monetary world; perhaps!

Within the next few years all of us will be impacted by major changes that are developing to the way things are produced and the materials used to produce these things. This is the stuff that not too many years ago would have been considered science fiction, but it is now coming of age and becoming a reality. The impact of these developments will be overwhelming and will impact our lives even with the most important issue - our health and life span. The first of these technologies is what is known as "additive printing" or "3-D printing". This process uses the basic technology of an ink-jet printer to create items in three dimensions. Simply, if you want a new coffee cup, you feed a graphic design into the printer and it "prints" you a new cup. This technology has the ability to change the very nature of consumer goods and the way in which they're produced. Today, factories are set up and "tooled" to produce an item. Changing the design of the item requires re-tooling the factory; this is both time consuming and expensive. 3-D technology allows for design changes to occur virtually so that there is no time or cost related to changing the product produced. So we can envision a manufacturing environment where the creation of some consumer goods is not brought from a remote factory through shipping and distribution systems but rather is manufactured directly in the kitchen. This reduces cost and reduces the need for low end manufacturing labor. Furthermore, research is presently being conducted on using 3-D technology to produce food and other biological things including replacement organs and body parts. This is revolutionary as it will allow for individuals requiring a liver transplant for example, to simply have one printed from their own DNA information. Not only does the problem of "rejection" go away, but the availability and cost of replacement organs changes so dramatically that it will no longer be an economic burden on society to receive an organ transplant.

The second technology that will change the way we live is the explosion in "super-materials". Having discovered a material called Graphene, researchers now are building materials that increase the speed of computers, increase the efficiency of electronics, reduce fuel consumption by reducing the weight of planes and cars, make long-lasting batteries a real possibility and even filter water to such an extent that the oceans become a plentiful supply of fresh water for agriculture and individual consumption. This revolution will increase agricultural output worldwide to help feed our populations and will allow for the development and implementation of so many things it boggles the imagination. For example, all of us who live in the Midwestern part of the United States know what it's like to walk out into a cold snowy day. These new super-materials will allow us to create "smart clothing" that can adapt to our environment thereby keeping us warm on cold days and cool on hot days.

The third technological revolution taking place is in glass, believe it or not. Using the new super-materials researchers are creating glass that is strong enough and smart enough to be truly functional. This new glass will improve efficiency and make natural energy sources like solar power much more usable. Smart-boards and interactive blue-tooth technology will facilitate learning in schools by creating seamless interaction between the teacher, smart-board, curriculum, projects and student.

These new technologies are not dreams anymore but are a reality. Yes they're a few short years away from being so common that we encounter the feeling of "how did we ever live without this", but they are real none-the-less. Not only will these technologies improve our lives considerably, but they will also create investment opportunities on par with the development of the auto industry, micro-computers, the cell phone or even more. Imagine the new agricultural opportunities, the new consumer opportunities, the new energy opportunities and the ability to open up global markets as never before. These revolutionary technologies could even change the very way in which people look at money!

What You Need To Know About Home Ownership

What You Need To Know About Home Ownership

Many people have the desire to own a home. The first step when buying a home is to find an ideal lender that offers the best low rate mortgage. Hence, it is advisable to compare the various lenders in the market, as well as the home loan products that they are offer.

What is a Low Rate Mortgage?

This refers to a home loan offering a low rate of interest. This type of mortgage enables borrowers to save money when they purchase residential or investment property, since the lower interest rates allow them to make lower monthly repayments. Different lenders offer low rate mortgage as either fixed or variable home loans. However, it is important to note that some of the low rate mortgages are simply introductory loans that offer discounted rates at the beginning of the loan term.

Understanding Amortization?

Amortization is an accounting method that requires the accounting for expenses that are incurred over the useful life of assets, instead of the time at which they are incurred. In other words, it is a monthly payment that people make over a specific period, which combines the principal amount and interest. Technically, amortization is somehow similar to depreciation since businesses use it to reduce the value of assets or liabilities over time.

Difference between Amortization vs. Depreciation

Understanding the types of financial events that the amortization concept involved is the easiest way of explaining how it differs from depreciation. Depreciation is the definition of both non-cash and cash assets that become less valuable over time. Mortgage amortization, on the other hand, is the reduction of the principal amount of home mortgages over a specific period. The terms of the loans usually fix the principal balance of these home mortgages.

How Amortization Affects Your Low Rate Mortgage

Amortization is the periodic reduction of capital or principal amounts on loans at interest rates that the terms of the loans fix. Interest is the amount of money that borrowers pay in order to reimburse the lenders for the currency or credit that they use.

Lenders apply more money to the principal amount when the amortization schedule ends, and greater amounts of the payment to the interest in the initial stages of this schedule. As such, lenders use the monthly payments to reduce the actual amounts of the loans since the borrowers begin the amortization schedule through the payment of mostly interest.

When borrowers repay low rate mortgage by making payments at specific periods, over the defined loan term, they amortize them. Their goal is the full amortization of their mortgages, which is the easiest way to pay off their home loans when the terms of the loans end. The interest paid reduces as a borrower pays more of the principal amount and in effect, they amortize greater mortgages in the years that remain for them to repay their loans and subsequently increase the equity in their properties.

The Significance of the Online Home Loan Calculator

The amount of money that borrowers will pay out over the period that their loans will be outstanding is an extremely important thing for them to consider when they want to take out mortgages. A mortgage calculator can affect them by enabling them to see their entire schedule easily since it provides them with estimates of the payments that they will make on a monthly basis.

Once borrowers have sufficient knowledge about how amortization works for low rate mortgage and home loans, the process is very easy to understand. According to real estate investors, amortization is the periodic reduction of the principal mortgage amounts by the making monthly payments.

3 Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent Before Picking a House

3 Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent Before Picking a House

When you are looking to purchase a new home, you will likely have a lot of questions to ask a real estate agent. This is a stressful process and, in addition to finding the right home for you and your family, you will also need to choose a living situation that will benefit you financially. Your real estate agent can help you along the way, and some of the most important questions to ask him or her before buying a home are outlined below.

1. How much is this home worth in the current market?

While your real estate agent may not be able to tell you how much you should offer when attempting to buy a house, you can get information from them by asking indirectly or by obtaining facts about sales that are comparable. Your real estate agent should provide you with a variety of comparable homes, including prices of similar homes located nearby that were recently sold. High and low price ranges for particular properties should also be provided.

Knowing what the home you wish to buy is worth is important when you attempt to secure financing. Depending on the price of the home, you may need to secure additional loans, put down a larger down payment than you anticipated, or consider a bad credit home loan. These factors will be important in determining whether or not you can afford to purchase a particular home.

2. What are the monthly costs for owning this home?

If you are a first time homebuyer, you may not be knowledgeable when it comes to the monthly expenses that go along with homeownership. Call on the expertise of your real estate agent in order to get information on what you can expect to spend, as the cost of being a homeowner will extend beyond your monthly mortgage payments. Discuss what you will be expected to pay in terms of insurance, HOA fees, and taxes in order to get a better idea of what your monthly payment will be.

Your real estate agent can also advise you on some of the benefits of home ownership. Owning your own home can have a major tax impact, and you should review potential tax incentives before making a purchase. You should also do a credit score check before buying your home, not only to determine whether you will be able to secure financing, but also to see how establishing a solid payment history with your mortgage may be able to help your credit score.

3. What does the area's long-term future look like?

Even when you are just buying your new home, you should already start thinking about resale value. Consider the lot size, and look at the landscaping. Curb appeal is important in luring in potential buyers in the future, so if your home is not aesthetically pleasing to look at from the street, you should consider how much money and effort it would take you to enhance that portion of the property in the future. When looking at the inside features, most homes are able to hold up their resale value if they offer a minimum of two bedrooms, more than a single bathroom, a garage, and adequate storage space.

Besides looking at a home and its price appreciation, you should also ask about the long-term prospects. It is highly desirable to live within an area where growth prospects are expected, especially if more than one area is growing. Living in a community that relies heavily on one type of industry can be dangerous, as the real estate market could fall if something negative occurs within that industry.

When buying a new home, you will want to ensure that your decision is right for both you and your family. The financial aspect of home ownership is important, so it is essential to make sure you know all of the financial requirements that go along with buying a house, as this will help you to determine if you are able to afford it. For further financial information, get your 3 credit bureau scores, talk to your loan officer, and get additional guidance from your real estate agent.

Benefits of ATM Outsourcing

Benefits of ATM Outsourcing

ATMs play a crucial role in the operation and profitability of a financial institution. They serve as a primary interface with the customers. ATMs are still the primary touching point for a financial institution to interact with its customers. It is the quality of the ATM service provided to the customer that drives customer loyalty. ATMs which face problems like replenishing cash, broken parts, paper jams etc. are likely to tarnish the image of your service. ATMs do need constant attention. But that means employing people to look after ATMs. Then what is the alternative in providing excellent customer support without spending much time or money on ATM maintenance? ATM outsourcing has come up as one of the most obvious answers. Outsourcing has been the trend of the decade. Many businesses and financial institutions are using it to cut down their operational costs. Outsourcing of ATM machines has been proved to be a profitable venture in the last decade.

Benefits of ATM outsourcing

Let us look at some of the benefits of ATM outsourcing:

Expansion of services

ATMs are important for the success of any financial institution. ATM outsourcing allows you to expand your reach. With more and more public using their ATMs, you will receive more feedback. It will lead to improved business services and help you increase your customer base, decrease operational costs, minimize the risk of maintaining an ATM network, increase consumer awareness, a stronger presence in the marketplace, higher return on investment, no employees, and maintain market presence and brand awareness.

Cut down your maintenance cost

Today financial institutions are still cagey about the cost-benefits achieved through ATM outsourcing. By outsourcing ATMs, you no longer will be responsible for the maintenance of ATMs consequently resulting in eliminating your ATM management overhead. The overhead cost of servicing your own ATMs will be reduced significantly. It will not only help you cut down the expenses but also save time.

Updating the ATMs with the latest technology

In today's scenario the concept of the ATM is changing. As customers directly interact with the financial institution via ATMs, it has become necessary to be aware about the latest technology. Did upgrading the software or/and hardware of your ATMs cost you a great deal of time, energy, and money researching the requirements, managing the logistics, and employing the staff required to handle such upgrades? Let your outsourced provider handle the headaches of the any upgrades necessary to keep your ATMs compliant.

Allows business to focus on primary activities

With no worries of ATM maintenance circling your mind, you can solely focus on how to improve the productivity and expansion of your business. Concentrate on issues like how to deliver better service, expand the customer base, gain competitive advantage over your competitors etc. Pay attention towards the decisive, revenue-generating activities for your business.

Emotional Control in Forex Trading

Emotional Control in Forex Trading

It is well known that in the world the majority of forex traders fail. It is less known, however, what is the main reason behind such a failure rate which is not directly related to the market itself.

Contrary to popular belief this is not necessarily a lack of analysis or strategy, inadequate education or a lack of learning, but gaps in the emotional control and the ability to remain calm are they are the main causes of many failures and black stories of forex trading.

It is easy however to blame brokers that they do not control risks and they lack a professional attitude. The fact is that the majority of these companies are highly monitored by competent authorities, which show that the problem lies elsewhere.

Experienced traders around me all recognize that most novice traders' difficulty lies in knowing how to differentiate what is actually happening in the market with what we really perceive and how we interpret these conditions. Excessive emotional reactions are the worst enemy traders in the forex market.

It is also interesting to observe that the key great riches of this world and outstanding achievements in the world of trading are often the result of actions taken by cool and calm individuals. Many of us seek the keys to wealth through the creation of computer programs or magic strategy and signals of all sorts. In short, our brain is constantly looking for quick and easy solutions instead, often focusing on how to accomplish the best possible way, calmly and well calculated manner.

However, especially in the case of transactions based on technical analysis (indicators, charts, formulas etc), capital management and control of emotions are in my opinion, the only solution to the creation of wealth in the forex market. This is of course my personal opinion, based on my own experience.

Many strategies are not effective and fail, but to ensure that the failure of a strategy does not lead to bankruptcy (a zero balance) and our previous earnings are not all wiped out by a sudden and painful loss, is the heart and soul of a successful management style. Managing your capital is the main idea and the key concept of a successful forex trader.

How Can You Control Your Emotions?

To learn how to win, we need to first learn how to lose. This may be true in all areas of life, but nowhere as true as with currency exchange market.

Knowing in advance that we may incur losses, we take the necessary precautions to minimize them and this is the heart of the money management. We will try to cut our losses before they become too large in line with our strategy of course. Then we will be careful not to rush to our trading platform to generate huge profits in during high volatility or following a big trend, purely on impulse. It sounds simple but the principle is exactly what is applied by calm and serene people: do not take quick decisions when you are in panic or excitement. If you manage to remain calm you will always manage to outsmart the rest.

Unfortunately for us, when we see money behind a click, a curve that starts to climb at an astonishing pace, we see the pips parading, the potential benefit, we then instantly plunge into the arena, forgetting our panties.

To sum up all of the above to a single concept, I'd say you have to get used to controlling your optimism and pessimism. To learn the trade like a pro you must first acknowledge that the psychological aspect of trading is much more important than you think.

Overview of UAE Banking Sector

Overview of UAE Banking Sector

The UAE banking sector is still in recovery stage, post the 2008-09 real estate crisis in Dubai. However, the financial performance of the banks has stabilised especially over the past couple of years. The UAE banks, particularly Dubai based banks, are facing asset quality challenges, as reflected in their high proportion of non-performing loans and low level of provisions. On the other hand, Abu Dhabi based banks appear relatively less challenged from these issues due to their relatively lower exposure to real estate and higher exposure to oil based industries, which did well amid favourable oil price environment.

The key concerns related to the UAE banks include i) concentration in loans and deposits, ii) high proportion of related party exposures, iii) limited data transparency/availability, and iv) stiff industry competition. Moreover, the performance of the UAE banks has been constrained by the still recovering real estate and construction sectors. Although the banks maintain a strong presence in their local markets, the banking sector has limited diversification and displays concentration in terms of geographies, products, and customers.

That said, most of the UAE based banks benefit from strong ownership structure backed by local governments. In addition, most of these banks are in the process of restructuring their problem loans. The economy of Dubai has shown encouraging growth in the past two years. All key sectors of the economy including real estate, trade, tourism, and services have shown a considerable improvement. The improved performance of the core sectors would result in re-classification of some of non-performing loans as performing loans, which would reduce stress on the banking sector in the medium term.

Recent political unrest in some countries in the MENA region has benefited UAE, owing to its safe haven status in the region. Dubai has strengthened its position as a regional financial hub and has become a key channel for investment across the MENA region. This has directly helped local banks. The key characteristics of the UAE banking sector are as follows.

i) Strong links to local governments: The UAE banking sector has been strongly dominated by the governments of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The ruling families are also actively involved through their investments in the country, typically through their holding companies. The government's significant involvement in the UAE banking system proved beneficial during the global financial crisis. The authorities responded quickly when needed and supported local banks in 2008 and early 2009. The UAE Central Bank has provided liquidity support as well as deposits to banks in the past to alleviate funding pressure. Markets expect a continuous support to the UAE banks from local governments in future, if needed.

ii) Strong capitalization: The UAE banking sector exhibits a very strong level of capitalization. Its capital levels are supported by consistent profitability, strong earnings retention, and equity injections from the government in times of need. Total capital adequacy ratio of the sector has exceeded 20% over the past three years, the highest in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. However, the high capital levels are also justified by some banks' high share of non-performing loans, which requires a higher level of capital than the average.

iii) Weak asset quality: The UAE banks are challenged by weak asset quality. Most of the banks based in Dubai have shown very high level of non-performing loans and insufficient provisions. Moody's expects non-performing loans of the UAE banks to remain in 10%-12% range in 2013. The agency also stated that despite recovery in core industries, the non performing loans are unlikely to reduce rapidly in the medium term due to banks' large exposure to troubled borrowers, especially in the real estate industry.

iv) Dependence on oil prices and global macro-economic conditions: The performance of the UAE economy, especially Abu Dhabi, largely depends on oil prices. Any sudden fall in oil prices could result in lower public spending by the Abu Dhabi government. This could impact the performance of Abu Dhabi based banks, which have largely been involved in financing government directed projects. Also, in the event of a sharp decline in oil prices, the resulting economic downturn may further impact lending activities of the banks. On the other hand, Dubai largely derives its growth from real estate, trade, tourism, and services industry. The performance of most of these sectors is linked to global economy. Any deterioration in global macroeconomic environment would directly impact Dubai's economy and its banking sector.

v) Limited credit differentiation: It is hard to differentiate between UAE banks just by looking at their credit metrics. Most of these banks are closely linked to local governments. The differences in asset quality and franchise value are the only primary distinguishing factors for the banks in the country.

vi) High competition: The UAE is an overbanked region. There are 51 banks currently operating in the UAE. This has resulted in stiff industry competition and has pressurized net interest margins of the banks.

Questions To Ask A Financial Advisor

Questions To Ask A Financial Advisor

If you have just started a career, you might have some questions about how to save for your future. It is never too early to start thinking about retirement. Unfortunately, a lot of smart people have a difficult time managing money. They want to own certain things as soon as they can afford them, and they seem to forget about student loans, car payments, and all the other bills that must be handled every month. Soon enough, these people find they are barely able to make ends meet with what they earn at work. If this sounds all too familiar, it is time for you to meet with a financial advisor.

You should not be afraid to ask a financial advisor about different kinds of accounts and investment opportunities. Some of these concepts can be rather complicated, especially if you barely know how to balance a checkbook. That is why these professionals have jobs. They are trained to show people how to save money and enjoy a certain quality of life at the same time. It is actually a lot easier than you might imagine it to be.

Do you have a list of questions to pose to a financial advisor? Don't worry if you aren't sure where to begin. Start by letting one of these professionals know how much income you bring in every month and what kind of expenses you have. Write all of this information down and bring it to your initial appointment. It might be difficult to see these numbers in black and white, but you need to face the facts if you are going to curtail frivolous spending. Also, be sure to let this person know what kind of goals you have for the future. For instance, perhaps you hope to make a down payment on a house in a few years. Maybe you want to save a certain amount for a wedding. If your financial advisor knows exactly what motivates you, he or she can help you stay disciplined while saving for that particular purchase.

During your initial meeting with a financial advisor, it is also smart to discuss 401K plans. Most money managers will encourage you to start contributing to a fund like this, even if you feel like you don't make enough money to do so. A mere 2% of your monthly paycheck can add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the course of a year. Many employers will even match what you contribute to this account. This is a good way to get some money put aside for your golden years. You will barely even notice the deductions off of your bi-weekly paychecks.

Once you are spending less and saving more each month, you might consider making some low-risk investments. Your money manager can help you decide how to do this. Then, you will truly be on your way to a bright and stable future.

Investor Relations Internet Marketing Solutions for the Company

Investor Relations Internet Marketing Solutions for the Company

The internet has become the great equalizer in the marketing world. A long time ago it was only the companies who could afford lengthy and expensive marketing campaigns on television, radio and newspapers that flourished. Today those forms of marketing are becoming obsolete. DVR's allow you to skip commercials, the radio has been replaced with iTunes and newspapers/magazines are finding more of an impact online than in print. When it comes to Small or Micro Cap Corporations, as well as investors, the advantages are certainly easy to see with internet marketing.

How can an up-and-coming small soda manufacturer compete with the big boys? They can't, not only from a consumer standpoint but from a marketing standpoint as well. Despite being one of the most recognizable brands in the world, the top brand still spends millions of dollars a year in marketing. However, with internet marketing the playing field is leveled. Here it is quality over quantity and the consumer or investor can find you. A strong internet marketing campaign can and will make all the difference for a company trying to grow, regardless of the field it is in. No other outlet allows you to market and educate potential investors like the internet does.

Social media is truly where the internet marketing ball began rolling and the irony is it was unexpected. Today news outlets are more concerned with how many followers they have on Twitter than TV rankings. The reason is because someone has to sit in front of a television and actually see a commercial for it to have an impact. But when you market on the internet that person will find you through social media and search engines.

So how does this impact you as you are trying to find investors? The same way. An investor can now find your company, learn about you and see what makes you stand out from the popular brands. There is something that makes you unique, something that makes you different from the titans of your industry and the internet is the perfect platform to show potential investors. This is why companies that offer investor relations services focus on building an internet presence. They have to offer the cutting-edge information an investor is looking for.

Investor relations are key to helping a company thrive which is why an up-and-coming company must get in the game of internet marketing. Always remember on television you have viewers, on the internet you have friends and followers.

Ninety-Nine Years of Fiscal (Cliff) Policy

Ninety-Nine Years of Fiscal (Cliff) Policy

The Senate spent an intense and grueling 3 whole minutes pouring over the American Tax Payer Relief Act of 2012 before voting and passing the bill, 89-8. Our Senators are truly amazing as they must have read one page per second and still spent 26 seconds discussing it. Congratulations are certainly in order as both parties came together in a collegial spirit of compromise and goodwill to do the work of the people. Now we can all expect tremendous financial recovery since our politicians have saved us all from the 'fiscal cliff'... a dreadful combination of porkless spending cuts and tax increases. The proverbial can has been kicked merrily into the distant future. We can all breathe easy and forget about it until March. No doubt, by that time, our servant-leaders in Washington D.C. will then spell out specific cuts and increases, agree on a new debt ceiling and good times will be here again. Historians will be writing about the miraculous recovery implemented by the most brilliant and responsible economic geniuses to grace humanity in 6,000 years.

(Here comes Mr. Roger's trolley... back from Make Believe)

Specific numbers are coming out and the spin doctors are now explaining to us who the winners and losers are from the bill. But we only need look at two numbers and compare them to know we have all lost again. The annual tax increase is projected to be $62 billion. Last year's budget deficit was $1.1 trillion (or $1,100 billion). This leaves our politicians with only two choices. Government can take a massive pay-cut, essentially bankrupting itself. Or it can arbitrarily raise the debt ceiling one more time.

The truth is, America has been on this losing streak for a century. Ninety-nine years ago, the powers that be created the fiscal cliff. In December of 1913, President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill that gave away control of America's money supply to the largest privately owned banks in the world. We call it the Federal Reserve System but there is nothing federal or reservist about it. Created to eliminate recessions and depressions, the exact opposite has occurred over and over again. Instead, the Federal Reserve marked the beginning of fiscal cliff policy-the monetization of debt.

This is how fiscal cliff monetary policy works. When the government needs more money (and when does it not?) it must raise taxes. But raising taxes is usually not politically expedient. So instead, the government goes to the Federal Reserve, hat in hand. In the hat are treasury debt certificates, or T-bills. The Federal Reserve purchases these notes of indebtedness. They create money out of nothing, pass it on to the government, and then proceeds to charge the government interest on this money that does not exist. The government uses the counterfeit dollars to buy votes. This counterfeit money makes its way into the money supply and the government's back-door tax increases begin to take effect. We call it inflation. The American people get higher prices, higher interest rates, higher unemployment, economic slow-down-a recession. This creates a boom-bust cycle that intensifies in pain on a regular cycle or is delayed by more debt purchasing. This cannot go on forever. The real cliff will eventually be reached and Biblical laws of cause and effect that exist in the realm of finance MUST push us over.

Our fiscal cliff monetary policy violates biblical principles concerning debt, just weights and measures, stealing, coveting, partiality, rules on collateral, multiple indebtedness and the insanity of fractional reserve banking to name a few. All of these will be dealt with in more detail in future articles. Needless to say, it will take massive national repentance from the top down to avoid our coming fiscal cliff. I'm talking the kind we read about in the book of Jonah. But I don't see our president sitting in sack-cloth and ashes and that goes for your neighbors too.

I can't help but be reminded from a scene in the movie, Dumb and Dumber every time I think or write about debt monetization. Lloyd and Harry recover a million dollars that was supposed to be used as ransom money to recover a kidnapped man. While working their way to the rightful owner of the money, they decide it would be okay to spend some of the money along the way. When the kidnapper finally catches up with Lloyd and Harry, pistol in hand, he demands they open the case. What falls out of the case are dozens of slips of paper. The kidnapper is furious but Lloyd confidently assures him that, 'the slips of paper are better than cash... they are IOU's.' Needless to say, the guy with the gun wasn't buying it.

Eric Daniel Brown

Not All Commercial Litigation Funding Services Are Good For You!

Not All Commercial Litigation Funding Services Are Good For You!

Commercial litigation funding is an attractive proposal for many people who are interested in lodging a litigation case but don't have the funds to do it on their own. In such cases, getting this kind of funding is very attractive since there is very little risk involved. Basically, the only time you will need to pay back the money is when the litigation is successful. If not, the company that lent you the money may not ask you for any money back, and even if they do it will be very little. This means that either way, you don't have anything to lose by using such funding.

The fact that it's easy to get such funding and that it's free of risk might make it easy for people to be nonchalant when approaching them. For instance, if you are thinking of applying for one, you may not give much thought to the details of loan, since you know that either way you don't have much to lose. However, this is not the correct approach to applying for such loans. It's always a good idea to think things through when you are applying for the loan so that you don't end up getting a raw deal. There are a number of things you need to look out for when doing this, most of which can be done by going through the terms of the loan.

The most important of these is how much money they will be liable to take from you once the case goes through. The way these kinds of loans work is that once you win the case, the company will then take a portion of the money that you get from the litigation. This could be a fixed sum, but most of the time it's a percentage of what you end up getting. If you are not careful, you may end up paying up more than you should. This means that you need to be very keen on the percentage that the company proposes getting from you.

There are several ways of assessing whether you are being fleeced or not. For one, you could decide to compare the services from different companies. You can call the different companies that offer such funding, and then ask them for ballpark figures on how much they would charge for such a service in case you won the litigation. You can then compare the rates to get a definite idea of whether the company you are thinking of working with is charging you too much or not.

You can also try to negotiate with the company over this. Some of the companies that offer this kind of funding are amenable to negotiation, whereby you can tweak some of the features of the agreement so that you end up paying less. You can use this to help keep the cost of the funding low.

In summary, you should never opt to use just any form of third party funding just because it's a low risk venture. It's always a good idea to do some research to identify the service that will give you the most benefits.

What We Can Learn From The Cyprus Banking Collapse

What We Can Learn From The Cyprus Banking Collapse

Most of us have heard of Cyprus but do not know much about it unless you are a history buff. The entire world is now watching how this tiny country deals with the largest banking collapse in the history of the nation. Cyprus was seen as a tax haven for wealthy individuals who wanted to deposit their money into an account without having to worry about authorities asking them questions or paying high taxes. Cyprus was very good at finding banking clients that the banking sector has ballooned in size that it would consume all of the nations GDP.

Everything was fine until these banks started buying Greek bonds and as we all know Greece defaulted on their bonds which took a dramatic toll on the financial well being of the Cypriot banks. These banks were rendered insolvent so they went to the Cypriot government for assistance however the government did not have the means to come up with a 10 billion Euro bailout, the only option was to go directly to the EU.

While in the past the EU would issue bailouts and place restrictions on the bank in Cyprus there was a new condition, all depositors would lose anywhere from 10-50% of their deposits over a certain amount. (the actual amounts are still being discussed at this moment in time). The term is a deposit tax but it is actually theft since the bank customer has no way of preparing for this transfer of wealth.

These banks have clamped down and placed a limit on how much money a person can take out each day of 100 Euros and large transactions of five thousand Euros or more must be approved by the central bank. The reason there is so much interest in what is going on is never have private citizens had their wealth stolen to bail out private institutions who are suppose to have these deposits insured for up to one hundred thousand Euros. This is sending a clear message to consumers that the banking sector cannot be trusted and in the blink of an eye their life savings could b wiped out.

What people in Cyprus are now doing is reverting to old forms of money like gold,silver and other commodities which have real value beyond the fiat currency. Any person who is thinking about doing business in the European Union should think carefully given the instability of the currency and impending economic collapse. If citizens cannot trust that their money is safe with a bank they will not use that bank. It may be time for you to start taking your money out of the banks and putting them into assets that hold value regardless of the economic climate.

The Worst Mistakes Landlords Make When Deciding to Rent to New Renters

The Worst Mistakes Landlords Make When Deciding to Rent to New Renters

You may be a new landlord or one that has been in the business for years. Either way, renting to a new tenant can be a very stressful and uneasy time for you. Not only do you have to make wild assumptions about renters without prior knowledge of them, but you have to trust what they are telling you on applications or in person.

Appearance

Renters can make first impressions of all kinds. You may try to discern the type of person they are based on appearance, how educated they may seem, or by what they tell you about themselves. The reality of the situation is that you may be making your assumptions about who they are based on the wrong information.

Anyone can proclaim to be someone they aren't. You may be catching a very responsible and outstanding citizen on a bad day. You may be catching a crook on a very good day. The fact of the matter is that you cannot rely on potential tenants' appearances for a correct assumption about their reliability or responsibility.

Age

Another bad mistake to make is to base your assumptions on the renters' ages. Some landlords typically rent to older people because they assume that older renters are less likely to cause damage, are more responsible, and will not cause any trouble. Older renters can cause just as much damage to property or stop paying rent just like other renters of different ages could.

References

A big mistake that landlords make is to rent without asking for references. References can tell the story of responsible and irresponsible renters alike. A person who cannot provide previous landlord references should be respectfully passed by.

You will also want references from their employers to verify employment. If a renter does not want to provide employment information, you can be assured that they are not a tenant that you'd want to rent to. A responsible tenant will be able to provide you with proof of employment and be happy to do so.

Ask Questions

Speaking to a potential tenant is a way to get to know them. Landlords should always ask renters questions about their intentions and rental history before handing over the keys to any rental property. When you don't ask questions, you are not being proactive in protecting your property and other tenants.

Ask them why they are moving. If the tenant is hesitant to answer, they may be trying to hide important information. Ask them if they have any pets, frequent visitors, and if they have ever been evicted. Of course, a tenant could always lie, but the way in which they answer or hesitate may give you answers that you need to be wary of. It is always good practice to ask questions in the application form.

Consent to Tenant Screening

The number one mistake that landlords make when renting to new tenants is a failure to ask for consent to a tenant screening. A background and credit checks are the most important things a landlord should obtain before allowing a tenant access to rental property. A screening will allow landlords to verify the answers that applicants gave them.

A screening can also tell landlords information that the tenants would not be willing to provide on their own. These may be subjects like criminal histories, repossessions, and evictions. A background and credit check is the most valuable tool for landlords to protect themselves against bad tenants.

When landlords take certain precautions and avoid the mistakes that others have made in the past, they have a higher rate of success when renting to new tenants. Knowing what to expect from a tenant is one of the most crucial elements to successful renting stories.

A Brief Glance About the Stock Market

A Brief Glance About the Stock Market

Depending on monthly salary alone is not sufficient to fulfil dreams. It has become necessary for every person to find ways to earn additional income. Saving money is essential. It would be difficult to lead a happy life after retirement by depending on annual salary alone. Of the different paths available for a person, investing the right amount in stocks is a healthy option. However, there is a necessity to understand about the working procedure of the stock market.

A stock market is a public entity. Economic transactions occur at this place. It is a platform where stocks and derivatives of a company are available for trading. Every stock has a specific price set by the company. $36.6 trillion dollars is the world's stock market value. Possible investors buy or sell stocks or derivatives of a company. A stock exchange is a formation of mutual corporations or entities of corporations. It specializes in bringing both a buyer and a seller onto a single venue.

Stock market platform is an open market. It includes individual investors to large hedge fund traders. A professional working in the stock exchange notes down the request and performs the necessary action of buying and selling. Transactions are also carried out physically in a stock market. This is referred to as public outcry. Under this procedure, a trader enters the participation of the auction by placing a verbal bid. However, availability of computer and internet changed the entire scenario. Trading is now carried out electronically. The internet connects numerous traders from different parts of the globe. Virtual trading is easy in comparison to physical trading. It eliminates the need to visit a stock exchange physically. Moreover, with complete information available on the internet, it becomes easy for a trader to buy or sell stocks at the right time.

Trading takes place when the ask price and the sell price coincide. This is a first-come-first-served procedure due to multiple bidders in the market. A stock exchange plays a vital role in exchanging securities of a company. It is important for a company to list their stocks with the exchange. Selling securities or derivatives helps a company raise capital. Any business can sell a specific percentage of ownership in the public market to raise capital. An economy where the stock market is rising is considered as an up-coming economy.

The central bank watches the entire trading procedure. This is essential for smooth flow of financial system within a country. It also regulates the pricing of a stock, as most companies increase it for financial benefits. Share prices have a direct effect on household wealth. A stock exchange acts as a protector and as a mediator to a buyer. This reduces risk and helps an individual investor to avoid counterfeit actions. A smooth functionality in a stock exchange drives economic growth. Companies have an opportunity to expand, create employment and increase production. All these factors contribute to the economic development of a country and its prosperity.

General Information About Credit Unions

General Information About Credit Unions

Credit unions provide another option for your finances. If you are not happy with the bank you have your money placed with presently or if you are looking for a brand new financial experience, this is another kind of banking institution worth checking out.

These alternatives to banks can be thought of as non-profit cooperative financial establishments that are owned and collectively controlled by the members that make them up. These organizations differ from banks in that the customers who open up accounts also become owners in the company. The members are able to vote and elect the board of directors. Credit unions are democratic in nature. Every person who is a member is given the right to vote. It has nothing to do with the amount of money that each customer has invested. A person could have $200 in an account, $2,000 or $20,000 and they are still permitted to vote.

Credit unions have their own type of policies that are not necessarily the same as other types of financial institutions. For example, interest rates are chosen by the volunteer board of directors who are elected by the present members of the establishment. In order to open an account and do transactions such as deposit money, withdraw money or apply for a loan, they are required to become a member of the business. Loans and any type of investments can only take place by those who are current members of the financial facility.

These places make it their primary goal to encourage and support the financial growth and stability of all of the members that make it up. How long a person has been a member does not matter. What matters is that the individual has joined and therefore has a say in all of the decisions that are made.

Organizations of this sort are not-for-profit or non-profit establishments. They can however be thought of as being for-profit enterprises in another sense because they make money for their members. The means by which this takes place is that the members earn profits based upon the reduced interest rates that the loans at the facility have. Another means of earning profits is based upon the dividends that are paid out to individuals on the savings they have made. Be aware that these products are all taxed as a regular source of income.

There is a business structure to credit companies. The structure is quite complex in nature and is not the same as its financial competitor, the banks. The goal behind credit unions is to make the members' shareholders and the shareholders members. By them being one, this eliminates a number of problems associated with other kinds of financial organizations.

Generally speaking, these establishments do not accept any form of monetary donations. In order to stay afloat, the company is expected to remain competitive in the industry. By holding its own, the business is able to remain strong.

Low Risk Stocks

Low Risk Stocks

To secure your family's financial future, stocks are the great way.

There are so many life problems that you will face, and unfortunately you will have to cater for all of them. From braces, to college, to weddings, and finally retirement, all these are expenses that you will need to look into. It is for this reason that people usually think of some other additional investments to ensure their future family life is safe.

In the event that you are getting into investments, you will need to know about the lower risk investments, since this is one of the main options that most people consider. In as far as the low risk investments are concerned you will need to know that they typically render lower yields. Therefore in the long run your yield tends to be minimal. However, in the event that you are a risk taker, you can secure larger returns from making investments in high risk investment instruments. However, the risk is what deters so many people from considering such investments. By taking bigger risks there are high chances that you will be able to risk so much, but the potential of your returns being higher than expected will be so high.

However, it is also important to note that low risk doesn't indicate that the investments you are making carry no risk. There are those who will prefer to invest in the stocks that they are well conversant with, especially in as far as knowledge about the companies is concerned.

Going with childhood favorites such as Mattel, Hershey, GE, and some other stocks is another low risk investment alternative for many people. For those who are searching for long term and low risk investments, this longevity of these companies makes them very attractive. Their experience helps them to grow up year by year. And their investments' solidity is stable, which ensure success by success over the years.

In term of returns, certificates of deposit (CDs) have been known to offer better rates, than many mutual funds and most interest rates for savings plans. You need to consider carefully how conservative you want your mutual fund to be before deciding the better option of the two will be good for you, if you want to go the route of a mutual fund.

Several types from which to choose are available if you are choosing to go with mutual funds. You will have to make a good choice from the onset if you prefer a mutual fund that will give you monthly revenue now or you want a constantly increasing value and slow growth. These are some of the options that most people have to contend with in as far as investing in the financial markets is concerned.

Without any doubt, any stock investment means taking a risk. For some people, this investment is a leap of faith while others are more confident to take their future goals step by step. If you don't have any mutual funds and low risks investments in your portfolio at the moment, this is the perfect time to include them.

Trading Plan: Its Essentials And Proper Creation

Trading Plan: Its Essentials And Proper Creation

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. This statement has been used many times in different industries. More so, it is proven to be right in so many ways. Rushing to the stock market to make investments without a definite trading plan can make you lose all the funds in your account.

Is it enough then to simply look for a tutorial video on this? That might help. But if it is created by someone who is not trusted in the industry, you might just get your motivation directed to the wrong way. Be careful in selecting resource materials. Should you find ready-made blueprints that promise instant success, think about it again purchasing or downloading them. They can just make you lose money. Instead, read the following ideas which can help you draft a suitable trading plan.

To start off with this task, have an honest evaluation of your skills. If you do not trust your personal assessment, let a trusted friend help you here. List the things you can do with ease and you cannot do. This is important because every trader is expected to take calculated moves. The stock market is a very risky place. Only the determined and prudent manage to rule it.

Next, research about the stock market and the industry thoroughly. Read books, subscribe to relevant websites and know the latest economic news. An effective trader's blueprint does not miss on the factors in the world market that result to higher risks. Risks are inevitable but they can be reduced to a minimum level.

Think about setting entry rules. These are direct guidelines which tell you when it is profitable to invest. These rules must be direct and simple. Their aim is to keep you from making spur of the moment investments. The opposite of these are the exit rules. Together, they somehow serve as money management tips. Entering a position and staying there longer than advised can get you into trouble. Know when to exit. Do not wait for your chances of going out with big profits in your hands get slimmer before you decide to exit.

In connection to the entrance and exit rules, always check the status of your finances. Did you earn from your last trade? If yes, is it possible for you to spend a percentage of it to buy additional stock units? Again, do the math before releasing any amount of money from your account. Also know to which position it is safe to invest in. That is apart from the usual ones you have handled for years. Define how much you can risk and where exactly to risk.

These are just the basic parts of a trading plan. The details each of them entails may vary from one trader to another. This is why infusing your own system in such blueprint appears crucial to having a credible and workable plan for your stock market success. Also, positive attitude is needed to make everything you have prepared for work.

Fee Transparency Protects 401(K) Investors Against Conflicts of Interest

Fee Transparency Protects 401(K) Investors Against Conflicts of Interest

You may be asking yourself as a retirement plan sponsor or investor, "What's so special about this fee disclosure regulation besides that I will now know exactly how much I am paying for this plan?" Educate yourself so that the changes in transparency regulations made in July 2012 can help your 401(k) plan and retirement future.

The implementation of 408(b)(2) and 404(a)(5) fee disclosure regulations gives investors additional protection against conflicts of interest in their retirement plans. The sponsors of 401(k) plans face conflicts of interest from service providers assisting in investment option selections because of third-party payments from investment fund companies and other business arrangements.These payments, called revenue sharing, create a conflict of interest because the provider may receive greater compensation from certain funds.

Firms administering 401(k) programs receive fees from fund managers, record keepers, custodians and others, who pay to be included in the plans. The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) says some program providers use generalized "investment education" sessions to promote their own funds. Such conflicts could lead to higher costs for the plan, which are typically borne by participants.

"If left unchecked, conflicts of interest could lead plan sponsors or participants to select investment options with higher fees or mediocre performance, which, while beneficial to the service provider, could amount to a significant reduction in retirement savings over a worker's career," the GAO said.

The most common forms of revenue sharing can include 12b-1 fees, shareholder servicing fees, and sub-transfer agent fees. In some instances, a portion of the investment management fee for proprietary funds may include some revenue sharing. The diagram below illustrates potential fund expenses. Right click on the graph to open it in a new window.

Historically such allowances may or may not be known to a plan sponsor; nonetheless, it is imperative that plan sponsors with fiduciary oversight of their organization's retirement plan understand the distribution systems that most investment management organizations use and how they share revenue.

Fee disclosure that allow participants to be aware of such conflicts of interest should empower plan providers and participants to get a second opinion and make sure that they are truly paying for the best option for their company and themselves. Although some experts note that mere disclosures do not often prompt second opinions, it is highly recommended to read new fee disclosures concerning potential conflicts of interest. By doing so, you may avoid paying more fees than necessary for 401(k) plans.

Investment Strategy: The Investor's Principles

Investment Strategy: The Investor's Principles

It is fascinating how the stock market is unpredictable. It is filled with a lot of mellow drama such that people are always seeking predictability, scapegoats and blame. The investors add to the melodrama by being controlled by the media.

However, the Stock market should be viewed differently. It is a place where every person is entitled to reasonable returns. Investors should understand that there is no market with, which has consistent rising prices. Even the bond market has no continuous rising interests. Therefore, this is a mythology of investing.

However, the strategy of investing is simple. Even Wall Street cannot let out the secret. An investor should be careful not to be controlled by the media. They should follow the prices of the market. When there is an increase in the prices, you should sell the prices to make a profit. However, at one point the prices will fall. It is at this point that an investor buys the stock to replenish his portfolio. This strategy requires patience because investment is long term.

What is important to note is the working capital. You should take care to reposition the working capital and your portfolio to achieve the goal of making profits in the future. You should manage your portfolio, unlike DJIA. DJIA did not manage its portfolio leaving to become unproductive investments for a long period. This is a pace that no investor can afford. An investor will need to have highs and lows. At the different moments, the investor should counterbalance this stock to ensure that he is maximizing on the opportunities.

Therefore, there are five simple Asset Allocation plans for your investment. These are known as "The Investor Creed".

• I need an investment that fully utilizes my equity/ fixed income asset allocation.
• All the securities that I have acquired should be for sale generating a cash flow for a later investment.
• I am not worried with a zero cash balance, because it is invested.
• I am happy when my cash is at 100% balance for I know that I have made a huge profit from the sale.
• I shall always take advantage of a profitable investment.

Manage your portfolio properly and see you cash position rise. Sell your overpriced stock and get profits along with everyone else that managed their cash. Do these before Wall Street starts putting counter measures. This is "smart cash" from interests, dividends and profits waiting to make more cash.

By getting to know as much as you can about this, you will be in a good position to be able to learn the best way of maneuvering the stock markets, and most importantly, how to make a worthwhile investment every time and again. Therefore it is important for you to try and make sure that you are as keen as possible on all the aspects of the stock markets so that you can get the best out of it all. Besides, it is your money that is at stake and for the same reason you should make sure that you trade carefully.

5 Guidelines On How To Improve Your Credit Score

5 Guidelines On How To Improve Your Credit Score

Credit score is a calculation of 3-digit number which allows the lender knows about the financial status of a person who wishes to get a loan, whether he will be able to pay his or her debts on time. We get this score from the three credit bureaus such as Trans Union, Experian and Equifax, who collect all the information about the history related to your credits in the present and past. They list it on your credit report which is then reflected to the creditors who wishes to see your credit history before lending you the money.

It is important to have a very good score because when the score is high, it becomes easier and cheaper for lenders to lend money and borrowers to borrow money. It can save your thousands of dollars in interest payments.

A credit score around 660 is considered a good score and between 700 and 759 is considered to be great. People who have score above 760 is amazing, enjoy lots of benefits. Banks and lenders can easily provide the loan and they don't have to worry about the interest rates while getting any kind of credit or loan.

Here are some of the guidelines on how to improve your credit score:

1. On time payment of the bills: First and the most important step towards improving your low score is to pay your bills regularly every month before due date as the latest payment history is nowadays considered more important for creditors. To improve the credit score one should maintain a timely payment strategy for at least six months.

2. Any error in the credit report should be fixed immediately: One should make sure that the report is error free, if somehow, an error appears on the report a timely written request to the concerned agencies should be given so that the error is corrected as it takes time to investigate. The longer the time it will take to clear the errors the lower the score will be.

3. Get your credit report annually: It is very important that before wanting to improve your score you have to get your credit report. One should get this credit report annually from the credit agencies get it analyzed so as to maintain his or her score.

4. Pay off your credit card debts: Credit card debts should be cleared in time because if your credit card balance remains high it will lower your credit score. The credit accounts should be resolved by paying them.

5. Outstanding debts should be cleared: If there is an old payment due for over an year or more, one should contact the company immediately and should clear it by paying it off fully or lower the credit debt. Then the agencies are informed about your updated account and the credit score starts rising.

By following some of the guidelines before applying for a loan one can raise his credit score.

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