Tips on Saving Money

Tips on Saving Money

It was raining as Bob drove home that Sunday night. It was late and all he could think of was the presentation he was scheduled to present the next day. If everything went well, the presentation could potentially earn him a promotion. Bob decided he would start saving up after that. Or maybe he could finally buy a car.

As he contemplated the kind of car he should get, the tire of his rental climbed over a piece of rubber on the highway and swish went the car rotating out of control. He hit the brakes! But the car didn't stop until it hit the divider on the road. It was a rental and just to save money he hadn't brought insurance.

Like most, Bob didn't have enough savings for this rainy day. He had been saving money, but he was not aware of the right ways to save money. Count your blessings and start saving if you're not suffering from such financial burdens, here are some small steps that can save you a fortune.

Use Paper Money Instead of Credit Cards
When you use paper money you can mentally keep count of how much money you have spent. While using credit cards it is easier to lose track of your expenditures.

The best way to save money is to make a budget. When you go out shopping, make a list and take the required amount so you don't overspend. To avoid the use of credit cards you may either break them or freeze them. Freezing them will give you enough time to decide whether you really need it or not while the ice thaws.

Shop for Cheaper Substitutes
Using a cheaper substitute of certain products will save you a lot in the long run. Check the prices at various places before buying anything expensive. Do your laundry and ironing at home if possible. Make your own lunch, coffee and meals. Make use of discount offers and look out for sales. Before buying something, make sure you really want it.

Save Money on Entertainment
Borrow books and rent movies instead of purchasing them. While going out with family try to plan trips in advance. Find some low cost events, parks and other places. Family vacations can be very expensive. However the cost can be reduced by booking and planning ahead of time.

Set Goals
Set monthly and yearly goals for your savings according to your income and your objectives for saving. For instance if you are saving for a house, you need set a higher goal as compared to saving for something less costly like a car. Keep a record of your expenses. Set milestones for savings, and once your reach them give yourself a treat.

Binary Options Trading Platforms Compared - TradeRush VS iOption

Binary Options Trading Platforms Compared - TradeRush VS iOption

The trading platform of the TradeRush

The company is one of the best brokers that you can find in the market. When you trade with this company, you will get a large number of the trading instruments to choose from. These trading instruments help you to get to have a better level playing field.

You can find the well-known options on this platform that are: One Touch, High/low, 60 seconds, and Option Builder. One Touch can offer more than 500 percent payout during the weekends. With the option builder, you are the one to set up the expiry date as well as the strike price. This is very advantageous because it offers you the chance to have total control in the trading process.

The 60 second is the best options since it offers the chance to trade at any minute. This is considered as the scalping method on the Forex but it is riskier. It is a method that is best suited for professional traders and not novice traders. However, for someone who is able to make the profit, he can make up to 175 percent profit. The problem with this platform is that they do not have the Boundary option which means that trading in markets also reduces.

iOption trading platform

The iOption has different famous Spot Option platform and it has different features. You can trade using the 60 seconds, Option Builder, One touch, high/low or Up/Down.

If you use the One Touch options, you will get the return that can be up to 75 percent. You will always be able to get the payouts while making the trading. A trader who is paying out of his money, he will get the protection that is between 5 up to 15 percent. This means that you can still get a certain percentage on your investment even if your trade may be losing. So this is certainly a risk that is worth taking.

The platform also has a feature called Buy Me Out that let the trader to sell without having to wait that their options expire. The iOption is the only platform that offers this option to the clients. This means that the traders can be able to limit or to reduce the risk or losses and it improves the flexibility of the trader while trading. As a trader you will be able to feel more secure knowing that you have the option to prevent yourself from losing everything you have.

You can also use the Rollover options while trading. This means that you will be able to postpone the expiry time on the following period. It is good if you do not have money in your option and you get the opportunity to increase the money in your trade. If you want to use the rollover option, you will need to increase the investment up to 30 percent. This is what is required in order to partake in this option of trade.

The broker also has developed the iOption Heat signature. They are the market signals which show the direction in which the assets are likely to take within few hours. The signals also show how reliable the signal is by showing the reliability level between 1 up to 10. If the level is higher, then the signal is more reliable. This tool is important for the binary traders who want to learn about the market opportunities. The signals are sent in the email, four times every day. They send the information when the signals have reached high reliability level.

Understanding How Credit Counseling Works

Understanding How Credit Counseling Works

When a person has found his or herself in financially burdensome situations, it can be advantageous to take part in credit counselling. This type of counseling can many times help a person avoid having to file bankruptcy. Even though bankruptcy does have its advantages, because it can completely eliminate a person's debt, it also has very negative consequences on a person's credit history. In fact, it can stop a person from being able to obtain an auto loan, home loan, and much more. It can even stop a person from obtaining certain types of jobs. This is why credit counselling can be so beneficial.

Knowing When to Obtain Credit Counseling

Most times, a person will realize that he or she needs to partake in debt counselling because he or she cannot repay debt obligations. For example, maybe a debtor is able to make minimum credit card payments, but is unable to afford his or her mortgage payment. This type of situation is one in which obtaining counseling related to credit could be very beneficial. If a person has collection agencies calling, or is involved in legal actions related to his or her debts, it is usually best to obtain credit counseling.

Avoiding Bankruptcy

While many bankruptcy attorneys will advocate that debtors file bankruptcy, many times, this is only so the attorneys can collect a fee for the services that they offer. For many debtors, taking part in debt counseling can help them resolve their debts, all the while helping them to avoid having a bankruptcy reflect on their credit history. It is important to keep in mind that a bankruptcy can stay on a person's credit history for anywhere from seven to ten years.

Understanding the Counseling Process

When taking part in credit counselling, a debtor should bring all important documentation relating to his or her debts. An advisor at the counseling session can then review the debts and make appropriate suggestions as to the exact type of counseling that the debtor would benefit from. A credit advisor can also work with a debtor's creditors to come up with appropriate negotiations as to how and when the debts can be paid off. Many times, the advisor can work out deals with creditors so that a debtor only has to pay a portion of what he or she actually owes; the rest of the debt is completely forgiven.

Understanding Credit Options

A debtor never knows his or her credit options until taking part in credit counseling. Many debtors are unaware that there are many debt repayment options for them to take advantage of. By taking part in credit counseling, debtors can be informed of the different options, and they can also work with a counselor so that the most appropriate option can be chosen.

Everyone Can Benefit from Debt Counseling

It is important to remember that good people often become entangled in financially burdensome situations. Even if a person tries to make good financial choices, sometimes life throws things in the way that makes a person unable to repay all his or her financial obligations. Keeping this in mind, all debtors will greatly benefit from remembering that credit counseling is available to all people who are having financial problems.

4 Important Money Lessons You Must Teach Your Kids

4 Important Money Lessons You Must Teach Your Kids

Before children can talk, they exhibit the behaviour of consumerism. Consequently as parents we must equally instill in them a sensible and clear understanding of money. Here are four fantastic ways to begin the process.

1. Explain The Concept of Money

Kids of today are very clever. The sooner we teach them about the concept of money, the better they will be prepared. The main message in this lesson is they understand that money is something they can earn by being disciplined and having good work ethic. By giving them very small tasks, such as setting the table, tidying their toy room or putting their bike away, are all great foundation blocks. You can introduce a small monetary recognition system when they show continuous behavior, and start giving them very small goals. For example, if they love Lego, get them to understand that if they want to buy another Lego man then they will need to do their chores for 3 weeks to save enough to buy one.

2. Teach the 10% rule from day 1

This rule is amazing. If you teach your child that every time he or she earns money that they instantly put 10% of the amount in a long term savings account (or piggy bank) and not touch it, you can agree to count it once a year and be amazed at their face when they see just how much it amounts to. There is no harm saying this is going to buy them a car or some other large item, just to give them an understanding of what the money is being carefully saved for.

3. Understand that Money is not a Toy

Too many times I see young children flippantly playing with real money as if it is a toy. There is nothing wrong with them having fake money in these situations but when I see young children dropping coins in bins or down drains just to see what happens, it makes me worry about their lack of understanding. We need to instill in them a clear appreciation that money is valuable, and it needs to be treated with care and respect.

4. Lead by Example

As adults, we must ensure we are also clearly displaying the same values and understanding that we are teaching our kids. One way to do this very visually is have a jar that the kids can see, and place your extra coins in it whilst saying, "this is going to help towards the food bill this week" or choose some other situation where the kids see you reaching for your wallet. They need to see the link between you also saving, and then successfully purchasing something with it.

As you can see, the above 4 lessons aren't rocket science but each does instill a very important value about money and ethic. If you have read these and thought, "Gee I wish I had done all of these things as a kid," then it's not too late to at least see it being reflected by your own ankle biters. Remember, it's never too late to start saving!

US Bank Bailouts: Yay or Nay?

US Bank Bailouts: Yay or Nay?

It has been five years since the US government organized a bailout financial plan that had many loopholes. From the start, Americans viewed it negatively as they thought that it wouldn't be a successful plan; that it was not a solution that aims to stop the financial crunch that the whole country was experiencing. The government still continued with it though, and gave funds to a number of banks.

The United States of America is not the only country that is experiencing financial crisis. Many countries in the world, especially European ones, have had hard times due to the world financial crisis that have been going on for at least five years. Bank bailouts have been seen as a solution to the crisis, but it seems like it produced more disadvantages than advantages.

One may wonder, how are bank bailouts a problem rather than a solution? For one, citizens think that banks would lend money once more, and they might depend on it rather than create a more plausible solution that would work best. The similar situation in other countries may provide fear for the financial institutions as they think of how the value of their assets may lower and cause for the cease in operations.

It can also not be denied that it would only generate fear that there is not enough money to be distributed to those who need it. Taxpayers may also be burdened by the loans borrowed by other loaners. To put it simply, bank bailouts are just a way to cover up the problem, and are not really solutions. The plan benefits businesses. However, it would only cause more trouble for the citizens as they have to pay taxes for the government to get back what they had let others to loan.

Just earlier this year, reports about how the US government released new bailout funds for banks were released. Quite expectedly, the citizens aren't happy. Billions of dollars have been released for these banks, and these were all done without the citizens' knowledge.

What's good for one country may be bad for another, in terms of bank bailouts. If there's something good coming out of the Cyprus bailout, it is that the US banks are benefiting from it. A good reason for it is that target depositors of future bailouts may want to move from European nations to that of the United States. It may be a slow process, but it's happening; funds in European banks are slowly being transferred to US banks.

By how things are going, it seems like the 2008 bailout plan did not work as expected. There were positive things which happened, but it isn't enough for the whole financial crisis in the United States to be solved. Although conditions are being improved in the country, there are still those who are yet to feel the efforts of solving the crisis that had been haunting them for more than five years.

Copper ETF is Most Potential Among the Precious Metal ETFs

Copper ETF is Most Potential Among the Precious Metal ETFs

Copper has the ability to forecast the fluctuations in the growth and decline of an economy simply by the way the supply and demand of this golden bronze metal fluctuates. Every industry is indispensable by this metal. Whether we talk of the construction industry, automobiles industry or even the consumer industry this metal is simply vital.

The housing sector requires it for building the basic framework of the buildings especially the pipelines, wiring and plumbing. The Automobile Industry's requirement for it is to be able to build the vital elements of the automobiles, such as the basic structure and the auto parts. This essential industrial metal is also a major ingredient in the IT Industry.

All the circuit boards, integrated circuits and chips require this resource. The importance of this metal is such that it acts as a Barometer against the economic activities. Thus many industrialists refer this metal as Dr. Copper because of its ability to analyze the growth of each economy and each prevalent industry. This gives the investors a direct exposure of all the economies.

The price of copper had fallen in late 2008, but has seen an increase in its rating off lately. This was due to the slowing down of the economy of China as it is important to know that china is the leading consumer of this Dr. Copper. New Mines have been set up resulting in the increase in supplies of this metal. This could result in further downward impact of the price of this element.

But this is not a matter of concern as the urbanization of the major developing economies of the world such as India and China furnish to the increase in the demand of this shiny metal. The increase in China's disposable Income has led to a surge in the Automobile, Health and Consumer Products Industry. These Industries are hungry for this metal and require a constant feeding stock of it.

The Copper ETF is thus a very potential form of investment as it is engaged in the major aspects of extraction, production, mining, and exploration of this true base metal. Some of the major producers of copper metal are Chile, China, Peru and United States. Chile majorly feeds the economies by catering to major needs of the world. Investing in Copper ETF's is the latest potential option, though there are other precious metal ETF's available in the market. This versatile metal is anticipated to score very high in terms of demand and high yields. Other precious metals ETF's do not gratify to the needs of the demand for their uses in technology or households objects. Moreover its value is on constant rise due to its potential as currency. Focusing on the increase in the demand of this resourceful metal there could be a future snag in its supply. This could further increase in the flow of investments in the Copper Mining Industries.

China is a potential market for the copper bullion. So it is recommended to consider Copper Funds as a new investment route. The risks and factors involved with most of the Commodity Investment Funds is the factor of demand for that particular commodity in the economy.

If the value of demand ceases due to various factors linked with the economic trends then there could be a decrease in the value of commodity investments. But a stated argument against this risk is that the demand for the metal is extremely high as compared to its supply and in addition to this it is the most recycled metal in demand. The only factor left for being responsible for its depleting value of its investment is the discovery of a new and cheaper alternative.

China and other developing nations are extremely good markets for Housing sector due to the urbanization. If there is a downward trend in this development there could be a decline in its value. But of now, the upward movement in urbanization does not seem to have any hindrance, making Copper ETF a desired Financial Vehicle. So the investors require monitoring the Chinese economy very closely.

The growth and urbanization of this economy has a direct beneficial influence on the value of the funds. With an observation of the economic influences that stimulate the effects on the infrastructure of this country.

How Children Can Be Affected by Identity Theft

How Children Can Be Affected by Identity Theft

Do you have children? Our children are at risk for Identity Theft.

As parents we're charged with caring and providing for our children along with a whole host of other things. Something that is of growing concern is our children's identity. You may ask why we would even have to worry about that. They aren't out there making purchases or applying for credit. Or are they?

Unfortunately criminals don't wait on their "prey" to turn of age. In fact sometimes they look for children because they are prime targets. Identity thieves target children because they have a "clean" credit history and can be left "unchecked" for years.

According to one of the leading Identity Theft Protection companies, LifeLock, they have written on their website that "police agencies are saying children are now the fastest growing segment of identity theft victims".

Our children aren't worrying about much more than getting their homework done or "making the team" and they shouldn't be. As parents we're worried about our kids getting good grades and being well rounded and liked by their peers. It's incumbent upon us to expect the unexpected. When we request our annual credit report, why not get one for little Johnny or little Suzy too?

It is heartbreaking to have a child that you have raised to be a good productive member of society only to find their identity was stolen before they ever attempted to buy anything using credit. Their credit score is wrecked and they may even have a criminal history. Unfortunately this affects more than trying to get a loan. It could affect them getting into the college of their choice or even getting a job. The first time this child, now a young adult, attempts to apply for something as simple as a credit card and is denied because let's say they have a foreclosure or a repossession on their credit history. You might ask how this child could possibly have their identity stolen. Even if you don't make a purchase online or input your social security number to any online sources, your social security number is in cyber space. Most of us obtain a social security number for our children at the hospital when they are born. It's possible that at some point during your child's lifetime their SSN was compromised and you didn't know it.

Protect yourself, protect your family, protect your children! After all, our children are our greatest asset and our most precious treasure.

Chargebacks: What Are They, Why Do They Happen, and How Can Merchants
Prevent Them

Chargebacks: What Are They, Why Do They Happen, and How Can Merchants Prevent Them

Chargebacks, even in a best case scenario, can be very costly for a merchant. In a worse case scenario, they can hold up significant funds from being transferred to the merchant's bank account starving them out of much needed cash for operations and growth. In order for a merchant to really be able to prevent and decrease the number of chargebacks, it becomes important to understand what they are, why they happen, and how to prevent them.

What Are Chargebacks?
Quite simply put, chargebacks occur when a customer disputes a charge on his/her bill. They may dispute it for reasons such as:

  • An accidental double billing to an account
  • A customer not being satisfied with the product/service that was received
  • The business name not being recognized on the customers' bill
  • Fraudulent activity occurring because of an unauthorized purchase or identify theft

Why Do Chargebacks Happen?
Most transactions are given 120 days from when the charge is placed on the bill for a customer to dispute a charge. Should this occur the process could take more than a couple of months. The process usually begins when the issuing banks issues a code for the dispute. As a result, the merchant's bank withholds the funds in question while the customer gets a refund. In essence, the sale is reversed.

Once this occurs it becomes the merchants responsibility to either accept or dispute the chargeback. Depending on the specific reason for the chargeback, the merchant will need to present evidence in their favor to the cardholder association. Should they decide in the merchant's favor then the customer will be charged a 2nd time with funds being credited back to the merchant. Regardless of who wins, the merchant should neither refund or charge the customer again as this will be handled by the associated banks.

How Does A Merchant Prevent Chargebacks?
Their are a few ways merchants can prevent chargebacks. Some of them are:

  • Quickly respond
  • - If a merchant doesn't respond to a chargeback in a timely manner, banks will simply issue the chargeback.
  • Easy to understand return policies
  • - Customers should easily and without confusion be able to understand your company's return policy. In addition, offering great customer service can help address any complaints the customer may have since they may resort to a chargeback as a last resort to get their money back.
  • Use CVV/CVC codes
  • - By asking a customer to give you their CVV/CVC codes (the 3 digit numbers on the back of their card) you will be assured they card is physically with them and not simply a stolen account number.
  • Talk to your customers
  • - Talk to your customers so they know the status of their purchases. This will make them less likely to dispute a purchase.

Even though chargebacks can be a hassle for merchants, their are ways to prevent them only if you understand what they are and why they occur. Putting into place good policies and practices can help your business prevent many of these chargebacks leading to happier customers and an increase in revenue.

Is Investment Education Enough?

Is Investment Education Enough?

Only About Half of All Companies Provide Investment Advice

According to annual studies by The Profit Sharing/401k Council of America, just over half of all companies provide investment advice to 401k plan participants. Actual numbers may be lower considering that more plan sponsors perceive they are providing investment advice while retirement professionals think that only education is being offered.

What's the Difference?

Investment Education

Information in any or all of the following categories is classified by the Department of Labor as education, not advice.

1. General financial and investment information which explains investment terms and concepts
2. Plan Information including investment alternatives and historical return information
3. Asset allocation models including hypothetical portfolios of individuals with different goals, time horizons and risk profiles
4. Interactive investment materials such as questionnaires and worksheets, whether on paper or computer, to estimate future retirement income needs and evaluate the impact of different asset allocations on retirement income

Investment Advice

Again, according to the Department of Labor investment advice includes two aspects.

1. Advice regarding the value of securities or other property, or recommendations on the advisability of investing in, purchasing or selling securities or other property, and
2. The person providing the investment advice
- has discretionary authority or control with respect to purchasing or selling securities or other property for the participant or beneficiary or
- renders advice on a regular basis to the participant or beneficiary, pursuant to a mutual agreement, arrangement or understanding that the advice will serve as a primary basis for the participant's or beneficiary's investment decisions and that such person will render individualized advice based on the particular needs of the participant or beneficiary.

What Do Employees Need?

Many employees are not knowledgeable about the complexities of investment management, risk/return strategies, asset allocation and diversification principles - knowledge important to making the best investment decisions.

Are Employers Liable for Bad Advice?

Employers may be reluctant to provide investment advice out of concern that such activities give rise to fiduciary liability. "The risk involved when giving advice to plan participants is probably no greater than for any other fiduciary action or decision that a company makes concerning the plan" says David Wray, President of the Profit Sharing/401k Council of America. "Knowing this, the employer can provide advice to participants while acting responsibly to keep fiduciary risk to the company manageable. Remember that ERISA requires prudent decision-making, not [a] successful outcome" noted Wray.

The U.S. Labor Department's Leslie Kramerich spoke before the American Society of Pension Actuaries Conference and answered specific concerns about employers providing investment advice. Among other relevant points, she explained that prudent selection of an investment advisor limits the employer's liability and employers are not liable for acts of the investment advisors. Read more here.

In summary, there is no downside to hiring an investment advisor that specializes in both plan administration and investment advice. In fact, you will be providing your employees a significant benefit while quite possibly reducing your fiduciary liability.

If you need assistance understanding how to best provide investment education and advice to your employees, we can help. McCulley Financial Group is an experienced retirement plan specialist. Give us a call at 630.406.9900 to set up a meeting to learn how our specialized, retirement planning services can help you.

How To Take Advantage Of Low Interest Rates And Refinance For

How To Take Advantage Of Low Interest Rates And Refinance For Renovations

The ongoing process of paying off a mortgage can make it difficult for homeowners to put their hands on extra cash they'd like to have to cover renovations to their homes. If you are a Canadian homeowner, however, you may be able to flip that equation on its head by refinancing your mortgage to pay for home renovations in the country's current low-interest rate environment.

How The Process Of Refinancing For Renovations Works

To put things in extremely simple terms, when you think about your mortgage, odds are you think of some combination of the following three numbers:

• Your mortgage interest rate;

• The dollar amount you borrowed to pay off your house;

• The duration of your mortgage.

These are the three numbers that went into calculating your monthly mortgage payment.

Now, when interest rates fall, many homeowners find it worth their while to refinance their mortgage because a lower mortgage rate will enable them to shorten the duration of the mortgage or owe a lower monthly payment (or both). However, one often-overlooked advantage of a mortgage refinancing has to do with that other number: how much you borrow.

Say you have $10,000 worth of home restoration you would like to undertake but you don't have the cash on hand and don't want to run up your credit card debt. Refinancing at a lower rate may allow you to take out a mortgage for that $10,000 on top of what you owe on your home, taking the money as cash, potentially without increasing your monthly payments or duration of your mortgage at all. (Record-low interest rates such as those Canada is currently enjoying may even make it feasible for you to reduce your monthly payment and/or duration as well.)

Low Interest Rates Could Disappear Any Time

The important thing to understand about these low interest rates is that they have no set expiration date: rates go up when the Bank of Canada says so, and although the Canadian central bank has never been easy to handicap, its immediate future is volatile given the upcoming retirement of Mark Carney, Bank of Canada governor. In fact, certain economists believe that, by 2016, rates could see a jump of up to 60%. As a result, the only time at which a homeowner who is hoping to refinance for renovations can definitely take advantage of these record-breaking low interest rates is now.

The Cloud and Interoperability

The Cloud and Interoperability

I can't say it or spell it - so can I ignore it? I'm afraid not folks - interoperability for on-premise business systems has been a hot topic for quite a while now. What's more, with advances in cloud technology there are now even better and simplified opportunities for systems to interoperate. Hurray!

What am I talking about?
First thing's first - what even is interoperability? Don't worry, it's more difficult to say than to explain!

Interoperability essentially allows the different systems that your business may use to talk to each other, or to be more precise - exchange data. This could be within your organisation, between branches or even between you and a completely different organisation.

Why would this work for you?
I could make this list really long - but I'll focus on the core benefit of interoperability - better efficiency.

Just think about it, ordinarily you would take the data from system A, which then needs reformatting (probably via an excel spreadsheet), and then pinged into system B. Depending on what platforms you're dealing with, this may all have to be done manually! Wouldn't it be so much easier to just get systems A and B to work together, skipping the middle part?

At last, the usability or functionality of business software, such as an accounting system, won't have to be compromised in order to share information. And in a time where people are demanding information at the click of a button, interoperability allows for all data to be updated in real-time. This is fantastic, as you know you've got an accurate overview of what's going on.

What's more, you save money and resource! If manual data transfer is needed, you're losing time that could be spent elsewhere, or maybe even the cost to bring in temp staff to handle this sort of extra admin work.

So what's stopping us?
Some of us may have a range of complex systems that we heavily depend on to keep our businesses running. So the thought of changing any processes may seem a bit daunting, and you might be worried about things coming to a halt.

If this sounds like you, then don't worry. All it takes is a super team of IT experts to review what you are trying to do. Once you're truly interoperable, all your processes will run so much more efficiently as no re-keying of data is needed and, more importantly, the risk for errors is greatly reduced! For example, a Finance department will no longer need to chase Sales for their latest figures, their database will automatically update the accounting system, and then the invoicing process can start. How simple is that?

How do you get the ball rolling?
If you're looking to implement interoperability with a bunch of on-premise systems, this stuff does get quite technical, so you'll need to speak with your IT bods and let them know what you want to do and why. But if you're Cloud enabled, then you should also involve your Cloud providers in the process.

Many companies now depend on being able to send and receive information as quickly and efficiently as possible - and for a more efficient business your systems need to talk!

The Significance Of Having A Registered Investment Advisor

The Significance Of Having A Registered Investment Advisor

Stories of rich people going bankrupt in an instant are nothing new. These people may have spent a life time acquiring assets they have suddenly lost and this could be because of one big mistake - not hiring a registered investment advisor. You might say that this statement is overestimated but it definitely relates an unfortunate truth.

Here is a quick description of who this professional is exactly. This professional is someone who gives advice on investments and manages investments of other people for a fee. He or she is registered to the Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC. Some people who offer similar services are not certified by SEC. Hiring one that is not certified has a big drawback as you will be unable to track him or her when troubles or breach of your agreement arises.

A registered investment advisor can also be a firm tasked to manage asset portfolios and assist in the financial planning of their clients. In line with this, some clients grant their advisors discretionary authority to manage all of their wealth. Needless to say, doing so is not required from the clients and it depends on the latter's preference.

For a client to be given a suitable advice, all personal and financial data must be disclosed. This can help the advisor understand the risks and the rate of the potential return of investments. If the client already has existing investments under his or her care, these will be analyzed and a definite plan on what to do with them will be drawn.

A successful investment advisor search can lead a client to pieces of advice that can make him or her richer than ever. In connection to this, he or she will be advised on what to invest in and make wise decision on purchases - to buy stocks or to buy mutual funds. As he or she makes an investment, advice on potential loss and gains will be given along with the taxable income that may soon set in. If the client has an existing retirement account, insights on what kinds of ventures to have with in the account and tips on tax reduction will be given.

The fees involved in hiring this kind of professional are in percentage form. A hired advisor asks for a certain percentage of the entire assets being managed. The higher the account or assets, the higher the fees are. when it is the high side of the year, at least two percent is charged on the client. When it is the low side of the year, the client could expect a half of one percent charge only.

Making mistakes on hiring a registered investment advisor can do your assets more harm than good. A client can know whether his or her prospect professional is not competent or is fraudulent when the latter gives pieces of advice understanding the ins and outs of current investments, possible risks and profits and financial goals to be met with in a time frame.

BACS, CHAPS and Faster Payments

BACS, CHAPS and Faster Payments

Many people are aware of the terms BACS, CHAPS and Faster Payments, know that they are related to payments, but are unsure of the specifics surrounding them. The purpose of this article is to identify and explain exactly what is meant by BACS Payment, CHAPS Payment and Faster Payments.

What is BACS?

BACS is an acronym standing for Bankers' Automated Clearing System. It is one of the UK's inter-bank transfer facilities and is used to process electronic transactions and transfers. The majority of the things processed using the BACS system are direct debits and direct credits. A direct debit is an instruction from an account holder to their bank, authorising a company to withdraw varying amounts of money. Direct Debits are used to ensure a payment can be made regularly, safely and efficiently. They are among the most common financial transactions in the world. A direct credit is effectively the opposite of a direct debit and is commonly used to transfer wages into the bank accounts of employees.

Until recently, BACS was also the system at the forefront of one off online payments and payments made through the telephone. However, it was recently introduced by the Faster Payments system. The reason for this is the efficiency of Faster Payments, which processes almost instantly. What's more is it is able to do this at any time of day, 365 days per year. BACS payments on the other hand take a minimum of 3 banking days to process. Some accounts do not allow for the use of faster payments, therefore they still rely on BACS.

What is CHAPS?

As you may have guessed, CHAPS is also an acronym; it stands for Clearing House Automated Payment System, although it is rarely referred to by its full name. CHAPS is another system used for processing payments in the UK. Although anybody is able to use CHAPS, it is a system usually used by businesses in transactions involving large sums of money. Using the CHAPS systems usually incurs a charge of 25 - 30.

CHAPS transfers usually process within a day and is commonly used in the purchase of property, with solicitors using the system to transfer funds between the bank accounts of the parties involved. It is also used in other high value payment scenarios.

As mentioned earlier CHAPS is used to move funds inter-bank; it is used for this purpose several times a day.

In order to make a payment through CHAPS, one usually has to visit your bank with a form of ID to prove your identification. Before making a CHAPS payment, it is worth checking the limit of your bank's faster payments transfers. Faster Payments can commonly be used for transfers of up to 100,000 and it is instantaneous as well as being free. This is particularly applicable for individual users (as opposed to companies and organisations).

What is Faster Payments?

As mentioned above, the Faster Payments service allows the general public to make payments with the funds being processed and transferred almost instantly. It is regularly used by the general public to make payments such as bills, standing orders and online transfers. The System has been in operation since 2008.

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