Category Archives: finance

A New Year’s Resolution for Your Finances

It’s shortly after New Year’s, and that means resolutions. And it’s not too late to set a New Year’s Resolution for your finances. The goals that are most successfully accomplished are those that are manageable, not too overwhelming. So let’s look at one financial goal that is manageable enough to be accomplished this year.

Pay a little bit extra on your mortgage every month. Make it small enough that you can manage it every month, but not so much that it is stressful. Start with a small success and then build on it.

Let’s see how paying just a little more on your mortgage could really benefit your finances in the long run.

For example, if you have a 30-year mortgage for $150,000 at an interest rate of three percent, paying an additional $100 each month would save you a total of $17,214 and you would pay it off six years early. If you were only able to increase the amount to an extra $50 per month, you would still save $9,719 and pay it off three years and four months early.

If you have a 20 year for $100,000 at 4% interest, and added $50 a month to your payment, your loan would be shortened by 26 months, saving you a total of $5,563. If the same loan had an extra $100 paid on it each month, that would be $9,883 saved and it would be paid of three years and eleven months early.

So making a small sacrifice each month to pay a little bit extra on your mortgage can save you a significant amount of money in the future.

Now for the question of where to get an extra $50-$100 each month. One recommendation would be to make this extra amount automatic. Have it taken out of your paycheck or bank account automatically. If you never see it, it’s a small enough amount that hopefully you won’t feel it too much. For example, if you are paying an extra $50 per month and get paid weekly, that’s only $10 or $12.50 out of the paycheck (depending on how many weeks are in the month).

Here are a few suggestions to help you with that extra money you need each month. Don’t buy lottery tickets. Take a lunch to work and eat out a few less times each month. Make your own coffee instead of stopping to buy some on your way to work.

3 Tips for Sending Money Overseas

Sending money overseas might sound straightforward enough, but without proper planning and research, you could end up losing a lot to fees and poor exchange rates. Particularly if you are buying property abroad or regularly sending money overseas, the differences can become very significant. Don’t be tempted to simply go to your local branch or log into online banking to send a large sum of money, since you’ll invariably end up spending a lot more.

1 – Get a Favourable Exchange Rate

Exchange rates fluctuate all the time, and even a day or two could make a significant difference, particularly with larger transactions. It is important not to take the exchange rates quoted in Google, XE and other such services too seriously, since these typically reflect the best possible rates which, in practical terms, are usually unattainable for consumers. High-street banks rarely have very attractive exchange rates, so transferring large amounts of money by way of a direct transfer will often end up costing you a lot more than you need to pay.

2 – Find the Lowest Fees

Do not be tempted to automatically go for the option with the lowest fees, since you’ll probably end up getting a very bad exchange rate. Consider, for example, the currency exchange offices that you find in airports. They invariably advertise the fact that they don’t charge a commission, but the exchange rate tends to be so poor that you’ll actually end up spending much more. Most foreign exchange companies charge a set one-time fee for each transfer rather than a percentage but, to get the best deal, you’ll want to transfer higher amounts. If you plan to send money overseas on a regular basis, it may even be more suitable to go with a company that charges a monthly or annual set fee.

3 – Don’t Neglect Security

As with any banking activity, you’ll want to prioritize safety and security to ensure your money is in good hands. Always ensure that any international currency exchange service you use is fully licensed and regulated and that they are insured should something go wrong. Fortunately, it shouldn’t take long to find a reliable and trustworthy company given the wealth of information available online. Before making any commitment, be sure to read some reviews, and always familiarize yourself with the small print. If, for some reason, your money goes missing or takes a long time to get to its destination, you need to have guarantees that you’ll be adequately compensated.

Final Words

The most suitable option for sending money overseas will depend entirely on your particular situation. If, on the other hand, you need to transfer a large amount of money, you’ll likely be better off using a foreign exchange broker and targeting a more favourable exchange rate. As always, be sure to compare the options online and get multiple quotes to find the most suitable option.

Money Transfer Technologies

Advances in technology and the development of the Internet are changing the way people transfer money. With all these technological developments, moving money is simpler than before. Earlier, transferring money meant a visit to the bank. But that is no longer needed as there are various technologies in play to make money transfer easy and convenient.

Alternative Payment Services: Several websites allow you to transfer money through email, eliminating the need to reveal your bank account and credit card information online. Although online transfers have wide online security and fraud-prevention measures, they are not foolproof. Complaints like phishing scams, hacked accounts and identity theft are quite common.

Donation Texts: The use of text messages to transfer money became popular, when the American Red Cross used this technology to raise over $22 million in hurricane relief fund for Haiti. On the flip side, this technology is risky and scammers misuse this tool by asking people to text money to illegitimate numbers. Always check the organization’s website to confirm that the number you are texting is associated with the cause are supporting.

Bumping Phones: Mobile phones are fast replacing the wallet and on-the-go digital money transfers are becoming commonplace. Now, you can send and receive money by just bumping Smartphones together. Technologies include Bluetooth and near field communication (NFC, a set of procedures that allow Smartphones to establish radio communication with each other by touching them together or bringing them close to each other at a distance of 10 cm or less). Though, the risk of unauthorised payments from a stolen phone is yet to completely be addressed.

Remote Deposit: This technology allows you to deposit cheques from anywhere. Many Smartphone applications allow you to take a photo of the front and back of a cheque and download it into your account. While this process is secure, there may be concerns about the consequences if the phone is stolen or if financial information is intercepted. The remote cheques are not stored on the phone, and the data is encoded as it goes from the mobile phone to the bank’s computer system.

Mobile Magnetic Stripe Readers: These are small scanners that can be attached to Smartphones. Busy individuals, can just swipe credit cards on the scanner and the money is transferred.

Finance Management of Small Business

Managing finances in a business is among the few important things that need to be considered when starting and carrying out a business. It is all about efficiently and effectively utilizing available funds in order to achieve the objectives of the business. Financial management is aimed at planning, observing, organizing and managing the monetary resources of a business.

Small business finance management strategies

Small business finance management is mostly concerned with procurement, allocation and control of financial resources so that a regular and adequate supply of funds is maintained to run a business. Once the funds are in hand, they should be utilized in maximum possible ways at low costs and should be invested intelligently in safe ventures. A few tips that can help you efficiently use your funds while running a small business are:

    • In the initial years of managing a small business, you need to estimate how much money you need for a decent living and pull out that money from your business income. Now invest the remaining money back into your business for its growth.
    • Early wins in the form of high profits may urge you to spend it on leisure holidaying or improve your housing status. You need to be firm and defend yourself against such ideas and wait till your business gets a little more established.
    • The main expense in a business is covering the payroll of your staff. It is advisable not to hire new employees unless you absolutely need them. When things get busy and a lot of work pressure builds up, you may get tempted to hire more people. Try and stretch the existing staff members to their full potential to get through the workload and hire only if necessary.
    • Try and save up money on applying for loans and procuring inventory. Taking up loans from banks is a common practice in the business world, but it carries an extra cost of its own in the form of interest you pay while returning. Reducing this extra cost can help you add up and save more money in the long run. This can be done by dividing the total money you need as loan and borrowing it in parts over a period of time. This reduces the overall amount of interest you pay back to the bank. Borrowing the entire amount at once will result in you paying interest for the money you are not going to use till later time.
    • Keep the money separate for paying the taxes and avoid mixing it with other funds. Paying taxes is of utmost importance and since that money is meant to be given away, it should not be kept or used for other purposes.
  • Bargain the terms of the agreement with the outside contractors and vendors like delivery services, electrician etc., such that you get a grace period in paying your bills. This grace period can be used to manage your funds and prioritize your other bills more efficiently.

Small business finance management can help you cleverly grow a successful business over time.

What Traits Do Most Successful Financial Advisors Have In Common?

Experts in the financial industry usually have a lot in common. They are morning people, number-crunchers, and they all seem to really like coffee. What makes you be a successful financial advisor?

Plenty of people today want to know what traits do successful financial advisors share and what often makes them different. Although there are a lot of factors, there are several points that people found most interesting.

Common Denominators Of Successful Financial Advisors

Trustworthy – The client-advisor relationship will be based on a foundation of trust. Often, they are exceptionally trustworthy. They stick to what they utter and always keep their promises. Most of them also are naturally charismatic people. Still, following through and doing what you want them to do on your behalf is considered the most important part.

Action-oriented – They put great ideas into work. They are always ready to take action. They are fond of setting deadlines and working on making exceptional ideas turn into reality.

Always on the lookout for learning opportunities – Regardless of whether it is a free training seminar on prospecting or perhaps a thought-provoking newspaper article, they continuously look for great opportunities to learn more about the finance industry and how to successfully conquer it. They search for various resources to learn and grow. Furthermore, they constantly look for various ways on how to implement new ideas in their practice.

Very High standards – They often set unrealistic goals, and meet them. They usually make a habit of setting high standards. Against all odds, they will find a way to meet such goals. At first, you won’t believe that such goals can be achieved. Moreover, they think about their goals in terms of opportunities instead of challenges. In other words, they often think outside the box so even the unrealistic goals can be met.

Good listeners – Most people think that this is a trait that is not important for successful financial advisors. Well, it is highly emphasized that these professionals do a better job of understanding the wants, needs, pain points, fears, and motivations of their clients. Knowing the client more is very crucial. They become capable of focusing on clients during meetings and tune everything else out. Basically, these professionals become successful because they fully understand their clients. And they know exactly what their clients goals are by becoming an excellent listener.

Things You Must Know About Financial Services

Financial services refer to the services provided by the finance industry. Also, this term is used to describe organizations dealing with the management of money, like credit card companies, insurance firms, investment banks, stock brokerages, and banks. These are the types of firms that compromise the market, providing a wide range of investment and money-related services. In terms of earnings, financial services are considered the largest market resource in the world.

Important Things You Must Be Aware Of

Generally, these services are not limited to the field of deposit-withdrawal, investment, and loan services; but rather in the fields of estate, securities, insurance, trust services, and all forms of financial intermediation like the distribution of financial products as well.

Every day, the needs and expectations of consumers are growing. Hence, making the mark in boosting personal wealth becomes a necessity. Intense competition has cuddled market margins as well as forced plenty of companies to cut costs whilst improving the quality of customer choice and service.

As most organizations are striving to be more entrepreneurial and innovative, the war for talent is escalating. And as the products become more complex and the business environment more uncertain, the risks increase. At the same time, rules and regulation are the tightening highlight within the reach of government and public pressure for improved transparency, supremacy, and accountability.

Today, the winners are those firms transforming the challenges into opportunities to establish more enduring and stronger customer relationships, unlock creativity and talent, and to sharpen their process efficiency. Apart from that, these companies also view these challenges as a means to boost their risk management processes so they can deliver more sustainable returns. Furthermore, they use used regulatory demands as a catalyst for improving market confidence and strengthening the business.

The challenges in the financial services market are indeed forcing the participants to keep pace with technological advances, as well as to be more efficient and proactive whilst reducing risks and costs.

Today, there are already a lot of companies working hand in hand with reputable financial organizations around the world to develop a very sound networking strategy for connecting firms with suppliers, employees, partners, and customers.

Indeed, the financial services market is dynamic and diverse. There are plenty of important things you must be aware of to better understand how such industry operates. It is certainly an ever-changing, high-growth, and versatile market. Businesses with various needs must know that such market offers several selections of suitable financial services.

5 Questions You Should Ask Your Financial Advisor

Managing your wealth, no matter how big or small, is a cumbersome task. Your financial advisor helps to keep your money safe while making it work for you. Before you start working with someone, ask them these important questions.

What Certifications Do You Have?

You need to know what licenses and certification your financial advisor has. Most of the top consultants are certified public accountants, fund specialists, consultants, or analysts. Some even carry a Juris doctorate and insurance licenses. While everyone has to start somewhere, you want to work with a firm that has extensive experience in the field.

What Safeguards Are in Place to Protect Assets from Fraud?

Your assets need to be protected by a reputable custodian. When you ask about safeguards, you should also ask about any infractions he or she has received in the past both with the firm and as an individual. To provide you with the best service, your financial advisor should be a fiduciary.

Consultants with a strict code of ethics have standards that they share with their clients. However, no matter their standards, they should be in compliance with Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, state and regulatory agencies, and the Security’s and Exchange Commission.

What Are Your Fees?

When it comes to fees, your counselor should be 100 percent transparent. He or she needs to explain his or her exact fee structure, so you understand how you are paying. Some are fee-only, meaning they provide a flat rate for services rendered.

Some investment consultants charge a commission fee. That means they make money off each product you purchase to help your investments grow. It is important to know which one you are working with, or if you are with someone who charges a fee in addition to earning commissions.

What Access Do You Have to Earning Reports?

As your financial advisor, he or she should have direct access to the top holdings of where your investments are. He or she needs to be able to tell you immediately what the earnings report is anytime you call.

At the very least, he or she should be able to educate you on your holdings before any investment of assets. By educating you on available options and what assets are invested, you can better understand what the consultant suggests.

How Often Do You Communicate

When it comes to letting you know how your money is doing, the counselor should be open to communication. He or she should send out weekly announcements about the market. Also, you must be informed of trade notifications immediately and receive an explanation on every buy and sell option. Most firms also send out information about their monthly investment outlook as well as a quarterly outlook. Brokers also offer to keep their customers informed with educational information and fact sheets.

Ask the tough questions of a financial advisor before asking him or her to manage your funds. It helps you to weed out the inexperienced and shady consultants before losing any money.

Financial Irrelevance to God by Those Missing the Real Treasure

Money is manmade and has nothing to do with the way God sees the world. Wealth is an addiction created by greed and those who engage in it are unlikely to be a part of the inheritance of the great treasure at the end of the day. Following my reincarnation and with a strong link to the Spirit of the Universe, the only real God, it commissioned me to tear down the wall of blindness and bring in the harvest. In a vision a great treasure was shown to me buried deep under the ground.

The meaning of the treasure haunted me for some two to three weeks and my pleas to be shown what it implied had no effect. That is until one day while praying with a minister at the Order of St. Luke’s Healing Service where we each asked for something special. He asked for the healing of one of his charges in a nursing home. My request was to be shown the meaning of the treasure.

On the way home the Spirit led me by a different route which took me past a friend’s house. She is a spiritual person and we were often drawn together for the purpose of serving God. Nearing her door the tears started and they were flowing full pelt when she opened it. Ushering me into her lounge room the tongues started and they poured from my mouth in an unstoppable fashion.

As soon as they ceased my friend jumped to her feet with the interpretation. The Spirit told us that the treasure was buried by the churches and that they lie and hide the truth. It informed us that it would be I who would unearth the treasure and return it to the children from whence it was stolen.

Over months of working in the Spirit and with healing miracles part of my work the treasure has been shown to me. It is the truth and the knowledge of how religions have stolen the name of the real God and given it to the false God of religion, Jesus Christ. He was the image put up by Constantine who established the Catholic Church in 325 AD.

The wall was built by the first beast, the sun, and strengthened by the emperor who was an Amorite by inheritance. The Amors inhabited Babylon and stylised the sun-star into a woman named Mary. Men considered they could ‘marry’ Mary by dying on a cross at dawn and rising with the sun into the heavens. Constantine reinstated her as the Mother of God and his new religion was based on it and the Islamic rituals of Islam.

He buried the treasure by denying the children of Israel the truth and he hid the way to gain access to the Spirit of the Universe. The Vatican then banned reincarnation and anyone who went against its orders were murdered. The emperor introduced the systems that control governments, the law, military, religions, and the economy. He is 666 and identified as such in a vision shown to me and in Revelation 13:18. Money continues to separate those seeking knowledge of God from the Spirit.

My Tips on Improving Your Finances for Life

There is no way to avoid dealing with money and finances these days. Therefore you should try to learn as much as possible to help you make good financial decisions and to increase your confidence about money.

When you make a budget, it should be realistic regarding your income and spending habits. Be sure to include all of your income such as alimony, child support, rental income, or any other. Always use your net income not your gross earnings in these calculations. Once you have the numbers, you can consider how to adjust your spending to stay within your income range. To maintain your budget never exceed your incoming cash flow.

The next step is to total up your expenses, and you should make a list of all monthly expenses. Your list should document each and every expense that you have whether it expense, spontaneous or just a one time expense. Remember that this list needs to have a complete breakdown of your costs. Be sure to add in expenses that you have from restaurant dinners and fast food as well as grocery bills. Reduce expenses linked to your cars, such as gas and insurance. If you have payments that you make quarterly or less frequently, divide them up to reflect a monthly payment. Make sure you include incidental expenses, for instance, baby sitters or storage unit rentals. Try to have the most accurate list possible.

Now that you have a good idea of your income and expenditures, you can start planning a new budget. Look at each expenditure on your list, and decide what you could do without. If you normally buy coffee from a cafe, calculate how much money you would save on a weekly basis if you bought it from McDonald’s instead, or made it at home. Exactly what and how much you are willing to compromise is completely up to you. The first step is identifying expenses that are not necessary so you can use the money for something else.

If your utility bills are rising, you may want to upgrade your appliances to save some money. Upgrading to well-fitted double-glazed windows, for example, can reduce your heating bill dramatically. Besides you can repair any leaky pipes and only run the dishwasher with a full load.

Swap old, inefficient appliances for those that use less energy. Although doing so may cost you some money upfront, over the long-term you will save a fair penny on your utility bills. Unplug the appliances you do not need. In time you will notice significant savings in your energy consumption.

You can make a significant decrease in your heating and cooling bills by improving your insulation, as well as the roof above it. Insulation or roofing issues can be very costly, as maintaining a regular temperature in the home can be expensive. If you invest in the upgrades, it will save you a lot of money in the long run.

Using these tips not only saves you money, but it also helps you start bringing your budget under control. An expensive upgrade can save a lot of money in lowering electricity or water bills. This is one way that you can make your budget more reliable.

Defining Inflation

Inflation is a steady rise in prices, owing to which, incomes and savings of the population will depreciate. Even the weakest inflation is dangerous for the development of the modern monetary economy. Therefore, all countries (including the most developed ones), take anti-inflationary measures to reduce inflation rates.

What causes?

Inflation – a monetary phenomenon associated with issuance of excessive money for circulation compared with the supply of goods. This increase in money occurs for various reasons. And the first of them is the growth of incomes of the population, not supported by a corresponding increase in the production of goods. This excessive demand pushes up prices and increases inflation rate. This imbalance between supply and demand for goods and services can also be resulted by crop failures, import restrictions, or actions of the monopolists. Also, rising costs of the production and increasing expenses of enterprises for wages, taxes, interest payments and others highly contributes to increase of inflation rates. Furthermore, the increase in prices for imported components shows both an increase in world prices and weakening of the national currency. The weakened national currency can directly affect the prices of the final products imported from abroad. The overall effect of exchange rate changes on price dynamics is called the “transfer effect” and is often viewed as a separate inflation factor. An essential role in the development of the inflationary process is played by the so-called waiting moments. The expected rise in prices forces the population to buy goods. Thus, a deficit is created for some of them, and, consequently, prices are rising. It is difficult to bring down such inflationary expectations.

Inflation can take many forms. In a regulated economy (such existed in the USSR), as well as in wartime conditions, when prices are fixed, it can have a hidden character – this is so-called suppressed inflation. It is followed by the deficit of many products, a surge in shadow trade, a sharp increase in prices in the markets, etc. However, the repudiation of such regulation (after the war or in countries that have passed from an administratively regulated to a market economy) often generates “galloping inflation” with a frenzied price increase. It arises from the discrepancy between the supply of money and the insufficient quantity of goods.
The other forms of inflation include:

– Administrative inflation – the inflation generated by “administratively” operated prices;

– Galloping inflation – inflation in the form of spasmodic increase in prices;

– Hyperinflation – inflation with very high growth rate of the prices;

– Built- in inflation – characterized by the average level for a certain period of time;

– Imported inflation – the inflation caused by influence of external factors, for example excessive inflow to the country of foreign currency and increase in import prices;

-Induced inflation – the inflation caused by influence of factors of the economic nature, external factors;

– Credit inflation – the inflation caused by excessive credit expansion;

– Unforeseen inflation – the rate of inflation which has appeared above expected for a certain period;

– Expected inflation – the estimated rate of inflation in future period owing to action of factors of the current period;

– Open inflation – inflation due to increase in prices of consumer goods and production resources;

Negative Consequences of High Inflation

High inflation rate decreases purchasing power of all economic entities which negatively affects demand, the economic growth, the standards of living of the population, and moods in society. Depreciation of the income narrows opportunities and undermines incentives to saving that interferes with formation of a steady financial basis for investment. Besides, high inflation is accompanied by the increased uncertainty which complicates decision-making of economic entities. Overall inflation negatively influences savings, consumption, production, investments and general conditions for sustainable development of economy.

How to decrease?

Fighting inflation, as the experience of developed countries shows, is extremely difficult. It seems easy: freezing prices or introduce some form of regulation for prices. Unfortunately, this method is effective for a short time only. The freezing of prices will soon be triggered by an increase in the deficit of goods and will further exacerbate inflation. The other method of fighting inflation is through contractionary monetary policy. The aim of this policy is to reduce the money supply within an economy by increasing interest rates. This helps to reduce spending because those who have money want to keep it and save it, instead of spending it. It also means less available credit, which also reduces spending.