Category Archives: Finance

Make Your Financial Planner Work for You

A financial planner enables you to set realistic financial goals. These goals must be realistic in terms of income and expenditure. It can also help you determine timeframes in which to reach the goals, helping you manage your cash flow effectively and stay in control at all times.

The advantage of a financial planner helps you understand the effects of all your financial decisions. You will be able to identify risks quickly, determining if you are making the right choice or not. As a business owner you may have a demand to expand, knowing your finances can help you decide if now is the right time to take on the expense of a new building or whether it could leave you in financial ruin.

The same applies to individuals. You may have been dreaming of a new car for years and have worked out the monthly repayments. Having instant knowledge of your cash flow each month can help you determine the risk level of taking on additional debt at this time.

Over time you will learn how this process can help you re-evaluate your finances. It’s important to stay up to date, checking back regularly to see how you are doing in terms of the goals and timeframes you have set yourself along with any forecasts you may have worked out, helping you plan better for the future.

With this type of planning you will be able to spend in line with your income, reducing the risk of overspending and finding yourself in debt. While debt is very easy to accumulate, it’s much harder to get out of. This means that knowing what you have available each month can not only help you with your monthly expenditure budget, but can also help you with investment decisions and so much more.

As your plan continues to grow month to month, you will soon learn where you are going wrong and have the opportunity to rectify errors you are making in your financial future. You are able to maximize your money, an important element for both businesses and private individuals.

When struggling with your money, it may be worthwhile hiring the services of a professional and experienced financial planner who can sit down with you working out your income and expenditure and showing you ways to maximize your money, reduce your debts and put you on the right track moving forward.

When hiring a financial planner, there are some important factors you will want to take into consideration. If you have been trying to manage your income and expenditure and still find that you can’t make ends meet, then these professionals may be the solution you are looking for.

Financial planners have the knowledge and experience to help you increase your money by lowering your expenditure through various methods of tried and tested solutions. The good news is that they can provide you with ways to relieve your debt quicker, giving you more cash flow monthly.

Fun Things to Do When You’re Low on Money

Have you ever watched little kids play? They are able to turn almost any object they can get into an interesting plaything complete with names and storyline. I know my kids do that all the time. They can even keep at it for hours at a time. With a bit of creativity and imagination, even adults can forget the daily grind of money matters and just have plain, cheap fun.

1. Play board games: Board games are a fun, cheap way for families to spend time together. All the intrigues and goofing can make for lots of fun and bonding too. Most of them come with instructions and the most popular ones include Chess, Monopoly, Backgammon, Checkers and educational games like Scrabble and Pictionary.

2. Go on a bike ride: Alone or as a group biking is fun and gets some exercise in too. Try pushing yourself by exploring new terrain (but not after dark).

3. Take a walk around your neighborhood: Get out of the house and stretch your limbs by taking a slow casual walk around where you live. The fresh air and scenery will take your mind off money for a while anyway.

4. Take your kids to the local park or playground: If you don’t have kids around you could volunteer to take your nephews or nieces. It would be a lot of fun watching the kids laugh and play and the most it would cost you would probably be a scoop of ice cream per child. You’ll become their favourite Aunt or Uncle in no time.

5. Learn a new art project online and teach your family or friends: There are so many fantastic websites that teach art projects completely free. Some are designed specifically for kids and others for adults. The range of choice is awesome and many of the projects are truly mind-blowing. The great thing about this is many of these sites use old items you can easily find lying around the house to create keepsakes you would be proud of.

6. Have a campout on the garden lawn: There are so many things you could do with a campout this point actually deserves an article of its own. Basically be creative and plan ahead. Invite a few friends or just keep it in-house with your close family. Include fun games, water splashes, a sizzling barbecue and of course scary stories.

7. Check out the library: When last did you visit one? Many of them have new improved books, CDs and DVDs you could borrow. Or just sit there and read for a while, you never know you may meet someone interesting and make new friends.

8. Bake or cook something new: The aim here is to spend little or nothing so don’t go overboard. Search round your kitchen cabinet for some ingredients you have not used in a while (please check the use by date first) and come up with a new recipe or just a dish you have not made in a while.

9. Teach your friends a craft: Do you have a craft you could teach? Can you sew, knit, sculpt or mold? Why not gather a few friends or colleagues from the office and show them how it’s done? Everyone could volunteer to bring a couple of drinks or dishes along but not expensive ones. If someone else in the group also has another skill, you can take turns.

10. Pay a visit to the local hospice or orphanage: Find out if you have a children’s hospital or orphanage in your town and what are the rules for visiting. If they do accept visitors, make a habit to visit even if just once a month. With time you could even begin to offer free services like reading to the children or singing.

 

A Safe Haven for Your Savings

Unfortunately, most of society has strayed away from this thinking.

The fact is Canadians aren’t saving as they once did and collectively are holding record high levels of debt. The average household savings rate in Canada has dropped from about 20 percent in the 1980’s, to 5.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016.[i] Many people believe they cannot save because after paying “all their bills” there’s nothing much left. However, understand that in most cases if you’re attempting to save after paying all your bills you may find this strategy to be futile. Instead, get in the habit of saving first or, consider it paying yourself first. Once you’ve developed this habit then you can look into what vehicle you want to save your cash in.

Generally speaking, when people DO consider saving often times the traditional approach is taken; open a bank savings account and dump as much cash in it as possible. Sit on it like a goose sits on her eggs and wait for your savings to hatch. The sad reality for most however, is making a future cash withdrawal only to be afforded the ability to buy less with their savings because inflation has eaten away at it. And you’ll always be on the losing side of a bank savings account because interest rates are not higher than inflation.

Another option many consider is putting money into the stock market however, one should not consider the stock market as a savings vehicle because the stock market has had a history of crashing dating back to beyond 1929.[ii]

Search the definition of saving in Webster’s dictionary and see “preservation from danger or destruction” while the definition of investing reads, “to commit (money) in order to earn a financial return.” Neither method is good or bad but you must understand which it is that you’re trying to do.

Finally, during my research I have found throughout history when people lose faith in their national currency, the banking system that controls it and their governments, many rush back to gold. Gold is the oldest form of money and has proved to be a safe haven for centuries. Gold cannot be printed, debased, or inflated. Simply put, gold is financial insurance.

To understand this concept more, it’s important to start investing in your own education. Financial literacy should be taught in our school system however, sadly it is not. If you are concerned about where to stash your cash so that you can protect your money from danger and destruction, you will have to take those matters into your own hands. And for good reason too, your savings should be in your hands because your economy should be the most important economy to you!

A Kabbalistic Perspective

I see those shadows now. The reasons are many: some are economic, while others are religious. The philosophy behind it is partly logical.

The macro affects the micro. Whatever happens to the mass has a direct impact on the individual. We are in the middle of two wars – one religious, the other economic – caused by an old system of money transference without a trace, called “Havala”. It is used on the entire planet. All the money from the sale of drugs and oil is kept in vaults in form of gold nuggets. This is bound to threaten the economic order of the industrialized nations unless we go back to a gold standard. The strategy of Islamic states is rather more complicated, based on very strict religious edicts. All these changes are due to the fast approaching Aquarian Age because of the precession of the equinoxes.

The sale of illegal drugs and oil has empowered Islamic and other countries to buy arms in the open market. This has threatened most of the world markets. We see the evidence of this in form of agitations and attacks in various countries.

If we do not move quickly to face this tsunami, then the entire economic system and the world civilization will face a challenge almost impossible to deal with. All the trees that stand erect when faced with a storm are uprooted. And that is the law.

Our civilization in the Western Hemisphere is built on social and economic rules. What if, because of internal unrest and economic pressure and a lack of faith in the mighty dollar, the Chinese government decides unexpectedly to unload US treasuries by the trillion? Can you give me a logical solution befitting the urgency of the situation? The result will be a total crash of the entire economic system. The USA has taught the world a society based credit and about 100 currencies of the world are in parity to the US dollar. When the US dollar dies, other nations die too and have no one to turn to. The world GDP and the political systems are facing a peril the dimension of which is very hard to imagine.

The coming war shall not require aircraft carriers we boast a lot about. It shall be a jungle war. And dogs will eat dogs. It is stupid and makes no economic sense to use an atom bomb to kill a mouse.

Choose Between Banks

As long as you are receiving the services that you desire, you are prone to stick with that financial institution. If you choose to do business with a certain bank, make sure that you are happy with the customer service. Ask about fees associated with various accounts. Depending on your needs, you may need a checking account, savings account, or both.

Find out how lost credit cards, overdrafts, and debit card purchases are handled.

Create a List

Create a list of things that you want from one of the reputable banks in your area. Then you can decide on a financial institution based on your banking needs.

Services Offered

Most banks offer a wide range of services. Services can include retirement savings, investment options, and online bill payment.

Other services offered generally include:

– Online Banking
– Mobile Banking
– Text/Web/Apps
– External Funds Transfer
– ATM/Debit Cards
– Telephone
– Wire Transfers
– Electronic Statements
– Cash Management
– Merchant Credit Card

These days, you will usually have access to funds at your local branch, online, and through ATM withdrawals. Most banks also offer loan services for mortgages and secured credit.

Doing Business Online

Online banking has made it possible for customers to check their balances and receive monthly statements. Most banks offer free online services, and you can feel secure doing business over the Internet. You can access your funds 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You will have access to your existing E-statements. You can transfer money between each of your accounts, make your loan payments, and see an overview of your transactions.

Mobile Capabilities

When you are traveling, what better way to complete transactions at your financial institution than by mobile banking. As long as you have a smart phone or other mobile device, you can conduct business transactions. You can even receive your account balances via text messaging. It is a quick way to check on your account without a physical visit to the bank.

Mobile connection allows you to receive current and available balances, review previous transactions, and see existing balances on all of your accounts. All you have to do is text a brief command from your mobile phone, and the information will be quickly delivered to your device.

Cash Management

Business owners can manage their money through cash management services offered by many banks. As a business owner, you will have control over your daily finances, be allowed to create multiple account users, and also have the ability to initiate ACH deposits.

 

Pick The Right Financial Advisors

Investors watched their portfolios grow exponentially, and retirement seemed secure. The economy was so strong even the country’s best financial advisers were left wondering if they’d have a job.

But alas, the economy went into recession. Those early retirement dreams became a less realistic option. These days we need to know about yields, rates of return, and, dare we say, risk!

That leaves many people feeling pressured and over their heads. This is where businesses can step in to help their employees decide how and where to invest their money.

Where Do I Start?

That depends on what you want the financial advisers to do. Do you want help with estate planning, or is it your child’s college fund? What about advice on which stocks to pick or how to withdrawal cash from retirement funds without draining your account? Determining where to start depends on your desired outcome, and the good news is financial advisers come with many specialties.

Once you decide what you need, ask people that you trust for referrals. Seek out someone you don’t mind divulging personal financial information to.

Next, find out what your potential advisor did before becoming an advisor. Was he/she a math expert who majored in statistics at college? Do they have an advanced degree in accounting or business? The answer to these types of questions can tell you a lot about the Ivory Tower experience someone may have, and whether it’s relevant enough for your trust. You want someone with good character, much like you would in choosing a good doctor or lawyer.

How Do Financial Advisers Charge?

Many people are intimidated by costs but have no idea what they are. This is normal, and there are many ways in which an advisor might charge you.

Charging you a commission on products (or stocks) bought and sold is the most typical form of remuneration. Some, however, might charge a flat fee or yearly retainer, or a combination thereof. The best advice: do some comparison-shopping just as you would for a vehicle or any other significant purchase.

State Registered Advisors Must Be Licensed

Those who give advice on how someone should invest their money should be registered with the state in which they practice. For instance, in Washington State, all financial advisors must register with the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions in order to practice. Check with your state to see what the requirements are, and be sure to check for prerequisites pertaining to admission, such as testing and education.

You can also check the state records for complaints: legal judgments, bankruptcies, criminal charges, and government orders. All of this information is kept on file by the state and are available to the public.

Online Financial Hackers Are Stealing From Your Wallet

The next moment, you are bombarded with a long list on your credit card bill-transactions you may not even have dreamed of making in the first place. What happened? What will you do? As you flood yourself with all the possible and endless possibilities, you will begin to realize that you have been hacked! While the rise in technology has given us a lot of convenience, it has also posed a greater potential threat if we are not careful on how to propagate its use.

How did they get your vital information?

1. Skimmers

What are skimmers? Skimmers are devices used to scan and store your personal data from your credit or debit cards. There are many forms of skimmers and various ways to transfer data from a skimmer to a hacker’s device.

One of the most popular type of skimmers are those inserted in ATM card slots. Often, you may think that you are just doing normal bank transactions only to find out the next few days that your whole account has been hacked and emptied. Another form of skimmers are those used by waiters, bar tenders and other people you may be giving your credit card to but are unable to follow or see where they are going with your card. They would simply swipe your card on their skimmer device and all your data gets stored there. Some hackers go to the extent of distracting clerks in stores and swapping the device used to swipe your card and replacing it with one of their owns. As the clerks continue to swipe in peoples cards, the device continues to store information until such time the hackers will return for the device. Skimmers are often used with devices which have the use of credit or debit cards but are unmanned. This is easier for them to manipulate and get all they need.

2. Phishing and Malwares

This is a very popular modus operandi. Somebody sends you an email-it may even come from an address you know and sends you an attachment that seems to pose no harm in it. When you open it, malware immediately gets into your device and gathers all your information. This is why you need to keep your financial information from emails that you open in public computers. Make sure that you only open important information on devices that you trust.

We can never avoid the advancement in the way people obtain and steal our information and assets as the development grows side by side with the development with technology. Hackers will do all that they can to try to squeeze out anything and everything from you. Take caution all of the time.

Financial Planning Service

People can easily come around with one or the other form of business. Either they own it or work for it. Each of these businesses thus has their financial statements and records. Without these, the business may well disappear.

There are many forms of finances that a person might practically have to deal with. There are the mutual fund investments. There are the hedge funds and many more. There are many best financial services companies that are present nowadays that help people.

These financial services companies ensure of the very fact that people do get the best results from the business that they are in. There are various advantages that people may enjoy if they hire the financial service companies.

Financial planning:
Before moving further on the topic, people should understand that what exactly is the financial planning? This is something that can help people in a long course of time and thus help in managing the finances the best.

Why Recruit the Financial Service Companies?
There are many reasons why a person should think of hiring these services. Financial services can be well considered as one of the very important services, and the following are the various advantages that the companies providing them can guarantee:

• Consulting: Yes! The financial consultancy services are one of those most important things that are necessary before any decision to invest. Consulting helps in various things. People can ensure that they are getting through with the most important knowledge of finance and these companies do provide with that.
• Taking Care: the main aim is to take care of each and every financial gains and loss in the company. Evaluating them and taking the necessary actions. These can be done by the professionals only, and this is the only reason why people should ensure that they do have one of these financial companies to aid them.

Apart from these two important advantages that people can come around with they should also ensure that there will be much more advantages if people select the best ones for themselves. Only the very top financial services companies can ensure of the fact that the best services will be provided.

The following are the best advantages of recruiting the top notch services:
Free Services: The top financial service companies believe in the very fact that the people can only get the very best of the results if they do have a hope in the fact that their services by no means are frauds. This is the exact reason why they provide the people with the various free financial planning services.

Varied Services: This is again one of the major advantages of the top notch companies. The very first thing is that each and every company that is top notch is there because of the excellent knowledge that they do possess. They believe in the fact that the various services that they will provide ill attract the customer’s attention. They have knowledge about various things like portfolio management.

Understanding What Makes Them Different

Despite the merits behind hiring a trained planner, many consumers do not understand the benefits of working with the latter option.

Pros of Hiring a Fee-only Financial Advisor

Those who are looking for the best advisors should consider one who is compensated in a way other than commission. These planners look at your entire fiscal situation and give you an honest, objective opinion on what you need to do. While they may suggest purchases of certain products, these will be ones that they believe will assist you in your goals. There is no loyalty to a specific company or product because there is no bonus or commission to earn.

You pay a fee-only financial advisor based on how often you meet with them. You could pay an hourly expense or you could pay a retainer in order to have him or her on call. You may even negotiate payment of a percentage of the investment assets your planner is managing. Each professional has his or her own pay structure.

In addition to having flexible payment options, you can choose between services. Some work with you to provide a complete financial review for a fixed project. You can also find someone to review your investment portfolio or develop a financial plan.

Things to Consider Before Hiring a Fee-only Financial Advisor

For most clients, this type of planner is the optimum choice. However, not everyone works well with a charge-based counselor. You may work better with someone who is either commission only or commission and fee compensated.

There is no guarantee that you will not have conflict. You should check references to ensure that your new asset manager is competent. Working for only a set rate does not equal competence. Those who are experienced working with people nearing retirement would not be the best choice for someone in the private sector.

You also need to check with the counselor about their requirements. Some will work with those who have a minimum level of assets. If you have a small portfolio, then you may not qualify. It is one of the many questions you should ask before hiring a consultant.

No matter if you choose to work with a commission-based consultant, you must be diligent in your search. It is not an easy task to find the right counselor. In order to find the right consultant you should understand not to compensate the advisor but also how he or she works with his or her clients.

Even if you opt for a fee-only financial advisor over a commission-based one, any products suggested should be carefully considered to ensure they meet your needs.

Send Money Abroad In An Efficient Manner

The thing is that they don’t convert one currency to the other on the basis of the inter-bank rate. Instead, they make the exchange at a lower rate making a good deal of profit. Give below are a few tips that may help you go through the process efficiently.

Foreign Exchange Brokers

Acting as intermediaries, foreign exchange brokers deal with a lot of banks and provide the best exchange rates. While their primary role is to convert currencies, they can also help you send money abroad for a reasonable fee.

While this option is cost effective, especially if you want to transfer over $5000, the process can take longer to complete. Choose this option if you don’t have to send your funds abroad urgently.

Commercial Banks

Banks are the most common means of international money transfers all over the world. However, the fact of the matter is that banks are known for charging hidden fees for money transfers, and the fees will continue to go up as the amount of money that needs to be transferred goes up. But the advantage of using a bank to do this job is that banks are considered the safest way of transferring money abroad. So, if you are planning to do the transfer through a bank, make sure you choose a bank that charges a minimum amount for transfers.

Money Transfer Providers

If you want to send less than $5000 to someone in another country, money transfer providers is probably your best option. They are best in terms of cost of transfer. Typically, they offer bank-to-bank transfers. You can also find some providers who allow you to receive cash at cash pick-up branches.

Online Money Transfer

These service providers allow you to send money abroad charging a minimal fee. Usually, they charge just $1 extra for the transfer. Some providers don’t even charge this fee.

These providers are regulated by the financial authorities of the same country they operate in. They use the state-of-the-art financial technology for sending and receiving funds. So, you can count on them with your eyes closed.

With online money transfer, you don’t need to visit a financial office. All you need to make the transfer is a computer and a fast internet connection.

So, before you choose any of the three money transfer services mentioned, do your homework and compare them with each other. You can go with the one offering best services at the lowest cost.