3 Tips For Limiting Your Investment Losses In Your Retirement Accounts

Posted by on Mar 14, 2016 in Blog, Finance & Money | Comments Off on 3 Tips For Limiting Your Investment Losses In Your Retirement Accounts

Are you concerned with how investment losses may impact your retirement savings? It’s a valid concern, as substantial losses could limit your ability to generate income and enjoy retirement. You can’t predict what’s going to happen in the market, but there are steps you can take to manage volatility and protect yourself from serious losses. Below are three actions you can take to protect your investment portfolio. Consider implementing these steps in your investment plan: Diversify. One of the best ways to protect your portfolio is to keep it diversified. A diversified allocation is one in which your money is spread across many different asset classes. For instance, you may have money in domestic large cap stocks, foreign stocks, small-cap stocks, cash, and a wide range of different types of bonds. The benefit of diversification is that you don’t have all your eggs in one basket. Rarely do all asset classes perform exactly the same way. If you have one asset class that is down dramatically, it is likely that you will have other asset classes that are performing well. That should add balance to your portfolio and prevent poorly performing asset classes from dragging down all of your investments. Match your allocation to your risk tolerance. There’s no correct allocation that is right for everyone. Rather, your allocation should be in alignment with your unique goals, needs, and your risk tolerance. Your risk tolerance is the amount of volatility and downward movement you can tolerate in your portfolio before you decide to sell. If you have a low tolerance for losses, then you should gear your allocation toward low-volatility investments. If you have a high tolerance for risk, you may want investments that have greater volatility and more potential for return. Again, that doesn’t mean you should put all your investments in one asset class. You still want to maintain a diversified portfolio. However, the way you spread your assets among those investments should be based on your own tolerance for risk. Don’t panic. When the market is on the decline, it may be tempting to sell all of your investments. Many investors believe that if they sell they will avoid further losses. However, the problem with this strategy is that you can’t predict what your investments will do in the future. You may avoid future losses by selling, but you also may miss an upturn in the market, losing out on your chance to recoup losses. Instead, take a long-term approach. Understand that the market moves in cycles, and what is happening today isn’t likely to be permanent. Although losses may be tough to withstand, by getting out of the market you forego any opportunity to participate in the recovery. For more information, talk to a financial planner who has experience with portfolio management. They can help you implement strategies to limit your investment losses. Visit a site like http://globalwealthconsultants.com to find a financial...

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3 Kinds Of Student Loan Repayment Plans

Posted by on Nov 28, 2015 in Blog, Finance & Money | Comments Off on 3 Kinds Of Student Loan Repayment Plans

Going to college can be very expensive. You need to come up with some way to pay for your classes as well as all the books, rent, and other materials. One way is to get grants, which don’t need to be paid back. Another is to get student loans. If you choose to get student loans, you will have to start paying them back when you get out of college and get a job. When it comes to repayment, there are several repayment plans that you can choose to use.  Standard Repayment Plan The lenders that helped you with your student loans will generally assign you to a repayment program. However, if that plan doesn’t allow you to make the payments easily, they are generally willing to help you so that you can get on a plan that will fit your needs better. If you are going to negotiate with your lender for a new repayment program, make sure that you are realistic with what you can pay and with what the lender will accept. You may want to pay only $10/month, but that is not realistic for the lender. Be flexible on what you are willing to accept; if you give a little more, the lender is generally more willing to give in a little more on their side.  Loan Consolidation Plan One of the repayment plans you can use is a consolidation plan. With this plan, you are basically refinancing all your loans and turning them into one loan. Instead of making a lot of payments on a lot of loans, you will pay only one payment on just one loan. That will save you money on the interest on your loans. If you have only one loan, you are only accruing interest in one place. Loan consolidation plans are available to use on any kind of loan. Make sure that you check what the interest rate is before you consolidate your loans. You can shop around to find an interest rate that is more attractive to you.  Graduated Plan A graduated plan is one in which your payments change on a predictable schedule. Your payments start out at a lower level, and then every few years they increase by a certain amount. How frequently they change and how much they increase depends on your lender and how much you owe. The theory behind this is that when you first start working, you can’t afford a large payment, but as you get more established you have more money in order to pay your loans off. You can negotiate with your lender about the increase if you need to.  Student loans make it possible for you to go to college. After you graduate, you have to pay them back. Finding the right repayment plan for you can make it much easier. For more information, talk to a company like First Mortgage Company,...

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Like Hacks For Starting And Managing Your Real Estate Appraisal Company

Posted by on Aug 31, 2015 in Blog, Finance & Money | Comments Off on Like Hacks For Starting And Managing Your Real Estate Appraisal Company

So you’re passionate about buying and appraising real estate. It’s a fantastic business to be in and can be very lucrative. But do you know the ins and outs of structuring your business? Will it be an LLC, a corporation, a DBA, or a partnership? This article teaches you the differences and helps you determine what best meets the needs of your personal business. You will learn how to structure your real estate business, what the tax advantages and penalties are, how to create tax-free income from the sale of your personal residence, and how to use a 1031 exchange to defer capital gains and create wealth.    The first thing you need to determine is which business entity you should select to structure your business, based on the tax advantages, liability, and separation of personal and businesses assets. There are pluses and minuses to each business structure, and it is advisable that you consult your personal finance expert first. LLC – An LLC is a limited liability company. It is a separate entity that combines the flow-through taxation of a partnership or sole proprietorship with the limited liability of a corporation. An LLC can have its own taxpayer ID number, open bank accounts, and do business under its own name. At tax time, the LLC will flow through the income and deductions to your personal tax return. Corporation – A corporation is a distinct and separate entity as well, but it will be taxed at a certain corporate level. While a corporation is subject to higher taxation, it offers more flexibility in terms of income shifting. DBA – DBA means ‘doing business as’. This means you could use a fictitious name, a trade name, or an assumed name. A DBA gives you the opportunity to create a business name that may be related directly to the business or may be related to the owners of the business. It allows you to hold your property name so it is not connected with your own personal assets. Partnership – A partnership has that same ability to flow through to your personal tax return. What it does not offer is any liability protection. Sole Proprietorship – The sole proprietorship is the simplest form under which one can operate a business. It is not a legal entity. It simply refers to a person who owns the business and is personally responsible for its debts. Lastly, important components of protection that your business needs to have in place: a standardized accounting system, a record keeping system, and insurance. Keeping detailed accounts is highly important for tax purposes or in the event of an audit. For further assistance, contact a local appraisal management...

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3 Ways to Be Released on Your Own Recognizance

Posted by on Aug 3, 2015 in Blog, Finance & Money | Comments Off on 3 Ways to Be Released on Your Own Recognizance

You might have had a loved one arrested without the need to pay bail because the judge released them on their own recognizance. If this is the case, the individual is asked to sign a document that states that they will come to court on the required date. No bail is required. Of course, not everybody is offered this opportunity. This is available only in certain circumstances. If you fall into at least one of these categories, this could be the case for you. 1. You have strong connections to the community. The judge will likely determine that you are not a flight risk if you have strong ties to your community. For instance, you might have family members in the area or a well-established career. You may have an important role at church or you might have children that you are close to. These strong connections may prove to the judge that you are going to make your court appointment. 2. You do not have a strong criminal history. If you don’t have a record or have only minor events documented in your past, you are not as likely to pay bail. If you always appeared before the judge in these cases, it may prove that you are trustworthy. The judge wants to know that you are not going to skip court. If it seems as if you are typically a law-abiding citizen, it will relieve any worry that you won’t show up. 3. Somebody speaks up on your behalf. You may have an employer or church leader with great standing in the community stand up to speak for you. This is most likely to work if the crime you have been arrested for is minor and you probably do not pose a threat to the community. The arrest might have been for shoplifting, a traffic offense or simply a first low-level offense. Another person staking their reputation on your behalf can mean quite a bit depending on their position. The defendant must request a release on their own recognizance. The judge may deny this request or offer a very low bail amount. Of course, you are not completely out of the woods. The judge may demand that you attend counseling sessions or live under the supervision of family in the meantime. For many, these conditions are preferable to spending time behind bars or spending money to bail out of jail. Learn more about your options by contacting companies like All-Mobile Bail...

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Raising Financially Savvy Kids

Posted by on Jul 21, 2015 in Blog, Finance & Money | Comments Off on Raising Financially Savvy Kids

With unemployment rates still high, and with the sluggish economy, it’s all too easy for adults to find themselves in financial trouble. Often, however, it’s those who learned tough financial lessons early on who fare better. That’s why it is vital for parents to impart good financial habits and values to their children, even if these lessons are reinforced at school. Below are five tips on raising financially savvy kids. Start the Financial Dialogue Early No matter how young your children are, it’s not too soon to start talking about finances. Start by explaining why you go to work every day: you have to make money to pay for the things they use every day. Piggy banks are a great way to teach children about saving, or you can open bank accounts in their names. Young kids don’t really understand planning for the distant future, but if they grow up knowing how to save money, they’re off to a good start. Encourage Kids to go on Family Shopping Trips Rather than sounding like a parrot that only knows the word “no,” let your kids take part in shopping for the family. It’s the perfect way for them to learn how much everyday items cost and to begin learning how to shop wisely. If you want to raise money-smart kids, you have to give them some degree of flexibility; if they get an allowance, they should be able to spend (or save) it however they choose. Don’t Come to the Rescue Every kid makes mistakes, but parents must allow the mistakes to teach a valuable lesson. For instance, if a child saves for a significant purchase but comes up short, don’t swoop in and make up the difference—make them wait or make them work for the money. It’s much easier to learn about money management when they’re young and only making $5 a week, rather than when they’re all grown up and making $500 a week. Set a Good Example Rules and money lessons won’t work if you don’t model good behaviors for your children. Show them that you’re saving money, that you shop carefully, and that you’re delaying your “wants” until you can afford them. Not only should you use good money habits, you should show your kids how these habits work every day. Taking the time to teach your kids about money now can help them avoid financial pitfalls later. If you want any more advice, consider consulting with professional financial advisers, such as those at Vahanian & Associates Financial Planning Inc, for more information on finances to ensure that you are a good example of financial solvency for your...

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3 Things That You Might Need To Bail Your Loved One Out Of Jail

Posted by on Jun 30, 2015 in Blog, Finance & Money | Comments Off on 3 Things That You Might Need To Bail Your Loved One Out Of Jail

If your loved one has recently called you and let you know that he or she is in jail, you probably want to do what you can to get him or her out as soon as possible. Knowing that someone you care about is in jail can be extremely upsetting, but you shouldn’t get in so much of a rush that you don’t bring everything that you need when you go to the jail. These are a few things that you might need to gather to help you be as successful as possible. 1. Bail Bondsman There is a good chance that you will need to bring along a bail bondsman in order to get your loved one out of jail. If you have the cash money that is needed for your loved one’s bond, you will not need one, but you should know that you won’t get this money back until your loved one shows up for all of his or her court dates as he or she is supposed to. If you hire a bail bondsman, however, you will only need to pay a certain percentage of the bond, which is a better option if you’re short on cash or if the bond is very high. Luckily, you should be able to find a bail bondsman in your area if you check the yellow pages in your local phone book, if you do an online search, or even if you call the police department and ask for a list of names and numbers. 2. Identification When you post bond for your loved one, you will need to be able to prove who you are. This means that you need to bring in some form of approved identification, such as your driver’s license or state-issued identification card. If you do not have these things, you should be able to use a military ID or passport. You can always call the jail to ask about which forms of ID you can use. 3. Cash Some bail bondsmen allow you to pay with a credit or debit card, or you might be required to pay in cash. Don’t count on being able to get money out of the ATM at the jail, because there might not be one readily available. Instead, it’s best to ask the bondsman or someone from the jail about the best payment method. Getting your loved one out of jail as quickly as possible is probably your number one priority. Luckily, if you bring these three things along, you should not have any problems.  For more information about posting bail, contact a professional like Regional Bonding...

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What Constitutes Knowledgeable Possession?

Posted by on Jun 9, 2015 in Blog, Finance & Money | Comments Off on What Constitutes Knowledgeable Possession?

When you’ve hired a digital forensics professional to track down old financial files or other information, it’s often very important to make sure that you have knowledgeable possession of the file. There are four main factors that will determine whether or not you or the forensic professionals have knowledgeable possession of the files. You only need to have one of these to have attained this status. 1. You Can Perform Timeframe Analysis Timeframe analysis is when you are able to identify exactly when the file was last accessed and on what date. This is helpful because for businesses, you can often determine who had access to the computer on that date, and then use security cameras to figure out who accessed the computer at that specific time. This will help reinforce any evidence that you find on a person’s computer by proving that he or she was indeed the one who altered the file. 2. Check the Contents For User Identification If you can’t perform timeframe analysis, then you can always check the contents for user identification. Examples of user identification could be unfinished resumes, personal bank account numbers, a social security number, and other information that would definitely identify the person who had been modifying the file.  3. Check For Non-Default File Locations Suppose that you’re looking for proof that someone was evading their taxes and had tax forms that didn’t match those that were put out by the IRS. User created files will always have the name of the person who created them in their “Properties” tab, or at least the label “Owner” on them. For example, if a person downloads his or her tax forms off the Internet and saves them in a folder labeled “Taxes” rather than the “Downloads” default folder, then a folder tag will be created with the name of the computer user who created. This is most helpful for shared computers. 4. Check For Password Matching If an employer suspects that an employee is downloading information on his or her own time and finds a password protected folder, he or she could determine that the employee created the folder if the password that is protecting the folder is similar to the one that the employee uses to log into his or her own account. For more information, contact a company of digital forensics professionals (such as http://www.eppsforensics.com). They will be able to help you determine if you have knowledgeable possession, or help you obtain knowledgeable possession if your case needs...

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4 Ways To Protect Your Personal Banking Account From Overdrafting

Posted by on May 19, 2015 in Blog, Finance & Money | Comments Off on 4 Ways To Protect Your Personal Banking Account From Overdrafting

Are you tired of paying fees for overdrafts? Overdraft fees can quickly stack up, especially if your balance is negative for multiple days. Still, you should never have to overdraft as long as you are careful. Follow these tips to protect your personal banking account from overdraft problems. 1. Put Your Automatic Bills On Your Credit Card Many people automatically draft bills from their checking account, but this can lead to overdrafts — especially when the bill is much higher than they expect. If your mobile phone bill and your electricity are both much higher than usual, will your transactions begin to bounce? A credit card is ideal, because it gives you time to review the transaction before you actually pay it.  2. Avoid Using Your Debit Card For Purchases Debit cards should be avoided for purchases for two reasons: they can overdraft your account by taking a few days for the debits to transfer, and debit transactions are harder to get overturned if you have issues later on. If you need to reverse a credit card transaction, it’s usually far easier. Debit cards also shouldn’t be used online for security reasons — if your debit card number is stolen, your account can be emptied and you’ll have to fight to get the money back. 3. Request Bank Checks Rather Than Writing Checks Do you have a problem with forgetting checks that you’ve written? Many people do, especially as checks become more infrequent. Rather than writing out a check, you might want to consider getting a check directly from your bank. You can request a bank check at the teller window; it will be debited from your account immediately so that there is nothing to track, and it will still be written to a specific person so it is secure.  4. Get A “Sweep” Account If you have both a savings and checking account, consider looking into sweep accounts. A sweep account is a checking account that will “sweep” funds from another, related account, into itself rather than overdrafting. If you find yourself juggling savings and checking transfers, this is likely the solution. You can also turn off overdraft protection on your account entirely, but this is inadvisable. When you turn off overdraft protection, none of your transfers will go through if you don’t have the funds. This can lead to very difficult situations, such as having a $900 rent check bounced because you only had $895 in your account. Most of the time, bouncing a check is not preferable to paying off a small...

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Want To Pay Down Your Mortgage This Summer? 4 Ideas To Consider

Posted by on Apr 21, 2015 in Blog, Finance & Money | 0 comments

If you are trying to pay down your mortgage this year, summer time is a great season to make some extra money. The summer season is an optimal time to take advantage of several ways to raise extra capital that can be used towards your mortgage principle, especially because the children are out of school and can help. Here are a few methods you may want to consider: 1. Have a Community Rummage Sale Summer time is a great time to organize community rummage sales. The weather is beautiful, people are interested in getting their homes cleaned out, and the children are home to give you a hand. Go through your entire house and sell anything that you know you aren’t using. Even if it is something you think no one would every buy, put it in your sale anyway. Your trash may be another person’s treasure. 2. Get a Part-Time Job Many businesses begin hiring part-time help during the summer months, especially in retail and food service. Try to find a small part-time job you can do two or three evenings a week. The money you earn will quickly add up to a nice boost to your mortgage payment. 3. Use Alternative Transportation Summer is notorious for its beautiful weather, so why not take advantage of it? If you are within walking distance to any of your regular stops, ditch the car keys and walk instead. The less you use your vehicle, the more money you save in gasoline and car maintenance. Not to mention it is great exercise. 4. Start a Side Business If you have a special talent that someone will pay for, you may want to start your own side business to make extra money for your mortgage. If you play piano, offer lessons to local children in your area. If you are a teacher, offer your tutoring services during the summer. If you enjoy baking, you may want to sell cakes and pastries for all of the summer events that are coming up. Think about some things you enjoy doing and figure out a way to get paid for them. These are only a few ways you can raise some extra money this summer to put towards your mortgage. Even if you only raise a few hundred dollars, you will be that much closer to paying off your home. Make a little extra effort to be frugal and you will notice that you may be able to get your house paid off in no time. To learn more about paying off your mortgage, contact Commonfund; Mortgage...

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4 Ways To Protect Yourself From Checking Account Fraud

Posted by on Mar 31, 2015 in Blog, Finance & Money | 0 comments

Checking account fraud happens more often than people think. In fact, over 500 million checks are forged each year in the US. If you are not careful you can easily become a victim to this crime. Luckily, there are a couple things that you can do to protect yourself from checking account fraud. Here are some things you should do. 1. Protect Your Checks You should never leave your checkbook lying around the house, or in your car. You should protect your checkbook like you would cash or your credit card. Someone could easily take you checkbook and write checks under your name, or get your bank account information and use it for their benefit. This is why you should keep your checks in a safe place, and only use them when you have to. 2. Use Online Bill Pay Many banks have started using a process called online bill pay. This allows you to send bills from your checking account. The great thing about this option is that the bank can verify the check so that you are sure that the check came from you. This allows you to set your checkbook aside and just have the bank do the work for you. 3. Use Online Banking With online banking you can see everything that is going on in your bank account. No longer do you have to keep track of every penny, you can see the activity of your account as often as you want. The bank may not always catch problems since they don’t know what purchases you did and didn’t make. Instead, you should be checking frequently to make sure that you authorized every transaction and if there are any problems, call the bank immediately. 4. Never Print Your SSN On Your Checks You should use the bare minimum information on your checks. Some people think it is best if they print their SSN on their checks, but this can get you into a world of trouble. All the seller needs for your check is a way to contact you, your bank number and the amount you wrote the check for. Don’t give anyone more information that is necessary. In addition, never give out this information to anyone unless your bank tells you to. By doing these simple things you can protect yourself from bank fraud. If you ever have any concerns or are worried that you might have been victimized, talk to a place like Visterra Credit Union right away. They have precautions set in place to protect...

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