Category Archives

Archive of posts published in the category: finance
Jul
31

Manage Your Money Flow

Managing your money flow is the second step of building your financial house. It is like building the frame that the rest of the home will be built around.

The concept of managing your money flow is basically making sure that your inflow of cash is less than your outflow of cash. This process is called budgeting. When you create and follow a budget, you are living within your current means and you will avoid accumulating new debt.

When you take the time to create and follow a budget, you begin to see where your money goes each month. Armed with that knowledge you can cut back on some of those wasteful spending habits and free up money to start moving towards your goals.

Managing Your Money Flow Will Help You Reach Your Financial Goals

When you follow a budget, you can allocate money to reaching your financial goals. Maybe you want to save for things like retirement or a down payment on a house. Perhaps you want to start saving money to start that business you’ve been dreaming of. When you follow a budget, you have a plan to get where you want to go. When you have a goal and plan to reach that goal, your chances of getting there are exponentially increased.

Managing Your Money Flow Will Prepare You for Future Wealth

If you are always running out of money with your current income, chances are that you will have the same problem even if you earn more. Statistically, the more money you earn, the more money you’ll spend. This is called Parkinson’s Law. If you do not learn to manage what you have now, earning more money will not solve the problem.

Don’t be fooled by appearances. Many of those high income earners are broke. All of their income is going to pay for their big mortgage, the credit card bills, and the car loans. They are just broke at a different level.

Managing Your Money Flow Will Teach You Discipline

Wealthy people understand the importance of managing their money. They exercise self-discipline and they save up for purchases and earn interest on their savings while they do it. Broke people tend to go for instant gratification and buy things on credit. Often, whatever they buy ends up costing them twice as much by the time they finish paying for the credit card bill.

In the long run, saving up for purchases will actually allow you to buy twice as much stuff compared to buying with credit.

Alternatively, you could have the same amount of stuff, plus build up a big investment account on the side with all the money you save by not paying interest on debt.

Managing Your Money Flow: Conclusion

Over the years of working in the financial industry I have actually met a lot of low income earners that had higher net worths than many doctors and lawyers. This is simply because they managed their money well and allocated a portion each …

Jul
22

Credit Unions – A Friendly Alternative To High-Street Finance

If you are looking to borrow some money to pay for a dream holiday, buy a car or make some improvements to your house, it's likely that your first port of call in looking for finance will be your bank. After all, you already trust them to look after your money and their current loan rates are good so why go anywhere else?

While it's certainly convenient to approach the bank for a loan, the process of applying for finance can be a rocky road and, at the end of it all, you might find that your income is not enough to finance the repayments. Similarly, if you've had credit problems in the past it's highly likely that you'll be forced into punitive interest rates or having your application turned down together. If this happens, you might then try your luck with one of the multiple of loan companies who advertise on television and in the press, or found on the internet. However, there is another option that many people do not know exists: the local credit union.

Credit Unions are financial co-operatives owned and controlled by their members. They generally operate in areas where low incomes are common and offer savings and great value loans to customers. Another benefit of Credit Unions is they are local, ethical and know what their members want. Each Credit Union has a 'common bond' which determines who can join. This bond may be for people who live or work in a particular area, work for the same employer or belong to the same association or club, such as a church or trade union.

Credit Unions work by having members pool their savings together, which can then provide a fund from which loans are made to other members. Borrowers then pay interest on the money loaned to them as they would if the loan had been through a bank. As the money in the fund belongs to individuals, the credit union 'rents' the funds from its savers, who each year receive a dividend from the money they rent to the credit union. As a result, credit unions should offer its savers a good return on the money that is placed in the fund.

In order to operate, a credit union must be successful in attracting a sufficient large amount of savers to enable it to hold sufficient liquidity to enable it to meet members' requests for loans, share withdrawals and overheads. Furthermore, dispute payments to savers and the credit union's operating costs have to be met out of the credit union's profits, so a strong fund is essential for the credit union's success. As the main source of income for a credit union coming from the interest charged on members' loans, it is very important that the credit union be proactive in marketing the benefits and availability of their services.

For peace of mind, credit unions have to be registered and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, who also regulates banks, building communities and …

Jul
1

How to Shop for Dump Truck Insurance

Dump truck insurance is more popularly called Dirt, Sand & Gravel haulers or DSG haulers by insurance insiders. When shopping around for this coverage there are a few things that are very important to keep in mind.

The first, most insurance agents don’t have any experience writing these types of risks. There are fewer commercial trucking agents, and even fewer who have special markets for aggregate haulers. These trucks include, dump trucks, bobtail dump trucks, super 10 (super ten dump trucks), boosters, bottom dumps, semi bottom, belly dumps, end dumps, transfer trucks, side dumps, and a few other specialized trucks. It is important to make sure you agent knows what kind of truck they are dealing with first. If they don’t know what a booster is, you should find another agent. One resource to start with is finding a local agent that knows what they are doing, find an agency that specializes in commercial trucking and has been in business for 15 or 30 years.

Second, how many markets do they have for your type of business. Ask them who they write with, listen for big names that you are familiar with such as Progressive Insurance, Nationwide, Geico, if they don’t have a contract with these places chances are they cannot offer the type of services that you will want. Ask what the rating of the company is, and if they are and “admitted market.” Admitted will only apply to some states, specifically California.

Third, direct bill or agency bill. Agency bill means there will be additional finance charges that most agencies do include in their quotes. We will cover this in later blogs.

Lastly, ask how long it will take for your agent to send evidence of insurance or additional insured endorsements. Experienced commercial agents understand that you cannot get loaded until the broker receives this important document. If the agent doesn’t have the authority to issue this form himself, it can take several hours to fulfill this request. Other agents with direct appointment can issue these forms within minutes. It doesn’t do you any good to save $100 on insurance if you lose a day of work because your agent cannot get the evidence out fast enough. Another important question for those that have double trailers or a set of bottom dumps is whether or not they can offer you a combined deductible. In the event of a claim this could save you over $2,000. To be discussed further in the future.…

Jun
30

How to Finance Your Assets

Whenever you require some kind of asset or business equipments for the smooth running of your business you have two options before you. Either you can make an outright purchase or you can hire purchase the required asset. It is up you to weigh up the benefits and disadvantages of both the options and then decide. If you have the required amount of money available with you then you may opt for the outright purchase of the asset. This will give you the complete ownership of the asset. However, the drawback of making an outright purchase is that you may have to face the cash flow problems. This option is best if you need to own the asset.

The Finance Company Purchases the Asset on Your Behalf:

On the contrary, when you choose the option of hire purchase or leasing the asset, you get the convenience of using it for a definite period against the regular payments. In other words, we can say that you only need to choose the asset required for the business and leave a rest of the job on the finance company you have chosen. It is now the responsibility of the finance company to buy that asset on your behalf and provide it to you for using it up to a fixed period. However, the onus of maintaining the asset is on you when you choose the option of hire purchase or leasing.

So, how to finance your asset? Make an outright purchase or go for hire purchase or leasing option? The answer depends on the availability of the capital and the cash flow. By choosing the option of leasing, you get the facility of paying the cost of the asset in regular installments. By paying smaller amounts after regular intervals, you can manage the cash flow of your company in a better way. However, keep it in mind that you end up in paying more amount of money as compared to an outright purchase because you also pay for the interest.

Moreover, when you lease the asset you never get the ownership of the asset except in the case when there is an option in the lease agreement that allows you to buy he asset at the end of the lease agreement. However, you get the facility of upgrading the business equipments without paying anything at the cost of newer models. You are also entitled to get the tax benefits when you choose leasing to finance your asset. Deduction of complete cost of the rental payments is allowed from the taxable income. In addition, the leasing company passes you the benefit of capital allowance it is getting on the lease agreements up to 5 years. You get this benefit in the form of reduced rental payments. …

Jun
23

How to Transfer Money to India

With a populace of over 1 billion, India is an stellar environment for finance, with cutting edge technology leading the Indian financial scene into the future. India has over 32-thousand ATMs as of December 31, 2007, but an increasing number of customers are finding that the need to visit a bank branch or ATM location is not what it used to be, due to state-of-the-art technological advances.

Banks are moving toward allowing members to complete banking transactions using cellular telephones and other handheld technology. Banks, in the past, have utilized technology such as text messages to advertise promotions for customers, but electronic transactions will likely replace many types of cash transactions in India within the next few years. The use of technology in banking reduces transactions fees and reduces the need for quick branch expansion. Currently, almost 10% of all bank transactions in India are completed online.

This idea of ​​handheld banking technology is called Mobile Banking, and it is predicted that mobile banking will revolutionize the bank industry in India and soon all around the globe. Already, 85-90% of mobile bankers do not use ATM or credit cards; they simply use their telephone to make transactions. The technologies utilized to make this style of banking possible is the same technology that runs ATM machines, although it is much less-expensive to maintain. India is definitely on the forefront of this rapidly growing area of ​​finance.

An increasing number of Indians are also using the Internet for bank needs, however the majority of banking customers using the World-Wide-Web limit their activities to checking statements and assuring whether or not transactions have been completed. The web also allows bank users to interact with bank employees to ask questions and inquire about bank products and services, although this is not heavily used so far by Indian bank customers.

Traditionally, Indians have not garnered a great deal of debt, with consumer debt making up just 4% of the country's Gross Domestic Product, compared with over 60% for nations such as South Korea and Taiwan. Banks are eager to join in the increasing debt loads of Indian consumers. Like China and South Asia as a whole, India is one of the largest expanding areas for credit card, debit card, and cash card services, and surveys predict that the credit card market in this area will increase by 15-20% over the next three years. Indian houses currently save 28% of their disposable income.

The bank presence is expanding in India, as more global banks and financial companies rush to compete for the changing banking needs in the nation. Demographically speaking, half of India's 1.2 billion population are under the age of 25, so over the next many years, a big generation of people will be entering their earning years and will have many banking needs. The banks that find a way to provide the services Indian bank customers enjoy a windfall of new customers and profit in the years to come. …

Jun
15

Take Finance at Your Terms at Cheap Secured Personal Loan

People who own a property are always in better position as far as loan availing is concerned as they can always take any amount of loan against their property. However to avail loan at low cost is all together different aspect of any loan. Through cheap secured personal loan any borrower is able to avail finance at lower interest rate and other terms and conditions also are to the comfort of the loan seeker. What is more cheap secured personal loan can be utilized to whatever purpose such as home improvement works, paying for medical and other critical expenses, buying vehicle, enjoying holiday trip.

Cheap secured personal loan is called so because people of any financial background get the loan at lower interest rate and overall cost of the loan remains cheaper. To avail cheap secured loan, borrower has to place any of his property like home, jewelry, valuable papers, vehicle etc as collateral with the lender. Collateral gives a sense of security to the lender about loan. In fact, collateral plays ruling role in availing cheap secured personal loan.

If borrower offers collateral like home which generally has higher equity in it then getting cheap secured loan becomes a lot easier. This is because higher equity secures the loan more. Equity is market value of the property minus financial liabilities of the borrower.

Although generally lenders provide cheap secured personal loan anywhere in the range of £ 3000 to £ 75000, but in case greater loan is the need then lender goes for evaluation of equity in the collateral, with higher equity ensuring higher loan.

Cheap secured personal loan has this especial advantage of lower interest rate attached to it. Because of adequate security through collateral, lenders are willing to reduce interest rate especially if higher equity collateral is offered to them. Even normal collateral will fetch the loan at lower interest rate. As compared to unsecured loans also cheap secured personal loan is availed at lower rate of interest.

Another attraction of cheap secured personal loan is that it can be paid back in larger repayment term, if the borrower thinks it suits him. Lenders provide the loan for repayment term ranging from 5 to 30 years. One should remember that to save money for expenses, better choose larger repayment term as amount paid towards monthly installation is reduced.

Even in case of bad credit, borrowers are equally eligible to avail cheap secured personal loan as because the loan has been well secured, lenders do not give much importance to credit history of the borrower. Lenders are always free to sell the property of the borrower if there is payment default. However, good credit history is an added advantage in getting the loan at easier terms.

To reduce cost of cheap secured personal loan, it should be applied for online. The online lenders do not charge any fee on application processing or giving relevant information. Moreover number of lenders offer you their loan offers and you can choose …

Jun
15

Zoom in the Fast Track of E-Financial Business by Choosing the Right Finance Website Templates

We love to have a solid finance back up at the sometimes it turns a headache to manage those finance affairs. I thank people who come forward to help us with online finance management solutions! Are you one of such helpful men? If so, my article is going to tell you how choosing one of the best finance website templates to give your financial business a boom!

There are two major factors when you want to develop a website for your online finance business. One is choosing a template shop and then finding one of the best finance web templates from the templates available in a template shop. There are some matters which help to find a good template shop and select one of the best finance website templates. I am here pointing you some features of finance web templates and how to know a template shop as best template shop.

  • A cool design in color application is must for finance website templates. Money matters are serious affairs so simple yet elegant color increases soothing effect in the visitors’ mind.
  • The first sight falls on the header of a site so it has to be attractive. The header portion of the finance website templates needs to keep provision for showing off the purpose of the site. It is like grabbing the opportunity at first sight.
  • A visitor will come to get your services. In the finance web templates the focus will have to be always on the services. So the service portion has to get maximized notice.
  • It is found that visitors want some live news. In the finance web templates there should be always a panel about keeping live report about finance markets. It will help to compare and understand your finance solutions against present market.
  • Anytime or every time a visitor lands on a site, wants to know what is special! Finance website templates need to keep a space to show the special finance services from the service providers.
  • With the space for other related and valuable finance content keep a block for finance success stories. In the finance web templates the place for successful finance related stories increases the chances for investment.
  • People like to keep them updated. So a direct like for accepting newsletter services has some importance. In the finance website templates there may be a place for subscribing newsletters. This part will let the service provider chance to remain in touch with the visitors who subscribe to the service.
  • Last but not the least is quick solution and quick support panel. In the finance web templates there has to be a panel for quick contact as it lets visitors chance to get finance solution fast. People are coming to get solution let them find support fast.

In the above points I have tried to show you what should be the standard features in finance website templates or the finance web templates. Other features like programming support to open source and hard core development, SEO …

May
28

Insurance Agents Are Like Toasters

We work in a unique industry – one in which insurance agents are like toasters. Let me explain …

Everyone owns and uses at least one small appliance at home. It may be a toaster, a garage door opener or a microwave oven. No doubt it's something we use every day. And yet, we can not recall the brand name of the appliance. We all know what it looks like and how it works, but generally can not remember who the manufacturer is … until it breaks. When it breaks, we check to see what brand of "widget" it is and whether repair or replacement is covered. We decide whether we want to purchase the same brand or try a different brand altogether. It takes a problem to draw our attention to the brand – and until that time, since we are not really aware of the brand we're using, one brand is as good as another ! Insurance agents are essentially like toasters. We're generally not thought of by policyholders until something breaks – that is, until there's a claim.

Once there's a claim, we have the ability to really shine. We're responsive and concerned. We work to expedite things and look out for our policyholder's interests. We end up creating more of a relationship with our clients. When there's a claim, we get the opportunity to really shine in the eyes of the policyholder. The problem arises when everything is going well!

When all is well and there are not any claims (which is most of the time), we are not thought of. And when we are not thought of, our clients are easily persuaded to consider using another agent or finding a better rate. The real challenge with keeping clients is not mishandling a claim. It's being faceless. The danger lies in being a nameless toaster.

How do you avoid the misfortune of being forgotten? Let me share a lesson I learned many years ago when I was working to succeed as a small business consultant. I have a pretty strong business background and I knew I could help most any small business in any area they needed help with – finance, marketing, systems, personnel, etc. I marketed to businesses far and wide – businesses in various industries and of various sizes. I was open to any assignment I could attract. After all, I could not afford to turn any opportunity away. I worked hard at developing my consulting practice, but never achieved more than mediocre results. After a few years of struggling, I ended up moving on to other things (read that as, "I had to get a job."). Just after accepting an executive position with a company, I gained an important marketing insight. Here is the insight I got:

If you're not known for something, you're not known for anything.

I had been a toaster. People hard thought of me. They rarely referred others to me. Only a small number of them chose to give …

Feb
29

Turnaround Finance – Solution by Vultures or Angels?

An injection of turnaround finance involves saving a potentially insolvent company from irreversible insolvency and returning the company to a stable financial and operational position. The objective is to achieve this whilst maximizing creditors' interests and the interests of employees, managers and shareholders. Popularized by such media productions as Dragon's Den (starting in Japan, now exported to the USA and UK), private wealth may be granted where the investor believes there is a future for the business. This article deals with turnaround finance for both under-performing businesses and businesses that are either insolvent or potentially insolvent.

The Progress Path

Turnarounds are achieved by a combination of financial, crisis management, restructuring and insolvency skills. The first step is to determine why the company is in the state it is. Realistically, there is anything that can be done to reverse the trend. Analysis is the key to really get into the problem. The analysis will resemble the three legged stool approach. The 'legs' vary, but essentially the analysis will get into these three areas: possibilities for structure, liability and management

Restructure

Even a formal structure involving insolvency does not have to conclude the company. Many companies have found that this experience has forced a re-think of the company mission and a focus of action. But the majority of turnaround finance initiatives result in informal restructuring which is generally better for creditors, customers, employees, banks and shareholders. The structure may necessitate job loss and lean arrangements with creditors. It may involve closing some facilities to reduce overhead or consolidating partitions to eliminate duplicate administrative functions. It may be necessary to sell off underperforming divisions of the company and outsource some functions to other parts of the world with less expensive labor rates. Viability This is the 'leg' that varies, sometimes it's in the guise of the finance package. But whatever finance is required, whatever the state of the company and it's creditors – is the company viable? Does it have a sustainable market? Does it have a future for it's goods or services? If it's a new business in something like internet technology, the answer to this question may not be straightforward and need significant analysis and business instinct. For older industries the past history of similar ideas will help greatly.

Management

Of all issues involved in the turnaround, the most difficult is getting the company to recognize deficiencies in management. Weaker members of the management team need to be replaced and this is very difficult for the board to be objective about. The management of any company does not want to know that their company is struggling because of the obvious implication of where decisions are made resulting in the problem. Many management teams will not accept that they need help until the last moment – but the best help is the help administrated early. The resulting action may have to be decent and definite, aka brutal. Conclusion The most famous example of a turnaround success is Canary Wharf in London that …

Feb
24

How to Define Personal Finance

In the modern world, personal finance is more important than ever. A person’s entire life revolves around the decisions they make about their money. The media would have one believe that big banks are what make the economy function or fail, but the truth is that individuals should be much more concerned about what they can control, namely their personal finances.

For many people, personal finance simply means keeping their checkbook balanced and having enough money in the account to pay the monthly bills. This is a great start, but only a start. Other important decisions affect a person’s financial well-being. Everyone eventually have to rely on the decisions they made in the past to provide them with suitable income in their golden years. Decisions like this are just as important as keeping the checkbook organized.

The old-fashioned bank is the financial institution most likely to play the greatest role in a person’s daily personal finance strategy. Banks offer a variety of ways to help one manage their money. Most people need only concern themselves with four main types of financial accounts. The first two account types, checking and savings, shouldn’t be anything new to the average person living in the modern world. Checking accounts offer the most convenience and easiest access to your money.

Savings account also allow you access, but are designed with long term savings in mind. These accounts pay interest, but it’s usually very low and shouldn’t be viewed as an investment. Money market accounts are similar to savings accounts but have a few restrictions. In return for a higher interest rate, banks usually require a minimum deposit to open one of these accounts and the number of transactions that can be made on the account per month is limited. Though not actually an account, certificates of deposit (CDs) offer some of the best returns on one’s money. The longer one invests the money in the CD, the greater the return on one’s capital.

Before knowing the best account type or types to use in a personal finance strategy, a person first must analyze his or her own financial situation. It is important to consider one’s sources of income as well as one’s personal liabilities such as mortgage, car payment, credit card bills, daily living expenses, etc. Once all this information is gathered, a plan can be formulated. If one discovers a budget surplus, this money can be invested in money market or CDs. However, if the bills are barely being paid, it makes no sense to put money into a savings account just to have to remove it the following month.

The goal of all this information is not only to stay out of the red in your personal finances, but to also accrue a sizable savings surplus. By examining one’s daily spending habits, extraneous expenses can be removed and more money can be saved. The savings can then be put into money market or CD accounts and earn interest. The old saying that a …