Equity Financing: The Accountants’ Perspective

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Growing up it has always been said that one can raise capital or finance business with either its personal savings, gifts or loans from family and friends and this idea continue to persist in modern business but probably in different forms or terminologies.

It is a known fact that, for businesses to expand, it’s prudent that business owners tap financial resources and a variety of financial resources can be utilized, generally broken into two categories, debt and equity.

Equity financing, simply put is raising capital through the sale of shares in an enterprise i.e. the sale of an ownership interest to raise funds for business purposes with the purchasers of the shares being referred as shareholders. In addition to voting rights, shareholders benefit from share ownership in the form of dividends and (hopefully) eventually selling the shares at a profit.

Debt financing on the other hand occurs when a firm raises money for working capital or capital expenditures by selling bonds, bills or notes to individuals and/or institutional investors. In return for lending the money, the individuals or institutions become creditors and receive a promise the principal and interest on the debt will be repaid, later.

Most companies use a combination of debt and equity financing, but the Accountant shares a perspective which can be considered as distinct advantages of equity financing over debt financing. Principal among them are the fact that equity financing carries no repayment obligation and that it provides extra working capital that can be used to grow a company’s business.

Why opt for equity financing?

• Interest is considered a fixed cost which has the potential to raise a company’s break-even point and as such high interest during difficult financial periods can increase the risk of insolvency. Too highly leveraged (that have large amounts of debt as compared to equity) entities for instance often find it difficult to grow because of the high cost of servicing the debt.

• Equity financing does not place any additional financial burden on the company as there are no required monthly payments associated with it, hence a company is likely to have more capital available to invest in growing the business.

• Periodic cash flow is required for both principal and interest payments and this may be difficult for companies with inadequate working capital or liquidity challenges.

• Debt instruments are likely to come with clauses which contains restrictions on the company’s activities, preventing management from pursuing alternative financing options and non-core business opportunities

• A lender is entitled only to repayment of the agreed upon principal of the loan plus interest, and has to a large extent no direct claim on future profits of the business. If the company is successful, the owners reap a larger portion of the rewards than they would if they had sold debt in the company to investors in order to finance the growth.

• The larger a company’s debt-to-equity ratio, the riskier the company is considered by lenders and investors. Accordingly, a business …

Tips For Saving Money

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Still living from pay to pay? Or envying those great wealth accumulators and wondering how they did it? Every month you make a resolution of saving some dollars from your paycheck, but only end up breaking it. Looking for some magic formula for saving money?

Well, there's no magic formula-only some simple rules to be followed with determination and persistence.

Have you ever taken consumer credit-the credit used for personal finance? If not, then that's where you're missing. Those wealth grabbers, who are the subject of your envy, have smartly used the borrowed money and became rich. They did not hesitate in taking credit, and considered it as a valuable financial asset.

Credit is not something bad. On the contrary, it makes your life convenient and prevails you from falling in a tight spot. Yes, I know that your goal is to be a financially secure individual. We all have the same goal, do not we? Despite harboring such strong goals, many of us are scrapping every month, with no money left to fall back up on at the end.

I do not intend to entangle you in the intricacies of finance, but want to present before you, some simple rules that would help in saving some dough. But promise me that you'll put them to practice regularly. Although it takes some time-years maybe-to get the full results, yet the trick lies in perseverance.

Spruce your knowledge-get smart!
I'm not telling you to glue your eyes to the television watching the stock market or enrolling for a finance degree. What I want you to do is arm yourself with the basics of the market so that you do not make wrong decisions that cost you money. Intelligent decisions are the key towards a flourishing business.

Patience pays!
Without you win a lottery, do not think of getting rich overnight. But with time you can certainly think of owning bundles of those crispy dollars. So start saving your money as soon as possible. Let compound interest bestow you with its benefits. I hope you know about compound interest-it is the reinvestment of your already invested earnings. However, do not lose heart when you find your first reinvested earnings to be a petty amount. Initially, they are small, but over the years you'll watch them magnify.

Set a flexible goal
Do not be a ship without anchor. Set some financial goals in life so that you know your target. This will boost your confidence and you'll be able to visualize yourself better in the future years. I would suggest having flexibility in your goals. This is because situations are never the same, they keep on changing and you'll have to change with them too. Here, you can not be rigid in your ways. Keep reviewing your goals and-better still-select a good financial advisor that would assist you in achieving your goals.

Get rid of large debts
Want to know a wise way? Start paying off all your debts that have double-digit interest …

Foreign National Commercial Mortgage Loan Basics

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As US dollar is becoming stronger and commercial real estate values are rising by the day, foreign buyers can have a real incentive for buying an investment property-whether it is commercial or residential. Persuading foreign investors to speculate in US economy has different incentives as well.

Some facts that are worth reading

As per National Association of REALTORS┬«, foreign buyers, until March 2014, invested in excess of $99.2 billion US residential real estate. These figures continue to soar with time. So every international buyer who can afford to invest in US properties and who look forward to living abroad should invest in the country’s real estate investment market.

When problem hits foreign real estate investors

Options for an international real estate buyer to pick from can be significantly limited as they will generally have to provide a:

  • U.S Federal Tax Identification Number
  • U.S Bank Account
  • State Certified Corporation, LLC, LP, or any active company
  • Proof of residence

And if a foreigner is incapable to furnish any of these docs, then the person will doubtlessly be ineligible to get a traditional mortgage and other similar financing options. Foreign buyers, however, can pay in cash-but as interest rates are low across the United States, it is preferred for buyers to finance their investments. And that is when a foreign national loan can be of great help to any foreign realty investor.

Understanding foreign national commercial mortgage loans

Foreign national commercial mortgage loans are available to every non-US citizen who are look forward to investing in any domestic property. However, any foreign national will not find this mortgage in traditional banks. And even the terms and conditions or requirements of this specific loan will vary from one lender to another.

Generally, foreign national mortgage lenders offer this loan type at down payments that start anywhere around 30 percent of the buying price. However, the down payment can even go as high as 40 percent-that depends on the size of the loan that any foreigner may apply for.

Apart from large down payments, this loan is similar to a traditional loan. The process of securing this loan is just like the one followed to get a domestic loan. For building a borrower profile, lenders will need:

  • Their passports
  • A Tax Identification Number given by the Internal Revenue Service
  • Asset proof that is verified by any global financial institution
  • A Letter of Professional Reference From An Accountant and or Banker

Foreign borrowers will generally have to pay a higher interest rate than the ones given by US residents. But borrowers may get a commercial mortgage with an annual interest rate as low as five percent because of larger down payments and historically low interest rates.…

Financial Abundance – 5 Factors

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As an “Abundant Life Coach” I get asked about the meaning of “financial abundance” very often. What this means to you can be the difference between living the lifestyle of your dreams, or settling for something less than your dreams. I want you to live the life of your dreams!

Here, then, are 5 Essential Factors of Financial Abundance:

“The Abundant Mindset”

Thousands upon thousands of books, articles, media, programs, and so much more have been produced that discuss the awesome power of our minds, and the influence of our thinking upon our lives. It is difficult to say enough or emphasize enough that truth. As I see it, we are exactly as we think.

In my work, I recommend the adoption of an “Abundant” mindset. This means so much more than finance or money, however, for the purposes of this article, I will discuss abundance only as it applies to the world of money and finance.

A financial abundance mindset means enjoying an abundant amount of money, and yet not allowing greed. Greed does not work (sorry, Gordon Gekko). Of course “financial abundance” will be a relative concept; it will probably mean something different to each person. Greed, however, is fairly obvious; it is almost like knowing (within your mid or heart) the difference between right and wrong.

Further, a financial abundance mindset means having the monetary means or resources to enjoy an abundant lifestyle, yet balancing your financial wealth with philanthropy and generous giving (see point 4). When one’s personal motives are clearly defined and one’s goals are aligned with those motives, then financial abundance becomes clear.

“Specialized Knowledge”

The largest difference between the rich and poor (or the “haves” and “have-nots”) is knowledge. Or, more specifically, the largest difference is a specialized knowledge; meaning that they have the “right” knowledge and also know how to use that knowledge to their advantage. In other words, specialized knowledge is the information or data itself, coupled with the wisdom to know how to use the information or data.

For many, specialized knowledge is an academic education such as medical or law school, while for others this might mean computer programming, aviation repair, or something. Further, many of those with a financial education know how to leverage their own money to make more money. Obviously the point is that specialized knowledge translates to earning ability.

“The Power of Compounding Interest and Investing”

For many people, diligent savings and investment of a consistent percentage of income over considerable lengths of time has lead to financial abundance. I would certainly add that economic factors always play a significant role with regard to risk in investments. Even so, living well within one’s means while investing and saving can very often lead to financial abundance.

“Generous Giving”

Generosity does not necessarily mean giving away or donating money. Mr. Zig Ziglar has said: “If you can dream it, then you can achieve it. You will get all you want in life if you help enough other …

Bridging Finance – Advantages and Disadvantages

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The most important advantage of using Bridging Finance is that you can complete the purchase of a new property before the sale of your existing property has completed. As organising the sale of your existing property and co-ordinating the purchase of a new property can be extremely difficult and create stress and pressure. If there is enough equity in your existing property you may be able to incorporate the finance needed for all of the fees involved. A Bridging Finance Loan is a temporary home loan which enables a purchaser to buy the property of their choice without being held up by the lengthy sales process. This can be a huge plus when you find the property for you and you do not want to risk losing it through a lengthy chain in your sale. You can also use Bridging Finance to avoid moving into rented accommodation and move straight into your new home.

Bridging Finance also has the advantage of having a quick process and has many different uses. It can be used for funding auction finance, first and second mortgages, home renovation and refurbishment, new-build development and construction as well as debt consolidation. Many Bridging Finance providers offer a option to defer fees to be charged until the completion of your sale and then added to your new mortgage, this can be useful in keeping the costs down.

There are several disadvantages when using Bridging Finance that you should be aware of before choosing this route. You may be required to have sufficient equity in your current property to support the purchase of both properties. As well as this you should also note that until your existing property is sold your interest payments will keep adding up, this can lead to difficulties if you do not sell your property quickly. Taking out a Bridging Finance home loan may force you to sell your property at a price lower than you wish to due affordability. You will be charged interest on the entire amount of the new loan. A Bridging Loan is only designed for short term use to bridge the gap between your purchase and sale usually only between 6 to 12 months, obviously the shorter the term of the loan the less cost there will be to you.

When using Bridging Finance you will pay a higher rate of interest this is because Bridging Finance is seen as riskier by the lender. It can be difficult to find a bridging loan this is because the risks are high so not many lenders are involved in the bridging market. There usually is a large amount of paper work and money involved as the finance covers two properties. As the loan is short term lenders do not make the same kind of money as with a traditional mortgage. This makes providing Bridging Finance less attractive for lenders and subsequently results in there not being many available lenders in the market. So when you need a bridging loan quickly this …

What Kind of Questions to Ask During a Psychic Reading?

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Have you ever wondered about some of the more general questions to ask a psychic when in consultation with an intuitive? If you are new to psychic readings and would like a bit of a heads up on some questions that may benefit you during a psychic consultation session then we’ve come up with a good general list for you here.

Feel free to modify these questions with words appropriate to your own personal situation, make them your own as they are just samples of general questions you may wish to utilize at some point. Sometimes it is a good idea to ensure your question is specific enough so that the psychic can tune in more deeply for you, the more specific a question often the more specific the answers that come through from the psychic can be.

You should have your list of questions handy during your psychic reading, it doesn’t matter if you are having a phone, email or face-to-face reading, have your list of questions handy on a piece of paper if you need to, just in case you think you may forget any of them. Remember you are only going to have a specific amount of time with the psychic, so prioritize your questions in order of what’s most important to you at the time too. There’s nothing worse than forgetting your most valuable question/s during a reading and discovering afterwards that you missed it out. This can happen due to the fact that one can get caught up in the excitement of the moment in a reading.

General Questions for Psychic Readings

  • I feel lost and confused, Who am I?
  • What is my purpose in life?
  • I’m not happy. Why? How can I become happy?
  • What are other people’s opinion of me? 
  • Why do I act the way I do?
  • Why do I always find myself in the repetitive situations – over and over again?

Relationship related questions for Psychic Readings

  • Tell me about my future in regards to relationships in general.
  • Tell me about my future with regards to my current romantic relationship.
  • I have met someone that I really like. Do you have any guidance about this?
  • Will I meet someone that I click with fully? When? Tell me about this person if possible.
  • I really like someone. What are their feelings towards me?
  • Someone has recently left me. Can you give me better understanding on this situation?
  • I feel my partner is unhappy in our relationship, Why?
  • I’m unhappy in our relationship, can you help me understand better?

Finance related questions for Psychic Readings 

  • Tell me about my future with regards to finance in general.
  • My financial situation is difficult at the moment. Is this going to change?
  • My financial situation is good at the moment. Is this likely to continue?
  • How can I improve my financial situation for the better?
  • I am thinking of making a major purchase. Any guidance on what will happen here?
  • I am thinking of making a

What Does a Legal Cashier Do? Choosing the Right Law Job

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The legal cashier’s job can be ideal for someone who finds the idea of working for a solicitors or law firm appealing but doesn’t have the experience or desire to work directly on legal matters. Normally a legal cashier is responsible in one form or another for the finances of the company. As the financial needs of solicitors and law firms are quite unique, a niche has opened up for those with the skills and expertise to carry out these kinds of jobs.

There are a number of different jobs which could be described as a legal cashier:

Legal Accountant – The responsibilities of a legal accountant are in many ways similar to a traditional accountant however there are some distinct difference unique to the industry. For example the large transfers of money for house purchases and legal fees are quite different to that of a traditional business. Though the tasks carried out by a legal accountant may differ from other industries many of the skills required to carry out the role are quite transferable.

Financial Controller – typically a financial controller has a lot more strategic role than a legal accountant, they might not be as involved in the day to day, invoices, payments and bank reconciliations but are still heavily involved in how a legal firm manages it finances.

Accounts Manager – This might be a role for someone working within a legal firm who has extensive accounts experience yet isn’t a qualified accountant. They don’t have the legal ability to carry out accounts like their professionally qualified colleague but might still carry out very similar tasks on a day to day basis.

Practice Manager– a far more administrative role typically, though it may still involve aspects of a finance common to most legal cashier roles. A Practice manager would normally have responsibility for the teams responsible for the administration and non legal functions of the firm.

Legal cashiers can also often be given the responsibilities within a company beyond the financial. These tasks often include

Marketing– while legal firms might not instantly seem like they require a great deal of marketing just like every business they need new customers. For most firms they would never reach the size where they could afford or justify a full time member of staff dedicated to marketing the firm. However often the responsibility of attracting new customers can be passed to someone with the appropriate skills. Often a legal cashier has just the right mix of abilities and enthusiasm to be given the task of marketing.

HR – the responsibility for human resources is another important part of a business which a small legal firm may not be able to dedicate a member of staff. As legal cashiers often manage a large number of the firm’s staff often HR can be allocated to them.

Administration – the amount of paper work and administration that a team of practicing solicitor can create is surprising. Consequently there is a team of …

5 Things to Consider While Selecting a Financial Planner

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Unlike someone calling himself a CPA or a physician, just about anyone can call himself a “financial planner” or a “financial advisor” regardless of their educational background and professional experience. Moreover, not all of them are unbiased in their advice and not all of them always act in their clients’ best interests.

To ensure your financial planner is well-qualified in personal finances and impartial in his advice, consider the following five things:

1. Planning Credentials: Having a highly-regarded credential in financial planning, such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or Personal Financial Specialist (PFS), confirms that the professional you intend to work with has acquired the education and experience necessary to serve as a financial planner. CFP and PFS credentials are awarded to only those individuals who have met the certification requirements of education and experience in planning for personal finances. In addition, they have to pass the certification examinations and agree adhere to the practice standards and continuing education requirements.

2. Subject Matter Expertise: Financial planners are planning professionals, not necessarily subject matter experts. For example, a financial planner will be skilled in tax analysis and planning,but unlike a Certified Public Account (CPA) or an IRS Enrolled Agent (EA) he might not necessarily be a subject matter expert when it comes to tax rules Similarly,a he could be skilled in chalking out an investment plan, but unlike a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) he may not be an authority in the subject of investments. Work with a financial planner who is also a subject matter expert in those areas of personal finance that are important in achieving your financial goals.

3. Client Specialization: Not all financial planners serve all types of clients. Most specialize in serving only certain types of clients with specific profiles. For example, a personal planner may build his expertise and customize his services to serve only those individuals and families who are in certain professions, or a particular stage of life with specific financial goals and net worth. Ask whether the planner specializes in serving only certain types of clients with specific profiles to determine whether he is the right fit for your situation and financial goals.

4. Fee structure: The fee structure largely determines whose interests he serves best – his client’s or his own. A Fee-Only professional charges only fees for their advice whereas a Fee-Based professional not only charges fees but also earns commissions, referral fees and other financial incentives on the products and solutions they recommend for you. Consequently, the advice from a fee-only one is more likely to be unbiased and in your best interests than the advice from a fee-based financial planner. Work with a professional whose fee structure is conflict-free and aligned to benefit you.

5. Availability: He or she should be regularly available, attentive, and accessible to you. Ask the planner how many clients he currently serves and the maximum number of clients he is planning to serve in the future regularly. This clients-to-planner ratio is one of the …

Is it Better to Buy or Lease a Car After Bankruptcy?

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If you want to get approved at the best possible terms when buying a car, it’s important you know a car lender’s credit guidelines before you apply for credit…especially if you’re bankrupt.

It will save you time and frustration–but more importantly, it will help you avoid credit inquiries that may lower your FICO credit scores up to 12 points per inquiry.

Step 1 in making a lease or buy decision is to determine a lender’s credit guidelines.

You start by asking if they lend to people with a bankruptcy. If so, on what terms?

That’s right. You have to be upfront that you’ve filed bankruptcy. Don’t hide it. We have to face the fact that some dealers just won’t work with people who’ve filed bankruptcy. So our job is to find the ones that do.

Some lenders will only lease to people with a bankruptcy. Others will only offer purchase financing. Yet still others will only lend using a hybrid of the two–this is especially common in Texas.

Ask the finance director at the dealership to direct you as to what structure the manufacturer prefers.

And here’s a quick tip for you: if your bankruptcy doesn’t appear on the credit report your lender pulls–then, in the eyes of the lender, you’re not bankrupt.

The only lenders I would consider using are:

– First choice: Captive lenders (car manufacturers)

– Second choice: Banks (not finance companies)

– Third choice: Credit unions

Ninety-nine percent of the cars I’ve leased over the years have been with captive lenders. Just one was leased by a bank.

That particular deal came from a conversation I had with Amy, the finance manager at the local Land Rover dealership here in Indianapolis. I told her I was open to her financing recommendations, but I preferred financing through the car manufacturer.

I told her my current FICO scores. She immediately said that with my scores she could do better through a local bank. I signed a credit application and told her to go for it.

The next day I signed a lease agreement with that local bank. Being open to her advice literally saved me hundreds of dollars a month on that car.

So be flexible…but be careful. It seems most car dealers call all of their funding sources banks. When in reality some are banks, some are credit unions, and most are sub-prime finance companies.

Here is a list of some of the most commonly used sub-prime auto finance companies:

1. HSBC Automotive

2. Capital One

3. AmeriCredit

4. WFS Financial

You want to pass on the sub-prime finance companies–unless you have exhausted all other options. Sub-prime lenders should be your last resort.

And only use credit unions if they report to all three national credit reporting agencies. How do you find out if a credit union reports to all three credit reporting agencies?

Simple–you ask. Ask the branch manager at the credit union if they report. And after you get the loan, check all three of …

The Target Capital Structure

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Firms can choose whatever mix of debt and equity they desire to finance their assets, subject to the willingness of investors to provide such funds. And, as we shall see, there exist many different mixes of debt and equity, or capital structures – in some firms, such as Chrysler Corporation, debt accounts for more than 70 percent of the financing, while other firms, such as Microsoft, have little or no debt.

In the next few sections, we discuss factors that affect a firm’s capital structure, and we conclude a firm should attempt to determine what its optimal, or best, mix of financing should be. But, you will find that determining the exact optimal capital structure is not a science, so after analyzing a number of factors, a firm establishes a target capital structure it believes is optimal, which is then used as a guide for raising funds in the future. This target might change over time as conditions vary, but at any given moment the firm’s management has a specific capital structure in mind, and individual financing decisions should be consistent with this target. If the actual proportion of debt is below the target level, new funds will probably be raised by issuing debt, whereas if the proportion of debt is above the target, stock will probably be sold to bring the firm back in line with the target debt/assets ratio.

Capital structure policy involves a trade-off between risk and return. Using more debt raises the riskiness of the firm’s earnings stream, but a higher propor- tion of debt generally leads to a higher expected rate of return; and, we know that the higher risk associated with greater debt tends to lower the stock’s price. At the same time, however, the higher expected rate of return makes the stock more attractive to investors, which, in turn, ultimately increases the stock’s price. Therefore, the optimal capital structure is the one that strikes a balance between risk and return to achieve our ultimate goal of maximizing the price of the stock.

Four primary factors influence capital structure decisions:

1. The first is the firm’s business risk, or the riskiness that would be inherent in the firm’s operations if it used no debt. The greater the firm’s business risk, the lower the amount of debt that is optimal.

2. The second key factor is the firm’s tax position. A major reason for using debt is that interest is tax deductible, which lowers the effective cost of debt. However, if much of a firm’s income is already sheltered from taxes by accelerated depreciation or tax loss carryforwards, its tax rate will be low, and debt will not be as advantageous as it would be to a firm with a higher effective tax rate.

3. The third important consideration is financial flexibility, or the ability to raise capital on reasonable terms under adverse conditions. Corporate treasurers know that a steady supply of capital is necessary for stable operations, which, in turn, are vital for long-run …