Saturday, 22 December 2012

The Decision to Re-Finance

The decision to re-finance a home mortgage is a serious decision which should not be taken lightly. Homeowners should give this decision a great deal of consideration to ensure they are making the best possible decision for their financial situation and personal needs. Some factors to consider when deciding whether or not to re-finance is the type of loan to choose, the lender to choose, the costs associated with re-financing and the hassle of the process.

Consider All of the Options

Homeowners who are seriously considering re-financing owe it to themselves to consider all of the options available to them. They may have a friend who recently refinanced with a specific type of loan but this might not be the solution for all homeowners. Each homeowner should consider their situation to be individual and not likely to closely mirror the situations of others.

Some of the options to consider include the type of re-financing loan. The basic options are fixed interest rates and adjustable interest rates. There are also mortgages which combine these two options. The homeowner may have a specific type of mortgage in mind but the lender may or may not be willing to offer the homeowner this type of loan. Lenders are more likely to offer fixed interest mortgages to homeowners with good credit and adjustable rate mortgages to homeowners with poor credit.

Consider the Lender

Homeowners will also have to carefully consider the lender they select. This is important because not all lenders are going to be willing to offer the same interest rates and terms to the homeowner. Homeowners may have to receive quotes from several different lenders in a short period of time to make an accurate comparison. This is important because interest rates can change without notice and homeowners who wait too long to make a decision may find the rate they were originally quoted is no longer available to them.

When selecting a lender the homeowner should also consider how responsive the lender is to their questions. This is important because a lender who does not pay attention to the homeowner or respond to their inquiries in a timely fashion can make the process of re-financing considerably more stressful than necessary. Selecting a lender who offers slightly higher rates but is more responsive may be warranted.

Consider the Cost of Re-Financing

Re-financing is not cheap. There are certain costs associated with re-financing. These costs are typically very similar to the closing costs associated with securing an original mortgage on a property. These costs may include application fees, loan origination fees, property taxes, appraisal fees and other miscellaneous items. These costs can be quite extensive and homeowners may find they are often left paying more than the benefits they are going to gain from re-financing. In this type of situation the homeowner should make the decision not to re-finance because it is not a financially sound decision.

Consider the Hassle of Re-Financing

Let’s face it; re-financing can be an absolute hassle. The time and energy spent researching different re-financing options and contacting lenders to see who will offer the most favorable rates can be quite taxing. A homeowner should consider the time and effort required for this endeavor in deciding whether or not to re-finance. Simply stated, refinancing is a hassle and homeowners may better spend their time with family and friends rather than running around trying to find the best rates in town.

Friday, 21 December 2012

What Is Your Investment Style?

What Is Your Investment Style?

Knowing what your risk tolerance and investment style are will help you choose investments more wisely. While there are many different types of investments that one can make, there are really only three specific investment styles – and those three styles tie in with your risk tolerance. The three investment styles are conservative, moderate, and aggressive.

Naturally, if you find that you have a low tolerance for risk, your investment style will most likely be conservative or moderate at best. If you have a high tolerance for risk, you will most likely be a moderate or aggressive investor. At the same time, your financial goals will also determine what style of investing you use.

If you are saving for retirement in your early twenties, you should use a conservative or moderate style of investing – but if you are trying to get together the funds to buy a home in the next year or two, you would want to use an aggressive style.

Conservative investors want to maintain their initial investment. In other words, if they invest $5000 they want to be sure that they will get their initial $5000 back. This type of investor usually invests in common stocks and bonds and short term money market accounts.

An interest earning savings account is very common for conservative investors.
A moderate investor usually invests much like a conservative investor, but will use a portion of their investment funds for higher risk investments. Many moderate investors invest 50% of their investment funds in safe or conservative investments, and invest the remainder in riskier investments.

An aggressive investor is willing to take risks that other investors won’t take. They invest higher amounts of money in riskier ventures in the hopes of achieving larger returns – either over time or in a short amount of time. Aggressive investors often have all or most of their investment funds tied up in the stock market.

Again, determining what style of investing you will use will be determined by your financial goals and your risk tolerance. No matter what type of investing you do, however, you should carefully research that investment. Never invest without having all of the facts!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

The Importance of Diversification

The Importance of Diversification

“Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket!” You’ve probably heard that over and over again throughout your life…and when it comes to investing, it is very true. Diversification is the key to successful investing. All successful investors build portfolios that are widely diversified, and you should too!

Diversifying your investments might include purchasing various stocks in many different industries. It may include purchasing bonds, investing in money market accounts, or even in some real property. The key is to invest in several different areas – not just one.

Over time, research has shown that investors who have diversified portfolios usually see more consistent and stable returns on their investments than those who just invest in one thing. By investing in several different markets, you will actually be at less risk also.

For instance, if you have invested all of your money in one stock, and that stock takes a significant plunge, you will most likely find that you have lost all of your money. On the other hand, if you have invested in ten different stocks, and nine are doing well while one plunges, you are still in reasonably good shape.

A good diversification will usually include stocks, bonds, real property, and cash. It may take time to diversify your portfolio. Depending on how much you have to initially invest, you may have to start with one type of investment, and invest in other areas as time goes by.

This is okay, but if you can divide your initial investment funds among various types of investments, you will find that you have a lower risk of losing your money, and over time, you will see better returns.

Experts also suggest that you spread your investment money evenly among your investments. In other words, if you start with $100,000 to invest, invest $25,000 in stocks, $25,000 in real property, $25,000 in bonds, and put $25,000 in an interest bearing savings account.

3 Ways to Make Money That Teenagers Can Do Now

As the costs of college go up and the economy continues to wade through it's current malaise you are wondering what to do? Can you make the budget stretch or achieve your goals for those kids heading off to college? You may not have to, they may do it themselves. The internet, something that your kids have grown up with and know better than we can ever know, may be the answer. Here are 3 ways to make money Teenagers can do now.
The first opportunity is to launch an Affiliate Marketing career. Affiliate programs are free to join and offer commissions for any sales generated by the affiliate through their marketing efforts. Have your teen find products that they feel are popular with their intended market and join the Affiliate Program for that product. They can build Squidoo lenses (a free service) to promote their product and place their Affiliate link. Then go out to blogs and social networking sites and invite folks to try out the selected product. They can also run FREE ads at places like USFreeAds.
The second opportunity is to create their own product. Let them turn the hours of play on Runescape or World of Warcraft into money. Have them write an e-book guide, or make a video, offering secrets and tips on how to better play and enjoy their chosen game. Register the finished product with an Affiliate Network (like ClickBank) and launch their guide, charging a fee for the product. All you need is a word processing program or video software, a website (as little as $10 a month with domain), and an auto-responder.
The third opportunity is to write articles for folks that are engaged in internet marketing. They could join a site like Elance and write articles like this one for others for a fee. Your teenager can review available jobs on many of these sites and bid on jobs. When they are selected to perform, they merely write the necessary article(s) and send it to the buyer. Upon receipt, the buyer will send the money via Pay Pal, transaction complete. There is a lot of work in article writing and web design and our kids know this stuff a lot better than anybody over the age of 40.
The internet and internet marketing are changing the dynamics of the world economy. Each year more and more commerce is being transacted over the internet and those that choose to play in this arena will benefit in the future economy. Help your kids learn to be self reliant and nurture their entrepreneurial spirit. Any of the above methods are proven ways to make money online and free yourself from the grind of a 9 to 5 JOB.
The economy of the past is slipping by us and the old days of finding a position with a "good" company and staying until retirement died with our parents. Our children will need to know much more about business than we did focusing on creating value and marketing themselves for both jobs and their own businesses. By choosing to market products on the internet our kids will be able to select the products and services they are interested in and passionate about and make money pursuing their dreams.
Good luck

Increasing Your Company's Wealth by Cutting Expenses

Companies love to save money. With extra money in pocket companies can expand, hire more people, increase wages, pay off debts, make new investments, give to charity, and everything else not mentioned in this sentence. Although there are several ways to increase your company's wealth, this article focuses on one way: cutting expenses.
It does not matter how the economy is doing, cutting expenses is an all the time duty for any business owner. However, if the economy is poor, then cutting expenses might just be a necessity. There are many avenues to take when cutting expenses, from completely cutting off services other companies provide your business, to firing part of your labor force. Sometimes these choices may be tough, so it is good to know all your possibilities before making a rash decision.
One of the first ways a company can cut expenses is by finding better rates from different service providers. Telephones are still a must in the business community, therefore searching the many different providers for the best rate is very possible. Other services like heating and air or pest control can also be very competitive when it comes to finding the best rates.
Combining services can help you save money as well. If you are the landlord of a set of office buildings, then maybe finding a company that combines landscaping, janitorial services, and renovations will help you save some money, considering these are services you will have to have, assuming you don't do them yourself.
Buying items from wholesalers or liquidators is another great way to cut costs and keep more money within the company. Lower prices on certain items go a long way to help companies save money.
Another way a company can save money is by going green. That might sound like a bit of a stretch at first, but if you can master the conservation angle of going green and learn how to do more with less, then going green is great way to go. Even though certain green products might seem more expensive, overall you will save money because you will learn how to get more things done with less materials.
If you are a small business, and you understand how to use a printer, you can save money on printing your own business cards. It is possible to get around 250-300 cards when you buy the paper on your own from an office supply store like Office Max or Staples. The paper can cost anywhere from 15-40 dollars depending on the quality of the paper you choose.
Out with the old and in with the new is an old saying, but when it comes to cutting expenses, it easily pertains to old forms of advertising like newspapers and phone books. Getting rid of these old methods while learning how to use social media Websites will cut costs and improve return.
Although there are plenty of cost saving methods for businesses to follow, I hope some of these will prove to be helpful. Cutting expenses can get to be tough, and no one wants to ever lay off employees, because that can prove to be detrimental to the overall economy if enough businesses are doing it. Get creative and keep on pressing ahead is the best, sound advice for any business looking to control costs and save money.
If you are in the Atlanta area, check out this Smyrna commercial cleaning company to streamline your services like janitorial services, commercial landscaping, or building renovations.
Also for companies in the Atlanta area, calling on these Marietta pest control professionals can help you save money as well.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

How Much Money Should You Invest?

How Much Money Should You Invest?

Many first time investors think that they should invest all of their savings. This isn’t necessarily true. To determine how much money you should invest, you must first determine how much you actually can afford to invest, and what your financial goals are.

First, let’s take a look at how much money you can currently afford to invest. Do you have savings that you can use? If so, great! However, you don’t want to cut yourself short when you tie your money up in an investment. What were your savings originally for?

It is important to keep three to six months of living expenses in a readily accessible savings account – don’t invest that money! Don’t invest any money that you may need to lay your hands on in a hurry in the future.

So, begin by determining how much of your savings should remain in your savings account, and how much can be used for investments. Unless you have funds from another source, such as an inheritance that you’ve recently received, this will probably be all that you currently have to invest.

Next, determine how much you can add to your investments in the future. If you are employed, you will continue to receive an income, and you can plan to use a portion of that income to build your investment portfolio over time. Speak with a qualified financial planner to set up a budget and determine how much of your future income you will be able to invest.

With the help of a financial planner, you can be sure that you are not investing more than you should – or less than you should in order to reach your investment goals.

For many types of investments, a certain initial investment amount will be required. Hopefully, you’ve done your research, and you have found an investment that will prove to be sound. If this is the case, you probably already know what the required initial investment is.

If the money that you have available for investments does not meet the required initial investment, you may have to look at other investments. Never borrow money to invest, and never use money that you have not set aside for investing!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

The 5 Income Producing Activities To Do Everyday

1. Identify IPA's. (income producing activities).
IPA'S are what actually produce income for you, in turn are then considered an income producing activity.
Such as promoting your blog, starting a new paid advertising campaign, up selling your team through promotion of a product or the next event.
Now I'm not saying to go and sell everything and anything to your team...
... but what I'm saying is help them on their way to becoming rich. And we are talking about income producing activities and this would fit in that department.
Let me stray for a second on that subject line becoming rich or getting rich...
Here is the facts, people want to be rich. That's it, that's what people want whether they say it or not. Why do people cringe on that phrase... Getting rich or, get rich quick.
Why do people believe that in order to become rich it takes hours of work everyday. It takes a long daily grind to succeed?
This is the formula to Income Producing days working just around 2 hours.
2. Identify the 2 hours a day that your most productive.
Weather it be in the morning right when you wake up, or in the afternoon or late evening. Figure out what time you really click and use it to your advantage.
3. Make a To-do List for tomorrow.
When your winding down from the 2 hour block of "Income Producing" Activities, make your to-do list for tomorrow. Doing it now will be the time when your brain is charged and looking forward to what comes next to another 2 hour block of IPA's.
4. Practice managing your time.
You have 2 hours to burn through your Income Producing Activities. This in my opinion is the best way to go about this...
... Get a stopwatch and set it for 60 minutes. Go crazy and whip through as many IPA's as possible.
... Take a 10 minute break. Gather your thoughts for second, log into Facebook and click on that pic you have been dying to click on. But you didn't before.. because you knew it wasn't considered an IPA. Good Job!!
Please recognize that.. These 2 hours are for Income Producing activities only.
... Go at it again for another 60 minutes. Blow through the rest. Get it done.
... and when it has been 2 hours, or actually 2:10 to be exact...
... Pencils down. Hands up. Your done.
5. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 Everyday
... Think of step 1 of the action assignments... as inspiration to producing step 2.
And use 3 and 4 as your IPA'S for the day.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Comparison Shopping When Re-Financing

Homeowners who are re-financing their home for the first or even the second or third time should thoroughly research all of the available options to ensure the best possible interest rate and terms are secured. Homeowners are sometimes lazy when it comes to re-financing. There may a large drop in interest rates or a change in the financial situation which warrants a re-finance. Although the homeowner may be aware that a re-finance is warranted, the homeowner may not be aware that it sometimes takes a great deal of work to find the best possible rates and terms.

Homeowners are often inclined to re-finance with the same lender who granted the original mortgage or with the same lender who handled prior re-finances. The theory behind this reasoning is along the same lines as, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” These homeowners figure their current mortgage is adequate and they are happy with the current lender so there is no need to investigate further options. However, this cavalier attitude can be quite costly for the homeowners.

Try All the Options

Homeowners who are considering re-financing their home should contact a number of lenders and obtain rate quotes from each of them. When soliciting quotes the homeowners should consider all of their available options but should limit these options to established lender. While a newer lender may be offering fantastic rates and loan terms it is considered quite risky to go with this type of lender as opposed to a more established lender.

Homeowners who wish to further investigate smaller lenders who do not have an established history should proceed with caution. Unless the lender has trusted friends or family members who are willing to vouch for the lender, the homeowner should investigate these smaller lenders carefully. Visiting a website address is not the best way to ensure credibility. Designing a professional looking website is a fairly simple process. Most website designers could design and upload such a website in less than a day.

Friendly Competition

When comparison shopping for the most favorable rates, homeowners should make it well known that they are shopping around for rate quotes and are not making a decision immediately. Lenders who know they have some competition may be more likely to offer a lower interest rate than they would if they did not think the homeowner was considering other options. Although this may not seem quite fair to the lender, the business of re-financing is a competitive business. Just like a plumber might offer his most competitive rate if he knows the homeowner is seeking estimates from a number of different plumbers, lenders are apt to do the same. They make their money from homeowners and having a homeowner re-finance their mortgage does not help them out at all financially.

Some lenders may think the homeowner is bluffing and may not offer the best rate initially. However, if the homeowner rejects the offer and states they have a better offer with another lender, the first lender may be enticed to offer an even lower interest rate just to see if they can sway the homeowners. While cost is certainly important, it is not the only factor to consider. Some homeowners might re-finance with a lender who offers slightly higher rates if the homeowner feels as though this lender is more responsive to his needs.