What Are Some Good Ways to Invest Money? – Plan Ahead For the Future

Today’s economy has every one of us wondering how we will take care of our families financially in the long term. Should we invest our money? What are some good ways to invest money? Here are some good ways to invest money:

1. Invest in stocks- today’s stock market can be very risky. Recently, the collapse of Wall Street has required a government bailout of $700 billion dollars. However, stocks can be lucrative if you invest in the right company. Stocks can have a very good return and you can invest as little or as much money as you want.

2. Collectibles- collecting trading cards, stamps, coins etc can allow you to build a very valuable collection. Antiques and collectibles can be a great investment if the collection is kept in mint condition.

3. Buy art-art can increase in value and can be a great investment. Always research the artist before making a purchase in order to make the best art investment choices.

4. Investing in real estate- this form of investment can be a great long-term investment. Real estate can increase in value over the years. You can also build equity in your real estate purchase. You can purchase commercial real estate and rent to a company or small business owner. You could also purchase a home, condominium, or apartment building and rent them out to tenants. If you find the right tenants and keep your property occupied with reliable and responsible tenants then you could make a decent profit every month.

5. Savings bonds- savings bonds can be a good investment. They mature over time and if you wait a while to cash them out, they can give you a decent return on your initial investment. Many parents give their children savings bonds in order to help them financially when they get older.

6. Annuities- these are contracts with life insurance companies, you give money to these companies and in return they invest your money and down the road you receive payments for the amount of money that has accrued over time. These can be risky because of the unstable economy but they can be a great long-term investment.

7. 401k plan- this is a good investment for your retirement years. You invest your own money into your 401k and your employer also contributes a percentage of money into your 401 k account. This is a great way to plan for your future. You can borrow from your 401k if necessary but there is a penalty for doing this and it is reported to the IRS.

What are some good ways to invest money? Any of these options would be a good way to invest money. When asking the question what some good ways to invest money are, you should think about what type of time line you are looking at. Do you want a long term or short term investment? How much money can you invest without impacting your finances? You should talk to a financial planner before investing in anything. Hopefully then, you will know the answer to the question, what are some good ways to invest money?

Individual Retirement Accounts Explained – Save and Invest For Your Retirement Tax Free

Individual Retirement Accounts. It’s enough to put you to sleep isn’t it? However there are very sound reasons for you to understand Iras, and to set one up for yourself. If you’re interested in a comfortable retirement you need to understand Individual Retirement Accounts.

What are Individual Retirement Accounts, why would you need one and which is the best one for you?

An Individual Retirement Account, or what is also known as an IRA, is an account that individuals may set up to plan and invest for their retirement. The IRA was enacted into legislation in 1974, however it was only in 1981 when significant changes were made to the tax status of IRAs that they became popular.

It is the tax status of Individual Retirement Accounts that make them extremely attractive to people who are seeking to invest for their retirement to ensure that they have a well funded comfortable retirement when they are no longer able to work and so can no longer earn an income.

In it’s wisdom the government recognized that it was extremely difficult to provide sufficient retirement benefits from the public purse so that all retirees could retire in comfort on a government pension. This was recognition of the fact that over time, as the population ages, the public purse would not be able to afford to pay full retirement pensions to everyone, so the government needed to come up with a plan to make individuals invest for their own retirement.

The way to do this was to offer people incentives to do so by way of tax advantages though their IRAs.

So when money is deposited into an Individual Retirement Account it is tax deductible, and all income made through investing the fund during it’s life is also tax free.

That doesn’t mean though, that money is never taxed on the way in or way out of an IRA. What the government does is to tax the money as it is taken out of the IRA, it is taxed as ordinary income.

One of the great barriers to successful investing is the requirement to pay tax each time income, or a capital gain, is made. Throughout an investors investing life it is necessary to realize funds along the way to pay tax. This seriously reduces the ability to earn high returns on moneys invested because capital is being taken out all the time to pay tax, and so there is less to invest along the way.

However if, though an IRA, it is possible to invest and reinvest all income and capital back without paying any more tax, that increases massively the potential returns that someone can make investing. Hence the reason why an IRA is so attractive to individuals. An IRA can take maximum advantage of the power of compounding.

An Individual Retirement Account is required by law to be held in trust by a “custodian” who is often, or usually a bank, broker or insurance company. There are various regulations governing what your IRA custodian can do with the money, some imposed by tax law and some imposed by the custodians rules as well.

Usually traditional IRA custodians have restrictive rules about what investments the IRA can be invested in, and the funds are usually directed to investments owned by the custodian. This may be good for the custodian, but not necessarily so good for the owner of the IRA, who may not be earning the best returns.

It is also quite possible to have a self directed IRA. This is still held by a trustee, or custodian, however has a much less restrictive range of rules about the types of investments that can be invested in. The owner of the self directed IRA, or what is also known as a self managed IRA, can direct the investments into a wider range of investments that should, over the life of the fund, make much better returns. Add to that the power of compounding and the difference between the returns on a traditional IRA held by a custodian who invests the funds into their own investments, and a self directed IRA invested by the owner, can be massive.

So as you can see there are powerful reasons why you need your own Individual Retirement Account, and there are also powerful reasons why you need it to be a self directed IRA. In particular the best reason is that the best investment for your IRA is in real estate. Over time real estate offers the most stable long term investment, both for an IRA and any other investment. Investing your Individual Retirement Account in real estate offers significant long term benefits, however so many people don’t do so, either because they don’t know that they should, or because the rules of investing their IRA funds don’t allow them to do so.

They need to rollover their funds into a self directed Individual Retirement Account and start making some solid decisions to invest their retirement funds in real estate.

Even in the current market there are some outstanding and extremely solid investments in real estate. One in particular offers no money down investing for both credit investors and IRA investors, with tenants supplied and high quality homes to invest in. Returns are guaranteed and it’s a turnkey investment in real estate from a solid US public company with significant experience in real estate investing.

So, despite the fact that learning about Individual Retirement Accounts might send you to sleep, there are very good reasons to start learning anyway. And if you’re setting one up make sure it’s a self managed IRA, and that you invest it in solid real estate investments amongst others.

Beginning Investments – How Much Money Do I Need?

When you are ready to start investing in the market, you may begin with one simple question: How much money do I need to start investing? The answer varies depending on the market you want to invest in, and how much money you want to earn on your investment. The only rule to investing is that you should never invest more than you feel comfortable losing, since the market does not guarantee a return on any investments.

Stocks, Bonds and Mutual Funds

Stocks, bonds and mutual funds are the three most common types of investments today. To invest in these markets, you will need to have an initial investment of twenty dollars, but one thousand dollars is the usual amount that you will use as an initial investment. Mutual funds are the most flexible concerning the amount you need to begin investing, since there are now companies that allow you to begin with a very small investment.

To invest in bonds, you will typically need about a five thousand dollar initial investment for an individual bond from a company, institution or corporation. These bonds take some time to mature, usually a period of one or more years. Some bonds take up to twenty years to mature, but can be sold before maturity as a loss.

Stocks are perhaps the riskiest type of investment, but are also able to bring in a huge return on your initial investment. While you can invest in stocks for a relatively small sum, it is advisable to begin investing with approximately one thousand dollars. This will allow you to have a sizable investment that can grow over time.

Managing Your Portfolio

Once you have decided which market you want to invest in, you are ready to ask yourself how much money do I need to start investing? The answer will depend on the market you want to invest in. One way to make sure that you see a return on the money you invest is to have a diverse portfolio, with money invested in several different areas. A mutual fund can help you make the most of your investment if you want to invest one thousand dollars or less, but if you want to invest more than that amount, you can consider investing a combination of different mutual funds companies, stocks and bonds.

Many people have investments in several different areas of the market. As long as you fully research your options and read each potential investment company’s prospectus, then you can make smart investments even in risky markets. It is important to remember that the investments you make are designed to earn more over time, usually five years or more.

Considerations

When you are determining how much money you want to invest, take the time to ask yourself whether or not you are comfortable losing the amount you have chosen. While some people are only comfortable investing in a small mutual fund with fifty dollars or less, the amount you choose is entirely up to you.

How to Go About Budgeting for a New Vehicle and Financing It Too

Buying a new vehicle is a big financial commitment and not a decision which should be entered into lightly. If, like most of us, you are unable to buy a new vehicle cash, you’re going to have to consider car finance in order to complete your purchase. Financing a vehicle is often associated with unnecessary problems and a fair amount of stress, too.

But financing your vehicle needn’t be fraught with uncertainty, confusion, or indecision. By acquainting yourself with the appropriate information you’ll find that the process of purchasing a new or used vehicle can be an exciting process. whether you enjoy the process or not hinges on whether or not you’re comfortable with your knowledge of the process.

So, what should you know before you finance a car?

The first and most important question you need to ask yourself is: Can I afford to purchase a vehicle? As important as it is to have your own set of wheels, overcommitting yourself to repayments you cannot afford will only end in disaster. At best, you’ll be able to scrape by and you’ll manage to purchase the vehicle. At worst you stand a chance of having the vehicle being repossessed and destroying your credit rating.

To figure out how much you can afford on a monthly basis use the following simple formula:

Income – Expenses = Surplus

Once you’ve determined what your monthly surplus is you’ll have a pretty good idea of how much you can afford on a monthly basis, but don’t get too excited just yet. Your surplus cash is not the final amount you can spend on a vehicle. You also need to factor in how much insurance you’re going to have to pay on a monthly basis (all financed vehicles need insurance) and you’re also going to have to factor in the monthly running costs of the vehicle, ie. How much petrol will I need? Does the vehicle require any additional maintenance to keep it on the road? Don’t forget that you still need to save on a monthly basis – life happens to all of us so it’s best to stay prepared.

How to go about financing your vehicle:

There are a number of options available to someone looking to obtain finance. You can either:

  • Apply for finance online
  • Use one of the bank’s pre-approved finance facilities
  • Apply for finance at a dealer
  • Each of the options outlined above offer their own benefits, however, using an online application will make the process as simple as possible.

Stay tuned for our next article which will cover everything you will need when financing a car.

Reasons Why Companies Use Asset Based Financing

Anybody can fall on hard times financially, including businesses. Many of them will have a difficult time getting any financing in these difficult times as well. Some of them will turn to asset based financing options to help them get what they need.

There are many reasons why they will use this option. One of the main reasons that they turn to this type of financing is because they are unable to get the financing that they need from any place else. When they can work with the creditors and vendors to get what they need to keep their company running, they will do it.

It keeps them from closing their doors. When someone is looking into starting up a brand new company, they may have difficulty obtaining the funds that they need. Using a company that will give them the money on a short-term basis can help them to utilize the capital or assets that they have already.

When a company is on a path for continual growth, they want to continue down that path. Even though the company is growing, they may still fall on difficult financial times. There are many things that can cause this. Just because they have a bump in their road to success does not mean that the company has to shut down.

When they have an opportunity, they need to take advantage of it. If their borrowing capabilities are holding them back, they will have to find a different method to do this. There are many different amounts of money that they could need for an opportunity.

The accounts can be limited with some financing options. Companies have to have the flexibility to be able to purchase their supplies. They also need to be prepared in case their products do not sell as planned.

Companies that grow at a rapid rate have difficulty getting financed. This is because lenders are worried that it will be short-lived. They want to see success over several years, not several months.

They can customized their packages. It allows them to get the supplies that they need. They can restructure their existing companies and many other things. Every company has a different reason for needing the financing.

When a company cannot fill orders because they are unable to obtain financing, they are likely to go out of business. Their customers are unhappy so they will find the products elsewhere. This can be very bad for the company.

When they can find a company to give them the funds that they need based on what their assets are, it will help them tremendously. They may have to pay a higher interest rate, but that is much better than closing down the business. The interest can be as high as ten percent.

When their traditional financing is not an option, they can still get what they need. Vendors can supply the company with what they need. The company providing the financing will collect payments from their customers, pay the vendor and send the rest to the company after they deduct any fees associated with it.

Mergers are sometimes possible with financing such as this. There are a lot of different types of things that this can be beneficial for. The companies will utilize this for many different reasons. Every company has their own reason for using this type.

Traditional financing may be much better for many companies. When they are unable to obtain traditional financing, they can use asset based financing to get what they need. It is something that can bail them out of situations that could potentially shut down their business.

Options for a Career in Finance

Individuals who are interested in a career in finance typically have a plethora of options available to them. These positions typically require candidates to have advanced experience with numbers and money management. Earning a degree in business finance can also be beneficial in other fields, including marketing or computers. A degree in finance may also be useful in corporate, residential, or government settings.

Credit analyst
The goal of this position is to help businesses and individuals determine their creditworthiness. Using different factors and techniques, their job is to see how likely it is that a borrower will be able to reimburse another individual or corporation if they take out a loan. These professionals should be able to effectively use credit analysis to assess financial history and the current market state to decide if loan repayment would be a realistic option for a certain borrower.

Finance officer
Finance officers are also known as financial managers, and often act as supervisory leaders. These professionals typically work with a fair amount of technology, as the finance industry relies more on computers and other software. Finance officers also often work with data analysis and often act as advisors to senior managers. The exact responsibilities of each individual vary from company to company, but, generally, job duties include the same daily tasks. Difference will appear, for example, in the government, where individuals will be asked to focus more on the budget process and government appropriations, in contrast to those who work in healthcare, where one vital skill includes understanding healthcare finance.

Financial advisor
The responsibilities of this individual usually land between a combination of investment advisor and financial planner. Their main task is to provide financial services to their clients. This job usually requires at least a bachelor’s degree, and completion of the Series 7 exam from Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Loan officer
A loan officer acts as a guide through the loan process. Loan officers, similar to financial advisors, will assess creditworthiness to see if certain borrowers are eligible for a loan. Other skills that would be useful in this position include experience with computers and various banking applications.

These are only a few options available to those who hold a degree in finance, or a related degree, such as in management or business. However, those who wish to enter into a career that deals mostly with numbers and money management should strongly consider earning a finance-focused degree.

Is Revenue Based Finance Right for You?

Some of my clients have been asking me what Revenue Based Finance (RBF) means and if it is advisable for them to obtain such finance. “After all, money is just money irrespective of the label attached to it”, they say. No, that is not entirely true. Not all types of loans are good for your business. Just like how a doctor prescribes drugs for a type of illness, a lender matches funding to a borrowing cause [Tips for borrowing causes parts 1 & 2]*. The reason is to ensure that funding is used wisely for the intended purpose to enable the borrower achieve the intended goal(s).

Revenue Based Finance is a type of financing structure (commonly known as investment) aimed at financing future subscription revenue in return for a percentage of ongoing gross revenues until the finance (investment), plus a multiple is repaid to the investor. This type of financing is appropriate for fast growing companies that generate high monthly recurring revenues, such as SaaS (Software as a Service) companies. These companies may not qualify for traditional bank loans due to lack of assets to collateralize the loans. “This type of financing is excellent for early-stage companies with high revenue growth in need of additional funding to finance growth”, says Daniel Landver, CEO of Bloomloan, a California based RBF /investor lender.

Monthly loan payment is based on a percentage share of the client’s monthly gross revenue, similar to royalty payments. If revenues drop, so do payments, and vice versa. Maturity of the funding is tied to the time when a predefined total repayment cap is reached, usually 6 to 60 months, depending on a client’s needs. Some RBF investors offer modified short term financing, 3 to 12 months with fixed monthly payments and fixed maturity. The key qualifying requirements for a potential client are generation of monthly recurring revenue (MRR), high gross margin, low customer/revenue churn rate and cost of acquiring a customer, just to mention a few.

Normally, RBF investors/ lenders do not ask for collateral or personal guarantees. They rely on the financial performance of the borrowers, instead. However, there are instances when personal guarantees may be required, particularly if the borrowing company is a start-up or financially weak. Some RBF investors may require to register a 1st lien on the borrowing company’s assets such as, patents, domain names and trademarks. This is usually done to ensure that the debt is categorized as a senior debt in case of foreclosure.
The borrower benefits from easy access to capital without diluting equity or giving up personal or business assets for collateral. The finance is pricy but it is worth it given the benefits and the circumstances of the borrower.

Understanding the Financial Industry and How to Get the Best Finance Jobs

Most people aim for a finance career because finance is one function that is common to all types of business enterprises in every industry. You will be hard pressed to find a company that doesn’t need a financial expert or two or even private individuals who can do their taxes and bookkeeping. Finance is all about managing money and it is a skill that people are scrambling to learn especially in these times when the economy is in a roller coaster state.

Another reason why finance jobs are so popular is because they encompass a variety of job categories. When you want to find a job in finance and you go to specialist recruitment agencies, the number of job positions available can be staggering but also inspiring because that only means more opportunities for those who want them and more chances to launch a rewarding career that can bring you closer to getting the best of what life has to offer.

The financial industry is one that is filled with companies that are engaged in investing, lending, insurance, securities trading and securities issuance. It is characterized by its involvement in businesses like banking, securities brokerage, investment banking, securities trading, investment management, securities analysis and financial planning. Jobs in particular, include credit analysts, finance officers, financial advisors, financial analysts, financial planners, loan officers and investment bankers.

Careers in finance are something people go for because it challenges them. Ambitious and driven people in particular, are attracted to the compensation, career advancements, bureaucracy, pace and caveats. They are also in awe of the famous personalities who have made a career out of finance and are now enjoying unparalleled success and as such, they want to be able to enjoy the distinct advantages and benefits a lucrative and flourishing finance career can give.

The compensation for example, is substantially more than any other industry. There are more bonuses, draws and commissions available to employees who work hard and compensation packages that tend to be more generous than any other sector in the economy. Career advancement as well depends on the determination of the employees and tends to base any career growth more on the readiness of the employee rather than seniority.

Also, since most of the companies tend to have a small staff, decision making and advancement tend to be quicker. Employees can easily communicate with their superiors although there is a tendency that you will be handling more than what your job duties usually comprise so if you’re not willing to do more than what you are tasked with, then you might want to consider other career options.

And lastly, to get the best finance jobs, you need not only to be driven and ambitious, but you must also be already working towards a career from the time you are still in college. Getting an internship with any of the top financial companies as well as continually enhancing and improving your networking skills are some of the best ways to put a foot into the door. You must also work with specialist recruitment agencies that are usually partnered with the top finance companies and will know the best job positions available and the ones that will perfectly match your skills and experience.

Unsecured Personal Loans – A Practical Guide to Finding Lenders

1. Practical Guide – Consider Your Situation

Nowadays unsecured personal loans have become more and more popular. A number of phenomenon have had a hand in making this so. For one thing, unemployment has been rising, prices have been rising, the whole world is in a bit of economic turmoil. Consequently, many folks have had to make some hard financial decisions that has left their credit rating somewhat battered. Where do you stand financially?

2. Practical Guide – Consider Your Way Out

If you have less than perfect credit but are need of an unsecured personal loan, you need to make a budget. You have to figure exactly how much cash you need and you need to know how much you can afford to pay back on a monthly basis. At that point it is time to approach a lender. If you have a poor credit rating, do not even think about approaching a bank or other traditional brick and mortar financial institution. You need some alternatives.

3. Practical Guide – Lending Alternatives

You may recoil at this thought, but if you need cash urgently, you should consider asking family or close friends. You do not need to provide them with a lending contract, no real conditions are set. But do come to some repayment agreement, write it down so all feel better. You can do the payback as your financial health improves.

Some folks do not want to borrow from family members for a number of reasons. Dignity. Exposing a personal situation. Or other reasons associated with some sort of guilt. Consider colleagues. Of course, this requires a bit more care. Do not accept the money until a contract is drafted. Meet the terms religiously.

4. Practical Guide – Lending Companies

Many folks are facing financial difficulties and many folks have take bad hits on their credit ratings. The usual financial institutions will not deal with bad credit loans. Private lenders have seen this market and today there are a plethora of companies willing to lend to people with less than perfect credit. Even though requirements are less stringent than with the banks, employment is an important consideration.

5. Practical Guide – Go Online

Go online and punch your browser with key phrase: personal loan. You will be rewarded with a vast array of companies. Competition is so fierce, you may be able to pick and choose among the lenders. Certainly do not go for the first bid you get. Be aware that interest rates will be high because you are considered a high-risk borrower and no collateral is presented to secure the loan either.

Pick out the lenders who are offering interest rates and repayment terms you can live with. Once you have a list, check out their credentials. You might want to check the customer service history of each by checking their listings and ratings with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). If the lender is not listed there, find another. Some companies are actually loan brokers. You submit an application and the company will go out and find the best loan for your situation.

6. Practical Guide – Keep Obligations

Whatever you do and from whomever you get it, meet your small personal loan repayment agreements. If you already have a smudge on your credit record, you can improve your scores greatly by meeting these small loan obligations. And do not make a friend, a family member or a colleague an enemy buy not doing what you said you would – pay them back.

Being bruised by the global economic turmoil should be approached with a positive attitude. Things will improve. Meanwhile, in a practical manner take advantage of lenders offering unsecured personal loans to give you a lift through cash-flow problems.

How to Get a Loan Even With Bad Credit

We all know the feeling. Our credit is not good. In fact, deep down we know it’s bad, though we will never admit this to any of our friends.

And now we need another loan. How are we going to find a lender who would be sympathetic? What do we have to do to qualify? Will all our history of bad debt be brought out in the interview?

Well, this is how you can get a bad credit loan.

Steps to getting a loan

First, rest assured your past credit problems will be brought up and discussed by the lender you approach. Sorry. This is how it works. But actually, when you think about it, this is not entirely a bad thing. It will help you become realistic, for starters. And it will make sure the lender does find out something he didn’t know after the agreement has been signed, and has to load you up with restrictions. Everything is on the table in those first discussions.

OK. That’s that. Next is the interest rate you’ll be offered.

And this is how an informed lender will deal with your bad credit history. If he assesses you as something of a risk he will offer you the loan — but lock to it a higher interest rate than he would give your friend with a good history with credit. In this way the lender makes himself secure. And this becomes your ‘way out of this mess’; simply by agreeing to pay more interest you can get your loan.

This is the magic part of the transaction. Because you have a history of bad credit you are now a risk to the lender. So he will need to cover himself, and he does this by taking a higher payment from you.

The cost of a loan

As well as that he will have higher costs when he processes your application. There will be extra checks by his office against your credit history, and background checks on your loans and repayments to retailers and lending institutions in the past. So application fees might be a little higher than normal.

On top of that closing fees can be higher than normal. Again, because you are a risk and there is some extra work finalizing an agreement with someone like you. So expect some slightly higher fees.

Now at this point, you would be advised to not compare your loan with too many others. Your loan is going to look expensive. The terms are going to appear rather bruising. But stop right there. All this is true. But it is also true that you got to this simply because of your bad credit history. Because of your credit score.

Should you accept a high rate of interest?

But it is also true that only the small, specialist lenders will take on your borrowing. The big institutional bankers and lenders won’t look at you. You must deal with the smaller financial companies that specialise in bad credit loans. It is highly likely you will get no other offers, and perhaps none better than the one you have negotiated.

So, accept it. It’s a bad credit loan. It has more interest attached to it than you might be used to. But you have the loan you need and your friendly lender has the security he needs and his slightly higher costs covered. So go and find a reputable lender who welcomes people with a bad credit history and you will be able to acquire that loan you need.