moneyjj.jpgAn identity thief takes your personal information and uses it without your knowledge. The thief may run up debts or even commit crimes in your name. Identity theft is serious. While some identity theft victims can resolve their problems quickly, others spend hundreds of dollars and many days repairing damage to their good name and credit record.

As the name suggests, it is the theft of the personal information of another. The theft would be incomplete unless the information was used for some nefarious process, and it is in many different ways. Keeping your personal information from falling into the wrong hands will help you from becoming another identity theft victim.

The most common form of identity theft is not the stealing of credit card numbers. Instead, the devious individual is aiming for your social security number. Why? That number is the basis of many different financial transactions.

With a social security number, an identity thief can take many financial steps. They can open multiple credit card accounts. They even apply for a loan once they establish a second address.

Read (more…)

1699h0068.jpgMistakes happen, and it seems as if they pop up on bills quite frequently. How closely do you read your statements, receipts and bills? Do you take the time to review the actual charges, or do you simply assume that the bill is correct. Remember that when it comes to numbers, errors happen frequently.

For example, one time my bank was even wrong on my statement. The computer added something incorrectly. Sometimes numbers get transposed when they are entered into the computer — you have to double check. On another ocassion I was charged $200 on my Visa card as card replacement fees, which actually should have been $20.

It is estimated that consumers lose millions making unnecessary overpayment’s on accounts each year. For example, cellular bills are notorious for being wrong.

There are many things to look for when you are spending money and paying bills. The most common thing to happen when you are shopping is that you are charged the wrong price for an item. Make sure that if you buy something on sale you are given the appropriate sale price. Know the price of the items you are buying.

Once, I bought two bars of chocolate. The cashier accidentally pushed the two button and the three button, charging me for 23 bars of chocolate. I knew that the total didn’t sound right and checked the receipt before I left the store.

Read (more…)

money-head.JPGIf you are like most people, you do not feel that you “deserve money”. The simple fact is that most people are broke. Most people are broke because they do not feel that they deserve money.

To be financially successful you must: save prodigiously, invest wisely, and act like an entrepreneur. If you don’t believe you are capable of financial success, figure out why.

OK, maybe now you are thinking, “I deserve money…right?” Well, here is the thing, if you have the thought that “It takes money to make money”, or “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer”, or “Money is the root to all evil”, then you do not deserve money…well, maybe not yet, but there is hope for you.

There are two sides to every coin, people can look at money as good or bad and often at times people look at money as bad to justify why they do not have any. I dont know, maybe someone with money or someone that was thinking of making money was with someone that did not have any and did not have any plans to make any. What they thought about having lots of money and they gave off one of the lame excuses as suggested in the previous paragraph.

Why do you deserve money? The answer is simple…because you deserve money! Look, making money is simply the result of exchanging your efforts or ideas for money.

Read (more…)

etf_mistakes.gifThere are only two emotions in the market – hope and fear.The problem is you hope when you should fear, and you fear when you should hope. Sounds a little too smug, doesn’t it? What exactly does this mean? Loosely, it means that when a stock you are holding goes down, you keep holding it hoping it will rise whereas actually you should fear that it will fall more. And when an investment goes up in value, you do the opposite.

This is true for many of us. But fear and hope aren’t the only two emotions at play in stock investing, there are many more. Here’s the full list: doubt, suspicion, caution, confidence, enthusiasm, greed, indifference, denial, concern, fear, panic and finally, despair. Naturally, greed comes in only when markets are at the top. In the list above, the emotions before greed are the ones that are felt on the way up and the ones after greed are felt on the way down.

That’s why the investment pros often say in a mantra-like tone: “There is no such thing as a free lunch.”

The key to successful investing is not to avoid risk altogether but to recognize the risks you are taking. To avoid unpleasant surprises, do your homework. Nothing beats reading the prospectuses and checking the long-term performances of your investments. People rush into purchases even when they don’t understand what they’re buying, People do more research when they buy a refrigerator or a laptop than when they invest thousands in stock. (more…)

48_2100a1.jpgStuff happens. And it usually costs money. If you don’t have an emergency fund equal to three to six months worth of basic living expenses, you’re living on the edge. There’s no time like the present to get started.None of us have the ability to foresee the future or predict the hurdles which lie ahead of us. This makes building an emergency fund a financial priority. People who are living on a lean-and-mean budget will have the toughest time setting aside money for emergencies. If it’s possible to squeeze out another $40 or $50 each month and put it in a money market account, it’s worth doing.

Establishing an emergency savings account is vital in good times and in bad. The purpose of the fund is to sock away three to six month’s living expenses. But this money could also be used when you’re staring at major, unplanned expenses such as a car breakdown or a leaky roof.

Housing a small rainy day fund should be a vital part of an individual’s financial goals. This is of high importance if you don’t already have readily available funds in your account for covering any unanticipated expenses. They provide financial security because they give you funds to fall back on if you become ill, or if you or your spouse loses your job, you incur large medical bills, or have an unexpected large bill such as a major car or home repair. You do not want to end up in a situation where you have to buy daily necessities on credit.

Read (more…)

home3.jpgThere are many blogs and websites about “Financial Freedom”. I’ve come to notice that each site author has a slightly different definition of what Financial Freedom really is. So, my goal here is to just lay out in plain sight what my own idea for Financial Freedom is, so I might have a better chance of getting there myself. My idea of Financial Freedom is the ability to choose to do what you wish with your life, without the need to think about if there is enough money to do what you want. In order to break down what this really means, you’ve got to really understand what money itself is.

Money is basically what makes the world go round.

If you had enough income piling into your bank account to meet your basic necessities, such as food, a place to live and clothes, how would life be different?

Now, you may be saying “but I do have enough money to provide for the necessities.” And you may be correct. But, the real question I want to ask is, “How do you get that money?” Is the income you earn each month Linear (i.e., from working in a job or a self-employed business type setting), or is it non-linear, leveraged, and passive?

My entire goal is to create a lifestyle that does not require my presence.

How beautiful an idea is that?

Read (more…)

wonder.jpgSeriously you dont…

I advise people on personal finance including banking, budgeting, saving, and investing. How to save your money-tricks, how to budget, and using credit cards, etc. How to make more money by investing? What are stocks? Bonds? Mutual funds? What can you do to start today and maximize returns?

All you need is three ingredients, income, discipline and time. Chances are, you already have two of them, income and time. All you need to do is add the third, discipline.

There’s a saying in economics “expenses rise to meet income”. This means money that’s easily available to you is certain to be spent. That’s why most people’s paychecks disappear before their next payday. They get used to having a certain amount to spend, and habitually run down their bank account.

Here’s how it works: Say you start with nothing, invest $500 (of your income) a month (a healthy discipline), and let your money ride (over time) in diversified investments. Long term, the stock market returns at least 10% annually. Assuming a 10% return, you’d have $102,000 after 10 years, $380,000 after 20 years, and $1.1 million in 30 years.

Read (more…)

idea-guy.pngFinancial planning, something we all know we need to do, but always put off to the future. Financial planning is hard simply because it requires financial discipline, which is difficult to have in this consumer society.

However, financial planning is very important because you want to retire one day, be financially stable in the event of an accident, or unexpected loss of a job. Regardless of when you begin, the basics remain the same.

Here are my top keys to getting ahead financially. Once you have made financial planning part of your routine, it won’t seem so difficult. But getting your financial planning started can be the most difficult thing. These tips will help motivate you to make financial planning one of your main goals.

No matter how much or how little you’re paid, you’ll never get ahead if you spend more than you earn. Often it’s easier to spend less than it is to earn more, and a little cost-cutting effort in a number of areas can result in big savings.

Read (more…)

retirement_planning.gifThere has always been a need for retirement planning and today is certainly no different. There are many types of retirement plans that are available to you. You will need to take the time needed to evaluate what your current financial needs are and what you expect the future to hold.

You must keep in mind that your planning today is not just for the ideal future, but the future that will be reality for you if things turn out to not be ideal or according to your plans today. By starting early and contributing the maximum that you can afford, you will have a better chance of being prepared for the unforeseen.

Unsure of what you will need for retirement? Are you on track or not? Don’t forget that life expectancy is getting longer. Today you can expect to live 20-30 years past retirement and, suddenly, the amount you need to retire comfortably with a major change in lifestyle gets very large.

Lets say that today you need $40,000 to live on and you retire in 20 years, you will need a minimum of $800,000 to carry you through retirement. That is assuming that you will live an additional 20 years after you retire and are in good health.

Read (more…)

credit_cards.jpgCredit cards can be an excellent tool to help you manage your finances. But sometimes we make poor choices, or sometimes the events in life take us beyond our expectations and we are left to foot the bill. Perhaps you have had a few months of extra, unexpected expenses that you are now paying for. What can you do?

Gather together all of your credit card bills and add up the amount that you owe. Factor in the extra expenses you haven’t heard on your credit cards since you receive those bills. Add to that about ten or twenty per cent, which is the “whoops, I forgot about that” factor. Then, with that figure, start shopping around for a loan.

Get the loan and pay off your credit card bills. If you think that you may still use your credit cards, you may want to hide them away so that you reduce the temptation to use them. Now, instead of having several credit card bills at a high interest rate due by the end of the month, you now have one bill that is due once a month at a lower rate. This is called consolidation. At first glance it may not seem obvious why you’d want to do this but there are two reasons:

Read (more…)

« Previous PageNext Page »