November 2007

credit_cards1.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? Bank of America is known to help you manage your money successfully. If you see their terms and conditions they can assist you with you money management program.

Credit cards can be an excellent tool to help you manage your finances and buy the things you want or need. But when things go on a ride and your bills get out of hand, which happens to even the best of us, choosing a personal loan as a way to consolidate those bills will help you reduce your interest rates and set up a fixed amount of payment. Reduced interest rates will ultimately increase the amount of money you keep and a fixed amount due every month will help you plan your budget.

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.

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car001.jpgIf you do not have car insurance in place you will be driving your car illegally, and the consequences of this can be severe. It is therefore vital that you take out car insurance on your vehicle before you take it out on the road. The good news is that there are different levels of car insurance cover available, so you can find the right cover to suit most needs, circumstances, and budget. Its primary use is to provide protection against losses incurred as a result of traffic accidents.

It can be a daunting task, making sure you receive the right coverage for you and your car. There are three types of car insurance to choose from – comprehensive, third party fire and theft, and third party only.

Several factors influence the cost of car insurance quotes. Youth means inexperience in the motoring world, and can be a disadvantage whilst searching for inexpensive coverage. On the other hand, people over age 25 will often find that their car insurance premiums decrease greatly from their younger driving days.

An excess payment, also known as a deductible, is the fixed contribution you must pay each time your car is repaired through your auto insurance policy. Normally the payment is made directly to the accident repair garage when you collect the car. If your car is declared to be a write off, your insurance company will deduct the excess agreed on the policy from the settlement payment it makes to you.

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hubbard-inside.jpgBush Economic Adviser Joins Aides Leaving White House As President’s Term Winds DownAl Hubbard, chairman of President Bush’s National Economic Council, will announce on Wednesday that he’s leaving his post, joining a growing line of top presidential advisers exiting the White House as the Bush administration heads into its final year.

Hubbard’s departure comes as Bush faces one of the biggest economic challenges of his presidency, a severe slump in housing and a credit crisis that have roiled financial markets and triggered fears of a recession.

Hubbard, assistant to the president for economic policy, will submit a letter to the president later in the day to make official his decision to leave the White House after three years, according to a senior administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement had not yet been made.

His departure, by the end of the year, continues an exodus of key Bush aides and confidants. Earlier this month, Fran Townsend, Bush’s terrorism adviser, announced she was stepping down after 4 1/2 years. Top aide Karl Rove, along with press secretary Tony Snow, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and senior presidential adviser Dan Bartlett, have already left.

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1111828m.jpgElvis Presley would judge the recording quality of his songs by whether the sound “moved him or not,” says music producer Elliot Mazer.

Recently it was revealed that Britain’s love affair with gadgetry is stronger than ever, with over £74bn worth of gadgets currently owned and that figure is predicted to grow massively following Christmas. Before you start checking out specific models, you should have a basic understanding of the types of MP3 players available.

It may be hard to believe, but you can actually find a decent MP3 player for a decent price. In fact, we may see more and more devices start to hover near that price point if flash memory costs continue to fall the way they have been over the past couple of years. Of course, there’s no sense in dropping even a buck on a complete piece of junk, which is why we’ve sought out some price comparison options

The sound you get from the earphones is pretty standard (but that isn’t a bad thing). I’ve never encountered any “sound-related” problems. You can change the sound settings to match your style of music. The different settings are bass, pop, rock, jazz, and flat. The bass setting obviously enhances the bass and is without a doubt my favorite setting. The pop, jazz and flat all tune down the sound which may prevent maximum audio enjoyment. The rock does the exact opposite as the other 3.

But what I’m happy with may not be what you’re happy with, so don’t feel scared to test out the different settings.

ibf_current.jpgFor religious reasons, Islamic mutual funds shun nearly half of the stocks in the market, yet they still are among the top-performing U.S. funds. With Annual Growth rate of 15% and more in the recent years, the Islamic banking and Investment Industry ranks as one of the faster growing segments of the world’s financial services industry.

Estimates of the total value of assets managed according to Shari’a-compliant principles range as high as $750 billion, in other words Islamic finance is now a worldwide phenomenon.

The Islamic funds market has developed at a slower pace, but its potential is clearly huge. There are now more than 400 Islamic funds – four times the number at the turn of the century.

On the whole, the performance of Equity funds has been positive. Studies have shown that excluding financials, defense, tobacco, alcohol, leisure and entertainment stocks – as these funds must do if they are to remain Shari’a compliant – is no big disadvantage. The range of asset classes has mushroomed; a few hedge funds have also been launched.

The pace of product innovation has picked up in recent years; there are now a number of multi manager products on the market. Unit linked savings and retirement plans began to emerge few years ago, but the market is expanding fast and as many as 39 Banks have applied to distribute insurance in Saudi Arabia alone.

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fico_score.gifMost lenders use FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation, they developed the FICO, a measure of credit risk, that are the most used credit users in the world) credit scores to get an objective measure of your creditworthiness. By understanding the factors that affect your score, you’ll get an in depth understanding of how creditors view your credit application and how you can bump up your credit standing.

1. Payment history

The factor that has the biggest impact on your score is whether you have paid off the past credit accounts on time or not. It counts for approximately 35% of your score. It should be noted that the recent late payments or missed payments hurt your score more. It will be reflected on your report whether you are 30, 60, or 90 days or more late with a bill payment. A record of late or missed payments on several accounts will hamper your score more than late payments on a single account. So, pay off your bills on time, it will definitely have a positive impact on your overall score.

2. Amount owed

It counts for approximately 30% of your total FICO score. It shows how well you can manage your credit. However, it is not just the amount you owe already that influences your FICO score. Also taken into consideration is the amount of credit available to you. So, total up all the outstanding balances you have and compare it with the amount of credit that is available to you. If you are reaching or exceeding the available credit then it will negatively impact your score.

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frontpage.jpgTerm life insurance is the original form of life insurance and is considered to be pure insurance protection because it builds no cash value. It was developed to provide temporary life insurance protection on a limited budget. Term insurance is well suited for short-range goals such as life insurance coverage to pay off a loan, or providing extra life insurance protection during the child-raising years.

One of the biggest advantages of term life insurance is its lower initial cost in comparison to permanent life insurance. Term life insurance policies have no cash value accounts, policy loan provisions or other features typically found in permanent life insurance policies. With term life policies, you’re generally just paying for the death benefit, which is the lump sum payment your beneficiaries will receive if you die during the term of the policy.

Paying for life insurance hurts! But few can do without it. The key is to buy life insurance only for losses that you can not replace, such as your income. Avoid narrowly defined life insurance policies that only cover specific loss of life, such as accidents, plane crashes or cancer. You’re better off with insurance for any loss of life for a small increase in the life insurance quotes.

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j03874751.jpgIf you don’t give customers a set of positive values that they will associate with you, expect to hear that often.

Companies have been sinking deeper into the bog of misunderstood marketing by entwining it with other business functions such as sales. To club them together is corporate suicide simply because marketing is about generating value and generating consumer appeal. Whereas sales is about building on the value generated by marketing activity.

Making sense of why we club these diverse aspects of a business’s activities is not hard. Director of Sales and Marketing – it sounds like a great job, but it’s actually two jobs, both complimentary of each other. It’s like the story of the chicken and the egg: nobody really knows which came first, but they do know that one cannot exist without the other and now companies are starting to realize that respect is due to both.

Executives view marketing as a necessary evil, but are now willing to allow the freedom it requires and only 23% of them say marketing makes a considerable value contribution.

To be successful in any business you need to master both sales and marketing but the idea that marketing can actually generate revenue, just like sales and service departments, is alien to many senior executives. And in organizations that consider marketing a vital function, the marketing team is under tremendous pressure to produce results and to produce them immediately.

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einstein-compound-interest-rule-of-721.jpgYou may have heard the saying ‘If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t true’. But how do you work out what could be too good to be true?

Start with the rate of return you have been offered. Most investments illustrate their rates of return using percentages. While that’s perfectly reasonable, research suggests that many people have trouble working out percentages, especially in their heads.

To determine how many years for your capital to double, you bring to mind the Rule of 72, which tells you to always divide the capital by the interest, and the result is in how many years it will be doubled. This is simpler than it seems. Before calculators or spreadsheets, investors used the trusty old ‘Rule of 72’.

How the Rule of 72 works

Suppose you were offered an investment with a return of 10% per year and you reinvested all your returns. How many years would it take to double the value of your original investment?

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