Personal Finance


A Financial Planner can help you :-

Assess your current financial situation.

Create a realistic plan to meet your financial goals.

Understand how to meet your financial and retirement goals.

Put your financial plan into action and monitor your progress.

Update your financial plan to grow with your changing needs and goals.

If you have any of these questions or concerns, you will benefit from a consultation with a Financial Advisor:

Confusion about conflicting financial advice and options.

Paying too much income tax.

Not saving enough for retirement.

Not sure where to invest money.

Changes in life that affect your financial future, such as a career change, marriage, retirement, loss of a spouse, birth of a child, etc.

Not enough time to attend to personal financial affairs.

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Whether it is investors, potential investors or general public who is looking to start investing, everyone gets excited the minute they have extra cash on their hands and one of the usual plans is to invest it for quick profits. People want to start making their money work for them and that’s a very understandable and rational thought but sure enough one needs to be practical about their finances as well. There is a lot of due diligence and groundwork that goes into understanding the financial markets before one must start investing and it’s for their best as well!

An investment making company will generally help you get started with your investment and offer you end-to-end insights into how to make more money and how to invest money to achieve your financial goals. However, there are a few things you as an investor must consider before approaching any Asset Management Company or getting started on your investment journey.

Here are the top things one should consider before they start investing to make more money:

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Dying without leaving a will is a bad idea.

If you haven’t made a will, then you have made a mistake, everything you own will be shared out according to the law instead of in accordance with your wishes. This could mean your estate passes to someone you hadn’t intended – or that someone you want to pass things on to ends up with nothing. For example, if you’re not married and not in a civil partnership, your partner is not legally entitled to anything when you die. If you’re married, your husband or wife might inherit most or all of your estate and your children might not get anything.  All of this can be avoided if you make a will, setting out your wishes.

Oh, and if you needed any more persuading, if you do die without having left a will, all your assets are likely to be frozen until the estate is sorted out, which can mean hardship for your loved ones in the meantime. And it’s much more expensive to use the courts to reconcile an estate, so there’ll be less left over for your family too. It really is a ‘no brainer.’

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Being a Financial Planner, I am naturally more in tune with the truthfulness or, should I say, the intentions of retirement advertising. It’s all about hitting the pain points. Not much fun, right? At least buying a new car or a house is fun. Yet sometimes the important things in life are not “fun”. Retirement planning is one of those things.

When you need a new car, you check out the rates at the credit union. If you need a mortgage you also check rates. In other words, you shop for the best rate before you shop for your car or your new home. When was the last time you said, “Hey Honey, we haven’t saved enough for retirement. Let’s go down to the credit union and meet with a financial advisor.”? Probably never. I wish people were as in tune with their retirement planning as they are with getting a new car or a new house.

To compound matters, the big financial companies, that can afford to advertise on TV like to make you succumb to what I call the Lump Sum Scare. You know, they tell you that you need a lump sum of several million dollars or you won’t be able to retire – ever! I know better. If you haven’t saved “enough” and that is a relative term. It’s as personal as your fingerprints, you can still retire, be they different terms than maybe you are thinking about right now.

Let’s look at 5 ways you can retire on your terms, even if you are starting late.

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We have seen a number of dark days for stock markets all around the world in the past months. But how frightened should we be? Is the next Great Depression upon us? How can we distinguish a small crisis from a huge one? One way to deal with these questions and to calm our feelings of panic is to look closely at a single bad day. When we do that, the details can show us that the bigger picture may not be as bad as we fear, and, hopefully, quell our feelings of panic.

Let’s look back at September 29. On that day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 7% and the S&P dropped by 8.8%. The Dow’s declines were the largest since the 9/11 attacks, and the S&P had its worst day since Black Monday in 1987. Media headlines included comparisons to the “Crash of 1929” and even “The Great Depression,” but, in spite of all of this, were things really as bad as they seemed?

The first thing to do when we have a horrible day like this is to look at as many of the details as you can. Now, when you do this you should expect some bad news. But the real insight will come when you compare the details of a single bad day to the details of an even worse day that history has proven to be a true market crash.

So let’s put September 29 into perspective.

Before the US stock markets opened on that morning, bad news was already spreading. The financial crisis had reached Europe. Governments were forced to bail out the Belgium bank Fortis, the U.K. nationalized mortgage lender Bradford & Bingley, and Germany’s Hype Real Estate Holding. At home, Wachovia announced that it was in talks with several firms to be sold. Wachovia, in fact, did not fail, but scared customers had pulled their funds after Washington Mutual’s collapse.

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It’s virtually impossible to know what size home you can afford if you aren’t fully aware of how much money you are earning and how much you are spending each month.

Start with your income: How much do you bring home after taxes and retirement plan contributions?

Next, look at your expenses: What are your necessary expenses? How much are you paying each month toward your debt? What additional expenses do you have that wouldn’t be deemed “necessary?” How much money do you have left (if any)?

This will help you see how much breathing room is in your current budget, what expenses might be on the chopping block and the space you have for additional home and mortgage expenses when buying a home.
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Debt has become a major issue in the life of the Americans. In order to resolve this problem the two most valuable results are either debt settlement company or filing bankruptcy. But before you opt for any one of the above mentioned programs you need to know the advantages and disadvantages that would help you to choose the right kind of plan that would suit your pocket.

Determine the depth of your debt:

1) Demand a copy of your credit report from the credit card companies.

2) Recheck the information provided on the statement of the credit card companies. Search for any incorrect entries regarding personal information, account which are not liable to you and even accounts which are actually paid in full but showing an out standing balance.

3) Keep a record of the credit score which is also known as Fair Issac Credit Organization (FICO) score. FICO has been named after a software that calculates the credit score. The average FICO score on the ascending side is 500.

4) Add up all the balances that are due from your credit accounts, loans, both the secured and unsecured loans and also include the collection account.

All these information would help you to decide to make a choice between a debt settlement program and filing for bankruptcy.


Keep a check on the monthly finances:

Prepare a spread sheet where you can incorporate all the credit information regarding the income and expenditure. If you file for bankruptcy you have to present the average monthly income and that too before 6 months filing for bankruptcy petition. In both the cases debt settlement program or filing bankruptcy requires the calculation of the monthly income. Make a separate spreadsheet for the monthly expenses like groceries, insurance, education related cost and so on.

Now subtract the total amount of expenditure from the total amount of income, the amount which would be left can be used to repay the debts you have incurred. If you have a zero balance or negative balance then it shows that you cannot afford to pay off the debt.

How do you know that debt settlement is right for you?

• See if you can pay off your debt with the current income. If your income is less then the amount of your expenses then be sure that debt settlement program is not a good solution for you. It won’t be able to deliver you out of this financial crisis. If your monthly income is more than your expenditure then the debt settlement company can guide you with debt solutions
• Calculate the total amount of credit card debt you owe and find out whether you qualify to enroll for a debt settlement service. Choose a debt settlement company according to the total amount you owe as each company varies the credit card balance requirement.
• Choose a reliable debt settlement company. Avoid the companies which charge a huge up front fee. Choose the debt settlement companies which are accredited by Better Business Bureau. And ensure that the fee they are charging are affordable for your pocket.
• Prepare yourself regarding the negative aspect that surrounds a debt settlement company such as creditors call, damaged credit record and tax problems.

How do you know bankruptcy is right for you?

• Look for other option other than bankruptcy if that can pull you out from the financial catastrophe. On line search can give innumerable options like debt settlement programs, debt management programs and so on.
• Do you qualify for filing bankruptcy? Just search for bankruptcy code on line and there are even books which can explain the bankruptcy in much easier way. Hire a bankruptcy attorney who can give you an able guidance and make you aware whether you qualify filing for bankruptcy or not.
• There are many chapters in filing for bankruptcy see in which chapter you qualify before filing for bankruptcy read through the rules and guidelines associated with each of the chapters.
• Keep it in mind that bankruptcy remains on your credit record for a long time, So if you file for bankruptcy you should prepare your self that you are going to ruin the credit record for next seven years.

So it’s your call to choose the right plan for you which would help you to burden you from the horrid night mare of debt.

therebalacingact-624.jpgIt’s a dangerous time for investors when any and every investment makes money. I do realize that I must be sounding like a lunatic when I say that. How can things be dangerous when money is flowing into investors’ account statements as if it grew on trees? And for mutual fund investors, it does appear to be growing on trees. Of course investors in the best funds made an absolutely humongous amount of money.

Something similar has been happening for stock investors as well. Even though there were some stocks that lost money, an overwhelming number of them went up by huge margins. There isn’t really any stock or mutual fund investor out there who didn’t make a great deal of money. Therefore, what we have here is like an examination which everyone clears because the passing marks have been reduced to zero.

These are abnormal times which are very dangerous precisely because it’s impossible to make mistakes. You can invest in bad companies and bad funds and still make money. And that means that when the going gets even slightly tougher, a lot of people will find that they actually did invest in bad companies and in bad funds.

It’s an old saying that more investment mistakes are made in good times than in bad times and since the times are so good right now, the potential for making mistakes is that much higher. Investment markets change direction very quickly. Nothing prevents what look like good investments today from turning out to be bad ones.

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A large percentage of people will admit to not having any type of savings account. Maybe there’s just not enough at month’s end to give to a “rainy day” fund. Perhaps the money in put into a savings account gets used just as fast as it gets saved. Either way, taking out an emergency credit card can help to avoid depleting your savings account while providing security. Knowing there is a way to deal with a financial emergency can give you peace of mind. While having cash for unforseen expenses is always the best line of defense, it seems that so many times as soon as we manage to put something aside, something else comes up and we need that money.

Having a credit card for the sake of an emergency is a great way to insure you won’t be left on the side of the road with a car breakdown or pulling your own tooth because you can’t afford to see a dentist (let’s hope you wouldn’t do that!). While there has been a credit card debt epidemic over the past several years, if you are responsible and can practice some self-control, you can have peace of mind should you need to come up with some quick cash.

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