Friday, December 2, 2011

A Guide to Bank Transactional Fees (Direct and Indirect)

In general, transactional fees fall into two categories-those that are charged to the end customer or the consumer and those that are charged to an organisation or merchant, when it wants to allow payment services to its customers.

Direct Customer fees

Transactional fees typically apply only to the direct customers or account holders of a given bank (as the bank has no direct relationship with other consumers) and even then, only when a customer has gone beyond what is deemed to be the core commercial relationship that the bank is prepared to offer at no direct cost. Hence, fees are typically charged to customers when they have overdrawn an account, written a cheque in circumstances where they are insufficient funds to cover it, or perhaps used an automated teller machine or ATM in another bank's network. However, even here, a bank will allow many transactions without fees, if a customer maintains a positive balance (sometimes with a minimum threshold) or commits to regular income being paid in or saved every month. This is because banks worry a lot about customer "churn" and know that fees can often be a "switching factor" if they become too much of an irritant to an account holder (especially now that opening another account with a different bank can be done online very easily in many cases). The simple logic here is that it is more cost effective and profitable to keep good customers who transact regularly with a bank (and do so for the most part in the black) for what might be many years, than to risk losing them completely over a fair but nonetheless irritating fee that "pushes them over the edge". But even though this results in what might be seen as a better deal for the end consumer, banks still have to find ways to recover their internal transactional costs and overhead in some way. For some transactions, such as bank cheques, wire transfers and transactions involving foreign exchange a customer will be relatively happy to pay (as these are often "one-off" or special instances). However, these fees will not always cover the costs involved completely and it therefore often falls to the other major category to provide the fees that can cover costs and the bank's overhead-the merchant.

Merchant fees

Although every individual commercial merchant relationship will be different, depending on a given organisation's size, type of business, types of services offered etc, banks will typically charge a very wide variety of transactional fees to most merchants to provide a payment service.

The most obvious fees charged to merchants (because they have been around for a long time) are for cash and cheque handling. In both cases, these payment transactions are expensive for any financial institution because they involve human intervention (a teller in a branch perhaps or a reconciliation and settlement clerk in a head office) and in both cases, considerable human data entry (sometimes carried out multiple times) is required. As with an end consumer, a merchant may be able to bring about lower fees by maintaining a positive balance or "float". However, it is rare for any merchant these days to be able to operate without an overdraft, at least some of the time, so fees in this area need to be monitored carefully by every merchant.

Outside cash and cheque payments, the majority of transactional fees that are charged by a merchant bank are credit and debit card use fees. Cards are typically issued to a consumer without charge, and with no transaction fees when they are paid off regularly each month. However, a merchant will be charged for every transaction that a customer makes with a credit and/or debit card and this may be a very complex affair. In some cases, the fee charged will be a single "aggregate rate" for say credit card use, such as 2.5% of the transaction size. Hence for a 100 consumer purchase, a charge of 2.50 will be made to a merchant. However, this rate may vary from one transaction to another and this is because the aggregate rate is made up of many sub fees that every merchant needs to know about. Here are just some of the fee types that are typically charged:

The Discount Fee Rate

Credit and debit card companies (Visa and MasterCard being by far the largest of these) have what is called "interchange" rates. These can range in price- so in order to make it easier, the merchant banks often have sub-categories. These include rates such as the Qualified Discount Rate - a pre-set or agreed percentage is paid for each pound charged or the Non-Qualified Rate - a fee added to the qualified discount rate in certain transactions. For example, this may occur if a merchant does not use an address verification service (AVS) when they manually enter or take a transaction.

Per Transaction Fees

This is a specific flat rate (such as 5 or 10 pence) that is paid on every sale processed through the particular credit card processor. Sometimes the transaction fee is called the interchange fee, authorisation fee, or per inquiry fee.

Address Verification Service (AVS) fees

Merchant banks charge a small fee for the validation service to ensure that the customer billing address provided in say an online checkout process matches the card issuing bank's records. Not using this service can sometimes result in charges on the processing of the card for that sale.

Chargeback/Retrieval Fees

When a customer requests a refund (or the customer's credit card issuer requests a refund), merchant banks typically charge a "chargeback" fee. This can typically range from

How Online Banking Works Efficiently

ByAdrianna Noton

Understanding is easy. It is in part a question of time management. Traditionally people have struggled through traffic and other city hazards to queue during office hours. The time actually spent transaction business might be less that a minute or a few minutes but getting to the consultant sitting behind a desk could take hours.

By contrast the page of one's computer or smart phone can be accessed in the course of a few seconds and the necessary transaction completed in the time that would be taken to walk into a building and join a queue. Time during the working day does not have to be set aside for traveling and standing because transaction can be done at any time of the day or night, when convenient.

Firms have different corporate approaches to their customers. Some treat clients as nuisances and others do their best to offer professional services. Similarly, some sites are very much more friendly and helpful than others. It is wise to investigate before registering.

It is necessary to create a profile with a particular firm before commencing. This can be a sticking point for those who do not belong to the generation of people used to transacting exclusively with computer systems and no human interaction so some time might be invested in a consultant behind a desk or at a telephone number. The profile can include several accounts of different types and almost all business on these accounts may be economically accomplished without setting a foot inside a building.

Credit card accounts are usually run through specialist companies but banks act as agents for these companies. Credit card accounts can be included on the profile of customers who run their accounts through the bank that acts as an agent to the particular card company. There may be some restriction on how funds are withdrawn but usually it is possible to transfer funds into them instantaneously.

The prevalence of online banking has streamlined business for both debtors and creditors. Accounts may be paid directly into relevant accounts and funds may also be received economically and quickly into accounts. In some cases banks offer special services such as accepting international payments through money transfer companies and even paying traffic fines online. It is possible to pay recurring monthly accounts by means of scheduled payments on particular dates.

Many people who are reluctant to move away from traditional banking are motivated by fear. They are afraid that their personal information may somehow be available to others and that there could easily be fraudulent activity of which they are unaware. The need to be assured that the same accounting and banking practices operate as they have done traditionally. The difference is that particular clients have access to their personal information just as bank officials always have had.

To know how online banking works is to know that the same banking practices apply to accounts as has traditionally been the case. The difference is that clients now have access to their personal information and can complete personal transactions. The fact that this information can be checked frequently and for no cost means that a greater degree of personal vigilance is possible, making banking even safer than it was before.

Global Financial institution offering commercial and personal banking services including Internet banking, credit card, loans and more at BVI bank.

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The Keynesian Conundrum: Chapter 24 Bankruptcy?

"Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back."
John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory, Chapter 24, last paragraph

The madmen in authority today are distilling their frenzy from Keynes, just as he predicted. From my perspective, Keynes is the most misread, misinterpreted, misquoted and misunderstood economist of modern times. In The General Theory, Keynes proposes two primary techniques of using fiscal policy to stimulate the economy toward full employment:

1. Progressive income taxation. Here Keynes assumes that wealthy people do not spend all of their incomes but rather save a good portion of the income. This contrasts with the lower classes which tend to spend all of their income. This is the marginal propensity to consume. By taxing income away from the wealthy and redistributing this income to the working class, aggregate demand increases, thus increasing employment. Keynes also considered high rates of death and estate taxes on the wealthy to serve this same purpose. This is a policy he felt should be used continuously, not just in times of economic contraction.

2. Deficit spending. Keyne's second policy prescription is to be implemented in times of economic contraction. This is simply to have the government borrow large sums of money to spend on public works projects. These deficits can be slowly repaid over the long term during times of economic expansion. Their immediate expenditure will increase aggregate demand and therefore employment.

Of course, this is a greatly over-simplified interpretation of Keyne's complicated treatise. However, I feel it is instructive to reexamine his thoughts in relation to the economy of the United States today. Let's examine them in that light:

1. Progressive income taxation. Since the 1970's the progressivity of income taxes has decreased dramatically. Whether justified via theory (the Laffer curve, etc.) or imposed via tax avoidance schemes, Warren Buffett is correct. It is not good tax policy for Mr. Buffett to have a comparable effective income tax rate as the average working American. Not only have effective tax rates on the wealthy decreased, but the payment of these decreased tax rates is largely avoided by loopholes, shelters, etc. If the "madmen in authority" truly want to pursue Keynesian economics then they need to radically overhaul and simplify the tax codes.

2. Deficit spending. This is truly our Achilles heel in 2011. If we assume that World War II did indeed finally bring us out of the Depression and we look at the magnitude of the deficit spending implemented from 1939 to 1945, this would be roughly equivalent to about $10 trillion of deficit spending in today's dollars. A $10 trillion public spending campaign, I think, could jump start our economy quite well. However, if we announced deficit spending plans of that magnitude today, those in authority would definitely be derided as madmen. Because we have been irresponsible, profligate spenders, we do not have that magnitude of borrowing capacity. We are in a "Catch-22."

This brings us to Chapter 24 of The General Theory titled, "Concluding Notes on the Social Philosophy towards which the General Theory might lead." Reading this chapter, sometimes somewhat between the lines, Keynes warns us not to use his theories of deficit spending in order to justify long term, structural deficits which ultimately result in unmanageable debts. Unfortunately, that is exactly what we have allowed our politicians to do, and exactly where we are. The United States is bankrupt for exactly the reasons Keynes warned us about.

Our use of deficit spending to pay current expenses has generally grown over the last 50 years and today precludes the use of our most powerful fiscal tools. Politically, I'm afraid that these deficits were simply used by both Republicans and Democrats alike to buy votes of various interest groups. We cannot achieve vibrant economic growth again until we have radical political reforms.

"The American republic will endure until the day that Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
Alexis de Tocqueville

J.J. Summerell
Greensboro, NC

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Have Fun Spending Money With Motorcycle Personal Blank Checks

If you are looking for checks that are not plain or have cutesy designs such as kittens or puppies, you should check out the motorcycle personal blank checks that are available. These checks are available with a variety of different Harley Davidson motorcycle images imprinted on them, and they are awesome for anyone who is a motorcycle enthusiast to use. In fact, you may even find that when you have these checks that you are more eager to spend money, because you get a chance to use them.

A Great Gift Idea

These checks are fun, and they also make a great gift. If you have a joint checking account with your significant other, you can surprise him or her with some of these cool looking checks. If your partner is really into motorcycles, he or she is really going to like these, and will appreciate you getting the checks for them. If you are giving money to someone as a gift, they would probably be thrilled to get a check that has the image of one of the most iconic motorcycles in the world on it.

Features of Motorcycle Checks

The motorcycle personal bank checks that are available from Harley Davidson can be used for any banking institution, even though they are purchased from licensed Harley dealers. Some of the features of these checks include:

Federal Bank - The Private Indian Bank From Pre-Independence Era


Travancore Federal Bank was the name of Federal Bank of India when it was established in the year 1931. It was inaugurated at Nedumpuram near Tiruvalla Kerala (Tiruvalla is situated south of Kottayam). It had 14 founders with Sri Oommen Varghese as the Chairman and Sri Oommen Chacko as its Manager. It functioned successfully for 10 years and then stopped all of a sudden due to health problems of the Manager Sri Oommen Chacko. Then a Lawyer of Perumbavoor took the charge and managed it efficiently. The name of the Lawyer was K.P.Hormis. later in the year 1945 K.P. Hormis also became the Managing Director and shifted its Headquarters to Aluva. In the year 1947 the name of the bank was changed to Federal Bank. In the year 1970, it became a Scheduled Commercial Bank. After a series of mergers and acquisitions including banks at Chalakudy, Thrissur, Alleppey, Puthenpally, Thiruvananthapuram, and Kurundwad, Federal Bank became even bigger with larger financial turnovers. It is one of the largest private sector banks and the prominent one amongst the old private group of Indian banks.


Now the bank has its Headquarters at Aluva, near Kochi in Kerala. It is presently running 743 branches across 24 states in India. It now has 803 ATM's across India. Of these 803 ATM's there are 108 in Metro Centres, 224 in Urban Centres, 384 Semi-Urban and 87 in rural areas. There has been several high-profile sponsorships and other modes of advertisement including the title sponsorship of the popular Indian cricket franchisee Kochi Tuskers Kerala of the Indian Premier League or IPL. It is also the fourth largest bank right now in India in terms of capital base and is also listed in the London Stock Exchange in addition to the Indian stock markets Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange.


The Federal bank of India has received many awards during its long journey since 1931 till now. Some of them are:

1. The banking technology Excellence Award for the year 2010-2011.

2. The Excellence Award for Second best bank among traditional private sector banks in Kerala.

3. The Great Mind Challenging Award for implementing the most innovative solution in Business.

4. Ranked number one in Economic Times Intelligence Group Survey.


The bank renders the following services:

1. Savings Bank Account.

2. Current Account.

3. Loans.

4. Deposits.

5. Debit Cards.

6. Fund Transfer.

7. Inward Remittance.

8. Online Bill Collection.

9. Bank Guarantee.

10. cash Management.

11. Demat Accounts.

12. Federal Pure Gold.

13. Gift Accounts.

14. Mutual Fund.

15. Safe Deposit Lockers.

16. NRI Banking Services.

17. Merchant Banking.

18. ASBA.

19. Visa Bill payment.

20. Master Card Secure Code.

21. Verified By Visa (VBV).

22. Online Tax Payment.

23. Mobile Banking -FedMobile.

24. Internet banking -FedNet.

25. Corporate FedNet.


It also gives Loans for various purposes like: Business, Agriculture an Rural, Housing, Educational, Travel, Personal, Car, Medical and Home Loans.


The Bank runs from morning 9 to evening 4 from Monday to Saturday. Sunday is a holiday. The Bank is closed on Public holidays. the timings are different for its Abu Dhabi Branch which works from 9 AM to 5:30 PM and this branch also works on Sunday.

SK Mukherjee does a lot of research about banking sector in India. He also likes to discuss and write on federal bank recruitment and private bank jobs.

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Reserve Bank of India - India's Central Bank and Its Various Departments


Indian banks are of two types: Public sector and private Sector. All these banks, both public and private are regulated by The Reserve Bank of India. It is India's Central Bank. The Reserve bank of India formulates many policies for the smooth functioning of the banking System in India. The most crucial part, i.e., determining the currency exchange rate is also a function of the Reserve bank of India. The reserve bank of India, to say is like the backbone of Indian Economy. It is the duty of reserve bank of India to maintain the stability and robustness of Indian Banking system.

The Reserve bank does this task with the help of various departments:


The customer service department provides proper focus on the customer service related to the bank in the following ways:

1. Dissemination of Instructions relating to customer service.
2. Solving of the Grievances of the customer.
3. Solving the complaints given by customers.


It is related to currency of India:

1. Printing of notes and making of coins.
2. Release of adequate amount of currency into circulation.
3. Exchange of mutilated bank notes of customers with good notes.


It looks after Primary Cooperative banks. Its functions are of three types:

1. Regulatory.
2. Supervisory.
3. Developmental.

The Reserve Bank of India carries on many surveys and inspections on these Urban Cooperative banks and issues circulars to them if found necessary. Reserve Bank of India also looks after the development of these Urban Cooperative banks.


This department looks after formulating policies for catering the needs of the rural areas including agricultural and rural employment programmes.The department:

1. Monitors credit to rural, agricultural and small scale industries.
2. Frames policies on priority sector lending.
3. Gives Financial and policy support to NABARD.
4. Acts as regulators for regional rural banks and cooperative banks.
5. Monitors implementation of government sponsored poverty alleviation schemes.


This department facilitates the external trade and payment promoting orderly development and maintenance of foreign exchange and market in India. This department also takes care regarding investment of NRI people.


This department's functions are:

1. To create an enabling environment to enhance efficiency of the organization.
2. Get the best work from the staff by giving them good incentives, salaries and allowances.
3. To provide a sense of moral support to the staff showing that the bank is with them to take care of their well-being.
4. Recruitment of new staff.
5. Promotion and career progression.
6. Industrial relations.
7. Retirement and voluntary vacation.
8. Motivation.
9. Deputation.
10. Remuneration and Reward Mechanism.
11. Medical
And several other functions.


It looks after:

1. Monetary operations such as open market operations, market stabilization schemes, etc.
2. Exchange rate management.
3. Monitoring of Money, government securities and Forex markets.


1. Conducts surveys of the financial system.
2. Prepares financial stability reports.
3. Develops a set of financial indicators.
4. Conducts systemic stress tests to assess resilience.
5. Development of models for assessing financial stability.


It conducts inspection on the lower banks and gives a feedback to the higher authority so as to increase the quality of service provided by these banks. This department is organized into:

1. Planning Section.
2. Follow up section.
3. Audit monitoring cell.
4. IS Audit section.
5. Inspection and Adult subcommittee system.
6. Administration section.
7. Inspection Teams.


It attends to:

1. Computerization in Reserve bank of India. (Regional Offices and Central Office Departments).
2. Design and development of projects for use of banks and financial institutions.
3. Monitoring progress of technology in banks.


The department looks after drafting of legislative matters concerned to banking and finance.

Along with the above mentioned departments many more other departments like Department of payment settlement, Department of Debt management, etc. All of them function for the proper functioning of the Banking System in India and thereby giving it stability and robustness.

Reserve Bank takes care of the Indian banking sector. Mr. Mukherjee likes to write on various topics including vacancy in banks 2012 and other topics related to banking system in India.

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Find Low Income Apartments Online

ByNanette Hampton

Each year, thousands of people especially college students in between jobs search for cost effective and strategically located Low Income Apartments For Rent. Although for some this may be a very exciting and fun experience, this can prove to be a nightmare to some especially for those who are new in the area and are not too familiar with the location nor the areas where low income apartments are located. Finding an affordable room to rent can be a daunting task especially when you have no idea where to begin your search. Experts would suggest that by following a long been proven method of housing search will yield more positive results but the truth is, things have changed now and there are far better ways to locate an affordable housing located in an ideal position very accessible to key destinations other key areas and locations within the metropolis.

First of all, it is important to determine your budget and how much you are willing to spend for a room. You also need to find out where the money will be coming from to pay for the rent because this will help you identify the proper low income apartments according to your capacity to maintain it financially. Evaluating your financial position will help you determine the most viable housing to obtain according to your budget range. You also need to find out how far you are from your work and what your mode of transportation is. Do you want a housing that is within walking distance or you would rather prefer a housing that is within the metropolis for easy access to important areas such as shopping districts, library, restaurants, etc. After you evaluated your financial condition and identified the location you want, ask yourself whether you want a room for yourself or you will be living with roommates. This is important because your decision regarding a roommate will also determine the size of the room you need to get.

Now, to make your search a lot easier and convenient, you need to know where to find the suitable low income apartment for you. Using online low income apartment directories will allow you to simplify your search. When looking for a room for rent, one of the most commonly encountered problems of people is not knowing the exact distance of the place of work or their school to their apartment units unless they use a Google map. But using websites that offer a comprehensive directory for low income apartments will allow you to find listings of available apartments near to your prospective schools and place of work. So if you are planning to rent a room and you need a roommate to whom you can share the rent with, using this type of online directory services is definitely a practical option to pursue.

Looking for low income apartments need not be that difficult. If you can simplify the process and know how to do it, do not hesitate even if it means using additional online services.

Look for Low Income Apartments For Rent from a comprehensive listing of affordable apartments for rent within your area.

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5 Questions To Ask Your Bankruptcy Lawyer - Avoid Costly Mistakes Now

advanced debt elimination strategies below

Facts you should consider before selecting a bankruptcy lawyer:

Theses days, most lawyers are usually overworked, and under paid. They aren't able to devote themselves to every client fully. However, that doesn't mean you should lower your standards when selecting one. If you feel that your lawyer isn't pursuing your case the way you want them to, it will cost you in the long-run.

QUESTION 1. Many of the lawyer filing bankruptcies aren't qualified enough to lead your bankruptcy case. Verify that your lawyer is qualified. Ask for references, research their history online, contact your state bar. Specific certifications are important indicators to judge whether the lawyer is qualified enough to handle your case.

If you have time, go to a bankruptcy court and observe the lawyer as they present their clients cases before the court. Maybe during your observations, you'll find some great attorneys you'd like to set-up consultations with.

Once you find a lawyer you like, protect yourself by asking her or him the right questions. A short conversation can tell you a lot about the lawyer you have chosen. You can ask them about their expertise, strategies, and work hours. After this initial conversation, you can make an educated decision whether or not to hirer them to represent you.

QUESTION 2. Once you select a lawyer, you must discuss with them what type of bankruptcy you should file. There are various types of bankruptcies available to you. Your lawyer should explain all of your options and recommend the best choice for your specific circumstances.

Also, you need to ask your lawyer how long the process will take. You have to file for your bankruptcy in the state where you are living. Your lawyer can prepare the necessary paperwork that will be needed to file your case with the courts. Most full-time bankruptcy lawyer's know exactly how long your case will take from start to finish.

QUESTION 3. Ask how much they charge up front. You must know the fees that are involved in filing your bankruptcy. The total cost will include the lawyer's fees plus the court fees that you need to submit to file for your bankruptcy. You may also have to pay for credit counseling classes and certifications both prior to filing and before the final discharge is granted.

QUESTION 4. You must know what documents and information are required to file your claim. Your lawyer should give you with a packet that details all the documentation she/he will need to file your case properly. The sooner you gather all of the documents needed the quicker your case will be filed, and your creditors will stop harassing you day and night.

QUESTION 5. You must understand the long-term effects of filing a bankruptcy. A good lawyer will explain to you what will happen step-by-step. As soon as your bankruptcy is filed, your creditors will receive notification from the courts and will not be allowed to contact you for payments. A hearing in court will be scheduled for your creditors to attend if they choose (but, most do not). The case will proceed, depending on the type of bankruptcy filed, and within a few short weeks your discharge will be granted.

If you choose the right lawyers, they will handle your case properly while you focus on rebuilding your finances and getting a fresh new start.

What if you could start over? Advanced Debt Elimination Strategies

Investing Vs Gambling

What do you think of when you hear the word gambling? If you're like me, it's probably something along the lines of somebody in a casino hopefully hitting it big (or slumped over looking devastated).

There are a lot of different types of gambling though - outside of the casino. Think 'playing around in the stock market,' 'I trade but I don't really know what I"m doing.' We hear these things all the time - rookie 'investors' that follow advice of 'professionals' blindly and throw their money into the stock market, of where ever. The stakes of this type of gambling are much, much higher. Let me point out that I am only referring to people that don't have training or formal knowledge about the stock market. There are a lot of educated investors out there that are truly investing, and profiting - not gambling.

For the rest of us though, we need to be focusing on investing instead of gambling. What does that mean? Well, it will probably be a lot more boring than playing in the stock market all day. True investing means you have a plan. A well-thought out, goal driven, detailed plan. If you don't know your Financial Independence Number, that is a good place to start so you know where you'll need to end up. Your agent can help you identify what your number is. A word of warning though - for most of us, the number is so massive its unfathomable. Right now at least. With a dedicated investing plan, you'll get there sooner than you expect.

Many people find investing difficult because it takes discipline. Usually, money being invested used to be spent on a more immediately gratifying something. Now, not only do you have to wait - a long time - for that gratification, but you aren't able to do the fun activity as much as you were before. Double boo. Is it worth it though? Of course.

We need to recognize that most of us do not know the difference between true investing and gambling. Moreover, most people don't realize the significant difference taking one path or the other means for their future. Take a look at our current economic situation. More and more people are falling into the 'poverty' bracket. If we are smarter and/or more educated than we have ever been, why are we backsliding financially? In a nutshell, people simply don't know. They do not understand how money works, how to keep it or make it grow. The chasm between the people that do know (like your agent or adviser) and those that don't is growing so quickly some have started to give up.

It is not too late though. Recognize that this economic problem is not a national problem, it's an individual problem. No one is going to chase you down to teach you about this stuff. Take action and seek out this information on your own. Start with your financial adviser. Other than the effort to make the initial call and set the appointment, it takes less effort than you think. And the payoff will be worth the effort in spades. Go!

Helping people get their financial houses in order is a passion turned profession for me. Whether we do business or not, my goal is to have a tangible, positive impact on everyone I meet.

If you're ready to take control of your financial situation, contact me at

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Passive Income: Work Less, Earn More

According to a recent study, the human life span is currently at 65 years on average. This means that by the age 60, death is nearly saying hello to you. If we will really think about it, our stay on earth is too short. Now the question is, how would you like to spend your life? Wouldn't it be a miserable situation to be working still on your last days? Or, until your hair is already gray and while everyone else is enjoying a holiday in some tropical island?

Certainly, you want the best for yourself and for your family. But the problem is you don't know how you are going to save for your future with all the expenses and the current economic crisis. Another thing is you're not sure if you can still handle another part-time job because you're already way too busy with your full-time job plus you also need to spend some quality time with your loved ones.

Here is the good news. You can work less and earn more cash. Yes, it's possible and it's called passive income. If other people are able to do it then how hard can it be? First off, passive income means earning from an investment that does not require you to be involved directly with the process. How do you that?

Here is a quick list of online activities that online marketers use to earn passive income from the web:

Affiliate programs. Choose a product that sells like hot pan cakes in the internet marketplaces. Set up a website and use SEO techniques to drive highly targeted traffic. Make sure to install a shopping cart and a payment method to encourage buyers to shop through your affiliate links.
Create your own digital products. You can write an eBook, you can make an informational video or audio, you can invent a special plugin or software, you may develop a mobile app, etc. The best thing about doing these things is that you will only have to spend a few hours or days to accomplish the task but the license and distribution fees that you are going to receive will be lifetime.
Referrals. Make-money sites like Hits4pay and Odesk pay users for referring new advertisers to the system. In Odesk, for example, once your referred contractor has reached an income of $1000, you will receive a commission of $50.

These three methods are just a few examples on how you can earn passive earnings from the internet. There are other ways to make a living without doing much and without spending lots of time. Be a multi-tasker and explore the different techniques to earn online. Most importantly, enjoy your youth and plan for an early retirement.

Make Money Check is designed to give you honest reviews straight from the mouth of people who have tried and made money online themselves. Every single post aims to give you insight about the proven methods and techniques to earn online. Learn more about how to make money online with passive income and other recommendations by visiting this link

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When Financial Secrecy May Not Be a Good Idea

ByJon L Elder

One of the areas of life we tend to be most secretive about is our finances. That's a broad category of course, encompassing our income, expenses, assets, debt levels and credit standing. Now for obvious reasons we want to be secretive when it comes to giving out financial information as a matter of protecting our identity-that goes without saying. But the secrecy I'm talking about here deals with people, as in those closest to us.

It's easy enough to see why we don't want other people to know too much about our financial affairs-too much income and assets and other people might resent us; too much debt and poor credit and they might judge us. Who wouldn't want to avoid that?

While we can argue the pros and cons as to how much of our financial lives we reveal to family and friends, there may be times when doing so is in our best interest.


As much as we might not like the idea of driving on a road that's monitored by traffic cameras, it's equally true that we tend to behave better when we do. So it is anytime others have sight of what it is we do. It's called accountability, and it's a way of keeping us on the straight and narrow.

At a minimum, we need to keep our spouses in the loop as to what we're doing with our money. While this might be self-evident, in my experience in the mortgage business, I'd come across people who didn't want their spouses to know a about a certain savings or investment account, or about a debt or even a collection of credit cards. There may be all sorts of logical sounding reasons for this practice, but it's doubtful that it leads to a happy place.

"Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy."-Proverbs 28:13

But beyond our spouses, there's also an argument for having a close friend or family member (parent, sibling or adult child) aware of at least some aspects of our finances. By having someone else in the loop at least regarding the general state of our finances, we're more likely to do the right things-or at least to stick to what it is we've declared to others we plan to do. It's like have a "second pair of eyes" keeping watch over us.

When you have money problems

It's ironic that the one time we most rebel against financial transparency is probably the time we most need to be open about it. Maybe we shouldn't broadcast it to the world, but it's generally better when a small number of people very close to us know what's happening.

You should never go through a financial crisis alone; at a minimum you need trusted people to bounce ideas and strategies off of. In addition, when we're going through troubles we're not always thinking clearly, and that's when an outside opinion becomes absolutely necessary.

Achieving savings, investment or debt payoff goals

If no one knows what our financial goals are it will be a lot easier for us to give up on them when the going gets tough. This is especially true if your goal is to pay off debt. Sometimes the pain of the effort can be offset by the greater pain that comes with disappointing people whose opinions really matter to us.

In general, financial goals are not always best accomplished in private. If you make a plan to begin saving money or to pay off debt, letting one or two others know what you're doing is a way of making the plan official with an announcement. Think of it as an unwritten contract. Once that's done, you'll have greater incentive to follow through with the plan, if for no other reason than to show people you trust that you can be counted on.

In making your final arrangements

Grief and financial management are not compatible. Even though you commit your final arrangements to paper through a will, you still need to have at least one other person from outside your immediate family who will act as a point person at the time of your death to help your family cope with your loss. That person should have intimate knowledge of your finances beforehand.

Though we might think that our spouse-armed with a will-will be up to the task, that isn't always true. Our immediate family may be too overcome with emotion to handle our financial affairs at the time of our death, to say nothing of dealing with banks, creditors, courts and tax authorities in the months that follow. Assigning beforehand a person that YOU trust to help settle your affairs can be one of the best provisions you can make for your loved ones.

How much of your finances do you keep hidden from close family and friends? Have you ever had problems because no one knew anything at all? Have you ever had problems because you revealed too much?

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Residual Income - Read More About It

There are two types of income to fully understand if you want to start your way to becoming financially healthy. No matter what your job is, whether you are a bookkeeper or a company director, everybody gets at least one of the two types of income so it is equally important to understand them.

Active Income

Active income is the reward from participating in an endeavor that used your time, skills and effort. Usually seen in a form of paychecks, incentives, and commissions, it means actively involving oneself to be able to earn money. An example is a person selling pancakes. If he sells today, he gets paid. If he doesn't, it means there would be no income for him.

Residual Income

Residual Income is the reward one gets from passively participating in an endeavor. It is the income from capitals and assets or money-generating activities. It is also called passive income. A person with this type of income still receives money even while he is asleep. A good example is an online marketer that has a 24/7 website where he gets clients from all over the world to sign up for his services. He gets paid for being passively involved in the process of earning money.

Why do we need to have residual income?

If you will ask people if they want more money, most of the time the answer is a big "Yes". One of the motivations nowadays is wealth. We want more cash. To be wealthy, we have to know what the word means. Is being wealthy having a million-dollar bank account, owning the hottest cars and travelling around the globe? In fact, wealth is simpler that what we think: Wealth is simply being able to pay for your chosen lifestyle without the need to ever earn an active income again.

Wealth is absolutely not about the dollars in the bank. If a person has a million dollars, travels the world endlessly, buys expensive cars without enough residual income to sustain his lifestyle, his millionaire life can be gone too soon.

So why do we need to focus on our a passive income source instead of just having more cash? It's because passive income can take care of our needs and wants for a long period of time under our chosen lifestyle. If you want to live a life like the filthy rich, then you have to find residual income streams that will give you dividends and cash rewards which are enough for your new-found luxuries. Keeping a good cash flow of passive income is the key to wealth.

In short, the first thing to do is to be clear in what kind of lifestyle you would like to achieve. This is actually what most financial advisors would ask a client during the first sessions of working with them. What kind of lifestyle would suit you? What exactly are you aiming for?

Once that question is clearly answered, the next step it to search for opportunities to be able to get that lifestyle and sustain it. Look for information around you about tried-and-tested residual income sources that you can use to get you where you want to go, which is true wealth.

With the proper marketing system in place you can create Residual Income.

As a full time internet marketer, Eric Land enjoys coaching and mentoring others. Creating full-time income online is very possible with the correct coaching, systems and tools. For more information and free training please visit Eric Land's Blog today!

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Citi: Not Just A Credit-Card Bank

Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) or Citi is one of America's largest and most well known financial institutions. The multinational financial services corporation has its headquarters in Manhattan, New York City, New York, and is one of the "Big Four" banks in the United States, an elite group of institutions that together (as of 2009) hold 39% of all U.S. customer deposits. Citi was formed as the result of a 140 billion merger of Citicorp and Travelers Group in 1998, creating the world's largest financial services organization with assets of almost $700 billion. The merger allowed cross marketing between Travelers, offering mutual funds and insurance, and Citicorp's banking divisions, giving both companies direct access to qualified consumers. Citi is currently ranked by Forbes as the tenth largest company in the world by composite index.

The third largest bank in the world today, Citigroup, by total assets, was the largest bank and company in the world until the financial crisis of 2008. During that crisis, Citi, along with many other financial institutions, suffered massive losses totaling in the billions, prompting the company's leaders to petition for government rescue aid. Although Citi received a bailout stimulus package from the federal government in November 2008, by December 2010 Citi repaid the emergency aid in full. In addition to repaying the emergency funds, the federal government received an additional $12 billion in profit from the sale of the company shares it acquired in the bailout agreement.

As a company, Citi has two major business segments - Citicorp and Citi Holdings.

Citi Corp provides:

Regional Consumer Banking -

Retail and local commercial bankingCiti personal wealth managementCiti-branded cards, retail partner cardsAsset management (Latin America)

Institutional Clients Group -

Securities and bankingTransaction services

Citi Holdings provides:

Brokerage and asset managementLocal consumer lendingSpecial asset pool of exclusive institutional and consumer bank portfolios

As a result of the multitude of financial products and services offered and the multiple markets serves, Citi has a number of brands. Citi brands include:



One Main Financial (formerly known as CitiFinancial)


Citi Capital Advisors

Citi Cards

Citi Private Bank - finance, banking, investment, trust and advisory services for wealthy individuals

Citi Institutional Clients Group - investment and commercial banking services

Citi Investment Research

Citi Microfinance - works with the microfinance sector to broaden the reach of financial services

Banamex - Mexico's largest commercial bank

Woman & Co. - membership program that addresses the unique financial facts of women's lives.

At the United States Prime Rate website you can review and apply for Citi credit cards.

The Zero APR CC website lists all the best Citi balance transfer credit cards.

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How Does the Process of Pawning Valuables Work?

ByDipika Patel

By making the decision to pawn your valuables in order to get a short-term loan, you will see that the process of obtaining money is fairly quick. Whatever you need cash for, applying for credit from a pawnbroker can be fast and hassle-free.

Although it is possible to take your items to a pawnbroker's offices to get a loan, many people choose to pawn online as this can be more convenient.

First, you will need to fill out and submit an application form where you set out the details of the items you wish to borrow against.An account manager will then get in touch to discuss your application and establish the best way to collect your valuables for appraisal.

Before you can take out a short-term loan, your items need to be assessed to confirm how much they are worth. This will impact on the amount you are able to borrow and - depending on the valuables in question - you could borrow up to 70 per cent of their resale value.

You can visit a pawnbroker in person to have your goods valued, or you can arrange for them to be picked up by a courier.

Upon receiving your valuables, an expert will examine their condition, age, model and brand in order to determine how much you will be able to borrow.

This sum will be emailed to you and, provided you are happy with this, you can accept online and the cash will be transferred into your bank account. Alternatively, if you are visiting a pawnbroker in person you can get your loan in cash.

However, before you can receive your money you will need to have your identity confirmed.This can be done by providing a pawnbroker with your passport, driving licence or a utility bill.

Unlike when applying for a loan from a bank, you won't be subject to a credit check and so the process of pawning items to get finance moves much more quickly.

Once you've accepted an asset lender's quote, the money will be transferred into your current account that same day, allowing you quick access to the funds.

Normally, you will have around six months to pay off your loan - although you can apply for this to be extended - and while items are in a pawnbroker's possession they will be kept in secure facilities. After your repayments have been completed, your valuables will be promptly returned to you by courier.

In having an understanding of how the process of pawning items works, you can be confident that borrowing against your valuables will enable you to get the cash you need quickly and effectively.

If you're looking to take out a short-term loan, make Borro your first port of call. As a leading pawnbroker, we can offer you a competitively-priced short-term loan within 24 hours of applying.

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Easy Ways to Teach Your Children The Value of a Buck

The new generation of kids today really don't know the real meaning value of a dollar. Most of the things we had to work for and earn as teenagers are seen as needs, and are now taken for granted. It's rare to find teenagers who realize and know budgeting or even the idea that working to pay bills or earn fun money they want for a TV, the next pair of high tops or designer jeans. The real truth is, most adults don't know how to start helping them!

As parents, we need to introduce the idea of earning and money to our kids, every chance we get. They should understand the value and importance of money, the security provided by a savings account, and the need to learn how to invest savings, even at a young age. Read through these quick and easy tips to help teach your kids how to save money. If you are unsure yourself, you could pick up a tip of your own as well!

Its Never too Early or Late to Learn!

As soon as your child is old enough to count, you can start explaining how the money system works. It's easier to explain what money is all about, if they can see it in action! As the adult you have the chance to share your experience when your children want things like toys, fast food, and things like cable tv. Help them understand that everything comes at a cost and a want or need decision needs to be made first, will go far in their lives. Make sure you show patience and consistency as you help them learn, it may seem hard in the beginning but eventually, they understand., one of the leading online finance sites has a great article to help you get started as well.

The Security and Meaning from a Savings Account!

At a young age, help your children understand the value of savings! Make them aware of how important it can be to have a bit of savings in case of emergencies or unforeseen needs. Explain your own budget and how savings fits into your plan, and encourage them to ask questions about your own finances. Keeping things simple may be better when they are young, but as your kids grow into teens, begin showing more meaningful examples like getting their first automobile, paying for insurance, gasoline and expenses, into your talks as well. You want to reward your kids for saving money by challenging them to save with small awards like equal savings, or adding small bonuses to their own savings account every month they do so!

Provide Ways to Work and Earn Money

The fastest way you can teach a child the value of a dollar, is to make them work and pay for the things they want! If your child wants expensive clothes, make them work for the money around the house by doing chores. If its cheap skating shoes they want to buy, give them a yard clean-up task at an hourly rate, so they get a good understanding of the time and money needed to buy them. This will help your children know that money is not always easy to earn and should be spent very wisely.

Teaching children to budget money is not as hard as it sounds, as long as you just do it! As long as you are patient and consistent, you should be pleasantly surprised at just how quickly they learn and your children will mature as responsible citizens and adults.

Kim Hansen is the Marketing Coordinator for the DIY Reviews website.

To find Do It Yourself articles and reviews, please visit our website.

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A Wellington Property for a Fulfilling Life

ByGroshan Fabiola

Wellington is a small town nestled in the heart of Boland, in the Western Cape Winelands. It is a place known for its amazing natural beauty, rich cultural heritage and world-renowned wine that provides to both locals and visitors a wide array of attractions. The area is full of history and tradition and exudes a particular charm which captivates you from the very first moment. Everything, from the amazing backdrop, plentiful vineyards and gabled Cape Dutch homesteads to the hospitality of residents, urges you to stay in this place and enjoy the comfortable lifestyle that it provides. Moreover, are sought-after real estate for many reasons. You can experience the hospitality and the beauty of the region and find your dream house which will allow you to enjoy a secure and convenient lifestyle.

Wellington properties for sale are nestled at the foot of the Groenberg and the entire town lies in a breathtaking valley on the banks of the Kromme River with the impressive Hawequa Mountains on its eastern border. There is a mere 45 minutes drive from Cape Town and also an easy access to all the other towns of the Cape Winelands. Therefore, it manages to provide a mixture between the typical rural living and all the necessary modern conveniences in order to cater the needs of families, retirees and the young generation alike.

The beautiful location and the magical atmosphere increase the demand for Wellington property which can be purchased at affordable rates, in comparison with similar property in other areas. Moreover, it can be also seen as a business opportunity because the standard of living is high and the economy is very stable. Here, a typical for sale comes with amenities to tailor most budgets, but taking into consideration the comfortable lifestyle provided, there is a huge demand for such properties, irrespective of their price.

The city enjoys an increased cultural value which is transferred to Wellington properties as well. They highlight the ability and the commitment of original people to establish a beautiful and powerful city with a strong and lasting economic. Even though Wellington is made so unique and attractive by the traditional architecture, there are also many modern Wellington properties for sale which are preferred by the younger generation of home buyers. Having a dwelling in a rural town allows them to enjoy the nature and to live accordingly with all the four seasons. Apart from the quiet atmosphere, the city can be vibrant due to the increased number of young people, especially students, who make the most out of every night out, visiting the wide array of bars, clubs and restaurants. There are also many clubs that provide sporting activities to all town residents.

Buying Wellington property for sale allows owners to invest in the lifestyle that they have always wanted. The portfolio of Wellington properties includes a variety of residential real estate, farms, guesthouses and hotels, as well as many commercial properties. Apart from the pleasant living, buyers can take advantage of many business opportunities. They just have to be innovative and have in mind a well defined business strategy. This is a unique, historical, beautiful and easily accessed city where Wellington property for sale represent the main ingredient for a happy and peaceful living in a flourishing area with endless choices and lifestyle improvements.

For more resources about Wellington property or about Wellington property for sale or even about Wellington properties, please review these links.

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Woodstock Properties: Endless Potential for Clever Investors

ByGroshan Fabiola

Woodstock is one of the oldest and full of history suburbs of Cape Town situated within the City Bowl and within a close distance to the city centre. It lies between the docks of Table Bay and the lower slopes of Devil's Peak providing wonderful views towards the hectic harbor and it can rightfully be stated that the are is a kaleidoscope of natural beauty, history and culture. Buying a Woodstock property definitely represents a smart investment because the real estate agencies welcome their clients with an impressive portfolio of affordable choices. In fact, the area has become a landmark on the real estate market taking into consideration that more and more young and trendy people, as well as investors with a keen eye for good businesses choose to purchase properties here.

The flexibility of the real estate market, the favorable exchange rate and the central location within the city represent just a few reasons underlying the success and the popularity of Woodstock properties. In addition to this, the wide selection of Woodstock properties provides to each buyer the opportunity of choosing town house developments, secure apartment blocks and lifestyle centers as well as free standing homes. The Woodstock is considered one of the modern suburbs of Cape Town and one of the most appreciated tourists destinations of the world, yet the affordability of real estate market exceeds by far those from other countries. Therefore, a Woodstock property is an appealing investment even for people with an average budget who want to indulge themselves in stylish, upmarket dwellings.

Nestled on the slopes of Devil's Peak, the suburb enjoys awe-inspiring views over the harbor and the City Bowl and, as it happens with many Cape Town's suburbs, it is divided into two sections by the Main Road. The "upper" sector boasts luxury Woodstock properties which are refurbished in the elegant Victorian style. It is a residential area which enjoys a positive image and a good reputation due to the order and safety that surround it. On the other hand, the "lower" sector is formerly associated with gangsterism, drugs and crime, yet a Woodstock property in this area remains a sought-after real estate. Nevertheless, the entire district has gone through major changes, the old buildings were refurbished amazingly and now the entire area looks magnificent. Actually, this is the main element which drew the attention of commercial and residential property investors which are willing to take advantage of all the development opportunities provided. Purchasing commercial or residential Woodstock properties is on an upward trend because they offer investors real value for their money. As the popularity of the district continues to rise, it is increasingly difficult to cover the demand and thus the prices are also growing.

In addition to this, it worth being mentioned that a Woodstock property represents an appealing option for families with children because the district boasts many reputable educational facilities and all the amenities which are needed for a peaceful and healthy lifestyle. Moreover, in spite of the fact that it is a relatively small district, it hosts the most famous hospital in the country, as well as many commercial and entertainment ventures. Woodstock has emerged has a beautiful and vibrant suburb with a huge potential and it is not surprisingly that investors are eagerly awaiting to capitalize on each opportunity.

For more resources about Woodstock Property or about Woodstock Properties, please review

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Severing Symbiosis Causes EU Debt Crisis to Escalate

The European debt crisis has set to hit new heights. Greece is now the first developed economy to force-restructure its sovereign-debt since World War II. According to current plans, private-sector investors will suffer 50% losses. Yet the double consequences are far and wide. First the symbiotic relationship between banks and governments has been mangled. Second the inhomogeneous Euro area will prevent Greece from recovering in time to avoid a total crisis.

When a country is in debt, banks provide the money, the government spends it and, in return, guarantees future payments. This trust was broken when Managing Director Charles Dallara of the Institute of International Finance was summoned into the 14th summit since Europe pledged solidarity with Greece, to accept and deliver an order to banks to "volunteer" 50 percent write-downs on Greek debt. In other words, if private investors lent the Greeks money by buying their government's bonds, they must volunteer to forfeit half of it.

EU leaders walked out of the meeting and were proud of the bailout solution. But, when the bailout for Greece fell unequally heavy on banks, Italy and Spain came under pressure, not because their finances had suddenly deteriorated, but because investors lost their government guarantees. Ten days after the EU resolution for Greece, growing investor panic over indebted Italy's ability to pass austerity measures and pay its bills, sent the world's eighth-largest economy's borrowing rate soaring and forced Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to resign.

With damaged trust, Euro leaders will face stiff resistance from investors and countries such as China to partner in future rescues.

The Euro zone is not homogenous and this is the second problem. Different countries have different cultural preferences, political priorities and economic issues. A comparison with the US can point out the difficulty. During the Civil War, a total of three currencies circulated in the US - the Confederate dollar, the Union's "greenback" and the gold backed dollar. Today there is only one currency. Like Europe, each state has its own cultural, political and economic priorities, but the USA is still one country. A bankrupt family in California can pack up and drive to Washington D.C. in one night to find employment. Such mobility between countries do not exist in the Euro zone.

The Greek government has pursued an aggressively stimulative policy in pursuit of economic growth. However the country has suffered the depreciation of the Turkish lira against the Euro. Greece is also overly dependent on tourism and has set an unsupportable standard of living of its citizens. The country is insolvent and it will not be able to return to financial markets for financing and the prospect it can significantly reduce its debt is not encouraging.

Copyright: By Paula Summerwind and David Polint. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. You are free to distribute, remix, tweak and build upon this work as long credit is given to and a link is above or below the article.

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The Relationship Between Interest Rates and Inflation

Everything in an economy in interlinked with each other and in a broad sense the economies of the world are linked with each other as well. Countries export and import with each other and this is why if one country has a problem in its economy the other country will get affected as well. Just look at how the whole world felt the ripples of the effect of the collapse of the US housing market. This phenomenon is known as the ripple effect or the multiplier effect. Likewise, interest rates and inflation both are very strongly linked.

Lets first define inflation and interest rates just so that everyone is on the same page; inflation is defined as a general increase in the prices of commodities over a period of time. Interest rates are the percentage at which you borrow money, meaning if you borrow a set amount of money you will have to pay back more than your borrowed amount, this is because the value of money decreases over time.

The best way to understand the concept of is with an example, so let's say interest rates in your economy have fallen, it gets cheaper to borrow from banks, getting credit cards, loans, and everything. You see people around you getting loans and using credit cards, and it compels you to think, why shouldn't I? As a result, you get involved in bank borrowing as well, taking advantage of the interest rates, life seems great initially, you are able to pay your debts and monthly payments on time and you get used to it. However, after sometime the case doesn't remain the same due to changes in demand and supply. You need to realize that time changes and as it passes, demand for everything will be so high that there wouldn't be enough supply to meet that demand. For example everyone now has a car or a motorbike, and the demand for petrol has risen so much that supply becomes inadequate, and when this happens we see an increase in price because people are be willing to pay higher prices to get it, and this is when things start to go wrong. Now imagine every good and service starts to face this same problem, everything will become expensive and even if some commodities do not face this problem of increased demand they will have to increase prices because in general prices have risen and that's affecting their income as well. This is known as demand pull inflation.

Similarly when interest rates increase, borrowing becomes expensive and people save rather than spend because when they save, the same interest rate applies to their savings and saving seems a better option. This eventually results in a decrease in demand and when there is less demand in the market it leads to an excess of supply which force prices to decrease and inflation levels go down. And that's how interest rates and inflation are connected with each other.

James Johnson is an expert online author and a marketing specialist from the UK with deep knowledge about finance activities which he loves to share through writing.

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5 Financial Tips For Young People

ByPam Klassen

First of all, congratulations! You graduated from high school and you are ready to begin a new chapter in your life. Whether you have decided to attend college and work part-time, or work full-time for a year after high school, these financial tips will help you to establish yourself and ensure that you will achieve your goals.

1. Develop a positive relationship with money. That may sound really strange, but you need to realize that money itself is simply neutral. It's how you handle it that determines whether money is going to serve you or you are going to serve it. The way to develop this positive relationship is to make sure that you are always in control of your money. The key to staying in control is to never spend more than you earn and to get into the habit of saving wisely.

2. Think before you spend. You are now on your own. No one is looking over your shoulder and asking you how you are spending your money. It is up to you to be responsible with your money and only buy the things you really need. Sure, you can treat yourself once in a while, but remember, only spend money you actually have, and never buy things on credit that you can't afford to pay back.

3. Start saving regularly and automatically. The best way to save is to think about what you want to save for. You will never be motivated to save until you have a definite purpose for saving. Once you have a goal in mind, the next step is to set up a savings account or a Tax Free Savings Account and set up pre-authorized payments into the account. This way you don't even have to think about saving, it will literally happen automatically.

4. Apply for a credit card to build your credit. In Canada, it is very important that you build your credit. If you don't have any credit history it is very difficult to be approved for a loan or mortgage down the road. The best way to build a good credit history is to get a credit card with a low limit. Use it once or twice a month for a small purchase, and then pay off the full balance every month. This way it won't cost you anything in interest but you are showing the Credit Bureau that you can handle credit responsibly. Note: Just simply getting a credit card and not using it will not help you build credit. Note #2: Carrying a balance very close to your limit is not a good idea either.

5. Ask people you trust for advice. Not everyone has a good financial role model. Sometimes parents can teach you bad habits rather than good ones. Seek advice from someone you trust who you know is financially responsible. It's better to learn from other people's mistakes instead of having to learn from your own, so don't be afraid to ask for guidance.

If you can follow these tips, you will be well on your way to becoming a financially responsible adult, and you will be far more likely to achieve your goals, whatever they may be. Good luck!

Pam is passionate about helping people attain financial freedom by providing money saving tips and promoting effective money management. Visit her blog at

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3 Financial Apps for Android

ByHarry Pinkman

There are many apps available to android users to help manage their finances. When looking for a specific app that will help in keeping track of finances, it is important to know what kind of app that will benefit you the most. If you are looking for something along the lines of a checkbook like app or more of a budgeting app; there is great diversity in what is available.

There is also great variance as far as how detailed or complicated that some apps can be. For more tech savvy people there are more in depth apps that provide additional information. Alternately there are more simple, not as detail oriented apps that will allow a relatively newer person to enjoy and derive value out the app. Here is a short list of some of the more tech heavy app available in the financial realm of the Android Market.

Budget Aids

1. For those that are looking for a more budget oriented app, look no further than the EasyMoney by Handy Apps. This is an all inclusive app with features such as income tracker as well as customizable categories for both income and expenses. In addition it also has a rather interesting feature that allows you to spend money in one currency while tracking it in your native currency. This can come in handy for any international travelers or business workers that work overseas.

Account Consolidation

2. In the case of those that want to consolidate several accounts into easily managed information, Pageonce Pro is helpful. While it can be cumbersome to set up initially, it responds quickly to updates in your accounts. The interface is very user friendly which makes up for the initial difficulty of setting it up. Outside of just the finance realm, this app can also track flights, Amazon purchases and many other things that you might use.

Loan Calculator

3. Is for people who want to customize loan payments and payoffs with relative ease. Debt Snowball by Double E gives you the ability to calculate early payoffs as well as what kind of loan is most easily affordable for your particular budget. This can be particularly useful when you are planning to make a purchase and want some foreknowledge of what length and payment you would like on the loan.

As is apparent, there are a great many different options available to be used when seeking aid with personal finances through Androids App Market. The three that are listed above are for more detail oriented circumstances that may require closer attention however the payoff is well worth the extra effort. It is important to keep in mind that although these apps are useful none of them cover all aspects of the financial world.

Aon Hewitt are the global leader in human capital consulting and outsourcing solutions. Their specialist delegated investment unit meet trustees' need for additional investment expertise to deliver improved fund performance. Download the 2011 Delegated Investment Survey Today.

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Why Everybody Needs Multiple Income Streams

It seems like everybody I talk to earns some additional money on the side. Most of them is from some sort of hobby or something that interests them (unlike their job).

I found this concept absolutely fascinating and was rather disappointed in myself for not thinking of it earlier. Duh. Of course - it makes sense! People are earning less today than they did a decade ago - no wonder people are reaching out to other avenues to earn a little extra cash.

From a financial standpoint, it's a brilliant idea. We all know it's not wise to put all of your eggs in one basket, but a lot of us still do. By this, I mean having only one stream of income coming in to your household. Absolutely everybody has things they enjoy doing outside of work. Why not find a way to capitalize on it? Trust me, if you like it, that means there is a niche for it. I love you, but you're not that unique. There is at least one other person on the planet that enjoys what you do, no matter how obscure. If you can't find a niche, create one. Putting up a blog like this one is the best place to start. They'll find you - don't worry.

A few things to consider with establishing a new income stream is what it's purpose is. Is it fun money, money to save, money to be used for a large purchase? Though you enjoy it, how knowledgeable about the topic are you? Learn all that you can about whatever it is and start sharing that information. It IS that easy. The hard part is just keeping at it. That's where the enjoyment part kicks in. I, for example, enjoy helping people getting their financial houses in order. It's not very sexy, but I truly enjoy it and can talk and talk and talk and talk about it. That topic never gets old. I find I can spin it in different ways to appeal to different types of readers. Or suit my mood at the moment, like now.

The point is, you never know when your primary income stream will end. For many people, it's unexpected. They did not plan for it and have nothing to fall back on. Take a glimpse at the latest unemployment numbers, or the number of people entering poverty if you question my logic. Despite what the welfare agencies might say, welfare is designed to keep people poor. Kind of a poorly designed system if you ask me, but it is what is. Ok, I'm going to drop that topic before I tick anybody off.

Back to my point - establish an additional (or more) income stream! Pick something you enjoy and let it rip. Nurture it, sustain it, and it will deliver for you.

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Outsourced Bookkeeping - Professional Management Of Your Financial Records

ByDavid Bradsher

Maintaining all the financial records of your business takes plenty of time, not to mention, the effort as you have to keep up with the tax laws. Getting assistance from a professional bookkeeping service will get you not only precise records but also plenty of other benefits.

Whatever size your business is, small, medium or large, the most challenging and tiring task is maintaining the financial records. Bookkeeping is a lengthy process in which each and every financial detail including balance sheet info, income statements, payrolls, tax returns, cash flow analysis, etc., needs to be kept up-to-date. Many organizations have in-house bookkeepers to keep the records updated, whereas others take professional help in order to keep their records precise.

As opposed to having in-house bookkeepers, outsourcing is a better option any given day. The major reason is the reduced cost of establishing and managing an in-house department. Besides the fixed salary of the employee, other expenses such as cost of hiring and training, book transitioning, overhead, employee benefits, management costs, etc. add to the in-house bookkeeping.

Apart from the expenses, in-house bookkeeping always comes with the risk of missing out on a record which affect the business. Each and every financial detail of the organization is monitored to come up with an accurate ledger and your in-house accountant might leave room for an error which, down the line, will cost you money in forms of penalties on missed deadlines, fixing the errors and more. In the long run, this will make your company look bad and might eventually lose its credibility with the customers.

To escape the above mentioned situations, outsource bookkeeping to a professional CPA and bookkeeping service. Since all your business data is handled by the professionals, you can rest assured that your financial statements are precise, up-to-date and delivered on-time. Knowing their way around the financial ledgers, the professionals take care of billings, bank account reconciliations, payrolls, balance sheets, tax planning and projection, and cash flow analysis. Adding to that, some services also prepare all city and county/state sales tax returns along with providing your with monthly reviews and close-outs.

Along with keeping your books updated, the bookkeeping services offer web-based system to serve their clients across the globe. They store your records on a protected server in an encrypted form which can be accessed by no one other than you and your bookkeeper. With this system, you get a 24/7 access to your financial reports on the website of the service. You will be provided with a password to access your accounting records. Employ a service that provides automatic off-site backup of your data alongside a 24 hr helpline so that you can contact them any time of the day, in case you have a query.

To top that, several outsourcing services offer loads more than simple bookkeeping. They also prepare payrolls for you, write paychecks, file payroll tax returns, etc. Moreover, the professionals will have a good amount deducted on your taxes by the year end. So, you don't only get to save time but money as well.

Whether large or small business bookkeeping service will take the load off your shoulders and get this time consuming job done in a timely manner. With the accurate results delivered by the service, you will be left with nothing but peace of mind at the end of the year.

This article is written by an expert associated with Bay Business Group, a leading CPA that offers bookkeeping services and non profit accounting Washington DC and Maryland are some of the states where the company serves all kinds of businesses.

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CFO Services for Your Business's Financial Needs

ByEla Melich

Running a business is a challenging task; a lot of businesses have a hard time surviving because of their more established competitors. There are so many things to keep in mind. The customers have to be satisfied and maintained. Competent staff must be hired. Of course, the finances must be managed well.

Money is a very important aspect in any kind of business. A business is established with money, and its purpose is to generate more of it. In a business, every cent that comes and goes out of the organization must be accounted for. Accuracy is needed to handle the finances. This in itself is already a difficult task. To get assistance in this matter, a business can get chief financial officer services.

A chief financial officer, or CFO, is a corporate officer who handles the financial processes of a business. He is responsible for tasks such as record-keeping, financial planning, reporting, and financial risk management. A chief financial officer is usually someone who has an extensive background in accounting. Getting CFO services allows the non-financial managers of a company to completely focus their energies on other tasks, for the benefit of the company.

The finances of a business can be an indicator of how well the business is doing in the industry. It can tell how much the business is gaining and how much it is losing. It can also tell how much the business is using for its self-preservation, like human resources payroll, office equipment and maintenance, and other expenses. With all these things to keep in mind, it can be helpful for a business to get trusted CFO services for their assistance. These services can help a business improve its performance.

CFO services first assess the needs and issues of the business; each business is unique in these aspects. Whatever the size of the organization or the complexity, good chief financial officer services will be able to come up with solutions. Discussions with the business leaders are done, and all the financial data is studied. When the evaluation is done, the CFO services and the business leaders will come to an agreement as to what the objectives are, the time frame, and other things.

Once the proposal has been finalized, the CFO services may hold meetings to introduce and describe the plan, so that it can be commenced. Good chief financial officer services make sure that they can perform within the time frame they have given. With this, the financial processes of a business can be more organized.

For more details, search CFO services in Google for related information.

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What Part Time CFO Services Can Do for Your Company

ByEla Melich

Money can be considered the blood of a business. It enables all the departments to function to let the business survive. Money is needed to establish a business and gaining more of it is why a business is put up. Keeping track of the financial processes in a business is an essential and challenging task. Accuracy and promptness is needed. For your business, you can get part time CFO services.

A chief financial officer, or CFO, is responsible for facilitating the financial processes of a company. This may include financial risks, record-keeping, reporting, financial planning, and others. The officer may also be responsible for data analysis. Today, CFOs can function in the area of business strategizing. They can also be advisors to the CEOs. A chief financial officer plays a big role in the development of a company.

Every corporation, no matter the nature of their business, can greatly benefit from having a chief financial officer. A company can even get part time CFO services, so that at least someone is managing the finances for the meantime. Part time CFO services can help a company function properly while it looks for the right person to become the chief financial officer. These services are especially helpful for large corporations that need immediate assistance.

If your business is in need of a chief financial officer, but you have not yet found a qualified candidate yet, an interim or temporary CFO can help you. Interim officers from CFO services are experienced, so they do not need a long period to become familiar with the dynamics in your company. You may no longer need to do thorough training, which can be time-consuming. This is good if you urgently need a CFO.When you get CFO services, they make sure to place the best officer for your company, based on the nature and conditions of your business, and the capabilities of the CFO. These part time chief financial officers have experience in many industries. Among these industries are construction, manufacturing, retail, healthcare, and food and beverages. CFO services can help companies that range from small to multinational.

Another benefit in getting a part time CFO for your company is that you may not be limited to a contract. You can work with a temporary officer while searching for a full time one. A company can also hire an interim CFO on a long-term basis, if that is what it needs. These CFOs can help improve the skills of your finance department. They can help business leaders come up with strategies and make critical decisions. With this, you have assistance in achieving your goals.

For more details, search part time CFO in Google for related information.

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Wealth Creation Lessons for Engaged Couples

ByNathan Charles Skidmore

Congratulations on your engagement! This is another significant milestone in your life as it marks the first step to cementing your relationship. You may have started discussing with your partner your initial set of expectations - where you will live, how many children you will have and whose career move takes precedence. But does your premarital agreement include anything about how you will handle your finances? Do you even have an idea how you two will go about it? If not, read below the wealth creation lessons and principles to get you started.

1. Find out how much debt each person is bringing into the marriage. Money is always a delicate subject. Having debt makes it worse. If you have a pile of debts - credit card bills, student loans, a mortgage and the sort - that you are struggling to pay off, be honest with your partner. It's important that you lay all your cards on the table so you will have an idea how you will budget your money as a married couple AND find out if you can really afford that fancy wedding. Obviously, the more debt you have, the more you'll need to scale back on your wedding frills. It's good wealth creation practice to pay off your debts first and avoid accruing new ones.

2. Discuss your credit rating during premarital agreement talks. If both of you have a bad credit rating, this will severely impact your ability as a couple to apply for a mortgage or other loans you may need in the future. If only one of you has a bad credit score, discuss the possible ways you can undertake to improve that score. You might need to bite the bullet and help pay for your spouse's monthly repayments. But if you really love each other, it's a small sacrifice that will eventually pay off. Wealth creation is a partnership so do your best to support each other.

3. Individually discuss your money management methods. For example: your idea of savings is setting aside twenty percent of your income each month and depositing that money in an account that you never touch. Your partner, on the other hand, might save only five percent or none at all because he or she is still paying off debts. Help your partner find a solution that will enable him or her to pay bills on time and still manage to have some money left over for your wealth creation efforts.

4. Discuss your spending habits. Your premarital agreement should cover your individual spending patterns. When you shop for a particular item, do you buy just one piece or get it in all colors? If your neighbor has the latest gadget, do you feel the need to buy the same thing or do you make do with what you have until it breaks down? All of us have our unique spending "triggers", which may appear either as practical or otherwise in the eyes of our partner. You can't achieve your wealth creation goals if you two are always at odds about your spending. Find a middle ground when discussing your purchases, especially the big-ticket ones.

5. Live within your means. This translates to spending no more than your monthly income. Try to live on a cash basis and not depend on your credit cards or borrowed money even for normal living expenses. It also means exercising restraint and discipline in order to control impulse buying. It is a good idea to include in your premarital agreement what type of purchases fall under credit card usage. If you can't make those clear distinctions before you get married, your wealth creation endeavor as a couple will not succeed.

It's understandable if you're nervous about discussing money in your premarital agreement. Sure, it's unromantic and awkward at first but it is only practical and fair to set those baselines to help you manage your money correctly as a married couple. Keep communication lines open and always be supportive to each other. Good luck in your wealth creation endeavor and may your marriage be a strong and happy one.

A successful young businessman, Nathan Skidmore has dedicated his life to helping others, providing entrepreneurial advice and wealth creation tips to those who need it.

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Don't Let Your Six-Month Review Turn Into Window Dressing

ByAndrew S Bluestone

A six-month review of your new financial planning investment services program is an essential element in its long-term success. A quick discussion at the partner meeting will not get at the real issues. The review needs to be a serious project with a commitment to address any issues discovered.

Many firms have asked how we do it and what should we look for. The following is a breakdown of some of the key issues to review and test.

• Is everyone on board? Have all partners and associates been introduced to the program? At this point, at least 75% of the likely partners and associates should have made at least four to 10 referrals and have several customers engaged in the financial planning process. Take an accurate measure of where the referrals are coming from and where they are not; ask the appropriate questions of those with either high or low participation. There may be a need for more - or better - internal communication.

• Are you mining your whole client base or just looking for diamonds on the surface? You should have contacted all of your clients in writing to let them know about the new services and suggested a time to talk about starting a plan. By the six-month mark, you need to be following up with most of your "A" clients and prospects who look like potential "A" clients. In the first six months, about 75% of your time dedicated to the new efforts should be spent on getting started with "A" clients.

• How does revenue look? The annual goal of a 10% increase in gross billings cannot be divided by two and used as a measure for the six-month review. The startup phase of the program requires time to build momentum, and effort now will pay off in the second half of the year. You should, however, start to see some increases in the first billing total of, say 2% to 3%. Look at the mix of the billings; if all of it is fee-generated (e.g. asset management) and none of it is from product sales, you will fall below the 10% target and you will have to adjust the mix to stay on target. The number of complete financial plans will have a direct correlation with revenues. Part of the implementation plan should have included a per-partner target for the number of plans. Now is the time to compile a report of client plans completed by partner and compare it to the goal.

• Is the leader still leading? The managing partner/partner that either assumed or was given "ownership" of the program should by now be clearly owning and leading. He or she should be managing the cultural fit and making the necessary changes to ease the integration. This person should be reporting and/or posting results and should make the program a focus at appropriate partner meetings. It's important at this point to evaluate the role and responsibility of the person in this role: What have they done? Do they need help?

These are real issues and need to be addressed early and often for the program to succeed and should be the focus of every firm's six-month review.

Andrew S. Bluestone, CFP

CFO: The Tasks Related to Quantity and Quality

ByEla Melich

Some people think that CFO consulting is just an additional company expense. This service is needed by every company, regardless of its size, since it secures business growth and survival. Do not think that Chief Financing Officers (CFO) just stay in the background, computing and safekeeping numerical records. Their task has already evolved. CFOs do not only work on quantities; they also assure your company's quality.

If you find the importance of CFO consulting very vague, here are a few explanations about their duties. First, it is the CFO's task to record your company's financial history. Your capital investment, loans, and investments from stockholders and owners are all enumerated so you can monitor your progress. This financial history is very crucial in making major stakeholder decisions.

Second, the CFO helps your company make sound investment decisions. He studies your current products and sales, and tells you which you should continue producing and selling. The CFO may also give you product redevelopment tips so that your low-selling products do not go to waste. Do not think the CFO is interfering with your company's operations. The decision is still your call; the CFO only gives you advice based on sales records.

Third, the most important task of the CFO is economic forecasting. This refers to the constant study of socio-political events, relating these to consumer decisions. The CFO prevents your company from launching new products and expanding at the wrong time. Moreover, the CFO finds ways for your company to cope during periods of market crisis.

Fourth, the CFO helps your company meet its loan agreements. He gives advice on which banking institutions are easy to negotiate with. Additionally, the CFO reminds you of installment deadline and offers solutions on how your company can come up with the payment. The CFO identifies assets that can be liquefied so you can prevent paying interest fees.

Fifth, the CFO monitors your company's taxation and payroll. He sees to it that you meet the laws of the state, and that you do not procrastinate when paying for your taxes. Regarding payroll, he makes sure that your employees receive their compensation punctually, and that your company meets the standards of the employment law.

Finally, CFO consulting includes employee and productivity evaluation. He studies your employees and their work, and proceeds to come up with low-cost but more profit workflow procedures. Your company will surely perform better if you hire a CFO.

For more details, search CFO consulting in Google for related information.

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Getting the Services of a Chief Financing Officer

You are making the right decision if you acquire the services of a CFO for hire during your company's expansion period. Expanding your business is an exciting but very challenging phase, since you have to monitor a lot of things. It is inevitable for you to encounter inaccuracies in your bookkeeping and tax declarations; thus external help is necessary. Do not be distrustful towards an outsourced Chief Financial Officer, since his efficiency is very much dependent on you.

There are a number of duties you should perform when you get the services of a CFO for hire. First, you have to give him access to your bookkeeping records. These documents do contain exclusive company information, but you have to trust the CFO so that he can study your financial history. Do not worry about him revealing company's strategies to your competitors, since CFO's make a pact not to share the confidential information they find.

Part of granting the outsourced CFO access to your company records is introducing him to your accountants. The CFO needs to check with them how they came up with the values written in the bookkeeping records. Moreover, the CFO needs your accountants to help him understand your company's current financial situation.

Second, be very honest with the CFO: Do not be afraid to share information regarding taxes and payroll, especially when you are nervous about those. The CFO will help you correct your malpractices, if there are any. The CFO sees to it that your company declares and pays the right amount of tax. Moreover, he makes sure that your company does not violate employment laws.

Third, be open-minded when dealing with the CFO. This profession has greatly evolved in the last decade. CFOs are not just ordinary bookkeepers; they offer qualitative analysis. Thus, you will find the CFO giving you advice about which employees to keep, which products to continue manufacturing, and which workflow steps to eliminate. Indeed, some pieces of advice may be drastic, but keep in mind that CFOs base their decisions on your bookkeeping records.

Finally, regularly communicate with the CFO for hire you get. This is the only way you can be guided in every step of your business expansion. Listen to him, especially when he engages in economic forecasting. Doing this will make you aware of the changes in consumer habits and will make you prepared for economic crisis. Remember to ask the CFO to enumerate the consequences your company will face in every business decision you propose.

For more details, search CFO for hire in Google for related information.

What Is a Financial Blueprint?

What do you think of when you hear the word 'blueprint'? I think of a plan. A set of organized, sequential steps that one must take to build whatever they are trying to build. We don't often hear the word blueprint when it comes to money though, do we?

Maybe, we think, it's because nobody really knows. That cant be the case though, because there are plenty of wealthy people around, people that have somehow figured out how to become and or stay wealthy. How are they doing it? Do they have some sort of magic pill that only people with money can buy? No. thankfully, it's much simpler than that. The answer is, they follow a plan.

People who build and sustain wealth have and follow a plan. They sit down with someone they deem knowledgeable about finance, has the tools to implement the plan and will hold them accountable should they stray. Do you realize that these resources - the people, the knowledge, the tools, are within your grasp? All you have to do is reach for it, and like magic (not really), these things are suddenly available to you.

If that doesn't give you a glimmer of hope about your financial situation, I don't know what will! I experienced profound relief that finally, somebody was willing to sit down with me, give me information I can actually understand and figuratively hold my hand while I build my wealth. Wow.

You should expect (demand) 3 things from your financial adviser/counselor of choice:
They will help you identify areas where you can free up money to be applied to your future goals and dreams.They will help you establish and organize the priorities of your portfolio building objectives.They will help you transform your blueprint, or plan on paper, into actual reality.

It will be clear in your very first meeting with this person whether they are willing or able to follow through on these commitments to you. If they aren't, drop them and find someone else. Financial advisers and counselors are hidden in plain sight - most people never see them until they need them. Suddenly, they seem to be everywhere you look!

Take the time to find a financial adviser that is truly going to work in YOUR best interest. Listen to your instincts and don't be afraid to tell them it's not the right fit. You owe it to yourself and your family!