A Myth-Buster on Financial Planning

Imagine days where you won’t have to second guess on your future. Imagine being able to enjoy more of life because you were able to optimize your earning potential. Imagine of not having to worry so much about bills because you already got it covered. Well, you may want to stop imagining and act on that “imagination” right now.

Financial planning is one aspect which a number of people – mostly from the middle-class, lack. One sees it as a thing for the rich because, let’s face it, your hard-earned money is just about enough to cover your bills and daily necessities. There is barely anything left that needs planning.

There are firms that give an effective financial planning in San Diego and you will see that you do not need to be rich enough to be able avail yourself of financial planners to properly manage your hard-earned money. If you want to take control with your finances, you have to start to act now. But before you dive in, you must first be able get a grasp on the concept of what is financial planning, how does is work, and how will it help you get the most of your money and with your life.

The concept of financial planning revolves more on budgeting, retirement planning, saving, insurances and being able to minimize if not get out of your debts.

If you are not that equipped with the know-how of financial planning, you can seek advice from experts, but first, below are some points in evaluating on how you can plan your finances:

  • Evaluate your cash flow and establish a budget

The basic contemplation you must do when you want to be more in control of your finances is to   know how much is your earning capacity along with the things you spend your money on. With that, you can start to segregate the essential and non-essential expenses.

Then, you start listing down the expenses ranking them from most to least essential. From that list, you create a budget or a spending plan which should dictate what you should do with your money from a certain period.

You should try to create a detailed and​ ​written budget because this will also allow you to make smarter decisions with your finances. A budget will then require you to stop and think first whenever your impulsiveness in buying something new arises. This will make you realize certain areas which can actually help you save more from your money.

With this tool, you can see that you really do have excess money that you can use it to save for retirement, build up your emergency fund, pay down debt or apply to other financial goals.

The simplest method in creating a budget is by writing it down on paper, or you may use a spreadsheet or budgeting apps whichever is more convenient for you. If this is going to be your first time, try to test out different approaches each month so you can know which one best fits your needs and style.

  • Reduce Expenses and Pay off Debts

Now that you have established a budget, reducing unnecessary expenses should be easier. You must be able to sacrifice a few luxuries that you know you can still be able to avail of sometime in the future where your financial status has improved. With the extra money, you can start paying off your debts, especially those which are of big amounts and interests. This way, not only will this improve your credit scores, you will also be facing lesser burdens in the future.

  • Save. Save. Save.

Now that your money is being fairly allocated, you can now start stashing your cash and start thinking of investments and of course consider of planning your own retirement. Not all companies offer the best pensions plans, and you do not want to live by just relying on your Social Security pension fund.

You can start small with your investments, with this, you can evaluate which one works well for you – be it on stocks, foreign currency trade, insurances, and retirement plans. You have to consider how you want to live your life as you age. And being able to save up early will be very helpful, because when things will get tough, you know you are prepared enough, not just emotionally but also financially because you were already able to put up funds for the rainy days.

Building your financial status, especially if you are just starting out is not going to be easy. There will even come a time where you will ask yourself why you are restraining yourself to enjoy and live your life “now”.
You must not wither, you must be able to vividly paint that bright future not just for yourself but for your family as well. There are even books which offer financial literacy, inspiration for financial growth, and life coaches which is going to be of a big help as you build your own path.

So when you think that financial planning in San Diego is just for the rich and not for you because you are too busy catching up with life, then no, you will never have that financial breakthrough that you keep on praying for. You must change your mindset when you think about financial planning because, truth is, financial planning in San Diego are not all costly. You just have the will to start, and be diligent enough in finding the right tools for you. You can hire a good financial planner at a reasonable price, or you can choose to do it yourself. Waiting for your life to settle down before starting to think about financial planning will not be of help either, because before you know it, your hair had already turned gray and you may not even be halfway of settling your life down. So better do it now.

There will always be risks that come along with changes. But how will you be able to change your life if you do not want to take that first step. Right? Get that breakthrough that you have long been waiting for.

6 Reasons You Need a Personal Loan

When used well, loans can be a great way to cater for important expenses that your current income cannot immediately cover. You can incur a significant expenditure then stagger the cost over time.

Personal loans can come in especially handy since the requirements are less stringent than those of other more complex forms of credit such as a mortgage. The following are some of the reasons why you would want to take a personal loan via SimplePersonalLoans.

 

1. Consolidating Your Debt

 

You may find that over time, you have loans from different creditors all of which have varying interest rates and repayment dates. Even if your income can comfortably cover these debts, having too many creditors increases the chances of you dropping the ball. If you ever do default, it also makes the process of negotiating more favorable terms that much harder.

You could take up a personal loan and pay off all your outstanding balances. By doing that, you combine your debt into a single monthly payment to just one creditor. It’s easier to stay on top of this one payment without feeling overwhelmed.

 

2. Paying Off Credit Cards

 

The main target of debt consolidation is credit card debt. But using a personal loan to consolidate credit card debt isn’t just important in getting your repayments more organized. Credit cards are by far the most expensive type of debt you are likely to have. When reports talk about Americans drowning in debt, it’s almost always in reference to credit cards.

Credit cards creep up on you. Some seemingly insignificant spending here and there can amount to thousands of dollars in debt over a couple of months. With the high interest rates, you can easily find yourself unable to keep up. By paying off credit cards with a personal loan, you can convert your expensive debt into a more affordable one.

 

3. Home Remodeling

 

Every once in a while, your home needs some changes to either repair the things that are falling apart or to try out a new interior décor theme. Whether you are looking to install a new roof, remodel the kitchen, fit solar panels, or add a hot tub or swimming pool, a personal loan is the way to go if you don’t have sufficient equity on your home mortgage.

 

4. Wedding Expenses

 

If you have always dreamed of having an unforgettable wedding but the current state of your savings account means you cannot afford it, you could always apply for a personal loan.

A wedding is a once in a lifetime event. Even for people who divorce, they are unlikely to remarry more than 4 times in their lifetime. Therefore, you don’t want to miss out on making sure everything is perfect just because you don’t have the money right now. A wedding personal loan can cover the bride’s dress, cake, flowers, photography, hiring the venue and more.

 

5. Emergency Moving

 

You’ve just gotten a job in a different city or state and you have to report to your duty station in a matter of days. Your new employer won’t cater for your moving expenses. A personal loan could help.

Ordinarily, moving is something we plan for months in advance. That gives you the time you need to organize the logistics and set aside the cash required. Sometimes though, moving must take place on short notice like the example we’ve shared.

If it’s a long distance move, the costs can pile up quickly. A personal loan can pay for the cost of moving your household belongings and car across the country, as well as paying the new rent and buying any new items you need at your new residence.

 

6. Medical Bills

 

The cost of healthcare in the United States can be prohibitively expensive. Also, not everything will be covered by your insurance plan. You will be forced to dig into your pocket to cover dental services, fertility treatment, cosmetic surgery, and orthodontics. These and ancillary costs such as hospital parking, medical travel and aftercare can be handled by a personal loan.

While a personal loan is a convenient tool to address immediate expenses, always remember that you eventually have to pay it back. Therefore, only take a personal loan when you are certain your income can cover it.

Choose Your Ecommerce Niche

Launching an eCommerce store is a great way to generate passive income while working towards building a full-time income depending on the products and services you provide. Choosing the right eCommerce niche to represent and work in highly depends on your personal interests, current trends, and the demographics you intend to reach. Researching and comparing various eCommerce niche opportunities is a great way to come to a decision you feel comfortable with and confident in.

Research Popular Markets

Researching markets of interest is the first step to take when planning the launch of an eCommerce store. Spend time learning about the products or services you intend to offer while gathering information regarding the market’s overall value and projected growth.

Compare Keyword and Phrase Popularity

Before creating a successful eCommerce site it is imperative to learn everything there is to know about popular keywords and phrases in your target market. Use tools such as Google Trends to compare keywords along with phrases that are most commonly searched when browsing for your prime product. Use multiple search engines such as Google, DuckDuckGo, Yahoo!, and Bing to research specific keywords and their density. Take note of top URLs that appear within the first page of search results for each keyword you plan to target.

Consider Your Competition

Outperforming your online competition is essential when building an eCommerce site that you intend to expand. Consider the top competition in the niche you have your sights on and spend time reviewing each individual website in-depth. Spend time surfing each competitive website while comparing the layout, messaging, and product placement of each.

How does your top competition stand out from your intended eCommerce shop? Do they provide exclusive deals for those who subscribe to their newsletter? Is their eCommerce site using a plugin to sell products or services or are they utilizing a third-party selling system? Does your top competition have a heavy social media presence? How does their logo and overall branding work with the type of consumers they are reaching? What type of customer service outlets do they provide to their users? Is it possible to get more information on your competitors’ website via live chat or a traditional FAQ page?

Understanding your top competition and how they operate is one of the most important elements of launching a successful eCommerce website of your own. When you have a thorough understanding of how successful businesses currently operate in your desired industry, create an eCommerce site that truly stands out and fulfills a need of your intended audience.

Find the Right Manufacturers

Choosing an optimal manufacturer for the product you want to promote is one of the most challenging aspects of building a successful eCommerce site and established online brand. Research both local and international manufacturers and work together with your choice to develop a product that is high-quality, durable, and visually appealing. Spend the most time creating prototypes and developing products to ensure they are not simply “run of the mill” items and that they stand out from relevant products that are currently available on the market. Compare prices and consider your profit margin before choosing a manufacturer that is right for you. If you intend on selling products that are already developed, request test items before placing a large order (especially if you have goals to outperform the top providers in your industry).

Calculate Your Marketing Budget

Calculate the marketing and advertising budget you have available before launching your official eCommerce website. Consider the methods you intend to use in order to effectively reach those who have a genuine interest in the services and products you offer. Both third-party ad servers such as Google Ads along with social media platforms (Facebook Ads) provide an array of tools to maximize your online reach with any budget you have available to work with for your first campaigns.

Use A/B testing when launching a new online ad campaign to learn more about the most effective messaging, copy, and types of imagery that work best with the target demographics you want to reach. Spend smaller amounts when you are first breaking into a new industry to avoid overextending your budget on advertisements that fall flat or simply do not appeal to your intended audience.

Professional ECommerce Development

Once you have determined the best eCommerce niche, seek out professional development services to launch your Magento website. A professional development company has the ability to design and launch robust and complex Magento eCommerce stores that fit with the niche and target audience you want to reach. Avoid using premade Magneto templates to truly stand out from your competition when you launch your official eCommerce site.

A professional development company provides you with more freedom and flexibility while developing the look and aesthetic of your site. Even if you are unfamiliar with programming yourself, professional Magento developers have the skills and abilities necessary to implement plugins and features that help your website stand out from the crowd once you are ready to launch.

Understanding the necessary steps involved in launching a successful eCommerce store is essential whether you plan to use your online shop as a source of passive income or if you intend to work full-time from home. With the right preparation and adequate research, choose an eCommerce niche that allows you to maximize your online reach and the overall amount of revenue you are capable of generating.

Malta: Fund Tokenization Mecca

Situated at middle of the Mediterranean, Malta has been known to travellers for historic buildings, stunning coastlines, and weather so fair that you would wish the vacation never lasts. But recently, a new attraction is drawing a crowd; vacationers not looking to relax, but techies looking to take advantage of latest offering of blockchain technology – Fund Tokenization.

The blockchain fever has caught in Malta. Already known for business friendly taxation policies, Malta has set itself up as one of the best locations to host the next technological iteration of investing. Already, blockchain fixtures are moving into the archipelagic country in droves.

Government backing

The Maltese government, taking notice of the development and realizing the opportunity was steadfast in mechanizing their regulatory arms. The maltese government worked to pass several legislations, namely (1) MDIA – Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act, (2) ITASA –  Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Act, and (3) VFAA – Virtual Financial Assets Act. These prompted the formation of the a number of agencies. The Malta Digital Innovation Authority was created as the general overseer of all things blockchain. Under which are, Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services which is responsible for putting to paper the policies for DLT or Distributed Ledger Technology and Virtual Financial Assets which is tasked for creating guidelines for digital tokens such as securities, service providers for brokering and financial management, and initial coin offerings or ICOs.

Being a member of the EU in itself is already an advantage by being able to freely trade with a gigantic economic bloc. But more specifically, Malta has jurisdiction advantage for investors. The country offers more relaxed regulations compared to other states in the union. Furthermore, Malta has passed legislation to update the CIS(Collective Investment Schemes). The main reason for this is to adapt to the complexities of crypto trading and ease the burden of the investors’ legal teams.

The MFSA(Malta Financial Services Authority) heads Malta’s government in authenticating and granting legal status of assets defined in the CIS. As part of the country’s initiative to get in on the crypto market, the government, through the MFSA, broadened the definition of assets to clearly include ones that are based on crypto. Other countries, as well, use a similar scheme as the CIS. This amplifies the significance of the move taken by the Maltese government such that it could encourage other big economies to take heed and update their own laws.

Still, as a regulatory body, MFSA will take charge of policing many fund transactions. Every fund, will be reviewed thoroughly which will include multiple hearings and the submission written documents that will legibly discuss the fund’s general function, top down composition, aims, related risks, and capabilities of the fund. The MFSA will reserve judgement for either awarding of declining any prayer to start a fund in the country.

Setting up the Fund

PIF or Professional Investor Funds are ventures enacted under the ISA (Investment Services Act). These funds are made especially for upscale investors and professionals – hence the name. The regulations under them are less stringent and flexible. This makes them perfect in putting up tokenized funds than using other schemes like retail.

Since its inception in 1994, PIFs have been a favorite in setting up unconventional forms of funds such as securities. And currently, not surprisingly, it is now used to structure crypto assets.

The tokenized fund will most likely be housed under a company for legality. It may be regarded as simply an investment company but with varying equity (SICAV – Société d’investissement à capital variable).

A tokenized fund set in Malta defines an active member called promoters which are similar to general partners in that they own voting shares and it is their task to gather capital. The tokenized shares and its future profits will then be given to the limited partners.

A limit set to half a billion euros is imposed on total assets that can be acquired by any PIFs if it is not payable to another entity or no agreement for the company to re-buy the stocks they have handed out in five or less number of years.The same also applies, regardless of any buy back agreement if the assets dips below the hundred million mark.

Should the PIF peak its limit, another written document, the Alternative Investment Funds, will take effect. This is the unpreferable option as it severely limits the options of the fund. It is of the best interest of the fund to keep within the bounds set for the PIF.

The minimum amount to invest in any PIF is a hundred thousand euros. Invites are also only to be handed out to licensed investors as a requirement by law. This investor may be a person, a corporation, or any other institution that the state officially recognizes. The investor’s total worth as well should sum to at least three fourths of a million euros. If the investor, is constituted by many persons however, each constituent is considered qualified.

The management of the fund can be assigned to a third party or externally. This is opposed to internal management that is headed by the fund’s own board. If the fund is not externally managed, a hundred and twenty five thousand euros is required as start up capital.

When selecting or replacing a director, a written permission from the MFSA has to be procured first. The MFSA is tasked to curate potential directors for their capacity, capability and general background.

If management of the tokenized fund is managed externally by a Maltese manager. The MFSA requires that the manager have proper certification given only by them. If the manager is not from Malta, he is required by the MFSA to undergo scrutinization to his ability is on par with the licensing required of their Maltese counterparts.

In cases where a manager resigns, a custodian may or may not be appointed. In case of the latter, MFSA will ensure that the existing structure sans a manager suffices. Custodians as well need not be directly part of the company or a Maltese citizen. And similarly, they are to be tested for their qualification by the MFSA.

The Personal Things You Need to Run and International Business

If you are reading this, then you will be a driven and ambitious person who is always looking for ways to help their business achieve higher profits and growth, soaring into the heady heights of success. While there is much material online that will attempt to tell you how to run your international business, this guide will instead let you know what you personally need to make your professional, jet-setting lifestyle much easier and get the results you want out of every trip you take.

Have your travel money with you

As a business person, you will be used to dealing with money and accounts from the comfort of your home office or desk at work but when you are traveling for business, this is not always as easy. During the average week, you won’t be claiming on the company expenses or having to go very far to get to work, but when you are in another country you will need a safe and secure way of accessing company funds and want to have something in place as a safety net should something go wrong.

For this, the best move you can make is to get a Scotia Passport Visa Infinite credit card which is specifically designed for the needs of high earners who travel frequently like yourself. This credit card is able to travel with you and eliminates the need to always deal in cash when you are on the go, which can be both cumbersome and dangerous.

High Flyer

To run an international business means that you, yourself, will be running all over the globe to important meetings and networking events, not to mention visiting your other offices abroad. With this in mind, the way you travel is incredibly important and tied to how successful each trip is going to be. In this section of the article, your travel needs will be broken down into three bite-sized pieces so that you can ensure you are getting the most out of every trip.

The right airline

When you are going to be frequently flying for business trips, the last thing you want is to spend hours upon hours in an uncomfortable economy seat. To remedy this, you need to find the airlines with the best business class when you go to book your trip overseas. Next time you book, consider these alternative companies when you book to get the best experience possible in business class:

  • Singapore Airlines
  • Skytrax
  • Qatar Airways (voted best in the world)
  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • Hainan Airlines

Pack smart

Even if you go on frequent trips, there is always going to be something you forget which will put a spanner in the works. Using a checklist for your next business trip is one way to avoid such embarrassment. Truth be told, you won’t let yourself forget those important presentation slides, but if you have to give that presentation after no being able to brush your teeth, you’re in serious trouble.

Try dividing your packing into two sections: the basics and the specifics.

The basics will include a toothbrush and paste, changes of clothes, deodorant, and facewash, whereas the specific pile will be all the documents and technology you need to bring with you to work on the plane and be ready for every meeting and presentation you need to give.

Luggage fit for the runway

As a business person, borrowing an old suitcase from a friend simply will not do and certainly won’t make a good impression as you meet your associates upon touch down. You need to invest in some of the top luxury luggage that is available on the market as this will make you look great and make travel easier.

Samsonite is the most successful luggage brand in the world and for good reason too. These suitcases are light and strong, coming in a range of colors and using their trademark Curv technology.

Rimowa is another brand that you should check out. Having been around this the 1930s, Rimowa luggage is both timelessly stylish and benefitting from sleek German design.

If you are really seeking to impress your business associates when you travel abroad, then opting for cases by a designer such as Louis Vuitton could be your best bet. The Vuitton design is known around the world and is synonymous with wealth and style, which will help you to come across as extremely professional when you touch down abroad.

Have technology on your side

In the office, you will have a state-of-the-art computer that helps you to complete all your tasks quickly and to the highest possible standard. However, when you are traveling, you can’t take your thirty-inch monitor and computer tower with you and instead need to invest in a high-quality laptop to see you through whatever work your travels may entail.

The best way to begin with this is to research what the top business laptops currently are according to both technology and travel experts before your part with your hard earnt cash.

When traveling, you will be looking to fulfill three criteria:

  • Lightweight
  • Long battery life
  • Big storage capacity

When people think of laptops, the Apple Mac is where their minds usually go, but this is not always the best choice for business people. One of the top-ranked laptops on the market for business professionals is the Dell XPS 13, which comes with a seventh-generation intel core processor, a large storage space, and sleek design.

Another laptop worth looking into is the Microsoft Surface Book Two, which comes with eighth-generation intel quad-core processing, 512 GB of storage, and has the handy benefit of being able to change between being a laptop and a tablet. This last benefit is perfect for running a presentation or having to read documents on the go.

Being the head of an international business is never an easy task and certainly not one for the faint of heart, but with the information about what you need to make your trips abroad run that bit more smoothly, you are well on your way to global success.

Investing Myths You Shouldn’t Believe

There’s a great deal of confusion out there surrounding the topic of investing and many of those myths are keeping average people from investing. While you might think the vast information found on the internet helps dispel these myths, it really provides a breeding ground for more misconceptions to gain popularity. Taking the time to look for the truth behind these myths can help you prepare more fully for your first investment experience.

Myth 1: You Need a Fortune to Get Started

It’s a common belief that your investment won’t perform well unless you have thousands of dollars to invest. This simply isn’t true. You can buy shares in many stocks for under $100. Since you can expect an average annual return of 7% on your investments, holding onto those stocks for 40 years can earn you up to $1,500. While investing more will certainly present the potential of earning more, smaller investments can help you grow your capital.

Myth 2: You Should Cash in at Retirement

The idea behind this myth is that seniors will need all of their savings to pay their living expenses at retirement and holding onto stocks can risk that nest egg. However, if you follow the 4% rule, which dictates withdrawing 4% of your savings for each year of retirement, you will likely need to continue earning more after retirement. The best strategy is to work with a freelance consultant in determining which stocks to hold onto and which ones to cash out. This will enable you to reduce the risks, while still earning on a few select stocks.

Myth 3: Stocks Aren’t as Safe as Bonds

People assume that bonds provide more stability over stocks and that may be true in a short-term assessment, but it proves false over a longer stretch of time. While the stock market fluctuates from month to month, it does remain constant when examined on a year to year basis. Looking at Standard & Poor’s 500 index, the market has stayed fairly consistent, remaining between 8% and 15% since 1926. This suggests a diverse portfolio of premium stocks can perform just as well as investing in quality bonds.

Myth 4: Buying Stocks is as Risky as Gambling

While much of the gambling experience relies on luck, the same isn’t true of investing in stocks. If you make poor choices that involve investing in high-risk stocks for a quick return, you will likely face the same odds that any casino would provide. However, taking the time to choose high-quality blue chip stocks and researching the potential investment will help you earn over time. In most cases, you can expect an 8% annual return. You won’t get that at any casino.

Myth 5: Past Performance Indicates Future Returns

Many investors cling to the idea that a stock which has performed well in the past will do so again. While that can be true in some cases, there’s no way to know when that stock will rise again, or if it will at all. You may end up losing your savings before that stock pays off. The best approach is to plan for a long-term investment with a quality stock and expect that you may see some fluctuation throughout the years.

The best way to dispel myths is by learning about the market and researching individual stocks on your own. You may even choose to work with an advisor who can help you learn more about investing. As you experience investing first hand, you’ll begin to see what is true and what is myth. Only this type of experience will help you learn practical lessons, so you can grow your wealth throughout your lifetime.

Author Bio: Douglas Pitassi is a freelance writer and small business blogger.

Why You Need Asset Protection as a Business Owner

Owning and operating a business can be filled with risks and pitfalls for a business owner. Earning your revenue isn’t enough when a lot of threats lurk around your business.

So why exactly do you need asset protection as a business owner?

You need to protect your business from lawsuits, consumer-protection issues, debts and mortgage obligations, claims for damages caused by products or employees – the risks that you as a business owner need to deal with are countless. If you as a business owner don’t know how to deal with these risks properly, they could result in the loss of your assets – both business and personal.

To reduce your exposure to risk as a business owner, it’s necessary to have a comprehensive asset-protection plan. In most cases, small business owners aren’t aware of all the potential threats that can destroy their businesses or that there are options they can use to protect themselves.

As CS&P asset protection consultants explain, it is extremely important to plan your asset protection as soon as possible and protect yourself from claims to your assets. The longer the asset protection plan has been in place, the stronger it will be.

A comprehensive asset protection plan employs legal strategies which are put in place before either a claim or a lawsuit arises, so these strategies can deter potential claimants or prevent the seizure of your assets after a lawful judgment.

Depending on the kinds of assets your business owns and the type of creditors most likely to pursue claims, there are various strategies that can be implemented in your asset protection plan. Some of the most commonly used asset protection strategies are formalizing and incorporating your business in one of the following ways:

1.     Forming a Limited liability corporation (LLC)

By incorporating your business into an LLC, you can form a separate legal entity that protects your personal assets from liability in case of a lawsuit against your business.,

2.     Forming a C corporation

A C corporation is another business structure that separates your personal from your business assets, but it has some advantages over LLC, mainly regarding tax. However, a C corporation often comes with more fees and regulation.

3.     Forming an S corporation

In an S corporation, the profits pass through to the shareholders or the owner, which means they are only taxed once.

4.     Forming a general partnership

In general partnership, at least two people need to be involved. This type of business structure provides less asset protection than the other ones since each of the owners has personal liability for all the debts of their business.

Before you decide to incorporate your business, be sure to talk to a consultant, an accountant or a lawyer to determine which structure fits your business best.

It’s also important that you as a business owner don’t mix your personal with your business assets. Keep separate bank accounts for business and personal purpose, even if you are not yet incorporated, and avoid withdrawing money from your business account to pay for personal services or items, as well as charging your business credit card to pay for your personal stuff.

Another crucial step in business asset protection is insurance because incorporation does not cover all your liabilities. The type of insurance you will use can vary depending on the industry you’re in, but a liability insurance policy is a powerful tool in protecting your business assets.

It is also very useful to you as a business owner to know the law because some state laws can protect you from creditors. If you can’t manage to keep up with laws and rules, it is often recommended you hire a consultant or a bookkeeper who will help your business stay compliant and therefore protect your assets.

Business asset protection strategies can be extremely useful if you’re a business owner. Every penny spent to shield your business or yourself from liability is a penny well spent because working for yourself and being a business owner comes with a sense of self-realization and satisfaction that cannot be replaced by anything else.

Financial Planning: Where Do I Start?

We’ve talked a lot about how to plan for a better financial future on this site. In a previous article, we discussed how to better plan for retirement by adding post-retirement income sources to your portfolio. With the financial markets and various instruments becoming more accessible, there are more things you can do to manage your personal finance better.

For most people, however, the real challenge isn’t the actual planning for a better financial future, but rather getting started and regaining control over personal finance. If you don’t know where to start with managing your own personal finance, these steps are the ones you need to complete.

Define What You Want to Do

Setting clear objectives to achieve is always the first step you want to take no matter what you want to do with your personal finance. Without clear objectives to aim for, reorganizing your personal finance will be trickier than usual.

The goals can be anything you like. Do you want to get out of credit card debt in a couple of years? You can do that with good financial management. Want to have a comfortable retirement? You can start right now and begin working towards those goals too.

Once you have the objectives defined, you can visualize how to best achieve those goals. This too is an important process because it allows you to find relevant information and resources you can use to tackle the next challenges.

Do a Complete Audit

The next big step to take is to take a closer look at your current financial state. This is easier said than done, especially when you have issues to unravel along the way. However, it is also a necessary step to complete if you want to start managing your personal finances better.

The easiest way to start is with your expenses. List all of the bills and loan repayments you have to cope with and continue by documenting every expense you make no matter how small it is. With a complete list in your hand, you are starting to have a clearer view of your financial state.

Next, review your income. While you are at it, don’t forget to take into account the timing of both income and expenses. This is how you start working towards a healthier cash flow and a better personal financial state in general.

Take Baby Steps

With the previous two steps completed, you now have the ability to determine the right moves to make to achieve your goals. Making those moves could mean reducing your expenses (and cutting the unnecessary ones), boosting your income, investing your money, and many more.

If you are not sure about what to do, now is also a great time to consult with a financial advisor. When it comes to financial advisors Minneapolis-based consulting firm Berger Financial Group is the best in the business. With the help of advisors, getting your personal finance in order becomes easier than you imagine.

The rest is easy from there. With a set of objectives and a clear plan in mind, you only need to stick to the plan to turn your financial condition around. You will start developing a stronger portfolio before you know it.

4 Ways to Know Whether You’ve Chosen the Right Location for Your Small Business

Where your business will be located might not always be on the forefront of your mind when you are starting a new business. However, it can end up being incredibly important when you are looking to develop positive relationships with clients and build a customer base that will help your company thrive. Location is something that many new businesses often overlook, only to find that this is a problem later.

Here are 4 ways to know whether or not you are choosing the right location for your business.

1. Is it near your client base?

Where your customers are based is a good indication of where you might want to consider putting your store. You don’t want to be too close to competitors and risk having to compete for your clients, but you also don’t want to be too far away so they won’t make the effort to visit your location. Finding that sweet spot can make your business attractive to new clients while also helping you to feel as though you can handle several companies who offer similar services or products.

2. Is it affordable for the long term?

If you are planning on running your business for a number of years, then it can be worth it to think about how much you are going to be paying monthly for rent and whether the physical location you want is likely to hold up. Businesses for sale in Los Angeles might seem like a good idea until you realize that you can’t afford the rent prices over a number of years. Make sure you have put together a budget that includes where your store will be located and whether prices will increase over the next few years.

3. Will it grow with your business?

Looking toward the future, you want to know the place you are choosing has room for growth. If you expect your inventory to grow at any time, then you might need to look for a store that has plenty of storage options or can hold your merchandise. This can mean not only considering what you want and need in the moment, but what will end up serving you over the next few years. Keeping your future in mind can go a long way toward keeping your business up and running.

4. Does it look how you want?

While this might be the last thing to consider as a business, it is often worth thinking about whether or not your storefront and interior will reflect what you are trying to sell. How the building looks can end up being a deciding factor in whether clients will end up purchasing your product or service. It’s not the most essential aspect of running a quality company, but it can make it easier for you overall when you keep this in mind.

Location is something to consider for every aspect of your life, but it can have a major impact on the success of your small business. With these thoughts in mind, you can find a spot that will serve you for years to come.

Getting Personal Loans Online: What You Should Know

According to TransUnion estimates, roughly 13.7M consumers had a personal loan balance last year alone. Personal loans are general purpose loans that can be used for purchasing a vehicle, financing a holiday or house renovations. Personal loans can be used at one’s discretion, but sometimes some lenders may restrict what you do with the money.

Until recently, the only way you could acquire a personal loan was to visit your local bank and apply for one. However, currently, people are considering online loans which are offered by online vendors.

These loans are quite easy to acquire as you can get them from the comfort of your house. Personal loans are usually less flexible as compared to credit cards because they fail to offer additional benefits such as rewards, travel benefits, and purchase protection.

Here are some things you should know before acquiring your personal loans online:

The Pros Of Online Lenders

 

  • Know your lender – One may be hesitant to provide their financial information to an online lender due to security reasons, but often we tend to forget that even the offline vendors have to upload their data in an online database. According to bingoloans.co.uk, a top provider of short term loans in the UK, you should strive to get more information about online lenders by reading their online reviews and compare their rates before settling for one.
  • Convenience – Online vendors process loans entirely online. Both offline and online vendors offer you an opportunity to submit the required documents like your social security card online. However, unlike online lenders, some offline lenders may require you visit their branches to sign some documents. Online lenders, on the other hand, handle the entire loan application process online.
  • Avoid sales pitches – Ever tried borrowing a loan from a bank? If yes, then you know the sales pitches that you’re likely to encounter. Banks or credit unions will try to sell you fixed accounts or other products to entice you, which is not the case with online vendors. The main focus of online vendors is purely lending.
  • No risk to personal property – The good thing about online loans is that your private property is not at risk in case you fail to make payments. Most offline loans will require a particular property as collateral as an exchange for acquiring the loan. So with online lenders, you do not have to worry about losing your car in case paying becomes difficult. Of course, this depends on the personal loan terms provided by the lender.

The Cons Of Online Lenders

 

  • Interest rates and other fees – Some online lenders may charge fees on every transaction, or everytime a loan is approved. An example is Prosper which charges a 5% origination fee for every amount borrowed. The charges are, however, dependent on your credit ratings. The online lenders charge higher interest rates because the risks involved are more than those of secured loans where a property is put as collateral.
  • Loan amounts may be smaller – Creditors generate profits from the interest they charge on loans, and thus they undergo losses if the loans are not paid. This is why most online lenders tend to lend less money especially if your credit score is low to mitigate these kinds of risks.

  • Scammers pose a considerable risk – One of the significant drawbacks of online borrowing is the presence of many scammers that con people. So, before you give out your personal information, ensure that the lender is legitimate. Most reputable online lenders usually display a badge or icon to show their security certification.

Conclusion

Personal online loans are a good option in most instances as they can come in handy in case of an emergency, and obtaining them is easy. While there are a few cons to watch out for, the truth is, more people will continue opting for them.

How Resolvly Can Help You Stay Out Of Credit Card Debt

We live in a credit card world and most people have a credit card or two. Objectively, there is nothing wrong with having and using credit cards. However, there is everything wrong with misusing credit cards and this is where the problem lies. Millions of people across the globe are very busy using credit cards the wrong way. This is why credit card debt is becoming a huge problem in many parts of the world today. The point here is that you can avoid credit card debt by using your card the right way. If you are already neck-deep in credit card debt, Resolvly can help you get out of debt. However, you must observe the right principles if you want to get out of debt. Below are some ways Resolvly can you stay out of debt.

Understanding the Problem

The first step in resolving credit card issues is to understand how you got into the problem in the first place. Many people see credit cards as another source of revenue. This is a bad position to take and this is why this position leads to trouble. The experts at Resolvly understand that your credit card is not a source of revenue. Credit cards give you access to credit but this does not mean you should misuse the opportunity. Once you understand this principle, you are already on your way to staying out of debt.

Buy What You Need

One reason people get into credit card debt is that they use their cards to buy what they want. This is a bad idea because you should only buy the things you need. If you have made impulse buying a habit, the experts at Resolvly will train you to buy only the things you need. This way, you will develop a bit of financial discipline and this will help you avoid getting into debt.

Pay Cash

The experts at Resolvly have a pragmatic solution for debt control: pay cash. Now, this is just two words but there is a world of wisdom in this two-word solution. When you pay cash, you get discounts and you end up spending less. Again, when you pay cash, you are reluctant to buy things you do not need because you will feel the pinch immediately. Learn to pay cash for most transactions and you will cut credit card debt.

Specific Resolvly Solutions

If you are already in debt and you need immediate solutions, Resolvly can help you by negotiating with the creditor on your behalf. The people you owe money are not interested in taking you to court. This is a long and expensive process. Again, they are not keen on forcing you to declare bankruptcy. All they want is their money and Reslovly can bargain with them and reach a repayment agreement that will give you peace of mind.

Get Concessions

Once you start paying off your debts, you can ask for concessions from your creditors. These concessions include reduced interest, more time and even debt forgiveness.

Final Word

Do not suffer in silence. Credit card debt can resolved easily if you talk to the experts. Get in touch with www.resolvly.com and you will get the perfect solution.

How to Plan Post Retirement Income using Mutual Funds?

Mark these words. Every month, almost every adult decides to save or invest at least a small portion of the monthly budget. All of it usually goes into the purchases of car, home, events like marriage, children and so on. How come we are neglecting the savings needed during retirement? Overlooking the concept of retirement savings is definitely not a good financial plan. When it comes to options known for retirement savings, the list is limited to PPF (Public provident fund), NPS (national pension system and fixed deposits. When it comes to a country like India, mutual funds are growing rapidly. Best mutual funds to invest for retirement are gaining ground for their soaring returns and well-planned payments.

Saving for retirement to afford monthly expenses was a thing from the past. Now, life post-retirement is all about travelling and experiencing all new things. That can be made possible only through mutual funds which help individuals to build a good-sized retirement corpus.

Why mutual funds for retirement savings?

  • A mutual fund is an investment vehicle which is formed by accumulating several investments and purchasing securities. The securities of any mutual fund are actively managed i.e., monitored by a professional.
  • Mutual funds go easy on small pockets too. Even a simple and small amount invested in the right mutual fund for a good period of time bears fruit.
  • The impact of inflation on retirement savings isn’t something which can be overlooked. That’s because saving for retirement is a long-term goal. The cost of living could flip and rise miraculously by the time one reaches retirement age. Growth mutual funds can help to balance out the difference in the long term.
  • There are certain mutual funds which don’t have a lock-in period. Unlike PPFs which have a lock-in period, mutual funds can be liquidated in times of emergency. Even if some funds have lock-in periods, they are usually short, say three to five years.

What is the best retirement plan?

  • Choosing the best retirement plan or the one that’s right for an individual is quite a daunting task. Here are some factors that one should keep in mind before selecting a plan.
  • Tenure: If one is starting out early, say 22-30 years of age, the type of mutual fund would be with moderate risk and steady growth. The risk factor increase as there is less time to build the corpus enough for retirement. So, the number of years left for retirement is a deciding factor of the mutual fund right for a specific individual.
  • Risk Appetite: mutual funds involve risk. However, some have moderate risk while some are highly risky. Whether the investor is cautious or aggressive, mutual funds can be chosen accordingly.
  • Fees: while purchasing mutual funds, checking for the entry fees, exit load and similar type of charges is a must. A few mutual funds with limited assets under management have high charges.
  • Goal: it is important to define one’s goal before choosing a retirement plan. Based on the financial goal of the investor, the portfolio can be formed to bring the necessary diversity.

Phases of retirement savings:

Investing in mutual funds to save for retirement is a long-term goal. There are three main phases that every investment for retirement goes through:

  1. Gather-
  • The gathering phase is all about starting out and accumulating sources for retirement savings.
  • Starting out as early as 22 years old is very beneficial while investing in mutual funds. An equity portfolio which comprises of equity investments with high returns. It suits investors with an appetite for risk.
  • However, for those who are cautious about investing, they can play safe by opting for a mix of equity and equity-oriented hybrid schemes. Or else, the equities can be matched with low volatility debt investments.
  • A portfolio of four to five mutual funds, all through SIP (Systematic Investment Plan) investments is a perfect plan for a retirement portfolio.
  1. Hold-
  • Preserving the money, you make is as important as making it.
  • In this phase, it is recommended that the investor shift the investment from equity instruments to lower volatility debt schemes. However, it shouldn’t be done in one move i.e., not in a lump sum.
  • Opting for an STP (Systematic Transfer Plan) which allows the investor to move the investment in intervals. Through this process of redeeming the investment, the benefit of rupee cost averaging is not lost.
  1. Distribution:
  • The phases hold and distribute go hand in hand.
  • While shifting the investment to low volatility instruments, avoiding dividend plans is important.
  • That is because the dividend plans bring DDT (dividend distribution tax) into the picture which reduces the returns.
  • Instead, by choosing a mutual fund with an SWP option (systematic withdrawal plan), the investor can redeem the returns when required.

Below are the retirement-focused and pension-focused mutual funds to secure your golden years:

Fund Category NAV (in Rs.) Expense ratio (%) 1-year returns (%) 3-year returns (%) 5-year returns (%) SIP/STP option availability
Franklin India Pension Fund– Growth Balanced Hybrid 121.0298 2.34 -0.15 6.63 11.82 Yes/Yes
UTI Retirement Benefit Pension Fund-Regular Plan Balanced Hybrid 25.5874 1.91 -1.07 8.22 10.88 Yes/No
Reliance Retirement Fund – Income Generation Scheme Conservative Hybrid 12.0802 2.36 N.A. N.A. N.A. Yes/Yes
Reliance Retirement Fund – Wealth Creation Scheme– Growth Multi-Cap 12.5579 2.49 -7.28 7.89 N.A. Yes/Yes
Tata Retirement Savings Fund – Moderate Plan – Regular Plan Aggressive Hybrid 28.1684 2.38 -3.81 11.89 19.21 Yes/Yes
Tata Retirement Savings Fund – Progressive Plan – Direct Plan Multi-Cap 29.5199 1.54 -3.70 14.52 20.28 Yes/Yes

 

  • Each of the above schemes has the option to choose SIP (Systematic Investment Plan).
  • Through SIP, the investor can invest a particular amount of money in a mutual fund at regular intervals.
  • Saving for retirement, being a long-term investment can become a burden on the current income.
  • Through SIP, with small amounts invested consistency, a big corpus can be formed.

Here are the best SIP investments in mutual funds for retirement savings:

  • SIP: Rs 2,000 to 5,000
Fund NAV (in Rs.) Expense ratio (%) 1-year returns (%) 3-year returns (%) 5-year returns (%) For Investors based on risk appetite
SBI Bluechip Fund-growth 36.3351 2.16 -4.18 8.98 16.59 Conservative and moderate  
ICICI Prudential Regular Savings Fund-growth 40.6666 1.86 3.75 8.94 11.50 Conservative and moderate  
SBI Magnum Multicap Fund- Growth 44.3627 2.35 -5.66 10.95 19.36 Aggressive
ICICI Prudential Bluechip Fund- Growth 39.5200 1.96 -0.95 11.51 15.43 Aggressive

 

  • SIP: Rs 5,000 to 10,000
Fund NAV (in Rs.) Expense ratio (%) 1-year returns (%) 3-year returns (%) 5-year returns (%) For Investors based on risk appetite
UTI Regular Savings Fund – Direct Plan- Growth 41.2390 1.12 3.09 8.53 11.36 Conservative
Motilal Oswal Multicap 35 Fund – Regular Plan- Growth 24.1899 2.04 -7.91 11.32 N.A. Moderate
ICICI Prudential Equity & Debt Fund- Growth 126.2600 1.94 -1.79 11.23 16.60 Aggressive
Mirae Asset Emerging Bluechip Fund – Regular Plan- Growth 48.4650 2.07 -4.62 16.01 28.22 Aggressive
  • SIP: Above Rs 10,000
Fund NAV (in Rs.) Expense ratio (%) 1-year returns (%) 3-year returns (%) 5-year returns (%) For Investors based on risk appetite
Tata Equity PE Fund – Regular Plan- Growth 126.8507 2.01 -7.53 14.12 22.05 Aggressive

 

Not everyone can afford to start out investing early for retirement. Though being an early bird is important, there are other expenses and savings that need to be done. Mutual funds can save the day for late-starters too. Here are some options for such investors looking for retirement savings options.

  • Age: 51 and 55 Years
Fund Category NAV (in Rs.) Expense ratio (%) 1-year returns (%) 3-year returns (%) 5-year returns (%)
Franklin India Equity Hybrid Fund-growth Equity 112.3904 2.19 -2.74 7.57 14.89
ICICI Prudential Balanced Advantage Fund-growth Equity 33.5300 1.94 1.67 8.61 12.89
SBI Bluechip Fund-growth Equity 36.3351 2.16 -4.18 8.98 16.59
Mirae Asset India Equity Fund – Regular Plan-growth Equity 46.8670 2.03 -0.85 13.78 19.50

 

  • Age: above 56 years
Fund Category NAV (in Rs.) Expense ratio (%) 1-year returns (%) 3-year returns (%) 5-year returns (%)
Aditya Birla Sun Life Balanced 95 – Growth Equity N.A. N.A. 9.97 12.32 16.72
Aditya Birla Sun Life Short Term Opportunities Fund – Regular – Growth Debt 29.8860 1.13 1.13 7.54 8.56
DSP Blackrock Credit Risk Fund–Regular Plan–Growth Debt 28.3664 1.69 0.84 6.16 7.88
ICICI Prudential Balanced Advantage Fund – Regular – Growth Equity 33.5300 1.94 1.67 8.61 12.89
Mirae Asset India Equity Fund – Regular – Growth Equity 46.8670 2.03 -0.85 13.78 19.50

 

ELSS mutual funds for retirement:

  • The equity diversified mutual fund scheme is a hot cake among mutual funds being a tax-saving instrument. It has the shortest lock-in period of three years following which it becomes an open-ended scheme.
  • ELSS mutual funds can gain from tax benefits under Section 80C of the Income-tax Act. A tax deduction of up to Rs 1.5 lakh can be availed for investments in ELSS mutual funds.
  • This tax-saving mutual fund can help the investor in creating wealth in long-term which is why ELSS mutual funds are suitable for retirement savings.

Here are the best ELSS mutual funds to consider for a retirement portfolio:

Fund NAV (in Rs.) Expense ratio (%) 1-year returns (%) 3-year returns (%) 5-year returns (%)
Motilal Oswal Long-Term Equity Fund-Direct Plan-growth 16.8799 1.25 -5.66 14.30 N.A.
L&T Tax Advantage Fund – Direct Plan-growth 54.8210 1.55 -4.22 13.28 18.13
Tata India Tax Savings Fund – Direct Plan-growth 17.1737 1.14 -6.01 12.09 19.87
IDFC Tax Advantage (ELSS) Fund – Direct Plan-growth 56.3500 1.04 -5.43 13.27 18.96
Aditya Birla Sun Life Tax Relief 96 – Direct Plan-growth 31.3900 1.07 -1.94 13.28 21.01

 

Build a balanced portfolio based on your goals, time, and financial ability. Diversity is the key to success and safety. Mutual funds, with their diversity and high-returns, can be the perfect match for your retirement savings plan.