Business Integration

Business Integration refers to a strategic placement which aims at synchronizing the technology of information and market networking, as well as the business cultural cues and goals. It also focuses on how the technological advance is aligned with the business objectives and strategy. In essence, business integration refers to the reflection of the absorption and functional ability of IT. It is indeed an indispensable aspect of management. As a matter of fact, technology has become highly embedded in business, which further implies that successful business enterprises is currently taken as a domain for business leaders other than the resounded technology experts. With this in mind, Virgin group has embarked on integrated technology across the precinct of its business. As the business organization expands, there is a subsequent increase in challenges affecting management which should be streamlined with its subsequent growth. This move has engineered expansion through the Virgin enterprises, which has led to its unique competitive advantage and a sound rate of expansion. This paper will use the case of Branson business strategic placement in various levels of its analysis for case illustrations.

The management is faced with the challenge of establishing a concrete organizational structure which absorbs and promotes the intent of the organization at large. Indeed, sound organization structure frames up organizational controls as well as financial controls, which help it in implementing the strategic business activities. The controls also dictate and underpin the business performance with respect to their relationship with both the business structure and strategy.

As a matter of fact, the structure of an organization puts a framework of the organizational procedures, authority and controls in reporting rapport and the entire business management process. Indeed, it is the organizational controls that sets a framework for the implementation of the strategy and provides for the comparative exercise of the business goals and achievement. This helps in identifying the strategic resolutions that would ensure improvement from underperformance and thus a competitive advantage. In particular, Virgin group has been able to expand both locally and internationally to Australia among other business hubs of the world.

However, through the basic framework of business activities, the structure and strategies of the business are closely related. Indeed, the adoption of a particular strategy has a significant impact on the business structure that results. According to business research findings, organizations structure change often when the performance declines. Consequently, for the management to hold after the decline, it should modify the general structure in order to give room for restoration. This means that the organization must adopt positive structural changes that would enable it accommodate its respective business strategy. This is done following a stable research which unveils the need for such an action. Through a feasibility test of business performance in different fields, one enterprise diversifies across other profitable ventures within and without its area of specialization a profile taken by Virgin group.

In order to enhance the business performance through structural and strategic synchronization, the organization must adopt positive techniques in hiring and further development of employees. Business operating capital is essential for the success of any prospective venture. However, the growth for such capital is far much valuable and rather the root cause of expansion of the enterprise. For instance, Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is a case example that emerges from little capital investment to a huge chain of supply side business investment. To begin with, the business adoption of a broad structure was preceded by a constrained business structure. In essence, Branson began through the publication of a ‘student’ magazine which emitted a thorough exposition which gave rise to a chain of investment fronts.

In the tender investment stage, Branson’s Virgin operated at a small scale prospect while the management structure proved quite simple with the involvement of a limited number of personnel. This was an easy structure where strategic business engagement and implementation was easy to manipulate. However, the structure of the business was gradually changed following some of the expansion that followed the installation of the recording studio at his home in Oxford shire home. Consequently, this increased the output generation to millions of magazines and, therefore, necessitated a devised selling mechanism which saw the sales go worldwide. This also means that Branson must have recruited employees into the organization following the strategic expansion prospects which would see the structural transformation of the organization and graduation from a simple structure to a functional structure of the enterprise.

Through the structural transformation prior further establishment of chain business premises, Branson was also able to manipulate strategic placement that saw the establishment of the highly capital intensive business with the airlines contrasting sharply with the former investment in low capital investments of recordings. The financial control emanated mainly from the investment focus that aimed at expanding the business prospects through the established business strategy. In the attainment of a competitive business framework, it is also important for the recognition of a well established workers recruitment and retention in order to streamline the business objectives with the workers ability and proficiency.

Workers recruitment is also an essential function to consider during the adoption of certain business structure. Recruitment involves the identification process for prospective workers from the time of application for posts to the time of arrival of application to the organizations’ management. This followed by the selection process for the most acclaimed employee to join the organization’s taskforce. This also provides a chance for identification of fit workers for the sake of operation proficiency. Technological integration means that the organizational taskforce must be able to employ the contemporary technology. This also implies that the workers must be creative enough to sufficiently warrant the cognitive engagement in the operational aspect of the business as well as taking advantage of new insurgence of technology, which provides a sounding corporate culture and a competitive advantage as a result. For instance, Branson was acquitted to technology advancements. In the view of advancements in digital technologies, Branson expanded its retail outlets interest through the onset of online retailing following the advent of the Internet. A product of this intervention includes the Virgin money and the joint investment with the Norwich Union. Furthermore, Branson also took advantage of the cellular communications which further led to the establishment of Virgin Mobiles in collaboration with Deutsche Telekom.

The integrated business framework is a function of various factors. The implementation of basic organizations’ strategy works hand in hand with its formulation. Indeed, the structure and systems of an organization is mapped as the most influential and resolute sources of competitive advantage as well as the choice of a strategy. This implies that the capacity for the organization is quite essential in outlining and implementation of the strategic objectives as well as adopting sound structural adjustment in favor for enterprise development. However, across the entire framework of business integration, businesses have to have refined harmonization prospects of cooperation, specialization as well as coordination which would further provide a refined guide into selecting the best enterprise structure. Indeed, effective systems of business management are fundamentally anchored on tactful financial planning, and control as well as well acquitted human resource management practices through a strong team of management.

The success of management activities can also be dictated by the developed or the pre-existing policies which further defines the course of activities taken by the organization. The policies of undertaking the activities therein levels a guidance on the manner in which various activities need to be done for the organization to achieve its goals as per its prospective objectives. Furthermore, policies enhances consistency in the approach to various activities besides creating a conducive environment upon which the work is done and thus the effectiveness in execution of the various business strategies. For instance, Branson was able to establish and surface through the Virgin’s Cell enterprise due to the aspects of deregulations and privatization. Indeed this venture was enabled through the deregulation of telecommunications in Britain among other global players.

Furthermore, Branson brand exploitation was further enhanced through the privatization and deregulations that came about in 1980s and enabled Branson to acquire a rail Franchises which gave rise to the Virgin Rail in collaboration with stagecoach. This also means that Branson was able to identify the competitors in the field of investment and, therefore, strategic means of combating competition, which included the various collusions and collaborations that the enterprise established with competitors. In any business environment, competition is an aspect that can result to a failure if not checked with urgency. Consequently, for any business enterprises to succeed, it must lay fortified prospects of countering competitions while holding the industry constant and increasing its market share. Furthermore, loosened regulations also paved way for the Branson to open the Virgin Blue in Australia. These were strategic ventures that succeeded among other unsuccessful ventures such as attempts by Virgin group to operate the British National Lottery.

The process of instituting concise systems such as information systems also enhances the logical and timely flow of information which further enhances the performance of the business. This means that the report on daily operations and emergencies are essential in analyzing the performance of a strategy with a view of improving it and the realization of a complete circuit of business activities. This mean that report regarding the customers, operations, purveyors, workers as well as the financial report should be discreetly and timely availed for the business management purposes. This scenario enables the management to track and remit most optimal implementation initiatives as far as the daily operations and internal and external environment are concerned. This aspect also ensures that an organization is capable of identifying other prospective investment areas and evaluating the suitability of the latter.

In the light of the above, Virgin group was actively involved in analyzing structural information from across the globe. This ensured that the business identified new markets as well as business opportunities. Furthermore, the organizations’ initiative further enabled the tracking of highly competitive forces in the industry of interest and thus helping it define the optimal strategies to use in encroachment of the business. Through information sharing and remittal, Virgin was in a position to expand outside the UK between 1998 and 2011 through a series of replicated Virgin Ventures worldwide as well as new ventures. Finally, from the organizational structure, the business forms a legal agency upon which decision-making and the governance procedures are emphasized.

Finally, for any business enterprise to capture and manipulate the market, the essentials of providing distinct services such are mandatory. This is one of the aspects that enabled Branson’s Virgin Group to penetrate markets successfully through the provision of quality, competitive, and brilliant services to all clients. Indeed, communication between managers and the concept implementing personnel in an organization is a powerful tool as it provides for the effective analysis of the level of implementation particularly for the strategic controls. This also enables organizations to a formal assessment initiative which focuses on evaluating the progress of implementation of strategies besides providing the supplementary remedies that would inspire successful implementations thus fostering the business’ propensity to achieve its laid down objectives. A business venture that allows the interplay of both external factors is paramount in the attainment of a singled out success from the competitive advantage that results. This also implies that the social connectivity between the implementation taskforce and the management is highly emphasized.

How do you choose the right fire insurance policy for you

Fire insurance is of vital importance to the modern home. It is undeniably playing an imperative role by allowing you to mitigate or even cancel out your losses in case a fire should occur by securing a fire damage claim Los Angeles. There are several factors to consider when choosing a fire insurance policy. You have to do your due diligence by researching and expanding your search for the best viable options. Here are some tips and pointers on how you can choose the right fire insurance.

Take note of the right coverage.

The effectiveness of your fire insurance policy is measured by the coverage it has of your properties. Having a fire insurance policy means having indemnification in time of a loss. It is thus necessary to go with the right policy to make sure that you maximize this protection should tragedy strike.

If you own the house, it is a good idea to try to insure everything, meaning the house and everything inside it. When you are leasing a place, you should ensure the contents inside. If you own the entire building, have the structure valued for fire insurance as well.

To start the insurance process, take your time in listing all the items you own that have value. A clear concise list of all these items and their corresponding values give you a general sense on the kind of fire insurance policy that you should go for. This will speed up your negotiations with your insurance agent as well.

Should your house or properties be subject to an unfortunate fire incident, having the right coverage will allow you to rebuild more quickly by getting a substantial fire damage claim, Los Angeles, that matches the value that you have lost.

Get the highest deductible possible

A deductible means the amount you have to pay your insurance company until the you are eligible for insurance claim. For instance, if you value your property at a million dollars and the collectible is set at 250 thousand, you have to keep paying the premium up to that amount before insurance kicks in. If the total payments have reached the amount of 250 thousand, after a fire incident, the fire damage claim should be at a full million dollars meaning you are earning the extra 750 thousand. A higher deductible, insurance companies will allow you to pay a smaller premium and could save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

There are exceptions to these however. If you can afford it, you can choose a higher premium and a lower deductible. This would insure your property faster and earn your peace of mind immediately.

Check your fire policy exclusions

It is common place that there are instances where a fire policy will have exclusions to claims. These are of far fetched situations however. For example, most insurance claims in the US exclude events such as war or allied perils. If the fire comes out of these events, the fire insurance company can choose to reject any claims.

Foul play, including insurance company employees or not, automatically disqualifies you from any claims as well. You should be careful with your claims, as these kinds of actions cannot only reject your claims but can land you in a trial for a criminal offense as well.

As important it is to list all the property you have that have value, you should also make sure that you have taken into account the property you have that are not included in the fire policy plan. In a fire damage claim Los Angeles, you will not be able to get paid insurance from these items.

There are several reasons why properties are excluded from fire insurance claims. If an item is perishable, like food, plant ornaments and others, you will not be able to include them in your fire policy for obvious reason that their value degenerates immediately.

Lower your premium by adopting security measures.

Homeowners can have a propensity to act carelessly knowing that their home is insured. This, however is not going to be looked well upon by insurance companies. Insurance, for them, is a risky business. They may choose to increase the premium if they see a huge risk in approving your insurance policy.

Before having your house checked to get an offer from the insurance company. You should install all the necessary safety equipment such as fire alarms, sprinkler systems and smoke detectors. Owning fire hazards such unchecked wiring or improper placement of flammable materials can make your premium skyrocket. Make sure you run a thorough check of your entire home before the fire insurance agent comes. And do this at regular intervals should the insurance agent come to check again and for your own safety as well.

Compare fire insurance companies before deciding.

When choosing a fire insurance company, give a quick research on all the available options in your area before even sitting down with any one of their agents. You should list the categories by which you should rank your choices. Then you can start with talking to the agents of your chosen insurance companies. Have them give you a quotation so you can compare all of them one by one.

Review your policy at least once every year.

All of  the factors listed can change over time. For instance, you could negotiate to lower your premium by installing a better safety system. Your coverage may change as well based on new insurance laws passed. You should take note of all of these changes in your yearly review to insure that your fire insurance policy meets your requirements.

Always remember that owning an insurance means allowing yourself to be able to negate risks. If you keep this in mind when drafting your fire insurance policy, you can save you a ton of money and at the same time give you peace of mind. Never settle for anything less than what you think is your minimum requirement.

What Are Money Lenders Loan?

Moneylenders offer small personal loans for temporary period at high rates of interest. Specially, the dangers and refunds are high. There are numerous unalike kinds of moneylenders. Some provide small amount loans which are to be refunded over a number of days. Some provide heavy sum of money with high interest rate. Others may give credits on furniture or electrical goods. Moneylenders don’t count for your good or bad credit history. They even give money to the stakers who frequently get into a debt group. However numerous countries are governed by the Money Lenders Acts of specific states:

Refund and interest Rates: Moneylenders will gather money from you in cash by stretching out at your doorstep and you will have to tolerate their collection charge. If you cannot give the collection price, you require refunding (principal + interest) at the moneylender’s office. The moneylender should hold his identity card, so that he has the consent to call you for refund. If you are home-like, they can also call you anytime, but you must provide it in writing beforehand. Also, they don’t have the authorization to contact you on Sundays or any of the bank holidays or get in touch with your family members without your agreement.

Results of Non Payment: If you miss to refund the loan amount, get in touch with your moneylender as soon as possible. If you fail to meet payments, the moneylender cannot charge any sort of punishment and cannot offer you another loan to pay the initial loan. If the matter is still not sorted out between you and moneylender, you can get in touch with the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS). They provide free and self-supporting advice to people in debt. They will offer you many advises for example pulling of budget, looking for your rights; try to work out for new loan arrangements with your moneylender. It will assist to carry out your dedications.

When you think about money lending companies, you may consider of banks or credit unions. But if you have bad credit, you may have fall back on to less advantageous money lending companies for example pawn shops or payday loan stores. These lenders often function more like a money shop than a financial practice. You’re not worth as an individual customer, but seen as a possible source of revenue. In fact, some lenders basically make more money from unsuccessful loans and non-payment than from borrowers who successfully complete their loan refunds.

At Cash Mart moneylender we think you should not have to theme yourself to dealing with a money shop to acquire the money you require. For many borrowers, Cash Mart moneylender constituted the best alternative among money lending companies. We mix the benefits of online lending with speedy procedures. As a direct lender, we don’t share your detail with third parties.

Cash Mart Moneylender is regarded as a win-win for shrewd borrowers like you. Why not check out the Cash mart Moneylender difference on your own? You’ll be happy you did.

​​Living Within Your Means to Achieve Financial Freedom

While most American households manage to earn a paycheck at the end of every month, only a few of them can manage to offset a $500 emergency without getting into debt. This is mainly because few people take the time to save up some cash from their earnings. Some will end up spending the unaccounted for earnings on items that are way beyond their means.

From fancy cars to expensive vacations, it can be tough for most people to overcome the pressures they get from friends who seem to be living their best life. As they set out to invest in these life pleasantries, the chances are that most might have to ignore common bills just to get by the month, or even borrow some cash. If this is you, then living within your means should be a priority.

Here is why living within your means is pivotal:

The Issue with Missing Payments

At first thought, the idea of missing payments for them to be rolled over to the next month, only to enjoy some extra luxuries, might seem reasonable. But there is more to this than quenching your thirst for life desires. Were you to miss telephone bills you risk disconnection as well as a late payment fee.

As such, you will have to pay both two months’ worth of subscription and the late payment fees. On the other hand, missing a single payment on your credit or mortgage can be detrimental to your credit score and lead to lower chances of securing short term loans in the future – which might save you from tricky situations. Furthermore, having to roll over payments to the next month might cause further stress in the future as you try to get back to your typical stability.

Save For the Future

The future is filled with uncertainties in terms of both opportunities and financial risks. The only certainty that you have is the amount of income you can get today, which is why saving it is essential. Instead of saving once you are done with spending, start with saving first.

This will require you to have enough visibility into what you earn, and set an ad hoc budget. You can commit to saving a certain percentage of your income over time. To make the goal easier to achieve, set saving milestones and celebrate each one that you achieve.

It Is Wiser To Save Than Rent

In the quest to live a luxurious life, most people will switch to renting consumer goods. While this might have the initial satisfaction of owning something that you have been yearning for, it raises the question of whether you made the right choice or not. For instance, if you rent out a TV for a year, the chances are that you might have raised enough in terms of the rent to actually buy the TV.

It would be better to try and save your way to buying the luxurious items that you want. This will also help you be in control of your spending habit through delayed gratification.

Boost Your Income

Despite trying to minimize costs, you might still find yourself struggling to make ends meet. While taking out a loan is an option for the short run, it shouldn’t be your only alternative. Try and diversify your income sources and make the most of allowances and employment benefits.

You can start by adjusting your tax withholding if you typically get a tax refund. On the other hand, you should also look to sign up to the right company benefits to maximize income. The best alternative would be to try out for another job to help fill the deficit.

Conclusion

Living beyond your means can only breed financial turmoil. The only way to be financially free is to take control of your finances. Consider the insights above while saving for the future to be prepared for any inevitable emergencies.

9 Best Expense Management Practices for Enterprises

When it comes to managing company finances, keeping the best practices in mind is crucial. Managing company spending is vital; therefore, executives should have knowledge about the best financial practices to make strategic business decisions. Organizations need to have the right tools in place and switch manual process to automation. Automating expense report process will save time filing &organizing expenses and importing accounts into accounting software. This article is intended to help businesses make strategic decisions about expense management.

Define Pre-approvals

Mandating approvals prior to making trips will lower the risk of overspend and fraud. Also, employees should not have unlimited access to corporate cards to make purchases. However, some employees may feel restricted when closely monitored. The solution must involve a pre-approval process along with controlling the employee spending. Administrator can set specific budgets to each employee. When employees need access to funds, they are required to take approval from admin for the amount and clearly state what the expense is for.  Administrator can review the request and either accept or deny. The pre-approval process can prevent overspending and fraud while controlling employee spending.

Expenses should be incurred while performing services as an employee. All the expenses must be submitted promptly. Overpayment should be returned in a timely manner and any excess reimbursements must be repaid to the employer in a reasonable time.

Company Card Strategy

Today corporate card programs are competitive; many of them offer various financial and operational benefits:

  • Incentives and rebates for purchases
  • Corporate cards minimize the cost of handling expense reports. By integrating corporate card data into T & E system, there is no need for employees to rekey their expenses and data is accurately captured.
  • Companies don’t require a receipt for anything under the specified threshold amount if corporate card is used for the transaction. This eliminates the time employees spend in creating expense reports.
  • Corporate card usage minimizes the number of falsified receipts. Since all the transactions are made through the card, the chance to submit a fake receipt is very minimal.

Policy Automation

Before automating the process, organizations used to conduct an intensive audit process to review the accounts payable process. This requires you to spend at least three full-time employees in reviewing the expense reports. By enforcing expense policy compliance through the rules engine, all the expenses are validated against corporate expense policy and other billable policies.

With automation, when an employee enters an expense that does not comply with the policy, the expense item is flagged. The employee is asked to provide an explanation or reasons for out of policy spending, based on which approvers may approve or reject. Certain expenses can be marked as personal, which can be deducted from out-of-pocket reimbursement. With corporate cards, employee spending can be monitored in the real-time.

Approval Process

The best practice is to always set business rules by roles, delegations and responsibilities when approving funds for spending. Approval workflows can be defined based on the hierarchy, expense threshold, attributes and other criteria. The approval process can be two-four levels, too many levels makes the process complex. Organizations prefer accounts payable department to be the final reviewer before importing the approved reports to the financial system for processing payments. Expense report software allows you to quickly approve expenses through the mobile app.

Eliminate Fraudulent Spending

Businesses rely on audits from the accounts payable department. The accounts payable department should not spend much time in ensuring business expenses are not misused. However, expense fraud can be easily accomplished. The following are some areas to look out for:

  • Excessive tips
  • Reporting international expenses
  • Entertainment expenses
  • Per diems based on the statutory requirements

Most companies go through the process of hiring financial personnel just to account employee expenses. Automated expense report software such as SutiExpense securely monitors employee spending in the real-time. Employees can only spend the allocated amount when on business travel. Expense software securely monitors the employee spending in the real-time. Expense reporting is meticulous to work without an automated expense system.

Educate

Companies need to educate employees about policies and provide them with boundaries. The following are a few ways to control employee spending and the risk of fraud:

  • Card limits and budgets
  • Record employee transactions and view as it happens in the real-time
  • Automatic reports avoids data entry

What You Need to Know About Payday Loans

You’re not going to be purchasing one of the Toronto homes for sale with a payday loan – these loans are for the short term, frequently used by those who need to get through a rough financial spot. But there are very few situations in which they’re actually a good idea. Companies make money off the fact that people are desperate to borrow even just a small sum to make it through their next payday.

To get the loan, the borrower can apply online, on the phone or visit a store. They must have a checking account, phone number, proof of income and valid ID. The borrower, once approved, writes a check to the business for the amount they want (usually up to $500) plus the fees and gives the lender authorization to debit the funds from their bank account on their next payday, typically two to four weeks. If it’s all paid back by that date, it’s done, but if the borrower doesn’t have all the money, they may extend or renew the loan.

Very High Interest Rates and Fees

 

The interest rates on payday loans are extremely high, with the exact amount depending on where you plan to take the loan out. In some states, like Ohio, Utah, Idaho, Virginia, Texas and Nevada, that rate is nearly 700 percent, according to CNBC. They cost more in interest in just one month than a credit card would in an entire year.

There can be other penalties too – if the company deposits your check and you don’t have the funds to cover it, you’ll get hit with a nonsufficient funds fee too. One study by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau revealed that four out of five payday loans are renewed within 14 days, which means the borrower is paying even more in fees that the amount of the original loan.

Loan Shark-like Tactics

 

Borrowers that don’t read all the fine print may be rather unpleasantly surprised if they find themselves unable to pay the loan back. Lenders can and do pursue all legal options, including all sorts of harsh collection tactics. They may sue in civil court and garnish wages or bank accounts. Borrowers can be under serious threat of financial ruin when it comes to paying back the high-interest loans.

Credit Score Damage

 

While a payday loan is unlikely to show up on a credit report, odds are it will if it is turned over to collections, damaging one’s credit score.

Don’t Be Fooled

Using payday loans regularly is a huge red flag that there is a serious financial problem that needs to be dealt with before it digs the borrower into an even deeper hole. After you take one out, the payday loan company will usually try to win your business again by offering increasingly larger loans. Don’t be fooled – they’re never a good deal. Instead, take control of your finances now, before it’s too late.

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.

How Having Several Payment Methods Can Help Your Business Soar

As a small business, it is up to you to come up with new methods in order to reach your clients and encourage them to see what you have to offer in terms of products or services. Coming up with new solutions means looking into your marketing strategy and how you interact with your customers on a daily basis. One of these ways is through your payment options and what you offer to your clients.

Here are some reasons why having a few payment methods can help your business succeed.

It allows you to build trust

One of the most important reasons to have multiple payment options is to make sure that you are building the kind of relationships with customers that will last. When you associate your business with major credit card companies and online payment methods, you are showing clients that you care about being considered a legitimate business. Having your customers feel comfortable using your company can go a long way toward making it viable for the future while attracting new buyers.

It provides you support

Additional payment methods not only allow your clients to feel secure, it can also help you as a business owner. No matter how good of a relationship you have with your customers, there are going to be times when you need to issue a refund or they might file a complaint. When this is the case, merchant services can go a long way toward helping you smooth over any problems. With added customer support, you have another person helping you to engage positively with your client and to help keep them loyal to your business.

It attracts new customers

Many clients like to feel as though they can use their favorite payment methods in order to make a purchase. In fact, by not offering a few payment options, you are eliminating a number of buyers that might be interested in what you have to offer. Bringing in new customers can keep your business alive, so it is important to make sure that you know which ways they like to make payments and how you can show that you have taken their needs to heart. This can be especially helpful when you are starting out as a new business.

Payment methods are changing

In the past, all small businesses needed to offer was payment through check or cash. However, in this day and age, there are a number of other methods that are now in use. Almost all businesses have to include credit card payments now, and most are also switching to having online or mobile payments available, as well. Depending on your industry and what kind of product or service you sell, it might be beneficial to consider these more modern payment methods, as well.

In order for your business to grow, you need to consider how customers will want to work with you and which ways you can create a positive relationship. By providing a few payment options, you are showing that you care about your customers’ needs.

Landlord’s Guide To Renting To Someone With Bad Credit

A Rough Economic Situation

The economy is recovering, but it’s not an overnight process. Consider this list of apartments in McKinney in terms of price. As you can see, they’re a little higher than one might expect. Many landlords will have no choice but to accept tenants whose credit and resources aren’t what they could be.

Still, a tenant with bad credit isn’t necessarily a bad tenant. There are plenty of individuals who have gone through a divorce or something similar who pay their bills on time, regardless of their credit score, and do have a stable work situation.

But you can’t trust someone’s word in a world where lying is held in greater regard than truth. From film to books to music, modern society tends to glorify the sneaky fool who uses temporization and deception to get out of what he legitimately owes. Even though such characters are fictional and comedic in the media, real people base their activity from what they see.

How do you get over this? Well, you’ve got to operate in a collateral way which anticipates human nature, and protects against it. You’ve got to define a few features of a person’s egress through life which communicate the truth of their situation regardless of what their words say.


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Distinguishing Tactics

You may require some evidence of employment. Depending on your state’s legality in terms of leasing, you may be able to stipulate renting from you require that a tenant first produce evidence of a certain monthly income threshold. Pay stubs, checking accounts, or other means can help you make this determination.

What you’re looking for is income that is regularly several levels of magnitude higher than rent. If you’re charging $1k per month for rent plus utilities, a single tenant should be making at least $2,500 on average over the precedent six months. If there are more than one tenant, this number can be reduced slightly.

Still, income alone won’t tell you whether or not a person with bad credit will be a good or bad tenant. Sometimes a tenant who has bad credit, but good income, will back out of a lease early owing to tertiary reasons which have nothing to do with money. What you might do as a safety measure is require the first and last month’s rent up front, plus the deposit.

If someone has bad credit, but requisite resources, they’ll be able to pay you that much.

Then you’re guaranteed two months at minimum, plus wear-and-tear control. Still, in some states you can’t evict somebody for a year or more after they move in. The law may be on your side, but present court systems are bloated and overloaded, meaning the length it takes for a court to decide in your favor gives a tenant a year of free rent.

Property Betterment Tactics

Something else you might do is supplement rent with refurbishment. For example, if you’re renting a property that isn’t an apartment, you might let a handyman tenant in who does work on your property as a means of paying his rent. In this way you save money and increase property value.

A DIY deck done in such a way can give you much greater value for a much-diminished cost. Sure, you don’t get direct remuneration; but a skilled enough tenant can be worth more, in the long run, than an increase in your bank account.

Something else you want to do is run what background checks you can legally. While past activity is no concrete indicator of future action, it can be very telling. Someone regularly in and out of the penal system is likely to relapse at some point for some reason, and that could end up compromising your property.
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Hidden Opportunities

A final tactic may be buying property specifically for the purpose of renting to those with bad credit. In such a scenario you’ll have a cut-rate property, but you’ll always have renters, as there are many in today’s society who are on the outs in terms of credit and legal status, but still need a roof over their head.

If you’re savvy, those with bad credit could be your bread and butter. In the end, it all depends on what you have available, and what you’re willing to put up with. Bad credit doesn’t equate to a bad tenant, and good credit doesn’t equate to a good tenant.