Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Make your holidays a memorable one

Holiday season is around with Christmas and New Year. It's time to buy gifts and go out and enjoy your holidays with your family. When we think of going out the first thing that comes in our mind is to bear the expenses. Though it's a happy time, for others it may create a financial burden. Many don't have enough money to go around. Well, nothing to worry about. There is an option of getting Holiday loan so that you can enjoy your holidays and get out of financial burden.

Holidays loans are only available during holiday seasons to support your financial status. There are various types of holiday loans to choose as per your need...such as if you want extra cash for your holidays or don't want to pay off the loan right away, or if you are looking for fast cash, or if you have a bad credit or want a completely free holiday loans (depending on certain conditions).

As compare to credit card, its better to go for a holiday loan as the interest charged against the loans is lower than interest charged for credit card. Basically, holidays loans can be secured or unsecured. To get a secured holiday loans, you will be required to put forth your home as security, where as unsecured holiday loans don't required a security. So it's preferred to go to a unsecured loan rather than a secured holiday loan.

To apply for a holiday loan, all you have to do is search for the holiday loan sites and apply online or can also contact them directly if you know any bank or financial firm that issue holiday loans.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Internet cable cut---contribution to global financial crisis

On Friday December 19, it's reported that there is underwater internet cable cut near Egypt. These cables are the major internet and phone links between, Europe, Middle East and Asia. It's one of the biggest underwater internet cable that has been slashed.

Now you can get an idea how it will effect worldwide. User will face problem in connecting sites abroad. It will either take time to connect or may be unable to connect at all. Also people will experience problem while trying to contact their relatives or friend in Middle East, Asia and Europe.

Companies that totally depend on cable network for speedy and fast service will be effected badly. Today almost 95% companies (small and big companies), from manufacturing to marketing use internet and 100% uses phone service to communicate. If not totally, but up to a certain extent this incident will effect their business and can suffer a loss that was unpredictable. It means that it will add fuel to the fire of world financial crisis.

It will effect Asia the most, as India's booming outsourcing industry which provide a wide range of services from customer support to back end works to international clients over internet will be effected.

It's not the first time we are suffering internet outage. We experience the same problem earlier his year in February. That mean we got two shocks in the same year when already we were going through the crisis. It will continue as it could take days to repair the cables.

It's reported that the strong Taiwan quake cause this cable cut and total six cable are effected. It might take around 2 weeks to fix the cables.

Let’s hope for the best to bounce back to normal at the earliest.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Eclipse on world economy

We all know about the global crisis that we are going through. It's not only with the giant companies that shut down but it also effect common people. The number of people asking for advice about debt problem is getting increased day by day. It's reported that there is an increase of £228 million to UK debt every day. In addition, one person is declared bankrupt in every 5 minutes. So the trend of spend first, pay later is almost come to an end.

The biggest shock of the year for world market is Lehman Brother going into bankruptcy. It marks the largest bankruptcy in U.S. Alan Greenspan, former US Fed governor say, it was a "once in a century" event and the "worst" he has seen in his career. On September 15, 2008 Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protections. Another shock was Merrill Lynch & Co Inc. was sold to Bank of America for $50 billion in an all-stock deal. It was a global financial service firm. Shareholders of both the companies approved the acquisition under the terms that they would receive 0.8595 shares of Bank of America.

In the next month we heard about The New York Federal Reserve lending up to $37.8 billion to American International Groups (AIG). The dealing was like AIG giving fixed-securities to The New York Federal Reserve, that previously lent out to other institutions. They are now demanding their money back. Motorola Inc freezes employee pension plan and said to continue to invest cash in pension plan, but individual pension will not reflect salary increase. It clearly show the result of economic crisis.

Circuit city, the nation’s second-largest consumer electronics retailer was begging for financial protection in federal bankruptcy court. Circuit City file for bankruptcy protection after facing pressure form their vendors. They announce to close 20 percent of their store and cut about 700 more jobs. Morgan Stanley reported a $2.2 billion loss in fourth- quarter. After Lehman Brothers went bankrupt, Merrill Lynch was sold to Bank of America and Bear Stearns was acquired by JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are the only securities firm in US to survive this year. VeraSun, the biggest ethanol producer in US, has run out of cash and filed for bankruptcy protection.

Deflation became another growing threat for us. Not only the price of consumer good fall, but home prices, stock prices and even people's salaries get lower as well. The problem with deflation is that the manufacturing companies has to cut their production instead of cutting their sale prices and that result jobs losses.

As we are about to welcome 2009, after few days, we hope for a positive change to world economy. International Monetary Fund expect a growth of 2.2 percent for the world economy in 2009.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Giants of finance

Warren Buffet: Warren Edward buffet was born in August 30, 1930 in Omaha, Nebraska. Buffet is the world most successful investor and now ranked as the world's richest person (as of February, 2008). He is the CEO of Berkshire Hathway and also the largest share holder of the same company.

His father was a stockbroker. At the age of six, he purchased 6- packs of Coca Cola from his grandmother store and resold it making a profit of five cents. While the other children of his age were busy playing, he was making money. He purchased his first share when he was just 11 and also makes a profit from that.

Benjamin Graham was his influential mentor. In his own word, he say "I'm 85 percent Benjamin Graham. Using capital of his family and friends he started a limited partnership in Omaha. It was a huge success. Later, Buffet wind up the partnership and invest in Berkshire Hathway. But it was not a great investment as the company was not doing well. But then Graham arrange two Nebraska insurance companies for Berkshire Hathway and gradually it became the leading provider of insurance. Under Buffet, Berkshire Hathway becomes an investment giant. Warren buffet is also known as "Oracle of Omaha.

Warren is now the world’s richest person with net worth $62.0 billion.

Carlos Slim Helú: Carlos Slim Helú was born in January 28, 1940 in Mexico City. He is an entrepreneur and businessman and now the world’s second richest man. His involvement in varied groups of companies like telecommunication, retail, banking and insurance, technology, and auto parts manufacturing diversify his way of profit. But his main focus was on the telecommunications industry.

The achievement of financial success of Slim Helu has been from finding undervalued companies and making them profitable. He acquired Telefonos de Mexico (Telmex) In 1990. In July, 2007 Mexican financial journalist Eduardo Garcia report him the wealthiest person of the world. Carlos was the first president of the Latin-America Committee of the New York Stock Exchange Administration Council.

"Technology is going to transform people's lives and society everywhere in the world. My main task is to understand what's going on and try to see where we can fit in."
Carlos Slim Helu

Carlos is now the world’s second richest person with net worth $60.0 billion.

Bill Gates: William Henry "Bill" Gates III, born in October 28, 1955 is an American and one of the richest man on the planet. He is the founder of the giant tech company, Microsoft. Gates is now ranked as the world's third richest person (as of February, 2008). For 15 consecutive years, he was the richest person in the world.

His father is an attorney of Seattle and his late mother served on the board of directors for First Interstate BancSystem and the United Way International. He started programming for computer at the age of thirteen. After completing graduation from Lakeside school in 1973, he got admission in Harvard University, where he meet Steve Ballmer (now chief executive officer of Microsoft). While pursuing graduation he wrote a version of programming language BASIC.

In 1975, Gates with his childhood friend Paul Allen, started his own office in Albuquerque to form Microsoft. There plan was to develop software for personal computers. On November 26, 1976, the trade name "Microsoft was registered. There company became famous for operating systems. Microsoft Windows operating system was launched on November 20, 1985.

Gates is now the world's third richest person with net worth $58.0 billion.

Lakshmi Mittal: Lakshmi Niwas Mittal is the president and CEO of Arcelor Mittal Steel Company and the fourth richest man in the world. This London based Industrialist was born On June 15, 1950 in Rajasthan, India.

He was born in a poor family of 20 members. His father moved to Kolkata and became a partner in a steel company. He graduated in 1969 from St.Xaviers College in Kolkata. He joined his family's steel making business in India and founded Mittal Steel Company in 1976.

Mittal split from his father and brothers in 1994 and went to make a global presence. He started from Indonesia and Trinidad and Tobago. Today he is the only global steel producer operating from 14 countries.

Lakshmi Mittal is now the world’s fourth richest person with net worth $45.0 billion.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Want to invest in Real estate?....know the options

Real estate investment is getting more popular over last few year. Here you get many options to choose for making big gains. The first thing that you will require is enough money to invest in. You must be financial sound so that you can invest in different properties. The second thing to note is the location of the property you are investing in. Its better to research before purchasing a land or home. Get information on current value of the property and also the increasing value in last 2-3 years. This will help you to get an idea about profit you can make from a particular property.

In this article I'll discuss different ways of investing in real estate.

Rent a property: Here your property is rented to a tenant. You charge a monthly rent from tenant that can be more than the cost of maintaining the property. The extra money you get after deducting all other expenses related to your property is your profit. The other expenses includes, paying the mortgage, taxes and the maintainance cost. In case of mortgage, the strategy should be patience and charge a rent only to cover the expenses until the mortgage is completely paid. Once the mortgage is paid, you became owner of the property with all rights. Though it's profitable for you to rent a property, there are many responsibilities that come along with being a landlord. Your time and work is devoted in maintaining your property or investment.

Real Estate Investment Group: If you want to rent your property but don't want to take responsibilities of a landlord, real estate investment group is the best solution here. This groups buy a set of apartment blocks or condos and then sell it to the investors. One is allowed to buy multiple units, but the company or investment group collectively manages all the units- maintainance, advertising and tenant. For this service of management they take a percentage of
the monthly rent. It is advisable to research by investing in such real estate investment groups.

Real Estate Trading: Real state trader buy and hold a property to sell it later to get a high value. A property can be hold for a short period of time or can be longer. This way of making profit is also known as flipping properties and its based on buying property either at a low cost or are in a very hot market. Generally, the property is sold as it was bought. Flippers don't actually spend money on the property to improve it. Well second type of flippers are also there. They sell the property after alteration so that it can be sold at a high cost. In this case it might take some time to make improvement.

This are few examples of real estate investment. Beside these there are several types of investment in Real estate like Real Estate Investment Trust(REIT) and leverage. It's not always that you will make profit in such investments. So the best thing to do before buying any propety is to research for the cost and benefits and make careful choices.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dividend stock--- low risk investment in stock market

Dividend is a payment made by the company to the share holders. When a company earns more profit, they can either re-invest that in business or distribute it among the shares holder as dividend. It can be either or both. Means, a corporation can re-invest half of the profit in business and distribute the other half. The dividend offer by company is usually paid out quarterly.

There are different forms of dividend payment.

Cash: In this case you will receive a check for your dividend amount form the company.

Stock: Here you won't get cash, but get additional stock shares as per your dividend amount.

When you get dividend in cash, it's taxable, but in the case of stock tax is charged only if it get sold.

There must be a declaration date on which the Board of Directors announces dividend. On this day, the Board will also announce the dividend's size, ex-dividend date and payment date. Once the dividend is declared, the company is legally liable to pay it. The declaration date in U.S. is on the third Friday of the listed month, however it may fall on Thursday, in case there is a holiday on Friday.

As a beginner we should look for the stocks with minimal risk of dividend cuts and other negative factors with high probability of dividend getting increased. Always looks for stocks which has more than 3 percent dividend yeild and also look for the companies with low-debt.

If you are looking for a low risk investment in dividend stock, check the companies record for last 5 years if they are paying dividend every year. Also pay attention to companies earnings growth.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Insure security of your family

Insurance is all about insuring security of your family and belongings in case something happens to you or your assets. It's very important to buy insurance in order to maintain a healthy financial position. Insurance is not only beneficial after your death, but it is to support your living. You can take it as your personal investment.

What you are required to do to get insured?

All you need to do is pay a premium amount that you can afford for a long term such as 15,yrs, 20 yrs.....etc. It can be paid on monthly, quarterly or annual basis, as per your convenience. The maturity benefit amount will depend on the premium amount that you will pay. In the meantime if something happens to you, the full maturity benefit amount is given to your beneficiary.

There are different policies which can be beneficial in different ways. So please check with an insurance agent to buy a policy according to your requirement. Today, there are many insurance companies available. So before buying an insurance, also check for interest rate offered by different companies.

There are many types of insurance you can purchase:

Auto insurance
Home insurance
Health insurance
Disability insurance
Casualty insurance
Life insurance
Property insurance
Liability insurance
Credit insurance
Business insurance
Travel insurance.

So what are you thinking of? Go and get insured as per your need...........good luck.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Managing your credit report

Do you know that over 36 percent of American consumers weakened with a low credit score? This is due to high hospital and medical bills. In today's world of finance you must manage your debt to maximize your buying power.

People with bad credit are charged high interest rates by banks and other finance companies. It's very important to maintain a good credit report to get any financial help. Sometimes even the good credit score is shown bad in the report due to some error. So you must obtain a copy of your credit report at least once a year.It will help you in two ways. First, you can check for identity theft and second to check if there was any mistake in the report. A report by U.S. Public Interest Research Group(PIRG) show that nearly one-third of all credit reports contain "errors".

Do you know what to do when you find a error on your credit report?

When you find a error in the report, first check to make sure that the mistakes are in fact errors. Then you will need to contact the credit bureaus. The bureaus have a specific procedure for dealing such mistakes. You will need to follow their instructions. Also you need to contact the companies that reported the error and ask them to correct your credit report. They will send a written notice for correction to the credit bureau.

After that keep contacting them to get updates on the investigation.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Investing in shares

If you are planning to invest in share market, you need to have a proper planning and strategy, so that you can make profit. As a beginner you may lose some funds, but make sure that you don't lose much. So the first thing I'd personally suggest is to keep watch on stock market for few days so that you can judge for a profitable share. Check the ups and downs in the face value of shares for different companies. You can also invest on dividend stocks.

Dividend stocks are those which pay a yearly dividend apart from profit that you make by selling. Generally, on holding a share, you can advantage from profit of the company and dividend. Dividend is a part of a profit distributed by the company. Say a company distributed 50% of the profit as dividend. So if the profit of a company is 1 crore in 2006-2007, Rs 50 lakh will be distributed as dividend and will be divided by the number of shares that the company has.

Now the question is how will you start buying shares? There are two ways to purchase share.

1. Using a brokerage: The is a most common method of buying share by using a brokerage.

2. DRIPs & DIPs: Dividend reinvestment plans or direct investment plans are plan by which Individual companies allow shareholders to purchase share directly from their company. Its a great way to invest a small amount of money.

Now you can go ahead to check stock market status and plan to invest in shares.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Personal bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is a way of handling debts that you cannot pay and can get a new start with legal process. All bankruptcy cases are handled by federal court. You need to file a petition to commence bankruptcy including a statement of your assets and liabilities. Also you need to add your creditors list. Until your debts are sorted out by federal court, it stops your creditor to collect debts from you.

Personal bankruptcy can be filed under chapter 7 and chapter 13. Debtors filed bankruptcy under chapter 7 to encash their property and distribute it to creditors. And under chapter 13, debtors can make a 3 to 5 years plan to repay the amount to creditors.

Generally, your debts increases from:

* Medical bills
* Credit cards
* Mortgage payments
* Tax obligations

Before filing personal bankruptcy, you should always consult an attorney who is experienced in handling such cases. He will be able to guide you on how you can get protection from bankruptcy so that you need not loose all your property.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mutual fund.......investment at low cost and risk.

Mutual fund is just like a Mall where you get most of the things under one roof. The only difference is you don't need to visit each store or counter for different things. It's all done by the fund manager. It's a collective investment scheme where the funds of many investors are collected together and invested in bonds, stocks, short-term money market instruments, and other securities.The profit from these investments are then shared by its units holders in proportion to the number of units owned by them. In my opinion, Mutual funds is the most suitable investment for a beginner or common man, as the funds here are invested in a diversified and professionally managed way at a very low cost and risk.

Let me list the advantages of investing in a Mutual fund. Here it is:

. Proffesional management
. Convenient Administration
. Diversification
. Low cost
. Transparency
. Return Potential
. Liquidity
. Choice of schemes
. Flexibility
. Well Regulated
. Tax benefits

Now a days Mutual funds are becoming more popular. The main reason behind this is the disappearence of traditional pension funds. Workers used to depend on their employer to get certain amount for the duration of their retirement. Now it's their responsibility to manage their own money. Till last year (2007) approx 44 % of US households invested in Mutual fund.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Your money........our advice

Personal Finance is your monetary decisions of to make your money worth. It's an idea on how you can save and make your money grow, apart from all your expenses. In this article, I'll discuss the ways in which you can budget, save and spent monetary resources, talking into account all financial risks and future life happenings.

We should keep an account of our income and expected expenditures to manage financial status. For money to grow, the best way out is to invest them. The rate of investment should be more than the rate of inflation in order to make profit. Investment should be done as early as you can and at regular intervals. And both for the long and short terms. In personal finance you can use your funds for the purchase of shares or any other collective investment plans. It can also be used for the buying of assets. You can invest on Real estate. Here your fund is invested to purchase property, which you can use for your personal purpose or rent out to make it a source of income. This investment is subject to capital profit or loss as the value of property may vary. Investments can be done in money market securities, mutual funds, common stocks, and bonds, direct public offering (DPO) and initial public offering (IPO). One should try not to get in bad debts. Also one should keep track of his credit report.

In the family, death of any earning member gives a severe financial shock. Such situations can be covered by opting for a life insurance policy. Also commodities like cars, houses..etc can be insured as their accident destruction can be a risk. In this way also you can manage your personal finances. We should plan taxes at the beginning of current year to avoid be burden by investment load. One can save taxes by investing in mutual funds. Investing in real estate can also be very much profitable.