Investment opportunities are quite tricky because there are many different types, with each type commanding its own set of strategies. Generally, it is wise to select your preferred type of investment based on what you are most comfortable with; typically, your choices will also be based on what you are attempting to accomplish through your investment. These criteria may lead you to deploying your money into certain asset groups, whether it be bonds, stocks, or even real estate. However, an investment category that’s becoming a lot more recognized through the years covers precious metals and commodities. In particular, more investors are now investigating the prospects of gold bullion.
Starting my new business was a difficult task, from payroll to inventory; much money was needed to survive and to help me thrive against my competition. Currently, there are many ways to secure funding for a new venture like mine as well as to gain money needed to expand or grow an existing company. Once you secure the capital to start or grow your business, you can execute your business plan in a manner that increases your overall wealth and stance in your industry or business community.
Business Funding Options For New Businesses and Start Ups
When considering places to tap for financing, banks and lending networks like Lending Club come to mind. Although there are many loans available for startups and existing businesses, they require good credit and much paperwork to obtain. Many also require that you pledge collateral (and many times, something of great value) in order to acquire financing with secured bank loans.
Unfortunately, many businesses aren’t able to meet several of these financing requirements, so they must turn to alternate forms of funding. Some entrepreneurs decide to take on credit card debt to operate their ventures. But a merchant cash advance is what I’ve used as a great option for my funding needs as these advances are easy to get and can be obtained by any business looking for capital that expects credit card sales. I paid my advance company back through revenue my business earned via credit card purchases. From my experience, I believe that retail and food businesses can obtain quick funding rather easily. The amounts I paid back were variable based on my sales for the month, so flexibility is one great advantage to a merchant cash advance.
Want to be in the running for a $60,000 mortgage payout? You can be if you have a Wells Fargo mortgage as well as a Wells Fargo Online Banking account. If you aren’t yet a WF online banking customer, you should consider signing up. Once you have an online banking account, click on your mortgage account and you’ll be automatically entered into the $60,000 sweepstakes. Sounds good?
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Sweepstakes Details
Here are a few notes about this giveaway:
1. You don’t need to purchase anything to join or win the sweepstakes.
2. The sweepstakes is only open to legal residents of the continental United States and who are WF Home Mortgage customers by 9/30/09.
3. You have to be 21 years or older to participate.
4. You are eligible to join even with a first mortgage loan originating on or before 9/30/09 and which has since transferred to Wells Fargo Home Mortgage by 10/22/09.
5. The sweepstakes will be open till 11/25/09.
This is a guest post by Mr Credit Card from AskMrCreditCard.com. Mr Credit Card has a credit card review site where you can apply for credit cards. Today, he is going to educate us on whether brand specific retail credit cards are worth getting.
When you head to a department store, whether it is a Sears, Best Buy or Victoria Secrets, chances are that when you check out and pay, the cashier will ask you if you want to get their “branded credit card”. You will be offered discounts for your first purchase! Many times, it is extremely tempting to go ahead and pick up such a card. But more often than not, getting these “branded” cards does not make sense. But first, let’s look at how they entice you.
The Benefits of Branded Retail Credit Cards
Reward Points – The branded cards allow you to earn points for every dollar that you spend on the card. Most of the time, you simply exchange points for gift cards which you can use at stores.
Discounts on First Purchase – This is what most people fall for. Let’s say you make a huge purchase; now the cashier will tell you that once you are approved, you’ll get 10% off. When the bill is $200, 10% off looks like a no brainer!
Free Shipping – Branded store cards (such as those by GAP and other similar retailers) offer free shipping when you use them. If you shop online and rack up a certain amount on these cards, you get free shipping. This is a helpful feature if you often buy stuff online.
Periodic Sales – Here’s another benefit of branded store cards: they offer occasional discounts to their card holders. This benefit is not available to anyone else.
Periodic Financing Deals – Aside from discounts, some store cards will give periodic attractive financing terms (sometimes 0% APR) to card holders if they buy stuff above a certain amount by a certain date. These promotions are popular with some folks.
Will Accept Folks With Bad Credit – There are two types of branded retail cards. The first type is a store card that can only be used at that retail store. It is not a Visa or MasterCard. The second type is a branded store card that is issued as a Visa or MasterCard. The non-Visa or Mastercard store cards are popular with people with poor credit history and folks who have just come out of bankruptcy. This is because it is relatively easy to get approval for these cards.
You finally received your auto loan financing. So what’s next in the life of a car owner? Why wondering how to get car insurance, of course!
It really never ends, does it? The list of things we really need to get educated about seems endless. With every purchase or change comes a new inventory of things to understand and make decisions about.
With an auto purchase comes the questions surrounding car insurance. It’s something we’re required to have, by law: once you become a car owner, you’ll need to get car insurance as well. This is one time we can’t bury our heads in the sand and just not buy. Unlike the extended warranty on my laptop, car insurance is a necessity.
We all should know how auto insurance works and how to deal with insurance companies. I have gathered up some quick facts about auto insurance and hope they help you before you buy.
Car Insurance Guide
Here are a few common questions most people have about their car insurance:
1. Why is car insurance required?
Different laws on coverage can apply based on the state you reside and drive in. However, we’re still all required to have and show proof that we have car insurance before we can drive. Auto insurance is necessary as a way to protect us from any kind of liability (legal or financial) if we ever do get into an accident.
2. What kind of coverage can you expect to have?
Car insurance typically includes three coverage areas that aim to give us protection from liability and loss:
- Medical coverage: This type of coverage covers your medical bills and treatment, and may extend to covering your any work pay that you lose or even funeral costs that may stem from an accident.
- Property coverage: Any losses you experience from theft or damage to your vehicle may be covered through this clause.
- Liability coverage: Damages or injury that occurs to anyone else due to an accident you are involved in (or may have caused) may be covered through this clause.
Saving money is tough, especially when finances are tight and disposable income is at a minimum. For all of the recently laid off workers — employees of the state whose hours have been cut and other economically distressed individuals — that “rainy day” has arrived and I bet they all wish they had a larger emergency fund to draw from. Many families have gone from two incomes to one, creating a strain on the household finances. So what are some money saving ideas we can employ during a time like this?
Money Saving Strategies During Hard Times
1. Automate your savings.
The important thing to do is start small; make a plan and stick to it. Most banks offer an automatic monthly or weekly transfer from a checking account to a high yield savings account. This will force you to save money and in most cases it comes with the added benefit of a free savings account. “Keep The Change” from Bank of America is another popular automatic saving program that rounds up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and deposits that remainder into a savings account.
2. Save your extra change.
Trying times like these call for creativity when it comes to money management. One easy way to start an emergency cash fund at home is with a technique I like to call “Give Me Five”. Whenever you make a cash purchase and you get one or more 5 dollar bills as change, tuck those away in a designated envelope and do not spend them no matter how tempting it might be.
3. Take advantage of low stock prices.
A struggling economy does have its advantages from an investor’s standpoint: just think of the opportunities that a downturn can present us. A lot of things of value may now be cheaper in price — for example, discounted stocks. Transferring funds from a low yield savings account to an online stock trading service can be a smart strategy and a great way to make your savings grow more rapidly. You will sacrifice some liquidity but you will increase you earning potential if you choose winning stocks. Save yourself expensive broker fees and account management costs by handling your portfolio yourself. There are plenty of stock trading tools online to help you make informed decisions about your investments, so be smart and turn your savings into income.
This guest post is brought to you by the folks behind Planet Wealth.
Time for me to see what’s going on in the blogosphere. Here were some posts that I thought you may appreciate from around the net:
At the BillShrink blog, this informative post that talks about one blogger’s lessons learned as a long time investor can prove helpful in today’s investing climate.
This Wise Bread article on extreme saving caught my eye! I have tried a few crazy money saving ideas before, but some of these are certainly outrageous. Dumpster diving, anyone?
Lazy Man and Money is a blogger I’ve admired for some time now, even way before I started this blog. He has captivating stories, one of which has even hit the Consumerist! Find out more about his tiff with Monavie and what he’s doing about it.
I’ve also been participating in carnivals lately. If you have time, do take a look at these collection of personal finance articles from where you’ll find timely money advice:
- Carnival of Personal Finance at Taking Charge
- Carnival of Pecuniary Delights at Pecuniarities
- Carnival of Pecuniary Delights at Almost Frugal
- Money Hacks Carnival at Cash Money Life
- Carnival of Money Hackers at Four Pillars
- Debt Reduction Carnival at Christian PF
- Carnival of Twenty Something Finances at How I Save Money
- Carnival of Personal Finance at Simply Forties
Thank you to the hosts for featuring my posts! I hope you like the roundup this week.
I learned a few things by reading this interesting article in the New York Times about green banks. These banks aim to help out green (eg. eco-friendly) causes by providing them more attractive banking incentives and loan rates. That is, people and companies that are labeled as environmentally friendly are given financial breaks by these banks.
The Challenges That Green Banks Face
While I think these banks support wonderful causes, they do face a lot of challenges as for-profit entities. Just like those socially conscious and environmental mutual funds, they are expected to encounter more obstacles than your typical run-of-the-mill bank. So what are some of these issues that green banks may have to deal with?
- Diversification matters. Green banks will be screening their customers and naturally, they’ll be limiting and restricting their business to those entities that qualify. With a smaller pool of customers, they’ll automatically have a smaller profit base to support them. If they focus their loans on certain industries, they open themselves up to being much more vulnerable to economic shifts.
- These banks are still startups. Apparently, it takes 3 to 4 years for a typical bank to start making money. Many green banks in business today are very new and are still in startup mode. It doesn’t help that these banks are trying to get their footing during a recession.