Friday, October 2, 2015

4 Things To Do With Money When You Lose Your Job

Manage Money When lost job
If you lose your job as I did, you should not panic. Although being unemployed can be devastating, it is not the end of the world. Of course, you will have to adjust your finances until you get another job. You will also have to file for unemployment benefits so you will have enough to get by. According to a report by outplacement consultancy firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, “US job cuts hit a nearly four-year high in July” as the military and the technology sectors announced layoffs. In addition, Hewlett-Packard also announced in September that it would lay off some 10% of its workforce, or 28,000 to 33,000 workers.

Four Things You Should Do With Money
Here are the four things that you should immediately do after you become suddenly unemployed:

1. Take stock of your resources. This is the one thing you should immediately do. Look at the amount of your savings, and then ask yourself, how long can I make it last? If you can get unemployment benefits, would they be enough for you to live on, and how much would you have to add from your savings in order to get by? In addition, look over any alternate sources of income you may have.

2. Create a revised budget. Now that you are unemployed and have no regular source of income other than unemployment benefits, assuming that you qualify, you need to downsize your standard of living. Look over all of your expenses and consider areas in which you can cut down. Start by removing the small luxuries you used to take for granted, such as eating out weekly and having a daily cup of coffee from the local Starbucks. Then look at all your other expense categories and look for other areas where you can economize. For example, you can look for cheaper food options without sacrificing nutritional value.
To make your budget more effective, you might want to do it on a weekly basis rather than the typical monthly. Since you no longer have a monthly paycheck to allocate, making a weekly budget allows you to take tighter control over your expenses and stretch your money.

3. Look into your health insurance options. Although it may seem that health insurance is an unnecessary expense when you have no regular income coming in, it is actually more of a necessity than ever. Although you may be healthy now, you cannot rule out the possibility that you might suddenly get sick or be in an accident that would require you to seek medical care or even be hospitalized. Under the Affordable Care Act, unemployed individuals and families can look for a Marketplace plan which may qualify you for savings and credits that would substantially reduce your premiums and Medicaid for those with limited incomes. In addition, if you have children, you may qualify for the Children’s Health Insurance Program based on your income.

4. Prioritize your expenses.  Now that money is scarce, you should also make sure to pay your most important bills first. The five most important spending items that you should prioritize are your mortgage or rent, your utilities, food expenses, health and other insurance and medicine.
However, one thing you should not do is spend precious money paying down your debt. Even though you’ll be debt-free, being unemployed means you’ll have trouble getting additional credit when you need it. Instead, call your creditors and tell them that you’re jobless and enter into an agreement with them for you to pay the minimum amount to service your debts.

Surviving Unemployment
There are signs of hope in the economy. The unemployment rate recently hit 5.1% and there were 173,000 new jobs in August. A senior economist at Principal Global Investors said that the US job situation is still “moving in the right direction”. But it can still be very difficult to find a new job. So it is very important that you follow these tips to manage your money until you’re gainfully employed again. In fact, these techniques can even ensure that you don’t have to accept the first job that comes along and you might be able to wait until you can find a better opportunity or even a new career!

About the Author
Bill Achola is a personal finance publisher who owns a fast-growing, dynamic and innovative investment blog that empowers investors to make the right investment decision. To learn more, visit

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Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Beginner’s Guide to Retirement Planning

There are many retirement plans out there today. Different organizations offer different terms on the retirement funds that you can set up with them. One of the most common retirement plans is the 401(k) that a lot of employers offer. This is definitely one of the better plans out there as you don’t have to worry about managing it too much. Everything is controlled for you by your company. All you need to do is choose the percentage of your monthly income that you would like deposited into the account. This is useful for the beginner who doesn’t know the first thing about managing a retirement account. However, once you have sufficient knowledge, it is always recommended to go for something with more control.

The IRA is the way to go

One of these is the IRA. The individual retirement account is one that is offered by a lot of financial institutions. It is the same as a traditional employer’s account, but offers a lot more in terms of control. You get to choose just about everything that happens to the funds in the account. This assures a higher chance of being able to retire early than a normal account. It is also independent of where the future retiree works, making it perfect for people who don’t plan on staying in the same company for a long time. However, there are variations offered in IRAs that can be very attractive to a lot of people. One of the best among these is investing in precious metals such as gold or silver. Banks are generally happy to give out information on a gold IRA account or its silver counterpart.

Precious metals are the stable option

One of the drawbacks of a normal cash IRA is that it is linked to the economy. If the market should destabilize (it is already struggling, as the Great Recession should remind people), the value of the funds in your IRA will dramatically reduce. You can still have the same amount of money in the account, but it will be worth a lot less. Getting a gold or silver IRA will eliminate the risk of this happening. It is a well-known fact that precious metals do not depreciate in value over time, no matter the state of the market. In fact, the value of silver is actually climbing because of the amount that it is used in manufacturing and tooling for companies.

If you already have an IRA or a 401(k) and you are wondering how to set-up a silver IRA rollover so that you can quickly transfer the unstable funds in these accounts to something that is far more secure from an economic standpoint, talk to your local financial institution. There are many options available, and all of them are pretty amazing. The best part is that these are physical assets you buy with the money in your retirement account, meaning you will be able to protect them far better from the market, as well as maintaining security by possessing something real.
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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Three Simple Ways To Develop An Additional Stream Of Income

These days, many people are interested in earning more money so they can quit their traditional jobs or pursue some other goal. If this is your objective, it's important to know that there are several ways that you can develop an additional stream of income. Here are three:

1. Pursue Property Investment.

Investing in property is a great way to start earning additional money. To have success with this endeavor, it's important that you select a team of realty professionals who know the industry like the back of their hand. The best realty companies will possess all of the following attributes:

• stellar customer service
• a high quality Better Business Bureau rating
• excellent online reviews

When you start your search for the ideal property investment company, consider the professionals of Realty ONE Group. The company has established a strong reputation for helping people make excellent property decisions. Company representatives such as Kuba Jewgieniew are known for providing the cutting edge services and stellar customer service that entails high levels of customer satisfaction.

2. Develop An Online Business.

In addition to looking into property investment opportunities, be sure that you consider the value of developing an online business. In today's world, eCommerce is bigger than ever as people around the world log onto the Internet to buy and sell goods and services. There are millions of ways for you to make money online, one of which is the development of a monetized blog. You can also start a business selling a product such as eBooks. To make your online business successful, it's a good idea to have a trained digital firm working on your behalf. These professionals will typically utilize a wide range of proven internet marketing strategies to get your company growing. Some of the strategies internet marketing experts typically employ include

• social media optimization
• search engine marketing
• online reputation management
• content creation

3. Write A Book.

One final strategy you should definitely consider when you're looking for ways to accrue wealth is writing a book. Writing a book affords you the opportunity to build a brand and earn residual income that can help you retire early if you so desire. In the past, people have been discouraged from the book-writing process because opportunities for publication were slim. These days, however, social media channels and other forms of online advertising make it possible for people to self-publish books and then market them to build their brand and optimize conversion rates.

If you're ready to develop an additional stream of income so you can have more financial freedom, you should know that the strategies discussed here can help you. By pursuing property investment, developing an online business, or writing a book, you will likely find that your personal finances begin to grow!
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Saturday, September 5, 2015

All You Need to Know About Mutual Funds: A Beginner's Guide

Mutual Funds 101: Investing for Dummies

Mutual funds are one of the most popular types of investments.  Mutual funds are managed by a company. They are a pool of money from multiple investors that is then used to invest in various securities. Mutual fund investments can range from stocks and bonds to more strategic investments such as short-term debts. Each person who contributes to the mutual fund shares a portion of its ownership. In short, it is a way of bringing a larger amount of money to an investment.

Types of Mutual Funds

There are numerous types of mutual funds available. The portfolio of the mutual fund is the combination of shares owned by the fund. It can be made up of various types of investments or a single type. This depends on the investment strategy in play. Various options exist for investors including:
  • Money market mutual funds: In these mutual funds, the investments generally are higher quality stocks and bonds with less risk. They are short term investments from federal, state, and local governments. There is less risk involved, and, as a result, less potential for high, dramatic earnings. Nevertheless, they tend to be more reliable.
  • Stock mutual funds: These are investments in corporate stock ownership. There are various sub-options here including growth mutual funds, income funds, and index funds. Income funds pay regular dividends to the owners. Growth funds don't pay dividends as often, but tend to offer higher returns in the long term. Index funds tend to follow the Standard & Poor 500 Index and range widely as a result of changes in the marketplace.
  • Target date mutual funds: This type of mutual fund offers a combination of stocks and bonds as well as other types of investments. These are particularly useful in retirement planning. Although they can start out more aggressive with higher risk, the risk level tends to change and fall over time, as you get closer to retirement.
  • Bond mutual funds: These are a common type of investment because they do carry a higher risk level than money market funds, but tend to provide a higher level of gains to owners. There are variations in the types and risk levels associated with these mutual funds.
With so many options, it can seem difficult to know which to choose. Generally speaking, most people choose mutual funds because of the various benefits they offer that can help to reduce some of these overwhelming decisions.

Key Advantages of Mutual Fund Investing

There are numerous benefits to investing in mutual funds. They may not be the best outright investment for some people, though. If you plan to invest money for retirement and don't need an immediate return, this is likely the investment for you. Other benefits include the following.

They Are Professionally Managed
One if the best reasons to turn to this type of fund is because they are professionally managed by a licensed investor. This provides a key benefit to the investor because there is a fund manager making decisions, handling the research into various securities, and overall monitoring the losses and gains of the investment. As a result, they can help to ensure performance on an ongoing basis.

They Allow for Ample Diversification
One of the keys to overcoming significant changes in market conditions is having an investment that allows you to diversify, or place your money into various companies or types of investments. This way, when one area drops in value, other areas may pick up. Diversification like this is one of the benefits of mutual funds since they allow you to invest in multiple stocks, bonds or other securities.

Overall Ease of Use
Mutual funds are fairly liquid. This means that you can redeem their value just about any time you need to do so. There are fees involved, but there is less restricted access to your money. Additionally, you do not have to invest a lot of money to get started. The initial investment amount differs based on the mutual fund and managers, but these initial investments and further investments tend to be much more affordable than other securities.

With mutual funds, you'll likely see payments in dividends on an on-going basis. You'll also find that buying and selling stocks is easier to do (someone else with ample experience can do this for you). And, you'll find that mutual funds are relatively safe investments for short and long term investing depending on the portfolio selected. These benefits are some of the reasons behind while mutual funds are so commonly used and so well respected for most investors today.
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Saturday, August 29, 2015

A Recurring Revenue Model Will Bring Numerous Investors Into the Fold

For many venture capitalists seeking investment opportunities, businesses that offer frequent returns on a revenue stream will often be the most attractive. This is because a predictable and recurring stream of revenue will result in a higher return on the lifetime value of customers, while also affording optimal leverage on aspects like initial marketing costs. While some may believe the more lucrative a business model the better the investment capacity, this isn't always the case.

Business Type Can Determine Future Investments

To fully understand just how large a role a recurring revenue stream can play in future investments, one must take a closer look at how business type can affect revenue predictability. High-end travel businesses aiming at a wealthier market have the capacity to earn quite a bit of money selling vacations. While a single trip may cost upwards of $5,000, customer acquisition could amount to as much as $1,000 per customer, which can diminish quite a bit of the gross margin. Because a substantial vacation is not likely to be a frequently purchased item, repeat sales are not as reliable. The relatively small buyer base can also have an impact on investor confidence, thereby resulting in a less attractive opportunity.

Conversely, a business offering mobile phone service to consumers will incur far less profit per sale, but offer a more reliable recurring revenue model. Not only will customer acquisition be much lower than in the previous example, mobile phone service also appeals to a much larger customer-base. This business is also less likely to be affected by a waning economy, which will greatly decrease the likelihood of exorbitant vacation purchases during times of economic instability. Customer retention is also greater, assuming customers will choose to stay with their current service provider over a period of time.

Predictability Drives Future Profits

The above illustrates just how important revenue predictability is to increasing investor confidence and securing the capital a business needs to thrive. While it would seem that the more profitable business model would offer a greater opportunity for future earning, this isn't always the case. A business offering luxury goods and services is less likely to induce repeat sales due to the relative expense of the items offered. Most investors are more concerned with the long-term earning ability of a business, and unstable revenue streams often can't be sustained as long as more realistic pursuits.

In this event, subscription-based business models offer the highest level of revenue predictability. Contracts are a great way to ensure your revenue stream remains profitable, especially when providing consumers those items that are considered necessary to daily life. An expanded customer-base is also important for investors seeking a stable business model, and this simply isn't afforded by luxury businesses catering the needs of the exceedingly wealthy.

Secure the Investment You Need With the Right Business Model

An influx of capital is crucial to get a business up and running, and securing investors is the typical method for providing a new business those must-have resources. Establishing a business model that affords a reliable revenue stream can help win investor confidence by increasing the likelihood of customer retention.  Companies like ServiceSource can help provide help and consulting on managing the business lifecycle and creating a viable recurring revenue model.
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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

How to Find Penny Stocks Before they Spike

Investing in Penny Stocks
Trading with penny stocks might be considered difficult and demanding, but it all depends how well you understand it all. The penny stock market is shifting with great speed, and in order to stay up-to-date with it, you will have to research and pay attention to various signs. Though, carefully overlooking how the market is functioning, you can follow up and predict which penny stocks will be worth investing in.

The Lifecycle of A Penny Stock
Keep in mind that most penny stocks go through predefined trading cycles, and if you do not see any of them getting promoted every half a year or so, it is time to move on. However, it is vital that you invest in these stocks so that you can get your money’s worth back before they drop after the spike. You must be careful which stocks you choose, so that you do not invest in a dud. Also, be wary that you will have to go through a few penny stocks to make any serious money.

Avoid Getting Scammed
Picking a good penny stock investment will take some time and effort, so you should never rush into it, no matter how good the opportunity seems like. On the other hand, there are scams out there as well.  These scams will try to take your money. Unfortunately, you will have to work on your skills to get good in recognizing promising penny stocks. Keep in mind that investments are a risky business, and, you will have to expect ups and downs.

You have to Look for Value
Your main goal will be to look for value in every penny stock.  It is not easy estimating the real value of stocks, and it is necessary that you understand how value investing works. Not only will make it easier to find stocks which are worth investing in, but it will make your long-term investing more worthwhile as well.

Find out How Others Trade with Stocks
Nobody can get good at something unless they research thoroughly, and learn from others. Timothy Sykes is one of the greatest penny stock traders who made a lot of money, which is why you should read up on him to find out his secrets. Moreover, you will be able to become better at finding penny stocks which are worth the time and money. On the other hand, you can find out what some of the most common mistakes are, so that you can avoid making them.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled
In order to make sure that your penny stock company is worth the investment, you will need to find out if there is any social buzz surrounding it. This way you will be able to see if the company or industry is going to become big, and if your initial investment can make a great return.  Be careful that you only follow positive buzz, and avoid any companies with negative feedback.

Watch How the Prices Behave in the Market
Determining when it is a good time to sell or to buy a stock will demand time and effort to develop such a skill. Nevertheless, it will be a great idea to watch how the prices behave, so that you are aware of the higher or lower prices of the stocks. This will be a crucial factor in deciding whether or not you can make money after the spike decreases.

The Perfect Time to Sell A Company
Trading with stocks is a good way to earn money, if you are skilled enough. Even so, in the long run, it will be imperative to know when to sell the company’s shares. It is never a good idea to wait for the peak of a company’s value as it might get out of hand, and you might end up with actually losing more money than you have initially invested in it.

Author: Nate M. Vickery is experienced business consultant and entrepreneur from Sydney, Australia. He is mostly engaged in real estate and investing. He also writes for
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