Sunday, August 31, 2008

5 Secrets Creditors Don?t Want You To Know About Eliminating Debt

Avoid these secrets that they use to try and keep you there forever and start eliminating it today. Creditors make money by keeping you in debt.

Credit card offers hurt your bottom line

Did you know that plenty of creditors know the secret to helping you get out of debt? Unfortunately, because they?re in the business of making money, they?re not going to tell you what they are. But you have the right to know how you can eliminate debt without sacrificing your financial well being.

One of the oldest tricks is the book?and something that can hurt you immensely if you?re not strong enough to stay away?is the persistent credit card offers that credit card companies send you in the mail every month. Sure, plenty of them offer a zero-percent introduction interest rate and could help you eliminate debt by consolidating your debt from other cards and balancing transfers onto a zero-percent card to help eliminate some of your debt, they also overwhelm you with cards and make it hard to decide which actually will help you?and which will ultimately only serve as band-aids for a larger problem.

Instead of using credit cards to consolidate, think about speaking with an actual debt consolidation firm to start consolidating now. You?ll be glad you opted for that instead of trying to go at it alone.

Debt consolidation is just a call away

To some consumers out there, debt consolidation is complicated and confusing. The Internet is literally filled with thousands of companies trying to get you to consolidate. This works in favor of creditors who know they could make more money if you don?t consolidate.

But the truth is that debt consolidation is not all that difficult to obtain, provided you find an accredited company to help you to consolidate. It may take some research on your part, but look into the advantages of consolidation and don?t let the creditors discourage you from consolidating your debt now.

Settling your debt can be easy

Did you know that if you owe $5000 to a creditor right now, you could eliminate that entire debt by paying just $2500? Of course you didn?t. A creditor is not going to tell you this, but debt settlement is something that is extremely beneficial to consumers. It allows you to negotiate with your creditors and find ways to pay off your debt without paying the total amount.

The thinking behind this method is that you?ll be paying back the creditors at a profit but also helping yourself in the process. It?s not something creditors want everyone to use but it is something that?ll help you if you?re savvy enough to know about it and smart enough to speak to your financial advisor about using it.

Why minimum debt payments exist

Anytime you owe a creditor, the creditor will send you a statement every month and include a ?minimum payment required? amount that lets you know how much money you need to pay them this month. Most people only make that payment because they believe that?s all they need to pay to help them pay off their balance. However, this amount only represents the number that creditors want you to pay in order for them to make a profit and you to simply maintain roughly the same amount of debt on your balance.

Start paying above and beyond your minimum monthly payment when you can. By doing so, you?ll start to put a serious dent into your debt rather than just maintaining one consistent level of debt.

Losing your hopelessness about eliminating debt

Lose this feeling and start to take control of your situation. They make payments every month and get little to nothing in return as far as eliminating debt. These types of people are content with paying off the minimum monthly amount every month and essentially turn into subscribers for credit card companies.

They want you to feel as though you can?t pay off all your debt. This is something that creditors love. Are you simply overwhelmed with debt and feeling hopeless?

Use your knowledge of these secrets against creditors and start to take back the control of your financial freedom today. If you don?t think you can beat debt, you probably won?t.

20 Ways To Save On Your Utility Bills

Don't worry you won't find any low flow toilets on this list! There 's a number of ways you can. Wouldn't it be nice if you could pay 25-50% less on these bills?

Utility bills can consume a very large portion of your paycheck.

They do not work with dimmer switches, but you can swap out the majority of your light bulbs and save a significant amount on lighting. #1 Change your light bulbs - Compact florescent bulbs use about 25% the electricity of standard incandescent bulbs and will last for years.

#2 Check your insulation ??? Go in your attic. Does your insulation cover all the 2x4s? If not you don???t have enough. Having a well insulated house will save you a significant amount on your heating and cooling bills and is well worth the cost. It???s also the kind of project the average home owner can do by themselves.

#3 Add caulk and weather stripping ??? Is your house drafty? Look at your doors, does light shine in? Feel around the edge of your windows, do you feel a cold or hot breeze? You need to add caulk and weather stripping. It???ll save you money and help get rid of those annoying hot and cold spots in your house.

#4 Fix leaking faucets ??? I???m sure you???ve heard even a small drip in your sink can fill a swimming pool in a year. It can also empty your bank account. Fixing this problem is usually as simple as replacing a 50 cent washer.

#5 Use fans ??? By having a slight breeze you can usually turn your AC up a degree or two and still be just as comfortable. It???s a whole lot cheaper to run the fan than to run the AC, so use them.

#6 Turn the computer off ??? That 300 watt power supply in your computer is still drawing power when you???re not using it. Turn your computer off when you???re done with it. If that???s too much of a hassle, adjust the screen saver settings to put your computer in sleep mode when it???s idle. This is a low power mode that will allow you to quickly resume your work where you left off when you???re ready to use the computer again.

#7 Switch to LED Christmas lights ??? You wouldn???t think you???re Christmas lights draw that much power, but when you get enough of those little lights, it really adds up fast. 25 watts per 50 bulb stand is standard and when you hook up 10 of those strands you???re looking at 250 watts, probably running 24/7. Christmas lights that use LED bulbs use 80%-90% less electricity and still look just as bright. Also, turn your lights off when you go to bed.

#8 Get an LCD computer monitor ??? Are you still using an old style CRT display for your computer? Switch to LCD, they consume as little as 25% of the power of a CRT monitor of the same size. You were looking for a good excuse to switch anyways.

#9 Swith to tankless water heater ??? It amazes me how few people even know about the existence of tankless water heaters. These water heaters do not store hot water, but rather heat it instantly whenever it is needed. The consume a mind-boggling amount of energy when in use, but it ends up being much cheaper to consume a lot of power during the time you need hot water than a little keeping it hot 24/7.

#10 Change your filters ??? So you change the filter on your AC/Heating unit every spring and fall like you???re suppose to? Wrong! Most filters are only rated for 30 days. Filters are cheap, so change them frequently. The efficiency gained in heating/cooling your house will make well worth it.

#11 Install a programmable thermostat ??? These are fairly cheap and easy to install. Why pay to cool your house while you???re gone to work? Do you really need it to be the same temperature while you sleep as when you???re awake? Programming it will allow you to make these energy savings adjustments automatically every day.

#12 Take (short) showers instead of baths ??? Try this one day. Pull the plug on your tub and take a shower like you normally do. When you???re all done, look at the water level. It???s probably about a quarter of the way full. This is how much water, and energy heating that water you save by taking a shower instead of a bath. If you can shorten your shower, even better.

#13 Ditch the phone company ??? Remember those ???We don???t care, we???re the phone company??? adds from Saturday Night Live in the 70???s? Not so anymore. They now have competition from the cable company, cell phone providers and internet phone companies. Shop around and you can probably find a better deal. If you use cell phones all the time, you may even be able to shut off your home phone.

#14 Cancel extra TV channels ??? Do you pay $50-150 a month for 500 channels but end up just watching the networks? Cancel the extra channels and save some cash. If there???s one show you just HAVE to have on one of these other stations, considering paying to download that one show from iTunes or elsewhere instead.

#15 Have AC Maintenance ??? If your AC is struggling to keep up in the summer, it might be a good idea to have some routine maintenance done. Low Freon levels can significantly impair the efficiency of your AC unit. So can grass clippings and other debris.

#16 Clean that lent trap ??? Be sure to empty the lent trap on your dryer after every load. If you are doing so and your clothes are still damp, there???s probably lent that has built up in the exhaust hose and it may be time to replace or clean it.

#17 Have a free energy audit ??? Many power companies provide energy audits free of charge. They can help you find inefficiencies you may not be able to find on your own, and will sometimes even provide you with free compact florescent bulbs. Contact your power company to see if they offer this service.

#18 Get some shade ??? Blocking out direct sunlight can significantly lower your cooling bills. Plant some trees that will help shade your house and close the blinds on hot days.

It???s not recommended to water in the late evening because having damp grass overnight provides a good environment for parasites that can harm your grass. By doing so you reduce the amount of water that evaporates which means much more gets to the grass. If you water your grass on a regular basis do it in the early morning hours.

#19 Water in the early morning ???

These heads are only about $20, have multiple settings you???ll love and can save a lot of water. They do this by quickly pulsating between on and off to deliver rapid high pressure bursts. Newer shower heads available can generate just as high of pressure but use less water.

You can switch to a low flow head without having to settle for a wimpy shower. #20 Change your shower heads ???

Why You Should Refinance Your Credit Card

Getting the Right Rate Can Save YOU Thousands

the sore remains unclosed. But when your next statement arrives, the hole your minimum payment should have burned in your debt is no smaller ? you just want to see it gone.

You don?t know; frankly you care less ? It?s to pay for the Christmas shopping, or the last July 4th party, or your holiday two years ago. leaves your account. with ceaseless regularity and endless strain on your budget ? Like a wound that won?t heal, a monthly minimum payment ?

A credit card debt can be like the worst sort of trap.

Is this situation familiar? Is it you?

If it is, you?ve not heard the worst of it yet. The way that credit card companies exist and thrive is by exploiting your debt burden. They?ll lend and lend and lend, until you get to the point that the most you can pay back each month is the minimum payment ? usually around 2.5 per cent of the balance. The problem with this is that they hit you with a load of interest, sometimes amounting to 2 per cent of the balance. If only one half of a per cent is being paid back it doesn?t take much math to figure out the amount of time it could take you to pay back your debts.

In fact, if you?re paying repayment insurance, in some instances you can pay back less than the amount of debt accumulating.

It?s a horrible, self-perpetuating cycle of hemorrhaging money, but the good news is twofold.

First off, you?re not alone. Thousands upon thousands of decent, hard-working Americans are in this position through no fault of their own but necessity and the demands of modern living.

Secondly, if you?re stuck in this horrible cycle of bleeding money, the chances are that it can be at least partially redressed. Many Americans have ? and still do ? unwittingly signed up to credit card deals that are uncompetitive, over-priced and unnecessarily expensive. What many don?t realize, is that simply because you have pledged allegiance to a particular credit card company doesn?t mean to say that you are stuck with them for life. There?s a way out that can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year and help you pay off your debt burden more quickly.

Transferring the balance of your credit card to another one is a way of paying off your existing debt with a new credit card that you take on at a cheaper rate. In many cases this can be set at 0 per cent for a period of a number of months, before reverting to a higher rate. By switching to such a card ? and then another at the end of the interest free term, and maybe even another after that, it gives you a clear run at reducing your debt, without it spiraling ever further upwards. Even if you?re still only paying 2.5 per cent off the balance a month, far better to do that than knocking off one half of a per cent, or less.

By bundling up the old expensive credit card debt, getting rid of it, then paying back the new credit card at a lower rate, you can save countless dollars each month. You can save even more money by paying a bit more each month, thus clearing the debt in a shorter time. By doing this you?ll free up more dollars further down the line enabling you to spend them on something really nice.

Unfortunately, 0% deals are not always available to all customers. If you?ve got a credit rating that?s in some way below scratch, it is probably unlikely that a 0% credit card will be made available to you. It?s a sad fact of finance that the best deals seem to always be available for those who need them the least.

That said, there are a number of other excellent credit cards on the market through which you can save many dollars. Even if a balance transfer rate is as high as 10 or 12 per cent, if you?re paying upwards of 20 per cent on your existing deal then you?re clearly going to save a stack of money ? even if it?s not as much as you might have liked.

If you?re concerned about how much you?re paying each month on your credit card repayment it certainly pays to check out your existing interest rates and compare them to some of the balance transfer rates available at competitors: it?s almost a certainty that you?ll save yourself more than a few dollars.

Complacency doesn?t pay, but a bit of awareness can save you a lot. Even if you?re not worried about your existing credit card deal, it?s worth checking out the market to see if you can get a better deal.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Pre-approved Mortgage Loan - How Important Is A Home Loan Pre-approval?

Learn what being pre-qualified and being pre-approved for house loan mean to you. but read further before getting your hopes too high only to be disappointed later. The short is ?very important?

How important is a home mortgage loan pre-approval?

If you do therefore take the large step of being pre-approved for a mortgage loan, it?s an indication to the home owner that you are serious about buying his / her home and not just bargaining to find a steal! If you are lucky enough to be pre-approved for a home loan, it can give you an edge over other buyers who may be interested in the same home or condo who perhaps aren?t financially stable. It helps to be ready if you?re in a competitive market.

What you need to do to get a pre-approval for a Mortgage Loan?

First step is an honest evaluation of your financial situation. Add up a list of all your assets comprising your cash, stocks, mutual funds, bonds, savings, IRAs, and any other investment and then deduct all the loans and payments that you have to make. This amount will indicate what kind of house you can afford.

Remember ? there are additional expenses while buying a house. This will give you a realistic picture of just how much you can comfortably borrow and how much you will qualify to borrow. It is possible to borrow an amount that will cover the all the insurance and taxes of the first year.

Once you know how much mortgage loan you can afford, you can approach a lender or apply for a home loan online. Many online mortgage loan sites offer quotes from at least 5 lenders. Online mortgage loans are popular because the lender contacts you based on the information given by you. That makes it easier for you narrow down the lenders who are interested in working with you. Also, online application is good for busy people.

What is Difference Between being Pre-qualified and Being Pre-approved for Loan?

Pre-qualified means you contact a mortgage lender and give him/ her, your details in person or on the phone and then he/ she creates a file credit report based on details given by him. This information is usually not verified. You will get a letter stating that you are pre-qualified.

Pre-approved means a commitment from a mortgage lender once you have filled out an application for a home mortgage loan and your details have been verified. These details will include credit report from the three largest credit reporting agencies ? Equifax, Experian and Trans Union Corp. Most online applications go through this pre-approval process.

If your credit score is low that does not necessarily mean you will not be pre-approved for a home loan. Some lenders ask for additional details like your salary statement, bank statements, W2 etc. Also, a willing lender will ask questions about the reasons why the credit score is low and why there collection records in your credit report. If the credit score is low but if you still confident that you can buy a house, then you can answer these questions.

This may be a little too much questioning but at least the lender is willing to work with you even though your credit score is low instead of just rejecting your home mortgage loan pre-approval application! Most lenders have knowledge of how to improve your credit score and may give you some tips to increase your score.

To be pre-approved gives you an edge when shopping for a home. You learn to identify the price range in which you?re looking to buy a home. This makes it easier for a home seller to accept or reject your offer if you?re bidding over a non pre-approved buyer. You must also familiarize yourself with a comfortable monthly loan installment.

Usually the pre-approval letter could be 3 months. Being pre-approved puts you in a better position as serious buyer and your negotiations maybe considered more seriously than other potential buyer who is not pre-approved for a home mortgage.

So, be prepared when you apply for home mortgage loan pre-approval. There are additional expenses involved while buying a home so you need to factor that into your house loan. Be realistic about the amount of home loan you can afford.

In conclusion, it is best to be pre-approved rather than pre-qualified for a mortgage loan.

Finance Budgeting 101: Five Steps To Your First Budget

But, it does take some preparation, consideration and a healthy dose of reality, combined with a willingness to change some unhealthy spending habits. Budgeting isn't rocket science.

Here 's how: Take the time to begin the budget process right: with good planning. A firm commitment to spend less than you make, and save for the more important things in your life is even better. Being realistic will.

Setting stringent spending limits that are impractical or unattainable isn't going to help get you on the right financial track. The key is to create a spending plan that fits your income, and that everyone in your household can live with. Every family is different; and so is every budget. There are no hard and fast rules when creating a budget that works for your family.

1: Keep A List of Every Household Expense for One Month.
Everyone usually has a clear idea of the big bills: mortgage, car loans, and groceries. It 's the little stuff that can kill a budget. Before writing out your first set of budget numbers, it 's first important to know exactly where your money has been going. For one month, record every household expense - no matter how small. You may be surprised at how much those little conveniences and splurges really add up to.

2: Make A Complete List of Spending Areas.
Once you see what you've been spending your money on, on a regular basis, it 's time to make a thorough list of household and personal expense categories. Most people find their spending areas include such things as: mortgage/rent; car loans; insurance premiums; utilities; groceries; entertainment; school lunches; clothes; business expenses, etc. Include everything! Those school lunches, manicures and even that morning coffee all add up by the end of the month. Don't forget less regular bills such as annual car insurance premiums, birthday gifts/parties, summer vacations, holiday outings, field trips, membership dues, magazine subscriptions, and more.

3: Compare Your Expenses To Your Income.
Now comes the hard part: add up all of your expenses and compare it to your NET income (this is your take-home pay after taxes, insurances, 401K contributions, etc.). Many people make the mistake of thinking that if they make $75,000 a year, they can spend $75,000. Wrong! You usually only receive about $55,000 to $60,000 after normal payroll deductions. If you're like most Americans, your expenses may be much higher than your income. Now what? It 's time to start getting serious.

4: Be Realistic.
Let 's get real here: no one can continually spend more money than they make without serious repercussions. Eventually you won't be able to juggle the payments anymore, and something won't get paid. You're walking a slippery slope headed toward financial ruin, and it 's time to be realistic. Now that you've had a chance to clearly see where your money is going ever month, it 's time to start chipping away at all the waste.

Start big or start small: the decision is yours. The goal is to slash as much frivolous waste as possible from your current spending plan. That may mean taking your lunch to work twice a week, and coloring your own hair, or it may mean selling your second car and taking the train to work. The severity of the things you're forced to give up depends on how much overspending leeway you've been allowing your family.

5: Together Come Up With A New Spending Plan.
Once you've cut out all of the things you know you can do without, it 's time to prioritize your spending list to see what else can go. List the most important life expenses first: your house or apartment; food; health insurance; car costs; school fees; etc. As you move further down the list, add entertainment; eating out; taking the kids to an amusement park; summer pool fees.

You know, all the things you think you need, but may be able to do without. Now, if you're expenses remain higher than your income, its time to start condensing and cutting from the bottom of this list. Sure, having a pool in the backyard may be great, but if you both work, and the kids are at summer camp all day, is the cost of its upkeep really worth being in debt? Or, would that money be better spent in some other category? How about fast food? If your family is spending more than $100 a month eating out, it may be time to reevaluate why you're not cooking a home.

Just remember, that every expense has an impact on your financial future. That 's your choice. If eating out three times a week is more important than going to the movies on Saturdays, or going on that beach vacation, so be it.

Now 's the time for you to discuss, as a family, what is really important. Or have you just allowed yourselves the luxury of easy dinners so long they now feel like a necessity? Are your kids involved in too many extracurricular activities, not leaving you the time to cook and eat in?

But, establishing a solid budget, and learning to live within your means may make the difference between a life filled with financial struggles and stress, and a worry-free existence that allows you to spend money on the important things with little or no angst at all. Changing your spending habits will be even harder. Looking at your finances with open eyes and a new attitude won't be easy.

Let Your Knowledge Pay You Some Extra Retirement Income

Did you ever think that you knew a better way to accomplish something, if only you had the chance? Perhaps, you perfected a skill in a particularly technical area during your career. Do you have a compelling interest in? Have you had particular challenges in your life that you had to overcome?

Is there a topic that you have a hobby or a craft that you have become particularly knowledgeable about?

We have come to take our experience, knowledge and skills for granted as we approach or reach retirement age. All of us have some area of our lives that we have focused on enough to develop a particular set of skills in or knowledge about.

What if there was a way that you could set up an ???Information Stand??? on your own street and have a stream of people arrive at your information stand each and every day. Heck, they each would even pay you a small fee to have their questions on your topic answered! Do you think that this might provide a little extra cash to supplement your retirement income? You bet it would.

Remember your childhood. Did you ever have a Kool-Aid stand on your street on a hot Summer day? Yeah, it was great. Adults would pay 5 cents per cup (some would even pay more) and when you ran out of Kool-Aid, you would simply make up another batch. You could do this until all of the adults had their thirst quenched and then sales would drop off.

Well, you can easily set up an ???Information Stand??? on the Internet at which to provide answers on the topic of your passion. There are some interesting characteristics of your ???Information Stand??? that make it better than a Kool-Aid stand:

1. Unlike Kool-Aid, you never run out of Information. In fact, you even gain more and better information as a result of the dialogue and the research that you do in building your Information Stand.

In fact, when this occurs and the perception of your information becomes more valuable, people will be willing to pay more for your information. That???s right, the more activity that you have at your stand, the better you become known as a reliable source of information on your topic. That???s right, the more activity that you have at your stand, the better you become known as an expert.

That???s right, the more activity that you have at your stand, the better you become known as an expert. That???s right, the more activity that you have at your stand, the better you become known as an expert. That???s right, the more activity that you have at your stand, the better you become known as an expert. That???s right, the more activity that you have at your stand, the better you become known as an expert.

You become known as an expert. 2.

You can even sell information while you are asleep or out playing with the other ?? Unlike the Kool-Aid stand, you can sell the information without you having to be there. 3.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Do You Want Supplemental Retirement Income?

However, with the rising cost of living and pricey health maintenance of an old person, you might find difficulty in making ends meet with the money you have right now. And if you're wise enough during your younger days, you must have piled up a good amount in your bank account or have invested in a sound pension program. You're stuck at home with a government-mandated retirement paycheck arriving monthly.

When you're old and gray, nobody would hire you on a job. Everybody wants to be secured come the time they can't work anymore. And who wouldn't? When somebody asks you if you want supplemental retirement income, the most likely answer you have in your mind is yes.

It is never too late. Plan your retirement today and be secured tomorrow. If you are any of the persons described above, then it isn't too late. Are you a young professional who want to save for your retirement as early as now?

Are you already a senior citizen receiving a paycheck that you can't possibly live on? Are you nearing your retirement age and haven't saved anything yet? You can earn supplemental retirement income right now, no matter how old you are. Now here 's the better news.

If you're asking how, the solution to your problem is really simple. There are a lot of online business opportunity today that don't require you to invest any monetary amount, just time and effort. Affiliate marketing businesses and MLM 's are always there to help you save for the day you can't work for a real company anymore. Most of them don't require setup fees. If you are merely looking for an opportunity to try, better select the one that you don't have anything to lose.

In order to succeed in this business though, you have to learn the ropes first. Marketing over the internet is way different than marketing face-to-face. People never like to be associated with business opportunities that require them to hound people who are not interested with their products. However, over the internet that 's not always the case. More often than not, all you really have to do is to maintain a website full of interesting topics about your business and people would come to you instead of you coming to them.

Send them an innocent email and you should be all set. Of course, you can start with your families and friends. However, you have to be very wary about the privacy policies that internet implements. Send them an innocent email and you should be fine with that.

Of course, you can start with your families and friends. However, you have to be very wary about the privacy policies that internet implements. That 's not as embarrassing as face-to-face selling so you should be fine with that. You can also send bulk mails to your prospects and market your products to them that way.

That is, if you want to retire before you reach 40. And for the younger ones, investing on your future could start right now. If you're a person who is already in his retirement, there 's no other program that you can avail of where you will be paid a big amount of money in such a short time.

It is just a matter of taking it. Everybody has an opportunity online. Over the internet, you are never too old or too young to earn anything.

Reap Rewards With The Best Gas Rebate Credit Card

Sure, there is probably a gas station or two offering gas prices lower than most but chances are, you are not going to drive all the way across town just to buy gas that is cheaper by a mere few cents. Gas prices are always on the rise, and there seems to be no escaping it.

They have partnered with gas companies with one goal in mind: to create the best gas rebate credit card. Fortunately, leading credit card companies are now capitalizing on this problem.

How It Works
The best rebate credit cards work in a such a way that cardholders receive a certain percentage of the gas purchases they charge to their credit card. This mechanism follows the same principle as most cash back rebate programs. However, while most cash back cards send rebate checks once a year, the best gas rebate credit cards apply credit each month, allowing consumers better access to their savings.

Station-Specific Gas Rebate Credit Cards
Most of the best gas rebate credit cards have affiliate gas brands. If you frequent a specific gas station, a station-specific card might be the best gas rebate credit card for you. You can earn rebates of up to 3% to 5% when you use this card at certain gas stations. These rebate rates are often only for gas purchases. Some stations, however, allow you to earn the same rates with any purchase. Other purchases from selected restaurants, supermarkets, drugstores, and retailers may earn you rebates of 1%.

A good station-specific card is Chase BP Visa Rewards Card. This is one of the best gas rebate credit cards because it pays a 5% rebate on all purchases made at BP Amaco stations. Dining and travel purchases earn 2%.

Any Station Gas Rebate Credit Cards
If you don't have a specific gas brand in mind, the best gas rebate credit card for you would be a credit card that allows you to earn rebates in any station anytime! Many financial institutions are now offering this type of rebate card. The Chase PerfectCard Mastercard is a good example. This card offers a 3% cash rebate on gas purchases. An even better option is the Discover Gas Card. It pays 5% rebates for the first $1,200 in gas purchases every year. Rebates are offered in check or gift card in $20 increments.

Cash Back Credit Cards as Gas Rebate Credit Cards
Most cash back credit cards make the best gas rebate credit cards. This is because most cash back cards pay rebates of 2% to 5% on purchases made from supermarkets, drugstores, and gas stations. American Express' Blue Cash pays rebates of up to 5%, but only after you spend $6,500 annually. The Citi Dividend Platinum Select Card pays 2% rebates on gas purchases.

For example, even if the Blue Cash and the Discover Gas Card pay 5% in rebates, there are still conditions that need to be met. Each gas rebate card has its own limitations. Interest rates are known to be higher, however. Some of the best gas rebate credit cards don't charge an annual fee.

With so many reward cards in the market today, don't settle for less than the best gas rebate credit. In choosing rebate cards, take the time to compare and consider your options.

Portfolio Sabotage and Better Tardes

It sure makes me grateful for my many blessings and how every day is such an incredible gift to never take for granted. It is just unbelievable to see what these people have been through and how much it is still effecting them today. I am writing this as I am sitting here at the airport in NYC, after an incredible private tour of GROUND ZERO, from someone who experienced it first hand.

Then on the other end of the spectrum there are students that have lost all of their portfolios in this bear market, taking themselves out to the game altogether. I was honored to spend a little time with a group of traders on Long Island recently, and I was sad to see how many people are paralyzed to trade and have pulled their money out of the market just plain scared to trade.

It just amazes me how students seem to unconsciously sabotage their trades by avoiding the simple tasks that can protect their portfolios. I have been listening very carefully to students, trying to see what it is that is stopping them from trading or causing them to let a trade go too far the wrong way that the end result is a loss of all their trading funds. From the last few months of gathering these comments and pondering them, there seems to be a number of issues around this thought process and I would like to address some of them in this newsletter.

First, my old basic comes to mind, that when in doubt go back to practice trading. Even though I do real trades with money, I daily track and do practice trades. What I have discovered is that serious traders are always doing practice trades. It seems only the new and not quite committed traders tend to avoid this important work - work that pays big benefits.

No matter how much money you have, there always seems to be more trades you can do.

What I have been able to enjoy, is to practice all the trades I would like to do, and follow the stock and the option to see how the prices are working. Then when I come out of a trade and have the cash for the next trade I know the heartbeat of the stock (and the option) to better trade that stock. This is very powerful, and leads to some great trading. The problem is that even though practice trading is easy to do, it is just as easy NOT to do! NOT practice trading is what stops people out of the game, and it is the one thing that can build back your confidence to put you back in the game. Once you see the real value for practice trading you should come to the conclusion that is does have incredible benefits and power.

Practice trading is very simple, just pretend you are really doing the trade, write it down, but do not place a real order. Set a price to exit at a profit and at a cost, and follow up with the trade to see how you did. Assume you buy at the ask and sell at the bid.

The easiest program to use for practice trading is the ETA software with Chart Navigator. It actually allows you to pull up the option chain and transfer the option (or stock) right into a practice portfolio. The neat thing is every time you download your charts it downloads your practice trades to see if it met either of your exits, forcing you to complete it. You can order this program at 1-800-346-9039.

One of the biggest problems I feel, is many students want to practice trading with their money. They are so eager, but this is a critical error in judgment. Practicing with money has not been a good choice in most stories I've heard. If you lose your money from practicing with it, and don't have the knowledge to trade properly when the money is gone then you have nothing left and most will give up and go back to the very thing you desperately wanted out of your job, or whatever is stealing your time freedom!

Bottom line, I wish people did not have a dime to trade with when they are new to the market or have lost their confidence trading! If you were forced to have to practice trade, because that is all you can do, I truly believe that once you have practiced to the point that you really know what you are doing - so bad you can taste it you will find a way to get the money to trade. You know the saying "when the student is ready the teacher will appear"? Well, when the student has practiced so hard that they really know what they are doing and they want to trade so bad - I believe the money will appear!

Next, I really think that it is impossible to be successful trading, if you have any issues with wealth. No matter how good you are at practicing, analyzing and picking trades, if you feel you don't deserve to be wealthy (conscious or subconsciously) than you will find a way to sabotage your success. A lot of students do this by not using simple stops to protect their funds if a trade goes wrong.

It seems we all know to use stops, but I think a large percentage of traders just plain old don't do it! They get busy and don't write it down, or write it down and ignore it. Perhaps they used a real stop loss, and got stopped out needlessly so refuse to use stops because of that but if you had a car accident, you wouldn't quit driving would you? Then don't do that here. I use alerts instead of real stop losses to overcome needless stops out of trade. Anyway, back to this wealth thinking, for whatever we might think the reason is I feel the reason could be deep seeded and have to deal with our self-esteem and ability to realize our right to be wealthy.

I use to have a CD series out called ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING about trading in the stock market. It has since been retired, but I got so many incredible comments and results of students being able to turn around their trading that I will be completing my update in book form within the next 6 weeks to help speed up the process of turning this around for those in need. In the mean time, you can download a copy of THE SCIENCE OF GETTING RICH for free at . I highly recommend getting THE DYNAMIC LAWS OF PROSPERITY by Catherine Ponder and reading it as fast as you possibly can. It can be ordered on Amazon or other book sites.

The other thing that is a killer is not having the proper tools to practice or trade for real. This is a serious income producing business to me, and without the proper tools it would be like an attorney with no law research abilities or an accountant with no tax law references - their ability to be successful would be confined so much that it will be destined to fail. So would our trading if we shortchange our need for critical tools.

I knew from day one, if I was going to trade, and make this my livelihood for income, not to overlook important tools needed to set myself up to win trading. I have been able to narrow it down to three critical tools: A research site : The Dedicated Trader This one speeds up my research time Alert System: REAL TIME MARKETS Gives me time freedom Charts: ETA with CHART NAVIGATOR Saves money on taxes, plus reduces time to do practice trading

I do a free webshop once a week to show these tools. For any questions or prices on these three tools call 1-800-346-9039 for details. After almost 6 years in the market, I find these three to be the best for value, time saving, cost and ease of use.

Last, it is best to not put all your cash into trades at one time. Otherwise, when a hot opportunity comes by you don't have the ability to take advantage of it. Unfortunately, I see a lot of traders put every cent they have in trades all the time, as if it is wrong not to. They seem to think that if the money is not always in a trade it can't be profitable, but some of the biggest profits come from those serious buying times when a stock hits an incredible low or high. Jumping into a trade just because your money is available is does not always lead to good trading. It is better to pass on a poor play, then to end up poor playing!

If you find yourself out of the game, get back in. Start with practice trading. When you do begin to trade again with money, make sure you start small. Learn how to trade both directions, up and down and use alerts (like REAL TIME MARKETS) to make trading simple and give you time freedom.

If you can find a way to get to my next LEAPS class, I will teach you how to use the safety net alarms and more - such as bringing in 3 -4 times more income than writing normal covered calls. Come find out why they call me THE BEST COVERED CALL WRITER IN THE USA!

I hope this gives you some confidence to start trading again you deserve to be back in the game and make this work! Believe me, you want the lifestyle that trading can give to you!!!

I am excited to be able to offer you the direction you need to get back in the game and on the right track. Please call 1-800-346-9039 to take advantage of current discounts on classes, DVD 's , VIDEOS or other products...

Happy Trading!

Darlene with BetterTrades

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Get Rich Now: How To Build A Fortune In The Stock Market

This is just one title above is slightly tongue-in-cheek as there are truly no guaranteed get rich quick schemes in stock investing; however, there are certainly periods of time triggered by certain government and central bank actions that present an opportunity to build great wealth in a short period of time. In essence the ???get rich quick??? Well if you perform research that tells you that certain asset classes have a 90% chance of appreciating greatly and you greatly overweight this asset class in your portfolio, I???d take the 10% downside risk any day to perhaps outperform a diversified strategy by 20% or even 60% a year.

How can I say that concentration is less risky than diversification? Well, at least with no more risk than the terribly diversified portfolios (and terrible!) that you receive at most commercial investment firms. Absolutely. All this without great risk you say?

If you do, 40% and 100% annual returns are possible. There is only one way to truly build wealth in the stock markets - spot trends well before the thundering sheep herd of investors does, invest in them many months and sometimes even years before the average Joe and Jane, and concentrate your stock picks.

Treasury Securities as a ?? Treasury Department on their own website, even tout U.S. In fact, the U.S.

Treasury bonds as a safe place to park your money for reliable sources of income stream. corporate bonds or U.S. Treasury Bonds" to read the full article), ???Many people think of any type of dollar denominated bonds, whether they are U.S. Prediction made in January 2006: ???On January 7, 2006, I offered this piece of free advice on my blog (go to and perform a search for "U.S.


Applying For An Online Credit Card Is A Cinch

Believe it or not, applying for a credit card has never been this convenient thanks to the power of the internet wherein applying via online has become as easy as a-b-c.

The following are samples of them from Chase. There are a lot of online credit card applications you could choose from.

In order to apply online for a credit card, the process is as simple as clicking on the button that says ???apply.??? Believe it or not, it is quick, fast and extremely secure.

One such credit card you could easily apply to online is the Visa Platinum Chase card. It offers zero percent APR for the whole month and does not require an annual fee. You also get one reward point for every buck you spent using this Chase credit card. Also, points earned could be easily redeemed to cash, travel rewards, gift, merchandise, cards or certificates.

Balance transfers are allowed in this card. Also, you need to have good credit standing in order to be eligible.

Another credit card application you could apply for online is the Chase Visa Free Cash Rewards card. The APR for this credit card is fixed at twelve months. Also, one rewards point is earned for every dollar spent on purchases using this credit card.

Believe it or not, a thousand points bonus is instantly rewarded to this card on your first ever purchase. There is also no such thing as an annual fee. Another plus is that a check worth twenty five dollars or a gift card with the same amount is given out from any of the merchants participating as long as you have earned two thousand five hundred points.

Balance transfers are also allowed and one needs to have good credit standing in order to be eligible.

Another credit card you could apply for online is this Credit Gas Discover Card. This particular card has zero percent APR for any balance transfers and purchases made within twelve months. Also, a five percent bonus cash back on auto and gas maintenance is offered. Meanwhile, a cash back of one percent is also provided on other types of purchase.

As an add-on, this card also has a liability fraud guarantee of zero dollars and the annual fee is also zero. Again, one needs to have good credit standing in order to be eligible.

Another credit card you could apply for online is the Discover Card Miles. It has an APR of zero percent on balance transfers as well as any purchases within twelve months. it also comes with a bonus miles of twelve thousand. This particular credit card also allows you to earn one mile for each dollar you spend. You also have the option to choose whichever and whatever reward you prefer be it a gift card, cash or for travel.

Again, one needs to have good credit standing in order to be eligible. This card also comes with zero annual fee. Believe it or not, you could fly in any airline you choose, on whatever seat and there are no date blackouts.

Make sure that you get to choose wisely. The best credit card is one that applies and answers to your preference and lifestyle. All in all, applying for a credit card online is easy and the options are many.

Term Life Insurance With Return Of Premium

You can even borrow against some of the policies if you have accrued enough credit. and develop cash value over the years. Unlike term life insurance , these two options are ???owned??? Those who are unhappy with that notion typically end up buying other types of life insurance such as permanent life or whole life insurances.

Ultimately, you paid for something you did not end up needing. any premiums paid over the years are basically gone. In the event that you are still alive at the end of your ???term,??? You are paying for peace of mind and protection, knowing your family would be financially secure upon your untimely death.

Term life insurance is relatively inexpensive for this very reason.

This new offering is called Term Insurance with Return of Premium (ROP). Because many applicants were unhappy that they had to choose one or the other (no cash value versus something that offers some type of savings account), many insurance carriers developed a happy medium. Cash value policy premiums are significantly more costly.

The beauty of term life as opposed to permanent or whole life is of course the lower premiums.

Benefits of Term Life with ROP

Term Life Insurance with Return of Premium (ROP) actually has more in common with forms of permanent life insurance than with true term life with a pure death benefit.

A Term life insurance with ROP policy offers partial or complete return of premiums in a lump sum if the insured is still alive at the end of the guaranteed level period, usually 15, 20 or 30 years. As with traditional term life, if the insured dies during the term, the death benefit is paid as with traditional term life insurance without a return of premium.

Term life with ROP works almost the exact same way as any other cash value policy. Premiums on this type of policy are much more costly because policy owners are refunded the premiums paid over the term if said policy owner is still alive. Like permanent life insurance, extra premiums are set aside in a savings account accumulating to an amount of money equal to the premium paid by the end of the term. While Term life with ROP serves as a type of savings account, keep in mind that the return is substantially less than other investment arenas such as stock potentials.

Healthy owners of the ROP products plan to apply their lump sum amounts toward future expenses, such as college tuitions, weddings, opening a business, trips or a house down payment. ROP policies are appealing to people who lead healthy lifestyles as they believe they will live past the term and receive the large refunded sum. Aside from acting like permanent life insurance in terms of being a savings vehicle, some ROP products also allow loans on a percentage of accumulated premiums already paid.

You may also obtain an online quote in minutes. Check with your financial advisor if you think Term life insurance with Return of Premium might be the right choice for you.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Online Stock Trading - Stock Trading Strategies

However, before getting carried away, investors should look into the basics of stock trading strategies to help protect themselves from what can be a very tempting albeit confusing world of internet stocks. With little more than an account and a mouse fortunes can be made or lost from the privacy of one?s own home. The ease of online stock trading draws the attention of new investors and investors looking for an alternative to the old methods of trading.

Online stock trading need not be a random roll of the dice. Planned, precise, and well thought out decisions make for strong trades. Investors that make decisions based on desperation will only do about as well as they will at the casino.

The only consistent notion about stocks is that they are inconsistent.

Regardless of any pre-planned strategy that an online investor approaches the online trading world with, there are two basic entities that need to built into any strategy. All trading is based on maximizing the profits while minimizing the risks. These two factors also tend to cancel each other out. The greatest risks usually turn the greatest profits while the smallest risks typically turn tiny but long term profits. This means that an individual investor needs to find their individual risk tolerance while building their strategy.

There will be losses. There?s no strategy in the world that can guarantee online stock trading without loss. Loss is part of the game no matter how serious the player. The most successful online stock traders in the world have one basic rule implemented into their trading strategy. They all have their stock portfolio divided into percentages. They have a predetermined percentage seeking high risk, high return stocks, a predetermined percentage seeking medium risk, medium return stocks, and a predetermined percentage seeking low risk, low return stocks. The predetermined percentages vary from investor to investor and some have the bulk of their percentages in low risk while others have the bulk in medium risk. Placing the bulk of the available funds in high risk stocks is a sign of either gambling or desperation, neither one is considered a very sound strategy.

Keeping the emotional trading to a nonexistent minimum is very difficult for many online traders, but it is also on of the best laid online stock trading strategies there is. Online stock trading can become emotional, and when it does online traders start making bad decisions based on their emotions. If there is a set amount of the available funds doing predetermined job, then the emotional windfalls and shortcomings are incapable of moving the percentages around. The reason that these percentages are predetermined for the vast majority of successful online investors is to help maintain unemotional investing.

However, having a basic strategy before the account is even opened is a vital key to online stock trading can become a very healthy form of secondary or even primary income, but the investor has to start with a plan. Every individual investor?s strategy will vary to suit their needs, their risk tolerance, and their individual style.

Back Room Mortgage Deal Has Legislators Up In Arms

Any variation from current policies within these two agencies would create a ripple effect that will be felt by all mortgage institutions and appraisers large and small. They either hold these mortgages in their own portfolios or package them into mortgage-backed securities for resale to investors. FMLC and FNMA buy mortgages from all facets of the mortgage industry.

America?s two largest mortgage controllers, Freddie Mac (FMLC) and Fannie Mae (FNMA) recently agreed to enact tougher standards on appraisers and lenders beginning in January 2009.

His point of contention is the appraisal process and how it affects the housing market adding that he believes that ?the appraisal process is broken.? Cuomo specifically targeted Washington Mutual (WaMu), the nation?s largest savings and loan, and threatened to widen his investigation to other large lenders like Countrywide and Wells Fargo. In this investigation Mr. Cuomo, the New York State Attorney General and long time champion of equal housing, began investigating FMLC and FNMA as part of his industry-wide investigation of mortgage fraud.

November of last year Mr.

It is very likely that Mr. Cuomo?s investigation would have turned up problems and inconsistencies within these two mortgage giants, as is the case with most large companies. Many people in the mortgage industry argue that any large company such as Wal-Mart, Starbucks and Microsoft are almost certain to have problems on close inspection but on the whole run a tight ship. The problem is that in today 's over sensitive mortgage market any negative news that concerns FMLC and FNMA will be given national attention in effect making mountains out of mole hills.

Mr. Cuomo doesn?t have the power to make policy changes for FMLC and FNMA; however, he does have the ability to garner national attention from the media by calling the two giants into question. Amid scrutiny, FMLC and FNMA have agreed to abide by Mr. Cuomo?s ?suggestions? and only buy loans only from banks that agree to his standards of appraiser independence. In exchange, Mr. Cuomo has agreed to forego his investigation. These standards are set to go into effect January of 2009, and among other things, will bar lenders from using in-house staff or a company it controls to conduct appraisals.

As is the case with most regulations and legislation, Republicans feel that the rule is over ?reaches and Democrats feel it doesn?t reach far enough for. The problem is that Republicans and Democrats have been left out of the loop on a policy that has huge ramifications for the mortgage industry. If this were to be legislated there would the normal give and take and eventually come up with a compromised version of the policy that is arguably better.

This policy change was reached as an agreement between the OFHEO (Office of the Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight) and Mr. Cuomo. According to OFHEO mission statement ?has regulatory authority similar to such other federal financial regulators as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency...? Basically they were designed as a fail-safe for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac when they became publicly-owned corporations whose shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

According to John Dugan, the Comptroller of the Currency, Congress should make the call on this policy change, not OFHEO and a state attorney general behind closed doors. In a lengthy letter to the OFHEO Mr. Dugan wrote, "Provisions of the National Bank Act would prevent this de facto regulation from being applied to, or enforced against, national banks." If oversight of the appraisal process is to be revamped, he argues that Congress should be making that call on issues that affect so many homeowners not a regulatory committee designed to protect the fiscal security of FMLC and FNMA.

Cuomo. However, she will be struggling with a seasoned adversary from the Democratic Party, Charles Schumer, who has sided with Mr. Dugan?s position and are using his recent letter as ammunition to take up the charge. Sentiment among Republicans such as Elizabeth Dole agree with Mr.

Dugan contends that this provision will ?undermine the quality of appraisals and raise the cost of appraisals to both the consumer and the lenders.? Mr.

However after the election, you can expect change in the banking industry, and according to which side wins will be the degree of regulation. Don?t expect much too much to happen in election year due to deadlocks on both sides of the aisle. Many in Congress who have tried for years to regulate the banking industry have all the ammunition they need to do it now. Either way, homeowners, mortgage companies and appraisers need to brace for the wave of regulations to come.

Three Steps To Getting The Best Mortgage Deals With "less Than Perfect Credit" In Today 's Mortgage Market.

The problem is the programs to access these rates have been narrowed down so much that only the people with the best credit can qualify for them, at least that 's the conception. However in the midst of this market fiasco we are seeing interest rates at the absolute lowest we have seen in years. Many of the mortgage programs that used to be available to home owners and future home owners are simply gone.

Getting your best mortgage deal may require a little homework on your part, but they are out there. Today 's mortgage market is different than anyone has ever seen in the history of mortgages.

Although FHA is not a subprime lender it is a common sense mortgage where people with less than perfect credit can access to the best mortgage deals. The reason is for this is the collapse of the subprime market. Our old friend FHA has been dusted off and has now moved to first place over the traditional mortgage champs, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The best deals on mortgages are still out there for most people with "less than perfect" credit.

When I say "common sense" I mean that a real underwriter will look at the loan in most cases and make a determination whether or not the borrower merits a loan. With the two other mortgage giants Fannie and Freddie, the underwriters follow an automated computer model for underwriting that they rarely stray from. Not so with FHA, as I mentioned earlier the underwriter is looking for "compensating factors" that can be used to counter the negative items on your credit report i.e. a collection. In general an FHA underwriter is looking for these three qualities in a borrower.

Capacity - This is the borrowers ability to repay the mortgage. These factors include your debt to income ratio, length of time on the job or field of work and the likeliness that the job/income will continue. Generally underwriters like to see borrowers in the same field for two years and on the same job for one year. So, if you hate the job but you really want to buy a home, I suggest that you "suck it up" for at least a year then apply.

Collateral - Is simply the home you are attempting to buy or refinance. FHA loans money to the borrower and on the home. In today 's market each is given equal scrutiny. If you have credit issues the underwriters want to see you buy a home that makes sense for your budget and one that is in good shape. This means you probably will not get approved buying a "fixer upper" or repossessed home. Have your realtor find you a fairly new home, in your budget that is in good shape. If you get this piece of the puzzle you are well on your way to a great mortgage deal with an FHA mortgage.

Credit - FHA does not care what your credit score is. However, this is still the toughest step of the three steps. This is where picking an experienced loan officer can make all of the difference in getting the loan or not. Basically, if your bad credit can be explained to an underwriter in these terms they will overlook the bad credit that you have had in the past. The explanation letter should be comprised as follows: Why I was bad - what happened to cause your bad credit in the past. (I forgot to pay them or never got the bill IS NOT?a good excuse) I was in the hospital, lost my job, had a divorce the spouse was supposed to pay the debts, these are much better excuses.

What I have done to correct that situation - Are you paying on the collections, have you made your payments on current debts on time for at least one year, got a new job that 's more stable, improved my health and so on. Basically the underwriter wants to see a measurable effort on your part to improve your situation.

You should elaborate a little here but you get the point. Why I will not repeat these old habits because of my new job, the money I have saved in reserves for a rainy day and a second income in the family".

At the worst you will have to wait a year to have access to the best mortgage deals in today 's market. Follow these three steps and you are very likely to be able to buy a home. Why I was bad, how I have gotten better and why it will not happen again.

The story should read like a resume, direct and to the point. Quite frankly, they really do not care that your wife was cheating on you and ran your credit cards up and left you with four children either. Underwriters have 5 loans a day to underwrite and they do not have the time to read war and peace. When putting these variable in a letter please do not write a novel.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Is A Secured Loan Right For You?

Although secured finance may be the best choice for you, there may be down sides to having a secure loan, and its always best to research alternative options as well. No matter what type of credit you pursue, however, it is always advisable to look into each loan that might be available to you. If you are in need of finance, a secure loan may be a workable option for you, especially if your credit is in lower standing that you would prefer.

What are the benefits of secured finance One benefit of a secure loan allows you more options and flexibility, depending on what you wish to do.

When you are requesting secured finance, the interest rate you receive will be dependent upon a few different things. First, the rate of interest for a secured loan depends on how long it will take you to repay the loan. Also, the interest rate for a secured loan will depend on the amount of money you are borrowing, as well as your personal credit history. Those with a bad credit history are often able to find secured finance. Secured credit may be an excellent solution for those with adverse credit, but it is important to remember that a secured loan will not solve the credit problems unless the borrower is able to use the money from the secured loan wisely.

If the borrower has had a history of overspending and being unable to make payments on time, it is very important that he or she make sure that the secured loan will be able to be repaid on schedule. A secured loan should probably be the last option for a person with bad credit, to be safe. Otherwise, if the secured finance is not repaid in a timely manner, the lending institution will instead take the borrowers home, or other collateral set up in the secure finance, as payment.

It allows the borrower to have an answer about his or her pending secure loan application much faster than other methods of application. Also, a person can normally apply for a secured loan used to take. Many banks and lending institutions have online sites where one can look at all the information regarding a secured finance.

When applying for a secured loan, the process will most likely go faster if the applicant has gathered all of this information in advance. Any lending institution that plans to give secured finance to an individual will want to know about that individuals job history, credit history, current debts and monthly payments, etc. A secured loan application will normally require a lot of personal information.

Where Does Money Come From?

Get ready for a shock if you don???t already know.

What if they add too much or too little to the economy? And how do they know how much to ???print???? Who is it?

If not, why not? Is it the government? And on what basis? Who creates money?

Who puts it there? How does it get into ???circulation???? Why do we need money? Every day countless millions of transactions are facilitated with money.

Three chapters of my book How to Profit from the Coming Great Depression are devoted to these questions. Most people are shocked when they first learn about our ???fractional reserve??? money system, which has sewn within it the seeds of its own destruction.

First of all, we need money because the barter system is too unwieldy. If you are a building contractor and I am a potato farmer, and I want you to build me a house, how am I going to pay you? How many potatoes can you and your family eat before they go rotten?

Clearly we need something that represents both houses and potatoes. But note that that does not make money a resource in itself. It is merely a vehicle for transferring the value of resources from one person to another. There are natural resources, both under the ground and above it, and there are human resources ??? labor and intellect. Put these together and man can produce. But although money may be used to value and transfer these resources, money is not a resource itself. Those who control money really want the resources that money represents.

Centuries ago things like gold and silver were used as money, before we had notes and coins like today. Remember the old western movies where highwaymen would hold up the stage coach and people would have to hand over all their valuables? Why, on earth, would people carry their gold and silver with them? Because they had nowhere else to put it.

This created an opening for the goldsmiths, who were the forerunners to our modern day bankers. They built large, secure vaults and allowed people to deposit their precious metals in these safes. In return they gave people ???receipts??? confirming the amount of gold held on their behalf. In time people began trading with the receipts rather than the gold. Today these receipts are called banknotes.

But that???s not all the goldsmiths did. They even paid interest to those who had deposited gold in their vaults (e.g. 3%), but then lent the gold out to others (in the form of more receipts) at say 6%. That???s how they covered their costs.

In time the goldsmiths noticed that nobody ever came back to collect their gold, and not all being honest, began to lend out more in new ???receipts??? than was represented by the gold in their vaults. In time there was ten times as much ???money??? in circulation as there was gold in the vaults.

That???s exactly how our money system operates today. For every dollar you deposit in a bank, the bank lends out about ten dollars. Money is created by banks ??? out of thin air! All money comes into existence by way of a bank loan. Less than 5% of it is ever converted to notes and coins. Most of it is never anything but a balance on a computer at the bank.

A hundred questions come to your mind. Right? They are all answered in my book.

Why do I say the system has sewn within it the seeds of its own destruction? It has a use-by date. That is why we have an economic depression at least once each century. It is not a question of if the system implodes. Only when it implodes.

Let???s say you borrow $100,000 from the bank (which takes security over your real estate worth $150,000). But you have to pay back $110,000 with interest added.

Where does that other $10,000 come from? You will have to get it from someone else. Where will they get it? What???s the only way money comes into existence? They will have to borrow it from a bank.

Can you see now why we have a debt bubble and why there is no solution to it other than a massive purging, with all of So debt must rise exponentially. The only way it can be replaced is with more borrowed money. And as money is sucked out of the system in interest by the banks, money supply is reduced. Some have to go bankrupt.

Can you see how in our debt money system it is not possible for everyone to pay their debts? So debt must rise exponentially. The only way it can be replaced is with more borrowed money. And as money is sucked out of the system in interest by the banks, money supply is reduced. Some have to go bankrupt.

Can you see how in our debt money system it is not possible for everyone to pay their debts? So debt must rise exponentially. The only way it can be replaced is with more borrowed money. And as money is sucked out of the system in interest by the banks, money supply is reduced. Some have to go bankrupt.

Can you see how in our debt money system it is not possible for everyone to pay their debts?

How can you protect yourself from these consequences?

Investment Strategies

How you invest now may be the difference between a comfortable retirement, and working for the rest of their life, and we have put together a list of do?s and don?ts to secure a comfortable retirement. Investment strategies for the long term are a vital to our future.

Tip #1 Educate yourself

There are people out there who play the stock market like they play the lottery. This is very dangerous, gambling on the stock market is the equivalent of going to Las Vegas and putting your life savings on the line. With any investment that is going to provide a decent return, there is risk. How much risk you take on with any investment directly affects the return. The general rule of thumb is, the higher the risk, the higher the return on your investment, and likewise, the lower the risk, the lower your return. The risk of investing into just a savings account has been explained. While investing in stock is riskier, educating yourself can reduce the amount of risk you take on. This includes finding out what common terms are and what they mean. Understanding the financial statements of the company you want to invest in, and understanding the market that you are investing in.

Tip #2 Devise a plan

This step is just as important as the first, having the education is useless without having some kind of direction. Decide where you want to be by the time you retire, where you want to be when you hit fifty. Evaluate where you are now and what you want to accomplish in the next year, you can never plan too much. You will also need to decide what kind of retirement you want to have. Do you want to maintain the quality of life you have now? Do you want to retire rich? Filthy rich? Or do you want enough to just get you by every month? Realize what you want to do and devise a plan.

Tip # 3 Investing is vital to your retirement

This cannot be stressed enough. It used to be that you worked for a company for 30 years until you retire, you get your office party and the faux gold watch, but you had a pension and social security waiting for you afterwards. Nowadays you have companies cooking the accounting books, and executives being the only ones with guaranteed pensions, and CEO?s abandoning their companies leaving their employees with nothing while they take their guaranteed multi-million dollar pensions home. What does this mean? It means that the person with your best interest is you. Nothing is guaranteed any more, not even social security. Corporations are replacing pensions with 401k plans, in essence they are shifting the responsibility for your retirement from them to you. It is up to you to decide whether you want to invest in your future. Realize that if you decide not to invest at all, you are throwing you future away.

Tip # 4 Research Research Research

There are so many reasons that you need to research whatever investment vehicle you choose. Whether its real estate, stock, whatever, you should never invest off of an assumption. Most investors refer to this as due diligence. First and foremost, never invest off of a ?tip.? There is always someone out there that knows what the next big investment is. They?ll tell you to buy some shares of so and so stock because they are guaranteed to give you phenomenal returns. While the advice may have some truth, it is best to do a little research first before putting any money into it. When doing research, it helps to understand financial statements. In general, if a company has more costs than it does revenue, this means the company is not turning a profit. In 2000, (NASDAQ: AMZN) was selling its shares at $113.00 per share, all while never having turned a real profit since the company started. Today Amazon?s stock can be bought for $45 a share. Imagine if someone invested their entire life savings into Amazon?s stock at this time, they would have less than half of what they saved left. This is the reason for the most recent stock market crash, investors were buying shares from companies that could not show a profit. Companies were having lavish office parties every week because their stock was flying through the roof, all while their product sales could not fund these expenses. Another reason for the recent stock market crash is because a lot of investors invest with emotion rather than knowledge. Over the holidays investors feared another terrorist attack, so they sold shares fearing another attack would drive the stock market back down. The emotion was fear. And that fear is detrimental to the stock market. If enough investors get scared and begin to sell their shares, the market will surely drop. If more investors are buying than selling, the stock market will rise.

Tip # 5 Inflation

If it would take $2 million to retire today, find out what $2 million will be by the time you retire, otherwise you will be selling yourself short. A good example of inflation, is how a million dollars today, isn?t what it was 20 years ago, and it wont be what it is 20 years for now. In other words, as time goes on, prices rise. The Webster?s dictionary defines inflation as: an increase in the volume of money and credit relative to available goods and services resulting in a continuing rise in the general price level.

It is important to know that as it pertains to your future, inflation is not good. The final tip is also a part of research, understanding inflation.

How To Get Cheap Health Insurance Online In Kentucky

Finding cheap health insurance online in Kentucky is a breeze if you have a computer with an Internet connection and a general idea of what type of health insurance policy is right for you. Although it 's not a great idea to try and determine what 's wrong with your health by looking online, the Internet can be a terrific resource when it comes to your health. Self-diagnosis has become all the rage as many websites are now devoted to providing information related to all types of medical conditions. Many of us have taken to the Internet when we feel an ache or pain coming on.

Newborns in Kentucky are automatically covered under their parents' health insurance plan for the first month after their birth. You'll want this in place not only to cover the costs associated with the labor and delivery but also to ensure that the baby receives whatever health care they need. If you are a parent who is expecting a baby, it 's a great idea to secure health insurance before the birth.

Many people are discovering the promise of natural medicinal approaches. Procedures such as acupuncture and massage can now be added to a standard health insurance policy. If this is something that you consider to be a fundamental part of your health care regimen it 's important to weigh the cost of the treatments against the added cost to your premiums. This is also true of many of the traditional optional types of coverage including massage, dental and vision care.

Once you do find a policy that you are considering purchasing, you may want to do that online. Many health insurance companies have secure websites which enable consumers the chance to seek out coverage, choose a policy and then pay for it all online. If you're comfortable doing this it can be a great time saver and can also guarantee that your coverage is in place sooner.

Many families are finding the cost of health insurance to simply be beyond their means. In fact, nationwide, fully 16% of all families and individuals can no longer afford any kind and the numbers are growing yearly.

One of the reasons this is particularly troubling is because if you should suffer a catastrophic accident or illness, the kind that creates medical bills in the tens of thousands of dollars or often even hundreds of thousands of dollars in virtually the blink of an eye, you could lose your life savings or even your home.

If you are going to protect your life savings and your home from the possibility of a health-related disaster wiping them out, then there are several things you need to do, starting today.

Set up an automatic payment system for your monthly premiums. If your company doesn't have to bill you every month they are going to pass those savings on to you.

Stop smoking and stop using chew or any other tobacco product. You know that smoking is not in your best interest and you know that you will never get the lowest priced health insurance as long as you smoke or use chew - so make the decision to give it up now.

Weight also affects your health bill. Insurance companies are interested in your Body Mass Index - which is a politically correct way of saying that if you are overweight you will pay more for your health insurance than you would if you were not overweight.

This doesn't mean you have to look like Twiggy or some super model. But it does mean that losing even a few pounds could drop you down into a lower BMI rating and if that should happen you could save some significant money over the long run. In other words, every pound counts.

Don't participate in extreme or dangerous sports on a regular basis if you want to find affordable health insurance. Also, if you drive a fast sports car or a muscle car you may not get the best health insurance rates.

Always look for group health insurance rather than individual. If you can't get group health where you work try checking with any clubs or organizations or associations you belong to. A surprising number offer their members affordable high risk solutions. Even some religious organizations are now offering group health to their members.

If you can increase your co-pay to 50% you will save money every month. If you don't see your doctor regularly this might be a good solution.

Increasing your deductible will save you money instantly. Just be sure that you can afford to pay the deductible every year.

Buying your health insurance online will also save you quite a bit. Just put the words "Health Insurance [followed by the name of your state]" into any search engine and you will be confronted with dozens of websites encouraging you to compare the prices of a number of different companies.

What you need to do if you are serious about saving money and finding truly affordable health insurance is to make your price comparisons on several sites - at least 3 different ones - and then choose the lowest price you find. The trick here is not to rely on the results you get from just one of these websites since each site only compares prices from a few companies.

It takes a little time to make your comparisons on 3 or more sites, but the time you spend could well save you hundreds of dollars a year in premium costs, and you can feel confident that you have now found the most affordable online that 's available in your state. That 's really all there is to it.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Compare Fixed Mortgage Rates - How To Get The Best Rate From Your Lender

The first thing to understand when comparing fixed mortgage rates is that interest rates never change and are always constant. To be completely sure you really do need to ask several lenders to quote you to be sure you are getting the best deal. When getting quotes from competing lenders it?s always hard to know who?s telling the truth and who is giving the real interest rate when they quote you.

What we are seeking from the mortgage company is the par rate; this is the lowest interest rate that does not require us to pay points. What changes is the cost of that rate to the retailer (Mortgage Company) and eventually the borrower, these are called points. Not really, a 5% rate on a 30 year fixed mortgage has always been available regardless of the market. Rates change daily don?t they?

What?s that you say?

Everything revolves around the ?Par rate?. The par rate has no cost to you and no profit for the lender. Very rarely will a lender quote this rate unless they are trying to ?low-ball? you in hopes of raising it later. When a lender sells a rate above ?par? she makes a profit. When she sells a rate below par it represents a cost to the lender that she usually passes along to the borrower in the form of points. These are the interest rates that are usually advertised on mortgage web sites, and that is why you are usually told you can?t have that rate.

Most borrowers are aware that the mortgage company needs to make a profit and to stay in business, after all they aren?t philanthropist. The intelligent shopper will seek to manage the amount of profit in the deal as opposed to having to argue about rates and closing costs. Most mortgage companies buy their money from the same sources, meaning their rates should almost be identical. Therefore, if you are reasonably sure you have the ?par rate? then you have effectively narrowed the discussion down to the closing costs. Once you have the lender negotiating their profit you have the upper hand!

So how do we find this magical ?par rate? from the lenders? It?s simple, you ask them. This is where having 3-5 lenders to work with pays off. When you speak with experienced lenders they are going to ask you a series of questions to pre-qualify you to a rate. Rates have add-ons so to speak. The lender begins with a par rate and then adds and subtracts from that rate depending on your specific loan situation. It will be a little tedious going over the same questions with 3-5 lenders but the payoff is worth it. Once the lender feels comfortable that she knows your situation she will usually quote you an interest rate.

Rest assured this rate will NOT be a par interest rate. You should respond to her verbal quote ?is that the par rate?? She will probably be taken back that you know to ask this question. What you want to convey to the lender at this time is your willingness to pay higher closing costs to get the lowest rate. It should be sort of like this ?I realize my closing costs may be a little higher but can you quote me the lowest rate that is available without having to pay points?? The lender should volunteer the information, if not, next!

After that, you want to repeat the same scenario with three to five lenders. Most of the interest rates you are quoted should be within a ?? point or so. You will probably get one guy whose rate is considerably lower than the rest; this is usually the guy that is trying to low-ball you. If you follow through and get a full quote on a Good Faith Estimate his closing cost will almost always be considerably higher. I recommend discarding this lender from consideration; they are usually the tricksters you want to avoid.

For whatever reason, if the lender refuses to send you this document ahead of time, next! The GFE is a legal document that is part of their RESPA package; most lenders have to re-disclose this document before closing if the numbers change. (GFE) and do not accept anything that does not have those three words at the top of the page.

For whatever reason, if the lender refuses to send you a ?Good Faith Estimate? The GFE is a legal document that is part of their RESPA package; most lenders have to re-disclose this document before closing if the numbers change. (GFE) and do not accept anything that does not have those three words at the top of the page. Ask them to send you a ?Good Faith Estimate? The last step is to compare closing costs of the two top lenders you feel comfortable using.

Believe it or not loans are a lot of work, and if the loan officer is not being fairly compensated SHE may very well say ?next!? they may simply turn the loan down. Use caution here, if you get a lender to work on too little profit and your deal hits a ?bump in the road?

If you want to chip away at their profit you can play each lender off the other until you are certain you have your best deal. If their rates are comparable the lender with the lowest closing costs wins. Once you have these GFE?s in your hand just simply compare the closing costs, (How to figure closing cost).

10 Practical Steps To Becoming Debt Free In 3 To 5 Years

This article provides 10 practical steps or ideas to help you become debt free in three to five years.

Unfortunately, the good life that you???ve worked so hard to achieve is not free, nor does it come cheap. There???s nothing wrong with that. We live in a society where everyone wants the coolest gadgets, a nice car and a nicer house. Debt relief is a serious problem for most Americans.

If you earn any sort of a decent salary, then chances are you???ve got student loans to pay off. Education is probably one of the most expensive debts that most people will ever have. The cost of your first car is more often than not, considerably less expensive than your student loans.

So, you???ve got debt. Nearly everyone has debt, but that doesn???t make it any easier to live with. And, if your debts are starting to exceed your income, then you???ve got a real problem that can keep you up nights on end without sleep.

You need to do something about it. And you need to do something about it right now. Today!

Have no fear, you and I are of a similar kind. We know that the best way to live a good life is to have more money. But what is not obvious, is that we also need to spend less.

Really, it???s not the little stuff that knocks your budget out of whack. Time and time again, I???ve heard of people trying to budget by cutting back on a caf?? latte???. That latte??? at $5 a whack, twice per day is $3, 650.00 per year. That may seem like a lot, but not so much as compared to new $20,000 car.

Which one is going to hurt you the most? The latte??? or the car at 9% interest. After 4 years, the car is going to cost you an additional $4,000 in interest or $24,000.

My point is, that no matter how much the gurus bombard you with the idea that you need to cut every corner, stop buying bottled water, eat peanut butter sandwiches and stop eating out. The effect is negligible compared to making the big purchases, such as cars, houses and taking education loans. You can save getting a better rate on auto or mortage loans. Also, if you have kids in college, before you take that student loan, seek scholarships first.

So what can you do?

1. Check your credit rating first to make sure that there are no errors on your report. Everyone in the USA is entitled to one annual free credit report. Also, if you are turned down for a credit card, you can get a free report.

2. Get all your expenses into an excel spreadsheet and add them all up. First add up the monthly payments, then on a separate sheet, add up the total amounts of each debt. How much is required to pay them all off?

3. Gather up all your credit cards are start calling the banks to see if you can get a reduction in interest rates. Sometimes simply asking will help. You never know until you ask.

4. Create a list of just your credit cards and loans. Make a decision to pay off either the largest balance or the highest interest rate. We start with the credit cards because they typically have the higher rates.

5. Pick one card or loan payment at a time to attack. You can make minimum payments on the other cards that you did not select to payoff. Yes, interest will accrue on the others, but you have a plan. You will double your payment on the one loan that you have selected to payoff early. For credit cards, take all the money saved from paying the minimums on the other accounts and put that money on the one you want to attack. This may seem radical but it works! This is an extremely powerful method for reducing debt.

If you decide to tackle your mortgage, then you must be aware that some mortgage companies require that you fill in the payment blank explicitly telling them how much extra goes to the principle. If you do not answer this question, they may put the extra money into an escrow account which gains no interest and is not applied to reducing the mortgage debt.

6. Stop making unnecessary credit card charges. Don???t pay for groceries or McDonalds using credit cards. Use cash for McDonalds and debit cards for groceries. You can have that latte???, but you should use cash to pay for it.

7. Take all the cards but two, one for yourself, and one for your spouse and put them in a box. Don???t cut them up or close the accounts, as some people are saying. The reason being is that your credit score reflects your ???total available credit.??? So, if you start closing accounts, you reduce your available credit, which hurts your credit score. We are trying to help your score, not hurt it.

8. Transfer balances for higher rate cards to lower rates. If you receive an offer for 0% for six months and you???ve got a card at 20%, then make the transfer. However, be careful to find out what is the normal rate for the 0% card. The normal rate needs to be lower than the higher rate card or you may find yourself stuck in a worse situation. 9% is a decent normal rate. Do your homework.

9. Become a bargain hunter. Don???t settle for paying retail prices. The internet is a great place to find bargains. Also, the Sunday paper can help you with coupons and other great deals. Don???t ever walk onto a car dealership without first visiting their website and viewing their clearance vehicles. Go the and find out what your trade-in is worth before you start negotiation. Don???t let the big purchases bite you.

10. Do not borrow against the equity in your home. There are lot???s of great deals out there. Maybe you???re thinking about a new kitchen or a swimming pool. Don???t do it. When you decide to sell your home, your going to take one in the shorts. You???ll never get that money back when you sell your home. Brokers are typically going to charge you about 6% to sell your home, on a $200,000 home, that???s $12,000. That comes straight out of your pocket. Real estate values all across the country are on the decline. There are too many new houses on the market and the market is in constant change. Even though the interest on home equity loans is tax deductible, don???t borrow against your home for any reason. You need to maintain your equity.

Try these tips before going to a debt counselor. Most debt services will reduce the amount of your loans but at a terrible cost to your credit rating. Generally, it takes about 7 years to remove bad credit from your report. It takes 10 years to remove a bankruptcy. Most agencies provide very little in the way of actual debt counseling. What they provide is debt relief by negotiating with the same credit card companies who pay them. Becoming debt free is not easy, but if you will follow these tips, and pick one credit card or loan to attack at a time and remain committed, you can truly become debt free in three to five years. Good luck and best wishes.

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