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Establishing A Budget? 3 Tips For Remembering All Of Your Expenses

Posted by on 8:58 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Establishing A Budget? 3 Tips For Remembering All Of Your Expenses

If you’re trying to get a handle on your financial situation, you must have a budget. It’s the foundation of all financial planning. Without one, you don’t know if you’re making more than you spend, if you can really afford a new car, or how much money you can divert to savings. Fortunately, creating a budget is fairly simple; you just have to write down your income and subtract all monthly expenses. However, a budget will not do you any good if it’s not realistic or if you omit certain expenses by accident. Following are three tips for remembering all of your expenses when creating a budget. Use A Spending Tracker Most people don’t know how much money they spend on trivial purchases, such as that morning cup of coffee or lunches out. And if you ask them to estimate, they’ll likely get the number wrong. The truth is, the number is usually higher than most people realize. To get an idea of how much you’re spending on everything, use a spending tracker. A spending tracker monitors your bank account and records your expenditures over a month’s time so you can incorporate them into a budget. Some even have handy budgeting tools.   Comb through Bank Statements If you’re afraid that you’ll forget a few trivial bills, such as your television streaming subscription, you should have a few bank statements to go through while you’re creating your budget. Look for bills or recurring payments on your statement and highlight them once you incorporate them into your budget. ATM withdrawals are also worth a look. This is the money most people usually spend on gasoline, haircuts, entertainment, and other things that should be included in your budget.  Look at The Big Picture While the goal is to create a monthly budget, you can’t just look at your monthly expenses. You have to look at the big picture. Pull out a year’s worth of bank statements so you can find those annual or rare expenses, such as property taxes, school sports fees, and home maintenance projects, and include them in your monthly budget. Simply take the amount spend and divide it by 12 to figure out your monthly allotment for each line item.  A comprehensive budget is one of the best tools you will use while trying to get your finances together. If you don’t have one, it’s time to make on. Use these tips to make sure you account for every...

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Invest in Stocks Wisely With These Three Helpful Tips

Posted by on 9:48 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Invest in Stocks Wisely With These Three Helpful Tips

With how easy it is these days to access the internet, anyone and everyone can trade stocks with the hope of striking it rich in the near future. However, it is also just as easy to trade yourself into debt. First time investors make many common mistakes that are detrimental in the long run. Below is a list of the most common pitfalls to avoid when buying and trading stocks for the first time. Don’t Go All In You might think you are an expert in stock investing because you have seen a few movies and have heard the popular quote of “buy low, sell high”, but being a first time investor, it is hard to know what high and low are when different stocks play by different rules. Before you decide to dive knee deep in the trading market, research the basic metrics and ratios that different stocks are measured by. You have to understand how different metrics and ratios are calculated and what weaknesses they have. Once you think you have enough information to start to trade on your own, you can use a stock simulator to see how well you will do on your own without losing any of your real money. Forget the Penny Stocks Penny stocks are so tempting to dive into when you are first starting out. They are the cheapest and promise the most payout in a short amount of time. Trading penny stocks can definitely get you more shares than any other stocks. However, what penny stocks promise you are nowhere in comparison to the possible problems you will face by investing in them. For instance, penny stocks can be manipulated and can crash in just a moments notice, leaving your penniless. Don’t Depend on the News One of the most common mistakes that first time investors make is following the news to try to predict what new product will be the most popular. For example, if a news outlet suggests that a new product will be the biggest technological revolution in a long time, you are going to be tempted to jump right in with that investment. Sadly, news outlets can get it wrong. There is no telling if that product will make it big or not. Instead of depending on news outlets, research and study the trends of the trade. Do your own research and depend on your own observations for the best outcome. Investing in and trading stocks can be fun and very profitable, if you know what you are doing. Jumping in head first for your first time will cost you time and money. Avoid making the common mistakes that most first time investors make and come out on top. You may also want to consider hiring an investment planner to help you make good...

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Will My Tech Investments Be Part Of A Bubble?

Posted by on 11:12 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Will My Tech Investments Be Part Of A Bubble?

When trying to decide what to pour into your mutual fund, you will need to be cautious with bubble sectors such as the tech sector. But these types of sectors can still generate high returns if you have good timing. There are a few factors you will need to consider before adding tech to your mutual fund. The Technology Sector Can Have High Minimum Investments Investing in the tech sector can be very expensive, with minimum investments often at $100,000. Therefore, you will want to invest in this sector only if you have enough capital to work with to also keep your portfolio diversified. There Has Already Been A Terrible Tech Bubble One of the common concerns about the tech industry is the bubble of the 1990s. However, the current tech sector does not look like the bubble that caused the DotCom crash. Today, if the tech sector does crash, mutual funds will only be hurt mildly, because only a small portion of the capital is appropriated to venture capital. The early stage venture capitalists and angel investors may still make a profit, because companies that are forced to take write-downs will still generate a profit. The late-stage venture capitalists will be the ones that will be the most likely to be hurt. Ways You Can Identify a Tech Bubble If you are concerned about whether the technology sector is turning into a bubble, look for a very rapid price growth and high valuation. Also, if there is very high investor demand, even the newest tech companies will be trying to go public to take advantage of the very high investor demand. Considering the Fundamentals Tech bubbles are usually driven by considerable and unrealistic hype. A new innovation generates excitement and a surge of investments. Despite optimistic predictions, the fundamentals for the companies will seem poor. Fundamentals refer to the valuation of a company. The fundamentals include assets, liabilities, revenue, earnings and growth. An analysis of these factors is the key to determining if the technology sector is currently worth adding to a mutual fund. Even if there is a bubble, there is no guarantee that it will burst. Sometimes, the bubble simply deflates because investors lose interest in these investments and the sector is gradually reduced to a normal level. If you are still unsure about whether you would like to invest in the tech sector, meet with a high yield investment adviser specialized in high risk investments and the tech...

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3 Signs You Should Become A Private Equity Investor

Posted by on 10:20 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Signs You Should Become A Private Equity Investor

As someone who is always looking for ways to invest, you might have considered becoming a private equity investor. This is a great way to help businesses get off to a great start, and it can provide you with wonderful returns over time. However, private equity investing isn’t for everyone. These are a few signs that it might be right for you. 1. You’re Able to Make a Large Investment As a private investor, you might be required to make a minimum investment of a relatively large sum. This sum will depend on a few factors, such as which company you are planning on investing in, but you should know that private equity investing is generally reserved for individuals who have a high net worth or for private equity firms that are made up of multiple investors. You can talk to your financial planner to determine how much you can safely spare for your investment and go from there. 2. You Don’t Mind Taking a Risk Any kind of investment is risky, but some are riskier than others. Private equity investing in a business can be extremely risky because you are counting on the company to do well. If it doesn’t, then you might lose out. Make sure that you are prepared to take a risk, and don’t invest more than you can safely afford to lose. The idea of investing everything into a company that you believe it might seem romantic, but it’s not very smart. 3. You’re Passionate About Business If you love the idea of a business but don’t want to run your own company, becoming a private equity investor can be a great option for you. It’ll allow you to become a part of a company that you’re excited about, but you won’t have to handle all of the logistics. Then, if the company that you have invested in makes it big, you’ll be able to reap a great reward. Many retirees or people who are too busy to run their own businesses prefer this route. If these three things apply to you, then it might be worth your while to become a private equity investor. If you talk to your financial planner, such as RLS Associates, you can find out more about these opportunities. Just don’t jump into it with both feet first; instead, research the companies that you are thinking about investing in and compare business plans so that you can make a smart...

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Offshore And Foreign Accounts: How Private Wealth Management Helps Keep Track Of Your Accounts

Posted by on 6:39 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Offshore And Foreign Accounts: How Private Wealth Management Helps Keep Track Of Your Accounts

W.C. Fields, at the time of his death, reportedly had numerous financial accounts all over the U.S. and around the world. It was his habit to place money in several accounts after finding himself stranded in a city with no money. While spreading money around and stashing in multiple accounts the world over is actually a good approach to wealth management, you need to know how to do it correctly. That is where private wealth management advisors can help. Placing Money in Offshore Accounts Offshore accounts, often located in the Cayman Islands or other territories, have multiple benefits. If you are thinking about putting money into an offshore account, a wealth management advisor can find an account for you that yields a better interest rate, higher privacy rate and significantly lower taxes than those you currently pay on any accounts you have within the boundaries of the U.S. Placing some of your money in an offshore account also makes it easier to access when you travel and protects it against inflation and government instability. In the event that the U.S. government changes any laws with regards to inheritance or taxation, your money in an offshore account is protected against these new laws. A wealth management advisor can set up the account, monitor activity, and make transactions for you. Your advisor can also transfer money into other investments upon your request. Foreign Accounts The most well-known foreign accounts for wealthy investors and high-profile owners of wealth are Swiss bank accounts. They have been the providers of the best foreign account holdings for decades.  The level of security and privacy afforded account holders in Switzerland cannot be matched in any other country in the world, and bank representatives in Switzerland who violate privacy laws there are prosecuted to the fullest extent of Swiss law. If the American dollar tanks here in the states, your deposits are covered or you can convert your funds into Swiss francs or Euros and not lose money. Your wealth management advisor can notify you of possible issues with the funds you have placed in Swiss accounts. Your advisor can place your money into a Swiss trust for your heirs as well, and because your name and your heirs’ names are the only ones on the accounts, no one else can access them. When your heirs come of age, or when you pass away, your advisor can present the Swiss account pass books to your...

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Deciding When To Start Receiving Social Security Retirement Income

Posted by on 11:57 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Deciding When To Start Receiving Social Security Retirement Income

An integral part of most personal retirement plans is Social Security benefits. The availability of Social Security income affects the planning of other distributions. Individuals planning for retirement can achieve a more comprehensive financial plan by determining the optimal age at which to begin receiving Social Security payments. Individuals may receive full Social Security benefits at a designated age, but reduced benefits are available at an earlier age. Social Security income may also be delayed beyond an individual’s full retirement age to increase the monthly payment amount. Full retirement age The earliest age at which full Social Security benefits may be started ranges from age 65 to age 67. The exact full retirement age is measured in both years and months for many individuals. Full retirement age is 65 years for individuals born in 1937 or earlier. For individuals born in 1960 or after, full retirement age is 67. For everyone else, full retirement age is measured in both years and months. Full retirement age for individuals born from 1938 to 1959 ranges from 65 years and two months, to 66 years and ten months. Once your Social Security begins, the amount usually remains the same for the remainder of your life. The Social Security Administration may slightly raise payments periodically to reflect price inflation. Knowing your full retirement age is important because it determines the amount of your monthly payment if you choose to start your Social Security benefits at an earlier or later age. Early retirement If your financial plan warrants it, you may receive Social Security benefits as early as age 62. The drawback is that the amount of your monthly payment is reduced. Based on the full retirement age for your year of birth, your benefit is reduced by a designated percentage. Delayed retirement You may choose to delay the receipt of Social Security until you are beyond your full retirement age. The latest that you may start receiving Social Security is age 70. Because of the delayed benefit, the payment amount is increased by a designated percentage based on your year of birth. The option to receive Social Security provides a useful tool to plan ahead for the years after age 62. The monthly payments to be received after age 70 are dependent on choices made for the earlier years. The percentage increase in Social Security for each year delayed is more than the average return on some investments. However, the receipt of income in earlier years offsets some of the advantage of larger payments later. Contact a financial advisor like Wealth Builder Advisor for more information on how Social Security fits into your retirement...

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How To Invest For Your Retirement

Posted by on 9:01 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Invest For Your Retirement

If you’re approaching retirement, then you need to think about your finances. You will most likely need to supplement your social security payment. If you have money in risky stock investments, or in a bank collecting interest, then it would be wise to consider re-appropriating some, or all of it, to investments that are more suited for a retired person. Here are some investments that are suited to a person getting ready to retire. Dividend Paying Stocks When you retire, you are going to want income of some sort. The only type of stocks you should consider are those that pay a dividend. Otherwise, you will have to sell the stocks in order to generate money. You get to keep the stocks and withdraw the dividend as cash. Try to only get stocks that are blue chips. These are large corporations that are not extremely susceptible to volatile swings in the marketplace, as opposed to small-cap companies. Municipal Bonds Another safe, income-generating investment are municipal bonds. These bonds are tied to the government, specifically local governments. For instance, you can purchase bonds from the state of New York, Nevada, California, or you can get a mix. These bonds will pay a fixed rate for a period of time. They are less risky than stocks, so they don’t pay out as much as many high paying stocks. If you are concerned about owning stocks, then this would be a good play. A Managed Income Fund If you don’t want to spend time looking into particular bonds and stocks, then you can always choose a managed income fund. These are sold by many large investment houses.  These funds will contain a mix of municipal bonds, treasury notes, corporate bonds, and stocks. They are chosen and managed by financial professionals.  You can purchase one of these and not have to worry about buying and selling individual bonds and stocks when the market changes. Annuities If you are the type of person who doesn’t want to deal with any risk, then an annuity is the way to go. These are financial devices that will guarantee you a fixed amount of money for the rest of your life. The exact amount of the monthly payment will be determined by calculating your age and the amount of money you put into the annuity. These are the most stress-free method of securing retirement income. You never have to worry about the stock market or the bond market. Your annuity income is guaranteed....

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Understanding The Common IRA Rollover Mistakes So You Can Avoid Paying Income Taxes On The Funds

Posted by on 1:45 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Understanding The Common IRA Rollover Mistakes So You Can Avoid Paying Income Taxes On The Funds

Planning to be financially stable after retiring from work can take considerable work and information. You may have a group retirement fund set up through your employer or have individual retirement accounts (IRA) set up with a financial planner that allow you to make regular deposits. These deposits are taken directly from your paycheck and are figured before you are taxed on your income. Moving the money around between these accounts to receive a better interest rate can be done, but new laws are in place that limit these IRA “rollovers.” To avoid paying taxes on your retirement funds, it is important that you understand the laws. One Rollover Per Year Until 2015, you could move funds around between your group retirement fund and different IRAs you have without having to pay any penalties or tax. However, you had to replace the money in a  different account within 60 days of it being removed, and each account could only have one transaction per year. Unfortunately, this was abused. People would take money out of the account and use it for living expenses or something special and then replace it at a later date. The IRS has now made the regulation that you may only move money around between your retirement funds once a year. For example, under the old law, you could move money from account A to account B once a year, but you could also move money from account C to Account D that same year. Now, you could not make the transaction between accounts C and D if you had already completed one between A and B. Distributions and Your Age If you need to take money out of your IRA before you turn 59 years old, there will be a penalty and taxes on the amount. Once you are 59½ years old, you may take out money without penalties, but the amount will be considered income and be taxed. When you reach 70½ years old, you will be required to take money out of the account, and it will be taxed as your income. Financial planning for your retirement is important and confusing. If your employer offers the services of a financial advisor, take advantage of this and at least get things started. You do not want to reach retirement age and have to continue working because you cannot afford not to. You worked hard all your life, you should be able to enjoy your golden years without having to worry about money....

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Own A Farm? 5 Different Types Of IRAs To Use For Retirement

Posted by on 11:14 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Own A Farm? 5 Different Types Of IRAs To Use For Retirement

If you own your own farm, you are considered self-employed. This means you will have to take care of your retirement funds on your own. One way to do this is through an IRA. There are different types, however, and it may be confusing when you start researching it. Below are five different types you will find to help you make the best-informed decision on what is best for you and your family. IRA To put money back, you can get an IRA through your bank or other financial institution. An IRA lets you save money for your retirement that is either tax-free or tax deferred. Traditional IRA This type of individual retirement account (IRA) is an account that you deposit money into that is either after-tax or pre-tax money. Your money will grow tax-deferred, and when you start making withdrawals when you retire, the money is treated as your current income. Roth IRA With a ROTH IRA, the money you put into your account has already been taxed, and this money may grow in the account as tax-free. The money you take out when you retire may also be tax-free. See an accountant to see if you qualify for this. Rollover IRA If you currently have a retirement account through an employer, you can roll it over into your personal IRA account if you choose this type of IRA account.  You will not have to pay taxes on this money until you start taking it out of your account. Self Directed IRA A self directed IRA gives you much more control in the way you fund it.  You will hire a custodial to hold money in your account, and then you take control over all investments that are made, such as a mortgage and real estate. If you choose this type of IRA, it is very important that you understand how everything works. For example, if you use a real estate investment, make sure it is really worth what you say it is, as the IRS will check this. Simplified Employee Pension The simplified employee pension (SEP) works well for farmers if you do not have employees. This type of IRA is popular among those that are self-employed. This is because you do not have to deposit money throughout the year, and you can wait until you file your taxes. This works well because as a self-employed person, your income likely fluctuates, and you do not know how much money you will make per year.  The money you put into your account is tax-deductible and tax-free. Talk with the investment firm or an accountant about these IRAs, as they can give you even more detailed information about them. He or she can also give you all of the tax implications and rules and...

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