Category Archives: Finance

Different Types of Loans: Choosing the Right One

Loans A loan is a lump sum of money that you borrow with the expectation of paying it back at once or over a period of time with interest. Loan amount and interest may vary depending on your income, debt, credit history, and other factors.

The reasons why you would want a loan may differ. Some needs it to buy a new home, while others will use it for a new car. Whatever your reasons may be, you need to be familiar with the different loan options available to you to make an informed decision.

Secured Loans

Secured loans require a collateral so you would need to leverage a personal property or asset in order to acquire one. And since there is a collateral, interest rates are also often lower for secured loans. But, it’s not that easy as your assets are often appraised to confirm its value and you are only allowed to borrow the amount it was assessed for. Getting title loans from reputable lenders, such as, for houses and vehicles are a good example of a secured loan. Defaulting on a secured loan will result in the confiscation of your property or asset.

Unsecured Loans

It is more difficult to qualify for unsecured loans and interest rate may be higher as these kinds of loan do not need an asset for collateral. Qualifying for unsecured loans will require that you have a good income and exceptional credit history. A solid payback plan is also an advantage. If you default on this, be ready for a lawsuit.

Conventional Loans

Conventional loans can be classified as mortgage loans from mortgage lending institutions not insured by a government agency, such as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Rural Housing Service (RHS), or the Veterans Administration (VA). These loans may be conforming or non-conforming. Conforming loans follow the guidelines set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac while non-conforming loans do not.

Open-Ended Loans

You can avail of these loans repeatedly, however, there is a fixed credit line limit. Once you’ve reached the credit limit in question, you need to pay the amount first before you can borrow again. Credit cards are a good example of these loans.

Close-Ended Loans

Close-ended loans, unlike open-ended loans, can only be borrowed one time. Your loan balance decreases for each payment you make but your credit line does not replenish. The only way to borrow again is to go through the whole loan process again.

Before applying for any type of loan, make sure that you arm yourself with the right information to avoid costly problems later on.


Things Every Late 20-Somethings Should Have

Investments When you hit your mid to late 20’s, you should have had enough job experience and a better paycheck. While job hopping, travelling and finding work that fits you are important, you should always be looking to the future — instead of the here and now.

It’s quite easy to fall into the trap of partying and the Instagram life. But don’t think that these shouldn’t be part of your journey. What’s important is that as you enjoy, you’re also smart about your life.

Here are some things you should have at this time:

1. Insurance

Think about health and life. You never know what could happen or what diseases you can get during your travels. Health insurance gives you a buffer without being too expensive yearly. This way, you can sleep easy and go to your doctor’s appointments and checkups with less stress. Life and death insurance is a great way to make sure your future is a bit more secure.

2. Investments

Go for self-managed super funds property investment. Land and property are always the best places to put your money in. Investments mean that some of the money you earn now grows into money you can use 10 to 20 years in the future. It’s important to stash cash and income while you’re earning a lot. Be sure to have an extensive research and get some help from industry experts like

3. Disposable income

If you don’t have extra burdens or money sinks, then you’re able to buy yourself something nice every paycheck — after your savings and investments. This disposable income should fit your lifestyle. This isn’t your designer bag fund or your car fund. This is your income for gifts, splurges and dates.

Being smart about your money is important when you’re earning. Your late 20’s should be the time when you’re hitting your stride. Make sure you don’t make financial mistakes that can last you a lifetime.


Can You Do It? Gaining Financial Independence Through Investments

investment options
Financial independence is a state where you earn enough from all sorts of investment to cover your basic living expenses. It means that you don’t have to work if you don’t want yet, as you still make enough money to live well.

Planning Your Finances

Knowing how much your monthly expenses are is a good start. Afterwards, start setting aside a portion of your income (between 10% and 30%) and put them in an emergency account. This account should hold three to six months’ worth of expenses. After filling your emergency fund, you can begin filling up an investment fund. Note that whatever you put in that fund should only be for investments and nothing else.

Your Investment Vehicle

There are four types of investments: paper assets, commodities, businesses, and real estate.

Stocks and bonds are paper assets. Investing in the stock market has the advantage of being easy to get into and is easily scalable. You have the choice of investing in only a single share or thousands. Most people make money in stocks by buying low and selling high, or selling high then buying low. You can likewise make money off dividends, but that will require a substantial amount of investment.

Commodities are goods and materials that keep their value like gold and silver. Businesses, on the other hand, can give you the best returns. The caveat is this is the most difficult asset to invest in, taking plenty of time and effort for it to earn well.

In real estate, you are investing in the cash flow in the form of rentals. Make sure the rent on your property exceeds the mortgage and other expenses. It’s always best to work with a local agency, though. Prestige Real Estate International LTD and other real estate agents in Auckland, for example, can give you listings for the best properties to buy and rent or flip.

You don’t have to know everything about each investment to get involved in it. Find experts who can mentor and guide you. This way, you can be better assured that your investment efforts will not go to waste.

4 Questions to Ask Before Leasing a Car

Leasing a CarAre you thinking if leasing a car is better for you? Here are four questions you need to ask before you make the important decision.

Questions #1: Do you have any lease specials?

Leasing a car is great if you have a limited budget. And you can go even lower if you ask the leasing company if they have any auto lease specials. There are some companies who offer huge discounts on auto leases so they can increase people’s interest in the models that are harder to sell. You get more savings there!

Questions #2: Is the lease contract transferrable?

There are some auto lease companies who allow lease contracts to be transferred to another individual. This is great for people who have plans of moving in the foreseeable future. Auto dealers understand that today’s consumers have more expectations and demands when it comes to flexibility and they do offer it, but to be sure, you need to ask this outright before signing anything.

Questions #3: How long is the lease and what happens when the contract expires?

Common lease contracts run from 24 to 60 months. This flexibility is beneficial to many car leasers who wish to upgrade regularly. When a close-ended lease expires, you need to return the car to the auto dealer. While there are some costs that you need to pay, the end goal is that you return the car.

Questions #4: How much can I really save?

The answer to this question depends on which are you are planning to lease. The good news is that you can use a novated leasing calculator to compute your projected savings if you lease a particular type of ride. And since this is a web-based application, you can do this without even calling a leasing company. You can do you research and your projections even before you make that trip to the leasing company. This way, you already have an idea how much you need to fork up.

Auto leasing is not for everyone but it does offer more people the chance to “own” a car for a while. Whether you lease of buy, keep in mind that you still need to maintain your car and the expenses rest solely on you.

Expectations vs Reality: The Dream House that Also Matches Your Budget

Couple's Dream House in Salt Lake CityBuying your first home is exciting. Now that you’ve saved up and are looking through prospective homes, you’re thinking about all the must-have features in your dream home: granite countertops, walk-in closets, a backyard conservatory, etc.

There is, however, a small catch: your budget doesn’t quite support the literal house of your dreams. There’s no need for you to feel discouraged, though! It’s still possible to find your fantasy home within your financial plan, and Econ Mortgage believes it’s just a matter of striking the balance between dream home requirements and a reasonable budget.

Differentiate between Your Wants and Needs

Try to figure out what’s essential to your new home, and what features might just be an added luxury. For example, if you have a car you’ll definitely need a new place with a garage or a basement to park it in. Take care not to confuse what you need with what you want. You could save a lot more money by choosing a house without an extra bedroom or a large balcony if you’re just a small family.

­Existing Homes Aren’t so Bad

A recent study by Trulia shows that most homeowners prefer new homes over existing ones. The cost of construction of a new home, however, could cost you 20 percent more than buying a comparably older house still in good condition. An existing home will do as a starter home — after all, it’ll be a lot easier for you to upgrade to a bigger home later on, once you’ve saved enough cash.

Location Matters

Finding a home in the swankiest part of town can be expensive, while settling for more affordable neighborhoods may expose you to a higher level of crime and violence. When it comes to looking for the right place, be on the lookout for “transitional neighborhoods.” These are areas potentially on the upswing of being the next hot, trendy area for a couple more years. If you’re lucky, you’ll become part of a nice community before the prices catch up!

Even with a limited budget, you can still find a reasonable home that fits your requirements as long as you shop smart and decide on the home essentials to your new place beforehand.

Safe & Organized: Promoting Better Warehouse Operations

Warehouse OperationsWarehouses can be big or small, but no matter their size, it is important that they are safe and organised environments. Safety protects you, your personnel, and the goods themselves from accidents. At the same time, organisation optimises productivity and keeps your storage space from any confusing messes.

Safety, Your Responsibility

As a retailer, you house the bulk of your products and items in storage facilities. You have the responsibility of keeping these facilities safe. Your warehouse storage systems, like pallets and racks, must be up to standards. Your personnel must be trained to work in the warehouse safely and your machinery must be appropriate to your facility. You can initiate all these with the right knowledge.

General Rack Safety

General guidelines for pallet racking include adequate design to contain loaded materials. Partitions between flammable goods must be fire-protective. Your pallets themselves must be of sound condition and must be strong enough to carry their loads. Your personnel, meanwhile, must keep from loading pallets excessively.

Organization Affects Productivity

Apart from safety, organisation is also an important component to a storage facility. Not only does it contribute to the productivity of warehouse operations, it also reduces the stress of your workers that may otherwise be unhappy over a messy warehouse.


For one, you can plan the layout of your warehouse to cut down on travel time from one end of the warehouse to another. You can place the products and materials that you use the most at the front of the warehouse. This employs the 20-80 principle wherein you prioritise the 20% that make up 80% of your orders or services.

Automated systems

Depending on the size of your warehouse, you can consider getting a conveyance system to help your workers move things around. A conveyance system can be a good boost to productivity. This way, your personnel can stop crisscrossing inside your warehouse.

Who says your warehouse should be a dangerous and chaotic place to work in? You and your workers will all be happier with a safe and tidy workspace.

This is the Truth: Bankruptcy Does Not Mean You Failed

Bankruptcy Case in SandyThey say bankruptcy is equivalent to failure. This is simply not true.

The stigma that came along with filing for bankruptcy in the past is just not the same today. Bankruptcy simply means finding a way to live better financially. So before you judge yourself, or shake your head in embarrassment and say “shame, shame, shame,” in front of a mirror, remember that you are not a failure.

Defining Failure

You’ve probably heard the old adage, “You don’t fail unless you stop trying,” and it’s true, according to Utah Bankruptcy Pros. If you’re willing to try again, you are not a failure. If you choose to file and hire a bankruptcy attorney, it simply means you’re willing to give yourself a second chance.

To understand this better, let’s look at what filing for bankruptcy really means.

Bankruptcy simply means seeking the legal protection afforded to you under the law. FindLaw defines it as a court procedure that helps people pay off their debts. If you prove that you deserve it, the court will protect you during your proceeding.

Simply put, filing for bankruptcy simply means asking for a chance to reset your financial clock.

Famous People Who Filed for Bankruptcy

Not convinced yet? There are actually many people who once filed for bankruptcy and were able to become successful later in life. One of them is Walt Disney – in the ‘20s, his first film studio went bankrupt. A few years later, he created the worldwide success Mickey Mouse.

Henry Ford also knew how bankruptcy felt. In 1899, he started the Detroit Automobile Company, but he hadn’t mastered his proprietary production techniques yet; in the next two years, he only managed to produce 20 cars. The company went bankrupt two years later – but look at them now.

In summary, you shouldn’t be embarrassed to file for bankruptcy, because it doesn’t signify failure, but rather a strength. And remember, it’s not the end of your life, but the beginning of the next chapter.

Spill Kits: The Need to Have One

Oil SpillSometimes, no matter how many precautions you take, accidents, such as spills here and there do happen. Apart from cleaning spilled substances (both in land and water), the tricky part lies in containing them to avoid hazards.

Chemical spill kits are made for such situations. How important are chemical spill kits and what does it contain? Read on to find out.

Why are spill kits important?

Chemical spill kits are important to prevent hazardous substances from wreaking havoc to the environment and to people’s health. Different kinds of substances and working environment require a different kind of spill kit. There are kits that are made to absorb chemical spills on solid surfaces, while there are ones designed to prevent chemicals from further spreading and damaging bodies of water. Then, there are also truck spill kits for truck drivers transporting a huge amount of chemical substances from one place to another.

Apart from preventing further damage to the environment, spill kits protect people from health hazards from being in contact or simply inhaling such chemicals.

What should be inside a spill kit?

As mentioned, there are different types of spill kits for different circumstances. But, the most basic materials a spill kit should have are:

  • Personal protective equipment

  • At least 2 pairs of chemical splash goggles
  • At least 2 pairs of chemical resistant gloves
  • At least 2 pairs of rubber shoe cover
  • At least 2 pieces of overall covers
  • Absorption and Clean-up materials

  • Pads, sponges, pillows and spill socks for absorption
  • Plastic scoop or shovel to consolidate solid materials; tongs to pick them up
  • Heavy duty waste bags
  • Heavy duty tape for sealing
  • Hazardous waste labels
  • Brush and detergent for cleaning

More materials should be included on the list depending on the type of chemical and area where one would be working with. While these spill kits allow you to handle emergency situations, calling professional help especially when spills are more than 1L should be made.

A complete spill kit, plus the presence of mind and teamwork can save more people and the environment in ways you can never imagine.

Mortgage Rate Predictions for the Rest of 2016

Mortgage RateMortgage rates are volatile and if you’re planning to buy a home or to refinance one, you will want to know what the future holds for mortgage rates. Rates are known to change on a daily, and even hourly basis. Since all home buyers are looking for the lowest rates, this nature is bound to cause anxiety. 

Here are some trends for mortgage rates for the rest of 2016.

Past predictions for 2016

The good news is that all the predictions in 2015 for rates in 2016 have thus far been wrong. The rates were predicted to rise but haven’t done so and are at a 3-year low. It has varied between 3.5% and 4.25% in the first half of 2016. In fact, the rates have been displaying a downward trend for most part of the year. Mortgage rates are affected by economic factors like employment rates, GDP, the stock market, home sales, Federal Reserve policy changes, oil prices and Britain’s exit from the EU.

What could affect interest rates?

Geopolitical unrest and changes in the political landscape are other factors likely to affect rates. The US Presidential race and China’s banking woes are also likely to influence it. Rates will increase or decrease depending on how these economic factors improve or deteriorate. Of course, this applies to local circumstances as well, such as in Salt Lake City, where mortgage rates are at an all-year best, claims Altius Mortgage Group.

Mixed predictions

Some players in the market predict that the rates will rise marginally in the 4% – 4.625% range. The market generally agrees that the rates will rise gradually towards the close of the year. Others, however, say that you cannot predict the rates based on what has happened in the first half of the year.

Meanwhile, still others opine that it is unlikely that the world or the US will improve dramatically to drive up mortgage rates and that should be good news for home buyers, at least.

Building Reputation with SEO: Attracting Consumer Reviews

Building Reputation with SEOOne key to building a good company reputation is getting good online reviews. When your business is in several directories with great consumer reviews, it is likely that you’ll rank higher and attract more customers. This is because positive feedback provides social proof, reassuring people that they’re making the right decision in picking your business over the others.

This makes it even more important to attract reviews. It is better to be proactive instead of just waiting for others to notice your product or make some reviews.

Invest in Good Customer Service

SEO experts in Denver and other parts of Colorado say that the secret to getting genuine and positive reviews is providing good customer service. Concentrate on providing quality product and services to encourage customers to provide a feedback. Note that consumers will only feel compelled to write a review when they had the best or the worst experience. Make sure you focus on the first.

Use Email and Social Channels

Send customers a follow-up email if you have your customers’ email addresses. You can also send them promotion details, while also encouraging them to leave an online review. It is also a good idea to use social media channels in generating feedback. You can post statuses or tweet to ask for reviews, but be sure not to overdo it.

Make Your Presence Known

If you want more local reviews, signup in local online directories. These include Google+, Yelp, Citysearch, Foursquare, and so on. Keep in mind, however, that not all local platforms will work in favor of your business. It is not a good idea to engage in all platforms if it will contribute nothing to your company. One good move is to sign up for Google Alerts to monitor consumer mentions of your business.

Address Negative Reviews

If you get negative feedback, don’t ignore or delete them. Respond to these reviews in a reasonable manner and understand the where the customer is coming from. Try to resolve such issues to leave a good impression. When you take the time to address their concerns, it will show that you care about them and their experience.

Online reviews are beneficial for your traffic and conversions. If you’re looking to increase your local organic search rankings, it is also a good idea to work with an expert. This is to adjust your strategy and work on other factors responsible for better ranking.