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Jeremy Schalf

Basic Accounts Offered by Banks

Basic Checking

When you have no special requirements for your money and you simply need a way to write checks to make payments, a basic checking account may be your best option. Get all the details about this method of managing your money, however, because some banks institute limitations for the services included. For example, it’s possible that you may need to keep a minimum balance, or you will incur penalty fees. You also may have limitations about the number of checks you can write each month. Find out about back-up funding to eliminate the risk of overdraft penalties.

Interest-Bearing Checking

Similar to a basic checking account, an interest-bearing checking account also enables you to write checks from your balance to make payments. However, you can earn interest on your balance each month. If your balance falls below a specific amount, you will usually forfeit any interest that you would have earned for that month. Usually, customers with this type of account can write an unlimited number of checks each month.

Savings

If you don’t need the ability to write checks and you just want to save your money, a savings account could be ideal for you. With this type of banking, you deposit your funds to save money and you make withdrawals when you want to spend. As you keep your funds in the account, banks will pay you interest based on your balance. Inquire about rates before you open a savings account to ensure that you choose the institution that pays the highest rate. Most institutions also send their customers a monthly statement that lists all transactions and balances.

Certificates of Deposit

A certificate of deposit requires an agreement to keep your funds in place for a specific period of time. This period could be as short as a few months, or as long as a few years. The longer the period of time, the higher the rate on the funds will be. Customers need to choose the duration of the certificate of deposit carefully to ensure that access to the money won’t be necessary until the time ends. Early withdrawal before the maturity date will incur a penalty.

Adjusting Money Mindset

Acknowledge the influence of your personal history. Because our financial lives are inextricably linked to our family of origin and upbringing, we’re all bound to have a complex and layered relationship with money. If you grew up in poverty, you may have an underlying sense of never having “enough.” If you are accustomed to abundance, you may never have learned how to manage money wisely. Of course, neither of these scenarios may be true if you had someone who taught you good money habits. The purpose of looking back is to see if you have any ingrained stumbling blocks that can sabotage your best intentions to earn what you’re worth, save adequately, spend responsibly or be more philanthropic. If you see room for improvement, awareness paves the way for change, as needed or desired.

Evaluate your emotional response to money. Is your emotional state tied to your assets? Does your bank account define you? When you allow money to occupy the driver’s seat, normal emotional states can sometimes turn into feelings of anxiety. It’s not that it’s wrong to feel a certain way, it’s just that certain powerful emotions can prevent you from making reasonable choices.

Stop playing money mind games without much possibility of winning. If you find yourself in any of these mental exchanges, you might be setting yourself up with challenges down the road.

  • I’ll be happy when I make more money. Working toward your financial goals is crucial, but it’s also important to enjoy successes you’re experiencing today.
  • Money is the only thing that matters. Money is important as a means to an end. However, worshipping money at the expense of people, nature, art and ideas is likely to lead to loneliness and disappointment.
  • Money is meaningless. This kind of thinking can also be harmful, because it can feed reckless spending and de-motivate your work life. Money should be treated with respect and not frittered away.

Let go of the past. Stop beating yourself up for your financial mistakes. It’s better to reframe regrets as opportunities to learn and grow. Don’t shut the door on your past, but don’t let it convince you that you don’t deserve another chance, or that you can’t change the present or the future. Plenty of people have turned their financial lives around after a failed business, job loss, stock tumble, tax trouble or any number of other financial fiascos. Focusing on what you can do now, with an open mind about the future, can free you from a history you’d prefer to forget.

Curtail the time spent thinking about money. There’s an appropriate amount of time to devote to money matters, and then there’s the extreme of continuous, non-productive dwelling on dollars and cents. If you find yourself mulling over financial mistakes or fantasizing at length about winning the lottery, it’s time to switch gears. Try to gain insight into what you really hope to accomplish (or avoid) by allowing money to monopolize your thoughts, and step back to see the futility of your preoccupation. Next, identify actions you can take that will be more successful at helping you reach your goals. Give yourself permission to problem solve or daydream for short bursts of time, but then get back to the business of living.

Investing In Gold

Avoid speculating or guessing the value of gold on the market because this will only lead to problems. If you notice that the prices are high, then sell! So, after you have decided to sell, you will have to find the right place where to sell your watches, platinum or gold jewelry.

Among the most popular choices are the national mail-in businesses. They advertise a lot so they are the most visible. But this does not mean that they represent a great choice, since they can pose a couple of problems for sellers.

Take into account the following issues:

Your jewelry gets lost in the mail and you have no warranty to recover anything.
You cannot see who is in charge of testing your jewelry or observe the way in which this process happens.

The companies that handle this thing pay lots of money for different things like marketing or overhead so that they can juggle the gold buying industry in their interest. And they are free to do this since your jewelry is in their possession.

In this rhythm, it might take you a couple of weeks or even months to get the money that you deserve for your gold. Taking this into account, you might want to stay away from this solution.

This is another option that can work for you when you want to sell your gold. However, remember that, often enough, a pawn shop is not the greatest solution to sell your gold because they don’t offer fair prices. Those who come here to sell their gold are extremely desperate to get some money.

Next on the line is a jeweler. This is a specialist in this domain so he knows how to deal with this situation. Even so, a jeweler might be specialized on rings and pendants rather than coins or gold bars. So once again, you will have to deal with their appraisal and take the offer made if you want to get a good price. Either way they will try to get a good price for their business.

And then there is the online option. Cash 4 Gold services are plenty, but the big downside to this is that you will not have the certainty that this site is real. Online sites present their own risks!

This is your finest choice. The local dealers are specialized in buying gold jewelry and often enough they use electronic testers. This will give you the certainty that the gold is clean and unscratched. A great buyer will be very cooperatively, show up for meetings and will have a very flexible schedule. He will test the gold right in front of you and make sure that your meeting remains private. During the consultation, you will be able to ask any questions you’d like and receive satisfactory responses. You will also receive immediate payment and everything will be cleared out on the spot.

Basics of Investment Options

Stocks

We will touch on stocks first because they are the primary piece of many other investments. Stocks are, in essence, ownership in a company. When a company becomes publicly traded they release stock which represents a portion of the company.

Stocks will go up or down based on the demand for the stock. It is conceivable that a stock price could go up as a company does bad. However, this is not likely as many stocks produce income based on company profits. That being said, it is demand that creates a stocks price.

When looking at a stock we have to look at its overall features.

  • Risk – The first thing to be aware of with a stock is risk. Stocks have 100 percent risk, meaning you can lose all of your money. There are no inherit features that make a stock less risky, unless you buy other stocks or other options to hedge, or reduce, your stock risk.
  • Liquidity – Stocks are, for the most part, liquid. You can easily sell your stocks whenever you want, at least currently. Our stock market system means there is probably someone willing to buy if you are willing to sell. The price may not be what you want when you decide to sell, but for the most part stocks are a liquid asset.
  • Taxes – Stocks are taxed differently depending on how long you hold them. However, stocks are taxable and when you sell there will be a tax associated.

Bonds

Bonds, unlike stocks, are based on, basically, a massive loan. A company or government will need money so they will issue bonds that pay out over a period of time at a certain interest rate. This makes them less risky than stocks.

  • Risk – Because bonds are tied to an interest rate they are less risky. You are guaranteed, at least, that interest rate attached to the bond. However, because of fluctuating interest rates a bond could lose value, so there is still risk in buying bonds although not as much.
  • Liquidity – Bonds are, for the most part, liquid–in the sense that you can sell your bond on the market. However, if you are forced to sell a bond you could still lose money that you expected to gain. Bonds are pretty simple to liquidate so if you need money you can get it from your bonds.
  • Taxes – There are different types of bonds. Regular bonds are taxed, other types of bonds are tax advantaged, or are tax-free. There is a difference, however, most bonds, beside municipal bonds, are taxed at investment rates.

Mutual Funds

Mutual funds are their own beast. A mutual fund is run by an manager who buys and sells stocks. The manager will choose what to buy and sell based on what they think is best for the fund. Different funds operate on different principles.

  • Risk – Because mutual funds are just a conglomerate of stocks they are still 100 percent at risk. However, because they are diversified there is a less chance of having a major loss. If the entire market turns then the mutual fund will most likely drop, however, individual stock changes will have less of an overall effect on the mutual fund itself.
  • Liquidity – Mutual funds themselves are liquid. You can buy and sell them as you please.
  • Taxes – Mutual funds are taxed the same as stocks.

 

Hiring a Qualified Intermediary

When you set up an initial phone call or meeting with a qualified intermediary, you need to ask about the role they typically play in these transactions, their past experience, and the types of exchanges they usually help with. Checking out the person’s website should give you some sense of whether he or she does this as a permanent endeavor or not. Unfortunately, some people who call themselves a qualified intermediary have not been in the business for a long time nor have they accumulated the references from many people they have worked with. It is up to you to determine that your professional has serious intent to help you.

Ask for references for others who have used this individual in transactions. For a professional who has been working in this capacity for some time, it should be easy to provide several references. Most people who are pleased with their experience with a qualified intermediary will hire this person again and again to assist with 1031 exchanges in their real estate investment business. It behooves you to have confidence about this person’s ability and commitment to serve in this role for you not just now but also if you should need it in the future. Do not hesitate to get references before making a final hiring decision about a qualified intermediary.

Your qualified intermediary should also be easily reached and clear about the requirements of 1031 exchanges. Since the fallout of a mistake in this process could have such big implications for you, it is imperative that you speak with this individual ahead of time to determine how he or she plans to proceed in your case. Hiring a qualified intermediary requires that you feel confident about the person who will be receiving and applying funds on your behalf and it is not something that should be overlooked or approached too hurriedly.

Advantages IFSC Bank Codes

Saves Time & Money

Online banking’s biggest advantage over conventional banking is that it saves time. You can skip the traffic, the queues and the formalities of conventional banking and just outright complete your banking transaction within a span of minutes at your comfort and convenience. IFSC facilitates such online transactions and saves your time. Also, online banking enabled through IFSC helps make banking paperless and hence saves money. Such electronic banking is environmentally-friendly too apart from being simpler and quicker.

Shorter Transfer Time

Online banking enabled by IFSC also saves the time, effort and money, conventional services such as demand draft and bank cheques take for the fund transfer to be successful. Also the transaction is reflected in both the sender’s and the beneficiary’s accounts’ immediately as IFSC details are already confirmed. Moreover, other than the bank’s service charges (if applicable), there is no additional money spent to carry out such a quick transaction.

Secure and Transparent

For online banking, users need to submit key credentials including IFSC of the beneficiary which are subsequently verified by the bank. Only after the payer’s bank’s verification can a user make an IFSC-enabled fund transfer. This makes the process secure. Also, as online banking through the use of IFSC eliminates the human interference factor from the financial transaction process, such banking becomes more transparent and accountable and reduces the possibility of any kind of scam which can be carried out in the system. Moreover, in online banking since both the sender and the receiver account holders are informed of the transaction immediately through SMS or email, such banking is less susceptible to fraud or any loss.

Helps in Banks’ Reconciliation

IFS codes are unique to each participating bank branch which is how they help in a bank’s data’s reconciliation and validation. Without IFS codes, accuracy of electronic transactions will go down and banks stand the danger of carrying out inaccurate transactions. Also since all banks are now digitally-enabled, online fund transfers facilitated through IFSC help them in quick reconciliation. Also, IFSC being mandated for individual as well as corporate transactions helps banks in disbursing funds quickly and correctly. IFSC also makes it easy for banks to communicate and comprehend transactions across their branches and with the other banks too.

Save Money Like A Pro

Features And Benefits

  • Variety – You should look for a membership that can save you money on a wide list of things. You don’t want to invest in a membership that allows you to save money on just one thing unless you purchase that one thing religiously, such as gasoline! Look for a membership that will allow you to save on almost anything that you use on a daily basis.
  • Big Savings – Once again, you can’t save your way to the top. So look for a membership that has big savings! It’s very possible for you to save thousands of dollars each year, so don’t settle with a membership that only saves you hundreds each year!
  • Return – Any membership you get will likely cost money! You don’t want to invest money into a membership that will never reward you back what you had paid or are paying! Make sure to calculate the numbers and see if the membership you’re looking into will give you a return on your investment!

Awesome Memberships

  • Warehouse Memberships – Why would you buy a small package of toilet paper if you can get a large package of the same brand for the same price as the small? Buy in bulk with a warehouse membership! Yes, most of these memberships require an annual fee but that’s for you to decide if you’re saving enough money each year to balance it out! If you are single and live alone with no kids, you probably don’t need this membership. However, if you are married with 3 kids you most definitely should consider and look into getting one of these memberships!
  • Grocery Memberships – I can only assume that most people purchase groceries on a regular basis. Look for a membership that allows you to save a good portion of money on all of those groceries! This is probably one of the best memberships you can purchase! If you buy food, this membership is for you!
  • Fitness Memberships – This is a good membership for anybody! Even if you aren’t currently active physically, there’s a good chance someday that you will be! It’s never too late to start! You can look for a gym membership in which will save you money or even for one to do yoga or play basketball on a team. There’s a ton of possibilities when it comes to this type of membership so be sure to search around and find one that works for you!

 

Investment As Complex System

Investors can use this information to their advantage and, more than ever before, find themselves in a position to understand far more about the world, and thus, are able to make better investment decisions.

There are downsides. A relatively new paradigm, the 24-hour news cycle, not only requires that we keep glued to our computer or mobile device screens to stay updated (because that’s what everyone else is doing), it also plays heavily on the hearts and minds of investors, resulting in violent swings in the market that stem from the emotions of players in the money game. Ours is a particularly volatile market-for this and other reasons.

Also, this constant information feed keeps us distracted with details. And while details are certainly important, we investors might slowly find ourselves ignorant of the underlying concepts that drive our business from the ground up. We need to keep equally updated to the relatively slow movement of nations, ideologies, trends in central banking and even what may seem like abstractions, such as social conditions and sentiments, the mood of voters, the values of a populace and the mentality of politicians.

For example, the Occupy movement-founded and largely occurring in the United States, but with worldwide reverberations-empowered financial regulators and the politicians whose jobs depended on catering to now politicized-voters to increase enforcement efforts. Did this result in actual enforcement of laws toward institutions whose policies ushered in the financial crisis? No. But it did result in enforcement against high-profile people who had nothing to do with it, people like Mark Cuban.

What does this mean for investors? That’s up to every individual investor, but I certainly had my ideas about it.

Let’s take another example. China is now widely considered to be the world’s next top economic competitor-if it isn’t already. But considering that it is as of yet a relatively undeveloped nation in terms of infrastructure and the apparatus that enables foreign direct investment (FDI), there sits in waiting a lot of potential. The problem is, China is very secretive by nature. It takes a lot of hours of research to get anywhere. Luckily, we have some help.

Info of Gold and Retirement Investing

As a metal, gold has some very unique characteristics, the most notable being that it doesn’t get rusted or corroded. Of all the known natural metals, gold and silver are the best conductors of electricity. These are among the most important characteristics that make such metal precious.

Another quality that makes this metal so precious is its malleability and ductility. It may surprise many to learn that beating one ounce of gold can produce a sheet of three hundred square feet. The sheet becomes so thin that it gets transparent, more popularly known as a gold leaf.

Gold is not only a good conductor of electric current, but also of heat, capable of reflecting infrared radiation. Because of these inherent characteristics, gold is necessarily used in modern technology for the making of satellites and spacecrafts. This metal is also exploited for making many useful alloys of desired tensile strength and conductivity for many applications.

Professionals recommend the inclusion of gold as a part of your retirement investment portfolio. It is considered to be the most reliable hedge against inflation. Currencies may keep changing, but gold continues to remain a solid investment at all times. Though the price of this precious metal may drop at times, over an extended period of time its value is bound to go up. The metal has always remained in demand all over the world as governments, like common people, necessarily maintain large stocks of gold. Investment in gold is quite unlike Forex, stocks or other financial instruments, which are frequently exposed to extreme market fluctuations.

During 1971, the US moved away from following the gold standard. Though the reasons for such a move are debatable, the fact remains that now they can print any amount of money whenever needed, as the currency is no more backed by any physical assets. However, every time it prints additional currency, the value of dollar goes down.
The federal government also owns one of the biggest reserves of gold worldwide. It simply remains there as the government keeps acquiring additional stocks. Perhaps they believe that hyperinflation can’t be escaped forever, as it has historically been proven time and again. As per the census of 2012, the US has had 315,066,582 citizens, whereas its total debt was $16.3 trillion. It implies that the government owes US $142,749 to each of its citizens. Given that the current per ounce price of gold is around US $ 1660, the government will need to give you 85.8 ounces of gold! Well, don’t expect it to be delivered to you in the near future!

You can secure your retirement by making investments in precious metals, as physical assets offer more stability compared to financial markets. Though the price of precious metals may come down for short periods, it will not collapse like financial markets, which carry the risk of failure, depending on the state of economy and government policies.

Investment advisers frequently recommend investing in gold or other precious metals as a part of your retirement portfolio. Time has proven that the price of metals like gold goes up whenever the inflation rises, during wartime, or at times when the dollar or stock markets show a downward trend.

Guidelines Household Budget

First, List All of Your Income

Make sure that you cover all of the bases, not just your paycheck. If you receive a regular income from investments, alimony, child support, royalties, or retirement income, list the income you receive from those sources as well. If you have a permanent part-time job, add it to the list. With temporary jobs, sales, and freelance income, create a conservative estimate of what you can expect to make on a monthly basis. Realize, however, that you may have to change your budget if these sources of income dry up.

Next, List Your Monthly Bills

At the top of the list should come your housing payment, be it rent or mortgage. Utilities should come next. Since electricity and gas bills often fluctuate with the seasons, you need to average them to come up with a monthly estimate. Taxes, insurance payments, and other annual or semi-annual payments can be averaged on a cost-per-month basis. If you put aside the money for these expenses every month, those expenses will not cause you so much stress when it comes time to pay them.

Estimate Your Monthly Food Bills

Food prices often fluctuate with the seasons as well. Make your estimate is on the high side so you make sure you will have enough money to feed yourself and your family. If your estimate is high, you can reward yourself later. The money you save can go toward an item you are saving for, or toward a fun trip or other luxury item. Of course, the extra money saved can always go towards a savings account as well.

Factor in Transportation Costs

Whether you have your own vehicle or use public transportation, you will need to estimate your monthly cost. If you have a vehicle, list the monthly lease or loan payment, as well as insurance, maintenance expenses, repairs, and fuel costs.

Add Your Credit Card and Loan Payments

If you have credit card debt or other loans, list your monthly average payment. If you can squeeze a little more out of your budget, try to put it here, so you can work toward a goal of being 100 percent debt-free. Make sure, however, that you do allow enough money to pay these every month so your credit score will not drop. A low credit score may mean higher insurance payments or not getting a higher-paying job, so making sure your bases are covered here can save you money in other categories over the long run.

Don’t Forget Long-Term Savings and Fun

If you are saving for a home, a car, or a vacation, set something aside every month for these long-term goals. It is also important to include a little each month for something that will make you happy, so you will be encouraged to earn more. Rewarding yourself for your hard work keeps you from burnout, two factors that can kill the joy you get from a job well done. It will also keep you motivated to stick to the goals that you have listed in your budget.