Why An Assisted Living Center is a Good Investment

Sometimes the health of a person gets so bad that it is very difficult to take care of themselves and they need a nurse to help them do everyday tasks such as bathing, eating, getting up or sitting down. Stairs can become impossible to get up and down, and they are at risk of falling and breaking or dislocating a bone. Nursing homes are ideal for those who have poor health or who need special attention such as those needing dialysis or medications throughout the day.

There are close to 76.4 million baby boomers in the United States or about 26 percent of the population. There is such a large population of baby boomers possibly due to the end of World War II. Baby boomers are those who have been born between 1945 and 1965 and they are hard-working individuals who often work past the age of 65.

home

As many of these baby boomers get older, they sometimes find that it gets more and more difficult to live on their own. As they age, they may need to make more trips to the doctor and transportation can become very difficult. They may also be at a higher risk of falling or getting injured or may need to take medicine at certain times of the day. It can be more difficult to remember to take medication as many elderly people tend to have a harder time remembering things.

There are some elderly that cannot live on their own but are still quite active and can do many of the daily things necessary to take care of themselves. These folks might consider a Residential Assisted Living center. They are ideal for those who need transportation arrangements or who would greatly benefit from having a nurse on call, but who do not depend on one for most tasks. Assisted living centers often have many opportunities to socialize and they have guests come and visit and perform musical numbers or share other talents. Social interaction is very important for anyone and especially the elderly. Social isolation can lead to depression and is a very serious condition.

From an investment standpoint, an assisted living center would make a good investment choice. There are so many baby boomers that are likely to move into assisted living homes in the near future as they get older and need more help on a daily basis. Many elderly people do not have children who live nearby that they can depend on to look after them, and they can no longer live in their own homes. It is also a good investment choice. Just like supermarkets, there is always going to be a need for them. They are in high demand because many seniors would like to live in them.

They wouldn't have to worry about taking care of a home, which can be very taxing and even expensive. They like the idea of having the freedom to come and go and live on their own but don't have to deal with the headache of owning a home. As an investor, you don't have to worry about finding renters because there will always be a very high demand for space in your assisted living center. They are also relatively self-run. You can have the staff do most of the daily jobs, such as cleaning and maintenance, or hire a company to take care of those particular jobs. A great deal of your cost would be in the nursing and skilled staff that you would have to hire. 

Assisted living centers are anything but hospital-like. They are more like a home away from home. They are striving to offer all the amenities and comforts of home, but have the added peace of mind of a nurse on site around the clock in case their services are needed. The seniors who live there have their own room. The staff will help those who live there with any daily activities that they need. They are free to leave to go shopping or to complete other tasks. Many also offer entertainment, exercise programs, such as yoga, and they even have security. They also have housekeeping and prepare the meals for their tenants. These two tasks can become difficult and even dangerous for those who are very advanced in years. Consider an assisted living center for the needs of your loved one.

The Four Essentials To Learn Before Investing

If you’re thinking of making your first investment, it’s natural to hesitate. You may be thinking: is this the right time to buy? Prices go up and down and if you don’t have experience of following the tickers it can be hard to know whether or not you’re about to make a mistake.

Well, the good news is there are four essential pillars that should be in place before you commit a penny of your hard-earned cash. Get these right first, and you’ll be on the road to making the right choices with your money.

Step one: how much time do you have?

The most basic mistake a novice can make is to invest without a plan. You wouldn't set out on a road trip without knowing where you want to end up, so before you commit your funds, you’ll want out figure out your end game. Knowing how much money you want to make is only one side of the coin. Understanding this from the very start can prevent any major setbacks looking forward. 

Investing

On the flip side, you need to figure out how much time you have to make that money. For example, are you going to need funds in 10 years when Junior goes to college, or do you need cash soon to meet an IRS demand? Your personal situation is going to determine the route you take. Once you know how much time you have, you can ask yourself the next question.

Step two: how much risk can you handle?

There’s an adage that you should never gamble more than you can afford to lose. That said, some investments are riskier than others. Once you know your end game, you’re going to want to assess your own appetite for risk.

When it comes to investing, there’s a well-documented relationship between time, risk and reward. Your own tolerance for risk is probably one of the most important factors in your success so, rather than guess, you should look to the end game you already set yourself to help you figure this out.

For example, the more time you have to reach your goal, the more you can afford to take a risk, as the longer you keep your money invested, the more time there is to recover from any down markets or bad stock picks.

There’s even better news. Time is not only on your side when it comes to reducing risk. Having more time can also bring greater rewards. This is because the longer you have to reach your goals, the more you stand to grow your returns exponentially from compounding your earnings.

On the other hand, if you only have a short time to reach your target, then you’re better off going with a safer investment.

Step three: spread your risk

There’s a reason we don’t put all our eggs in one basket. If the basket falls …Well, you get the picture. No matter how well you figure out how much time and risk you have to play with, any potential rewards are negatively impacted if you simply stick with one stock, one industry or one asset type.

Once you figure out your appetite for risk you can begin to allocate your funds to different asset classes. This is where some initial investor education is critical, because it literally pays to know which types of investment hold the greatest risks and the greatest potential rewards. Here are the three main asset classes:
  • Cash and money market funds. Your main goal here is stability. This is a very safe investment, meaning you are unlikely to lose money, but the returns are small. The main risk here is that you could earn money more slowly than inflation rises.
  • Bonds and bond funds. This is the investor’s middle ground. Examples might be US government bonds or international bonds. The goal with this type of asset is to get a moderate return for a slightly higher risk. The main risk here is due to the fact that bond prices fall as inflation rises. This means that if inflation rises too far, the issuer may not pay promised dividends or be unable to pay you back your principal.
  • Stocks and stock funds. This is the riskiest type of investment but brings the greatest potential reward. The risk here is around falling stock prices, due to poor company performance or negative market sentiment. The stock market is very jittery and sentiment can be affected by all kinds of adverse news stories, political events far away and sometimes even the weather. To add to this, falls in stock prices can be much deeper than falls in bond prices. 
So, these are your main classes of asset. If you had a very long time to reach your investment goals you light get away with a stock-only portfolio, but as a general rule, when allocating your funds, it pays to spread them across all three investment classes. There is no magic formula here, the mix will depend upon your own personal appetite for risk and your personal end game. 

As well as spreading your investment across asset classes, when building your portfolio, it pays to spread within asset classes. For example, domestic and international currency or bonds, varying industry types and so on.

Step four: understand your costs

So now here’s the bad news. Every investment comes with a price tag and, even worse, the money that you pay out to costs will compound over time. For example, paying 2% of your principal investment may not seem like much of a loss, but once your returns start compounding, 2% is going to be a lot more money.

So it’s critical to understand what you’re paying and how to manage your costs. Counter-intuitively, funds with lower costs tend to outperform those with higher costs.

So, if you’re wondering if it’s the right time to invest ask yourself: have I ticked off this four-point checklist? If the answer’s yes, well there’s no time like the present.

5 Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home

Selling a home is easily one of the most stressful things somebody has to go through. From preparing it for a sale, to finding your next home to purchase, there is an endless amount of steps you must go through to come out profitable. 

In order to make as money as you possibly can from the sale, you’ll need to greatly increase the value of your home, which can be done in the 5 easy steps listed below!

1. Curb Appeal

Your lawn is the first thing somebody sees when looking at your house, whether its done driving by or through a showing. It is imperative that you make it stand out, or at least spruce it up a bit, to give off a good first impression. 

House

One way to get a great curb appeal is my touching up on your garden. Some ways of doing this include planting flowers, redoing the fence, adding small lawn furniture, or adding seasonal decorations. Additionally, you should make sure that branches and hedges are trimmed, and the lawn remains freshly cut. 

2. Renovations

One sure way gaining value to your home is by making any necessary renovations You’ll want to prioritize these changes to fit both your financial situation, as well as your time frame. 

When getting renovations done to your home, you need to do a cost-benefit analysis to make sure you’ll be getting a good reward for all the money that you put in. It wouldn't be worth it to spend a fortune of money on something that doesn't necessarily need to be done. 

Possible renovations include repainting rooms that have outdated colors, replacing old or damaged windows, getting new and modern flooring, etc.

3. Simplify Your Home

When people come to view your home, they want to imagine themselves living in it. It’ll be hard for them to do so if your clutter lays all around the house. Simplifying your home to the bare minimum would allow potential buyers to imagine their new life there, and likely increase your chance of making a sale.

When simplifying your home for showings, it is not necessary to buy new furniture or decor. All you need to do is reduce items down to the bare essentials, which basically consists of furniture, with a few decorations here and there. 

Aside from ridding of unnecessary clutter, you’ll want to vacuum, dust, and mop your home regularly to keep it feeling fresh.  Additionally, you want to make sure that your home is always smelling good. Offering simple snacks and drinks at a showing is another tip that often times helps individuals make a sale. 

4. The Kitchen is Key 

The kitchen has been deemed one of the most influential determining factors of a home sale. Whether it be the size, cleanliness, or modernness of it, it remains of the most crucial aspects of any home. This is why it is so important to not only have yours cleaned out, but to also make sure it also stands out. 

If you have a tight budget, some easy and cost-efficient ways to make your kitchen more appealing is a quick paint job or some new curtains. However, if your kitchen is badly outdated, you may want to consider spending a bit more, perhaps on new counters or floor tiles. 

5. Hire an Inspector

Upon completing everything you feel as though you should have, you'll want to hire an inspector to finish analyzing all the aspects of your home that can’t necessarily be seen from the surface. This could range anywhere from termites, to rotting dry wood. In any case, such occurrences could deter you from making a sale, or cause you to have to lower your asking price. 

It is best to get these things looked at well before putting your home on the market. In doing so, you’ll be better equipped to make a good sale. 

Once you've modified your home and, as a result, increased its value, you’ll want to list it in on the Multiple Listing Services, also known as the MLS. The MLS is, in simple terms, an accumulation of all home listings in a given area. To view an example, try checking out the Illinois Flat Fee MLS

With access to the MLS, you’ll not only be able to reach out to a large number of potential buyers in your area, but you’ll also be able to save up to thousands to the commission that would usually be paid to the real estate agent. 

Understanding the Basics of Taxes and Personal Pensions

A major part about becoming financially independent is really understanding the basics of your financial responsibilities. Once you've covered general knowledge about taxes, pensions, savings, and all of your assets, you can make positive choices that will make you financially self-sufficient. A deeper knowledge behind your money, and how to responsibly spend it and save it, will always be beneficial in the long run. 

Get to know your finances and you can invest in your future, your family’s future, and your financial freedom. When do you pay taxes, how much of your income can be tax free, and what you can write off are all good basics to comprehend. The fundamentals of your pension savings will cover how you form a great pension plan and how much you and your employer both pay into it. 

Once you really know these simple facts, you can focus more on how you’ll spend all the money you’ll save with your great financial choices. 

Personal Pensions

Let’s start with a straightforward answer to what a pension plan is, and which one is best for you and your future retirement plans! A personal pension is an important financial planning tool. You take a certain amount of money and invest it regularly into a portfolio. That portfolio will then take your investment and help it grow during your working years, so that you can enjoy it when you plan to retire!

If you don’t have a retirement pension with your employer, you can always invest into a private pension plan. You can choose to manage the portfolio yourself. Diversifying through bonds, stocks, or simply letting it grow through an interest plan. This will take research, a thorough understanding of the risks involved, and the best kind of investments for a good long-term return.

You can also choose to have a pension management company handle your retirement plans for you. This is great for people who understand the value of saving for your retirement, but don’t quite get the ins and outs of investing. Save your private time and let professionals help you reach your financial goals!

Pensions are an investment into yourself, your loved ones, and your future happiness. You can research various plans, but you should also understand the different variables for what you’ll need when you DO retire. 

Taxes

Taxes are a part of living in a modern society. We pay into the care of our roads, our government, our water, and so much more. Taxes are taken from your personal income, your property, and your day to day purchases.

Income tax

Filing your taxes can be a delicate dance. You have to know your due date, the various items you can claim for deductions, what bills and receipts to keep, health insurance, and so on forever. Planning ahead for your taxes is an essential part of financial understanding. Especially in your younger years!

Things you can claim in your taxes that you may not have known could be deducted!
  • Health Insurance. If you pay for private health insurance, you can get the cost of your insurance premiums deducted from your taxes. This is if your medical expenses for the year have gone over 7.5% of your income. 
  • Charitable Giving. If you've given more of your fair share into the hands of the less fortunate, you can deduct those charity checks from your taxes! From a $12,000 check to fight breast cancer, to items for a bake sale, look into what you can deduct for being a good person!
  • Business expenses. If you work for yourself, you can typically deduct anything that you use on a daily basis for your business. That doesn't mean you get to write off your computer every year! But it does include larger purchases, everyday purchases, and even GAS!
Get to know what you can and cannot save from your taxes by doing a little research, finding what applies to YOU in YOUR life, and get to saving. 

Taxes can be tricky though. It typically pays to pay for someone to do your taxes for you. This will not only save you time, but could also pay for itself in deductions and raising the amount of your yearly return! Professional tax experts are extremely familiar with tax laws, the smallest of write-off qualifications, and even are held responsible if your taxes are called up for review!

Finding the Right Balance

A general understanding of what a pension is, what you can save on your taxes, and the benefits you’ll reap in the long run are certainly helpful. Planning for your future will not only be beneficial to you in the long-run, but will help you get a better grasp on financial freedom!

How to Choose the Right Credit Card for Your Personal Use

A single credit card may not be equipped to fulfill all your desires. The uniqueness of human needs may compel you to pick one card over another. While a certain card may stand up to your financial needs, others may not fit in with any of them. Finding a single card that matches multiple needs may seem like hunting a needle in a stack of hay. You must identify with the primary reason behind filling out your application. It will help you compare the features of all cards that meet your lifestyle requirements.

Steps to Identify the Right Credit Card Are Mentioned Below:

1. Keep an Eye on Your Credit Reports

Prior to applying for your credit card, you must study the ways in which a creditor views you. You must also go through your credit history. Begin by checking your credit scores with the credit reporting agencies. You may check these scores regularly and seek alerts on each change pertaining to the FICO® Score. Find an easy access to your credit scores via your current bank accounts and credit cards. Look out for free copies of your credit reports with your credit card issuers.

credit card

The credit scores are bound to vary from 300 to 850. You should spot any error occurring in your report very easily. Identifying errors can help in pulling up your credit scores and enhance your creditworthiness.

2. Determine if You Wish to Achieve Reward Points

Achieving travel or cash back reward points is quite natural with some of the popular credit cards. You may even earn considerable reward points with your airline credit card once the balance is met in full every month.You’ll need to stick to a budget-friendly repayment plan for meeting your balance in full. Don’t forget that these cards carry much higher APRs than usual. Otherwise, your interest amount will offset the value of rewards that you achieve. 

3. Decide on Whether a Balance Transfer in Necessary

A number of cards are there to match the specific needs of consumers that are attempting to reimburse their current balance or consolidate their debt. Few of the balance transfer cards are even issued for 0% APRs under their launch offers. This introductory period may even be extended up to 18 months just to ensure more savings while reimbursing the debt amount. You might need to meet a balance transfer fee, which is up to 5% of the amount of transfer. However, it might seem a bit tough for you to avail the most lucrative BT offers when your credit score is not up to the mark.

4. Visit a Few Comparison Websites

You must have understood why it’s necessary for you to find the right type of credit card for your needs. It’s in your interest to shop around and identify the best card for them. Based on all your needs, you’ll need to spend time doing some researches, posting your queries and answering various surveys.

A few comparison websites can help you compare all identical offers posted by the credit card issuers. The credit matching systems used by lenders offer certain opportunities for you to open a free account with them. You’ll find it much easier to compare offers that match your spending habits with that of your credit profile.

How to Control Your Household Expenses

Running a home is expensive. Whether you rent a property or have a mortgage, it is essential that you control the money coming in, just as much as you do the money going out. You need to have a complete understanding of where your money is going and what the reality is of your financial position. It’s not fun, it’s not pleasant, but it is necessary.

The average American has around $38,000 worth of personal debt (not including mortgages), which when you consider that the average wage is $44,564, you can see why sorting out your finances is a serious business. Living in denial about your financial situation is a dangerous game to play; it’s like a house of cards. Could you manage if you or your partner were unable to work through ill health, even for a month? As soon as you face up to your situation, the sooner you can improve your circumstances.

Review your finances

You need to invest your time in reviewing your finances. Begin by getting your latest bank statements, if possible, access the last three months’ worth. Doing so will enable you to calculate an average cost per month and will allow for extra expenses due to birthdays, vacations or other extraordinary costs.

Household Expenses

Create a simple excel spreadsheet and head the columns into where you've spent the money, for example, housing costs, groceries, insurance, utilities, fuel, clothing, phones,and entertainment. Don’t forget to include a column for miscellanea: things that don’t quite fall into a defined category. Populate the spreadsheet with the information from your bank statements. When you have finished, you will be able to see the total for each of the columns. If you have a partner, husband or wife, you need to repeat this process from their bank account too. If you have used three months’ worth of bank statements, divide each total of the column by three as this will give you the average spend per month.

Hopefully, what you see before you is not a great shock, although you may be surprised at where you have leaked money. Next, using the statements, identify the amount of income that you have had coming into your accounts each month.

How’s it looking?

Is your monthly income greater than the expenditure? If it is, congratulations! The difference between the two figures is what you could potentially save per month.

If your income is less than your expenditure, you are getting more into debt each month, and action needs to be taken to take positive steps to change your financial status. You also need to check and see how much outstanding debt that you have against you. Personal debt comes in many shapes and sizes, including credit cards, student loans, car finance,and mortgages, and to get your house in order, you need to tackle your debt.

Set a Budget

Now that you are clear about your income and outgoings, you will be able to see how much money should be attributed to each category of spending. Some categories such as cell phones and housing will be set each month, so they are easy to put a number on. Categories such as groceries and entertainment which are variable each month are less so, but this is where the savings can take place. When you reviewed your bank accounts, you may have identified subscriptions that can be canceled, or at least reduced. Contact utility, insurance,and cell phone providers to see if you can go on a better rate. It is incredible the discount that you can negotiate if only you ask the question!

Budget to allow you to have the necessities and accept that you are going to have to go without certain goods and products while you are on a mission to sort out your money. 

Life has a habit of throwing a curve ball, so you need to make plans for the unplanned emergencies such as your car requiring a repair, or a medical bill. These kinds of small but significant costs can be covered by a payday loan like those offered by Bonsai Finance. Although taking out a loan is not always ideal, and you may not want to do it, if you need to use your car for work, it makes economic sense to do so. 

Change your lifestyle

Enforcing a budget can be tough, so it's vital that you get all the family involved. Kids are more likely to engage with the cutbacks if they understand the whole picture. Rather than taking them for convenient,fast food when they are hungry, include them in choosing what food to make at home. They will moan, but they will soon get used to it, especially if they get to eat their choice!

Get into the habit of going grocery shopping with a list and stick to it. Avoid the aisles where you know you will be tempted by things not on your list. Buy non-branded products; there are some that have the same ingredients as the big brands but without the need for you to pay for the label. 

One of the hardest things about trying to reduce household expenses is getting over the feeling that you are being deprived of something. Not being able to go and watch the game or go out for dinner can mean that you end up resenting the whole process; however, you just need to adjust your expectations. You can still watch the game with friends, just not in a bar. Instead of going out for a meal, eat at home and go out for dessert. By making lifestyle tweaks, you’ll soon be able to see a healthier bank account.

Don’t just complete this exercise as a one-off. Periodically review your expenditure to see where more savings can be made. A visual representation such of a bar chart of the savings you have created is a great motivator to continue the good work, set yourself a target to reach and agree on something to do to celebrate, perhaps even a full meal out!

How to Protect Your Family’s Future

When we have a family to care for, planning for and protecting your assets becomes even more imperative. There are many assets you have to consider when writing a will or setting up a living trust, such as:
  • Your savings
  • Any valuable objects, jewelry or heirlooms
  • Your pension
  • Your business – if applicable 
  • Stock market investments
  • Your property
Writing a will, though, can seem like a complicated and arduous task, and before you even start writing one, you need first to decide who gets what. What’s more, there is nothing stopping your will being taken to probate, where your wishes could come undone.This is when a living trust can be greatly beneficial.

Family’s Future

The following guide is going to help you work out the basics of writing your will and setting up a living trust so that you can live the rest of your life with peace of mind.

Decide who gets what

Before you visit a solicitor, you need to outline the basics of who gets what. This means, first and foremost, deciding on the assets you have, and then assigning them to someone or an organization. When determining the beneficiaries, you may include:
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Charities
  • Your partner or spouse 
However, be sure that your wishes align with your spouse or partner’s wants before continuing.

Estimate the value of your assets 

Assets that are easier to value include your savings and your valuables. Once these have been dealt with, you will then need to tackle the harder assets: pension, business, property, and stock market investments. Lastly, you will then need to consider the sentimental items you wish for people to have. 

If the value of your estate is significant and your last wish is to avoid probate, then one of the benefits of a living trust is that it avoids a trip to the probate court. By having a living trust rather than just a will, or a will at all, your assets will be distributed as your wishes. If you require assistance with organizing your assets, you can hire the help of a professional and knowledgeable estate planning attorney

Heed extra caution with your pension

Before you list your pension as an asset, you will need to check the rules. The value of your pension depends on the scheme, and in some cases, you may not be able to include it. 

Know how you want to split your assets

If you have more than one child and an extensive number of family members, you may want to leave part of your savings, etc. to specific members. There are many types of legacy requests you can make, such as:

A pecuniary bequest 

“I leave $1,000 to my daughter.” This means you leave a fixed sum to your selected person.

A specific bequest

“I leave my vinyl collection to my son.” It means you leave a certain item, which you own, to your person of choice.

A reversionary bequest

“I leave my share of the house to my husband if he survives me. However, if he does not survive me, then it will be passed on to my son.” Instructions specifying what happens if the person you leave it to dies before you.

A residuary bequest

“I leave half my estate to my sister.” Means you leave a certain percentage of your estate to your person of choice. The amount the person receives, though, depends on the value after debts, costs, etc.

A living trust

“I leave my share of the house to my wife for the rest of her life. When she passes, however, it will be passed over to my son.” A living trust means you can dictate who gets your property, for instance, after you die, as well as who inherits it once that person also dies. If you wish your real estate to avoid court, you need to get it titled in the name of a living trust.

How to protect your beneficiaries

You may wish to safeguard your bequest, especially if you are leaving something to someone with disabilities, mental health issues or a child. Many people will set up a trust, which means what you leave can be managed by people you trust.

Once you've decided on your assets

With your assets valued and you know who gets what, it is time to contact professionals to help draw up your will or living trust. If you have a large estate, then you will want to safeguard your estate with the protection a living trust offers. The last step is, if you wish to, to discuss with your family about choices beforehand.

Do I Need Commercial Vehicle Insurance If I Use My Personal Car for Work?

The answer to the question of whether you should get commercial vehicle insurance if you’re using your personal car for work isn't as simple as it may seem. Yes, it’s true that you have personal auto insurance for your car. But then it may not be enough. 

Let’s clarify one thing first. We aren’t talking about using your personal car to get to and from your workplace. Obviously, millions of people do just that and most of them don’t need commercial vehicle insurance at all. But if we’re talking about using your personal car to help with your work, it’s a different matter entirely.

Why Your Personal Auto Insurance May Be Inadequate

What you first have to understand is that your personal auto policy comes with the understanding that you’re using your car mainly for personal reasons. You use it to drive yourself to work, to the mall and grocery, to your various entertainment spots, and to your friends’ houses. You may even use it to travel across the country. You’re still covered.

Commercial Vehicle Insurance

But for the majority of personal auto policies, the automobiles driven mainly for a business are specifically excluded from coverage. So if you use your vehicle to deliver pizza for your pizzeria, then if you get into an accident you may be on your own in covering the liability.

The same goes for vehicles that are owned by a business, and not by you. If the business owns the vehicle, then insurance must be bought on behalf of the business and that will generally be dealing with commercial insurance.

Some types of vehicles may also automatically require commercial insurance because of their design. Food trucks, delivery trucks, tractors, and shuttle buses may all need commercial insurance, because they’re classified mainly as commercial vehicles.

If you want to be sure that your personal auto policy covers your car even when you use it for your business, you may want to discuss the matter first with your insurance agent. They can then clarify matters for you.

Beyond the Limits of Your Personal Auto Insurance

If your insurance agent says that you’re using your car too often for business so it needs commercial insurance, then you have no choice but to get one. But even when your personal auto policy covers the use of your car for business, you still may need additional coverage.

Let’s say that you’re just on your personal policy, and you get into an accident while you’re delivering your pizza. The personal policy will then pay for the damages to the other party’s car and for the expenses brought on by the other people’s injuries. But your personal policy will have some limits, and often they’re not enough to cover the entirety of the hospital expenses.

The other party can then sue your business so that it will be liable for the damages beyond the limits of your personal policy. You may end up bankrupting your business to pay the damages.

When Do You Need Commercial Insurance for Your Personal Vehicle?

It may be more sensible for you to obtain commercial insurance even when you already have personal insurance, if the following situations pertain to you:

  • Your business owns the vehicle. That explicitly makes your vehicle a company car, and personal policies don’t cover company cars in general. You’re basically driving around without insurance if you don’t have commercial insurance.
  • You frequently use your car for your business. That should protect your business from suits for damages when they exceed the limits of your personal policy. 
If you’re the employee, then it’s not a good idea at all for you to drive (and depreciate) your car for the business. It’s only a good idea if the company will also pay for its commercial insurance. If a car is needed for your job, then let the company provide you with a car—and the company will pay for the commercial instance for it too. 

Watch Trading Videos to Learn Currency Trading

There are many websites who update Forex trading videos. These videos contain important lessons on how you can improve your trading. When you are trading in Forex, you need to know every information to help you in making money. People focus on their professional help and they ignore the outside helps. As a result, they have many lacking in their knowledge. Reading a book and learning how to ride on a bicycle is the same thing if you only develop a strategy but never use them in the live trends. The trading videos will help you to understand the different volatilities and trends. You can also read about them on articles but these videos will give you a visual representation of the volatilities and changing of trends. You can know the trends better when you are watching the videos. This article will tell you why you need to watch the trading videos. They will help you to understand the concept, to know the changes in trends and volatilities and improve your performance.

Trading

Filter out the best resource

You will have lots of online trading tutorials but this doesn’t everything is useful. In order to become a profitable trader, you must have the intellectual skills to filter out the best resource. Those who are new might not understand the proper procedure but we will clear things out. If you are looking for YouTube video tutorials, see the comment of the normal people. People verdict reveals the quality of the content. Just by following this simple rule, you can easily eliminate the low-quality trading videos.

Does it really help?

When you learn a new thing, apply your technique in the demo accounts. Try to use it properly in your online trading platform. Once you start to understand the new strategy, demo trade the market with the new system. If you can make a consistent profit with an extreme level of ease, consider the new technique as your asset. However, if you fail to make money, and try to find the problems. Solving the problems in an existing trading strategy is a great way to become a profitable trader. So always assess your new trade setups before using them in real account.

They are better than blogs

When you watch a video, there are two benefits. You get a visual representation of what is happening on the chart and you also get to analyze the chart at the same time. It does not happen when you are reading blogs. These blogs only have some screenshots of the images of the chart and the brokers will explain the trends with their articles. It will only give you an idea of how to know these trend but you will not get the idea. The videos that are showing the trends are better and can help you to know the trends that can get volatile. If you want to use your time for your best performance, we suggest watching the videos. There are many channels online where they update the latest videos of the market sessions. You can get an idea of using the right strategy by watching their tricks.

They are free

A good thing about these videos is they are free. You don’t need to spend money to watch them. The brokers have also many videos online with helpful tips. If you need help, try to go for the video tutorials as they are better than the blogs. Most blogs need to sign up for money after giving you some free articles.

You can learn your mistakes

We do not realize our mistakes until it is shown to us. When you watch the videos, you will understand what you were doing wrong. It is hard to find them by reading blogs and articles but the videos will help you. As they show visually the mistakes of traders, you can find yours and make yourself better.

4 Best ways of borrowing money in case of an emergency – Know your options

It might happen to anyone, a sudden unpredicted yet inevitable expense can leave you cash-strapped or even worse, scrambling hard to allocate funds. Your car’s transmission might have blown off, your child may have fallen seriously ill, you may have lost your job permanently, and any of these might happen to you all of a sudden. Wouldn't you be worried about how you could fulfill your credit card and mortgage payments? If such a situation arises, where would you turn for help? Would you depend on your friends and family members? Or are there other emergency options as well? 

borrowing money

So, if you’re someone who is looking to borrow money during an emergency so that you can bridge the gap between your income and expenses, here are few options that you can take resort to. Check them out. 

#1: Family and friends are always your first option

Whenever you’re in dearth of cash and you need them immediately, your first resort will definitely be your family and friends. If you have supportive family members and few bosom friends, this is the undoubtedly the fastest and the cheapest way of borrowing money. However, you should be aware of moving carefully as money matters often damage a relationship. Since a friend doesn't charge you hefty fees and interest rates, he will offer the money sooner. Try your best to repay the funds as soon as possible. 

#2: Credit card cash advance

This is yet another fastest ways of borrowing money and at the same time it is pretty simple too. From your credit card, you are allowed to get a cash advance and the proceeds can be got from the ATM itself. Doesn't that sound great? However, something that you need to note is that a credit card cash advance is pretty costly. You will require paying something around 2-5% of the amount that you've borrowed in the form of fees, that too upfront. Then you will be subject to a rather high interest rate of 25% or more than that. 

#3: Seek help of an online lender

There are several peer-to-peer lending websites and other online lenders which can also be a good option for you when you’re in need of money. These options have a quick turnaround and you can soon find cash in your bank account within very few days. However, the interest rates that you have to pay on these might vary depending on the credit rating that you have. On the other hand, if you have good credit, this can again become a rather costly option. Whatever case you might be in, make sure you repay the loan on time. 

#4: Home equity line of credit

Did you accumulate some good amount of equity in your home? If answered yes, this could definitely be a good option. This amount will equate the amount you are allowed to borrow. The interest rates on home equity loans are reasonable since they’re secured loans. So, keep in mind that defaulting on your home equity loan may put you at the risk of losing your home. Be timely about the repayments. 

Therefore, now that you are pretty aware of the online lending options that you have during an emergency, what are you waiting for? Go through the pros and cons of the above listed options and then choose the one which fits you in the best way. 

Things to Consider Before Getting a Reverse Mortgage

You may have heard of a reverse mortgage with or without realizing it. Sometimes it is also referred to as a reveres loan, retirement loan or home equity conversion mortgage (HECM). It all depends on the lender you talk to. The HECM term is most often used by government-controlled lenders. In either case, it is important to know as much as you can about a reverse mortgage before you apply for one. So, if you are considering filling out a reverse mortgage application, here is some info to help you make a final decision.

Reverse Mortgage

The Purpose of Choosing a Reverse Mortgage

The purpose of choosing a reverse mortgage over a traditional mortgage is essentially to help you maintain financial comfort when you retire. Retirement usually involves trying to live on a low, fixed income. A reverse mortgage lender can give you a special loan if you are over age 62 that will give you another source of money during retirement. Unlike a standard mortgage, you will not have a monthly mortgage payment to make back to the lender. In fact, you may continue to receive money each month, depending on the terms you set up when you sign the mortgage agreement. 

How Reverse Mortgage Repayment Terms Work

You may be wondering what the catch of getting a reverse mortgage is. If you do not have to pay any of it back regularly, how can the reverse mortgage lender possibly benefit? Well, the answer is a reverse mortgage is a long-term way to borrow money. You will not owe the full balance back until you leave your home. Therefore, the loan may last for many years. However, it will accumulate interest throughout that time. Therefore, the lender will eventually receive a benefit. 

Calculating Your Reverse Mortgage Benefit Amount

A reverse mortgage is a home equity loan, meaning it allows you to use part of the value of your home as money you can spend. Therefore, you may think the maximum you can borrow is the total amount of your current home equity. However, the government has instituted regulations preventing the full amount from being borrowed. Therefore, a reverse mortgage calculator must be used to determine how much you are entitled to borrow. First, the total value of the home must be determined. That value may depend on the condition, size and location of the home, among other things. 

What You Must do to Qualify for a Reverse Mortgage

It is a misconception that the only requirements to get a reverse mortgage are owning a home and being 62 years old or older. You must also meet other requirements. For example, the home itself must be your main residence. It cannot be a vacation home. Also, you must pass a credit check and be capable of performing ongoing maintenance tasks, such as paying the property taxes on the home. 

Tips for Avoiding Reverse Mortgage Scams

Like most other businesses, the reverse loan industry is not immune to scams. If you want to avoid such scams, you must be careful when applying for your reverse mortgage. Speak only to reputable lenders, such as government-operated agencies. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is a good resource. Many private lenders are also reputable, such as local banks. However, when seeking a private lender, you should speak to a representative of an institution that is well-established in the community. Ideally, you should choose an institution you have done some other form of business with successfully in the past.

Starting Life as an Active Trader

If you've long had an interest in the world of investing, then do something about it by becoming an active trader. If getting over that first hurdle is what is putting you off from doing so, then remember,all the best investors had to start somewhere!

trading

To find out what you need to get your life as an active investor up and running, and to see what you can do to hit the ground running when you do, make sure to check out the advice below.

Consider giving options trading a go

You don’t want to dive right into the sea of investment because doing that will, more than likely, see you drown — you want to dip your toe into it instead. To do this, you must consider giving options trading a go. You should do so because this form of investment would see you bid on an obligation rather than something outright, meaning the pressure is well and truly off. There are a number of different platforms that make options trading as simple as can be, thinkorswim being one of them — when you consider the thinkorswim brokerage fees, you may find that to be the perfect options platform for you.

Study the markets religiously

The best-laid plans of active traders often go awry when they do not study the markets religiously. Be it options or outfighting trading that you partake in, and whatever it is you decide to trade, studying your markets and knowing everything there is to know about them, from every bear to every bull, is a prerequisite if you want to be a successful investor.

Regarding the bear and the bull, you should know that a bear market is one where the prices are falling, meaning selling is or is about to take place, and a bull market is one in which the prices are rising, meaning investing is or is about to take place. Confusing either of these two terms with the other will see you make mistakes in regard to what you sell and what you invest, and that could see the end of your life as an active trader even before it has really taken off.

Know how to read the risk-to-reward ratio

Every investment comes with the possibility of reward, and every investment comes with a few risks attached to it. If you want to find success as an active trader, you need to be able to weight up whether the possibility of rewards outweigh the probability of risks whenever you make an investment, this being called reading the risk-to-reward ratio. If you don’t, then, more often than not, you’ll find yourself making bad decisions and investing in things that really shouldn't be invested, especially not by a novice trader like yourself.

The life of an active trader can be an incredibly fruitful for one, but only if they get off to the best start possible in regards to it. To do that, you’re going to have to put the advice above into practice.

How to Manage Customer Reviews

You do certainly know how important reviews are for your company. They build your reputation, help your brand become popular in your industry and among your clients. Naturally, a better-known brand has better and higher chances of staying in business and receiving a steady inflow of consumers and customers. Earning credit in the market increases brand value, gaining respect in the market and earns the interest of investors more than the others. In this article, we’ll give you a brief guide to managing customer reviews. Read on:

Customer Reviews

1. Customer Service Should Be Top Notch

To earn good reviews, or even project yourself as an able businessperson, you must pay close attention to what your customers are saying and manage reviews efficiently. We would suggest that you organize a customer service team to do this job properly. Request your customers to review you, because it is unlikely that they will do it naturally. Keep a close watch on your reviews, and remember to monitor them every single day. Ensure that you respond through your company’s account to reviews, as this adds a very personal touch. Your customers expect you to be interactive and it is important that you do so, both to show your value for customers and to build or maintain your reputation.

2. Be Present on Review Sites

This could indirectly be a good way of increasing your company’s online footprint. Try to be present on as many famously known reviews sites as possible. By doing so, you can ask a customer to choose any site and place his/her review based on their choice. Select sites which have a user-friendly interface and ask specific questions. Something you must never forget is to ask them to include suggestions or opinions about the way you work. This should be the most important section in the questionnaire.

3. Work on The Reviews

We've already reminded you to pay attention to what your customers are trying to tell you. Now, we’ll add something more - you need to implement those suggestions. Make a table on an excel sheet to record each suggestion and how many times it appears in the reviews. If you find a particular repetition, you know you must implement it as soon as you can. You can also include terms like “we are already working on that” or “based on your suggestion, we have” to make the customer feel important and convey to them that their opinion matters to your firm. Try to approach customers personally to ask them for suggestions - this is another way of showing interest. In the end, if you can successfully prove that you do care about the quality of the service provided, you will almost definitely gather their trust.

4. Spread the Good Word!

When you’re done with all of the above, you can tell others how you work. Increase awareness by including your reviews in the websites of your company. Most people will read them to create an impression about your company even before they contact you regarding your services. People will also choose you from the rest based on your rating, so ensure this is done only by the most able people for the job. Meanwhile, reviews which are placed on search engine-based platforms, like Google Maps, will naturally have an effect on a related Google search. 

Your customers are definitely your first priority. Their experiences will eventually lead people to trust and approve of your company. If you have a company that is fairly new, this is certainly one of the most important things to focus upon. If you have an established unit or organization, you should ensure that your reputation does not enter the negative. With competition growing at record speed across all sectors, it necessary to stay updated to stay in business. So, reform, rethink and redo the basic things and you’ll keep getting enough promoters to keep you there on top.

How Investing Can Help You Achieve Financial Freedom

Investing your hard-earned cash doesn't always mean you have to involve an experienced (and expensive) financial planner or investment advisor. In fact, investing is a lot easier than many people think, and you don’t need tonnes of knowledge either. To start investing and start making money from it, all you need is time, discipline, and a little self-control.

Financial freedom – the ability to have few financial obligations such as loans and having enough to do what we want to do when we want to – is something which many people crave. By being smart with your money and making investments, you can soon achieve this financial freedom and embark on a better quality of life.

Achieve Financial Freedom

The trick to developing your wealth and achieving financial freedom is being smart with your money. Regularly putting money away, cutting frivolous spending and investing it in the right places are all ways you can make your money work for you.

#1: Start Saving to Get Started

If you really want to begin investing, then you have to start saving some money up. After all, you can’t invest with nothing! Saving up money takes a lot less time than you may think, however, and you can do it in small steps by putting away small amounts at a time. Even if you've never been somebody who likes saving money, you can put away as little as £20 per week and this will soon add up to well over £1,000 in a year.With £1,000, there are lots of things you can invest in!

Dripping money into savings over time is known as the “cookie jar approach” and it’s very effective. You can even do it online with your internet banking, simply set up a standing order to move as little as£10 from your main account to a savings account once per week. When you do it like this, you don’t even see the money going anywhere!

You can even increase the amounts you put into your savings over time if your income increases or you find that you have a little extra to spare when you start spending less. There are clever applications which can figure out how much you can afford to save, and they will even do it for you, too.

#2: Invest in the Right Places

There are plenty of options when it comes to choosing a website or asset where you can make your investments. With new websites being launched all the time, it can be very difficult to choose one and stick with it. One of the better trading websites out there is called ZuluTrade and you can read this ZuluTrade review to learn more about it. In short, ZuluTrade is a fintech company which operates a copy trading platform, enabling its users to mimic FOREX market trades made by experienced traders. Diversifying your portfolio and investing in different places is one of the best investment strategies you can use, too.

Spreading your investments so you don’t put all your money in one place significantly reduces the risk your capital is at, and it means you have a higher chance of having money invested in a market which will deliver a good ROI. The primary goal of diversification is to carefully balance risk and reward, and a diversified investment portfolio is less prone to volatility.

#3: Sit Back and Wait

Investing is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time(sometimes lots of time), to get going and start making money. A lot of wannabe investors get frustrated and will pull their capital out when they don’t start seeing results straight away, however this is never a wise thing to do. You can’t plough your money into an investment opportunity and expect to see results overnight. Whilst this can happen, it is quite rare, and it is far more common to see returns after an extended period of time. 

The key to becoming a good investor is not only knowing where to put your money but being patient and waiting when you have invested it. The worst thing you can do is get frustrated because that £500 you have invested into something has not turned into £1000 in a week. Also, don’t be put off by slight losses as these can be recovered in the long-term – losses are just a part of the game.

There are plenty of options if you want to start investing and get complete financial freedom. Thanks to the internet, there are tonnes of online markets where you and anyone else can begin with as little as £10. It’s always better to start out with more, though, and saving up over time is your key to getting off to the best possible start with copy trading platforms such as ZuluTrade.