Beginner Trader: Things to Sidestep when Learning to Invest on the Global Financial Markets

“Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.” – Rodgers & Hammerstein

Every one of us has to start at the beginning whenever we need to master a new skill. It is not a weakness. It is a fact of life. The same goes for learning how to invest in the global financial markets? Everyone has to start somewhere and, I believe, it’s a good idea to learn from other people’s mistakes. In this way, we bend the learning curve more in our own interest.  

Definitions: Investing and Global Financial Markets

It is important to have a clear understanding of the terminology for the topic that we are discussing. For example, how can we discuss investing in the global financial markets when we don’t even know what these terms mean? 

According to Investopedia, "Investing is the act of committing money or capital to an endeavour… with the expectation of obtaining an additional income or profit. Investing also can include the amount of time you put into the study of a prospective company, especially since time is money.”

trading

A financial market, on the other hand, is ‘’a market in which people trade financial securities, commodities, and other fungible items of value at low transaction costs and at prices that reflect supply and demand. Securities include stocks and bonds, and commodities include precious metals or agricultural products’’. The term "market" is sometimes used for what are more strictly exchanges, organizations that facilitate the trade in financial securities, e.g., a stock exchange or commodity exchange. Thus, global financial markets refer to all of the financial markets, or stock exchanges situated around the world. 

Please note,  “trading” and “investing” are synonymous in this context. 

Online trading instruments and brokers

There are many different ways to trade/invest in the global financial markets. Some of the more popular ways include: Forex trading, options trading, the buying and selling of shares, and CFDs (Contracts for Difference). 

There are also a large number of online trading brokerages available for you to sign up with and each broker offers one or more of the aforementioned trading instruments. It's important to partner with a reputable firm that provides adequate online tools. Stern binary options trading is a registered binary options trading broker who offers more than just a way for you to trade online. Amongst other perks, they offer a comprehensive education centre which includes a binary options trading academy with a fully comprehensive approach to training you that is free-to-use, and analytical software which you don’t need to download and install on your computer. In a nutshell, the more comprehensive the education centre, the easier your learning curve will be, and you will move quickly up the trading ranks, eventually, ending up as an advanced investor. 

Things to avoid as a beginner trader

Here are a few things to avoid or sidestep when learning the art of online trading: 
  • Do not make impulsive trades: Do not make impetuous trades just because you heard on social media (or another source) that a certain asset is going to make a lot of money. This is one of the quickest ways to lose substantial amounts of money, if not your entire investment. It’s vital to thoroughly research the price movements for the asset you want to trade on. If you are uncertain about something, contact the account manager allocated to you by the broker. 
  • Do not trade on emotions: One of the most important lessons that we all have to learn at some stage of our online trading careers, is not to make emotional, knee-jerk trades. Do not “go with your gut.” Once you have decided which trades to make, stick to them. As with the previous point, don’t make any trades without researching the underlying asset thoroughly. Don’t pay attention to hearsay unless it comes from a proper qualified source. 
  • Avoid get rich quick schemes: There are many get rich quick schemes available on the internet today. It would seem that the worse the global economy becomes, the more there are of these schemes – at least, that is just my impression. There is never any ‘easy money’. If something sounds too good to be true, stay away from it. 
  • Never assume you know everything: Learning to trade successfully is a life-long journey. There is always something new to be learned. You might have found a way to trade successfully in today’s economic climate; however, you might need to learn new trading skills for tomorrow’s economic climate. 
Final words

I believe the following words are pertinent to the art and science of online share trading: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.” – Marcel Proust. Learning to trade and continue investing successfully on the world’s financial market means becoming wise from a lifetime learning curve with predictable and unpredictable twist and turns along the way. There is no avoiding this. So seek the guidance of experts like www.sternoptions.com.

How to Start a Non-Profit Organization

Communities across the world are dependent on non-profit organizations for support. Creating a non-profit organization is extremely admirable; however, you should be aware that starting out can be challenging.

Have a Mission

You will probably have an idea about your non-profit’s mission already; however, you must come up with an effective plan that identifies each step your organization must take, its fundraising projections and how you intend to achieve your goal.

Non-Profit Organization

You must also find volunteers who share the same vision and will support your organization to the hilt to ensure its success. Non-profit organizations are dependent on kind-hearted individuals who are willing to provide their time, expertise and efforts to improve a community, so it is up to you to find like-mined people to build a solid foundation for your organization.

Consult a Professional

Non-profit organizations are required to adhere to various legal requirements, because your operations are dependent on charitable donations. It is therefore vital you consult an experienced advisor to ensure your organization is legally compliant, so seek advice from an attorney, accountant or a professional who is familiar with charitable operations and/or tax-exempt law.

Know Your Niche

There is a difference between wanting to help and being able to help a community. You must be familiar with your industry before you even think about launching a non-profit. For example, if you want to launch a non-profit hospital, you would have to learn about the legal practicalities, medical requirements of a hospital and whether there is a local or national demand for various medical procedures.

Build a Board

A non-profit organization will require board members who steer the direction of the operations, providing team members with foresight and insight, whilst deciding on hiring the talented individuals who will help take the organization into the future, such as CEO or executive director. Board members will also be required to actively fundraise for the non-profit, from launching fantastic fundraising events to encouraging large and small-scale donations.

Register with Legal Entities

Fortunately, a non-profit organization is exempt from paying tax, but that doesn’t mean an organization doesn’t have its fair share of paperwork. Your organization must apply for a tax-exempt status from the IRS, as well as your state’s tax division, so you can simply invest all your donations back into the community.

Start Fundraising

Once you have the required licences in place, you can start fundraising. You can choose to fundraise by holding large-scale events, such as sporting challenge or dinner party, or taking to the streets or social media communities to share your mission in the hope of public donations.

Building an online presence is also a great way to encourage engagement with people who care about the community. You can therefore incorporate a payment solution on your website so people can donate at their leisure. Payment Savvy can help integrate donation and electronic payment systems to help your organization reach the next level, which can include online donations to mobile text payments.

Fun Ways to Make Money While Studying a Nursing Degree

We are all aware that university is exceptionally expensive. Many students look to make extra money while they study, to try and help avoid debt, or just to fund their student lifestyle. However, working while studying can be dangerous. You don’t want to commit to too many hours, or spend time doing something stressful or time consuming which could affect your studies. So why not try and find a fun way to make some extra cash, and relieve some stress at the same time?

Blogging

Blogging can be a great way to make some extra money. It can take some effort to get going, so consider relating your blog to your studies to make it easier. For those studying a healthcare degree, healthcare blogs can be incredibly successful. Consider offering a paid members area to make money, or offer careers advice to fellow students and professionals. Talk about the difference between nurse practitioner and doctor, advise people on what might be best for them, and even have some fun with the nurse vs doctor theme. Other ways to make money from a blog include advertising and affiliate marketing.

Make Money While Studying a Nursing Degree

Reviewing Music

There are many sites which offer you money to review music and share your opinions. While it won’t make you a fortune, it’s an easy way to make some extra money, and get to hear some new music before anyone else. 

Market Research

Becoming a secret shopper can be really good fun. You’ll get to try new products, restaurants, bars and shops, sometimes with friends. You won’t earn a lot, but you normally get reimbursed for what you spend, so you could save a lot on shopping and meals out.

Product Testing

As with secret shopping, many companies pay people to test and review new products. You often get to keep the products too.

Be a Hangover Buddy

There is nothing worse than being hungover, and having to get up and do things. Hangover buddies are paid to make the experience more manageable. You’ll go around in the morning, get the client up, fetch them breakfast, and generally help and motivate them in any way they need. It’s an easy way to make money, meet new people, and feel better about yourself.

Tour Guide

If you live in a larger city, or particular tourist hotspot, find work, either for a company, or freelancing, as a tour guide. Research some routes and find places of interest. You’ll need to really know your stuff, so if you don’t already, get learning about your town. Consider asking others where they would take people to get some ideas. Points of historical interest are always popular.

Answer Questions

If you have an extensive general knowledge, this could be the one for you. You’ll get paid to answer questions via chat, text or email. There are a few companies that offer this service, and pay about 15cents per question answered.

These are just a few of the options available to you. Try a few and see which you enjoy, who knows, it might even turn into a lucrative career one day.

7 Beneficial Tips to Maintain Your Modern Homes

So, you’ve got yourself a nice, beautiful, and most importantly, modern home. But you’re wondering to yourself: “How am I possibly going to keep this place clean and maintained so it looks as good as new?”

Well, this article has everything you could ever need to know about maintaining your modern home. No matter whether you’re looking for tips for when to do laundry in St. Louis, the best time to do dishes in DC, or Las Vegas AC repair, we’ve got you covered with these beneficial tips. 

1.Create A “Landing Strip” For All the Incoming Items as You Walk in The Door.

The first tip we have when you’re trying to maintain your home is at the front door. We all know the front door can be a pretty chaotic zone, especially when you have children in the family. Jackets come flying off and land randomly on the floor. Shoes get thrown across the hallway. And then you’ve got a huge mess on your hands.

Modern Homes

Try to create a “landing strip” for all of these items as you come through the door. Doing some DIY coat racks behind the front door is a great way to keep everything out of site and easy to access. Or a simple shoe rack for the kids to put their messy shoes on. 

2.Dishes Should Be Washed Right After the Meal. Period.

Doing the dishes is one of the worst chores out there. Absolutely no one wants to do them, but when they pile up, it can be pretty messy and disgusting. That’s why there should be a rule in your home that dishes are automatically washed or put in the dishwasher after every meal. This will ensure that you’re not left with a pile of dishes at the end of the week because no one bothered to handle them. 

3.Don’t Wait Until the End of The Week to Do Laundry.

You should be doing your laundry continuously throughout the week so you don’t end up with a big pile of smelly clothes in your laundry room that absolutely ruins your weekend. Try to pick two or three days out of the week to run a load of clothes and you’ll find yourself a lot less frustrated when it comes to this chore. 

4.Time Yourself When You’re Cleaning. 

Chores shouldn’t take that long. No matter what it is you’re cleaning, you shouldn’t be spending too much time on it because that just takes away from the rest of your day. 

Next time you’re doing chores, try to time yourself for 20 seconds per chore in order to make the most out of your time. You’ll also be able to get a lot more chores done and your home will thank you for it! 

5.Ensure You’re Using All of Your Storage Space to Keep the Clutter Away.

Clutter is one of the worst things that can happen to your modern home, so make sure you are utilizing all of the extra storage space you have to keep it out of sight and out of mind. Under the stairs, in that extra closest, or in the garage – wherever you put it, make sure your guests won’t be able to get a whiff of the mess. 

6.Take Cleaning Breaks While the Commercials Are On. 

If you’re a person who likes to watch TV, a good idea for keeping a clean house is to take cleaning breaks while those commercials come on. You surely don’t enjoy sitting through tons of commercials, so this is a fantastic way to get moving and get your home a bit more sparkling. 

7.Make Sure the Rest of Your Household Is on Board.

Your house isn’t going to be maintained and kept clean without your entire household on board. Make sure that everyone in the house is aware of the new rules and how to keep a clean environment, especially the kids! Consider making a schedule of who does the chores and when. 

And there you have it. All of the tips you need to make sure your house is cleaned and maintained regularly. Now, get to work!

Why Ongoing Learning Will Keep You Financially Healthy

Do you continually update your skillset or have you given up on learning altogether? If you have given up on learning, this could be affecting you financially in many ways you may not even be aware of. However, if you always want to learn new things, you put yourself in a much better financial position. Below are some ways ongoing learning will keep you financially healthy.

You Are Recognized as an Expert

If you're an expert in your industry or niche, employers and business associates will treat you with more respect and are usually willing to pay an expert more money for their services and access to their knowledge. For instance, if you complete an online doctor of education in higher education leadership course, this qualification will automatically transform your career and allow you to work at a higher level in a wide range of educational institutions.

Why Ongoing Learning Will Keep You Financially Healthy

Without this online doctor of education qualification, these doors would not be opened to you. Once you have a recognized qualification and you continue to learn, the lifetime earnings you can generate are usually much higher than someone who does not have a qualification or has given up on education altogether.

You Build Up Valuable Relationships

In most cases, the more courses you complete, the more chance you have of meeting and building friendships with influential people in your niche or industry. These contacts can be extremely valuable, especially if you run a business or want to change your job at a future date, because these potential business partners or employers already know you and trust you.

You Are More Likely to Avoid Scams

The more you know about a certain industry, the more you are aware of all the scams and illegal activities that take place. Once you have this understanding, you can avoid being tricked out of your money or even worse.

You Are Aware of More Financial Opportunities

If you have your finger on the pulse and you keep up-to-date with the latest developments in your industry, you are in a much better position to take advantage of any financial opportunities that come your way. For instance, if the industry you work in changes on a regular basis, you can capitalize on these future changes by learning new skills that will be in-demand in the future.

You Are More Likely to Make Better Financial Decisions

'Knowledge is power' and the more you learn, the better your financial decisions become. You learn to deal with money in a smarter way. This includes saving more of your money, making wiser investment decisions and not taking any unnecessary risks that could affect your financial future. 

Everyone should set aside some time to learn new skills and increase their knowledge. Unfortunately, most people are either too busy or too lazy to do this and wonder why they have money problems. However, if you do make this important change in your life, you will start to see the financial benefits of taking this action over time.

Top Financial Benefits of Taking an Online Course

Do you want to start a new course? Today’s students have many more opportunities to further their education than previous generations of people who wanted to expand their knowledge and develop new skills. More courses than ever are now available online and there are many good financial reasons to study over the internet. Below are some of the top financial benefits of taking an online course.

You Spend Less Money on Your Education

Until recently, completing a degree or other course was expensive and it was not always suitable for a wide range of students. Previously, course fees, course materials and a wide range of other study-related expenses often prevented people from starting one of these courses. However, if you enroll in an MSA degree online course or similar course, the fees cost less and you avoid many of these expenses.

Taking an Online Course

It's Easier to Combine Work with Your Studies

If money is tight, it’s important for some students to be able to make money while they study and continue to learn new things. In other situations, you may have a full-time job and want to study at the same time. The time you save by studying for an online MSA degree or similar course, gives you enough time to work and make money, as well as study.

You Have Better Job Opportunities Once You Graduate

Studying is a means to an end and the financial rewards you get after you graduate from the course can be substantial. More and more prestigious colleges and universities are offering online versions of their courses. These are accredited, high quality courses that are recognized by employers all over the world. With one of these online qualifications, you will be more likely to get paid more and have more favorable working terms and conditions.

Business Owners Can Run Their Business More Effectively

If you’re a business owner and you complete an online course, your business can benefit in many ways. Typical skills you can improve include planning, forecasting, organization and communication skills, which are all skills that can make your business more efficient and profitable. 
The online nature of these courses also means you don’t have to sacrifice as much of your valuable time studying and spending time attending lectures. Instead, you can spend this time working in your company.

Completing an Online Course Creates Many More Financial Opportunities

Individuals and business owners alike have the potential to increase their working, business and social networks while they are studying online. This includes people from all over the world who are from diverse backgrounds, which would be almost impossible to do in the offline world. Developing these new online relationships could eventually lead to lucrative job opportunities or new business opportunities. 

The internet has changed the way people learn and more courses than ever can be completed online. This huge change makes it much more affordable for students to further their education and take advantage of opportunities that would not have been available to them a few short years ago.

Small Ways To Pocket Cash

Almost everyone wants to have a little more cash in their pockets. As we all know, expenses often arrive when you don't expect them - and always at the least convenient moment. No matter how carefully you plan your budget, money can run short. So, we have some simple ways for you to help pocket extra cash.

Mystery Shopping

Mystery shopping is a fun activity that requires little effort and can bring extra cash. Many companies will ask you to sign up and start right a way which is great since you get money once your job has been verified.

Small Ways To Pocket Cash

Join a Focus Group

Companies need your feedback on products and want you to share your thoughts with others. They are also willing to pay for it. Often it is done with the help of focus groups, and they pay people for their time spent in a group.

Enter Contests and Sweepstakes

This is not conventional, but many people make money from sweepstakes. There are forums where you can connect with sweepstakes professionals and sites that allow you to participate in sweeps.

Become a Tutor

You made it through many years of grammar, geometry and physics. As a tutor, you can get extra cash for the knowledge you are willing to share. Local schools could be a good place to start. Otherwise, you can find online offers.

Sell Old Items on eBay and Craigslist

If you have old junk that you don't need, eBay is a place for you. List your items and get the money! You can also search Craigslist and eBay for cool, underpriced items. Buy them and then sell for a higher price. This is especially profitable with computers and devices that many people are desperate to get rid of.

The same is true for the exercise equipment. eBay always pulls bidders into frenzy at the end of the auction so if you can buy a cheap item on Craiglist and sell it on eBay, you can make a profit.

Sell Gift Cards

There is a marketplace where you can sell gift cards for cash. You choose the price and people buy it. Brand doesn't matter, and you get money when the gift card sells. Choosing the selling price takes less than a minute and then you will have your card featured in front of savvy shoppers.

Online Gambling

One of the simplest ways to get more cash in your pocket is online gambling. It always comes with risks but if you have a strategy and can see several steps ahead, it can significantly boost your income. Before you start gambling, research online to find the best strategies that professionals use to make living from gambling. Once you have defined the strategy, give yourself rules such as betting only if you can afford to lose.

Find Some Gigs Online

If you have free time, you can check sites where you bid for work that may include weeding gardens and running errands. You can also enter bits of data. This work is pretty simple and you will pocket a little bit more cash.

Participate in Surveys for Cash

If you can't spend hours in a focus group, you could spend 20 minutes filling out online surveys. Be careful when choosing a site since there are plenty of survey scams on the web. To help you get started, there is a proven survey company that many people use to earn more cash.

Conclusion

Getting extra cash is much easier that you might think especially if you put some thought into where your skills will be the most profitable.

How To Accept Credit Cards: Guide For Small Businesses Owners

Running a business can be tough. Finding yourself almost out of time and money is an all too often occurrence, for example, and the number of decisions you will have to make might seem overwhelming sometimes. One of the easiest decisions you can make, however, is the decision to begin accepting online and in person credit card payments. This will open up your business and really help attract customers that are looking for a convenient and quick way to pay. To do this, you will need to find a good merchant account processor to help, and some of them even offer a free online merchant account! Let’s take a look at how you can begin accepting credit card payments. 

How To Accept Credit Cards

Free online merchant account
When you need to accept credit card payments, one of the first things you will need to do is to find a good merchant account processing service. This service, depending upon your chosen provider, will help get you the technology you need to start accepting payments as well as providing an online interface to help keep track of your transactions. Some of them even offer a free online merchant account, which is a great deal. 

Lowest credit card processing fees

One of the most important factors when it comes to picking the best merchant account service is how much you will owe in fees. Remember that your credit card transactions will each be charged a processing fee, which is how some services make the bulk of their money. Do your research and find the service with the lowest processing fees around to help ensure that you do not end up paying most of your money to help line someone else’s pocket. 

Are you in need of a great merchant account service provider to help you accept credit card payments? Why not give Merchant Account Solutions a try? They offer a wide variety of services and products, including a free online merchant account. 

Keep Your Flight and Time Options Open

Travel is much more affordable than it used to be, but a major trip or vacation can still take a huge bite out of your bank account. Here are some smart ways to save big bucks when traveling. 

traveling

Flight cost is a three-legged stool that depends on the interaction between your destination, dates, and price. If you have your heart set on a particular destination and your dates are limited by your vacation time, then you'll have very little control over your flight pricing. On the other hand, if you have a flight budget in mind but your destination and dates are completely flexible, you can take your pick from whatever is going on sale.

If you need an affordable flight and your vacation dates are fixed, try to open your mind about where you might go. If you are committed to visiting a specific location, you'll need to either create some flexibility in your travel dates or in your pocketbook.

Look at Lodging Alternatives

How adventurous are you? Depending on just how tight your budget is, saving on lodging could mean anything from staying in a three-star hotel to volunteering on a family farm. There's a risk-reward spectrum in travel, just like in business. The more risk you're willing to take, the more adventure you might find on a dime. Airbnb, hostels, couch surfing, and volunteering are all viable methods used by thousands of travelers, but they all carry some risk. 

Work Your Smartphone

The internet made the modern travel boom possible by letting people shop directly for flights, lodging, and tours without a travel agent. Mobile technology is carrying the industry forward at light speed. If you have a global network and a multi-purpose smartphone with long battery life like T-Mobile's well-rounded LG G5, life on the road can be affordable and easy.

With Google Translate, you can interact with locals without a guide. TripAdvisor helps you avoid tourist traps and evaluate tour offerings. Rome2Rio lets you instantly evaluate the cost of trains, buses, ferries, and taxicabs to move between locations. WhatsApp and Messenger let you stay in touch with family. 

Book Activities After You Arrive

Whether you want to sign up for a cooking class, wine tour, snorkeling trip, parasailing adventure, or mountain trek, you can probably do it more affordably after you arrive. Internet resellers collect a premium to list tours and activities on their websites, so they'll turn up in your U.S.-based internet searches, but you can book the same operators locally if you shop carefully and read reviews. There are some exceptions that require advance booking, like the Inka Trail to Machu Picchu, but in most tourist-friendly destinations, you can easily set up activities on the fly.

Eat Some Meals In

Eating out is a part of the fun of travel, of course, but taking all your meals in restaurants can get tiresome and expensive after a few days. If you've booked an apartment or a suite with a kitchen, you can save a bundle on meals. Put the local market on your sightseeing list and stock up on fruits, bread, cheeses, eggs, yogurt, and other easy-to-prepare foods. Having breakfast and coffee on your veranda every morning makes lovely memories, and a picnic is a wonderful way to relax in nature. 

Use Credit Wisely

If you use your credit cards wisely, you'll come out ahead instead of spending on interest charges later. Pay your expenses with a card that earns either miles or cash back bonuses, then pay off the balance before the bill is due or as quickly as possible. Sometimes you can charge major expenses on a card that earns cash back and then transfer that balance to another card that's offering a zero percent balance transfer promotion; this will buy you six or twelve months to pay off any balance. Be careful, though — sometimes those balance transfers carry a fee.

Many people live on tight budgets, and these tips can mean the difference between being able to take a trip or having to stay home. A frugal trip can still be filled with joy and new experiences; don't be afraid to cut costs where you can. 

4 Ways to Boost Your Income Exponentially

You can clip coupons, refinance your mortgage or even get a roommate, but when it comes to saving money there are certain limitations that need to be acknowledged. When you create a budget, the primary factor that affects how much money can be allotted for each expense depends on your income expectations. This is why people who make a lower annual salary are only able to put by so much money into their savings and retirement funds. If you want to increase how much you save, invest and allocate for retirement planning, you need to increase your income. Making an effort to advance in your career or even switch career paths can definitely make a big difference in your paycheck, as can starting a side business or even getting a part-time job. These are the four best ways for money conscious people to see a marked increase in their income.

Boost Your Income Exponentially

Go for a Promotion

Have you been going back and forth with the thought of taking on more responsibility at work? If you know of a new position at work that comes with a higher salary, now is the time to go for it. You may end up needing to work longer hours and you will probably have less time to yourself, but then you will also have fewer opportunities to spend money on things that you don’t need. All in all, if your aim is to increase your income, looking for a promotion or a job that will raise your salary is a great opportunity.

Get Back in School

For many, going back to school might seem like a thankless chore, but that is only because they are focused on short-term results. Sure, completing FNP online programs may take time and finishing a degree does cost money, but it will more than likely lead to a huge boost in your income. Not only are you more valuable to potential employers when you have a degree, you also have an increased ability to command a better salary. 

Monetize Your Talents

With the emergence of websites such as Etsy, it is now easier than ever for people to increase their income via their hobbies. Whether you like making ragdolls or happen to be really good at painting portraits, your talents are being underutilized if you aren’t making some extra money off of them. Choose something that you’re good at or at least enjoy doing, then find out how you can turn something you only do on occasion into a source of income. 

Work an Additional Part-Time Job

Although working both a full-time and a part-time job will leave you tired, look at what you will be getting in return. For people who have completed online FNP programs, the idea of working two jobs is akin to volunteer to burn the candle at both ends. On the other hand, you don’t have to resign yourself to doing it for long. Just working a part-time job in addition to your regular job a few months out of year can help you to save for a summer vacation, pay off your car or get your credit card bills under control

When new bills emerge, sometimes you have to adjust your budget. Increasing your income will make it possible for you to live a low stress life as you will not worry as much about how you are going to handle future hardship. Choose to go back to school, get an additional job, go for a promotion at work or start your very own company. No matter what route you choose, your financial advisor will approve. 

Comparison between NPS Tier 1 & Tier 2 Account

The New Pension System (NPS) is a retirement plan launched by the Indian government. It is regulated by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). The scheme is primarily aimed to offer individuals retirement corpus to achieve financial independence during their senior years.

An individual aged between 18 and 60 years is eligible to invest in this scheme. A duly filled application form must be submitted to PFRDA-appointed Point of Presence (POP). Every successful applicant receives a unique Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN).

pension

Applicants receive the PRAN application status through an email or an SMS. Successful applicants are given a welcome kit including the PRAN card and information guide. However, they may check the status with the POP if there is a situation where the PRAN card is not received. NPS contributions may be made in Tier 1 (pension account) and Tier 2 (investment account). These accounts mature when the subscribers reach the age of 60 years. The differences between these two accounts are briefly discussed below, to assist individual investors.

Comparing Tier 1 and Tier 2 accounts

Compulsion

Tier 1 account is mandatory for every NPS subscriber and is the primary account. Tier 2 account is optional and may be opened by a Tier 1 accountholder. The returns as estimated using the NPS interest rate remain constant on both these accounts.

Contributions

Subscribers have to make at least 1 contribution to both these accounts each year. The minimum contribution at the time of opening a Tier 1 account is INR 500 and INR 1,000 for Tier 2 account. In addition, NPS subscribers must invest at least INR 6,000 per year to their Tier 1 accounts. There is no minimum annual contribution that is mandatory to the Tier 2 account but subscribers need to maintain at least INR 2,000 as the minimum balance.

Withdrawals

When NPS was launched, subscribers were not allowed to withdraw from the Tier 1 account until maturity. However, recently this rule has been modified and investors may now withdraw up to 20% of the accumulated corpus. This money is withdrawable only for certain expenses, such as children's education, buying a first home, or for treating critical medical conditions. The Tier 2 account has no withdrawal conditions and subscribers are allowed to withdraw as per their personal needs. Moreover, Tier 2 account holders may transfer money from this account to the Tier 1 account. However, no such transfer is allowed from Tier 1 to Tier 2 account.

Tax benefits

Subscribers enjoy tax benefits of up to INR 1.5 lacs under section 80CCD (1) of the Income Tax (IT) Act on the contribution to their Tier 1 accounts. An additional benefit of INR 50,000 is available for Tier 1 contributions u/s 80CCD (1B) of the IT Act. No such tax benefits are provided for contributions made to the Tier 2 accounts.

Maturity

Tier 1 accounts mature when the subscribers reach the age of 60 years. At this time, they may withdraw a maximum of 60% of the accumulated corpus as a lump sum. Until recently, this entire withdrawal was taxed at the subscriber’s tax rates. However, 40% of the sum withdrawn at maturity is now tax-free. The balance corpus is converted to an annuity scheme offered by the PFRDA-approved service providers. Investors may use an online nps calculator, pension plan calculator to estimate the annuity they would receive on their converted corpus. On the other hand, investors are allowed to withdraw money from Tier 2 accounts any time, thereby providing complete flexibility.

The number of NPS subscribers increased significantly from the time the Finance Minister offered additional tax benefits to the investors. However, a large number of individuals still lack clarity and the above discussion aims to clear some of the differences between the two accounts offered by NPS. 

How Demonetization will Bring your Home Loan Lending Rates Down

According to estimates, banks collected cash deposit of more than Rs 4 lakh crores in the week following the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes announcement by the Indian government. While people still wait to get their scrapped 500 and 1000 rupee notes replaced by new 500 and 2000 rupee notes, many are wondering what this move will do to their deposits, loans and investments. 

Home Loan Rates

Subsequent to the demonetization move by the government, all of the Indian citizens are showing up in large numbers at various banks to deposit money in their accounts. Most of this cash is being deposited in savings bank accounts and banks usually pay you about 4 percent interest annually on these accounts. 

Getting money via savings bank accounts is low cost deposit for banks since they pay less interest on them. And with the demonetization of large currency notes, banks are now getting a lot of money. With this, banks can further lend money to people as they apply for home loans. This high liquidity in banks means that the home loan interest rates will be cut down tremendously.

Banks or lending institutions are generally expected to bring about huge deposits growth. This will knock down the borrowing cost for banks, ergo the benefits are passed on to the consumers who avail home loans from banks in the form of reduced interest rates. 

Since banks nowadays are acquiring a lot of money through savings bank accounts, there is no requirement for your fixed deposits. The simple math is that banks would rather pay 4 percent interest on savings accounts than around 7 percent interest on fixed deposits. Therefore, various banks are now dropping interest rates on fixed deposits, which means lending rates are expected to come down as well. 

Most deposits are coming from savings bank accounts and banks are paying less interest on fixed deposits to consumers, allowing them to lend at lower rates with high liquidity. So, you can expect the EMI on your home loans to drop down notably in coming 3 to 6 months. This is definitely a relief for people who are paying EMIs or planning to obtain home loans in coming months.

Leverage CIBIL Score when Applying for a Home Loan

Buying a house is one of the major achievements in your life. And with the easy availability of financing options - since you can apply for home loans online now - it’s become easier than ever before. But ever wondered why some people get more loan amount at lower interest rates than others? It’s because of the CIBIL score, which is a crucial factor in determining whether or not your loan is approved.

Applying for a Home Loan

Lenders access your CIBIL score prior to processing your application for home loan. These scores are generated as per your credit history, loans obtained and loan repayment patterns. A high CIBIL score means strong creditworthiness and the person gets better home loan amount and interest rates while someone with low score is seen as a risky borrower from lenders.

Here are some crucial steps to leverage your CIBIL score when applying for a home loan.

Check your CIBIL score prior to applying for home loan

It’s important to know your credit score beforehand so that your home loan doesn’t get rejected by the lender. By checking credit score, you can ensure that all your financial details and credit history are in order. To access your credit score, you can log in to the CIBIL website and pay a minimal amount of Rs. 470. And in case your score is not up to the mark, you can rebuild your credit record by improving it and become eligible for a home loan.

Do not apply for a home loan repeatedly

If a lender rejects your home loan application because of your lower-than-required credit score, do not just apply to a different lender. This is because another lender will also enquire about your credit score, which reflects negatively on your credit rating. Instead of reapplying right away, try to improve your credit score by repaying debts and cutting down on credit card usage.  

Don’t go overboard with unsecured loans

Make sure you don’t have too many unsecured loans. And if you do, try to close or limit them and even close your credit cards with high limits. These indicate outstanding debt on your credit history and since lenders examine your Debt to Income ratio prior to sanctioning a home loan, this will have a negative impact on your eligibility. Lenders consider high Debt to Income ratio as a possible default as the borrower may not be able to make additional EMI payments.

Should I Invest In High-Risk Industries?

As the vast majority of investors will tell you, success is down to avoiding risk. But on certain occasions, an investor will have the urge to put their money behind a high-risk business.

High-Risk

Why? Because the returns can be extraordinary - it’s that simple. But what is a high-risk business and what do you need to know before gambling on a positive result? 

I’m going to take you through everything you need to know to help you work out if a high-risk business is a viable investment to make.

What are high-risk businesses?

A high-risk business is a company that sells risky - or even dangerous - products. Certain products attract lots of interest from criminals and fraudsters, or can often be a risk in the sense they could cause problems for customers. 

Gambling is a distinct high-risk business, as is anything to do with the sex industry, firearms, and cigarette products. But even direct marketing or health products are classed as high-risk. It’s the same for any new business - you have no previous record or credit history, so you are seen as high risk. 

High-Risk business

As an investor, the sensible option would be to walk away from these types of business models. But if you hear about a deal that sounds irresistible, there are some checks you can make to prevent disasters.

What checks should I make?

Due diligence is a vital aspect of any investment into high-risk companies. In an ideal world, any company you invest in should have open records, up-to-date tax returns, and a seriously impressive business plan. 

You will want to see that the firm places standards high on their list of priorities, too. It means they should be upfront and honest with their claims, and comply with industry regulations. It is advisable to seek out firms that use protections for receiving payments, too, so you know they are avoiding the many fraudulent chargebacks that can occur with a high risk merchant account

High-Risk Industries

You will also have to do some soul searching. Take the arms industry as a perfect example. It will almost always be profitable, but can you live with the fact your investment is used for death and destruction?

Will it cause me problems?

Aside from the dangers of losing your money in a high-risk business, there is something else you need to think about: society. In the past, investing in shares with a tobacco company, say, was no great shakes - many would do it. 

These days, however, the climate is a little different. In fact, if you are a company investing in tobacco, gambling, or the arms industry, there may be consequences. The societal norm has changed a lot, and many consumers will stop buying from companies who support industries they deem as irresponsible - or even ‘sinful.' 

While it’s different for private investors, you should be aware that if others people find out about your portfolio, they may view you differently as a person.

Should I do it?

There is nothing to stop you from investing in high-risk businesses other than your moral code. If you do decide to go with it, ensure you run plenty of checks - and understand they are called ‘high-risk businesses’ for an excellent reason. Good luck!