Stop throwing your money away

Three Ways In Which A Mortgage Broker Saves You Money

Before you start house hunting, even before you begin looking for a mortgage lender, you may want to see a mortgage broker instead. A mortgage broker can do more for you than you can do on your own, including saving you a lot of money. Here are three ways in which a mortgage broker saves you money. The Broker Looks For and Knows the Lowest Interest Rates A big part of your mortgage loan is the interest. The higher the interest rate, the more interest you will pay over the life of the mortgage, which can double or triple the final purchase price of your home. To avoid making payments that exceed the purchase value of your home, a broker can find the lowest interest rates available to you. He or she already knows many of the lenders that offer low interest rates, but can find additional ones that are willing to back your mortgage loan at the interest rates you want and need. The Broker Can Negotiate Repayment Terms Now let’s say that the broker has found a loan with the interest rate you want, but the repayment terms do not suit you. Guess what? The mortgage broker can negotiate or renegotiate the repayment terms for you. You do not have to haggle with the lender all by yourself (which usually does not work out well anyway). It is similar to having a lawyer construct a plea deal for you, only the terms in a mortgage contract work out much better for you than most legal proceedings and plea bargains would. For example, instead of a massive balloon payment at the end of fifteen years when you know you will not be able to repay that much, you can stretch out the final balloon payment to twenty, twenty-five or thirty years or even eliminate the balloon payment altogether so that you can more effectively budget your finances. The Broker Can Set Up Payment Accounts for You If you currently do not have a checking or savings account, it is possible to establish one just for the sole purpose of paying your mortgage. In fact, some lenders may be willing to reduce fees or...

Just Starting To Invest In The Stock Market? How Can You Maximize Your Returns?

Whether you’ve recently accepted your first post-college job and are excited to begin saving for retirement or have been squirreling away money for years in a savings account and are tired of earning abysmally low interest rates, you may be eyeing the investment market with interest. Many analysts view investing in the stock market as one of the only reliable ways to ensure your funds win the battle of inflation over time. However, there are a few rules of thumb that can help you maximize your potential returns in just about any situation — whether you’re investing in conservative bond funds or more aggressive stock indexes or real estate investment trusts (REITs). Read on to learn more about structuring your burgeoning stock portfolio in a way that helps you keep as much of your earned investments as possible. Evaluate the tax treatment of your investment account and the timing of withdrawals In Canada, half of any capital gains realized in a calendar year (including the earnings from stock and bond investments) are taxed at your top marginal tax rate. For example, if you’re in the 35 percent tax bracket and sell some shares of stock to realize a $5,000 total gain, you’ll only be required to pay a 35 percent tax rate on $2,500, or around $875 in total taxes. Because of this tax treatment, when it comes time to sell your investments, you’ll want to carefully evaluate the timing of sale. If you have losses in another account, you may want to sell to “lock in” these losses (and then buy again at the low sale price) so that you can use these capital losses to offset any gains realized.  In other cases — especially if you’re expecting a dramatic change in your tax status from one calendar year to the next — you’ll want to time your stock sale so that the proceeds are taxed during the year when your marginal rate was lowest.  Keep an eye on fees and commissions  Earning a 10 percent return on your investment may sound great — until you look at your statement and realize trading costs and account fees eat up 9 percent of this total....