Stop throwing your money away


Three Ways In Which A Mortgage Broker Saves You Money

Posted by on Mar 30, 2016 in Blog, Finance & Money | Comments Off on 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 interest rates if you are willing to pay by direct withdrawal from an account every month. Talk to your mortgage broker about how to set these accounts up so that you do not pay any extra fees for their use. The broker might have client accounts which he or she already uses to manage payments through his or her own business accounting system, and therefore might be able to assist you with...

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

Posted by on Mar 30, 2016 in Blog, Finance & Money | Comments Off on 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. Keeping your costs low by investing with traders (and funds) that charge minimal ongoing rates is one of the best ways to preserve capital on a long term basis. To do this, you’ll want to steer clear of actively managed funds and instead look for index funds or exchange traded funds (ETFs) based on a broad market index or sector. Actively managed funds may carry higher fees to compensate for this hands-on attention and responsiveness to market conditions, but aren’t shown to dramatically outperform the market (and in some cases even underperform the market). When factoring in lower carrying costs, this can mean that your account in a plain vanilla index fund winds up being a much better investment than a “designer” fund managed by an industry expert. For more information, contact a stock trading company...

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How To Avoid Cash Flow Problems From Accounts Receivable Accounts

Posted by on Nov 2, 2015 in Blog, Finance & Money | Comments Off on How To Avoid Cash Flow Problems From Accounts Receivable Accounts

Having a lack of working capital is one of the most devastating problems a business can have, and this can easily happen if you allow too many credit sales with your customers. Credit sales, also called accounts receivables (AR), are a great way to boost the sales of your business, but you may need to take steps to improve the AR turnover rate with these accounts. Here are two tips to help you with this. Offer shorter terms While there will always be customers that pay on time, there will also be those that do not. To improve the chances of collecting your money faster, shorten up the terms that you offer. If you currently offer 60 days, cut it in half to 30 days. While this might be hard to do with existing customers, you can start this off with all new credit applications that you approve. For your existing customers, you may want to send out one or two notices to inform them that you will be changing the terms. To accommodate their needs, you may want to give them a grace period of six months or one year before this change occurs.  Sell your accounts Another good way to decrease issues with negative cash flow from AR sales is by getting in the habit of selling your AR accounts. There are businesses that specialize in purchasing AR accounts, and they will buy almost any account you have. These businesses will not purchase the accounts for 100% of their value, though. If they did this, they would not be able to make a profit. In most cases, they will offer a certain percentage of the total of the accounts you have. If you accept the offer, they will pay you the cash now in exchange for the accounts. Some businesses sell their AR accounts regularly simply so that they do not have to worry about collecting them. When you sell your accounts, you will benefit in several ways: You will not have to deal with cash flow problems. You will not have to worry about collection efforts for accounts that do not sell. You may be able to reduce your payroll because you will have less work to do for the AR accounts. There are numerous benefits of selling AR accounts, and this process is referred to as factoring. If you would like to learn more about how factoring can benefit your company, contact a business that offers this service today. For more information, contact a professional like those at JD...

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What You Need To Know About Using The Cash And Accrual Method For Your Small Business

Posted by on Aug 3, 2015 in Blog, Finance & Money | Comments Off on What You Need To Know About Using The Cash And Accrual Method For Your Small Business

Many small business owners wonder if they should be using the cash method or accrual method when starting their business. This is a decision that should be made based on the types of services you provide and what works best for you. The important thing is that you choose which method you will use before you structure your company. Here is what you need to know about each method. Cash Method The cash method means that you count the income as income only when you are paid for the services or goods. This means that until the cash is in hand, you do not even count that sale or the service on the books. So for instance, if you own a law office you meet with people every day. You may bill the individual for the services that you provided on April 20th. But the person is delinquent in their bill and doesn’t pay you all the way till September. Even though you billed them all the way back in April, on your books it will show that the service was given in September and you will pay the taxes on the service in September, not in April. This method works best for people who are in an industry where it is questionable if you will be paid. For example, a lawyer does not receive everything that they deserve. Even though they bill a large amount, they might only receive a fraction of it and some clients just never pay. This means using the cash method would be the best for them. Accrual Method The accrual method is different in that you don’t count the cash when you get it but when it was earned. For example, assume that you own a delivery service. This means that people order your boxes and goods and you deliver to them. There is a lapse in the amount of time that it takes for you to get paid, but you generally get paid. For this circumstance, you could use the accrual method. This means that if you delivered goods to the client on December 15th but they didn’t pay you until January 2nd, you will still count the delivery and money earned in December. So on your December books it would show that you made that money. This method works well for many companies and gives a better idea of how much work is done each month, seeing as it charts income based on income earned, not income received. By understanding the accrual and cash method you can decide what is best for your company. For more information, contact companies like Burns Valkenburg &...

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Addressing A Couple Of Important Bankruptcy Concerns You May Have

Posted by on May 1, 2015 in Blog, Finance & Money | Comments Off on Addressing A Couple Of Important Bankruptcy Concerns You May Have

Going through a bankruptcy filing can be a highly confusing task, but it may be essential if you have gotten in trouble with your current bills. Unfortunately, there are some misconceptions and unanswered questions that many potential clients have about filing for bankruptcy. By learning the answers to the two following questions, you will have a much stronger idea of how the process of discharging your existing debts will be handled.  How Is The Settlement Of Your Debts Handled? The manner in which your debts will be discharged will depend on a variety of factors, but it will almost always entail meeting with your creditors to negotiate a fair offer for the current debt. This is done with the help of your attorney and a mediator that is trained to facilitate the parties of a bankruptcy coming to an agreement.  Generally, you will meet with representatives from your creditors at a neutral site. Over the course of the day, a series of offers will be exchanged to help settle on a final offer to discharge the existing debt to finalize the bankruptcy. This process can be lengthy, but it is an essential step in the process to ensure that your creditors’ rights are represented during your bankruptcy filing.  What If Your Creditors Are Unwilling To Strike A Deal With You? You may be concerned that your creditors will be unwilling to work you to reach a fair settlement for your existing debt. This is a justifiable concern given the aggressive collection tactics that you may have encountered. However, it should be noted that these individuals have an interest in reaching an agreement with you through mediation.  If it is apparent that a settlement between the debtors and creditors is not going to be reached, the court will take over this process. After carefully evaluating the debtor’s financial situation versus their current debts, the court will issue a binding judgement that dictates the final terms of the bankruptcy. As a result, creditors can lose out substantially in this situation because the courts will often be more favorable to the debtor in these instances, and this will almost assure that the creditors will be willing to reach an agreement with you during this round of the process.  Filing for the protections of bankruptcy is a last-ditch effort that you may have to use to restore control over your financial life. By understanding how the debts you currently have will be handled during this process, you will be more informed when you are choosing whether or not to seek this type of legal protection from your creditors. For more information, contact a company like Westgeest &...

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Bankruptcy Trustee: How One Can Help You Settle Your Debt Situation With Creditors

Posted by on Jan 30, 2015 in Blog, Finance & Money | Comments Off on Bankruptcy Trustee: How One Can Help You Settle Your Debt Situation With Creditors

Does your home phone ring throughout the day and night with collection agencies demanding money for past due debts? You don’t have to continue dealing with the stress of avoiding phone calls if you file for bankruptcy, but first you will have to hire a trustee to help out. Find out what a bankruptcy trustee will do to help you get out of your financial nightmare. How Can a Bankruptcy Trustee Assist with Settling Debts Owed to Creditors? A trustee is necessary for filing bankruptcy because he or she will handle all business between you and the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB). The first thing that will take place is a discussion between you and the trustee about your finances, including your monthly income and bills. The trustee will then proceed to go over the official documents for filing bankruptcy and help you fill in the required information. The documents will then be handed over to a representative at the OSB for review. A trustee will also speak with your creditors to try to come up with a solution for helping them recoup some of the money you owe. The trustee will be responsible for selling any of your assets that are not exempt by law to obtain funds that can be paid to creditors. It is also possible that the trustee will suggest that you not file bankruptcy if he or she feels like you can pay off your debts with the right kind of payment agreement. You won’t be declared bankrupt until your documents are approved by the OSB. Your creditors will have no legal rights to harass you about paying them money once you are bankrupt. Can a Trustee Assist with Getting Finances on Track After Bankruptcy? A bankruptcy trustee can assist you with getting your finances on track after you are bankrupt by providing credit counseling or referring you to a counselor. You will also be required to speak to an OSB agent about your financial situation, as they will want to know what caused you to get in a financial bind so it can be avoided in the future. The key to helping you stay out of debt will be teaching you how to manage and pay your bills on time, and avoid making unnecessary purchases that you can’t afford. You will breathe easier without the weight of owing a lot of debts hanging over your shoulders. Allow a bankruptcy trustee (such as one from Harris & Partners Inc. Bankruptcy) help you get a fresh financial...

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