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January 10, 2018

The Benefits of Using ETFs to Build Retirement Wealth

mutual fund detailsExchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are a great way to build an effective retirement portfolio through your Roth IRA or IRA contributions due to their low expense ratios. ETFs offer investors exposure to a diverse set of assets. They are currently one of the fastest growing investment products in the world due to the low expense ratio and their high diversification. ETFs can be traded through virtually every big-name brokerage available. Brokerages oftentimes will partner with ETF providers to offer free-commission on ETF trading, which helps you save even more money on expenses!

ETFs are effectively mutual funds, but trade like any other stocks. When you purchase a single ETF share, you gain access to an entire index such as the S&P 500 or the Dow 30. Or, investors can purchase market segments (e.g., financial, industrial or healthcare sectors) within a given country. Thus, making them a highly efficient investment tool. The substantial growth in the ETF market has led to a number of new, distinct ETF products such as the MSCI All Country World Minimum Volatility Index or the Dow Jones EPAC Select Dividend Index. The Dow Jones EPAC Select Dividend Index provides great dividend growth income and that can be reinvested or used as cash flow for other investment products.

Here are main benefits in investing in ETFs:

1. Flexibility: With a number of distinct indexes and options, individuals with retirement accounts can trade commission-free AND can obtain exposure to countries all over the world. If you choose, investors are able to gain exposure to the entire world if you sure please. In addition, ETFs offer the flexibility to be traded as a stock for a market price.

2. Cost Efficiency: ETFs based on indexes are in one transaction that trade all components of the underlying index. Investors are usually not charged any entry or exit fees and management fees are substantially lower than mutual funds. For example, ETFs expense ratio are usually around 0.1 – 0.8% whereas mutual funds are about 1.40%

3. Transparency: ETFs are transparent due to the fact that they list on regulated markets and track transparent indices. The ETFs are traded through the day and there are highly competitive bid/ask prices provided by market makers ensuring ample liquidity.

ETFs are really a simple form of mutual funds and can be used in a variety of ways. If you start investing early in a set of 3-4 mutual funds that offer differentiating diversification, you will be in a great position for retirement. Investors should set aside a predetermined amount of capital each month to purchase ETFs. Given their low expense ratios and flexibility, investors can sleep well at night knowing that their money is being put to good use and is generating income while they are enjoying life.

ETFs are not a guaranteed investment. Be patient with the market and continue to purchase additional ETF shares regardless. The old saying is: “I would prefer my time in the market rather than timing the market.”

Millionaire Mob is a former investment banker that hopes to offer fair value on Wall Street while traveling the world. I enjoy helping others in achieving financial freedom whether that is through dividend growth investing, passive income techniques or travel rewards strategies.

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November 27, 2017

How to Avoid the Exploitation of Elders with Advice from Freedom Debt Relief

elders debtsWhile it is hard to imagine, a crime that we see committed over and over, are crimes against elderly people by way of fraud and other forms of exploitation. Not only is this illegal, but it is also immoral and it is hard to imagine something like this happening to someone we know and love. At Freedom Debt Relief, we want to help caregivers and loved ones to avoid the older people in their lives from becoming victims of elder exploitation.

Sadly, a recent study Freedom Debt Relief reviewed shows that almost $3 billion is fraudulently exploited out of seniors each year. That is each and every year. This is a huge loss of money for people who generally live on a fixed income and this reduced income can spell disaster for the person’s ability to meet their daily needs. While it would be nice to think that this is rare, the numbers just don’t bear that out.

As Freedom Debt Relief found out, 1 out of every 5 people over the age of 65 has or will suffer from some form of elder fraud. This is a huge number and it means that, chances are, you or an older person you love could also be a victim of these predatory processes. What follows are just a few tips and hints on how to manage your own, or help the older person in your life manage their finances in a way that reduces the likelihood of becoming a victim.

Cognitive Decline and Finances

One thing that Freedom Debt Relief found is that those who are of advanced age (80+), as well as those who are suffering from some form of cognitive decline are far more likely to be victims of fraud than those who do not. If you start to notice that your memory isn’t what it once was, or if you are a caregiver who notices this about a loved one, you might want to turn over control of the finances to someone who can manage it. This will reduce the likelihood that your finances or your loved one’s finances are compromised as a result of someone taking advantage of their decline.

Avoid Scams

While Freedom Debt Relief knows that we want to be able to trust in the kindness of others, the sad fact of the matter is that there are people out there that are looking to scam people. You need to be wary of anyone who is selling something that seems to good to be true or that comes along, promising that, for a fee, they will be able to solve all your problems. Older people are far more likely to be targets and victims of such scams as they tend to not be as technically savvy and are more likely to trust other people.

Freedom Debt Relief notes that being open with your finances with someone you trust as you get older is just a smart way to help avoid becoming a victim to fraud. Being willing to turn over your finances to someone you trust if you start to notice some memory slips could ultimately save you your entire savings. Be skeptical and wary of anyone who is trying to sell you something that seems way too good to be true or anyone who thinks they can solve your problems (for a fee, of course) and make your world as good as new. Maintain a high degree of skepticism and enlist the help of someone you trust when making big decisions.

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October 18, 2017

ALL ABOUT OWNER FINANCING

property financeYou and your family have made the decision to move out of your house and sell it. Or, perhaps you are wanting to sell an office building or a piece of vacant land. Most people think that there are only two ways that a potential buyer could pay for that property. Either the buyer has to have a load of cash or they must be able to get a loan from their friendly, neighborhood bank (or a less friendly mega-bank, but that is a discussion for another time).

What is Owner Financing?

A third way of selling a property – one which has been used for centuries – is to offer owner financing. You could use owner financing to sell a used car, an appliance, or just about anything else of value, but using owner financing for real estate is the safest and most profitable way to do it. So, what is it? Owner financing means that you are acting in some ways like a small bank, albeit a nicer and easier-to- work-with bank. When selling the property, you receive a down payment from the buyer and set up a real estate note stating the interest rate, term, and monthly payments.

Let’s try an example in which you are wanting to sell a house valued at $100,000. You and Betty Buyer agree that she will give you a $10,000 down payment and make payments to you on the first of every month at an interest rate of 6% and a loan term of 30 years. An attorney or title company would normally prepare the needed documents, including the real estate note, a deed of trust (or mortgage, in some states), and a title commitment. Each side signs in the appropriate places, the deed of trust or mortgage is recorded with the county, and you are done.

Advantages of Owner Financing

  1. There are a number of positives from offering owner financing, which include:
    Can be completed much more quickly than with a bank loan, and you have the flexibility to set up the note however you want, subject to state and national laws.
  2. The pool of potential buyers becomes much larger. They may be good credit risks but perhaps do not qualify for a bank loan.
  3. More income for you since you are recovering the original profit plus interest from the note.
    4. It helps the buyer to purchase a property that they probably could not have otherwise have bought.

When Not to use Owner Financing

  • Of course, owner financing is not appropriate for any of the following situations:
    You, as the property owner, still owe a lot of money on the property to a bank or other financial entity.
  • You need all of the cash from the property right away.
  • You need the cash from the incoming payments to survive. If the payer ever defaults, you may need to pay for a foreclosure and go without the note income for several months.

What’s Next

You successfully sold the house to Betty Buyer and all of the documents were properly created and signed. The hard work is done, so you can mostly wait for the monthly payments to come in. However, at least once per year, you will want to make sure that the property has adequate fire insurance (with you as the primary beneficiary), that property taxes are kept current, and that the property is kept in good condition.

If, down the road, you decide that you need some cash out of the note right away, you can contact a note buyer. Good note buyers will explain that you can sell all of the note or just some of the payments, how the process works, and when you can expect to receive funds.

There are a lot of note buyers out there, with varying levels of expertise and integrity. Be sure to work with a real estate note buyer with whom you feel comfortable, that is a licensed real estate broker, and that has a high rating from the Better Business Bureau or a comparable entity.

Alan Noblitt is the owner of Seascape Capital Inc., which buys real estate notes and business notes. He may be reached at (858) 672-4678 or toll-free at 1-800-634-4697. If you would like to learn more about real estate notes and read informational articles, visit www.seascapecapital.com.

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September 4, 2017

Loan Types to Consider if You Own a Small Business

offering business loansSmall business owners are earning increasing visibility in Western society, and are increasingly applauded for their courage in setting off on their own. Founders pour their hearts and souls into both startups and other types of small businesses, and for many people their lives revolve around their company. But even once your small business is off the ground, you’ll likely need to take out loans of some type to cover expenses and to help you expand your company. Read on for some basics on the different types of loans that you could take out, depending on your business’ specific needs.

Business Line of Credit

A business line of credit offers you readily available cash whenever you need it for your business. Like a line of credit for a credit card, there is a fixed maximum, but you only pay interest on the amount of money that you actually use. Also as with a credit card, funds are there for your business when you need them, even if what you really need is physical cash.

Different lenders will have different terms with your business line of credit, but some may require that you routinely pay off the entire amount. Even if your specific line of credit only requires you to pay interest, it is always a good idea to pay off portions of the principal as regularly as possible.

Business Credit Cards

Business credit cards are very similar to the personal credit cards that you already have open. Unlike a business line of credit, withdrawing cash from a business credit card typically incurs high fees, but there are other benefits to business credit cards. Depending on the specific card, you can earn cash back bonuses or “points” on various purchases, which may help you cut costs in the future. You can also build your business’ credit, even if you already have the capital you need, by making relatively small purchases on your business credit card and paying them off quickly.

Term Loans

Small businesses can apply for term loans, which would give you a lump sum of money that must be repaid within an agreed-upon amount of time. Term loans do also accrue interest, which typically must be paid back monthly. Term loans may be repayable in extremely variable time periods, from several months to several years. These loans are best for business that are looking to make big purchases or investments, but need a one-time financial boost in order to do so.

Equipment Loans

If your business needs to purchase new equipment or machinery (including computers, printers, or other industry-specific needs), equipment loans may be the way to go. These are especially beneficial when a business has no other costs that require a loan, except for the equipment costs. Equipment loans are typically made for the exact amount of the desired equipment, and may sometimes be kept for the entire lifespan of the equipment. As with all loans, equipment loans will accrue interest, which will need to be paid back regularly.

In addition to these more standard loan types, there are also some less traditional loans, such as competitive loans offered to small businesses by online companies such as LendGenius. To learn more about these non-traditional finance options, and the potential benefits for your business, visit their website.

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August 21, 2017

Money Making Tips for Stay-at-Home Moms

home mom moneyWhen you’re a parent, expensive situations can come out of nowhere! Whether it’s an unexpected medical bill, an important field trip, school supplies, or a seemingly endless supply of diapers, sometimes there’s simply not enough money to cover everything. As a stay-at-home mom, the pressure of financial strain might make you feel as if you have to go straight back into full-time employment, but that’s not always the case. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the ways you can add to the household coffers.

Online surveys

One of the most straightforward ways of making a little extra additional cash is to complete online surveys. Although payouts per survey aren’t huge, over time, consistent survey completion can yield a tidy sum.

Get paid when you shop online

Believe it or not, there are companies that pay you to shop online! Using affiliate links to your favorite stores, you can earn money every time you make a transaction. A percentage of your purchase will be paid back to you; usually you will need to hit a milestone (generally in $5 or $10 increments), and payouts are given as store vouchers or PayPal credits. A convenient way to earn whilst enjoying a little retail therapy!

Transcription

If you have a decent typing speed, reliable internet access, and a good pair of headphones, you could make money from transcription! Online platforms connect freelance transcriptionists with companies looking to have usually short excerpts transcribed. It’s important to note that payments are usually made per hour of audio transcribed, rather the time it takes you to complete the task, so only go into transcription if you can type fast enough to make the task worthwhile. However, if you have the skills, it’s a great way to bring home some extra cash!

Sell old stuff online

Do you have old clothes, shoes, accessories, toys, or gym equipment lying around the house, never used? It’s time to let them go, and earn some money while you’re at it! Selling platforms such as eBay make it straightforward to unburden yourself from the things that are taking up precious room. Simply snap some photos, add a dazzling description, then wait for the bidders to snap up your items.

Start an Etsy store

If you have a creative flair and wish to sell your own products, it’s easy to set up a store on Etsy. Advertise your store across your existing social media, involve friends and family, and create a buzz around your designs. With good word-of-mouth and online reviews, you’ll be making money in no time!

Childminding

If you enjoy looking after children, consider setting up your own childminding business. This may involve gaining some additional qualifications, but your investment can return a significant income once you get going. It will also allow you to keep spending time with your own children while you work.

Cash loans

We all experience times when money is tight; sometimes the best way to go about resolving a temporary cash flow problem is to take out a cash loan. It’s now more straightforward than ever to take out online loans, so do not be afraid to consider it as a solution to your money worries.

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