April 16, 2017
The new year and the new presidential administration has ushered in a host of fiscal changes that could impact your wallet. Safeguard your money and act in the best interest of your household or business’s bottom line by learning more about the growing financial trends in 2017.
Rising Interest Rates
Interest rates are on the rise in 2017, creating a financial environment that is geared more toward saving than borrowing. In fact, people who put money into personal savings and retirement accounts have the opportunity to create and grow their wealth. Alternatively, people who need to borrow money face paying higher interest rates and making larger payments on their loans each month.
The higher interest rates correlate to the expanding economy and the creation of more openings in the American job market. As unemployment rates go down and American workers may more money, they have the unique opportunity this year to save money and take advantage of rising interest rates that could lead to greater personal wealth. Capital management services offered by professionals like James Dondero are also expected be more in demand this year.
Freelancing in Retirement
This year also has the makings of being the ideal time for retirees to make some extra cash doing side gigs. It is no secret that retirees are living longer and often outliving the money they have set aside for this time in their lives.
Until recently, however, people in this age demographic had few chances to earn extra cash. Many employers did not want to invest time and effort into training employees who would leave the workforce sooner rather than later.
However, thanks to companies like Uber and Lyft that rely on freelancers, senior citizens now have the opportunity to work for themselves as independent contractors and earn money that will not put their Social Security incomes in jeopardy. Along with driving for Uber or Lyft, they also can freelance as writers, artists, tutors, and other independent contractors.
Investment Portfolio Automation
This year also shows signs of increasing the demands for investment portfolio automation. This automation makes investing with financial pros like James Dondero easier and essentially creates an ideal if not passive way for people to put money into the stock market without putting forth any unnecessary effort on their part.
Further, this automation shows promise of being tax efficient and low in cost. Moreover, it costs the same if not less than an exchange-traded fund.
About James Dondero
James Dondero began his career in the financial industry in 1984 and has since become one of the leaders in capital and investment management. As the co-founder and president of Highland Capital Management, L.P. in Dallas, Texas, Dondero also serves as the CEO and chairman of the board at HCM Acquisition Company. Before founding Highland Capital Management, L.P. he worked for top financial companies like American Express and Protective Life.
He graduated with top academic honors from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce with dual degrees in finance and accounting. He is certified as a Certified Management Accountant as well as a Chartered Financial Analyst. He also volunteers for Dallas-based charities and organizations like the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Institute, Education is Freedom, Snowball Express, and the Perot Museum of Natural Science.
, financial planning
April 15, 2017
There have been lawsuits filed in the past that suggest something rather scary for your company. If you make the decision to not employ applicants at your firm who have a past history of criminal violations, you stand to face charges of discrimination, based on race and other factors. This protocol is due to guidelines that are in place by the EEOC or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. According to tritoncanada.ca, you can’t just turn people away because of unrelated criminal records.
You Need to Consider All Factors
For example, if your company deals in stocking auto parts at a warehouse, you can’t turn an applicant with a record for insurance fraud from fifteen years ago away from the opportunity. According to the commission, you aren’t allowed to turn people away based on the fact that they have a history. Instead, you are required to evaluate that record and see if the offenses they committed have an effect on their ability to perform their job duties correctly, or if the safety of the other employees at the firm is in danger.
Racial Discrimination Suits Could Arise
It is a well-known fact by now that over 70% of employers in the US run checks on potential job applicants’ criminal records. The number of people with such records in the USA has been rising over the years at the same time. Those individuals who have a criminal record without being convicted of a crime, an arrest can lead to a black mark on the record. Many of the people with such records have never committed a violent crime and have never spent time in jail. Employers tend to generalize everyone with a criminal record as being a threat to safety, which is blatant discrimination.
The case gets even trickier when you consider the statistics for arrests and convictions in the US. Black people are imprisoned six times as white people in the country. A company can be sued for racial discrimination if they turn away people with criminal records. You are allowed to use a background test in your business, of course, but you have to consider factors in this check including the type of crime committed, how relevant it is to the job, and how long it has been since the applicant’s last offense.
Explanations Need to be Made and Received
Even after all this is considered, and you still can’t hire the applicant, you have to explain to the person in writing why you couldn’t hire them. This cause needs a satisfactory explanation of why their criminal history makes them unfit. The law firm must give you a chance to explain yourself and prove you can perform well on the job at hand.
If you have a criminal record that shows a violent crime being committed, it’s one of the only times they can immediately reject an application. In recent years, a conviction for malicious and intentional assault and battery would indicate a red flag, for example.
April 13, 2017
If you buy a prebuilt home that doesn’t have a tremendous value as it stands, you might find yourself wondering whether to rebuild it from the ground up or try to repair and remodel it as it stands. The question is one worth considering seriously because there can be major variations in the cost difference between the two options. There are many factors involved in the final decision according to sites like thepattisallgroup.com, each of which can influence it in a certain way.
Historical Value Must be Checked
People commonly want to demolish and rebuild if the home they bought is a timeworn one. In cases like this, you have to think about the significance of the house in history. Some homes are protected by the city for their historical value. These are commonly referred to as heritage homes, and you can’t just take a wrecking ball to them. You must talk to the state and federal government and get permits to break them down before doing so. In times like this, it might be more convenient just to renovate the home instead.
Consider Local Building Limitations
Some parts of a town, state or country have certain restrictions placed on how you can rebuild the home after demolishing it. These are usually regions of architectural importance, which are visited by tourists often for a look at the homes which are of a certain basic design. Demolishing an old home might not be the best idea if you are required to rebuild it in almost the exact same way that it looked before.
Saving Money on Renovation Isn’t Easy
Most legitimate home improvements are quite costly. You may be tempted to save money by cutting corners on certain aspects of the renovation. However, if you ever try to sell the house in the future and the quality of even the tiniest aspect isn’t up to par, you will have to pay a pretty hefty fine to repair the house before selling it. Because of this, your long-term costs can still be far higher than when demolishing and rebuilding the house.
You Can’t Live in the House While Renovating
Many people choose renovation because they want to move in as quickly as possible. They think that staying in the home while it is being renovated is a good idea and one that will save on rent money. The truth is, this can be quite harmful to the health of the people in your home. Renovation releases toxic chemicals, dust, and worse. All of these can be harmful, especially to pets, kids, and people with allergic conditions.
You should also consider how good you are at planning things. There are people who are great planners and others who are terrible at it. If you’re a terrible planner, renovation might not be the best idea since you won’t be able to determine how well the project goes. Hiring an architect and demolishing the old house might be the best course of action in a situation like this.
March 2, 2017
In the recent years, there has been a surge in the number of e-commerce startups. This has resulted in a higher usage of payment gateways. These gateways are beneficial in developing customer trust through easier transactional capabilities.
A large number of studies show that the demand for reliable payment gateways will continue to rise. Businesses may choose from several gateway service providers to ensure safe, quick, and easy monetary transactions.
Digitalization of different processes, new payment platforms, and demand for finance provide challenges and opportunities to payment ventures operating in India. Here are four reasons for the growth of payment gateways in the country.
1. Increase in service providers that are taking advantage of opportunities with advanced technical apps
2. Extension of financial inclusion using mobile-based solutions
3. Newer innovations that are reaching the masses at quickly
4. Digitalization for the development of new lending and payment models
Traditional banks are adopting innovative payment-linked ecosystems for the convenience of their customers. Banks are especially providing specialized solutions for catering to the needs of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).Several mobile platforms allow payments across different categories, such as bill payments, shopping, and peer-to-peer payments.
Most of the large companies have adopted digitalization since many years. These companies conduct their various processes, such as accounts management, treasury management, and payments electronically. Such large enterprises consider advanced technologies while selecting their banking partners.
Importance of digitalization in the SME sector
In the last few years, most banks have developed cash management systems that are convenient for their customers. Almost every bank offers mobile-based cash management tools that are used by companies for not only managing their accounts but also initiating payments.
As larger companies embrace digitalization, the SME ventures still rely on cash and branch banking. The banks are offering several initiatives to encourage SMEs to move to digital platforms. One of these includes enabling merchants to receive card-based receipts using low-end mobile devices. This offers a non-cash alternative for several SME businesses. Another initiative benefiting many customer-orientated companies is the Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) that makes transacting quick, transparent, and efficient.
Banks are offering several cash management services to help SMEs improve operational efficiencies. Here are four categories of such services offered by banks.
• Optimal collection and payment systems on behalf of customers
• Wide network access, clearing infrastructure, special software, and correspondent banks’ tie-ups for timely and efficient operations
• Receivables management
• Information technology (IT) solutions for customized multiple electronic payment mechanisms
• Collection of cheques in bulk
• Cheque purchasing facilities
• Management of post-dated cheques
3. Payable management
• Refund of Initial Public Offerings (IPOs), interest and dividend warrants
• Bulk demand draft with entire correspondent banking network
• Remote printing of different instruments including cheques
4. Escrow services
• Availability of escrow depository accounts
• Dedicated team of legal and financial product personnel for assisting complex transactions
• Transaction structuring with lawyers, clients, or investment bankers
• Customization of reports and Management Information System (MIS) as per customer requirements
Streamlined processing mechanisms and real-time data integration make it easier for SMEs and large companies to gain access to various solutions as per their needs.
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February 7, 2017
You have finally decided to take the vacation that you were planning since ages. Or perhaps,you have just got promoted and there is a business trip that needs to be undertaken as part of training. More often than not, such trips would entail traveling abroad. In either case, getting a travel insurance cover for your trip is a must. It will ensure that you are safeguarded against any accident or mishap that may occur during the trip.
When you undertake a trip through a travel company, often you would be given the option to buy travel insurance. In case you are traveling on your own, you would be presented with the option of travel insurance too while booking flight tickets. In both cases, you would be informed about the travel insurance premium that would be incurred. Ever wondered how this premium amount is calculated? What are the factors that come into play in finalizing the premium figure? Read on to find out how much your travel insurance cost.
There is a multitude of factors that determine the travel insurance premium. The thing here is, insurance cover cannot be generic. Every individual has unique needs that necessitate a customized insurance cover resulting in varying premiums. Generally speaking, the factors can be broadly classified into the following –
The level of coverage determines the degree of protection you would be entitled to during your travel. This is something that needs to be decided by a careful examination of risks involved during your trip. First of all, you need to check the country you are visiting. You should check how safe it is. For instance, if you are traveling to a country that is not politically stable or is embroiled in a civil war, your travel premium is going to increase significantly. On the other hand, if you are traveling to a country that scores high in the security domain, you travel insurance will cost you less.
- Nature and/or length of the trip
Next, the nature of the trip is also something that determines the travel premium. A business trip is likely to cost you less since the risk factor is low. On the contrary, if you are undertaking an adventure trip that involves activities like bungee jumping or skydiving, you would need to pay more. Additionally, the trip duration also needs to be given a thought. If you are going to travel to the same place, say thrice during the year. It will be a good idea to get an annual policy at a reduced travel premium.
- Type of coverage i.e. Individual or Group
In case you are traveling alone, it’s pretty obvious that it will cost you less. In the case you are accompanied by yourfamily, you should opt for a group travel insurance rather than getting individual coverage to save money.
Lastly, one of the most important factors is age. Your travel insurance premium will be significantly lower if you are younger. This is because you are less prone to health related risks. Typically, insurance providers have separate plans for senior citizens and require medical check-up.
With the understanding of these pointers, you should get a fair idea of the cost associated with your travel insurance.
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, Travel Insurance