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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 28, 2017

Skip the Rat Race and Invest in IPOs with Mutual Funds

invest in IPO'sThe listing of a private company on the stock exchange is known as Initial Public Offering (IPO). It is at this point that investors are invited to bid for buying the shares of the company that was held privately thus far. Based on the past performance of the company, the offer price range is determined and once all bids are received, generally shares are allocated on a pro-rata basis.

The crazy chase to invest in IPO

IPO investments attract a lot of investors as it has the potential to give very high returns. It is believed that the investment made at the time of IPO give high returns at the time of listing. However, as with other types of equities, there is a high risk involved when you invest in an IPO.

The funds raised through an IPO are used for several purposes by the company. These include clearing off debts, expanding and improving their operations, or using it to meetworking capital needs.

Before you choose to invest in IPOs, you must remember that all IPOs are not open to general public. The underwriters choose the category of people for which the IPO is opened.

If you opt to invest in IPOs, you must be aware of the risks associated with these financial products. Here are four things you should keep in mind while investing in an IPO.

1. All offerings are not suitable for all kinds of investors. Consider your financial situation and goals before making a decision.

2. Read the draft red herring prospectus. This will help you understand how the funds will be utilized. The prospectus also provides information about the objectives and fundamentals of the company and its future growth prospects.

3. You must rely on facts and not fall prey to marketing strategies used by agencies to entice investors.

4. Analyze the promoters and their backgrounds. IPOs that have reputed institutions and government backing are safer.

Investing in an IPO must be a well-thought decision. It is important to ensure the risk level suits your personal financial situation and appetite. With IPO investments, you may make money or lose your capital; therefore, be cautious before you apply for one.

Investing in IPO through mutual funds

As mentioned before, if an IPO has institutional or government investments, the risks are significantly reduced. Until recently, mutual funds did not invest in IPOs because of the high risks. However, that is no longer the case. Mutual funds have recently begun investing in quality IPOs issued by small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Here are three benefits of investing in IPOs through mutual funds.

1. Investing in mutual funds online for retail investors is easily available and provides greater flexibility. You are able to gain exposure to the stock market at an affordable entry price.

2. The schemes are managed by experienced professionals who analyze and study the IPOs and the overall market. This reduces your risks because the fund managers and their research teams do the homework for you. Moreover, you are able to diversify your portfolio further reducing your risks.

3. IPO allotment often happens on a pro-rata basis. Therefore, you may be allotted less than the applied number of shares. However, institutions have a preferential allotment, which is beneficial.

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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 5, 2017

Why property investment should be a key part of Estate Planning?

plan for your estatePeople underestimate the importance of property investments within estate planning until it’s too late. Estate planning is your declaration after you pass away. You may not want your family to receive money and other assets you intended for your wife and children. Molly McCollough found out how essential property investment within estate planning is the hard way.

Meet Molly

Molly McCollough is a 54 year old woman who is the founder of Theature Company. Molly thought she and her husband has everything figured out. They never thought they needed life insurance or a strategy for financial planning because they were married and didn’t have children, so everything would be left to Molly. After her husband, Joe died, Molly found out being his wife didn’t carry much weight in collecting his estate.

The Issue

Molly’s husband didn’t have a will, and the money he left behind was in a foreign bank account that did not have her name on it. Because Molly’s name was not on any of the accounts, she didn’t have access to anything.

Molly was afraid and mourning the death of her husband. Molly needed to figure out a way to gain access to his estate before his family tried to claim any part of the estate. Molly felt her husband was hiding secrets, and she didn’t know where to turn or who she could trust.

Molly said, “There’s just something about death and greed and money and long-buried resentment that bubbles to the surface when there’s any substantial inheritance. It tears families apart. People lie and steal and cheat.” In her situation, she was right. Joe’s family did just what Molly hoped they wouldn’t. They came and took all of his estate and left her with nothing. Inheritance drama is something no one wants to deal with and it can cause years of frustration, and put a rift between families.

Life insurance, financial planning, and estate planning are things you need to discuss with your partner before it’s too late. Make sure you and your partner have a will whether you have children or not. If these things are not in place before you pass away, the state will do what they see fit, and most of the time, it’s not what you wanted.

The Solution

At Unified Lawyers, we work tirelessly to help people who don’t understand wills, trusts, estate planning, and similar assets. We understand the urgency in these situations and always put our best foot forward. We are not a traditional law firm. We believe in helping people instead of collecting a check. All our fees and costs are straightforward so each of our clients know how every cent of their money was spent. We are here to help you get your situation resolved.

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