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
March 26, 2017
These days, many wealthy people are buying their citizenship in locations where it is easy for them to preserve their wealth. There are actually numerous countries that allow what is called an immigrant investor program. These programs are set up by the countries’ governments in order to bring wealthy people into their ranks, and benefit from those people.
Countries with Immigrant Investor Programs
Countries like Cyprus, Spain, Malta and Australia have these programs. It is likely that in the future, more and more countries are going to begin implementing these types of programs. Especially as more countries are feeling the strain of the global financial crisis. This can help energize their economies. The most popular locations are in Europe, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean.
An example of this type of program can be found in Malta. Their program is called the Malta Citizenship by Investment Programme. This program grants ‘naturalization by investment to reputable individuals and their dependents, after a rigid and thorough due diligence processes that make a significant contribution to the social and economic development of the country.’ What are the benefits? After five years of buying property in Malta, this will be tax exempt on sale. There is also no inheritance or death taxes, no estate duty, no net worth or wealth taxes and no municipal taxes, rates or real estate taxes. Dual citizenship is also available.
The examples above for Malta are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits for the wealthy related to immigrant investor programs. These programs are specifically aimed at the very wealthy. The investments required can range from $500,000 to several million dollars. For those that do make this kind of investment, this is a very small amount. In Europe, Bulgaria requires a $700,000 investment in government bonds for five years, whereas in the Caribbean, St. Kitts& Nevis requires a $400,000 investment in real estate or the sugar industry.
Why are the wealthy investing in new citizenship in this manner?
So if the investment is minor for these investors, then what makes them want to participate in this type of investing? The main reason for doing this is the tax benefits. The super rich are always looking for ways to keep their money out of the hands of their government, and hold onto as much of it as they can. In this instance, the countries offering these programs, like the ones mentioned above, offer lower income taxes, and, more importantly, inheritance taxes.
There are other incentives as well. These include:
• Access to better education
• A desire to escape political instability or disagreement
• Better passport or visa-free travel to more countries, especially those in Europe as part of the European Union
• Higher standards of living
• Tax advantages
There are even some of the very rich who try to avoid taxes altogether by bouncing between countries around the globe with different citizenships and residence permits.
Who are these extremely wealthy people making this type of investment?
Those who are gaining citizenship through investment are from all over the world. Generally, many of these wealthy are from the Middle East, India, South Africa and China.
So how can the not-so-wealthy take advantage of these programs?
There are a few countries that do not require as large of an investment, like Bulgaria, in order to invest in citizenship, but gain all of the benefits. Dominica, for example, is the most inexpensive deal. With only an investment of $100,000 plus some fees, citizenship can be bought. Even St. Kitts and Nevis has a cheaper program than the $400,000 mentioned above. For only $25000, you can make a non-refundable donation to the St. Kitts & Nevis Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation to get access to citizenship.
There are also many countries that offer citizenship for an investment below one million US dollars. These include Malta, Portugal, and other EU countries where you can also gain all the benefits of the EU. Of late, citizenship by investment in Malta is gaining popularity due to various benefits. Moving and living in Malta has become so popular also due to the economic boom there is on the island
The least expensive of them all may be Latvia, where with a five-year residency costs merely $96,000. The benefits associated with this program include a common visa policy shared by twenty six European countries, but there is no telling how long this deal will last.
More countries are now offering this type of Immigrant Investor Program to help their economies bring the wealthy, and not so super wealthy, into their citizenship.
, financial planning
March 25, 2017
The right thing to know – The world we live in is full of risks and insecurities. Families, individuals, businesses, assets and properties are exposed to numerous types and certain levels of high risks. These definitely include the risk of health, life, property, assets, etc. We know that it’s difficult to prevent these risks, especially sudden miss happenings so the financial world has taken the responsibility to protect business and individuals against losses by compensating them with finance. Therefore, insurance is required with the full pace that eliminates or reduces the loss caused by any risk.
When we talk about health insurance, the first thing that comes to our mind is ‘Grandparents’. Ever thought health is such an important thing, especially when it’s about growing age. Sometimes, we initially don’t take a risk of traveling with them to abroad; we suffer from a fear of bad health. But every time this tact can’t be followed rather we need to find some solution for this. The best and relevant to this is – Super Visa Health Insurance.
Now, what exactly is Super Visa?
Super visa is a long term multiple entry visa for both grandparents and parents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents. They can stay up to maximum 2 years in Canada for every visit. This is valid up to 10 years. However, a regular multiple entry visa is also valid up to 10 years; but you can stay for 6 months only for every visit.
Eligibility for Super Visa
Super Visa is for grandparents and parents for Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Apparently, the grandparent or parent must be admissible to Canada and meet all the terms and conditions. Read on:
- The applicant need to show Canadian medical insurance that meets the basic requirements and also covers then for minimum 1 year.
- The applicant needs a letter of finance support from their grandchild or child in Canada, who earns the minimum required income.
- Private medical insurance proof is required for the minimum time slot of one year with a copy of Canadian insurance company that covers hospitalization, repatriation, and health care and provides a minimum coverage of the certain amount, also is valid for the entry in Canada.
- A copy of employment insurance pay stubs for grandchild or child.
Although, the procedure can be little different if a grandparent or a parent is from another country, therefore, a visa is strictly required to enter Canada as a visitor. Health Insurance plays a key role in Super Visa, so make sure this is not ignored.
Validity for Super Visa
The maximum validity for Super Visa is 10 years, or it can be an addition to one month prior if the passport expires (whichever is earlier). Within this time Super Visa holders can stay up to two years.
On That Note
We truly know, how important is health insurance in today’s life, especially for our parents and grandparents. Therefore, in every limit, we need to make sure that this insurance is taken care.
, financial planning
, Health Insurance
, Medical Insurance
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.
, financial planning
January 18, 2017
A savings bank account is where most people begin their journey of savings. There is no safer place than a bank to store your money. It also pays you for keeping your money there in the form of interest. But, there are several banks around and each have their own benefits, so before you open a savings account decide a bank to go to. Following are steps on how to open a savings account –
– Select a bank
Inquire about banks that are situated in your locality. Better will be to research about them online as there is an abundance of information available online. Each bank will have a distinctive service and offer, decide which one’s best for you. Important points to consider is the presence of the bank and their ATM networks. Also remember that you will be needing several services of your bank at random hours so there has to be an availability of online and mobile banking as well. Be it physically or digitally, your bank should be within reach all the time.
– Check out their website
If you like a bank then go ahead and check out their website and find out more about their services. You can check out each and every service of theirs by just sitting on your desk. The advent of mobile and online banking has made life convenient, also ATMs can be accessed 24/7 making banking simpler and hassle free. Plan your visit to the bank on weekdays at 9.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. and on Saturdays at 9.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. Banks remain closed on Sundays and other public holidays.
– Type of account
Although we know that we’ve to open a savings account, there are several types of savings account out there catered specifically to match your needs. Some options are Easy access accounts, Basic savings accounts, Joint savings accounts, Women’s savings accounts and Youth account. Best option for you will be to get in touch with bank representative and ask for details.
– Keep information ready
To open any savings account you will have to submit certain documents and information to the bank. This is a norm that is followed by all banks, some banks will require more information and several documents will be asked, it will be better if you keep these documents handy.
– Depositing your opening amount
Several banks require a minimum amount deposit to open a new account. The amount depends on the bank, some may have a greater minimum amount deposit and same may have none. Find out these details in advance and have the amount ready when you’re about to open a new account.
– Read and understand the terms
Do not hesitate to ask questions, you should be clear about each and every aspect of the account. Also read the information available online on the bank’s website, inquire about service charges, benefits and services available on the account.
– Sample signature
You will asked for a sample signature while opening your account. This signature will be used in all of your future transactions related to the account, like withdrawing money or signing a check. If there are noticeable differences in your signature then the transaction won’t be permitted. This a procedure done to keep your account safe and to avoid any issues with the signature, you can practice it on a piece of paper for several times.
– Account opened!
Congratulations, you’re now a valued bank customer. After the verification of your form and documents, your account will be opened. You will receive a welcome kit from the bank that will include important information about your account like information leaflets, cheque book and customer relation number. The kit may also include your debit card, with the pin number, also attached will be your net banking and phone banking pin.
With the advent of technology on the banking front, you can also opt for online account opening, the procedure is easy and the steps are hassle-free.
, financial planning
, personal finance