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August 2, 2014

The Freelancers Budget – Ideas that helps

freelancers finance ideasKeeping your budget balanced as a freelancer can be difficult. With a regular job, you have steady hours and a steady income that rarely fluctuates. There is a safety and a guarantee in your salary. Normal jobs provide consistent paychecks no matter what is happening in your industry. A freelancer faces a totally different world. You never know when your work will go through dry spells, and you must be prepared financially to handle these dry periods. Special budgeting tips may help a freelancer survive the hard times while they prosper in the good times. Consider these tips for a healthy freelancer budget.

Go All In

When the work is ripe for the picking, keep your nose to the grind stone. You should work extra if at all possible when there is plenty of work for your choice. As a freelancer you probably have a set amount of hours or projects you complete each week. When the work is steadily coming through, you should increase your schedule to match it. If you make extra money when it is there to be made, you can put some of it into your savings account and send money online to an emergency fund. You’ll inevitably find some times when the work isn’t so plentiful, and you should be ready.

Cut Down Costs

If you work from home, you already save money on gas. Did you know that you can also lower your insurance premiums on your vehicle if you drive less miles? If you report to your insurance company that you work from home, you could qualify for a discount due to driving fewer miles per year. You can also claim some of your needs as business expenses and get tax refunds for them. For example, you may claim your monthly internet bill in certain circumstances if you use it for your work. You may also be able to get a tax deduction for your cell phone bills if you use them for your job to communicate with other companies or workers.

With some smart planning, a freelancer can make the financial gains necessary to survive the harsh times. Make sure to check into tax deductions for business expenses. You may be surprised at what your tax representative can do for you. You will need to work hard when the work if plentiful so that you take advantage of the best opportunities. The freelancer life can work for you.

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July 28, 2014

Four Wealthy Stock Brokers Who Also Happen to be Positive Role Models

Stock brokerIf you’re a movie buff and coincidentally enjoy watching the markets as well, it’s likely you’ve seen the movie Wall Street. The villain, Gordon Gekko, is a fictional stock broker who, while being exceptionally greedy, had a knack for managing investments. Albeit fictional, he became a huge symbol for all the negative aspects of a stock broker.

Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, even labeled the perpetrators of the 2008 financial crisis as “Children of Gordon Gekko”. The character is said to be loosely based on a collection of stock broker personalities including Michael Robert Milken who was indicted for racketeering and securities fraud back in the late 80s.

Obviously, this is not how the majority of stock brokers behave, so don’t let this movie skew your perception of the career. Rather, learn the true nature of the profession and gain insights from some of the most successful brokers and hedge fund managers who intend on building positive legacies for themselves. Here are four notable individuals who fit that description:

Chris Gardner

Well known for the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness”, Chris Gardner worked hard at Dean Witter Reynolds as an unpaid intern while homeless and caring for his only son in 1981. They would sleep in bathrooms and church shelters and he would be the first one in and last one out of the office aggressively calling potential clients. He eventually was able to pass the licensing exam necessary to becoming a stock broker. He later left Dean Witter Reynolds to work for Bear Stearns and became one of the top earners of the company. He now owns his own company Gardner Rich & Co LLC and has a net worth of about $60 million.

Ray Dalio

Born in Queens, New York, when he was 12 he bought $300 worth of shares in Northeast Airlines and ended up tripling his investment after the company merged. He earned his BA from Long Island University and his MBA from Harvard. Ray began his career in finance investing in commodity futures on the New York Stock Exchange. He also worked as a futures trader and a broker at Shearson Hayden Stone. He now has a net worth of about $12.5 billion and runs the largest hedge fund firm, Bridgewater Associates. You can find an informative animated video titled “How The Economic Machine Works” on YouTube where he shares his extensive experience of the investment world.

David Tepper

He has been listed by Forbes Magazine as one of the 25 Highest-Earning hedge fund managers in 2013 and earned a whopping 61% return focusing on distressed bonds in 2001. He began his career in finance in the treasury department of Republic Steel in Ohio and later became a credit analyst at Goldman Sachs. The hedge fund firm he leads is Appaloosa Management and has earn substantial returns over the course of its history. In 2012, the firm earned a 30% return because of pinpoint exchanges on certain securities. He has a net worth of about $7 billion and engages in various philanthropic activities mainly in education and hunger. In 2003, he made a considerable $55,000,000 donation to Carnegie Mellon University’s business school. He’s leaving quite a legacy.

Bruce Kovner

This hedge fund manager has been around the block a few times, literally. He became a taxi cab driver at age 31 after quitting his Harvard PhD studies because of writers block. It was then when he decided to engage in derivatives by investing $3,000 from his MasterCard into soybean futures contracts. He didn’t accurately assess the risk of the investment when it grew to $45,000 because he waited till the price dropped to $23,000 before selling. He cites that experience as an important lesson in risk management. He eventually became a trader at Commodities Corporation which is now connected to Goldman Sachs. Currently he’s the chairman of Juilliard where he learned how to play the harpsichord. His net worth is $4.3 billion.

If interested in learning more about a career as a stock broker, visit http://www.stockbrokersalary.biz to read up on informative articles related to the profession. Also, find out how to market yourself as a stock broker to increase your client base.

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October 5, 2013

How to set your investment goals

E5E8C334D5FA68EE2D7AEF8E5B4Considering our invest goals is our very first step towards a successful investment. In order to choose your best investment option, you must determine the investment type that suits your requirements. Both investing and saving need to be defined ahead of all other things; in comparison to a long term engagement like investing, saving is an engagement for a short period.

Expenses like going out on vacations, paying fees for college tuitions, making a down payment for your home and buying a car are included within your saving goals. When it comes to savings, certain conventional investments may seem inappropriate as their value tend to fall with time. For successful asset management, you may seek guidance from an experienced financial adviser. CDs or online savings accounts that yield high returns may be considered as good options to secure your long time savings. You must compare various interest rates offered by online banks.

A proper financial planning takes all long term goals into accounts e.g. college tuition, inflation, retirement and other common investment objectives. Investing and saving are two categories that college tuition listed under them. The time frame you’ve selected will determine the group under which you’ll place each of them. Investments worth an intermediate length may demand more risks. For instance, you may take more risk towards investing money saved on your daughter’s college fund when he’s 10 years old than when she turns 18.

Pick the right investment vehicle

Your asset management plans turn successful once you pick the right investment vehicle after considering all major goals of investment. Remember, it’s not about jumping to the most lucrative offer that comes your way. You may begin with options that seem more interesting and funny like brokerage accounts, college saving funds, 401k plans and IRAs. Investment plans are usable only when they possess certain incentives or tax breaks for your benefit. Through your retirement years, you may enjoy tax breaks only when you choose retirement plans with tax advantages initially e.g. 401k and IRAs. For college savings you may opt for Coverdell ESAs and 529 College Savings Plans.

Open your investment account

An investment accounts needs to be opened as soon as you pick your investment vehicle and analyze your investment goals. It will just take a few minutes for you to start an IRA or get enrolled your 401k; it’s almost that simple. Opening your brokerage account could just be another option for you. It’s really simple to open your investment account; all you need to do is to fill out your information, sign it and shift funds to the account. Picking the best investment option often depends on identifying your investment types correctly!

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June 26, 2012

Start Building an Emergency Fund Now

No one ever wants to think that something terrible might befall them or their family, or even their car, flat or home, but unfortunately, these things do happen. Many wind up in quite large amounts of debt, or even bankruptcy, simply because something that they were unprepared for happened, be it an illness, a car accident, or even a home repair disaster.

In most cases, insurance will cover the necessary damages, but not always, and that is where the concept of having an emergency fund comes into play. An emergency fund, also called a rainy day fund by some, is basically just as it sounds a stash of money which has been saved and is to be used in the event of an emergency.

Many people stockpile their emergency fund for things like sudden car repairs, say on the way to the office the brakes on your automobile start squeaking, unless you have planned for brake replacements, or have your rainy day fund in place, it could be quite difficult to just reach into the wallet and fork over hundreds of pounds for an unexpected issue. Home repair problems are another big source of uses for any emergency fund, a flooded shower, a termite infestation, a hole in the roof, are all things that can put any sort of emergency fund to use quickly.

And in this volatile economy, building up an emergency fund is an intelligent idea for if another deep market fluctuation occurs and jobs are made redundant, getting sacked, while certainly an unexpected disappointment, might not be quite as terrible if a few months mortgage were sitting in the rainy day fund.

So how to get started, right then, first things first, take a look at your budget and determine just how much funds you will be able to put away. Next, set up an automatic withdrawal from your account, preferably right at the same time you might receive each pay check, then you won’t even know the money was ever there. Set up these withdrawals each month, or even every two weeks. After six months or so of saving, you will be pleasantly surprised to find such a tidy sum sitting in your emergency fund.

The goal of this fund is really to never use it. Do not borrow from the emergency fund to go on holiday, or buy the family Christmas gifts, the funds in that account are only be used in case of an emergency. Once this fund is set up, you will be able to rest easily that if any unexpected crisis were to occur, you would be able to finance it with the money in your emergency fund (or at least partially finance it), and not skip much of a beat in your regular financial life. It is a piece of mind that is relatively painless to set up and get going.

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March 17, 2012

Investing in Uncertainty

The troubles of Greece and the eurozone are rarely far from the news these days. Dramatic images of mass disorder sparked by ECB mandated austerity measures regularly fill the television screen. The latest  bailout instalment was able to be delivered, but increasing discontent within the Greek populace poses the question as to whether public opinion will force what is being called a ‘disorderly default’. Surely investing in euro funds at a time like this (when what happens in Greece could cause dramatic ripples) is a dangerous game – but could it pay off?


There can be no doubt that a lot of very knowledgeable and experienced people are being extremely cautious about euro funds. The uncertainty hanging over the EU is putting off a lot of potential investors. On the other side of the coin, a £110bn bailout for Greece has been passed, and if everything goes to plan then those that had the bravery to go where others feared to tread will reap the rewards.


There are a lot of choices when it comes to funds that are investing in Europe. They are taking a wide variety of approaches, some of these being seen as higher risk plays than others. For those looking to put their money into these funds there are certainly a lot of variables to be considered.

One investment trust which seems to be opting for something of a high risk strategy is Montaro European Smaller Companies. This fund is buying up shares in eurozone based companies at the smaller end of the spectrum. This strategy has seen a shareholder return of 3% over the last five years.

Montaro European Smaller Companies is managed by the somewhat mercurial Charles Montanaro. Not everybody agrees with his approach, although among those who like to go against the flow of received opinion when investing his investment trust certainly holds appeal, with its share price increasing by 82% in the last 36 months.

Rob Burnett’s ‘Neptune European Opportunities’ appear to be taking a much more cautious tack. The European financial sector in particular is viewed by Burnett as being of concern. Worrying about the potential for further nasty surprises from banking is far from being an uncommon viewpoint at this juncture.

Despite the eurozone sharing a currency and monetary policy it has become increasingly clear that there are very different conditions prevailing in the various constituent parts.  Germany and the North are not exactly in the same boat as Greece and the beleaguered and debt addled countries on the South of the Continent.  Funds such as ‘BlackRock European Dynamic’ are seeking to capitalize on this by buying shares in companies based in the economically stronger regions, whilst leaving the weaker ones well alone.

All in all there are definitely opportunities to make money investing in Europe at the moment. There is also the opportunity to lose your shirt, with investors being, to a very large extent, hostages of fortune. Very careful consideration is needed.

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