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What Is A Money Market Account

(category: Wealth-Building, Word count: 518)
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A money market account can be a good way to maximize your cash, while keeping it safe. However, some consumers may not benefit as well from this type of investment as they would from other investments. This article examines some of the more common aspects of money market accounts.

Before delving into money market account issues, it is important to understand that these accounts are not the same as money market funds accounts. They are two different vehicles and knowing the difference is important.

"Money market" is a generic term that is used to describe the market in which banks and other financial institutions lend, borrow and trade money. With this being the basis of the term, a money market account is basically a premium account, or a high interest savings account.

A money market fund, on the other hand, is an investment technique and is more akin to working the stock market than it is to savings account holdings.

You can usually open a money market account by simply visiting your bank and setting up an account. The cash that you put into this account will then be invested by the bank into various financial instruments such as certificates of deposit or treasury bills. The investments that the bank participates in are almost always very safe investments. These are low risk, short term investments, and your gain for allowing the bank to use your cash is a premium interest rate. This higher rate can often be as much as two times higher than a typical savings account.

Protection of your money is a key element to a money market account and you should understand that a money market account that is hosted by your bank is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for up to $100,000. However, if you decide to open a money market account with an entity that is not covered by the FDIC you can lose your money if that company or entity files bankruptcy.

It is not at all uncommon for corporations to offer what looks like a money market account and they will often offer higher interest rates than what you might find at your bank, but, again, be sure you understand the risks associated with this type of account.

Most money market accounts come with certain restrictions, and those restrictions can vary from one place to another. One restriction that is common is that your money, once it is placed into the account, may not be fluid. What this means is that you may not be able to walk in and withdraw it immediately. There may be a time lag and there may be a penalty. Also, most money market accounts require a minimum deposit in order to open the account. This minimum amount is set by the bank, and they may also impose a minimum balance that must be kept in the account at all times. You are allowed to withdraw money from your account but often there is a maximum amount you are allowed to withdraw in a 30 day period.

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Mortgage Payment Protection Insurance And Your Needs

(category: Wealth-Building, Word count: 313)
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When homeowners think of insurance, mortgage payment protection insurance (MPPI) is usually one of the last they think of, if they actually think of it at all. Although most homeowners believe it of paramount importance to protect their personal belongings and the structure of their home, especially in the wake of the recent flooding around the UK, they do not think about what may happen if they no longer have a roof over their head. In truth, homeowners should consider mortgage payment protection insurance on a par with, if not ahead of, home insurance.

Without mortgage payment protection insurance, home insurance may be redundant in the case of some individuals. Unfortunately, every eligible homeowner needs mortgage payment protection insurance, whether they know it or not. There are more hazards in society than ever these days and anyone with significant investment in their own home should definitely consider the peace of mind that mortgage payment protection insurance can bring to a household.

The likelihood is that mortgage costs will rise into the future. House prices are already astronomical and are still increasing. Although this is pricing individuals out of the market, it is stretching the homeowners who do go ahead with their mortgages to the limits. If one member of the household was to develop a severe illness or become redundant then how would his or her partner be able to make ends meet without mortgage payment protection insurance?

It is only when you envisage how you would feel in that situation that you begin to understand that a great product mortgage payment protection insurance is. Couple that with the recent interest rises and it definitely makes for grim reading! With premiums taking up a higher percentage of a home's income, the home itself needs to be protected, and only mortgage payment protection insurance can achieve that.

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The Holidays Are Rapidly Approaching Do You Know Where Your Credit Cards Are

(category: Wealth-Building, Word count: 639)
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It's only October, but there is actually less than 82 shopping days remaining until Christmas. Many people are still paying their holiday debt from last year, let alone feel ready to start the holiday gift buying season all over again. Didn't you make a promise to start your holiday shopping earlier this year, so you wouldn't be as tempted to rely on credit cards at the last minute?

Now would be a very good time to start planning for your holiday shopping. If you can work it into your budget for the next two and a half months, you may be able to avoid the dreaded after-holiday-credit-card-debt issue that the majority of American's experience at the start of every new year.

If you've looked over your cash flow and bills however, only to find the disappointment of knowing you aren't going to have a lot of additional cash to make your purchases with, at the very least- spend some time finding credit cards that are going to benefit you the most during your holiday shopping- and hurt you the least over the long term.

Here is what to look for in a credit card you get or use for holiday shopping:

Introductory/Promotional Rate of 0% on all new purchases for 6 months - Since holiday shopping is typically done within a one or two month period, you would benefit the most over the long term by using a credit card that doesn't charge interest on those purchases for at least six months. That means you'll have six months to repay your holiday expenses before you have to pay interest- and basically just gives you a six-months-same-as-cash option. Since there is no interest. This is a wallet friendly way to get all of your holiday gifts even if you don't have a ton of extra money in October and November to run out and get all your shopping done. Just think how good you'll feel making reasonable payments over 6 months, without paying interest?

High Percentages of Cash back: If you already have a credit card with a high percentage of cash back reward program, you should look at it to see if your purchases will result in a sizeable cash back reward. For example, if your card gives you 2% cash back on all purchases, and you typically spend $1,000 during the holiday gift buying season, that's only about $20 cash back and hardly makes a dent! If you have a credit card that gives you 5% cash back on purchases made from specific retailers and you plan to spend $1,000 at a specific retailer, that's $50 cash back and depending on how much the interest rate is or how long it takes you to repay the balance on the card; $50 back might be considered a decent reward. Particularly if you plan to pay off your balance within the grace period of the card to avoid all interest and finance fees. Hey, $50 is another gift- or perhaps a special treat for yourself!

Cards with 0% Balance transfer options - If you know that you tend to shop at a few different retailers over the holiday season, and you just happen to have retailer-specific credit cards in your wallet, you might decide to get a new credit card with a 0% interest balance transfer option. Once you've finished your holiday shopping you can transfer each of your balances to the new card and pay 0% interest for six months to a year (whatever the promotion is).

If all else fails, you can always charge up the cards like you did last year and make a new year's resolution that you actually keep- and look into better methods of purchasing your holiday gifts for NEXT year!

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Getting A Credit Card Online

(category: Wealth-Building, Word count: 564)
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This is one of the simplest things to do, applying for a card online. With just a few flicks you will be on your way to owning a credit card. But hold down the horses! Before you get too excited are you 100% sure you are eligible in getting one?

Important general requirements of most credit card companies are: 1) that you are at least 18 yrs. Old, 2) you have an annual income of more than $12,000, 3) you have a regular income, 3) and most of all your credit rating is in good standing.

But of course if you want to save hundreds of dollars in the future you might want to consider trying the few things listed below:


Like what you do in shopping, in order to save we look around first for other possible alternatives that are cheaper or better in quality than the one we have our eyes on. The internet is loaded with a lot of sites that can help and show you the different credit card types available for us.

Try to use a good search engine. It will probably give you thousands of search results so choose wisely as to which sites you think are safe to open. From there gather information of more than one type of credit card.


It may seem like a dilemma when there are great cards that cater to what you think you need. But do not be biased. Aside from the cards that you have set your eyes on, compare other type of credit cards (you never know you just might get a lot of benefits and savings from the one you were putting aside). Remember to compare the interest rates as this is the reason why a lot of Americans are drowning in debt. Try to get a card that has a low interest rate. If there are cards that waive their annual fees use them to your advantage.

After all the comparing, cut it down to two or three choices and weigh both. Once you have chosen the card you believe is the best. You are now ready to apply.

A gentle warning though, hackers and identity thieves have been rampant in the internet so be careful as to which website you are typing your personal information. Make sure that the URLs are exactly as the company name is.

Once you are confident that the site is authentic, be sure to fill up every single detail necessary and be sure that you have no outstanding balance with any other company (this includes all your utilities, personal loans, mortgage, etc.). No pending payments with other companies will ensure you even further in getting that credit card.

Once you have received your card always remember to use it wisely. Credit cards sometimes give us an idea that we can spend for a lot of things because we can purchase it and have trouble paying for it when the billing arrives. Remember to think twice before swiping that card, especially if you are on a tight budget. If you don't pay in time, you end up in debt and eventually end up spending even more.

You are now endowed with spending power use it sensibly. Use it to your advantage not your disadvantage. Go online and apply now, grab that power!

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The Ins And Outs Of Loan Comparisons

(category: Wealth-Building, Word count: 563)
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When doing a loan comparison for the best buy there are several features to compare. The four most often overlooked, and perhaps the four most crucial, are the terms of the loan, the credit insurance youll need to take out for the loan, and whether there is a balloon payment and / or prepayment penalty included. Lets take a look at each of these four and see how they can impact your loan comparison.

Credit insurance is much like taking out life insurance with your creditor as beneficiary. What credit insurance does is ensure that if you should die, become disabled, lose your job or in any other way become unable to pay your loan the lender will be paid.

A loan comparison should not only include the cost of credit insurance but the type of insurance included and required. You might consider credit life insurance, credit disability insurance, credit property insurance or credit unemployment insurance, or a combination of one or more of these options. The credit insurance might pay your loan for its whole term or it might be designed as a short term recovery option.

You can buy credit insurance from your lending institution as a fee that is added on to each of your monthly loan payments, as a lump sum fee that is added to the total amount of the loan. In any loan comparison keep in mind that that lump sum fee will incur additional interest charges as well. Most of the time, however, the insured can cancel any of these credit insurance options at any point during the life of the loan.

No loan comparison should exclude a study of credit insurance. The determination that you need any of these insurance options, however, doesnt necessarily mean that you should include them in your loan.

You might already have some of this protection in place with other policies or you just might find a better deal elsewhere. This is especially true if you talk to the carrier that is now insuring you for life, insurance, auto or any other type. Often when you package the various type of insurance your carrier discounts heavily.

Of course, no matter whom you pay the cost ultimately must be considered in any loan comparison. Just because it doesnt get paid to the lender or as part of your monthly loan payment doesnt mean that the coverage added elsewhere isnt the result of the loan.

The term of your loan is a crucial point when doing a loan comparison. The longer the time period you spend paying back your loan the more interest you will pay. The flip side of that is that if you take on a higher monthly payment to reduce the term of the loan you could end up unable to make the payments on a timely basis. If this happens the late fees could eat up the savings involved in signing for a shorter term.

In a balloon payment you generally make smaller monthly payments up until the end of the loan when you make one huge payment to finalize. While lower payments are great, there are plenty of folks who find that, despite their best efforts, they cant come up with the money for the balloon payment. When you do a loan comparison its best to avoid a balloon payment.

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Asset Protection Why Do You Need It

(category: Wealth-Building, Word count: 463)
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By the time people reach their forties, many have a growing family and responsibilities. Many already own a house and quite a few other valuable assets. This is the phase of life where they focus on their career in order to provide for their families, and to pay for the bills and mortgages etc. They also focus more on investments for better financial security for their family and a comfortable nest egg.

With your growing financial portfolio and asset, it is imperative that you take steps to protect your assets. A practical solution for creating an additional umbrella of security for your family is to take advantage of asset protection that minimize the risk of losing your assets or being taxed heavily.

The three vital steps toward asset protection planning

To set up an effective asset protection, you have to:

* Be clear about your goals and objectives

* Plan early

* Plan safe

You are more than painfully aware that it took much effort to build up your assets. But you need to know that it takes even harder work to protect them. Beware that you do not start asset protection planning too late or you are only inviting trouble and headache for your family. Upon your death, there is nothing more gut wrenching than your family having to fend off greedy money suckers trying to lay claim on your family assets that should rightfully belong to your family. Even worse is fighting amongst your own family members for a bigger share of the family asset. If you do not want to put your loved ones through this, then for their sake, initiate the asset protection planning right now.

If you are a truly practical person, asset protection should be a part of your asset-building plan from day ONE.

Be Focused About Your Objectives

You must be sure of your goals and objectives in order to be able to draw up a well thought up asset protection strategy and plan. There can be no universal process to asset protection as every individual has different needs; you have to tailor it according to your future plans and objectives.

Follow The Law When Protecting Your Assets

Never ignore the legal aspects while dealing with asset protection. Of course you can divide your assets according to your own wish, but at the same time you have to abide by the restrictions put forward by law in this regard. A legalized deal will help you avoid all sorts of discrepancies later.

Whether you decide to set up offshore asset protection or asset protection trust, taking a little trouble to protecting your assets will benefit your family greatly, and they in turn will be grateful for your foresight and generosity.

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Reverse Mortgage Explained

(category: Wealth-Building, Word count: 541)
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Reverse Mortgages are fast becoming all the rage here in the USA. As with everything else to do with your financial security, you should always exercise caution and seek as much information as you can from multiple sources.If a Reverse Mortgage appeals to you then you may find the following questions and answers useful.

What exactly is a reverse mortgage?

A reverse mortgage is specialized home loan that allows the home owner to exchange a bit of the equity in their house into hard cash. However unlike a conventional home equity loan or even a second mortgage for that matter, there are no repayments to make until the borrower stops using the home as their primary place of residence.

Do you qualify for a Reverse Mortgage?

In order to qualify for a reverse mortgage you must be at least 62 years old, living in the a home that you own, with no outstanding mortgage, or in some cases with a small amount of mortgage remaining that can be settled with the monies received from the reverse loan.

What type of properties are considered eligible?

Most types of property are eligible including. Units, detached houses, Town houses and various manufactured houses.

How does a reverse mortgage differ from second mortgages?

With conventional second mortgages, you must make monthly repayments and therefore you will be expected to have adequate income to meet such terms. However a reverse mortgage differs in so much as it pays you the money and does not require you to have any income.

Will the lender repossess my house if I live longer than the loan?

Absolutely not, you will not be required to repay any of the loan providing you continue to live in the home and that you continue to keep any current insurance and taxes on the home up to date.

What about my estate, will I have any to leave to my family?

Should you sell your house or if you no longer continue to use it for your main residence, then your estate will pay back to your lender the money you acquired from the reverse mortgage, in addition to any other fees and interest. All of the remaining equity in your house, will become the property of your inheritors.

How much can I expect to have from my house?

This will depend upon your age, current interest rates, and an appraised assessment of your property or the F.H.A. mortgage limits for your region, whichever is the smaller amount. by and large, the more expensive your house and the elder you are, the more you can lend.

What are methods of payment?

You have a choice of options on how you would like to receive your money from a reverse mortgage, you might want to have it as a line of credit, or from one of the following options;

1 All at once in a lump sum,

2 Fixed monthly payments for a set period or for the duration of you stay in the house.

Usually the most popular option chosen by more than 55 per cent of borrowers is to take the line of credit, which will allow you to withdraw money on the loan proceeds at any given time.

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What Is A Two Step Mortgage

(category: Wealth-Building, Word count: 517)
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When it comes to the various options that you can get for buying your house, a two-step mortgage may be just the thing you need. Being that it is kind of a cross between both a fixed rate mortgage and an adjustable rate, it may provide just the option you want in a time of financial uncertainty. Here are some things you need to know about second step mortgages.

A two-step mortgage, like its name implies has two different parts to it. Often called a hybrid loan, it combines some of the features of both types into a typical 30-year mortgage. The first part of the mortgage, which is usually either 5 or 7 years, has a fixed rate so that the interest and payment stay the same. This part of the loan is typically lower than the market value giving the buyer some savings during this time.

At the end of the first period, an adjustment will take place, which will determine what the payments will be for the remainder of the 30 years. Since a two-step mortgage is typically more of an adjustable rate mortgage, at least at this time, the adjustable rates will now kick in. Generally, and this is something you want to make sure is in the terms, there is a limit placed on how much of a percentage the interest can be raised - if the market calls for a raise. After this initial raise, the interest rate is adjusted yearly - according to the market.

This type of mortgage is good for someone who may be thinking of moving prior to the time that the mortgage rates are changed. If they are not certain that they will stay at that location then this would be a good way to go. Another possibility is that a two-step mortgage would allow someone with a lower income to get a larger house. This could work quite well especially if they are quite sure that their income will be improved over the next few years.

The main advantage of this type of mortgage, as with any adjustable rate mortgage, is the possibility of a large amount of savings if the market stays relatively good. Of course, this is really unpredictable, but it could serve as a good way to go. On the other hand, you may be forced to sell if the market does turn bad.

When you look for a mortgage, whether it be a two-step mortgage or any other kind, be sure to compare it with several offers. This way, you can see what others are offering and have something to compare your offer with. Be sure to separate the interest and principal from the various fees that will be applied. You want to compare the fees with the fees on other offers especially, because this is where any extras that there are will be added. It is a good idea to know the terms that apply to the various fees - some are really unnecessary, but you need to be able to tell the difference.

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Residential Mortgages Can Be Compared Online

(category: Wealth-Building, Word count: 479)
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In order to find the best residential mortgage for your needs you should do a little homework beforehand and make sure you understand a little about them. When you know what you are looking for then it makes it easier to compare.

Just as with all mortgages the residential mortgage has different types to choose from. The main ones are fixed, variable, capped, discounted and the cash back. There are both good and bad points to all types and in order to be able to decide which is the best for your needs you have to understand them.

The fixed rate residential mortgage remains at a fixed rate of interest for a certain period of time and then will change to a variable rate. This means that if the mortgage is fixed for a period of 4 years you know exactly how much the mortgage repayments will be each month. This can work out great if you can get a low rate of interest, however the monthly repayments can jump each considerably after this period of time.

The variable rate mortgage means that the interest rate will differ in line with the base rate. However if the interest rate is low and you can usually get a low interest rate with the variable then you can benefit if you take the mortgage short term. Another benefit is that if the interest rates go down then so do your monthly mortgage repayments. However the downside is that they can also go up and so can your repayments.

If you choose to take out a capped residential mortgage then the rate of interest will be tied to a variable rate. However there will be a limit to how much it can rise up by unlike a variable rate mortgage. This "capping" of the rate is where the mortgage gets its name.

A residential mortgage with discounted rates of interest means that your monthly repayments will be based on a rate which is lower than the variable rate. However this will only be for a specific amount of time. The benefits of this type are that you get to enjoy a lower rate of interest even if only for a limited time such as when you first move into your new home.

A cash back residential mortgage means that you can get a cash back lump sum of money. The monthly repayments on the mortgage are at a variable rate of interest and the cash back option can be very useful.

Whichever type of residential mortgage you choose to take out it is essential that you read the small print. The small print will contain any additional costs that could be added onto the loan and can boost up the cost of the mortgage. Set up fees are a common add-on and can vary from around

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