Common Life Uncommon Wealth
People today have a great desire to be wealthy, but few have a plan to achieve it. The secret to gaining wealth is steady growth. Anyone in America can achieve wealth, if they will plan and focus on the goal one day at a time.
We all watch the T.V. programs that show the lives of stars. We see them driving nice cars, living in lavish homes, seemingly on vacation 24/7. But is this reality, possibly for a few. These types of shows sends the mind racing dreaming of being rich and living that way. What you don't see is that alot of the lifestyle that is shown is supported by companies, and not the stars themselves. This is part of the perks, they receive for publicity.
The vast majority of wealthy people in America, do not live this way. To the contrary studies show that most affluent people live below their means, and always have. They opt to save rather than spend. The problem is, no one notices them until they are wealthy. At this point the years of steady savings have started to pay-off, and they can enjoy the money a little. Buy a nicer home, or a nice car. This is when people notice. To them it is a culmination of a lifelong plan, to you it appears to be over night success.
Perhaps, if they would have invited you over for the past fifteen years, to help calculate their budget and plan their spending you would not see it this way. See, unless you win the lottery or inherit a fortune, you will probably never be wealthy. If after reading this article you only remember one thing, remember this next sentence. Wealth does not sneak up on you, you have to sneak up on it.
To be wealthy you need to plan your attack years in advance. Right now there is someone living within a few blocks of you, that will one day be wealthy. Right now, you are both in similar circumstances. But as the years pass, they will pull away from the crowd. They are routinely planning for this day as we speak. They are not necessarily planning to be wealthy. They just want to be comfortable, but the strategy is the same.
Here's an example to show my point. Middle class Americans carry an average of $15,000.00 on credit cards, they earn $65,000.00. This is debt equivalent to 23% of their yearly earnings. This 18% of their net worth. Wealthy Americans carry less than 1% of credit card debt, compared to their net worth. This is an astounding difference.
Everyone has heard people say the rich get richer while the poor get poorer. Well, continuing to amass unneeded debt and interest this way helps make this phrase true.
People complain about Governmental policies being in favor of the rich. There is no amount of Governmental policies that can create wealth for the masses. The hard truth is that only one person on earth can do that for you, and it is you. Most people do not like that, but it is the truth. I hate to say it, but the truth is, to 99.9% of the world it really doesn't matter if you become wealthy or not.
Now for some good news, once you start to plan, budget, and save it does not take long to reap rewards. I don't mean being rich, just relaxed. Soon after you make this change you will see that you do not have to about the mortgage payment and other bills being paid. Your budget will automatically take care of that. All you have to do is watch it and stay on it. Within a few months money worries will be a thing of the past.
After a few months you have gained the most valuable benefit of wealth, financial peace of mind.
In my life, I watched my parents save and manage their money. My Dad did not have a high paying job, and my Mom was unable to work. Some of the close relatives around us earned far more than my Dad, yet today my parents are as secure financially as any of them. More than some. They had to plan and budget for years to achieve this success, a habit they still have today.
Today I pattern my life after them and it has been a blessing.
0 Apr Credit Cards The High Interest Rate Solution
Over the past two years, the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates substantially. Consequently, credit card annual percentage rates have followed suit. Nearly all credit cards tie their interest rates to the prime rate, which has doubled to 8% from 4% during the string of rate hikes that began in 2004. This has led to interest rates on credit cards rising by 30% or more. Since August of 2006, the Federal Reserve has kept interest rates steady, and many economists believe the next move may be a reduction in rates. However, the rate reductions have yet to begin, and credit card interest rates remain relatively high.
For those who carry balances on their credit cards, high interest rates have resulted in higher monthly bills, with many seeing their minimum payment increase substantially. Fortunately, now, more than in recent years, 0% credit cards offer a safe harbor from high rates. There are two basic types of 0% credit cards: those that offer a 0% rate on balance transfers, and those that offer a 0% on purchases. The best credit cards offer 0% interest on both. How much savings can these credit cards provide? Let's take a look at the math.
Let's assume you're carrying a balance of $10,000. If you simply pay the minimum each month, you will accrue close to $2000 in interest over the course of a year, thanks to daily compounding balances (too bad savings accounts don't pay that type of interest). With a 0% balance transfer, you can expect to save all of that money, plus, you'll be given time to pay down that debt. When the 0% period expires, not only is there a chance your interest rate will be lower, but, if rates do not go down, you can always transfer the balance to another 0% credit card. Plus, if you make a minimum payment of $150 a month, your balance at the end of the year will be closer to $8200, rather than $12,000. That's quite a difference.
Now, if you're fortunate enough to have no credit card debt, a 0% interest rate can be handy tool to avoid interest expenses on new purchases and free up some cash in the short term. Need a new fridge? Have to fix your car? Want granite counters for the kitchen? With a 0% credit card, you can defer the cost of these expenses for a year while taking advantage of high interest rates. How? By placing the cash that would have left your bank account into a high-yield savings account and taking advantage of rewards credit cards.
Let's assume you will make $10,000 of purchases over the next few months. Using a credit card with a 0% interest rate and 1% cashback rewards, coupled with a high-yield savings account with a 4% interest rate can put about $500 extra in your pocket over the course of the year.
Of course, not everyone pays their balance in full each month. With average credit card interest rates in the 12% to 15% range, carrying a monthly balance of only $1000 can cost close to $150 a year. Saving $150 in interest charges may not be a fortune, but its surely enough to buy a nice dinner with a good bottle of wine.
No matter how you use your credit card, a 0% interest credit card can have a positive effect on both short and long term cash flows. Given that the alternative is paying more than 12% in interest, choosing a 0% credit card in this atmosphere of high interest rates is a no-brainer.
Mortgage Brokers Make Sure You Pick The Right One
Mortgage brokers help people get financing for the purchase of a home. A mortgage broker is an independent agent who can quickly and easily check out many different financing options.
A mortgage broker may be of great help to people with adverse credit since they know and understand the industry so well. It is possible to use more than one broker at a time.
Using a mortgage broker comes with many advantages. A mortgage broker has connections in the industry and give your financial information to a variety of lenders. They can find the best deals possible easily. When using more than one mortgage broker you can search an even greater variety of lenders and really hone in on the best deal possible.
Sometimes brokers are working for a lender. It is wise to be careful when dealing with a broker who is also a lender. This is because they are not likely to recommend you to other lenders and instead will only search their own lending institution.
However, the benefit of this is that they will be able to find the best possible loan with their lender and for people with bad credit may even be able to find special financing. If you are going to use a broker that is also a lender then the best thing to do is use multiple brokers.
When using multiple brokers it is a good idea not to enter into a contract with them. If you enter into a contract you may be obligated to take whatever deals they offer even if they are not the best you have found.
The benefits of using a broker are great. However, if you have great credit then you probably do not need a lender to find the best mortgage rates. You can easily do that yourself instead of dragging yet another party into the mortgage process.
If you have adverse credit, though, a broker may be able to find loans for your situation that otherwise you would never know about. They can use their knowledge and industry connections to find a lender who will happily help you finance your home purchase.
Also you will find that a good broker will have access to a large number of specialist lenders that are not available directly to the general public. Such specialist lenders solely lend to people with credit problems or that can not prove their income.
They have a wide variety of products available that cater of all levels of adverse credit, from light to heavy.
Mortgage brokers can be found easily. You can find them in the phone book, online or ask lenders for referrals. Once you find a broker you will have to meet with them in some fashion to give them all your financial information and personal information.
They will need to run your credit so they know exactly what financial situation you are in. The good thing is that they will retain all of this information and will likely transfer it to a lender if you choose to go with one they find, thus saving you a bit of time in the process.
Dollar Drink Night Boozing With Coworkers Could Help You Financially
There's a group in every office. They hit the nearby watering hole for happy hour once or twice a week after work to vent shared frustrations, talk about the boss behind his back, maybe even plot future career moves. Thumbing your nose at this carousing crew? Think twice, turning down an invite to grab a post-shift drink might be hazardous to your financial future.
A recent study published by The Journal of Labor Research shows that drinkers earn 10 to 14 percent more than those who avoid the bottle altogether. The reason? The study contends it's something called social capital. That is, the more you're out enjoying a drink, the more people you meet. The more people you meet, the more doors that are opened for you professionally. And as is the general rule in the business world
The True Story About A Buyer S Market
Every now and then you hear on the television, or through passing, or even in daily conversation how the real estate market is always changing. The markets can change from city to city and state to state. You hear terms such as "it's a buyer's market," or "it is soon going to be a seller's market," and "it's a hot market."
Everyone understands, simply by the description of the terms, that a buyer's market means the market is best for buyer's to be purchasing property. A seller's market means the market is best for seller's to be selling their property. And hot market, is often used by investors to describe a market where there is a lot of investment activity and excellent land prices. This ultimately means increased return on investment for commercial real estate investors.
So we know what these terms describe, but what about the true characteristics of a buyer's and seller's market? Does it differ from residential and commercial real estate? Let's look at these descriptions and what they really mean and how you can assess the market yourself and not have to rely on what the general public is talking about that specific day.
Many definitions of seller and buyer markets are very limiting. For example, a seller's market: a market which has more buyers than sellers. Low prices result from the excess of supply over demand. A buyer's market: a market which has more sellers than buyers. High prices result from excess demand over supply.
These definitions explain why each market is the way it is. However, what are the true ramifications?
Instead of using supply and demand, I prefer to describe these markets through power. Who has the power to call the shots- the purchase price for property.
With a buyer's market, the buyer has the power to dictate the purchase price. There are so many properties for sell, so many sellers, and not enough buyers for those properties. So if a seller really wants to part with his or her property, they are almost fighting over who is going to purchase the property.
The buyers are going to naturally ask for a lower price because the seller will need to come down in price to sell the property. They could try to hold out for a buyer who will pay them more. However, a buyer could simply move to another similar property that could cover their needs just fine, at a lower price. So with a buyer's market, they have the power to name the price and the seller's must succumb because otherwise, they won't be able to sell the property. That is how the prices are driven lower.
The opposite is true of a seller's market. In a seller's market the sellers have the power; they have the power to dictate the price. There are far more buyers than sellers so there is a limited supply of properties. The sellers can easily raise their prices because the buyers will have to pay more than the next buyer if they truly want o purchase a property. So prices in the market are driven higher as the sellers know they can get these prices.
So the type of market it is really has to do with power- who can call the price for a property. In the residential real estate markets, the type of market at a certain point in time is easy to determine. Are the housing prices rising or falling?
In commercial real estate, it is not so easy to determine. This is because there are so many different types of properties: development, building, rehab etc. Depending on your investment strategy and what you are looking for in a market, the terms buyer's market and seller's market do not hold as much value as the term "hot market." A hot market is one where the purchase values are low and the return on investment is high. There is a lot of commercial real estate activity, a high population growth rate, and a growth strategy within the city. Then again, what one investor feels is a hot market is not a hot market to another investor.
Commercial real estate is a special case where the market cycle changes from city to city. And no matter what point in the cycle a city is experiencing, an investor with a specific investment strategy can find value within that specific market. That is a definite benefit of commercial real estate. You can always find value in commercial properties.
With this information, a person can decide when it is best time to sell or purchase a property and you can plan for it before hand. Review daily newspapers, housing and real estate magazines, and you morning news program to see if there are any noticeable changes in the real estate market.
You Must Have The Blue American Express Card
These days, credit cards are loaded with great features and benefits. The American Express Blue card is no exception. In fact, it is one of the better credit cards to own.
The Blue card gives you flexibility and freedom you may or may not find in other major credit cards. Depending on how you like to manage your finances, you can pay off your Blue credit card balance in full each month or over an extended time period. The Blue card has no annual fee and a 0% APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for the first 15 months - 3 months longer than most reward credit cards. There is also a 20 day grace period to defer monthly interest fees and if you want additional credit cards for family and friends, you will receive them free.
The credit card offers a no cost rewards program. After you join, you will receive 1 point for nearly every Blue card purchase you make. It won't matter whether you are buying ice cream or airline tickets, you will add up points that can be redeemed for retail products, entertainment, travel and much more. When you transfer balances from other higher interest rate credit cards to your American Express Blue card, you enjoy a low fixed rate of 4.99% until the balance is paid off and there is no transaction fee to make the balance transfer. This Blue card feature can save you hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars.
The most current billing information is available to you online, including transactions, charges, and payments. You also get Express Pay: Express Pay is a payment technology that lets you make purchases without swiping your Blue card. Once you have made a purchase you just hold the card up to the payment reader, by the register, and that is it. You do not have to sign anything and you may get a receipt if you choose. There are thousands of Express Pay readers nationwide making it easy for you to make purchases quickly and easily.
There are more great features of the American Express Blue card to explore. With the Blue card you have great fraud protection online and off. You will not be held responsible for any unauthorized charges under any condition. An online year end summary gives you 24 hours access to important information about your credit card account. You can download the summary, print it out and separate charges by date, merchant name, charge amount and review charges made within a category. The summary is an excellent tool for preparing taxes and budgeting.
Do you want more? Well, how about 24/7 customer service and 90 day return protection. When a merchant will not take back a designated item within 90 days, American Express will refund the purchase price up to $300 per item and a maximum of $1000 annually per credit card account. You will also get buying assurance, so you can shop worry free, knowing that the original product warranty will be matched for an additional year, on warranties of 5 years or less. There is also the Purchase Protection Plan, which protects eligible purchases made with the Blue card against accidental damage and theft for 90 days after the purchase of your product. You will get car rental loss and damage insurance when you use your card for automobile rentals, Emergency Card Replacement, Travel Accident Insurance, and Global Assist Hotline, which assists you with medical, legal, financial or other emergency assistance when you travel more than 100 miles from home.
Overall, the American Express Blue card is an ideal financial companion for daily credit card usage. Its versatility as a credit card is readily discerned by reading the previously mentioned benefits and features. It is a credit card that easily complements your financial portfolio and should be among the credit cards you consider the next time you are in the market for a credit card.
How To Get Cheap Car Insurance Online In Maryland
Almost everyone wishes that he or she could wave a magic wand and find cheap car insurance online in Maryland since car insurance here isn't cheap. The state of Maryland requires by law that you have liability insurance, uninsured motorist (UM) insurance plus they require you to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.
And if you are financing a car your finance company will also require that you buy collision and comprehensive insurance as well. Each form of insurance is expensive on its own - add them all together and it's more than many people can afford to pay.
That's one of the main reasons that so many people want to get cheap car insurance online in Maryland - and, thankfully, finding cheap car insurance is possible.
However, before you jump on line and begin blindly searching for the best rates on car insurance there are a few tips and tricks that you should know to help you on your search.
First and foremost, always drive safely and within the law. Once you have a speeding ticket or a drunk or impaired driving conviction on your record your car insurance rates are going to go through the roof and they'll stay there for quite some time. If you can't afford to pay them, you have no one but yourself to blame.
If you're under 25 and in school stay there and get at least a "B" grade point average. Students with a "B" or better grade point average can qualify for a Good Student Discount and get at least 5% off of their car insurance premiums.
Older drivers can get a break, too. If you're 55 or older you may have noticed that your car insurance rates are rising. Fight back. Contact your car insurance agent and see if your insurance company offers a driver's refresher course. If they do, and you pass it, you may be able to save as much as 10 on your monthly premiums.
If you insure an older vehicle with little or no Kelly Blue Book value then you are simply throwing your money away if you pay for collision or comprehensive insurance. Even if your car still has some Blue Book value you still may want to consider dropping collision and comprehensive insurance. Dropping these forms of insurance means that if anything happens to your car your insurance company will not help to repair it or give you even a penny for it, but at the same time you can save quite a bit of money each month on your premiums if you drop comprehensive and collision.
How much can you afford to pay out of your own pocket if you have a claim? The more you are willing to pay - in other words, the higher your deductible - the lower your monthly premiums will be.
O.K. So now you're armed with the information you need to get cheap car insurance online in Maryland. Make sure you take the time to make insurance price comparisons on at least 2 (and preferably 3) different websites, since none of the websites compares every insurance company.
Comparing prices and policies on multiple websites can seem like a lot of work, but the pay-off will be knowing that you have found the lowest-priced car insurance available and that you are saving a ton of money month after month, year after year.
Everyone Has A Plan Until They Get Punched In The Mouth
I heard Mike Tyson say this years ago, and it immediately stuck with me because of so many ties it has to trading your trading plan with focus, discipline, and repetition.
Our main focus in training new and veteran traders is to build a belief in the system through repetition. After seeing the performance of a trade over 150 times within a 2 month period, it becomes evident that you begin to move away from a fear-based internal dialogue regarding your trade. You already know the system is consistently profitable, so the only X-factor in the entire process is that little 6-inch universe between your ears. Now, the focus of accuracy has everything to do with you, the trader, following your rules with consistency and repetition and nothing to do with the system.
Now back to my original point. We have seen the trades. We know the system is profitable. We have simulated the system and are showing a profit. We are ready to trade live hard earned cash that we have an emotional attachment to. Every dollar we are trading equals a loaf of bread, so to speak. Our hard earned trading capital is now taking the INEVITABLE equity draw-down, as dictated by the system. We WILL lose trades, traders, this is a fact that we must embrace on all levels. But remember, contraction leads to expansion. Your draw-down will inevitably lead to a run-up. The KEY is NOT TO MISS IT!
Now, we've had the draw-down, and to put it bluntly we've "Been punched in the mouth". THIS is where the magic happens. At this very moment what will you do? Will you let the fear and painful associations of the market dictate your trading executions? Or will you draw upon your training, having fully accepted that this equity swing is nothing more than another step to consistent profitability?
Will you continue to place those next trades with consistency? Will you remove all impulsive trades from your trading style? Will you follow the trading plan that you've put so much thought and process into developing for yourself?
If you have a pen, WRITE THIS DOWN and tape it to your Monitor:
"WHEN I TRADE MY PLAN WITH CONSISTENCY AND REPETITION THE MONEY WILL FOLLOW."
Remember, every trader gets punched in the mouth. The magic is how you apply your trading when this happens.
The Big Bugaboo Money
Do you have ADD? If so, does this sound like you, "Payday isn't until next week, and I'm totally out of money!" or "My credit cards are maxed out and I can't keep up with the payments," or "Oh no, I forgot to pay that bill again. Now, I'm going to be hit with a $30 late fee!" Any of these situations can happen to people with ADD because most of us don't really like dealing with money. Here are some tips to help you cope with your money situation better:
An ADD-Friendly Bill Paying System
Take some time today to buy some colored, hanging file folders. If you don't have a file cabinet, pick up a file box, too. Then, when you get home, make some labels for the folders, and give them names like bank statements, utility bills, automotive expenses, etc. Don't make it too complicated or another ADD trait will rear its ugly head-procrastination.
Then, each day when you get the mail, sort it right away. Stand over the shredder or trash and choose which pieces go into the trash and which stay with you. Take care of anything that needs attention right away and pay the bills that you get right away and then file those into an appropriate file in your file cabinet or box. If you can't pay a bill immediately, put it in a special place, like the front of a desk drawer, so that when the money becomes available to pay bills, you'll know exactly where to find them.
Online banking is a great way to streamline the bill paying process. Bank security is top notch, so the question of you having a problem online is really out of the equation. The chances are very slim. So, what you do is you take each bill that you receive and you put the information needed into the online banking account. You don't have to do this all at once. Wait until your next bill comes in and do it one or two at a time. That way, it seems less daunting, and remember, you only have to do it once. After all the information has been entered, paying a bill becomes as simple as clicking a button, a mouse button, that is.
As you pay each bill, put it into the file folders in your cabinet or box. That way, if any questions arise, or if you're just waiting for tax time, everything will be there waiting for you.
Stop Impulse Spending
With the ease of use and availability of credit cards these days, it's easy to just pull out plastic to pay for everyday expenses. Only keep one credit card, and never use it for daily spending! Put it away in a safe place and only pull it out when you have an emergency, like an unexpected trip to the dentist. Make that one card a universal card, like Mastercard or Visa, and stay away from department store cards because they'll suck your bank account until it's dry. Be wary of interest rates, too, and shop for the best card for the lowest expense of owning it. Make sure there's no annual fee, too.
And don't carry a pile of cash or a debit card. Find a bank that offers free checking and open a separate account for yourself. Each month around payday or whenever you get paid, give yourself an allowance that has to last until your next payday. If you run out of money, you don't get any more to spend until the next pay check arrives. After you run out of money a time or two, you might be less likely to indulge yourself with unneeded purchases.
Avoid these impulse spending habits by waiting to buy something. Just walk the other way and wait a day before you actually shell out the cash. This time interlude will allow you to see the difference between what you really need and what you just want. Wants aren't important. Needs are what you should concentrate your spending on.
You Should Be Your First Expense
Before you pay any bill, any expense for the month, you should always be paying yourself. Ten percent of your income, every time you get money or a paycheck, should go into a savings account. If you don't have a savings account, get one and never, ever use it except for depositing. Your savings account is for huge expenses, like buying a house, repairing your car, or retirement.
These tips are great for people with or without ADD. Put at least one of them into practice and see how well it works for you. We guarantee that you'll be back to try another.
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