The Relationship Between Insurance and Finance

Insurance and finance are closely interwoven fields of business, not least because they both involve money. They also often both involve speculation and risk, and often where one goes, the other will follow. Take property investment for example, it involves a large amount of capital out lay, swiftly followed by insurance to protect the capital investment. It would be ridiculous to spend such a vast sum of money on a venture and not protect it against possible damage. It therefore makes sense to store information on these two subjects together, as the relationship is so logical.

Insurance is a form of risk management used to protect the insured against the risk of a loss. It is defined as the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss from one entity to another in exchange for a premium. There are different kinds of insurance for just about every conceivable event. The most common insurance is probably life insurance, which provides a monetary benefit to a decedent’s family or other designated beneficiary.

It can cover funeral or burial costs and can be paid out to the beneficiary in either a lump sum or as an annuity. Property insurance is one of the more necessary insurances as property is extremely expensive and if it is lost or damaged for some reason (fire, earthquake, flood) it can be very difficult to replace without adequate reimbursement. Travel insurance used to be seen as an unnecessary expense and is still viewed as such by many. Its importance is, however, being increasingly recognised by the public at large. It is cover taken by those who travel abroad and covers certain unforeseen events such as medical expenses, loss of personal belongings, travel delays etc. There are numerous other types of insurance, too many to mention, all vital if you want to protect something of particular importance to you or another.

In the world of finance there are many sub-categories, also too numerous to mention but a few will be included here. Forex, or the foreign exchange market wherever one currency is traded for another. It includes trading between banks, speculators, institutions, corporations, governments, and other financial markets. The average daily trade in the global forex is over US$ 3 trillion.

Tax consulting usually involves CPAs and tax lawyers in addressing any tax issues that you may have. There may also be Professional Strategic Tax Planners and Enrolled Agents, depending on the company that you hire. They will help you reduce your tax debt, eliminate tax penalties, an innocent spouse claim, tax liens, bank levies, and preparing unfilled tax returns, as well as any other tax resolution problem that you might have.

Property investment is usually when an investor buys property with an eye to generate profit and not to occupy it. It is an asset that has been purchased and held for future appreciation, income or portfolio purposes. In some instances an investment property does not have to be held for profit, as some landlords in New York lease office buildings to non-profit organisations for tax purposes. Homeowners consider their homes to be investments but they aren’t classified as investment properties. Perhaps if you’re buying your second or third home, it can be considered an investment property, especially if you plan to rent it out to help pay off the home loan.

Business networking is a marketing method, which is as old as business itself. It’s been around since ever since people learned to hold a glass of whiskey and schmooze. In fact, its probably been around a lot longer, Cro-Magnon man probably gathered around the newly discovered fire and showed each other their collection of animal teeth and traded them. Creating networks of crocodile teeth owners and sabre toothed tiger owners, who tried a take over bid against the sabre toothed leopard owners. Business networking is designed to create business opportunities through social networks. It helps if the people involved are of the same frame of mind.

These days a very handy way of business networking is via the Internet on the various social media available. But it must be said that very little can beat the intimacy and trust created by face-to-face relationships. Also, where would our businessmen be without their whiskeys and weekly schmooze?

Source by Sandy Cosser

Why Is Budgeting Important for the Entrepreneur?

I’ve had many to inquire of why budgeting is so important for the entrepreneur? I’ve especially seen these inquiries from solopreneurs or small businesses of one or two people. Let me just say first that having a budget is one of the key components to a successful business no matter the size. How do you know where you’re going, if you don’t have a plan for getting there? How do you know how well your business is progressing or not, if you don’t have something to measure your performance against? Simply put, a budget is a financial plan and helps you to manage the future income and expenses of your business. It reflects the goals & objectives of your business combined with how you believe your resources will be used. However, it doesn’t stop there, a budget serves as the roadmap for your business. It aids in providing a compass for making important business decisions in a more efficient manner to ensure that your business is heading in the right direction. A budget also empowers you to think more about the future and anticipate what could possibly happen in your business, which in turn makes for effective management.

Here are other reasons why I believe budgeting is important to the success of any business:

1.) Provides insight into your business and sheds light on if your business is financially on the right path.

2.) Creates a performance measurement mechanism in which you are able to understand what your business is doing compared to what you thought or planned.

3.) A budget shows that you are a serious entrepreneur which makes your business attractive to potential investors and is a critical component in getting funding from a bank.

4.) Acts as a management tool for running your business on a daily basis.

5.) You are able to make adjustments early once you realize that your business may not be reaching its planned goals.

6.) Due to a budget being a forward thinking document, it serves as a planning tool for future growth.

7.) Produces discipline in that as an entrepreneur you are more aware of your expenditures and more careful to manage costs in order to ensure that you reach your established goals.

Source by Antonina Geer

What Is The Difference Between Recreational and Commercial Fishing?

In the early era, fishing is done primarily for food consumption but nowadays, it is practiced not only for consumption but also for fun, research work, and industrial purposes. Technological advancements had made it easy to catch fish, however, there are still many people who prefer the traditional way of catching for the purpose of relaxation.

Modern day fishing is broadly categorized into recreational and commercial fishing.

Differentiating Recreational and Commercial

Recreational fishing is also known as sports fishing. This is usually done for fun and competition purposes. Using the basic method of catching, this type of fishing differs from commercial category in many ways. Fish catching in this category is usually done in lighter boats with rods, reels, hooks and baits. Lighter boats are used so as not to make disturbance for a successful catch.

Sometimes this is also done inland with the same equipment used, usually beside a lake.

What Is The Commercial or Industrial Fishing

Commercial fishing, if done on large scale, is also called an industrial fishing. This commercial type of fishing which uses equipment such as trawlers and factory ships aims to provide seafood supply for the market. Trawlers are used for commercial purposes while factory ships are used for industrial purposes.

Generally, the trawlers are equipped with nets, trawl and pot-traps. Factory ships on the other hand are large vessels with dynamic on-board facilities for immediate processing and freezing of caught seafood. These factory ships are capable of storing tons of seafood at a time. Unlike recreational fishing, commercial fishing is a serious revenue generating career for people. But it is considered as a very dangerous career line because of its high fatality rate.

The alarming rate of marine species extinction has also been attributed to this kind of industrial fishing.

What Is The Role of Government

Several non-profit organizations continuously file petition against recreational fishing as well as commercial fishing to protect other marine forms of life. Thus some government agencies were formed to monitor excessive catching of fish that can be dangerous for the existence of several marine species. Strict rules and regulations have been imposed to control catching of fish to a reasonable extent.

Like commercial fishing, recreational fishing is also subject to the intervention of the government. Government regulations make quotas, treaties and laws to control the catching of fishes otherwise the extinction of marine species will rise at an alarming rate.

Source by Nelson Paran

5 Principles For Debt Management

Debt Management – 5 Principles to help you get your debt under control!

Introduction

It has been increasingly difficult to get credit these day, whether you’re looking for a car loan, credit card, or even a home loan. So managing your debt, and having a good credit score is very important. No longer are lenders handing out zero down and no interest loans. Credit card offers these days are reserved for those with good to excellent credit.

BusinessWeek says that total household debt in the US was more than 100% of our disposable annual income last year. The average person has more than $8000 in credit card debt.

The bottom line is that our personal debt is growing at an alarming rate. You can now charge your fast food meals at many restaurants, paying interest for years on something you consumed in one sitting. Many people have taken steps to address their debt problems, including consolidating debt to lower interest rate cards, or to home equity loans, or at worst case the dreaded “B” word, Bankruptcy.

5 Principles of Debt Management

1. Create an accurate assessment of your debt situation.
Make a list, chart or whatever you’re most comfortable with, of all your debts. Be sure and include the amounts, interest rates, and expiration dates (especially on any no-interest for ## days type loans). Be sure and note any old accounts that you’ve got “laying around”, such as that department store credit account that you opened to get the 15% discount.

You can now get a free credit report online. You should make sure that you’ve got a credit report and FICO score from each of the 3 national credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. The FTC advises monitoring your CREDIT REPORT activity ON ALL 3 BUREAUS. Under a new Federal law, you have the right to receive a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies. AnnualCreditReport.com allows you to request a free credit file disclosure (ie. Credit Report) once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies. This free credit report won’t include your credit score, but it does give you a consolidated list of your debts, a record of requests for your credit history, and a summary of your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Once you’ve gotten your free credit report, you also need to get your Credit Score. You can get your Credit Score, along with daily 3 bureau credit monitoring and other great services from FreeCreditScore.com.

2. Make a budget and stick to it!
Making a budget helps keep from increasing your debt, while you’re trying to pay it down. Be specific and detailed in your budgeting. Except for emergencies, you should only be spending what is accounted for in your budget. Some people have found it helpful to keep a 30 day log of their spending. Carry a little notebook, or some index cards with you, and write down everything you spend each day. You’ll probably be amazed at how much money you spend on things you want, and don’t really need. The smallest things, such as that $3 cup of coffee every day, can slowly eat away at your finances. This will help keep you from getting further in debt. Your budget should define how much money you’ll send to each of your creditors monthly and how much you need for bills, and how much is left for discretionary spending. Try limiting your discretionary spending to things you can buy with “pocket cash”. This may be hardest thing you’ve ever done, but you won’t get further in debt if you only spend what you have.

3. Pay off the debts one by one.
Maintain minimum payments to the rest of the debts, but pick the debt with the highest interest rate, and send extra payments to pay it off. There is a proven psychological benefit to being able to take a debt off of your list.

4. Consider debt consolidation or debt restructuring and possibly refinancing your home mortgage.
Lower your credit card debt by 70% by consolidating. With interest rates down, it also may be time to refinance your home mortgage loan and cut your monthly payment. You can get free mortgage loan quotes at LowCostLending. When you refinance, make sure closing costs and other fees don’t outweigh the savings in your monthly payment. Another option is to get a Home Equity Loan. Home equity loans are good because they allow you to deduct the interest on your income taxes. Remember though, new credit is not a license to incur new or more debts. Once you’ve transferred a balance by consolidating, or refinancing, don’t add more charges to the old account. If you’ve got a lot of open accounts, you may want to close some of them, but you shouldn’t necessarily always cancel the old account. Having a good payment history with a few existing accounts can be better for your credit record than many canceled and new accounts.

5. If necessary, get help.
You may choose a credit counseling service, or debt counseling and debt help service to help with each step of your debt solution. Credit counselors can add accountability to your debt solution, and also serve as a source of encouragement. They are used to dealing with people with bad credit or poor credit, and can help you create a custom debt solution. They can suggest money lenders that might be more willing to make a loan to someone with a lower credit rating. Once you start reducing your debts without incurring new ones, you’ll start to see your credit score rise.

By following these simple principles, you should be able to get your debt under control, reduce it, and eventfully eliminate it.

Source by Tom Sexton

Benefits of Payday Loans

Next time you are in dire need of some cash, and you want to get it quickly, you can consider payday loans. This type of loans is relatively new on the market.

So far, the traditional ways of procuring a loan were mainly through credit cards or by applying for personal loans. Certainly, these are well accepted and appreciated options for anyone, but they do come with their own limitations. When using credit cards, you are prompted to spend a lot more than perhaps you could afford. In fact, they were designed exactly for this purpose, as they allow you to pay a specified minimum amount, and thus extend the payment of your dues for a long time to come.

This design works to the benefits of the companies that issue credit cards, as they keep earning interest on the late payments made by you. Personal loans generally make a better option, but qualifying for such loans is quite cumbersome, needing a lot of time and a detailed check of your credit score before any answer is given.

This new product comes to the rescue of people who are unable to qualify for credit cards for whatever reasons, or who want to avoid the hassle of getting one. Though the reputation of payday loans is bad, they make a good substitute for traditional lending. They are highly popular with certain sections of our society. Here are the main benefits of payday loans:

  • The process of getting a payday loan is very easy, comfortable and fast. You may apply for a loan and expect the funds to be in your bank account in a matter of hours. No traditional bank can match that speed of sanctioning a loan. This is possible due to the online procedures for getting and disbursing the loans. The borrower simply needs to fill up an online application, giving some personal details, and then wait for the loan that will come through very soon.
  • Since these are short-term loans, you don’t need to face the problem for a long time. These loans are meant to help you overcome your financial problem for a short time. It is comforting to know that you won’t be under debt for long. However, most people tend to believe that you’ll land up in a big mess if and when failing to make your commitments; you should know that this is not true most of the time. The lenders offering payday loans do realize that there will be some defaulters, and they have accordingly designed their plans. Instead of taking any other action, they will just ban the client from utilizing the facility in the future.
  • Your chances of getting a loan from the businesses offering payday loans are certainly higher as compared to other financial institutions, like banks. The reason is that payday loans are available for small amounts of money, for shorter periods of time. Since the lenders realize that the associated risks are small, they can provide financial assistance to a larger number of consumers.
  • All the terms of the loan, including the fees and the interest to be charged by the lenders are clearly stated beforehand. So the borrower is well-informed on the amount he is liable to pay back. There are no hidden charges. This business is now highly monitored and controlled due to the bad publicity it has received in the past.

Perhaps, now you can better appreciate the reasons that prompt people to patronize payday loans. Their benefits include easy and quick availability, and if you realize how to best exploit these loans, you won’t be scared of utilizing them.

Source by Waheed Honey

Property Tax – Pros and Cons

Property tax can be the fairest and at the same time the not so fair tax collected by municipalities.

Two of the determining factors of how it can affect what an individual will pay for this type of tax are where you live and a person’s economic condition.

Even though we all can appreciate the good points of owning a home vs. renting, when it comes to property tax, renting is by far the better option. States will collect property tax on the following:

Any additions to the property such as improvements to the land

Land itself

Any structures that are not permanent to the property

The assessment is commonly made by an exclusive county tax collector in each state. An individual’s property and land will be appraised of its value and subsequently mailed as a tax payment notice. This usually is paid through a homeowner’s escrow amount stated on their mortgage.

Many times this can negatively affect a property or land owner as the taxes in a specific state can sometimes double or triple in amount and leave the homeowner unable to afford to pay their taxes, forcing them to sell their property or land.

People on a fixed income such as Senior citizens who have retired, can be greatly affected by the increase of property tax. The value of their homes increase, but at the same time they find themselves unable to pay their taxes because of their reduced income. Unfortunately, property tax doesn’t allow much wiggle room in the event of acts of nature or personal tragedy.

Although 2.3 seems to be the average percentage for property tax, it varies greatly from state to state, making it seem highly unfair for certain states such as New Hampshire, as it is a high 4.9 percent.

It also seem unfair when states like Alabama pay 1.3 percent and yet just a little distance away in neighboring Georgia would be required to pay 2.6 percent, then even more in Florida at a rate of 3.1 percent.

So who determines how the money generated from this income is spent or in some cases wasted? The state legislatures will determine this along with the decision to increase or decrease property tax and how frequent it is collected.

Even though property tax can absolutely help states with income,the amount of property tax to be paid can be a determining factor in one’s decision where to reside to achieve the American Dream of land or home ownership.

Source by Blayne Penton

10 Services That Banks Offer

Whenever we are looking for a particular bank product, we of course always want the best for ourselves. There are numerous services that banks offer. The following article intends to outline 10 of the principal services that banks offer and the reasons why we would want the best in each one… for ourselves!

Wanting the best for ourselves is especially true when we are looking for a means to entrust the safe keeping of our money. So where is the best place for your money? Give it to a friend? Put it in a piggy bank? Hide it in a particular place where only you know? Put it into a bank? Well these are some of the possible places and means wherein you can keep your money. But there is one thing that these ways have in common: they are all actually risky. They are all risky in the sense that the money you have entrusted to them are in danger of being spent, destroyed or will be worth less to you when you take the money back.

Of course, entrusting your money to a reliable and trusted bank is one of the most trusted ways to keep your money safe. Of course to do this, you have to open a savings account first before you are allowed to deposit your money with a bank.

Before opening a bank account, it is best practice to carry out thorough research about any prospective bank. If you think you are satisfied with your research and think that the bank you have chosen can meet all your business and personal needs, then this will be the time for you to enroll yourself and begin to make your deposits.

I Now Have A Bank Account!

Now, you and your money are already relatively safe and secure. I have to congratulate you for finding the best bank for you. However, I would like to reiterate here that all banks vary in the services they provide. A good example of the common services offered is the savings account. This is basically the initial service one can ever have when joining a bank. With regards to services, there are also some cases where some banks offer one type of service and others do not.

10 Services Offered By Banks

For you to have a clearer view of a bank’s services, I have included 10 of the services that most banks offer to consumer banking customers.

  1. Savings and other Accounts
  2. Online Banking
  3. Wire Services (includes customer care service)
  4. Payroll
  5. CDs
  6. Payments
  7. Collection
  8. Transfer of Funds
  9. Bill Payments
  10. Loans

Source by Dave Cheeseman

How Relevant Are Unemployed Loans in the Present Scenario?

If you are out of a job, it clearly means you have no income source. Devoid of any steady income, you will find it tough to cover the basic expenses. You may try to borrow some money from friends and family, but that’s more of a temporary arrangement. What about trying out a loan instead to tackle the needs, until you find a new source of income? The problem is lenders are not interested in offering financial assistance to people without any regular salary or job. Nevertheless, there are certain provisions made available and all you have to do is to look for a viable alternative that can support you, when not working. This is precisely where unemployed loans gain prominence, since it is conceptualised to provide convenient finances to settle the various needs of those with no active income.

Unemployed Loans for all

To begin with, unemployed loans are not very different from other similar arrangements. What really has changed is the attitude of the lenders, who are now more accommodating to the needs of those with no access to any income. Therefore deriving some cash relief to deal with certain expenses does not really seem to be much of a problem.

But there are certain key factors that play an important role, when it comes to accessing the credit. If you are having a good credit history, Then it means you have maximum chances of getting a suitable offer on this loan. At the same time, when you have arrears and dues, Then obtaining the funds does become a bit tricky, considering the situation. This does not really mean that you have run out of options. In fact, you will have a fewer options available and these will come at a greater cost.

Loans for Unemployed and its various types

If you are of the view that it is possible to get the best possible rates and feasible repayment options, then you are getting wrong information. As far as the loans for unemployed are concerned, you have the option to go for secured variety and an unsecured variety. If it is about deriving a larger amount with an elongated repayment terms and you have the asset to pledge as collateral, then you can prefer the secured option. On the contrary, the unsecured option is more sought by those in particular who are looking for a limited amount for a relatively Short Term period.

Despite meeting all the desired pre- requisites, getting the loans and utilising it is always a challenge. Apart from the higher interest rate and the other hurdles, it eventually comes down to handling the pressure. But when you avail the loans and make sure to keep up with the payments, it does help to improve your credibility as a borrower.

As far as relevance of unemployed loans is concerned, it does help when it comes to seeing through the crisis. But then, it is necessary to minimise the borrowing and limiting the expenses. The best you can do in these circumstances is to stay away from borrowing any money.

Source by Angie Rees

Car Loans With a Credit Score Below 500 – Get Yours Now

Owning your own car is not just a luxury, but it is a necessity that most people must have, including those people with bad or damaged credit. You need your car in order to get to work, go shopping, and to take your kids to school. However, there are many people out there with credit scores that keep them from getting the financing that they need in order to buy the car that they need. If your credit score is below 500, you have what is known as horrible credit, and traditional financing options that are available to you are scarce or even non-existent. The good news is that while you need to work on rebuilding or repairing your credit file, there are lenders who will take a chance on you with damaged credit, even for those borrowers whose credit scores are below 500.

Less Worry About FICO Score

These lenders worry less about your FICO score and look more at what really matters to them – your ability to repay them when they loan you the money to buy a car. These types of bad credit car loan servicers are accustomed to dealing with those who have bad credit, and in their eyes, the car itself stands as collateral for the loan. This means that the lender looks at factors like your length of time at our current job and the amount of pay that you receive for doing that job. They also take into consideration your other income, or income that other people in your home receive. For this reason, it is always best to include the income that your spouse brings into the home when you apply for your car loan for bad credit.

Interest Rates To Expect With Bad Credit Car Loans

Be prepared for a bit of a surprise when the lender informs you about the interest rates that you will pay on a bad credit car loan. Because you have had negligent credit in the past, the lender will likely assess a higher rate of interest than he would for a borrower with good credit, and this is done to offset his risks. You can reduce the rate of interest that you will pay in one of two ways. First of all, you can apply a down payment to the purchase price of the car that you want to finance under the bad credit car loan.

Any type of down payment that you can produce will help lower your rate of interest, so even if you pay only 10% or even less down on the car, you will get a lower rate of interest and that, in turn, will cause the loan to cost less and have the bonus benefit of making your monthly payments smaller. Secondly, you can apply for the bad credit car loan with the help of a cosigner who has good credit. Having a cosigner can significantly reduce the amount of interest that you are charged on your loan.

Bad Credit Car Loans Can Improve Credit Score

Once you have been approved for your bad credit car loan, become a good steward of the credit that has been extended to you by making timely monthly payments. Many people that take out these types of bad credit car loans find that they are able to improve their credit scores, which can have the ripple effect of reducing the interest that you are charged on subsequent loans in the future, and opening the door for you to obtain other types of credit.

Source by Jess Peterson

How to Evaluate Your Finance Department

Nobody knows your business better than you do. After all, you are the CEO. You know what the engineers do; you know what the production managers do; and nobody understands the sales process better than you. You know who is carrying their weight and who isn’t. That is, unless we’re talking about the finance and accounting managers.

Most CEO’s, especially in small and mid-size enterprises, come from operational or sales backgrounds. They have often gained some knowledge of finance and accounting through their careers, but only to the extent necessary. But as the CEO, they must make judgments about the performance and competence of the accountants as well as the operations and sales managers.

So, how does the diligent CEO evaluate the finance and accounting functions in his company? All too often, the CEO assigns a qualitative value based on the quantitative message. In other words, if the Controller delivers a positive, upbeat financial report, the CEO will have positive feelings toward the Controller. And if the Controller delivers a bleak message, the CEO will have a negative reaction to the person. Unfortunately, “shooting the messenger” is not at all uncommon.

The dangers inherent in this approach should be obvious. The Controller (or CFO, bookkeeper, whoever) may realize that in order to protect their career, they need to make the numbers look better than they really are, or they need to draw attention away from negative matters and focus on positive matters. This raises the probability that important issues won’t get the attention they deserve. It also raises the probability that good people will be lost for the wrong reasons.

The CEO’s of large public companies have a big advantage when it comes to evaluating the performance of the finance department. They have the audit committee of the board of directors, the auditors, the SEC, Wall Street analyst and public shareholders giving them feedback. In smaller businesses, however, CEO’s need to develop their own methods and processes for evaluating the performance of their financial managers.

Here are a few suggestions for the small business CEO:

Timely and Accurate Financial Reports

Chances are that at some point in your career, you have been advised that you should insist on “timely and accurate” financial reports from your accounting group. Unfortunately, you are probably a very good judge of what is timely, but you may not be nearly as good a judge of what is accurate. Certainly, you don’t have the time to test the recording of transactions and to verify the accuracy of reports, but there are some things that you can and should do.

  • Insist that financial reports include comparisons over a number of periods. This will allow you to judge the consistency of recording and reporting transactions.
  • Make sure that all anomalies are explained.
  • Recurring expenses such as rents and utilities should be reported in the appropriate period. An explanation that – “there are two rents in April because we paid May early” – is unacceptable. The May rent should be reported as a May expense.
  • Occasionally, ask to be reminded about the company’s policies for recording revenues, capitalizing costs, etc.

Beyond Monthly Financial Reports

You should expect to get information from your accounting and finance groups on a daily basis, not just when monthly financial reports are due. Some good examples are:

  • Daily cash balance reports.
  • Accounts receivable collection updates.
  • Cash flow forecasts (cash requirements)
  • Significant or unusual transactions.

Consistent Work Habits

We’ve all known people who took it easy for weeks, then pulled an all-nighter to meet a deadline. Such inconsistent work habits are strong indicators that the individual is not attentive to processes. It also sharply raises the probability of errors in the frantic last-minute activities.

Willingness to Be Controversial

As the CEO, you need to make it very clear to the finance/accounting managers that you expect frank and honest information and that they will not be victims of “shoot the messenger” thinking. Once that assurance is given, your financial managers should be an integral part of your company’s management team. They should not be reluctant to express their opinions and concerns to you or to other department leaders.

Source by Fred McKibben