The Sad State of Estate Planning Why So Few Have a Will

yySo you consider yourself a planner, do you? You may have your annual checkups booked through December, funds set aside for that European trip next summer, and a family calendar color-coded to the T.

But getting your estate plans settled? Not so much.

Tasks like creating a will or naming guardians have a tendency to fall off the to-do list for many of us — even the most organized. New survey results from Everplans confirm it: while 69 percent say they’ve seriously considered drafting a will, just 34 percent have actually done so.

More than 1 in 4 people who say they’re in charge of handling estate plans admit they’re not doing a good job of preparing for the unexpected. And among those not in charge, half feel it’d be a struggle to get all the necessary documents together.

Even fewer people are broaching the topic of eldercare arrangements; only one in four have a solid plan in place.

Despite this reluctance to take action, 87 percent of parents say it’s important to discuss estate matters with their children.

So what’s holding them back?

Turns out, it’s not necessarily because discussing end-of-life plans is a taboo topic — only

Green wash

imagesgggWHEN it comes to corporate citizenship, Method’s ambitions are sky-high. The maker of environmentally-friendly cleaning products, which opened its first factory, in Chicago, in April, wants to be “the most sustainable and the most socially beneficial company in the world,” says Adam Lowry, one of its founders. Method would like to set a new standard in urban revitalisation, while making its factory a paragon of sustainability.

The building that Mr Lowry, a chemical engineer, helped to design is partly powered by its own wind turbine and solar panels and has huge skylights to make as much use as possible of natural light. On its roof, what it claims is the world’s largest rooftop farm will soon open. Some of its produce will be donated to food banks.

To lure this pioneering green factory to Chicago, the city chipped in $8.1m through tax breaks. A community-development organisation contributed another $1.2m. In return they will get the 120 or so jobs that the factory is bringing to this long-neglected, poor part of Chicago—and perhaps more, as other firms follow. Walmart, a giant retailer, recently opened a shop in the area. Plans are afoot to build studios

Financial services Sliding away

erONE of the biggest surprises from the quick estimates relating to GDP growth is the figure on the financial services sector. It shows a negative growth for ’00-01, the first time since ’80-81. This negative growth of 2.2 per cent is even more startling given the fact that the provisional figures for ’99-00 put the growth in the financial services sector at 13.4 per cent. A study by the ET Intelligence Group for the period 1970-71 onwards also showed that this area has recorded a compounded annual growth rate of 12 per cent during the ’80s and 10.5 per cent during the nineties. The important term in the calculation here is Gross Value Added. Analysts believe that among the GVA components, it’s not salaries and rent, but the drop in profits which can explain the phenomenon. But this can be only a part explanation. The financial services sector has quite a few sub-segments. Since the recently released government figures do not give the detailed break-up, most analysts and economists are at a loss in explaining the sudden reversal in fortunes. “We are not able to clearly understand the reason behind this drastic

Here’s how to avoid the Pitfalls of Your Business Partner’s Poor Credit

When it comes to your company’s success, your credit is absolutely critical. When you have good credit, you can easily secure a loan at a relatively low interest rate and favorable terms. However, if you have poor credit, you can find it difficult to secure a loan and you could find yourself hit with high interest rates. Unfortunately, having poor credit can be an issue even if you have a business partner. In some cases, a business partner with poor credit can even hold your company’s finances back. However, First American Merchant can help provide credit cards for businesses with bad credit, and instant approval. Getting a credit solution for bad credit is always an option. In addition, you have several other options you can explore in order to avoid the pitfalls of bad credit:

Get Business Credit

This one is relatively straightforward, but still, not enough people use it as an option. Getting your credit in your company’s name allows you to avoid having your personal credit play such a big role in your company’s finances. Keeping your personal finances and your company finances separate is good accounting practice, and you should do so whenever possible.

Have Bad Credit? Find a

Why is endurance and patience – important qualities for traders?

Traders operating in the Forex market should be aware of 2 main features of this market. On the one hand, Forex – potentially the most profitable of all the financial markets, on the other hand – Forex market has high level of risk. Therefore, the trader must be psychologically prepared to trade in the Forex market.

The main features of hindering successful trading:

  • greed, impatience and unrealistic.
  • The trader must clearly and coolly assess the capabilities of their transactions to be sustained and patient.
  • Do not work on the Forex market in order to close the urgent debts or loans and trade on someone else, or borrowed money, as in a state of psychological stress, decisions taken by the trader can be wrong.
  • Do not chase for super, to be gambling, casino arranging the Forex market.
  • It is better not to open a deal at all, than to open without thinking and without analyzing the situation, forecast and trend direction.

Thoughtful, balanced approach to investment and trade in the currency market – is the key to your success. There are many articles about successful forex trading this is link on one of them.

It is also important for a trader to chat with other traders. It can

Re It’s a (Financial) Emergency 3 Ways to Tap a Rainy Day Fund

imagesfffAh, the emergency fund.

That cushion of cash you’re so glad to have when your company announces it’s downsizing staff, or when your plumber tells you that the water stain on the ceiling is coming from a giant leak behind the walls.

These unexpected life “surprises” are the reason we at LearnVest advocate having one month of your take-home pay in a rainy day fund before tackling any other financial goals — including big ones like paying off a credit card.

Even better? Working your way up to six months of take-home pay — or nine months’ worth, if you’re self-employed.

But even if you’re hovering closer to the one-month-of-pay mark, consider yourself ahead of the pack: A 2015 Bankrate Money Pulse poll found that only 38 percent of respondents had enough savings to be able to cover even a small disaster, like an emergency room visit or a car repair.

And once you’ve joined the ranks of those who’ve reached their emergency savings fund goal, you hope, of course, that everything remains peachy enough to leave that rainy day stash untouched.

But if a disaster actually does happen, how do you go about, well, touching it?

According to

10 Commandments of Personal Finance

fvBut it doesn’t take a miracle. If you are looking for some basic guidelines, just follow these 10 commandments:

10. Thou Shalt Take Action

Reading about how to improve your personal finances is a start, but it has absolutely no meaning if you don’t take the action of putting what you learn into motion. Before you can get anywhere with your personal finances, you need to begin — right now. If you are reading this article, you know that you should be taking steps to get your personal finances in order.Print out this list and place it where you will see it every day, so that you are reminded that personal finance is a priority in your life and that you will take some action each and every day to try to improve your lot. If you aren’t sure where to begin, start withgetting your banking accounts in order.

9. Thou Shalt Pay Off All Credit Card Debt

Credit card debt is, in most cases, the No. 1 enemy to your personal finances. It can have a huge negative effect if your credit card bills are not paid off in full every single

Top 10 companies that pay more than 25% dividend

fvhAsk the average Indian what he wants from his investments and the answer would probably be, ‘stable returns’. This is why bank fixed deposits and small savings schemes are so popular while stocks account for less than 5% of total household wealth. Individuals stay away from stocks because it’s a volatile asset class. But take a closer look and you will find that some companies have given steady income to investors. They have consistently given back a significant chunk of their net profits to shareholders in the form of dividends.

Not surprisingly, such stocks are a huge draw among investors. We scoured the past 10 years’ data for companies that have consistently paid more than 25% of their net profits as dividends, while also outperforming the index in at least seven of the 10 years under consideration. Out of the BSE-500 universe, only 38 companies made the cut. However, only a handful of these have the enviable record of beating the Sensex on at least seven of the 10 occasions.

Our cover story looks at the top 10 dividend-paying stocks that have beaten the

Financial Services and System

imagesfFinancial services industry is the emerging sector in the domestic as well as world economy. The introduction of new financial products brought with them complex dealing procedures and inherent risk. Essentially, the dealing staff should be conversant with the rules and regulations in order to ensure compliance.

The competition in the financial services sector prompted institutions to introduce newer products. The campus recruitment process enabled the financial institutions to recruit the employees of their choice. This interaction with the industry enabled the institutions imparting management education to meet the expectation of the industry by incorporating financial markets, financial products and the management of financial institutions under the topic of study in the business schools.

Financial Services and System, is a comprehensive book providing complete information in this regard. The book covers all the areas of financial services including management of financial service institutions, the information is structured so as to give guidance to the students to work further on it.

A number of student centric activities are included in this book in order to make the

10 Financial Lessons for a Richer Life

fvnThe basics are so simple that anyone can get the concepts down in less than a day — spend less than you earn, save and invest the rest.

Knowing what should be done and actually doing it, however, are two different things.Most people realize that spending more money than they have is a bad, bad thing. That still doesn’t keep millions of people from racking up credit-card debt.Here are 10 money lessons I wish I had known when I was 20 (I’m now 42 years old), which also have the power to change your life if you are able to embrace them.

10. Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness

I knew this in my heart when I was younger. After all, who can’t hum the tune of the Beatles song Can’t Buy Me Love?But my head often countered it in real life. It took me several years of working in a large corporation making good money, but not enjoying my job, to finally get it through my head that money in itself does not make you happy, and the accumulation of money will do very little for your happiness unless you know how to use

How to Avoid Holiday Season Credit Card Rip-Offs

imagesgbBuy now, pay later” is the modern way of life. Credit cards are a highly profitable business for the companies that issue them, so it’s no surprise that banks continue to inundate consumers with credit card offers, especially during the shopping frenzy of the holiday season. These come-ons are among several financial traps lurking out there today.

Visa (V), MasterCard (MA), Discover Financial Services (DFS) and American Express (AXP): Their cards are common fixtures in hundreds of millions of wallets around the world. According to Federal Reserve data, the average credit card debt per card-holding U.S. household is $16,140. In total, the average American consumer owes $918.5 billion in credit card debt.

You probably get credit card offers in the mail all the time; the volume of unsolicited offers tends to increase the day after Thanksgiving. Here’s some important information that will help you sort through the pitches and separate the good values from the rip-offs.

The Introductory Rate

The introductory rate, or “teaser rate,” expires after a designated period of time. Federal law requires introductory rates to remain in effect at least six months after signup. This rate is below market and typically applies only to balance transfers

6 Things to Consider Before Paying Off a Mortgage Early

fvLiving debt-free sounds great, and depending on where you are in life it may actually be attainable. But even if you can pay off your mortgage early, should you?

Although it may be tempting, first consider the opportunity cost of paying off your mortgage early at the expense of other goals or investment options, as well as the impact to your tax situation.

Opportunity cost. By paying off your mortgage early, you’ll save on the additional interest expense that would have been incurred in your regular payments. This savings can be significant, and will increase with the prepayment amount. However, by directing excess cash towards paying down a mortgage, those funds are no longer available for investment. The lower your interest rate, the less you stand to benefit through early retirement of debt. How can you decide whether it is best to invest excess cash or pay off your mortgage early? Consider the following example:

Suppose the stated interest rate on your mortgage is 4 percent and you are in the 28 percent federal income tax bracket. Your after-tax mortgage rate is roughly 2.9 percent, perhaps lower if you can also deduct the mortgage interest on your state income

Home Improvement Projects That Can Hurt Your Property Value

ryAre you considering converting your home’s garage into a man cave? Before you permanently ditch parking and storage space in exchange for a testosterone-friendly getaway, you may want to consider this: your garage man cave project could hurt your home’s value and make it harder to sell.

Turning your garage into a living space is one of four home improvement projects highlighted by MarketWatch that could end up sucking the value out of your home.

Homeowners need to think carefully before they get rid of their garage and turn it into a man cave, family room or extra bedroom, because it could make their home less attractive to many people, New York real estate agent Brendon DeSimone, author of the book “Next Generation Real Estate,” told MarketWatch.

A recent survey by real estate investment and operating firm Crescent Communities found that 74 percent of homebuyers said having a garage is extremely or very important. If you still want to proceed with your garage project, consider leaving the garage doors on the outside so if you do sell your house, a buyer has the option to easily turn the space back into a garage, Michele Silverman Bedell, of New

6 Money Strategies for the Sandwich Generation

wgWhen her father was diagnosed with a respiratory disease about seven years ago, Joy Frank-Collins juggled her work schedule and parenting demands to maximize the time she spent by his side. Frank-Collins, a 41-year-old who heads her own communications firm in Marietta, Ohio, also coordinated with her siblings to pay for expenses that weren’t covered by insurance. “If you know your parents will need your help, you have to think, ‘What can I set aside to provide the necessary support for my parents?’” she says. After a long fight with his illness, her father died at age 75 in January.

As a member of the sandwich generation — adults who simultaneous care for children and aging parents — Frank-Collins had to navigate what is becoming an increasingly familiar challenge. “Individuals who find themselves in the sandwich generation are forced with contemplating taking care of things today in a way that may negatively impact their future,” says Rebekah Barsch, vice president of financial planning for Northwestern Mutual. Family members might cut back on their work hours or sacrifice savings in order to care for aging parents, she adds. “The

8 Things That Are Cheaper at Target

rgThere’s no arguing that Target has a loyal following among many shoppers. While the retail giant may not always have the lowest prices, it certainly attracts consumers happily willing to pay a little extra to avoid the crowded aisles of some other discounters.

But there are certain items which are almost always cheaper at Target (TGT) compared to other retailers. Here are eight such items that’ll save you money on your next Target shopping trip.

1. ‘Green’ Cleaning Products

Not only has Target led the natural cleaning trend over the past few years, but they often do it at a price lower than the competition. For example, Target sells the 28-ounce bottle of Method All-Surface Cleaner for an affordable $2.99, while Walmart sells the same product for $5.49 and Amazon sells it for $8.
Another great example is Green Works laundry detergent in the 90-ounce size; at Target you’ll pay $11.99, while you’ll pay $23.27 at Walmart and $19.21 at Amazon. You’ll also find similar savings at Target on other popular natural cleaning brands, including J.R. Watkins, Honest and Seventh Generation.

2. Kids’ Bedding and Decor

When buying bedding for your child’s room, your wallet will likely benefit greatly from shopping at Target. You’ll

How to Get Financially Ready for a Power Outage

renault-finance.jpg.ximg.l_full_m.smartExtreme winter weather has already arrived in some parts of the country: Parts of California have seen snow and more is expected. Some meteorologists are calling for a cold, snowy winter from coast to coast, and that means it’s time to get prepared.

According to tale of the ant and the grasshopper from Aesop’s Fables, the wise ant stored up food during the warmer months in preparation for winter, while the lazy grasshopper would only sing in the summer and found himself starving and begging for food come winter. Although the predictable change of seasons may not cause you personally to break the bank — unless it’s the holiday season — unexpected and severe weather emergencies can quickly leave you in a financial rut. In addition to severe cold, other weather emergencies such as thunderstorms, lightning, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, extreme heat and drought can also pose major dangers to your health and bank account.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Federal Emergency Management Agency stress the importance of preparing for severe weather before it strikes. As a frugal shopper, the same strategy applies. Since controlling

12 Influential Experts Give Their Top Money Tips

rtWhen it comes to personal finance advice, there’s no shortage of it. In fact, you could spend countless hours reading the tips and strategies of experts to learn how to better manage your money. It can be overwhelming. So, wouldn’t it be nice if you could simply get the best advice from the best experts?

GOBankingRates asked some of the most well-known personal finance experts and entrepreneurs to share their top money tip for 2016 as part of our annual”Best Money Expert” competition in collaboration with Ally Bank. Here are the top tips these 12 finance experts offered to help you take control of your finances next year.

1. Be proactive with your money. As a best-selling author and host of his own popular radio show — with more than 8 million listeners — Dave Ramsey is one of the most well-known names in personal finance. His get-out-of-debt message has helped many eliminate debt and achieve financial success.

For 2016, Ramsey said you should “tell your money what to do instead of wondering where it went. People know what they need to do with their money, but they just don’t do it. Be proactive with your money

Should You Get a Store Credit Card?

indexdAt checkout registers in department stores across the country, you can expect to receive a smile and a sales pitch. Well, at least a sales pitch. Store credit cards are moneymakers for businesses, and you can expect clerks to dangle a nice discount in front of you in the hope you’ll apply.The discount on store merchandise and other rewards are often tempting — and many of us take the bait — but are store credit cards a good deal?

Pros of store credit cards

Store credit cards aren’t all bad. In fact, they can come with some nice benefits. As we see it, there are four major pros for getting a store credit card.

  • Discounts:Not only do you get an initial 10 percent to 20 percent discount when you sign up, you may also be in line to receive extra discounts all year long. Store credit card holders may be the first to receive special coupons or gain access to exclusive sales events as a reward for their loyalty.
  • Flexibility:Some, but not all, store credit cards are affiliated with one of the major credit card companies. That means your department store card can also be used

7 way to raise your credit score

imafHere’s the simple truth: Your low credit score is costing you a fortune.

Folks with the best credit get the best terms when it comes to mortgages, car loans and credit cards. They get the lowest interest rates and the lowest fees. They get the biggest sign-up bonuses. They’re more likely to get the benefit of the doubt when asking to get a fee waived or a credit line increased. Add it all up and you get an awful lot of reasons to make 2016 the year you get your credit in shape.

How exactly do you that, though? Well, it won’t always be easy and it won’t always be quick, but the good news is that it can be done. The truth is that you have more control over your credit than you think. You just have to put in the work.
Here are some ways that you can boost your credit score in 2016.

1. Get your credit report, and report any errors you find.

Any move to boost your credit score must begin with checking your credit report. Get a free copy of your report from all three

The Best Credit Cards for Customer Satisfaction

finance10Lindsay bought a memory foam mattress from a store that guaranteed no interest financing for two years. Fourteen months after the purchase, interest charges surfaced on her bill.

A credit card David did not open showed up on his credit report as delinquent. The debt, which he discovered because he kept getting denied new credit, willremain on his credit history for seven years.

Joyce’s son purchased a wedding band on her credit card without her approval. When she contacted the jeweler, the store refused to do anything about it.

Though their names have been changed for this article, these are all real complaints consumers have filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

U.S. News & World Report’s Best Credit Card rankings​ take into account consumer stories​ like these to evaluate credit cards on the market​. One factor of the methodology​, customer experience, uses CFPB complaints to determine how satisfied customers are with their credit cards.

Of the 18 credit card companies U.S. News reviewed, the issuers offering the best customer experience included American Express, BB&T and JPMorgan Chase.​ ​

To control for differences in the size of credit card issuers (banks and credit unions that offer