Hope for your financial life and beyond

The Best Way to Send Money to People

Many people think that a traditional bank is the only safe and convenient way to send money overseas. It is true that banks have best reputation of securing wire transfers all over the globe. Unfortunately, sometimes their services come at a steep price. Additionally, banks are notorious for lower exchange rates, higher processing fees, and fewer options to send or receive cash.

Thankfully, since the revolution of the internet, there are now many other alternatives when it comes to how we can send money to recipients who are far from us. How we send the money and how it is received depends on the delivery mode. Because of this, it can take from minutes to several business days to access those funds.

But, if you know this, its easy to get the money to where it needs to go when it needs to be there. You just have to plan ahead a little bit.

Here are the best ways to send money to people for whatever purpose it may serve.

[Read more…]

Is Gold a Good Investment for an Average Person?

There are many people who believe that investing in gold bars could be the best decision you would ever make. But, equally as many people have faced indecision between investing in gold bullion or stocks and bonds as a way of securing their future. Which is the best option to capitalize on?

The truth is you can capitalize on both of them. Both have upside potential.

So, is gold investing a venture the average person should entertain? For those who answer “Yes”, here are the four main reasons they site.

Why to Invest in Gold

1. The Unpredictability of the Dollar

Although the dollar is believed to be one of the world’s strongest currencies, it becomes hard to figure out when its value is likely to drop. An excellent example of such times was from 1998 and 2008 when gold prices hit $18,000 per ounce.

During this period, the dollar was relatively weak due to the trade deficit and increased money supply into the economy. Individuals who had stored their worth in currencies moved to the security of gold to redeem their portfolios. As a result, the value of gold nearly tripled. Investors who had a gold ira rollover made a large profit out of it.

This is why an average person looking for a long term investment strategy shouldn’t overlook the benefits of storing their savings in gold. You never know when fluctuation of the current currency would strike. Luckily, when such a time comes and you had saved your wealth wisely, you might end up opting for an early retirement because you have gained so much.

2. Supply Constraints

As a general rule of the demand and supply chain, when the demand for commodities goes up, the likelihood of their supply goes down. As a result, this leads to an increase in how much you would have to part with to get the same item. The less their is of an item, the more it is going to cost.

The same principle applies in the gold market. Between the year 2000 and 2007, annual new gold production fell from 2,573 to 2,444 metric tons, according to bullion vaults of the global central banks.

During times like this, those with precious stones are reluctant to sell them. For those who are willing, they end up asking for lots of money. As a result of the decline in the availability of gold, if you had made a move and bought your fair share of the metal, you would be making handsome profits from their sale.

3. Portfolio Diversification

You can never tell when one form of the securities would be outdone by the other. It may sound more lucrative to invest in bonds and stocks. But as an average person, it would come in handy if you diversified your portfolio with some precious metals.

Related Content: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Investing Money the Right Way

4. Geopolitical Uncertainty

Trust in global trade unions keep on experiencing crises. This was most recently seen in the recent case of the European Union, where some countries wanted to walk out of the coalition. Similarly, when nations are against each other, the geopolitical tensions rise. This makes the currency in those particular countries deflate.

Business can become hard to conduct, resulting in global economic burden. The value of the currencies goes down and investors start hoarding cash. At those times, many see the safest place to invest is with precious metals.

Eventually, gold becomes hard to buy due to the shooting up of its demand. For individuals to have their investment in gold, it’s a great time to take profits.

Conclusion

Gold is one of the ways for an average person to diversify their portfolio. With the economic shifts becoming hard to predict, you never know when your money will lose some of its value. Similarly, precious metals are the right way of investing with less risk compared to stocks, which sometimes end up not yielding the much-anticipated returns. Ultimately, gold has been known to be a hedge against inflation, making it an investment strategy you might want to consider.

Questions for Discussion: Have you ever invested in gold? What was your experience like? Do you think their is more risk in investing in gold, stocks or bonds? 

What is a Line of Credit and How Does it Work?

From time to time, you might find yourself in need of additional money to fund a project, pay a medical bill or cover for an emergency. It can be hard determining where to get access to the cash you need. It may be that a line of credit is just the thing to get you by.

A line of credit (LOC) is an agreement between a bank and an individual that is geared towards establishing the maximum amount of money a customer can borrow. Once agreed upon, the customer is allowed to access the borrowed funds from the financial institution through their bank accounts. They are then required to make repayments on the loans per the terms established with the bank.

Here is how a line of credit works.

[Read more…]

Start a Side Hustle While Still Working Full-Time With These 4 Tips

Side hustles are quite common among Americans in today. You’ll find that many people will have an additional job that they do on top of their full-time job. They do these gigs for many reasons – out of passion, as a hobby, out of necessity or to make their budget work. Still others have hope that their side hustle it will one day become their new full-time job.

Side hustles offer many unique opportunities. However, not many can take one on and quit their day job at the same time. Quite often, the side job comes while the person is still working full-time.

Don’t let that shy you away from the challenge though. Holding down a side hustle can be done. Here is how.

Four Tips for Starting a Side Hustle

If you’re interested in a side hustle, we have four tips to help you out if you’re still working full-time.

[Read more…]

What is the Dow and Why is it Important?

The words Dow or Dow Jones may not be completely unfamiliar terms. You may know what they refer to, but you may not know exactly how it works. So, this article will help set the record straight and give you the basics about the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

What is the Dow Jones? For starters, it would be correct to say that it is the most quoted financial instrument in the world. That is why it sounds familiar. No doubt, you have heard financial market reports about this on the news every day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a stock index. It was created in 1896 by two financial reporters, Charles Dow and Edward Jones. They were looking for a way to give the public a snapshot of how stocks generally preformed in any given day. To do so, they took the 12 largest companies at the time, added up their prices and divided by 12. That gave the average market price of that basket of companies.

Today, the Dow consists of 30 companies. The Dow Jones today represents the most significant areas of the U.S. economy, namely, financials, technology, utilities, industrials, and transportation. It includes companies like Apple, Caterpillar, Coca-Cola, Exxon Mobil, General Electric, Goldman Sachs, Home Depot, Microsoft, Nike, Proctor and Gamble and Walmart.

Because the Dow consists of only 30 companies, it may lead you into thinking that it does not carry much value. That is not the case. As you noticed, these companies are the heavyweights – the most influential companies in the U.S. As the Dow average goes, so usually goes the rest of the market.

Are there Limitations to the Dow Jones?

Just like most market indexes, Dow Jones has several limitations.

The first issue is that it does contain only 30 stocks. Today there are over 3,000 publicly traded companies which you could invest in. So the Dow may not give an accurate portrayal of what is going on in the rest of the stock market.

Secondly, the Dow’s calculation does tend to favor the more expensive stocks. The index is weighted based on price. So the more expensive a stock is, the more an up or down movement in that stock influences the overall index. The less expensive stocks will not have as much influence on the average.

What are the Benefits of the Dow?

1. The Dow serves as a historical marker

In order to predict or forecast the future of the markets, historical trends need to be observed. Analysts study the past stock market trends to help them reach conclusions about what the future may hold for stocks. This is where Dow Jones comes in.

By virtue of its long history, it offers a valuable information for the comparison of today’s markets and those throughout history.

2. The Dow helps investors make decisions

In the early days of stock trading, there was little information about stocks that was available to the general public. You invested in stocks with the phrase caveat emptor (“let the buyer beware”) in the back of your mind. You were at great risk due to lack of company transparency and information.

This is not so today. There are new rules set forth by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that guard investors from being defrauded by companies. Additionally, news about the Dow and the rest of the markets is widely available through media outlets. It is not difficult for an investor to find the information they need. Knowing the price movement of stocks (for which the Dow is the standard), will help investors know when to invest.

Related Content: The Ultimate Beginners Guide to Investing Money the Right Way

3. The Dow provides a broad view of the economy

As aforementioned, Dow Jones is an umbrella of U.S. most capitalized and influential companies. Because the 30 Dow stocks are spread over different industries, they help create a comprehensive view of the U.S. economy. As those companies perform well, they will contribute positively to economic growth within the U.S. And as the economy goes, so goes the stock market.

If the economy is doing well, the stocks in the Dow will rise. If the economy is doing poorly, the Dow will at best be stagnant but most likely decline.

The Dow Jones continues to be one of the most resilient indices in the world. It has stood the test of time and continues to be the standard for financial markets around the world.

Make a Comment: Do you monitor the Dow on a daily basis? On what do you base your investing decisions?   

Wondering About the Functionality of Payday Loans?

wondering about the functionality of payday loans

Money is essential to our lives. It is always needed to make ends meet. Simply stated, we cannot do without it in some form or fashion,

Sometimes though, life rears its ugly head – usually through a crisis. We call these emergencies. Hopefully, when these come, you have saved enough in an emergency fund to make it through the financial struggle.

But what if you haven’t? What if there is no money available to you? What if you are so deep in debt, you can’t see a way out? When you are deprived of cash and trapped in a financial calamity, it’s hard to know the right way out. It is an awful scenario.

When you get in this tight of a spot, it’s easy to just spend your days and nights waiting for a miracle to happen. But you have to make some wise decisions and hunt for a resolution to the situation. Being depressed and frustrated is not the solution.

In times like this, some people have turned to securing a payday loan to help them out. This article will share the benefits and risks of this method to help get you out of your crisis.

What are Payday Loans?

Payday loans are short-termed loans. They are used for borrowing small debts for a short period of time, usually for $500 or less. You can usually find them via storefront lenders or online.

Payday loans are most often paid back in one single payment when the borrower receives their next paycheck. They serve as a bridge to cover expenses until you get paid again. The repayment date is usually set two to four weeks from when the loan was made.

If you use a payday loan for your genuine needs and pay it back to the lender according to an agreement, you will definitely be going to have a more positive and fruitful experience. Payday loans do have many controversies linked to them though. So, in order to get benefit from them, you should have to be familiar with both the positive and negative impacts of these loans.

Advantages of Payday Loans

The primary benefit of a payday loan is that you can get fast financial assistance for a short period of time. Some of their advantages are:

No hard and fast terms and conditions required. It sounds so appealing for people in trouble because they do not have time to waste in long and document verifications, faxing or paper procedures.

Easy to access.Payday loans are easily accessible and available to every person. Fast payday loan lenders should not bother about your financial background or credit score.

24/7 customer care service. You won’t have to follow typical bank hours, as online payday loan services are available 24/7. You can approach these websites anywhere, anytime with just a single click. Customer care representatives are always there for financial assistance.

100% secured procedure. Payday loan lenders secure your information. It will remain confidential. Their modern encryption technologies will protect your information and keep it secure.

On the spot approval of the loan. No matter what is your financial background, these loans will be approved quickly soon after your verification.

Online availability of payday loans.Payday loans are very handy because the borrower does not need to go anywhere and search for a loan. They can be found easily online. So many lenders have online websites. You just have to visit these websites and select the appropriate option for yourself. All procedures from the beginning till the end will take place online.

Disadvantages of Payday Loans

When there are so many positive aspects, there must be some cons as well. Everything has its positive and negative features and so do payday loans have. Some of the downsides of payday loans are given below.

Elevated APR and interest rates. This is by far the biggest disadvantage when it comes to payday loans. These kind of loans are much more expensive because interest rates tend to be extremely high. The highest interest on credit cards for example average 28-36 APR%. An average APR of a payday loan is 300 – 500 times more than a regular loan.

Payday loan encourages cycle-of-debts. When a person is unable to return the money by the fixed date, they incur more debt. They will most likely have to take out another loan to repay the previous one. This just sinks them further into debt. The further they go into debt, the tougher the cycle will be to break.

Related Content: How to Get Out of Debt and Win in Five Simple Steps

No de-commitment period. Once you sign the paperwork, there is no backing out. With many bank loans there is a period where you can de-commit from the loan if you have second thoughts. You won’t get this with most payday lenders.

Access to bank account. Some payday lenders want/require access to your bank account. If they don’t get paid, they may try to pull funds from your account. This could result in overdraft charges billed to you for having insufficient funds in your account.

Damage to your credit. Payday loans can be damaging to your credit. This will happen when you can’t pay them back. Ultimately, they could refer you to a collection agency. If that happened, it would be something extremely hard to get your credit score positive again.

What to consider before taking out a payday loan?

Payday loans have a lot of risk. They can be a debt trap that you have a really hard time getting out of. There are better ways to get out of debt and handle life’s emergencies.

Related Content: Emergency Fund Basics: The Step on Which All Other Success Is Built

However, if you choose to go this route make sure you:

•    Are aware of the consequences and how a specific loan works

•    Know the terms and conditions set by the lender

•    Understand what the penalty for the non-repayment is

To read more about them, you can visit this article at Debt.org.

Share a Comment Below: Have you ever taken out a payday loan before? What was your experience? What are the other benefits and risks of payday loans?

Why Online Loan Applications Can Boost Your Financials

It doesn’t matter how hardworking and frugal you are, life is going to throw you a sudden curveball. An instance like that can change your financial security immediately. Be it some illness, the need for a vehicle, a house renovation or something else, it is not uncommon for such needs to arise.

Oddly enough, they seem to happen exactly when your bank balance is slim. That can leave you scrambling to figure out how to pay for it. If you don’t have an emergency fund set up, you may not have many other options than to see help elsewhere.

And for decades now, the solution to such problems would be a loan.

[Read more…]

Will Cryptocurrency Replace Stocks as a Primary Investing Option?

Have you ever had trouble focusing at work because of market volatility? Is it a challenge for you to sleep at night worrying about the ups and downs of the stock market? Honestly, at times it can be scary. Our investments are at stake and we don’t want to end up on the losing side with those. 

What if I there was a better way to manage and handle your investments while not having to worry about hard cash? Is that possible? Today’s contributor, Ana Farr, Community Manager at ecommerce-platforms.com and Unblock.net believes so. She is here to explain why, in her opinion, it would be better to invest using crytpocurrency rather than stocks.

[Read more…]

How to Cut Your Energy Bills

When уоu save energy, уоu’rе nоt just saving money. At the ѕаmе tіmе, you are reducing the demand fоr petroleum-derived fuels ѕuсh аѕ gаѕ and оіl. So in the end, by burning lеѕѕ fuеl, уоu are also helping your environment.

You might think that trying to save energy might make your life more complicated. With the advances in technology, there аrе mаnу еffесtіvе alternatives available fоr аlmоѕt еvеrу type appliance. It іѕ uр tо уоu tо change your energy consumption hаbіtѕ tо balance your monthly budget. But manufacturers have made it easier to give еvеrуоnе rеаl choices. Evеrуоnе hаѕ the ability tо change their energy practices for more efficient usage.

By applying аt lеаѕt оnе оf the following energy saving methods, уоu саn mаkе уour іmрасt оn this world and your pocketbook.

[Read more…]

Understanding the Basics of an Equity Fund

Have you read the disclaimer at the end of a mutual fund contract paper that says “Mutual funds are subject to market risks?” This type of mutual fund is known as an equity (or stock) fund. It actually invests your money into the stock market. The underlying assets determine the value of the mutual fund and the portfolio is managed entirely by the mutual fund company.  

Investments in equity funds can be done in any sector. There are many to chose from: energy, real estate, technology, healthcare, etc. The equity funds are further categorized on the basis of market capitalization, its investment category and investment strategy. The price of each equity fund is calculated as per net asset value (NAV). 

Why Invest in Equity funds?

The companies that sell equity funds want investors to buy more from shares in their fund. Therefore, they put a lot of effort in developing a portfolio that gives maximum returns to the investors. The best thing is that you can know the list of stocks that comprise the fund. You always can see where your money is going because the company has to provide a prospectus for you to read and study.  As a investor, you must always know and understand what you are investing in. 

In case you are an investor who is just getting started, you’ll be happy to know that buying an equity fund is a safer option than investing in individual stocks. This makes sense when you consider the following points:

[Read more…]

8 Blogs to Follow to Stay in the Know on Ecommerce

If you’ve ever run a business you know that it doesn’t go smoothly all the time. Wouldn’t it be great if there were someone with a lot of experience to consult for free whenever your ecommerce business hit a hiccup for which you had no ready solution on hand?

Luckily for you there is help. This article will discuss eight blogs you can follow to stay in the know. Listed in no particular order, they offer advice regarding site design, marketing, SEO, finding your niche, choosing products, shipping and more.

E-commerce Related Blogs

eCommerceFuel

eCommerceFuel offers advice from Andrew Youderian, one of the most respected individuals in the world of ecommerce. Youderian started with blank screens and built two stores generating more than $1 million in annual revenue. Consequently, eCommerceFuel offers advice for those new to ecommerce. It touches on topics such as managing cash flow and how to conduct email marketing.

The blog is also rich with resources including a free book, a podcast, training videos and a vibrant forum.

E-Commerce Times

This one is more of an industry newsletter than a blog per se. Industry experts and professionals contribute stories to E-Commerce Times about the latest trends and developments in the industry. Straight from the field’s heaviest hitters, this is where you’ll keep abreast of the latest information likely to have a significant impact upon the way you do business.

Shopify

Shopify looks out for the little guy. Small startups and first-time entrepreneurs going solo will find information covering topics such as marketing, drop-shipping and improving the customer experience. You’ll also learn why every business needs a blog. Writers with a wide range of relevant experience contribute to one of the best ecommerce website builders and blog.

A Better Lemonade Stand

This blog documents the activities of Richard Lazazzera as he builds his ecommerce brand from the ground up. A Better Lemonade Stand chronicles his experiences with SEO, marketing, product ideas and revenue. Additionally, Lazazzera gets into subjects like drop-shipping, manufacturing, wholesaling and working with manufacturers.

Perusing this blog is like being a fly on the wall as a time-tested expert goes through the ins and outs of learning to build your own better lemonade stand.

Bootstrapping Ecommerce

Odds are, if you’ve run searches for any specific information regarding startups, Shabbir Nooruddin has appeared on your screen more than a few times. His Bootstrapping Ecommerce blog is loaded with practical information covering every aspect of launching an ecommerce site. Nooruddin’s strength as a blogger lies in the way he provides practical ideas upon which you can immediately act.

Groove

For your marketing-oriented needs, Groove is the blog if you want to take advantage of solid expert advice including live chats with CEOs. Even more impressive, Groove manages to deliver this information in an entertaining manner, so you actually enjoy reading the site’s content as you learn from it.

You’ll find useful expert advice in the form of well-written how-to pieces. Advice ranges from the best marketing metrics to targeting strategies to SEO insights.

KISSmetrics

Neil Patel and Hiten Shah, veterans of campaigns for large companies like TechCrunch, target the KISSmetrics blog to ecommerce entrepreneurs seeking information regarding marketing, testing and analytics. You’ll find articles on improving your conversion rate, tracking offline marketing campaigns and how to measure your true brand equity.

Practical Ecommerce

Considered by some the standard for ecommerce, the Practical Ecommerce blog delivers content for every stage of the ecommerce funnel. Whether you’re looking for information on marketing, conversion, shopping carts, design or social media, Practical Ecommerce has solidly earned its place on this list of eight blogs to follow to stay in the know on the subject.

Questions for Discussion: Who do you rely on for ecommerce advice? What is the biggest business issue you are currently dealing with?