Posts by Tracy Walters

Exposing A Couple Of Common Investing Myths

Your financial situation is the culmination of both your hard work and smart investment choices. Unfortunately, many people lack information and experience with making complex investment choices, and this can cause them to assume some myths about investment options are true. Dispelling the following misconceptions should help you to make sound choices when it comes to meeting your future financial needs through investments. 

Myth: You Should Avoid All Risky Investment Options

There is a common idea that you should avoid making high-risk investments because this is paramount to gambling. While recklessly throwing money at high risk ventures is not a formula for success, it should be noted that there is a place for high risk and high reward investment options in almost every portfolio. 

Generally, your financial advisor will recommend that you reserve a set percentage of your investment money for high-risk options. The amount of this percentage will vary greatly because the right amount for you will depend on many factors. For example, individuals that are close to retirement should keep this part of their portfolio very small because a major loss could stall retirement plans. Conversely, those that plan on working for many more years can generally tolerate more risk because they will have greater time to replace losses if they sustain them.

Myth: Government Bonds Are Always Safe Investments

In an effort to keep their money safe, some people will attempt to primarily invest in government bonds. While it is true that bonds from the Federal government are considered very safe, there are many other government bonds that can carry a substantial risk. 

More precisely, bonds from struggling municipalities and counties are often considered risky investment. These government bodies are often highly reliant on the overall economy because they use sales taxes. Due to the volatility of these taxes, there is a greater chance that an economic downturn will cause the institutions to miss payments or file bankruptcy protection. 

Investing in your retirement will require you to hold an extensive and diversified portfolio of investments. However, there is a strong chance that you may not be knowledge about this field or making these decisions without help may make you nervous. For these individuals, financial planning can be a stress filled nightmare, but much of this stress often comes from confusing and misleading information. By dispelling these two often believed misconceptions and getting advice from a firm like Jakob Pek Fund, you will be a smarter investor when it comes time to make a decision for your financial future.

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Two Quick Ways To Earn Money To Pay Off Your Payday Loan

Only about 38 percent of people in the United States have a rainy day fund for unexpected emergencies. Therefore, when you need money fast, taking out a payday loan is a good way to deal with a financial emergency. Coming up with the money to repay the loan may be challenging if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, however. If your loan is coming due and you don’t have the cash to pay it back, here are two quick ways you can earn extra money to pay the lender.

1. Sell Your Body

Your organs, tissues, and vital fluids are worth over $551,000 on the black market. However, you don’t have to have a kidney removed at a sketchy back alley surgical center to exchange body parts for cash. There are plenty of places that will buy plasma, hair, and breast milk for top dollar.

For instance, in many cities there are companies who will pay you anywhere from $15 to $50 per donation of plasma. This yellow-colored liquid is extracted from your blood and is used to treat a variety of conditions such as autoimmune disorders and hemophilia.

If you have long and healthy hair, you can sell your tresses for cash. You can either use online classified ad sites to find and sell directly to a buyer, or you can sell to a company that specializes in procuring hair for wigs and other uses. Depending on the quality of your hair, you can make up to $1,000 or more.

2. Sell Old Technology

If you’re like most people, chances are pretty good that you have cell phones, tablets, or computer games sitting around that you’re not using. You can sell that unused technology for cash, even if it has a few dings. The used market for tech has boomed in recent years, and companies are scrambling to get inventory to sell to people who don’t mind getting a previously owned model for less than what retailers are asking for.

You can find many of these companies online. Typically, you would call the company or upload a description and pictures of the technology to the website. The representative would evaluate your device and make an offer, which will vary depending on the quality. A phone that works and looks good and that’s in demand could net you up to $350, for instance.

If you accept the offer, you would send the item to the company and they would forward payment upon receipt. This is a good way to declutter your home while earning money to pay off your payday loan.

Making your loan payments on time is critical to protecting your credit. If you can’t come up with the money to pay off the loan or at least make the minimum payment, contact the payday loan company for alternative options.

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What To Expect From The Home Loan Process

Getting a home loan is an exciting thing. Many people look forward to the day when they will be able to purchase their own house. If you are thinking about applying for a home loan then there are a couple things you need to be aware of. For example, they will ask for a lot of information and documentation before they give you the loan. Here are some of the documents you should have prepared.

1. 2 Years Worth of Personal and Business Tax Returns

Tax returns are an important way to look at someone’s financial situation. This can give the lender the whole picture when it comes to where you are at financially. This is why your lender will probably ask you to give them your most recent 2 years worth of tax returns. If you own your own business and are self-employed then you will have to show them the business tax returns as well.

Tax returns are used as a way to prove income for most self-employed people. They generally use the adjusted gross income (AGI), not the net income. This is hard for many people because they deduct so many expenses. So if you know you are going to apply for a home loan, be careful about the deductions that you take a couple years before you apply.

2. Bank Statements

So now that the lender knows about how much money you make each year because of your tax returns, now they will want to see how you manage that money. This is why you should expect them to ask for a couple months worth of bank statements.

They will be looking at how you spend your money, how much you have in savings and how much money you have going in and out of the account each month.

This is why you should be careful about your budget in the months before you apply. A bigger savings, spending less than you earn, and having a little cushion will help to make you a better candidate.

3. A Credit Report

You must give them the credit report. This is something that will need to be pulled, but you will have to give your approval for them to pull it. In the credit report it will show them all of your outstanding debts, as well as past debts, how well you made payments, and if you can be trusted with debt. This is why it is so important to care for your credit years leading up to the home loan process.

By understanding these things you can be prepared for the loan application process. Contact a local bank, like Cheviot Savings Bank, to find out the mortgage rates and paperwork necessities for your situation.

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3 Ways You Can Prepare For Next Year’s Tax Season Now

Once the tax season is over, the last thing you probably want to think about is next year’s taxes. However, by taking time out now to plan for next year’s taxes, you can save yourself some stress later. Here are some tips to help you prepare now for next year’s tax filing season.

Review Your W-4 Withholding

Each year after you file taxes, you need to review your W-4 that is filed with your employer. The number of allowances you cite on the form are used to determine how much in taxes is taken out of your paycheck. The more allowances you have, the less your employer takes out. 

To update your form, simply file a new one with your employer.  If you are having too much money taken out of your taxes, raise the number of allowances on the form. This will give you more money to spend from your paycheck throughout the year. If you are interested in having a bigger tax return, reduce the number of allowances. 

Enroll in Health Insurance

When you do not have health coverage, you could face a tax penalty next year on your taxes. To avoid that penalty, sign up for a health insurance plan. You can sign up for a plan through the government-sponsored Health Insurance Marketplace. 

When you sign up through the Marketplace, you can find out whether or not you qualify for assistance with paying your premium. You can opt to receive assistance upfront or get a credit at tax time. You have a few months each year to enroll in a plan through the Marketplace’s open enrollment program. However, if you have a special event, such as the birth of a child, you can enroll at that time. 

Contribute to Your Retirement Fund

You can reduce the amount of taxes that you owe next year by contributing to your retirement fund. When you contribute money to your 401(K), you can receive a matching amount reduction from your taxable income. 

There are limitations to the amount you can contribute and receive a reduction for. The amount changes yearly, so check with your tax preparer to ensure that you do not exceed the amount. 

There are many more things you can do to prepare for next year’s tax time. Talk to your tax preparer for other tips that are specific to your tax situation that can help ease your stress and the time you spend preparing for your taxes. For more information, visit websites like balkam.com.

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3 Tips For A Successful Blog

In this day and age, it is easier than ever for an average person to develop an audience. One of the best ways to get followers is to start up a blog. This blog can serve the purpose to promote professional initiatives, or to start conversations about personal interests. There have been plenty of people who have managed to turn their blog into a means of working for themselves and quitting their day jobs. The only way to make your blog a success of this magnitude is to put out quality content, get plenty of traffic and monetize it. If this is what you are looking for, consider some of the following tips. 

#1: Target Your Audience And Give Them Quality

A big mistake that some bloggers make is to try to please too many people. The best way to make your blog a success is to scale down your demographic to serve a particular niche. For instance, there is a big difference between writing a blog for new moms, and writing a blog for new moms looking to take practical actions that will allow them to work from home to stay with their baby. Once you nail down a specific demographic, you’ll need to focus on putting out high quality, actionable content on a regular basis, so that your readers are trained to check for it and are hooked on what you put out. You can also consider an empower network viral blogging system

#2: Market Your Blog Thoroughly 

When you want to make sure that you are able to get the word out about your blog, it’ll take consistent efforts. There are plenty of blogging systems you can take part in to get more traffic to your blog. You can also take advantage of social media by starting conversations with like minded people. If you have the budget, you can even pay for advertising. The biggest thing you can do to market your blog is develop real connections with your readers and participate in conversations that will make the word spread like wildfire. 

#3: Monetize The Blog

The true key to making your blog a success is to start making serious money off of it. Consider some of the strategies you can use to make your blog earn money for you:

  • Create and sell eBooks and other informational reports
  • Sell merchandise related to your particular area of interest
  • Offer paid memberships that allow people to access perks and premium content
  • Provide people with coaching, speaking engagements and other consultation services
  • Sell ads directly or participate in affiliate programs

Take advantage of these tips, so that you can get your blog to work for you. 

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