Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Madoff Scandal embroils the Investors

If you ever had a good amount of fortune which you are thinking of investing then it is a request that please start counting your blessings. The world's biggest sophisticated investors are facing the biggest dilema of their lifetime. The reason is very simple here. An alleged fraud like this which can happen anyone of us, you or me. These are the lessons here, though many of them are touted by much of the media. This is not because of the dust that is settling around the Bernard Madoff Scandal, but there are some tendancies in some quarters to blame the actual victims

The annual return of atleast 10% were too good to be true at this time. I would point out only one thing here that is how Mr. Madoff's vague explanations arrived at those results. The way he described his strategy, which involved the simultaneous purchase of stock and sale of option contracts, It was very well noticed that there wasn't sufficient volume in those options trades to account for the reported gains. The best advise that came at this point of time was that we should all turn ourselves into forensic accountants. I am very much sure here that many of the people have lost their savings here. After all, consistent returns in good and bad markets are the selling point for nearly every hedge fund.

Many people have reported much larger annual returns without raising eyebrows. Indeed, Mr. Madoff's returns were good, but not so spectacular as to raise undue suspicion. As for his vague explanations, they were no vaguer than those of many other hedge-fund managers and even mutual-fund managers. Many investors after this examined Mr. Madoff's operation and declined to invest. How that could have happened remains one of the big unanswered questions of this affair. I am sure Mr. Madoff's victims can surely be forgiven for relying on what is supposed to be a watchdog agency.

Let us hear some impacts of Madoff Scandal from bloomberg:

The best advise that comes out here is that never to invest in anything -- hedge fund, partnership, mutual fund, Check your investments for the name of the firm that provides the audit. If you don't recognize it, research it on the Internet. While it's especially hard to reduce an asset that seems to be doing so well. Don't believe anyone who tells you that you can earn higher returns while assuming a lower risk. If you're realizing high returns, then you're also accepting increased risk. Never trust a middleman here. Many of the Madoff investors were reported to be attacked by the middleman which led them into a big trouble. Have faith in human nature sometimes not always. You can better rely on the money managers, some are honest hard-working professionals with their clients' best interests at heart.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Gift Annual Holiday Insurance this New Year

With the New year season fast approaching our attention begins to shift to gift ideas for our loved ones. For some it might be a very easy task, but for some finding the ideal gift is like battle involving internet searching, browsing through crowded shopping malls to select the best gift items for their loved ones.

Most of the people will not consider a financial services as a New Year gift this holiday season, but what better gift someone can expect, a gift that you can get for the whole year. Annual Holiday Insurance Cover is the best gift for your loved ones, family who travel abroad on holiday. This will not be only a gift for them but more than a gift it will be a peace of mind for them that they are secured for the next 12 months of their life. Annual Multi travel insurance or Holiday insurance comes in different vaieties, but in the main the policy covers trips and holidays for one year as long as holiday does not exceed certain lenghth, most being thirty one days, though their are some policies that also allows for up to ninety days per trip.

I don't say that Annual Holiday Insurance is the best travel insurance for your loved ones, there are other travel insurance policies too. Say for example, backpacker travel insurance which covers trips from one to eighteen months in duration as has an option to include activity cover and return home cover during the trip.

Regardless of the person or the trip plans they have there is a suitable travel insurance policy available. What's more you can buy travel insurance online, meaning that you do not need to venture to the over-populated shops, battle to find a parking space and can save your ankles from the over eager person with the trolley! I think that this is just the best gift you can buy for your loved ones this New Year.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Is Christian Debt Consolidation a Good Prospect?

Christian debt consolidation is a way for people to take control over both their financial and spiritual lives. By consolidating your debts into one affordable payment each month, you can get back the happiness and the abundant life that God intended for you. As we all know today the condition of America is pathetic, in the sense it is completely flooded in debts. Debt no longer discriminates within the families. Thousands of families everyday is digging deeper and deeper into the financial problem. So where is the solution?

Many of them opts for bankruptcy options or maybe debt consolidation and even debt Negotiation options. Christian Debt Consolidation is a form a debt consolidation that intertwines religious belief in the process. Often it has been seen that people in trouble related with debts opt for this option. Debt Consolidation, in short, is the process of combining all of ones debt in to a single lump sum at a lower interest rate. The best part here is that you have to pay less and with time you start rebuilding your credit, and pay off the debts in the matter of few years. If you are not a Christian, then standard debt relief program can do the tricks as well.

But is Christian Debt Consolidation, the best prospect? I would say not always. There are plenty of other roads you can chose to solve your debt related issues. However, Christian Debt is the most simpler, less stressful means of getting out of debt. Christian Debt counseling and Christian Debt Negotiation are other means of Christian-based debt help.

What is the main motive of these programs. It help us to understand our debt problems and once we understand something clearly, it is easier for us to fix it. Bankruptcy only forgives, Debt Consolidation teaches and saves your credit to give you options in the future. It also reminds you that you are not a weak person for falling into money problems. Credit card companies thrive on the willingness of those seeking easy answers, families fall viction to illness and injury and can't afford to pay, this is just the tip of the iceberg too.

Don't continue doing what you've always done, act today!

For more information on debt consolidation and its problems you can always refer debt consolidation guides.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Real estate investment: why you should do it and how you can do it

It is always said that if we do any things rightly it takes a good shape in the future. Same goes for the real estate investment too. It can really prove beneficial if it is rightly done. But there are many risks involved in this business and only an intelligent player can win the race. If you really want to win the real estate race then you should have a clear vision about why you are trying to invest in real estate.

Why you should invest in real estate?

  • Appreciation of Value: With inflation, the value of the real estate properties are appreciated. So, after a considerable period of time, one can easily reap out the advantages from the real estate investment. As soon as the value increase you can sell your property and can earn easy incomes.

  • Yielding Rentals: One can achieve rental yields only when you buy a real estate property and put it on rent. After deducting the taxes and the insurance expenses and dividing that figure with the cost, the real figures of rental yield is evaluated. So, you have an added advantage here in the sense after paying taxes you are gaining from the real estate investments.

  • Positive effects of Inflation: You can get higher rent for your properties when the inflation increases. But, keep in mind that your monthly payments for the mortgage remains the same. That means you earn profit with the increase in income, expenses remaining unchanged.
Prospect of real estate investing is increasing day by day. You can get good returns if you actually know how to invest in real estate.

How to invest in Real Estate?

  • Check your Affordability: Always keep this in mind that real estate investing takes times in procuring returns. That implies that you need money not only for buying the real estate properties but also for maintaining it. You can buy the property with the help of mortgage loan only if you are ready to repay the amount according to the terms and conditions of the mortgage loan. So, it is advisable to check whether you can actually afford such a long term investment.

  • Choose the property type wisely: There are two types of properties. Prime and non-prime type. The prime properties are always the expensive ones but carry chances of high returns. Non-prime properties might be profitable only if the demand is increasing. So, take a wise decision.

  • Keep an eye on latest market trends: Though the real estate investment is always made on the long term basis, you should always keep an eye on the latest market trends. In order to secure substantial returns, you have to choose the right time to invest.

  • Keep in mind about the taxes: Wealth tax comes into the picture only if you become the owner of two residential houses. If you buy a real estate property and put it on rent, you will be liable to pay income tax on your rental income. So, it is better to think about the taxes before you take any firm decision.
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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Loans: Real Christmas Present

Christmas as we all know is the festival of togetherness. As soon as Christmas starts approaching the demand of all the family members also starts increasing. The head of the family starts thinking seriously that how he is going to meet those Christmas demands. Lately, Christmas loans aim to end this plight.

The main motive of these Christmas loans is to make available funds to be returned after a specified period. With these funds, one can easily pay for the usual Christmas expenditures like new dresses, party, home improvements, vacations, and many more. Christmas loans, multi-purpose loans as these are, are available for use in any way that you decide.

Get an extra edge with help from Chance for Loans in arranging Christmas loans according to your circumstances. Chance For Loans’ services are helpful for the following reasons:

• There are numerous lenders who have Christmas loan deals on offer.
• Getting quality Christmas loans right at your doorstep will be much more convenient.

With these one can forget all the hassles that has to face when searching for Christmas loans with the lenders directly. With the help of an online application of any loan giving organization, one can submit his complete details and the representative of that company will come to cater to your requirements. With these loan quotes you will receive all the information of loan deals.

There are many borrowers for whom the past credit emerge in the present to restrict the opportunities in availing that particular Christmas loan. The history of bad credit is very carefully watched by numerous lenders in UK. Whatever is your Credit Score, getting Christmas loans are very easy. Stay fun and frolic with Christmas Loans.

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Friday, December 5, 2008

Understand Individual Voluntary Arrangement

Individual Voluntary Arangements or IVA is an agreement between any individual and their Creditor. It is nothing but an alternative to Bankruptcy which brings an individual to an agreement with the people and firms whom they owe money to repay their debts, paying off certain percentage of outstanding debts over a period of time.

Rules for IVA these days are very flexible by nature. By applying for IVA it will always mean that you will get lump sum upfront and then series of monthly payments. People can negotiate on different arrangements with their creditors with a proper co-ordination of experienced insolvency practitioner. It is nothing but a loan repayment scheme in actual sense that is how much you pay back is calculated by your income verses your expenditure. When it is agreed then the same scheme becomes the part of legally binding contract.

With the help of IVA you can also stop your Creditors forcing you into bankruptcy. But it is not a cake walk. You have to remember some important things before you do this. The most important being that is 75% of your creditors have to agree with IVA. Secondly, if you miss a repayment by any chance the arrangement then becomes null and void. Lastly, you should have enough income and assets for your creditors so that you can very easily cover the repayments.

IVA is mostly needed when you think you are facing bankruptcy. With the help of IVA you get more control over your assets. But with some good things comes bad things too. There are some minor disadvantages of IVA too. As we can see the current economic conditions which is stumbling down, the bankruptcies are expected to increase. As a result of this the fees of IVA will be drastically increasing.

If you think you are into bankruptcy, then make sure you take complete help of IVA but with that always make sure that you are quite capable of fulfilling your repayments or else you will be in soup.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Its the Best Time to Buy New Home

Everyone has a desire to have his/her own home. But when it’s come to buying a home then home buyers always become very curious to know that when is the best time to put forward their step towards buying a home or is this the best time to grab a home. Well if I need to answer this question then I would say that the decision of buying a home should be made after reviewing the market very carefully. Like you need to know the trend of home prices, whether it is upward or downward, what will be the mortgage rate, will you be able to afford the monthly mortgage payments or not etc.....

But if I answer the question honestly depending upon the present scenario then for home buying the right time is in its way. Because the US housing market is having a declining trend and home prices are falling down like anything. However if you want then you can wait till the home price touches its lowest point or you can wait for the home price to fall a little bit more. But one more thing is there that you have to look into that is the rate of mortgage. Some buyers are not getting interested because of the high interest rates. So if you are okay with the current mortgage rate then the finest time to buy a home is knocking at your door. And in case of buyers who are worried about the high interest rates, a buy down might be helpful to work out their budget.

In other hand for home sellers who also wish to buy or move to a luxurious home than the present one they are having, the right time to sell is now. Because at present condition the more they wait, the lesser the home price they might get. So try and sell your property as early as possible and then wait for the price of your new home to fall a bit more. Or sellers who have their own alternative place to stay, they can go for selling their property right now and wait for sometime before buying a new one. However if you do both selling and buying at the same time then also you won’t be in loss. Because the diminution in price while purchasing will help you to recover the loss you already had while selling.

So the good strategy for sellers who also want to buy a new and much expensive home is to sell now doesn’t matter if they have to bear some loss, because they will have a fine chance to recuperate the loss they had while selling through the purchase of their new home.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Understand the Mortgage Points

Anyone who has ever shopped for quotes on a mortgage to find out just how much it might cost has likely heard about mortgage points. Though the term might seem abstract, the concept is actually quite simple. Mortgage Points are nothing but certain charges to be paid in order to obtain a mortgage on a home. Each mortgage point is a fee based on one percent of the total amount of the loan.

Let me be more clear to you. Mortgage Points is kind of a fee that is paid upfront when taking out a new loan or refinancing the existing mortgage. Mortgage points are of mainly two types, the first being the "discount points" and the other "origination point". Let us understand both of them clearly.

Discount Points is something that you pay the lender in exchange for lowering your mortgage rate. The decision to pay discount points should be made considering how long you plan on staying in your home and how long it will take you to recoup this expense. On the other hand, Origination Point is that you pay to the person arranging your loan. Since, Mortgage rates are at the lowest level these days so the homeowners should think long and hard before agreeing to pay discount points.

Mortgage Origination Points are bit difficult to understand as compared to discount points. This fee can range anywhere from zero to as much as five percent. When refinancing your mortgage you will be able to refinance paying only a flat one percent origination fee to the broker. This means there will be no markup of your mortgage rate for a commission which results in a higher monthly payment for as long as you keep the loan.

If you think i have missed out any point then please feel free to comment. All the comments are appreciated with honor.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Bankruptcy do have Alternatives

We can do many other things rather filing for chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy. In many situations, filing for bankruptcy is the best remedy for debt problems. In others, however, another course of action makes more sense. Let me outline the main alternatives infront of you.

You can actually stop the harassment from the creditors. If your main concern is that creditors are harassing you, bankruptcy is not necessarily the best way to stop the abuse. You can get creditors off your back by taking advantage of federal and state debt collection laws that protect you from abusive and harassing debt collector conduct. You can also negotiate with your creditors on this part. If you have some income, or you have assets you're willing to sell, you may be a lot better off negotiating with your creditors than filing for bankruptcy. Negotiation may buy you some time to get back on your feet, or your creditors may agree to settle your debts for less than you owe.

Designing a Repayment plan with the help of lawyer is yet another good option. Many people aren't comfortable negotiating with their creditors or with collection agencies. Perhaps you aren't confident with your negotiation skills, or the creditors and collectors are so hard-nosed that the process is too unpleasant to stomach. If you don't want to negotiate on your own, you can seek help from a nonprofit credit or debt counseling agency. These agencies can work with you to help you repay your debts and improve your financial picture.

Participating in a credit or debt counseling agency's debt management program is a little bit like filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The agency will help you come up with a plan to pay back your creditors over time, somewhat like a Chapter 13 plan. But working with a credit or debt counseling agency has one advantage: No bankruptcy will appear on your credit record.

However, a debt management program also has some disadvantages when compared to Chapter 13 bankruptcy. First, if you miss a payment, Chapter 13 protects you from creditors who would start collection actions. A debt management program has no such protection: Any one creditor can pull the plug on your plan. Also, a debt management program usually requires you to repay your debts in full. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you often pay only a small fraction of your unsecured debts.

Consumer advocates have also raised concerns about credit counseling agencies, because these agencies receive most of their funding from creditors. As a result, critics say, these agencies could face a conflict between the interests of their funders and the interests of their clients.

Surprisingly, the best approach for some people deeply in debt is to take no action at all. If you're living simply, with little income and property, and look forward to a similar life in the future, you may be what's known as "judgment proof." This means that anyone who sues you and obtains a court judgment won't be able to collect from you simply because you don't have anything they can legally take. (As a famous song of the 1970s said, "freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.")

Except in unusual situations (for example, if you refuse to pay taxes as a protest against government policies or you willfully fail to pay child support), you can't be thrown in jail for not paying your debts. Nor can a creditor take away such essentials as basic clothing, ordinary household furnishings, personal effects, food, or Social Security, unemployment, or public assistance benefits.

So, if you don't anticipate having a steady income or property a creditor could grab, bankruptcy is probably not necessary. Your creditors probably won't sue you, because it's unlikely they could collect the judgment. Instead, they'll simply write off your debt and treat it as a deductible business loss for income tax purposes. In several years, the debt will become legally uncollectible. And in seven years, the debt will come off your credit record.

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Get Your Auto Insurance Paid in no Time

Am I required to have auto insurance? This question is very common in the United States and you should a have car insurance if you operate a motor vehicle as it protects you against losses that are incurred because of traffic collision, fire, theft or other damage. Auto insurance is something that gives you a clear head and peace of mind while on the road. If you have car insurance then you can drive with the confidence that if anything bad happens while you drive, the insurance company will shoulder any cost you may incur. The costs could mount to hundreds or thousands of dollars in order to repair or replace parts.

Insurance policies however are some of the most difficult and technical contracts that you can ever sign in your life. If a part of your car for example is discovered not to be part of your cover then chances are you won't get any money to fix it. This is a waste because you are paying a monthly fee for a service you should be getting but for some reason are not.

To minimize the chances of being on the short end of the stick the next time something happens to your car, always be sure to get the best insurance you can. The best insurance does not mean the most expensive and feature loaded premium, because not everybody can afford the monthly fees and other expenses associated with these insurance policies. What you need is to get the best insurance possible with the money that you can afford to pay every month.

Aside from getting the best policy available, you should also sign up with an insurance company or agent that you can trust to help you when you do get into an accident. Do not just get any insurance agent or company, even if they offer the best rates. Just because they make it cheap for you to pay your insurance bills does not mean they will not hesitate to help you out and pay your expenses when you get into an accident.

Sometimes, when people get into accidents, their insurance agents make it very hard on them by arguing that they are not covered by the policy or that the insurance company should only pay part of the expenses. As much as possible, get an insurance agent that is recommended by family or friends so that you will minimize the chances of this happening.

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