Archive for December, 2014

Know your Liabilities

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Financial planning is a critical exercise that helps you to achieve your life time financial goals. For this, you need to quantify in money terms what resources you need to meet those goals, and quantify the time period during which you want to achieve these goals. Finally, you arrive to an action plan on what you need to fulfill your plan.
You must have a skill to draft your financial plan. Otherwise, your finances can end up as a disaster. Among other things, your planning must ensure that your family is going to be financially secure, whatever happens to you. You must not be complacent that you will be okay whatever happens.
Most of us don’t bother to review financial situation as we move from one stage of life to another and think that our future is a long way away, so why bother today. But the best time to conduct a review of the financial situation is today and these reviews should be regularly done.
All of us know inflation is a parasite triggering rise in cost of living and pulling down value of money. So, inflation and rising prices is a major concern today. Besides, unexpected incidents and expenses add to our woes leaving financial position in disarray.
Needless to say, yesteryear’s luxuries are now today’s necessities. It’s also a fact that living standard at our place has undergone tremendous transformation. Opening up of formal financial channels, especially in personal loan segment, to a common man has made this makeover possible. If you have a regular and assured income, you can realize your dream of owning a house, a car, a wide range of consumer gadgets and sending your children for higher studies anywhere in the world. The banks are ready to finance your needs and even luxuries.
Today, a family head paying Equated Monthly Installments (EMIs) simultaneously for housing loan, education loan, car loan and cash loan is a common thing. Or we can say people today feel contended to have financial liability in the shape of multiple bank loans as a companion. But people usually ignore certain risks associated with the contentment they achieve through these loans.
Here’s arises an important question. What will happen to a family if their family head saddled with a liability of bank loan is consumed in an accident or long-term illness? Just think for a while. If he is a lone bread earner, an unfortunate accident can create serious financial problems for his family. Who will help them to settle the financial commitments in his absence? There are scores of examples when a borrower’s liability turned a lifetime nightmare for his family.
What I mean to say is that the circumstances lead to the risk of severe unforeseen medical emergencies, which can leave a huge financial burden on the families and result in financial imbalances. Here the best way to nip the evil of risk is to transfer it through the medium of insurance. Let me tell you how? As a safeguard against these risks, one can take route of two kinds of insurance schemes. One can buy a loan protection insurance plan to insure his/her outstanding amount of housing loan, education loan, car loan and personal consumption (cash) loan. This type of insurance can help one to protect his/her loan payments in the event of his/her death. Under this plan, the loan outstanding against the borrower is adjustable from the proceeds of the claim in the event of the death of the borrower and the whole outstanding amount is paid by the insurance company.
Then there’s health insurance plan providing cover against the medical care costs. It is an insurance against loss due to ill health or hospitalizations. It safe guards your savings getting washed out in case of any unplanned illness, surgery or hospitalization and getting prepared for unexpected expenses. Precisely, it covers all or part of the medical costs of treating the disease or injury including doctors consultation charges, medicine and nursing costs. Treatment can be sought in any recognized nursing home or hospital across India.
In succinct, the above mentioned insurance plans will insulate your liabilities and at the same time finance your health care needs at a time when you need it most. So check with your bank as both these plans are affordable.
(The views are of the author amp; not the institution he works for)

Lastupdate on : Wed, 24 Dec 2014 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 24 Dec 2014 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 25 Dec 2014 00:00:00 IST

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Full-blown Bears house-cleaning could be coming

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Little known fact, George Halas helped the Packers with a cash loan in 1930. Mr Halas also came to Green Bay in the 50s to speak on behalf of the Packers to raise funds to build a new stadium, which is now Lambeau Field.

As much as we hate the Bears, we have a high level of respect for the Chicago Bears, George Halas, and their history.

The Vikings we just plain hate with NO respect for the team or their idiot fans.

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Two tales of Christmas’s past come to financial reality in Alabama: guest opinion

Monday, December 29th, 2014

However, both labels apply to the high-cost consumer lenders seeking to make payday and auto title loans to Alabama consumers.

Part of what makes The Grinch such a compelling villain is that he has a plan for stealing Christmas joy. He exhibits malice aforethought, a kind of evil premeditation about his burglaries and thefts. In that regard, payday and title lenders are very well aware of the amazing profits to be made from charging usurious triple-digit interest rates to folks looking for a little help with holiday shopping.

For example, a certain payday lender recently said in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Our business is seasonal due to the impact of fluctuating demand for cash advance services and fluctuating collection rates throughout the year. Demand has historically been higher in the third and fourth quarters of each year, corresponding to the back-to-school and holiday seasons.

This is a company that knows that theres a profit to be made by exploiting a generous gift giver, or even just someone who has come up a little short in paying the monthly bills. The debt trap isnt an accident; its the business model. Although a parents eyes may gleam with love when they seek to buy a bicycle or a video game for their child, the lenders eyes are gleaming with something else.

And thats why the label of Scrooge is appropriate too. Payday lenders are allowed to charge 456 percent APR on a 14-day loan – and all of them charge it. Auto title lenders can charge up to 300 percent APR (due in 30 days), and get the benefit of potentially repossessing the vehicle used to secure the loan. If those interest rate figures dont represent Scrooge-like greed to you, its possible that youve had too much spiked egg nog.

Oh and by the way, in the original Charles Dickens story, A Christmas Carol, Ebeneezer Scrooge was a high-cost lender. In a modern setting, this miserly archetype of a price gouging lender would probably have made his fortune from a chain of storefronts with neon signs promising quick cash, quick money,. etc.

Its simple to condemn people who are spending beyond their means, especially if they are knowingly entering into terrible loan contracts to cover their bills. But its also unrealistic to think that people are going to impose personal austerity measures that ruin Christmas, not to mention the disastrous effects of bank overdrafts, electrical disconnections, and the bumpy, stressful road to bankruptcy.

Is it possible that the owners of payday lending and title pawns might get a visit from the Ghosts of Christmass Past on Christmas Eve and we wake up on Christmas day to see that all the interest rates on Payday and Title Pawns have been dropped to 36 percent. Probably not, but I can still dream.

The Alliance for Responsible Lending in Alabama (ARLA) has risen up to demand change. Many legislative leaders have shown tremendous courage in the face of an influential and well-funded industry lobby. But reform isnt a done deal just yet.

This holiday season, enabled by loopholes that make it legal, usury will be one of the spirits in the air. But, lets all make a Christmas wish — along with some New Years resolutions — that 2015 will have fewer Grinches and Scrooges.

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Village households’ average assets at Rs 10 lakh

Monday, December 29th, 2014

Around 98 per cent of rural households and around 94 per cent of urban households in India owned some physical and financial assets as on June 30, 2012. Average value of assets (AVA) owned by a household was Rs 10.07 lakh for the rural areas and Rs 22.85 lakh for the urban areas, said the 70th round of National Sample Surveys All India Debt and Investment Survey ( AIDIS).

According to the survey, about 31 per cent of the rural households and 22 per cent of the urban households reported debt (cash loan) outstanding as on June 30, 2012. The average amount of debt (AOD) for a rural household was Rs 32,522 and that for an urban household was Rs 84,625.

The indebtedness as on June 30, 2012, was predominant for both rural (20.3 per cent) and urban (13.4 per cent) households. Interest-free loans (mainly taken from friends and relatives), were also quite significant – with 6.5 per cent in the villages and 4.4 per cent in cities.

Among the social groups, in rural India, the incidence of indebtedness (16.9 per cent) was lowest for ST households and highest (35.7 per cent) for OBC households. On the other hand, average amount of debt was lowest for ST households (Rs 9,610) and highest for Others households (Rs 44,565).

In urban India, the lowest incidence of indebtedness was again that of the ST households (16.4 per cent) and the highest that of OBC (26.0 per cent). But the incidence of indebtedness for others was only 19 per cent – lower than that of SC. The relative 2 position of the four social groups, in terms of average amount of debt, was found to be the same as in the rural areas.

The results of the survey show that non-institutional agencies played a major role in advancing credit to the households, particularly in rural India.

The non-institutional agencies had advanced credit to 19 per cent of rural households, while the institutional agencies had advanced credit to 17 per cent households.

In urban India, the institutional agencies appear to have played a major role, advancing credit to 15 per cent of households against 10 per cent by non-institutional agencies.

The key indicators of the survey are based on the central sample consisting of 4,529 villages in rural areas and 3,507 urban blocks spread over all states and UTs.

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Sunday, December 28th, 2014

NAPLES, FL–(Marketwired – December 14, 2014) – has named the thirty top merchant cash advance services for the month of December 2014. The rankings consist of payment processing solution providers which have years of experience in providing notable solutions. The rankings are produced through a rigorous analysis process which involves the inspection and testing of top competing services to establish which are most effective at producing their solutions. While there are thousands of services producing solutions the rankings are used to highlight the absolute best.

The 30 top merchant cash advance services for December 2014 are:

1) Credit Card Processing Specialists

2) Fidelity Advance, LLC

3) CAN Capital

4) Finical Inc.

5) Rafter J Funding Services

6) Merchants Advance Network

7) Applied Bank

8) BC Funding

9) Swift Financial Corp.

10) ICBA Bancard

11) Merchants Choice Payment Solutions

12) CardPayment Solutions

13) Reliant Services Group

14) AmeriMerchant

15) Direct Capital Corporation

16) CardSmart Merchant Services

17) Merchant Choice Card Services

18) Advanced Merchant Services

19) POS Alliance

20) Everest Merchant Services

21) Yellowstone Capital

22) Advance Funds Network

23) Vantage Card Services

24) DCC Merchant Services USA

25) Solupay

26) Cash Advance Exchange


28) eMerchantPay Corporation

29) GDpay

30) Rapid Capital Funding

The independent research team spends time researching merchant cash advance services by taking a meticulous look at key strengths and competitive advantages of performing credit card processing services. The ratings are created through the use of a set of evaluation areas. The five areas used to measure and compare services include reliability, competitive rates, customer support, availability, and efficiency. Credit card processing services are put to the test to ensure the best services are listed to assist businesses in selecting the absolute best services to meet their specific requirements.

ABOUT is an established independent research firm focusing on the investigation and recommendations of credit card processing services all around the world. The recommendations are formulated by the independent research team each month to showcase the top merchant cash advance services based on their performance and their rating achieved through the proprietary investigation process.

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6 Small Business Trends To Watch Out For In 2015

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

Small businesses are driving the US job recovery, according to a recent blog post by Maria Contreras-Sweet, the administrator of the Small Business Administration. In her post she points out that about 7 million of the 10.9 million jobs added since the Great Recession were created by startups and small enterprises.

“Small businesses have led our comeback from the downturn,” she writes. “For 15 straight quarters, small firms have contributed to employment growth – accounting for as much as 80 percent of job gains in any given quarter.”

The past is not always an indication for what might happen next, but there are certainly reasons to believe small business growth will continue in 2015. Here are six trends that might contribute to that growth.

Alternative Capital Flows Will Gain Traction

First and foremost, small businesses need cash to grow. But the traditional lending market isn’t working for everyone. Therefore, it’s likely alternative flows of capital will gain traction in 2015, says John Spears, director of clusters and skills initiatives at the Small Business Administration. “2014 saw the emergence of new alternative flows of capital, which will continue to disrupt the market,” he says. “Square’s cash advance and new peer-to-peer lending products are a few examples.”

3D Printing Will Enable Small Batch Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, has been talked about for years. But the technology finally seems to be ready for widespread adoption and small businesses might benefit from it the most. “2015 is the year where small businesses can finally afford to leverage this technology,” Spears says. “Advances in quality and cost will make small batch manufacturing possible for entrepreneurs.”

Big Data Analytics Will See Increased Adoption

Seventy-five percent of small businesses plan to increase their investment in big data analytics over the next two years, according to an IBM IBM Business Tech Trends Study. “The pace setters will adopt new tools that allow them to quickly and easily sift through their data,” IBM’s Midmarket GM John Mason says. “The magic will be that these powerful new tools that small businesses adopt are no longer expensive solutions designed purely for data scientists and specialized analysts, but can be used by any employee.”

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HSBC, Capital One Shake Class Suit Over Card Payments

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

By Caroline Simson

Law360, New York (December 22, 2014, 3:19 PM ET) — A California federal judge found Friday that a decision by HSBC Bank USA NA and Capital One NA to apply a credit card payment to a balance with a lower annual percentage rate hadnt violated consumer protection laws, tossing two cardholders putative class action with prejudice.

Plaintiffs George and Sherry Burriss complaint alleged that the banks had misapplied their payment to a balance for purchases they had made on their Platinum MasterCard that operated under a lower APR than the balance for a cash advance, violating…

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BLOG: Easier finding god than a home in Pricey Mumbai

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

I first visited the Rs 23-lakh apartment. It was on the top floor of a building with a narrow, steep flight of stairs. The building was clearly an add-on to the main house, which was on the ground floor. The owner of the apartment asked me how I would pay for the flat, and when I said I would take a bank loan, I was told that I needed to find another mode of payment (read, cash). The reason: the flat was purchased on a personal loan from a relative, which Im presuming was a cash loan (of unaccounted for money or black money) which he intended to pay back in the same form. If I purchased the house with a bank loan, my payment would be money that is accounted for with tax authorities, in turn requiring him to account for it when he filed his taxes.
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CA State Commissioner warns of danger in Auto Title Loans (Includes interview)

Friday, December 26th, 2014


With the holiday season the need for extra money can easily push people to dip into savings, use credit cards and seek a cash advance. Some might even consider getting a quick loan using their car.

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Conneaut shopping center’s rep mum on rumors of sale

Friday, December 26th, 2014

David Kinzie, director of Emster Retail Properties in California, had little to say when contacted this week about the future of the Gateway Plaza shopping center on Gateway Avenue.

“It’s no longer our responsibility,” said Kinzie, who also serves as the shopping center’s manager. “It’s in the hands of the bank.”

He declined to elaborate, and online property records from the Ashtabula County Auditor’s office do not indicate what bank is involved or that there has been any sale of the Gateway Plaza parcels since 2006.

At issue is the shopping center a short distance from the Interstate 90-Route 7 interchange. In April, Conneaut’s Big Kmart store announced it would close its doors for good because of a roof leak. As promised, the store ceased business — and 43 people lost their jobs — at the end of May.

The leak began at the start of the year and worsened over the months until almost all of the floor space was threatened with drips and running water. Store personnel attached plastic sheeting to the ceiling in an attempt to protect shoppers and merchandise, but the plan ran afoul of city firefighters and county building inspectors. The sheeting used was flammable and some of it was installed in a way that blocked fire sprinkler heads, inspectors said.

One day later, the corporation announced it would close the store, which had done business at that location since 1981. The store had clearance sales for two months when safety officials allowed merchandise to be consolidated in portions of the store unaffected by the leak.

At the time, Kinzie said the severe winter created a roof leak that would cost more than $400,000 to fix. The plaza owner was locked in negotiations with the insurance carrier regarding possible repairs, he said.

Only two tenants remain at the plaza: an Auto Zone store and a cash advance business. The manager at Auto Zone, who declined to provide his name, said he was unaware of any pending sale. City officials said they have not heard reports of a sale in progress.

The former Kmart store sits at the north end of the center. A Giant Eagle supermarket, which filled the south end, closed several years earlier. A CVS Pharmacy in the plaza relocated into a new store in 2008.

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