Don’t Order Your Checks From The Bank

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Posted by DanielPacker | Posted in Financial | Posted on 03-09-2013

In order to save some money there is a great option for you.  It won’t cause you any suffering due to the savings, meaning, I am not telling you to stop eating out or to sell your prized possessions.  All I am telling you do it start ordering your personal checks and business checks online! It’s that simple.  You were probably expecting something big.  While it is something small and you won’t be saving tons, it’s something easy to do so why not make the move.  No, you won’t be able to quit your day job with this kind of move, but it’s a start for your savings and it’s without breaking into any sort of sweat.

So many of us are used to doing what we have been doing for years, therefore we don’t put much thought as to why we go about doing certain things.  A good example of this how you go about getting your checks.  Before just about everything was so easily accessible online, if you wanted checks you called up your local bank and ordered them.  Now there is a far better option.  So even if you have been ordering checks for the last twenty years from the bank, I’m telling you that you are far better off buying your checks online.  The main reason, as I mentioned earlier is the savings that you will find with buying your checks online.  When you buy checks online you are buying straight from the check printers themselves.  When you buy checks from the bank on the other hand, you are paying the bank to take your checks to the checks printer.  The bank offers you checks as a service to you, but they are really not in the business of printing checks.  Therefore when you purchase checks through them, they cost you more because you are paying the middleman too. This may not save you big bucks, but you will be saving with only increased benefits, quicker turnaround time, customized checks, QuickBooks checks and so much more.

How can salespeople win contracts?

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Posted by MJTM | Posted in Business Products & Services | Posted on 24-05-2013

Those who work in sales constantly need to look to win new business. Doing so, however, is not always the easiest of tasks, especially as many organisations remain cautious about spending money in the challenging economic climate.

Luckily, there are plenty of things salespeople can do when meeting with clients to increase their chances of converting leads into new business. First of all, let’s look at the pitch you deliver. This is crucial in terms of determining whether or not a would-be client wants to do business with you, so the importance of planning exactly what you are going to say really cannot be underestimated.

If you are not already doing so, it is a good idea to think about using an ‘elevator speech’. This business concept is based on the notion that a businessperson needs to introduce themselves, the product and/or service their organisation offers and why they deserve attention in the time that it takes to travel several floors in a lift.

Ideally, such speeches should not last any more than a couple of minutes, so you may need to put in a significant amount of practice to ensure that you don’t spend too much time talking non-stop. Otherwise, you might find that listeners’ minds will start to wander and they don’t pay attention to what you have to say.

Regardless of the company you work for or what you are trying to sell, you should remember that virtually everyone you present your speech to will ask themselves “what’s in it for me?”. As such, you need to be certain your pitch highlights precisely why you (and your organisation) are worth people’s time and money.

While putting in plenty of practice is vital in coming up with a well-prepared pitch, a good salesperson should never deliver speeches that feel robotic. Instead, you ought to be prepared to tailor your talk directly to would-be customers and, of course, be ready to answer any questions that are put to you.

As a pitch ought to capture people’s imagination and make them eager to learn more about what you offer, you should spend a little time considering what things potential clients will be most interested to find out more about. How much a service will cost is often a common query among would-be clients, so it’s definitely worth having these figures to hand.

With any luck, your speech should do enough to convince a business to sign up to receive your organisation’s offering or at least encourage them to set up a second meeting in the future. Regardless of the outcome of the initial meeting, it is a good idea to give those you meet a corporate gift before you leave their office.

There’s a wide range of promotional gifts, though it is perhaps best to offer goods that executives and other decision makers will be encouraged to use on a regular basis. This could include, for example, business card holders, fountain pens and paperweights. No matter what you choose, make sure your company’s logo is clearly visible on the items you give out. That way, your brand, organisation and even your sales pitch is likely to resonate long after the meeting has ended.

Studies from the British Promotional Merchandise Association show that 56 per cent of people feel more favourable about a company that has supplied them with a promotional product. So, it could be that being given a gift gives the additional push needed to buy whatever it is you are offering.

If you’re a salesperson, please let us know what steps you are taking to make sure you are always in a position to secure new business by leaving a comment below.

 

What Secure Ways Are there To Play with Real Money on Online Casinos?

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Posted by MJTM | Posted in Financial | Posted on 23-05-2013

Online casinos can provide casino gaming options either for free or using real money. To be able to play with real money, players must use one of the many payment methods to add funds to their account. Online casinos will only support secure methods of payment as they do not wish to risk their customer’s sensitive information. Since the concept of online commerce began, many different banking services have been developed.

One choice that is becoming a favorite amongst those who use online casinos is ewalletXpress. EwalletXpress allows players to move funds from there bank account to their online casino account. A wide range of currencies are supported by this system and conversions can be made when necessary, making it easy to play on sites worldwide. EwalletXpress is a fast and secure method for transferring funds and is recognized by many casino sites. The company behind EwalletXpress uses up to date encryption software and stringent security measures.

When setting up for the first time, all financial information is only needed once, this is a positive feature for amny customers as it means there is no need to constantly type in the same information everytime you want to play online.

A site offering this feature is http://www.onlinecasinoaustralia.com.au.  As soon as you have real money deposited into your online casino account, then you are ready to participate in casino gaming for cash. You can choose to play one of the many varieties of poker. Some of these games are community poker games. This means that there are certain cards revealed that anyone can use in building their hand. Texas Hold ‘Em is a common type of community poker game found at online casinos. Some community poker games like Omaha Poker have two winners. One player wins for having the highest ranking hand while another wins for having the lowest. The pot is split between the two players

Are You a Short-Term or Long-Term Investor?

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Posted by MJTM | Posted in Investment | Posted on 21-04-2013

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Do you like to invest your money? What do you typically invest in? Stocks? Bonds? Real estate? Precious metals? Do you think you’re a long-term investor or a short-term investor? Let’s explore the various types of investing and decide whether you are attempting to make short-term gains or whether you’re truly looking to prosper in the distant future from your investments today.

Long Term Investments

Many of you work in corporate jobs that offer 401(k) plans. Some of your companies even offer a match up to a certain perfect of what you put into your retirement fund. If you are contributing some of your earnings into a 401(k) account, this is most definitely a long-term investment. Your money is put into this account with the expectation that it won’t come out before you reach the age of 59 ½ years of age. If you do, then you will be penalized a percentage of your fund’s current value. If you are putting money into this account for a short term gain, please don’t because it won’t pay off for you.

Real estate is another great form of a long-term investment. Well, as long as you’re purchasing it as a rental that is. At this time, real estate can still be purchased for a reasonable rate. Let’s say a property is valued at $100,000 (just to keep things simple). The rent for this property will most likely be $1,000 per month, or $12,000 a year. So, even if you have the absolute perfect renter that pays every month and stays for an entire year, you’ll still only collect 12% of your investment for that year. But, as a long term thinker, you realize that not only are you gaining a return on your investment, but the equity in your rental home is also increasing. So, you could actually be earning 17% or more on your house instead of just 12%. If you earn that over the course of 30 years, you’ll have quite the chunk of change!

Short Term Investments

If you head to the bank, they have a few short term investment options available to you. For starters, you could invest your money into a simple checking account that pays interest (my credit union pays 3%). They also offer CDs that pay just a little more than 1%, but if you don’t plan on doing anything with your money for the next year anyway, then it might be a decent way to make a quick buck.

The stock market is a great place for people that like to make short term gains. In fact, spread betting is one of the most popular ways to earn money fast. If you believe that a stock price will move up or down from its current state, you could place a spread bet for more money than you’re actually putting down, and you don’t even have to buy the stock to do it! A great deal of money can be made in a short period of time, but of course a great deal could be lost as well. Invest wisely.

How to Trade in the Forex Market

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Posted by MJTM | Posted in Investment | Posted on 26-03-2013

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Trading on the Forex market is something most of us have never ever deemed as a means of making money. The field of professional finance typically seems extremely distant from the real world, and quite often it is, yet it’s actually much easier to get involved than you might think.

If you think of an investor, a traditional bank or prosperous businessperson likely comes to mind. The truth is, it can be you or me. Exchanging currency to make money doesn’t require a huge capital expense. While you will obviously make more money the more you have available to put in, a lot of brokers will permit you to begin with as little as $10. Many offer a demo forex account, so that you can trade with virtual cash to see how the whole thing works. You simply need a working computer and an account with an fx broker.

In their simplest terms, the currency market is all about buying and selling currency in order to make a nice gain. This revenue is created because the value of one currency versus another continually fluctuates. The idea is to speculate on whether or not the currency pair, e.g. GBP/USD, will improve or deteriorate. You ‘buy’ a currency whenever you expect it to increase, or ‘sell’ if you expect it to fall.
There are several influencing factors and complicated charts that can help you choose how to buy and sell, but one of the most effective ways of analyzing the direction of a currency is to utilize the news. When the news sounds like the market of one currency is suffering, then it’s fair to assume this will be mirrored in the value of the currency.

When you finally become secure predicting patterns in line with the news, you can consider all other varieties of signals, like those you can view in charts and simple analysis. Seasoned investors utilize a large number of sources to help them trade fx .

Foreign exchange trading is accessible to everyone because, unlike the stock exchange, you are able to deposit a small amount of cash which allows you to hold a position of a higher value. A number of broker agents offer you leverage of 100:1 so that if you deposit $10, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of trading with $1000. Keep in mind though, that as the current market changes you can actually generate losses, and this could exceed your initial deposit.

Trading on the foreign exchange market may not be for every individual; there’s an inherent risk, but with experience and careful methods, earning profits is certainly feasible. There is a great deal of in-depth information available on the internet free of charge, so even learning doesn’t have to cost you anything at all. If it sounds like something you’d be interested in, maybe you should out a trial account? They cost nothing and you could really acquire a feel for the market. It’s not only a method of earning profits either; forex trading is exciting.

 

Strategies in the Market

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Posted by MJTM | Posted in Investment | Posted on 25-03-2013

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I’m sure you’ve heard the advice, “buy low and sell high”, but how many times have you actually been successful at this? To be an effective investor, you have to be willing to buy stocks when the market is going down and selling it while it’s still going up.

Face it, this is the way people usually invest in the stock market:  At the point we’re ready to invest in various shares of the market, we carefully watch our stocks of choice, just waiting for one of them to jump so we can quickly get in on the upward trend. So, when is it that we’re investing? Either when the stock is halfway to its peak or at the peak! Then, we might leave our investment in that stock for a while until we look at how it’s doing later in life. We then notice that all this time, the stock price has not gone up, it has actually gone down! We hate to take our investment out now, so we wait for a little while with hopes that it will soon skyrocket once again. But nope, the value continues to fall. Then, in fear that the stock is going to go bankrupt, we quickly pull out our investment to protect what we have left!

So, what have we done? We’ve bought high and sold low, which is exactly the opposite of what we’re supposed to do. While sometimes this is necessary (to cut our losses and move on), it’s certainly not going to make us rich in the future. In fact, it’s going to make us more broke than before!

If you are wise, you would research strategies online (from reputable sources of course) and put them into practice. Some individuals have chosen to learn market trading strategies at Alpari, which is also a wise move.

Many investors know that they should look at the up and down trends of the market, but few actually know what they should be looking for. Have you ever heard of the phrase, “double dip”? No, I’m not talking about double dipping a chip, but I suppose the visual is somewhat accurate.

When you take a look at historical trends in an individual share price of most any company, the stock price tends to start low (at any given point in time) and then it goes up to a peak (or high price in the market). Then, it inevitably falls again, to a low point almost where it first started. This is a double dip in the market (since it went down to its low point twice). This is when you should jump into the market. Obviously, this isn’t going to work 100% of the time, but the odds are now in your favor to make more of a profit on that particular stock.

3 Steps to Improve Your Chance of Qualifying for a Home Loan

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Posted by DanielPacker | Posted in Home Products & Services | Posted on 24-03-2013

Preparing to buy a home can be exciting as well as frustrating and intimidating. Of course, looking at homes and imagining your family living there is the exciting part. Dealing with the financial aspect, though, can be both frustrating and intimidating.

If you’re planning to buy a home in the next few years, here are some things you may want to do to spruce up your financial standing and look more attractive to a lender such as Newcastle Permanent or another bank you may choose to work with:

1. Clean up your credit report. Order your credit report for free and check it carefully. Most credit reports contain errors. You may find that your name is spelled wrong, or a creditor shows that you still have an outstanding balance when you’ve actually paid off the debt.

You’ll need to go through the process of requesting a change in your credit report as well as including proof of the change you are requesting. Do this at least 6 to 12 months in advance of applying for your home loan so you can have the highest credit score possible.

2. Pay down your debts. You’ll have a better chance of securing a loan with a low debt to credit ratio. Try to pay off all outstanding credit cards. If you can pay off other debt like student loan debt, that will help, too. Not only is this a smart move to get the loan, but also to afford a home in general.

3. Save as much as you can for the down payment. Aim to save 10 to 20% of the home’s purchase price for the down payment. The more you can save, the better the financial benefits, especially if you can save 20% and avoid paying costly private mortgage insurance.

Preparing to buy a house is exciting, but before you even begin to look for a property, you must first take the steps to make your finances as solid as possible. You should begin doing this one to three years before you actually plan to buy a home.

5 Ways to Get Money During a Financial Hardship

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Posted by MJTM | Posted in Financial | Posted on 18-02-2013

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If you’ve fallen behind on your payments, you’ve likely had to deal with creditors calling.  While fielding these phone calls (or avoiding them, as the case may be) is annoying and stressful, they likely aren’t your greatest concern.

If you have trouble keeping up with bills thanks to a pay cut, job loss or an injury, you’re probably even more likely worried about bigger problems–paying your mortgage and keeping your home, paying your car payment so you can keep your vehicle and continue looking for a better job, paying your taxes so you don’t owe Uncle Sam and face having your wages garnished.  Besides these pressing concerns, you also need to worry about keeping your family fed and keeping the lights on at home.

If you’re in this financial bind, there are steps you can take to relieve the financial pressure.

1.  Borrow from family and friends.  If you’re not uncomfortable doing this, you can borrow money from family and friends to meet immediate pressing financial needs such as paying for housing and food.  Just make sure you have a plan for paying back the money when you get on your feet.  To make the borrower feel more comfortable, sign an agreement, have a repayment schedule, and have a notary public witness it.

2.  Take a cash advance on your credit card.  If you can’t borrow from family and friends, you could take a cash advance on your credit card.  Only do this to meet your most basic expenses, though, because the interest rate can be high.

3.  Take a payday loan.  Sometimes payday loans can be a life saver if you’re in a truly desperate position.  Applying online for a loans has never been easier, and in many cases you can have the money in your account within 15 minutes.

4.  Borrow from your 401(k).  This is truly the last resort.   Borrowing from your 401(k) is only a good idea if your money crunch is temporary and you can see a time in the not so distant future when you’ll be able to pay back the money.

5.  File for Bankruptcy Protection.  If you’re at the place where you need to borrow from your 401(k), you may want to consider bankruptcy instead.  If you leave your retirement savings intact and file for bankruptcy instead, in most cases you will be able to keep both your home and your retirement.

If you’re in a difficult financial position, you have a number of options available to survive this rough patch.  Which option you choose depends on the severity of your situation and when you think you’ll be back on your feet again.

Credit card security: Fraudulent scams to look out for

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Posted by MJTM | Posted in Personal Finance | Posted on 10-02-2013

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These days, many people rely on credit cards to make significant purchases. Electronic payments are quick and simple, but you must protect your account from fraudulent activity. There are many scams out there designed to steal your details and money, so here are a few to look out for.

Card not present fraud

Believe it or not, your card doesn’t have to be physically stolen for criminal activity to take place. That’s right, crooks can access confidential information from receipts and use it to buy high value items over the internet or on the phone. This is called card not present fraud and can leave a big dent in your bank balance. Fortunately, the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency is one the case and recently teamed up with the FBI and US Department of Justice to shut down over 30 websites selling stolen card details.

To protect yourself: Always dispose of personal details carefully (preferably by shredding) and never throw receipts into a public bin. If you do hold onto them, keep all paperwork in a safe place.

Cash machine (ATM) fraud

According to the UK Cards Association there are three main ways in which cards and card details are stolen at cash machines. Firstly, a trapping device is used to retain the card inside the cash machine. The criminal then offers to help and encourages the victim to retype their PIN. When they give up and walk away, the thief releases the card and reuses it at a late date. Secondly, a skimming device is used to copy electronic details and transfer them onto a fake card. The PIN is stolen using a secret camera. Thirdly, criminals shoulder surf and watch people typing in their PIN. They then steal the card using distraction techniques.

To protect yourself: Cash machines often contain a picture of what they should look like. Use this for reference and go somewhere else if there are signs of interference.

Counterfeit fraud

Some criminals manufacture fake credit cards. The details of genuine cards are then duplicated onto the counterfeit card via the magnetic stripe. They then enter circulation making it very hard for shop owners and sales assistants to spot if anything’s wrong. Cash machine fraud tends to fuel this kind of activity, as personal details can be easily stolen. Luckily, this type of fraud has dropped by 79 per cent over the past couple of years (as reported by the UK Cards Association), thanks to Chip and PIN technology and sophisticated fraud protection software.

To protect yourself: While counterfeit fraud appears to be decreasing, you must always apply for a credit card from a reputable banking group. If you work in a store, always double check with other staff members or contact the police, if you suspect anything suspicious.

A wallet wouldn’t be complete without a low interest credit card, but try to protect your privacy and banking details whenever possible.

 

How tricky is it to send a parcel to USA?

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Posted by MJTM | Posted in Financial | Posted on 17-12-2012

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Packages

If you’re unfamiliar with the nuts and bolts of sending parcels overseas the entire process can seem just a little confusing at best; or worrying at worst. Even if we set the problem of finding a good deal for a reliable service aside for a moment, getting a firm grip on details of a delivery can leave you considering the idea of buying a plane ticket and taking the package yourself. -Nearly.

Many online couriers have recognised that we don’t want to become trained experts in global logistics before we can send a parcel to USA and this realisation has been a key factor in the evolution of the services they provide. With the right courier arranging a delivery ought to be relatively straight forward, possibly not as simple as posting letter – but not far off.

As long as you take a few moments to make sure you have any relevant information to hand, you shouldn’t encounter any real issues. So, what counts as relevant?

Two addresses – the point of collection and the point of delivery. No real surprises here; ensure you have the post or zip code for both locations.

Measurements – if you’re getting a quick quote online you’ll need to tell the courier how large and how heavy it is before they can collect it as each will have restrictions on the size of items they are able to carry. Accurate measurements are also necessary for generating an accurate price of course.

Details – packages sent within the borders of the EU do not require customs documentation; deliveries going outside of the EU do though. Any self-respecting online courier will make producing any and all paperwork easy – for customs invoices you’ll need a reason for exporting the package (“gift” for example) as well as a brief description of the items being sent and an estimate their value.

Other than that, all you need to do is pay and wait for the collection to take place.