Posts tagged: Earnings

Paving the Road to Financial Security

financial safetyFor many people, financial security is something that always seems to be just out of reach. And while there is no doubt that it cannot be achieved overnight (unless you have a big lottery win) paving the road to financial security is something that you should be aiming for your entire life. Ultimately, it is all about getting into some good habits and making some savvy decisions. So, here a few financial points that you should consider whatever point of life you are at.

Recognize Yourself as Your Biggest Asset

Developing your skills, knowledge and experience will stand you in good stead when it comes to your financial future. You never know when you may need to call on these things that you have learned over the years. Rather than squirreling away that extra bit of money every month, you will be far better off treating yourself as an investment. So you could decide to complete a course or have some lessons in something instead.

Set Short-term Goals

Many people have long-term financial goals that they aim to achieve, but it is impossible to predict what twists and turns your life will take. Instead, you should choose some measurable and attainable short-term goals to focus your time on. As an example, you could aim to pay off your credit card debt. Make sure that you set a specific time limit on this, as you are much more likely to enjoy success if you do this rather than letting it drag on indefinitely.

Become Financially Literate

Saving money every month is obviously a good habit to get into, but it is not helping you to become financially literate. For example, have you done the necessary research that tells you that this account is giving you the best return on your investment? Are you aware of the other investment opportunities that are out there? People who keep up with the finer details of finances are much more likely to enjoy financial security in the future.

Keep an Eye on Your Lifestyle Costs

Making sure that you aren’t living beyond your means is one of the best habits you can get into during your life. The best way of doing this is by keeping a close eye on your expenses. Write out a list of your regular outgoings so you can decide whether or not there are any savings that can be made. As your living situation changes and your expenses adjust, it is important that you reassess and reapportion your expenses.

Don’t Borrow to Finance a Lifestyle

If you decide that you want to start a business, you may well find that you need to borrow some money to finance your venture. This is an example of a calculated financial risk. If you want to buy a new car, you shouldn’t be racking up credit card debt in order to do this as this will never stand you in good stead in the future. Not buying what you can’t afford is one of the most important financial lessons you can learn.

How To Pull Yourself Out Of Financial Difficulties After A Challenging Life Event

help in financeSometimes, life can throw you a challenge, and they can often lead to unprecedented emotional and financial difficulties. Therefore, whether you’ve been made redundant, extreme weather has damaged your home beyond repair, or, you’ve gone through a costly divorce; it’s vital that you get your thinking cap on and figure out what to do financially. Working out your money and where it’s going as soon as possible, will help protect you and your assets in the future. The following are some things you might need to consider, should you find yourself in financial strife.

Maintaining Your Income

During difficult life events, like divorce, it’s important that the other key areas of your lifestyle remain as intact as possible. Therefore, it’s essential that you inform your employer of any significant changes to your situation, so that they understand that you may need some time out of the office, and you won’t have to jeopardize your job. If it’s your job that you’ve lost, and you find yourself redundant, then you must financially plan immediately, and pick up any work available, while you search for your next career move.

By maintaining a steady income, and carefully considering any purchases, you’ll be able to ease the transition into any other major life changes. This will help your and your family, both financially, and emotionally in the future.

Rebuilding Your Credit

Life changes that cause financial hardship and struggles can often lead to you to paying for things with a credit card or not paying back loans and bills on time. These difficult financial situations can result in bad credit, and for you to figure out how you’re going to rebuild your life, you’ll need to seek professional help and advice. You can research into credit repair services, find out; does Lexington Law really work and discover what you’ll need to do to get yourself out of the red again.

Selling Your Assets

In order to release some equity, and get back on your feet financially, you might need to make some tough decisions in regards to your property and bigger assets. Downsizing your accommodation, or replacing your car with an affordable alternative, are decisions to make quickly so that you can save as much of your money as possible. Check out 10 tips to sell your home fast here.

Even though it might be a tough process to go through, relinquishing your expensive assets could give you the cash you need in the present, and secure a lucrative future for you and your family. Remember that nothing has to be permanent, and if you’re willing to make the sacrifices now, you’re likely to benefit in the long run.

Changing Your Lifestyle

It’s all very well ensuring that you’re still working and that you’ve downsized to affordable alternatives; however, if you continue to spend money in all the same places as before, you’ll run out of it pretty quickly. You’ll need to rethink where and how you shop, and ensure that your monthly outgoings are significantly reduced; so that if you do have spare cash, you can save it for the future.

The Ins And Outs Of Buying Your First Credit Card

your credit cardCredit cards are an ever expanding form of payment in the financial world, for both the consumer and the provider. If it is your first time buying a credit card, it can be quite overwhelming and confusing on what it all means. Here is a simplified list of what to expect from owning and using a credit card.

The Procedure of Making Payments

A credit card allows you to make instant purchases without the requirement of physical cash. Whatever provider you choose, you are set on a prearranged amount of money which you can spend on, but must pay back. This is when it gets a bit complicated, so let’s clarify. After a purchase, you have a ‘grace period’, which means you have up to 56 days to pay off the card without incurring any interest. Ensure that you never delay the payments of your bills. If you do, you can expect to have unexpected charges and penalties to pay off.

How to Keep your Financial Details Safe

We all like to feel secure when it comes to money, which is why it’s important to understand credit card safety. As soon as the card arrives in the post, sign the back of it straight away. This means that if it gets lost or stolen, you’re protected. Never give your account number to an incredible source. This includes giving any information over the phone (unless you initiated the call and talking to a bank), posting anything on social media or answering emails which ask for personal information (a bank would never do this). Check your account activity regularly for purchases which you haven’t made, either online, on the phone, or through paper statements, it’s easy and doesn’t take up a lot of time. If you feel like you’ve made a bad decision or the card looks fake, you can establish the legality of your card by using a reliable credit card validator. Finally, if you have lost any cards or feel like any fraudulent activity has occurred on your bank activity, go with your gut instinct and contact your bank or card issuer.

Features of a Credit Card

Many credit card users don’t understand all of the features which come with it. The biggest quality of a card is the credit limit which is attached. For first time consumers, a lower limit may be set by the issuer, meaning you need to watch how much you spend. Contact less payments are great for quick and efficient payments, especially when you’re in a hurry to get home for the football game. Any purchases under $100, simply tap your card against a contact less reader to make a fast purchase. You can also use a credit card for cash advances and balance transfers. Specific credit cards come with extra features such as, international travel insurance, extended warranty with best price guarantee cover and complimentary airport lounge access. Before deciding on a credit card, do your research and pick the best one which suits your needs.

Expert or not, credit cards can catch out the smartest of users. Which is why it is essential to always plan ahead and utilize the web for helpful information.

A Typical Investment Portfolio

financial investmentsA typical investment portfolio consists of stocks, bonds, real estate holdings, and other types of assets that provide varying degrees of financial security. However, both novice and experienced investors are also routinely advised to buy into mutual funds when they want to build portfolios that allow for better degrees of confidence. You can confidently add mutual funds to your own portfolio by learning some of the primary advantages that they offer to investors today.

Diversification

Mutual funds provide you with the diversification that you need to get the highest degree of security from your investment portfolio. They offset the risk that can come with investing in stocks in the retail, industrial, and other sectors. They also counter bonds that have varying degrees of maturity.

Further, mutual funds are typically low in cost and more affordable than buying individual stocks and bonds. You can buy mutual funds for as low as a $200 to $300 depending on the robo-advisor or financial planning services you use. A certified management accountant like James Dondero can tell you what mutual funds offer the lowest initial investment and offer the highest degree of ROI.

Best Value

As noted, mutual funds tend to be low in cost and easier to purchase than individual stocks and bonds. They also provide you with the best value for your money.

By allowing a certified financial analyst like James Dondero to guide you in buying mutual funds, you essentially get a discounted rate per stock because you are buying in bulk. Mutual funds also help you avoid costly individual transaction fees. You can make more transactions without having to spend a lot of money.

Professional Management

Mutual funds are managed by a professional money manager. This money manager uses your money to buy stocks for you that he or she has carefully researched.

This research ensures that your investment is secure and that you reap the largest ROIs possible with each mutual fund. Professional money managers also take the guesswork out of deciding what stocks to invest in and how much money to put into each fund.

Liquidity

Finally, mutual funds are easier to liquidate than other types of investments like stocks, bonds, and real estate. When you sell your mutual funds, you stand a greater chance of getting back what you initially invested if not more if the fund appreciated in value.

However, you can only sell mutual funds once per day. You must wait until the fund’s NAV (net asset value) is calculated. The time of day that you sell could impact its value. You can get the highest ROI for your mutual funds by following the advice of a certified financial adviser like James Dondero.

About James Dondero

James Dondero began his career in the financial industry in 1984. Since then, he has become an industry leader, having worked for top companies like American Express and the GIC subsidiary of Protective Life.

He now serves as the CEO of Highland Capital Management, L.P. in Dallas. He is also the chairman of the board for companies like NexBank and HCM Acquisition Company.

Dondero volunteers extensively for academic and charitable organizations throughout the Dallas area. Some of his charities include Snowball Express, Education is Freedom, and SMU’s Tower Scholar Program. He also supports the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

How To Get Your Product Into The Stores

store products to profitGetting retailers to stock your product is notoriously difficult. The development process is often long. The money that you need to risk is high. And often the terms you end up with aren’t much to write home about.

It can be brutal for smaller players. But, as with most business operations, there’s a process than can improve your chances.

Have A Plan

Before you start out even developing a product, it’s a good idea to have a plan. In that plan, you want to map out all the usual financial metrics that will tell you how many units you’ll have to sell to make a healthy profit.

But you also want to include all those stores that you plan to approach. For many products, it’s necessary to sell a large number of units to break even. So this may influence the type of retailer you approach. If you’re looking to market a new health food product, you might want to plan to pitch to chains of newsagents.

Just make sure that your product complements their current advertising persona. It wouldn’t make sense for you to advertise health food in a fish and chip shop, for example.

Be Direct When Pitching

Getting time with retailers is difficult. Like other resources, their time is finite. They want to know immediately why they should stock your product and how it is priced.

All they care about is whether your product will improve their business’s bottom line and you have to make sure that it does.

Adapt To Their Systems

One common stumbling block in the way of getting a product into the stores is using the right systems. Often smaller companies are prevented from retailing because they haven’t completed a GS1 application.

Fortunately, there are plenty of barcode solutions out there that allow you to quickly and cheaply register. Having a barcode ready to go with your product will make it more attractive. It’s just one less thing for the retailer to have to think about.

Understand The Needs Of The Retailer

It might be the case that your product is amazing for the consumer. But is it amazing for the retailer too? Retailers want products that will sell reliably. If your product is something quite quirky and different, they may be reluctant to take it on.

This is where doing your research can help. Find out whether any of your competitors has stocked their products with other retailers. Then find retailers with similar characteristics. It’s likely that they will look at your product favourably if their competitors offer your competitor’s product.

Don’t Give Up

Too many entrepreneurs think that the only way to success is to land one big contract with a big retailer. However, this is rarely what happens, even for the most successful products.

Rather businesses start off small, using independent local stores to get their product off the ground. Then follows a long, drawn-out process that involves a lot of setbacks and rejection. Often, it’s only after many years and tremendous effort that products find their way into the big retailers. But if you stick it, the rewards are there for the taking.