Blog Blog Copyright by en Fri, 22 Jan 2021 08:51:26 -0500 Should I Invest With My Bank, or Seek Out a Broker? 2020 has been a long overdue wake-up call for everybody. We all need a nest egg, not just for retirement, but for rainy days, too.

When disaster strikes, cash reserves can buy valuable time. As we sat in quarantine this spring, we began to dabble in equity markets. For some, that was enough. But not you – you threw yourself into the art & science of investing.

That quest for knowledge has brought you here. Along the way, you’ve likely read conflicting information about banks and brokerages. So, which of these institutions should you invest with?

Below, we’ll lay out the pros & cons of each entity.

Bank or Broker: Which is Best?

You’re stuck in a “paralysis-by-analysis” funk. Initially, you were going to go with your bank, but then you read multiple sources that claim their fees are too high. Brokers sound like a good option, but do they really live up to their hype?

Below, we’ll analyze the good and bad of each investment channel.

Pros of Using Your Bank

1) It’s convenient

Making change in our lives, no matter how impactful, is hard. As humans, we’re hardwired to crave routine. By contrast, change is dark and scary.

The easier it is to make a shift, the more likely you are to follow through. This fact gives your bank a huge advantage. On their website, you can start investing with them within minutes.

2) Banks are stable

Financial institutions like RBC, BMO, and Scotiabank are Canadian business bedrocks. RBC has been around since 1864. BMO has issued dividends for 190 years straight. If you’re looking for a reliable company to invest your money with, Canadian banks are as good as it gets.

Now, there haven’t been any high-profile failures of Canadian brokerages lately. However, these firms are more likely to take risks than the banks mentioned above. If losing your investments due to broker failure is keeping you up at night, investing with institutions like RBC may be better.

3) They employ experienced finance professionals

You’re too busy advancing in your career and raising kids to learn about investing. Thankfully, banks employ financial advisors & analysts that do the intellectual heavy-lifting for you. You need only tell these professionals your goals. Do so, and they’ll put together the investment plan most likely to get you there.

To learn more about bank-driven direct investing accounts, check out this RBC direct investing review.    

Cons of Using Your Bank

1) Their fees are much higher than private brokerages

Ever notice how much more milk costs at a convenience store? It’s the same product, so what gives? Well, it’s easier to pop into a corner store than drive to the supermarket. The shop owner knows this, so they charge a “convenience premium” on everyday staples (like milk).

The same rules apply in finance. Your bank already has a financial relationship with you. They know how hard it is for people to trust a firm with less brand recognition. Because of this, they can charge higher fees for trades, expense ratios, and so forth.

Ultimately, these charges erode your principal, limiting the long-term growth of your investments.

2) Some limit your selection of mutual funds and ETFs

Banks are moneymaking juggernauts for a reason. They know their best customers are risk-averse, so they charge high fees with abandon. However, their profiteering doesn’t stop there. Banks also get higher commissions from specific mutual funds.

As a result, your financial institution may limit selection of funds to those that deliver the highest profits. Sadly, these funds have higher fees than competitors, which can limit your investment gains.

Pros of Using a Broker

1) Their investment fees are much lower than the banks

In a perfect world, you’d be able to hang onto every dime you invested. In this world, though, you need to pay brokers to buy funds on your behalf. And so, paying fees is an unavoidable necessity.

Fortunately, non-bank brokerages charge much lower rates than the banks. These firms lack the overhead that banks are stuck with. Furthermore, they also set lower prices to overcome the built-in inertia of existing bank customers.

Either way, the result is the same. More of your principal remains intact, leading to greater gains in the long run.

2) You can personalize your investments

What good is saving for retirement if there isn’t a livable world to retire to? That’s the question on the minds of many investors these days. Unfortunately, many bank ETFs and mutual funds contain morally questionable investments.

When you have a brokerage account, you can invest in your future without selling out your conscience. There are two ways you can do this – by buying ethical/green ETFs or mutual funds, or by selecting stocks yourself.

3) You’ll learn how markets work

Nothing worthwhile ever comes easy. If you could get 20% annual returns parking your money in an ETF, everybody would be doing it. But, if you pick your own stocks, you’ll eventually learn what works and what doesn’t.

ETF managers actively avoid risk, but because of this, these investments don’t earn much. If you have a high tolerance for risk, you could eventually find investments that outperform most ETF/mutual funds.

Cons of Using a Broker

1) It’s riskier

ETF managers avoid risk for a reason. People who invest in these products want a “sure thing”.  “Sure things” don’t exist in the real world, but these funds come close. By taking matters into your own hands, you can earn more, but you can also lose – a lot.

2) You’ll have to do research

Too many of us employ a “set-it-and-forget-it” approach to investing. If 2020 proved anything, it’s that markets can shift on a dime. In January, who would have predicted the DOW would crash 40% before setting an all-time high?

Answer: Not many. Nonetheless, investors with years of investing experience knew trouble was brewing in February. After markets crashed in March, they also knew there was huge potential for gains in sectors like biotech.

You only gain these insights by doing your homework. For most, that’s a deal-breaker.

Convenience vs Performance: It’s Your Call

It’s better to invest than to sit on the sidelines. If you invest with your bank, you’ll be miles ahead of those who haven’t saved a nickel. However, if you want to maximize your returns, non-bank brokerages are the clear winner.

Uncategorized Editor Wed, 23 Dec 2020 04:22:30 -0500
When Are Personal Loans A Good Idea? There are a variety of circumstances in which personal loans come in handy. Personal loans are loans that are marked for a specific purchase. There are specific loans for specific purposes such as mortgage loans, car loans, or paying out college fees. But a personal loan can be used for anything you want to do. It is always a good idea to opt for personal loans. Few lenders might want to know the reason behind borrowing the money but as far as you are borrowing it for a responsible reason then there is nothing to worry about. In many cases, personal loans come with no collateral which means that they turn out to be much higher when interest rates are compared. These loans are mostly unsecured and the interest rate is higher as compared to the secured ones. There are times when it is just perfect to opt for personal loans and if you were surfing the internet for this reason then this article has got you covered. This article will guide you through the times when taking personal loans is a good idea.

Consolidate Credit Cards

Many cases have been seen in which an individual has more than one credit card that is charged to the max. In these types of cases, it is best to opt for personal loans for quick cash. One can always consolidate all the charges into one monthly payment. What should be noted is that the interest rates on the loan are much lower than the annual percentage rates on the credit cards themselves.

Quick Cash To Refinance Student Loans

Refinancing student loans can be of great relief. The student loan interest rate differs according to the situation and mostly it’s around 6.8% or higher. At times, you might be able to get a personal loan at a much lower interest rate which would allow you to return it much faster as compared to normal personal loans. This is the main reason why people opt for personal loans.

Quick Cash To Finance A Purchase

Financing a purchase might be a reason to require quick cash for. If you are opting for a loan anyway, opting for a personal loan is always better as it is better to pay the seller in cash than financing through the seller or a high-interest credit card. One should always make this decision after a thorough study and research. One should know the offer that the seller is providing and should respond accordingly.

Improve Your Credit

In many documentations, credit scores play a vital role. A personal loan might end up improving your credit significantly. A personal loan might help improve your credit card debt score and help your account mix. It is no surprise that having different types of loans is quite favorable to your score. Besides this, it should also be noted that it is quite likely that it may lower the credit utilization ratio. It is the amount of total credit an individual uses as compared to the credit limit.

Uncategorized Editor Sun, 20 Dec 2020 00:16:17 -0500
How to Finance the Purchase of Investment Property The time has come to make a move into an investment property. The business plan has been researched and developed. The profit and loss potential have been considered. Now it's time to secure the financing to purchase the investment property that has been on your radar. With mortgages at low-interest rates, wise investors are seeking to expand their real estate portfolio.

First, let's consider why investment properties are a good hedge. For one, there is only a finite amount of land. Secondly, there are solid opportunities for passive income. For investors with cash on hand, purchasing investment property then refinancing may seem counterintuitive but there are sound reasons for going this route.

Naturally, the ultimate goal of investing is to earn money, but how and where can an investor go to get the financial backing to make the dream a reality?

In the following, we will share popular options for securing the funds to invest in properties.

Private Loans

Private loans are used for both short- and long-term investors who need financing to compete with cash buyers. Let's face it, most people do not have cash on hand. Private money loans offer the investor to buy investment property with cash then refinance to secure the property.

This is a great option for those who may not qualify for a traditional loan or who need to act quickly.

When seeking out private loan lenders, take the time to get prequalified. Doing that will save precious time and give you a better chance to lock in the deal, especially in a competitive market.

Traditional Mortgage

Most homeowners are familiar with traditional bank mortgages. When approaching a lender for a loan, they will check your credit score, how much equity is available, and they will expect a down payment to secure the loan. This can range anywhere from 0% plus closing costs if there is a lot of equity above how much the investor wants to borrow; up to 30% for investment properties. The debt-to-income ratio will play a deciding factor, as will the borrower's credit history.

Traditional lenders tend to be more stringent about the businesses they work with because they too have to stay afloat. Their consideration is based upon their investment plan as well. They need to make smart business decisions too.

Use the Equity to Fix and Flip

There may be equity in your home to help ease the monetary grip of a lender. Investment properties are not limited to income from tenants. There is a huge movement of entrepreneurs who are hedging the equity of their home to buy a property on the cheap, fix it up and give it curb appeal, then flip it quickly before next month's bills are due.

If an investment property is a route you want to take to earn a living and put money in the bank, consider what type of investor you wish to be. Being a landlord can generate a good source of residual income but there are many pitfalls with this route. Consider that finding good tenants who pay on time is not always an easy task. Maintenance of said property must also be established. Fix and flips are great if you've got the tools and resources. Traditional banks will not consider potential income when assessing the profit and loss portion of the finance application.

At the end of the day, it is wise to research all avenues of financing and assess the risk of any business endeavor. While there is no guarantee for success, speaking to a financial advisor and mortgage counselor is a great place to start.

Uncategorized Editor Mon, 14 Dec 2020 08:52:43 -0500
Why Is a Real Estate Investor Portal Essential for Realtors The real estate industry has, in the past decade, recorded a vast growth rate. Way before the advent of technology, real estate investors were prompted to rely on brokers and agents. Brokers and agents, on the other hand, worked with certain real estate agencies or independently.

However, technology has completely revolutionized the real estate scene. Now, people can search and make purchases online. As a real estate investor, this could be the most suitable time to get ahead of the game. Technology has brought with it various opportunities that would have otherwise seemed herculean.

Real estate portals are among technologies changing the way the industry operates. In this article, we look at why portals are important for realtors. Let's dive right in!

1. Huge Customer Database

Any business would be dead if there were no customers. That's why business owners put a lot of effort into finding customers for their business. The same applies to real estate investors.

Real estate portals give investors access to a wide database of potential customers. They allow investors to offer their services to both buyers and sellers. This also helps eliminate any geographical limitations that your business may face. Besides, you get the freedom to access the database at any time of the day and from any location.

2. Better Property Management

Real estate investor portals help property owners manage their assets. Whether it's rent collection, vacancy monitoring, or insurance management, the software helps you with the management roles.

And the best thing about it? You can go from one property to several, sometimes up to 50 properties. The portal enables you to keep track of each property while remaining organized.

3. Lead Acquisition

Way before real estate investor portals became popular, realtors spent a lot of money to acquire prospects. They had to use methods, such as advertisements and yellow pages, to market themselves. This would end up being time-consuming as they'd wish the prospective buyers would call.

Real estate portals have completely changed the scene when it comes to lead acquisition. People are now always looking for information online. A real estate portal boosts your online visibility.

However, basically having a portal isn't enough. To convert leads into clients, you need to leverage the following:

  • Use social media- Social media is nowadays one of the essential marketing tools. Some of the most common marketing platforms include LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can use these platforms to collect leads passively.
  • Lead Segmentation- Real estate portals will help you acquire leads and categorize them based on various criteria. Criteria used to categorize leads include their behavior, how they interact with your brand, and content on social media or location. With this knowledge, you can customize your marketing efforts to offer personalized services. For example, you can engage those who interact with your brand more on a personalized level and leave 'cold leads' on email marketing. You'll invest your marketing resources more prudently.

With a portal, you don't have to keep sending emails or calling your prospects. You can include a contact form on your homepage. This will not only help you raise capital but also get genuinely interested leads. You are almost assured of the deal, and you can approach them in the best way possible.

4. Inventory Management

With a real estate portal, you have access to the backend. This allows you to effectively manage your property listings and upload, modify, or remove your website's listings. Such a function would otherwise be monotonous and time-consuming if done manually and on your own.

Further, you can verify the listings. Having fake profiles and listings on your website negatively affects your reputation. Clients will trust you less and will not consider your brand in any deals. With a portal, you can increase your authenticity by only publishing verified listings.

5. Centralization

Imagine running a real estate business without a central management system. First, you have to be in the office during office hours so that your clients may be able to reach you. In most cases, you'll have to use paperwork to record your daily operations. Besides, you might have to open offices in different locations where your business is located.

However, a real estate portal takes all this load off your shoulders. Your customers and associates can contact you online. Also, think of how most of your clients might be professionals with busy schedules or may prefer carrying out many functions at their homes' comfort. With a portal, your clients can access your services online. They can look up and even compare different properties at their most convenient location and time.

Besides, all your operations are centralized in one location. This saves your business a lot of time.

Bottom Line

You must remain relevant in this digital age to enjoy successful real estate investment. Investing in a real estate portal can benefit your business in many ways. By taking your services online, you'll be able to manage all your functions in one place, manage your inventory better, and have access to a larger client database.

Uncategorized Editor Wed, 09 Dec 2020 07:52:59 -0500
The EUR/USD Year of Volatility The rollercoaster ride that is 2020 continues, and as we finally inch towards the end of the year, the ride is getting even wilder. Ups and downs are rife in the market, and each seems more drastic than the last. Political changes and the ever-present pandemic are the drivers of much of the financial market unpredictability, and just like a rollercoaster ride, the crescendo of 2020 seems to be happening right at the end. The US elections brought about many different reactions in the market, and part of this was amongst the foreign exchange sector. That, along with recent second waves of the Coronavirus across Europe and other parts of the world have led to an interesting year for certain currency trading pairs, particularly EUR/USD. Let’s take a look at how world events can impact foreign exchange, and how the most recent events have affected popular forex trading pairs.

World events and forex

Foreign exchange is seen by many traders as a crucial determining factor for a country’s economic health. In fact a country’s economic stability is largely reflected by the currency’s performance.1 In the case of political events, a change in government often has a knock-on effect for a currency as economic policies can be changed or new policies added by the new government that can impact the country’s economy.2 Other big factors that can affect foreign exchange are natural disasters, like hurricanes and tornadoes, and, as this year has shown us, pandemics.2 So, like we’ve seen on the news, these situations can lead to loss of life, infrastructure changes, and lower economic productivity, which in turn can lead to a currency decline as economic activity slows down and countries spend money on rebuilding and recovery.2

Each time a country’s currency is impacted by an event, this can affect its value and how it trades in the market compared with other currencies. As currencies trade in pairs, they can be even more volatile as each currency experiences its own changes which can impact the pair. So, while forex is one of the most volatile sectors of the financial markets, it can also be one of the most telling.

Newfound optimism for the euro

Since July, the euro has been trading between $1.16 and $1.20, which is a middle of the road area for the currency.3 This is largely due to the flurry of Coronavirus second waves and the US election news, as the euro tries to find its feet again.3 

However, the last quarter of 2020 has brought some optimism to the markets as Joe Biden won the US elections, and Pfizer and BioNTech announced that their vaccine candidate is 90% effective amongst participants in their clinical trials. The forex market has seen a benefit from this optimism, with the euro and the British pound holding steady against the US dollar recently.4

At the time of writing, the EUR/USD pair is trading at 1.17803, and is coming down from a recent high of 1.18934. On November 2nd, the pair hit a low of 1.16415, and then shot up by 0.6% over the next six days to close at 1.18934 by the 8th. However, second waves of the virus are dampening the performance of the euro, and the pair slipped slightly slower at the time of writing, as lockdown measures around Europe get more stringent, and uncertainty creeps into the markets again. Another factor which may come into play soon for the euro is the post-Brexit trade deal between the UK and the EU, which is set to conclude presently, however, this is not 100% certain yet. Either way, whether or not the trade deal is finalised, the euro could be impacted, and therefore it’s worthwhile for forex traders to pay attention to world events closely. 

Uncategorized Editor Sun, 22 Nov 2020 22:39:06 -0500
What Services Are Provided By Accounting Firms? You might be already aware that accounting firms offer services to help businesses stay financially organized. This is the responsibility of ensuring that a business is not only tax compliant but also in progressive growth.

There are still several businesses that just consider firms as bookkeepers whereas their role is way beyond that. But there is a difference because not all firms offer the same type of services. The differences in services mean that you should ideally be interviewing several types of firms before settling on anyone. Let's dig into the details about the type of services.

Tax Planning

You need to realize that tax planning falls beyond completing tax returns. In this process of tax preparation and accounting firms prepare year end documents for businesses. Many times business owners themselves prefer to give liberty to accounting forms of representing the interest of businesses through audits notices and other requests. Furthermore, businesses are required to get business entities for creating ideal tax scenarios, and in that case accounting firms come to the rescue. These firms provide optimum solutions for creating entities.

Many times business owners are not aware of specific estate needs and requirements. In such cases accounting firms take the responsibility to not only identify the tax planning needs but make the business comply with them. Furthermore, these firms work closely with financial planners, attorneys, and other agents for ensuring effective long-term strategies to mitigate taxes.

Accounting Firms Offer Bookkeeping

Entrepreneurs or other business owners will not agree more that handling finances are not similar to handling their own business. But business owners do not have to crease their forehead in this regard because accounting firms have got them covered with finances. These firms provide expertise in financial matters for running a business smoothly.

If you are wondering how these firms ensure a smooth cash flow record then copies of business bank details need to get sent out to the firms. These firms then work with bookkeepers for maintaining accurate records.

Statements And Paperwork

These firms also help in creating both profit and loss statements. Many times, the firms also assist in managing the payment to vendors. This service of payroll processing helps businesses to a great extent. The firms can also help with the services like completing the paperwork. If your business needs to maintain paperwork for the onboarding employees to ensure proper year-end payment documents then accounting firms have got you covered.

Business Valuation

You must already be aware that accounting forms play a huge and vital role in the valuation of any business. These forms are responsible for creating the valuation report and getting the audit done. Every detail of a business needs to get accurately valued through proper auditing. Every loan the business takes or funds it receives needs to be included in valuation and such a task is taken care of by the accounting firm. Accounting firms are analyzers who will dig into the revenue of previous years and study the growth patterns for providing an estimate of the company's value.

Uncategorized Editor Mon, 09 Nov 2020 22:23:47 -0500
5 Biggest Challenges First-time Investors Face

Investing is intimidating enough for first-time investors without the recent stock market uncertainties. But to invert the old adage: what goes down must come up. Besides, smart investments can take a long time to become profitable. Investing is a long-term game.

If you’re a first-time investor, we’re here to acquaint you with the biggest challenges you might face.

Learning the Basics

The Internet is a hodgepodge of suggestions. Books are better and trusted sources of information where you can systematically begin to learn the basics. You might want to look into books such as Benjamin Graham’s The Intelligent Investor, Paul A. Merriman and Richard Buck‘s First-Time Investor or William J. Bernstein’s The Four Pillars of Investing. You can even find workbook-style books to help you along the way!

Not Having Enough to Invest

Even if it’s “spare change”, you can invest something. This is a real challenge if your budget is tight. At this point, though, it’s a matter of getting to grips with your finances and finding where you can get those extra few pounds. Then, accumulate. If you only have a small amount you can invest, you can look into partial shares. Yes, these exist. 

Experiencing Losses

Checking how your investments are doing daily or weekly will make you go crazy. But even in the long run, you’ll notice some gains and losses. Seeing losses might get you panicking. Here’s our advice on this. (1) Don’t fall into the sunk cost trap - if you see values dropping significantly in a short time span, sell and invest in something else. (2)  Avoid the sunk cost trap entirely by setting investment goals e.g. to see a 5% return on your portfolio over the next year. If you don’t achieve it, reevaluate your plans.

Not Knowing Where To Invest

You don’t want to have all your eggs in one basket, but investing in too many options can also lead to negligent returns. It’s best to pick 2-3 options to invest in and stick to them. Investment funds and trusts are generally cheaper to buy than stocks and can help you diversify your portfolio. Company stocks tend to be illusory in that a company can seem like it’s doing great on the outside, but on the inside, it might be falling to bits. When starting, it’s better to stick to a more stable option.

Finding Help and Support

It’s always good to get some advice from more experienced investors or professional financial advisors. You can find comprehensive lists, along with free quality advice on sites online. But be careful. Things can go wrong even when you have a professional by your side. In that case, we recommend you have good solicitors on hand, like MJW Law, who have experience with professional negligence claims.

It might seem like a rocky road ahead, but, armed with the right knowledge, adequate support and planning, you’ll manage to find your way through the jungle of investing. Good luck!

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 20 Oct 2020 09:53:09 -0400
What Are The Three Main Financial Statements Used In Business? Are you wondering what are the main financial statements that are used in small business accounting? If yes then this article has got you covered with all the details? The statement the balance sheet and the cash flow are those three financial statements which you should typically understand for business. You need to realize that it is very important to understand each one of them as they are linked to each other. This intricate connection is vital to understand your business. Let's get started.

Income statement

The first thing any investor will ask you is about your income statement. The income statement is vital as it is a reflection of your performance. It is a report which shows how your business has performed throughout each and every quarter. The income statement has the sales revenue as the main feature period gross profit can be found through the statement by deducting the cost of goods sold. The details like net income are also reflected in the income statement. Your income statement will have for revenue and expenses of your business over a certain time which can be either a court or a certain date. The income report will have small business accounting

principles like matching. If one is to summarise that what your income statement reflects then in small business accounting, it is used to assess the the profitability of your own business.

Balance sheet in small business accounting

The balance sheet in small business accounting will be displaying all the liabilities shareholder equity and the assets. If you are not aware then assets must equal the equity and liabilities. The asset portion will have the cash and equivalent which must match with the balance found towards the end of the cash flow. Further, the balance sheet is used to reflect the changes occurring in the major accounts. If you are wondering what changes are reflected then the net income from the income statement. A balance sheet reflects the financial position of the business. One can also see this small business accounting sheet from a lens of a snapshot, where you will get the idea of companies financial picture from a specific duration till the specific duration. As discussed above every balance sheet will contain three sections of assets, shareholders equity, and liability where assets can be termed as a sum of liabilities and shareholders equity.

Cash flow statement in small business accounting

Last but not the least, one of the major financial  statements used in small business accounting commonly is the cash flow statements. The cash flow statement will get the details of a net income and it will adjust it with other expenses which did not include cash. All such compensations are reflected in the cash flow statement. The cash flow statement will reflect the change in cash for a certain period of time. It will also have all the details of the beginning balance and ending balance. One of the key features which are included in the cash flow if statements decrease and increase in cash over a specific period of time that can be from a year to a quarter or a specific date. The statement will remove all the accounting principles in order to show the real cash movements. It further has three sections of cash used in investing, cash from financing and cash used in operation.

Uncategorized Editor Fri, 16 Oct 2020 08:48:28 -0400
I am Concerned About What My Investor Advisor is Doing with My Portfolio. What are My Options? As an individual investor, you probably rely heavily on your investment advisor for advice. You may have even granted your advisor discretion over your account (whether you know it or not), which means that he or she has the authorization to make trades without your knowledge.

Unfortunately, while it would be nice if we could all trust our investment advisors to only act with our best interests in mind, experience shows that this is not a realistic expectation. Investment fraud is a pervasive issue, and each year registered and un-registered advisors siphon millions of dollars from their trusting clients. Elderly widows. Mom and pop investors. Professional athletes. Seniors living in nursing home care. What do these groups of people have in common? They are all attractive targets for unscrupulous investment advisors.

If you are concerned about what your investment advisor is doing with your portfolio, the most important thing you can do is take action to protect your remaining assets as quickly as possible. You can also:

1. Learn about Common Examples of Investment Fraud

What constitutes investment fraud? In broad terms, investment fraud involves a broker or advisor taking advantage of an investor for personal gain. Some of the most-common examples of investment fraud include:

  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Excessive trading (also known as “churning”)
  • Misrepresentations and omissions
  • Over-concentration in stocks or other securities (also referred to as lack of diversification)
  • Unauthorized trading
  • Unsuitable investments

2. Find Our if You are Eligible for FINRA Arbitration

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is responsible for overseeing the United States’ investment markets. Investors who lose money due to broker fraud can seek to recover their losses through FINRA arbitration. You may be eligible to file for FINRA arbitration if:

  • You suffered investment losses due to broker fraud; and,
  • It has been less than six years since your losses occurred.

Learn more about the requirements to file for FINRA arbitration.

3. Learn about the FINRA Arbitration Process

The arbitration process starts when you file a claim with FINRA. From there, your broker will have the opportunity to respond to your allegations, and then you work your way toward a hearing before an arbitration panel. If the arbitrators agree that you are entitled to recover your losses, they will issue an award requiring repayment from your broker.

4. Read about Real-Life Cases of Investment Fraud

One of the best ways to learn about investment fraud is to read about some real-life examples. The following are all real cases in which individual investors suffered substantial losses due to broker and investment advisor fraud:

5. Speak With an Investment Fraud Attorney

If you believe that you may be a victim of investment fraud, it is important that you speak with an attorney promptly. If you would like to discuss your situation in a free and confidential consultation, you can call (646) 663-5628 or contact a firm onlinefor a free consultation.

Uncategorized Editor Wed, 30 Sep 2020 06:05:54 -0400
What You Need to Know About High-Risk Merchant Accounts Are you running an online business? Does it have the risk of chargebacks? If you wish to process credit card transactions, you would require a high-risk merchant account in this case. However, what exactly is a high risk merchant account and how does it work? Let us know the same in detail.

For opening a high-risk merchant account, you are required to search for an acquiring bank for underwriting the business. However, when you wish to maximize the overall chances of getting a proper account, it is recommended that you should seek services from a professional payment service provider for top-class assistance.

What is a High-risk Merchant Account?

A typical high-risk merchant account can be regarded as an account for payment processing for businesses that are considered to be of high risk to the subsequent banks. As businesses that are high-risk tend to be prone to major chargebacks, they are required to pay higher fees for the respective high risk merchant services.

If a business organization is available with a higher potential for major chargebacks, or if its history reveals multiple chargebacks or refunds, the bank might go ahead with imposing a rolling reserve on the account. It is the total amount of money that will be covering the overall possibility of frauds or chargebacks.

What is a high-risk merchant?

The more chargeback a particular business is known to come with, the higher is going to be the overall risk. As such, the major factors that would matter here are processing history and industry reputation. As per the experts, it is advised that you should aim at keeping the chargeback ratio to be lower than 0.9 percent of the total transactions.

Here are some of the characteristics of the high-risk merchant that you should know about:

  • Over $20,000 sales volume on a monthly basis
  • Poor credit history along with excessive chargebacks
  • Average transactions related to credit cards over $500
  • Business that sells products or services to nations that are known for higher levels of frauds

Who Requires a high-risk merchant account?

A typical instance of a business that involves higher risks is the travel industry. This is because there are several factors in the business that could lead to multiple cancelations. This would eventually result into several refunds along with an increasing number of customers filing for chargebacks. Some of the other industries include forex trading, gambling, adult-themed websites, and so more.

Fees for high-risk merchant accounts

As far as the overall fees are concerned, the truth here is that high-risk merchant accounts are known to cost much more than that for the low-risk accounts. There are some unavoidable costs that a business is expected to encounter. As such, if you are one such business owner, you are expected to be prepared for paying more with respect to the overall account fees and processing charges.

However, you should also realize that higher fees for the respective high-risk merchant accounts had been set as standard several years ago. In the modern era, you can easily come across reliable payment processors offering competitive rates that could be customized as per the specific requirements of your business. A strict commission rate of 15 percent or even higher fees are still known to exist. You are not required to be stuck in long-term contracts –those running for around 3-5 years at a stretch. The same is known to apply for additional costs.

There are several providers of high-risk payments that would still charge you with a proper monthly fee, annual fee, a setup fee, or even the PCI fee. Therefore, it is recommended to read the final contract in depth. Additionally, early termination fee might apply when you would like to close the account before the date that has been mentioned on the contact. The details that specify the termination fee are expected to be included in the given contract. Therefore, it is important to ensure that you should go through the same carefully before signing the agreement.

The payment processing industry is advancing rapidly. Therefore, you should seek services from reliable high-risk payment providers that are responsible for charging you just for the transactions happening on the website or the app.

A Rolling Reserve for the High-risk Merchants

Another costly trait for the account for a high-risk merchant tends to be the rolling reserve. It serves to be an extra layer of protection for the banks against the respective chargebacks or unreliable activities (including fraud-specific cases). Therefore, a specific portion of the volume processed under the credit card tends to be secured (mostly around 5 to 10 percent). It is known to ultimately depend on the processed volume and business model. It is held for a specific period –mostly for around 6 months. After the given period, the time reserve gets released.

The higher the particular risk a business is known to come around, the higher the value for the rolling reserve tends to be measured by the acquiring bank. After the stipulated time, the money gets released as well as automatically settled in one of the weekly statements.

It is important to note that rolling reserve could also be provided to low-risk merchants that might have just started or might possess no credit history.

Chargeback Fees

It is also important to note that chargeback fee is applied when the given cardholder might file for the chargeback. This factor might even ask the bank to dispute the given charge. It is the specific amount of money that is responsible for covering the overall administrative costs of the chargeback’s processing.

On an overall basis, the fees for the high-risk merchant accounts might end up costing twice the amount that is applied on the low-risk merchants. However, when you are running a business that is responsible for processing several transactions on a daily basis, you can go forward with negotiating rates with the respective payment processor.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 29 Sep 2020 02:12:22 -0400
4 Ways How a Lawyer Can Help You Make Better Investment Decisions Making an investment is always an important decision and there are plenty of factors to consider. There are plenty of documents you have to be familiar with too, so getting some advice from a legal expert is always a good idea. This will help you get a clearer picture of what your investment will entail and what your responsibilities and privileges might be. In short, you will be able to make a better and more informed decision. Yes, lawyers can come pretty handy in many investment-related situations, and here are four great examples you should always keep in mind. 

Venture capital

So you come across a company that's just getting started and that you think has a lot of potential to make it big. Obviously, you want to make an investment and earn profit in the foreseeable future. When you see a startup or a company in early stages that has a lot of potential, you should hire a lawyer to help you go through everything thoroughly. This is venture capital financing, and it has plenty of specific terms and relations. Therefore, it is very much advisable to have expert help when drafting the contract.

Investing in shares

If you're investing in shares of an established company, there are detailed regulations and tax-related issues that need to be taken into consideration. Not to mention that you have to have a clear idea of the potential risk you're getting yourself into. Then there's also the question of the rights and responsibilities you as a new shareholder will have, which is also something you need to be briefed on. Lawyers can also point to the changes in law that affect your positions in these situations, so having one around when investing like this is pretty much a must. 

Real estate

Acquiring real estate, no matter if you're buying it, renting it, or leasing it, can be pretty demanding due to numerous laws and regulations that may apply. And these rules can often be changed or expanded upon quite suddenly – the Stamp Duty Holiday introduced in July 2020 is an excellent example of that. There may be many different roads you can take, with some of them bringing you financial benefit or just better terms in general. Because of that, you should always have a lawyer on your side when finalizing a deal.

Investment fraud

While this is not about helping you invest per se, should you ever find yourself a victim of an investment fraud or even just suspect it, specialized investment fraud attorneys, like the ones at Optimal Solicitors are who you need to seek. They can help you recover your losses and help you find your way through the maze of stock exchanges, brokers and intricate legal particularities of cases like these. Therefore, if your broker or the investment firm you have money with acted in bad faith and caused you financial harm, there are lawyers who specialize in just that kind of thing.

Uncategorized Editor Mon, 21 Sep 2020 23:24:53 -0400
Strategies to cope with student loan stress Being in a debt brings along a long stressful time. Because owing creditors money means your earnings are not yours. You have to give away whatever you earn in order to get rid of the debt. According to research there are different types of loans but student loans stress the youth the most. 

Most loans are student loans and there are collectively trillions of dollars that the youngsters are yet to payback. With this amount of people owing money, you are definitely not alone. If you are here to look for ways to cope with all the student loan stress then you can explore debt management services to get some financial help.

Youngsters spend years stressing about the student loan payback, some because they are not able to earn to pay the debt and the others who are unable to save any earnings for themselves because it all goes to the monthly payback. 

The complexity of student loans contribute to the lack of control causing anxiety. We generally tend to fear things or situations we are not able to understand. Borrowers more than often lack understanding of their student loans because student loans are complicated. Because there are so many details that the borrower needs to worry about. Things are fixed and the variable interest rates, feesd, federal or private student loans, what type of repayment plan they need or what will be convenient for them and the length of the repayment term.

The fact that there are so many decisions they need to take and that even if they cut the interest rates in half still the monthly payment does not cut in half . This makes them burdened so they don’t want to face the debt.

Understandable as the whole situation is now, the fact that we see all the problems straighten up in front of usd the solution has to be by the steps. Solving the first problem we are fading and then going to the next one and then again the next. 

In this article we so far discussed the problems and why the borrowers face such problems now we are going to discuss the solution. These simple and yet effective strategies will help you keep track of your debt, it will help you get rid of all the confusion and so the small strategic ways will be introduced that can make a big difference.

Following are the easily applicable yet impactful strategies to cope with student loan stress.

Organise all the needed details

The first problem we are facing is the confusion that makes the borrower anxious so to get rid of that our first step to relieve the stress level a tad bit is to find all the details and organise them with all the details and all the numbers. Most of the times students takes multiple loans and as a teenager then we don’t pay much heed to keep all the details safe and later when we realise we need those details we cannot help and go back to change the time so here we need to to do some hard work for the sake of your own peace of mind and to get rid of this burden as soon as possible. 

Step 1-Get all the details, organise them, get to know what you were confused about and now make a plan, a draft where you can keep all the needed information and make changes as you pay the rest of the payback money. 

Step 2-When you are done collecting all the needed information now it's time to decide how you are going to pay back. The most common way to payback student loan is the income -based-repayment. It is a Pay-As-You-Earn method if you are not capable of this then you can explore DG institute to get more help. 

Step 3-Now that you know how you are going to make the payments, decide on which one you are going to pay first. While dealing with multiple loans you have to choose the one with the highest interest rate and payback that one first and move on to the next and then the next.

When pretty much everything is organised and you feel like it is under control, it relieves half of the stress.

Create a balance

For student loans we get a grace period after finishing our university or dropping out of the university. Take advantage of this time and do not be tempted by the free time. You need to free yourself of a bigger burden so then you can be debt free. Even during this time keep saving. By creating a balance means decide a specific amount and take that amount out of every month’s income to save up for later. 

Keep saving steadily.

Stick to a simple life rule

Understandably having lived an extremely simple life during college days you must be frustrated and want to live a better and more luxurious life but remember you can only be completely free of the burden when you are done paying the debt. 

Keep living the simple life and hang on for a little longer. Keep living with a roommate in order to share the rent. Reduce electricity bill as much as you can, avoid wasting any energy so you can save the bill money.

Little these might seem but these easily applicable strategies make all the difference. 

Uncategorized Editor Thu, 03 Sep 2020 22:49:21 -0400
Career Inspiration for Students Who are Drawn to Investing A career in finance and investing is not just lucrative, but it’s fast-paced, fun, dynamic, and interesting. If you’re thinking of training to be a business broker or M&A advisor, know that the two fields are different in many ways. As a local business broker, you’ll assist small entrepreneurs in setting up their startups by helping them find the premises, equipment, and other resources. On the other hand, an M&A advisor typically works with larger corporates looking to invest millions of dollars in buying out or partnering with related companies. 

To express the profession in monetary terms, business brokers are typically engaged by small enterprises that have less than around $1 million in sales. However, large-scale companies with sales of more than $1 million would prefer to hire an expert M&A advisor. 

Aspirants Must Take the Necessary Courses and Acquire Licensing

Whatever may be your career choice, the first step is to explore the requirements outlined by the state where you intend to work. Many states expect you to acquire licensing to work as a business broker. You’ll take a Business Brokerage course that trains you in the fundamentals of buying and selling businesses. Having an MBA degree with experience or training in how to sell your company can also help you attain an impressive success rate of finalizing deals. 

Series 6 is organized by FINRA and is called the Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representative Qualification Examination (IR). The objective of this exam is to test the candidate’s knowledge and capabilities to work in the investment sector and advise clients on the most viable mutual funds and variable annuities they can buy. 

Business Brokerage Courses Include Diverse Aspects

When you’re preparing to take the exam, you’ll study materials that train you in different aspects of being a business broker or Series 6 representative. Diligent studying and the utilization of a series 6 practice test program helps trainees evaluate their readiness for the official exam. A good practice test will mirror the sections and flow of the actual exam. Some of the skills that you might learn include:

  • Learning the fundamentals of finance and accounting so you can understand how balance sheets, profit and loss statements, and tax returns work. This training is indispensable when you’re evaluating the financial health of the company targeted for a merger or acquisition. If you have an MBA degree, that’s an added plus.
  • Communication skills so you can interact clearly with business owners and stakeholders.
  • Multi-tasking skills so you can efficiently switch between tasks and handle multiple things within a short time. Like, for instance, making phone calls, negotiating terms and conditions, and updating spreadsheets.
  • Time management and prioritizing tasks according to schedule.
  • Planning and organizing deals from end to end
  • Writing sales prospectus, analyzing financials, and marketing activities
  • Strong sense of business ethics and integrity in dealings 
  • Basics of owning and operating a business, candidates who have been entrepreneurs in the past have a distinct edge since they understand the challenges of running a company.

Since business environments are dynamic and constantly evolving, you might find that getting continuing education helps you keep pace with the changing industry trends. Staying competitive is essential to gaining and maintaining the confidence of your clients.

Join a Brokerage Firm or M&A Agency

Having completed your training, you can start off your career by joining a reputable brokerage. Most such agencies work similarly to a real estate organization. They’ll maintain office premises and work with a team of sales agents. Since buying and selling companies needs expertise in different fields like legal, financial, real estate, human resources, and various others, brokerages have experts on board or work with consultancies providing these services. 

Should you choose to join one of these firms, you can expect to get access to all these services along with hands-on experience, mentoring, and advice on how to handle problems and snags in finalizing deals. As you gain experience, you can consider starting your own firm. However, know that completing business sales deals is an intricate process that can take several months and sometimes, up to a year to clinch. The average time is typically nine months. Sometimes, you’ll find that having worked hard for a deal, it still manages to fall through right before the final stages. 

You’ll Work on a Commission Basis

To answer the most critical question of all - you’ll earn remuneration according to the value of the business deal you’re assisting, which tends to fall around 10%. Larger corporate mergers and acquisitions are usually multi-million dollar deals so you can expect to earn more. 

Most brokerages have an “office split” system where the commission from each deal is shared. While you can expect to earn a steady income, the returns from any deals that you complete will also be shared among your colleagues. But, since the firm will likely have 5 to 7 ongoing projects at a time, brokerages do give you steady work. 

Once you gain enough experience in the field, you can think about striking out on your own. Working a career as a business broker or mergers and acquisitions expert is an exciting profession that tests your mettle in the finance sector and your skills in negotiating deals and convincing people. It’s hard work and the earnings can be sporadic. But, you’ll enjoy every moment of the ride. 

Uncategorized Editor Fri, 28 Aug 2020 23:04:55 -0400
Where to Find Legitimate Coupon Codes Coupon codes let you save loads of dollars if only you know where to find them. Luckily, there are many websites that hunt for legitimate coupon codes.

The following are some of the best coupon-hunting websites for all of you who love to shop and save money using coupons.

Save You

Save You is a website that offers great, wide-ranging deals on various stores and items, including:

  • eBay
  • Amazon Prime
  • Best Buy
  • com

This coupon-hunting website lets you browse by categories as well as see “trending coupons” that a lot of customers are searching for.

The list on the website is updated in real-time, with new coupons uploaded as soon as they become available, making Save You a fantastic website for couponing masters.


RetailMeNot offers free online coupons for thousands of stores, including:

  • Amazon
  • Airbnb
  • Target
  • Famous Footwear
  • Priceline
  • com
  • Papa John’s
  • Olive Garden

RetailMeNot lets you search by store and scan different departments. You can also filter the coupons by category if you want to apply codes to specific products.


Honey is another top-notch coupon website for all coupon hunters.

Through Honey, you can try all coupon codes automatically, plus you can see when the coupon last worked. Cashback offers also let you save even more money.

Honey’s best feature, though, is that you can install a browser extension to automatically search for coupons whenever you browse.


CouponCabin is another must-see coupon-hunting website that offers free coupon codes for hundreds of stores including:

  • Office Depot
  • Walmart
  • Nike
  • eBay
  • Hobby Lobby
  • Old Navy
  • Amazon
  • Nordstrom
  • Kohl’s

Just like Honey, CouponCabin has its own browser extension that lets you search websites automatically for coupon codes.


DealsPlus takes the game a notch higher by supporting a massive list of stores.

You can subscribe to these stores by email. Then, you’ll receive regular updates for any new coupons that become available.

With DealsPlus, you can:

  • Avoid pesky website ads
  • Receive email alerts for the newest coupons
  • Find free shipping deals
  • Find verified coupons

You can use DealsPlus on your desktop or via its mobile app. has more than 200,000 deals on different categories like tech, clothing, groceries, and more.

The website is great for bargain hunters who want to see only the day’s best deals. It also allows you to save your favorites, compiling them on the “My Deals” section.

The best thing about this is you can enjoy offline when you go to physical stores, thanks to their printable coupons.

Slick Deals

Slick Deals is another amazing coupon-searching website that offers both digital and printable coupons.

Search for a variety of retailers and check the best coupons you can use. More importantly, the community and editors curate the best deals and share news about great bargains.

Quality is not a problem since all deals and coupons are reviewed and verified.

Some Tips when Searching and Using Codes

Before you start scouring these websites for coupon codes, it’s best to check the following tips:

  • Check whether the retailer uses codes
  • Find codes from a trusted source (any of the websites we discussed above)
  • Install browser extensions of coupon-hunting websites
  • Use a special email account
  • Read the fine print to know why the code doesn’t work
  • Sign up for any loyalty program
  • Check offline -- magazines, newspapers, catalogs, etc

A lot of people are enjoying the benefits of coupon-hunting.  In fact, in 2021, around 145.3 million people are expected to redeem coupons. Will you be one of them?

Spend a little time to save a few bucks. Who knows, you might even score a greater deal than a few dollars. Good luck!

Uncategorized Editor Thu, 09 Jul 2020 00:00:05 -0400
How to Manage Your First Residential Investment Property

Investing in properties is a great way to boost regular income and grow your wealth. But managing a residential investment property will have the best results when you know beforehand what you are exactly getting into.

Studying the basics and planning ahead form the groundwork for developing great management skills. You will have many responsibilities that need to be understood and mentally coordinated ahead of time.

In this article, we'll go over the main principles you should follow to increase the chance that your first investment is lucrative. By reading this piece, you will get a practical overview of the tasks that you have to handle as a landlord.

#1: Finalize Tenant Placement

Your number one challenge before facing any other decisions is tenant placement. The rental unit needs to get filled with tenants because vacant property results in expenses without generating any income.

Here are the steps for getting your property full of renters:

List your property. Just putting out a "For Rent" sign isn't enough. You should take on a proactive approach to find suitable tenants for your residential investment property. Use social media channels and rental listing websites.

Check the applications. Always ask your prospective tenants to fill out comprehensive applications. This ensures that you get a better overview of people who would like to rent your residential property. At the same time, it's important to make sure that your evaluation of applications complies with the principles laid out in the Fair Housing Act (FHA).

Organize property showings. A major part of finding tenants is showing your property to interested people. Hand out all the documented details concerning the property when people come to see it. Conduct follow-ups with everyone who came to your property showings.

Screen your tenants. Proper tenant screening procedures are your best bet for minimizing the risk of future trouble with your renters. Run a credit check, check their criminal history, and ask for references. The latter may include past and present employers together with their prior landlords.

#2: Draft a solid rental agreement

Your rental agreement is a crucial document. This agreement will legally regulate the relationship between you and your tenants. Aim to put in as many hours as you need to make it perfect.

There are many aspects that your agreement should address. Here are some of the essentials:

  • Landlord's responsibilities
  • Tenant's responsibilities
  • Amount, method, and time of payments
  • Rules regarding pets
  • Eviction rules that have a legal basis
  • Late payment fees
  • Smoking and other policies

#3: Maintain Your Rental Property

Regular maintenance is a requirement for landlords. You need to keep your property habitable at all times. A major part of this effort is conducted through timely repairs and upkeep.

Any significant delay in dealing with repair and maintenance needs could lead to legal issues. When the rental property isn't habitable, the landlord may be guilty of negligence.

Another aspect of maintenance is its role in preserving the value of your residential investment property. If the market conditions are favorable, delivering consistent maintenance procedures could even ensure the growth of your rental home's value.

#4: Know the laws and regulations

Owning rental property subjects you to a variety of laws and regulations. As a landlord, you should familiarize yourself with the main legal guidelines to reduce the risk of running into problems.

These are the main legal topics you should understand:

  • Security deposits
  • Tenant's rights
  • Landlord's rights
  • Evictions
  • Rent payments
  • Entry and inspections
  • General landlord-tenant laws

#5: Look into professional property management

Self-managing a rental property can become a huge burden. When you don't have enough time to deal with a plethora of daily tasks and challenges, hiring a professional property manager could be a smart solution.

Partnering with a professional property management company results in a worry-free life. There is no need to deal with rent collection, maintenance needs, tenant screening, and other responsibilities.

For some investors, self-managing isn't that stressful. Assess your personal preferences, character, and work-life balance. Then weigh the pros and cons of each approach to decide which way to go.

In a nutshell: Managing Your First Residential Investment Property

Investing in a property could be the first step towards generating passive income. But the income won't be that passive at least when you are taking the first steps towards becoming a landlord.

There are many things to look out for. Conducting enough research and learning all you can about property management is a good start. Keep in mind that you will have quite a lot of responsibilities.

Uncategorized Editor Mon, 29 Jun 2020 10:47:57 -0400
Investing in a Post-Covid World In light of the recent times during the COVID-19 crisis, the world has seen an economic downshift that is taking toll on numerous countries. The world has been put on a global lockdown, and while some economies are trying phased approaches, there are still many suffering from the pandemic. Over time, the world will get back to par, and as economies begin to open up, there are going to be increasing investments to be made and more opportunities. A lot of people are looking to learn online about how and where to invest.  A great place to start is Trading Review if you are wanting to do the same.

However, there are going to be anticipated problems as well – from inflation, all the way to increased tax rates and more. However, many people can actually get a better chance and opportunities that many people didn’t have before. In this guide, we’re going to explain a little bit about investing in a COVID world, and how to get the best investments possible.

Real Estate

In the real estate market, that’s one place where we’re going to see increased sales and purchases being made. Many governments (including the U.S.) have seen a larger amount of debt relief, and because of this factor, many people are going to be buying more properties. This will all end up helping the economy, and therefore investing in the real estate market may not be a bad idea.

The market has been saturated for years with high mortgage and interest rates, let alone insane seller prices for properties that weren’t even worth the money. Thanks to COVID-19, this is going to end up making the market crash since people aren’t buying right now – but when the market opens back up, and people’s debt levels decrease (bringing them higher credit scores), then we’re going to see the market prices drop again and more people will buy.

Automation Is Going to Soar

No matter whether you’re a factory worker, or even just a digital marketing entrepreneur, one thing remains the same – automation is going to be a key factor that increases not only revenue, but also more production and efficiency as well. What does this mean?

This means that more manufacturers are going to be buying up industrial applications and automated efforts to get jobs done properly and increase throughput and production. The pandemic is expected to bring a rise in the robotics market, as many jobs will be operated more remotely, and to also help reduce the human exposure that many people face at the workplace – making it easier to enforce things like social distancing.

Conclusion: So How do We Invest?

The best approach for investing during this pandemic is a selective one. We need to be careful on what we invest in. At the same time, it’s important to realize that with the stocks plummeting (don’t worry, they’ll rise again soon), and the market crashes that will happen, it’s important to analyze and inspect everything so you know what to buy and when. The scary part about all of this? Many people worry about the possibility of getting COVID-19 while they’re shopping around, let alone from property that they choose to buy – either way though, now’s definitely time to smartly invest!

Uncategorized Editor Sun, 24 May 2020 22:34:22 -0400
Can a Mortgage Broker Adelaide Get You the Best Rates? Buying your dream home is a lovely feeling altogether. Although it can be tedious at times, it can be rather fruitful by the end of the entire home buying process. First you have to search for the home you dreamt about all these years. Once you have decided upon the home, the next big mission is to find a suitable and affordable mortgage loan.

When you talk about mortgage loans, there are basically 2 primary providers of such types of financing options, mortgage lenders and mortgage brokers. The former include all the banks and various other direct lenders and the latter signify all the brokers who assist you in bagging a good deal in mortgage loans.

Although they work in the same field, there are several points of differences between the two. The direct lenders and banks depend a lot on their own money when it comes to funding their mortgages. Dealing with one of them will mean working directly with one of their employees. Starting from the verification process till the mortgage granting process, you work with different employees of the same organization.

On the other hand, an Adelaide Residential Mortgage Broker acts more like an insurance broker. They do not work with any single company and normally deal with a large number of lenders, in other words, you may say that mortgage brokers are in a better position when it comes to helping you get a good deal on mortgage loans.

Big Advantage

One of the biggest advantages of dealing with a mortgage broker is the possibility of saving a large sum of your money. Just like any insurance broker, mortgage brokers also work with multiple lenders. It is needless to say that lenders can only offer their own mortgage products to their borrowers. However, these products may not come with the lowest possible interest rates or fees.

Since homebuyers are not captive to a single lender’s closing fee or interest rate, they can easily compare the different fees and rates provided by different lenders and opt for the best deal as per their knowledge. It is quite obvious for you to understand that hunting for the best deal on mortgage loans is just like shopping for a big-ticket item. As the consumer you should always take your time and look around for the lowest possible cost. Working with a mortgage broker can make this extremely difficult task rather simple.

There is hardly any major purchase that you will make in life, which will let you get an estimate on a specific service and also go with it. Mortgage brokers will help you shop around to get the best deal. They do all the shopping around for the right deal from different lenders. They will present those deals to you that best suit your specific financial situation. Since there are several mortgage brokers out there, it is always better to take some time and look for the best amongst them. The more experienced the broker is, the better will be your chances of getting a great deal.

Uncategorized Editor Sun, 24 May 2020 22:31:00 -0400
How Can I Invest In Commercial Real Estate? American economist Paul Samuelson once said, “Investing should be more like watching paint dry or watching grass grow. If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas.” Investing is not gambling; if you’re treating it the same, you are taking the wrong approach! While investing in commercial real estate is not as uneventful as watching the grass creep up on your lawn, it should be strategic, measured, and controlled. Unlike the extreme rollercoaster that is the stock market, the CRE space is, historically, far less volatile. The gains you can realize, however, are exciting.

What is Commercial Real Estate?

Commercial real estate is typically leased for business, retail, and hospitality purposes. It can involve existing buildings/structures and/or raw land purchased for development. Generally, CRE properties are categorized as follows:

  • Office
  • Industrial 
  • Retail
  • Hospitality (e.g. hotels)
  • Multifamily
  • Special Purpose (e.g. nursing homes, gas stations, theaters, etc.)
  • Mixed-Use 

Why Commercial Real Estate Is a Good Investment 

Before we get into the how of investing in commercial real estate, let’s start with the why. This is an advantageous route for several reasons:

  • It is ideal for long-term goals; generally, the longer you hold property, the more equity you build. Building future wealth and security is a top reason why commercial real estate is a good investment.
  • Commercial real estate plays a key role in risk diversification. A diversified portfolio most often mitigates your risk.
  • You can realize a multitude of tax benefits, such as deductions on mortgage interest, depreciation, operating expenses, and more.
  • Higher potential income. Typically, commercial real estate properties have higher returns on investment (ROI). To compare to residential properties, which have an ROI of between 1-4%, commercial properties see an average of 6-12%.
  • Turnover is less than residential properties. Given longer lease terms (3-5 years or, in some cases, more) mean you won’t deal with as much turnover. Be aware though that vacancies can hit harder, though, because of these same reasons.
  • Consistent cash flow. Again, due to longer lease periods, you will see relatively consistent cash flow. And, with triple net leases, your tenants also pay the building’s real estate taxes, property insurance, and maintenance costs.
  • The field is less crowded. Many investors perceive commercial real estate as difficult to enter. This tends to clear out the competition so you are not in as saturated a space.

How to Start Investing in Commercial Real Estate 

To our last point, is investing in commercial real estate difficult - or, at least, more difficult than other investment avenues? You may not want to let your potential competition in on the secret, but no. Sure, it is challenging, as is all investment. But there is nothing that you cannot overcome when you do your due diligence, complete your homework, and work with a reliable, experienced strategic investment firm.

Here are 6 tips to help you start:

  1. Know the Key Differences Between Residential and Commercial Real Estate

As mentioned, due diligence and research is always the first step when investing in commercial real estate - or any other vehicle for that matter. It is essential that you understand the difference between residential and commercial properties; it’s step 1. Not only are you dealing with the needs of commercial clients, the structure of leases and income is also different. For example, leases are typically longer and the income you generate is usually tied to usable square footage. 

You will also need to research location and tenant type. For example, corporate office space performs better - as expected - in urban centers rather than neighborhoods that are primarily residential. 

  1. Look at Comparables 

What’s going on in the area? Look at comparables and research any development projects that are in the works. You can get a sense of prices paid for similar properties to better determine the current market value of a property in which you are interested. 

  1. Learn Key Formulas and Metrics

You’ll need to have a basic understanding of real estate finance, key formulas, and metrics for success. These include:

  • Net Operating Income: NOI is a formula that is used to analyze the profitability of your investment. To arrive at the NOI, you subtract operating expenses from the total revenues a property generates.
  • Capitalization Rate: Cap Rate indicates the rate of return you can expect to generate on a property. It is the ratio of net income and original price. A good cap rate is generally between 4-12%.
  • Cash on Cash: This is a metric that looks at the rate of return on CRE transactions. It measures the return on your out of pocket case relative to the portion of the property that you finances.
  1. Be Aware of Common Mistakes When Investing in Commercial Real Estate 

Knowing what not to do is equally important as knowing what to do. Mitigating risk is job #1. To do this, avoid common mistakes, such as improper valuations, failure to understand commercial real estate financing, failing to do your due diligence, and believing you can achieve better results (and save money) by working without the counsel of experienced investment strategists. 

  1. Research Financing Options

There are a variety of commercial real estate loan options, each with its own eligibility requirements, terms, and advantages:

  • Conventional Loans
  • Hard Money Loan (secured by a real property)
  • Commercial Bridge Loan
  • Conduit Loan
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) Loan
  • Certified Development Company (CDC)/SBA 504 Loan

Financing is complex; if you need assistance navigating your options, reach out to an experienced real estate investment and strategy firm.

  1. Working with a Trustworthy Partner

As mentioned, working alone can be detrimental to your success when investing in commercial real estate. Find a firm that can deliver personalized, targeted advice - and opportunities - that align with your investment goals. There is no substitute for experience and expertise in the CRE market. Working with a partner shortens the learning curve and allows you to accelerate your results.

Ready to Get Started?

Investing in commercial real estate is not an abandon-all-rules-and-go-to-Vegas proposition. While more exciting than watching grass grow, it tends to be more stable and long-game oriented than other investment vehicles. If this is the right fit for your portfolio, contact a strategic investment firm that can help you get started. 

Uncategorized Editor Sat, 02 May 2020 11:34:49 -0400
How to Select a Payment Processing System for Merchant Businesses Market analysts estimate, about 90% percent of all retail sales by 2030 will be e-commerce transactions. Statistics predict that global e-retail sales will reach nearly $5 trillion by 2021.

When customers buy products using their debit or credit cards, the payment processing company manages the transactions for you. It communicates the information to your bank and the customers' banks, verifying the validity of the purchases.

Typically, a payment processor acts as a link between sellers, customers, card networks, and respective banks, ensuring a smooth purchase experience. It is vital to choose the right payment processor for your merchant business and let us see how to select the best suitable solution.


43% of all cyberattacks target merchant businesses. About 75% of all business security incidents can cost your company at least $8,000. Thus, you must choose a payment solution that offers secure data processing and is PCI compliant.

The processor must be diligent enough to protect customers’ payments. It should be well-equipped with the latest data security enhancements, including technologies like point-to-point encryption and fraud management tools.

Features to Support Business Requirements

An efficient payment processor should offer useful features that are best-in-class, with powerful software bundles that streamline business operations. Also, it should provide you with options to choose the smart terminal that suit your business needs. The provider must ensure a smooth integration of the solution with various accessories. It should enable access to merchant capital advances.

Easy Integration and Maintenance

Theoretically, a payment processing solution will work well. However, you should understand whether the solution will efficiently integrate into your business. It includes augmenting applications, hardware and software upgrades, and training.

Likewise, if the mitigation of interfacing issues forces you to troubleshoot the payment processor continually, it is better to switch to a better provider. It is not productive to spend time in solving maintenance concerns, rather than focusing on the core business.

Nominal Processing Fees

While running a business, you will look for solutions with low processing fees. Hence, it is advisable to invest some time to find the providers that offer the solutions at attractive rates.

An ethical provider will offer solutions at nominal fees, such as 2.3% flat processing fees. They do not have hidden charges like early termination penalties, fees for exceeding maximum and not meeting minimum monthly quotas. Make sure to check every feature the provider charges, to confirm you do not miss out on any hidden fees.

Excellent Customer Support

The solution provider you choose should be competent to handle support issues, 24x7. It is beneficial if you can reach the support team over the phone or chat, for active support.

Nearly 5% of the time, unreliable customer support can cause business-related issues. Though the fraction appears to be small, yet it can cause significant losses to your business and severely damage your customer relationships. 

With benefits like increased cash flow and more robust payment data security, the payments industry offers faster and seamless solutions. Aligning industry growth rate with current market size suggests about 700 billion electronic payments, by the end of 2020. Understand your business requirements and the processing fee details before choosing a suitable solution provider.

Uncategorized Editor Tue, 07 Apr 2020 11:05:50 -0400
Check here if PAN Card is Mandatory for You or Not

Permanent Account Number (PAN) is an alphanumeric identity of 10-digit assigned to every Indian, even minors. The allotment of the number is done by the Income Tax department directly under the supervision of the Central Board of Direct Taxes.

The use of PAN card is multifarious - apart from serving as an identity proof, it is also essential for various financial transactions like purchase or sale of an asset, receiving a professional fee or taxable salary, and investing in mutual funds among others.

Who has to apply for a PAN card?

Any individual earning more than Rs.2,50,000 in India, and also foreign nationals paying taxes here as well, require PAN card mandatorily. Additionally, business entities will have to obtain a Permanent Account Number if the turnover, total sales, or gross receipts exceed Rs.5 lakh in a particular financial year.

The importance of PAN card for a company is immense as every transaction made by the entity will have to go through the Permanent Account Number. It helps in the identification of the tax flow of the company.

When is PAN card mandatory?

The Income Tax Department uses the Permanent Account Number to track financial transactions like payment of tax, TCS/TDS credit, specified transactions, and returns of income, among others. Among many benefits of PAN card, it enables in the facilitation of retrieving specific information which can be linked with borrowings, investments, and other business activities.

Below mentioned are a few situations where PAN card is mandatory –

  • To file income tax returns.
  • For individual financial transactions worth Rs.2.5 lakh or more.
  • Purchase or sale of immovable property valued at less than Rs.5 lakh.
  • For cash deposits above Rs.50,000.
  • To pay an insurance premium of Rs.50,000 or above.

It should be noted here that Rule 114B of the Income Tax Act, 1961 mentions that state governments, central government, and consular offices do not have to mention permanent account numbers.

The significance of Permanent Account Number is evident; and, if the card is misplaced, individuals should opt for a reprint of PAN card. This can be done from the official website of the NSDL.

However, it should be noted that individuals have to pay a certain fee to apply for duplicate PAN card online. Hence, they can apply for an insurance policy that provides financial coverage against such expenses when their PAN card is lost.

Reputed financial institution, Bajaj Finserv provides the Wallet Care insurance plan under its Pocket Insurance & Subscriptions. Among the host of benefits of the plan, it also offers blocking facility for multiple cards via a single call.

Additionally, in the event that an individual’s handbag is misplaced, a handbag assure insurance policy will offer a high coverage and compensation for PAN card replacement.

A purse may also contain a number of valuables like debit card, credit card and PAN card, which may be subject to misuse in case of loss or theft. In such cases, a purse care insurance policy would not only ensure customers receive reimbursement for lost PAN card replacement but also block all their credit and debit cards with a single call.

To conclude, while it is not mandatory to quote the Permanent Account Number in all transactions, it is advisable for an individual to apply for it nonetheless. Also, when lost, card holders must file an FIR with their respective police station.

Uncategorized Editor Fri, 27 Mar 2020 23:43:40 -0400