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Drop in Consumer Debt

June 20th, 2010 at 02:16 am

The amount of nonmortgage consumer debt has dropped from $2.54 trillion to $2.45 trillion over the last year. Is appears that with the downturn in the economy people are looking to pay down their debt instead of purchasing their next big screen TV. The largest part of the decline is in Credit Card debt. That has dropped from $935 billion to $853 billion and has declined for 18 straight months.

The Financial Planning Process

June 17th, 2010 at 02:28 am

Introduction to Financial Planning
Everyone has a unique financial situation. At (insert name) our plans are geared to address your concerns and financial wants. One Financial Plan does not fit all. We take pride in having open and candid dialogue with our clients to help them achieve all their financial goals.

The Review
It is difficult for anyone to make financial decisions unless they take the time to evaluate their current situation. Sitting with us for a Financial Review will give you a good understanding of all the details in every aspect of your personal and business situation. We can review what you are doing right and look at points the might be reasons for concern.

The Strategy
Not everybody's situation demands a comprehensive Financial Plan. It is possible that your current situation does not dictate this approach. It is possible that a Financial Plan might be an excellent decision for you other circumstances can hold you up from entering this process as this time. Our goal is put in place focused financial strategies to solve your specific concerns.

Main Blog

June 15th, 2010 at 03:24 am

http://www.financeintodaysclimate.com/

Benefits of Home Mortgage Solutions

June 15th, 2010 at 03:23 am

Home mortgage solutions have powered the growth of financial sector in the last quarter. A home mortgage solution will aim at providing apt liquidity to a debtor so that he or she can manage their financial commitments on time. Most of home mortgage solutions can be availed through leading financial and banking service providers on the go. They can easily provide competitive landscape of home mortgage solutions in no time. These days, online channels have also emerged as most sought for ways for availing home mortgage solutions in no time.

Based on simple inputs, home mortgage quotations can be generated online in just about no time at all. Home mortgage solutions can be availed through third party agents too. However, one should always keep in mind that these are obtained from reliable mortgage agencies. Expert services providers can enable home mortgage solutions in no time. They have the necessary expertise and experience in providing best solutions to their clientele as per their custom needs. Secured home mortgage solutions can be quite trickier indeed. Therefore, in order to avoid impact from risk factors and fears of foreclosure, debtors must act smartly.

Well chalked out home mortgage solution can easily power through financial portfolios of one and all. Home mortgage solutions are pretty popular amongst prospective debtors. Financial advisors can offer better longer term horizon solutions to one and all who are seeking to gain from home mortgage solutions. Based on ones risk profile and financial goals, they can assist prospective borrowers in understanding pros and cons of a home mortgage solution.

A home mortgage solution should not act as a burden to a debtor. In fact a seamless home mortgage solution should ideally provide ample liquidity to a debtor so that they can easily manage their daily expenses along with EMIís for mortgage arrangements in a seamless manner. Home mortgage solutions can be availed on the go across various channels. However, onus of selecting the perfect home mortgage solution lies largely over the debtors. Get going and make smarter investments through home mortgage financing solutions in just about no time at all.

The Carrot

May 29th, 2010 at 02:27 am

The Carrot, what does that mean? Well I got a call from a good friend of mine who is currently looking to buy a house. The interest rate they gave him was 4.65% with a 1/2 a point. That is a good rate but then they said "Hey, we could give you an 7/1 ARM with a rate of 3.75%". Wow, that is a full point lower. Who wouldn't want that? That bank they are really nice. But are they?

Now that you have that "Carrot" in front of you why not take the savings. Well in my opinion the only way you should take that is if you plan on selling your house within 7 years or you can use that saved money in a much more lucrative investment. Maybe your income is low at this time but you are betting that it will increase a good portion over the next few years. The rates are so low today one would believe as the economy recovers over the next year or so the rates will only increase. When it comes time to refinance after seven years or take their new adjusted rate you are most likely going to erase the savings from such a low rate today.

The bank did not volunteer what the new rate would be; prime +2, prime +5. He had to ask them. It is the old adage that if it is to good to be true then it is. Needless to say my friend made what I feel to be the correct decision and took the 4.65%.

When you are the Financial Planner & the Client

May 29th, 2010 at 02:26 am

It is a tough thing to balance being the CFO of a company, a Financial Planner and have a Family. I don't mean the time constraints because that isn't it. It is how to balance your mental state of mind because frankly all three have different mind sets. As CFO my role is to be the captain of a company and guide it through the tough financial waters of today's financial climate. As a Financial Planner your role is to be the first mate and help the captain sail those waters. As a family man you are both but yet I need to be skeptical of a CFO or a Financial Planner.

Do they both have my best interest in mind. Being all three I have to ask myself as a family man would I respect what my CFO self or Financial Planner self recommends? There are a lot of unscrupulous CFO's and Financial Planners out there looking to pad their bottom line. Thankfully I have that Family man inside of me to ground all three and do the right thing. There is no better feeling then knowing you helped a family out and put them on the right track. The same track I would want my family on.

Tax Season - Should I use Turbo Tax?

February 23rd, 2010 at 02:02 am

Hello All, as you all know by now Tax season is upon us and as we all get ready to file our taxes I always get asked the same questions. Should I do my own taxes and save the few bucks? Should I use Turbo Tax? Should I use a tax service like H&R Block or should I go to an accountant that also does financial planning. I always answer with this old story...

A man walks into an lawyers office and asks him a question. The lawyer turns around, takes a book off of the shelf and reads a paragraph that answers the question. The lawyer then explains the ramifications. Once that is done he asks the client for $500. The client says $500 for reading me something out of a book? The lawyer says no, the $500 is for me knowing which book to find the answer.

Now a good accountant takes it one step further he can look at your financial life to help you with your taxes but also help guide you on decisions that can shape your future. Does Turbo Tax take an interest and ask you where you financially want to go? Does the part time worker at H&R Block do that? Will he give you his cell phone and say call him anytime? This is why sometimes it pays to pay a little more. You should never step over the dollars to pick up the penny's.

Get Your House in Order

November 3rd, 2009 at 04:25 pm

And I don't mean where you live I mean your Financial House. As I just recently had another birthday I took some time to make sure my affairs were in order. Nobody ever wants to think about what happens if something happens to you but you have to. People have a hard enough time sitting down and preparing for retirement let alone their overall Financial House. So besides my retirement accounts, my investments and my savings I took some time to make sure I had enough life insurance and a will in place. As I reminisce on how quickly time passes as every birthday comes and goes I knew I had to make sure everything is in place so that little CEO of mine will always be protected. Just throwing this out at you to hopefully get you to take a look at your own house

The introduction of the CEO

October 29th, 2009 at 09:02 pm

Last year my family and I spent a wonderful day at a boat show and boy did I fall in love with the idea of getting a boat. When the weather gets warmer and we are spending more time at the beach it seems like the perfect time to get one. Prices of boats and gas are down and you can finance it over 20 years. Then reality hit I was overruled by my CEO!

Let me give you a brief description of my CEO, she is 2 years old, under 3 feet and weighs 25lbs. She has decided that she would rather have a swing set and so there goes my boat. She also has overruled me and my wife on what TV shows we watch and if we get to sleep through the night. I have a strange feeling that a lot of my readers have their own CEO at home if not 2 or 3.

We can spend all our time researching the right way to invest for the needs of our family but when that little one smiles at you and asks for something they usually get it. I want to bring the perspective of a real family making real decisions to get through this crazy economy. Hope to hear for you all and your stories.

Saving For College

October 8th, 2009 at 09:47 pm

1. Pay yourself first
Saving for your own retirement is more important than saving for college. Your children will have ways to raise money for college other then from you as for your retirement you only have yourself.
2. Start Early
Even small savings can add up if you give them enough time to grow. Investing just $100 a month for 18 years will yield $48,000, assuming an 8% average annual return.
3. Stocks are best for your college savings portfolio
Tuition costs rising faster than inflation, a portfolio leaning toward stocks is the best way to build savings in the long term. As the time to use this money approaches you can shift the portfolio towards more bonds and cash.
4. You dont have to save the whole amount of tuition
There are federal, state, and private grants and loans that help make up the rest.
5. With mutual funds, investing for college is simple
Investing in mutual funds puts a professional in charge of your savings so that you don't have to watch the markets daily.
6. Tax break benefits
There is a wide range of benefits from the Hope Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit or if your income is too high to qualify for those credits, you may qualify for a higher education expense deduction that will be in effect through 2009 and is extended periodically.

Some Quick and Easy Saving Tips

September 16th, 2009 at 03:43 am

Shop once a week:
The more trips you make the likelier you are to buy on impulse. About two-thirds of purchases are unplanned.

Bottled Water:
Stop drinking bottled water and instead buy a filter for your faucet. Could save you up to $20 a month.

Save Gas:
Keep tires inflated properly. Keeping them properly inflated can improve your mileage by about 3%. Also keep your trunk, an extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your miles-per-gallon by up to 2%.

ATM Fees:
Use only your own bank's ATMs or skip the ATM and get cash back when you're paying for groceries with your debit card. At $2-$4 a pop you could save a lot of money over a years time.

Credit Scores

August 29th, 2009 at 05:37 am

Your credit score is based on several factors:

1. Payment history - The biggest, about 35 percent of a FICO score. Any late payments or overdrafts will hurt your credit score for several years.

2. Amount owed - about 30 percent, This figure compares the amount you owe to your available credit. an example is somebody who has a $3,000 balance and a $3,000 credit limit. they're maxed out and will look worse than someone who owes $5,000 but has cards with $50,000 worth of limits. This is also the reason that you don't necessarily want to close accounts after you pay them off.

3. Length of history - about 15 percent, the longer your perfect record of on-time payments, the better your score.

4. New credit -- about 10 percent, constantly shopping for credit such as credit cards or bank loans can hurt your score because it makes you look desperate.

5. Miscellaneous-- about 10 percent is for a mix of credit cards, auto loans, and other types of credit.

Real Life Advice for Managing Your Credit Score

August 29th, 2009 at 05:37 am

Borrowing money today requires a higher credit score than it did two years ago. You pretty much need a 750 FICO score today to get the same treatment that a 700 score would of gotten you back then. So what is one to do in today's ever changing credit market.

1)Learn Your Score - You have three FICO scores, one from each of the three credit bureaus; Equifax, Experian, Trans Union.

2)Look For Mistakes - 1 in 3 people who pull their credit reports finds a mistake. If you do find one request a correction.

3)Debt To Credit Ratio - You should try not to have more than 20% debt to credit. Which means that if you have $10,000 in open credit you shouldn't have more than $2,000 in debt. You also should not have more the 50% debt on one single card, better to spread it out.

Helping to Fix Your Credit Score
Online simulators can show you how to increase your credit score.

1)Creditkarma.com - This simulator will calculate how your score might change if you do things such as take on more debt or pay down existing debt. What will happen if you close your old credit cards or make late payments. You will need your social security number but the firm states that it does not store this information. If you would rather not submit your social then there are 2 more sites for you to check out.

2) Credit.com and myFICO.com - These sites will calculate how your FICO score will change by reducing a loan balance or making late payments. You don't need your social security number but you will have to enter your debt and payment history.

At the end of the day you need to take responsibility for looking out for yourself and managing your finances. This info is just one tool to help you do that.

Saving Money for your Financial Future

August 20th, 2009 at 04:27 am

Most people focus on how much money they earn or make. The difference being that when you go to work you earn money and when you invest you are looking to make money. At the end of the day it doesn't matter how much money you make if you spend it all. Whether on bills or comfort items but wouldn't you like to live a better lifestyle or your current one cheaper? In today's economy more and more people are looking for ways to save more money and to reduce their expenses. Here a re few ways that should help you.

Save on Property Taxes
For you homeowners your property taxes can be a big part of your monthly expenses and with house values dropping your property taxes aren't going down. What do you do about that? Grieve them.

Up to 60% of taxable property in the U.S. is assessed at a value that's higher than it should be, according to the National Taxpayer's Union. And that means the property is taxed at a higher rate as well. Additionally, the American Homeowner's Association references a Consumer's Report article that up to 40% of property appraisals have clerical errors in them.

Did you know that less than half of homeowners ever try to appeal. Many homeowners don't fight back because they either don't understand the process, or feel that the amount of research and paperwork won't be worth the time. Try calling your local grievance lawyer and you could see a significant savings. You can find one who will only charge you if you win, now you can't beat that.

Credit Card Interest Rates
Call your Credit Card company and see if they are willing to lower the rate. Keep an eye on your mail because if they raise your rate FDIC Consumer Protection law gives you 15 day grace period to opt out of that increase. They will probably close the account but you will still be paying the lower rate. This doesn't always work if your rate increase was due to a late payment.

Paying Down Credit Cards
Do you find yourself having a few cards to pay down and you send them all $100 a month? The best way to reduce your debt quicker is to pay the highest interest rate card first. For example if you have 3 cards 14%, 12% and 10% instead of paying $100 to each you should make the minimum monthly payment to the 10% & 12% card and pay what remains of that $300 to the 14% card. Once that is paid of you start paying down the next highest card.

Real Life Advice for Increasing your Credit Score

August 20th, 2009 at 04:22 am

Borrowing money today requires a higher credit score than it did two years ago. You pretty much need a 750 FICO score today to get the same treatment that a 700 score would of gotten you back then. So what is one to do in today's ever changing credit market.

1)Learn Your Score - You have three FICO scores, one from each of the three credit bureaus; Equifax, Experian, Trans Union.

2)Look For Mistakes - 1 in 3 people who pull their credit reports finds a mistake. If you do find one request a correction.

3)Debt To Credit Ratio - You should try not to have more than 20% debt to credit. Which means that if you have $10,000 in open credit you shouldn't have more than $2,000 in debt. You also should not have more the 50% debt on one single card, better to spread it out.

Helping to Fix Your Credit Score
Online simulators can show you how to increase your credit score.

1)Creditkarma.com - This simulator will calculate how your score might change if you do things such as take on more debt or pay down existing debt. What will happen if you close your old credit cards or make late payments. You will need your social security number but the firm states that it does not store this information. If you would rather not submit your social then there are 2 more sites for you to check out.

2) Credit.com and myFICO.com - These sites will calculate how your FICO score will change by reducing a loan balance or making late payments. You don't need your social security number but you will have to enter your debt and payment history.

At the end of the day you need to take responsibility for looking out for yourself and managing your finances. This info is just one tool to help you do that.