Category: Finance & Invesment

Sweepstakes Scams Are a Form of Financial Elder Abuse

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Sweepstakes scams continue to rack up victims, despite warnings to the public. Often, senior citizens are the target of these types of scams. Thus, sweepstakes scams are a form of financial elder abuse. In a typical sweepstakes scam, a fraudster contacts an elderly victim and informs them that they have won lottery. The catch is that the elderly victim is then told that they must send in money in order to collect the sweepstakes prize. California financial elder abuse attorneys warn senior citizens not to fall victim to sweepstakes scams.

Recently, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it is putting an end to one large sweepstakes scam based in Ventura County. The defendant in the case owned three companies that allegedly mailed out more than 3.7 million letters to people in more than 156 countries. In this case, instead of asking for large sums of money from senior citizen victims, they asked for smaller sums of money. California financial elder abuse attorneys warn the public not to fall for sweepstakes scams no matter how much money the fraudsters ask for.

In this case, the senior citizen victims received personalized letters with official looking seals, stamps and bar codes. The seniors were told that they had won millions of dollars and could get the money by first sending in a small fee of $20-$30 within a limited period of time. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the scam has brought in more than $11 million dollars, mostly from senior citizens. California financial elder abuse attorneys say that senior citizens are often targeted for these kinds of mailings.

One of the letters that was mailed out as a part of this scam states that the victim has been chosen from a pool of 250,637 names. There is fine print on the back of the letter that states that consumers will actually only receive lists of sweepstakes they can enter instead of a cash prize. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the fine print does not clear the company of wrong doing because the claims are misleading and victims do not get what they are promised. Frequently, people do not see the fine print and send in the $20-$30 fee.

Sweepstakes scams such as this are widespread and one of the top five scams targeting consumers, according to the Federal Trade Commission. The fact that sweepstakes scams successfully target senior citizens makes them another form of financial elder abuse.

Evans Law Firm, Inc. handles elder abuse cases in California. If you think that you have witnessed or are the victim of elder abuse then, contact Evans Law Firm, Inc. at 41

Emerging Market Investment Advice Tips

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The emerging market describes a broad range of markets from second and third world countries. It encompasses economies such as China and Brazil, together with countries in Africa and Asia. Generally, the term emerging markets represents economies which are as yet not fully developed, and subsequently an investment in an emerging market can often be high risk but has the potential to yield great returns as their economies are still developing.

If you are considering investing in emerging markets, these advice tips are worth considering.
Do not put all your eggs in the one basket: No financial portfolio should be tied up with just one investment, and any investment in the emerging market should not comprise a dominant percentage of a portfolio.

Long term view: The emerging market has been likened to investing in America in the 1920s as over forty years an investor would have gained a substantial return on any investment. In that time he would have seen prices drop through the floor. This is similar to emerging market investment today, so be prepared to take a long term view to good returns.

Advice: Obtaining general advice on the emerging market is essential, especially if you are new to financial investment. Financial advisors, banks, and other institutions seem like good places to gain valuable advice on the surface. More often than not however, the investor who seeks guidance from these places often pays for advice they do not need, as many of the best decisions can and should be handled by the investor.

A few financial investment companies have realised this and take a hands off approach and only step in with general advice if needed. These are the companies to turn to when guidance is needed.
Commissions: It goes without saying that any financial investment company is going to charge commissions, and subsequently it makes sense to look for a company that charges low rates. Some offer 0% commission initially, and this is a good place to start.

Risk vs. Return: Any investment into the emerging market is high risk. The returns however, have the potential to be considerable and subsequently an emerging market investment becomes a viable option. It is possible to invest in a country or into a fund which in turn is managed by a fund manager.

The latter becomes a question of faith and trust in that manager to do the right thing with your money, so the decision to choose a financial investment company with a view to fund management should not be taken lightly.

Currently, China and Brazil are often seen as good choices for emerging market investment.

Ultimately it is important to realise that as an investor you need to be in control of the fund, even if it is supervised by a fund manager. Some financial companies give you that control, and it is worth spending sometime to find a financial investment company like this.

Bank Of America Loan Modification — A Simple Five Steps To Approval!

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Have you been worried or even just concerned about meeting a high monthly mortgage payment? Perhaps you have been pondering negotiating for a better deal, such as a Bank of America loan modification period. This nationwide lending bank is now offering loan workarounds to some of its borrowers. You can improve your chances of getting the loan modification deal. If you meet certain approval requirements, you can lower your mortgage payment. Before you apply, you need to know about these Five Steps to Approval.

1.Study the Bank of America loan modification approval guidelines. To qualify for a loan workaround program, you must meet specific disposable income and debt to income ratios.

2.Collect all necessary documentation for the bank. A bank officer will review your documents to decide whether you qualify for a Bank of America loan modification. Be sure that you have everything before you apply, in order to avoid any possibility of delay or even denial of your application.

3.A Hardship Letter is an essential part of your document package. You must present convincing, compelling evidence that you have experienced or will suffer from a financial hardship due to your current mortgage payment. There are three essential elements in a Hardship Letter — be sure that you know what they are.

4.Take time to prepare, accurately and properly, the Bank of America loan modification application forms. Everything you state is subject to verification, and so you must include all important information, truthfully, to ensure that your loan workaround is given the maximum possible consideration for approval.

5.Be persistent. Eight weeks is not uncommon for processing time of your Bank of America loan modification application. So be patient as well! Even if you are declined the first time, do not give up. Many homeowners were able to get an initial rejection of their application overturned by being diligent, tenacious, focused, and persistent in their pursuit of an affordable mortgage. Your home is at stake, and a successful application allows you to keep your home.

By studying the guidelines; being diligent, complete and truthful in your application; and persisting in your qualification process, a Bank of America loan modification may well be yours. Take the time and invest the energy in doing the application properly, by understanding the bank’s approval guidelines. Ask any necessary questions for proper completion of the paperwork. Get the help you need and keep your home, as homeowners across the country continue to do. You too can do it!

Property Investment Vs Property Speculation

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Most people get Real Estate wrong for two simple reasons.:

1. They don’t understand the difference between an asset and a liability
2. They don’t understand the difference between investing and speculating

The broke majority live under the misguided belief that their family home is an asset. An asset by definition is Something valuable that an entity owns, benefits from or has use of, in generating income. The key is the words generating income. By that definition your home is not an asset, it is a liability. It does not generate income, it costs you money.

The broke majority will borrow as much as they possibly can, to buy the most expensive home they can afford, in the mistaken belief that this is a good investment. In fact they are are burdening themselves with the worst kind of debt. Long term, expensive, non-deductible debt that produces no income in return. The same kind of debt that lead to the housing collapse in the USA.

Successful investors understand this crucial point. Your home is not an investment.

The Business Dictionary defines an investment as Money committed or property acquired for future income. Now some will argue that an investment doesn’t have to produce an income and cite as an example gold bullion, collectibles or share futures contracts. By definition, none of these are investments, they are items of speculation. They can go up in value or, just as easily, go down. You are speculating on the future trade-able value, not investing in the inherent value of the income an asset represents. Tens of thousands of homeowners around the world discovered in 2009 that home values can fall and can fall dramatically and disastrously.

If you buy a house to live in with no income return expected from it, but in the hope it will increase in value, you are speculating not Investing.

If you buy a house to rent out, you are investing. The Australian government has long recognised the difference and that is why they allow you to claim the expenses relating to a rental property, including interest payments, as a tax deduction but do not allow any deductions for expenses incurred in buying a house to live in. In other words, the government is willing to share the risk of investing in income generating real estate because the risks are lower than tying up your money in your home.

Smart investors have a small or no mortgage on their own home and the majority of their borrowings are for rental property because that is the lowest risk strategy. They also get the best advice they can on quickly reducing the mortgage on their home.

Climate Modification and Volcanoes

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Climate modification is a multi-faceted and complex subject. In this article, we take a look at the relationship between climate modification and volcanoes.

Climate Modification and Volcanoes

The climate modification debate is a nasty one. Parties pick their positions, dig in and refuse to listen to the rants of the other side. Lost in the yelling is the simple fact that climate modification is a natural phenomenon to some extent. For proof, we need merely look at the materials kicked out by volcanoes.

It is an undeniable fact of the earth record that volcanoes have changed the climate during certain periods. Small explosions don’t have much impact, but large explosions send massive amounts of material and gases into the atmosphere. The gases include carbon dioxide, the ultimate bugaboo greenhouse gas. Beyond these gases, however, volcanoes can kick out so much debris and ash that the material in the atmosphere can actually block out the sun or reduce the warming effect.

Mount St. Helens is the most studied and well known recent eruption. Unless you have been meditating in a cave for the last 20 years, you know that the volcano exploded on May 18, 1980. The eruption was powerful enough to flatten everything for 17 miles, immediately turning 10 million trees into so much firewood. The huge volcanic ash cloud stretched halfway across the United States, but barely had an impact on global temperatures.

In contrast, the eruption of the El Chichon volcano in 1982 had a measurable climate impact. El Chichon is located in Mexico and was a much smaller eruption than Mount St. Helens. Still, the average temperature around the globe cooled by one degree. What scientist learned is the climate modification impact of volcanoes is highly dependent on the type of explosion. The materials from Mount St. Helens fell out of the atmosphere quickly, while El Chichon belched enormous amounts of sulfur that remained in the atmosphere for much longer.

One of the problems with climate modification is it occurs over a relatively long period of time. Since we started paying attention to the situation, we have not had a chance to see the impact of a major eruption. The stuff we see on television is really small potatoes compared to historically eruptions of note. For example, Mount St. Helens threw roughly a half a cubic mile of material into the air. In 1815, a volcano in Indonesia belched 24 cubic miles of material into the atmosphere. Obviously, one has to imagine it impacted the climate of the earth.

Is there a relationship between climate modification and volcanoes? Undoubtedly. From what we see, however, the relationship is generally of a short duration and not an explanation for the rising temperatures we are seeing currently.

Rick Chapo is with SolarCompanies.com, a directory of solar energy companies. Visit us to read more articles on solar power and global warming and volcanoes.

Consider your investment plan carefully

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Retirement is a necessary event which everyone faces in life. When one thinks of his income after retirement, several options arise. During his service, the person has to save some amount every month for his retired life. The person invests this amount in Annuity schemes which fetch him some periodical income so that after retirement he can lead a normal life. Before choosing the appropriate investment plan, the person has to evaluate his needs. His immediate commitments like education of children, expenses on health, renovation of house, legal expenses if any are some of the factors which may require careful consideration. The next question that he has to consider is the marriage of children, tour plans, etc.

Where to invest the savings?

This is a vexing question that needs careful consideration. Many employees invest the amount with their employers. In return for this investment, the employer normally gives the employee a fixed amount periodically as Annuity. Of course in the beginning the Annuity which the employee gets would seem to be reasonable. But with inflation, the fixed annuity will not be sufficient in the coming years. Even with an inflation of about 3% every year, in about 4 to 5 years the person will feel the financial crunch.

The alternative is to invest in Stock market. But this requires specialization and careful market analysis. Everyone may not have this quality. So this is a risky investment.

As an alternative, the employee can consider the investment plans offered by different investment companies. Many of the investment agencies have several attractive plans like Annuity with health insurance coverage for the spouse, burglary insurance, etc. Such investment could be another better option to choose.

Some persons may consider investing in real estate. But if such investment is made, the person may not have fixed returns unless the investment fetches him some amount by way of rent. If such investment is made when there is a favorable market, the value of real estate would appreciate and this may fetch attractive returns.

However, as far as investment plan is concerned, all that matters is the wisdom of the investor. Wherever necessary, he can take the guidance of professional investment planners who would be able to guide the investor appropriately.

Absorption Rate and Why It Matters to Your Investment

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Absorption Rate and Why It Matters to Your Investment

Chances are if you are new to property investment you may be a little overwhelmed with all of the terminology that you are being faced with. After all when you were making your initial investment in your residence you don’t recall hearing terms such as absorption rates.

Maybe you are thinking that it really is not something that you care to take an interest in with this potential property investment, but you have to change your mindset here. Real estate investing is a business, whether you are investing in one property or several. Therefore you must treat it as such and look at it from all different directions. This means paying attention to the absorption rate because it can have a direct effect on your investment.

It really is not difficult to understand, and in fact you may find it quite interesting. It merely means how long it will take the property to sell on the market in a given area.

Let’s say there are 500 homes in an area and every month 50 of these homes sell. This means it would take 10 months to sell all the homes. Therefore you can assume that if you are the seller that you are looking at an average of 10 months to sell your home. If on the other hand you wanted to sell quicker than this it would mean lowering your price.

This all sounds like pertinent news for the seller but to what advantage can you as the buyer use it for? If the absorption rate is high in the area you are considering your purchase then it means more homes are on the market, and this means more competition the sellers will be facing. Your potentially lower offer may seem like a good deal based on this.

The absorption rate is just one of many areas of significance when contemplating a realty investment. If you apply the same careful research tactics when putting your financing in place then you are beginning to cover both ends of your investment.

For example, you are being astute at your potential purchase but at the other end of the spectrum you are weighing out your options on your cost to invest. When you put your full potential into both of these areas you are making your prospective investment that much stronger.

By having the opportunity to take advantage of various real estate tactics when investing it gives you more leverage as a viable investment compared to other types of investments that you don’t have near the same amount of control over.

When Do You Pay Cash Or Finance A Fishing Boat

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The following article presents the very latest information on when you should pay cash for a fishing boat or finance it. If you have a particular interest in how you can afford to pay for the fishing boat of your choice, then this informative article is required reading.

Knowledge can give you a real advantage. To make sure you’re fully informed about when you should by a boat, keep reading.

Of course you already know the answer to the title of this article. It’s when you have enough cash. Here’s a little advice to go along with the obvious. Before you go out and purchase your boat, remember that boating is a hobby and you shouldn’t go overboard with it. Unlike your house, boating isn’t really worth going into debt for.

To get the most out of your boat, it’s always a better idea to simply save up for a while. If you don’t want to wait that long, there are viable alternatives online to earn the money to actually pay cash for the boat of your choice. I’m not talking about some internet scam. I’m talking about a real way to put your computer to work and spend some time taking advantage of one of the hottest moneymaking activities online. In the meantime, you should carefully study the boating market. When you manage to get a hold of the required amount of cash, go ahead and buy the fishing boat you want.

Whatever you do, make sure you’ve carefully thought out what your expenses are going to be. You don’t want to spend all of your money on just the boat itself. When you purchase the boat, you’ll need to have enough money for taxes, registration, storage, towing insurance, gas, equipment, and even minor repairs if your boat requires them.

When buying a fishing boat, used or new, cash is always better than financing. And you can save money with cash, as there are no finance charges. Financing charges can get high, very high in fact if you don’t know a lot about it.

For some people who have financed a boat purchase, they were advised to use a home equity loan. I mean after all it’s tax deductible right? I wouldn’t recommend that at all. You wouldn’t want to put yourself in a situation where you could possibly lose your home. Always be on the lookout for boat show financing too. Never use it! There are boat show financing ploys that will extend a loan out over the course of 10 – 15 years. That’s just ridiculous!

Sometimes it’s tough to sort out all the details related to whether you should finance a boat or pay cash for it, but I’m positive you’ll have no trouble making sense of the information presented above.

Alternative Investments The Modern Way To Gain Higher Returns

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Alternative investments tend to provide to the investor a platform that enables earning of money with much fewer risks involvedand a higher ROI (return on investment). It can also be referred to as investments in hedge funds however it is all strategy related. Some alternative investment strategies may includeconvertible arbitrage, fixed income arbitrage, short bias and equity of market neutral. In most cases financial institutions are the holders of the alternative investments. Although these investments are controversial because of the lack of regulation, still economic analyst gives their views on them. They are also subject to scrutiny by politicians and sometimes lack proper disclosure.

The best thing about alternative investments is the rate of very higher returns than the traditional ones. There are many investment plans like giving by AIM (Alternative Investment Market). Established in 90s this platform has turned out to be more useful than the former Unlisted Securities Market, giving investors a chance to gain some profit and pool in the capital. AIM works for the small investors who are potentially not eligible to be listed in the stocks and gives them a free hand with respect to rules and regulations. Although there are some regulations but they do not torture the investor to increase their capital. The most important feature of AIM is that is does not stop investors by putting a check to the number of shares they can issue in the market. This facility gives investors a chance to increase their ratio in the market without much struggle. In the past few years it has also been seen that some investors with their proper time management and skills have managed to make way to enter the main market after successful results achieved in AIM. The London Stock Market has is the proud founder of AIM and had proved to be a rising star in alternative investments.

It is important to understand that investments are risky therefore wherever you invest in something it is important that care shall be taken. It must also be kept in mind that you are sure that you understand the business you are actually investing in. According to experts investing in your own business or some business that you understand is the key to success. Secondly, the management must be on its toes to make sure that a proper check is being kept on where the expenses are being done. Good investments can be done only if it is realized that the results are not hard to achieve if proper measures are taken.

Alternative Investments only require extra care as they are more risky. For instance if you are investing in some art items, you must be sure that you are actually trying to invest in the original one. To be successful in alternative investments it must be made sure that you understand what a man of ordinary diligence would do in similar circumstances.

Loan Modification Document Checklist

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Home loan modification may be the best way to get out of delinquency and save your home. But promising as it is, a loan modification can only work if you do your part in the process. Reports from major lenders show that most loan modifications fail because people don’t comply with the requirements, particularly when it comes to paperwork. It may seem like a big task, but it’s not as complicated as it seems – and it’s always worth the effort to save your home.

Your home loan modification attorney can help you gather the documents you need to complete your application. To help you get started, here’s a list of loan modification documents required by most major lenders.

Hardship letter This is basically a letter explaining the circumstances of your default and how you have recovered. Make sure every claim can be backed up with solid evidence such as bank records, and don’t exaggerate or play down details. Your home loan modification attorney can help you draft your letter to meet your lender’s standards. Most lenders also require a photo ID and a copy of your social security card.

Proof of income Steady income is one of the main requirements for a home loan modification. Your bank will want to see proof that you’ll be able to make your payments once the loan is modified. The general requirement is two months’ worth of pay stubs and tax returns for the last two years, or if you’re self-employed, your latest IRS filing plus proof of two months’ worth of income. If you’re getting child support, pension, or other sources of income, you’ll need to provide proof of these as well.

Financial status Your bank will want to know how your current finances are, and whether you have assets other than your home. Provide bank statements from your current accounts, including checking and savings. If applicable, you can also submit statements from your 401(K), profit sharing plan, IRA, or retirement account. Investment accounts such as stocks and bonds can also serve as proof of assets. Your home loan modification attorney can help you determine which ones will be most valuable in your case.

Mortgage documents Most lenders will ask for your latest mortgage statement, as well as any recent correspondence you have received from them. If your mortgage payment doesn’t include insurance and taxes, you may need to provide these statements as well.

Other bills Not all lenders will require utility bills such as gas, electricity, phone and water, but it won’t hurt to put in some as well. These will give your bank an idea of your monthly expenditure, which in turn helps them find a suitable home loan modification plan. Other useful documents include garbage pickup bills, home insurance policies, and homeowners’ association dues.

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