Financial Planning – The Key To Your Lifelong Success

Financial planning is not limited to asset allocation, mutual funds, and fixed-income investments – planning should include every aspect of your life.

Should you apply for that credit card? What type of car insurance should you buy? Should we save for our child’s college or put money in our IRA’s instead? These and many more questions are all part of financial planning.

The Larry Rule – A Little Known Financial Planning Fact

Larry Lindsey is not a famous name, even in financial circles. Currently, Mr. Lindsey is the chief economic advisor to the Bush Administration. In 1996, he was a Federal Reserve Board Governor – and he was denied for a Toys ‘R Us credit card!

To apply or not to apply, that is the planning question. Larry Lindsey, who had excellent credit and a high-income level, set out to demonstrate a flaw in credit scoring algorithms.

He simply applied for every retail store credit card he was offered, and in no time he had “too many inquiries.” Never mind the fact that he had millions in assets and nary a late payment in his 30-year credit history.

Knowing the Larry Rule is key to your financial planning. If you apply for retail store credit cards every time you are asked to do so, it will have negative effects on your credit.

You may then be asked to pay a higher interest rate on your mortgage or home equity loan, which could cost you tens of thousands of dollars. Sacrificing $10,000 for a 10 percent discount at Fashion Bug is not smart planning!

Auto Insurance and Financial Planning

Most people think of insurance as a legal necessity, but in reality, it is a financial product, and that’s important to keep in mind. Don’t ever buy insurance just because it’s legally required or in order to give yourself peace of mind. Insurance must serve a financial planning purpose!

You need to have a planning strategy in mind when you purchase auto insurance. The insurance company’s goal is to get you to pay more in premiums than you take out in claims – thus, they profit.

Your goal should to pay as little in premiums as possible in order to be adequately covered. You don’t want to have to use your auto insurance, but at the same time, you don’t want to be subsidizing the bad drivers who take out more in claims than they pay in.

In order to develop a financial planning strategy for auto insurance, it’s important that you become as educated as possible on the subject. Luckily, there are dozens of great sites on the internet that provide free information on the various types of auto insurance plans, and the particular laws of your state.

Everyone has to own some form of auto insurance, and thus it should be the cornerstone of any intelligent planning strategy.

The Financial Planning Dilemma – College vs. Retirement

American parents love their children and will do almost anything to ensure they have every possible advantage. As a result, many parents save for their children’s college instead of saving for their own retirement. This act of selflessness is usually not a good planning strategy.

In order to avoid this mistake, one must have a decent understanding of financial planning tax implications. Most college savings accounts are taxed on some level, whereas financial planning products for retirement purposes generally are not. What’s more, saving for your child’s college can prevent him or her from receiving the maximum financial aid available.

In other words, by foregoing your retirement in favor of your child’s college, you are actually subsidizing the children of less responsible parents – or smarter parents who chose to save for their own retirement, in light of these facts.

Five Home Improvement Tips To Help You Transform Your House Into A Stylish Home

When deciding to transform your house into a stylish home, you can use different approaches to the various parts of the house in order to minimize your renovation costs.

- The Interior Design Approach

1. One approach that you can employ is by focusing your renovation design towards your staircase. You can change the design of your staircase to make it appear more cozy and modern or use wooden materials with carving designs to have a more traditional and yet stylish look. Redesigning your staircase would also depend on which part of your house, it is located.

2. Once you have redesigned your staircase, the part of the house where it is located should also follow to match with it. If it’s in the living room, then the living room should be redesigned as well. In renovating your living room, you can repaint the walls to match the color of your staircase railings. If the railings are made of wood, then it would best to have a wall paint colored beige or other variants of earth colors. If you still prefer a light colored wall, you can repaint the base of the wall with a darker tone of brown.

3. Aside from transforming the staircase or the ceiling you may also redesign the flooring of your house. A quick and easy way of doing this is by replacing your old flooring with laminate floorings. You can choose from the variety of materials that are used for laminate flooring. For example, if your theme is the more traditional look, then you may use the laminate flooring which resembles wooden parquet flooring. If you are looking for a more environmentally sound floor, then one of the incredibly stylish and durable bamboo flooring options currently on the market may well be a better choice.

- Transforming by Changing the Furniture

4. If renovating the entire interior of the house is too costly for your budget, you may opt to buy new furniture to replace those old and tired looking pieces that are an eyesore. You can purchase new designs of living room sofas with matching sleek and modern center and side tables. 5. You can also purchase a made to order bar if your living room has more space to accommodate this. A living room bar adds excitement and style to any boring traditionally styled living rooms.

So there you have it, five simple yet extremely effective tips for transforming your house into a stylish home. Have fun!

Gender, Sexuality And Religion

Gender and sexuality have been issues that are in discussion for sometimes now. Gender all around the world in every religion regards to some important discrimination that has been made. God is not gender bound as His role to us as human beings is like a father and a mother. The two sexes were created when he created this world, male and female. The sex is another biggest creation of God when he chose the two male and female to love and show their feelings.
Gender discrimination is an issue in all the religions and predefined rules are determined to the role of each. The male is the dominant part of the family including the females. Females are supposed to be the generation builder for the families. In the contemporary periods, the definition of all these issues has been changed. In various religions like Jews and Christians various modern ideas have been generated which have made the woman if this age to be lot more rights that were supposed to be practiced by them. According to the religion, the relation between male and female is the god gifted and provides you with the experience of love. Even in Christians the gender issues are highly distinguishable from all the issues and their importance was determined at the times when the holy books were written.
Gender is a necessary object for evolving. The human generation only evolve when the male and female get together to experience sex. Nowadays, in American society comprising on most of the Christians, the role of females is pretty much changed. The teachings of Jesus have not been followed in this time. Where the females are free to occupy any place they want. Also the respect that is given to the females is long gone in this modern society. The government seems to support the rights of females but that has made the females to leave their duty of generation. The sex was considered to be a sin in the long gone ages when the teachings of Jesus were followed strictly. The one committed this sin was subjected to various punishments. But now in this American society, sex is very common. Not in America only, in all the parts of the world where Christians live, they don’t feel it as a sin but look at this as their right of freedom that has been given to them by the governments.
The females are not secured in this society as well. We are looking at various attempts of rape going on in the country. That is the reaction of the relaxations that have been given to the people upon the practice of their religion.
Another important factor in the gender issues related in the Christians is the homosexuality. This issue is a hype issue that has gained popularity in recent years. Church prohibited this act as the biggest sin of the humanity to have same sex, but we are looking at the people who are committing this sin and there is no stoppage on them because of the freedom of choice that has been given to them.

Investment And Financial Planning

On a general man to man basis Financial Planning is of more importance when compared to investment planning. If a man fails to save money, then where is he going to make the investment from? It is here that the need to emphasize on a strong financial plan comes to play. Financial planning is on a larger scale compared to Investment planning. Where investment planning is individual oriented, financial planning takes into account the needs of the individual and family. Financial planning is the process of assessing the financial goals of an individual at different junctures of his life. It takes into account all assets and investments that he already has and what others he may require to achieve his financial goals in the near future. The prime objective here is to ensure that the required amount of money is there with him at the time of an investment, thereby enabling him to meet his personal goals. This is how financial planning and investment planning relate to each other. Coming to the investment part, security along with profit is a big question?
Any investment depicts a clear picture of your current financial situation. Bifurcate your investments amongst various assets to reduce the risk factor. Asset Allocation is the best way to ensure that a particular investment made is a success. Monitoring your investment to maintain the allocation with your financial goals makes the investment tax efficient.

Following are certain points as to how one can better their investment and financial planning:

Investment Planning:

1) Create a Budget for Monthly Expenses: This enables you to get a clear picture as to where your expenses lie and how much unnecessary expenditure you could curtail to save a decent percentage of your income.

2) Paying of Debts: Once you clear of your debts, a certain amount of your expenditure is saved. This can be used for investment purposes.

3) Emergency Savings: Emergencies do arrive unannounced. One has to ensure that a certain amount is kept aside to meet these situations. These funds should be invested or kept aside to meet these situations. These funds should be invested or kept aside in investments that can be accessed anytime you need cash.

4) Investing in Long term Assets: Investing in long term Assets is a good decision. Purchasing a house is considered to be a good investment as payments towards interest and real estate taxes are tax deductible. Secondly the value of property increases with time. Other then this investing wisely in Mutual Funds, stocks and insurance will provide you with a good return on your investment.

Financial Planning:

1)Using a monthly spending plan or budget to keep finances on track
2)Making decisions about the job and its benefits
3)Getting the most out of other financial resources, including insurance and employer provided benefits.
4)Saving and investing money
5)Controlling expenses and staying out of debt.
6)Planning for estate transfer.

Generally people enlist the services of a financial planner prior to making any major investments. A financial planner is a professional who helps people deal with various personal financial issues through proper planning, which includes cash flow management, education planning, retirement planning, investment planning, risk management and insurance planning, tax planning, estate planning and business succession planning. While dealing with Mutual Fund Investments they are called �Fund

Expressing Your Personality Though Home Improvement

Home improvement through renovating and redecorating is one of the core preoccupations for most of the people and, currently, the Maryland home improvement market as well as Washington DC magazine offer a variety of materials and solutions.

House decorating is a perfect way to express your personal style and individuality. Although it can be a discouraging experience for some of us, it finally proves to be an experience requiring enthusiasm, time and money. A house should not be exclusively a functional area; it can be at the same time, an enjoyable, relaxing and battery-charging spot, reflecting aspects of our personality and sending messages to the entire world.
Abound
Nowadays, Maryland home improvement market thrives with goods for home and garden use, as well as with countless pieces of advice and information on decorating premises. This information might be accessed by reading books and the mass media, for instance Washington DC magazine, by watching TV programs or, last but not the least, by waving on the net, searching on specialized websites like welcomehomewashington.com. Still, despite so many informational sources, finding the proper decorating style or themes can be a difficult task.

Decorating activities are usually indispensable when moving into a new house, but they can be done whenever we feel like or we no longer like the old style. When decorating or redecorating a room, the leading question should be: what is the function of this area? One room should not be associated with one single function, one particular activity; it should also signal a certain emotional state. For instance, the main function of a dining room is, obviously, to provide enough space for people to gather around the table and eat. True indeed, but the secondary functionality of the same room would be to make the family members or the guests feel comfy and relaxed, generating pleasant conversations. Likewise, the function of a bedroom is to offer a place to rest, but at the same time, it could be a sanctuary of serenity, where people can relax, away from the daily hustle and bustle. Usually, the secondary function of a room may vary depending on its initial functionality.

When you made up your mind about the each room’s functionality, get to the next level: deciding for modeling or remodeling style, furniture and accessories. Visiting Maryland home improvement dedicated shops would be a start point and a very good method of discovering your preferences and personally testing different models. In order to fruitfully combine your personal style with the function of the room look through the decorating section of publications and magazines. One reliable and constant source of inspiration in terms of lifestyle and decorating fashion would be Washington DC magazine.

Normally, any person has an idea about the kind of interior design or furniture style she or he would like to have. But it rarely happens to know exactly, from the very beginning, how your home should look like. Sometimes, there might be two or more options to oscillate in between. At this point Washington DC magazine might be a real help providing pictures, interviews with architects and designers or celebrities and their houses. The moment you gather several design ideas, but you don’t have a clue on how to combine them in order to create a pleasant outlook and also a functional setting, it’s high time you get in touch with a Maryland home improvement designer. The designer will shape up your thoughts, creating a setting and an atmosphere as personal as you can describe them.

It’s very tempting to get along with the up-to-the-minute Maryland home improvement trends in terms of accessories and decorations or to apply all the tips and recommendations found in Washington DC magazine, but this predisposition will lead to frequent and expensive redecorating sessions. On Maryland home improvement market there are long-lasting home improvement trends, as well as short-lived home improvement trends, dying as quickly as a candle in the wind.

Do Video Games Breed Violent People?

You hear it on the news, you read about it in magazines and papers, and it’s the accepted word on the street – our society is becoming increasingly violent, and this is largely due to video games. People often point at the selection of wear related, or violence related video games and in one fell swoop, tarnish all video games as causing nothing but a decrease in the moral standard of our society, and with the same sweep, tarnish all young people who play these games as either actual or potential thugs, who will do little more than hang around on street corners mugging people, or causing other distressful crimes.

Although at first glance it would appear that statistics offered by these people appear to bear testimony to what they say, on closer examination it becomes very quickly apparent that the truth is much farther from this portrayal of it.

It is a fact that the accident and emergency wards of hospitals see a good number of young people who have been admitted as a result of violent crime. In fact, the actual number of such cases has fallen quite dramatically in recent years, although no such decrease has been seen in the number of video games being played, or in their popularity. It is also a fact that the vast majority of these young people who have been involved in violent crime are regular players of video games.

But this statistic is woefully misleading. Since ninety percent of young boys play video games, it is always going to be the case that any random selection of boys will result in the vast majority of them being regular players of video games. It would make as much sense to identify all the young boys who volunteer for charity work occasionally, or take part in fundraising, and then identify how many of them play video games regularly. Since ninety percent of all boys play video games regularly, then these fundraising charity volunteers are going to mostly be gamers – but this is not to suggest that playing video games make you more charitable, in just the same way that playing video games doesn’t make you a violent thug.

Forty percent of girls play video games, which is to say nearly half, so again, if nearly half of all girls admitted into hospital after being involved in a violent crime are branded as being there because of video games, it makes as much sense to suggest that by not playing video games, half the girls have ended up in hospital.

These are the statistics that those who have a deep mistrust of video games like to publicise, but upon closer inspection, these claims are wildly unfounded, based on hopelessly meaningless figures and provided as only half the truth. In fact, there is no evidence to suggest that playing video games makes a person become violent. The home life and upbringing has far more influence on a person’s social and moral attitudes that a computer game.

Commercial Real Estate Appraisal

Probably most of you are informed about the nature of commercial real estate appraisal, but the fact that some of us are ignorant of what the commercial real estate appraisal is all about, the need for thorough explanation about this matter must be given attention.

So for that reason, I would like to discuss some important considerations about the nature of commercial real estate appraisal. Just remember that this information is just some of the fundamentals for a successful commercial real estate appraisal.

According to many resources, the commercial real estate appraisal is just like some forms of home appraisals that most of the people need when buying or selling a home. For that alone, the commercial real estate appraisal is therefore an estimate of the value of the commercial real estate property. It is important to note that the commercial real estate appraisal is not just done by any person, but the commercial real estate appraisal is performed by a qualified and certified professional called an appraiser. Along with that fact, the commercial real estate appraisal is generally recognized with one of three approaches, which include a cost approach, a comparison approach, and an income approach.

With a cost approach of commercial real estate appraisal, the appraiser investigates what would be the cost for a replacement or improvement of the commercial real estate as of the date of the commercial real estate appraisal. In the sense of the second approach of commercial real estate appraisal which is the comparison approach, the appraiser in this sense of commercial real estate appraisal approach really make some comparisons with the value among other commercial real estate properties of the same size, quality, and location that has been currently sold. On the other, the use of the commercial real estate appraisal’s third approach, which is the income approach of commercial real estate appraisal, the appraiser then identifies the value of the commercial real estate property based on the estimate of what an investor would pay with respect to the net income that the commercial real estate property contributes. Nevertheless, the income approach of the commercial real estate appraisal is said to be only available for income producing commercial real estate properties.

Finally, the commercial real estate appraisal will be only made successful if the commercial real estate appraisal includes the estimate value, the effective date of the appraisal, the purpose of the appraisal, the identification of the commercial real estate property and its ownership. Aside from that, the commercial real estate appraisal must also include the condition of the neighborhood, factual data, qualifying conditions, analysis and interpretation of the data and the assumptions made the processing of the data by a single or more of the three approaches to commercial real estate appraisal to value and the certification and the signature. Such considerations must be given attention when doing a commercial real estate appraisal for the benefit of the parties involved in the commercial real estate appraisal.

Video Games Can Be Educational For Children

There seems to be a constant battle on how video games are affecting the children that are playing them, but the fact is that video games can teach children too. In fact, video games can help to enhance the reading skills of a child, not to mention help build their coordination and visual skills.

In several video games, your child get to become the main character who travels throughout the game purchasing different items needed to complete the video game successfully, while reading special instructions given throughout the video game. Since the child is simply interested in playing the video game they become unaware that they are actually reading and often times the reading is above their regular grade level. You may often hear your child say they do not like to read, but if you will take the time to watch them play particular video games and tell them you can not see the writing that well, then hopefully they will read it to you and you will become fairly surprised.

Video games can even inspire children to new interests as well. In fact, when a child plays a video game that they do not know much about, then you may see your child bringing books home from the school library that are similar to their new video game. When a child is participating in a video game, then children can see history come alive. Each video game that your child plays must be viewed as having a positive side instead of listening to all the hubba of others, because video games can teach your child different skills.

Some video games are designed to teach the skills necessary for making a living as they give the gamer a variety of different choices. Video games also confront gamers with issues such as moral dilemmas, solving challenging problems, and developing social relationships as well. Children who play video games often have the pick up from a cluttered area than those that do not. In fact, studies are now showing that when learning is added into video game playing children begin being faster at the other activities they participate in.

Some where in the future of time teachers may begin incorporating the playing of video games into the assignments of their students. Several government agencies will use computerized video games to assist in stimulating certain types of situations for their employees. In fact, even the military and NASA train with computerized video games, which is due to the changes in computer technology. By looking more at the positive side of video games parents and teacher could really bring themselves closer to children.

Often times children are playing their video games on-line, which makes playing video games much more of a social activity. Children and adults can learn more from each other if they take the time to learn how to play these video games with each other, which will also open up the lines of communication and understanding. Hopefully, more individuals will see video games in a more positive light instead of in a negative way most of the time.

The 7 Steps Of Do-it-yourself Financial Planning

You are in control

You are already your own financial planner. Regardless of the extent of help you receive from professionals, you ultimately are the decision maker and you are responsible for your own finances. Although the financial world has become increasingly complex, it is becoming easier today to do a lot of your own planning. The variety of resources has expanded such as software for money management and planning; online tools for banking, financial planning and investing, and resources, and books and blogs that are easy to understand. These resources may be good news for you if the cost of professional fee only financial planners is out-of-reach to you. Besides the cost of fees, others may avoid planners because they have heard stories of advisors trying to sell a product that didn’t fit their situation. Cost savings and avoiding product pitches are excellent benefits of being your own planner.

Everyone should take a more active role in their financial affairs. Not only does it help with educated decision making and fraud avoidance it also helps you better communicate with your other professional advisors such as your accountant and attorney. You will also find yourself spotting opportunities when they cross your path.

Becoming a better manager of your family’s finances will also help you ‘dig out’ if you are struggling financially. When you consider the low savings rates and the high household debt, many more people find themselves in this category today.

The following are 7 steps to do-it-yourself financial planning:

Step 1: Commit

The first step to financial planning always begins with commitment. Whether you are having financial difficulty, or have just avoided setting goals and mapping out a plan – commitment is the first step. Commitment provides the discipline and focus needed to help sustain you on the path towards your goals.

Step 2: Set Goals

Without specific goals and a plan to achieve them financial success stays a foggy dream. Therefore the second step is to list the dreams that will motivate you. Write down all of the goals you want to achieve in the short and long term. This will serve as the driver, or the fire in the engine giving you the motivation to move forward. Everyone has dreams, but without constant watering and attention dreams will go dormant. Leave your past mistakes and inaction behind you, light a new fire and chart a course forward. You have an enormous amount of potential and talent, and if you have made mistakes you now have more experience and wisdom. Dare to imagine what you could achieve because your best years are ahead of you.

Step 3: Assemble and Organize Information

Get your stuff together. Planning is easier if you assemble everything in one central location. Make an organized filing system either in a cabinet, accordion file, a box, any way that works for you. Now locate and file all of your tax returns, receipts, insurance policies, contracts, wills, mortgages, deeds, titles, pay stubs, employee benefit statements, banking (loan, savings and checking), bills, investment and retirement plan statements and any other important papers.

Step 4: Manage Cash Flow

Your household is a business. You need to know how much you are earning and spending each month. Balance your checkbook and establish a budget. There are dozens of books and software to help with this, and your bank’s website may provide this as well. This will help you know when and where you are overspending.

Step 5: Self Educate

Establish a sound foundational knowledge base about financial matters. Start with books about budgeting and money savings tips, debt, basic insurance and investing. Be sure to include reading about mutual funds and financial planning. Avoid get-rich-quick, real estate, gold or innovative ‘secrets’ books. Stick to the fundamentals. I find the “For Dummies, ‘For Idiots’ and ‘D-Mystified’ book series to be very helpful for many people. Lastly, stay informed about current financial topics by reading financial magazines, newspapers, the business section of papers, and blogs.

Step 6: Create a Written Plan

A written plan serves as a road map towards your financial destination. It helps you understand where you are presently and the steps that you need to take to move forward. A financial plan is a process. Your life will change, therefore you should revisit your financial plan at least once a year to make any updates or to include items in your checklist for completion. You should revisit your financial plan at least once a year to make any updates or to include items in your checklist for completion. If you write your own financial plan, you will have to obtain financial planning software. Your other options are to pay to have a written financial plan completed by a fee financial planner or by an institution or professional that provides products. Be sure to find out about how the planner is compensated and what your fees will be.

Step 7: Engage Professionals

Most people can’t entirely do all of their financial planning by themselves. Assemble a team of trusted professional advisors that you can rely on to help you implement different aspects of your plan, answer your questions and be on the lookout for you. The professionals that can be the most advantageous are a proactive tax accountant and financial advisor with extensive planning, investment and insurance knowledge, an attorney qualified in estate planning, and a banker that can help with credit ratings and debt management. Before committing to anyone, get referrals for trusted professionals from people whose opinion you respect and don’t be afraid to ask challenging questions.

General Of Financial Services

The most highly regulated sector in the world is financial services and this is likely to continue and accelerate. Financial institutions struggle with complex data systems and procedures and must comply with strict reporting requirements from the regulatory bodies to protect their assets and customer data. Additionally, financial services organizations are clearly the target of both individual and organized fraud. Key to meeting regulatory audit requirements and detecting fraud is the ability to collect and analyze log and event data from both IT infrastructure and applications.

The technical and economic challenges of storing terabytes of log and event data, the systems of record from applications used for customer transactions, are staggering, and traditional security, log management and data warehouse database solutions are poorly suited to address the challenges of both data volume and query access. Event Data Warehouse solutions that provide actionable results from massive amounts of log and event data.

More and more consumers need access to sound financial products and independent, honest financial advice. The government requires financial product makers and sellers to be licensed. Among other things this scheme gives increased legitimacy to financial advisers.

Benefits to the Financial Services Sector:

The Centre for Financial Services works with key allied partners to anticipate industry direction and fulfill its changing needs. It is committed to providing leading edge, cost effective and customized education, as well as professional development and training programs to assist firms to train and develop their people to keep pace with competition.

1. A pool of well educated, highly trained graduates and co-op students
2. Curriculum and training integrated with the newest technology to meet the changing job requirements in the global workplace
3. Highly trained financial services educators and instructors
4. Top facilities and resources for collaborative applied research
5. Teaching fellowship opportunities
6. Client contact centre laboratories for employee training
7. A forum for financial industry partners to exchange ideas
8. A business network into the private and public sector