Jul 24 2011

Three Of Warren Buffet’s Tips For Investing Success

Published by under Investment

Article written by Mark Harrisian of Online Investment Guide.

There’s no doubt that the last few years has seen torrential times when it comes to investing as many people have not only lost a lot of money but have also lost their confidence in being able to make the right investment choWarrenBuffet_747-e1415041194145ices as well.

 

So, in order to counter the doom and gloom that affects people these days, here are a few tips from the Warren Buffet, who is considered to be an investing genius:

#1: Be frugal

Frugality is a lifestyle choice, when you come to think of it, and it has been something that Buffet has been come to be famous for. He still lives in the same home and drives his own vehicle, and that says for a lot because obviously he has more to invest.

#2: The ‘fat pitch’ is what you have to wait for

Buying or selling stock has never been the right thing to do as this will only result in losses regularly. Instead, you should wait for the fat pitch patiently which more often than not comes due to market turbulence.

#3: Go against the crowd

One of the Buffet’s favorite principles is to go against the crowd when it comes to making money as their analysis is always a reflection of their understanding of the market prices. Often, when there is negative public opinion, it is the best time to buy stock. Conversely, it is better for you to desist from buying when investors are careful.

 

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Jul 21 2011

Why Brokers Will Not Help You In Trading Strategies

Published by under Finance & Loans

Almost everyone who has been associated with a broker from time to time has lost money. Yet ever so often, there comes a time when you realize that they don’t necessarily deserve your loyalty since their profitability is directly dependent on the understanding of trading that their clients have of the stock market.

In most cases, they convince the client of great profits but sooner or later, there is more than one loss but what remains is the commission that you might have agreed with them on, as soon as you began your association with them. To put it simply, most experts believe that they’re all very eager to drain your account clean.

Perhaps one of the reasons why this is true is because unlike CTAs or fund managers whose best interests are directly linked to that of their clients (through taking a percentage of the profits if generated), brokers always get a commission even if the trading advice given to their clients are good, bad or just plain useless.

Strangely enough, the only way by which the brokerage industry measures the success of its performers is by how much commission they made in that year, and which has nothing to do with their clients’ profitability. So it only makes sense that he gets you to trade as much as possible so that he gets his commission from time to time.

So what should this tell you?

That you, as the investor, has to learn not to depend on the broker but make your choices when it comes to trading because even if you do find a good broker, you’ll have to learn to make those trades by yourself in the long run, making the broker (good or bad) irrelevant.

 

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Apr 22 2017

Crowdfunding: A Fluke or a Gold Mine?

Published by under Investment

Written by: Omar Amanat

Summary: Real estate investments have proven to be valuable in itself, with high returns and minimal effort on the investors end.

For decades, investors have kept a very profitable secret to themselves – real estate crowdfunding. They’ve enjoyed massive returns of 9.2% and expose themselves to market that’s less volatile than the stock market by investing directly in real estate. Unfortunately, individual investors have been left out of this financial payday for years. Institutional investors have billions of dollars that they use to diversify into hundreds of properties. Now, individual investors may only have enough for one or two huge, undiversified investments. If there happens to be a failure on these properties, it becomes a huge risk and one could potentially lose their entire investment.

An Open Door?

This all changed in 2013 when the JOBS act and legalization of crowd investing real estate came into play. Crowd investors will essentially pool their money into a single investment, which drastically lowers the price of entry. Now, a single apartment complex may cost a few million dollars. However, with a crowdfunding investment, investors might only have to pay $5000 apiece.

This low cost allows investors to diversify over dozens or even hundreds of investments. Furthermore, it protects against the failure of one or two properties. It’s a safe bet for the real estate investor and it also boosts valuable returns as well.

There is a catch however, real estate crowd investing sites are only available to accredited investors (those that have over $1 million in assets or are making $200,000 for the last three years). But regulations are expected to change that will allow the average investor to take advantage of these amazing opportunities – it’s only a matter of time before sites begin to adapt to this change and let any investor buy into the market.

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Mar 30 2017

Tips to Reduce Fraudulent Transactions

Published by under Business Services

Anyone with credit card merchant services can feel the sting of a chargeback. These aren’t to be taken lightly, but they can occur from fraudulent transactions. It won’t always hurt you, but losing money is never a great feeling. If you want to stop these kinds of transactions, you need to be more proactive in terms of how you process transactions. This guide will teach you how to examine your merchant account transactions for fraudulent purchases, including guidelines and best practices on what to look for.

Develop a System

You’ll need a system if you hope to be consistent, so bake this into your customer service and sales departments for the best results.

Every big ticket item that gets processed through the system should be reviewed by an account representative, unless the customer has purchased big ticket items in the past. Even then, periodic reviews will help you catch the odd ID thief.

In store, every clerk should be checking for IDs and card signatures. People don’t always sign their credit cards, so provide a pen to customers at the credit card machine so they can do so in your presence and with a photo ID. This helps protect your business, and their account.

If you accept credit cards online, you should require new customers to enter a CVV or CVV2 number. This number helps confirm the customer has the physical card, and is another layer of verification.

Final Thoughts

Stopping fraud is a full-time job for most banks, so don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Instituting some simple policy changes will go a long way in halting fraudulent transactions and improving your rate of chargebacks and lost revenue.

Bio: Charge.com has some of the lowest rates of merchant account providers available online.

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Dec 13 2016

How Mobile Credit Processing Works

Published by under Business Services

mobile-credit-card-paymentsWith a small device attached to your cell phone, you can turn your device into a credit card swipe machine and use it to service customers in a retail environment. All you’ll need is a merchant account and an internet connection to make it happen. Here is a quick rundown of how it all works, and why some businesses are seeing mobile processing as the wave of the future.

Basic Technology

The basic technology behind mobile credit card processing is simple: there is an attachment that typically uses a device’s headphone jack in order to collect credit card information. There are also devices that work with your phone’s internal Bluetooth, but they are a bit more expensive than the basic headphone jack models.

Using these devices, and your phone, the only missing link is an internet connection. You can process transactions anywhere in your store so long as the servers can be reached.

Your phone becomes a payment gateway, but you typically need some kind of application to help process the transaction. Usually, when you get your merchant account set up, your payment processor will direct you to your app store to download such an application.

Aside from the credit card swipe, there is also Near Field Communication, or NFC, which functions a lot like a Star Trek device.  These devices allow the user to simply wave his phone and pass payment information directly to you, the merchant. While NFC is slightly less prominent, it does still exist.

Recent changes to both apple and Samsung devices have removed the headphone jack, so it’s important to make sure your device is compatible with the card reader you want to work with. You might also consider having a register system as backup in case your mobile system goes down for any reason. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck processing cash-only transactions and that may limit your business’ revenue for the day.

Security

The big advantage to mobile payments is security, especially with NFC where the transaction occurs in a physical space over the Web. Securing payments from a breach protects your customers, and shield’s your business from liability. Some customers enjoy that their card never has to leave their sight, especially at restaurants. This data is also encrypted when the card is first scanned, which helps protect the customer’s data throughout the transaction.


Charge.com Payment Solutions, Inc. offers a low cost guarantee, and has been rated the #1 merchant account provider for six years in a row.

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Oct 29 2016

Lethal Investment Mistakes

Published by under Investment

investment-mistakesInvesting is stressful, exciting and perilous all at the same time. If you’re dedicated, anyone can invest and work on a strategy to grow financially. From large names, to the average Joe, investing is good for the economy and for you. Just make sure you don’t make these lethal mistakes when you invest.

“First, You Find the Plan [and] Then You Find [the Investment] to Fit the Plan.”

-Andy Heller

When you first invest, you’ll find yourself making some silly mistakes that you’ll correct as you grow. That’s a lot different from avoiding due diligence altogether. If you are investing purely because it “looks like a good deal”, you’re planning to fail at investing.

This is why investors have an agenda, or a set of philosophies that drives their work. Are you providing for family? Growing assets with a specific purpose (like helping to grow green energy)? Figure that portion out first, then work on putting your money to work for those ideals.

“Rule Number One: Make Sure You’re Diversified”

-Sarah Ketterer

Calculators can be a scary thing because they provide re-assurance we’re looking at a good deal. We look at potential profits, especially when a stock develops a track record of growth, and we see temptation. It’s fine to re-invest in a stock that’s performing. After all, you should try and get the best price for that stock over time. Just make sure you’re not ignoring other opportunities, and that your entire portfolio doesn’t rely on a single company’s performance.

“More Than Ever, You’ve Got to Train Investors to Think Against the Flows.”

-Dev Randhawa

Markets are cyclical, and this advice from Dev Randhawa highlights why it’s important to look at long term trends and dig deep prior to investing. Investing is tricky, and you’ve got to learn to resist impulses that tell you to sell or run. Investing has a very real fight or flight response you must work hard to overcome.

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Oct 24 2016

Three Reasons to Open an Online Store

Published by under Business Services

online-store-graphicMore and more, credit card processing services are offering both on and offline services to help process credit card transactions. Not only is eCommerce expanding at a rapid rate, especially as more shoppers become familiar with using their credit cards at websites outside of the major players, but it’s also simple and easy. It’s much faster to compare prices too. Here are some of the reasons why more shop owners are beginning to rely on their eCommerce storefronts as a major source of income for the business.

Open All the Time

In the real world, you need someone on staff to accept credit cards. On the Web, you can be open 24/7 and reliably process multiple sales from around the country. Some businesses even sell at the international level, catering to customers who are continents away. Of course, you’ll need proper logistics to get the products out to customers if you plan to pursue online as a serious strategy. Work on making shipping affordable, and you’ll soon find many using your service on and offline.

Customer Loyalty

Customers usually need to enter some verifiable information to both complete the purchase and receive a receipt for their order. When you accept credit cards online, you also have the opportunity to hook customers into your email list. Make sure you’re doing so ethically, by asking them to opt into the list (preferably twice), but email lists can be valuable sales tools.

Technology Affordability

Another major change is both affordability, and ease of implementation, for this technology. Today, it’s common for merchants to utilize phone support in order to setup the POS system at a store. That cuts development costs and reduces time spent setting up the system.


Charge.com Payment Solutions, Inc. is a merchant provider to help businesses accept credit cards online.

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Aug 31 2016

Don’t Forget to Include Tax Consequences With Assets

Published by under Finance & Loans,Investment

Be aware of all the financial implications that are in place when it comes to passing down assets to your heirs.

inheritance-tax-consequencesIf you prefer not to sell your home prior to retirement, you can also go with the route of considering whether or not you want to leave it to your heir. There are numerous assets such as: stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and annuities that are available. However, remember that there are going to be tax consequences that you should plan out before you make the decision so you don’t end up paying a significant amount. Weigh your options, or even speak to a financial advisor so you can get on the right track.

Tax Exemptions

If your property is essentially below the federal estate gift and estate tax exemption – which is typically $5.45 million for 2016 – you can avoid capital gains tax on the appreciation. So, for example, if you bought a house for $200,000, and the value has made it go up to $550,000, your heirs’ tax basis on the house will typically be the difference between the value on the that you die as well as the sales price.

Check For Depreciated Security.

An example of something that you shouldn’t do when it comes to assets is to pass down depreciated securities on to your children or heirs. If you purchased a stock for $50,000 and it depreciates to $30,000, there’s basically a $20,000 capital loss deduction. Once you die holding onto that loss, it is no longer an option. But, remember that tax consequences do vary, so it’s important that you consult with a financial planner in order to proceed in a financially smart manner.


Kuba Jewgieniew is the head of Realty ONE Group, a real estate brokerage firm with offices in California, Nevada, and Arizona.

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Jul 28 2016

A Basic Rundown on Real Estate Investment Groups

Published by under Investment

real-estate-investment-money-homesReal estate investment groups are a great way to begin your investing journey.

You may have heard of real estate investment groups, but do you actually know how valuable they are to one’s portfolio? Real estate investment groups are a bit like small mutual funds for real estate properties. If you are planning to own a rental property, but you don’t want to involve yourself with the hassle of becoming a landlord, a real estate investment group might be right for you.

About Real Estate Investment Groups

Companies tend to buy or build a set of apartments or condos and will then allow investors to purchase them through the company, thus being a part of the company’s financial plans. An investor can own single or multiple units of living spaces, but the company that is operating the investment group will help manage the units, take care of the maintenance, interview the tenants, and all the other procedures that a landlord will typically perform on the property.

Real Estate Investment Group Hunting Tips

In exchange for maintaining and managing the units, the company will take a percentage of the monthly rent. The standard version of a real estate investment group is that the lease is in the investor’s name and all of the units that are within that company’s hold, will pool a portion of the rent to, meaning that you will receive enough money to pay the mortgage regardless if it is empty or not. It is a safe way for someone to get into real estate investment. However, there are vulnerabilities that can haunt the mutual fund industry – that may hurt your investment as well. Like always, be sure that you perform the proper research to protect your assets.


Kuba Jewgieniew is the head of Realty ONE Group, a real estate brokerage firm that has nearly 5,000 associates.

 

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Feb 12 2016

Len Blavatnik Helps Others Achieve

Published by under Investment

1By Access Industries

When you think of the name Len Blavatnik, a number of different things may come to mind. Like many people, you probably think about how this man is one of the wealthiest in all of Great Britain. You may think of Access Industries and the tremendous impact it has had on the industrial world. You may also know that the man attended some of the best schools in the entire world and succeeded at all of them.

However, you should also know about this Blavatnik Young Scientists Award, which he uses as a tool to help uplift young minds who may need a bit of financial help following in his own footsteps. Aside from the scholarship that goes with this award, recipients also get a good deal of press for it as well. Obviously, if the head of Access Industries thinks a young mind understands a thing or two about science, it’s worth paying attention to them.

So, in the future, the next time you hear of the man, see him top a list for his wealth or use a product from Access Industries, just know that he is working hard to make the world a better place in more ways than one.

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If you’ve ever heard of the New York Academy of Science, Len Blavatnik needs no introduction. Aside from being one the richest men in Britain, the man at the top of Access Industries is also a world renowned philanthropist.

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Jan 06 2016

How Banks Report Their Finances

Published by under Finance & Loans

By Phineas Upham

Just like the average taxpayer, banks have to report their finances or they may face steep penalties for failing to alert the government or investors of potentially fraudulent activity. There are actual several layers beyond the Bank Secrecy Act, although this important piece of legislation is one of the most frequently evoked in common political parlances.

Why Banks Report

Banks have to report their financial activity for a few reasons. Capital reserve requirements are one big one, so reporting finances helps assess the amount of capital a bank must keep to protect from a serious market crash. The state of a bank’s finances can also affect the institution’s credit rating, which affects every action the bank takes. The statement is also a representation of management. Management is supposed to run a bank properly, so financial statements should be able to adequately account for all of the bank’s financial transactions.

In 2002, in response to the Enron and Worldcom scandals, Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. It created a list of responsibilities a corporation’s board had to be accountable for. It also outlines criminal penalties for anyone caught breaking those regulations.

The Bank Secrecy Act

During the 1970s, money laundering became a serious problem that needed to be formally addressed. Congress decided to help “safeguard the financial system” by establishing some requirements for record keeping. Banks had to keep track of certain transactions that would lead to analyzing the movement of money, as well as the volume and type of currency. This would prove instrumental in finding and catching money launderers, although the challenge of routinely catching illegally circulated money still persists.


About the Author: Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Phineas Upham website or LinkedIn page.

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Dec 02 2015

The Evolution of Mortgage Lending

Published by under Finance & Loans

By Phineas Upham

Today, when the average person wants to purchase a home he or she has to find a lender willing to loan them money. That money comes at a particular interest rate, which the lender uses to make a profit on the loan. This was not always the case. Throughout American history, home ownership has been an important component to our rights and society.

Attorney-Reviews-300x200

There was a time when it was quite difficult to get a loan. Prior to the Federal Home Loan Bank Act of 1932, loans, if they were done at all, were given by insurance companies.

These mortgage payments were more like short term loans, and nearly all of them had some kind of balloon payment attached. This put people in debt perpetually, so the Bank Act of 1932 was a response to that. Home ownership means stability, and the opportunity to retire in relative safety.

If banks got involved, and loans were amortized, the repayment of debt would be a much more realistic prospect. This evolution in banking gave birth to the Federal Savings and Loan boom that occurred shortly after the Great Depression. Capital was cheap so long as lenders lent their money to individuals seeking home loans.

Once the loans were coming from banks and not insurance companies, repayment terms became manageable and more people would retain ownership of their homes. This was a major stepping stone on the path to wealth accumulation for many Americans, especially veterans.


About the Author: Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Phineas Upham website or LinkedIn page.

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