Monthly Archives: September 2014

US Debt Talks Continue

With the United States inching ever closer towards a default the government is now attempting to avert a disaster. If the default is allowed to occur then the world’s financial markets will certainly see a good deal of damage, and the USD is going to suffer big time on the online forex exchange. The lack of interest being expressed in solving this problem where the US public is concerned is truly alarming, and the government has not made nearly enough effort to address this problem. Throughout the political system there are outcries for budget cuts of an extreme nature in order to bring the United States budget under control. The continued unwillingness of both sides to arrive at a consensus has only fueled the fueled investor fears.

Making the tough decisions no one seems to want to make can only solve the trouble in the US, and until the US government can move forward with their duty nothing will change. The simple fact of life here is that the credit cards are maxed out in the Western world and we cannot continue affording to take on debt. There must be a real effort made to cut back the costs of the recent spending spree not only in the US but all over Europe as well. This continued desire to outsource production and low cost services overseas will only continue to hamper the overall prosperity of all nations. The ability of a nation to produce more than it consumes is extremely important, and this is something that has been underestimated time and again.

There cannot be a prosperous country in the world without it producing goods for export just as much if not more than those imported. While this is something that has been overcome with credit, in the end this is a losing proposition and an unsustainable model. While it is possible to use credit responsibly and climb out of the hole we are currently in, it is highly unlikely that the governments will do this. The programs in place in the United States such as Social Security are unsustainable, and this has only served to further the national debt. Programs that are great in theory and serve to benefit the greater good are a wonderful idea, but in the end someone has to pay for them. That is what is going on currently, the United States is being asked to pay its debts and is unable to do so.

 

The author is a Forex trader and financial analyst residing in Denver, Colorado.  To stay up to date on all the latest developments in the financial world and beyond be sure to stay up to date with the latest forex quotes.

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Business Grant

How can a person start a small business if he has a little resource to start with? Maybe you are asking if it is really possible to get a business grant. Stop yourself from thinking what is inside the box, try to expand your views and see what is outside the box. The small business grant that you needed may be available in your own home state. While the federal government doesnt provide a direct small business grants, but there are many state development agencies offering direct small business grants and other types of financial assistance made to help and give a hand in starting a small business or may be expanding it.
Some of the states in America offer small business grants. A small business financing incentives are an important piece of the economic growth plan of every state in the nation. Some of the small business financing incentives include financed rates on Small Business Administration loans, tax breaks and many other programs related to business grants.
SBA has been really committed in helping small businesses. It has developed a multiple number of financial programs that address the different request of small businesses.
So here are the things you needed to help you with your directions for business; business plan, budget, motivation and of course patience.
You really need to have a strategy in planning for your small business, in applying for business grants what you to show the grantor agency is that you have given some thought to your request for a grant and that is your top priority. That is why you really need to have a business plan.
You needed to identify a good and appropriate funding organization that can relate to the nature of your business. As what I have said earlier you can try to check first in your own state, also try to check local municipalities, your community and private foundations.
You need to make your business objective and activities familiar to the funding organization before suggesting any type of request or application for funds. Start a good relationship with the organization. Make use of any effective communications through phone calls, visitation or letters of inquiry to such organizations. Learn how to approach likely funders.
Provide a well written letter to the organization. Clearly state the objectives and intended results. Show them the budget for your business and some activities, Also try to include the strategic plan and provide the proposed budget for the use of grant funds.

has been in the field of Government Grants for a long time and maintains a website about US Government Grants where you can get answers to the rest of your questions.

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What to Ask Your Financial Advisor

Taking a look at your portfolio and your financial goals at least annually is always a great idea. With the economic recovery underway, it is more important than ever to ask your Financial Advisor the right questions before you set forth on a path for the next years to come.

Officially the recession is over, but as we creep toward what looks like a market recovery, investors are presented with new investment opportunities. When you discuss your investment goals and your portfolio with your Financial Advisor, consider asking questions that can help you understand the economic and market environment today and assess the steps you would need to take to move forward.

1. Am I taking on enough risk, the right amount of risk, or too much risk?

The recent economic downturn has made many investors lower their exposure to risk and relatively riskier assets. Certainly, in 2008-2009, their concerns may have been justified, but now, as the economy begins to recover, investors may want to consider whether their conservative positions are really aligned with their expectations of future market trends and moreover their investment goals. In light of improving market conditions it may be sensible to re-evaluate your appetite for risk and your asset allocations to avoid standing on the sidelines as market opportunities arise. In times of market volatility, a major factor that contributes to the creation of market opportunities, it is especially important to review your portfolio with your Financial Advisor at least once per quarter. This will give you peace of mind at night while your sleep, and also help ensure that your investment portfolio and asset allocation continue to match your financial objectives.

2. What can I do get back on track with my retirement savings and goals?

Regardless of where you stand relative to your target retirement goal, whether you are just about ready to retire or are already there, you need to know exactly how your retirement plan has been affected and what you can do to close the gaps in your current retirement plan – especially with respect to being able to cover your projected expenses with your projected income. Make sure to set time now and on a regular basis to have a conversation with your Financial Advisor about where you are and what you need to do to get back on track and achieve your retirement goals.

Planning for retirement includes a combination of systematic savings, investing, and spending. Depending on where you stand relative to your retirement goals, there may be many strategies that you can take advantage of to stay or get back on track. These can include accumulation strategies or even re-adjustment of how to spread your investment dollars across different assets and asset classes throughout the rest of your retirement years. For instance, people planning for retirement say a few years away can increase their rate of contributions to their employer-sponsored plans such as a 401(k), use catch-up contributions to increase funding into their IRA, or re-think their portfolio and asset allocation entirely. For example, they may want to move funds from investments that aren’t expected to recover soon into other asset classes or investments for increased diversification, such as high-quality dividend paying stocks or stocks that show strong growth potential. For those that are closer to retirement or are already retired, the focus should be around spending habits, managing taxes, and trying to strike a balance between meeting short-term income needs with long-term income needs. For instance, certain dividend-paying investments can provide retirees with short-term income streams necessary to cover their short-term expenses while also providing them with capital appreciation potential to make sure their funds last over the long-haul. Isakov Planning Group has a program called ProActive Retirement Framework that you and your Financial Advisor can utilize to balance out of these factors and design the rights set of investment strategies for you.

3. Is my portfolio really diversified — or should I consider other sectors and asset classes?

Asset allocation is certainly the hallmark of sensible and prudent investing. Going back to the recent market downturn, diversified portfolio at large had relatively smaller performance drops than those that were help in concentrated positions in only a few asset classes. Make sure to review your asset allocation strategy with your Financial Advisor to make sure you have hedges in place in case of a sudden and violent market event. For instance, some investments did relatively well during the recent recession such as Treasuries and managed futures. So ask yourself if you have exposure to a broad range of asset classes, because it is the one of the greatest hedges against market volatility.

4. How can I shift my portfolio to be prepared for unexpected cash flow needs?

Make sure not to tie up too many of your funds in illiquid investments. If most of your investments in your portfolio are held in hedge funds, private equity, non-traded reits and the like, you may find yourself in a very illiquid and unfavorable position once liquidity becomes a concern – say you need money for an emergency or an expense. At which point, you may be forced to sell out of these illiquid investments at the worst times to meet your short-term liquidity needs. Factor in your liquidity needs in advance so you may be prepared for unanticipated events such as a major expense, a crisis such as a job loss, or a major event such as business opportunity.

5. Is the timing right to begin planning my philanthropic legacy?

Leaving a legacy may sound like an overwhelming task, but it can be quite simple – at least to start with. Explore charitable organizations that you feel most passionate about and discuss your goals with your Financial Advisor. There are many ways to have your portfolio prepare you to leave a lasting mark on the values you feel strongly about such as education or energy conservation. Basic techniques such as utilizing donor-advised funds, charitable remainder trusts, or family foundations can all set you on track to fulfilling your philanthropic goals.

Isakov Planning Group financial advisors bring industry leading resources and expertise to help clients pursue and achieve their goals. Along with expert market analysis from the firm’s top investment managers, your Isakov Planning Group financial advisor will work with you to develop and deliver tailored solutions that can help you get on track and ultimately achieve your most important objectives, whether you’re looking to plan for retirement, build tax-free wealth, get your kid’s through college, or build a lasting legacy for your family.

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