Tag: Active

Many of my prospective clients come into my office either not knowing how much they are paying in investment fees or mistakenly thinking that they are receiving their investment counsel for free.  It is no wonder this occurs.  Fees are often embedded in the form of loads (either front-end when the fund is purchased or on the back end when it is sold), commissions, and expense ratios.  These hidden fees make it difficult to ascertain total investment costs for your portfolio. 

Many financial statements appear to have no fees deducted, but just because you can’t see a fee, does not mean it is not present and having an effect on your portfolio.

So how do you determine the fees you are being charged?

How much do you pay for advice? – Fee only versus Fee Based Advisors

First, if you use an advisor, you will somehow be paying for this advice.  There are many ways advisors receive compensation.

A fee “only” advisor charges a fee based on either a percentage of your total assets invested, a retainer, or per project fee based on an hourly rate.   This is the easiest and most transparent way for the client to be charged.  Furthermore, with retainers and hourly fees, large portfolios are not charged egregiously high rates just because they have higher account balances.  Note that true fee-only planners are in the minority in the financial advisory world.   Hourly, fee only advisors are even rarer.

The downside of this approach is that since the client has to write a check for the amount, behaviorally it is less palatable for him, even if the charges are far less. Ironically, this enhanced awareness of the fee, even if it is substantially lower, makes the client more resistant to paying via this method.

Fee “based” advisors are distinctly different from fee only advisors in that they can charge a certain percentage of assets AND may also receive commissions on the products or funds sold to the client.  This could be the case if your advisor who charges you 1% annually on your investment portfolio also gets commissions from the funds or positions in your portfolio or from an insurance product or annuity he or she sells you.

The ABC’s of Investment Fees

Most investors that go to a solely commissioned based brokerage are not charged a fee as a percentage of their assets. So, on the surface, it may appear that the advice they receive is “free.”   Instead, the broker will buy funds that have a built in commission.  These funds are often denoted by a capital letter after the fund.  An “A” fund has a front-end load.  Typically 4-6% of the total amount handed over to the advisor will go straight to him or her as commission.  These fees may decline at certain breakpoints, particularly if you stick within one fund family.  “B” funds have back-end commissions that normally decline over time, so it is best to hold on to these until they have expired.  C funds have level but relatively high annual expenses.  Due to these loads or commissions, load funds tend to have higher expense ratios, as well as potentially 12b-1 fees.

What are expense ratios and 12b-1 fees?

An expense ratio is the most common fee an investor will encounter.    It represents the annual operating costs of the fund.  Every mutual fund or exchange traded fund has this ratio, and, of course, you would ideally like to see these as low as possible.  For example, active funds may have expenses ratios well over 1%, whereas passive index funds may have expense ratios less than .20%.

The 12b-1 fee is also considered an operational expense and, as such, is included in a fund’s expense ratio. It ranges between 0.25-1%, but is more often closer to 0.25%.  It is primarily used as an incentive for the broker or rep to sell the fund and is paid to that broker annually.

Note that although active funds purport to “beat the market,” over two-thirds of these funds fail to beat their benchmark in any one year.   See this related article. As you can imagine, the more of these active funds you add to your portfolio, the chance of you beating the market (as represented by index funds) over many years substantially diminishes.   Thus, the increased expenses many investors pay a fund manager to “market time” or pick “winning funds” are often a waste of money.

Let’s look at an example to bring it all together:

Say I invest $100,000 in a fund with front end loads of 4.75%.  The fund also has an expense ratio of 1.13% inclusive of a 0.25% 12-b1 fee, which goes back to the broker.  At the same time, I decide to invest in a no load passive indexed fund in the same investment category.

After 5 years, assuming that the annualized rate of return for the category index is 10%, the total costs and return of the portfolio would be as follows:

 Even though the expenses for the higher cost fund were perhaps not as transparent, the ending value of the investment shows the dramatic difference.  This is why many investors scratch their head and wonder why their portfolio seems to underperform the market.

The moral of the story is costs matter, especially over long periods of time.  Over just five years, in this example, the low cost investment balance is over 10% higher.

Make sure you fully understand all of your investment costs and how you are being charged.  If future investment returns are expected to be lower than what we have historically experienced, keeping costs low is even more imperative.

If you invest in low cost funds and use a low cost fee only advisor consider yourself well-armed to defend against lower returns in the future.

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Some online shopping sites provide special promotional programs for existing customers. If you are already a member of the site, you can get it directly on online shopping sites or special sites that provide promo codes for you to get discounts or attractive offers from your shopping place.

You can find the promo code for you to enter later in the box that is available when you checkout. You can get the promo code on some of the sites below.

Wattpad

On this site you can also get a special promo code for existing customers from Wish. You should also register on this site if you want to get the latest promo code information updates from other online shopping sites. If you have planned every weekend to shop online, this site could be one on your list because you will get coupon code from Wish and other big online shopping sites such as Amazon, Ebay, etc.

Offers.com

This site provides promo codes from Wish for you existing customers. You can get promo code updates every day but just make sure you don’t run out because the promo code is limited. If you already have a special schedule for shopping, make sure you get the code before you are overtaken by someone else

CouponFollow

If you are a promo code hunter from Wish, this site can also be an alternative for you to look for it. This site specifically provides various coupon codes from the biggest shopping site from China. Make sure the promo code from this site is still active because you will hunt with other promo code hunters.

CouponVario

There are many promo codes that you can get on this site that offers a better shopping experience. Wish is one of the largest shopping sites with coupon codes and other attractive promos that have been available for a long time at this 8-year-old site. If you are looking for the latest promo code for Wish, make sure you have checked it on a site that also offers promo codes from other online shopping sites that are updated every day.

SlickDeals

Visit this site and add to your list to get promo coded from Wish. This site has thousand promo code that you can use to save more when you shop at Wish site. Find updated promo code and just make sure you don’t lose your chance to get the new promo code to get discounted price that will save your hole in your wallet.

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According to the new marketing research, 92% marketer now place high value on social media. If you have social media dan get bored only to view status updating, photos, videos of your family and friends, why don’t you think about to make it more productive.

The result of marketing research above is one of indicator that modern business today use social media platform as a tool to promote, sell, and many other kind of business activity that you can do on social media. So, here are some ways to you can make your social media more productive.

Gain More Followers

Courtesy : cdn.brandmentions.com

To achieve more followers, the general rule is to follow people first ( a portion will follow back). But you must make sure they will continuously follow you and interested every content of your status updating. You can also search some services that offer a number of followers, but choose quality. There are many services like this, but usually people still see this fake account or indeed the original.

Determine What Kind Of Business You Want

There are a lot of business you can do on internet, especially on social media. A mother of two trying to make her motherhood not boring, stressful, etc, had succeed to get thousands followers on Facebook and Instagram when she bravely open her thought and daily activities with funny videos sometimes. Many people affect by the content of social media. Choose what kind of business you want and you will decide the content.

Schedule Your Productive Content

Courtesy : n.rockcontent.com

You can inform to your followers that you will publish content about your business you want to start. Openness to your followers will make them feel more closer to you. Invite them with seductive message so they will more interactive to you. They will thinking not just as your ‘customers’ but also as your friend, it will give you double gain.

More Active With Your Followers

The biggest fault in social media marketing is if you think you are number one and only active to your content to post it on your social media by yourself. Be more active to your follower status updating. Care to them. Give comments, give likes, show you are care to them. Make realtionship with them especially to your family and friends. remember that your family and friends circle will bring good moves to your business. They can be your ‘power of mouth’ to your customer in their circle of friends on social media.

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It takes us years to build up our financial resources for retirement.  We target a monetary goal for retirement and invest accordingly, but what about our vision of retirement?  How do we make sure that we are on the same page with our spouse with regard to a common vision of our lifestyle in retirement?

study by Fidelity investments indicated that approximately 4 out of 10 couples not yet retired are in disagreement about their lifestyle in retirement.  One out of three disagreed about the overall vision of retirement.  

Establishing Common Goals

Upon retiring, many individuals experience depression and a sense of loss.  This can be overwhelming.  Action-packed days are suddenly replaced with leisurely weeks with nothing on the schedule.  Since we often derive our self-worth through our workplace accomplishments, we may experience a loss of identity.  Engaging socially with work peers is suddenly replaced with extra time with our spouse.   Conflicting goals between the two of you can result in additional stress and possibly harm your relationship.  Establishing common goals is essential to a fulfilling relationship during the retirement years.

Vision of Retirement

It is important to discuss your vision of retirement as a couple years prior to your anticipated retirement date. Schedule time to discuss your ideas about retirement and make this an ongoing conversation.  Be as specific as possible.  It is okay to change this vision over time.  Life is dynamic. Our hobbies, interests, and goals change with time.  This conversation, will at least help set expectations for retirement, so that there are no surprises.  You can both input and affect the ultimate decisions.   If you disagree, that is okay. You can negotiate issues over time in order to come up with a suitable workable solution that is amenable to both of you.

If couples don’t have these types of conversations, they may be suddenly thrust into the “second act” of their lives with conflicting opinions – which will only harbor resentment.

One helpful way to get started is to map out what a typical day, week, and month looks like during retirement.  Think about the following:

  • Will you both retire at the same time or stagger your retirement dates?
  • How much time will you allot to individual pursuits versus spending time together?
  • Will the two of you travel alone or will you schedule joint trips with friends?
  • How much time will spend with friends or hobbies and other activities that will not involve your partner?
  • Will you need “alone” time or time that is spent in solitude without your partner?
  • How active will you be?  How much time will you devote to exercise, kids and grandkids, travel, friends, volunteer work?
  • Will you consolidate homes or keep the vacation home and commute between both?
  • Do you want to downsize your homes and free up cash for traveling and renting homes for a month at a time around the world?
  • Do you want to live close to kids?
  • How much support will you be providing to kids and grandkids?
  • How do you plan on taking care of your spouse should he or she need long term care? How will you fund this?

Fleshing this out will have the added benefit of assisting you in determining your expenses in retirement. You can also work with a financial planner to address these softer, qualitative issues regarding your retirement lifestyle.  She can assist you in prioritizing goals as a couple as well as determining how it might impact your budget in retirement. Having a third party help you map out your future in a quantitative and qualitative fashion can be a valuable exercise.

The Result

Americans tend to procrastinate saving for the future and often avoid talking about the future. Planning for your retirement lifestyle will not only help motivate you to work hard to achieve your retirement goals – a clearer vision makes it seem more real – it will also result in improved harmony with your loved one.

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Yahoo! announced its plans of freeing up inactive IDs provided that they have been dormant for the past 12 months. This is known as the Yahoo! Wish List, and the freed IDs will give a way for other users to choose a more useful name or switch to the username they’ve always wanted, which, of course, was already in use when they first signed up. This means that inactive Yahoo! users can lose their accounts if they have not logged-in for the past year.

Getting a new user ID is one way to entice consumers into using their Yahoo! accounts again, but does this mean that identity thieves can claim inactive IDs and possibly gain access to consumers’ sensitive information both online and offline? Keep in mind that online identity theft can happen to anyone and thieves will do everything to get whatever handy information they can from consumers – in any way they can.

What should you know about Yahoo! Wish List?

First, those who want to parti[censored] te in getting a Yahoo! Email can to go to www.wishlist.yahoo.com where they may enter up to five usernames. When done, just add a Yahoo! email, claim the new user ID, and click on submit button. An automated message will then tell them where they are in line for the new username which can be claimed in mid-August 2013. Yahoo! will email a link where they can activate the new user ID.

The form that is filled out can be completed as many times as they want, and it’s not clear whether or not the most recent submission will overwrite previous ones. If not, then it’s easier for potential new users and even identity thieves to get as many user IDs as they want.

Second, if you do not want to lose your inactive Yahoo! account despite its dormant status, all you have to do is to log-in and it will be removed from the company’s list of inactive IDs.

The question remains is there a threat for you to become a victim of stolen identity if you wish to release your old user ID once and for all? What if it falls into the wrong hands and can be used by them to steal your identity?

Privacy concerns and threats of identity theft

With the Yahoo! Wish List up and active, is it possible for thieves to abuse an old Yahoo! account? Inactive accounts can still contain valuable information about its former user: some even tie it to their email address or to subscribe to mailing lists or other online services, where thieves can gain more information about the old user’s identity. Others even use them for their other online accounts to send verification or password resets or even a back up to their primary email address. Therefore, it’s may become a problem for the original user when everything is connected to their old Yahoo! account.

This privacy concern has already been addressed by Yahoo! which claims that all contents in the old user account will be totally deleted and all subscriptions and mailings will be removed, as well. Simply put, Yahoo! claims that all personal information will be erased from the inactive user ID and all that new users will get is the vacant username. Yahoo! also said that there should be no fear of getting victimized by hackers and identity theft, and they are going great lengths to prevent identity theft from happening. Still, it’s safe to assume that your personal identity may be at risk in this move, so consumers should be very aware of the possible consequences.

Tips to prevent id theft and protect your privacy

Sign-in to your old Yahoo! – The best way to avoid your dormant account from being available to other people is to check in and make it active again. This will remove you from the company’s list of inactive accounts automatically.

Delete anything related to your old account – Once you have signed back in and you have no plans of using your account, just remove any old subscriptions you have. If you have used Yahoo! as your email in your other online accounts, change it to your primary email instead. Empty your message box, as well. Though Yahoo! claims it will delete every personal detail in an inactive account before a new user can use it, it’s much better to do this yourself to be on the safe side.

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Smart Credit Management

Financial advice and credit advice are not always the same. For example, transferring and consolidating high-interest credit card debt to a 0% APR credit card might make financial sense, but does it make sense for your credit?

Rarely is anything ever taught about credit, and credit is somewhat counter-intuitive. Have you ever heard someone say that you do not have enough credit to qualify for a loan? Huh? You mean you have to have a debt to get more debt?

Establishing credit, and thus, a credit score enables you to qualify for a mortgage, loan, credit card and even security clearance for a job. The information below will help demystify your credit score and provide valuable tips for improving your credit and avoiding pitfalls.

What is a credit score? A credit score is a measurement for lenders to determine how much risk they take on to lend you money. Your credit score is generated from a statistical analysis that assesses “creditworthiness,” and FICO is the standard used. FICO looks at a mix of secured and unsecured credit, your payment history, and has a scale of 300 to 850. This credit score does not care about income or size of debt payments, but it does care about the percentage of debt in use and that you make your payments on time.

Credit scores also have no memory. Your credit score is pulled as of a point in time based on all the information available from the three credit bureaus. The score can be different every time it is pulled, so if you had a great score five years ago, it means nothing for a score pulled today. Credit scores are more heavily weighted on recent items.

You can get a gauge of your credit score for free once every year at annualcreditreport.com, but this report will not contain FICO score. To get your FICO score, you’ll need to have to pay a credit monitoring service, though many do offer brief free trial periods. A number of services now offer free FICO score estimates, but remember these Fake-o-Scores are only estimates and may differ from the scores provided to lenders. Self-pulled scores are considered soft inquiries and will not hurt your credit score. Hard inquiries, those made by others who are trying to approve you for credit, can impact your score if too many happen within a 12-month period. The good news is that multiple mortgage and auto loan inquiries are rolled together and will not adversely impact your score if they are all done within 30 days of the initial inquiry for that loan. If the inquiries are spread out over more than 30 days, the hard inquiries can reduce your credit score up to 50 points, which can mean real money in today’s market.

The Most Common Mistakes?

1. Joint credit cards. The biggest mistake couples make is to have all credit cards (revolving credit) and unsecured credit jointly named. There is no reason to have both of your names on your credit cards. If something bad happens to one of you, both of your credit scores are negatively impacted.

2. Closing old credit cards. Debt ratios and account seasoning (the age of a given account) are important components of your credit score: approximately 45%. When you close old credit card accounts, your debt usage ratios go up, and you shorten the average age of your credit file, which will negatively impact your score.

What should you do?

Keep separate credit cards. You can pay them off from a joint account.

Rotate your credit cards. Keep your cards active by rotating your use of cards. The amount you charge does not matter; charge a coffee at Starbucks. In a bad economy, lending standards tighten, and credit lines are reduced or closed if not active. Even if they are not closed, credit card companies may eventually stop reporting inactive accounts to the credit bureaus. Again, this loss of payment history will reduce the average age of your available credit and hurt your credit score.

Pay off your credit card each month and on time. For assessing credit, your debt ratio is Dollars in Use/Credit Available. You want to keep your debt ratio as low as possible.

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In the early 1980s, I started doing the occasional talkback radio segment on Sydney radio station 2BL. Retirement was something many callers wanted to discuss. It seems to me that at that time, people planned to retire at 65. Most financial planning was fairly haphazard and tended to take place after the date of retirement.

Today, almost two decades later, we have changed. People plan to retire much earlier and better health means we are living much longer. It has now got to the point where some people will spend more time in retirement than in the work force.

This makes retirement a serious business. A 55-year-old male will now live for another 23.8 years, on average, and a 55-year-old female 28.2 years. On top of this, our expectations for retirement have changed. We do not expect to stay at home all day minding the grandchildren. We hope to be healthy, active and doing those things that we did not have time to do in our working lives, such as travel – and in my case, play more golf!

Now, the bad news here is that an active lifestyle tends to cost more. Travel can be done cost effectively, but it still requires money. You will want to run a car, be able to eat out occasionally, and not have to worry about the cost of a meal with friends.

Don’t get me wrong. You don’t need a fortune to live well. In fact, most people don’t have a fortune to retire on and, today, around 74% of 65- to 69-year-olds are on an age pension.

A retired couple I know live on a public service pension, plus an investment portfolio of around $150,000. They own a modest but comfortable home. Sure, they are well set up, but not dissimilar to many other retired. Between the income from their portfolio and the pension, their annual income is around $25,000. Due to a few of the simple tax strategies like income splitting and franked dividends, they pay very little tax – which help a lot.

What fascinates me about this couple is that they lead a truly global lifestyle. In retirement they decided they wanted to learn the languages and culture of other countries, so they live four months a year in Australia, four months a year in Italy and the other four months in France – all on $25,000 a year. Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? But they are able to do it, and this is how:

  1. They rent their home for at least six of the eight months they are away. Yes, this is a hassle because they have to store all their personal possessions with their family, but they rent it out fully furnished for a bit below market rent and do very careful reference checks on the people moving in.
  2. The eight months they are away each year, in France and Italy, they take a small apartment well away from the tourist haunts and they find that they can live more cheaply than in Australia. Remember, they can now speak both languages fluently so they mix and eat with the locals at local, not tourist, prices.
  3. They book and pay for their airfares well in advance to get the best deals.

Even if the last thing you want to do is live overseas, my point is that your retirement should be, and can be, a time when you reap the rewards of your working life.

Okay, so these days you need to start planning your retirement early. If you are getting close to retirement, you need to start thinking about a number of other things as well:

  1. What are your plans for your retirement? What do you want to do and what will it cost?
  2. Will your assets provide the income you need to live comfortably? Can you top this up with a pension?
  3. Where will you live? How will this impact on your lifestyle and your family?
  4. What are your views on estate planning? Does your will reflect your wishes?
  5. Investment will become very important. Do you need an adviser, and if so how do you choose one?
  6. What plan do you have to ensure your retirement is a stimulating time in your life?

My best tip on retirement is, of course, to plan early. For younger readers of this article, or those of you who can influence younger readers, please do think about it and encourage people to plan for retirement from the day they start work. An 18-year-old only needs to put aside about 12% Of her salary into super and she can retire on 75% of her final salary, linked to inflation. This would provide quite a decent standard of living. At 35 years of age the requisite contribution increases to around 30%, at 45 around 49% and at 55 you’d need to save 108% of you salary to retire on 75% of your final salary. Now I know some good savers, but putting aside 108% of your salary would not be easy!

Please don’t feel depressed if you are retired or close to retirement and have saved very little. After all, the importance of saving has only been made clear in the last few years. Fortunately, we do have a reasonable age pension system. I know it isn’t generous, but it does provide a minimum standard of living and is certainly better than nothing.

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