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Ye of Little Faith

Ye of Little Faith

Upon the announcement of the Treasury selling the last of the $10 Billion of its holding in Citigroup, the U.S. Government realized a $12 Billion gain on its $45 billion investment. On the heels of its successful bailout of General Motors, the Feds are on a roll.

Bailouts make us all nervous, and for good reason. But the series of events over the last few months should give us pause. Our economy and system of governance is sound. Capitalism is not perfect, it has significant flaws as do our leaders. Deficit spending is out of control, and we will pay an ominous price if not corrected. Yet the turnaround of the capital markets and the judgments of the Fed have been impressive.

The duo of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner have publicly said that “unemployment is too high” and inflation is too low. Between the two of them, they are playing one expensive game of cards, and let us hope they have the right cards. There is pressure on the hill to minimize the Fed’s authority, but one would wonder if taking tools away is the right gambit. Often an infusion of cash into the system (such as the recent Fed action) is confused with spending. The $600 Billion figure being bandied about is not spending or printing money at all, just lending to the banking system.

You may have seen the Bernanke interview on 60 Minutes on Sunday. You figure any guy with economic degrees from MIT and Harvard is smart, but he is also a cool customer (I was thinking about asking him to manage my portfolio). If anyone can lead us out of this debacle it is Bernanke. It is anybody’s guess if the latest cash infusion will work but at least we have the right guy driving the bus. Let us pray.…

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Honeymoons – Costa Rica is the Solution to You Wedding Dreams

Honeymoons – Costa Rica is the Solution to You Wedding Dreams

Planning for a wedding is complicated enough. Thankfully for the honeymoon it’s more a question of what the couple would like and where they’d want to go. This is the special time, after all the fuss and busyness of the wedding where the couple can relax together and just enjoy being together in a holiday setting. For example, some people like to go on a cruise, some even go hiking but Costa Rica has everything you are looking for (except ice and snow…).

This is the great thing about honeymoons – Costa Rica is the one special spot where you can party all night if you want to, but on the other hand, enjoy walks in the rainforest or the beach. You can have a very ‘public’ holiday swimming, snorkeling and clubbing, or you can have a very private time in a secluded place.

The country itself is quite spectacular with pristine oceans, almost empty beaches, jungles, rainforests, hills and valleys. The animals and plants and flowers are also quite wonderful. You can visit National Parks to see it all. For example, if you decide to honeymoon around Manuel Antonio, not only have you got a National Park next door, but beautiful beaches and the Pacific Ocean! The resort itself has lots of high class hotels to hostels, great open air restaurants as well as bars and clubs. You can even rent a house to have a private and secluded vacation. In fact there’s something for everyone’s taste.

You can find an all-inclusive hotel which might be what you’re looking for, or there are inns, cabins and all sorts of hotels. As the country is so varied in scenery, you can enjoy walking on an almost empty beach to zip lining through the tree tops. There’s really so much you can do. If you like mountains, then Arenal is an active volcano and a popular resort. Some places there offer great spa services and you can soak in a mud bath in the open and see the volcano and hike around the lakes and hills. The food is amazing and very fresh and the coffee is locally grown and organic and among the best coffees in the world.

Do some research online to discover where you would like to go and don’t forget to check out special deals and packages for honeymoons – Costa Rica is really recommended for that special vacation. Come and enjoy.…

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The Investment Visa – Gateway to the USA?

The Investment Visa – Gateway to the USA?

The investment visa also known as the investment green card or the EB-5 visa can enable you, your spouse and children under 21 to obtain permanent U.S. residency by investing $500,000 into a government designated Regional Center investment visa program creating at least ten jobs per investor.

You will be able to live anywhere in the USA and have the option to take almost any job, run a business or retire. As an EB-5 investment green card holder you have access to a number of advantages normally only enjoyed by U.S, citizens including savings on property tax in some States.

Your children may attend schools or apply to universities with the same rights as a U.S. citizen and unlike other investment visa options they do not have to leave at 21. Each member of the family may apply for U.S. citizenship after holding their green card for five years.

A Regional Center is an area designated by the USCIS as eligible to receive immigrant investment visa capital. Regional Centers are Government designated for purposes of immigration however, as U.S. law states that a Regional Center investment must be ‘at risk’; it cannot be guaranteed and needs very careful evaluation.

The period of investment is dependent on the Regional Centers exit strategy and although the investment is $500,000 administration fees charged by different regional centers vary substantially. These are a number of areas of concern which have significant coverage in the book Green Card via the Red Carpet.

If the EB-5 is your investment visa of choice you may wish to focus on Regional Center programs which –

• Safeguard your investment.

• Have an established record of success with investment visa applications.

• Do not tie up your capital without a clearly defined exit strategy.

• Focus on your requirements as an investor and an immigrant rather than simply seeing you as a source of easy capital!

Generally there are three main forms of Regional Center investment:-

A number of regional centers offer property investments suggesting that property has advantages, particularly if it has no debt attached to it. The key to property performance can be how much was paid for a property in the first place, who it was purchased from and what is the exit strategy?

Equity business investments are asset based and may or may not be managed directly by the company operating the Regional Center.

A small number of Regional Centers offer fixed term programs where your funds are used as loans to another organization. Sometimes these are governmental agencies such as development corporations for infrastructure projects where a municipality or associated development agency usually becomes responsible for repaying your capital. The implications of these options vary and there may be advantages/disadvantages which require clarification.

An important consideration for the investment green card applicant may be which regional centers have paid back investment visa capital. At the time of writing, in 2010, we are aware of two centers that have repaid all or a portion of investment visa funds and two planning too.

After you have invested and your attorney has submitted your visa application, investment green card processing takes approximately 6 to 9 months. For planning issues such as schooling, allow 9-12 months between visa application and the issue of your investment green card.…

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NRI Mutual Fund to Save Your Own Money

NRI Mutual Fund to Save Your Own Money

As an NRI, you should be looking for striking savings opportunities in Indian banks, which nowadays is one of the world’s best rising financial systems. And nowaday’s mutual fund has turned into a familiar name with a growing number of people endowing their money to increase from top performing mutual funds. Being a Non Resident Indian the initial precondition for any investment in Indian souk needs you to have an NRI account. If you are looking ahead to spend in mutual funds in India, you can decide from a series of Indian banks both classified and communal, offering diverse speculation alternatives. You should have an NRI Mutual Fund to solve any issues regarding money in abroad.

A mutual fund is one of the simplest options to devote your well-merited money in the complex monetary markets. Also, these are being mounting preferred by depositors because of the benefit they offer in conditions of alternatives. Furthermore, these are directed by experts who put in their knowledge to examine the best outlay options. These funds present depositor a group of suppleness with features such as methodical speculation plans. Also, communal funds can be acquired in small units and the diversifications make sure small menace. Mutual funds are quite admired for their acceptability. In unfasten ended schemes, that permit you to pierce and depart at your own expediency, you can take out or cash in your investment at any agreed point of time based on the fund’s system. Also, with this you can still go for an organized investment plan wherein you can obtain assistance of the competent and skilled expert to provide a fixed sum on a usual basis.

Progressively Indians desire to roam to various nations with the growing occupation opportunities gathered up universally. Nevertheless, being Indian we desire to continue connected to our nation and consequently look for diverse investment paths. As a matter of truth, non resident Indians can craft investments in approximately every system that is obtainable to a occupant Indian. The obtainable investments can’t be troubled and you can stay contributing to your account from overseas through NRE or NRO accounts. The events obtain credit to your NRO account on development. NRI investment is measured to be the most excellent option because of the different reimbursements. There are no practical changes for mutual fund resources. Money operation can be simply administrated by a local bank in overseas. The money can be stimulated out or dispatched to your account without any difficulty. Payment earnings will be endorsed to the similar account. The process for NRI mutual fund investment is very straightforward and trouble-free. The organization sends you the form all the way through email which can be effortlessly downloaded. You are supposed to take the printout of the paper and fill it suspiciously. You just require fastening a check drawn on your account with the submission form.…

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Small Business Finance – How to Avoid Sneaky Business Investments

Small Business Finance – How to Avoid Sneaky Business Investments

Today, more people are faring well in their efforts to build small businesses. Many are creating incomes that support their desired lifestyle of more freedom and more fun. Amidst top line sales growth, entrepreneurs are still missing the mark when it comes to investment choices to grow the bottom line. The following tips will help when deciding how to use cash flow for investing.

Steer Clear of Emotional Spending

To protect yourself from getting caught up in investing hype, keep a level head throughout the process. Never weigh your final decision on what finances will be like once the investment goes through. Instead, take into account questions like: What will the investment produce? Do the numbers show that it is a solid opportunity? Is it in line with my values and goals? Usually if it sounds too good to be true, it is.

Be Patient on the Road to Riches

Being impatient in growing your money can make you a prime candidate for get rich schemes. Instead learn to separate the good from the bad investment opportunities before you put in the work, time, and money. Be willing to accept the fact that most success stories are not made overnight. You have to be willing to put in the work in order to get the harvest that you desire.

Get the Right Information

Another mistake that will impact financial returns is not having the right information to make good decisions. Becoming an informed investor is key to success. Do the research and gather the facts. Don’t just rely on the recommendation of a friend or associate.

Ask the Pros

The profits that you earn and save represent the effort that you put into creating income so use them wisely. Have standards for every investment and stick to markets that you are familiar with. For opportunities outside your expertise get wise counsel. You’ll be better equipped to make the best decisions possible with expert financial advice.

Identify False Claims

Sometimes no matter how much you evaluate opportunities and feel that the deal is right, the reality is there will always be some type of risk associated with an expected return. In these cases, designate an amount of cash that you are willing to invest and the level of risk that you are willing to assume. Plan for investment alternatives so that if you miss the mark, you can rebound. Your job as a wise money manager is to know your limits and stay to them within reason.

Using cash flow in the best way possible is crucial to attaining your financial goals. Become better at managing money in your business by subscribing to my free monthly financial tips here.…

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How You Can Benefit Your Business by Having an EB-5 Investor Visa

How You Can Benefit Your Business by Having an EB-5 Investor Visa

Getting an American citizenship is not easy. Some of the ways of becoming an American citizen is through: birth, marrying an American citizen, registration, naturalization or through asylum. Yet, with these many options of citizenship, most people are still locked out at various levels. However, one way of becoming an American citizen without much ado and unnecessary complications is through investment. Having $1,000,000 allows you to become an American citizen through an EB-5 investment visa. Not only does EB-5 investor visa allow you to become a citizen, but it also improves your investment fortunes in the American market.

EB-5 visa

A means to increase your economic potential and business opportunities as well as becoming a citizen is an EB-5 investor visa. This visa not only increases your economic potential but also allows you to get a green card and become a citizen of the United States. This is one method where hard working individuals can get in the United States and get quick citizenry. Therefore, with a good business plan in place, you are bound to see your investment grow in leaps and bounds.

EB-5 and your business

Profits and positive growth are the main parameters for judging a well performing business. Any business that is not recording good profits or showing signs of positive growth and stagnation is a waste of time and money. And as the saying goes, there is neither good nor bad business as long as there are opportunities for making money and recording growth. But for you to succeed regardless of your enterprise type, it is wise to invest in a market that has equal opportunities for all types of businesses. And the best way to achieve this is through the EB-5 investor visa that enables you to invest and become a United States of America Citizen.

Why EB-5 investment visa

Well, to enhance your business opportunities and increase your margins, you need to invest in a great market that will enable you to recoup your investments fast. One great market and country that will enable you to see your investments to record annual double digit growths is the United States of America. The United States boasts of a high per capita income and also one of the highest consumer spending rates in the world. This means that your business also has a concomitant high rate of earning in case you invest in the US. In addition, the US government also supports business through an absolute non-interference policy that allows the market to operate freely by the forces of demand and supply. Thus the role of the government purely remains supervisory, regulatory and oversight.

How to get an EB-5 investment visa

Getting an EB-5 investment visa should not be difficult if you have a $1,000,000 to invest in an enterprise or $500,000 to invest in a targeted employment area. Similarly when applying for the visa, you should have appropriate documentation such as: income statements, salary slips, title deeds and tax forms to prove that the money you are intending to invest is from legitimate sources. When you have these important requirements for the EB-5 investor visa, you can go to the United States citizenship and immigration services and express your interest in becoming a US citizen. It should take you at least 9 -15 months both for application and approval.…

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Investment Banking Analysts

Investment Banking Analysts

When people have a problem involving raising capital, who would they consult? Yes, they would go and check with their investment banking analyst. People who are highly fascinated with the investment banking world would be at an advantage if they would actually prepare themselves for a career as possible analysts. Investment banking analysts are normally Bachelor-degree holders or undergraduates, who are planning to obtain their MBAs in order to move up in the company ladder. In reality, these undergraduates typically work for a length of around two or maybe even three years before they do this. Before one could even think of becoming an investment banking analyst, they should first finish their Bachelor’s degree studies and also experience a summer internship prior to their senior year in college. The primary reason for this suggestion is due to the fact that a lot of recruiters employ investment banking analysts who once interned for their organization.

Those who want to become an investment banking analyst should be someone who actually takes pleasure in using a computer. This is because it is usual for these analysts to spend most of their hours at the said technology. What they actually do is they have cordial relationships with traditional and non-traditional financial sources that would be able to help their clients determine which one is ideal for the clients’ situation as well as their needs. These investment bankers could also assist people with raising equity, deal structure, and negotiations.

These analysts also often work at their homes and they even pull all-nighters when it is absolutely necessary. Some of their duties involve creating comps, editing pitchbooks, and building models. The more experienced analysts could even put together pitchbooks and still, there are others who could work their way into those exciting responsibilities like a live transaction type meeting. The analysts’ job details could definitely differ but one thing is guaranteed, their hours are normally long as well as tiring. One’s day might start at 9 in the morning and it could very well end way past midnight, although there are some days that could be considered slow.

Investment banking analysts should be highly proficient with Excel spreadsheets, Bloomberg, Word and PowerPoint as well as be familiar with writing VBA macros. They should also know how to make prospectuses, generate as well as track regular newsletters (or weeklies), get pitch books, run errands, keep schedules, and answer client phone calls, among others. Analysts should be hardworking, thorough, reliable and flexible. Some great tips to become a good analyst is to learn about the market and the finance industry, keep abreast of the business and financial news, start early, and always love the job.

After the analysts have worked for either two or three years, they might now want to pursue their MBA degrees and might or might not even return to the investment banking industry. Those former analysts that have gotten MBA degrees would have the clear-cut edge over others who have not actually worked in this particular field. Simply put, being a true-blue investment banking analyst is similar to proudly earning one’s stripes in the financial industry.…

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How to Make Social Security Work: Finding Wealth in a Social Security Retirement

How to Make Social Security Work: Finding Wealth in a Social Security Retirement

Social Security can be taken at 62 or at 66, and making the decision as to when you begin receiving payments can be difficult. The decision affects your finances for the remainder of your life, so you want to be sure you’ve figured out all the repercussions and benefits of your decision.

Paying into social security is easy – each month a certain percentage of your salary is automatically deducted. But the other end is more complicated -what you are entitled to is variable. Speak with a financial planner to see if it’s in your best interest to begin receiving Social Security at 62 or later.

This has been made an even more essential step since a new law was passed securing your decision. In the past, you could stop payments if you realized you’d made a mistake and filed too early, but now that decision is cast in stone once it’s made.

If you don’t have a financial planner, finding one in your area is simple, and could save you a lot of worry as you make this important decision.

All that retirement planning you started in your 20s is about to show its true self: is your retirement investing enough to support your family, or will you rely on social security to make ends meet? Is your income such that you can leave money in the stock market, or will you need to immediately access that money for survival? A certified financial planner can help you to answer these questions and make the best decision for yourself and your family.

If you are able to wait on enrolling in benefits, do. Each year you hold off means an 8% increase in you wait until 70 to enroll in the program, you will get thousands of extra dollars annually.…

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Helpful Tips on Real Estate Investment

Helpful Tips on Real Estate Investment

Are you planning to invest your money into real estate properties? Do you have plans purchasing a real property? If so, consider the tips and suggestions mentioned below.

News abound anywhere and everywhere that real estate investment is one of the most profitable business in the market. Despite the onset of recession and economic crisis, real estate investment is still the most feasible form of investment other than stocks and savings account because its price is not easily affected by inflation and economic crisis. If the price of real properties declined in one state, it does not affect other the prices of real properties in other states.

With the growing real estate industry, developers built myriad properties to give you choices. However, with the numerous real estates around, for sure you are confused on what property to buy. Bear in mind that your purchase should not be influenced by any advertisement and promotions by owners, but you should you should find one that best suits your needs and requirements.

Before you invest your money, you should conduct research and choose the right property yourself. If you can afford, you can hire a financial adviser and ask advice on what steps to undertake. Whether you purchase a property for your own use or for commercial purposes, there are several factors you need to consider before you make a purchase.

Factors that you should consider before you make a purchase:

Affordability – Before you source out and hunt for houses or commercial properties, you should first assess your finances. You should consider how much you can afford. To manage your finances effectively, you should make it a priority to plan your finances first. Make it a point to list down your income and your expenses. You should be realistic on your budget estimation. When I say realistic, it means you should not forget your basic necessities. The result of this move will show you how much money you can afford to spend for your purchase or to pay for your loan every month. You should also consider the amount you deposit in your savings account. Never forget to have savings because you will need it to pay for emergencies and extraordinary expenses, like hospitalization, accidents and property maintenance.

Location – Before you buy a property, consider the location and the purpose of having them. If you want to convert the property into a commercial space, then look for those found in areas with high foot traffic. Avoid selecting areas which are prone to floods. Check the drainage system of the property.

Logistics — Another factor you should consider is logistics. Choose a property which is near to your office and your children’s school. It should at least take you one hour or two hours to commute from these areas.

Amenities/Types of property – Assess what type of property you intend to purchase. If you want to buy an apartment or a condominium, be sure to consider safety issues. Does it have security personnel to guard your properties while you are not around? Does it have a fire exit area? Check if it has an existing electricity, water and Internet connection.

By considering the factors mentioned above, you can choose a feasible property that meets your needs and requirements.…

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Who Buys Commercial Investment Property Low and Sells for Less Than High?

Who Buys Commercial Investment Property Low and Sells for Less Than High?

Two weeks ago, I met with a couple to discuss the market value of their commercial investment property that they had owned for 60 years. When they heard that their property value was off 25% from 3 years ago, they almost kicked me out of their office. In 2007, they had refused 3 cash offers for 25% more than the number they were hearing today.

Instead of looking at their gains over the past 60 years, they couldn’t see beyond the 25% correction over the past 3.

If the Zell maxim is true, “If you’re not selling, you’re buying,” they bought their commercial investment property back for 25% more in 2007 than they would get today. They believe that selling property for 75% of their 2007 value would result in a loss for the following reasons:

1. They refused higher offers. Therefore the commercial investment property’s market value has been proven to be higher than today’s number.

2. They were raised to buy low and sell high, not buy low and sell for less than high.

3. As long as they hold on, they may hit that peak again.

Unfortunately, they’re focused on the wrong priorities. Sure, 3 investors were willing to pay a higher price. But when they turned down the offers for their commercial investment property, they refused to accept the peak value and bought the property back at its highest value instead of seeing the big picture-“this is more than we ever paid and more than we think it’s worth.” They believe the value will return.

They belied the lessons their parents instilled in them. In 1950, they bought low. In 2010, they can sell high. True, the price has fluctuated over time and they missed peak property values in the market, but in the long-run they will sell for a profit and will enjoy a healthy gain.

As long as their equity remains in the commercial investment property, they will place their personal priorities on hold. They have plans for the cash that will enrich their personal lives. Those plans will wait. And they will miss the advantages of owning commercial investment property because they have no interest deduction, their equity is unleveraged, and the property is depreciated to a 0 basis, so they’re receiving no tax advantages.

Let’s face it, unrealized gains are unrealized gains. Let go of the past and move on.

If you’re holding out for another market peak, be prepared to wait. While it’s comforting to peer into the rear view mirror at what your commercial investment property was worth (N.B. there’s a reason why the mirror says “objects in mirror are closer than they appear”), take it all in and see your long term gains for what they are-profits.

And ask yourself, are you building wealth waiting on another hot market, or just missing opportunities because of your insistence on what could have been?…