What to Look Out For in an Investment Newsletter

Making heads or tails of the stock market can be an extremely difficult thing to do under the best of circumstances. Sometimes it can be flat out impossible to know just what to invest in. Many people turn to investment newsletters in order to get ahead of the pack and find investment ideas that you normally wouldn’t be able to find on your own.

There are several immediate problems with these sorts of newsletters. For one thing, they can be extremely expensive, sometimes hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year. They may be well worth it if the advice they render turns into profitable investments. But how can you know that in advance before you subscribe?

Another problem is that some of these newsletters attempt to do little more than sell you other investment products themselves from investment club memberships, to higher priced newsletters, to training videos etc.

Figuring out a good newsletter to subscribe to, or even several good newsletters to subscribe to can be almost as challenging as investing in the stock market itself! In this article today I want to mention a few things to look out for when choosing an investment newsletter to subscribe to. Hopefully, armed with this information, you can save yourself some serious money and heartache (because of bad investment advice) in the long run.

First off, watch out for newsletters that make seemingly impossible claims. If somebody claims to be able to show you 100% returns on your investment year after year or even a 1000% return on your investment then look somewhere else. The smartest investors in the world don’t make more than 20% a year or so, year after year after year on their investments. I’m talking about billionaires who do this for a living. Some guy selling a newsletter out of his basement is not capable of showing you how to make 100% returns ever.

Next watch out for newsletters that don’t offer a trial subscription. The only way you’re going to know whether these newsletters are worth your money or not is if you can read a month or two of their back issues and see for yourself just how well their advice has performed. A newsletter that doesn’t offer a trial is usually up to no good. If they don’t trust their own efforts enough to give you a peek before hand, then chances are their advice isn’t going to be worth much.

Watch out for newsletters that make lots of suggestions for different stocks. It’s an old trick to suggest many different stocks and then forget about the ones that didn’t work out and then point back at the successes and say “See! We really know are talking about!”. If you see this in a newsletter that you subscribe to, consider dropping that newsletter fast.

Finally watch out for newsletters that don’t make specific recommendations. Some newsletters give very broad recommendations that aren’t actual recommendations so that they can be proven to have not given bad advice in the past. If you’re going to pay hundreds of dollars a year for a subscription to the newsletter, you should be getting solid tangible advice and recommendations that you can immediately implement without having to put any more effort into it on your own part.

Finding the right investment newsletter for you can be an important part of your stock market investing mix. I subscribe to several myself and the ones that I have come to rely on over the years are worth their weight in gold. It may take you some time to find a really good one to suit your style of investing, but once you do it will be well worth your effort.


Whole Life Insurance Comparisons – Term Life Insurance vs Whole Life Insurance

Although we all want to save money, the cheapest life insurance policy is not always the best option. A few dollars a month now in your life insurance premium can create a mess of red tape when your loved ones are trying to collect on a policy after you have passed.

There are multiple types of life insurance policies out there, but most well known are term life insurance policies and whole life insurance policies. Most people think that whole life is the best alternative, but there is value to both types at different phases of your life. A wise financial planner would recommend that you have a combination of both whole life insurance and term life insurance, especially in early phases of your life. So what is the difference between term life insurance and whole life insurance?

Term life insurance is a policy that is set for a fixed term of your life (i.e. 10 year term, or 20 year term). During this time you have a guaranteed premium that is fixed and will not change. Term life insurance is typically cheaper, especially if you are young. This is because life insurance companies know that if you are 25 and have a 20 year term life insurance policy, the probability that you will die during that term is small. They stand to cash in all of the premiums without paying out a dime. Term life is a good option when you are young and have others who depend on you if you can not afford the expense of a whole life policy.

Whole life insurance, in comparison, is a policy that will remain through out the rest of your life, whether you die at 30 or 80 (most still have an end date at 95 or thereabout). The premiums for whole life insurance is typically much higher because the life insurance company knows that the only way they will not pay is in the event that you (1) stop paying or cancel the policy or (2) live beyond the end date (around 95). Additionally, whole life insurance will gain a cash value over time. As you pay your premium each month a portion goes into a cash account, which is invested to get a return (typically between 4-6%).

Although there are many advantages to both types of policies, the main advantages to a whole life insurance policy is that you can lock in a fixed premium for life and you can gain a cash value to increase the return. Term life is cheap when you are 25, but after your 20 year term (for example) you are now 45. Getting a new term life policy will be significantly more expensive than a whole life policy would have been if purchased at 25 or 30. Getting into a whole life insurance policy at a young age gives you the ability to fix the rate for life, which is very valuable considering the odds that you will see your health decline with age. Additionally, it is important to remember that a portion of the premium you pay is getting contributed to a cash account which will increase in value.

Given an understanding of these two types of policies, you must make a decision regarding the best fit for your life’s current circumstances. If you decide on whole life insurance comparison are invaluable. It is important that you obtain 3-5 quotes not only to get multiple rates and try to save a few bucks, but most importantly make sure that you have chosen the best policy. Some important considerations for your whole life insurance comparisons are:

1. How well is the company rated? In other words is there any risk that they will not have the financial ability to pay the death benefit? To check this out visit the website for AM Best. I recommend no less than a “B” rated company.

2. How will the company invest your cash account? Will you have any control over the investment options?

3. What fees are associated with the policy? There are sometime death benefit fees, fees if you take a loan against the policy. Understand the fee schedule.

4. When is the final age of payout? Is there a limit if you live to be 105?


Increasing Your Student Loan – Personal Finance Tools

Gaining a university degree is not easy. Firstly, there is the competition involved. Then there are the financial arrangements to be sorted out since everyone knows that a university degree is not cheap. A good university education helps students land a good job with brighter career prospects. This in turn leads to better lives and hopefully more financially secure futures as well.

Now, in order to fund for one’s college or university degree, it is necessary to take student loans. Of course, these student loans need to be repaid. But the key is to know how much and when to repay. A good financial management tool helps students make informed decisions about the loans they are taking from financial institutions.

A huge burdensome loan is the difference between taking the help of a good online financial management tool and doing it by one’s own limited knowledge. If you have access to good financial advice, by all means go ahead. But if you cannot, then your next best bet is to get a good online finance management tool. This tool will help you figure out your monthly budget, calculate how much your are borrowing, how much you need to save per month to repay the loan on an assumed salary once you graduate.

The one issue with a student loan is that it needs to be repaid no matter what your circumstances. Unlike credit card debt which can be wiped clean if you are declared bankrupt, a student loan is there forever or until you repay it.

A personal finance tool is of great help as it will manage your budget, advice on maximum spending limits and suggested savings so that you can plan for a secure future.


Building a Home Based Business – Anyone Can Do It!

Is building a home based business easy? Is it an effortless activity where you can make 6 figures working 2 hours a day? Of course not!

I built and ran a business from start up to a multimillion dollar corporation. It was tough, but I did it. Do not let anyone fool you into thinking that building a business is easy. Because, it is not. Anything worth building is hard work. However, it is not impossible and it is rather doable with discipline and consistent effort. Building a home based business is tough, but with all the tools out there, it is easier now than ever and very doable for you.

The important thing to realize is that ANYONE can do it. While it may be work, it is not something only the anointed few can accomplish. With some elbow grease and a little determination, anyone can build a business especially a business that produces extra income for your family on the side.

In this tough economy, who doesn’t want some extra money coming in every month to help pay the bills? First you need to figure out what you want to do. Do you already have a product or service in mind? If not, and you really want to build a business while staying at home doing more of the things you love, consider selling a product as an independent distributor. There are many companies out there who are looking for independent sales distributors to sell their products. Most of these are MLM companies or multilevel marketing companies. The beauty of these businesses is that most of them have all the tools ready for you. You do not have to handle manufacturing, marketing, financials, etc.. It truly can be a good money generating business for you. These opportunities are flexible and can generate some good income for you. If you end up loving it, it can grow into a full time career. However, you need to be careful when venturing into an MLM company. Make sure it has solid management, a good track record, and a great product that potential customers will want to buy. If you cannot sell the product it is not worth it.

If you are interested in starting a new venture with your own product or service, it will take a bit more energy. But it is doable. The most important thing to consider is the customer source. Do people want your product or service? Do you already have a good customer base that you can tap into? Are your potential customers easy to reach? Remember, the ability to sell your product or service is critical to your long term success.

The other very important factor in starting your own business is your ability to procure the necessary resources the company will need to operate. This could be sales tools, inventory, or any other business tool. This can get expensive. It is important to keep your costs as low as possible at all times, even as the business grows and you think you are flush with funds. One of the easiest ways to keep costs low is to utilize the inexpensive tools you can find on the internet. Be diligent and do your homework. With some sweat equity you can easily build a good starter tool set for very little money.

If you still need capital or help with starting your business, there are often free services for new entrepreneurs in your area; SBA, Women Venture, local business chapters, etc…