Financial Planning – The Key To Your Lifelong Success

Financial planning is not limited to asset allocation, mutual funds, and fixed-income investments – planning should include every aspect of your life.

Should you apply for that credit card? What type of car insurance should you buy? Should we save for our child’s college or put money in our IRA’s instead? These and many more questions are all part of financial planning.

The Larry Rule – A Little Known Financial Planning Fact

Larry Lindsey is not a famous name, even in financial circles. Currently, Mr. Lindsey is the chief economic advisor to the Bush Administration. In 1996, he was a Federal Reserve Board Governor – and he was denied for a Toys ‘R Us credit card!

To apply or not to apply, that is the planning question. Larry Lindsey, who had excellent credit and a high-income level, set out to demonstrate a flaw in credit scoring algorithms.

He simply applied for every retail store credit card he was offered, and in no time he had “too many inquiries.” Never mind the fact that he had millions in assets and nary a late payment in his 30-year credit history.

Knowing the Larry Rule is key to your financial planning. If you apply for retail store credit cards every time you are asked to do so, it will have negative effects on your credit.

You may then be asked to pay a higher interest rate on your mortgage or home equity loan, which could cost you tens of thousands of dollars. Sacrificing $10,000 for a 10 percent discount at Fashion Bug is not smart planning!

Auto Insurance and Financial Planning

Most people think of insurance as a legal necessity, but in reality, it is a financial product, and that’s important to keep in mind. Don’t ever buy insurance just because it’s legally required or in order to give yourself peace of mind. Insurance must serve a financial planning purpose!

You need to have a planning strategy in mind when you purchase auto insurance. The insurance company’s goal is to get you to pay more in premiums than you take out in claims – thus, they profit.

Your goal should to pay as little in premiums as possible in order to be adequately covered. You don’t want to have to use your auto insurance, but at the same time, you don’t want to be subsidizing the bad drivers who take out more in claims than they pay in.

In order to develop a financial planning strategy for auto insurance, it’s important that you become as educated as possible on the subject. Luckily, there are dozens of great sites on the internet that provide free information on the various types of auto insurance plans, and the particular laws of your state.

Everyone has to own some form of auto insurance, and thus it should be the cornerstone of any intelligent planning strategy.

The Financial Planning Dilemma – College vs. Retirement

American parents love their children and will do almost anything to ensure they have every possible advantage. As a result, many parents save for their children’s college instead of saving for their own retirement. This act of selflessness is usually not a good planning strategy.

In order to avoid this mistake, one must have a decent understanding of financial planning tax implications. Most college savings accounts are taxed on some level, whereas financial planning products for retirement purposes generally are not. What’s more, saving for your child’s college can prevent him or her from receiving the maximum financial aid available.

In other words, by foregoing your retirement in favor of your child’s college, you are actually subsidizing the children of less responsible parents – or smarter parents who chose to save for their own retirement, in light of these facts.

Chicago’s Magnificent Miracle Mile The Hottest Commercial Real Estate In The Midwest

Can you afford commercial real estate on the Chicago Magnificent Mile? If you can, your business will be in good company, and you can make a lot of money!

A festival of restaurant dining, theater and jazz experiences, shopping, hotels and entertainment, Chicago’s Magnificent Mile is abuzz with activity from Spring through Fall, and those merchants and commercial vendors who are lucky and wealthy enough to rent space in Chicago’s most productive real estate market, are the fortunate recipients of some pretty hefty income.

The Magnificent Mile stretches from Randolph Street to North Avenue and from Lake Michigan to the North Branch Canal, and it is Chicago’s most expensive commercial real estate.

The landscape is flush with fancy hotels including the Inter-Continental, the Ritz-Carlton, Hilton, Omni, Le Meridian, Hyatt, Wyndham, the Westin, the famous Whitehall and many other world-renowned hotels share this prestigious real estate, and the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association manages the business district.

Within this precious Chicago real estate, street festivals, garden shows, food festivals and other events are planned, all to bring local residents and tourists to spend their entertainment dollars.

Along this stretch of expensive real estate you can also find posh, formal restaurants like Les Nomades, and NoMi intriguing international restaurants where you can find Brazilian, East Indian, French, Italian and cuisines from many countries around the world.

The Chicago Shakespeare Company is also in residence in the Magnificent Mile of Chicago Real Estate, as are a number of jazz clubs and galleries like Kenneth Probst, Peter Bartlow and R.S. Johnson, selling fine art, antiquities and much more.

Water Tower Place, the Shops at North Bridge, Chicago Place and the North Michigan Shops also offer commercial real estate opportunities in well-advertised storefronts, malls and real estate centers.

If you are looking for commercial real estate in this area of Chicago, be sure you employ a reputable broker. Rents are high and real estate is precious. Options to extend commercial leases and expansion options to take on more space will come at a premium in this real estate market.

Upscale brokers like Gordon McAdam, Property Management companies like Zeller, and Executive Suite brokers like AMATA deal in finding and leasing commercial real estate and space to businesses in this area.

If you are looking for Chicago real estate on the Magnificent Mile, be sure you find a company that will work with you to assess your square footage requirements, and do an office or building search that will take into consideration the ideal location for your type of business.

These companies can also help you analyze the commercial lease you will be asked to sign and negotiate more favorable terms. Some have partners that offer architectural and build-out services for your real estate needs, and even move-in and utility hook-up services.

If you DO rent commercial real estate along the prestigious Magnificent Mile in Chicago, make the most of your network by joining the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association. Membership in this business and real estate district association provides you the opportunity to participate in business-to-business marketing activities and to have your logo and business identify advertised and promoted in the Magnificent Mile events and activities.

The Board of Director’s for this Chicago real estate business district and association always includes prestigious hotel managers and business managers for large commercial vendors like Neiman-Marcus, as well as business district and service vendors who provide the local transportation. These are good people to know if you want to promote your business.

Get to know the individuals who share this small square of real estate with you and leverage their connections to help you make more money and pay that steep rent bill every month.

Per square mile, this patch of Chicago real estate will produce more income for your business, but it will cost you a pretty penny to house your business here.

If you want to consider Chicago real estate with a slightly less onerous price tag, you can consider real estate in the Riverfront area, which is very near the Magnificent Mile and attracts lots of tourists. There are lots of events there and the overflow of shoppers and tourists from the Magnificent Mile is a definite advantage to renting commercial real estate in the area.

Tips And Ideas For Better Home Improvement

The time often comes in your life when it is necessary to attempt a home improvement job. You may have purchased a new house and it needs a little facelift or it could be that niggling house job you keep putting off. Follow some simple rules and the task can become a little easier, even enjoyable.

Always take time to prepare. Have a plan of action in the form of a manual or instruction leaflet and do the necessary preparations for the job. Do not forget to protect or shield any expensive items, furniture and flooring that might get damaged or accidentally stained in the home improvement process.

Always make sure that you have good ventilation when doing any home improvement project especially when using paints and some glues. Use your electrical devices with adequate safety protection and keep your tools away from children. If you plan to do any outside home improvements like varnishing or painting check the weather forecast to make sure it is not going to rain.

Although all the previous suggestions are extremely relevant the most important measure for you to take before starting a job is to make sure you have the right tools, and the best quality of tool you can afford. This suggestion should not be ignored. Reference your manuals to get the necessary tools for the job beforehand.

If you just fancy having a go at a home improvement activity begin with a renovation type job. Take a room, for instance the living room, and see what could be done to enhance the beauty or functionality of the room. It may need wallpapering or you may want to change the floor from carpet to wooden floorboards. The furniture may need to be reupholstered or a stray crack in the wall may need to be filled in. In the kitchen a table may need re-varnishing or a cupboard handle replacing. But a word of warning, if you are unsure ask the advice of a trained contractor. Also when you are deciding what home improvement to do think carefully if the alterations would fit into the theme or color scheme of your house.

After you have attempted some minor renovations and repairs this should give you more confidence to try a bigger project, for instance an outdoor patio or decking job. Remember to plan and prepare your home improvement jobs, use the right tools and give yourself plenty of time to get the job done.

Gambling Addiction Can Ruin You

Everyone in this world wants to make money; easy money is something that involves a hell lot of risk. Gambling is said to be the thing that can make you rich but can also make you bankrupt. When in Vegas people say nothing is better than the gambling casinos in Vegas. A place where a person might come as a pauper and leave with a money but what happens in a reverse scenario, a person that is supposed to be a millionaire might become a beggar. Gambling is a common thing with many people around who spend money on betting, some turn out to be the winners and some loose. A visit to a casino doesn’t mean that it is a bad habit, it is just the testing of ones luck. But a frequent visit to a gambling station would mean that you are addicted to gambling. The legal gambling industry is on an all time high in America. Where you get gambling casinos in your home town, and the Internet that seems to have made the world small.

Gambling can be of various types such as at casinos, card rooms, mobile gambling, Internet and many various types of gambling that people are addicted to. Gambling involves a lot of stake where your money is put to the ultimate test of dragging in along more money but this might not turn out to be the case, and you might find yourself loosing. Your luck is tested and said to turn negative, but it is not that you were unlucky. In fact you were foolish where you kept on loosing even though there were no signs of winning and then you start cursing yourself by saying that you are a person that has all the ill luck in the world. A pathological gambler will find problems such as family ones, debts, suicidal tendencies and many more. In order to triumph over your bad habit of gambling problem you can look for help from a hypnosis session that you can conduct your self.

Gambling is looked upon as an illness that is chronic and progressive but can be treated with timely help. Hypnosis is said to be the solution to your problem as in the past it has treated many addictions such as alcohol, drugs, etc. Gambling is also stated as an addiction. One that is addicted by gambling can get help with hypnosis treatment. A victorious person or a businessman might have nothing left other than debts if he is a constant gambler. If you are a person who is addicted to gambling then you should look for the mp3 download. They are sought after by many people all around the world for its overall success to overcome gambling addiction. Mp3 downloads helps your stressed and anxious mind set free and stop doing wrong things and take in only things that which have positive results. These will calm your nerves and enable you to perceive life with a correct approach. It helps you control and stop your inkling towards gambling.

Five Home Improvement Tips To Help You Transform Your House Into A Stylish Home

When deciding to transform your house into a stylish home, you can use different approaches to the various parts of the house in order to minimize your renovation costs.

- The Interior Design Approach

1. One approach that you can employ is by focusing your renovation design towards your staircase. You can change the design of your staircase to make it appear more cozy and modern or use wooden materials with carving designs to have a more traditional and yet stylish look. Redesigning your staircase would also depend on which part of your house, it is located.

2. Once you have redesigned your staircase, the part of the house where it is located should also follow to match with it. If it’s in the living room, then the living room should be redesigned as well. In renovating your living room, you can repaint the walls to match the color of your staircase railings. If the railings are made of wood, then it would best to have a wall paint colored beige or other variants of earth colors. If you still prefer a light colored wall, you can repaint the base of the wall with a darker tone of brown.

3. Aside from transforming the staircase or the ceiling you may also redesign the flooring of your house. A quick and easy way of doing this is by replacing your old flooring with laminate floorings. You can choose from the variety of materials that are used for laminate flooring. For example, if your theme is the more traditional look, then you may use the laminate flooring which resembles wooden parquet flooring. If you are looking for a more environmentally sound floor, then one of the incredibly stylish and durable bamboo flooring options currently on the market may well be a better choice.

- Transforming by Changing the Furniture

4. If renovating the entire interior of the house is too costly for your budget, you may opt to buy new furniture to replace those old and tired looking pieces that are an eyesore. You can purchase new designs of living room sofas with matching sleek and modern center and side tables. 5. You can also purchase a made to order bar if your living room has more space to accommodate this. A living room bar adds excitement and style to any boring traditionally styled living rooms.

So there you have it, five simple yet extremely effective tips for transforming your house into a stylish home. Have fun!

Financial Services Funds For A Down Market

Buying into a financial services fund may not seem like the best idea, especially with the amount of instability in financial markets right now. But many experts and investors are saying that now is the time to invest in these kinds of funds. With prices so low, they are only going to grow from here on out as the financial climate of the nation continues to be repaired.Financial services funds are a type of mutual fund that is specifically focused on banks, lending institutions and other financial services companies. Mutual funds allow investors to get into the stock market without spending a lot of money on one type of stock. With a mutual fund, you are technically pooling your money with other parties and buying stocks as a group. The manager of the mutual fund will choose the stocks or bonds that will offer the best return for the category.Financial services funds offer a better deal than investing in financial services directly. When you use a mutual fund such as this, you get a number of different advantages. Your money is diversified across many different companies and institutions. If one financial institution has trouble, you aren’t left up a creek without a paddle. The rest of your mutual fund portfolio should balance out the hits that the individual company is taking.Another benefit of investing in the financial sector with mutual funds is that you get professional management of your funds. The financial services fund’s manager has the experience necessary to be able to determine when to buy and when to sell specific stocks and bonds. Their experience will help your money grow.Pooling your money also allows you to have more cost efficiency. If you have $5,000 to invest, you may be able to buy shares in two to three companies. However, when you invest in a mutual fund in the financial services sector, your money will be spread out far more equally. Mutual funds can contain stocks and bonds for up to 100 different companies. When you invest this way, you’ll be able to spread your money over a wide variety of companies which can act as a measure of protection.In late 2008 and early 2009, financial services funds were fairing too well. Based on the trouble with banks and lending institutions due to the stock market slumps, it’s easy to see why many people would shy away from investing in this sector. However, history shows that after a financial crisis the financial services industries have been boosted up in the following years. After the early 1990s recession, financial services funds rose 30% in 1992 giving investors a nice profit. Purchasing a financial services fund, or any fund for that matter, is not something that should be gone into lightly. Before you place your money in a fund, you should research the history of the fund, the company that runs the fund and even the fund managers. Once you evaluate this information you can figure out if investing in financial services through mutual funds will be your best bet.

Trade Video Games Online

If you are one of the millions of people who love to play video games but cannot afford to buy all the games you want, there are now websites that offer cheap video games through innovative trading systems. These sites allow you to trade video games that you bought and are tired of playing for video games that you want. The best trading sites also verify the games to determine that they actually work, and most of these sites have affordable fees for helping you trade your games.

Video games are not cheap and buying all of them is impossible. You need money and you need time to play them. There are countless video games with new games or new versions of popular games always being released. The only extremely cheap video games you can find are usually pirated which means they are counterfeit and in violation of copyright laws. Sometimes you can find cheap video games at yard sales or through auction sites, but no one guarantees that they are actually working. Consequently, the best way to get cheap working video games is to find a trading store online or visit your local game retailer which may not have a good selection. Also, when you trade video games there are usually terms and conditions you must agree to in order to protect yourself and the retailer.

If you live in a big city you should be able to find a store and trade your games there. However the odds of finding the video game you want online is much greater because the community of traders is much larger on the more popular sites. A website that offers this kind of services will usually have a reasonable fee you have to pay for each game you trade. The trading system is usually fairly simple and intuitive.

First of all you need to set up an account, choose a user name and a password. Then you create a list of the games you own and want to trade. The next step is finding the game you want. Both lists are saved in your account and can be updated on a regular basis. To find available games that you can trade you simply check the list of the available to trade video games. When a game you want becomes available you will be notified. Similarly, when someone wants a game that you own you will also be notified.

Trading games is made easy with the help of the latest incarnation of online trading sites. They do the hard part for you by checking the games that are traded though their system to ensure that they work properly and are the requested game. Once you trade a game the video game is yours and as soon as you are tired of it you can place it on your have list and trade it for another video game. This way you are able to stretch your video game dollars to the limit.

The other benefit of trading games online is that you keep only your favorite video games and trade the rest. In comparison, when you rent a video game you have to pay for renting it for a certain period of time. You can only rent a few games at once and the newer the game the shorter the period you can keep it. Also if you do not return the games in time you have to pay additional fees and you end up spending more than you anticipated. When you trade, you pay the same fee for every game no matter when the game was released or how long you keep it.

Get Control Of Your Personal Finance With A Budget

It is fairly common knowledge that money matters can be simplified and controlled with a budget. One of the keys to personal finance management is creating and using a household budget. It is not a really hard task, but one that many people avoid. The reason is that it can often be hard to avoid overspending and having a budget really puts spending problems out there.

A budget is basically a list of expenses and income. It should include all expenses, even the seemingly little expenses like a morning coffee purchase. The budget can be made out weekly or monthly, whatever way is best for the household. For someone who gets paid once a week, a weekly budget may be best. For someone who gets paid once a month, a monthly budget would work nicely. Although, it is really a matter of personal choice as to how the budget is made out.

The income section of a budget is usually fairly simple. Most people can easily track their income. Some people choose to list their income after taxes, while others list the income before taxes and include taxes as a expense. That is strictly a matter of choice.

The expenses section is where most people have trouble. It can be hard to see our spending habits in black and white. It is really important, though, to be honest and list everything. You may find it is helpful to keep a spending log for a week. Your spending log is where you will write down every purchase you make. This can be a good way of tracking all the little expenses you incur throughout a week.

Your expenses section of your budget should also include utilities and housing expenses. If you have a car payment, include here as well. You need to include money spent on gasoline, bathroom items, food and any other thing you spend money on. You do not have to include large, one time purchases, though, as they are not a routine part of your expenses.

Once you have your income and expenses listed you need to add each up. The total of your expenses should not exceed the total of your income. If it does then you need to cut back on your expenses. You may have to stop some spending or try to find creative ways of reducing your spending.

The whole idea of a budget is to ensure that you are not spending more then you are earning. Your budget is a blueprint for how you should be spending your money. Once you have your budget made out and it is balanced you need to stick to it. Only spend as much as you have allotted in your expenses and you should find your personal finance situation becomes much easier to deal with.

I Have A Problem Gambling And I Have Lost Everything

To often compulsive gamblers utter the words I am have a problem gambling and now I lost everything. At this point in their life they are finally ready to admit they have a problem gambling. These same people are increasing at an alarming rate.

Only a year ago things seem to be less dramatic then they are right now when it comes to gambling addiction. The accelerated growth in this addiction is paralleled to the growth in the gaming industry. Since a significant number of our population have now been exposed to this gaming industry the negative affects are more apparent. Each and every day we hear a new story about someone who has lost everything due to their gambling addiction and we may now know someone who also has been negatively affected.

Now that we know people are addicted to gambling, what should we do? This is a very difficult question to answer but I believe education and awareness can help those inflicted with this self destructive addiction. Unfortunately gambling addiction also affects all those around the compulsive gambler.

I have received several emails from people who believe their solutions would help decrease the accelerated growth of those addicted to gambling. The following are examples of those emails:

We should outlaw all forms of gambling.

The gamming industry needed rules and regulations that they must adhere to like the alcohol industry.

At the very least remove all ATM machines from gambling establishments especially casinos that have slot machines.

No Check cashing allowed at any gaming establishments

No alcohol should be allowed in casinos

Gambling establishments should not be allowed to use the postal service to send incentives for people to come to their place to gamble. Most people are easy prey. The gambling establishments send a fifty dollar gift certificate knowing the gambler is going to spend a at least ten times that amount.

No large billboard advertising. This industry makes their money by drawing on the innocent only to hook them and take everything they have worked so hard for.

No commercial advertising, donating to charities or sponsoring of the local news.

The above email comments are from those who have suffered directly to the the gaming industry. Remember it is not only the gambler but their family and friends who also have been negatively affected. They are biased and they have a right to be.

Remember these words I have a problem gambling and I have lost everything. because this could be you or your family member. If you even have the slightest notion you have a problem gambling, face it straight on and take the appropriate action. You can recover before you lose everything you have worked so hard for.

If you are have lost everything, you can rebuild your life and move forward. There are so many people who have walked in your shoes. I know this can be very painful, but with each day that passes as you begin your road to recovery you life will get brighter and brighter.

Taking Your Personal Finance Situation Online!

In modern times, society has reached a point where money represents the number one force and everyone is interested in providing for himself. That has always been the law of nature but it seems that the more we struggle to lead an existence, the more credit we give to money. In the end, we are left with just one question: how can we understand better our personal finance situation? Where should we resort for help? The answer is more obvious than we imagine: the Internet!

The advent of the World Wide Web has brought numerous advantages and that includes the personal finance sector as well. Fortunately, we have a multitude of resources to help us out, providing all the information we need to know about financing, cheap loans, mortgages and other similar subjects. In fact, one single website can represent our portal into the entire financial world. We have access to multiple subjects related to personal finance and we are sure to find some of the best experts to provide us with the much-needed assistance, imparting valuable knowledge.

When you say personal finance, you automatically think about finding a reliable and experienced accountant. With the help of the Internet, not only you can discover some of the best accountants out there but plenty of other experts working in the field of accountancy. If you are in need of professional auditors, you can make good use of such services by getting their contact details. Also you can get in touch with one of those specialists that can provide you taxation-related services and an extensive analysis of the banking field.

If you are need in some professional advice for your personal finance situation, then you can go ahead and search for consulting experts. They can highlight the best investments for you to make, along with perspective risks and risk management strategies. Finance consultants are just the specialists you need to make it into the tough business world, knowing all the trends of the market and how to avoid potential pitfalls. They can provide an appropriate course of action in case you find yourself in debt, suggesting cheap loans and other procedures that are beneficial for you.

As for banks, the World Wide Web contains an incredible selection of the best and most reputable banks in London. You can easily access them and discover their offers for mortgages, cheap loans and other banking services. Most of these banks have just released Internet banking services, with great plans for savings and potential investments, so you can definitely check them out. With them, you will get a clear picture of where you stand when it comes to personal finance, versus the current market and get experts advice, particularly when it comes to managing your finances. If you want to be knowledgeable in the field of interest savings and financial planning, then these are the online resources you should look for.

The Internet is the perfect tool to discover a lot of interested things about today’s business world. As an example, if you are interested in cheap loans, you can certainly take advantage of the specialized resources offered online and compare a multitude of existing offers. No matter if you are interested in homeowner loans, unsecured loans or car financing, it is guaranteed that you will find a specialist to help you out and also get you the best possible deal. Also, most of these portals offer what is known as a loan calculator, the most essential thing you need to compare loans. As you are probably interested in cheap loans, this resource is perfect, taking into account the sum you want to borrow and providing you with set answers.

Many people are afraid to take up a loan because they fear they will go even deeper in debt. While that may be true for a few cases, most people are actually satisfied with the cheap loans they find online and consider that they were exactly what they needed. In order for the loan calculator to provide you the cheapest loan, you will have to mention the loan amount, the loan period (from 6 months to 25 years) and your residential status. You can also use the Internet to find out the best selling loans, the APR rate and also how you can use one of these cheap loans for debt consolidation. As you can see, when it comes to finance, the Internet is just what you need!