Definition: A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments.
The best way to understand what a ROI is, is to look at how it is calculated. To calculate the ROI, use the following formula:
ROI = (Investment Gain – Cost of Investment) / Cost of Investment
The final number is either captured as a percentage or ratio. Regardless, what the formula does is show the investor if the investment is worth undertaking. With all investments, you take risks. But, by calculating the ROI, you as the investor can get a glimpse into the profitability potential of that investment.
At times, however, the circumstances surrounding that investment may cause additional fees or returns. So, although the formula above is the way to calculate your ROI, there is room for modification.
To learn more about ROIs, visit www.Investopedia.com.
Statistics has shown that most Americans take their financial situation for granted. This can be true for non-American individuals as well. Of course, your geographical location may play a part. But, a financial crisis can affect anyone, anywhere, and at anytime. And, statistics say that none of us are prepared to handle them.
According to these statistics, Americans (in particular) have difficulty with being “proactive” when it comes to financial preparedness.
- 46% of Americans have less than $10,000 saved for retirement.
- 40% of baby boomers now plan to work until they die.
- 87% of adults say they are not confident about having money for a comfortable retirement.
- 36% of Americans say they don’t contribute anything at all to their savings.
Okay. As you can see, these statistics are shameful. We are clearly not prepared if changes occur in various stages in our lives. But, what are these “changes”? And, what should a person do in order for them to become better prepared?
1. Your kids college careers – Keep a timeline of when your child will graduate from high school. Map out a yearly plan on how much you’d like to save towards their education. Start saving now, not tomorrow. Also, research and apply for college grants or other forms of financial assistance.
2. Loss of job – Always have 6 to 12 months of emergency funds stashed in a savings account. The amount should be based on your total monthly expenses (or how much it cost to maintain your household each month). This will prepare you for any unfortunate layoff’s or separations. If you are a small business owner, devise an escape plan or ways to keep your business afloat, in case difficulties arise.
3. Economic downfall – Think of ways to survive an economic shift. What jobs are you capable of doing that can help you earn money while enduring an economic crisis?
4. Real estate or stock market changes – Stock markets fluctuate all the time. The real estate game is just now seeing a favorable shift after being the cause of America’s economic crisis a few years back. So, to prepare yourself, create a secondary plan that will keep you afloat in case your investments take a huge dip.
5. Other circumstances (i.e. divorce, health scare, death) – Be proactive by, again, writing out a P.O.A. aka Plan Of Action. Don’t wait until a parent dies or you get a divorce. Create a list of “what if’s”. These questions will help you pinpoint which income stream(s) will serve as the monetary source for any potential life change. Also, your list of “what if’s” should include names, places, and estimated costs. The earlier you plan, the better off you will be when the unfortunate time comes.
This process may take a little of your inner psychic. It’s all about being prepared for anything. Therefore, a proactive thinker should incorporate “sudden changes” into their budgets. Take control of your life while you still have time.
Source for Statistics: TonyRobbins.com
After a long battle against a former financial advisor, the courts have reached a favorable decision in Rihanna’s $35 million lawsuit.
Rihanna was awarded a judgement of $10 million, which both parties agreed upon. She originally sued Peter Gounis, of Berdon LLP, for millions she’d loss in failed ventures suggested by the accountant. Remember, in 2009, the pop singer announced that she was “effectively broke”. She also fired Mr. Gounis.
Rihanna claimed that in January 2009 she had $11 million. By December 2009, she had only $2 million left. Mr. Gounis, during that year, OK’d several large purchases such as the $7.5 million mansion in Beverly Hills, which later turned out to be a dud. The home was ridden with water leakage problems. Rihanna spent over $1 million in home repairs until finally deciding to sell it, which caused her a $2 million loss.
The court documents read: “Mr. Gounis was fully appraised of Ms. Fenty’s financial condition, yet, nonetheless, failed to advise her that the purchase would be unwise.” (Source: LatinaPost.com)
Rih Rih’s legal squad added that Berdon LLP also advised her (via email) to make the purchase(s) knowing that she was experiencing financial difficulties. The accounting firm also failed to warn her about a worldwide tour that was failing. The ticket sales were not turning over as forecast and the firm failed to warn her before the tour ended. She lost millions because of this as well.
Peter Gounis’s argument was that Rihanna’s frivilous spending on designer clothing and jewelry was the real reason why her millions faded away.
Although Rihanna won this case, this should be a lesson to anyone who hire someone to manage their finances.
When soliciting and securing financial services from a firm or individual, always be willing to take a second look at your money at all times. Most firms and advisors are scheduled to give you a full financial report once a month or each quarter (or as often as you specify). This gives you the opportunity to review your assets against your liabilities, determine if there’s money available for major purchases or investments, etc. Mr. Gounis, in this instance, should not have approved the purchase of that $7.5 million mansion. Rihanna only had $11 million in the account. So, why would anyone tell their client to spend over half of their entire savings? This should have been a red flag for Rihanna.
But like a lot of celebrities and athletes, many do not know how to manage a large amount of money. From once being poor to one day becoming a multi-millionaire, this can be very scary and mentally overwhelming. And when you are not educated on how to properly manage your finances, you will be more prone to throwing it away.
In her case, Rihanna trusted the wrong people. This brings us to another point: don’t be afraid to fire people when they are not doing their job! There’s nothing wrong with that. Just because a colleague referred their services, you don’t have to put up with their poor job. So, fire them quickly and look for a reputable accountant. Try several accountants if you have to. And in some cases, hold them accountable for any significant losses (i.e. insurance, earned value milestones, etc).
The key is to be proactive, not reactive. If you can prevent a loss from happening by just being prepared and aware, then stay on your sh*t at all times, make sure your accountant is doing their job, and keep your eyes on your money.
Photo Source: UrbanIslandz.com
Something’s in the air. It must be tax season because insulting memes, videos, and quotes have been surfacing the web since early December 2013.
As we all know, anyone making under a certain amount of money is guaranteed to get a couple of thousand dollars back. But, each year the IRS uncovers millions of dollars that has been illegally claimed by Americans. This is not to say that everyone does this, but it is being done. Regardless, shopping centers, car lots and every other store becomes overpopulated when refunds are dispersed. People are so quick to run to a store or car lot to spend the cash, but they don’t think about saving their money until it’s too late. They dress spectacular and fabulous in the top name brands for a couple weeks, trying to show off and impress anyone who’ll watch. Then they’re in a pit (within a month) when bills are due and their bank account reads zero dollars.
One way to make sure your money last is to invest in treasury bonds, savings bonds, put a small amount in a stock market or invest in something worthwhile. If you don’t want to go that far, you can open up a protected savings account, which won’t allow you to make withdrawals from the account for a specific amount of time.
There are number of ways you can save your money and make it double. Just because the money is there, doesn’t mean you have to go out and spend it. Pretend like it does not exist, so when you really need it, it’ll be there for you – hopefully with interest.
Don’t be a victim of the cliché memes.
The legalization of marijuana, in 21 states and 9 pending (as of January 27, 2014), now faces push back from financial institutions. The urge from financial institutions is for Congress to amend anti-money laundering laws. As of today, the 1986-imposed Money Laundering Control Act (MLCA) is still forcible by law and any individual or institution disobeying the laws set forth will be prosecuted accordingly. The fear nowadays, however, is mainly derived from the banking establishments. Many establishments are leery of accepting money made from legalized marijuana sales.
Under the MLCA and it’s corresponding rules and regulations set by Congress after 1986, financial institutions can not accept and store “dirty money”. In the 1980′s, the government notice an influx of money being carried by banking institutions. Many of the individuals depositing these funds were involved in the drug trade, which produced millions of dollars. The monies made, unfortunately, was too much to be stored in home or facility. Therefore, banks began allowing the cartels to make deposits. The deposits were in-turn deemed as capital, which was used many times for opening up local businesses and to purchase real estate. Most of Miami’s South Beach properties was built on drug money. Eventually, the federal government notice these large transactions and decided to impose a new set of laws that will prevent laundering from occurring.
Fast forward twenty years, the MLCA is now up for debate and revision. The states in which financial institutions are worried about the laws are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. Until U.S. policies are changed, most banks will not accept these deposits. Jacob Sullum, writer for Forbes.com, summed it up perfectly…
Because growing and selling marijuana remain federal felonies, providing financial services to businesses engaged in those activities can be viewed as money laundering or aiding and abetting drug trafficking. Holder can announce that such prosecutions should not be a high priority for U.S. attorneys, but they won’t necessarily listen, and the policy can be changed at any moment, by this administration or the next. Without new federal legislation, banks accepting marijuana money will always be taking a legal risk. (Forbes)
For good reason, banks should be hesitant to accept these funds. Until Congress put the provisions in writing, it is best to stand clear of potential prosecution.
Each year, Americans file their taxes in anticipation of receiving “free” money. Some of us, who are not as lucky, have to pay Uncle Sam back. While others eagerly awaits their refund so that they can spend it on a new car, TV, vacations, and a host of other non-detrimental things. However, the best way to get the most out of your refund is to save it, invest, and/or pay off debt.
To help those who are wondering what to do with that check or direct deposit, here are 5 Sure-Fire Ways to Get The Most Out of Your Tax Refund:
1. Pay off or reduce your credit card balances – If you are far behind in payments, you are probably one of millions of Americans with a low credit score. Most credit ratings are lowered because of overdue payments and huge balances. Get back on track by using your refund to pay off that debt. Not only will that help raise your credit score, but it will also put you back in good standings with the credit card company.
2. Pay off loans or make additional payments – You’d be surprised at the number of people who obtain payday loans or cash advances. The idea was to use your job paycheck to pay the loan back – little by little each month. Of course, things don’t pan out as planned. Your interest rate is increasing and you fall deeper in debt. This applies to mortgages and auto loans too. It is best to use your refund to pay these loans off completely or pay on them. For mortgages, get ahead of the 30-year fixed and double up on a monthly payment. It will help you lower your principle significantly.
3. Settle your collections account – Stop the collectors from harassing you by paying off your debt. Out of all the things that can negatively affect your credit score, an unpaid collections account is the worst. Even if you settle your collections account, this does not improve your score. However, it will definitely make it easier to get approvals on other loans or credit accounts.
4. Save money for a rainy day – Having a savings account (other than your 401K) is important. A savings will allow you to store your refund in case of an emergency (i.e. loss of job, major home repairs, etc). Always save up to 6 months of emergency funds. If you do not have a savings account set up, this is the perfect time to open one.
5. Invest – There are many options available in terms of investing. You have mutual funds, bonds, stocks, real estate, and so on. If there’s a business you’ve always wanted to start, your refund may help get it off the ground. Of course there’s risks to owning a business, but at least this is a risk that could potentially be profitable. Contact a financial advisor for assistance. Figuring out what type of investment is good for you will be overwhelming. But, once you sit down and learn the pros and cons, you’ll soon see that using your refund was well worth it.
Hopefully, these tips are found helpful. Even if you decide to take your family on a vacation, don’t spend it all on the trip. Save a portion of your “free” money and put it towards one of the five options listed above.
Porsha Williams (formerly Stewart) new year is not starting off too well. Seeing her life play out on Season 6 of “Real Housewives of Atlanta”, would make a woman second guess the whole reality show bit. But, in her case, allegedly it is her only source of income. So, unfortunately she has no choice but to grin and bear it.
According to TMZ, Porsha Williams is facing financial hardships these days. Word is that she’s behind almost $18,000 in her condo’s home owner association fees. In her divorce settlement, she allegedly receives only $5,000 a month is spousal support. With her on-screen lavish lifestyle, it has to be hard to keep up with the joneses. On the show, for instance, she moved into a mini-mansion in Nene Leakes’ neighborhood knowing that she couldn’t afford it. But, Porsha insisted that this major move would force her to work hard and go hustle for that money. Realistically, how hard will a former stay-at-home/trophy wife work to make them coins? Not too hard.
In addition to being being on her HOA fees, TMZ learned that the condo association has filed a suit against her for the unpaid monies. They have requested that her bank accounts be frozen and her RHOA check be garnished until her debt is satisfied.
All I can say is…Porsha please get a financial advisor or account ASAP, if you do not have one. At this point, she needs assistance on how to properly manage the income she has coming in. If TMZ’s claim that she has moved back in with her mom is true, that’s a great move. It’s a very smart move. You don’t have to keep up the high-priced image for your fans and friends. If they love you, they will love you regardless of where you stay.
Thanks to tax preparation software, more of us are making fewer mistakes on our annual tax returns. But still, just one slip in entering information on your computer could end up costing you, either in the form of a larger tax bill or a smaller refund.
And even if a mistake — either on your computer or paper forms — doesn’t cost you cash, it could delay the receipt of any refund you’re expecting.
To get exactly what you should from the Internal Revenue Service, as quickly as possible, look out for these tax-filing pitfalls. A few are new, thanks to recent law changes. Others are perennial problems taxpayers face each filing season. With a little care, you can avoid them all.
No matter how you decide to prepare your taxes this year mistakes can happen. While tax preparation or allowing someone else to prepare your taxes may cut down on the number and types of errors made, any mishap could cost you. While things can get quite complicated for some when it comes to all things taxes, here are a few simple mistakes Bankrate.com says can make a major difference. So if you haven’t already filed…take heed!
1. Math miscalculations
The most common error on tax returns, year after year, is bad math. Mistakes in arithmetic or in transferring figures from one schedule to another will get you an immediate correction notice. Math mistakes also can reduce your tax refund or result in you owing more tax than you thought.
Using a tax software program to file your return can help reduce math errors. The built-in calculators do the work for you, adding, subtracting and inserting numbers on additional forms as needed. But you still have to make sure your initial numbers are correct. Entering $3,500 when the real figure is $5,300 makes a lot of tax difference. Getting the numbers right is crucial because you can be sure the IRS will be double-checking numerical entries against its copies of your tax statements (W-2, 1099s and the like). When IRS examiners find a discrepancy, they’ll definitely let you know and, in many cases, will correct your mistake and refigure your taxes for you. Don’t give them the chance. Make sure your math entries are right.
2. Filing status errors
Make sure you choose the correct filing status for your situation. You have five options, and each could make a difference in your ultimate tax bill.
If this is the first tax-filing season you’ve been divorced and you now are a single parent, head-of-household probably will be more beneficial. And you’re still married, but you and your spouse are thinking about filing separate tax returns? That works in some cases, but not all.
Make sure you know what each tax-filing status entails, and choose the one that best fits your personal and tax situation.
3. Social Security number oversights
Because the IRS stopped putting taxpayer Social Security numbers on tax package labels in response to privacy concerns, some taxpayers forget to write in their identification numbers. Your tax ID number is crucial because there are so many transactions — income statements, savings account interest, retirement plan contributions — keyed to this number.
The nine-digit sequence also is vital to claim several tax credits, such as the child tax and additional child tax credits as well as ones for educational expenses and dependent care costs.
And make sure the names associated with the Social Security numbers match Social Security Administration records. A difference here also will cause the IRS to kick out or slow down your return.
4. Signature required
Sign and date your return. The IRS won’t process it if it’s missing a John Hancock, and that means on e-filed returns, too. Taxpayers filing electronically must sign the return electronically using a personal identification number, or PIN. To verify your identity, you’ll have to provide the PIN you used last year or your adjusted gross income from your previous year’s tax return.
Your tax software should walk you through the e-signature process, but if you’re still mailing your return, don’t be in such a hurry that you stuff your 1040 in the pre-addressed IRS envelope without signing it. And if it’s a joint filing, you and your spouse must sign.
5. Missing the deadline
Don’t miss the impending April 15 tax deadline. If you owe the IRS and that’s the reason you’re thinking of not filing, that’s a bad idea. If you don’t file a return, you’ll face even stiffer penalties. So send in the paperwork, pay what you can and talk with the IRS or your tax professional about the next steps.
Besides the obvious which is being denied additional credit when needed there is also another price to pay for having bad credit that is just as bad and that price can be summed up in three words HIGHER INTEREST RATES. When you have bad credit it is a guaranteed that you will be at a disadvantage and pay higher interest on credit cards, auto loans, and home loans thus making it more challenging overtime to make your payments, lower your debt and essentially improve your credit scores.
Good credit on the other hand allows you to pay less in interest thus increasing the likelihood that you will be able to manage your monthly payments which will ultimately contribute to a higher credit score enabling you to utilize the leverage that good credit makes available through the use of other people’s money.
There is good news and hope for those currently experiencing credit problems. No matter what your current credit score is the dream score of 800 or higher is still within reach with a little work.
If you have desires to be able to take advantage of the best deals on life’s largest purchases and have access to large credit lines to take advantage of opportunities that those with bad credit can’t a solution to make those desires manifest themselves is within your reach.
Although things are now different there was a time that I was a victim of bad credit, constantly struggling to pay bills and drowning in debt without a substantial income that would allow me bail myself out debt that I had found myself in as a result of living beyond my means.
After years of discipline I have been able to join the coveted 800 club myself and also assist clients in reaching the same goal by following a two-step sure fire strategy that I will share with you:
ALWAYS MAINTAIN LOW BALANCES AND HIGH LIMITS
Because a large portion of your credit scores with all three bureaus is calculated and determined by your credit utilization (used credit –v- available credit) a good rule of thumb is to keep your balances well below 50 percent of your limits although I personally suggest 35 percent. Once you reach the 50 percent mark, your credit scores will begin to decrease however the opposite applies when you keep lower balances meaning that the lower you keep your balances below that 50 percent mark, the higher your credit scores will remain.
LIMIT THE NUMBER OF REQUESTS FOR CREDIT (TOO MANY INQUIRIES HURT)
Credit inquiries are recorded so that you can know who has obtained your credit report. They also enable potential creditors and lenders to see when you have applied for credit. Too many credit inquiries will cause potential creditors to question whether you are seeking to obtain more credit than you can afford to repay. The credit scoring agencies have found that borrowers who request credit frequently tend to be higher risk borrowers. Thus, frequent inquiries on your credit report that result from frequent requests for new credit (credit cards, loans, etc.) will lower your credit score.
LATE PAYMENTS NOT AN OPTION
One third of your credit score is based on your payment history therefore it is imperative to MAKE PAYMENTS ON TIME. Missing one payment when you have a good credit score can cause your scores to drop upwards of 100 points. There are only five other factors that may affect your score more than a late pay and those factors are a debt settlement, a foreclosure, a judgment, a tax lien, or a bankruptcy.
KEVYN JEROME NELSON (The Hip Hop Credit Doctor) is the President/ CEO of WORLDWIDE CREDIT AND FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS INC www.worldwidecrediandfinancialsolutionsinc.com and MIDAS TOUCH ENTERPRISES WORLDWIDE LTD Published works include “Corporate Credit Unleashed” “Hidden Secrets The Credit Bureaus Don’t Want You To Know: An Insider’s Guide To Building and Maintaining Excellent Credit In Today’s Economy” and “When All Else Fails….Legally Create A New Credit File” Available On Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Kevyn-Jerome-Nelson/e/B00AQLQS22/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
For More information on the concepts discussed contact 323-769-6356 or email email@example.com.
Nowadays, young people understand the meaning of hard work. They also know that with hard work, substantial amounts of money can be made. So, in today’s society, you tend to see individuals jump into the workforce as young as 15 years old. Although most are probably working in order to support their fashion and entertainment habits, there are a few that are considering their future by saving.
For those individuals who become employees at a corporation (or any company that offers a 401K retirement plan), it is best to begin saving as early as possible. The sooner you start putting portions of your paycheck into a retirement account, the greater chances you’ll have at accumulating a huge chunk of money by the time you retire. Of course, this also depends on how much of your paycheck you have deducted each month. Most investment experts will advise people to transfer no less than 6 percent of their paycheck(s) to a retirement account. Percentages less than that will take a much longer time to grow, especially if you wait until you are in your late 20s/early 30s to start saving.
To assist young adults with their savings plan, here are several ways to start stacking dough for retirement:
1. Pay yourself first.
“Treat your retirement savings as a monthly expense,” suggests Debra Greenberg, director, IRA Product Management at Merrill Lynch. “Take that money off the top of your income and not from what’s left at the end of the month.” Then take a look at your budget to identify areas where you can cut back to free up more money to save. Paring down your expenses may not be as difficult as you think, Greenberg says. Try eating out less, she advises, and look for better deals on your cable or cell-phone service. Those savings can really add up.
2. Consider an IRA.
If your employer doesn’t offer a 401(k) plan, or if you’re contributing the maximum and want to save more, you can still invest in a traditional or Roth IRA (see the chart below for contribution limits).
For a Roth IRA, you contribute after-tax dollars, and you won’t pay federal tax on your earnings when you withdraw them at retirement if they’re taken as a qualified distribution. Note, however, that state tax may apply.
For a traditional IRA, you may be eligible for a tax deduction now, but you’ll be taxed when you withdraw the assets later. This can be a big benefit if you’re currently in a tax bracket that’s higher than the level that you believe may apply during your retirement, when you’ll have to pay tax on withdrawals. Ask a tax advisor which IRA is right for you.
3. Enroll in a 401(k) if you can.
If your employer offers a 401(k), enroll as soon as you can to take advantage of the benefits. In an employer-sponsored plan, your contributions are automatically deducted from your paycheck, helping you maintain the discipline to keep contributing. In addition, some employers offer a Roth 401(k), which can be especially good for young investors. Although contributions to a Roth are taxed, withdrawals during retirement won’t be if taken as qualified distributions, and your tax rate now is likely to be lower than it is when you take money from the account. And if you have a traditional 401(k), your contributions are taken from pretax dollars.
Many employers will match a certain percentage of your contributions, so at a minimum, try to contribute enough to earn the full match. “An employer match is part of your compensation, so don’t leave that money on the table,” says Vale. And if you can, contribute the maximum amount allowed. See the table above for the current contribution limits.
4. Increase your contributions whenever you can.
While it helps to contribute whatever you can, especially as you’re starting out, some say that contributing as much as 15% to 20% of your income toward retirement may make sense. It can seem like a lot, but future costs of health care and inflation will likely require more than you think. If you can’t contribute that much right now, stretch as far as you can, and make a commitment to increase your contribution when you get a raise or pay off a large expense. Even increasing it 1% or 2% regularly will add up over time. For 401(k) contributions, check to see whether your employer offers automatic increases.
5. Be sure to factor in fees.
Fees are a normal part of investing but will vary from investment to investment, so consider them carefully as you make your choices. You may be holding these investments for many years, and high fees could diminish your returns over time.
6. Consolidate to simplify.
It’s much easier to keep track of your retirement funds and monitor an overall asset allocation when all of your retirement accounts are in one place. If you’ve left retirement funds in previous employers’ 401(k) plans, you may want to consider rolling them over into an IRA or your new employer’s 401(k). Some employers pass along administration and service fees to their 401(k) participants, which may mean that you can invest in particular funds less expensively through an IRA than you can in a former employer’s 401(k). An IRA may provide you with more investment choices.
7. Balance retirement plans with your other savings goals.
Saving for retirement is important, but so are other goals, such as creating an emergency fund and preparing to pay for a child’s education. If you can balance your retirement goal planning while still enjoying today, you won’t be tempted to try to cover expenses by dipping into your retirement savings—something you really don’t want to have to do. Usually if you’re under age 59½ and withdraw retirement account funds, you’ll have to pay taxes on the amount you withdraw, along with a 10% additional tax. Ask your tax advisor about provisions for using funds for education or the purchase of a home, but be sure to also consider how withdrawing those funds can affect your retirement savings.
Once you have established a retirement savings strategy that makes room for your other financial priorities, you’re on your way. Stick to your strategy, and monitor it regularly—at least every six months—to be sure your strategy aligns with your goals as they evolve. By the time you retire, you’ll be glad you started saving as much as you did as soon as you could.
For more information on saving for retirement, go to www.Merrilledge.com.
Forbes Investment Guide 2014 is out. This handy special edition guide is now available for millions of people to buy. The guide consists of financial tips from Forbes staff and savvy entrepreneurs. Whether it is an article on which stocks to invest in or how to make money in real estate, this booklet provides up-to-date information on ways to become successful. And when we speak of success, we really mean becoming rich.
If you are a person who’s ambitious and hungry for success, purchasing the Forbes Investment Guide will be a great resource to have on your shelf. Tax deduction tips, fine art investments, ways to save for college, and more can be found in this guide book. Creating a path of financial stability for you and your family is pertinent. So, why not equip yourself with helpful information that can lead you to that economical status.
The main thing about a lot of us is that we do not like to read. It is something about reading equates to “work”, which is why it seems hard. Of course, working hard is never on anyone’s agenda. However, the reality is that without knowledge we will never get ahead.
Therefore, one simple reason to pick up a copy of the Forbes Investment Guide 2014 is to LEARN. To engulf yourself with more knowledge than what you have now, means that you are empowering yourself. All successful people had to learn their job first before becoming rich. So, treat yourself to something that is valuable and contains information that will last a lifetime.
Being educated is not corny, it’s cool…and always remember that.
In 2013, Atlanta rapper Jeezy began using the hashtag #BossUp on Instagram photos. Clearly, it was signifying his increase in business ventures (i.e. Avion Tequilla, Gourmet Shoes, etc) and his overall evolution into becoming a man. Even as a teenager, Jeezy must’ve had his sights on bigger and better things that were major in contrast to his humble upbringings. The way industry peers and fans have witnessed his growth since releasing street classics like Thug Motivation 101, most parents would appreciate if their child had the same type of inner hustle. Not everyone has a hustlers spirit. But, the ones that do are blessed with the ability to turn nothing into something.
For many young adults sometimes the challenge is finding their niche. Remember, as a kid, your parent(s) would sign you up for ballet or Little League Football. In about two weeks of going to classes or practice, you become bored with it and want to try a new sport/hobby. Finding your career niche occurs the same way. Through your teens and 20′s, you may hold several different jobs. Some kids choose to earn money the illegal way. Of course that is not the career choice to go with. But, it’s reality. Whether a good hustle or bad hustle, the tasks and obstacles to becoming a true go-getter may vary. The goal, however, is to become successful…financially.
The Millenials (18-34 year olds) are much different than Generation X and the Baby Boomers. Millenials want success BAD. Their motivation starts out with wanting the latest fashions. Eventually, as they grow older, the motivation becomes cars, homes, starting a business, and more. The common thread, though, again is the need to make money.
In a few days, the year 2014 will be here. As an young hustler, ask yourself ”are you prepared to reach your goal?” If not, here are 5 resolutions that can help bring the Jeezy out of you:
1. Figure out what talents or skills you have. What are you good at? Can you cook? Do you draw? Can you create a beat on ProTools? Find out what your talents are first. This will make it easier for you to come up with ideas on how to capitalize off of your skill sets.
2. Take educational courses to enhance your knowledge base. Finishing high school and/or college is important. The streets can’t teach you everything. Don’t believe it when you hear someone say that. Your hustle choice will require some technical or non-technical knowledge at some point. If you sell jewelry on Instagram, it will make sense to know how to maintain your financial records. Or how to maintain inventory records. Registering for an accounting class, for instance, will help you understand the basics. What sense is it to make money but have trouble counting it??
3. Learn to save. Hustlers have the tendency to spend frivolously. They do because making more of it comes easy for them. Be a smart hustler. When you become of age, open up a savings account. Deposit 10-20% of your weekly earnings into that account. Over time, you will increase your net worth and always have “emergency” funds available.
4. Choose the right set of friends. Distance yourself from friends or family that hold you back. Friends can be your downfall. Spend most your time with other go-getters and/or positive influences. These people will help motivate you and offer words of wisdom. Individuals who lack ambition or even the foresight will be a constant distraction. Through jealousy, possession, or hate, the wrong friends will always make themselves known. Stay away!
5. Keep setting goals (6-months, 12-months, 18-months, etc). Expand your plans as far as you can think about them. The more ideas you jot down, the more opportunities you can create for yourself. Goals will also help you stay organized and on track. If you fall off or have a minor setback, at least you will be able to identify where you stopped. Then, when it’s time to get your hustle back on, you can pick up right where you left off.
No matter what the “hustle” is, it is still a job that requires preparation and commitment. Preparation will allow the young go-getter to establish a solid foundation. Commitment will increase he or she chances of becoming rich and successful. Most millionaires didn’t stop in six months and became rich. They spent years creating the career and lifestyle they wanted for themselves.
As a hustler, you create your own life. Jeezy carved out his path to success and became a label owner and entrepreneur. You can too. Work on the five resolutions listed above and begin today creating your own unique life of prosperity.
A settlement has finally been reached between the nations largest bank and the U.S. Department of Justice. After months of investigation into the seedy dealings of toxic loans, J. P. Morgan Chase admits that their practices were unlawful and plans to fork over $13 billion. Of the settlement, $4 billion will aid in the relief of suffering homeowners.
“Without a doubt, the conduct uncovered in this investigation helped sow the seeds of the mortgage meltdown,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. “J.P. Morgan was not the only financial institution during this period to knowingly bundle toxic loans and sell them to unsuspecting investors, but that is no excuse for the firm’s behavior.”
In an official statement, the Dept. of Justice says that J. P. Morgan Chase acknowledged the fact that it told investors that mortgage securities were in compliance with underwriting policies, when in fact bank employees knew that the loans did not comply. Therefore, the $4 billion in aid and its particulars were decided upon by the Dept of Justice and the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development. Their negotiations ended with the following distributed payout:
- $3.2 billion towards the write-down of principle amounts of J.P. Morgan Chase held loans.
- Up to $500 million towards mortgage “forbearance” – the restructuring of home loans in order to reduce monthly payments.
- Additional $2 billion will go toward ”new mortgage origination for low-and-moderate income borrowers and absorb the remaining principle owed on properties that have been vacated, but not yet foreclosed upon.”
It is expected that these mortgage fixes will be completed by the end of 2016.
Read full story HERE.
The minute you decide that you want to become a millionaire you must reflect on the inner you. Who am I? What am I passionate about? Am I a hard worker? Am I able to go beyond what is expected of me? Questions such as these will help you begin to brainstorm and come to a conclusion of the type of person you are.
In order to become wealthy, however, it will take some additional things that may include habits, your environment, your circle of friends and constituents, vices, etc. All of these areas should be analyzed with a certain level of concern. The better you are at assessing your personal traits, the better you will be at identifying if you got what it takes to become the next Bill Gates.
For many of our richest Americans and non-Americans, there are certain characteristics that are instilled within their inner being. The people that they are is exhibited through their work. So, what are these character traits exactly? Well, the following list of five key traits are what most experts believe make up a wealthy person.
Intelligent enough to work smarter, not harder – Wealthy people understands the value of time. Therefore, instead of working themselves to the bone for just a dime, these individuals figure out ways to make their job easier. If there is a task that they can’t handle, they search for and hire someone with those expertise to do the work for them. By doing this, this frees up much needed hours in order to focus on other important tasks.
Never sees money as their key motivating factor – People who have gained riches and maintained it have the tendency to love what they do. They are passionate about the job and the work their doing which is (and can) benefit others. Well-to-do individuals like to contribute to others (i.e. family, friends, society). This pleasure in satisfying anyone other than themselves is what fuels them to reach higher levels of achievement.
Refuses to think poor – Have you ever known someone who is afraid to spend money for fear of being broke? Probably so. Are these people still broke? Probably so. A rich person, on the other hand, isn’t afraid of the unknown. They understand that insecure thoughts can oftentimes stunt their personal growth. A person who talks themselves out of situations are more than likely going to stay in that same place. Therefore, wealthy people look beyond their humble upbringing and strive for more than what their parents had, for example.
Hustles like a Jamaican – In case you didn’t know, when someone says you “work like a Jamaican” that means you work several jobs. To some, having several jobs may be a bit much. But, to most millionaires, one job is not enough. Wealthy people must have more than one way to make money. They believe in securing several streams of income whether it is through owning several companies, building partnerships with other investors, planting seeds into other businesses as a silent investor, and so on. Having multiple ways to make money not only secure capital for any future ventures, but it also secures the livelihoods of their families.
Spends less, invests more – Rich people aren’t afraid to miss out on a new Bugatti so that they can use those funds to invest. They know the facts surrounding federal and state tax laws. This is why millionaires make big purchases as company-related property. Unlike a single-family home, wealthy people spend their money on commercial properties that can appreciate, produce a cash flow, and be able to be written-off on their taxes each year. The same goes for cars. Wealthy people invest money into items that can produce revenue. Family houses, cars, clothes, designer bags, etc can not do that.
One last thought…in addition to these 5 Key Character Traits Of A Wealthy Person, another important thing to know is that these individuals pick their friends and associates wisely. Most wealthy people dwell in circles of other wealthy and educated individuals. Being selective with who you chose to be in your circle can either make you or break you. So, if you have dreams in becoming a rich person, please understand that some of the people who are with you on the way up…may not be there when you finally get to the top.
The United Way of Greater Atlanta is now offering an innovative way to help people become financially fit. The new mobile app called the “Money Game” is an unique way to keep users engaged about a subject (money) that is otherwise considered a bit drab. The app selects financially-driven trivia questions for users and offers small prizes. This new innovative educational tool provide users with the necessary information to become financially independent – in the present and future. To help users maintain a positive outlook on money, United Way offers free mentors to each user.
The Money Game is available on Apple and Android smartphones. For more information or to download the app, visit www.UnitedWayAtlanta.org/MoneyGame/ .
Being able to manage your personal life, in general, is hard in itself. But, management takes on another level when it involves money.
Many people are out of jobs, living on ends meet, and are caretakers of others which causes them to have to kids or grandparents dependent on them. When you are living with constraints due to lack of funds, there are many things that become part of your “can’t do” or “wish” list. Things like having the luxury of dining out at a fancy restaurant or hitting Macy’s to buy the new Michael Kors boots soon become items you can’t afford. If this is you, it may be time to assess your monthly income and evaluate your spending habits.
To help you learn how to financially manage your life, below are a five key things that could implement now to assist you.
5. Pay Utility Bills and Credit Card Monthly Fees…On Time! – The most important thing is to keep a roof over your head and the lights on. Before you use your money to do any frivolous spending, first make sure you’re up-to-date on your utility bills. Most household bills are due by the 15th. Don’t wait until the 16th to pay it. Why put yourself behind on bills and be subject to late fees? You will find yourself spending way more than what you have to, thus instantly taking away from your extra stash needed for entertainment or shopping. As for credit cards, you should already know the importance of paying the minimum balance or more. If not, lateness causes your credit score to drop. No one wants to be known for having bad credit.
4. Set A Monthly Budget – Learning how to manage your monthly income, save, and spend any extra on fun things takes some skill. To make it easy on you, however, just pay your bills first. Then, put away a certain percentage in a savings account. If you’re job offers a 401K plan, allow them to take 6% or more from your paycheck and deposit into that account. After that, ration out the money you tend to spend on entertainment-related activities, shopping, grocery shopping, and any other miscellaneous items. You do not have to club hop every time you get paid. No nightlife experience is that important.
3. Reduce Your Shopping Trips – We all love clothes, shoes, bags, hats, jewelry, etc. But, do we have to go to the mall every week? NO. Reduce your shopping trips to once a month (at least) and then take heed to step #2.
2. Find Deals, Discounts, One-Day Sales – Take advantage of coupons or store discounts. Call up your favorite stores and ask when items go on sale. Most stores have a calendar plan of when they will offer sales. So, this information shouldn’t be that hard to find out. Do the same for grocery stores too. 2-for-1 (buy one, get one free) deals happen each week. Also, there are some grocery stores that have $1 days. If you are an elder, always ask store clerks if there any special offerings for senior citizens. Don’t be ashamed of bringing your grandmother along just to get that special offer.
1. Take A Chill Pill, Relax At Home – Stop thinking you have to be everywhere and do everything. Believe us, you’re are not missing anything. It’s ok to chill at home, watch a movie, play with your kids, etc. The easiest way to save money is to not put yourself in environments which will seduce you to spend money. If you know that rent is due, don’t act immature and go hang out with friends and spend your rent money. Act like an adult and act responsibly.
Managing your life from a financial standpoint can be intimidating . Don’t let the thought of doing it hinder you from getting started. To live your best life, overall, being financially fit reduces unecessary stress and headache. One aspect of STACKS Magazine’s purpose is to equip readers with simple ways to handle their finances. Hopefully, these 5 Ways To Financially Manage Life can help jump start your journey.
If you have any other useful ways to add to this list, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!
That damn K. Michelle know she tickles me. LOL
Earlier Tuesday, news broke that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was looking for the “Love & Hip Hop” star for debt she collected back in 2008 and 2009. In comparison to other celebrities we’ve mentioned on our site before as being culprits of not filing tax returns, K. Michelle’s amount of debt didn’t seem quite so bad.
According to the TMZ, the R&B singer had failed to file her taxes in 2008 which over the years garnered some interest totaling $47,700. Also, she owed $4,700 from 2009. But, K. Michelle took to her Twitter to tell fans that this information was ALL false. In fact, she claimed that YES she has paid off her debt.
“Damn Uncle Sam Why you wanna stick me 4my paper???? Lol. Nice try Bloggers it’s already been settle. Strippers need tax breaks to,” she wrote. (via AllHipHop.com)
She sure did nip that in the bud real quick! Good to see that she’s on top of her financial responsibilities…unlike many others we know.
While much will depend on your specific situation (credit score, income, age of bankruptcy, etc.), it doesn’t have to be as difficult as some people make it. Through research and experience I have identified a three step process readers can use after filing bankruptcy to increase their chances of credit approval.
1) Identify Ways to Increase Your Credit Score
It is essential that you take steps to increase your credit score if you have plans of applying for credit after filing bankruptcy because it can mean the difference between being approved or declined for a credit and being given that all important second chance. If you can increase your credit score enough after filing bankruptcy, you may also be able to secure a lower interest rate on any loans that you qualify for and this could save you hundred and even thousands of dollars in interest payments.
There are several steps that can be taken to increase your credit score after filing bankruptcy. You can begin by having any inaccurate negative information on your credit reports corrected or deleted. You will also need to take all necessary steps to assure also that any obsolete negative information is removed from your credit report immediately.
2) Understand How the Credit Approval Process Works
By knowing how the credit approval process works when applying for loan after filing bankruptcy it will give you an edge over a lot of consumers that do not understand the credit approval process. For example, what criteria does a specific lender use when reviewing applications? Do they have a minimum credit score criteria? What are the income requirements? How much of an impact does your bankruptcy have on a particular underwriter’s decision?
After filing bankruptcy, it is extremely important that you know the answer to these questions before you begin applying for credit. By knowing the answers to these questions in advance it will help you identify the lenders that will consider your application and raise the odds in your favor for approval. While there are several other questions you can ask, these are the most important questions and will give you a good starting point.
3) Applying For Credit Again Following Bankruptcy
There are specific strategies that you should use when applying for credit and loans after filing bankruptcy especially if you are planning to obtain an auto loan to purchase a vehicle or planning to buy a home. While there are several strategies you can use to increase your chances of being approved for a particular loan that is guaranteed to help you not only save money on interest charges, but also help you save money on the purchase itself I will focus on one of the most effective strategies which is a method called piggybacking. Piggybacking is where one person “lends” their good credit to another by making them an authorized user on one or more of their credit accounts. The good credit of the first person is then reported as an authorized user trade line on credit reports which in turn helps build or rebuild a credit score. This can be done by a friend, relative or even a stranger in order to give you the credit boost that you need.
In summary, while credit is not as easy to obtain after bankruptcy as some consumers would like it is definitely not impossible in fact it can easily be accomplished when following the three step process I have just outlined.
KEVYN JEROME NELSON is the President/ CEO of WORLDWIDE CREDIT AND FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS INC www.worldwidecrediandfinancialsolutionsinc.com and MIDAS TOUCH ENTERPRISES WORLDWIDE LTD Published works include “Corporate Credit Unleashed” and “When All Else Fails….Legally Create A New Credit File” Available On Amazon.com
For More information on the concepts discussed contact 323-769-6356 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In conjunction with the Center for Working Families organization, Operation HOPE-Atlanta is sponsoring free workshops for students grades 4-12. The program, “Banking for Our Future”, have had over 684,000 students nationwide to complete the program.
The financial literacy program utilizes HOPE Corps Volunteers and financial professionals to teach banking in terms that are easy for youth to understand. The joint series consists of five modules that cover topics including the basics of banking and budgeting, the power of credit and basic investment concepts.
Financial literacy courses for parents are hosted simultaneously by TCWFI every Wednesday from 5:30-7:30pm here at the Center.
For more information, check out www.tcwfi.org.
While on his press run for Magna Carta Holy Grail, Jay-Z stopped by Hot 97 to chat with old friend Angie Martinez. Angie is undisputedly one of the few radio personalities that Hov will even allow to interview him. Given that their friendship goes way back, Jay-Z is comfortable around Angie and normally has no problems answering her questions.
This interview prompted a lot of questions in which Jay-Z had no problem answering. But, being that STACKS Magazine tend to focus on building success, hearing him talk about money and business was my highlight of their discussion. Here are a few of those quotes:
When asked about MCHG and the RIAA changing their rules…
“If you did 500,000 digital, 200 thousand, whatever the metrics is, they should certify what’s digital. It should’ve been happening. I was just the agent of change.”
If he’s surprised about the business moves he’s able to make happen…
“It’s a bit of business acumen and it’s a bit of believing I can and not being afraid to fail. That holds a lot of people back, that fear of failure.”
If he hates failing…
“I’m a person that loves winning. [But] I don’t hate to lose. That’s a different personality trait. Some people hate to lose and that drives them.”
Whether or not he could live without money…
“I don’t need money… I think success is just being able to do what you want to do on your terms.”
One of the most interesting questions asked was regarding his old friend and business partner, Damon Dash. Since Damon has been in the news lately regarding his financial issues, many people wondered if Jay-Z worried about or even talked to him.
“The thing we built , you can’t take that away so no matter what, the love is still there. Because what we’ve done will forever be stamped in history… We created something that’s gonna go down forever. So I can only have love for Dame. I just don’t know where we are in our life–We’re not the same two men at that time when we gelled in that way. I haven’t seen him in a while. I have ultimate confidence in him that he’ll find his way ’cause he’s an amazing and smart guy…. He’s a hustler and he’s highly intelligent, so I always root for him and always believe that he’ll find his way out of it. But I can’t control what happens life.”
Watch the full 3-part interview below:
It’s a new day for Toni Braxton and it’s looking good.
Despite having to battle health and past financial issues, she’s finally shedding some of the negative aspects of her life and stepping into a new direction. We’ve all heard the story about the multi-million debt she incurred for not making the best financial choices throughout her career. Well, recently it is being reported that she’s pretty much all clear.
As TMZ first reported, Braxton filed for bankruptcy (for the second time) back in 2010, claiming debts as high as $50,000,000. Yikes.
According to docs filed in the bankruptcy, Braxton made a deal with the trustee to buy back some of the personal property she lost. The deal was for Braxton to pay $5,000/month for 15 months with the last payment being $50,000. Braxton made all the payments … except for that last one.
The other part of the case hanging over Braxton’s head was the issue of $754,000 Braxton made for overseas performances. The shows took place AFTER Braxton filed for bankruptcy, so she argued that she was legally entitled to keep the money earned from these performances.
However, the trustee argued since Braxton was technically paid before the Chapter 7 filing (the money was put in escrow before the shows, she didn’t get it til after) she should have to fork it over.
The trustee and Braxton finally came to an agreement this week — Braxton agreed to pay the $50,000 she owed for the property and $100,000 from the performances.
Lastly … Braxton and the trustee came to an agreement that she could buy back the copyright on a slew of her songs for a cool $20,000. They go to auction on July 15 and they’re hers, assuming she doesn’t get outbid.
This is great news! With this tremendous weight lifted off her shoulders, Toni’s life can be less stressful. Thank God the trustee was willing to negotiate with her and not be harsh. Kudos to her for making it through this.
In more exciting Toni Braxton news, the oh-so talented singer changed her mind and is returning to the music game. She recently announced that she is working on a new album and has enlisted the help of old friend, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds. The two will work on the project together and use their past relationship experiences to help construct an awesome album. Remember, it was Babyface and L.A. Reid who produced her first three albums which, in total, went on to sell approx. 15 million albums worldwide. So, the fans should expect to hear some great ballads on this project.
Braxton will kick off a tour on August 9 in Las Vegas in conjunction with promo for the new album. The album is slated for a September release.
The one-time highly successful friend to Jay-Z and co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records has been catching financial hell lately. Earlier this year, Damon Dash admitted that he was losing several properties to foreclosure since he his funds decreased majorly after the split between him and Jay. Well, more unfortunate news hit the net yesterday.
TMZ reports that Dash has been hit with a federal tax lien by the IRS. The liens insists that he settle his debts from 2005 ($2,614,918.10) and 2011 ($187,544.20). Including the $2.8 million dollar lien, Dash also has additional debt that is outstanding in the state of NY and NJ.
SMH…hopefully, he doesn’t have to do any jail time like Lauryn Hill, Fat Joe, and a host of other celebrities.
In Summer 2012, Houston rapper Slim Thug released his first book, How To Survive In A Recession. The book was a surprise to most hip hop heads who were used to seeing Slim Thug in videos with flashy jewels and expensive cars. He even premiered once on the popular MTV Cribs showing off his sprawling home and fleet of cars. Well, years later Slim Thug decided to live a debt-free life which consisted of doing away with a few materialistic things he’d worked so hard far. He didn’t downsize because he was broke. Due to the recession, he took the smart route, man’d up, and began managing his personal finances properly.
Nowadays, there are more hip hop artists investing in stocks, opening businesses, and securing a great financial future for themselves and their family. Some music videos may tell a different story. But if you listen to their lyrics, you’ll notice that many of them are offering up some great advice about business and money. Recently, MSN posted several financial related quotes spit by several of our favorite rap artists. Financial experts reviewed each lyric and believed that fans of hip hop could actually learn a thing or two if we just pay attention. In case you can’t remember what a few of these rappers said, take a look at these lesson-filled quotes expressed by 50 Cent, Slim Thug, Yung Joc, Busta Rhymes, and Common.
50 Cent says, “I used to think that if I bought stuff that showed the world how much money I made I’d be happy. But that doesn’t work. For me, success was always going to be a Lamborghini. But now I’ve got it, it just sits in drive. My Rolls Royce has less than nine miles on the clock.” (quoted from interview with Daily Mail)
Moral of the Quote – Buying expensive items do not always guarantee happiness. Some assets, like cars, depreciate in value. So it is best to invest in assets that will increase your net worth. Then to find happiness, try giving back to the less fortunate.
Slim Thug says, “I always say if you can’t buy it three times over, you can’t afford it. Don’t drive a Bentley on a Benz income.” (quoted from How To Survive In A Recession)
Moral of the Quote – Simply. Don’t live beyond your means.
Yung Joc says, “Hold off on all the jewelry and cars. Straight up…(the rap business) not a 9-to-5. You go to work 40 hours a week, you’re not going to get the same amount of money…every week because it don’t work like that.” (quoted in interview with Hollywood Heavy)
Moral of the Quote – Be smart with your money. Always have it least 6 to 12 months salary saved up for hard times.
Busta Rhymes says, “Floss a little; invest up in a mutual fund.” (quoted in his 1997 hit “Dangerous”)
Moral of the Quote – Diversify your portfolio. Never leave all your money in one bucket. Contact a financial advisor or stock broker and find opportunities to invest and grow your net worth.
Common says, “But once you get grown and out your own/Bills upon bill upon is what you have/Before you get your check then you already spent half.” (quoted in his 1994 song “Rich Man vs Poor Man”)
Moral of the Quote – Keep your bills minimal. Always store away at leat 10% of each paycheck in a separate savings account.
What do you think of the financial advice given by these artists? Do you have any advice of your own that has proven financially effective for you? If so, please share in the comments.
It looks like Beyonce’s papi, Matthew Knowles is next up in line when it comes to who owes back taxes to the IRS
According to reports, Mr. Knowles owes good ole Uncle Sam an estimated $1.2 million in back taxes for 2010 and 2011. He was still managing his superstar daughter then which of course attributes to why the amount of what he possibly owes is so high.
It’s kind of hard to believe that Knowles would be so careless with his finances considering how good he’s been with making money over the last decade or so. But who knows how this could of happened. All I can say is that somewhere along the way, Knowles dropped the ball and didn’t stay on top of his affairs. Hopefully he’ll get it all worked out soon and not have to go the Lauryn Hill route.
Do horror films have the capabilities to make people pay off their debt? A free educational program called SALT seems to think so.
To help college kids understand the importance of paying off their student loan debt, SALT enlisted the assistance from the SS+K ad agency. SS+K was solicited to create a multimedia campaign that would empower young adults with the know-how to manage their debt. One project that is included in this campaign is a horror flick entitled “The Red”.
“The Red” features a 20-something girl who becomes terrorized by red smoke. The smoke follows her at every turn, mirroring the financial strain of a post-college world. No matter how hard she tries, she realizes that there is no avoiding The Red. The only option is the face it. The smoke is supposed to represent “bad debt” or debt that is “in the red.” The film was directed by Borderline Films (Antonio Campos, Sean Durkin, and Josh Mond) and premiered in Chicago, Boston, Seattle, Tampa, and Washington, D.C.. These cities held the largest student population and highest percentages of students with student loan debt.
Watch the film below:
To find out more about the film, go to www.FaceTheRed.com.
After serving the majority of the two-year sentence he received for illegal gun possession and then being transferred into federal custody for his tax evasion dilemma in which he failed to pay taxes on $3 million, Ja Rule has left prison early. Ja Rule was sentenced to 28 months for the tax evasion which was scheduled to run concurrently with the 24-month sentence.
According to authorities, Ja Rule was released earlier this week from a correctional facility in New York and is currently in home confinement to serve out the rest of his time. His official release date still stands as July 28, 2013.
Hopefully this will be the end of time when it comes to trouble for Ja Rule. It’ll be interesting to see what he’ll do with his time once he’s finishes his sentence. Will it be some new music…a reality show???
Tired of credit collectors blowing up your phone? Tired of receiving collection letters in the mail? Well, you and a million other people are sick of it. But, the first thing that you have to come to terms with is the reason why you owe so much anyway. Many Americans, especially, engage in overspending and living above their means. We love to “keep up with the Joneses”, show-off the material things to our friends and family, and buy stuff that simply has no value. Overspending is a condition that we all suffer or once suffered from. How do we get help with this problem? Initially, it will take you to make the decision to want to change. Once you have conquered that, you are on your way to living a healthier financial life.
Okay. To get started on your debt-relief process, here are several ways to slash the amount of money you owe. Although these bullet points are not full proof, they will at least put you in the right direction.
- Obtain a copy of your credit report. Americans are given two free copies each year. Then, compile a list of unpaid credit cards and outstanding loans. Add up the balances. The total you end up with is the overall amount you are in debt with.
- Decide which outstanding balances you want to start paying off first. Some people choose the smaller accounts first. Outstanding balances that are low (a couple hundred dollars) is preferred because it will take the shortest time to pay off.
- Contact each credit lender/agency and speak with a representative about a possible payment plan. Before you start paying against the debt, make sure you have a steady income coming in. If you work, see how much you can put in a savings each pay check. After you’ve calculated your monthly household expenses, use the money you have left over to put in the savings. You can use a portion of that savings to pay off the debt or you can set up a separate account to store your “debt-money”.
- Pay more than the minimum monthly fee on your credit cards and loans. It is better to pay more than just the minimum. This will allow you to see your balance decrease much faster than anticipated.
- Transfer debt to a credit company with a lower interest rate. It is smart to consolidate or transfer debt from the card with the 20% or more rate to an account with a lower rate. This is a definite way to adjust your monthly minimum fees, thus giving you an opportunity to pay more against the balance.
- Watch what you buy if you can’t handle the monthly payments! Stay in your lane and learn to minimize your purchases. This will save you much financial grief later on.
Hopefully, these few tips can put your on your path to debt freedom. If you check online, there are many outlets that provide programs to help you sort out your debt (i.e. www.payoff.com). Information is always available. There is no excuse to continue to be in debt.
Good luck on your journey!
They say if it isn’t one thing, it’s another but in the case of Rick Ross it seems to be quite a few things trying to weigh the rapper down.
As if the death threats from gang members and the drive-by shooting that happened weren’t enough, Ross then found himself under fire for his lyrics on Rocko’s “U.O.E.N.O”. The mishap with his lyrics on the song which were eventually removed ultimately led to him losing his $5milliom Reebok endorsement.
Well now the Boss is being sued by Total Access Talent, a Miami-based talent agency for an estimated $170,000. Now while the amount appears to be a small thing compared to the giant that is Ross’ net worth, the notion of the MMG head honcho doing bad business can be damaging enough. According to suit, Total Access Talent claims that Ross failed to pay the 10% commission he agreed to pay the company to books shows for him in the Florida.
If what Total Access Talent claims is true, then Mr. Rozay should be ashamed and definitely needs to get some better business about his self. But I’m hoping it’s just a lack of communication, a misunderstanding or at least something totally understandable.
The new program is part of the “textbook buyback” initiative which is a collaborative effort between Chegg and American Express Serve®. American Express provides students with the Serve® prepaid card after textbooks are sold inside the Chegg website. The prepaid card does not have any hidden fees. Students do not have to pass a credit check to get one. Instead, the only qualification is that students set up an account on Chegg. Though the process below may seems a bit much, AMEX and Chegg assures that selling books and earning money is rather simple. Check it out…
1) Student visits the Chegg website, requests and agrees to a quote for the books they would like to sell, and prints a shipping label to send their books to Chegg.
2) Student will then be directed to sign up for Serve from American Express within the Chegg website, and a Serve prepaid Card will be directly shipped to them. Buyback funds will be sent from Chegg within 24-hours of processing the book.
3) Student receives their Serve Card in the mail and activates it. They can use the newly available funds to transfer money between friends with Serve accounts, make an ATM withdrawal or to safely and securely shop virtually anywhere American Express® Cards are accepted.
“Going to college requires many transitions for students; one of the most important is developing good financial habits. We are thrilled to partner with Serve and help students manage their money using a trusted digital account,” said Elizabeth Harz, vice president of business development for Chegg. “Saving students time, money and helping them get smarter is what Chegg is all about. Teaming with Serve helps us deliver on this charter and provides American Express an authentic connection to this important and influential audience of 18 to 24 year olds.”
Starting now through August 30, 2013, students can open a new Serve Account and make purchases and receive a $10 credit. For more information, go to www.chegg.com.
Chegg, the student hub, is transforming the way millions of students learn by connecting them to the people and tools needed to succeed in college through homework help, course selection, eTextbook and textbook options as well as school and scholarship connections. Students nationwide use Chegg 365 days a year to make learning easier, more accessible and more productive. As a part of the company’s philanthropic efforts, Chegg is dedicated to its Chegg For Good program, which empowers students to be a catalyst for change on their campus, in their communities and around the world. From starting as a textbook rental company to evolving into the student hub, Chegg is enhancing education for millions of students by saving them time, saving them money and helping them get smarter.
It’s 2013. We are living in a day and age where information, on just about anything, is readily available. Whether it’s through the internet or at your local library, advice on a wide ray of subjects can be found if one just take the time out to look. This is especially true for parents who aren’t necessarily equipped with enough knowledge to pass down to their kids. One area that often stomps the parents when asked a question is money.
Personal finance, investing, wealth management, etc are all topics that parents should start teaching their kids early on. But unfortunately there are many parents that suffer from personal money issues. So, this automatically deters them from being a great role model and/or teacher. However, the necessary information and resources that can help young adults manage their financial lives are out there.
To help parents instill some financial accountability into their kids, STACKS Magazine found several great Books To Help Young Adults Manage Their Financial Life. Here’s the list:
1. The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey
2. Suze Orman’s 2009 Action Plan: Keeping Your Money Safe & Sound
3. Financial Planning for Your First Job by Matthew Brandeburg
4. Investment Visionaries: A Roadmap to Wealth from the World’s Greatest Money Managers by Peter J. Tanous
5. Get A Financial Life: Personal Finance In Your Twenties and Thirties by Beth Kobliner
6. Your So Money: Live Rich, Even When Your Not by Farnoosh Torabi
7. Street Wise: A Guide for Teen Investors by Janet Bamford
Parents, most of these books can be purchased online on Amazon. The earlier your child start developing some financial responsibility, the less financial headaches they’ll experience in the future.