Financial Services

Top Tips For Online Financial Services}

Submitted by: Vincent Norman

Online financial services have become a popular way for people to take care of all their monetary needs from the comforts of home. Whether it’s planning for the children’s future, for your own retirement, investment planning, or simply managing your assets, utilising one of several reputable financial services who have set up shop online may be worth considering.

If you don’t already have a specific service in mind for your unique financial needs, ask family and friends for their recommendations and look online for reviews and comments from those already using the service or company.

Protecting Your Privacy First

Protecting your privacy should be one of your top priorities at all times, as while it may be perfectly safe to do things such as your banking online through a secure, protected site with a reputable financial service, the overall safety relies greatly upon you the end user and the choices you make. Remember your financial service will not send emails asking for your password or other sensitive information, and when it doubt, always contact the company via telephone before doing anything.

When it comes to handling your finances online, protecting your privacy also entails the important matter of keeping your passwords safe and secure. Don’t choose a password with your birth date or address and instead create one that’s completely unique and meaningless, writing it down and keeping it in a safe place and also changing the password every month or so.

Your computer should be equipped with the latest antivirus software and firewall protection in order to keep prying eyes away from your vital, personal information. Any financial services you deal with should also have a secure, encrypted website and those details should be easily visible on their website.

Also never access any of your accounts from a computer in public places such as a cafe, coffee shop, or library.

Online Investing

There are currently a wide range of solutions available for those looking to invest either for growth or income potential. It is a well known fact that people today are simply not investing enough for their retirement, and with longer than ever life expectancies it is imperative to fully plan for the years ahead.

Some online financial services to take advantage of include tax efficient investing, collective investments, and bonds. An online financial planner will be able to recommend the best course of action dependent upon your future plans and offer advice regarding potential returns as well as the level of risk involved.

Protecting Your Future

As we all very well know, life can often be unpredictable so it’s important to protect for the future, and not just in terms of retirement but in the event of an unexpected and expensive or life changing event.

With careful planning and attention to detail, safeguarding your family when it comes to matters such as bereavement includes preparing a will that will be tax efficient for your family and finding viable ways of reducing your IHT (Inheritance Tax) liability, all of which are possible with an experienced online financial service.

Also be sure to take advantage of your service’s resources on their website which often include helpful tips to read or download to print for later, or informative brochures, guides, and tools to give you everything you will need to make sound financial decisions.

About the Author: Vincent Norman is a freelance writer living in the UK. He regularly contributes articles for The Online Shopping Centre, who offer the best range of trusted

online financial services



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Financial Services

How Annuity Training And A Retirement Institute Certificate Can Advance Your Career

By Cory Bowman

As a financial advisor, you will come to find that your clients may be concerned with their retirement investment decisions. As the retirement industry is expected to grow exponentially over the next decade and as baby boomers plan to retire, it is a good idea for you to achieve retirement certification from a retirement institute, in addition to annuity training. Clients are worried about inflation, their pensions and tax benefits among other things.

Throughout their investing lives, your soon to be retiree clients have probably invested in hedge funds. What will drive hedge fund returns you may ask? The persistence of these funds is directly related to autocorrelated returns. Serial correlation, also known as the first-order autocorrelation, measures the extent to which the return in one period is related to the return in the next period. Unlike correlation coefficients, a serial correlation only has to do with a single asset category. Serial correlations range from a negative number to positive 1.00. Examples of different serial coefficients of asset categories are REITs = real estate (0.1), EAFE = foreign stocks (0.1), LCS = large cap stocks (0.0), SCS = small cap stocks (0.0), LTB = long-term U.S. Government bonds (-0.3), and MTB = med-term U.S. Government bonds (-0.1). There is virtually no relationship between returns of most assets from one year to the next, excluding T-bills with an example serial coefficient of 0.8.


Another common investment for your clients to consider is bonds. The U.S. bond market is valued at roughly $30 trillion (2009); $82 trillion worldwide. The Barclays Aggregate Bond Index is comprised of more than 7,000 different bonds, many of which are so illiquid that fund managers cannot buy, even if they wanted to. In your annuity training, you will learn that R-squared reflects the percentage change of a funds fluctuation that can be explained by the change in its benchmark index. A fund that highly corresponds to its respective index has an R-squared in the high 80s or 90s. For the 10-year period ending September 2006, only two of 15 funds with 10-year R-squareds of 98 or higher outperformed the Barclays Aggregate Bond Index. Fund expenses prevented the other 13 possible funds from outperforming the index.

The advisor trained by a retirement institute who is seeking index-type returns for their retiree clients will have to either choose low expense funds or portfolios that have securities different than their respective indexspecifically, high-yield issues. Defaults on U.S. junk bonds for the 2006 calendar year were 1.3%, just under 1.0% for 2007, well below the historical average of 4.5%, as computed by S&P. In November 2009, the junk bond default rate peaked at an annualized rate of 14.5%. The actual default rate for all of 2009 was 13.7%; 151 issuers defaulted on a record $119 billion in bonds. Moodys expected the default rate to fall to 3.3% by the end of 2010. Surprisingly, for the first five months of 2010, the annualized rate was just 1%; nine issuer defaults, a cumulative total of $1.7 billion.

Planners who choose to attend a retirement institute will learn how to maximize their clients tax advantages of retirement savings, as well as other annuity options. In addition to basic annuity training and understanding, having a background in retirement planning will put you in ahead of other financial planners, as your vast skill set will be attractive to clients of all ages!

About the Author: Cory Bowman is Director of Ops at the Institute of Business Finance. IBF has helped thousands of members of the financial services industry attain designations. For more information about

annuity training


retirement institute

, visit


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Financial Services

Hair Removal Solutions: Laser Hair Removal And Others

By Sam Natarajan

Fear no longer the ignominy of unwanted body hair. If you have been willing to walk should somebody show you the way, you have come to the right place for hair removal solutions. Here we present some of the popular hair removal solutions like laser hair removal among others which can offer you the flight of fantasy that you have been seeking for so long to become truly beautiful.

Laser hair removal:

The latest technology in the long list of hair removal solutions, laser hair removal offers a easy to use, extremely effective method to get rid of unwanted body hair and is long lasting in its effect. Men and Women alike have benefited from this superb technology which promises unwanted hair removal from virtually any part of the human body. The principle of hair removal by laser is based on the fact that thermal agitation of the hair follicle and bulb under the skin causes the bulb to destabilize, break down and forego the capability of regeneration. Thus laser hair removal is precise and effective in hair removal.



The most common and the oldest hair removal solution in the market today and world different from laser hair removal. Shaving is a self administered hair removal solution in daily use by both men and women for getting rid of body hair. The equipment required is low-tech : a shaving razor, brush and cream is all that you need. However the application is limited to only areas on your body that you can see and reach and is not definitely applicable for the tender areas on the human body. This is not a permanent hair removal solution as well.


Otherwise called plucking, this method involves using a pair of tweezers to pull the hair out of the skin to ensure hair removal. This method is particularly painful and suffers from the same drawbacks of shaving in terms of permanence of effect and areas of applicability. It is hard to imagine that laser hair removal and tweezing essentially are solutions to virtually the same problem.


Before the onset of laser hair removal, electrolysis was widely touted as a very effective method for hair removal. Its different from hair removal by laser in the sense that, instead of a laser beam destabilizing the hair root, its an electric current that does the same job. This treatment also needs to be administered for a longer period of time as compared to laser hair removal and is definitely not for the faint hearted.

In our opinion amongst all the options of hair removal available in the market today, laser hair removal seems to be the most promising. Its just a matter of time before the technology becomes so prevalent that even for the unfortunate few for whom cost is a hurdle, it will be within reach of their financial boundaries!

About the Author: Visit our articles section at

for more such practical advice, tips and hair removal information. 2005, Sam Natarajan. You may publish it at no cost, as long as the links are left intact, made live, and this notice stays in place.


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Financial Services

Second Chance Checking Accounts Why Are They Important?

By Thomas Winn

Millions of Americans from single parents, women and minorities to divorcees are trying to start over with their lives. They all need a new personal checking account for their personal financial or business related needs. These needs are addressed by some banks through second chance checking accounts.

Second chance checking accounts are bank accounts for customers, who had a negative financial history and are listed in ChexSystems. ChexSystems is a national database of consumer checking history. This is utilized by financial institutions for financial education, monitoring and decreasing exposure to risk. Once a person’s name is placed in the ChexSystem’s database, it stays there for 5 years. The system is flawed and it’s difficult to get off the list.

Improving the quality of life is the main objective of second chance checking accounts. Derogatory reports made blacklisted customers unable to manage their personal and business matters using mainstream banks. There is an expectation that customers issued by second chance checking account will eventually transition into mainstream banking.


Most second chance checking accounts have restrictions imposed on account activities including transactions that can be processed. A restriction example applied is the denial of issuing checkbooks. Many banks presently relaxed their guidelines in opening second chance checking accounts. The primary reason is the customer’s lack of financial education in dealing with their checking accounts.

Banks have different requirements for eligibility to open a second chance accounts. Some may require a big opening deposit while others require minimum amounts. Other banks are considerate to include most of the other features of normal checking accounts such as online payments, direct deposits and even ATM withdrawals.

There are disparities and flaws with ChexSystems. It provides poor assessment of the quality of risk to a potential customer and its database contained many names of individuals who shouldn’t be there at all. There are varied criteria and ways bank use ChexSystems to set its parameters for defaulting customers.

It’s important to provide hope to those who have negative financial experiences like being over drafted, or who have lost a great amount of money in debt or defaulted payments, second chance checking accounts are considered a ‘fresh start’ to rebuild their financial background.

Some banks have provided these second chance checking accounts to names found in the ChexSystems’ list as long as they haven’t committed any major or outright fraud. There are banks that give a ‘parole’ from the database and were allowed to open a mainstream bank account again.

Whatever the past credit issues a person had, even how bad it was, you can open a second chance checking account with its full functions like an ordinary checking account. If you spend more time to find out more information about banks that offer second chance checking accounts, you might even get one without any restrictions.

It wasn’t the person’s liking and it’s mainly due to lack of knowledge about proper usage of their banking privileges. Everyone deserves a second chance to rebuild their lives and become accepted once again into the financial community.

About the Author: Thomas Winn is a freelance writer for many small financial blogs. With years of experience as a financial advisor, Thomas enjoys managing finances. Other than his advice, Thomas recommends a new financial site that provides

financial advice



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Financial Services

Advice On Choosing The Right Mortgage}

Submitted by: Crystal Mate

Choosing the right mortgage may seem easy enough. Find the best rate and sign on the dotted line, right?

Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Choosing the right mortgage involves a lot of research and planning. To make the right decision, you need to wade through a variety of mortgage products, all with different rates and terms. It is a complex process. Lets look at a few of the factors you need to consider when looking for a mortgage.

Fixed or Variable, Open or Closed? All About Mortgage Rates

When you are shopping for mortgages you will hear a lot about fixed and variable and open and closed. Heres what they mean, in a nutshell:

Fixed Your interest rate stays fixed throughout the entire term of your mortgage. This kind of rate makes it easier to plan for the future, since your payments will not change, but if interest rates go down, you could end up paying more.

Variable The interest rate varies on the basis of your lenders prime rate. When interest rates are stable, a variable-rate mortgage can cost less than a fixed-rate. With a variable rate you can often choose to make fixed payments – when interest rates are low, your payment wont change but youll be paying off more of your principal, which is a good thing.

Open Open mortgages can be paid off at anytime without penalty, but they tend to have higher rates.

Closed Interest rates are generally lower than for open mortgages, but if you decide to pay off a closed mortgage early, there will likely be a penalty.

Are You A Nomad or a Homebody?

Your mobility plays a part in choosing the right mortgage. If you think you will be moving within 5 years, you will need a different kind of mortgage than someone who plans to stay in their home for 10 to 20 years.

Short-term stays usually mean short-term, open and variable-rate mortgages. People planning to stay in their homes for longer periods generally do better with a longer-term fixed-rate loan, especially if interest rates are low.

A short-term mortgage is for two years or less, while a long-term mortgage is for three years or more. If you think interest rates are on a downward trend, a short-term mortgage might make sense, no matter how long your are planning to stay in your home. When the term is up, you can get a new mortgage for a lower rate. On the other hand, if you are locked into a longer term and interest rates fall, you might be stuck with your higher rate.

How Much is Your Down Payment?

If your down payment is less than 20% of the cost of the home, you will need a high-ratio mortgage. High-ratio mortgages must be insured, with fees based on the amount of your loan and down payment.

In todays off-the-charts housing market, a 20% down payment is rare. High-ratio mortgages are the solution, even for people with no down payment.

What to Do Now

How do you feel now about choosing the right mortgage? Confused? Overwhelmed? In need of an aspirin?

Your real estate agent may be able to give you advice, and so might your financial planner. Many people also turn to a mortgage broker to help them find the best rates and terms. The bottom line is that you feel secure in your choice so you can enjoy your new home to the fullest.

About the Author: For more information on

buying your first home


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Financial Services

Can You Enforce An Oral Contract For The Sale Of Real Estate?

By Bob Miles

The simple answer is ‘No, you can’t, because every state has enacted a Statute of Frauds requiring contracts for an interest in the sale of an interest in land.’ But hey, it’s never that simple with the law, which is why we’ve got so many lawyers running around. So if you’ve concluded an oral contract for the sale of real estate and the other party is pretending that the contract never existed because it wasn’t written down, don’t despair (at least until you’ve read this article), because there are certain exceptions to this rule.

Most states still recognize two different justice systems – ‘law’ and ‘equity’. Both are administered largely by the courts. If you are aggrieved under an oral contract for the sale of real estate, then sue in equity, not law (although legal remedies are sometimes available). You can avoid the Statute of Frauds if you have actually performed a portion of the contract ‘that is ‘sufficient’ to justify awarding you an equitable remedy – in other words, a court order demanding the completion of the transaction. The devil is in the details as they say, and exactly how much performance is ‘sufficient’ is where the lawyers will duke it out. If you are a buyer, you have already paid the full purchase price, and the seller refuses to hand over the deed, then your payment of the full purchase is surely ‘sufficient’ to merit a court order demanding that the seller leave the property and hand over the deed to you (defiance of which will constitute ‘contempt of court’, rendering the seller liable for daily fines and perhaps even jail time). If you have paid only $100 of the purchase price under an oral land contract, you might have to resort to small claims court to get you money back – it is unlikely that the court will force the seller to proceed with the transaction even if you are willing to pay the remainder of the purchase price.


DISCLAIMER: The foregoing is intended for reference purposes only and not as legal advice.

About the Author: Real Estate Law in Plain English explains real estate law without the legalese.


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Financial Services

How To Shop For Satellite Tv Dishes And Receivers

By Adam Short

It’s undeniable – shopping for a new satellite tv system can be tough. Take a look, for exampleif you dareat, a one-stop Internet shopping point for satellite TV. A recent search turned up the following entries:

DIRECTV DVR80 3-Room 70 Hour DIRECTV DVR Satellite TV System w/ TiVo (1) DVR80 (2) D10 with Standard Dish, Multi-Switch & Standard Installation

DIRECTV DVR80 3-Room 70 Hour DIRECTV DVR Satellite TV System w/ TiVo (1) DVR80 (2) D10 with Triple LNB Dish & Standard Installation

DIRECTV 3-Room 70 Hour DIRECTV DVR System w/ TiVo (2) TiVo Receivers (1) Hughes Director Receiver with Standard Dish, Multi-Switch & Standard Installation

DIRECTV 3-Room System (1) HR10-250 200 Hour (STD) 35 Hour (HDTV) DIRECTV High Definition DVR w/ TiVo (2) DIRECTV Receiver System with Triple LNB Dish & Standard Installation


A little help here? Those ads are about as welcoming as a brick wall, and they present us with more acronyms than the U.S. military. For pure reading pleasure, they rank somewhere between Finnegans Wake and the book of Leviticus. Am I buying satellite TV service, or naming robots for science fantasy sequels?

Relax, Luke Skywalker. Scanning through orbital space may not be like dusting crops, but well work our way through this thing together. Lets start with the first ad.

DIRECTV DVR80 3-Room 70 Hour DIRECTV DVR Satellite TV System w/ TiVo (1) DVR80 (2) D10 with Standard Dish, Multi-Switch & Standard Installation

Okay, first things first. DirecTV is a national satellite TV subscription service owned by Hughes Electronics and, in large part, Fox Entertainment. In order to watch DirecTV programming, one must first by a dish to collect the signals beamed to Earth by the satellite. Then one must buy a set-top box to decode those signals. Lastly, one must have a TV of some kind to display the imagery represented by those signals. The first ad is trying to sell us a hardware package thatll allow us to watch DirecTV, but it adds a few nifty bells and whistles. For example, this package includes another device called a DVR80. And what exactly is that? It looks like a license plate.

Good guess! No, a DVR80 is a brand of receiver manufactured and sold by RCA. To be more precise, it receives DirecTV signals as well as TiVo interactions. TiVo is a kind of DVR, or Digital Video Recorder, manufactured by the TiVo company. A Digital Video Recorder does exactly what it claims to do: It records video, not on tape as a VHS video recorder would, but as digital data in a dedicated hard drive. The DVR80 is capable of recording up to seventy hours of digital material, just as promised obliquely in the ad. What the ad doesnt make clear is that the amount of material the hard drive can store depends on how detailed the information is. Just as a VHS tape can hold anywhere from two to six hours of material, depending on the image quality, so do DVR image recordings suffer when recorded at the seventy-hour setting. The DVR80 has Dolby Digital sound capability and comes with a universal infrared remote control. When sold separately, it retails for anywhere between $100 and $150.

The comparison to VHS tends to minimize what TiVo can do. The hardware and allows for instant replays of live TV, plus the ability to skip through commercials while a program is airing. The Season Pass feature tracks the users favorite shows, even if they change network time slots, and records them each week automatically. Its even capable of predicting which unfamiliar shows the user might like, based on his or her previous recordings. Simply put, TiVo is neato.

But what in blue blazes is a D10? Isnt that Eminems Detroit rap posse? No, that would be D12, Slim Shady. A D10 is nothing more than the set-top box that receives DirecTV signals. It features an Advanced Program Guide interface, and is capable of receiving signals from several DirecTV satellites to the tune of over 225 channels. The box itself costs about $50 retail. A multi-switch is, well, a switch designed to allow more than one set-top box to receive information from the same satellite dish receiver. Some models feature built-in amplification. The model offered with this package has three different outputs to send video to TVs in three different areas of a house. Other multi-switches are designed to allow one satellite dish receiver to provide video to more than one home. As might be easily guessed, DirecTV does not encourage the sharing of its video offerings by entire neighborhoods of houses. It does, however, promise to install these devices for you, at a combined package cost of only $47.95. What a bargain! Its a good thing RapidSatellite doesnt charge by the acronym.

The second ad presents only one new complication, the Triple LNB Dish. A Triple LNB Dish, also known in DirecTV parlance as a Phase III Mulitsatellite Dish, is an 18 by 20 dish receiver that collects broadcast signals from three different satellites. Customers with high-definition TV sets will definitely want to upgrade to Triple LNB, because without it, its impossible to receive satellite broadcasts in HDTV. LNB stands for low-noise block. Its the device that hangs off the arm of the satellite dish and looks sort of like a flashlight. So what does it do? To find out, we first have to crane our necks and stare up into orbit. The DirecTV satellite at 101 degrees has 32 transponders, numbered 1 to 32 for some reason, each of which sends a group of channels. Back on Earth, an LNB converter responds to changes in the voltage transmitted by the DirecTV receiver by looking at either the odd- or even-numbered channels. A Triple LNB Dish, not too surprisingly, includes three LNB converters, each operating independently of the other two. That way, three different DirecTV receivers can look at three different stations on three different transponders. Long story short, it means Mom can watch HGTV while Dad checks out Sports Center. Meanwhile, their progeny have gathered around a third TV set to enjoy Aqua Teen Hunger Force, all at the same time. Thanks to DVR and TiVo technology, its entirely possible that all three programs were recorded weeks ago.

As for the third ad, a Hughes Director is the standard receiver offered with basic DirecTV packages. How standard? Many DirecTV vendors are now offering the device free with purchase of a dish receiver. Still, its a perfectly adequate receiver, with many of the features offered by the snazzier DVR80. While it cant record video, it does offer a WatchWord search feature that scans through DirecTV program menus and alerts the user when favorite shows are about to come on.

The HR10-250 receiver is a much pricier alternative, cashing in at somewhere around a thousand bucks. Still, as Ferris Bueller once noted, It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up. It contains four tuners and a built-in DVR with TiVo. These four tuners allow for two HD shows to be recorded at once, even as the user watches a third prerecorded show. The 250 gigabyte hard drive holds about 30 hours of HDTV, or as many as 200 hours of non-high-def video (at 480 lines of pixels). PCWorld critic Cathy Lus review of the HR10-250 decided, Cost aside, the DirecTV HD DVR is the best way that I’ve found to watch and record HD. She gave it four and a half stars out of five. Thats pretty good for a machine whose profoundly uninspired name makes it sound like a tax form.

About the Author: Sarah Gustafson is a freelance writer and contributing author to

– a site that provides satellite TV news and consumer buying advice.


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Financial Services

Checking Accounts Without Fees 5 Steps To Choosing The Right Bank}

Submitted by: Robbie T. James

Bank fees are something that most of us never anticipated before we got our first bank account. Whether you got your first checking account right out of high school, or maybe when you took your first job, it is likely that you never thought you would end up paying so many bank fees.

The theory of bank fees makes sense, of course. After all, banks do provide a valuable service and this service cannot be free. And let’s face it: checking accounts and all of the features and benefits that go along with them are pretty handy, including access to debit cards, online banking, online bill-pay, ATMs for cash withdrawal, and of course the ability to write checks.

Still, if you are like most other folks, you probably feel like checking account fees have gotten a bit out of hand over the past few years. It is not pleasant to check your checking account bank statement at the end of the month and see a host of fees that add up to $100 or more. Nobody needs that, especially in these economic times.

The key is to find banks that offer checking accounts without fees – or with low fees.

If you are looking for checking accounts without fees, here are 5 steps to choosing the right bank:

1. Understand the types of fees banks charge:

There are a number of fees that banks charge. These include, for example: monthly checking account fees, per-use check fees, fees for viewing scanned copies of previously-written checks online, overdraft fees, and bill-paying fees. There are also fees for ordering checks, requesting certain special types of bank statements, and transferring balances between accounts (as part of overdraft protection), and more. That’s a lot of bank fees!

2. Decide what other bank features you are interested in:

Before you start shopping for a bank that offers checking accounts without fees, decide for yourself which other features you are looking for in a bank. Besides charging few or no fees, you may also want (for example) a bank that: is FDIC-insured, offers a lot of local branches near you, is a big-name national bank, has a reputation for excellent customer service, or offers extensive auto and home loan programs.

3. Conduct an online search for banks that meet your criteria:

Next, conduct an online search for banks that offer what you are looking for. A great place to start is to look for “no overdraft fee” banks, since overdraft fees are one of the most costly types of fees (to the tune of $25 billion in the U.S. alone each year) that banks charge.

4. Make a list of at least 5 finalist low-fee or no-fee banks:

Now, make yourself a list of 5 “finalist” banks that offer low-fee or no-fee checking – as well as that meet some or all of your other requirements.

5. Contact at least 3 of the banks and see which ones you get the best impression from:

Now, go online, visit, or call and see how you feel about each finalist bank. What is your chemistry with the with whom persons you speak? Do you like the feel of their website? Pay attention to how you feel, because these factors will likely remain true if you become a customer with that bank.

Take these 5 steps to choosing the right bank for you that offers checking accounts without fees.

About the Author: Find out how anybody can qualify for a low-fee or no-fee checking account at:

Checking Accounts For Everybody



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