24

Real Estate Investment Tips: Tax, Spending, Bubbles

Jan
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Experts see the 2014 western real estate market as a “seller’s market.” The right amount of house price bubbles clearly help improve the prices of many homes in the US and Europe. However, there are still challenges for both sides of the real estate market. Here are a few things you need to know about tax, spending and the housing bubble.

1. Taxes
Tax bills will always play a great role in selling homes, but in some US states, property tax cuts are being proposed. The cuts would be depending on the income of the homeowners. So, for homebuyers, this can mean they will be paying less for houses, and once they live in the houses of these states, they will have reduced taxes depending on their income as well.

2. Spending
However, mortgage rates have increased by 5%, but experts said that home buyers have nothing to fear because 5% is still a tolerable mortgage rate. Experts said that the consequential effect of higher rates is easier access. Home buyers could get mortgages with banks becoming more lenient with requirements.

3. Housing Bubble
Properties will continue to rise in value, but with mortgage rates rising, it would mean a slower rate of growth. However, with smaller-value houses getting better deals, home sellers should take their time in choosing a buyer. Avoid getting a very generous, “too good to be true” offer and instead focus on the actual value of your home based on the housing bubble.

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02

Investing in 2014: Technology, Industry and Outsourcing

Jan
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A new year brings fresh opportunities for any investor. Markets all over the world are showing signs of recovery, but still enough to allow other investors to ride the boat to higher profits. In 2014, technology and outsourcing are dominating, but outsourcing is not too far behind.

Outsourcing
Business processing outsourcing companies are becoming more convenient for both small and big businesses in terms of providing quality processing of data and even consumer support. This industry is bound to go higher as the industry continues to bloom in India and Southeast Asia.

Technology
Car manufacturers have announced that the “starting gun” for the development of self-driving cars (SDCs) will begin this year. Nissan, General Motors, Toyota, Honda and other developers may be demonstrating their self-driving vehicle research in the 2014 Car Expo Show in Las Vegas. Aside from vehicles, the smartphone industry continues to grow its bubble.

Oil
With the ongoing crisis in South Sudan and the Middle East, barrels of oil are costing more than they should. Securing your own barrels of oil can help you sell them at a better price later. Experts predict a higher price for oil once electric cars hit the mainstream market of western countries.

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17

Bitcoin is Legal, But Dangerous

Dec
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A digital currency that began as $20 apiece shot to a very high $5000 to today’s $1000 per coin is how bitcoin became legendary. Proposed as the first digital currency in the world, the legal interest of governments, law enforcement and tax authorities continue as they try to fit it into existing financial frameworks. Bitcoin is probably legal, albeit not all merchants accept it.

What makes bitcoin controversial for many law enforcement and governments is its decentralized nature; “miners” make use of high-powered computers to have them automatically solve problems and collect the coins for use in trade.

According to some legal experts bitcoin is legal unless it is being used to purchase drugs or other illegal products incognito. The incident of Silk Road led to the high controversy surrounding the digital currency.

The anonymous transaction codes of bitcoin, which is automatically stored in the bitcoin network as purchases are made, made it seem as the perfect money laundering currency. The FBI highlighted its warnings against the currency, namely off-shore transactions being unregulated.

Authorities consider bitcoin to be a currency that could legally be used. However, fears of its usage and its decentralized nature makes it dangerous as it is a “shady” form of currency and criminals could use the coins as a scamming tool.

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20

Doctors Could Be Jailed for Negligence With New UK Law

Nov
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A proposed new law can jail doctors and other medical professionals up to five years if they commit “wilful negligence”. According to the health secretary, the goal of the new law is to ensure the maximum prioritisation of patient safety. This new proposal is part of a new set of proposals that would address problems from previous failures in UK hospitals and lower the fatality rate.

US Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that UK’s medical services needs to undergo an effective transformation in terms of the UK’s free healthcare system.

However, some legal professionals argue that the health law will only make medical professionals defensive and fearful. Medical professionals are already bound by penalties in their profession if they fail to provide the proper quality of care.

Patients could claim against medical negligence and a successful claim has the hospital and the medical professional pay out significantly for the damages and welfare of the patient who had suffered under the care of their medical professional. According to Prime Minister David Cameron,  the Mid Staffordshire case in central England showed that care from the NHS “brilliant” staff, was not enough to ensure the quality of healthcare provided.

However, Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham warned the government of having a pick and mix approach to making laws on healthcare services. He said that the government must approach carefully to avoid startling or unnerving medical staff.

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16

Why Invest During Your Professional Years?

Oct
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Many young and senior professionals think that investing in the stock market is a job only left for those who have already retired. Passive income is costly especially during one’s professional years. However, there is much reason to invest while you are still young and earning.

1. Resources
Passive income investments on stocks, bonds and equities might seem expensive, but if you save up for them, you could make use of them. The best thing about investing at a young age is that your resources do not deplete. Should you lose an investment, you actually have the capability to rebuild your capital, giving you more chances of success and learning experiences.

2. Aggressive Investing
Retirees are very careful with investing simply because it is money and capital they’ve earned through all their years of working. While you are young and earning, you have more chances of investing aggressively. This helps you take advantage of higher risks, which might mean bigger gains and losses.

3. The More You Learn
A young investor will have the same learning experience as an older investor if they start at the same time. The only advantage of a young investor is that they learn more than an older investor because of their riskier investments, which will allow them to make use of their investment knowledge as a tool upon retirement.

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30

FCA Reveals Investigation, PPI Claims Processing Questioned

Sep
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The Financial Conduct Authority had found “distressing problems” with the majority of PPI claim call centres operated by banks. Out of 18 firms, only 6 were performing well. One of the remaining twelve faces enforcement action and others face adjustment and questioning by the FCA.

According to the FCA, customers rejected their insurance claims will be refunded by intensive investigation.

If you were rejected a PPI claim by your bank, you could reclaim your refunds effectively by using claims management companies such as www.ppicalculatorco.co.uk here with their experienced claims experts.

The Financial Ombudsman also confirmed that the 26% increase in PPI complaints signify that banks are still not doing their jobs right. Chief Ombudsman Natalie Ceeney said that despite the example set by the Ombudsman, others are still delaying their customers unnecessarily.

According to the FCA, many PPI claim call centres failed to give a proper response talking about the date the refund is due, pay attention to the inclusions and exclusions of the PPI’s provisions and many do not pay attention to the customer’s circumstances during the time they purchased the insurance.

Anybody who is mis sold PPI could know the precise amount of compensation they could get by using a PPI claim calculator provided online by most claims management companies.

The FCA disagreed with 59% of the PPI judgments the firms made in terms of rejecting and approving claims.

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17

Russia’s Stand on LGBT To Preserve “Traditional Values” Questionable

Sep
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Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Russian government is not discriminating against gays and the LGBT community, but the government only wants to preserve the traditional culture the country had, including the sexuality of the country. A controversial bill in Russia had set the LGBT community on fire.

Anybody who provides “propaganda” regarding information about being an LGBT to minors could be fined, imprisoned or both by the Russian government.

This law, which made controversial headlines and even reached the G20 summit as the United States and United Kingdom tried to talk Vladimir Putin out of the deal and respect gay rights, is still enforced in Russia.

Why it is questionable is that the LGBT communities had never committed a crime and yet they are imprisoned because of who they really are or who they want to be. A person could not be imprisoned for presenting a person an option, regardless of how morally obscure it might be.

Indeed, Russian law might cater only to hard traditions and minds of steel, but tradition changes as people and society do. LGBTs could be compared to blacks in the previous eras that had no rights. It is not fair to not give anyone a chance to live a normal life or the life they choose to live, even if it is stated as a crime under law.

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23

Quarterly Things to Do For Maintaining Good Finances

Aug
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Most people are only concerned with what they save on a monthly basis regardless of their financing’s standing or their credit score. Every quarter of every year, it is highly important to perform several maintenance to your finances, such as the following.

finance cleaning

1. Retirement Account Contributions
You have a retirement account and monthly your employer will just place a check or deposit money in it that would help you gain more when you finally get out of your job. However, it is highly important to take some time off to check your retirement account contributions. Sometimes, you get promotions and your employer may not indicate salary increases in your retirement contributions fairly.

2. Financial Instrument Management and Designation.
Your insurance, retirement accounts and annuities, all financial instruments, are designed to benefit you and your family. However, if you could not make use of these financial instruments in your lifetime or you unfortunately pass away before the maturity of your accounts, you could assign a designated beneficiary that you choose. It is important to check and confirm your designations or else all your work would be in vain.

3. Credit Scores
You might be sure you are paying your dues on time, but are the credit bureaus indicating the same thing? It is highly important to check your credit scores and ensure that you are on a good rating. Else, you’ll have something to make up for in the future.

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05

Improving Your Credit Scores

Aug
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Improving your credit gives you more than just lower interest rates. Here are a few tips that will allow you to improve your credit score and reap benefits.

1. Use Your Greens
Today’s economy makes for a frugal consumer. Saving up for the things you want is a better option than using financing. Save your financing for your child’s education, a new vehicle needed for work or for improving the house. This helps stabilise or improve your credit.

2. One at a Time
With a stable occupation, most people take on multiple financing, which automatically lowers credit scores. Multiple financing resets your credit median gauge back because you haven’t performed yet on your new financing. Multiple financing also puts you at risk of not paying your bills on time.

3. Ask for Lower Interest Rates
Lenders can allow you lower interest rates if you have a high credit score. Assess your current credit services and request for lower interests with your more-than-a-year or years credit cards. You’ll find it easier to manage with high debt.

4. Pay on Time
Paying on time and in full allows credit companies to place you as a priority borrower because you could pay on time. This gives you greater opportunities for higher financing or lower interest rates.

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04

LGBT Marriages: Evolving Morals or Continuing Liberalism?

Jul
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Decades ago, black slavery and coloured discrimination became abolished in the Western Hemisphere and many considered this as a radical shift to liberalism while a great many considered this as the evolving morals of man. Today, the LGBT communities worldwide watch as their western counterparts fight for the right of the third gender to legally marry.

The United States and Europe bolstered the marriages of same-gendered people, with the US starting from a few states to the promises of more states to approve the said law. The new law currently disturbs moral and religious groups, who solely believe that a man is made for a woman and not for the same type of gender.

If we were to put this situation back decades ago, moralists and religious groups would say that coloured people were below the white people because the white had a responsibility to educate the people of the world by religious right. During such a time the coloured were oppressed. But as soon as US politicians abolished slavery and gave them the right to have the right of the whites, it was taken as absurd as well.

For the commonfolk, it might seem strange at first to find the approval of a man-made gender, but clearly, over time, people become used to the idea of seeing same-gender couples, just as the people in the past are now used to seeing coloured people enjoy the same lives as that of a white person.

Clearly, we are in a world of evolving morals and continuing liberalism. It might break the status quo, might feel a bit strange, but clearly, nothing wrong is being done.

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