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4 Questions to Ask When Choosing A Financial Advisor

4 Questions to Ask When Choosing A Financial Advisor
4 Questions to Ask When Choosing A Financial Advisor Research indicates that many people are intimidated by money and are, therefore, not so great at managing their personal finances. That’s because most people lack personal finance knowledge, according to sources. As a result, only 40% of Americans would be able to cover a $1,000 unexpected expense, Bankrate reveals. That means they’re only one emergency away from bankruptcy. About the Author: Michael Deane has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael’s work at Qeedle. Not knowing the basics about money management can cost you a lot (much more than what you would pay for the services of a financial expert). If you are one of those confused individuals, turning to a financial advisor seems like a logical choice. But how to choose one? Here are some questions to help you choose the right financial advisor for you.  1. How Will You Help Me Reach My Financial Goals? Let’s start with the basics. You would like to start saving for your retirement or you’re interested in becoming an investor but have no clue how to begin. The first thing you should ask your potential financial advisors is, therefore, this: how will you help me achieve that? In order to answer, the potential financial advisor will have to ask you several questions first. Don’t worry, that’s what they do. In order to help you achieve your financial goals, the advisor must know what your goals are, whether you’re looking for long-term or short-term wealth growth, if you are thinking about early, what is your current financial situation, how much you earn, etc. After receiving this information, the advisor will then recommend the best path for you to follow in order to achieve your goals. Keep in mind that the questions above are crucial for you to know whether to hire said financial advisor. They should not simply give you generic advice before hearing the details about your financial situation. 2. What Qualifications/Credentials Do You Have? Don’t forget to ask the financial advisor you’re talking to about their credentials and qualifications. Why should you hire them? Why is this important? Because there are countless financial advisors out there  and unfortunately, not all of them are equally good at what they do. You want someone you can trust with your finances. As you yourself don’t know much about personal finances, it would be easy for someone to misguide you when it comes to money management. Try to find a way to check their credentials and ask about their previous clients. Perhaps there’s someone you know among them so you can check this information. Speaking of that, if you don’t want to risk it, you should ask a friend or family member to recommend a financial advisor that has helped them before. 3. How Much Do You Charge and How Are You Paid? You have the right to know what this service will cost you so make sure that you don’t forget this question. You should know how much they charge and how they are paid too. Are they paid by commission or is there a flat fee? Some financial advisors charge a percentage for the assets that they manage while others charge an hourly fee. Knowing exactly how much the service will cost you will help you determine which financial advisor to hire. If you can’t afford an expensive advisor, perhaps you should...
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Small Business Finance

Small Business Finance
Small Business Finance: What You Need To Know   Happy to associate with SeekCapital that provides consulting services and funding procurement to small businesses in a quick and efficient manner. This article originally appeared on seekcapital.com by Jon Zacharias.    Starting and running a small business without having some form of credit is nearly impossible. Many small businesses do not make it simply because they’re under-capitalized. One month where sales and expenses budgets cannot be met could signal the end for business that could otherwise have succeeded. Others find themselves unable to grow their operations owing to insufficient access to the necessary funds. The answer may appear to be simple: get a loan and grow your business. However, getting a small business loan isn’t always easy.   Tips for Super Organized Small Finances   Pic Courtesy: Solopreneurdiaries Getting a Bank Loan Since the recession, the FIDC has ensured that small businesses who apply for loans are subjected to very close scrutiny. The Dodd-Frank act of 2010 has effectively limited the possible sources of funding for small business. Many analysts feel that in doing so, economic recovery was slowed. Whether this is true or not, small businesses in need of additional capital often find themselves unable to secure conventional bank loans. But is a conventional loan best for your business? The convoluted application process takes a great deal of time and effort and few loans are granted. In addition, repayment terms are highly inflexible. Small businesses are increasingly turning towards alternative lenders in order to get the business finance they need quickly, successfully and under less onerous repayment terms than banks allow.   The SBA 7A Program   Pic Courtesy: Fundera   Getting the Small Business Administration to guarantee all or part of a bank loan might sound like a great idea in theory, but the program has been widely criticized for its limitations. Once again the application process is complex and lengthy and not all businesses can afford to wait up to three months to get finance approved — if it’s approved at all. Then too, the SBA isn’t actually offering the finance itself. The small business entrepreneur still has to work through a conventional bank and banks remain reluctant to supply credit to small businesses. By 2011 a Gallup survey found that although 88% of businesses had access to credit, only 29% were lending from banks despite the SBA program.   What Banks Don’t Take Into Account The main problem with getting bank loans is that banks want to see guarantees that you’ll be able to pay back the money. That’s fair enough, but instead of looking at how good your business’ chances of success are, they look at financial history. That makes things difficult for a newer business that doesn’t have the track record banks are looking for.     Remember, banks aren’t investors, they’re lenders. If the business or its owners don’t have the kind of credit history they’re looking for, they won’t issue the loan. Nowadays, financiers can use algorithms to project business income, but banks don’t use these tools when deciding whether you’ll get a loan.   Other Financing Options Getting finance fast, especially startup business loans, can be crucial to the survival and growth of small businesses, especially startup business loans. Since the banking sector isn’t making things easy for them, small business owners are increasingly turning to alternative sources of finance that offer them faster turnaround time, rate their creditworthiness based on the business itself and offer plans with flexible repayment options.   Merchant Cash Advances Businesses that handle a volume of over $5000 in monthly credit card transactions often choose the merchant cash...
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Here Are 4 Ways to Pay Your Employees  

Here Are 4 Ways to Pay Your Employees   
Starting a Small Business? Here Are 4 Ways to Pay Your Employees Hiring employees is a major milestone for any business owner who has previously done it alone. Even if the help is quite welcome, some important related decisions will almost always need to be made. This is true even of the most basic issues, such as how workers will be paid. Fortunately, business owners who are armed with a bit of knowledge will always be equipped to choose appropriately. Taking the Next Step Toward Long-Term Success  Sole proprietors who have no workers to worry about, deal with what are generally among the simplest of all possible business arrangements. As soon as employees enter the picture, issues like employment taxes need to be accounted for, lest the government’s wrath descend upon a business owner. Many entrepreneurs find it worthwhile to make use of small business payroll services that virtually rule such problems out. Being able to rely on the expertise of specialists makes potentially costly mistakes a lot less likely and provides a firm foundation for future growth.     Determining the Best Way to Pay Any Company’s Workers  Even with payroll being handled by an expert, though, business owners still face an important choice. Pay can actually be issued in any of at least the following four common ways, each of which comes with certain benefits and drawbacks. Choosing the means most appropriate to a particular company and its workers will always make things easier, in general. The four options that are available to most business owners when it comes to paying workers are: Checks. Bank drafts authorized by means of check are traceable, accessible, and well-established. The paper trail that writing and depositing or cashing a check creates can prove useful if any issues arise later on. On the other hand, not everyone today has access to an account that can be used to convert a check into a balance. Workers who are forced to cash their checks by other means sometimes end up paying a fair amount for the privilege.     Direct deposit. As the more modern relative of the old-fashioned check, direct deposit is an increasingly appealing option. In this case, things are even more restrictive, though, as only employees who have accounts in good standing will be able to make use of this approach. Unfortunately, about 1.7 billion adults worldwide still lack such resources entirely. Prepaid cards. Certain cards associated with networks like those operated by Visa and Mastercard can also be loaded with paychecks on demand. Particularly where some workers might not have checking accounts, this is an increasingly popular choice. Some payroll cards, however, impose maintenance fees and the like, so business owners will always do well to put in plenty of research. Cash. Although it might sometimes seem a bit crude, cash is still very much a valid way to pay wages. Relatively few business owners opt for this approach, though, because of the exposure and hassles it tends to create. The Right Choice is Usually Clear  Business owners who wish to do the most they can for their employees will always put some thought into choosing a means of payment. In many cases, it will even make sense to offer at least a couple of choices, from which each worker can select the most personally appropriate. In practice, it tends to be fairly straight forward to figure out how best to pay any small business’s employees....
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Why is it Sheer Brilliance to Invest in an E-commerce Store

Why is it Sheer Brilliance to Invest in an E-commerce Store
Why is it sheer brilliance to invest in an e-commerce store   Picture Courtesy : Pixels.com From Walmart and Target, the world has moved on to Amazon, eBay and Alibaba.  As the Internet conquers the world, people are ditching brick and mortar and are moving towards shopping on a click. During 2018, people shopped worth $2.86 trillion on the web, and this figure is expected to reach $4.8 trillion by 2021, which is huge. Brick-and-mortar, on the other hand, is losing its charm. This can be seen from the fact that Circuit City, Kmart and Radio Shack have all filed for bankruptcy. Moreover, whatever is left of the brick-and-mortar is also digitally influenced, which is why they are going mobile. JD.com, the world’s second-largest e-commerce business has partnered with Walmart to create a new retail concept, 7Fresh. At 7Fresh, you need an app installed on your phone because you need it to scan the products and make the payment. Given that the entire world is shifting towards e-commerce, it only makes sense to jump on the e-commerce bandwagon if you are looking to invest in a business. If you are not yet convinced why e-commerce is a good investment opportunity, then here are some reasons that might help. 1.    The world is shopping online The most convincing reason is perhaps that the world is now shifting towards online shopping. People now have a lot of options in terms of variety and pricing at the click of the button. Forecasts show that by 2021, around 2.14 billion people are expected to shop online, up from 1.66 billion in 2016. 2.    Easier to build Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and all our favorite brands have been there in the market for many years. They have invested a lot of time and money to be where they are today. With e-commerce, however, the process is quicker; with the minimal investment, you can grow by leaps and bounds. The online retail giants are the living proof that the online world is full of possibilities. Amazon started as a mere bookseller, and today it has more than 12 million products. Moreover, e-commerce tools today are a lot better and less costly. The selling platforms and marketing tools have made it easier for an inexperienced person to start a business online. The only hurdle that you may face is deciding the product that you have to sell and whether you have to sell a range of products like Amazon or focus on a single category. Selling everything and anything may seem appealing. However, it comes with its own set of problems. Amazon did not get there in a day. Hence, we recommend you focus on a narrower range of products. 3.    Location doesn’t matter The biggest drawback of brick and mortar is that you need a good location to generate sales. Your store has to be located where your target market lives. If you are selling a premium product in a middle-class area, chances are your store will close down in a few days. Other than that, you have to keep several factors in mind, such as parking issues. With e-commerce, you do not need to worry about all of this. You can sell to anybody who wants your product. Moreover, it is easier to establish your sales internationally, as well. 4.    Easy to keep a tab on customers With an e-commerce store, you can easily see what your customers like and don’t like so you can update your offerings accordingly. You can see what they purchased, which makes it easier to cross and up-sell products. You can also use the heat maps to see where they...
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What is Equity and Why is it Important to Your Business

What is Equity and Why is it Important to Your Business
What is Equity and Why is it Important to Your Business?   So, you’ve finally started your own business. You are officially an entrepreneur. While you might feel a fleeting sense of accomplishment, it may not last forever. For many new business owners, the thrill of starting a business wears off quickly and is replaced, at least in part, by worry. Will your business be profitable? Have you taken every legal step possible to make it a legitimate endeavor? Did you borrow too much money to start your business? How long will it take to be profitable? While there are many notions to understand as a business owner, equity is a key concept and you should have a firm knowledge base of how it works. It is essentially what will drive your business and its profitability.   What is Equity? Equity is essentially the value of any asset, in this case your business, minus any liabilities on that asset. A liability may be a loan or debt that is owed against the business. Here is an example: If you bought your business’s physical building for $400,000 and the mortgage balance is $200,000, your equity is $200,000.   There is also the concept of owner’s equity. This is essentially the total amount of equity you, as the owner, have in your company. Let’s look at this in another example. If your company has $200,000 in total assets but also carries $50,000 in total debt, your total equity in the business is $150,000. A simpler way to think of owner’s equity is that it is the amount of money that would be left over if you sold all of your business assets and then paid off all of your business debts. The lower your debts, the likelier you are to have positive equity in your business and the higher the probability you would make a profit should you decide to sell it.   Negative Equity Negative equity, as its name suggests, is not a good thing for any business owner. It applies to the concept of when your ownership interest in your business is equal to less than your liabilities and debts. So, for example, if you purchased your business’s building for $300,000 and took out a loan for $250,000 to pay for it but the value drops to $200,000, you now have negative equity. That is because the value of the building is now less than the balance owed on it. You want to avoid negative equity as much as possible. You would not be able to sell your business for a profit if you had negative equity.   Types of Equity You can have both tangible and intangible assets in your business. Tangible assets are those that you can physical touch. If you run a business that keeps an inventory of product, that inventory is a tangible asset. An intangible asset cannot be touched but may even be more valuable than a tangible one. An intangible asset might be the reputation of your business. This can obviously bring you more customers. Another intangible asset might be brand identity. Everyone knows, for example, that golden arches represent McDonald’s. The more recognizable your brand, the better. If customers know you, they may use you for your services or goods.   Importance of Equity Equity is of the utmost importance when it comes to your business. As your owner’s equity increases as time goes on, you can potentially sell your business and turn a profit. So, if you want to eventually make a profitable business, you need to be consistently building equity in it. This means the value of your business should...
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