Sunday, April 28, 2013

Borrowing Tips For Families With Little To No Credit

Just because you have little to no credit does not mean that you cannot borrow money. If you are trying to build your credit or rebuild your history, borrowing money may be difficult but it is far from impossible. By being a resourceful consumer, you can uncover options that you never knew about when you are in search of money. Here are some options you may have never considered if you need to borrow money and your credit is holding you back.

Borrow From Friends or Family

If you have a good reputation with your friends and your family and you are considered to be reliable, someone you have a close relationship with may be willing to lend you money. When you approach your family, make sure they take you seriously by treating the transaction like one that you would complete with a bank. Write up promissory notes, have them notarized, and set up a repayment schedule. Just remember, failing to repay your friends can end a relationship and cause tension which is often worse than having a blemish on your credit.

Ask Someone to Co-sign

Just because you cannot borrow from a lender on your own does not mean a lender will not consider your application with a co-signer. While you repay the loan, the co-signer is the party the lender will attempt to collect from if you default on the loan. Defaulting on the loan can affect both your credit and your co-signer's credit, so it is important to ask only if you are able to repay. Co-signing is a huge favor to ask and you should not be offended if family says no.

Apply for a Cash Advance

Your credit history does not affect your ability to apply for and qualify for an advance from a cash advance Houston TX lender from companies like Power Finance. With proof of stable employment and a minimum income, you can qualify for a short-term loan and get the money you need very quickly. This method is great for financial emergencies.

From cash advance loans to conventional loans with a co-signer, there are ways for borrowers with little credit to borrow. Consider all of your options, take any type of borrowing that you choose seriously, and work hard to build a credit history as you are paying off the balance of the money that you owe to friends, family, banks, or cash advance companies.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Largest law firms at your service

Without any doubt, being a lawyer is one of the most powerful professions in the world. Lawyers especially those in family law are the ones who are supposed to understand the laws by which ordinary citizens have to live by. They can charge exorbitant prices for their services. But within the law profession, there are those considered to be elites. They are the ones who graduated from prestigious law schools of their respective countries. In most cases they are expected to join powerful law firms and become partners.

Law firms have become big businesses and the leading ones in the world are now valued at billions of dollars. That’s a great deal of money.

Largest Law Firms by Revenue

Law firms can be ranked by the amount of revenue that they are making. Here are some of the largest law firms in the world according their 2010 revenue:

Baker & McKenzie

This law firm was founded in 1949 in Chicago. The founding partners were John McKenzie and Russell Baker. It has an international operation and it has spread over to more than 40 countries with thousands of lawyers.

Since the operation of the firm is international in character, no single nationality is dominant within the organization. Not even the Americans. The lawyers are drawn from more than 60 countries and they all speak English. The firm’s revenue was $2,104,000,000 back in 2010 making it the largest law firm by revenue, but it is also the largest by number of lawyers.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates

The name of the firm is sometimes shortened to SASM&F. It was founded in 1948 and is based in New York City. It is one of the largest law firms in the world and has been hailed as one of the most powerful. In terms of revenue SASM&F is just a bit behind Baker & McKenzie since it earned US$2.1 billion in 2010.

With almost 2,000 lawyers in more than 20 offices, the firm is ranked tenth in the world in terms of number of staff.

Clifford Chance LLP

Clifford Chance is the largest law firm that is based outside of the United States. It has its headquarters in London. In 2010 the firm earned $1,800,000,000 making it the third largest law firm in the world in terms of revenues. It also belongs in the top ten firms in the world when it comes to the number of lawyers.

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins is another international law firm that has offices in the United States, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The firm started out in California in the 1930s but has its biggest office in New York. In 2010 the firm earned $1,821,000,000 which was actually a decrease in its earnings because it was the first American based law firm to earn more than $2 billion in 2007.

Kirkland & Ellis

Kirkland & Ellis is considered to be one of the most prestigious firms based in Chicago today. Back in 2010 it was able to earn $1.73 billion in revenues making it one of the most profitable law firms. In terms of number of lawyers in its staff it ranks 13th among the law firms within the United States.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

5 Tips for Selling Your Home on Auction Day

Auctioning a home can be a great way to attract buyers and get a great price for your property. Auction day can be scary event if you find yourself unprepared for it, so here are a few tips to help you be ready for the falling of the gavel and ensure you’re getting the best possible outcome for your sale.

Find an Agent

Your first step should be to select a reputable and trustworthy real estate agent to assist you with the sale and throughout the auction process, from advertising to open houses and everything in between. Do some research to find local agents with a solid sales history and a proven track record with successful auctions in the area. Scope out previous campaigns to find an agent with an approach that will suit your home and budget, and appeal to the right audience.

Select Your Auctioneer

You’ll also need to find a suitable auctioneer that you can trust to get your the best possible result come auction day. By selecting an auctioneer that is professional and can demonstrate a proven record of successful auctions with comparable properties you’ll be giving your house a better chance at reaching your goal price once the gavel comes down. The right auctioneer will be able to generate interest and excitement amongst bidders on auction day, engaging the crowd and encouraging bidding. You might like to attend a few auctions first, to check out the talent.

Establish a Budget

Generating interest in your home, attracting potential buyers to your open house viewings and getting serious bidders to your auction does not happen on its own – you’ll need to spend money on advertising in order to do this. Before you get started you should determine a budget, an agreed amount that will cover all the advertising costs and any agent and auctioneer fees. Discuss the advertising with your agent. Try to determine what kind of publications and media you’ll be using to reach an audience, what you’d like to portray and highlight during the campaign, and what audience you’ll be targeting. Once you’ve got your budget sorted, make sure you stick to it, you don’t want to get carried away with promoting your property to the point it is no longer cost effective.

Open House Viewings

Open house viewings are vital to the success of your auction and the attraction of potential bidders. It’s important to present your house in the best possible light, highlighting all its best features and downplaying any drawbacks. You agent will be able to help you with this. Schedule viewings at times that will maximise the accessibility and exposure of your house, and make sure there’s ample advertising beforehand. Keep the home clutter free, well lit, neutral smelling and try to use neutral colours and decor so that buyers can easily imagine the house with their own furniture or style incorporated. Try checking out a few display homes for inspiration on how to create an appealing aesthetic for house hunters.

Set a Reserve

Before auction day, agree on a reserve price that you can be happy with, and be realistic. Base your decision on auction outcomes on similar properties in the area, as well as your own financial requirements. With these simple steps you can work toward a successful auction and a calm lead-up to the day your home goes under the hammer. With the right preparation you’ll be able to generate plenty of interest and snap up a great price on auction day.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Why trading binary options

It is not too often that a completely new financial product appears on the market place for individual investors. We had ETFs more than a decade ago and they revolutionized investing by offering access to a wide range of assets such as commodities or sector indices, not previously easily tradable by small traders.

More recently binary options have been made available to small investors and they are marketed heavily on the Internet. So the question is how novel are these tools and are they worth trading for the regular person.

What are binary options

A binary option is quite different from any other financial asset and it is also different from most options. As a matter of fact if behaves more like a fixed odds bet. Let’s say the investor predicts that the euro will weaken in the next few days versus the dollar. Can he take a position based solely on this view? Yes now he can. If he buys a put binary option on the euro and at expiry time the euro is lower than at the time of the trade, he will nearly double his money.

The payout of this instrument is binary: it is either one of two numbers, like 85% or zero. Alternatively some brokers make the losses easier to swallow by paying 15% in case of a wrong prediction, but they have to offer a lower return in case of a correct prediction, such as 70% instead of 85%. One advantage of binaries is that unlike other investments the outcome is perfectly known at the time of the trade. There are only two possible final values, right or wrong.

The question of this article is why trading them, and we can see a number of reasons why. First of all these financial tools are unique as they let the trader take a position based only on his forecast about market action in the near future. There is no other way to get a nice fixed return by getting the market direction right.

Benefits of binary options

If the trader were to trade the FX market directly instead, his payout would be unknown, as well as his risk/return ratio. Because the return would depend when he exits the position profitably, while his realized risk would be dependent on how he exits the trade at a loss. These numbers are unpredictable as they depend on where the price is when he closes his position. On the other hand if he had traded binary options instead, he would have known his risk and return exactly.

Another advantage of binary options is their flexibility and versatility. There is a long list of underlying assets (like the euro currency in our example) that can be chosen to base your binary option trade on. Not just currencies, but also international large cap stocks, stock indices and commodities. This way it is easier to find some asset for which you have an opinion about.

Option features can also be tailor made. You can choose the start time, and you can also purchase more precise option types like the range option which predict that the asset price will remain within a range during the life of the option, or alternatively will break from the range. Or you could buy an option with an even higher payout like 200%, but where the market needs to make a certain move before reaching the strike price.

In summary some traders will enjoy trading binary options because of their unique features. But these instruments are not as simple as they may appear, so some time is required to better understand them first before trading them. Using a demo account is the best way to get started.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

5 Terrible And Costly Mistakes To Avoid With Car Rentals

When you are thinking about renting a car for your vacation or business trip, the first logical step implies browsing through the online listings of the companies servicing the area and selecting what you consider to be the most appropriate one. The criteria that enable you to dissociate between the available agencies include rates, fleet options, reputation, potential discounts, the inclusion of additional services, so on and so forth.

Basically, you choose the company with what appears to be the most agreeable "terms and conditions", sign the contract and leave their parking lot at the wheel of your new rental. The headache starts only when you return the car, as you notice there are several other unexpected fees that you need to pay. Let's review the top 5.

1. Early return fees

As the cautious and responsible customer that you are, you will of course do your best to avoid the late taxes which, let's be honest, are quite substantial nowadays. In order to do so, you might consider that taking the rental automobile back to the lot of the agency a day earlier constitutes the best option or even that you may get a discount. Wrong. Most rental companies will not compensate you for your punctuality, but will actually apply additional fees or increase the rates. For example, if the rates are lower when you rent the automobile for 7+ days and you bring it back on the 6th day, you lose the discount.

2. Location surcharges

Certain key locations where the rental vehicles are always in high demand – think airports, for instance – are often a great deal more expensive than the agencies in the downtown area. You can avoid paying extra without the inconvenience of taking public transportation to town by confirming the rental ahead of time and requesting that the car be there when you arrive. By using an online comparison service such as Compare Car Rentals, you can see the difference in price between rental companies near an airport and those situated further away.

3. Preexisting damage costs 

he biggest mistake you could possibly make is to rely exclusively on the goodwill and honesty of the rental agency representatives when it comes to preexisting damage. If your rental car presents dents, scratches, cigarette burns, etc. and you do not document them with dated pictures before you drive off, chances are you will be asked to pay for the damage. Never assume that your word will weigh heavier in court, should it come to that.

4. Taxes that were not included in the advertised rates

What you see on the websites that promote incredibly low rates is generally not the amount that adds up when you count taxes and other fees. Those rates are mainly there to sway the customers and if you look closely at the fine print, you will notice that they do not include all the fees. Bottom line is that you should always ensure you know how much you have to pay before putting your signature on the contract.

5. Overlapping insurance charges

In numerous cases, the insurance policy of your personal car and/or the credit card company has the rental covered. However, the job description of the rental agency representative clearly states that he should do his best to persuade you to purchase the most comprehensive insurance package, whether or not it overlaps your policy's coverage. Again, check this aspect beforehand in order to avoid signing under pressure. Be wise, folks! The Guardian Website has an entire section dedicated to credit cards and learning about the latest news surrounding them and what your provider should and should not cover as standard - click through to visit the site.

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Look At 10 Situations Where Your Insurance May Not Cover The Rental

You may have a clear idea regarding the extent and limitations of the coverage in your current insurance policy when it comes to your personal car, but these stipulations don't always apply for rentals. The situation is the same for the coverage provided by your credit card; that is typically the reason why it is so easy for rental agencies to "bully" clients into purchasing the most expensive insurance available. The problem is that even that contract has several exclusions and loopholes…

Therefore, you could very well end up spending a lot of cash in vain as you will still be requested to account for the damages/liability from your own pocket. Let's elaborate.

1. Covered, but only for a limited period of time

For instance, if you are relying on the coverage provided by your Visa card, then you should be aware you only have this safety net for a maximum of 15 days for the United States and 30 days for external rentals. Check for any mention of a time limit in your contract.

2. International exceptions to the coverage

Israel, Australia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica and New Zealand are only a few examples of countries where the credit card's protection for the rental is voided. Verify your contract to determine other potential exclusions. If you visit eRentals online, you can check out rates for the above listed countries before you decide on a final travel destination.

3. Unauthorized driver

In the event that the person driving the car when the collision occurs is not listed among the authorized drivers, the collision waiver is null. Ask the rental agency to include all potential drivers of the rental in the contract before signing.

4. Categories of cars

Visa card owners should be aware that pickups, sports vehicles or vans do not benefit from coverage, whereas American Express has listed SUVs in the category of exclusions.

5. Road exclusions

Typically mentioned in the fine print section, most rental insurance policies are immediately voided if the car is driven off-road. Therefore, if you want to hire the car to go on a fishing trip for example, make sure that this exclusion is not in the contract.

6. Contract violations

Also part of the fine print, conditions regarding the usage of the car like commercial applications or DUI could nullify the insurance.

7. Traffic violations

It is estimated that on average every driver will – deliberately or unintentionally – break a traffic law at least once every day. If you get caught and your traffic violation results in damage to the rental car, the coverage is voided.

8. Stolen vehicles 

You are always held accountable for the theft when your rental car is stolen because you left the keys in the ignition or on the dashboard, in plain sight.

9. Loss of use

A controversial clause, the loss of use is essentially an exception to the coverage and it implies that you have to reimburse the agency for the profits lost while the car is being repaired/replaced.

10. Improper method of payment

In numerous cases, the credit card insurance will only apply IF you pay the full amount for the rental vehicle, which means that utilizing a coupon or the points to obtain a discount could leave you unprotected in case of an accident.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Latest and Best Marketing Tool for your business

Businesses operating at both national and local level are now buying or renting vanity phone numbers. A vanity phone number is a unique combination of numeric digits and alphabets at the end of a toll-free number that represent an organization or its offerings. 800 Phone numbers, for example, are toll free and their owners are no longer required to be associated with just one telephone carrier. While large and medium scale businesses choose to buy these numbers, entrepreneurs and small business owners often rent standard number combinations for their target geographies with area codes.

Effective Branding

Custom vanity phone numbers are easy to remember as long as they’re selected after due consideration.Marketing gurus now recommend using easy-to-remember and niche-relevant vanity phone numbers as essential components of various advertising and marketing campaigns. However, it’s important not to overuse them. Many experts have opined on their blogs that these numbers should not be a part of each and every marketing initiative of a business organization.

A Tool to Seek Direct Response from Prospects

Toll free and local vanity numbers blend well with different types of marketing campaigns. Any business promoting its goods or services outdoors or on television & radio can use easy-to-spell and catchy vanity numbers to seek direct response from customers. Unlike numeric phone numbers, vanity numbers are easy to read and people also take notice of them.

Great Return on Investment

Marketing is not just about being creative. Businesses have to advertise repeatedly and continue allotting heavy budgets on executing various marketing campaigns. With a vanity number, a business does not have to spend repeatedly on marketing to get found by prospective customers. Once a business toll free number gets popular, it continues to boost sales for a very long time without requiring further investments.

Help Customers Remember a Business

Meaningful vanity phone numbers help people to mentally latch themselves to a product, service or brand. A number can, for example, assist people to effortlessly memorize your contact information. People not only recall numbers easily but they also let others know about a business by just passing on the number combination. In other words, these numbers help in promoting word of mouth advertising too.

Reach Out to Maximum Number of People

With easily recognizable vanity numbers, it’s possible to reach out to a large number of people. A number published on a hoarding on highway, for example, is noticed more quickly than a website, traditional phone number, business address or even its offerings. A vanity number clubs a brand, its contact information and offerings! What else can a marketer ask for?

A business owner or marketing manager responsible for choosing and promoting a vanity number should spend enough time on exhaustive search and ideation before making a final decision. Reputed companies dealing in these numbers have a huge inventory and vanity phone number availability is hardly an issue; unless of course someone wants the million dollar vanity number like 1-800-DONATE-CARS.