Friday, November 29, 2013

MONEY Tip - Why You Will Never be Rich.OUCH

This article is from Yahoo finance that I came across. Again, sharing this so that we all can learn why we can never be rich and what we should do about it to turn that around.


You don't have to inherit money, win the lottery, or even be the next Bill Gates or Warren Buffett to become financially secure. With a little bit of knowledge and a lot of hard work and discipline, almost anyone can accumulate sufficient wealth -- and perhaps even great wealth -- to enjoy the creature comforts of life.
But how do you get ahead if you're living paycheck to paycheck? The fact is, no matter how much you earn you could be creating your own barriers to financial success without even knowing it. Here are ten things you might be doing that are preventing you from achieving prosperity. Change your ways and you could find yourself well on the way down the road to riches.

You Spend Too Much


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Plenty of Americans live beyond their means but don't even realize it. A 2012 Country Financial survey found that more than one-half of respondents (52%) said their monthly spending exceeded their income at least a few months a year. Yet only 9% of respondents said their lifestyle was more than they could afford. Of the 52% who routinely overspend, 36% finance the shortfall by dipping into savings; 22% use credit cards.
Blowing your entire paycheck (and then some) each month isn't an ingredient in the recipe for financial success. Neither is draining your savings or running up card balances. To rein in spending, start by tracking where the money goes every month. Try to zero in on nonessential areas where you can cut back. Then create a realistic budget that ensures you have enough to pay the bills as well as enough for contributions to such things as a retirement account and a rainy-day fund.

You Save Too Little


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If you're like most folks, your savings habits could use some improvement. The personal savings rate in the U.S. is just 4.9% of disposable income, down from a high of 14.6% in 1975. Only about one-half of Americans (54%) say they have a savings plan in place to meet specific goals, according to a 2013 survey commissioned by America Saves, a group that advocates for better saving habits.
Saving needs to be a priority in order to build wealth. Begin with an emergency fund that can be tapped in the event of an illness, job loss or other unexpected calamity. A 2012 survey by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority found that 56% of individuals say they have not set aside even three months' worth of income to handle financial emergencies. Once your emergency fund is well under way, you can divert small amounts toward other goals, such as buying a home or paying for college. These six strategies can help you save more, no matter your income.

You Carry Too Much Debt


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Americans have $846.9 billion in credit card debt alone. That's $7,050 per household, according to NerdWallet.com, a Web site that analyzes financial products and data. If you're only making minimum monthly payments on $7,050, it'll take 28 years and cost you $10,663 in interest before you're debt-free, assuming a 15% interest rate. And that only holds true if you don't make any additional charges.
Some debts can lead to financial success -- a mortgage to purchase real estate, a credit line to start a business or a student loan to fund a college education -- but a high-interest credit card balance usually doesn't. Pay down credit cards with the steepest rates as quickly as possible. Putting $250 per month toward that same $7,050 debt will retire it in three years and save you about $9,000 in interest versus making minimum payments.

You Pay Too Many Fees


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Late fees, banking fees, credit-card fees -- the amounts might seem insignificant when taken individually. After all, an overdue library book or Redbox DVD might only run you a dollar. But if you're regularly paying penalties and fees, these charges can quickly eat a hole in your budget. Consider this: The average bank overdraft fee is $32.20, according to Bankrate.com, and the average charge for going outside your ATM network is $4.13. Late-payment penalties for credit cards can climb as high as $35.
So how do you avoid pesky fees? Read the fine print so you understand fee rules, and stay organized so you avoid breaching those rules. Here are 33 common fees you can avoid -- or at least reduce -- with just a bit of effort. With the extra cash, you can pay down debt or boost your savings.

You Pass Up Free Money


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Would you ignore a hundred-dollar bill on the sidewalk? Of course not. You'd bend over and pick it up. So why are you passing up other opportunities to get free money? If your employer matches employee contributions to a 401(k) but you're not participating in the retirement plan, then you're passing up free money. If you let rewards points from loyalty programs or credit cards expire, then you're passing up free money. If you claim the standard deduction on your tax return when you qualify for itemized deductions that could lower your tax bill even more, then you're passing up free money.
Believe it or not, there might even be free money out there that you forgot about -- or never knew of in the first place. There are more than $41 billion worth of unclaimed assets ranging from old tax refunds and paychecks to forgotten stocks and certificates of deposit being held by state agencies, according to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.

You Neglect Retirement


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It's easy to focus on the present -- the bills you have to pay, the things you want to buy -- and assume you'll have time in the future to start saving for retirement. But the longer you wait, the tougher it will be to amass a sufficiently large nest egg. For example, if you wait until you are 35 to start saving for retirement, you'll have to set aside $671 a month to reach $1 million by age 65 (assuming an 8% annual return). But if you start at age 25, you'll need to save just $286 a month to hit $1 million by the time you're 65.
Even if you're creeping closer to retirement, it's not too late to start putting away money. In fact, Uncle Sam makes it easier for procrastinators to catch up on retirement savings. If you're 50 or over, you can contribute up to $23,000 annually to a 401(k) (versus $17,500 for those younger than 50). The contribution limit for older savers to traditional and Roth IRAs is $6,500 a year (versus $5,500 for everyone else).

You Buy High and Sell Low


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Does this sound like your investing strategy? You hear about a stock that is soaring, and you want to get in on the action, so you impulsively buy. But soon after, the stock starts tanking. You can't bear the pain of watching your shares decline further in value, so you immediately sell at a loss. As a result, you're wasting money rather than building wealth.
Unfortunately, many investors buy high and sell low because they follow the herd blindly into the latest hot stock. You can resist the urge to go with the crowd if you adhere to smart investing techniques. One such technique is dollar-cost averaging, a simple system of investing at regular intervals no matter what the market is doing. While it doesn't guarantee success, it does eliminate the likelihood that you're always buying at the top -- plus, it takes the guesswork and emotion out of investing.

You Buy Everything New


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New stuff is nice, but it's often not the best investment. Take cars. Estimates vary, but some experts say a new vehicle loses 30% of its value within the first two years -- including an immediate drop as soon as you drive off the dealer's lot. According to Kelley Blue Book, the average vehicle is worth 44% less after five years.
If you're not comfortable buying something that someone else has owned, get over your hang-up because you're missing a big money-saving opportunity. Many pre-owned items can cost up to 50% to 75% less than the price you'd pay if you purchased them new. From designer jeans to college textbooks, here are 11 things that you should consider buying used because you often can find them in good or almost-new condition at a fraction of the price.

You Retire Too Early


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An early retirement is a dream for many, but calling it quits if you're too young has several potential drawbacks. For starters, you could incur a 10% early-withdrawal penalty if you tap certain retirement accounts, including 401(k)s and IRAs, before age 59½. (There are exceptions.) You can claim Social Security as early as age 62, but your benefit will be reduced by as much as 30% from what it would be if you wait until your full retirement age, which falls between 66 and 67 depending on your year of birth.
Health care is another big issue. You must be 65 to qualify for Medicare. In the meantime, without access to an employer-sponsored plan, you might have to pay a lot more out of pocket for individual coverage until you're eligible for Medicare.
And speaking of health, the longer you live in retirement, the more likely you are to outlive your nest egg. Let's say you make it to the age of 90. A $1 million portfolio evenly split between stocks, bonds and cash has a 92% likelihood of lasting until you turn 90 if you retire at 65, according to Vanguard. But retire at age 55 and the likelihood drops to 66%.

You Don't Invest in Yourself


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This might be the single biggest obstacle on your path to riches. If you're not investing in continuing education, training and personal development, you're limiting your ability to make more money in the future. "Your own earning power--rooted in your education and job skills--is the most valuable asset you'll ever own, and it can't be wiped out in a market crash," writes Kiplinger's Personal Finance Editor in Chief Knight Kiplinger

Monday, November 18, 2013

PHILIPPINE Christmas station id.Very apt for this year

WORLD dance by Matt 2012 edition



i wanted to post this because of the overwhelming response from the international community all over the world to help out the victims of  super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

NEW YORK GOOD NEWS- Compassion on a New York Subway like never been seen before

I picked up this story from the internet and wanted to share this story written by  Nadine Kalinauskas.She writes about good news and feel good stories on the internet. I just read this and was so inspired. I hope it will inspire you, too.
With all the things that's happening in the Philippines now with typhphoon Haiyan, I ask for the outpouring of love, understanding and support for the Philippines. I have posted photos on instagram @imwanderwoman and twitter @iamheiding on how you could help. Thank you.

A photo of a young man napping on a stranger's shoulder on the New York City subway has gone viral.
Reddit user braffination posted the image and described the scene:
"Heading home on the Q train yesterday when this young black guy nods off on the shoulder of a Jewish man. The man doesn't move a muscle, just lets him stay there. After a minute, I asked the man if he wanted me to wake the kid up, but he shook his head and responded, 'He must have had a long day, let him sleep. We've all been there, right?'"
"He was still sleeping soundly when I got off the train 20 minutes later," he wrote. "It was a small gesture, but a kind one. I love New Yorkers!"

Tablet Magazine tracked down the kind stranger, 65-year-old Isaac Theil.
"Maybe the photo wouldn't have become so popular if people weren't seeing a Jewish man with a yarmulke and a black man in a hood, and because they might not necessarily correlate the two," Theil speculated.
"But there is only one reason that I didn't move, and let him continue sleeping, and that has nothing to do with race. He was simply a human being who was exhausted, and I knew it and happened to be there and have a big shoulder to offer him."
"I would love for people to use this as a lesson to just be good to each other," he added.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Money Tip -6 rules for novice investors

This article is by  Robyn K. Thompson, CFP, CIM, FCSI is founder of Castlemark Wealth Management Inc., a boutique financial advisory firm for high net worth clients, with special focus on the financial needs of women. This the basics to making your money grow. She hits the spot when she said you are looking into investing but havent paid credit card debt, which eats you up for like almost 20% on interest. So, pay off those debts my dear readers!!
Thanks to Goldengirl Finance for this article.La mode, for Joie photocredit

I recently began volunteering with an organization called Girls Inc., one of whose valuable programs that teaches teen girls the basics of investing and money management. By the end of the program, the girls will be competently managing a full-blown investment portfolio. Sadly, that’s something that most adults are unable to do. Most novice investors who come to me for advice have usually been burned badly by trying to trade penny stocks in an online brokerage account – something my teen protégés would never do. Here’s why...

Don’t start with a marathon

Even before you start researching stocks as potential investments, you have to start with the basics. First, remember that there is no free lunch. If you are serious about investing, then you will need to start from ground zero and build from there.
  • First rule: Apply money basics
It’s all about getting a grip on your income and your outgo. Live within your means, and do not spend more than you earn. Simple advice, and something you’ve probably heard a thousand times. Yet, many people just seem unable to follow it. That’s where planning comes in. Most people benefit from a written plan – somehow that makes your goals seem more real. You do not need to make a six-figure salary to become a successful investor, but you do need to set out a diligent savings goal and investment plan that will span decades.
  • Second rule: Make it grow
Understand the power of compounding. This is the principle that any earnings from an asset will in turn generate their own earnings. Compounding allows your original investment amount to grow faster when earnings are reinvested than when earnings are paid out. Most people will have heard about compound interest, which is simply the principle of compounding applied to interest-bearing assets, like Guaranteed Investment Certificates, where the interest earns interest.
  • Third rule: Start early
The more years you have to invest, the more manageable your plan becomes. For example, let’s say you are 30 years old today and make $50,000 a year. You have $10,000 in a non-registered investment account that pays, say, 8% annually. Let’s also assume you can contribute $5,000 at the start of each and every year until you stop working at age 65.
At the end of 35 years, you would have accumulated $728,226…but you’ve paid an eye-popping $271,774 to the Canada Revenue Agency along the way. This is because the growth on your investments is taxed annually at your marginal tax rate (in this case, using a 31.15% tax rate), leaving you an after-tax rate of return of 6.4%. The CRA has collected $270,000 from you for absolutely no reason! That’s why Rule Number Four is so important.
  • Fourth rule: Cut taxes
Make full use of tax-free, tax-deferred, and tax-efficient investment plans and products. It’s what I call the 'The Wealth Effect'. While the type of securities you hold (asset mix) and the choice of securities (security selection) are important, research has shown that tax-efficiency is absolutely critical for building wealth, because great performance is useless if the taxman takes most of it away.
To see what I mean, take the same example I used in Rule Number Three above, except apply it to a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA). This is a federal government registered account that lets investments within the account grow completely tax-free. In addition, there is no tax when you withdraw funds from the account. Using the same investment plan described above, when you reach age 65, you will have accumulated $1,067 412 in your TFSA. Yes, read that again - over one million dollars from a $5,000-a-year investment! It’s all yours - and all without paying a cent of tax on that growth…ever.
You get the same type of effect from contributing to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). With an RRSP, your annual contribution limits may be much larger than for a TFSA, based on your earned income. Contributions are also tax deductible, a feature that could earn you a tax refund every year. However, investments grow in the plan on a tax-deferred basis - in other words, you won’t have to pay tax on interest, dividends, or capital gains on investments in an RRSP until you withdraw funds from the plan - at which time withdrawals are treated as ordinary income and taxed at your full marginal rate. Still, there are various maturity options and strategies you can take advantage of to mitigate the tax impact when it comes time to collapse your RRSP.
  • Fifth rule: Pay off expensive debt
Always pay high interest debt off (like credit cards) first, before investing. If your credit card charges you 19% in interest and your expected market return on investments is 7% to 9%, it only makes sense to pay the higher rate off first.
  • Sixth rule: Be flexible
Your life will change and evolve, and your savings and investment plan must grow with you.

Control = growth

Once you understand the rules, the rest falls into place. Create an investment plan that matches your risk-tolerance level. For example, it makes absolutely no sense to say you’re a conservative investor and then jump into trading penny mines on the TSX Venture Exchange. Once you’ve set your investment plan in motion, track it weekly or monthly. You’ll be surprised how fast your investable assets can grow when you take control. If my teen investors can do it, so can you!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

FLORIDA GOOD NEWS -good samaritan pays for stranger's baggage fees

I picked up this story from Ali Swank of Healthy Living and wanted to share it with you guys.. Pay it forward today.. I always love reading good news so I would like to share them with you. Travelling is one of my favorite things to do and I have also experienced compassion and honesty and that trip became memorable. My own story will come out in my column in Manila Bulletin in the next few weeks...=)


Photo: brbmycatexploded/Reddit



 Having your credit card declined can be awkward and humiliating. But it's an even worse experience if you're at the airport, rushing to make your flight, and when it comes time to dole out the mandatory fee to check a bag, the airline counter employee lets you know that your card won't go through. Confused, you step out of line to check your balance. You just know your card isn't maxed out and should be able to cover the expense.
Redditor brbmycatexploded recently experienced this exact situation at Tampa International Airport.

"Having my card declined was extremely embarrassing, even though I didn't know a single soul in that airport," the Reddit user, who asked to be identified by just his first name, Andy, told Yahoo! Shine.

His story has a happy ending, though. When he returned to the counter, a Good Samaritan had generously paid his baggage fee and left a note:
"Hey, I heard them say your card was declined. I know how it feels. Your bag fee's on me. Just pay it forward the next time you get a chance. Have a safe flight. :)"
On Wednesday, Andy posted a photo of the note on Reddit and wrote, "If you're reading this, thanks for making my day."
The kind deed didn't just have a financial impact. "Seriously, reading their note gave me goosebumps and gave me faith that there are still good people out there," Andy shared with Shine.

But he's not going to plan out how he'll pay it forward. "I think it will be a random decision, a spur-of-the-moment type thing," he explained. "I really don't think that that person walked into that airport, saying, 'I'm going to pay someone's baggage fee today.' So neither will I."
The random-act-of-kindness post has inspired other Redditors to share how they've spontaneously helped strangers or vice versa.
Poundt0wn described that while on vacation with his family, a man approached poundt0wn’s father with a flower and asked him if he would buy it so that he could use the money to purchase food for his family. Poundt0wn’s dad pulled out $100 and gave it to the man. “Fifteen minutes later,” wrote poundt0wn, “we see the same guy walking on the sidewalk again. This time, he had at least 10 bags of groceries hanging from his arms, one of which contained diapers.”

Redditor jacenborne explained that while at a Chick-fil-A drive-through, a woman in front of him paid for his meal. There was no one behind him, so he couldn’t return the favor. “But it was such a happy moment of human benevolence that is rarely seen in society,” commented jacenborne.

During a trip to an auto parts store, Synssins noticed a woman with two kids leaving the store without a battery she needed for her car, since she couldn’t afford it. The Redditor kindly bought the battery and installed it for her. “I asked her to pop her hood, and she at first looked at me like, ‘What?’ and then saw what I had with me. She asked me why, and I just said, ‘Because someone did something nice for me once.’ I installed her battery while she was crying and thanking me.”

Another Reddit user commented that while in a convenience store at 3 a.m., a man was purchasing diapers, milk, formula, and toilet paper, but his card was declined. As he was calculating which necessities he really needed, ThatSpuds came to his rescue. “So I walk up to the counter and give the guy $20," ThatSpuds wrote. "I don’t say a word, and I don’t expect anything in return, not even a thank you. But the guy turns around. Gets on his knees and wraps his arms around me and tells me that I have just made a profound difference.”
ThatSpuds added, “So pay it forward with all of your might, because someone out there is depending on you.”