Wednesday, January 30, 2013

TRUTHS and MYTHS About Insurance Policies

Let's face it: Life is uncertain. So both the young and old have equal chance of not making it to the next second. We cannot be too much in control; the catch in life is that we don't know when we are breathing on our last breath.

That's sad, yes? Now insurance comes in the way. Now there are many types of insurance.

Let's be clear. I'm not selling insurance plans here. But I want to highlight the importance of having insurance plans. For once in your life, purchasing insurance plans can be your best decision yet.

When signing up for a plan though, you may be find it hard to decide which to choose as there are many plans and policies offered to you. If you are not familiar with them, you cannot solely trust the insurance brokers for what they are promoting.

Of course, these agents will tend to market their own life insurance policies. With this, you are still uncertain on the guarantees that you will get the best insurance policies that fit you.

In this article, we will talk about the most common misconceptions on insurance conditions and claims. Know the truth and myths about insurance policies before it's late:

1. MYTH: The cost of life insurance is seven times the present income of the person.
TRUTH: In calculating for the final life insurance amount, insurance companies would have different baselines. Actually, the total amount of the insurance premium would vary accordingly to your needs and also the dependents that will be supported when the insurance is utilized. So before concluding the amount to pay, a good rule of thumb is to find all the factors leading to the insurance amount and ask your local legal sector for advice.

2. MYTH: Life insurance policies cover ALL bills and funeral charges after the death of the owner of the insurance.
TRUTH: This is only true to those insurance policies which actually have that statement. Unless declared or explicitly written, confirm about this portion in the life insurance policies and know the coverage of your protection. Also consider the expenses of your dependents after in case of the eventuality.

3. MYTH: All car damages will all be taken care of when you have an auto insurance plan.
TRUTH: You can only get reimbursed if you have shown proof of the damage and you can receive as much insurance money as quoted or estimated by the car insurance company. So your takeaways here are to take a picture or video of the damages and the actual scenario and be as honest as possible. If they found that you are lying at some point, your insurance claim will be denied and this will also impact your policy rate.

4. MYTH: All home damages will all be taken care of when you have a home insurance plan.
TRUTH: Just like the car insurance, you will not have a guarantee that the insurance company will be held responsible in paying out for all the costs of the damage in your house.
First thing to do after the damage has been done is to take a picture of the mess and immediately report it to the insurance company. Explaining the actual losses vividly will also help your insurer get a more accurate approximation of the insurance claim for the damage.

After the insurance company has been notified, you can then make your own repairs or have them fixed by other teams. However, do make sure to track all your expenses by collecting receipts to show to the insurer. These expenses should be included as part of the indemnification.

On another side, it's better if you can wait unti the insurer gets to your home and see the damages through his own eyes. Taking photos is okay, but looking at how disastrous the damage is in reality is evidently way better.

5. MYTH: You can get as much benefits as stated in the coverage, as needed with your insurance plan when emergency comes.
TRUTH: In normal scenario, the above statement applies as a truth. However, there may be special cases where insurers suspends and adjusts the insurance policies you have signed up on. For example, they have an early detection that horrible floods will visit your area. If they are cruel, they will take this advance warning as a signal to take out some passages in the insurance policy to their advantage. To avoid such instance, review the policy adjustments related to disasters and clarify them with the insurance company.

End Notes

Just like life, signing up for an insurance policy has its own uncertainties. To have proper knowledge on these policies, take the time to carefully review all terms and conditions of your insurance plan. It's good to be a doubting Thomas so you can have insurance agents or the company reveal all hidden statements that could backfire you in the future.

Monday, January 28, 2013

How to Increase the Value of Your House Property

Perhaps you know by now that while value of cars and other fixed assets depreciate, the value of your housing properties appreciates with time. Yup, you can buy several lots today and sell them after x number of years. You can earn profits, if you know how real estate business and investments work. 

Promoting real estate is not difficult. It is done by carefully knowing how to find the best circle of people to sell it to and then knowing how to get the best property value out of your financial commitment. Internally, you can make prospective customers think about it already as their own house, office and other personal or commercial space. 

In this article, we will be talking about the basics of increasing the value of your house property.

Every day, we are into marketing ourselves in facing many different people and circumstances in life. With this, we know that first impressions are usually the ones that last. 

Here are five tips to improve your space:

1. Renovate! You don't have to go crazy on any particular style. Often you can build improvements first in your space by changing or renewing the wall paint and turn the flooring surfaces to contemporary ones. This is to make sure you have freshen up unclean or foul-smelling areas as well.

2. Improve the Exterior Look of Your Space. First opinions are usually the long lasting ones. You can incrementally improve the appearance of your space from the outside by: having a small patio outside of the house, having a lawn or garden area with chairs for relaxation, cleaning windows and doors and the like. You can even adhere to exterior walls which are colored white, off-white and other rather classy colors with good textures.

3. Fix the Broken Pieces. Show the customers that you care for their need for protection and comfort. The level of charm of your house will not work well if you have broken pieces in any area of the house, i.e. walls, floor tiles, windows. Upgrade the insulating material of your glass and gates to help maintain the heat range within. Fix leaking faucets and loose cabling.

4. Highlight Energy Savers. Environment-friendliness is getting attraction in several communities nowadays. It will be valuable to update your house to have energy-saving lights. An overhead light bulb can be lit up in the main entrance of your place. For cost efficiency, the light there does not need to be kept on all night.

Get a motion-sensitive lighting style system that will be triggered when somebody enters discreetly. This will also act up as a protection system, by notifying you to prospective trespassers and thieves any time of the day. These changes will not only increase your property's value, but they also bring down your utility bills expenses.

5. Let Air In. Natural air does not only give more positive vibes. Adequate cross-ventilation and exposure to natural sunlight also helps in providing lower costs to modernization. You don't want the house to smell old. So there has to be new air coming in and out daily. If the current house layout does not allow sunshine to enter and air to flow in, consider hiring some architect to make the change unless you are a professional at doing this yourself.

End Notes

Having said all these, the main point here is to put yourself in the shoes of the prospective customer. When you know how they feel and know somewhat what is likeable (and not), you can be almost sure to land more than one fantastic offer and increase the value of your property.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Are Credit Cards For Necessity or Luxury?

There may have been so much advances today in the world of banking and finance, but one thing remains intact: the use of credit cards.

Credit card is one of the most famous gate passes to a cashless society. However, this does not mean that you will NOT have to pay cash. The use of this small plastic card only entails that you will borrow cash first from the bank or credit card company, and these entities will pay your bill to the seller or selling institution. With just a swipe of the credit card, they are to settle your dues immediately and you will pay the due amount following an arrangement later.

Having a credit card means that the credit card agency entrusts you to get a loan for your expenses. The higher the credit card classification such as gold and platinum, the more sophisticated and classy your standing is.

Thus credit cards can sometimes be viewed as a status symbol. As you splurge in shopping using your credit card, and you can maintain a good credit score and credit standing, credit card companies tend to be in your favor. They feel honored having you as their first-rate client.

Spending more or spending less is not the yardstick of measuring whether you are already regarding your credit card as a luxury or just as a necessity.

Answer the following questions to know your standing:

1. Do you buy things you don't really need but buy it anyway because there's a credit card that gives you the power to do so?

2. Can you pay all of your credit card debts?

3. Have you reached the maximum limit of your credit card and have problems paying for it?

4. Do you purchase a lot of things that you can't pay for?

5. Are you late in submitting payments for your credit card bill?

6. Are you subjected to pay interest rates because you have not paid your credit card monthly dues for months?

7. Can't you recover from your credit card debt?

8. Do you request for cash advances using your credit card when you don't need them for emergency purposes?

Now is the time to count your yeses. If you answered more than four yeses, you know you are treating your credit card as a luxury. And you're not in good shape!

End Notes

Keep in mind that credit cards are built mainly as a necessity and not as a tool adding up to your financial worries. Credit cards are used when you don't want carrying loads of cash in your wallet, when you can't pay for this month but can pay for the amount in installments, and when you can still manage your finances well. Don't allow the credit card to control your expenditures.

To preserve your credit worthiness, think before buying anything. Ask yourself if you can afford it and if you really need it. Credit cards should give you positive convenience and not the other way around.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Low Cost Health Insurance

When you hear the word "insurance" from an agent, probably the first thing that would dismay you to purchase an insurance package is the cost. Second would be the minute details attached to every type of insurance. Probably, you are not an expert of this field and you don't want to use up your brain cells in trying to understand its technicalities, jargon and complexity.

In this article, we will tackle on low cost individual health insurance plans in laymen terms. Essentially, we are going to explore the variety of low cost or affordable health insurance.

Risks Posed on Health Insurance

When you finally are decided to purchase a low cost health insurance, know that suddenly you are acquiring risks beside this decision point. You thought you have saved money. However, another implication is that the health insurance package you bought is completely useless.

Being a novice in the best individual health insurance quotes and plans, you did not know the right policies that should be present. In the end, you will have yourself only deceived by the "tricks" of the scammer / insurance company.

Here are ways to correct this, if you purchased an "affordable" health insurance plan whether you are company employed or self employed.

How to Benefit From a Low Cost Health Insurance

1. Make and demand clarifications.

Somewhere along the lines of the insurance policy, there may be ambiguities that you must clear before signing up for the plan. Know that these insurance companies are in the business to provide useful information supposedly and protection. Don't allow them to only make money out of a foolish business.

Insurance is about quality care and not earning of profits. Don't have them deny coverage. Do ask questions and don't be bothered if you are asking really many questions! As a customer, you have the right to do so.

2. Insure yourself against major illnesses or injuries

By purchasing an insurance that covers major health casualties such as different major illnesses and injuries, you can be surer that you have saved more money. Rather than paying them out by yourself, you have the insurance policies backing you up. This plan is called the "catastrophic coverage plans." And often, policies included in this insurance plan cost cheaper, with lower premiums?

Ask your insurance broker about this. But I think it is because the chances of you getting major attacks are minimal as compared to the number of instances you visit the doctor (consultation fee), buy over-the-counter medicine, and the like.

These purchases are what's known as the out-of-the-pocket deductibles which insurance plans consider as a big tradeoff. Hence, proceeds from insurance for the cost of these are most pricey.

3. Go for health insurance plans with higher deductibles.

In the long run, you will pay for less if you opt for insurance plans with higher than lower deductibles. But you will need more savings in your account to get accounted for this insurance policy.

4. Buy an affordable health insurance plan while you are young.

I noticed that the older you get, the more expensive health insurance plans will be for you. Health insurance companies assume with the right logic that you will tend to be less healthy when you are older, especially when you reach the 40s.

While you're young, do purchase a suitable best individual health insurance for you to avoid the troubles of paying for the same plan for more in the next years.

5. Purchase affordable group health insurance coverage if you're older.
If you are between 40-60, the best way you can still purchase a low cost health insurance is to buy by group. Find a group of people with the same ages as you and get a group health insurance coverage altogether. 
Individually in the group, compare the different insurance options available as online references. Not all can match everyone's preferences so you have to make sure that every person's concern is answered by the same insurance plan. Then bypass the insurance agent and go directly to online sites of leading health insurance companies. By paying only the premium without commission for the agent, you will definitely save a lot.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Safety Tips of Using Your Credit Card When Traveling

There's a joke that has been going around now. Let me share this picture:

Women plan for the travel days before the actual departure day. Women have problems of sleeping, thinking of the plans and worrying for things to come. Women think of a million what-ifs related to the trip. They shop for clothes to achieve desirable outfits for the vacation. They prepare the itinerary and ask friends for suggestion. They pack for their bags and luggage several days before D-day of the travel.

In contrast...

Men don't care and pack only a few minutes before going out of the house to prepare for the trip.

If you're smiling right now, you know it's true.

However, what we are not sure of is that if women and men are prepared in using their credit card on their travel SAFELY.

There will be instances where they will be shopping in malls. What if they are short in cash? For example, the women wants to buy a diamond ring, but their combined money in cash form won't suffice. They are forced then to use their credit card.

Yup, in trying times like this, your credit card (that can be used anywhere either locally or internationally) is your savior!

Instead of big bundles of cash to carry, you will only bring a single thin card to buy all things you want and need. Whew! Take note though that safeness should be ensured along the trip.

Safety Tips of Using Your Credit Card When Traveling

1. Check if your card if valid.

There are credit cards that can be used only locally, either Visa or MasterCard. These are ones that are issued by your local banks mostly. Some credit cards like HSBC, Citibank, American Express and Standard Chartered are valid and acceptable for use in many countries. Consider applying for at least two to still enjoy the perks even when one fails!

2. Check the spending limit.

If you have a credit card that can be used internationally, the next thing you have to verify is your spending limit on that account. If you already have spent half of your credit limit for the month, you won't be able to extend expenditures on that same credit card for more.

Don't put yourself to embarrassment when that time comes and the cashier is not the only one waiting for your form of purchase but also the long queue of people behind you at the counter. To know your spending limit, you just have to make a single phone call or check your limit on paper records.

3. Plan for your expenses.

Related to the second point, don't always aim to reach your spending limit each month. Draft a plan of your expenses and refer to it whenever you make a purchase. Know what to spare and what you really need.

Don't think that just because you are traveling with a friend, your spouse or family member, you can ask for their help anyway.

4. Know the currency rate and conversion.

Different countries have different currency rates. For example, 1 US dollar is not equivalent to 1 Euro. Especially if you are converting to a higher conversion rate, you must make sure that you know the rates. Else when credit card billing comes, you might be surprised and suspect fraud out of the transactions done.

Another tip is to use the credit card with the lowest conversion fee before paying.

5. Call your credit card company and get them informed about your trip (departure and arrival dates).

This is for the credit company to not force accusations on large transactions of payment being made. Also, in case of theft or loss of your credit card, it will be easier for them to track and backup your card number. And the credit card can be blocked and terminated quickly.

End Notes

To ensure a holiday free from tension, bringing extra cash won't hurt. This is to keep yourself insured also of money when you lose your credit card in a different land or when it just won't work regardless of the reason.

As an end note, remember to save the receipts of your credit card payments. Not only does this practice enable you to have the taxes reimbursed at the airport, but this will also help you to prove the discrepancy of any purchase made if there are. Duplicate charges can be levied and the problem can be solved without much hassle.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Choose the Right Insurance Plan for Healthcare

 Out of all the insurance plans present in the market, two are your best bets. And you need them both, with no excuses, no questions asked. They are: health insurance and life insurance.

Trouble is, because these insurances are found to be as well the most basic necessities of mankind, there are many insurance companies offering their own versions of insurance policies. You will be spoiled for choice, not knowing which to choose.

In this page, we will help you in determining the components of the right individual insurance plan for healthcare. Our aim is to get you reach a good decision and best strategy for your health insurance.

2 Main Criteria of the Right Insurance Plan for Health

1. Coverage

Explore the features of the health insurance plan to get the most out of it. For instance, know that eye-care and dental services are usually not included in the coverage of a health insurance plan. So if ever you get blinded in one eye or you need to have a root canal suddenly, you cannot claim insurance money from the insurance plan you applied for. Blindness can be incorporated in the disability insurance, which you can ask the insurance company if you can avail of it as well.

It is very rare that insurance companies will not exempt dentistry and eye concerns. If they are covered, the premiums you have to pay will be incurred as more expensive than usual.

Also, a different type of insurance related to health is the maternity insurance. For example, you're not planning to have a baby anytime soon with your husband. But when you accidentally formed a baby in your womb and happened to have a maternity insurance to cover the expenses, you are the luckiest.

However, also note that since they are regarded as a special coverage, maternity packages as part of the health insurance come with a costly price.

Insurance as a Health Benefit from Your Company

If you are an employee working for a big company, you may have a health and medical insurance prepared for you by your employer. Companies often deal with insurance companies and buy group insurance packages to get bigger discounts. While you have this edge already, some features that you need may not be covered.

So it's wise to also check the coverage and make sure that you are fully insured. Else, purchasing a health insurance plan by yourself will not bring any harm. Consider then to extend the benefits to your dependents, if only you care. But this will in turn add on to the premium you have to pay for.

2. Affordability

At stake for the cost of the individual healthcare insurance are your age and also your health.


Age spells a big difference, actually. It is common seen that a younger person is much healthier than one that will retire soon from working. Senior citizens have to pay higher amount of premiums than those younger people, as old folks are presumed to be utilizing the benefits of the health insurance very soon.


Health is wealth, and so the health factors in as an important contributor to the cost of the health insurance plan. If your family does not have many sicknesses recorded down in history of genetics, the health insurance company may evaluate your plan as cheaper one.

Additionally, the health insurance company will assess your health score by asking you to fill out a form with questions pertaining to your health. You have to be honest about the illnesses you have experienced in the past and present. You are to put whether or not you have a high blood cholesterol or extremely anemic, if you have vertigo, allergies, have experienced a major syndrome and the like.

These are precautions for them to state how much of the insurance you will be needing to cover for those sicknesses. So when such sickness comes up later, you will be properly insured. However, the disadvantage is that you will be paying for more expensive insurance plan for healthcare.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

How to End Your Credit Card Problem (Regarding Debts)

I have watched an episode of the Tyra Banks show and was appalled to know that 2 out of 3 Americans (according to the survey they ran) have problems paying their credit card debt. That's quite surprising to me. Actually, the number is alarming!

Debts get piled up and some people are even becoming suicidal because they cannot just find the way to solve this problem. Income from their jobs is not enough for them to survive in life's challenging financial battles.

In this article, I'd like to share my suggestions on how to solve and end your credit card debt problem.

1. Transfer Strategy

This is what I call the "transfer strategy." You will still have your debts but probably you can have lower interest rates by transferring the credit balance from a higher interest-rate credit card to a lower interest-rate one.

Research on which banks offer promotions such as zero-percent transfer of balance. You cannot escape from the credit card problem or just throw away your credit card balance and give it to others. But claiming this chance will reduce the addition of the debt's amount monthly or annually.

2. Stop Credit Card Usage

You know that problem crops up when you use your credit card despite knowing that you can't pay this money anytime soon. So common sense advises to stop getting your credit card in your wallet or on your hands. To come out of the financial debt mess, don't borrow money anymore!

3. Keep Only One Credit Card

If you can't help but still use credit cards instead of cash, instead of owning two or more cards, keep one credit card only. Return all the rest of the credit cards to the bank to lose the temptation of using them and thinking you have another unused stash of credit limit for the month.

End Notes

Make a commitment and strong decision to follow these simple steps by heart. Don't allow credit cards to ruin your life and be pushed to the bottom by your debts. Becoming free of debts does not happen overtime. You have to work on getting there by practicing good personal financial management and having much strict discipline.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Common Credit Card Traps

Credit card agents are everywhere now—in the malls, marketplace, the lobby or entrance of some buildings and establishments. Mostly these people are nuisances. How come?

Credit cards supposedly are made for the sake of our convenience. But nowadays, people see them as traps that will damage our bank accounts further.

Working With Credit Card Companies

Credit card companies compete to get clients as much as possible. The more, the merrier! Because of this, we see many advertisement offering amazing deals that blow us away. We are attracted to spend and spend until we run out of resources only because we believe that credit card promotions can save us.

By learning the common credit card traps, you will know how to cope up better and free yourself of credit later.

Common Credit Card Traps

1. 24 Months to Pay Scheme

The advantage you get is that you will be able to pay for everything. But this acts also as a double-edged sword. Even if it's 24 months or 26 months at that, you will still have to pay the same amount. The only difference is the number of gives. So you are somewhat fooling yourself into believing that you are paying less in every month and you get to spend more. The end result is that you will cash out and have more expenditures.

2. 0% Interest

No business will ever give their customers all the perks and they have to suffer the consequences in return. Think that if these lending companies or credit card companies offer 0% interest, what will be the implication for their business? They are in the service of helping you achieve the things you want to buy. And they want to promote the customer's trust and loyalty.

But in the same way, they can take off the 0% interest rate when they reach their loss. Yup, truth be told, this is very unfair of them. Banks can claim that the interest-free period has ended, and additional charges will be levied to you. So the best advice here is to make sure that you read all the terms and conditions before purchasing stuff with a 0% interest promo.

3. Cash Advance

Sometimes, you are just in short of cash. Particularly, when you run your own business, you don't have a stable income and you may want to avail of the cash advance scheme of banks. Things look pretty at the beginning. You apply for the cash advance and make that leap.

Little did you know that this cash advance scheme incurs a much higher interest rate! It's common that you won't enjoy the 0% interest rate. So be wary. Else, you might end up being stuck at paying for piles of debt from those interests and also the principal amount of money with additional penalty fee for late payments.

4. Credit Balance Transfer

You may not be aware but banks and lending companies make returns by allowing credit balance transfers. This transaction is free in some banks but not to others. For instance, you have two accounts and the first account is short of $300. You need to issue that amount else your check will be put on hold or cancelled. This will destroy the image of your company so you requested the bank to transfer that amount of $300 to the account that has insufficient funds.

Transferring of balance incurs a small percentage to your outstanding dues, if you have not paid all your debts from the bank. This interest will then be summed up to your credit balance.

End Notes

Credit card promotions are all eye-catching, sparking our interest. But there can be one too many common traps you need to get out of before it's too late. To avoid these credit card traps, think that you are spending cash. Spend only as you can. Don't take credit you cannot afford to pay back on time.

Friday, January 11, 2013

How to Profit From Trading in the Penny Stock Market

What are Penny Stocks?

Blue chips are those stocks that have a very high unit price. In contrast, penny stocks are in the opposite side of the spectrum.

Penny stocks have relatively low value or price per unit, as they are owned by companies who are either new to the stock market exchange or those that are start-ups.

Is it safe to invest in penny stock companies?

Well, as the popular saying goes, "No pain, no gain." If you don't risk more, you won't profit enough. So does this mean that you won't lose a lot in trading pennies and therefore you won't have good earnings out of the penny stock market?

Another consideration to ponder on is "Is it safe to invest in the penny stock market?"

Actually, based on the answers I have gathered from online expert, the answer is no.

Penny stocks have a high speculative value, since there are only a limited number of ways to obtain details regarding the penny stocks. Unlike blue chip companies that are already established, penny-stock companies don't have that ready information to showcase to traders. This may entail that their revenues add up to the mediocre scale, and their branding is not yet known entirely to the public market scene.

Traders can only play the guessing game when buying and selling penny stocks. The price changes are only dependent on the curve of the demands and supply of stocks in the stock market and not on trending charts posted by analysts and experts.

In this article, we will discuss how to profit from trading in the penny stock market, despite this being the case.

Trading Principles Incorporated in the Penny Stock Market

1. Trade in low volumes.

Since you are unsure of what's to come in the penny stock market, the safest move you can practice is to trade in low volumes. Aside from lowering your losses, you also get to pay lower commission costs for brokers.

Since penny stocks don't get traded on major stock exchanges, brokers don't get as much as trading middle caps or blue chips. To compensate for this commission, they demand higher payments every time you make a buy or sell transaction.

2. Get information from penny stock company insiders.

If you are to trade your money on the penny stock market, at least you have to know someone who works for the companies you will choose. Since these companies had the gut to enter the stock market, they must have invaluable reasons and feeling that they will perform well in the next quarters. You just have to mine and know the details of their strategies to be more decided in your purchase of their stocks.

3. Don't get addictive with the big profits you can gain from penny stock market.

As said, there is no certainty in trading in the penny stock market. This is not to say though that there is certainy in trading in the general stock market. But you can be more guaranteed that for instance, Apple stocks are down this quarter, they will rise up once again in the next quarter or perhaps in the year after. Apple is a very establshed company, and they have a continuous supply of innovative products and offerings.

When you get big wins such as 200% (which is entirely possible) out of trading in the penny stock market, you are less assured. That company can just be bought by a larger firm before you bat an eyelash. Don't be greedy; when you achieve about 80% of profit, stop there and sell your penny stocks.

End Notes

Low prices of stocks in the market are like shining, shimmering and splendid to your eyes. But they don't hold much profitable value. What you'd expect to do next is wait until you reap your dividends from penny stocks for a long time without assurance. If you have been investing in the stock market for a while now and you're excited to make big money with BIG risks, then include MANY penny stocks in your portfolio.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Kidnap Insurance as a Personal Liability Insurance

In the Philippines, there are a great number of local TV shows (telenovelas) and cinema movies that have kidnap and ransom scenes. Sometimes, I think they are not really relevant to the plot and wonder why they are even included.

Do these kidnap and ransom scenes imply that people should purchase their own kidnap and ransom insurance?

I became interested with kidnapping insurance rates when I was in my early teenage years. During these years, kidnapping incidents were very frequent in Chinatown area, where many Filipino-Chinese and Chinese kids were lost, taken by kidnappers.

In the Chinese schools near us, students had to be fetched by their parents immediately after the class dismissal time. Else, parents had to pay extra fees as school guards will have to stay to protect the kids staying inside the school. Students were strictly prohibited to visit ousitde-campus computer shops to play games or use computers. School administrators and parents were afraid that these places could be where kidnappers get their chance to take the kids for ransom.

As kidnapping had been picking up widely in the news headlines, the media raised more awareness about kidnap and ransom insurance. The information they shared has been useful to people since.

As heard and read through the TV news anchors and newspaper columnists, the kidnap and ransom insurance covers not only kidnapping but also hijacking and extortion.

If you're someone who holds a high position in your society and are known as rich, you might have the risks of getting kidnapped. If not you, your kids may be the target. Aside from this, if you have many enemies outside, you are also suggested to get protection by purchasing independent and group kidnapping and ransom insurance plans.

How Much Kidnapping and Ransom Insurance Plans Cover

Disclaimer: I don't know every policy stated in every insurance company that issues kidnapping and ransom insurance plans. I can only share the more generic coverage.

When you don't have money to pay for your ransom and the kidnapper gives you a time limit to pay (else he will do harm to your kid, for example), don't fret. The insurer can get you covered and pay for everything. But you need to pay for the ransom first and they will just offer you the whole compensation.

Compensation here includes the medical expenses and personal losses incurred after the kidnapping scenario. Sometimes, it can't be avoided for the kid or the one who's kidnapped to be traumatized. Expect that there will be mental damages and even disablement.

The kidnapping and ransom insurance plan covers also financial reimbursements for the patient to undergo therapy. When the victim has lost his job for any reason, he is entitled to claim the benefits of crisis management and he will be well-compensated.

Once you sign up for the kidnapping and ransom insurance, the insurance company will require you to attend a kidnap prevention training. This is to ensure that you will not your down guard and be aware at all times.

The insurer will also provide you with a crisis management training for hostage negotiations, hijacking and other high-risk episodes to get you alerted and prepared.

The kidnapping and ransom insurance offers benefits to your dependents, if you the insurer are the victim.

End Notes

If you don't have that amount of cash usually spent for kidnap and ransom, a good way to eliminate your worry is to keep yourself insured from kidnapping and ransom.

You may not be secured in every minute of your breathing life, but you can be sure that you will get insurance claims that will continue providing you with the stable life you were living before the kidnapping incident. Don't be complacent about the now. It's sometimes also good to think about what-if threats and dangerous situations such as this.

Monday, January 7, 2013

How Do You Improve Your Credit Rating or Credit Score?

So you have borrowed a certain sum of money you could not pay for in years. Interests were gained and these furthermore added to the pile of debt. Just when you hit a jackpot in the lottery and managed to clear your debts, your bad credit history has already been recorded by many financial institutions and banks. From this day forward, you have a bad name in their record.

Now you are ready to purchase another huge asset which requires a loan, or you want to sign up for a new credit card. Problem is, the bad credit rating is kept and maintained in the records of these companies. How do you improve your credit rating?

Answers and steps are easy. They are achievable!

Don't you worry! You only need to be more vigilant in ensuring yourself a higher rating this time 'round. At least, you are supposed to maintain a good level of rating to decrease the chances of you being rejected for your application.

How is Credit Rating Kept?

For one, you would want to know how your credit rating is kept by the lending and selling companies. Well, you have to learn that there are rules owned for them to calculate your credit worthiness. There are no fixed criteria but in general; they get the highest credit score submitted to them by a lot of companies. 

The credit score rating here includes the details of your current application. They will deduce if it's possible for you to pay now to make sure they won't be chasing you for life later on.

How to Get a Better Credit Rating or Credit Score

1. Register your landline phone.

Having your landline phone registered in your name will get you a better credit score. This is because you are allowing yourself be tracked and not really hiding away from the authorities who can put you in question. Giving them the access to contact you will keep them better in peace.

Registering your name in your phone line also proves that you are a responsible citizen. But do this only when you don't have any pending debt in your name.

2. Stay in only one residence.

Moving houses frequently will give the auditors the impression that you don't have money to pay for your current thus you move into a cheaper place, and then you don't have sufficient income again and move to another one. The reason could also be that you are running away from debts; that's why you keep on shifting residences.

Regardless the reason and even if you don't mean to change your house address a lot, doing so negatively impacts your credit score. So if you have been staying in one residence for a long time, you have more chances of improving your credit rating.

Oh, it's easy to track the number of times you change addresses. From your mortgage loans, bank accounts (billing address is recorded), credit cards, mobile phone plans and insurances, all these companies can send your credit rating to the credit bureau.

3. Get into a regular paying job.

Your credit rating will be adversely affected when you don't have a regular paying job. Income will not be reflected as stable. So it's not advisable to be a real estate broker, a self-employed individual or someone who earns money only by commissions. You cannot be sure you can pay for the debt for another month. Also, keep your unemployment months at a minimum!

4. Sign up with a credible guarantor.

If your guarantor is Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey or just a regular someone who has credible background and good financial and credit record, you can improve your credit score. This guarantor is the person the lending company will vouch out for whenever there's a mishap in your payment capability.

One way to prove that you have a good relationship with this guarantor is to set up a joint bank account with this person or co-sign a tenancy contract of an apartment. The credit score report of this person will also be checked, so his background must be thoroughly clean else it will lower your credit rating further.

End Notes

You cannot delete your past associations and pitfalls, but you can turn them into something more positive by doing these four steps. Also, be alerted with discrepancies in your information. Crediting agencies are very meticulous in the health of the credit score with consistent accurate personal information.

Friday, January 4, 2013

How Do You Start Investing Money in the Stock Market? ~ From a Newbie's Viewpoint

Time and again, working people and business folks alike want to earn more money from other sources rather than their day job or their business' normal day-to-day operations. Of course, if there are chances, why not take them, right?

Often, the stock market is a popular choice among other sources of income. Having to trade stocks does not need a physical store to capitalize on. It does not need employees, as you analyze the trends and do the buying and selling of stocks yourself. What's more, you only have to read and make predictions to win (or lose) in the stock market.

How to start investing in the stock market has been a popular question thus. This has been answered like hundreds to thousands of times by experts. In this article, let me explain how to do it--in a newbie's view. This is so that you can learn the basics from someone who learning the ropes in trying to play in the stock market game firsthand.

Lessons from Stock Market Trading 101

I have attended many seminars (online and offline) regarding stock market trading. Common things said are as follows:

1. Don't treat stock market trading as an ordinary pastime, unless you are willing to lose tons of cash!

Most people, as mentioned in the intro, treat making money in the stock market as another activity to widen their source of income. The steps to climb the ladder to buy and sell stocks are pretty easy. However, the stock market industry is very complicated in reality. Trading in it requires vast knowledge about world trends and thorough research about companies that reveal stock market prices to the public.

2. Buying and selling of stocks call for real effort and not sheer luck.

Without knowing the open-close values of stocks each day compared to high peaks and low valleys that make up as exceptions, you won't have good and proper predictions of the change in prices of stocks.

Trading in the stock market is not plain gambling. Lucky guesses won't ensure the right choices. There must be good logic and skills involved to put your account to the right course.

3. Practice with the traditional approach of paper trading.

Now we can trade in the stock market online. One buy or one sell transaction is equivalent to one click only. In that one click of a button, money is lost or gained. The Internet makes it more tempting for us to "gamble" then?

Experts strictly advise to follow the method of placing the trades on paper and calculate the profit or loss of each transaction manually. Then graph the stocks on a graph paper every day, to study the trending of the interesting stocks chosen. This practice will give newbies a better comprehension of what stocks to focus on and not just randomly choose stocks to buy and sell.

4. Trade in smaller units first.

If you are new to the stock market arena, don't be overly confident and lose all your investments in one blow. Start to trade only in smaller units until you have further understanding of profits and losses made.

When you have reach this higher level of readiness, you can arrange your diversified portfolio. Balance your risks with a mix of penny stocks, middle caps and blue chips. Choose different sectors of stocks with various commodities (e.g. oil, mines, food, real estate, etc.) This is for you to get well compensated and balanced out in case you turn to a loss hugely in one stock domain.

5. Keep up with both local and global news.

Don't assume that just because you are trading solely in your local stock market that global news won't get your stocks affected. In truth, everything is interconnected. Companies are potentially merged with financial capabilities and investments of international companies' stocks and shares as well. So you have to be updated with everything that is happening in the industry and related industries of your chosen stocks. Don't blindly buy and sell and take ideas from your seatmate.

End Notes

Be familiar with the terminologies used in the stock market and get the edge of reading books and online guides. Also, online forums which discuss the latest stock market trading tips are helpful to get you more ideas. Investigate more after reading these references and utilize the trading tools for prediction. If you are not contented with the free version, and if you feel that you have to advance to the next step, consider investing in paid trading software to boost your analysis on stock trends.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Top 5 Things to Consider If You're Buying a House

Buying a house is no joke. It's not something that you can easily replace, buy and sell. Your house is a place where you will build your home. It's supposed to a sanctuary where you'll end up in regardless how your day has been spent. So you must make sure to choose the best one for its long-term use.

Speaking of "long term," a house is an investment made for long term. Most people live in the same house for more than 10 years. For some people even, the same house has lived through the time of their grandparents, parents until their kids' generation.

Now that you've landed to this page, you might be thinking on buying a house yourself. Read on the top five things you need to consider before buying a house.

1. Clear Set of Choices

When you speak with a real estate agent, most probably he will ask you what your dream house is.

Is it a house and lot with two storeys? Will it be inside a subdivision or village? Or do you prefer living in a condominium?

All these are important identifications for them to help and guide you through your decision. Before sleeping tonight, try to visualize a really clear picture of how you intend your house to look like. The rest will follow.

2. Your Priorities
Once you have determined the appearance and setup of the house you want, next thing is to consider your priorities. Most involved here are your financials, family and personal growth.

If you are one who will get married soon, decide with your future spouse how many kids you'd like to have. Logic says that a bigger family will need a bigger house. Related to this is your budget. More likely, a bigger house will cost more. If you are putting much budget on this house, how will this affect your personal growth and hobbies? You might not have enough more "petty cash" to use for traveling and other expenditures.

3. Location

Knowing the size and appearance of the house is not enough. Next thing to consider is the location.

Do you want a house near the hospital, the school, your office, the house of your friends and relatives, the market, etc.? Do you want it to be build near a bus stop or train station for convenience of everyday transport?

These are the things you also need to mention to your real estate agent.

4. Amenities

Amenities are like the side dishes you can get. While living spaces inside your house centers the dish, amenities are ones that make your space even more pleasant to live in. There are the likes of a gym, sauna, swimming pool, garden, patio, basketball court and jogger's lane.

Make a list of these wants and see whether you really need them to be part of your house. Also set some rating for each one. You can perhaps write a number that corresponds to its importance. This is so that you can compromise on some which will can really not be included in your house.

5. Safety

Last and certainly not least is safety. You might not want to live in a neighborhood full of hoodlums. Search for a peaceful area and make sure your house is secured. Research for the criminal rates and historical incidents that happened in the residential area.

It's also better if a police station, the fire department and other office for public community are nearby. Else, the best thing to do is hire a security guard or set up burglar alarms and CCTV cameras to always monitor your vicinity.