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How To Submit Winning Offers For Bank Owned Properties

Bank owned properties are very popular types of home foreclosures especially among investors and buyers who are prudent in their real estate purchases. This is primarily because bank foreclosures are known to be the safest foreclosures investment since banks can deliver lien-free titles to the buyers. Aside from this, you can also buy a lot of bank properties that are significantly priced below market value. But since the real estate market is becoming tougher due to the rising demand for cheap properties for sale, finding the right property is only half your task.

Prepare Your Documents

When submitting offers for bank owned properties, it is important that you submit complete documents. Purchasing bank foreclosures entail a lot of paperwork and to gain an edge in real estate investing, you have to cut corners where you can. An incomplete document or a missed out detail can cause your papers to be stashed underneath piles of other offers from other interested buyers.

Respond Quickly

Sometimes, the banks REO manager will need to get in touch with you to clarify some information or detail contained in your application. You have to be ready to answer these questions as soon as possible. If you are not able to respond swiftly to the banks call, it is likely that other bids will be given preferential treatment over yours. If you find that you need help in responding to the banks communication requests, you may hire a qualified real estate agent or broker to handle your responses.

Do Not Haggle

While banks, in some instances, may be willing to shoulder some repair cost, it is a settled rule that you do not make any request from the bank to handle repairs or any other additional cost until after they have accepted your offer. This is to ensure that when bidding for bank owned properties, you do not make any move that may be interpreted as a premature assumption on your part. To say the least, banks get turned off when they sense a buyer who is more eager to drive hard bargains than to close the deal.

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New Regulatory Body Set To Transform Britains Wine Investment Industry

NFIB and WIA to Provide Better Protection for Wine Investors

Millions of Britons enjoy drinking it and many now see it as a long-term investment. Unfortunately, fine wine has also become a focus for fraudsters who trick investors into buying wines or vineyards that bear little resemblance to what they see in the prospectus, or may not even exist. The increasing number of such rorts in Britain has led to calls for action to be taken to protect investors and to increase consumer confidence in fine wines. In the upshot, the UKs National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) is joining forces with the newly-formed Wine Investment Association (WIA) to tackle the problem.

On 14 February 2013, the NFIB and the WIA jointly announced the launch of the new self-regulatory body which will aim to transform the growing wine investment industry by providing better protection for investors in the UK. The WIA has been formed by leading figures from the fine wine investment industry and seeks to support the sector’s growth through voluntary regulation, establishing best practices and setting up processes to identify fraudulent activity.

Director of the NFIB, Det. Supt. Dave Clark, said: “Fraudsters will always follow the money, wine investment is just the latest in a long line of investment opportunities that are being exploited and corrupted to the detriment of the industry as a whole. He added that the NFIB sees the creation of an auditable framework of self-regulation as a step towards maintaining and increasing consumer confidence, while also identifying investment companies which do not operate in accordance with the required high standards.

New Code to Tackle Wine Investment Frauds

Following an extensive consultation period, the WIA has set out the standards and procedures with which its members must comply to remain in good standing. Under the new code of conduct to be drawn up, wine investment firms will undergo stringent audits by accountancy firm Mazars. These will include checks on systems such as stock rotation and to make sure that purchase orders and invoices tally. The director of the WIA, Peter Shakeshaft, revealed that companies which successfully complete the independent audit process commissioned by the newly-formed regulatory body will bear a WIA logo offering consumers a trustworthy safety kitemark. Shakeshaft added: Our industry has been held back far too long by unscrupulous practitioners and issues around fraud. The WIA will really hold the industry to account.

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Personal Finance Software Options For Your Mac Computer

So you just got a new Mac huh? And now you’re trying to figure out how to make the transition from life as a Windows user to a new operating system. Finding the right personal finance software can be a challenge. If you were using Quicken on your old Windows computer, you’ve probably heard that there is a version of Quicken just for the Macintosh computer. Unfortunately, many of the features found in Windows Quicken. Also, using an emulator (letting you run Windows applications on a Mac) can get complicated and is prone to its own set of problems. So now what to do?
I suggest looking into Liquid Ledger. This personal finance software solution comes with a robust set of features which can help you track your money down to the last cent. The goal of any good money application is to let you see what you’re spending and what you’re bringing in. Once you determine this, you can make wiser choices about how to budget your money. Here are some features that Liquid Ledger offers:
* The program saves you time and energy by allowing you to automatically schedule regularly occurring payments. The software will alert you when the payment is due, keeping you from having to remember all those bills. You also have the peace of mind that forgetting a payment is a thing of the past.
* Create a budget, then compare how much you planned to spend against how much you actually spent. This lets you see your situation all during the month and find out why the money always seems to disappear.
* Liquid Ledger lets you create powerful reports that let you determine your net worth.
* If you’re a programmer (or even if you’re not), you can use AppleScript to automatically perform repetitive tasks within the program, saving you even more time!
* Travel a lot? Need an application that lets you go back and forth between different currencies? No problem! Liquid Ledger seamlessly transfers funds from one account to another in any number of currencies.
* Liquid Ledger uses bank jargon you’re already familiar with as a customer. This means you won’t be left scratching your head wondering what this or that means.
* You can print your own checks…how cool is that! As long as you have either a laser-jet printer or inkjet printer, you can use the drag-and-drop GUI to create custom templates.
* No need to enter data over again from your old OS-you can import (and export) account information in QIF, CSV, and OFX formats.
Using Liquid Ledger, you can track transactions, keep up with investments, and balance your checkbook, all inside a straightforward user interface that’s a snap to learn. So if you’re making the switch from Windows to Mac, you owe it to yourself to take a look at Liquid Ledger for your personal finance software needs.

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how To Become An Entrepreneur— Not A Salesman

Are You An Entrepreneur Or A Salesman?

What I mean by this, everyday, I open my PC and see my screen filled with nonsensical garbage, to put it politely…These wannabies coming online are only thinking of themselves. A true lack of discipline or just not caring about the customer.

True Entrepreneurs provide the customers with satisfaction in meeting their need in a niche. But today it seems like everyone coming online have only one thing in mind—“Get Rich Quick” with no regard to the customers who are the bloodline of their business.

Here’s an example of a true Entrepreneur— Donald Trump see’s A prosperous venture and he begins his quest by promoting his idea to potential clients who will not only become a partner but will also fund this project. This Business is called leveraging and is very effective if utilized properly— In the end— everyone is happy and satisfied…The customer gets what they want and the business partners make HUGE earning from their funding strategies and Donald Trump becomes another billionaire.

An Entrepreneur sees a need that needs to be met and he meets it. There reward is a satisfied customer and a new friend. Business is established by your social ability to sell yourself not a niche. Sell yourself and your customers will take care of you forever.

Who would you rather do business with, someone who is always trying to stick a product in your face or someone who is giving you good content? I would venture to say the later.

Give your subscriber a free offer in the niche you are promoting and they will see you are trying to meet their need and sometimes they will let you know what they are in the market for. Once you gain their confidence and trust they will buy anything you promote because they trust you. That’s the difference between an Entrepreneur and a salesmen.

Remember, Marketing is a Business not a Casino…There’s no jackpots— just you!

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How To Become A Certified Financial Divorce Specialist

If you often work with individuals who are going through divorce proceedings, then you may want to consider becoming a Certified Financial Divorce Specialist (CFDS). Having this credential shows that you have comprehensive information that will help clients explore their financial options related to a divorce agreement. Training for the CFDS will make you better at helping your clients find a better position of financial stability.

Topics Covered in the CFDS Certification
The CFDS training is designed to improve and increase your knowledge of the complexities of the financial problems that are related to divorce agreements. The more you know about the tax, financial, and legal complexities of divorces cases, the better you can provide support for your clients. Furthermore, the course contains guidance on your role as a professional CFDS.

Here is a brief summary of the topics covered by this training program:
Assessing and identifying assets including family home, property, and pensions to career assets and benefit plans.
Overview of the various legal proceedings, the role of a professional CFDS, and the different methods of settling a divorce case.
Identifying the tax problems from the impact of child support and alimony. Identifying the reporting requirements when selling and dividing the house.
Information about malpractice, ethics, and working with other professionals on the case.
How to present and prepare financial affidavits and other reports.

Training Format of CFDS
The CFDS training program is available online. When you order the certification training course, you can expect to receive everything you will need to complete the entire course from the comforts of your office or home. In addition, the package includes a blinder with around 500 pages of content covering the topics mentioned before and more. This foundational case material also combines questions and case studies to make the learning more realistic.

The Family Law Software program is also included in the package. This program helps calculate the financial impact of various options that are under consideration. For instance, you can use this software to determine what will happen to your client if she assumes credit card debt to keep the house. Part of the initial training package allows you five months of access to this program. After the initial five months are over, there will be a monthly fee that includes ongoing access to technical assistance and software updates.

It usually takes around three months to prepare properly for the online examination. After you have successfully completed the examination, you are required to finish a case study while using the Family Law Software. If you successfully complete this, then you will receive your certification.

Starting Your Certified Financial Divorce Specialist Career
A marketing package will come with your certification. This package will provide guidance on how to promote your skills and knowledge. There is a listing of networking opportunities, template for a press release, and other advice that can help you establish yourself in this market as a CFDS.

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Alternative Investments The Modern Way To Gain Higher Returns

Alternative investments tend to provide to the investor a platform that enables earning of money with much fewer risks involvedand a higher ROI (return on investment). It can also be referred to as investments in hedge funds however it is all strategy related. Some alternative investment strategies may includeconvertible arbitrage, fixed income arbitrage, short bias and equity of market neutral. In most cases financial institutions are the holders of the alternative investments. Although these investments are controversial because of the lack of regulation, still economic analyst gives their views on them. They are also subject to scrutiny by politicians and sometimes lack proper disclosure.

The best thing about alternative investments is the rate of very higher returns than the traditional ones. There are many investment plans like giving by AIM (Alternative Investment Market). Established in 90s this platform has turned out to be more useful than the former Unlisted Securities Market, giving investors a chance to gain some profit and pool in the capital. AIM works for the small investors who are potentially not eligible to be listed in the stocks and gives them a free hand with respect to rules and regulations. Although there are some regulations but they do not torture the investor to increase their capital. The most important feature of AIM is that is does not stop investors by putting a check to the number of shares they can issue in the market. This facility gives investors a chance to increase their ratio in the market without much struggle. In the past few years it has also been seen that some investors with their proper time management and skills have managed to make way to enter the main market after successful results achieved in AIM. The London Stock Market has is the proud founder of AIM and had proved to be a rising star in alternative investments.

It is important to understand that investments are risky therefore wherever you invest in something it is important that care shall be taken. It must also be kept in mind that you are sure that you understand the business you are actually investing in. According to experts investing in your own business or some business that you understand is the key to success. Secondly, the management must be on its toes to make sure that a proper check is being kept on where the expenses are being done. Good investments can be done only if it is realized that the results are not hard to achieve if proper measures are taken.

Alternative Investments only require extra care as they are more risky. For instance if you are investing in some art items, you must be sure that you are actually trying to invest in the original one. To be successful in alternative investments it must be made sure that you understand what a man of ordinary diligence would do in similar circumstances.

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Own A Franchise Financial Conversations To Have With Your Family Before Choosing A Franchise

Guest Blogger: Ray Moore, CFE, Vice President of Development, BrightStar

The successful franchisee will first and foremost find the right fit. The right fit may be the one that best fits his or her financial resources and goals. The potential franchisee should sit down with their spouse and family and ask some hard questions. Together they will have to decide what outcomes they need to realize to consider this venture a success. They will have to separate out the must have or non-negotiable outcomes before shopping for a franchise opportunity.

The couple/family should agree to the following each family will have to fill in the blanks according to their own circumstances. Its a good idea to consult an accountant:

1.We will not invest more than $_____ of our cash/liquid capital.
2.We will not borrow more than $______ in additional funds to capitalize the business.

With any start up, business owners need to have enough money, either set aside or in other income, to cover household bills and run the business for 12 to 18 months. The following questions will help determine how much is needed:

3.To make sure we can still live comfortably while growing the business, we will cut our household budget to $ ____ per month for at least ____ months and be sure to never exceed that budget.
4.We will only buy a franchise that we have confidence can get big enough to feed itself, i.e., income (cash flow) will cover monthly business expenses (fixed and variable costs), no later than ___ months after signing the agreement.

With many new business start ups, the owner will not be able to take a salary for 1-2 years. The family needs to know that household expenses will be covered during that time.

5.We will only seek a franchise for sale that we have confidence will be able to pay me a discretionary salary (enough to cover some or all of household expenses) without harming the business no later than ___ months after signing the agreement.
6.We will generate other income of $___ (amount needed to make up for loss of other income and savings budget) from ___ (spousal income, other household income or investments) independent of the new franchise business.
7.We will only pursue a franchise business opportunity that will allow us to have our initial investment back, i.e., pay off the start up loan from business income, in ____ months/years.

These are just some of the items that typically come up, or should come up, during the conversations leading up to buying a franchise. Asking the right questions will get you the answers you need. Ask them of yourself, your spouse, your family, the franchisor and other franchisees so you can get the full picture of what your life will be like while building your business, and what it can be like once you have established your new franchise.

Ray Moore, CFE, BrightStar

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Tips Choosing Your First Business as an Entrepreneur

There is a big misconception regarding first time entrepreneurship and that is the justification that it is okay to fail your first time simply because some well-known entrepreneurs failed and then hit it big.

What is not mentioned is the number of individuals who failed their first time as an entrepreneur and never got a second shot. Therefore, you might as well make it profitable the first time around.

Thus, to ensure higher odds of entrepreneurial success, you must choose the right business.

Here are 4 tips how:

1. Don’t Let the Economy Determine What Business You Should Start

The first thing that entrepreneurs think of when starting a business is our current economic condition. Although it is hard to bypass the thought of a horrid economy and the subsequent effect on your new entrepreneurial venture, it is imperative that you not let the economy sway your decision.

This will especially prove true when the economy turns in the next few years and you are left with an average business that was overly defensive and a lot of regret.

2. Let Google Assist You In Your Choice of Business How do you truly determine market demand for the product and / or services you plan to offer?

One way to do it is to use the Google Keyword Checker. This basic site will tell you how many people are searching monthly for your product or service.

Another key element that the Keyword Checker brings to the table is the use of adjectives.

For instance, you may want to open a business selling blue widgets, but upon looking up how sought after the product is on the web, you find out that green widgets are searched for times as often as blue.

3. You Cannot Avoid Sales, Instead You Must Embrace It and Not Let It Determine Your Business Choice

A willingness to engage in sales separates the men and women from what will be future job seekers.

Entrepreneurs hate sales because for some reason they tend to be more afraid of rejection than your average Corporate Joe or Jane. Why this reason is, I cannot tell you, but to avoid human interaction, entrepreneurs will completely alter the business that they are going into.

What they don’t realize is that regardless of industry, sales is part of business and, thus part of entrepreneurship.

4. K.I.S.S. Keep the concept simple (or, to use the real phrase, Keep It Simple, Stupid). A rule of thumb for first time (and any entrepreneurs) is that if you cannot explain your business in two sentences or less, it’s most likely not going to sell.

It is very rare that people reinvent the wheel with entrepreneurship. As a matter of fact, you can count them on your fingers: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Sir Richard Branson and ?

The odds of hitting Pick 6 are better. In entrepreneurship, especially when choosing your first business, go for a base hit, not a home run your first time at bat.

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What Would You Ask a Query From an Entrepreneur

Imagine that you have just entered your favorite coffee shop. You can already smell your usual, and you can’t wait to taste it. But, as you look around the room, you notice that the place is so crowded that you can’t have a table to yourself. You’re going to have to share with someone else, just as many other people seem to be doing already.

Now imagine that you’ve collected your coffee and have sat down at a table with someone who you’ve never seen before and haven’t met. After exchanging the usual pleasantries about the weather and how full the place seems to be, you discover that this person is a self-employed millionaire. And to look at him, you’d never guess. He’s not wearing a tailor-made suit, a shirt with French cuffs, or a tie.

In fact, he’s dressed just like you: in a comfortable, well worn casual shirt, that’s open at the neck, jeans, and tennis shoes. And you learn from him that he divides his time between working from home and coming to a coffee shop like the one you’re in. And as you both sip your lattes, you also learn that not only did he not make his money as the result of creating some fantastic software that everyone now uses.

He didn’t start a business in the financial sector. Nor the real estate market. Instead, he made all his money in an online information business.

Wouldn’t you want to know more? Wouldn’t you be just a little curious as to how someone with no technical skills had managed to go from where you are to earning 20 times what you make in a year, and doing it every year?

What questions would you have for this ordinary person with such an extraordinary income? And how would you feel if this person was willing to spend an hour or so telling you how you could do the same thing.

Would that interest you?

What does he consider to be success as an entrepreneur?

How does he think being an entrepreneur has hindered you from becoming a better person?

What systems has he set up in his home business to help it grow?

Besides money, what is his favorite ways to compensate people?

What’s the strangest thing h has ever done as an entrepreneur?

These kinds of question rise in your mind and you would start communicate with him. So this is the very closer thoughts for those who are going to start their business.

Terry Dean is such a person.

And you can hear what he has to say about how he did it in an interview that I did with him.

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Secret Offshore Bank Account – Is It Possible

Secret offshore bank accounts are the stuff of legend. This article intends to debunk some of the myths about secret offshore banking by setting out what is and isn’t possible.

1) It’s impossible to open an offshore bank account without first somehow identifying yourself. This means sending a notarized copy of your bank account/passport details to the bank or intermediary.
2) Most offshore banks will also require a reference from a bank at home.
3) If you open an offshore account in the name of your offshore company, you still need to provide all the formation documents, and the name and address of a real person. No bank will let a faceless entity open an account without pinning it down to a real person.

So how is it Secret?

Well, the reasoning behind all this, is that if you open an offshore account the bank may let you have a ‘number’ rather than a name. This so called ‘numbered account’ allows you to send wire transfers without third parties knowing who you are. An account in the name of a company will do a similar thing, allowing you to send and receive payments almost anonymously, because the company name rather yours will show up on all transactions.

The problem is, this doesn’t shield you from government inquiries. If for example a government authority suspects you of having an undeclared offshore account, that you are hiding money from your spouse or otherwise engaged in funny business they can go to the country or bank in question and request your details. While some countries will reject the majority of these requests others are more pliant.

Switzerland and the Cayman Islands are two in particular that co-operate with US and EU authorities. Although both have strong bank secrecy laws on paper, these are not so closely followed in practice. Swiss banks UBS and Credit Suisse have made headlines recently over IRS investigations into US held offshore accounts.

The truth is, if you really want a secret account you may have to look further than ‘traditional’ tax havens. That means jurisdictions without tax-information exchange agreements or other links to high-tax countries.

Another option is using an offshore bank account alternative. This could be (for example) sending your funds to a trust company which then opens a bank account for you in their name. Although this is also not 100% foolproof, it does offer another level of privacy in the same way that an offshore company will shield your identity.

Whichever option you choose to take, it pays to follow some ‘golden rules’ of privacy:

1) Limit the number of people who know about the offshore bank account to as few as is humanly possible.
2) Fund the account with a cheque or western union transfer, rather than by wire from your home bank. 3) Never send funds directly back home from the offshore account.

Good luck!