Financial Security

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For decades, Hong Kong has stood out as a financial hub in the world. It has branches of over 200 banks from other countries that have come to enjoy the lovely business environment. As an island, Hong Kong has established a very stable banking system that cultivates independence to guarantee depositors of extra security for their deposits.

Because of the numerous political risks that characterize the western banking system, you can only be sure of securing personal or corporate deposits by opening an offshore account in Hong Kong. Since Hong Kong is not under the jurisdiction of your western political system, having an offshore account will give you peace of mind knowing that it cannot be frozen, the deposit is available all the time, and interest rates are very high.

As you make the decision to open a bank account, here are four main things you need to know about the banking systems in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong uses a three-tier banking system

Hong Kong operates a three-tier banking system. This means that there are licensed banks, deposit-taking companies, and restricted license banks. The license banks operate the current and saving accounts and can manage deposits of any size. These are the main banks that people seeking to open offshore accounts should go to. The banks include local banks and international financial institutions such as DBS Bank, Hang Seng Bank, and Standard Chartered bank.

Other types of banks include the deposit-taking companies that are only licensed to engage in specialized activities. The last tier of the banking system is the restricted license banks that are only allowed to trade in the capital markets.

Most banks require you to travel physically to Hong Kong to open an account

Most of the banks in Hong Kong only allow people to open accounts after presenting themselves in person. They are interested in knowing their clients and will often decline applications done outside the country. You are required to visit the banks during the working hours (9am to 4:30pm) to present personal documents and make the request.

Most banks have minimum deposits requirements and charge maintenance fees

Once you open a bank account, the deposits will be charged a maintenance fee levied twice in a month. Besides, you will also be charged some fee if the deposit falls below the recommended fee balance. Other charges you should be aware of include outbound transfer fees, and penalties for immature account closure.

Seeking help from experts will raise the chances of getting an account with over 99%

When people decide to open bank accounts in Hong Kong, most of the applications are declined. Some banks simply decline without giving a reason while others only say you are not qualified. If you try to open the account on your own, the chances of success stand at less than 10%.

However, you can raise the chances of getting the account by over 99% by contacting experts based in Hong Kong for years. They understand the banking system as well as the legal system very well to help you.

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What could be easier than a payday loan? Created to help people who find themselves in a bind once in awhile, payday loans are an excellent way to get yourself into a whole lot of financial trouble if you are living from paycheck to paycheck. The idea behind a payday loan is that you borrow money from a high-interest lender for a very short period, typically until your next weekly or biweekly paycheck. Although the fees can be substantial, the loans are great when you have an unexpected emergency or you just need to take care of something in a jam.

What they are not good for is someone who is having a hard time paying their monthly bills and are in need of financial services Winnipeg. Many Canadians are finding that their disposable income is anything but disposable, which is putting an entire class of society in the red every month. If you have to rob Peter to pay Paul, you can see how that can quickly lead to a downward financial spiral. The increase in Canadian citizens taking out payday loans is telling economic forecasters that the economy might not be as stable as many people hope.

Only one indicator of what is going on in Canada, other high-interest loans are being taken out more frequently than the economy can handle. According to the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, as many as 90% of Canadians are using high-interest payday loans to get from one month to the next. They are doing so to avoid late charges, but they may be unwittingly setting themselves up for much more disaster than they realize.

Payday loans are exorbitant — in some provinces the annual fees can be as high as 500%, which is twice the amount that was charged when they first came to market. Seeing the increasing demand, companies are maximizing profits and taking full advantage of putting out risky loans. You can’t blame them — with so much money out there floating around, they have to cover their risks and potential losses.

Economists have already spotted a trend in how the average Canadian is saving their money. Having no safety net and extending themselves beyond their financial means is the new normal for the average person. That means that when they hit an emergency, they don’t have a viable way out. This leaves them at the lender’s mercy. Prior payday loan customers were surveyed, and out of 1,500 loan users, just over 40% understood the high cost of payday loan interest.

Although the assumption that you would make is that a payday loan borrower would be low- to middle-class, the truth is that as much as 7% of borrowers have incomes in excess of $120,000. For the first time in Canada’s history, the level of debt that the citizens hold outweighs the gross domestic product. Debt is at 100.5% of the gross domestic product, which has many people worried.

Most of the debt crunch people are feeling stems from the rise in real estate prices around the nation. The federal government has looked at the problem and tried to provide a safety net — but if things continue on the same trend, that could spell some serious problems for both the real-estate market and the average homeowner. Although it’s a red-hot market now, things can cool down faster than anyone is expecting, and they definitely are not prepared or planning for it.

After what went on in our own country when the foreclosure disaster hit and people were left with no recourse, the signs are all there that the same could potentially happen across Canada. Payday loans are just one indicator that has many economic experts worried about what the future will bring. Canada is a country that typically prides itself by not falling into the same debt pitfalls as Greece, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States, but if Canadians don’t heed the same signs that were seen before the other countries’ fall from grace, they are likely to meet the same demise.

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ecommerce-2140603_640The average American spends 32.9 percent of their annual income on housing, 17 percent on transportation, and 12.5 percent on groceries. That totals to more than 60 percent of their pay. Healthcare, education, and clothing are more expenses and may exceed the remaining 38 to 40 percent. When you factor in emergencies and miscellaneous needs, there is nothing left for entertainment and social activities. In order to cover the latter costs, you could supplement your income with direct selling.

Definition of Direct Selling

Direct selling is the one-on-one selling of a product or service. The sales are conducted in a non-retail setting by independent sales reps, consultants, or distributors. The most popular products are cosmetics, household improvements, and nutritional supplements. The direct selling business has quickly become a perfect gig for stay-at-home moms, entrepreneurs, and retirees. There is typically a start-up fee, but some companies guarantee that you will receive a return on your investment shortly afterward.

Determine if It Is a Good Fit

Take money out of the equation and ask yourself, “Will I be comfortable selling products to strangers? Could I actively seek new customers?” If you answered yes, then you are well on your way. Do some research on direct selling to educate yourself on the basics and how you could be successful. Being able to set your own hours, earn additional money, and reap company benefits are attractive perks. However, you will still need to put in the work, especially during the first few months when you’re just setting up your business.

Locate Products to Sell

Are there any products or services that you are passionate about? Skincare, vitamins, or eco-friendly systems? If so, the ideal direct sales job is at Amway. They are the number one direct selling company in the world, and they come complete with exclusive products and low start-up costs. Their extensive training and support is geared toward helping people like you start your own business. The founders began as entrepreneurs too.

Do Your Homework

Become familiar with your products through research and practical use of them. Remember to read the fine print about the company’s policies. In addition to the start-up costs, find out what your profit will be. Is there a cap on how much you can earn? How are returns handled? Is there room for advancement? Many direct selling companies operate as a multi-level marketing company. This means that you could begin as a representative under a mid- to high-level executive, and later recruit representatives to work under your direction. Your compensation would eventually include a percentage of sales from your recruits.

Manage Your Time Wisely

Don’t underestimate the amount of time needed to begin a direct selling business. Even if you are doing it as a side hustle, there will be a learning curve. Wake up early or stay up late to overcome obstacles that may arise. Tackle the tasks that you want to avoid first, then focus on the tasks that you enjoy. Direct selling will involve working from home. Avoid distractions such as television, household chores, or the internet. Prepare yourself for the day by making plans and setting goals.

Think Outside of the Box

IBIS World reports that direct selling generates $41 billion in revenue annually. To get your cut, you could use various networking practices for generating customers. Once you have sold your initial inventory to your friends and family, tap into other resources. Take advantage of the extended reach of social media. Set up accounts with Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. These outlets are perfect for sharing vibrant pictures of your products and services. It also allows viewers to share your content for you. Create gift baskets loaded with your products and services to sell as a bundle instead of individually. If company policy allows it, offer free samples or discounts to existing customers that refer new customers to you.

Direct selling provides an opportunity for you to gain financial security on your terms. Perhaps you are not ready to commit to it full-time. Try selling products and services on your lunch break, after work, on weekends, and during social outings. Once you have established a consistent customer base with repeat business, you can expand your selling time.

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What ways can you improve your chances of earning a higher return when you sell your property? There are different investments you can make today to help boost the value of your home, so you can get the most from your sale. If you have the time and money to invest into your property, then you can really enhance your chances of making a bigger profit.

Let’s review what you can do now to increase your property’s ROI.

Focus On the Curb Appeal

The first thing people see when they pull up to your home is the exterior. If the curb appeal isn’t eye candy, then you’re going to scare of prospects before they even enter the door. You can change this by updating the outside. This includes repainting the doors and siding.

You can also have landscaping done to include nice shrubs, flowers and trees. A clean walkway and driveway are ideal. If needed, you can have them redone using fresh concrete.

Redo the Bathrooms

The bathrooms are one of the most renovated rooms in the house and for good reason. Many home buyers are looking for properties with aesthetically appealing bathrooms. You can improve the look and feel of your restrooms in various ways.

You can have the vanities switched out, along with the sink and countertop. Consider going with a durable stone option, such as granite or engineered quartz. You can also rip out the bathtub to create more space.

A lot of people today take showers, so a stand up shower would be more ideal. You can have one installed if you don’t already have one.

Update the Kitchen

The kitchen is another room in the house that home buyers care about. You should look at the homes in your neighborhood to see what type of kitchens they have. These are the ones you are competing with. In many cases, you will find the best kitchens have gorgeous granite countertops, customized cabinets, kitchen islands and features, such as a butler’s pantry. You could also settle for adding in a basic pantry for storing food and supplies.

Make Open House Warm and Cozy

When prospects come to your property, they should feel like they’re right at home. You can create this type of atmosphere by decorating the rooms with furniture. You can rent this from a company at an affordable rate. You can also hire a realtor to do this for you.

You can buy gift baskets and fruit baskets to display in the kitchen. These can be purchased from Harry & David.

Work with a Realtor

Realtors know the market better than anyone. They can set your home price competitively, so that you sell your home quickly and get the most money possible. Consider this over trying to sell the home on your own. You don’t want to leave thousands of dollars on the table.

Selling a property is a lot of work. The end goal is to get the best ROI possible. Use the above tips to ensure you get the most of our home sale.

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live off interest of a million dollarsIt used to be that having one million dollars was the mark of true wealth.  While it is still a lot of money, the truth is that having a million dollars no longer makes you rich.  In fact, as hard as is it to believe having a million dollars might not even be enough to retire.  With that in mind, here are five reasons why a million dollars isn’t what it used to be.

  • Healthcare

Even if you have ‘money’ being sick in the U.S. is not cheap and it is not just the poor who know this.  Before the Affordable Care Act, the cost of healthcare was the leading cause of bankruptcies in the country.

While this has changed in recent years the cost of care has continued to rise.  In fact, one day in an intensive care unit can cost $10,000 or more.  That’s intensive care.  Now imagine you needed to spend the last year of your life in a full-time care facility?  The bill could be $300,000 or more.

Let’s face it, we all want the ‘best’ care available.  But that care comes at a price and for most of us, it is something that we can’t afford.  As such, the high cost of healthcare is one reason why having a million dollars isn’t what it used to be.

  • Long-Term Care

Now if the cost of acute care – that is a healthcare emergency – wasn’t bad enough, imagine death by a thousand paper cuts.  That is basically what needing long-term care is like.

In 2016, a study from Genworth found that the average cost of one year in an assisted living facility was nearly $80,000.  This is more than what most people make in a year and remember it is the average, if you live in a high-cost area it could be much more.

Here is the deal with long-term care – most patients tend to remain there for five years or more.  That means that you could end up spending $400,000 or more and that does not include additional charges or expenses.

What does this mean for today’s millionaires?  For starters, don’t assume you have enough money.  Once that is out of the way, then you want to have a clear plan for how to handle healthcare-related expenses as you get older.  This should include supplemental and long-term care insurance as both will help you to hold on to your fortune a little bit longer.

  • Lifestyle

You’ve got a million dollars in the bank, you can drive a new car every year and you’ve got a McMansion to come home to every night.  You might think you have made it and are ‘living the dream’?

However, the reality is usually something different.  Even if you are lucky enough to have a million dollars sitting in the bank, odds are that your liabilities devour most of what you have saved up.

Translation – you can only afford to live the millionaire lifestyle if you keep earning enough money.  Many people learned this the hard way during the dot-com and housing bubbles.  So, learn from their mistakes and start making lifestyle choices which will help you to get the most out of that million bucks.

One such example could be a reverse mortgage.  While this is not for everyone, these vehicles will help you to effectively freeze your monthly mortgage payments for as long as you live in your home.  The upside is that you can take use the case that was going to service debt and invest it in a fund which will help you prepare for retirement.  If this sounds of interest, then you might want to check out this lender for more information.

  • The ‘I’ Word

What is the ‘I’ Word – inflation of course.  Even while it remains relatively tame, over time that 2% inflation rate will eat into your savings.  As such, you need to channel your money into investments which are safe and consistently outpace inflation.  This is not an easy thing to accomplish as the higher the expected return, the higher the risk.  However, you will need to inflation-proof your million dollars if you want it to last.

  • The Taxman

While the roots of the American Revolution might have been taxes, the truth is that there is no escaping the tax man.  It doesn’t matter if you are a millionaire or not.  You will need to work out a tax plan which lets you keep as much of your money as possible without getting into trouble.  If not, then all your hard work to get to a million dollars will be for naught.

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entrance-843814_640Often called by other names in other parts of the world, the doorstep loan is a nice convenient arrangement for both the credit broker company and the prospective borrower. It offers a way to access loans often with a low credit score, without the need for a bank account, and with very little paperwork. Doorstep loans also have a way to hold the borrower accountable, which is healthy for the viability of the loan and helps to encourage a good money management culture among borrowers. Ultimately, this kind of money management culture will help the borrower better manage expectations for future financial purposes. It helps him do something that is considered very important in financial management, which is to delay gratification.

Anyone can get a doorstep loan

The doorstep loan is a type of credit access where the credit company interacts directly with the prospective borrower by sending a representative or an agent to the home of the borrower.

See for more details.

Some other benefits

The doorstep loan affords the borrower quite a few interesting benefits including the opportunity to interact with experienced loans and financial expert. He is free to ask questions where he does not understand and seek clarification about bogus and ambiguous terms that may be found in the lender’s printed materials and assets. Depending on the number of scheduled visits, the borrower can very well gain a large amount of enlightenment from his agent. Given the executive nature of this type of loan, however, it attracts a slightly higher interest rate from the lender, seeing as the agent who has been made available to borrowers has to earn a decent wage for his work. Generally speaking, interest rates for doorstep loans can go from a modest 190% to up to 650%. So it is necessary if you are interested in accessing this type of loan, to look closely at the fine print and understand what percentage of the loan you will be paying in interest. If possible, get an amount instead of a percentage. This helps you weigh the decision more objectively. See more details in

An important point to mention when talking about doorstep loans, however, is engaging with the right lender. Make sure your lender is an accredited agency with the authorization of the Federal Conduct Authority. A lender without this authorization is known as a loan shark, and it is illegal to engage in this kind of outfit, even dangerous. Loan details from loan sharks are not reported to the credit reference agencies and therefore do not have any effect on your credit score.


time because a failure to repay can hurt your credit score. Also, while it is an attractive loan type, make sure this type of loan suits your need. You can only do this by carefully considering all other types of loans and their different interest rates so that you can make a balanced, informed decision. The doorstep loan is often dubbed the loan of last resort because of its higher interest rates. So a careful perusal of the loans available to you before choosing would serve you here. A valuable discourse on doorstep loans from one of the most trusted lenders in the UK can be found here



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surfer-2089817_640Automobile loan refinancing can be quite the safety net for some car owners; as long as they take an accurate assessment of their situation and understand the terms under which this option is beneficial. You should ask yourself questions such as:

  • Has your credit improved from bad to good since you got your current loan?
  • Have national interest rates decreased, making the refinance option viable?
  • Did you get a bad deal in your first loan, despite having good credit?

If you can answer any of these questions in the affirmative, then it may be time to check out current auto loan refinance rates to see what they have in store for you. Below, we’ll elaborate a bit on how to go about getting a deal that you can be happy with done.

Financial Hardship Considerations

It should become clear after just a few payments whether your current auto loan is just a little too much to handle; this is one of the reasons for which the refinancing option can ease the burden considerably. It’s better not to wait until you’re close to missing a monthly payment because the figure is too high. The best way to combat this is to regularly search the web for the current interest rates being offered by the lenders you would consider. When the time is right – or before, if necessary, approach your current lender first.

A note: if you apply and receive a rejection, then that means you should wait a few months and pay your bills on time to see an improvement in your credit score. Making sure that you pay your credit cards down always aids your credit history, as well s avoiding opening any new accounts. Doing this is the best chance you have of securing a refinance offer the next time you apply – just make sure not to do it right after the first rejection, because these inquiries negatively affect your credit history.

The Chance at a Better Interest Rate

This could arise for a number of reasons. Let’s say that you’re actually a prime borrower, and you went with an auto dealership the first time around. The problem with this is that auto dealers don’t always give you the best deal that your credit history would suggest; credit unions and local community banks are more reliable for this – you don’t really need negotiation skills to command the “proper” offer.

As a result of this, if you later learn that you can get a better interest rate – and, your credit score has improved even more since your current car loan went into effect – you can refinance and still make out better than before even though it is now a used car loan. If this sounds tricky, don’t worry; just use one of the many auto loan calculators on lender websites to make sure you come out ahead.

Lastly, your first option when you want to refinance is to check with your present lender. It may happen that they have the best deal for you, given your history with them.

Other than the short explanation of the above reasons, interest rates can decrease at any time, making for a good refinancing inquiry. Ultimately, you have access to all the information you need to see if a better auto loan awaits you afterwards.

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How You Can Become CreditworthyJust a short four years ago, my finances and credit score were horrible. Multiple bad decisions left me with a credit score that was in the 500’s. As someone who was nearing thirty years old, that was not good. I got a better job and decided it was time to get my credit in order. In January 2015, I officially started working on bettering my credit. By August of that year, my credit score had gone up by 168 points. It was unbelievable. Who knew that by making a few changes that my credit would go up? Today, I want to go over some things that you can do that will help you become creditworthy.

Better Job

As I stated earlier, I got a better job. Yu should do that as well. I had been working two part time jobs for six months. I wasn’t making enough money to do anything except for getting by. The next job was just what the doctor ordered. I was able to make more money. This was actually the highest paying job that I’ve ever had. My stress levels went down. I was able to start saving money finally. I also devised a plan on what to do with my debt.

Making more money meant that I was able to get current on every debt that I had. I had been months behind on a few of my bills. To have enough money to get current was great. For some of them, it took me a couple of months to get current because I was so far behind. I was able to get there though. I learned that 35% of your credit score is your payment history. That was more than a third of my score. If you aren’t making enough, it’s time to consider getting a better job. More income will help you.

Pay On Time

The second thing that you can do is pay your bills on time. As I stated earlier, there were times where I was late. That was one of the reasons that my score was so bad. Whatever you need to do, make sure that you pay your bills on time.

Stop Using Credit Cards

The third thing that you should do is to stop using your credit cards. I used to use my cards all the time when money was low, which was a lot back then. At one point I was using 95% of my available credit. That wasn’t smart. The credit bureaus don’t like that. You are looked at as higher risk customer. The ideal credit utilization is 30%. I was nowhere near that amount, so I stopped using my cards. If you’re in a similar situation, you should stop using yours as well.

Doing those three things that I discussed above will help you become more creditworthy. You just have to have a little discipline. I know that anybody can do those things. I was horrible with money a few short years ago. Now, I’m not. Don’t let your past be an excuse. Decide that you want a better score and make it happen.

What is your excuse?

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