30 Ways to Give Yourself a Raise

Posted by admin on 07/11/2016 in Consolidating Debt | Short Link
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6. Buy a dividend stock: Dividend stocks are the gifts that keep on giving. They can hedge your downside in a falling market, and reinvesting your payouts over time can allow you to accumulate more shares of stock, leading to bigger dividend payouts, and even more shares of stock. This repeating process is known as compounding, and its what the pros use to get rich.

7. Hold your stocks for the very long term: When buying stocks, consider holding them for the long-term, which is at least a year and a day. Short-term capital gains are subject to ordinary tax rates that range between 10% and 39.6%, whereas long-term capital gains taxes are much lower: 0% (for the 10% and 15% ordinary income-tax brackets), 15% (for the 25%, 28%, 33%, and 35% income-tax brackets), or 20% (for the 39.6% income-tax bracket).

8. Refinance your mortgage: Lending rates remain near their historic lows thanks to economic uncertainty and Brexit, meaning if youre paying 4.5% or higher on your mortgage, it could be worthwhile to consider refinancing to a lower rate and saving money each month.

9. Consider banking with a credit union: With interest rates as low as they are, big banks are looking everywhere to boost profits. This includes charging checking account fees to consumers for not maintaining a minimum account balance. Credit unions are often smaller and more community-oriented. They also have less of a tendency to nickel-and-dime their customers or require a minimum account balance.

10. Pay down your debts: Once you have a stranglehold on your budget, you can consider paying down your debts. Remember, your best strategy is going to be to tackle your highest interest rate debt first. You may also consider consolidating debt on a low APR card to help reduce what you owe.

11. Set up automatic payments on basic expenses: Ever had a late payment? The fees associated with late payments, and potentially higher interest rates on credit cards, can be a killer. By setting up automatic payments for basic expenses you can avoid ever dealing with late payments and associated fees again.


Man arrested for trying to cash forged check

Posted by admin on 07/10/2016 in Cash | Short Link
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A Decatur man is behind bars after police say he tried to cash a fake check at Regions Bank.

Morgan County dispatchers got a call on Friday from the bank on 4th Avenue NW saying Kenny Wayne Cooley was trying to cash a forged check.

A patrol officer detained Cooley and brought him to the police station, where he was questioned by detectives.

Cooley has been charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument in the third degree. His bond is $2,500.


Jessica Alba goes monochrome chic with Cash Warren on date night

Posted by admin on 07/10/2016 in Cash | Short Link
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Jessica Alba and her husband Cash Warren have two children together and recently celebrated their eighth wedding anniversary.

And on Friday, the happily married couple nurtured their relationship as they enjoyed a date night out in Los Angeles. 

The actress, 35, and her producer beau, 37, took in a movie at the ArcLight Theater in Hollywood, dined at Los Balcones eatery, and then took a romantic stroll.


Asset managers "detach from UK" as BoE readies help for banks

Posted by admin on 07/10/2016 in Unsecured Lending | Short Link
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Asset managers are getting ready to quit the UK and Bank of England chiefs are set to help banks following the EU referendum.

The Financial Times reported that asset managers had begun a “slow detachment” from London following last months vote.

Mamp;G (LON:MGHI), Columbia Threadneedle, Legg Mason, Fidelity International and T Rowe Price had all outlined plans to move staff from London or set up fund ranges in neighbouring EU countries to avoid being locked out of fundraising in the bloc, the newspaper reported.

Asset managers fear that a UK exit from the EU would threaten Britain’s position as the world’s second-biggest centre for the industry after the US, the FT said.

The newspaper also said Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) was close to calling off the sale of its £7bn MBNA credit card business in the UK after the referendum result reduced demand from bidders.

BofA is said to be reviewing plans for the auction, which has attracted interest from the likes of Lloyds Banking Group PLC (LON:LLOY) and private equity groups Cerberus and TPG.

Meanwhile, Bank of England chiefs are tipped to relieve banks of the need to increase their capital buffers as the UK economy weakens following the referendum vote to leave the EU.

The bank’s financial policy committee on Tuesday is set to reverse the rise in the “counter-cyclical buffer” to 0.5% that it announced in March, Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) said in a note.

The decision would reflect a switch in the central bank’s approach towards providing supportive credit conditions rather than guarding against excessive credit growth.

Goldman expects the committee to say domestic risks now dominate the UK economic outlook, although it does not anticipate the committee taking any supportive action at the moment.

But cyclical assets that have grown significantly, such as unsecured lending and buy-to-let mortgages, are seen as key risk areas.

Goldman is advising investors to buy into Royal Bank of Scotland PLC (LON:RBS), which it says has ample capital and funding buffers and a more domestic focus than more internationally targeted rivals.

It also sees Asia-focused Standard Chartered PLC (LON:STAN) as a ‘buy’.

In a separate report, Goldman said flows into UK equity funds initially responded positively following the referendum result, but then faded.

Eurozone area funds were quicker to see outflows, but also showed signs of stabilising more rapidly.

We estimate that (more than) 90% of UK fundsmay have underperformed the FTSE UK All Shareindex this month, Goldman said.


Victim in Brighton loses cash, subletee on same scam

Posted by admin on 07/10/2016 in Cash | Short Link
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Grand larceny/scam: On June 23, an employee of a company on Brighton-Henrietta Town Line Road received an e-mail, supposedly from her boss, asking her to transfer money to another persons account. The employee did so. The employers e-mail account had been hacked.

Criminal mischief: At 9:15 am July 2, a resident of Grosvenor Road heard two loud bangs on the door. The homeowner opened the door to see an unknown male riding away. There is some damage to the door panel.

Unauthorized use of a vehicle: On July 6, Fallon Brooks, 22, of Gates was arrested for allegedly refusing to return a vehicle to the Cortese dealership at 2400 West Henrietta Road after the rental agreement had expired.

Grand larceny/scam: In a delayed report from June 30, a person placed an ad on Craigslist to sublease an apartment at Suburban Court. The suspect sent her a check for an amount that was much larger than the amount requested for the apartment, asking the victim to return the surplus. After doing this, the victim learned that the original check was fraudulent.

Petit larceny: Sometime between 9 am and 1 pm July 6, a person on Browncroft Boulevard said someone switched the vehicles wiper blades for an older pair, and that this had happened last winter.


Burglary: On June 17, someone stole a white mountain bike from an unlocked shed on Hardison Road.

Burglary: Sometime between June 15 and 20, someone stole power tools from a garage on Thomas Avenue. During the same approximate time frame, someone cut the chains from a secure storage area and stole kayaks.

Larceny: On July 4, someone stole an all-terrain vehicle from a Glenview Lane yard.

Burglary: On July 7, someone stole a bicycle from an unlocked garage on San Rose Drive.


Petit larceny: A Victor man already in custody at Ontario County Jail was charged on July 8 with a petit larceny that occurred in March.

Petit larceny: A Henrietta man was charged after he allegedly stole a T-shirt from Von Maur in Eastview Mall on July 7.


Petit larceny: An owner of a driveway sealing company reported that someone stole the cones from the end of a customers driveway on Holt Road overnight on June 15.

Criminal mischief: Someone reported on June 18 that an unknown suspect damaged a fence surrounding a business on Barrett Drive while trying to gain entry into that business.

Petit larceny: A resident reported that she observed someone rummaging through her vehicle, parked on Carriage Path Court, on June 18, and scared the intruder away by banging on her window.

Note: Updated reports from Penfield, Perinton, Pittsford and the western suburbs including Greece and Chili were unavailable.


6 Critical Steps to Prepare Your Finances for Divorce

Posted by admin on 07/10/2016 in Finances | Short Link
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By Shawn Leamon
Learn more about Shawn on NerdWallet’s Ask an Advisor 

The process of getting a divorce often leaves both parties wounded. However, there are a few things you can do right now to ensure that you are financially protected.

1. Gather your financial records


Pot groups fight over finances

Posted by admin on 07/10/2016 in Finances | Short Link
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PUEBLO, Colo. –

Allegations of campaign and political finance violations are the latest battle in the fight over recreational marijuana in Pueblo County.

Theres a lack of explanation for $1,166, said Dan Corsentino, speaking on behalf of Growing Pueblos Future,a pro-marijuana group, about finances that they believe werent reported by the anti-marijuana group.

Growing Pueblos Future, filed complaints against Citizens For A Healthy Pueblo, the group against the sale of recreational marijuana. A Denver judge has 15 days to decide if Colorado campaign rules were violated

I think that theres accountability issues on both sides. You know, I mean, Growing Pueblos Future has made every attempt to be accountable, Corsentino said.

But Charlene Graham with Citizens For A Healthy Pueblo says its done nothing wrong and have all necessary donations accounted for.

We assured them it was watched the entire time, but its another one of those smokescreens that theyre going to go about this $20, Graham said.

Graham submitted more than 9,000 petitions in June to put a question of banning the sale of recreational marijuana on the ballot.

I, quite frankly, find that this complaint is an assault on all those people, Graham said.

But the complaints over finance are just some of the complaints filed.

There was a poll that was conducted and the opposition has basically said that they did not conduct a poll, Corsentino said.

Graham says in her eyes, that polling issue should have already been cleared up.

We have talked to the man. He sent a letter telling the judge that he was in error and it was entered in as an exhibit, Graham said.

But both parties agree that the disagreements will not stop them for continuing their cause for the November ballot.


Karen Telleen-Lawton: Fires and Finances

Posted by admin on 07/09/2016 in Finances | Short Link
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As a financial planner, Ive come to see retirement planning as a high-probability emergency for many Americans.

I wrote a couple of months ago about the Federal Reserve survey reporting that 46 percentof adults dont have enough money saved to cover a $400 emergency without selling assets.

That same survey showed that almost a quarter of 45- to 59-year-olds say they have no retirement savings or pension. Thats dire.

Teresa Ghilarducci, an expert in retirement planning and economics professor at The New School in New York, sees that this situation is finally being discussed at higher levels.

Theres more activity around retirement savings than there has been in two years, she points out. Politicians are even wading into the rough waters of Social Security reform.

The reason were talking about expanding Social Security is precisely because the retirement crisis is bigger than people thought and more immediate than people thought, she says.

The Social Security system was only ever designed as a backstop; not as a complete retirement system. Current retirees count on their Social Security check to cover about 39 percentof their income, so individual savings is paramount.

Ghilarducci would like to see guaranteed retirement accounts funded by mandatory paycheck deductions. The funds would earn a secure, modest, guaranteed rate of return paid out in a lifetime annuity.

This sort of system would force younger Boomers and the following cohorts to improve their precarious finances and prepare for the increased longevity we all hope to enjoy.

Its an unfortunate fact that most of us seem to need a shock to make a plan and stick to it.

Returning to the fire analogy, the Tea Fire was a wake-up call for us that later likely saved our home in the Jesusita Fire.

I kept an emergency pack list, but it was incomplete and out-of-date when I evacuated for the Tea.

I left without either a change of underwear or a cell phone charger. Fortunately for us, the fire fizzled out two houses away. Afterwards I updated our emergency pack list and worked with a neighbor to pay for major landscape clearing.

Five months later, homes directly above and below us burned to the ground in Jesusita Fire. Firefighters credited our brush clearance with giving them the time and space they needed to save ours and our neighbors homes.

Utilities were damaged, so we were out of our home for three weeks. But this time we were prepared with cell phones, chargersand clean underwear.

What can you do today to avoid having to wait for a financial shock to get on your best course for an anxiety-free retirement?

Karen Telleen-Lawtons column is a melange of observations spanning sustainability from the environment to finance, economics and justice issues. She is a fee-only financial advisor (www.DecisivePath.com) and a freelance writer (www.CanyonVoices.com). Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.


Outstanding Analyst Ratings For H&T Group (LON:HAT)

Posted by admin on 07/09/2016 in Unsecured Lending | Short Link
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Hamp;T Group plc is a non-trading holding company. The Company provides a range of simple and accessible financial products tailored for a customer base, which has limited access to, or is excluded from, the traditional banking and finance sector. Its segments include Pawnbroking, which is engaged in providing secured loans against collateral (the pledge); Gold Purchasing, which is involved in buying Jewelry directly from customers through its stores; Retail, which is involved in retail sales of gold and jewelry, and the retail sales are forfeited items from the pawnbroking pledge book or refurbished items from its gold purchasing operations; Pawnbroking Scrap, which comprises various other proceeds from gold scrap sales other than those reported within Gold Purchasing; Personal Loans, which comprises income from its unsecured lending activities, and Other Services, which comprises third party check encashment, buyback, prepaid debit card product and foreign exchange currency services.


US Fed’s Alternative Reference Rate – Unearthing the LIBOR Replacement

Posted by admin on 07/09/2016 in Unsecured Lending | Short Link
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Lately, If you are anyway related to the financial industry, chances are you would have heard about the buzz word of
Financial Regulatory Reforms. A clear consequence of scandalous activity that dominated headlines for the better part of this decade – with the hashtag of #LIBOR. A lot has been done and a lot more has been put in motion by regulatory authorities around
the world to prevent the repeat of such a crisis and to restore the faith of investors in these benchmarks.

First wave of such reforms involved an overhaul of the existing processes, administrators and contributory practices prevalent amongst
the various stakeholders. The renewed focus on the necessity of determining benchmarks based on underlying transactions seem to be the driving force behind such reform activities. This is evident in the transaction-based
Waterfall Methodology being introduced in various key benchmarks such as LIBOR, EURIBOR, SONIA and the like.

The second wave, however, is independent of the existing boundaries set by these long standing benchmarks. It goes beyond and aims to find alternatives to the existing benchmarks – a robust, market-driven and structurally-stable benchmark rates which
can be depended upon.The regulators of major financial markets have already begun this process of finding alternative rates from Bank of England’s

Sterling Risk-Free Reference rates, Japan’s Study Group on Risk Free Reference Rates, Switzerland’s National Working Group to Federal Reserve’s Alternative Reference Rate Committee (ARRC).

For this discussion, the latter is of most interest and necessitates further understanding of the activities of the major financial market.

The Impetus

Initiated as a response to the recommendations of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) and the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the ARRC was convened by the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York with four clear objectives:

  • Identify best practices for alternative reference rates
  • Identify best practices for contract robustness
  • Develop an adoption plan
  • Create an implementation plan with metrics of success and a timeline

The fundamental premise for ARRC is borne out of FSB and FSOC’s findings –
the decline in wholesale unsecured short-term funding by banks. Given that the USD LIBOR is used a benchmark in large volume of transactions ($160 trillion outstanding notional) on a variety of financial products and contracts, it’s availability and robustness
can be directly correlated to the institutional and market stability in the United States.

The Criteria

The task at hand is not a simple one and the mandate for the group is clear –
to find a potential rate which is risk-free or nearly risk-free and which does not constrain future monetary policy or congressionally-mandated policy goals and those which should adhere to the IOSCO principles for financial benchmarks.

Six alternatives were evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Benchmark Quality – The degree to which the benchmark design ensured the integrity and continuity of the rate
  • Methodological Quality – The degree to which the benchmark construction could satisfy the IOSCO Principles for soundness and robustness.
  • Accountability – Evidence of a process that ensures compliance with the IOSCO Principles
  • Governance – Evidence of governance structures that promote the integrity of the benchmark
  • Ease of Implementation – Assessed ease of transitioning to the rate

Two of the six rates were further selected to be the potential replacement to LIBOR:

  • Overnight Unsecured Lending Rate
  • Secured (GC Repo) Lending Rate

The Rates

Overnight Unsecured Lending Rate, currently, is served in two flavours by the Federal Reserve -The
Effective Federal Funds Rate (EFFR) and the Overnight Bank Funding Rate (OBFR).
The former is a volume-weighted average median of overnight transactions in the fed funds market while the latter is a volume-wighted average median of both overnight fed funds and Eurodollar transactions. Collected from a set of 150 banks in the United
States, both these rates are based on daily transactions and are thus potential candidates for the replacement rate. However, since OBFR has a larger size of market ($300bn vs $70bn) and diversity of counterparties coupled with the high potential for robustness,
it is chosen as the overnight unsecured lending rate for for further consideration.

The other potential alternative for contention is based on Overnight Secured Treasury GC Repo Lending. This market is high-volume transaction driven, and witnesses a wide range of market participants and is perceived as robust. Even though
the ARRC has identified this market as the potential alternative, it has not zeroed-in on the actual rate to be used. There are multiple options which are privately produced and currently active. However the ARRC’s preferences lie in public sector produced
rates. The work regarding the rate based on Overnight Secured GC report lending market is in the works.

Bracing for the Future

The transition to any rate selected requires careful and deliberate process so as to not disrupt market stability. The proposed method of
paced transition is based on achieving this objective. While the efforts of regulators across the geographies are being consolidated towards the same goal, it is essential to understand the far reaching consequences of any reform activity undertaken.

Firstly there is the debate of market acceptability of the new referencing rates. Even though the idea of market or user-driven adoption plans by regulators is evident, it is unclear as to whether this would actually materialise to the fullest extent. This
idea is deep rooted in the fact that the benchmark rates envisaged to be replaced are dominant in the world financial markets and the idea of replacing them will present a host of challenges apart from market acceptability. Even the Wheatley report on the
backdrop of fresh allegations of benchmark-rigging way back in 2008 indicated to
reforms instead of replacements. While we may have long way from that crisis period, the importance of these benchmarks (IBOR) still remains in the financial markets.

A crucial success factor in this activity is also the availability of market liquidity for the new replacement rates. This is a classic circular challenge where the success of new rate is dependent on the adoption by the market and market in turn will adopt
if the new rate is successful representation of the long standing benchmark it intends to replace.

Secondly, the transition to a new rate would mean a plethora of strategic, business and technological changes for the stakeholders of these benchmarks – administrators, contributing financial institutions and the end-users. With multiple regulations and
cross-boundary regulators vying for same set of resources through compliance, it becomes a challenge for the banks and financial institutions to cope up with the additional burden. More so in the light of heavy regulatory costs incurred by these institutions
in the post-crisis period in the form of fines, settlements, regulatory projects and compliance activities.

However, there is no denying that the activities being undertaken are crucial for long-term financial stability across markets. It may be a challenging but necessary activity. All the stakeholders – Regulators, Banks and Financial Institutions (in the capacity
of contributors and consumers), Benchmark Administrators and the consumers need to come together to strategise and implement these changes in a manner that is least disruptive of the market and ensure a smooth transition to the new era of robust, reliable
and representative benchmarks.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not represent the views and opinions of the Associates in Capital Markets (ACAPM) or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates or clients.


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