Showing posts with label personal finance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label personal finance. Show all posts

31 March 2018

Budget and Survival Skills versus In Sickness and In Health

The alternate title for this post is:
“Am I being callous, insensitive, lacking empathy, unsympathetic, cruel and unkind?”


Perusing my eMail Inbox and quickly glanced at a question in one of the messages that made me chuckle. It was about what your knee-jerk reaction is when faced with financial problems.

  • When experiencing financial difficulties does your instinct immediately prod you to cut back?
 
Well? I guess so! But more than likely my “cutbacks” happen because there's no money! Not sure my “instinct” was necessary. ((O.o))

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ 
 

On a serious note, the question provoked my memory recall. A while back, was watching a popular talk show once and it was rather disturbing. It's disturbing that people who do things that don't make sense are always “ill”. This woman supposedly had an “illness”. She would buy stuff she didn't really need!

  • If you're filthy rich and you have large barns to store all of your worldly possessions, then it doesn't matter. You would be called a “shopaholic”.
  • If you bought a load of crap and had the decency to give it away because you realized you weren't really using it, you'd be called “charitable”.
But when loads of crap are piled up in your house to the point that the place is a junk heap and you and your partner can barely see the bed you both lie down to sleep on and you're making your mate physically ill … then you're sick!

A team was sent in to clean the place up and the team actually got sick from breathing in toxic stuff – dust, spores, mites, who knows what! - from piles of clothing, etc. that had been lying around the home for years. Items bought from the store that still had the price tags on them!!!
 
Listening to the interviewer questioning this woman as to why she was buying things she didn't need and her response was … (not an exact quote): “Because the blouses were on sale and there were different colors available, so I bought one in each color.” 
 
The interviewer turns to question the husband and it seems he gave her credit cards for her spending purposes. You know? Grocery shopping, health and beauty needs, wardrobe necessities, things for practical living, and maybe an occasional gift or guilty pleasure luxury product.


Started thinking to myself. Don't know who the sick person is. The wife or the husband? Seems to me the CURE was taking away the credit cards. YOU CAN'T BUY NOTHING IF YOU AIN'T GOT NO MONEY!!!


It really perturbs me, that people do dumb stuff and get to write it off as an “illness”. OR … am I being insensitive to this poor woman who is clearly not poor because she can afford to buy things she has no need for, has no place to put them, and never even blinked at the thought about making a donation to a charity!!

(Just a rant. Thank you for letting me shout it out.)


Content first published at PersonaPaper, September 2, 2015.

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19 December 2017

Real Estate Investment Trusts: A Primer

2018 is fast approaching and many are assessing their current financial situation.  Most are hoping the coming year will be better.   Looking for a practical investment vehicle for the upcoming new year?  

Have you considered REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts)?


  • September 14, 2010, marked the 50th anniversary of the U.S. REIT industry.


  • President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation in 1960 creating REITs.


The legislation combined the best attributes of real estate and stock-based investment and placed investments in large-scale income-producing real estate properties within the reach of the small investor.


This made it possible for average investors to invest in REITs in the same way they invested in other industries, i.e. through the purchase of equity-type units. The investor's ownership of real estate is divided into various "units", the value of a unit being a portion of the value of the property/properties owned by the REIT.


REITs are investment vehicles, classified as:

  • equity (EREIT - where a company buys, owns and manages income-generating properties like apartments, shopping malls, buildings with offices, etc.);

  • mortgage (MREIT - which either loan money for mortgages to real estate owners or purchase existing mortgages or MBS (mortgage-backed-securities; also known as "mortgage pass-through."); or

  • hybrid (a portfolio of equity and mortgage REITs combined).


REITs are a means of allowing investors to directly participate in the higher returns generated by real estate properties because, in essence, they own a "piece" of property/properties in the trust.



REITs can be publicly or privately held; however, typically REIT units are publicly quoted and traded, similarly to mutual funds. NAREIT, the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, categorizes REITs as publicly traded, private, and non-exchange traded. Public REITs are registered with the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and traded in major stock exchanges just like shares of common stock in other companies are listed and traded. By contrast, private REITs are not registered or traded with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Non-exchange traded REITs are registered with the SEC but not traded on any of the public exchanges.


Two main IRS requirements for REITs are: (1) a company must have most of its assets and income tied to real estate investment, and (2) that company must distribute at least 90 percent of its taxable income to its shareholders yearly. If a company qualifies as a REIT, it can deduct dividends paid to its unit-holders (or shareholders) from its corporate taxable income, and consequently, owe no corporate tax. Applicable taxes will be paid by the unit-holders. Furthermore, in line with IRS treatment, most states do not require REITs to pay state income tax.


REITs may have originated in the US, but the concept has spread around the world. There are Asian and European countries with REIT legislation. The Australian REIT market is the largest in Asia. (REITs are called LPTs there.) However, the US still boasts the largest REIT market.


Regardless of the host of issues adversely impacting the real estate market currently, REITs are still an easy convenient means for the average investor to invest in high-value income-producing property and other areas of real estate that would otherwise be totally inaccessible to them, because they simply do not have the funds to buy and sell properties in their own. REITs, as a sub-component of the financial industry, have become and will likely remain an integral segment of the economy.


REIT shares clearly can benefit most investors, whether value-driven or growth-oriented, individual or institutional. They offer the benefits of ongoing current income, with the potential for long-term capital appreciation that historically has met or exceeded inflation.


They are equities that derive a large part of their value from tangible, hard assets and the effective management of those assets.


They have been proven to bring the benefits of balance, diversification and greater risk/reward efficiency to a broad range of investment portfolios."


REITs Still Serve Their Legislative Intent
- Whether the real estate market is in crisis or stable, REITs serve their legislative intent, i.e. they are a means or method for the small investor aka "Joe the plumber", to invest in commercial real estate.

This article is just an introduction; a primer. NAREIT®, the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts®, the "voice for REITs" continues to supply significant news and reports affecting the real estate investment world, and more specifically REIT investors.


TreathylFOX (Cmoneyspinner) · Published 3 years ago via Yahoo Answers

Invest in reits text on blackboard with 3d house
© Photographer: Info40555 | Agency: Dreamstime.com







31 December 2015

Can Bad Credit be Deleted?

2016 starts tomorrow.  Plan to go back to black?  No.  Not do you plan to buy up all the Amy Winehouse music you can find for the new year.  Is one of your new year's resolutions to rebuild your credit? If so, here is some sound advice.
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Can Bad Credit be Deleted?

Yes, it can. 

Despite the fervent proclamations of bureaucrats and credit bureaus everywhere, a simple fact remains: negative credit listings are deleted from peoples' credit reports by the thousands each and every day. 

A few years ago, an attorney from Lexington Law. visited with a regulatory agency for a casual conversation with two agents. The Agency's office, as a matter of course, believed the credit bureaus' claim that bad credit couldn't be deleted. The visiting Lexington attorney asked, "How many negative listings would you have to see deleted from consumer credit reports before you would believe that bad credit can be deleted: ten? fifty? a hundred? one thousand?" The agents responded with only blank stares. 

"How about 50,000 deleted listings, would that convince you?" continued the Lexington attorney. From his briefcase he pulled a stack of papers six inches high. 

"In these pages, we have listed the permanent deletion of over 50,000. listings from our clients' files in the last two years alone," he explained. The agents pulled the stack across the conference table and began to pick through the pages, taking in the massive list. 

"But have you deleted any bankruptcies?" shot back one of the agents, "we know that bankruptcies can't be deleted." The Lexington attorney leaned across the table and ran his finger down the first page.
"There's one deleted bankruptcy... and, there's another,... and another,... and another. Should I go on?" asked the Lexington attorney. 

The agents sat back in their chairs. "You know," began the junior agent, "I have this one listing on my credit report that simply must belong to somebody else..." 

How is credit repair possible?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) allows a consumer to challenge the information on his credit report on the basis of "completeness and accuracy." When a consumer files a dispute, the credit bureaus must contact the source of the credit information (the creditor) and confirm that the information is accurate, verifiable, and not obsolete. In some circumstances, the credit bureau is required to go beyond a simple verification of the creditor's own computer record. If, within 30 days, the credit bureau has not received verification from the creditor, then the credit bureau must promptly delete the credit listing.
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