How To Find A Good Financial Advisor

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When it comes to our finances, we want the very best, but unfortunately, there are a lot of bad apples on the tree. Picking a financial advisor isn’t as easy as opening a phone book and calling one up.  There are steps and details that you must go through in order to pick the one that is best for you.

The Right Scale

Financial advisors work with all sorts of people, from the very rich, all the way down to middle-class families. The first thing you should do is find one that is an expert in working with your level of capitalization. If you take your finances to a company that works with a bunch of millionaires daily, your case will not get as much attention as their other clients.

Location, Location, Location

You should also pick a financial advisor close to home. Never go to a financial advisor that operates in another state or country than where you are. Being close is the best way to keep a watchful eye over your money.  It’s hard for an advisor to ignore a customer who can simply show up at their office.


Credentials are also important: a financial advisor must always be certified.  Non-certified advisors are often engaged in shady dealings, and may well end up funnelling your investment funds into stocks that they have a personal relationship with, or might simply be unqualified and end up losing your money through incompetence.

How to Help Yourself in Technology Related Problems?

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Solving your technology related issues yourself not only saves you money, it makes you more self sufficient also. And the truth is that most of the daily technical problems can be addressed by following some simple steps.

The first thing to do is the one most of us are familiar with. Just shut down your system and reboot it. This simple step works in almost half the cases. The reason behind it is that while rebooting, the computer will no longer have any misbehaving programs in memory, and hopefully after the restart the code path that led to the problem won’t run again.

If rebooting does not help, then check the software versions of any applications that you are running. Upgrading to the latest software versions can often resolve any issues that you are having, especially if the problem seems tied to using a particular application such as Adobe Photoshop.

The next step is to visit the website of the manufacturer of the computer which you are using. The websites have all type of information and FAQs, some of which may answer your specific issue also. You can also often find help from other users by checking the manufacturer’s user forums.

If the previous steps do not yield result, then search for the solution in Google. In the search query, be as specific about your problem as you can.

When everything else fails, why not try a friend? Almost all of us know about somebody who is good with technology. Ask for their advice and appreciate their help.

So the next time your computer plays games with you, try the above steps before calling a technician. Remember to keep backups of all your important data. In the unfortunate event of losing your data during a technical breakdown, this backup will be a lifesaver.



Eating healthier on a tight budget

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During the past half a century or so, fast food items have invaded the western countries like never before seen or imagined even in our wildest imagination. Now a days, many average Americans and Canadians are finding it much easier to purchase junk food than healthy alternatives. In fact, the cost of purchasing sugary sodas, fatty ready to microwave burgers etc. are a lot cheaper than cooking on our own.

Still, you have ways to eat healthier within your family’s budgetary constraints. Cultivating some vegetables, herbs and fruits in your own yardis a great option to reduce your expenses in summer. The excess of available vegetables and fruits can be preserved for use throughout the rest of the year.


Planning your meals around the food items that are available on sale in grocery stores is another way to reduce expenses. This way, you can make use of the seasonal food materials for better use and reduce your expenses.


The use of credit cards that offer cash back on your purchases is another great way to reduce your expenses. Some of these credit cards give you as much as 3% of your purchase costs as cash back. Membership offers from grocery stores can help you to save your expenses significantly too.


Retirement Planning: Something More Than Saving

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Retirement planning for most people is synonymous to saving money. However, the amount of your retirement corpus depends, to a large extent, on the lifestyle that you wish to maintain after your retirement. So it is very important to first find out that what you really intend to do in your retired life. After you have decided on that, find out the amount of money that you need after retirement to maintain the lifestyle you are looking for. Then find out a way which will enable you to accumulate that amount of money and work steadily towards achieving that goal.

Let us look at some post retirement scenarios for better understanding. You may want to stay at one place only or you may want to visit different places of the world. You may intend to do some volunteer work or you may want to learn a new skill. You may want to take up some part time job for which you may need to learn something now. You may want to lead a moderate lifestyle or you may be looking for a lavish way of living. All these different scenarios call for different amount of retirement corpus. So decide your post retirement lifestyle first and then act according to that decision.

The Good and the Bad of the To One Percent Income Earners

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Over the last year, news outlets and the media were swamped with talk of the “99 percent” and how income inequality has led to the gradual downfall of the US economy and the lives of the working middle-class. There is an enormous disparity between those who are jet setting around the world in private planes and those who are living hand to mouth and subsisting off payday loans. This became a juicy topic for debate, and many people sided with the underdogs, but just because it sounds popular doesn’t automatically mean that it’s a black- and- white issue. There are many things to consider before judging either side.

Take note that not only were protestors raging against the top one percent earners of the country, they were also protesting the free- market or capitalist system of the country. Over the decades, as the poor and middle class tried to move up, enterprising capitalists have found ways to always be at the top. Other groups denounced this practice, but the truth is that these millionaires and their colleagues are more well-versed in moving and developing large groups of manual labourers and factory workers. Without their guidance, a lot of hard work would only go to waste.

These top earners have guided the bottom half of the pyramid since the industrial revolution. This is the admirable part of this group. The deplorable part is that the top one percent have grown to be too complacent and have brought financial ruin to many financial markets at the expense of the middle class. This is what protestors should rally against to ensure that the message is clear to the media and the members of the one percent who are listening.

Minimizing Your Debt and Liabilities

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Debt is something everyone will have, whether it’s student loans or a home mortgage, or even a few unpaid electricity bills. The problem with this picture is that most people have learned to just live with their debt instead of trying to reduce it. They have the mentality that liability is something that’s present no matter what you do. Fortunately, debt can be paid down and it’s even possible to live without any type of credit or loan, with the right lifestyle.
The good news is that everyone is doing something to minimize their credit, even if they don’t know it yet. If you check any credit document that you’re paying, you’ll see that you’re actually paying away your debt, only that it’s taking some time because of the minimum amount of payment. If you have the spare cash, follow the Government of Canada’s suggestions and try paying out as much as you can. Soon, you’ll see your credit amounts going down.
Once you start paying off your debts, stop adding to them. Only use your credit card on the most important occasions and don’t needlessly take out any loans. Begin working towards the other end by trying to increase your income. Simple things such as yards sales and the like can help minimize the need for credit.



Saving Up For Home Repairs and Maintenance

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hammerThe first time homeowners purchase their house isn’t the last time they’ll be spending money on it; months and years after the initial purchase, owners will still need to maintain and repair their home which of course will cost some cash. With some foresight, homeowners can save on their home’s upkeep with the right home repair fund.

When budgeting for your own home, remember that all areas of the house ( including the yard outside ) must be taken into account. Go through each room and space and look at the possible fixtures and appliances that might break down. Start with the easiest items first, like room lights and cleaning costs, and move to more expensive items such as air conditioners and refrigerators.

Add all of the expected costs and see how much you’ll need. Remember that the total cost isn’t something you’ll be paying at one time, so take 10 to 20 percent of that amount and start saving up towards that figure. Over time, some items may be added or taken away, so keep your list handy to note down any changes in your home.

Your home maintenance fund should be kept in a separate account to ensure that it doesn’t eat away at your other savings accounts. Keep your target amount in mind and divide it into 12 ; that will be your monthly target savings. If you keep your account active, you’ll soon see your maintenance costs going down.