Comment: Ents and Entrapment

April 17th, 2012

Ents & Entrapment

In the 1999 film Entrapment, Catherine Zeta-Jones plots to steal $8 billion. She’s negotiating the help of genius partner-in-crime, Sean Connery, who reasons for his equal share.

“What can you do with $7 billion that you can’t do with 4?”

“Hold the record. Alone”.

One might wager that this same self-adulation has consumed the boardrooms of Australian banks in recent years.

A move by St. George Bank to lower lending rates on 1-year, 2-year and 3-year fixed-rate home loans must be deemed admirable in a climate where banks have cried poverty like a broken record despite – ironically – record-breaking profits.

But it should equally ensure that the wool that has constantly been pulled over consumers’ eyes is, at last, fully removed.

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The best way to set-up and maintain your Superannuation fund

March 28th, 2012

Superannuation is a method of financially preparing yourself for your retirement. Both yourself and your employer can contribute to it over time and this money is then invested into a variety of  appropriate investments such as shares, property, savings accounts and government bonds.

When you retire, or qualify for your superannuation due to disability or death, you will receive the money (less charges and taxes) either as regular payments made periodically, a lump sum payment, or a combination of the two.

The Superannuation Guarantee came into effect on July 1, 1992, making it compulsory for employers to contribute to an employee’s superannuation fund.

The minimum amount of the contribution is 9% of an employee’s wages. This excludes overtime, fringe benefits and leave loading.

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No Credit Check Loans

March 7th, 2012

There are various reasons why you may be having a low credit score, some of which include defaults, arrears, late payments, foreclosures, bankruptcy and missed payments among others. This can have a number of inconveniences when applying for funding but you can have it easy by knowing the kind of loans to apply for. One easy way of going around this is to apply for a no credit check loan where the lender will not even look at your credit history.

Considerations on a no credit check loan

Security: even when applying for a loan without credit check, you can choose between a secured and an unsecured loan. If you only require some little cash, you can comfortably go for the latter but you will stand higher chances of getting some huge amount by applying for a secured loan. This is where you should prepare some property that the lender can go after if you fail to fully clear your debt on the amount of cash you get.

Quotes comparison: it doesn’t matter whether you are searching for online lenders or local lenders but the truth of the matter is that you will get a huge number of them. You should therefore maximize on this to ensure that you apply for your no credit check loan with the lender offering the most competitive rates and easier terms. You can realize this through quotes comparison and this is quite easy since you will get the quotes for free.

Applying online:  nowadays, people with internet access can easily shop for most products online and this is now possible even when applying for a no credit check loan. A simple search through the web will only take a matter of seconds to generate a list of lenders ready to offer the loans and you can check out their offers to find the best. Online application is advantageous because:

  • You will only need to have internet access
  • Filling in an online application form is very easy and fast
  • Approval and processing of the funds is faster

With online application, one should be careful when submitting some personal details as these can get misused if they fall in the wrong hands. Always go for online lenders with secure websites and ensure that the lender is also in a position to keep such details confidential. It is also wise to check the lending history of the lender you are considering.

Applying for a no credit check loan is a quick solution to getting financial aid when your credit score is poor or when you have no credit. You can also improve on such situations by ensuring that repayments on the loan are made in time.

Getting The Best Funeral Insurance Plan for Australians

February 7th, 2012

Preparing for the inevitable is something that many people may not want to think about but it is necessary to have a financial plan in place for when the day comes. Funeral insurance provides the safety net to cover the numerous funeral costs without putting unnecessary burdens on loved ones. By paying for the insurance monthly, Australians can have a pre-paid, comprehensive package available when a loved one dies.

Funeral Insurance Defined

Funeral Insurance is a pre-paid policy that can cover all the costs involved with the funeral. Monthly payments are made by the insured to the insurance company. Upon the death of the insured, the funeral director will receive the funds to cover the costs for all aspects of the funeral from body preparation to chapel service to burial. The big advantage of funeral insurance is that it allows the insured to take advantage of current prices and not have to pay the prices that may be in effect at the time of death.

Reasons to Have Funeral Insurance

Death will occur, so having the costs covered upfront makes good sense. As mentioned above, having funeral insurance that is paid monthly removes a significant financial burden that may exist when a person dies. It is also beneficial because the insured can make plans well ahead of the time when emotions will not affect decision-making. More careful thought and planning can occur upfront when a funeral insurance policy is purchased.

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Jumping Into the Gold Investment Market

February 7th, 2012

Gold is a commodity that has been used throughout history as a medium of exchange. While it has been replaced as the primary means of exchange, it is still commonly used as a form of investment. One of the nice things about investing in gold is that you know it will always have some kind of value, even if financial markets struggle or collapse. If you’re interested in getting involved in the gold market, there are a few different ways that you could approach the process.

Buying Physical Gold

One way that you could choose to get involved in the gold market is to buy gold bullion. This could involve buying and holding gold bars or gold coins. When getting involved in this type of investment, you have to consider that liquidity of your investment. For example, if you decide to cash out your investment at some point, you’ll have to sell an entire piece. If you have a gold bar, selling gold can be difficult because it is worth so much for a single piece that the available buyers are limited. Holding smaller pieces usually works better because you have more potential buyers to work with. When holding physical gold, you also have to consider the safety of warehousing it and shipping it to a buyer. Finding gold buyers may not always be easy and you’ll need to figure out how to get paid while sending the gold to a buyer when you want to cash out.

Funds

Another way that some investors choose to get involved in the gold market is by buying shares of funds that focus on gold investment. For example, mutual funds and exchange traded funds are two options to consider when you want to get started with gold. Gold mutual funds usually focus on buying stocks of gold mining companies. By comparison, gold ETF’s actually buy gold for the portfolio. This makes the gold ETF more of a pure play on gold speculation. With the gold mutual fund, you are getting more of a leveraged investment on gold. This happens because when gold prices change, the profits of the company can change rapidly. The mining company’s costs stay roughly the same, but the profits can fluctuate drastically.

One of the advantages of investing in either one of these types of fund is that you can get started for a relatively low initial investment. By comparison, investing in gold bullion would require you to put up thousands of dollars all at once.

Futures and Option Contracts

If you wish to take a more direct approach to speculating on gold, buying futures and options contracts are other options to consider. With a futures contract, you agree to buy or sell a specific amount of gold on a certain date in the future. With an options contract, you get the option of buying or selling a contract by a date in the future, without being committed to it.

Regardless of which option you choose to pursue, getting started in gold makes sense. Despite the economic uncertainty in today’s world, gold has been performing well and is poised to do so in the future.

Payday Lenders Under Fire

January 23rd, 2012

Payday lenders are out to exploit those hit hardest by the domestic slowdown, welfare bodies are warning.

The South Australian Council of Social Service has spoken out against payday lending companies after receiving a volume of complaints from concerned consumers.

Borrowers are being unfairly lured into taking out loans which, in some cases, appear to be interest-free, but which instead incur massive fees.

Cash Converters is one firm that has come under particular scrutiny for this practice. Despite their claims that no interest is payable on their loans, the charges often result in huge return rates for the lender.

The Advertiser reported that a desperate mother who took out a loan of $1,500 from the Cash Shop faces repayments totalling $2,600 in just four months – 73% interest.

Consumers turning to payday loans because of their struggles against the increasing cost of living are finding their problems exacerbated by interest rates and/or fees in excess of 100%.

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