Alternative Wealth Management Markets: The Stuff They Don’t Tell You

Conventional moneymaking activities work for many people. These include things like 401(k) investments, stocks, bonds, treasuries, commodities, savings accounts, fixed-income bearing investments, and the like. Equities markets have proven to be viable investment vehicles for generating long-term profits. Wall Street bourses, including the Dow Jones, NASDAQ, S&P 500, Russell 2000 etc., are at all-time highs, and 1-year returns in the region of 20% + are commonplace. As attractive as these options appear, they are not the norm for everyday investors. Provided you have the wherewithal to diversify your resources across as many different asset classes as possible, returns in the region of 20% – 30% may be possible. In conventional investments, positive returns stand to be gained but they are unlikely to be exceptional returns.

Contrarian Investment Options for Savvy Traders

One of the ways to break the mold and move into high-yield investments is through alternative or contrarian investment vehicles. These types of investments abound in the form of contracts for difference (CFDs), currencies (Forex), peer to peer lending, social trading, purchasing pre-IPO equities and the like. These investment vehicles are traditionally regarded as higher risk options, but they are associated with higher rewards. Contracts for difference are derivative financial trading instruments. Unlike stocks, the trader is not required to purchase the underlying asset (Forex, commodities, stocks etc.). Rather, the trader acts as a speculator and goes long or short on the future price of that asset. Derivatives trading is extremely popular in the United Kingdom, Europe, and North America. It is an unconventional investment, but healthy returns are commonplace.

The Social Trading Boom

Perhaps the biggest change to take place in the alternative investment universe is social trading. This has been going on for quite some time, but it remains as popular as ever. With social trading, the individual trader uses the wisdom of the crowd to make investment decisions. Since there is 100% transparency with other traders, it is easy to pinpoint traders who are successful and generating a profit. By following these traders, copying their trades, and collaborating with them, it is possible to piggyback off their success and generate profit accordingly. There are a myriad of high-quality social trading accounts available to traders nowadays.

It’s imperative to evaluate them based on their strengths, asset variety, transparency, credibility and client feedback. The social trading boom has dovetailed with mobile trading, and the disintegration of the institutional trading paradigm. In the days of old, traders relied on wealth management specialists, investment gurus and fund managers to handle their finances. Nowadays, anyone, anywhere can power up and trade at the click of a button.

Robo Advisors Making a Big Impression

Robo advisors are a new age investment resource that make it easy for traders to make smarter investment decisions. Now that Robo advisors are available to the global market, it’s possible for anyone to access these powerful trading resources to make the smartest investment decisions. Typically, Robo advisors are online resources that are geared towards automated management of your portfolio. They are available at a fraction of the cost of a traditional financial advisor or financial planner, and they offer useful information on things like rebalancing your financial portfolio, taxation-related issues, and wealth optimization strategies. For further information on this powerful contrarian resource option, take a look at Robo advisors explained. These tools should not be discounted in terms of their utility value, since they can dramatically enhance your financial net worth.

Pre-IPO Investments

It is a little-known fact that it is possible to invest in a company before it goes public with its IPO. Fortunately, many private companies are only too eager to have big investments lined up before they go public, with pre-IPO equity as part of a financial portfolio. Oftentimes it is said that the early bird catches the worm – and with a pre-IPO investment, this is precisely the benefit you will receive!

You Can Get an Unsecured Personal Loan Online

There comes a time on the average person’s life when a personal loan is necessary. You can lose your job, your car, or simply need some extra capital because of a delayed paycheck. The secured loan is one option, but it requires you to put up your home, car of valuable item in return. If you can’t pay the loan back, then you lose whatever you put up.

What you really want instead is the unsecured loan. Specifically, a selection of low interest unsecured personal loans online with instant decision. With a bit of research, these aren’t terribly difficult to come by – but always keep in mind that the interest rate is indicative of the risk the lender is undertaking in lending to you. As such, perform due diligence as to how reputable the institution is.

Is a Personal Loan Necessary?

There are quite a few reasons for which you might need a personal loan. For example, if you have high-interest credit card debt, then a personal loan can take the form of a consolidation at a lower rate of interest. Indeed; even if the APR on your credit cards are pretty good, debt consolidation via an unsecured credit card loan is treated differently on your credit history – it’s an installment debt that does not count negatively towards your FICO score. And as we all know, having all your bills in one place sure makes it easier to pay them on time.

What Rates Can You Expect?

This, of course, depends on your credit history and score. If you’re in the good-to-excellent range of 720 and higher, then your risk is deemed very low – lenders see you as eminently trustworthy with credit. You can get rates between about 6% and 10% as a result (for a personal loan). Compare this to credit card rates for the average person, which can have annual percentage rates as of 22% on average.

Being able to shift such your debt from such a high APR to the lower one provided by unsecured personal loan reduces the burden of your financial responsibilities significantly. The following provides you an idea of what each credit score bracket entails for your finances if you borrow $10,000 for a loan term of three years:

  • Poor credit, at an APR of 25%, entails a monthly loan payment of $398
  • Fair credit, at an APR of 10.66%, entails a monthly loan payment of $326
  • Good credit, at an APR of %4.29%, entails a monthly loan payment of $297
  • Excellent credit returns the same as good credit, for many lenders, so the numbers are the around the same.

How to Get the Best Unsecured Personal Loan

Try to pay down your current accounts, If you’ve got a lot of outstanding debt on your various credit cards, then paying these down on time can have a huge effect on your credit score. This factor eats up as much as 35% of the pie that denotes your overall creditworthiness.

The length of time you’ve had a credit history also matters a big deal – around 30% or so. This improves as you continue to pay on time, and avoid opening new accounts that aren’t necessary. Consolidating your debt also contributes positively to this because, as mentioned above, this new type of installment debt lowers the outstanding amount without being counted as a newly opened account.

Understanding Personal Loan Options

It’s a common misconception that personal loans with good rates are only available to people with prime credit scores. However, in an era of fierce competition, the market has paved the way for some surprisingly good offers. In fact, you could be one of the many people taking out a small personal loan with no credit check, if you perform due diligence on the lenders offering this.

The Run-Down on Banks as Lending Institutions

When it comes to a personal loan, a bank may be your first thought – given their size and reach. Places such as Capital One, US Bank and Bank of America are well-known for their range of financial services; whether you need an unsecured loan via credit cards, or a mortgage loan for your new property.

The potential problem, however, is that banks often won’t take a second glance at a prospective borrower with a credit score below 660. This, of course, varies a bit, but you should take this as a general guideline of the kind of credit you need in order to qualify.

Benefits of Online Lenders

There are online lenders who specifically target people with bad credit. These consistently go below credit scores of 600 to find a program of payment at the prescribed interest rate that will work for their customer. Oftentimes, the lowered rate is provided as an incentive to consolidate debt – but it can be used for an initial personal loan, too.

There are other benefits to consolidating debt, if that’s the reason you’re in need of a personal loan. The primary one is the new classification of your consolidated debt as a so-called “installment debt,” which actually elevates your credit score. For historical reasons, installment debts are not treated the same way as other types of debt, and so they don’t hurt your FICO score in any way.

How do you obtain an installment debt? The most important thing is your income; then, the amount of debt you actually have. Combining these numbers to obtain your debt-to-income ratio is the money ball, effectively; it is the number that determines whether you’re eligible for the installment debt or not. If you can’t qualify for it on your own, then a cosigner with great credit can help you. The overall benefits are :

  • You are generally eligible for larger loan amounts
  • Your rates tend to be lower
  • Interest savings

No Credit Check Loans

As mentioned above, these are generally online lenders who specialize in loaning money to people who have problems with their credit history. The terms are competitive; but this is of course contingent on you getting a reputable lender. The no credit check option does tend to come with a higher interest rate to cover the risk, but this is often negotiable and represents a breath of fresh air for people who cannot otherwise get a personal loan.
If all else fails and you can’t get an unsecured loan, then you might want to consider going the route of the secured loan. This will require collateral on your part; which can be anything valuable such as a boat, car, family heirloom, house – the higher the loan you want, the more valuable the collateral will have to be. Generally-speaking, however, an unsecured personal loan is the better option. If you pay your current bills on time, you can see a credit score increase in a few months – after which you should try again for an unsecured personal loan at a better interest rate.

When and How to Apply for your First Credit Card

Getting the first credit card is tricky because you cannot build credit without credit. Where should you start? Nowadays you need credit for almost everything from renting an apartment to purchasing a cell phone.

Fortunately, the best time to build your credit is when you are still in school. Here are some important facts that you should know before applying for your first credit card:

Get a student credit card

Credit scores are usually made up of several factors, including your credit history. If you have no credit history, you might also lack a credit score because credit bureaus do not have any means of determining your ability to pay bills on time or repay loans. However, the easiest way to build your credit is by applying for and using a credit card responsibly.

Find the best credit card

You should remember that not all cards are the same. Each one comes with different features, rates, fees, and benefits. If you think you can repay your balance in full every month, consider maximizing your rewards by applying for a student rewards card.

With some rewards cards, you can earn your cashback on every purchase. However, you should remember that rewards caps as well as other exclusions exist. Will you carry a balance? If you think that you will, you should look for a low-interest credit card.

Several student credit cards have a 0-percent APR introductory offer that lasts six to eight months. This card will allow you to pay for large purchases over time while avoiding interest rates. Just research all your options to find a card that offers low rates of interest, cash rewards, no annual fee, and a reasonable credit limit.

When applying for a card, be sure to pay attention to the billing cycles if you hope to avoid extra fees. Some students credit cards also offer online tools that can help you to manage and track your spending. To get the best card for you, make sure that you compare student credit card reviews online.

Getting approved for a credit card

You must be at least eighteen years old to apply for a credit card. Are you under the age of 21? If you want to apply for a credit card, you must prove that you have independent assets or income to show that you can repay your debt. If you fail to get approval, you can also become an authorized user on your parent’s account.

Do you have a part-time or fulltime job? You might have enough income to be approved for your own credit card. However, you have to pay the credit card bill on a monthly basis.

Authorized credit card user

Are you an authorized user on another person’s account? You should enjoy the benefits of using it without the responsibility of having to pay back the balance. If your credit history is insufficient, you can build your credit by becoming an authorized user because your account use might be reported.

However, you should ensure that the account owner keeps up with his payments since any negative reporting will appear on your report.

Secured credit card

If you do not qualify for a traditional credit card, you should consider applying for a secured credit card. This card can help you to build your credit history enough so that you can qualify for a traditional credit card. To get a secured credit card, you need to put down a deposit.

When you put down a deposit, the card works like a traditional credit card. However, unlike prepaid credit or debit cards, you can build credit.

 

Peer-to-peer loans: how do they work?

P2P lending is a way of borrowing without going through a credit union or traditional bank. If you need a loan, you should consider P2P lending when shopping for a loan. Do you have good credit? The rates for this loan can be very low for you.

However, if your credit is bad, you can also get an affordable peer-to-peer loan from an online lender.

What is P2P lending?

Investors and individuals instead of banks give P2P loans. Persons who have extra money to lend choose to loan it to others who need it. P2P services such as websites match a lender with a borrower, making the process of borrowing easier for both parties.

Benefits of borrowing from peer-to-peer lenders

Peer-to-peer loans are not always better than credit union or bank loans but they have a few features that make them a great choice:

Low costs

When taking out a P2P loan, you can do it at a relatively low cost. You just need to pay enough interest to keep the lender happy: it goes towards compensating your lender. With credit union and bank loans, the overhead costs for large workforces and branch networks, make loans more expensive.

For this reason, P2P loans are a better option than using credit cards. When taking out this loan, you should expect to pay an origination fee of between 1-5 percent of your total loan amount. Compared to personal bank loans, this fee can be high, but it is much cheaper than that of taking out a second mortgage.

Quick and easy

Shopping for loans is not that easy. After application, you have to wait to hear back from the bank or credit union. P2P borrowing eases some of this pain because the application process is easy and you do not have to wait that long for approval.

Although the actual funding takes a few days longer, at least you will not have to sit around wondering whether your loan was approved.

Blemishes in your credit can be tolerated

In a world where lenders are unwilling to loan money to people with bad credit, P2P lenders are an attractive option. However, your FICO score needs to be good – having a score in the mid 600’s is best. Just remember that the worse your credit is, the more you will have to pay for your loan, as is the case with most loans.

Types of P2P loans

This loan started out as an unsecured, personal loan that you could borrow for any purpose and collateral was not necessary. It is still the most common loan type because of its flexibility: you can use the money to consolidate debt, do home improvements, or buy a new car. Do you want to borrow money to fund higher learning? You need to let the lender know.

Over time, specialized P2P lenders have begun offering loans for particular uses – such as for business startups – and loans that need collateral to secure them.

Popular P2P lenders

The number of P2P lenders is always growing, but Lending Club and Prosper.com popularized this concept. When looking for this loan, you should consider getting a quote from both of these sources. Whatever you do, make sure that you read reviews for top peer to peer business loans for poor credit when looking for business loans.

Only apply to reputable lending services because you will be providing sensitive information that you do not want to get into the wrong hands. If you fail to qualify for P2P loans, you should try your luck with other online lenders who specifically deal with bad credit borrowers.

 

5 Options for Debt Relief

If you’re laden down by debt – whether this debt is from your student loans, credit cards or other personal loan – then you’ll benefit from this path to debt relief. Getting yourself out of the red isn’t simply a case of reducing your spending every month, given inflation and the sheer cost of even everyday things these days.

One of the avenues comes from BBB accredited debt relief program reviews, which provides confidence to the average consumer that this is a company that can help. You can have either a secured loan or an unsecured loan – there are options available to address either.

  1. Transferring Your Credit Card Balance

In response to the economic climate where debt is a growing issue, many credit card companies actively promote the possibility of balance transfers from your existing card to theirs – and this comes with an enticing 0% annual percentage rate for the first half-year – sometimes, up to the first two years!

A 0% APR means your monthly payments are only going towards the principle; you’re not on the hook for the interest on the balance for that period of time. A word of forewarning, though: remember that risk is directly proportional to creditworthiness, so high credit scores are generally a must to receive offers like this.

  1. Interest Rate Options

This is an expanded continuation of the above, as not everyone will have the FICO score necessary to receive a 0% APR offer. In fact, you can be proactive in this regard: give your current creditor a call and schedule an appointment – online, or in person – with an account manager. You may be able to obtain a lower interest rate.

The benefit of this is that more of your payment goes towards paying back the principal each month, instead of to settle the risk the creditor is undertaking as determined by your creditworthiness.

  1. Debt Consolidation

You might ask – why would anyone ever want to consolidate their loans? Well, for starters, if you have a lot of credit card debt, then you’re aware of how high the interest rates are on these when compared to what you can get with an average credit score on an unsecured loan. As such, there are quite a few companies out there willing to give you a personal loan at a lower rate; by consolidating all your other debt, you end up paying more money towards the principal with each payment.

The only debt you shouldn’t consolidate together are federal and private student loans – they often have widely-varying rates. Avoid crossing barriers; although of course, you can consolidate different federal loans with each other, and the same for different personal loans.

  1. Debt Forgiveness or Settlement

This option requires more research than the others, as the pickings are slim, so to speak.It’s the last step before a collection agency may step in, and accomplishes a similar function without as much of a hit to your credit history (or any at all, in some cases). Speak with your creditor about the possibility of paying a single payment that’s a sizable fraction of what you owe; they may forgive the remainder of the debt if you can do pay right away.

  1. Managing Your Debt Using an Assistance Program

Lastly – for this article, at least – debt relief in the form of credit counseling has been shown to work for quite a few people. How does it work? The agency takes on your principal, and works out a deal with your privately that lowers your monthly payments to something more manageable. Of course, you’re likely paying for their services, but this amount will be tacked on to the overall payment over the long term.

4 Amazing Benefits of Having a Good Credit Score

As you go through your daily errands, you might want to stop and take some time to think about your credit score. Is it good enough or does it portray you as someone that is a bit off the edge?

In real terms, a good credit score will save you a fortune of your money despite the fact that one can still survive with a bad one. To be honest, who wouldn’t want to have privileges when it comes to acquiring a loan in funding your business or even a mortgage on your future house?

According to American statistics carried out by FICO, the majority of Americans have exceptional credit scores which just show you how wise they have become overtime. With this in mind, it’s important to consider the following benefits that come with having a good credit score.

  1. Advantage in negotiating

You may be in a situation where you urgently need a loan but the interest rate given could be ridiculous. However, this shouldn’t alarm you as your good credit score will be your savior! Just by referring to some of your previous offers from other companies that are centered on your credit score.

Fortunately, you might be surprised even to get one of your lowest interest loans ever if you get lucky enough! Regrettably, you might also be in a situation where your credit score is either bad or even worse.

In this case, you should at least try to discover if debt relief programs hurt your credit by checking out the appropriate sites that could be of great help.

  1. Avoid nagging limits

Another point to always keep in mind is that money is always a necessity and it can never be enough. The good thing with having a good credit score is that you can always ask for higher amounts, simply because of having a decent score on your credit.

This is a direct illustration that you are able to not only pay all the amount given but that you are also able to pay the whole amount in a timely manner hence making the process stress -free!

You may still acquire a good loan based on a bad credit score, but the amount will definitely be limited. This is what you should avoid because it eventually limits one’s money power in whatever process you may be involved.

  1. Improved car insurance rates

Insuring your car is essential. In countries such as the United States, insurance rates have always proven to be a nuisance that makes you dig into your pockets.

It is only wise to save more money by having a good credit score which will eventually help you to get convenient car insurance rates that won’t be as hard to pay. In the long run, you might discover that you’re saving a whole lot of money which can be used for many other needs.

  1. Quick authorization on rental houses and apartments

As you’re relocating, landlords will definitely not overlook a bad credit score. You should keep in mind a good one will display the best first impression.

This is mostly dangerous if it’s based on a previous outstanding rental balance and you could find yourself homeless.

It is also important to note that despite the advantages of having a good score, you can still rent on a bad credit score.

In general, having a good credit score will save you a lot of time and energy. There is absolutely no reason to want this even though you can still hack halfway through with a bad one.