Managing Portfolios to Index-Beating Growth

MFS has been doing what some critics of managed funds call impossible: beating the indexes over and over. Indexes are the conservative investor’s best friend. Built on all of the best-performing stocks in the world, the index fund investor’s portfolio grows with the rest of the economy, often outperforming most other investment returns. Because this tends to happen, index proponents can forget what happens when it doesn’t work, when the worst happens. The recent stock plummet that originated in China was a reminder of this, and those of us with index mutual funds have yet to see our portfolios recover.

This method is the equivalent of investment autopilot. And while it works out well for a certain type of investor, there are storms which arise for which you will want a pilot, at least if you want your portfolio to survive the storm. That’s where MFS comes in. Using their 3 tiered strategy of 1) Lots of knowledge from lots of experts, 2) Constant Risk Analysis, and 3) Long term planning for each investor’s financial future, MFS manages to beat the odds and outperform the market many times over. Their performance is envied by those who relied on the market forces inherent to index funds during the recent stock fall.

MFS can pull this off because they have so many experts involved in the process. MFS needs their clients to make money. After all, it’s how they make their money. So accumulating real insight from a wide array of qualified people is how they make the best investment choices you are likely to find among fund managers. They’re also always accounting for risk, which helps them to take on only those assets which will be very likely to get their clients paid. This is a company that’s acting in the best interests of you and your portfolio for the long haul. So let MFS get involved with your investment. They’ll be able to guide you to opportunities and away from financial pitfalls.

Short term loan Positives and Negatives

Payday loans also known as payday advances, short term loans and cash advance loans are small short term unsecured loans. These loans are also referred to as cash advances however this term can be confused with a line of credit such as those with credit cards. Payday loans rely solely on the borrower having employment and can provide proof of income such as check stubs. The legislation regarding these types of loans varies widely from country to country.

In order to prevent high rates of interest many jurisdictions have placed limits on the APR or annual percentage rate that any lender especially payday lenders can charge.

There are several ways that the APR can be calculated on these types of loans. Depending on the method that is used the rate can differ dramatically. For example for a £15 charge for a £100 payday loan lasting 14 days the APR could be anywhere from 400% to 500%

Some lenders have stated that payday loans can carry significant risk for them, however, it has been recently proven that there is no more risk with these types of loans than any other type or credit.

There is a process involved with payday loans where the lender provides a short term unsecured loan that the borrower has to repay on their next payday. Usually the borrower’s employment or their main source of income must be verified, however,some sources have state that some lenders don’t run credit checks or verify income.

There are two ways to apply for a payday loan either visit the lenders retail location or apply online. When a borrower visits the retail location they must provide a postdated check that the lender can cash for the amount of the loan plus fees in the event the borrower defaults on the loan. For borrowers that wish to apply online the process is similar except the application and other documentation such as proof of income, bank statement or voided checks must either be emailed or faxed to the lender. Upon approval the funds are direct deposited into the borrowers primary checking account. When the due date approaches (which is usually the next payday) the payment plus any finance charges are electronically withdrawn from the borrowers checking account.

Under the right circumstances payday loans can be very useful and many times have been a relief when an emergency occurs such as car repairs or even an emergency medical bill. But be careful since these quick loans do have what some consider high rates of interest. These are best used for those situations where you know you can pay them back quickly.

How to Avoid a Toxic Work Environment

Having a well thought out business model and employees that are well qualified can make a huge impact on a business’s success. However, if the work environment becomes toxic, the productivity levels within your company can be deeply impacted. In fact, the energy put out by your employees and that which surrounds them can make or break an otherwise successful company. Here are a few tips on how to avoid cultivating a toxic work environment.


Open Allocation and Incentives

Allow your employees the opportunity to move around within to the company with ease to work with projects that are of interest to them. Don’t create a situation where it takes calling in a bunch of favors or schmoozing in order to get placed onto an interesting project team. This can create resentment amongst employees who may very well succeed if they were on a project that fit their interests and skill set if they have to play office politics instead.

Consider offering an incentive plan that allows all level of employees to have the opportunity to earn more based on the quality of work they do or as projects are completed. This allows more ownership in their work and less resentment towards others who may do less but earn more simply become they are upper level.


Grow With Intention

When your company hits a boom it is easy to continually add on to fill the office with bodies to cover all the bases. However, with each addition comes a new office dynamic. Allow your employees time to become familiar with new faces and processes before throwing in yet another group of personalities and roles. Be very clear about the culture you wish to cultivate within your walls and hire people who you believe complement that vision. Then, take your time and allow the employees to get settled into their place within the company.


Increase Energy Flow

Physically creating an energy flow within the work space can reduce a toxic environment exponentially. Utilize an open design concept with community spaces and remove walls that work more as barriers throughout the office. Even if you need to separate zones, you can create the illusion of openness with glass walls and transparent doorways. This not only brightens an area, but reduces the sense of secretiveness that can often encourage mistrust. This doesn’t mean you can’t still maintain a sense of privacy. Sliding doors and sound proofing can allow conversations to remain private while still generating a feel of “transparency” throughout the company.

A toxic work environment can cause negativity to escalate quickly and keep your employees from being able to focus productively on their work. With a few tweaks you can create a positive work environment resulting in employees who are happy and at their best.

What Is Medical Debt, How to Avoid It, and Why Is It Such A Big Problem?

canstockphoto25287921There’s a good chance that you are already pretty familiar with this country’s medical debt problem; in fact, more than a third of Americans owe collectors for unpaid medical bills. What can be inferred from this about those bills and debts that are regularly being paid down?

What Is Medical Debt?

Medical debt refers to the amount of money that consumers owe to medically-relevant facilities and professionals for procedures, tests, visits, and other pertinent services. In the United States, medical debt makes up the biggest percentage of consumer debt. This is one area of debt where consumers have little choice whether or not to accumulate heft debts.

Avoiding Medical Debt

Is there any way to avoid medical debt? There are a few steps you might consider:

  • Review your health coverage carefully. Insurance companies often have very complicated rules about what is covered and the circumstances under which they are covered. You will also need to be on the lookout for healthcare providers who aren’t in-network for your insurance – even if they are working at a facility that is.
  • Many people with overwhelming medical debt got into that situation because they did not have insurance and many because they didn’t have enough coverage. If you can’t afford anything else, at least consider catastrophic health coverage.
  • More than half of Americans received bills that were higher than they expected. In many cases, close to half, those increases were the result of billing errors! Review your bills for errors and ask about anything that doesn’t make sense.
  • Don’t be afraid to contact your medical provider directly. Some organizations will let you set up payment plans and in extreme cases, they may be willing to accept less money that you actually owe. A payment plan through the provider will be better for you than putting those costs onto your credit card.
  • Finally, find multiple ways to save up for healthcare emergencies. These may include savings accounts at your bank and Health Savings Accounts. A variety of accounts helps you to be prepared for different types of emergencies.

Why Does Medical Debt Matter?

In the US the cost for health care makes up 38% of consumer debt, the same amount as student loans and credit card debts combined. Even mortgage payments come in at just 1% of the debt that consumers paid in 2013. Medical debt collectors visit 20% of Americans during the year and when successful, those debt collectors will obtain collective payments of $21 billion dollars. There may be some light on the horizon; the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion are set to relieve some of the debt strain, but these could take many years to truly show their full beneficial impact.

Keeping Track of Your Staff has Never Been Easier

Part of running a business means managing your staff. You need to keep tabs on their time and attendance. It’s not only a matter of making sure your employees are on time and putting in the proper amount of hours. Accurate records are essential when it comes to processing payroll. You don’t want to deal with a mountain of paperwork. With time attendance software from, you can make your life easier. Have all of the data at your fingertips and spare yourself the headaches.

Make Everything Automated
Remove the possibility of human error when all of your systems are automated. From a biometric time clock to software, you can keep everything running smoothly in your facility. Your software will collect all of your time information for payroll, complete calculations, and send off the data to be processed. You won’t be bogged down with cards or time sheets. Don’t waste your time or the time of your employees. With the right software program, you can simplify your life.

Be More Organized
With software that focuses on time and attendance, you have all of the data you need at your fingertips. At the touch of a button, pull up your records. Track the attendance of an individual employee or look at the big picture to determine how your staff is managing time. You’ve heard the expression that time is money. This holds true with your attendance system as well. Save yourself frustration and run your business more efficiently with software that makes data collection a breeze. You don’t need to work harder. You need to be smarter and find methods that will conserve time. Make attendance easier with a little help from

Stay on Top of Your Staff
With an attendance software program in place, you will easily be able to identify those who are skimping on their time and those who are putting in extra for your company. Reward staff members who are deserving and correct those who are having a problem with performance. The data doesn’t lie. You will have documented proof concerning time and attendance. If your employees have any doubts, print out a report. Create an incentive program for staff members who give you their all. Supply regular reports for your employees to make sure they are aware of the hours that they put in.