Category Archives: Financial Education

The Ultimate Money Guide for Bubbles, Busts, Recession and Depression

< Just released:
New blockbuster book
by Martin D. Weiss!

Dr. Weiss has just released his new book — The Ultimate Money Guide for Bubbles, Busts, Recession and Depression — and already it has soared to the top of the charts on Amazon.

In this fully updated and expanded edition of his latest New York Times bestseller, Dr. Weiss shows you …

  • Why even the shocking trillions in bailouts and guarantees Washington has handed out have not been enough to prevent a new debt crisis (page 31) …
  • Why Wall Street cheerleaders, top economists and our leaders have been so wrong at every stage of this crisis — and why listening to them now could cost you up to half your wealth in 2011-2012 (page 38) …
  • What REALLY can happen if your bank fails — what the FDIC insurance covers and what it does NOT cover … why many depositors could be very disappointed (Chapter 6) …
  • How to find safe insurance companies, the best life insurance policies and the best annuities. What insurance agents never tell you … policies nobody needs but almost everybody buys … plus much more (Chapters 7, 8 and 9) …
  • The ultimate alternative ETFs for reaping wealth in the worst of times. Follow these steps to help protect your portfolio and reap far larger potential gains (Chapter 11) …
  • 3 shocking reasons why Wall Street ratings on stocks and bonds are dangerous. Hidden conflicts of interest, bias, payola, cover-ups and scams that could lure you into deadly investments (page 41) …
  • Your home loses another 20% of its value — but THIS investment wipes out your loss or even hands you a profit. The five-step hedging strategy every homeowner should be using now (page 173) …
  • 5 easy ways to spot the REAL bottom in stocks and bonds — and use it to help pile up massive wealth in a recovery (page 193) …
  • How to maximize your bond market and Treasury yields with safety: Six simple steps (page 209) …
  • Dividends: Your next great income opportunity. Four simple steps to find stocks with steadily rising dividends (page 217) …
  • The best time to buy gold — 700% profits possible! Get your timing wrong, and you’re likely to lose a bundle. Get it right and Katie, bar the door! How to invest in gold, gold ETFs and mining shares during a depression (page 229).

The table of contents — plus sample pages — are available here at Amazon.

Hard copies are available online and in bookstores.

Plus, you can download the book instantly for the Kindle and for the Nook.

How to Interpret Your Credit Card Statement

understanding credit card statement

By: Guest blogger Mark

Understanding a credit card statement is important if a credit card is used regularly to spend money and budget is being followed. For someone who has been using a credit card for an extended period of time, reading the statement is old hat, but for someone who is new to using a credit card there are some features of the statement that need to be explained. Understanding the fine print, both on the front and back of the statement, is important to fully understanding the charges within the statement. The statement for each credit card company varies slightly but for the most part there are common elements in each of the statements. There are several key pieces of information that must be examined when each statement is attained that will help the individual better understand their account.

APR – On the front of the document the first piece of information that needs to be examined is the Annual Percentage Rate, or APR. This is the amount of interest that will be paid on an annual basis. The APR is an important factor in calculating the amount of money going into the credit card. The higher the rate, the more money it will cost in the long run to use this credit card. Interest rates of each credit card can be compared on a variety of websites available online.

Minimum payment – Another pivotal piece of information that must be looked at is the minimum payment due. This is the minimum amount of money that must be paid on the credit card during each billing cycle in order to remain in good standing with the credit company. This amount is typically determined as a percentage of the new balance. The minimum payment must be made by the due date in order to protect the individual’s credit reputations. Late payments have a negative effect on an individual’s over all credit score, which reflects poorly when trying to take out a loan for a house or other large item.

New Balance – The new balance on a credit card is the amount of money that is still unpaid or owed by the cardholder and will be a number present on the statement. This can be determined by starting with the remaining balance from the previous month and subtracting any payments that were made on the balance. To calculate the amount owed the new charges and miscellaneous fees accrued during the most recent billing period must be added to the previous amount.

Interest Paid – The finance charge is essentially the cost of doing business with the credit company. This is the money paid to the lender for using their credit. This finance charge is indicated on the each monthly statement and it is the interest that is paid on the unpaid balance of the account. The way in which this charge is determined varies with each credit company and the way in which it is determined affects the amount of money that the individual will be charged. The most commonly used calculation method is the average daily balance, which calculates the monthly finance charge based on the amount of debt on the account each day.

Fine print – The back of the credit card statement should not be ignored. There is a lot of fine print on the back of the statement and can present quite a headache. Although these paragraphs are not the most interesting read ever, there are many important details that can affect whether the individual is a successful credit card holder. One of the most important pieces of information that can be found on the back of the statement is the information about the Cash Advance Fee. This is a charge that the credit card company charges the individual when the card is used to take a cash loan from a bank. Generally there is an allowed amount of money that can be withdrawn using the card and the fee the credit company charges is a percentage of the loan amount. It is important to recognize this information on the back of the card in order to not break the fine printed rules of the credit company.

Understanding a credit card bill is the first step towards being a successful credit card holder. It is important to take the time to review the information on the statement and make sure that everything on the state is in line with the contract that was signed. It is also important to notice and verify any changes on the statement compared to the previous statements. An error can always occur and it is the responsibility of the cardholder to recognize these errors. Understanding finances is difficult but taking the time to learn a little about a credit card statement could save a lot of money in the long run.

Mark writes about finances at CreditCardCompare.com.au, an Australian website based just north of Sydney.

Quantitative Easing – Why your money is losing its value by the minute

money down the toilet

Have you ever wondered why when you think back in time you get impression that your money bought you more than it does now. Well, wonder not because it is not a mere impression but something that is happening for real. It is called inflation and it is an insidiously destructive force. It is capable of eating away at your wealth and in worst case scenario it can transform itself into something called hyperinflation which will wipe away the entire purchasing power of your money literally overnight.  Hyperinflation has happened in the past and it is in fact happening right now in Zimbabwe (see this Wikipedia link).

So how does inflation occur? First off permit me to clear one thing first.  Inflation is most often defined as a rise in the general level of prices of goods and services in an economy over a period of time. This definition is a bit misleading and superficial. A more accurate definition is that inflation is simply an increase in the total supply of money over a given period of time. The increase in the money supply is perpetrated by the world’s central banks (ie Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, etc.) They do this by basically PRINTING MONEY. One of the euphemisms for “printing money’ that central bankers use to befuddle and mislead you is “quantitative easing.” Quantitative easing is central banker lingo for “printing money like there is no tomorrow” As you can probably already tell quantitative easing is bad for you financial well-being.  I personally think it is important to understand this concept of quantitative easing, and I found a video that I believe will help you in grasping this concept.

I hope you enjoy the video. If you’d like to read a more detailed article on quantitative easing checkout this post on my finance blog.

Cheers,
Alan

Free personal and financial freedom reports

Global Freedom Strategies

Dear blog readers,

The other day I came upon a great information resource,
a place where you can obtain a number of free reports –
providing information on a wide range of critically-important
subjects. The website is called Global Freedom Strategies
and, as the name suggests, its focus is on personal and
financial freedom.

Check it out for yourself:

http://www.globalfreedomstrategies.com/go/r/moneyguru

All the best

Alan

The Economic Crisis No One Saw Coming: A Convenient Untruth

The Economic Crisis No One Saw Coming: A Convenient Untruth

August 9, 2010

By Elliott Wave International

The single most convenient untruth about the 2008 (and counting)
financial crisis is that it was unforeseen. For two years policymakers
have insisted “There was no way to know ahead of time” that
the liquidity boom would come to a screeching halt. Back in November
2008, in fact, the usually tight-lipped Queen of England herself
publicly described the turmoil of international markets as “awful” and
openly asked a panel of experts from the London School of Economics “Why
did nobody notice?

Her Majesty is right: Most financial authorities did
NOT notice the crisis before it was too late. Comedy Central’s “The
Daily Show with Jon Stewart” of all places provided the
most poignant evidence: A March 2009 video montage
shows executives and economists from the world’s leading financial
firms repeatedly forecasting continued upside strength in stocks,
plus renewed bull market growth in financials — right as debt
markets came unhinged and the US stock market headed into a 50%-plus
selloff.

Dubbed the “8-Minute Rap” (after the “18-Minute
Gap” of Nixon’s Watergate tapes), the Daily Show video feature
sent an equally powerful message, as the clip
below makes plain
.

Yet even as the mainstream authorities failed to detect the
economic earthquake moving below their own feet, somebody did “notice” well
in advance. That person was EWI’s president Bob Prechter.

The clip below is from a 2007 Bloomberg interview.
Clear as PLAY, the foreseeable nature of the crisis emerges from
Bob’s October 19, 2007 interview.

As the historic trend change began to unfold, Bob issued this
timely insight:

“We’ve seen the first crack in the credit structure
with a huge drop in commercial paper… These are the harbingers
of a change toward the downside for the stock market, commodities
including oil, and the debt market itself.”

Don’t believe the convenient untruths. Get objective market
analysis today. Download
this free report that contains valuable market forecasts directly
from the desk of Bob Prechter.

This
article, The Economic Crisis No One Saw Coming: A Convenient Untruth, was syndicated by Elliott Wave International. EWI
is the world’s largest market forecasting firm. Its staff
of full-time analysts lead by Chartered Market Technician Robert
Prechter
provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional
and private investors around the world.

Deflation: First Step, Understand It

There is still time to prepare if deflation is indeed in our future.

By Elliott Wave International

“Fed’s Bullard Raises Specter of Japanese-Style Deflation,” read a July 29 Washington Post headline.

When the St. Louis Fed Chief speaks, people listen. Now that deflation — something that EWI’s president Robert Prechter has been warning about for several years — is making mainstream news headlines, is it too late to prepare?

It’s not too late.

There are still steps you can take if deflation is indeed in our future. The first step is to understand what it is. So we’ve put together a special, free, 60-page Club EWI resource, “The Guide to Understanding Deflation: Robert Prechter’s most important warnings about deflation.” Enjoy this quick excerpt. (For details on how to read this important report free, look below.)

When Does Deflation Occur?
By Robert Prechter

To understand inflation and deflation, we have to understand the terms money and credit.

Money is a socially accepted medium of exchange, value storage and final payment; credit may be summarized as a right to access money. In today’s economy, most credit is lent, so people often use the terms “credit” and “debt” interchangeably, as money lent by one entity is simultaneously money borrowed by another.

Deflation requires a precondition: a major societal buildup in the extension of credit (and its flip side, the assumption of debt). Austrian economists Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek warned of the consequences of credit expansion, as have a handful of other economists, who today are mostly ignored. Bank credit and Elliott wave expert Hamilton Bolton, in a 1957 letter, summarized his observations this way:

In reading a history of major depressions in the U.S. from 1830 on, I was impressed with the following:
(a) All were set off by a deflation of excess credit. This was the one factor in common.
(b) Sometimes the excess-of-credit situation seemed to last years before the bubble broke.
(c) Some outside event, such as a major failure, brought the thing to a head, but the signs were visible many months, and in some cases years, in advance.
(d) None was ever quite like the last, so that the public was always fooled thereby.
(e) Some panics occurred under great government surpluses of revenue (1837, for instance) and some under great government deficits.

Near the end of a major expansion, few creditors expect default, which is why they lend freely to weak borrowers. Few borrowers expect their fortunes to change, which is why they borrow freely. The psychological aspect of deflation and depression cannot be overstated. …

Read the rest of this important 60-page Robert Prechter’s report online now, free! Here’s what else you’ll learn:

  • What Makes Deflation Likely Today?
  • How Big a Deflation?
  • Why Falling Interest Rates in This Environment Will Be Bearish
  • Myth: “Deflation Will Cause a Run on the Dollar, Which Will Make Prices Rise”
  • Myth: “Debt Is Not as High as It Seems”
  • Myth: “War Will Bail Out the Economy”
  • Myth: “The Fed Will Stop Deflation”

This article was syndicated by Elliott Wave International and was originally published under the headline Deflation: First Step, Understand It. EWI is the world’s largest market forecasting firm. Its staff of full-time analysts lead by Chartered Market Technician Robert Prechter provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional and private investors around the world.