First Nations Has Awarded Grants To Six Native Community-Based Economic Development Organizations Through Its Little Eagle Staff Fund

First Nations Development Institute Announces $175,000 in Little Eagle Staff Fund Grant Awards

First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) has awarded grants to six Native community-based economic development organizations through its Little Eagle Staff Fund (LESF). The mission of the Little Eagle Staff Fund is to support Native community-based economic development organizations who offer unique financial services and products that promote economic development.

“It was a very competitive year for proposals,” stated Sarah Dewees, First Nations’ Director of Research and the program officer for the LESF grant program“We received many excellent proposals because there is both growing demand and substantial need for funding for this type of work.” First Nations initially received 47 letters of intent from those interested in applying for grant funding. From those 47, twelve groups were invited to submit full proposals. Of the twelve, six were selected for funding.

The six organizations to be awarded grant funding under the LESF program are the Wigamig Owners Loan Fund Inc., Sitting Bull Tribal Business Information Center (TBIC), Turtle Mountain Community Development Financial Institution, the Oregon Native American Business & Entrepreneurial Network (ONABEN), Katikitegon Community Development Corporation, and the Ho-Chunk Nation. The grants range in value from $12,000 to $40,000, and the projects include financial education, loan funds, and entrepreneurship development. Three grants will be given to help groups start community development financial institutions (CDFIs), two grants specifically support financial education programs, and one grant will support an entrepreneurship training program.

“We are proud to be able to support these innovate economic development organizations that play such an important role in creating an ‘enabling environment’ for economic development on Indian reservations and in other Native communities,” stated Michael E. Roberts, President of First Nations Development Institute. “We are thankful to our funders who have supported this grant program.” The Little Eagle Staff Fund is currently capitalized by Bank of America, the Johnson Scholarship Foundation, the Washington Mutual Foundation, and a fourth partner, as well as through the generous support of First Nations’ individual donors.

The focus of the LESF projects is to educate individuals about successful financial management techniques with the broader implication that this knowledge will support Native individuals and communities to become self-reliant and economically prosperous.“Our mission is to change our economic landscape one family at a time by providing the essential educational components related to making sound financial decisions,” stated Chrystel Cornelius, Executive Director for the Turtle Mountain CDFI. “We are also creating an outlet to provide capital and lending products that will increase community and individual assets and help build wealth within our community.”

First Nations Development Institute is a national American Indian-led 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was founded in 1980. Through a three-pronged strategy of educating grassroots practitioners, advocating systemic change, and capitalizing Indian communities, First Nations Development Institute is working to restore Native control and culturally-compatible stewardship of the assets they own – be they land, human potential, cultural heritage, or natural resources – and to establish new assets for ensuring the long-term vitality of Native communities. First Nations was founded with the belief that when armed with appropriate resources, Native peoples hold the capacity and ingenuity to ensure the sustainable economic, spiritual, and cultural well-being of their communities.

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The Risk Of A Severe Economic Downturn Still Remains, And Taking Care Of Personal Finances Should Be Made Top Priority In The Coming Weeks And Months

Debt management company Gregory Pennington have warned that the economy remains uncertain, despite a number of signals suggesting a potential recovery, and have advised anyone facing severe financial problems to seek professional debt advice as soon as possible.

The Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee’s announcement on Wednesday that the base rate would fall to 4.5% was intended to calm fears surrounding the money market and increase lenders’ willingness to do business with one another, subsequently increasing liquidity and boosting the loans market.

A number of lenders announced cuts to their mortgage rates following the base rate announcement – which may come as a relief to prospective homeowners or existing homeowners looking to remortgage, following many lenders’ reluctance to respond to the last base rate drop.

Meanwhile, petrol prices recently fell to as little as 103.9 pence per litre, while food price growth slowed by 0.2% in September, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC)– arousing speculation that overall inflation has hit its peak and will now begin to slow.

However, a spokesperson for Gregory Pennington commented that while there are encouraging signs for the economy, there is no guarantee that further difficulty for the economy can be avoided.

“The first thing to bear in mind is that while the base rate cut is intended to help the economy, it was brought in as an emergency measure,” she said. “The threat of a severe economic downturn is still looming and there are no guarantees it can be avoided.

“The fall in oil and food prices are very encouraging, but both are heavily affected by external factors, largely outside our Government’s control.”

The debt management company spokesperson was keen to emphasise the continued need to take care over finances and manage debts effectively in the coming months. “There is still the possibility that things could get tighter in the near future, so it pays to tackle any financial issues now, rather than waiting to see what happens next.

“People who are struggling with debt are especially at risk, because their finances are already stretched – and any further rises in costs of living could make those debts unmanageable.

“As always, we advise anyone struggling with debt to seek expert debt advice as soon as possible. Leaving it too late could allow your debts to grow, which is particularly dangerous if costs of living do continue to rise.

“There are a number of debt solutions to help with various financial situations. A debt management plan is a flexible means of getting out of debt in which your repayments are based on how much you can afford, and in some cases interest and other charges can be frozen.

Debt consolidation involves grouping your debts into one convenient monthly payment, therefore simplifying your finances, and your debt can also be spread out over a longer period of time, meaning monthly payments are smaller – although this can mean you pay more interest in the long run.

“For more serious debts of over £15,000, an IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) might be more appropriate. These work by agreeing with your creditors to make payments based on what you can afford for a period of five years, after which the remaining debt is considered settled.”

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Debt Advisers Direct Warn Anyone Struggling With Debt To Seek Expert Debt Advice As Soon As Possible

Responding to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s report suggesting that the global economic slowdown is likely to worsen and spread to more economic sectors, Debt Advisers Direct have warned the public that extremely testing times may be ahead, and people should look to get their finances in order and clear any debts as soon as possible.

In their new Global Financial Stability Report, the IMF have warned of “growing turmoil”, saying that the state of the global economy has worsened since its last assessment in April 2008. They also said that Governments’ willingness to act would be crucial in “bringing about a return to stability in the international financial system”.

Although the global economic crisis has so far been mostly limited to the financial sectors in more developed economies, the IMF warned that may soon be about to change, with other sectors and developing economies likely to be affected in the future.

A note on the IMF press release said: “financial institutions in emerging markets, which until recently remained fairly resilient, will be confronted with a much more challenging economic environment: A combination of global credit tightening, and economic slowdown, which could accelerate a downturn in the domestic credit cycle in some countries. Those economies with greater reliance on short-term flows or with leveraged banking systems funded internationally are particularly vulnerable.”

A spokesperson for Debt Advisers Direct said that the threat of financial hardship applies to everybody – not just people on lower incomes or those already in debt.

“The nature of the economic crisis is that many peoples’ jobs are at risk, and that applies just as much to people earning high incomes as it does to low earners. At the same time, many costs of living such as food and energy are still on the rise, so most of us are likely to feel the squeeze to some extent.

“For that reason it’s essential that anyone who is currently struggling financially, particularly those struggling with debt, seeks the relevant advice as soon as possible.”

The Debt Advisers Direct spokesperson added that there are a range of debt solutions available to help people in various financial situations. “For those with a number of debts, a debt consolidation loan could be the answer,” he said.

Debt consolidation involves grouping all of your debts into convenient single monthly payments. It can also reduce interest rates if you are consolidating high-APR forms of credit such as credit cards, and it can allow you to reschedule your payments over a longer period, making your monthly payments lower. However, this may result in paying more interest in the long term.

“Alternatively, for those who want a less formal debt solution, a debt management plan can reduce your monthly payments to an amount you can afford, as well as freezing interest and other charges.

“Or for people with debts of over £15,000, an IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) is an alternative to bankruptcy which could help you keep your home and other assets.”

The spokesperson added: “Above all, it’s very important that anyone struggling with their debts seeks the appropriate advice immediately, because it’s very possible that things are going to get even tighter in the coming months.”

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There Are Many Myths About Credit Repair Some True Some Not We Will Attempt To Try And Clear Those Up Here

As a large Credit Repair Company, We feel the pain of negative press every day. So in an effort to help many consumers that could in fact benefit from Credit Repair we are going to address many of the myths that are out there about Credit Repair.

Myth #1 Credit Repair is Illegal.

The truth: Credit Repair is in fact so legal that congress passed a law called the Credit Repair Organization Act or CROA it can be viewed herehttp://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/croa/croa.shtm

Myth #2 Credit Repair Companies are all scams

The truth: Many Credit Repair companies in fact are very good and reputable companies as in all professions a few bad apples have given the rest a bad name. In fact our company Revolution Credit Solutions Inc. has offered our services Pro Bono to victims of these bad companies. See press release here http://express-press-release.net/53/Revolution%20Credit%20Solutions…

Myth #3 Anything a Credit Repair Company can do for you, You can do for yourself.

The truth: While you can certainly dispute items on your own, many consumers lack the knowledge about the laws in place to protect them from unfair credit reporting. Many Credit Repair Companies have an extensive knowledge of these laws and the requirements imposed on the CRA’s by them. So, while self help is certainly possible, Credit Repair is not an easy task especially in unexperienced hands. For those consumers who want a “do it yourself” solution to Credit Repair, the first step is to read the FCRA. You can read it here http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/031224fcra.pdf as a matter of fact, everything we do as a Credit Repair Company is done from the FCRA. Unfortunatly for most consumers the law is very hard to interpret, and they are unable to do it them self. That’s where the value of a company like Revolution Credit Solutions Inc. lies. We use no special tricks or tactics. We merely follow the law and request that the consumers creditors and the Credit Bureaus do the same.

Myth #4 Credit Bureaus do a good job of being accurate, so there is no need for Credit Repair Companies.

The Truth: In spite of section 607b of the FCRA which requires the Credit Bureaus to maintain accurate files on consumers. Over 79% of Consumers Credit Reports and thats according to the P.I.R.G. ( Public Interest Research Group) a Government agency. See it here http://static.uspirg.org/usp.asp?id2=13649&id3=USPIRG

Myth #5 Credit Bureaus want to help you fix your credit by providing on line access to your report free and allowing you to dispute items electronically through their system.

The truth: Credit Bureaus make money, and lots of it by reporting and selling information the more information the more money. So by removing inaccurate or unverifiable information the Credit Bureaus lose money. The only reason they allow you to access your report free once a year is because they are forced to by the government, and as to their electronic disputes, they leave much to be desired. All too often the Credit Bureaus will make a great effort to discourage consumers from disputing inaccurate and unverifiable information because not only does it cost them income by removing these items, but they must also pay a full time staff of untold numbers to address these disputes, costing them much more money.

I hope this article has helped you have a better understanding of how a Credit Repair Company can help you in your quest for the American Dream. If you would like more information please contact us at 1-888-852-0005 and we will be happy to answer your questions.

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U.S. Marine Wins $5,000 Ultimate Home Entertainment System From Pioneer Services

Pioneer Services, the military banking division of MidCountry Bank, announced today the grand prize winner of the“Sensory Overload Military Sweepstakes.” Lance Corporal Brandon Unis of the United States Marine Corps, currently stationed in Georgia, has won a brand new home entertainment system, including a 52-inch Bravia® LCD Flat Panel HDTV, a Blu-Ray player, home theatre receiver, PlayStation® 3, and $200 in gift cards for games or movies.

Pioneer Services launched the Sensory Overload Military Sweepstakes in June 2008, for active-duty and career-retired service members, and military spouses. There were also three monthly winners during the sweepstakes period, each of whom received a 16-gigabyte Apple iPod Touch, valued at $399 each.

The Sensory Overload Military Sweepstakes is one way that Pioneer Services, which exclusively serves the military community, is thanking service members and military families for their sacrifice and efforts on behalf of the country.

Pioneer Services, the military banking division of MidCountry Bank, provides financial services, personal loans, and award-winning financial education to members of the Armed Forces. For more than 20 years, Pioneer Services has been a leader in military lending, and supports military families and communities through a variety of partnerships, programs, and sponsorships.

(c) 2008 Pioneer Services. No purchase necessary to enter or win. For a complete list of rules and details, visit SOsweepstakes.com. Sweepstakes ended on September 2, 2008. “iPod” is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. “Bravia” and “PlayStation” are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. This Promotion has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple Inc. or Sony Corporation.

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M&S Money Is Offering M&S Credit Cardholders The Chance To Win £10,000 To Spend In Marks Spencer

M&S Money have announced that customers who hold a credit card with the financial services company will automatically be entered into the draw to become an M&S Points Millionaire.

Customers can be entered into the draw by either buying one or more selected products from M&S Money, registering to manage their account online, and/or opting to stop receiving paper statements. Customers who purchase insurance, travel money, personal loans or make an investment with M&S Money stand a chance of winning.

As well as the one million M&S points on offer, five runner up prizes of 100,000 M&S points, worth £10,000 each, are also available to be won.

Andy Ripley, Deputy Chief Executive of M&S Money commented, “Following on from the success of our first millionaire prize draw earlier this year, we’ve extended the prize draw to include a wider range of products and ways to enter. Not only can our customers bag themselves some quality products but they also have a chance of winning 1 million points, worth £10,000, and really reap the rewards of their M&S cards.”

M&S Money are also offering five runners up prices of 100,000 points worth £1,000 to be spent in store.

This is a limited offer, between and including the dates of 4 September 2008 and 29 October 2008. The winners will be drawn at random on 21 November 2008.

About M&S Money
M&S Money (originally called Marks & Spencer Financial Services) was founded in 1985 as the financial services division of Marks and Spencer Group plc. The company is now a top-ten credit card provider and the second-largest travel money retailer in the UK. M&S Money also offers insurance for homes, cars, travel, pets and weddings, as well as loans, savings and investments.

In November 2004, Marks & Spencer sold M&S Money to HSBC, one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations with over 9,500 offices in 85 countries and territories. The business continues to operate under the M&S Money brand, with an executive committee comprising an equal number of representatives from HSBC and Marks & Spencer.

The company employs 1,200 staff at its headquarters in Chester, delivering personal financial services to its customers, reflecting the core values of Marks & Spencer – quality, value, service, innovation and trust.

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Debtadvisersdirect.co.uk Remind Borrowers That An IVA Can Represent A Straightforward, Reliable Solution To Their Financial Problems

In response to economic data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), debt experts DebtAdvisersDirect.co.uk remind consumers that the right debt solution can help them regain control of their debts, despite the unpredictability of the UK’s finances.

On 30 September, the ONS confirmed that GDP growth (Gross Domestic Product – a measure of economic activity) had been 0.0% in the second quarter of 2008, down from the 0.3% reported for the first quarter.

In other words, although the UK economy isn’t in recession (usually defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth), nor is it experiencing growth – the usual state of affairs under ‘normal’ circumstances. More worrying yet, the economy would have to decline only slightly for the remaining six months of the year to be officially classed as ‘in recession’.

“It may be hard for people to see such macro-economic statistics as relevant to them as individuals,” stated a spokesperson for Debt Advisers Direct, “but the impact is all too likely to make itself felt in the average UK citizen’s daily life. In general, a slowing economy means everyone has less money: not just employees and employers, but the government itself. Given the rapid rises we’ve seen in the cost of living, any threat to a household’s income should be taken extremely seriously.

“People with high levels of debt, struggling to keep up with their debt repayments, are particularly likely to worry about the effects of a slowing economy. There may be little they can do to influence their utility bills, the price of food, or even their job security, but there may be something they can do about their debts – whatever debts an individual is facing, if they become unmanageable, there are a range of debt solutions available that could help reduce their payments and bring their debts under control.”

For people with unsecured debts of around £15,000 or more, an IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) may be the most appropriate debt solution. An alternative to bankruptcy, an IVA is a form of insolvency that helps people bring their monthly debt repayments back down to an affordable level and – in the longer term – clear those debts entirely.

“An IVA is a legally binding agreement between an individual and their creditors. In brief, the individual agrees to make fixed monthly payments for a set period (normally five years), based on what they can afford to pay after taking essential living expenses into account. If they own their home, they may also be required to free up equity in their home (towards the end of the IVA) to increase the amount they can pay their creditors.

“It’s a big commitment, but their creditors will, in return, agree to freeze interest, not to take any legal action (such as pushing for bankruptcy) and to write off any outstanding debt once the IVA has successfully concluded. So an IVA can deliver clear benefits to borrowers and creditors alike.

“Finally, should the borrower’s circumstances change during the course of the IVA, they can request an ‘IVA variation’ – it’s in the creditors’ interests as well as the individual’s to make sure the IVA succeeds, so they may well agree to alter the terms of the agreement if this is clearly the best way to bring the IVA to a successful conclusion.”

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Consumers Should Realise How Unlikely They Are To Lose Their Savings If A Bank Fails

Responding to recent troubles in the banking world, debt management company Gregory Pennington reminds consumers that a bank’s issues do not actually put most people’s savings at risk.

“Some may be tempted to keep a close eye on their bank’s finances, waiting to withdraw all their money at the first sign of trouble,” said a spokesperson for the debt management company. “Of course it’s vital to protect your investments, but it’s also important to understand the extent of the protection offered to normal savers.”

“First of all, troubled banks don’t necessarily ‘go bust’, as some headlines may infer. In the case of Bradford and Bingley, for example, their website informs visitors that ‘Bradford & Bingley’s branches and savings customers are now part of Abbey and Santander. One of the largest banking groups in the world with more branches in the world than any other international bank.’ For their customers, it’s ‘business as usual’.

“Second,” the spokesperson for the debt management company continued, “there’s the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), the UK’s statutory fund of last resort for customers of authorised financial services firms. The FSCS means that the first £35,000 of each customer’s savings with a firm are guaranteed – even if the company can no longer repay that money, it would be refunded in full by the FSCS.”

Savers with deposits over £35,000 may still receive some of their remaining money, but that would not be guaranteed, and would depend on how the insolvency process plays out.

Naturally, many people with savings of over £35,000 may wish to keep their money with various different banks. Someone with £70,000, for example, could split it equally between two different banks and have the entire sum guaranteed.

“Note, however, that the FSCS compensates people ‘per authorised institution’ – many banks are in fact subsidiaries of other financial institutions, so someone who split £70,000 between two banks that share the same parent company would be guaranteed only £35,000 of their money if that parent company was declared insolvent.”

As a debt management organisation, Gregory Pennington focuses on helping people manage and clear their debts: “In the vast majority of cases, it makes financial sense for borrowers to get out of debt before they start saving, as debts tend to gather much more interest than savings.”

The company does, however, also provide advice aimed at helping people stay out of debt in future. “While some people face debt problems because they’ve financially over-committed themselves over a period of time, others find themselves pushed into debt by a sudden change in circumstances (sickness, for example, or unemployment). Without some ‘rainy day’ money set aside, it’s all too easy to accumulate small debts which grow into large debts as they struggle to fund debt repayments at the same time as keeping up with their normal financial commitments.

“Whether it’s a few hundred pounds or many thousands, saving for the future is one of the single most important things an individual can do in order to safeguard their financial stability in the future. Since we advise people to start saving as soon as they’ve settled their debts, it’s worrying to think that the last year’s events in the banking industry may have put some people off the idea of saving. Aside from compensating people whose banks run into trouble, the FSCS serves another vital function: giving would-be savers the confidence that comes with knowing their investment is protected.”

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The Money Saving Calendar Informs Consumers How To Organize Their Life To Be More Thrifty During These Harsh Economic Times

While billionaires are baying for their bailouts, the average person got left behind, again. Facing spiraling fuel and food prices, threats of foreclosure, and uncertain job prospects, middle-class and working people feel trapped—and left out.

But there’s hope: Each month, The Money Saving Calendar from AdamsLLC offers…
• Green energy tips to lower not only your carbon footprint, but also your energy bills (examples: in the winter, leave the oven door open after you’ve been baking…use insulating ceramic paint—developed by NASA—to lower your energy cost every time you paint a room…install energy-saving film to reduce heat loss from leaky windows and doors)
• Money-saving tips in food, appliances, using outside contractors, and more (examples: when your plumber needs to dig a hole, get the location and dimensions and hire someone cheaper… buy food items at the dollar store
• Businesses you can start on a shoestring: zero to $2000 typical startup cost (from caring for elders to stenciling address numbers on mailboxes to installing Christmas lights)
• Home improvement tips to increase the value of your home—and your quality of life—while spending little or nothing (examples: put a radiant heat barrier in your attic to slash air conditioning costs…buy new faces for your kitchen cabinets instead of replacing the entire cabinet system, and install them yourself to save thousands of dollars)
• Checklists of money-saving activities you can do every month
• Even a place to write personal and financial goals each month

Each month includes these sections: Money making opportunities, money saving ideas, items that pay for themselves, home improvement tips, best bargain products, personal and financial goals, and a repeating checklist of money-saving things to do.

“A wall calendar is something people look at every single day, and the message is reinforced every time,” says Adams LLC President Dale Adams“For a lot of people, it presents information in a way that’s much easier to absorb than from a book. The calendar makes it easy to actually take action to improve your life and your wallet.”

One thing you won’t find inside The Money Saving Calendar: pictures. As frugal as his customers, Adams sees no reason to spend extra printing costs for pretty pictures, and this way he can not only provide more useful information, but also keep the price down to just $7 plus $3 US shipping. For the same reason, the calendar is only available directly from the company: visit www.adamsllc.org, or call 870-391-2231.

Journalists: Adams is an author and inventor, and is available for interviews.

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Financial Solutions Company Think Money Welcomes The FSA’s Move To Guarantee Deposits Of Up To £50,000 Through The FSCS

Welcoming the changes to the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme), financial solutions company Think Money commented that any move which strengthened consumer confidence in the financial industry was a step in the right direction.

As of 7th October 2008, the compensation limit for bank deposits is £50,000 (and £100,000 for customers with joint accounts), a substantial increase from the £35,000 limit set on 1st October 2007.

“As a financial solutions company, we welcome this move by the FSA (Financial Services Authority) to reinforce the financial stability of the UK,” a spokesperson for Think Money commented. “In today’s economic climate, it’s vital that consumers know their money is safe. As the case of Northern Rock demonstrated, any doubts about its security can rapidly lead to a self-perpetuating sense of crisis which benefits no-one.

“Furthermore, we also see consumer confidence as an end in itself. As individuals, the more we trust in the stability of our financial institutions, the more faith we have in the future health of our nation’s economy. Simply knowing that our money is secure gives us the confidence to act responsibly, saving for the future rather than living for today. Given the recent moves by the Irish and Greek governments, this move also serves to keep money in the country by simply removing the need to move it abroad.”

As a financial solutions provider, Think Money provides a range of debt, loan and mortgage solutions, as well as a unique managed bank account service.

“But we are also called on to advise individuals on a wide range of financial matters, from managing their debts to budgeting. This is a free service we provide, and the FSCS guarantee helps us carry it out effectively: effective money management is an essential part of avoiding debt in the future, and the FSA’s safeguard means the vast majority of the UK population can have confidence that any problems their bank or building society may encounter needn’t be a threat to their personal savings.”

In the near future, the FSA will also, as its website reports: ‘consult on further reforms, including considering whether the compensation limit should be higher still; the speed with which the FSCS can pay compensation; and the rules surrounding whether deposits are covered on a legal entity, a ‘brand’ or an ‘account’ basis’.

“These are important issues, even the ones which affect only a relatively small proportion of the population – there may not be many people with savings of over £50,000, for example, but it’s important they feel they can safely keep their money in the UK, rather than moving it abroad.

“After all, it’s in everyone’s interests to have a financial system we can all have faith in. Banks themselves are safer when people realise there’s no reason to panic – and fostering a greater sense of security among financial institutions is a fundamental part of bringing an end to the credit crunch, so lenders can get back to lending at levels which promote economic growth across the country.”

Think Money (www.thinkmoney.com) are a financial solutions company based in Salford Quays, Manchester. They specialise in a wide range of debt advice and solutions, including debt management plans, debt consolidation, IVAs (Individual Voluntary Arrangements) and Trust Deeds.

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Quest CE Hires Jim Hoehn As Vice President Of Business Development

Quest CE’s President & CEO, Alan Krenke recently announced the hiring of Jim Hoehn as Vice President of Business Development for Quest. Jim brings over 15 years of Sales and Relationship Management experience to Quest working previously for Principal Financial Group as Regional Director, Goldman Sachs as Regional Vice President , Curian Capital as Regional Business Consultant and Strong Capital Management as Regional Vice President.

Jim received both his undergraduate degree and MBA from the University of Wisconsin. Additionally Jim holds the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) professional designation.

Jim will be working directly with Quest’s Sales and Marketing Team to aggressively expand Quest’s market share in the continuing education and compliance education arena.

Jim resides in Slinger, WI with his wife and two daughters (ages 5&7). An avid sports fan, he follows both the Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers closely. He and his family also take advantage of the many outdoor activities Wisconsin has to offer.

About Quest CE:
Quest CE offers customized continuing education and online compliance management programs to financial service firms across the country. With over 100 clients in the insurance, mutual fund, and banking industries, Quest has the resources and expertise necessary to create and administer successful training programs for organizations of all sizes.

For more information about Quest CE you may also contact Quest CE at 877-593-3366 or visit our website at www.questce.com.

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Venulum’s Master Fund Has Risen Up The Bloomberg Ranks To Third Place Overall

Venulum, a multinational private wealth management firm, has reported that its Master Fund, consisting of Venulum Property Investment Limited, Venulum LLC and Venulum Property Limited, is now ranked third by Bloomberg across all mortgage backed arbitrage funds in all jurisdictions.

The excellent returns produced by Venulum Property Investment helped lift the overall performance across the funds. The performance was considered to be a strong reflection of the group’s strength by Giles Cadman, Chairman of The Venulum Group.

“We have an established team who utilise their skill and experience to create value,” Mr Cadman explained. “In rising markets it can be very easy to make strong returns, but when market conditions deteriorate you need to have the ability to add value. We often get criticised by our competitors in the property market for not taking enough risk, but as the last few months have proved, markets can change and wipe out value very quickly.”

CFO of Venulum Group, Richard Lowden, was instrumental in the listing of Venulum’s funds with Bloomberg. “Venulum is a private company owned by a family trust and we invest on behalf of private individuals, so the opportunities to compare our returns with competing funds are limited” he explains. “When our administrators, Folio suggested we register our funds with Bloomberg we thought it would be a great opportunity. The listings are not in the public domain because the funds are privately held, but brokers and independent financial advisors who subscribe to a Bloomberg terminal have access.”

The process involves significant due diligence carried out by Bloomberg on Venulum and the Private Placement Memorandums of the funds, and it is then the responsibility of Folio to update the monthly share prices.

Mr Lowden is confident that the funds will hold up well in the downturn. “Our wine business is run by exceptional people who have a very clear investment strategy to take advantage of price movements and we have taken the risk out of our property business by focusing on the public sector housing market and investing exceptionally cautiously over the past two years, in expectation of the current downturn.”

About Venulum:
The Venulum Group is a multinational private wealth management firm headquartered in the British Virgin Islands. The Group manages the wealth of high net worth individuals, and specialises in alternative investments often not available to the general public. Venulum helps high net worth individuals balance their portfolios.

The Venulum Group was formed in 2002, and has expanded to include offices in four countries, with service offices in a further two. Since 2002 Venulum’s client base has expanded rapidly, and now has a substantial number of United States based clients.

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We Have All Seen The Credit Monitoring Commercials With The Funny Jingles, But Do You Know Who Is Behind Them?

Its 1:30 A.M. and your watching your favorite late night program. All of a sudden there are singing pirates telling you that if you are not careful, you will be serving fish to tourists. Sound familiar? So, who is selling you this information that could protect you from being a fish waiter, working for less than minimum wage? Thats right, the same 3 companies that provides it to potetial creditors and employers. Trans Union, Equifax and Experian. So what are they saying with these commercials? Our interpetation is that you better watch out because if you don’t, we will say anything about you we want, no matter if its true or not! And by the way, if you want us to watch your back and protect you from hearsay, it’s going to cost you $29.95 per month.

It seems as if everywhere you turn they are trying to sell you a credit bureau. And why should you even bother checking your credit Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian are supposed to be good companies that follow the rules and only report true and accurate information. Why should you worry? And why are these companies telling you to worry? Because in fact, the information on 79% of Credit Bureaus is innacurate acording to PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) Seriously innacurate enough to cost you a Job or not to be approved for a loan. So what do you do? First of all, don’t pay them a dime. You are entitled by law to a free credit report!

It is the Credit Bureaus responsability to maintain complete and accurate information in their files. (Section 607b of the FCRA) So why dont they do this? Because they are for profit corporations who depend on the negative information for profits. In todays age of technology they could perform regular audits very easily but they dont, Instead they make the consumers do their job for them by requiring them to perform tedious tasks when errors are discovered. This is the reason Credit Repair has become so neccesary for many americans trying to live the American dream. In fact if it wasnt for the good Credit Repair companies out there many consumers would remain victims of this nations broken credit reporting system.

So next time you see one of those funny commercials dont laugh and sing along, feel insulted and hurt because what they are doing is laughing and making fun of the American consumer, and clearly pointing out how faulted our credit reporting system is.

Via EPR Network
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Venulum’s September Client Was A Great Success With Over 40 Clients And Their Partners Of The Private Wealth Manager Attending From All Across America

The Venulum September client conference was held on Friday morning and set out to clarify Venulum’s strategy for 2009 together with a review of performance of the Mutual Wine and Property Funds in 2008. Giles Cadman, Chairman of the group, was pleased to announce the overall returns for the Group had exceeded 15% in 2007 and was positive about 2008-2009 in light of the opportunities presenting themselves because of the deteriorating economic climate in the US and the impact felt in the UK and Europe.

“We are well placed to take advantage of the weakening property market in the UK as we have strong liquidity in the Property Fund,” explained Cadman, “We have been waiting for three years for the property market to cool so that we can acquire property within our yield criteria of between 7% and 9%.” The property team are now analysing three opportunities where values have fallen by over 50% in the past twelve months.

Rob Spalding, Business Development Officer from Pensco Trust Co was also a speaker at the conference. Pensco started trading in 1989 in New Hampshire and are an independent custodian of self directed IRA’s, specialising in non traded assets. Rob Spalding explained that as a regulated IRA custodian, Pensco are independent and are never in conflict with investors’ goals because they do not sell investment products nor provide investment or tax advice.

“At Pensco Trust, we combine proprietary technology, built specifically to facilitate smooth, safe processing of investment transactions with the greatest depth of in-house expertise in the industry” explained Spalding, “Clients benefit from our expertise on non-traditional IRA investing that comes from our singular focus. We are proud of our philosophy of sharing this expertise with our clients and prospects by providing free education on self directed IRA investing.”

Daniel Cann, Director of Folio Administrators Limited was also on hand to answer specific questions from clients throughout the weekend. Folio administers all of the Venulum funds. Having been founded in 2001, they have grown to be the largest fund service provider in the British Virgin Islands, currently providing full administration services to over 130 funds with approximately $5.5 billion of net assets under administration.

Daniel commented “We focus on tailoring our services to match individual requirements by employing specialist, highly qualified accountants and administrators. We utilize the best in fund administration solutions with PFS-Paxus and Bloomberg.”

The second session of the Friday morning presentation focussed on Venulum Wine Ltd and the different ways that Venulum invest in wine. “Wine is an asset class that Venulum believe is perfect for use in IRA and 401K investment vehicles,” Giles Cadman explained, “It can produce strong consistent returns as it benefits from diminishing supply as it gets drunk whilst demand increases as it improves with age.” Venulum Wine Limited has a team of experts and consultants who attend the annual tastings in Bordeaux and Burgundy to unearth those wines they think will provide the strongest investment returns. The company offers clients the opportunity to invest with different levels of gearing, from a straight forward full physical purchase to instalment contracts, En-Primeur agreements or forward purchase agreements.

Venulum are already planning conferences for 2009 on the West Coast and back at Greenbrier in the fall.

About Venulum:
The Venulum Group is a multinational private wealth management firm headquartered in the British Virgin Islands. The Group manages the wealth of high net worth individuals, and specialises in alternative investments often not available to the general public. Venulum helps high net worth individuals balance their portfolios.

The Venulum Group was formed in 2002 and has expanded to include offices in five countries with service offices in a further two. Since 2002 Venulum’s client base has expanded rapidly, and we now have a substantial number of United States based clients.

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Despite The Issues In The Housing And Mortgage Markets, Many Thousands Of People Are Still Going Ahead And Buying Their First Property

As experts name 2010 as the year house prices may start to recover, financial solutions company Think Money points out that buying a home is still widely regarded as a positive move, with 17,300 loans granted to first-time buyers in July, according to Council of Mortgage Lenders figures.

Despite the difficulties in the mortgage market, and despite worries about the future of house prices, recent research carried out by the Co-operative Bank and Places for People revealed that the majority (54%) of first-time buyers questioned felt that renting was ‘throwing money down the drain’.

“Whatever issues the housing and mortgage markets is facing,” said a Think Money spokesperson, “it seems British consumers are still very much aware of the benefits of homeownership – and the drawbacks of the alternatives.”

However worrying the thought of losing money on a property, it’s important to remember that the alternative isn’t free: “While homeowners face a possible (or in today’s market, probable) loss on their property, anyone renting a property can be certain their rent money is gone for good. Plus, the cyclicality of the housing market means a homeowner’s loss is likely to be only temporary, as long as they’re not forced to sell before house prices recover.”

These factors go a long way toward explaining why so many tenants remain determined to become homeowners despite the troubles in the mortgage market.

“Assuming the Nationwide Building Society’s chief executive Graham Beale is right and we see signs of recovery in the housing market in 2010, it clearly makes sense for would-be first-time buyers to keep a close eye on house prices, the mortgage market, and available properties. It’s true that they may be able to buy for a lower price if they wait longer, but it’s also possible that house prices will pick up sooner and faster than anyone expects, in which case they could end up ‘missing the boat’ and paying more.”

Furthermore, recent data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders reveals that the average first-time buyer is laying down a deposit of over £19,000 – 15% of the property’s value. “This is an interesting figure, for two reasons,” the Think Money spokesperson commented. “First, it indicates that the average first-time buyer is buying a property now worth around £125,000. Second, if (as Graham Beale predicts) the peak-to-trough drop turns out to be around 25%, an average ‘first-time buyer’ property could drop further, to around £105,000.

“These are only approximate ‘ball-park’ figures, but that £20,000 drop from today’s prices is only around £5,000 more than the cost of spending £600 per month on rent for the next two years.

“Although £5,000 is a lot of money, it seems many first-time buyers do see this as a price worth paying to own a property which should then start appreciating in value. For thousands of tenants, the problems in today’s housing market clearly represent an opportunity to get a foot on the housing ladder which they don’t feel they can pass up – as long as they can find a mortgage.”

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M&S Money Credit Card Holder Margaret Claxton Is Celebrating After Winning A Caribbean Cruise

M&S Money has announced the name of the lucky customer who has won the latest M&S Money prize draw to win a Caribbean cruise.

Retired Margaret Claxton, of Heswall, The Wirral, will set sail on the P&O cruise ship Ventura after scooping the top prize in the competition organised by M&S Money.

The prize follows a competition in which anyone using an M&S Credit Card at M&Sstores or on the M&S website between 2nd April and 1st June 2008 was entered into a draw to win the cruise. Mrs Claxton used her card at the M&S store in Chester.

Margaret said: “I’ve never won anything like this – it’s amazing. I can’t wait to enjoy my first cruise with a close friend. It will be lovely to soak up the sun.”

This draw is just one of a series of competitions for M&S credit card customers and comes in addition to earning Marks & Spencer points and 0% interest on all shopping everywhere for six months from account opening.

The competitions are scheduled to continue at M&S Money, with the company currently offering their cardholders the chance to win one million M&S points worth £10,000. Cardholders are automatically entered into the prize draw upon purchase of financial services from Marks & Spencer. The offer ends on 29th October.

M&S Money was voted best credit card provider in the Your Money Awards 2008, which recognise excellence in online & direct service provision. The accolade means that M&S Money has won the award three years in a row.

About M&S Money:
M&S Money (originally called Marks & Spencer Financial Services) was founded in 1985 as the financial services division of Marks and Spencer Group plc. The company is now a top-ten credit card provider and the second largest travel money retailer in the UK. M&S Money also offers insurance for homes, cars, travel, pets and weddings, as well as loans, savings and investments.

In November 2004, Marks & Spencer sold M&S Money to HSBC, one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations with over 9,500 offices in 85 countries and territories. The business continues to operate under the M&S Money brand, with an executive committee comprising an equal number of representatives from HSBC and Marks & Spencer.

The company employs 1,200 staff at its headquarters in Chester, delivering personal financial services to its customers, reflecting the core values of Marks & Spencer – quality, value, service, innovation and trust.

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M&S Money Has Announced A Brand New 0 Per Cent Offer Exclusive To New Credit Card Customers

M&S Money, the financial services division of Marks & Spencer, has announced an exclusive offer on its credit cards for new customers.

The offer, which began at the start of September, provides new M&S Money credit card holders with 0% interest on all shopping for ten months from the account opening and 0% interest for six months on balance transfers made within six months of the account opening.

New M&S Money Credit Card customers will also benefit from earning M&S points with every use of the card as well as well as no cash advance fee and 55 days interest free when buying M&S Travel Money with the card.

Brendan Cook, M&S Money Chief Executive said, “This new card means that M&S are now one of the few providers in the market to be offering excellent 0% deals on both purchases and balance transfers. This card not only has a competitive APR but also benefits from the M&S Loyalty Scheme, making it one of the most attractive credit cards in the market.

“Additionally, whilst a number of other providers have recently been raising their interest rates and shortening their 0% offers, we’re delighted to be bucking this trend – at a time when consumers will appreciate this the most.”

The credit card offer from M&S Money also allows customers to conveniently manage their account online, with additional security from Spend Safe fraud protection. M&S Money has also guaranteed savings of 8% on holidays with the exclusive travel club.

About M&S Money:
M&S Money (originally called Marks & Spencer Financial Services) was founded in 1985 as the financial services division of Marks and Spencer Group plc. The company is now a top ten credit card provider and the second-largest travel money retailer in the UK. M&S Money also offers insurance for homes, cars, travel, pets and weddings, as well as loans, savings and investments.

In November 2004, Marks & Spencer sold M&S Money to HSBC, one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations with over 9,500 offices in 85 countries and territories. The business continues to operate under the M&S Money brand, with an executive committee comprising an equal number of representatives from HSBC and Marks & Spencer.

The company employs 1,200 staff at its headquarters in Chester, delivering personal financial services to its customers, reflecting the core values of Marks & Spencer – quality, value, service, innovation and trust.

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Debt Advisers Direct Have Emphasised The Importance Of Joining A Pension Scheme As A Means Of Securing An Income And Staying Out Of Debt When It Comes To Retirement

Responding to a recent report regarding the growing pensions divide in the UK, Debt Advisers Direct (http://www.debtadvisersdirect.co.uk) advised workers to ensure they are planning well financially for the future, and warned anyone approaching retirement with debts to take action as soon as possible.

The report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed a growing gap in pensions contributions between the public and private sectors. Private sector membership of final-salary pension schemes – in which companies pay a percentage of the employee’s final salary throughout retirement – fell from 3 million in 2006 to 2.7 million in 2007.

Instead, many private sector employers are opting for money purchase schemes, in which workers pay into a retirement fund which is usually invested in the stock market. When the employee retires, the fund is used to buy an annuity – a financial product that provides an income for the rest of their life. The size of the pension depends on how well the retirement fund performs and on the annuity rates available at retirement.

The public sector, on the other hand, showed a rise from 5.1 million to 5.2 million members of final-salary pension schemes last year.

The statistics highlight a clear difference between the two types of pension. The ONS report shows that on final-salary schemes, workers paid an average of 4.9 per cent and employers 15.6 per cent of the worker’s salary in the last year. For money purchase schemes, workers paid an average of 2.7 per cent and employers 6.5 per cent.

Many experts agree that workers should save at least 10% per cent of their total income to ensure an adequate income throughout retirement.

A spokesperson for Debt Advisers Direct said: “The findings highlight two important things: firstly, the need for workers to save adequately for their future, and secondly, the importance of being on the right pension scheme.

“The statistics show that final-salary schemes contribute over 20 per cent of the worker’s salary, whereas money purchase schemes contribute just over 9 per cent. It’s better than having no pension at all, but workers should consider whether a money purchase scheme will cover them fully for retirement.

“Most people do not usually associate retirement with debt, but in fact statistics show that increasing numbers of people are now retiring with debts to their name, or falling into debt because their pension doesn’t cover their outgoings.

“Our advice to people with debt problems is to seek expert debt advice as soon as possible, before they get too close to retirement age. There may a number of debt solutions that could help them clear their debts, and in general, the sooner they act, the more options they’ll have – as they approach retirement age, they may find they simply no longer have access to certain debt solutions.”

As long as the individual acts in time, a debt management plan or debt consolidationloan could simplify their finances and reduce their monthly outgoings by spreading out debt repayments over a longer period of time (although, in general, the longer the repayment terms, the more they are likely to pay in interest).

For people with debts of around £15,000 or more, an IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) may be more suitable. An IVA is a legally-binding agreement between an individual and their creditors, in which they repay only what they can afford over a period of (normally) five years. Once the IVA is successfully completed, the remaining debt is written off.

Lasting for a specified time period, an IVA can be a particularly suitable debt solution for people approaching a deadline such as retirement. However, IVAs do represent a substantial financial commitment and can require homeowners to free up some equity. As with any debt solution, an IVA should never be entered into until the borrower has discussed all the alternatives – and the pros and cons of each – with a professional debt adviser.

Debtadvisersdirect.co.uk helps people with financial difficulties, providing free advice and tailor-made debt solutions.

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The High Energy Environment At The Junior Achievement Of Orange County’s 5th Annual Stock Market Challenge Gives Young Participants A Real World Understanding Of The Financial Markets

The Newport Beach Marriott will be transformed into Wall Street as Junior Achievement (JA) of Orange County hosts the 5th Annual Stock Market Challenge. This fast paced evening of trading excitement will help raise money for JA’s economic education programs and provide high school participants with a hands-on financial education.

Maria Hall-Brown from KOCE will be the emcee as high school students from Corona Del Mar, Newport Beach, and Santa Ana to learn about the stock market by being part of a competing stock trading team.

Vince Shorb, founder of the National Youth Financial Educators Council and a Junior Achievement Board of Directors member, states “With the recent volatility of our financial markets it is vitally important that today’s youth are empowered with a deeper understanding of how the stock market operates.”

Major supporters of JA’s Stock Market Challenge are Wescom Credit Union – Presenting Sponsor, Wells Fargo – Opening Bell Sponsor, 3M – Closing Bell Sponsor, Comerica – Dinner Sponsor, Sam’s Club – Media Sponsor, Grant Thornton, LLP – Marketing Sponsor, and Best Buy – Prize Sponsor. Some of the participating companies are: Citizen Business Bank, Deloitte & Touche, LLP, Irwin Union Bank, Mendoza Berger & Company LLP, Mullin TBG, Orange County Board of Education, ClearLight Partners, LLC, US Bank, and Washington Mutual, Bank of the West and Ross Equipment and Process Solutions Co.

JA Worldwide is the world’s largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. For more information on Junior Achievement programs contact Christine Shewbridge, President of JA of Orange County at (949) 515-1998. http://orangecounty.ja.org

The National Youth Financial Educators Council empowers today’s youth with real world financial education and entrepreneurship skills through edu-tainment products and events that are designed specifically for young adults. http://www.NYFEC.org

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