Tag Archives: Personal Finance

Personal Finance

Payday Loans Paid Enter the UK Payday Lending Market

Paydayloanspaid.co.uk has entered the payday loans online market in the United Kingdom. With a team of financial experts who bring with them an inordinate amount of experience in the unsecured loans sector in the UK, they aim to bring something different into the challenging internet, payday lending sector.

Head of online operations, Jenny Statham explained, ‘’Many payday loan applications are declined from a number of the main lenders in the United Kingdom due to their reliance on passing one application. Our payday loans are slightly different in that we can use our strong relationships with some of the payday lenders to ensure the majority of the applications are approved.”.

Payday loans are a somewhat sensitive subject and have featured heavily in the mainstream British press in recent times, but it appears they could be featuring in the UK lending sector for some time. With some APR’s of payday loans surpassing 4 figures, they have – in some quarters – been rightly criticised. Jenny Statham added, ‘’ we try to make sure any potential applicant are fully aware of the associated costs that come with the payday loan agreement they enter into.  Our advice to people who are considering entering into a payday loan agreement with  a lender they have sourced through Paydayloanspaid.co.uk is to primarily focus on the repayment terms, if they are unable to meet the repayments costs then it is important they do not take on the payday loan.”

With a plethora of payday loan operators frequenting the internet it can be difficult to decide what lender to choose from.  Jenny Statham advised, ‘’if you are looking to secure a payday loan, it is important not to use the first lender you find. Spend some time researching the different providers to ensure you get the very best deal. As there are so many in competition with each other now, there could be some great deals to be found out there”.

Paydayloanspaid.co.uk is one of countless payday loan lenders in the United Kingdom in what some commentators are calling a ‘’saturated market”. They hope, however, to hit the ground running with an easy to use online portal, quality customer service and modest acceptance rates for new applications. Jenny concluded, ‘’we hope to attract people to our online portal who may not have used a payday loan, but have the capacity to service the loan, as new applications will typically have a greater chance of being accepted for a payday loan through our approval system”.­­­­­

Via EPR Network
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Paydayloansavailable.com Aiming to Decrease Application Times

Paydayloansavailable.com is the latest online payday lender to have adapted an online lending portal to service UK residents who may be in need of an unsecured lending facility. With the onset of broker style lending,  payday loans are now being processed online in the UK by many service providers using state of the art ‘’Pingtree” technology, working in unison with the UK’s leading payday lenders, and the application facility now being operated by Paydayloansavailable.com is certainly no exception.

The application harnesses secure technology to enable new and existing applicants to push their details through to a panel of lenders after submitting one application form online. The details are transmitted through to the lenders via the application and the subsequent decision is made by one of the chosen payday loan lenders. Jenny Davis, applications manager at Paydayloansavailable.com explained, ‘’we have decided to integrate a Pingtree style application within the site to give applicants a credible opportunity to access funds. The main advantage we have is that all of our applications are submitted to different lenders. The payday providers will then either accept the loan application based on the data that has been submitted, or it will be declined. Either way there is a reduced time implication which can only serve to benefit our customers”.

Online payday lenders are now entrenched within the UK’s unsecured finance sector and it is evident the increased competition has not always culminated in an improved service provided. But, Paydayloansavailable.com aims to at least serve their customers quicker than ever before, as well as giving them increased opportunity to secure short term, unsecured funding online. Jenny Davis added, ‘’there is still a real need in the UK for short term loans and unfortunately there is not the availability of funding through the mainstream lending channels. Whilst we do not condone irresponsible lending, it is important to acknowledge there is a need for credit and we hope to be able to provide an opportunity for finance”.

Paydayloansavailable.com is aiming to make an impact on the lending sector in the UK. Despite their relatively short time operating online, by implementing cutting edge technology into their service provision, they may well be making a positive statement of intent.

Via EPR Network
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UK Savers Losing Billions Of Pounds In ISA Accounts Each Year

As billions of pounds of British savers money is being lost in ISA accounts, the government’s consumer watchdog Consumer Focus is due to launch an official complaint on the matter. The move which could potentially ‘shake up the ISA industry’ is a long time coming suggests Matt Spencer, founder of UK based personal finance blog Moneystand.co.uk.

Consumer Focus have highlighted numerous ‘unfair obstacles’ financial providers have put in place for savers to transfer their accounts to other banks, which pay higher interest rates.

The cash ISA market is currently worth around £158 billion, as savers flocked to the tax free service introduced in 1999. Upon its launch rates averaged a healthy 6.32 %, however this figure has plummeted to 0.42 %, a figure that is below the Bank of England base rate.

Mike O’Connor, chief executive of Consumer Focus suggests that a slow ISA transfer process and bureaucracy from the banks has caused many of these problems. He suggests that only 12 % of people have moved their ISAs to a more preferable savings rate, which is costing UK savers millions per year in lost revenue.

As a large consumer group, Consumer Focus can launch a ‘super-complaint’ to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). This would force the OFT to give an official response within 90 days to the matter and a decision over what action it would take towards the issue.

Common issues that arose include the length of time it takes for transfers to occur when sending funds and information from one bank to another. Official government guidelines recommend a limit of four weeks for this process. Findings from Consumer focus show that a third of people switching their ISAs waiting more than five weeks for funds to clear into the new account.

Customers should be wary when looking for a new ISA provider however warns Matt Spencer, suggesting:

“Banks are offering introductory rates with high interest levels to entice new customers to open new ISA accounts. These short term bonuses often hide very poor interest rates once the honeymoon period is over.

It’s time for savers to get the rates they deserve, so be sure to make your money is working as hard as possible for you. This might mean that you need to change your current ISA provider, despite the long transfer times between banks.”

Personal finance blog MoneyStand provides unbiased personal finance, IVA help and debt related information. Founded in 2008, MoneyStand was created in response to the worsening financial situation of individuals in the UK and across the world. For more information on personal finance, visit www.moneystand.co.uk.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

2009 SABEW Award For Mutualfundreform.com

The blog, www.mutualfundreform.com, has won the top award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) in the best small blog category. The winning award was made as part of the 15th annual Best in Business Journalism competition, recognizing top publications,Web sites and the best business news reporting during 2009.

The blog,  mutualfundreform.com, won the award primarily for its original 7,000-word investigative series into how little-understood mutual fund fees, revenue sharing deals, high commissions paid to wholesalers and different share classes all benefit mutual fund salespeople and executives more than individual shareholders.

2009 SABEW Award For Mutualfundreform.com

The series, written by the site’s creator, Chuck Epstein, shows how these payments create conflicts of interest between shareholders and investment professionals which make it difficult for individual investors to obtain objective financial advice.

Other issues covered on the blog deal with the failure of SEC regulators, and the need for financial professionals to adopt the same fiduciary standards used by institutional investors and pension fund executives.

The site maintains that the need for mutual fund reform is essential since the load mutual fund industry currently has practices in place which essentially work against their own shareholders.

The creator of www.mutualfundreform.com is Chuck Epstein. He has been a senior writer for two large mutual fund companies and also won first place awards from the Mutual Fund Education Association (MFEA) in 2006, 2007, 2008 for writing and editing the best adviser and/or shareholder newsletters in the large-fund class category.

He also has held senior-level marketing positions with the New York Futures Exchange, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and written by-lined articles for over 50 financial publications.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Invest in Life Insurance Now for Your Children

Nothing is more precious to a parent than the guaranteed protection of their children. Children’s life insurance is among the most valuable protection a parent can invest in. It offers a variety of benefits and is affordable. According to a recent article by InsuranceAgents.com, parents willing to spend several dollars each month can obtain valuable coverage for their children throughout their lives.

No parent wants to contemplate about the time when their child—whether they’re 8 months, 8 years, or 80 years old—will pass on. But it can be a very valuable and wise to make the investment when it’s at its most affordable, according to the InsuranceAgents.com article, ‘Children’s Life Insurance: A Solid Investment.’

There are many reasons to compare life insurance rates for children, though parents may not want to think about any of them. Some reasons include:

1. Funeral/burial costs. A child’s death yields some expensive funeral expenses—bills you won’t want to worry about if you need to grieve. Burial costs and grief counseling alone can range between $6,000 and $15,000.

2. It won’t cost much. Children’s life insurance can cost mere dollars a month. And if you fix the rate at the earliest opportunity, your child could have life insurance coverage throughout their life and benefit from such an amazingly low rate.

3. Ultimate protection. “Life insurance can be hard to obtain for people with unfortunate genetic traits or preexisting conditions. Investing in children’s life insurance cuts the risk of your child being denied coverage later on in life if they develop a disqualifying condition,” the article states.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Guide to Separating Homeowners Insurance after Divorce Released

While divorce is generally a hard time in many people’s lives, the best way to lessen the pain is to know how to take things apart, like property, rights, and particularly homeowners insurance, according to a recent InsuranceAgents.com article, “Home Owners Insurance and Divorce: An Unfortunate Combination.”

Divorce is a huge life change, and it forces individuals to reassess their finances, and that should include the homeowners insurance policy.

“If you plan on keeping the home after the divorce, it is imperative you follow the guidelines to ensure a convenient and stress-free process. Divorce can be an expensive dispute, but that doesn’t mean your homeowners insurance policy has to as well,” the article states.

When a homeowners insurance policy is drafted, its details (like the amount of the deductible), and included coverage options, etc., is all determined by the client(s). In other words, the lifestyle (routine, income, shared personal belongings, and way of life) of a person and their spouse (or soon-to-be ex) determines who the homeowners insurance policy is customized. So when one spouse of is out of the picture, the existing homeowners insurance policy’s coverage is no longer 100 percent relevant and needs to be updated.

It is also important for the spouse who retains ownership of the home to focus on the deductible of the homeowners insurance policy. The policyholder can either get a lower deductible and pay a higher premium, or get a higher deductible and pay a lower premium.

“Depending on your situation following the divorce, each type of deductible may have different benefits for you,” according to the article.

Divorce can be time-consuming, expensive and painful. To reduce the amount of stress and burden on a person, knowing how to split the big things—the home, personal belongings, homeowners insurance policy—will go a long way.

To learn more and/or request home owners insurance quotes, visit InsuranceAgents.com.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

The Children’s Mutual Reports Kids Unaffected By Recession This Christmas

According to research by a leading Child Trust Fund (CTF) provider, The Children’s Mutual, children in the UK are set for a bumper Christmas this year, receiving £5 billion of presents. With generous friends and family set to spend 20% more than last year on youngsters, it seems the recession is not impacting kids’ stockings just yet.

The average UK child will receive £380 worth of presents this year, compared to £316 in 2008. In total, UK kids will have over £4 billion worth of toys and other presents underneath their trees, along with £960 million in cash, with each child receiving an average of £73. More than a quarter of lucky UK children will get £100 or more.

The Children’s Mutual is urging parents to take advantage of the generosity of friends and family this Christmas by asking them to invest in a present that could last a lifetime.

David White, Chief Executive of The Children’s Mutual, said: “It’s great news that the recession is not affecting kids’ stockings this Christmas. However we are urging parents to think about their children’s futures and ask friends and family to invest a portion of this money for the long-term.”

The Children’s Mutual also found that a lot of money is spent on presents that often don’t last for more than a couple of months.

David White continued: “Around £200 is spent on presents that won’t make it past Easter, but if this money was invested in a Child Trust Fund each year, it could be worth £6,100* by the time it matures when the child turns 18. This way friends and family can give a gift that could last well beyond the child’s 18th birthday and providing them with a nest egg for the future.”

According to figures from The Children’s Mutual, top ups into Child Trust Funds get a timely boost at Christmas with an average increase in ad hoc payments of just under 25% during the festive period.

Child Trust Funds are designed to provide a tax efficient, long term savings vehicle for all eligible children (born on or after 1 September 2002). Each newborn child receives a £250 Child Trust Fund voucher (£500 for low income families) from the Government when their parents register for Child Benefit. The Government will make a second contribution of £250 (£500 for low income families) when the child reaches seven and is considering a third in the child’s teenage years. Parents, family and friends can all then add to this account up to a maximum value of £1,200 each year.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

The Children’s Mutual Launches What I Want To Be Webmercial

The Children’s Mutual, a leading Child Trust Fund provider, has captured the career aspirations of kids in the UK in its new webmercial and microsite.

Dressed to reflect the most popular career choices, babies from seven to 11 months are seen acting out different job roles in the 50 second web ad.

The What I Want To Be webmercial was prompted by research from The Children’s Mutual into the dream jobs of the nation’s children entitled What I Want To Be. Every year the research tracks the career aspirations of children as they grow up, to explore how social and economic factors might affect their ultimate career choices.

The brains behind the ad, Head of Online at The Children’s Mutual and dad of one, Nathan King said: “We wanted to engage with a new generation of parents who enjoy and respond to online media. We understand families and their desire to help their children fulfil their ambitions. So while the ad and microsite are a lot of fun our products support parents in helping their children to reach their goals.”

The project isn’t the first time The Children’s Mutual has broken new ground as a CTF provider. The family finance specialist also created the first branded CTF TV advert encouraging parents to save for their children as well as a recently launched animated guide to the Child Trust Fund. The webmercial and CTF microsite now form part of the company’s evolving social media engagement strategy.

According to King: “Personal finance is very few people’s favourite subject but it is a crucial part of daily life. As a family finance specialist we want to try everything we can to help make saving and planning for the future as engaging and straightforward as it can be.”

Child Trust Funds are designed to provide a tax efficient, long term savings vehicle for all eligible children. Each eligible newborn child (born on or after 1 September 2002) receives a£250 Child Trust Fund voucher (£500 for low income families) from the Government when their parents register for Child Benefit. The Government will make a second contribution of £250 (£500 for low income families) when the child reaches seven and is considering a third in the child’s teenage years. Parents, family and friends can all then add to this account up to a maximum value of £1,200 each year.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Savvy Self-Employed Seek Little-Known Tax Benefits Provided By The Solo 401k

The Solo 401k is designed for the self-employed and offers powerful features not found in traditional 401k or IRA retirement plans. The Solo 401k offers unique tax benefits to those who open an account before the New Year.

The clock is ticking for taxpayers to secure their end-of-the year tax breaks and many Americans who qualify for a tax shelter are not utilizing it.

“That’s because many people are completely unaware of a special retirement vehicle that offers the self-employed a way to make significant contributions,” said financial expert, Jeff Nabers, CEO of Nabers Group.

The Solo 401k account offers powerful features that are not available to those who invest in traditional IRA or 401k accounts.

“One special feature of the Solo 401k is that it can be run by the accountholder. You don’t have to open it up at a Wall Street-focused firm. That means that you’re not stuck to ordering your investments off of a menu that offers only stocks, bonds, and mutual funds,” explains Nabers.

The volatile stock market and significant losses that many investors suffered have caused them to look for alternative options. Nabers says that’s where the Solo 401k can really be helpful. “Using the Solo 401k, people can invest in real estate, gold, foreign annuities, foreign currency, small businesses, and much more,” said Nabers. Even better, the Solo 401k allows accountholders to make large retirement contributions totaling more than $50,000.

About the Jeff Nabers, CEO
Jeff Nabers is the Chief Executive Officer of the Nabers Group and is a renowned consultant, speaker, and educator. Nabers is an expert in the fields of Self Directed wealth management and personal finance. Nabers teaches seminars on understanding money, free market capitalism, inflation, Austrian economic theory, real estate investing, direct possession of gold and silver, income-producing assets, small business startup funding, and Self Directed IRA and Solo 401k investing. Additionally, Nabers is the chairman of the IRA Association of America and authored the book 5 Steps To Freedom.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

NS&I Reveal Findings Of Families, Finance And The Future Report

NS&I’s ‘Families, Finance and the Future’ report has shown that before having children, Britons believe you should have an income of at least £25,000 per annum to ensure financial security, while 20% of those surveyed said that they would seriously consider not having children because the cost of having them nowadays is so high.

The NS&I report, Families, Finance and the Future, was written by the Future Foundation and commissioned by NS&I. The report was produced by a combination of desk research and original survey work. Figures taken from a nationally representative sample of 1,049 adults aged 16+. Other sources the report used include the British Household Panel Survey, the ONS, Eurobarometer, the Department for Communities and Local Government, and previous surveys conducted by the Future Foundation.

Almost two-thirds (64%) said people should be financially secure before starting a family, while 78% agreed that the standard of living was an influencing factor when deciding on how many children to have. Just 26% of Britons believe that money shouldn’t be a consideration when deciding to start a family.

Tim Mack, NS&I Savings Spokesman, said: “Starting a family is always going to be much more than a purely economic decision, though for some the financial requirement is clearly an income of £25,000 per year. Britons are also considering their financial future when deciding on the number of children they will have.”

More than one in ten respondents (12%) thought that those thinking of starting a family should be earning between £40,000 and £70,000 before having children, while a similar number (13%) believed that they didn’t need anything as they would always be able to get by. Men were more likely to suggest a bigger financial cushion than women – £27,000 per year, compared to just £23,000 for women – while people without children gave much higher estimates, saying people should be earning at least£30,000.

As well as looking at the situation for individuals, the report also argues that finances and families are linked on a larger, macroeconomic, level.

Barry Clark, Account Director at the Future Foundation, said: “Baby booms tend to follow economic booms and the reverse is true too. Our data suggests that over the past 60 years, GDP growth and the change in birth rates in the UK have been closely linked, so we expect that the coming years will show more than ever that finances and families are related on both a personal and national economic scale.”

The primary consideration influences on the number of children people decide to have appeared to be common:

78% – standard of living they can give their children
73% – meeting the cost of raising their children
51% – size of the house they can afford to raise their family in
39% – education they can make sure their children receive

It is evident that perceived affluence has an effect on the birth rate. In fact, Future Foundation research and the British Household Panel Survey both have shown that in European countries where more people have an income that is either in line with or above their financial expectations, families bear more children.

Barry Clark added: “The highest earners would seem less likely to have larger families owing to the demands of, and devotion to, their careers, or a sharper awareness of just how much children cost to raise.”

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Animated Guide To Child Trust Funds

Leading Child Trust Fund provider The Children’s Mutual is pleased to announce the launch of a new cartoon guide to Child Trust Funds – the first of its kind in the marketplace.

The cartoon guide is a five minute animation in a graphic style reminiscent of perennial children’s favourite, Fuzzy Felt. During the film, busy new mum, Mel, (and baby Emily) explain what the Child Trust Fund is, the different sorts of funds that are available, their individual features, how to find a provider and how to go about applying for a fund.

The Child Trust Fund guide has additional link-back buttons at the end that allow viewers to go directly back to sections of particular interest and watch them again. It also gives clear direction to alternative information sources including HMRC.

Marketing Director, Tony Anderson, said: “We appreciate that new parents have very little free time and when they do get a chance to sit down they aren’t necessarily in the mood to wade through financial paperwork or regulatory terminology. But they still want to be sure that they are making the right choices for their children. This is where our animated guide provides a completely new approach to helping customers – through carefully chosen language and functionality. It provides all the salient information about CTFs in easy to understand language and simple to access bite size sections.”

The cartoon guide can be viewed at The Children’s Mutual’s own website and is also available for publications and sites to host themselves to help their own audiences to more easily understand the Child Trust Fund.

Tony concluded: “Opening a Child Trust Fund account can seem like a daunting task, but with our new guide it needn’t be. All we ask is that parents give us just five minutes of their time to help them make an informed decision.”

Child Trust Funds are designed to provide a tax efficient, long term savings vehicle for all eligible children. Each eligible newborn child (born on or after 1 September 2002) receives £250 (£500 for low income families) from the government when their parents register for Child Benefit. The Government will make a second contribution of £250 (£500 for low income families) when the child reaches seven and is considering a third in the child’s teenage years. Parents, family and friends can all then add to this account up to a maximum value of £1,200 each year.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Workers Beyond Retirement Age To Double In 10 Years

Prudential has revealed that UK businesses are bracing themselves for a surge in staff looking to delay retirement with around 1.8 million people expected to be working beyond traditional retirement ages in just 10 years.

The findings from new research commissioned by Prudential among finance directors at UK businesses found 24% of companies expect staff to work beyond retirement age in the next 10 years, with the proportion of people in the workforce who are past traditional retirement ages expected to more than double to 1.8 million people.

Larger companies expect to see an even greater proportion of their workforce working beyond retirement, with 39% of finance directors at larger firms expecting to have to accommodate requests from staff to work longer.

UK companies anticipate this will mean around 6.3% of their workforce (equivalent to 1.8 million people across the UK working population) will be made up of people working beyond statutory retirement ages in 10 years, more than double the current proportion of 2.6% of company workers (equivalent to around 752,700 people***) who currently work past retirement.

The study also found that in the past 12 months alone, 7% of finance directors have reported an increase in the number of employees asking to work past traditional retirement ages.

Martyn Bogira, Prudential’s Director of Defined Contribution Solutions, said: “As health and longevity continue to improve and people look to fund a longer life in retirement, it is inevitable that compromises have to be made.

“The statutory retirement age for men and women is due to rise to 68 by 2046, so working longer will be a fact of life for those entering the workforce today but these findings suggest that increasing numbers of pensioners will be forced to work later far sooner than this. Employers have told us that their staff costs could rise as their employees work for longer.

“Workers face the stark choice of either having to save more for their pension from an earlier age or having to work longer if they are to avoid taking a significant drop in their standard of living in retirement. Early pension saving is critical and we strongly encourage people not to delay starting a pension.”

The research also identified a clear North/South divide. Companies in the north of the country expect an average of 16.2% of their staff to work past the statutory retirement age compared with an average of 2.4% in Greater London and the South East.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

New Tax Law for Roth IRA May Be a Bad Deal for Taxpayers

In 2010 millions of Americans will be able to do something they have never done before—convert their IRA into a Roth IRA account. Current 2009 limitations do not allow anyone who makes more than $100,000 per year to convert their traditional retirement funds into a Roth IRA.

However, beginning in 2010, the Roth IRA conversion restrictions are being lifted. But is this really a good thing for taxpayers?

“Roth IRAs are a bad idea for taxpayers because they are paying taxes now in order to avoid paying taxes on distributions that are taken later,” said Jeff Nabers, CEO of Nabers Group. The problem is partly the economic crisis that we are in. “It makes sense if we were in a commodity-based monetary system, but we’re not. We have a fiat currency system that creates an inflationary environment in which Roth conversion is a good deal for the government and a bad deal for the taxpayer.”

Additionally, the Roth IRA conversion can be costly for the taxpayers. If they opt to convert their traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs, the IRS will view this as a taxable event. Accountholders will be taxed based on the entire conversion amount for their current tax bracket. The income taxes due on the 2010 conversion can be spread over two years. However, future conversions must be included in income reports to the IRS and will be taxed during the tax year in which the conversion is completed.

Nabers cautions his clients to carefully look at all their options when considering the Roth IRA conversion. He suggests, “Instead they should continue using their non-Roth Retirement accounts for the maximum tax benefit.”

Nabers, the author of Five Steps To Freedom: How to Cut Your Dependence on Institutions and Escape Financial Slavery, points out that the most important thing that taxpayers can do in these economic times is to find alternative investment solutions. “We’re likely heading into an era of significant inflation. I recommend that people seek alternatives to volatile Wall Street Securities and dollar-denominated assets in general.”

“The action that I recommend is to get more educated on the matter and look at both sides of the story before making a decision,” said Nabers. He says deciding to convert to a Roth IRA could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. “Before paying taxes using half of your savings, wealth, or retirement account, consult experts about all of your options. What you don’t know could hurt you—so seek knowledge and information so that you can make an informed decision that you won’t regret.”

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Jeff Nabers, CEO Of Nabers Group, Cautions Against The Use Of 401(k), IRA Rollovers As A Financing Strategy For A Business Start-up

One unforeseen consequence of the current recession has been the increasing number of Americans who have stumbled into entrepreneurship after losing their jobs to round after round of layoffs. Many of these people have taken one look at a job market where the unemployment rate is nearly 20% in some regions and decided to start their own businesses. It’s a bold move and certainly there is something very admirable about the idea, but also a risky one, with about half failing in the first few years; making financing a small business start-up something, which should be done with great care.

There are a lot of people who think of using 401(k) or IRA rollovers as a source of financing the start-up costs of a new business or to cover the purchase of an existing one. While you may see a lot of praise for these plans (called ROBS for Roll Over Business Start-up by the IRS), especially online where their proponents try to sell would-be entrepreneurs on the merits of this form of financing, many financial industry experts strongly recommend thinking again about using your IRA or 401(k) to fund your small business.

One of these financial experts is Jeff Nabers, CEO of the Denver financial planning company Nabers Group. Nabers has written about how ROBS work and their risks on his blog, where he warns against using these financing vehicles.

“It’s entirely understandable that people are tempted by ROBS; the recession hasn’t made small business financing easy to come by and there are more Americans than ever trying to start their own businesses. However, there are a lot of risks associated with using IRA and 401(k) rollovers. Beyond the old diversification maxim of ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket’ the legality of the ROBS strategy has been on shaky ground. There’s a basic rule that prohibits “self dealing” for any retirement account participant, but ROBS promoters have attempted to skirt this by creating a loophole that claims a special exemption. Unfortunately, a government ruling from 2006 closed that loophole. ROBS structures could face a stiff penalty, which amounts to approximately 115% of your retirement funds,” says Nabers.

“It’s a subject that is somewhat controversial in the financial services industry, but as I have been informed by government officials and my legal counsel, the 2006 ruling means ROBS no longer occupies a legal gray area even. I can’t recommend these to my clients in good conscience. I don’t see a bright future for this strategy of funding, to put it mildly,” added Nabers.

Jeff Nabers isn’t alone in sounding the alarm about ROBS and other rollover schemes – there has been a lot of concern expressed by financial experts in the last year. Previously, ROBS was considered high risk, but as Nabers’ put it, “My recent DOL meeting was the nail in the coffin of the ROBS loophole.”

Nabers unabashedly encourages entrepreneurship in spite of the government’s unfavorable stance on ROBS. His message to would-be ROBS users is: “Start and fund your venture anyway [without ROBS]. You can still raise money from others, including from their IRA and 401(k) accounts. Frankly, that is actually a surer path to success because raising money from others will cause you to be more thorough in your business planning.”

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

The Children’s Mutual Launches CTF Cashback Site

The Children’s Mutual, leading Child Trust Fund provider, has revealed that expectant parents can earn over £200 by using its new shopping portal CTFCashback.co.uk to kit out their babies’ nurseries.

Research shows that on average, British parents spend £3,383 decorating and furnishing a nursery with a further £605 spent on prams, buggies and car seats. If parents did this shopping through CTF Cashback, they could be earning financial rewards of up to £215.

Free to use, the site enables online shoppers to build up cash in £10 increments which can be placed directly into a bank account or a Child Trust Fund with The Children’s Mutual.

The site, which offers members up to 20% cash back and lists over 1,000 retailers – many with additional voucher codes – can help parents and the wider family continue to save as the baby grows up too. By using CTFCashback.co.uk to purchase ongoing essentials such as nappies and baby wear right through to buying presents and even holidays.

Tony Anderson, Marketing Director at The Children’s Mutual, said: “All parents quickly realise that buying everything they need and want for their child can be an expensive business. We created our CTF Cashback site to assist parents in getting great value for money on all their purchases, whilst being able to save towards their child’s future”.

Over 1,000 major retailers have already signed up to the scheme including leading brand favourites such as Mothercare, John Lewis, Kiddicare.com and Marks & Spencer. Collectively, retailers are offering www.CTFCashback.co.uk members average returns of over 5% through the site, with some offering up to 20% or lump sums of up to £85.

Tony Anderson continued, “When questioning expectant and new parents through our monthly poll, nearly 90 per cent* suggested that they would like to receive ‘money back’ for their nursery shopping. We have taken this one step further so, whether it’s buying baby grows and nappies or school uniforms and family holidays we wanted cash-strapped parents to be earning money every time they spend online. With so many pulls on household budgets, www.CTFCashback.co.uk offers a practical way of helping families to be savvy with their money and encourage them to save towards their children’s futures.”

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Barclaycard Announces 100 EAT Stores Across The UK To Go Contactless

Barclaycard has announced that EAT, a leading sandwich, soup and coffee shop, will rollout contactless technology and payment across its entire network of 100 stores from mid November. The rollout of contactless follows a successful pilot project in 24 London based EAT stores over the past 18 months.

The rollout, which began in March 2008 and will be completed by mid November, will see contactless payment available in EAT stores in a range of towns and cities across the UK including Manchester, Birmingham, Oxford and Cambridge. These stores join Barclaycard’s ever-expanding contactless payment network, with more than 9,000 outlets now accepting contactless payments across the UK.

Contactless allows customers to purchase items of £10 or under without the need to enter a PIN or sign, with customers requested to enter a PIN occasionally for added security.

Dan Salmons, Director of Payment Innovations at Barclaycard commented: “Contactless is the future of payments and we believe that contactless payment, via card or mobile phone, is one of the safest and most secure ways to pay. We welcome this rollout as it demonstrates how both consumers and retailers are benefiting from the convenience of quick, secure payments with contactless. Consumer feedback highlights the growing demand for contactless and we expect EAT to be amongst the first of many major retailers who will become contactless enabled over the coming months.”

Rene Batsford, Head of IT at EAT commented: “For the last 18 months we have accepted contactless payments in over 30 stores in London, and the success and feedback from our customers meant the decision to rollout contactless across our entire network, was an easy one to make. Customers across all our stores can now benefit from a fast, secure way to pay.”

Barclaycard and Barclays have issued over four million contactless enabled credit cards since Barclaycard OnePulse credit card launched in September 2007 and have the highest market share of contactless terminals in the UK. Other well-known brands such as Prêt a Manger, Coffee Republic, the National Trust, Books Etc and Yo Sushi also accept contactless payments.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Is An Investing Book Worth $799?

The author is not even dead . . . yet! Better to gain ‘know-how’ than gold. But is a book worth $799? An immodest ‘yes’. Sushi Zen Restaurant, Times Square – A statuesque, charming Senior Analyst for an Chicago-based investment journal magazine, showed me a remarkable sight on her laptop.

Incredible! But there it was. Imagine my astonishment when I saw used copies of my previous book The Profit-Taker Breakthrough; selling on www.amazon.com for the price of $799.00.

Is it a joke? Is it clever merchandising? You tell me. Certainly I confess to a twinge of pride. I was flattered.

The ‘Breakthrough’ . . . the proven, rapid, money-maker in good and bad markets . . . is the detailed ‘good news’ text and workbook for Profit-Taker Strategies.

The two entrepreneurs book sellers are highly regarded five star dealers – Motor City Books of Michigan and The David Bean Books of California. Good luck to them!

I was enheartened as a writer when The Chicago Tribune headlined their review to my book with the “PROFIT- TAKER: SOLID ADVICE ON THE STOCK MARKET”, but this is special. Selling my book at $799!

Although I’m 78 years old, I’m still committed to living. They forgot I’m still breathing.

In fact, on my SCOREBOARD on www.profittaker.info which is totally free and transparent, the annualized profits are registering up to 382%.

Like most authors, no doubt, I had a few new copies of my book lying around my study. So I added a current 2009 revision. Subsequently I placed them on www.Ebay.ca at the original price for the world to see.

Professor Don Abrams

Author and Inventor of the The Profit-Taker

Prof. Don Abrams is the author of a number of published financial books, including the international bestseller…The Profit-Taker: the Proven Rapid Money-Maker in Good and Bad Markets.

P.S. Notification of The Profit-Taker Breakthrough selling on the internet at $799.00 is located at:


The $22.95 Version is located at:

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

NS&I Has Announced Changes To The Way Customers Can Invest In Its Fixed Rate Bonds

From the end of October, the products will only be available directly from NS&I (by freephone, online or by post) and no longer available through the Post Office.

NS&I and the Post Office have jointly agreed to this change, which is in part a reflection of the development of the Post Office’s own brand of savings products. These include Post Office Growth Bonds – a very similar range of fixed rate savings bonds to the two NS&I products. The decision also reflects NS&I’s desire to develop its direct sales channels.

The Post Office will continue to offer a wide range of other NS&I savings products – including Premium Bonds and Savings Certificates – which can be purchased over the counter.

Existing NS&I Guaranteed Growth Bond and Guaranteed Income Bond customers will not notice any change as all post-sale servicing and support is already carried out directly through NS&I.

Peter Cornish, Director of Customer Offer, NS&I, said: “We are committed to making our products as straightforward as possible and ensuring that customers understand where they are investing their money. The changes we have jointly agreed with the Post Office will do just that. Our Guaranteed Income Bonds and Guaranteed Growth Bonds will continue to offer customers a simple and straightforward saving opportunity.”

“The Post Office is our key distribution partner and we recognise it is a familiar option for many savers looking to invest with NS&I. Therefore, a wide range of our savings products will continue to be available over the counter in Post Office branches.”

Gary Hockey-Morley, Post Office Limited marketing director, said: “NS&I savings products will continue to be a key part of the ever expanding range of value for money financial services available at Post Office branches. We look forward to continuing our long standing partnership with NS&I well into the future, through providing easy access to a wide range of their savings products through our 12,000 branches which lie at the heart of communities across the UK.”

Customers can invest between £500 and £1 million in total in an NS&I fixed term bond, with guaranteed rates of interest. NS&I’s Guaranteed Income Bond offers customers the opportunity to receive their interest as a monthly income, whilst the interest earned on NS&I’s Guaranteed Growth Bonds is credited to the Bond annually.

NS&I’s fixed rate bonds are available in terms of one, two, three and five years. The two-year term was launched in July 2009 and is only available directly from NS&I.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases