Finance – A Diversified Portfolio to Stabilize Your Investment Income

Investing in the stock market is a risk, but one that can be managed if it is handled the right way. One of the biggest downfalls of many beginner investors is the fact that they do not spread their money out enough and when one sector of the market gets hit, they end up losing their entire portfolio. A diversified portfolio will protect you against that from ever happening.

Having a diversified portfolio is like having an emergency brake on your investment account. Just when you think that the investment world is speeding out of control, your diversification is there to slam on the breaks and ensure that you are protected against a sure disaster. For every market that goes down, there is one that goes up and if you correctly diversify, your other stocks can recover from the ones that are hurting you.

One of the keys to a diversified portfolio is to have your money spread out over several sectors. The market can shift without warning and while you may have one sector that is in decline, you will have others that will continue to grow and offset those losses. As you are putting together your portfolio, a nice mix of cyclical and countercyclical investments is strongly recommended.

The cyclical stocks are going to be where you will see the greatest fluctuation in income and where you will probably have the most movement in your account. These are the types of investments that pay off during flourishing times. For instance, when the “cash for clunkers” promotion was going on, the auto industry received a quick boost. Ford stock went through the roof compared to its price just a few short weeks prior and this paid off for its investors.

Now just because the market or economy is on a downward trend does not mean that cyclical stocks are bad to have in your portfolio during down times. It is actually quite the contrary. There are still business that flourish when other industries and the market as a whole are spiraling downward. A good example in recent times would be the shipping industry and steel industry as they ramp up for the upcoming push in construction and shipping of goods to suppliers.

However, you still want to mix in countercyclical stocks for stabilization. These are stocks that are going to show moderate gains regardless of what the overall market is doing. Investing in food companies along with energy and health care companies will go a long way to even everything out in good times and more importantly, in bad.

Volatility in a stock is also something to be concerned with. While most of your countercyclical stocks will be higher priced investments, you can take a larger risk with small cap stocks that have a huge payoff on them when you are right. These stocks will usually be associated with smaller companies that show dramatic swings. When the swing is in your favor, you can see upwards of a 500% profit on your investment in a single day.

Having a diversified portfolio is what every investor strives for and what keeps them in the market when other people are still watching from the sideline. Having a good mix allows you to take the slow and steady profits from the big name companies and also allows you to explore some riskier investments with the possibility of a huge payoff. You can spread your money around and hopefully allow yourself to build an investment portfolio that will truly make those retirement years golden.

Be Prepared for the Problems in Used Car Financing With Solutions Before You Start

Financing properly is more important in financing a used car than when buying a new car. Most problems that occur in buying a used car are due to there being a problem connected with the financing. Getting the used car financing worked out properly is the key to a successful used car purchase.

Most buyers aren’t aware of how important the paper work is to making the deal a successful one or a failure. They view it as paperwork that should be completed as quickly as possible so they can drive away in their new car.

To start with, it’s very important to get the deal agreed upon by the salesman to be put in writing in the contract. This often involves determining monthly auto loan payments based on an interest rate. Sometimes, the interest rate a customer qualifies for is inflated so the dealership can make extra profit.

This headache can easily be avoided by obtaining independent vehicle financing before going to the dealership. This means the consumer can proceed as a “cash buyer” and negotiate only the price of the car. Car salesmen prefer customers to be “monthly payment” buyers because, in this way, it is easier to obscure the total cost of the vehicle.

Independent car financing can be obtained from a bank, credit union or on-line lender. With the popularity of the internet, applying for used car refinance is proving to be simple and very easy to do. Many on line lenders respond very quickly – sometimes as short as 15 minutes by email or telephone. If the application is approved, the borrower is given a credit limit at an established interest rate. Sometimes a blank bank check is issued with no obligation to use it.

“For the majority of consumers, even if you know you have good credit, there is a little apprehension and tension around applying,” one lender said. “So instead of going into a dealership and giving them your information and being sent to the coffee machine to wait for an answer, you can apply on-line, 24/7.”

Most people familiar with how used car dealerships operate confirm that obtaining independent car financing is beneficial to most consumers. .

The most common problems that have a negative impact on a person trying to finance a used car –and their solutions – to ensure that things go smoothly are the following:

Problem #1: Many consumers don’t know what their credit rating is when they apply for an auto loan. The strength of their credit score largely determines what kind of interest rate they will receive. Therefore, it’s critical to make sure your credit report is in the best shape possible before shopping for a car.

SOLUTION: Order a copy of your credit report and look for items that may stand in the way of you getting a good rate. Correct any issues or errors promptly. Are all of your lines of credit in good standing? Are there any signs of identity theft? The credit bureaus will tell you how to correct errors when they send you the report. The following numbers and Web site addresses will assist you in checking your credit.

Where to Find Car Loan Low Interest Finance

You may be surprised to learn how much you will be able to save when you take out car loan low interest finance. If you have been working hard to negotiate the best sale price on your new car, you certainly won’t want to negate the savings you make by paying dearly for finance. There are many companies around who can offer you a good deal on an auto loan and, when looking for car finance, you should aim to pay the lowest rate you can.

When looking for car loan low interest finance you should ensure that you consider all options available to you. A lot of people feel more comfortable sticking with their own financial institutions or the larger bank lenders as they seem to think they will be able to provide the best loans at the best rates. This is not always the case. These days there are a large number of non-bank lenders who provide car loan low interest finance.

Probably the best place to start looking for car loan low interest finance is on the internet. The majority of non-bank loan providers operate solely online as it is an easy way to set up their business without having to outlay a lot of capital. These companies also have minimal running costs, so they can afford to offer car loan low interest finance and still make a reasonable profit.

It is important, when searching for car loan low interest finance, that you realize that interest rates can vary considerably between lenders these days. Ensure that you take the time to shop around and get as many quotes as possible, as you may never know when you will come across the perfect auto loan at the lowest price around. It is only by approaching as many lenders as you can that you will have any success in finding car loan low interest finance.

Looking for car loan low interest rate financing is quick and easy when you do it online. Not only can you compare lenders at a time that is convenient for you, but you will only need to enter your details once in order to receive multiple quotes. The other great thing about getting car loan low interest finance online is that the application process is incredibly straight forward. Once you have found a great rate from a reliable lender, you will be able to apply for your loan online by completing a standard application form. Your application will be submitted to your lender immediately and so the processing of your application is a lot faster.

One thing that you will need to be cautious about when getting car loan low interest finance online is that you will need to ensure that the lender you go with is legitimate and reputable. Sometimes a company that offers ridiculously low rates may not be the most trustworthy, so always take the time to find out more about a lender before signing on the dotted line. You can check out the business ratings of various lenders online through the Better Business Bureau or through auto finance review sites.

10.5 Hints to Help You Get a Car Loan

1. Know your credit score.

Get a copy of your credit report. Review it for errors and make any corrections before you try and get a loan. If there are major errors in your credit report, consider delaying your application until the corrections are completed. This will make sure you keep the car dealers honest. If you desperately need transportation, try renting a car short term until your credit report is straightened out. You may actually save money on fuel, insurance and repairs by renting which you can add to your down payment.

2. Have an explanation for your credit issues.

Don’t be apologetic. Bad things happen to good people. Be specific about any problems or crisis that caused your problem. Let the bank know about any major upheaval in your life that may have led to your problems such as an illness or a natural disaster, like Katrina, or 9-11. Make sure that you can substantiate your claim.

3. Don’t lie about anything on the credit app.

Lenders will turn reject your loan if they find you lied to them.

4. Know your income.

Make sure you can prove what you make. Have your proof readily available.

5. Save your down payment.

More down means more car. Larger down payments can sometimes get a lender to view your application more favorably.

6. Know what the payoff on your trade-in is.

If you are trading in a car with a payoff, get a ten day payoff from the lender. If you have a warranty or additional policies bought with the vehicle, find out if you can cancel them. This will lower your payoff or entitle you to a refund after the vehicle is paid off.

7. Know what your car is worth.

Check out NADA or KBB first. Go to CarMax and see what they will buy it for. Use these figures to negotiate the best trade in value. Remember, If you get more than the payoff, that amount becomes down payment.

8. Buy what you need, not what you want.

Set realistic expectations. Don’t buy more payment than you can truly afford. Rebuild your credit first, than rebuild your image later.

9. Don’t be argumentative.

Nice people get better deals than people who give sales reps a hard time.

10. Try other sources to get a loan.

Check online. Lenders such as Capital One, HSBC, Roadloans, and CitiFinancial all have websites which let you apply direct to them for a loan. You may get better rates and terms from lenders online than from a dealer.

Check your credit union or insurance co. They may have a loan program or lender relationship. A good payment history with your insurance company may help you get a loan from their bank. Credit unions can sometimes do automatic payroll deductions, which guaranty you pay the loan, so they may be more receptive.

10.5 Don’t go from dealer to dealer.

Excessive inquiries can be a reason a lender declines your application.

BONUS HINT!

Don’t be misled by “Every application is accepted”

Just because a dealer says your application is accepted, that doesn’t meen that your loan is approved. Accepting your application means that the dealership will take your infomration to submit to a lender. It’s up to the lender to approve your loan application, not the dealership.

DOUBLE BONUS HINT!!

Adverse action notification under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires a creditor obligation to furnish certain information to a customer seeking financing
whenever a decision is made that is adverse to the customer. This means that a dealership must submit your application to a lender for adecision or THEY (the dealership) must furnish you with an Adverse Action Notice describing why THEY (the dealership) declined to approive your request for a loan, AS SUBMITTED. Unless the dealership has their own finance company, they are required by law to either submit your application to a lender or tell you what information the dealership has used in order to decline your request for credit. If a dealership dopes not submit your application, they may be in violation of these two federal laws!

Geoff Cohen is a seasoned auto professional, with over 30 years experience. He has done it all, from sales rep to F&I Manager, New Car Manager, Used Vehicle Manager, up to GSM and GM. He has also worked as an area sales manager for a major sub-prime lender as well as run his own BHPH and Auto Leasing/Brokerage company.. He is the National Accounts Manager for AutoLending Network and is a contributing author to Subprimeconsulting.com, a blog about Special Finance solutions for auto dealers as well as F&I Magazine and World of Special Finance Magazine

The Best Finance App

The best finance app, in my opinion, is Mint.com’s mobile app. Here is a list of its features and finance app alternatives if you prefer to use an app other than Mint.com.

Mint.com (Free)

I have been using mint for a long time now and believe it is the best finance app. Intuit bought this web site a while back so it is very secure, using bank level encryption.

Mint gives you a quick overview of your finances, which you can put on one of your main screens in the form of a widget. The widget will show your current cash amount and your credit debt. It will also show you the last time your information was updated, so you can be sure that you are looking at the most recent information.

Once you set up a monthly budget, you can access it with the app to make sure you are staying on track for the month. Mint is very good at knowing how to categorize your transactions for budgeting purposes and it will let you know if it does not know how to categorize a transaction.

The app automatically gives you alerts for various things, which include the availability of large deposits, what bills will are due in the next few days, etc.

You can get a very general picture of you investments with this app. By that, I mean if you simply want to know the balance of you accounts, you will be happy with this app. If you want to get more information about the performance of specific investments, you will need to go to the website.

To set up this app, I would suggest you log on to the main website to input all of you account information and set your budget. Once that is completed, you simply download the app, log in, and all your accounts are ready to go.

Adaptu Wallet (Currently Free)

Adaptu Wallet has many unique features like tracking loyal programs and creating spending forecasts. The app also allows you to store photos of insurance and business cards, which will decrease the clutter inside your wallet. The app is currently free, but the word on the street is they will start charging for usage sometime in 2012.

Pageonce (Free or $4.99 for Gold version)

Pageonce arguably has the best interface of all the finance apps. Your key account balances are placed in thumbnails that appear on the home screen. Contrary to popular belief, this app does provide PayPal support even though many claim it doesn’t. Balance updates are not as fast as Mint.com or Adaptu, some transactions take days to update. The Gold version has the useful ability to pay bills directly from the app, and this is the only finance app that can do this. The gold version also removes all the ads from your app.