Archive for Money Management

Securities Demystified

When learning about investing, people hear a lot of terms. It is easy to get confused. When discussing securities, you’re basically just talking about things you already know but haven’t realized it. Equities fall into two basic categories and combine to make a third category. The following is a brief overview of these categories and if you’re interested in actually investing, you should talk to someone with tax trader status. It’s important you get advice before putting any money into any form of investment.

Equity Securities

Equity securities refer mostly to stocks: publicly traded shares of ownership of a company, partnership, or trust. The investor makes money from selling the shares at a higher price, also known as capital gains, or by receiving a dividend from the entity issuing the shares. Dividends are a portion of the entity’s profits spread out amongst the shareholders.

In short, equity means profit, so buying equity security means you have a way to make a profit from the investment. Be aware of any profit made from investing in equity securities, because they can be subject to taxation, even dividends. This is called a capital gains tax, and it can be anywhere from 0%, 15% or even 20% depending on income and filing status. Make sure you get help when preparing your income tax return in order to avoid having a high tax bill because you made a mistake somewhere.

Debt Securities

Debt securities mainly refer to bonds. This doesn’t mean you go into debt investing in these, not unless the entity issuing the bond goes out of business. No, it refers to the fact the entity issuing the bond goes into debt issuing the bond. They are using the bonds as a way to raise money, and when the bond comes due, they owe you the money you loaned them plus interest. Bonds are safer than stocks, but only if the entity remains solvent over the life of the bond.

Hybrid Securities

Hybrid securities are a combination of both stocks and bonds. An example of a hybrid equity security is an equity warrant. These allow shareholders to buy shares at a special price during a specific time such as a limited time sale on shares.

An example of a hybrid debt security is a convertible bond. These are bonds that can be turned into shares in the issuing entity. Entities will issue convertible bonds when their money is tight but their stock is on the rise. The bonds are converted into common stock shares in the hopes the price of the stocks they are converted into will be higher than the market price of the stocks thus encouraging the holder to sell. This then greatly reduces the entity’s debt.

Five Ways to Invest for Retirement is a great article to read about the basics of investing if you want to do further research on the topic of investing in general. The author, and the site, both have a lot of useful information about investing, and not just in securities.

To learn more about securities and the market they are traded in, explains more about the SEC, the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The information above is just a trio of the types of securities you can invest in. There are more, far more, but these are the best ones for the beginner. They will help you get a toe wet in the ocean of investing and get some experience to keep you from drowning. Securities trading and investing isn’t something to be scared of. They are just another vehicle to make money for retirement, or anything else you need money for and have time to save.

This article is only intended to inform, not to advise. Investing is not a sure-fire way to make money, and everyone has their own reason for wanting to invest. Knowing how much you have and how much risk you want to take, along with having more than a passing idea of what investing entails, will go a long way in helping you make wise decisions about what to do with your money.

Power of Attorney in Estate Planning: Why It Matters

handd holding a pen and signing paperwork

What is Power of Attorney?

The power of attorney is a powerful tool that can impact the lives of yourself, friends, and family long after the principal is deceased. “Power of attorney over a person, who is known as the principal, is most often utilized when the individual handing over power has concerns about their ability to make legal decisions for themselves,” says the Attorney Referral Service by the San Francisco bar association, which can help potential agents (or those who possess power of attorney) claim power of attorney in California.

The power of attorney is not only useful in legal or financial situations involving a deceased person’s estate. Any time you need someone to act in legal matters on your behalf, you can bestow upon them power of attorney to handle your affairs.

You can assign power of attorney for the duration of a short business deal or after a specific future event comes to pass. Some people assign power of attorney for matters of convenience in business, but it is most often used in wills to designate an agent in case of debilitation or death on the part of the principal.

For Your Parents

Having a conversation with your parents about their deaths is not easy business. However, it is a necessary evil we must all eventually go through, and it is better to get it out of the way when your parents are still of sound mind and body.

Encouraging your parents to draft a will or estate plan is in their best interests as well as yours. This becomes especially prudent if you or your parents have a lot of siblings. Estate planning is a great way to ensure that your parent’s friends and loved ones will not be distracted by petty disagreements or confusion after the principal’s death and can focus on mourning properly.

Sit down with your siblings, parents, and any other interested parties to hash out who should be preemptively assigned power of attorney.

For Yourself and Your Children

If one of your children or a third party contests your will after death, your family could be in for a drawn out and painful process. The contestation of a will can lead to more than hurt feelings between loved ones: your last wishes may not be met.

To avoid sowing conflict between family members, you can preemptively assign power of attorney. This itself may lead to hurt feelings, if one child or sibling feels as though they would better serve as the executor of your estate. But it is better to hurt feelings now, when you are alive, than to subject your mourning loved ones later to even more grief and heartache.

Take a hard look at your children, siblings, and spouse. Who has the best understanding of your desires for your assets post-mortem? What does the divestment of your state look like to you? It is important not only to choose someone who has a thorough knowledge of your value system, but also who is fair and balanced in their treatment of others. You want an agent who can navigate strong feelings and who will not take things too personally when things inevitably get heated in the divestment process.

How to Choose an Agent

The nature of being an agent with power of attorney necessitates an even keeled and fair judgment. When choosing an agent for yourself, you should look for someone who has a thorough understanding of what you would like done with your assets after death or debilitation. You want to take care that your agent is committed to the full realization of your wishes after your demise.

If you believe you are a good fit to be an agent for a principal, make your intentions known during the estate planning process. Demonstrate that you have a thorough understanding of the principal’s values and communicate how you would handle any disputes which may arise between family or friends during the execution of the estate.

Choosing an agent to receive power of attorney goes beyond planning for one’s death. If you have health issues or would just like to prepare for any worst-case scenario imaginable, consider a durable power of attorney over a general power of attorney. A durable power of attorney will retain legal standing in the case of your incapacitation, whereas a general power of attorney’s purview ends the moment you become incapacitated.

If you get sick or are otherwise injured and need someone to act on your behalf, it is prudent to assign a durable power of attorney to a trusted individual.

Military Cost Cutters App Review- Money-Saving App for Veterans

Due to health conditions like Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and Anxiety disorder, many war veterans in the United States are going through a tough time. Not to mention, other post-war symptoms like disability, substance abuse and weakening of relationships.

Nine percent of the overall veteran population in the U.S is homeless, says a report by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. Military Cost Cutters is an app that connects veteran-owned businesses and customers with a military background and vice versa.

About the Creator of Military Cost Cutters

This app was created in the year 2012 by a Marine Corps veteran Aaron Serrano. Erin is based in Davenport, Iowa and wishes to do his best to help out his brother and sisters who need some financial assistance. He created this app with the sole purpose to improve the sales of military-friendly businesses by connecting them with ex-soldiers in the same region.

How Does the Military Cost Cutters App Work?

military app

To start making a truckload of savings this year, sign up with the Military Cost Cutter by clicking on the Sign-up button at the top of the screen, refer to the image above. It takes about 30 seconds to fill out all your information. Don?t worry, they won?t be asking you any sensitive or personal information. Just your name, location, and phone number. Next, download the free smartphone app from the relevant marketplace. It?s available for both Android and iOS devices.

Once you are done with the sign-up process, you now can move to the important part. To find the best deals in the town, enter your city name or let the GPS locate you. You will get lost of all military friendly businesses offering you services that you queried for. Next, when checking out, you do need to verify your identity by scanning your ID card. Make sure you capture the headshot. That?s it. Now you can visit the store and claim your discounted products/services.

What I Like About Military Cost Cutters App

For a war veteran, it is essential that they are respected and adored everywhere they go. It is rare for people to recognize the work that soldiers do. Hence, visiting a military-friendly business makes a war veteran feel like home.

Secondly, there are several merchants offering massive discounts for war veterans but there is no way to find out which merchant to visit. Usually, vets are forced to ask the merchants for a discount. Which can be a bit embarrassing. This app solves this particular problem. 

What I Don’t Like About Military Cost Cutters App

There?s not much to dislike about this app but they do not have discount stores in the Southern part of the country. Most of the discount stores seem to be present in the Northern US. Also, some veterans face problems while creating accounts. The app doesn?t pick up its exact location via GPS.

My Recommendation

I recommend Military Cost Cutters App to army veterans who wish to save some money on groceries, clothes, and necessary things of daily living. Depending on the product or service you are looking for, you can expect discounts of up to 50 percent.


Military Cost Cutters App is completely free. You can download the Android app by clicking here and the iOS app by clicking here.

Product Report Card Review- Get Paid to Share Your Opinions

product report card

If you already have experienced the magic of survey sites, you should look into another amazing survey site called Product Report Card. As the name suggests, the site is based on the opinions and feedback of product users.

However, unlike other sites like InboxDollars, YouGov or SurveyClub, this platform is a bit complex and hence intended for advanced surveyors only. A newbie can explore Product Report Card without anything to lose, but it?s always better to be prepared for what?s about to come.

About the Creator of Product Report Card

Product Report Card is a Texas-based fintech firm founded in the year 2001. This survey site is run and maintained by Softlayer technologies–the father company. Zac McGrath, an entrepreneur, and tech enthusiast founded this company to help major organizations like Gillette and Ikea understand their customer well. This is a market research company that pays you for your opinions, reviews, and feedback on a variety of products.

How Does the Product Report Card Work?


To begin your money-making journey with Product Report Card, you simply have to sign-up for free completing a series of questionnaires. This is the most tedious and boring part of Product Report Card. Looking at the length of the forms, most people give up thinking this is just a scam website that need personal information.

The questionnaires are called Profiles. There is a separate profile for each facet of your life like household, employment, mobile phone, health, the products you use, etc. None of the above profile will ever ask your bank details. Still, if you find comfortable providing the general details of your life, go ahead and sign-up. Or else, kindly look for another survey site.

What I Like About Product Report Card

I like the fact that Product Report Card is not just a survey site. There is more than one way to earn money. If you fit the criteria, Product Report Card can also offer you an opportunity to do product review–they send free product for you to use and review. Furthermore, you can also participate in studies done by nation?s biggest labs and research centers.

What I Don’t Like About Product Report Card

The process of creating a profile is quite lengthy. There are a total of ten forms you need to fill up before moving ahead with the survey. Although, once you get through this phase, things get easier. You will also realize why Product Report Card needs so much of your personal information.

Product Report Card- Legit or Scam?

Product Report Card is not a scam. However, some users have complained of getting disqualified after or during the process of the survey. This can be really frustrating as your effort and time are wasted.

However, please note that this is only the case for people with weak profiles. For instance, major corporations do not value the feedback provided by immigrants staying in the United States or Canada. They want people who have are long-term residents of North America.

How to Save More Money in 2020

Save Money

Did you save more than 20 percent of your total yearly income in 2019??

If the answer to the above question is yes, then congratulations, you are on the right path. If not, then there is work to do in 2020. Whether you can successfully save the recommended percentage of income each month or not, it never hurts to learn new and inventive ways to save your hard-earned money.

Here Are the New Ways to Save More Money in 2020

1) Adhere to a Budget

If you were not able to stick to a budget in 2019, this year, you have a great opportunity to save some more money from your monthly wage. Creating a budget is not easy. Also, it is difficult to lay a one-size-fits-all budget that can be used by every single person. Creating a budget is a personal thing and the best way to start is by transferring a set amount from your salary account to a savings account.?

2) Keep the Expenses to Minimal in the First Three Months

Like myself and everyone else, you too must have splashed more cash during the holidays that you initially planned. A festive season is known to make you spend more. Sometimes even to an irrational and absurd level. I am hoping you will be able to recuperate the extra spending by keeping the expenses to the minimum in the first three months of the year 2020.

3) Let go of Unhealthy Habits

In the coming year, you can save more money by letting go of unhealthy habits. Did you know that smoking a pack of cigarettes a week can cost you around $624 a year? According to a trusted source, a pack of cigarettes in a place like New York City costs $13. I have already done the math for you. In addition, you can also save a ton on medical expenses by enrolling in a $10 per month gym. Stay healthy, stay disease-free in 2020!

4) Switch from CFL to LED lights

This one trick can save you $75 each year. Also, it is criminal to still have traditional incandescents running in your home. According to a US government website, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) use about 25%-80% less energy than traditional incandescents.?

In addition, they can last about 25 times longer than any other form of an artificial light source. The report also concluded with a mind-boggling fact. A traditional incandescent bulb’s life is about 1000 hours, whereas, a 12 watt LED can last for about 25,000 hours. See the difference for yourself!


Before you begin your money-saving journey in this new year, I would like to remind you something that you already know. There are some principles of personal finance that are not going to change regardless of the year.?

Surely, in 2020, due to technological advancements, you can make some shifts here and there. But make sure you do not divert from the core principles of saving money.