How the current low price of oil can positively effect a family’s finances and savings?

How the current low price of oil can positively effect a family’s finances and savings?

With the price of oil so low, the major companies have cut back dramatically on drilling for new fields; there is quite sufficient oil from existing fields to more than cover demand. That has clearly impacted on rig workers who have historically earned good money without having any long term job security. Their families may find that there is less money to spend in the coming weeks. However the question is what impact the price has made on other areas, including general consumers. Businesses that can transport goods more cheaply than just a few months’ ago obviously benefit enormously but does it make any real difference to the ordinary person?

For those heating their homes with winter approaching it will be nice to actually see utility prices fall, albeit unlikely by the amount the major suppliers are saving. Oil has not been so cheap since 2009, both Brent Crude and US Crude standing at below $50 a barrel.

The cost of fuel at the pumps should fall but the retail cost of fuel is made up of the barrelage costs but some elements that are not affected; company overheads and of course government taxation. In reality any saving will not have much impact on a family’s finances as such but it is certainly better than seeing the cost of gas for the automobile rise and more expensive heating bills.

No Sign of a Rise

Goldmann Sachs recently predicted that the price of oil may not rise in any meaningful way until at least 2030. There are several factors changing all the time with Iran’s oil likely to become more readily available and the US of course producing strongly. No one country looks to be able to dictate anymore.

The result should be stabilization of energy and fuel raw material costs which consumers are certain to welcome. However there are so many elements involved in pricing products of all kinds so it is not the end to inflation.

Household Finances

At least with the economy improving there is a chance that every family can work towards improving their financial situation. Those people in debt are likely to be able to get competitive personal loans to pay off any ‘expensive’ debt they have. The most obvious and the most common debt is credit card balances; at the end of every month a penal rate of interest is added to any balance. Personal loans from just right bad credit lenders are readily available for those in work that can demonstrate their income justifies approval. The whole process from making an online application to getting approval and the money in the bank can take less than a working day.

Interest rates are likely to remain low though Goldmann Sachs are not suggesting that they will remain the same until 2030. Certainly lending rates have come down even for those people with a poor credit score. The upshot is that personal loans can be used to pay off expensive debt as part of an exercise to improve your finances. What no one should do is to get such loans to buy luxuries that they can ill afford. The recession is a recent memory and logically no one should want to return to the time when they could not pay their bills.

Good News

Everyone should be happy that the oil price has come down. Businesses rarely see one of their major expenses actually falling and those running a significant number of vehicles will certainly benefit. Families see cheaper heating as a benefit so there is a saving under the expenses column. That column’s total can reduce further by getting rid of expensive debt such as the credit card illustration above.

There are still some obstacles ahead for most economies and certainly adults with children should be thinking seriously about the future; not just spending all their income each month. The future is their children’s education, building a fund in the event of an emergency and certainly saving in one form or another for retirement. A good start would be to put aside everything that is saved by cheaper prices, even the few dollars a month for gas, and the potentially larger saving on domestic heating now that oil prices are so low.

Christian Investing Advice

crossWhen evaluating the Holy Bible, you are sure to discover a lot of christian investing advice. The Bible offers a multitude of lessons, parables, and instructions for just about every single facet of life. Many wonder if the Bible also offers a distinct code for safe financial investments that are also considered to be ethical. The fact of the matter is, yes, the Bible does offer teachings that have the ability to assist people generate wealth in a manner in which Jesus would respect. Each of us has the ability to invest money according to the Will of God. In this free investing guide, you will learn the top tips investing information for people of faith.

The Will of God

In order to initiate the task of investing in a manner that is consistent with the teachings of the Bible, you must first understand the Will of God:

  • In Proverbs and the Book of John, we are informed that God has a desire to make each of us rich.
  • In Corinthians, we learn that Jesus died so that each of us may experience riches.
  • In the Book of Philippians, we are told that God will supply each of us with that which we need in life.

God will Guide

When investing as a person of faith, you must know and understand that in order to reach prosperity, you will be led by God. You must follow your conscience in order to achieve wealth. Each of us has unique talents, skills, experiences, and abilities that may be used to accumulate wealth. We must indulge in God’s Word and prayer in order to hear God’s instruction on how we may achieve wealth, as individuals. The Bible is the one and only TRULY free investing guide that will assist us on our way to riches.

Investment Cycles

In studying the Bible, you will find that there are three different types of money – all of which make up the three “secrets” to achieving prosperity. Immediately following the period in which Abraham followed the Lord, God provided him with his cattle, his silver, and his gold. In this story, the cattle represents Abraham’s career. The silver represents the money that he obtained from his career, and the gold represents the investments that Abraham made. In order to invest appropriately, you must first determine the career that God intended for your life. Then, you will make the amount of money that you need to handle your financial responsibilities. In addition to this, you will have excess money. This is the money that should be used in wise, safe investments. Make your money, budget your money, invest the rest.


God wants us all to experience riches. When it comes to christian investing advice, there is quite a bit; however, safe and productive investments involve more than just taking your excess money and putting it into an investment. You must study God’s Word, pray diligently, and ponder all of the opportunities presented to you, as far as investments are concerned. The money that you invest should only be towards opportunities that are in line with God’s Will and unique plan for your life. By following the Bible, God, and your conscience, you are sure to discover investments that are in line with your unique faith-based values and religious principles. As a result of following the tips investing information contained in this free financial guide, you are sure to achieve levels of wealth that you never dreamed possible!

Investment Opportunities – Put Your Money in the World Wide Web and Watch it Work for You!

investment-opportunitiesInvestment Opportunities – Put Your Money in the World Wide Web and Watch it Work for You!

If you are in search of potentially profitable investment opportunities, you should put your money in the World Wide Web, sit back, and watch it work for you! In the past decade, the real estate market has experienced such a high degree of fluctuations that it is no longer considered to be a viable option for those that seek to have a financially stable future. The housing market rapidly moves from one extreme to another, with no consideration for the average investor; however, there is one real estate market that is quickly gaining in popularity. That is the virtual real estate market, or, the web properties that are currently available on the World Wide Web. Leading financial advisors that offer investment tips are now claiming that one of the most profitable markets to invest in are web investments. If you are ready to put your money to work and create the life that you have always desired to live, continue reading for life-changing advice and comprehensive information on these highly sought after investment opportunities.

Out with the Old, In with the New

If you are searching for investment opportunities, it is quite likely that you are familiar with the term “Asset Class”. These “classes” are specific categories that pertain to similar types of investments. The three primary categories based on asset class are stocks, bonds, and CDs. Real estate is also considered to be a common type of asset class. “Asset Allocation” is another common term that you likely know. Essentially, this pertains to how you will mix up the standard classes with the investments that you elect to make. While it is true that all investment opportunities pose a certain amount of risk, there is one asset class that is considered more promising than all of the rest. That is, web investments. This is a new asset class – even to Wall Street. Now, you can take part in this amazing new movement.

Dual-Investment Opportunity

When researching investment tips, you will quickly find that most financial experts agree that you should make more than one investment in order to optimize the opportunity for success. By investing in the web investments that are part of this new and amazing asset class, you are engaging in dual-investment opportunities. Not only are you investing in a business, but, you are also investing in the virtual real estate market. Right from the start, you are dramatically increasing your chance of achieving a high level of financial success. Ultimately, this means that you are diversifying your portfolio with just one decision, with just one transaction. These types of investment opportunities are rare. If you take advantage of this new asset class on Wall Street, you are setting yourself up to experience unlimited growth potential, as it pertains to revenue from the website opportunities that you take advantage of upon your initial purchase. There are currently 800 million virtual properties available and a new 50 million properties are created a year. Why limit yourself to the traditional real estate market, when, for the same price, you could potentially gain thousands upon thousands of virtual properties? Join this new asset class today and you will find that it is one of the most profitable investment opportunities currently available.

How to Avoid High Fee Mutual Funds

high fee mutual fundsHow to Avoid High Fee Mutual Funds

Mutual fund fees are a common complication for investors. It has been established that this industry is notorious for both the complexity of the basic fee structure and the amount of the fees within that structure. If you are reading this free investing guide, you have likely discovered that the fees associated with mutual funds are the biggest complication that you experience with this type of investment. These fees have the ability to eat into the return that you receive from your investment. Additionally, these fees are the main culprit behind sub-par performance of your mutual funds. You are not the only person to experience these issues. As a matter of fact, it has been determined that professionals within the industry actually cover up these fees through an intense layer of financial complexity and hard-to-understand jargon. In this free investing guide, you will be presented with a couple of steps on how to avoid high fee mutual funds.

Exploring the Expense Ratio

In order to successfully eliminate excessive mutual fund fees, you must first evaluate the expense ratio. In some instances, this is referred to as, “Management Expense Ratio”. This is considered to be the ongoing expenses that are commonly associated with a mutual fund. The overall percentage when it comes to the expenses associated with the expense ratio ranges from as little as .2% to as much as 2%. The average equity-based mutual fund charge is anywhere from just over 1% to 1.5%. If you have specialty funds or international funds, your fees will be even higher. Many believe that if they pay higher fees on their mutual funds, they will experience a higher return; however, there is no evidence to support any truth associated with this assumption. If you want to reduce the fees that you spend on the expense ratio portion of your mutual funds, you should evaluate how much you are paying for the management fee, administrative costs, and the 12B-1 fee.

“Loads” Fees

In order to reduce the amount you pay in mutual funds fees, you should determine if your investments have any “loads” fees. In all actuality, these types of mutual funds should be avoided; however, if you have already invested in these types of mutual funds, you should know that these fees are simply used to compensate whoever sold you the mutual fund. That could be a broker or a sales person. There are front-end loads and back-end loads with these mutual funds. The front-end fee occurs when you purchase the mutual funds for the sales charge. The back-end fees occur if you elect to sell the mutual fund within a specified time frame. When at all possible, you should focus on a no-load mutual fund to avoid costly fees.


In this free investing guide, you have been introduced to the most common types of mutual fund fees. In order to ensure that you avoid high fee mutual funds, you should make certain that you carefully study the investments that you are interested in and that you know all that you are able to regarding the fees. Not only will you be able to avoid the basic fees, but, you will be able to avoid getting taken advantage of by people that specialize in selling mutual funds. By keeping the information in this free investing guide in mind when working with mutual funds, you are sure to experience a higher return on investment.

Top 5 Smartphone Apps that Help Run Your Business on The Go

smartphone-apps-for-businessTop 5 Smart Phone Apps for Business

Smartphone apps for business continue to revolutionize the way business owners manage their company. With the right apps, it’s possible to manage customer relationships, deal with the finances and easily access files, allowing you to keep your business running with ease. When life keeps business owners on the go, smart phone apps make it easier to stay on top of important business tasks. Here’s a look at the top five smart phone apps that will help you run your business on the go.

App #1 – Square
If you need to accept payments on the go, Square is the perfect option. It allows you to use your phone to accept credit card payments. Simply plug in the free credit card reader using the audio jack of your phone and swipe a credit card. The money goes right into your chosen bank account. While the card reader and app are both free, Square takes a small percentage of each sale.

App #2 – Evernote
Another of the best smart phone apps for business is Evernote, a note taking and data capture app that allows you to keep track of different types of information. You can store web clippings, audio files, text notes, photos and handwritten notes using Evernote. The great part is that Evernote syncs all notes using the cloud, so when you add a note on your desktop, you’ll be able to access it on your smartphone. It’s available for BlackBerry, Android, Windows Mobile, Palm and IOS. A free version is available, or you can spring for the premium version if you need better security more storage and other helpful features.

App #3 – Skype
When you need to communicate with employees or clients, Skype offers a great app to add to your smart phone. It gives you free video calling, voicemail, texting, instant messaging and Skype to Skype voice calling. You can have a video conference with your sales team or meet with clients using the video chat. Skype is available for Android, IOS, Blackberry and Symbian operation systems.

App #4 –
Offering your customers great support is an important business function, and with, you can easily see all your customers in a single place. The app also makes it easy to engage customers across various social media sites and support channels. Alerts are provided in real time so you make sure you deal with customer support issues fast. Pricing varies, depending on your unique business needs. The app works for iPhones, Androids and other smart phones that can support HTML5 browsers.

App #5 – Dropbox
Dropbox is one of the best smart phone apps for business because it offers a quality cloud storage storage that makes it easy to share files. Start by adding Dropbox to your desktop and then add files to your Dropbox folder, which will sync automatically with Dropbox’s cloud server. Then, add the Dropbox app to your smart phone and log in. It makes it easy to access all the Dropbox files you’ve added to Dropbox, no matter where you are. Free accounts are available, but if you need additional space, you can choose a paid account. Dropbox is available for Kindle Fire, BlackBerry, Android devices, iPad and iPhone.

Of course, these are only a few of the many smart phone apps available that make it possible to run your business while you’re on the go. Consider using these apps and look for other apps that will improve productivity and keep your business running smoothly, even when you’re not in the office.

Back to School: The Right Degrees for Older Adults

It can happen to the best of us. In a fast changing world, the degrees and skills that were in demand yesterday might not be worth a whole lot tomorrow. Globalization has been causing mass changes the labor market and it’s possible that you have found yourself laid off or downsized, and that you no longer have the right qualifications to land a good job.

One option is to go back to school, but if you are an older adult, you should closely consider your options before investing the time and money it takcolleges are ripping students offes to secure a college degree. We certainly don’t want to discourage you from getting a degree, we just want to make sure that you consider what to study and where to study at.

If you are going to make a career change, a college degree is a great option for doing so. Before you sign up for a degree, however, you should ask yourself some questions. Where do your strengths lie? What type of degree can make use of your previous work experience, but will also open the doors to new job opportunities?

Let’s say you are an electrician but the factory you worked at has closed down and now you are having trouble finding a job. So what should you do? You could consider going back to school to be an electrical engineer.

With all the efforts to upgrade the energy grid and the revolution currently taking place in the renewable energy field, electrical engineers are in demand and the pay can be very high. At the same time, you’d be able to apply all of the knowledge you picked up as an electrician to your new career.

Another thing you need to pay attention to is the cost of getting a degree. Check out tuition prices, first and foremost, but also make sure you pay attention to costs of books, lab fees, and other things. These extra costs can add up very quickly. Usually, your local community colleges and/or state universities will offer the best value, but that isn’t always the case, so make sure you do some research.

Are Futures a Good Alternative to Stocks?

Let’s say you want to invest, but you aren’t comfortable with stocks, or are looking to diversify your portfolio. No one would blame you. On one hand, learning the ins and outs of each stock before you invest can be difficult. On the other hand, having a diversified portfolio is always a smart idea. One great way to diversify your portfolio and to expand your horizons beyond stocks is to invest in “futures.”

So, what are futures and how do they work? Futures generally involve the purchase of commodities, which can be anything from corn to oil. This type of product is considered a commodity because the goods bought are largely interchangeable. An ear of corn, after all, is an ear of corn.stock chart

Futures allow you to buy a commodity now at a prearranged price but the commodity itself won’t be delivered until a specified date in the future. For example, you could buy 1,000 barrels of oil but specify that the delivery date won’t be for another 6 months. If oil prices are low right now, you should be able to buy the oil quite cheaply.

If oil prices rise over the next few months, you will produce a profit because you secured the oil earlier at a cheaper price. Most of the time, people who buy futures do not actually take delivery of the oil itself, so you won’t have to worry about 1,000 barrels of oil being dropped off on your doorstep. Instead, you will settle the difference with the seller.

So let’s say you bought a contract to secure 1,000 gallons of oil at $100 dollars with a delivery date 6 months from now. Over the next 6 months, oil prices rise and reach $125 dollars. You could then settle and take the $25 dollar profit per barrel, which would amount to $25,000 dollars. On the other hand, if prices drop to say $75 dollars, you’d have to pay the seller the difference.

Either way, some people prefer to invest in futures because they prefer analyzing commodity markets to stocks. So if you are looking for an alternative to investing in stocks and bonds, consider futures!


How a POS System Can Help Your Business

New article picAs a business owner, one of the most beautiful sounds to you is likely the chime made whenever your cash register opens. Today, that cash register may actually take the form of a cash drawer, and it might be attached to a computer via electronic sales software. This allows you to gather a tremendous amount of data and real-time information about your customers. It can also help to free your time from calculating and performing menial tasks, allowing you instead to spend time devising high-level business expansion strategies. These are just some of the ways that a selling system can help your business.

POS Systems Help Inventory Control

One of the most important ways in which a Point of Sale System can help your business is in the the area of inventory management and control. The core of this system is likely to be a standard issue computer, or even an iPad, running specialized software. The system will also be equipped with a cash drawer, credit card reader, receipt printer and sometimes a barcode scanner.

All of these devices make it possible for your business to make sales and take orders both in person and online. Such a system is also generally quite cost effective and relatively easy to set up. The system will give you an accurate, up-to-the-minute assessment of your inventory. Every time an order is rung up, the inventory is also updated, with those items sold and/or used subtracted from your inventory list that is maintained on the system itself.

Take Orders Online and Offline

A strong POS system can also enable your business to accept orders almost anywhere. This means that you will be able to promote your offerings in person and using online marketing methods such as websites and social media sites. You could even try using a mobile payment app and then your business could be taken on the road in real life. This could allow for the addition of traveling sales representatives.

For orders taken in your retail location, a simple card reader connected to an online processing account is all that you need. For an offline order, the same basic principle applies, only customers enter their own card number into your online payment gateway. In either case, both methods are extremely secure and they result in your payment being deposited directly into your bank account within 24 to 48 hours.

Offers Accuracy and Analysis Functions

Another way in which a strong Point of Sale System will help your business is through the accuracy and analysis functions provided by the software.

Of course, to really get the full benefits of this accuracy, you need to have a barcode scanner attached to the system. Not only does this make getting your inventory counted and included in the system much faster and easier, it is also a lot more accurate than having to type everything in by hand. Plus, you can set up a scanner for each of your checkout units, which speeds up the checkout time for your customers.

As far as analysis is concerned, you can also run a wide variety of different reports. These will be accurate and up-to-the-minute reports, and can include anything from a daily (or even hourly) sales report to the number of XYZ items that are on hand, or any other inventory or sales-related report you could possibly dream up. This is great for managing inventory and even establishing alerts for low levels, so that you know when it’s time to order more. You will then be able to analyze your sales patterns and use this to perfect your business strategy.

Improved Markdown Management

With a sales system it is also much easier to devise, implement and manage different types of sales and discounts. This has typically been a very difficult problem for small and mid-sized businesses. In some cases, you might have been forced to go through sales receipts manually at the end of the day in order to identify how many of those “on sale” items were sold.

Using such a system, however, the sales can be input manually. Then, when an item is scanned at the checkout line, the correct, discounted price appears at the register. Simple. Not to mention that everything in this inventory is accurately tracked and reports can be run just as easily to identify these items.

Bottom Line

A good, strong computerized sales system can give your business a lot of benefits. Some of the best include the ability to more accurately track sales and inventory and automate many of your routine management functions. This can have the ultimate effect of freeing up your time so that you can work on your business rather than in the business.

Why You Should Consider Working Abroad

outsourced jobsRight now, the United States economy is puttering along. If you are struggling to start or advance your career, you should consider international opportunities. Of course, you should also be aware that in order to start a career abroad, you would have to offer tangible skills to any potential employer. Don’t expect to hop off a plane and to be hired on the spot.

Moving abroad can be an especially great choice for younger people. For one, you probably won’t be tied down to a house, or likely even a family. Relocation is much easier. One possibility is to join the Peace Corps, which doesn’t pay much but provides great experience. You could also teach English. Or if you have a teaching degree, you could teach at an international school abroad.

If you’re in a technical field, many countries may have demand for your services. For example, the oil and gas sector is booming in many places, such as Malaysia and Myanmar. If you happen to have a degree in oil and gas, you may be able to find a job in one of these far-flung countries. Or if you’re a finance expert, you should check out Asia’s financial hubs, such as Singapore and Hong Kong.

Mind you, a move abroad doesn’t have to be permanent. Many Western companies are expanding into emerging markets and often they are looking for volunteers who will go abroad for a year or two to help set up a new office. You should check to see if your own company has any such opportunities. You will get to enjoy a new experience and could build up your reputation within your company.

Working abroad isn’t for everyone, and sometimes even if you want to work abroad, there won’t be any opportunities. Like the title of this article states, you should “consider” working abroad. See if there are any opportunities in your field. Ask yourself if you think it’ll be a fun adventure, or a big hassle. If it seems like it will be a positive experience, go ahead, apply for opportunities, and check within your personal network for any chances to work overseas.

The Essentials of Silver Investing Under New Fed Leadership

investing in silverThe following post is by David Parker from

Silver investing is a great way of entering the commodities markets as it allows traders to diversify their investment portfolio with a safe haven asset. It also has the added attraction as it goes through periods of volatility giving great trading opportunities. With the change of chair of the US Fed we could see some interesting trading for silver.

Since the beginning of the latest global financial crisis in 2008, the number of investors who went in search for alternative investments grew dramatically. The downhill slide of several stock indices and shares, together with ever present volatility in the financial markets, pushed many traders to consider investing in safe haven assets. Even though silver is viewed by some as ‘gold’s poor cousin’, it remains as one of the most traded precious metals. Like its cousin, it is used as safe haven investment by traders who want to diversify their portfolios and add some relative stability. Demand for silver is relatively constant as it is a component used in manufacturing, jewellery, photography, and even medicine because of its conductivity and strength.

Even though it is produced in most countries, more than half of silver’s global production comes from the East (China and Australia) and Latin America (Mexico, Peru, and Chile). Silver is a commodity used for both industrial and investment purposes but in recent years most of its demand comes from the industrial sector. According to The Silver Institute, as of 2010 the industrial demand of silver has been more than 50% of its production and hence its price is mostly driven from there. It is estimated that this percentage is likely to increase in the future as technological advancements may find more uses for silver in electronics, cars, and the solar power industry.

Entering the silver market can be achieved by two main methods – either though physical purchase of silver or by investing in exchange-traded products. The purchase of physical silver is always more fulfilling because it puts the actual metal in the investor’s hands but it comes with a variety of costs from storing and insuring it, and even costs when selling it. Probably the most common method of silver investment is through Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), where traders get all the benefits from investing in silver without having to store it, however ETFs have more price volatility. A trader wishing to stay away from both high price volatility and physical silver ownership may look to invest in silver mutual funds. These portfolios may be combinations of different silver mining stocks and physical silver ownership which diversifies the risk. The downside with these funds is higher trading costs and the investor should have some knowledge of the stock market.

The sharp rise of silver prices during the first eight years of the 21st century was mainly due to the vast demand from emerging markets such as China and India. However, the last few years’ recovery of the European and U.S. markets, together with the slowing down of China’s growth, pushed silver prices very low. The ongoing speculation for the U.S. economy outlook and the future moves by the Fed as regards to the slowing down of its asset purchasing program are expected to be the main driving factors for the price of silver. The imminent appointment of Janet Yellen as Fed Chairman might be the beginning of a different approach to the U.S. economy’s Quantitative Easing (QE) program, and any holding back from further easing of the QE program may lift silver prices upwards.

As with any investment, traders should commit to researching for insights about silver before investing any capital. Silver was regarded as a symbol of wealth and prosperity but now new technologies require increasing quantities of the precious metal for the production of many products. Investors can enter the silver market in many ways and should always keep in mind that it’s going to be an exciting ride.