Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Choosing a Financial Planner - 10 Questions to Ask

There are a lot of reasons you might be considering getting help from
a financial planner. Planning for retirement is usually a primary
reason. Along with others like the education of your children, or
buying a home or not having the know how to get your finances in
order. Whatever the needs may be the right financial planner will be
instrumental in securing the future.

This article is intended to help you assess any number of financial
planners until find the one that is right for you. You will be looking
for a qualified individual who is both professional and with whom you
can feel comfortable with. You can use this article to create a
checklist if you would like.

1. How Experienced Are You?

Ask about how long they have been a financial planner. Ask about the
types of companies they are associated with and how many there are.
Ask for a brief description of heir experience in relation to their
current practice.

2. What Qualifications Do You Have?

Ask the kind of qualifications they have. Are they a ChFC (Chartered
Financial Consultant), CFP (Certified Financial Planner), PFS
(Personal Financial Specialist) or a CPA (Certified Public
Accountant). A lot of financial professionals can use the term
"Financial Planner" so make sure to find about which designations are
carried. Ask how the planner stays current with changing trends,
product developments and new product releases.

3. What Kinds Of Services Are Offered?

The services offered are dependent on issues like licensing, areas of
expertise and credentials. Giving investment advice requires you to be
registered with state or federal authorities generally speaking. Also,
in order to sell mutual funds, stocks, securities, or insurance
products a planner must be properly licensed. Like me, I carry all the
appropriate licenses for the insurance products I sell.

4. What Kind Of Technique Do You Use?

Some financial planners want you to have acquired a designated worth
before moving ahead. Some planners like to provide advice only in the
areas desired. Some financial planners will develop one scenario by
bundling all facets of your financial objectives. Make sure you
familiarize yourself with the financial situations the planner is most
comfortable with.

5. Are You The Only Person I Will Be Working With?

Make sure to find out if the planner will pursue the plan designed for
you, will the planner have assistants or will the planner refer you to
other professionals.

6. How Do You Require Payment?

Payment will be included in the agreement you design. The planner will
lay it out in writing how payment will be scheduled. There are usually
a few different methods a planner will use.
a. Salary. The employer of the planner will receive payments from you
either in fees or commissions
and pay the planner a salary.
b. Flat Rate. There will be a percentage, flat rate or even just an
hourly rate.
c. Commissions. A commission paid on the products sold to you to carry
out the plan designed for you.
d. Combination. Payment may be a combination of certain fees and a
commission on products sold. Some may offset certain fees for purchase
of certain products.

7. What Are Your Normal Charges?

A planner should be able to provide an estimate, or a ballpark figure
based on having rendered these services before. Usually the estimate
will include the flat fee or hourly rate for the services. It will
also include the commission paid on the products you may purchase
based on their recommendations.

8. Will Other Parties Benefit From The Advice You Give Me?

Ask the planner to disclose, in writing, any conflicts of interest
that might arise based on the business relationships they hold. Will
the planner receive any business for referring you to another
professional for advice or suggestions/products?

9. Have You Ever Had Action Brought Against You for Unethical Behavior?

There are several professional and governmental organizations such as
the NASD(National Association Of Securities Dealers) state insurance
dept. and CFP(Certified Financial Planner) Board who keep records of
these actions. Ask what organizations this planner is specifically
regulated by. Ask for the disclosure form known as the Form ADV 2.
This is a form the planner should have available upon request. This is
just a simple form that identifies all the organizations he/she is
affiliated with.

10. Get It In writing.

I don't care how you ask, get it in writing. Make sure all details of
the agreement are spelled out and understood. Make sure to keep this
document in a safe reliable place.

Read More......

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Bankwest Is Now Part Of Australia'S Biggest Bank Atm Network

Bankwest is Now Part of Australia's Biggest Bank ATM Network.

Bankwest customers now have access to the nation's biggest bank ATM network with 4,000 machines across Australia.

In a further benefit of its acquisition by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), Jon Sutton said Bankwest customers will be able to use the CBA's 3,300 ATMs without being charged ATM fees. Likewise, CBA customers will be able to use Bankwest's 700-plus cash
machines nationally.

Meanwhile, Bankwest is currently determining pricing for Direct Charging and Foreign ATM usage and will advise customers as soon as a decision is made.

In announcing the expanded network, which comes into effect on 1 March 2009, Mr Sutton said the added convenience of the additional 3,300 Commonwealth Bank Australia ATMs means customers have greater choice and more ways to avoid paying Direct Charge fees that will be introduced on March 3 across industry at the request of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

"This is fantastic news for Bankwest customers and gives them access to more than five times the number of ATMs than they previously had access to," Mr Sutton said.

"In addition, our customers can still use Bankwest ATMs located in 7/11 stores without incurring any additional fees," he said.

Further information:

Adrian Bradley, Group External Communications Manager, 0427 674 851,

Read More......

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Poor Credit Personal Loans: Resolve Bad Credit Worries Without Any Complexities

Those with serious credit problems have to struggle a lot, while applying for fresh loans. it is their past credit history that turns out to be a major hurdle. Even then, there are ways through which, you can generate the much needed financial assistance, which in turn will enable you to not only meet the needs but also to get rid of the credit issues.

Poor credit personal loans are just what you need to avail under such circumstances.

Poor credit personal loans are indeed a rewarding option for those with multiple credit deficits such as CCJs, IVA, arrears, defaults etc. These loans are easy to derive, despite your credit issues. In fact, it can be said that these loans are crafted to suit your circumstances. With the aid of the loans, you can make home renovation, consolidate debts, meeting wedding expenses, funds for education of children, maintenance of car and many more. The main aim is top provide you the much needed financial freedom.

Like other conventional loans, these loans too are categorized in to secured and unsecured option. Secured option is collateral based and is made available for a longer period and that too at comparatively low interest. On the other hand, unsecured option is made available for those who are not in any position to attach collateral. A relatively small amount is released for a short term period and that too against a slightly high rate of interest. However by undertaking a detailed research of the market, you can get access to a deal that suits your prevailing circumstances.

These loans are also available online and can be derived instantaneously. All that you have to do is to fill up a simple application form with the required details. Once the details are verified, the amount is then transferred in to your bank account. Besides, you get to save a lot of time and precious energy, as you get to avail the loans without personally visiting the lender.

Thus, poor credit personal loans can be good alternative, as it enables you to fulfill your needs as well as stabilize the financial standing.

Read More......

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

What Exactly is a Home Improvement Loan?

A home improvement loan is actually one of the simplest ways in which you can live in your dream home. This is because it is the prime option for someone wanting to enhance the appearance of their home and also add to the value. In other words, a home improvement loan pays off in many ways. First of all, your home looks great and, second of all, the investment pays for itself because the home goes up in value.

As for how you get a home improvement loan, there are a couple of ways. The first is that you can simply go to your bank and request the money. You can do an assessment of how much work you would like to do and request that amount. The second way is to refinance your mortgage and use the equity in your home to fund your home improvement project. How you do this is you refinance for the worth of your home, you pay off our mortgage, and you then take the difference between the worth of your home and your mortgage and use that money to fund your home improvement project.

Types of home improvement

You can use your loan to fund any improvement to your home. You may want to simply improve the appearance of your home or you may have worn and broken areas that must be fixed or replace. However, the loan must make sure that the improvements that are done to the home are right with the borrower's needs and don't exceed the amount that the borrower is borrowing. This means you need to make sure you cover all of your improvements by not deviating from your initial plan.

For example, you may wish to add rooms onto your home. Maybe you need an extra bathroom or an extra bedroom. Perhaps you want a sun porch or a sitting room where you can sit and relax for a while. It is really up to you. Maybe your plumbing needs an overhaul or you need to put more siding on your house.

Here is a more detailed idea of what you can achieve with a home improvement loan:

- Installation of central heat and air
- Installing a fire place
- Swimming pool installation
- Rewiring the home
- Remodeling any room in the house

Loan details

There are certain details of the loan that you must be mindful of. The first thing you must keep in mind is that the interest rate of your home improvement loan is going to depend on your credit rating. If you are credit challenged, you may find that getting a competitive rate is somewhat difficult.

However, there has been an increased amount of competition between financial institutions because more and more people are looking for home improvement loans. Because of this competition, there are more options for borrowers to take advantage of. There are a number of online lending services that have added to this competition, which also increases the chances of getting an approval on a home improvement loan. The process has been simplified by these entities.

But before getting the loan, make sure you get quotes on how much it would cost you. You can assess the work yourself, but you can have a professional do it even if you do decide that it is a project you want to do all on your own. This increases your chances of being able to stay within the amount the loan is for. If you exceed your loan amount, you may not be able to pay for the remainder of your improvements. But know that if you need a home improvement loan, different lenders have different options for you.

Read More......