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Easiest to obtain credit cards

Investment Advisors (IAs) come in all different intellectual, professional, and alphabetical varieties.

They range in educational qualifications from High School dropout to PhD, and can be professional Accountants, Insurance Salesmen, Stock Brokers, Investment Managers, Dentists, Lawyers, TV personalities, and Gourmet Chefs. Anyone can be an Investment Advisor! It seems reasonable that your trust should gravitate toward those who have educational credentials, hands on experience with their own money, and no direct financial benefit from the advice provided. Stay safer by finding a fee only advisor who has just one profession… and the ability to say NO.Why do people become Investment Advisors? Call me skeptical, but I don’t think it’s the ethereal glow they feel after implementing your new Financial Plan. Actually (once you appreciate that IAs are the primary delivery system for Wall Street’s huge collection of one-size-fits-all products), you’ll realize that it’s the money. No conspiracy here, just a subtle brainwashing that has convinced you that the Advisor’s primary objective is to protect your family. In reality, the primary goal of commissioned advisors is to protect their own families, and they accomplish this by selling Investment Products. The Investment Advisor label has become a euphemism for product salesperson just as Financial Planner nearly always means Insurance salesperson. Stay safer by finding a fee only advisor who has just one profession… and the ability to say NO.Serious IAs can be identified by acronyms following their names (also by dark three piece suits and facial hair), RIA and CFP being the most common. As professional as this seems, designations do not create trustworthiness, for several reasons: IAs must become RIAs to be licensed to sell investment products. Most practitioners affiliate themselves with major Wall Street Institutions to defray their start up costs and many are subsidized in return for pushing their sponsor’s products. Finally, most advisors will remain in bed with one company at a time throughout their careers, constantly touting the present firm’s products as “best”. Hmmm. Hundreds of companies, thousands of IAs, convincing millions of shoppers (investors) that they have just purchased the one very best product to achieve their financial goals. From cradle to grave, most IAs dance to a tune that’s not being played by their clients.Over the past several years, Wall Street has managed to invade the once respected Insurance Industry by attaching Mutual Funds to life insurance and annuity products, making them far too speculative to achieve their once guaranteed objectives. But the “variable products” scam dwarfs in potential long-term impact to the more recent high crime against investors. This is the one that ignores the (in-your-face-obvious) Conflict of Interest when Accountants sell investment products! Many professionals have multiple degrees; few have multiple practices. You deserve a specialist. If your CPA/Lawyer/Doctor easiest to obtain credit cards (who’s next) can make a living in his primary practice, why sell investment products? Greed? Hubris? And why does Wall Street allow these non-professionals to push investment products? Don’t be naďve, the more people out there pushing Investment Products, the bigger the bonus for the Masters of the Universe. Stay safer by finding a fee only advisor who has just one profession… and the ability to say NO.In spite of the fact that the “burn out” rate among IAs compares with that of restaurants and Mutual Fund Managers, and that the advisory business itself is a cut-throat, competitive battlefield,easiest to obtain credit cards the Financial Institutions that employ the majority of IAs prosper, multiply, and produce more product for your “eyes wide shut” consumption… because you, your products, and the management fees remain! A caring and successful Investment Advisor makes an excellent income and should; a successful financial institution buys other financial institutions!The hierarchy of commissions paid to IAs can exceed 10% on “private deals”, limited partnerships, and a litany of speculative products and services. On the more controlled substances (sic), Annuity commissions can run above 8% with 10-year lock up provisions common and Mutual Funds provide a generous 4% to 6% whether you see them or not. New issues, odd lot Bonds, and other securities that don’t show a commission, include marketing fees and mark ups that can be substantial. What ever happened to individual Equity portfolios? It’s a combination of in-greed-ients… products are less work and produce more money. Stay safer by finding a fee only advisor who has just one profession, the ability to say NO, and who knows something about individual securities.Most people need Investment Advisors. Life Insurance protection is vital; fixed annuities are helpful for people of limited means; Mutual Funds are the only option (pity) in most self-directed retirement plans. The vast majority of employed Americans are Investors, actively or passively, with little time or expertise to select securities and manage portfolios. (If the Democrats would accept this, they just might win an election.) But recent experience confirms that we all have a responsibility to our own money, a responsibility that we should only delegate to a professional if we know what the professional is supposed to know. The fact that he or she is an XYZ Fund representative just isn’t enough. You need an independent advisor that has ideas rather than products and an understanding of markets, not marketing.If you are willing to ask the right questions, you can find an IA who might just be able to help you (and herself) at the same time. Try these for starters: Do you sell any products? Do you have a personal portfolio that I can review? Do you provide a “fee only” advisory service? How long have you been in the financial services business, and is it your only business? (It’s not your job to educate “newbies”!) Are you affiliated with any other financial services companies? Do you have at least five non-family clients who you have been advising for at least five years… that I can contact directly? Will you be compensated for referring me to someone? Stay safer by finding a fee only advisor who has just one profession and the ability to say NO.The ability to say NO? An advisor will tell you not to do something that he feels is inappropriate… a salesman will do what you tell him to do.2

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Brokerage firms serve as a vital link between buyers and sellers in ensuring trading of commodities through exchanges. These are the firms which actually execute sales and purchase orders of traders on exchanges against a specified rate of commission. In addition, these firms take their own positions in markets. As sophisticated players of commodity trading, these firms are also consulted by major traders on likely demand and supply scenarios regarding commodities and consequent market dynamics.

The agriculture commodities traded on major exchanges include soybean, cotton, corn and wheat; crude oil is one of the major non-agriculture exchange-traded items. Commodity brokerage firms are equally active in options as well as futures markets.

Commodity brokerages operate along the same lines as their counterparts in stock, bond and currency markets. The big ones usually provide value added services in addition to executing orders of their clients. Under value added services, these firms usually provide key market intelligence through published news letters and personal advice. These are called full service commodity brokerage firms in the market jargon, and they charge a relatively high rate of commission. In contrast, there are firms which offer few services other than executing their clients' sale and purchase orders. But, on the other hand, they also charge comparatively low rates of commission.

Some of these offer discounts to the prevailing commission rates in the markets. These are called discount brokers. Then, we have brokers in the commodity markets which offer even higher discounts to their clients. The latter are known as deep discount brokers. While big traders generally go for full service, smaller traders prefer discount brokers in order to limit costs and increase profit margins.

Don't get excited guys, this is not that kind of score and its impact lasts much longer than 30 seconds. We are talking about credit scoring and credit score that is also known as FICO (Fair Isaac & Co.) score.

So what is credit scoring? You have heard of personality profile that dating services use to find the best match between people. Well, credit scoring is a mathematically calculated financial profile lenders use to match applicants with loans. Credit scoring is a way for lenders to determine how much risk is involved in lending money to you and based on that risk they may decide not to lend money to you at all or change the terms of the loans to match the risk.

Who uses credit scoring? Credit scoring has been around forever, that is since 1950s, and it was first used for issuing credit cards and auto loans. Now all sort of creditors including home mortgage lenders use it. But they also consider other factors such as your salary, your employment and your assets.

So what's in a credit score? Pick a number, any number between 300 and 850. That would probably be someone's credit score also known as FICO (Fair Isaac & Co.) score. In the eyes of potential creditors, scores closer to 850 indicate more credit worthiness, which in turn comforts these skittish creditors that you are more likely to pay your loan than a person with lower credit score.

The following are interpretations of what various FICO score ranges mean.

* Excellent: Over 750
* Very Good: 720 to 750
* Acceptable: 660 to 720
* Uncertain: 620 to 660
* Risky: less than 620

What impacts my FICO Score? This credit score number is a relative number and as much as possible objective. By relative, I mean that it compares your financial habits with others in similar situation. The first step is gathering information about how you treat money, do you pay your bills on time, how many credit accounts you have, what type, do you have any collection action against an account, how much total debt you have, and a bunch of other data.

Then the objective part kicks in by using mathematical calculation that do not care about how you look, what religion you have, etc. The lenders only want to know how likely you are to pay their money back in a timely manner and without hassling them.

The FICO score calculations consider the following factors:

Your payment history 35% : Do you pay your bills on time? Have you ever been delinquent, or are you consistently late? How about collection notices and bankruptcy? The answer to these questions account for about 35% of your credit score.

Total debt : How much do you owe lenders compared to the total amount you can borrow impacts about 30% of your credit score. If your credit cards are close to being maxed out, it may indicate looming financial problems and a possibility of default and it drops your credit score.

Length of credit history: Approximately 15% of your credit score calculation depends on how long you have had your accounts? Three days, six months, ten years? The longer credit history has a positive impact on your credit score.

Taking on more debt: Are you taking on more new debts? Even applying for too many new cards too quickly may be considered as financial difficulty and impacts your credit score in a negative way. This builds about 10% of your credit score.

Types of credit in use: About 10% of your credit score depends on the type of credit mix you have. High ratio of credit cards and installments loans in relationship to mortgages has a negative impact on your credit score.

Why do I need to check my credit report from each major credit bureau?

Despite normalization of credit scoring system that gives credit scores about the same value at all major credit bureaus, the information reported to these bureaus are not identical. So, one credit bureau may receive information that impacts your credit scoring one way and another credit bureau receives another set of information that impacts your credit scoring in another way.

The good news is that as of September 1, 2005, as an American, you can ask for a free credit report from each of the major nationwide consumer reporting companies once every 12 months.

Four simple tips to improve your credit score:

* Pay your bills on time, especially your mortgage and your installment loans.
* Borrow below your credit limits and do not max out your credit cards.
* Carry two or three credit cards only.
* Don't apply for several credit cards at one time.

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