Monthly Archives: December 2017

Savings and Investments

If your income is small or plenty, it is always important to consider many elements of savings and investments such as:

Wants and needs

If your investments are sound and your savings sufficient, you will have a certain amount of money. Money can help solve problems, yet love of money can cause you many problems. Money can bring happiness or cause you troubles. It can definitely provide us with food, clothing, shelter, transportation, medical care, and entertainment. You and I need money for education and entertainment.

Often think and talk with friends about the effects of money or a shortage of money. Do you have enough saved to survive a crisis? Do you want or need more financial security? Do you worry about money problems? So you overspend, or deprive yourself and feel sad? Are you satisfied with your lifestyle? For sure, money is a powerful commodity…but in the end, it is only a medium of exchange.

I know this is a boring subject. I also know that if you will bear with me for a few pages I can show you how important it is. There are exceptions to everything in life and I will try to avoid showing how one person invented a something and made a million during his first year in college. There are eight billions people on earth and most will always be poor. This is primarily because of world over population on earth. The over population encourages social problems such as hunger, lack of school education, no employment, sickness, diseases, crime, insufficient medical care, etc. Each year planet earth has more difficulties supporting the numbers.

You and I are fortunate to live in an industrial part of this earth that has fewer problems, but still, most of us will still not enjoy the finer things in life or live in the better side of town. This is primarily our fault for not preparing ourselves to take advantage of the opportunities that are available to most of us.

Each of you will find that education is the very best investment in your life. Study hard each day and learn as much as you can as early as possible about as much as possible. No one can ever take a single day of your education away from you. This includes both formal education and job schooling.

Strive to finish your university requirements and acquire a trade or profession. Strive to prepare yourself to have more than just one job or profession to fall back on. We never know what the world economy and job market has in store for us later. You and only you are responsible for your actions, so always study and learn.

Living in the better area of town probably did not just happen by accident for those living there… unless they inherited their well-being. Most people work hard to get where they are, but that normally is not enough either. It normally takes more than just hard work to get into the better area of town. That is what I want to explain to each of you.

We must begin planning our future while we are young. Planning is just as important as hard work. Planning, discipline, determination, hard work, and saving money make up the foundation for our goals.

No doubt you have heard the saying that the most important part of a house is the foundation. The most important part of your future is the foundation you begin building now as a young person.

First, you need good health to feel like working. Then you need the schooling in order to get the job you like and want, so you can make the amount of money you need to move to the better area of town. I feel that health and schooling are tremendously important. Eat properly, get sufficient rest, and have regular medical checkups are keys to good health. Feeling good, developing self-discipline and good study habits are keys to getting the schooling you will need.

I had school friends that enjoyed studying and every school assignment was a welcome challenge. I had other friends, more similar to me, that did not really enjoy studying, but we knew we needed to do some studying in order to pass the exams and move to the next grade. I certainly realize now that those who did the most studying in junior and high school were the ones that most likely went on to college and really learned a profession or trade and later got the jobs that paid them more money, which made it easier to get into that better area of town.

Money talks, it opens doors, and is definitely needed if you really want a house in the better area of town. You need to begin planning your future and accomplishing objects towards your big goal while you are young.

We all have human nature desires, but we must also put them into perspective and not let these desires interfere with or prevent us from achieving our main goals. We all enjoy partying, but too much partying and having good times can interfere with good health and our schooling. This is a bad thing. We all enjoy the satisfaction of our sexual desires, but this can result in a young girl enduring an unwanted pregnancy. Children having babies is a bad thing. A family can be a burden while going to school. Trying to study with a crying baby and a tired complaining mate in the next room is a difficult thing. Successfully finishing college with a family to support is difficult. Not learning as much as possible while in college is a bad thing.

Our self-made list of bad things can destroy our chances of achieving our goals…like moving to the better area of town.

Most of us that fail to realize our goals understand well that we did not plan very well and our personal actions and private life could have been different. In China or Africa, one can blame the government and a lack of opportunities, but for most of us living in North America and Europe can only blame ourselves…no one else. We have a chance and must have the guts to take it.

Water seeks its own level and all of us can succeed to some level of decent living, unless we really do dumb things like getting hooked on drugs or winding up on skid roe because of alcohol. The level of our education will most often have a major bearing on the jobs we have and the income we make, but regardless most everyone will have goals of some level.

Saving Money: Saving money is the absolute key. Developing a strict discipline to save money is difficult. It requires not doing many little fun things we want to do. It is never too late to begin saving, but it is so much easier to learn to save as a young person. It isn’t easy, but it pays off.

It is easier not to spend money if we don’t touch it. Be strict with yourself from the first earnings you make from your first job. Put so much of it into a can or the bank. Never, allow you to touch it or spend it. Bite your tongue, twist your finger, stand on your foot, but don’t give in. After a few months, it gets much easier. Every time you get a pay raise or vacation money, increase your saving routine.

Read advice on personal savings. You can visit a library or go to the web and find an abundance of good advice.

You can only spend your money once. Some one said, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” I say, “A dollar spent is a dollar gone forever.” Even as a young person, you will be tempted to buy fashion cloths. If you have a rich daddy and he pays all the bills, go for it.

Thank goodness, my wife and I feel it is stupid to pay a company for the opportunity to advertise their goods. That is what you do when you buy a name-brand sweater for forty dollars, when you can buy the same quality sweater without the big visible name brand label for twenty dollars.

These companies are smart. They play on human nature that people love to show off. They know that many people will be big show-offs, buy clothes just to show off the label, and give the company free advertisement. Wow, that is very dumb. Learn to shop wisely; don’t have a complex to show off to others. They don’t pay your bills. They just laugh softly to themselves while they compliment you for your expensive show off sweater with the big-name-label. They are likely feeling sorry for you for being so phony.

It is true, the older you get the more money you need. Many young people probably get money from dad and mom for entertainment and clothes. But now as a teen and making your own money, you are probably trying to figure out how to stay in style, be able to attend another concert, and subscribe to another magazine. It all takes cash. Wow!

Maybe you still get an allowance, or mow lawns, or baby sit. The odds are you don’t make enough to get what you want. The only answer is likely budgeting. Now you face that big adult word. If you learn early to spend your money wisely, you can have more of the great things your parents think you do not need.

Most schools apparently do not teach enough about money management. Surveys show that the average teen spends over $4,000 a year, and few teens understand what a credit report is, how to avoid identity theft, the dangers of credit cards, and the difference in buying vs. leasing a car.

Most young adults understand the importance of saving for the future, but haven’t started saving, and are still battling debt. Surveys indicate that most young adult women and men live pay check to pay check. One survey showed that about 40% had a credit card balance of $5000 or more and that one in five owes more than $10,000 in credit card debt.

Do you each realize that it is not unusual to be charged 12% interest on a credit card balance? That means you waste $1,200 a year (of hard earned cash) if you have a $10,000 credit card balance. Wow! That is $1,200 hard cash you could have to?????

Since excessive debt is pressing concern for young people, most of them have not begun an effective saving plan. While most of these wonderful young adults mentally rate saving for retirement more important than buying a home, having nice clothes, or even getting married, most do not have an investment plan. Why? Discipline is a big factor, but lacking in investment knowledge is also a big factor.

Leasing or Buying a car: Everyone needs a car, but unless you really have lots of extra cash, be content to drive an inexpensive dependable car and do the minor repairs until you do have the needed extra money to get your dream auto.

Then try to pay cash. Don’t laugh. Just pay close attention. Try hard not waste any money on loan interest, which only makes the bank stockholders rich from your hard work.

Leasing can even be good for a teen student if you carefully consider such things as how many miles you will drive a year, how long before you can afford to buy a car, and do you prefer to work on your own car or customize it.

You can immediately have a car when you buy or lease. It is better to buy a car if you wish to customize it. If you plan to drive more than 12,000 miles in a year, consider buying. If you do not have the money to buy, consider leasing. If you feel you can save buy in two or three years, consider leasing.

Leasing accounts for about one third of new car deals, but don’t even consider a new car. Only read this for information.

Leasing offers lower monthly payments than buying and often lower down payments or no down payment. You can drive away in a new car for less cash up front. However, be careful that you fully understand your lease contract. If you exceed your preset mileage limit, they may charge you a steep penalty of up to 25 cents a mile. They may charge you for excess wear and tear.

Be sure you examine you lease car carefully and take “dated” pictures of every inch of the car. You will be charged for every scratch and dent when you return the car.

You cannot make any changes to a lease car…not even installing a stereo system. If you need to get out of the lease for any reason, they may charge you a substantial early termination fee or penalty, which could be thousands of dollars.

In my opinion’ it is wise to get advice from your parents or a friend in buying an old heap that you feel you can fix up and maintain. You can probably find a friend that will help repair your old heap and teach you the repair routine. Suffer for a year or two with only four-wheel-transportation and save every penny possible, so you can put a substantial down payment on a nice car. Even better, save until you can pay cash for your next car.

Think! If you pay cash for a car and then immediately begin putting the equivalent of a car payment into your savings, you can save enough to pay cash for your next car. If you save $200 per month for five years, you will have $12,000. If you save $300 per month for fives years, you will have saved $18,000. A few smart people use this routine and never again pay a cent in loan interest. In fact, they make a small percent profit from their savings during five years.

The draw back is that it takes sacrifice. You cannot show off with a new car for five years and you must always go o the bank every month and deposit the $300 into your savings account. The benefit is you don’t pay a bank 7% interest on a car loan each year. You are taking a first step to becoming debt free in the future.

Credit Cards: We are in an era of credit cards. This can be good and it can be bad. It is convenient to use the plastic, but remember that every credit card company is out to make money. You will pay a high interest rate on every penny used.

Credit card companies know teens and college students are gullible and they try hard to take advantage of their inexperience and ignorance.

Still credit cards have advantages. You can build up a positive credit history, which will help you in the future to get a student loan, buy a car, rent an apartment, and later buy a house. The little plastic card reduces the need to carry cash or check, is security in case of an emergency, and can build personal responsibility and independence.

A bad side of credit cards is that it is easy and tempting to carry a high balance, which is very expensive to you because of the loan interest rate. A high-unpaid balance is a quick way to incur too much debt and fall behind in payments.

A credit card is easy to get, but are you ready for the card? Are you ready to handle the responsibility? Do you really need a card? Can you afford a card? Will you pay off the balance each month?

Shop around for the best card for you. Look for the lowest interest rate or finance charges. Look for low or no annual fees. Compare the grace period; the period before the bank posts finance charges. Look for additional benefits such as airline miles, free gas, and purchase warranties.

A doctor performed plastic surgery in my bank’s lobby…
He cut up his credit card.

I read somewhere that 20% of American teens carry four or more credit cards. One is enough. When you become a traveling executive, get more. You have enough on your mind and don’t need to be one of the teens that files for bankruptcy or often has delinquent credit card balances.

From day one understand your credit card contract…and check you monthly statement with a hawk’s eye. Contact the company immediately if you even feel you have a question.

Use the strictest personal discipline. Never purchase more that you can pay off at the month’s end. Be aware of annual fees, such as $50 per year just to have a particular card. Some cards carry a 20% interest on the unpaid balance. A cash advance can result in a high finance charge. Fully understand all introductory offers. Some are tricky.

The very first time you get behind paying off your balance at month’s-end, immediately cut your expenses, especially the recreational expenses. Develop or streamline your budget. Contact the credit card company for advice on a repayment schedule. Never be ashamed to ask for credit counseling services.

Your credit card or bank loan can assist you in building a needed positive credit report, but if you aren’t careful it can also build a very negative report for you.

There are three or four major credit reporting agencies in the U.S. Believe me, everything you do with credit gets to them and they keep it almost forever. So, be smart and insure that you only have positive information fed to these agencies. You future credit can depend on it.

Identity Theft: Identity theft is on the rise. Identify theft is when someone steals your personal data and information to illegally use your credit accounts, open new ones or mess with your bank account, etc.

Thieves are smart. They get your personal information from so many sources, such as, finding info in the trash or on your mail, stealing wallets, acquiring info from unsecured Internet sites, copying your personal data sheets at work, etc. They look for your name, Social Security number, DOB, address, bank account numbers, etc.

Then they use this info to open bank accounts, new credit card accounts, buy a car, hook up a phone, just about anything.

Often major damage has occurred before you even notice that someone is using your personal info. You must monitor your credit card statements and any other credit reports carefully and frequently. Protect your credit cards and personal data.

Theft may involve elements other than a credit card. The thief may use your personal info to get phone service, open a bank account in your name, get a car loan, etc. Thieves are smart, so don’t be careless.

Shop around when buy a new or used car. Let us assume that you have saved your money and now want a new car. Take you time and discuss your situation with friends and perhaps a bank manager.

A bank manager once advised me to go slow and shop around at several companies selling new cars. He told me to decide what price I want to pay or can pay. Then I should shop around for cars available in that price range. I should be firm and negotiate and not be rushed by anyone. Let the salesperson know that a month’s wait is OK.

The best time to buy a new care is a few months before the new model comes out. Then decide what you need and then what you want in a new car. You will pay extra for most extra things you want.

Ask for details about their credit terms…and then ask what special discount you can get if you pay cash. Let the sales person know you have been looking around. Take your time, be tough, and bargain as if you are visiting a Turkish bazaar.

Many sales outlets have a large sales commission for the sales persons and it is not usual for a sales person to reduce his commission just to make a quick sale. This is especially true during the low and slow periods of the year and even true during the third week of each month. Try to decide which are the slow moving models and perhaps you will find a real bargain.

Shopping for a new car can expose you to tremendous bargains on one or two year old cars that are being turned in as the owner moves up to the new model. The new car salesman has all of this information. My son picked up an 18 month old beauty with every single factory entry, and it only had 25,000 miles. The dealer even threw in four winter tires with rims. The car looks like a new car and only cost half the price of a new one with fewer extras. It’s true he was lucky, but he had shopped around.

Saving Plans and Ideas: Time is money, so do not wait years to start a saving plan. A friend of mine married a few months after finishing college. He married a very intelligent girl that insisted on being a partner and not just a wife. They communicated well and both established a common goal to save enough money to buy a small farm in thirty years.

They both had a profession and employment. They decided they could live off her salary and save all of his. Except for five years she worked part time when their two children arrived, they normally succeeded with their plan. They both had a grand joint-goal and were willing to live on the small scale for the thirty years.

Both children wanted to attend college, so their parents appraised their savings when the first was eighteen. They had saved $500,000. They decided to reduce their monthly savings for six years and invest in the children’s education until both children finished college.

For a couple of years after college expenses ceased, my friends traveled and looked for their dream farm. They found their dream in Vermont and finally invested in land and built a house large enough for both children to have a small apartment. The town-ship location was ideal and they opened an office where they could share space and continue their separate professions as long as they wanted to work or until retirement.

No one handed them their dream on a golden platter. They had to plan, work together, share, sacrifice, and save. They made it work and each of you can too if you set your mind to do it. We all make our success or our failure. Only we are responsible for our actions.

Another friend was also fortunate and married a wonderful woman that wanted to be a partner for life and work towards a common goal. They decided that they would save every penny of his salary increases and would live off the amount he was making when they met plus the money she would earn. With few interruptions, they managed to do this. Several years later when his job location was permanent, they bought a very nice house and paid cash.

They planned, sacrificed, and saved…and were able to begin enjoying their second joint-dream, which was to travel and see as much of America and the world as possible.

I feel strongly that the secret to anyone’s success is being fortunate enough to find a supportive partner that will be a partner and a friend and want to help pull and push the family responsibilities over the hill.

On the other hand, I feel strongly that few men or women can jointly or individually reach a goal if either drags his or her feet, acts like a trailer, and insists on someone else to pull them over the hill. It is a fortunate man that finds a good woman and a fortunate woman that finds a good man.

You will not likely find a good partner by luck. That is why I write this book. As a young person, listen to advice from your parents, teachers, and friends, and read and read. Be tough on your self and be tough on your friends. Never waste a minute on any person that is a waste.

Water seeks its own level. Waste gathers waste. Pity looks for pity. Liars look for liars. Liars have poor memories. Excuses produce excuses. Laziness is contagious.

Fingernails with chipped polish indicate laziness. A person with dirty ears and teeth will be dirty in other areas too. People that have a problem finding soap and water will look for other excuses too. You do not want to see the panties of a girl that wears a sweat stained bra. Don’t expect to meet a boy in a cheap disco that prefers the opera. Birds of a feather flock together. What you tolerate is likely how you will wind up.

Be rough, tough and selective with your teen friends, serious relationships, and especially with the person you choose to be your partner.

My uncle was a career military man. He returned from the war and quickly married his high school sweetheart. After a year, she felt she enjoyed the military life and they decided to spend the next twenty-five years in the service.

It was normal for them to move about every three years. Their joint plan was to carefully buy a house each time they moved, but never sell it. They financed each house for twenty to twenty-five years on straight-line interest. When they retired, they owned seven houses. About every three years later, one house became paid. They then decided whether to sell it or wait awhile. When they sold a house, the selling price was much more than the amount they paid for it. This was their very successful investment plan.

Trust no one. “Don’t believe anything you hear and only half of what you see.”

Never ever, sign a contract or agreement before having a lawyer advice you. Few of us understand legal terms well enough. Never trust anyone, not even a family member, for legal advice.

Learn early to budget your time and money on things you do and buy, including, food, clothing, entertainment, cars, vacation, hobbies, savings, and investments.

Learn to suffer and pay as you go. Avoid buying anything on credit unless it is necessary. Have a credit card primarily for emergencies, but try not to use it. Credit is a wonderful convenience but too easily gets out of hand. If you do use credit, try to pay off the balance when due or earlier. Have you noticed the beautiful huge new building that banks build? They make a fortune from people who cannot resist credit and do not pay bills on time. Avoid wasting your hard-earned money as you make stockholders, banks, and financial institutions rich.

Often credit unions are the best place to borrow money. Look around and read the small print.

Order the free U.S. Government Consumer Information Catalog each year. You will find loads of booklets and information to help you manage your money.

Insure that you and every member of your family have a current and legally correct, “Will”. Maintain it and update situational changes such as deaths, marriages, births, and divorce.

Whether you are in college or not try to take fun courses on money management and investments. Your local community college often has evening classes that will assist you become more “money wise” and educated.

“What seems too good to be true might be just that.” Continue to seek advice before jumping off and doing something you will regret.

When seeking advice, talk, (only talk) with insurance agents, teachers, college instructors, bankers, lawyers, investment brokers etc. Learn and learn.

This is a little extra for you to keep in mind when you are older. Try to avoid developing a mentality of wasting money on baby clothes just to impress friends and strangers. Buying new clothing for babies and young children is normally a big waste of money, because the clothing is too expensive and the children outgrow them too quickly.

Whom do you really buy expensive new clothing for anyway? It certainly is not for the baby or young child. They certainly do not know the difference at this age, so save this money in a can, piggy bank, or child’s savings account, for the time when they are teens.

Then they will be fashion conscious and will appreciate your money assistance. Learn to visit and utilize second hand stores, thrift shops, and accept handy-downs.

Land investment: Illogical religious doctrine encourages world over-population, so it is doubtful that the world population will decrease. However, it is certain that the available land on earth will not increase. FACT: each year land gets more scarce and this means more expensive each year. Try to make smart investments in land and houses. If you feel fairly certain you will not be moving in the near future invest in as nice and expensive house as you can afford, because normally the price of your property will go up each year.

Savings and Investments – How Are They Different?

Savings and Investments are absolutely important for every citizen. They can be used in various ways to meet expenses but it must be understood that there are some major differences between the two.

Economists and bankers always advise that ‘savings’ as a habit has to be learned at a very young age; this essentially teaches the value of money in a small way and helps to understand macroeconomics at a later stage. Saving money and investing money are two completely different concepts altogether; savings is part of the money left over after monthly or annual bills and expenses have been met or keeping aside a certain portion of the income. Savings are generally used to deal with unexpected expenditure like an illness or unforeseen accident, home repairs, educational expenses etc. It can be a pre-fixed percentage of total earnings like 10 percent or 20 percent. In other words, savings is hard cash ‘saved’ from expenditure by being cautious or avoiding an expenditure altogether. Investments on the other hand pertain to that certain sum of money put aside in financial products or systems to generate returns and increase incomes.

The three prime factors where savings and investments differ are:

• Time – savings usually cater to short-term needs unlike investments that need longer durations of time from a few months to a few years to generate returns.

• Liquidity – savings are the most liquid of assets as they are accessible at any time. Investments however cannot be liquidated immediately and may take from a few days or a few weeks to attain liquid status.

• Risk and reward – the risk factor with regard to savings is almost negligible but do not see much return as compared to investments, which may be fraught with risks. But investments that are done wisely – for e.g. in gold, mutual funds, shares and stocks etc. – can help fetch manifold returns over a period of time.

Tax Free Savings and Investments

While ISAs are a popular way to save money while avoiding tax, they aren’t your only option. Depending on your needs and the amount of risk you’re willing to take, you’ll find a range of products to suit you.


The ISA is a well-known and popular way of saving money, tax-free. Different types of ISA deliver different benefits and advantages:

Cash ISA

The standard cash ISA works like a savings account, except the interest you accumulate isn’t taxed. While you may have easy access to your money in a cash ISA, not all plans have a great rate of interest.

Share ISA

An investment or share ISA allows you to hold stock, such as shares and funds, in your account and allow them to grow tax-free. You need to consider the risk carefully when you choose your shares and bonds, since you’ll want the highest possible returns and lowest risk. It’s a good idea to consult a financial advisor to help make your choice.

There is a limit to the amount of money you can put into an ISA each year (£10,200 for 2010/11). In addition, the capital gains tax means that your money’s tax relief extends to a certain limit (£10,100 for 2010/11). You should consider whether it makes sense to save or invest your money within an ISA wrapper.

Other options

There are alternatives to the ISA when it comes to tax free saving and investment:

Venture Capital Trusts

VCTs invest in small firms, often at an early stage of development and listed on the Alternative Investment Market. This is a high-risk investment but offers 30% tax relief on new shares of up to £200,000. You must keep your shares for at least five years or risk losing the tax relief incentive.

Friendly Societies

Friendly societies allow you to save a small amount of money each year, in monthly payments or as a lump sum, and make tax free savings on that amount. You must keep the plan for a minimum of ten years before reaping the benefits. In recent years, these plans have not performed well in comparison to the stock market.

Offshore Investment

Investments you make offshore deliver many opportunities for tax deferral or even avoidance. While the money you make might outperform domestic investments be aware that your gains is liable to tax in Britain should you choose to move funds back to the UK. If you’re able to co-ordinate how long you will be out of the country, you could stand to enhance your savings significantly. Be aware however, this strategy comes with a complicated set of legal restrictions which must be strictly observed