Bankruptcy Is Not A Sin

Movimento Sem-Terra (MST) - Brasil (Projeto retratos)
photo credit: Daniel Zanini H.

As a Bankruptcy Counselor, I hear everyday how people are so stressed from their debt that they can’t sleep. I say this isn’t necessary, nor should it be happening. Why should people have this much stress over money the rest of their life? They didn’t commit murder, yet it would probably be easier on their mind if they did. All they did was borrow more than they could afford, had an unfortunate event happen to them, or both.

Bankruptcy’s Stigma

There are people who abuse the system, but you can’t let a few ruin it for the many. Bankruptcy shouldn’t have a stigma attached to it.Most people who file for bankruptcy have an unfortunate event happen and they are over extended. Of course some of that could be prevented with some personal finance knowledge. But who’s to blame for that? Can you blame someone who doesn’t really know any better?

If we lived in a society that sacrificed a virgin to the gods? Doesn’t that make it ok to kill a human being if it means better crops?

We live in a spendthrift society. It’s the norm to have everything you want because it makes us feel good. So can you blame people for borrowing money if it makes us happier?

The Lender Should Be Responsible

The way I see it is that you shouldn’t give personal loans to someone unless you think they will pay it back or you can afford to lose it. And if something happened so that they couldn’t pay it back you should work with them so that they would be able to pay for it. Otherwise you obviously don’t want the money back.

Why do some banks not want to work with you until you say the magic word “Bankruptcy”? They say it’s because if they did then everyone would try to have the bank work with them. I don’t buy it. First off, the bank could verify your income and prevent those that can really afford it from taking part in it. There’s really only one first off because that would solve the problem. Would the banks not be making more money because the interest is still accruing?

Dave Ramsey Is Wrong

Dave Ramsey doesn’t promote bankruptcy because it’s a “gut-wrenching, life-changing event that causes lifelong damage.” I don’t think so whatsoever. That’s more like the description if you don’t file for bankruptcy.

I hear people all of the time saying they wish they did bankruptcy sooner. They say that because it was so emotionally gut-wrenching to stick it out for so long.  Being relieved of that burden of debt is such a wonderful feeling.

What I Am Saying

I’m just saying if the banks won’t work with you and you tried all of your other options, don’t stick it out and hope it gets better. Make it better yourself by filing bankruptcy. It’s really not the end of the world.

But of course if you are pondering bankruptcy make sure you know about the negatives and positives. It can be harder to get credit in the beginning but you can start building up you credit right away.

If you had to go through bankruptcy because of mismanagement, then be sure you learn how to manage money because you will live in misery for 8 years because that’s how long it will be before you can file another chapter 7 bankruptcy.

If you filed because of an unfortunate event, then try to learn from it and try to prepare from it happening again.

Stop waiting and make something happen.

What do you think about bankruptcy?



Small businesses fight against pensions, employee benefits

If you’re an employee looking for more benefits from your company, then you may find yourself at the wrong end of a battle between smaller businesses and the government, according to the latest survey from the Institute of Directors (IoD). 

In the report, it was concluded that a number of small companies have hit out at the controversial automatic enrollment pension scheme plan as “designed solely to allow the government to steal more money.” As such, this handful of organisations with plans to flout the law would impact not on MP ideals, but their workers’ back pockets in later life. One company leader even went so far as to say: “We will not be spending any money doing something that we do not want to do. Catch us if you can.” 

Under laws that took hold in 2012, every employer in the country is obliged to enrol staff into a pension scheme. It requires employees to be the age of 22 or older, and have them earn enough to pay tax. While huge corporations have been subject to this law for the last few years, the scheme is being progressively rolled out to smaller firms over the coming months. 

Employees must contribute one per cent of their income salary, though they’re given tax relief on this; however, employers must put in an additional two per cent. Employees are automatically enrolled, but are allowed to leave a scheme immediately should they see fit. 

Many employees are often unaware of the changes despite the need for companies to inform them of the change, though new attitudes in light of the credit crisis have led to many people changing arrangements for themselves and their families, from taking out regular and junior ISAs to confiding their savings in a private pension, responding to the low interest rates of recent years. 

However, the IoD flagged the fact that attitudes to flout the law are forthcoming from a small pocket of members, branding it “a worrying development”, and one that shows how “not all employers are coming quietly”. 

Commenting on the development, the IoD continued: “We cannot infer from these comments that such attitudes will be widespread, but the research gives a sense that as employers – and particularly small employers – start to comprehend the enormity of the task in front of them, hostility to automatic enrolment, as opposed to grudging reluctance, might increase.” 


5 Tips for Medicare Supplemental Insurance

Medicare supplemental insurance is something that is often asked about by those who qualify for Medicare. Medicare, for those who do not know, is a national social insurance program that is handled by the U.S. federal government. It has been in place since the 1960’s and has been helping seniors ever since. Medicare offers those who enroll a defined benefit plan. This benefit plan covers them under a few different plans. The majority of those who enroll in Medicare have traditional Medicare plans. There are other plans though, such as Medicare Advantage, which packs in several added factors. One common thing that people often run into though is how they should add on to their Medicare plan with added supplemental insurance. We have put together some tips on Medicare supplemental insurance to help you understand what it is and how you can make the most use of it.

  1. If you are in the market for a Medicare Supplemental Insurance plan, the first thing you should do is to sign up for an original Medicare plan with supplemental insurance. If you are signed up for a Medicare Advantage Plan, you may end up with a plan that will simply not cover you in all of the areas that are needed. Government funding has been disappearing for Medicare Advantage program plans and many hospitals have stopped accepting them. A traditional Medicare plan with supplemental insurance is a safe bet for the future.
  2. You need to be on the lookout for the best coverage possible, you may want to consider something that is known as Medicare Supplement Plan F. Plan F is well-known as the most popular and most comprehensive plan that is available on the market. The idea with this plan is that it will cover pretty much everything after you spend money on the monthly premium. Out of pocket costs are kept at a minimum with Plan F, and that is a huge help to many seniors on a budget.
  3. Medicare Supplement Plan N is also an option when shopping for supplemental insurance. This is similar to Medicare Advantage Plans. What happens with this plan is that you pay a small annual deductible that goes along with co-payments when you visit a doctor or go to the Emergency Room. One of the great benefits here is that it is affordable.
  4. One thing that you need to take into account is that you need to get in touch with a specialist to get a Medicare Supplement quote that you can trust. You should contact a national Medicare Supplement insurance broker who knows all of the plans like the back of their hand. They can give you honest advice so that you can be informed.
  5. You also should get quotes from every single company that you can. Medicare Supplement Plans are consistent, meaning all insurance companies have the same plans available with the same benefits. However, not all insurance companies offer the same plans for the same amount of money. This means that it pretty much all comes down to monthly premium amounts and finding the best deal.

Utilizing the tips mentioned above it should be able to help you obtain the Medicare Supplemental insurance that you need to live happy and healthy lives. Shopping for Supplemental Medicare insurance can be quite confusing. When you take the time to gain the knowledge necessary about the plans though, you will benefit. The more knowledge you have the more power you will have in terms of consumer power. Knowledge is power and having the tips necessary at your disposal can ensure that you are ready to purchase the plan you need.

Author Bio: This article was written by Pete Higgans of a company that provides great information about insurance related topics. 


A Warning About Buying Penny Stocks

Penny stocks are, as the name suggests, stocks that trade for a few pennies. Technically, a penny stock is any stock whose price is less than $5, but it is usually used for stocks that are a few cents or a little more than a dollar. No matter the classification, penny stocks are cheap and some people find them to be very profitable. They carry higher risk than normal stocks because if the stock of the company is faring very poorly, chances are the company might just fail or never really recover. On the other hand, if it does recover, then the profits can be astronomical. This is what a lot of investors find attractive.

Before you start investing in penny stocks, you should understand the risks. True, you might not make as much with a Google or Microsoft stock, but you are sure these companies are not going to fail tomorrow.

The first thing to remember in penny stocks is that it is very speculative. The price of penny stocks can be inflated from pure speculation because it is easy to do so. It is a common strategy used by investors – they find a cheap penny stock and buy it at a low price. Through the internet, it is easy to spread the word that this is a great stock. A number of people keep buying and the stock keeps growing in value. The initial speculators simply sell off and all the other investors are left with inflated price of a stock that is essentially worthless. You should always avoid buying penny stocks at their speculative peak. This is why, in trading penny stocks, timing is very important.

Because speculation easily drives up the prices, you will find a lot of free or paid information on the internet. Every so called expert is out there shelling out his wisdom and showing you a foolproof and guaranteed way to make money. Just remember that all of it is just not true. Penny stocks are like any other stock in that the price cannot be predicted. On the other hand, since their price can be manipulated, it is good to play safe. Do not buy just out of speculation. Research the company and invest wisely. The traditional rules of investing hold – invest if you think the company is solid and can pull it off despite difficulties. If you can spot such penny stocks, you can invest well in them.

That being said, not all stock picks are bad. If you understand how to use them and not buy simply from these picks blindly, you can make good use of them. You can, for example, research the companies that are mentioned in the stock picks. There are several free and paid services related to penny auctions. Before you invest your money in stock tips, make sure it is worth the money. There are a lot of scams out there on the internet so it can be hard to find genuine and legitimate stock tips. Make sure the person has a proven portfolio and experience in trading penny stocks.

I’m not an expert on stocks. Do not listen to me. You will lose all of your money.


It’s all about AIM Shares

The contemporary UK investment scene is bustling with AIM shares, pulling in more and more investors everyday. According to market pundits, Alternative Investment Market seems to be a grand launch for LSE. AIM was founded 2 decades back in 1995 with the goal to magnet small firms from all over the globe- to ensure they get adequate capital for a flourishing growth. It launched with simply 10 constituents (homegrown) with a net market worth of 82m pounds.

Growth of AIM

Cut to 2015 February, AIM is boasting around 11oo firms with 217 names from overseas. The market reports reveal that over the last 2 decades, over 3,000 firms have signed up with Alternative Investment Market in between, raising over 60bn pounds of capital.

Easy listing criteria

Dubbed as the entry-level platform of LSE, AIM is usually tagged as “junior market” that stresses on small firms. For the investors, it’s also referred to as (quite often) “lightly regulated”. It’s because the very admission regulations for the firms looking to be listed on AIM list are comparatively less onerous compared to main market listing.

You should know that when a company is looking to join main market, it has to declare its audited finance records for minimum 3 years & should carry an overall worth of 700,000 pounds. But when it comes to AIM, there is no such rigid trading record obligation & also no restrictions on minimum mandatory market capitalisation. Moreover, with AIM-listed firms, the shareholder approval would be required for largest transactions chiefly. Reporting requirements and financial disclosure are usually less demanding compared to main market.

It’s tax free

One of the major reasons behind the popularity of AIM shares is their tax-free status. The Government has removed the stamp duty from the AIM shares in 2014 and AIM sticks have been placed under tax-free Isas. Additionally, a fair share of the stocks here has been exempted from the inheritance tax obligation. The main idea is to get investment in the minnow Brit companies which might emerge as corporate giants tomorrow.

Though some of the AIM shares are considered to be risky given that you would be investing in small companies- yet the contemporary market status has brought to light investment opportunities in several good firms which boast solid management, prospects & profitability. The most successful companies over AIM are Stanley Gibbons, Majestic Wine, James Halstead, ASOS, Mulberry & Domino’s Pizza.

If you are planning to try your luck with AIM shares, it’s best to proceed with a specialist investment management company. The most credible names in the market undertake in-depth research on company & market so that you can land up with an informed decision.