Understanding Mortgage Finance

In simple terms, mortgage financing is the process of providing finance to individuals and business entities, to secure properties, and the finance is repaid through timely and consecutive monthly instalments.

To understand the mortgage finance process, you must first try to understand the basic idea behind mortgages.

Mortgage – Definition

It is a legal agreement that conveys the conditional right of ownership of an asset or property by its owner (the mortgagor) to a lender (the mortgagee) as security for a loan with the condition that the conveyance of the title becomes void upon the repayment of the debt.

Are Mortgages Legally Enforceable?

Yes, they are. In order to be legally enforceable, the mortgage must be for a defined period, and the mortgagor must have the right of redemption on payment of the debt or on before the end of that term.

Why is Mortgage Finance Common?

Here is a list of why it is the most common type of debt instruments:

>> They have a lower rate of interest (because the loan is secured);

>> They are straight forward and have standard procedures; and

>> They have a reasonably long repayment period.

What is a Security Document?

The document by which the agreement is effected is called a “Mortgage Bill of Sale” or simply just a “mortgage.”

What are the Common Mortgage Finance Types?

Real Estate Mortgage – Virtually any legally owned property can be mortgaged, although real property (land and buildings) are the most common.

Chattel Mortgage – When personal property (appliances, cars, jewellery, etc.) is mortgaged, it is called a chattel mortgage.

Second Mortgage – There are situations where it is possible to obtain finance when there is already an existing mortgage associated with the property. It is not unusual for real estate laws to require that the holder of the first mortgage agree to the creation of a second mortgage.

Who has the Right of Possession?

For real property, vehicles, and equipment, etc., the right of possession and use of the mortgaged item normally remains with the mortgagor. But, the mortgagee has the right to take possession at any time to protect his/her security interest.

What Happens in the Event of a Default?

In the event of a default, the mortgagee can:

>> Appoint a receiver to manage the property (if it is a business property), or

>> Obtain a foreclosure for a court to take possession and sell the property.

Glossary of Common Terms Used

Mortgagor – the borrower of funds

Mortgagee – the lender/credit provider of funds (e.g. a bank or credit union, etc.)

First Mortgage – a mortgage that has priority over all mortgages and liens except those imposed by law

Second Mortgage – a mortgage that is subordinate to a first mortgage

So, now that you have read this information guide, you should have a good basic understanding of mortgage finance. It will help you in obtaining the right finance for your real-estate property.

Account Receivables Financing

Receivables financing or “invoice factoring” is a great way to get money for your business.

Accounts receivable financing is not a loan; it’s an advance against your client invoices.

You are selling your outstanding invoices to a factoring company who then gives you back up to 95% of the invoice value in the form of a loan against those invoices.

Receivable Financing is mainly used to generate immediate cash flow for the business selling the accounts receivable.

These are a great funding option as they provide an immediate advance of cash to you leveraging your outstanding invoices.

This means as your business grows so does the amount of funding you will qualify for so you can meet increasing demand.

Most major companies including most major Fortune 500 companies utilize some form of Accounts Receivable Financing.

One of the best benefits of receivable financing is giving your business an increase in working capital without needing to borrow money or tie up your business or personal assets.

This boost to your cash flow positively impacts your profitability.

You can receive money quickly, typically within 24 hours from approval. This is much faster than if you were trying to collect on the invoices on your own and wait for that money.

Prior to purchasing your invoices, a factor conducts a credit analysis on the client you are invoicing to determine their risk or repaying the invoice.

You are entitled to the resulting analysis which is a huge benefit as it can assist you in your future business dealings with that client.

Another big benefit of Receivable Financing is that you are not obtaining a loan. The cash advanced is based on your client’s credit status, not yours making it easier to qualify for.

You may qualify for factoring even if you are a new company without an established track record, have a tax lien, or even declared bankruptcy.

This is not considered a loan since you are literally selling your own receivables. And you can be approved for as much as 25 million dollars in financing.

Accounts Receivable Financing really boosts your cash flow by providing an immediate advance of cash into your business against the value of your outstanding invoices.

SBA 7(a) Loans – Small Business 7(a) loans are well known and loved in the business community.

If you are awarded a 7(a) loan, the loan proceeds may be used to establish a new business or to assist in the acquisition, operation, or expansion of an existing business.

Directly from the SBA, here are some of the uses for loan proceeds:

• The purchase land or buildings, to cover new construction as well as expansion or conversion of existing facilities
• The purchase of equipment, machinery, furniture, fixtures, supplies, or materials
• Long-term working capital, including the payment of accounts payable and/or the purchase of inventory
• Short-term working capital needs, including seasonal financing, contract performance, construction financing and export production
• Financing against existing inventory and receivables
• The refinancing of existing business indebtedness that is not already structured with reasonable terms and conditions
• To purchase an existing business

5 Financial Freedoms You Must Protect

We’ve all dreamt about the day we can retire, the free time we’ll have to find a new hobby, travel to a new place, or simply, do nothing but sit and relax. But in order to enjoy the retirement years like you want to, you’ve got to plan ahead. In particular, you need to protect five financial freedoms. They are:

1. Guaranteed Income

Have you taken the steps today to secure your financial future: for yourself, your spouse and your family?

Remember when you retire, you won’t receive a regular paycheck. Not having that steady income may come as a shock. You may start to panic as you begin to dip into savings for daily expenses. You may need to live on a strict budget. You may end up needing to find a job. And, if you decide you need to return to work, it most likely won’t be in a full-time position with a full-time salary.

As you think about retirement, you need to realize this: the day you stop working is the day you surrender your guaranteed income. However, by developing a strategic plan now with your financial advisor you ensure that your financial situation is set up so that you can enjoy your retirement years worry free.

2. Travel

The number one thing most people want to do when they retire is travel. In fact, retirees are in the top 3 groups of travelers in the United States and spend about 20% of their retirement income just on travel.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that retirees are on the move. They have the freedom to take vacation whenever they want since the job isn’t tying them down anymore. However, the question that needs to be asked is that as retirees, while you may be able to pack up and go whenever you please, do you have the financial freedom to do so? How can you fulfill your dream of visiting new locales in America or around the globe if you live on a fixed income?

By working with your financial advisor, travel is possible. Together, you can create a retirement plan that includes travel in your financial future so that you don’t need to give up your desire to explore the country and even the world.

3. Legacy

As parents, your instinct is to take care of your children even when they become adults with kids of their own. One of the most important ways you can do this is by giving an inheritance to your kids once you’ve passed on.

While you have many years of making memories with your family, now is the time to make sure you’ve invested your money wisely. Making wise choices means considering the various tax benefits that different financial options have to offer. I know it can be confusing and frustrating to compare the options available to you, and that’s why it’s a good idea to turn to a financial advisor to counsel you on these important decisions. Your family’s well-being is at stake.

4. Autonomy

Life prepares us to be independent, doesn’t it? Sure, at first, we depend on our parents to care for us, to protect us. As we grow older, we build our independence. We start our own families. We become the providers.

However, during the retirement years doubt may begin to creep in about your ability to live autonomously. Without a steady stream of income, you start to wonder if you need to find a job or whether you can afford to live on your own. Talking with your financial advisor and planning for your future can alleviate these doubts and give you peace of mind knowing that you can continue to live the independent life you want.

5. Choice

When you think of retirement, a number of things come to mind, particularly a list of all the things you want to do and the age you want to retire. However, one vital piece of information that you may not have thought about is how much you’ll need to retire AND live comfortably. If this describes you, talk with your financial advisor today. Believe me, you don’t want to wait until you’re close to your targeted retirement age because you might discover that you’ll need more to live the retirement lifestyle you want. Your financial advisor will work with you to make sure you’re saving enough now so your dream lifestyle can be your retirement reality.

Finance Management of Small Business

Managing finances in a business is among the few important things that need to be considered when starting and carrying out a business. It is all about efficiently and effectively utilizing available funds in order to achieve the objectives of the business. Financial management is aimed at planning, observing, organizing and managing the monetary resources of a business.

Small business finance management strategies

Small business finance management is mostly concerned with procurement, allocation and control of financial resources so that a regular and adequate supply of funds is maintained to run a business. Once the funds are in hand, they should be utilized in maximum possible ways at low costs and should be invested intelligently in safe ventures. A few tips that can help you efficiently use your funds while running a small business are:

    • In the initial years of managing a small business, you need to estimate how much money you need for a decent living and pull out that money from your business income. Now invest the remaining money back into your business for its growth.

 

    • Early wins in the form of high profits may urge you to spend it on leisure holidaying or improve your housing status. You need to be firm and defend yourself against such ideas and wait till your business gets a little more established.

 

    • The main expense in a business is covering the payroll of your staff. It is advisable not to hire new employees unless you absolutely need them. When things get busy and a lot of work pressure builds up, you may get tempted to hire more people. Try and stretch the existing staff members to their full potential to get through the workload and hire only if necessary.

 

    • Try and save up money on applying for loans and procuring inventory. Taking up loans from banks is a common practice in the business world, but it carries an extra cost of its own in the form of interest you pay while returning. Reducing this extra cost can help you add up and save more money in the long run. This can be done by dividing the total money you need as loan and borrowing it in parts over a period of time. This reduces the overall amount of interest you pay back to the bank. Borrowing the entire amount at once will result in you paying interest for the money you are not going to use till later time.

 

    • Keep the money separate for paying the taxes and avoid mixing it with other funds. Paying taxes is of utmost importance and since that money is meant to be given away, it should not be kept or used for other purposes.

 

  • Bargain the terms of the agreement with the outside contractors and vendors like delivery services, electrician etc., such that you get a grace period in paying your bills. This grace period can be used to manage your funds and prioritize your other bills more efficiently.

Vacations – Investing in Yourself

Many people’s financial plans emphasize frugality today for prosperity tomorrow.

Preparing for the future is much easier when we’re enjoying the present.

There are many good reasons to take a vacation – taking some time away from the stresses of work and daily life to focus on spending time engaging in stimulating (or relaxing) activities with family members and friends in a new setting can recharge your batteries. It will give you added perspective on your life and work, and you’ll return to your regular routine invigorated and more productive. And your health can be greatly improved.

Prolonged periods of work without a vacation have been shown to have numerous medical consequences – people who are “all work and no play” become irritable and inattentive, and are more likely to have accidents on the job. They are at higher risk of cardiovascular problems, depression, anxiety, and other illnesses, both physical and mental.

Your financial plan should be flexible enough that you don’t need to save every last dollar you make for retirement. Life is about balance, just like vacations are about balance. By helping you make wise budgetary decisions, you achieve a balance by making judicious investments – in both your financial future and your happiness today.

Working with a financial planner will help you need to determine your individual needs and wants (such as going away on a family vacation). The financial planner will also assist in developing a a financial plan that fits your personality, and investment goals.

The Brains Behind Making Financial Decisions

What happens in the brain when choosing between two financial products? How about when the decision is perceived as ‘risky’? Can individual decisions be a predictor of how financial markets work?

These are the sorts of questions that have emerged from the developing relationship between neuroscience and finance… sometimes called “neurofinance” or “neuroeconomics”.

Understanding what happens in the brain when we make financial decisions is relatively new science but it is already proving to be interesting.

The neuroscience

A new lab at the University of Miami’s School of Business has been set up to examine the relationship between the brain and finance.

Using electroencephalography (EEG) to measure electrical activity in the brain, and eye-tracking technology, it conducts experiments on finance students without the need for expensive fMRI technology.

One of the lead researchers explains what the neuroscience is trying to discover:

“Money doesn’t exist in nature. When a person says, ‘I’m going to save 20% of my paycheck to put into a retirement account,’ is that the same part of the brain a squirrel would use to put away nuts for the winter?”

“We’re trying to figure out what parts of the brain we use today to make financial decisions, what they were originally intended to do, and the consistency they have.”

The common assumption is that the decisions we make (regarding finances or anything else deemed as ‘important’) are purely rational decisions, taken without emotions interfering. In terms of finance there is a vast array of metrics used that allow us to make ‘informed’ decisions.

However, the findings from the lab back up previous neuroscience that shows that emotion plays a very important part in all decision-making.

The work of neuroscientist Antonio Damasio demonstrated that people with damage in the part of the brain where emotions are generated are also unable to make decisions – even simple ones like what clothes to wear.

In one of the experiments, students are given two institutions with exactly the same metrics, but with different names of people who run the funds. The latter information should not be a factor in the analysis of which fund to go with, but students consistently choose an American-sounding name over a foreign-sounding name. This is the effect of emotions in the decision-making process.

Can this help explain financial markets?

Neuroeconomics is a growing field that encompasses many fields including neuroscience, experimental and behavioural economics, cognitive and social psychology, theoretical biology, and mathematics.

One of the questions at the forefront of the field is whether understanding what happens in an individual’s brain when they make a financial decision may be extended to financial market behaviour.

The lead researcher at the University of Miami’s School of Business suggests the following:

“If you really think about the market, it’s a collection of people doing stuff. If you really want to understand group behavior, it makes sense to understand how they would make decisions at an individual level.”

A study from the California Institute of Technology sheds more light on this, suggesting that it is a biological impulse to predict how others behave – and that this helps to drive the type of fluctuations in the markets seen in ‘booms’ and ‘busts’. It was found that, rather than making dispassionate decisions based solely on explicit price and value data, traders were driven to predict how the market will change from the behaviour of other traders (in the belief that others in the market knew better than them).

A New Year’s Resolution for Your Finances

It’s shortly after New Year’s, and that means resolutions. And it’s not too late to set a New Year’s Resolution for your finances. The goals that are most successfully accomplished are those that are manageable, not too overwhelming. So let’s look at one financial goal that is manageable enough to be accomplished this year.

Pay a little bit extra on your mortgage every month. Make it small enough that you can manage it every month, but not so much that it is stressful. Start with a small success and then build on it.

Let’s see how paying just a little more on your mortgage could really benefit your finances in the long run.

For example, if you have a 30-year mortgage for $150,000 at an interest rate of three percent, paying an additional $100 each month would save you a total of $17,214 and you would pay it off six years early. If you were only able to increase the amount to an extra $50 per month, you would still save $9,719 and pay it off three years and four months early.

If you have a 20 year for $100,000 at 4% interest, and added $50 a month to your payment, your loan would be shortened by 26 months, saving you a total of $5,563. If the same loan had an extra $100 paid on it each month, that would be $9,883 saved and it would be paid of three years and eleven months early.

So making a small sacrifice each month to pay a little bit extra on your mortgage can save you a significant amount of money in the future.

Now for the question of where to get an extra $50-$100 each month. One recommendation would be to make this extra amount automatic. Have it taken out of your paycheck or bank account automatically. If you never see it, it’s a small enough amount that hopefully you won’t feel it too much. For example, if you are paying an extra $50 per month and get paid weekly, that’s only $10 or $12.50 out of the paycheck (depending on how many weeks are in the month).

Here are a few suggestions to help you with that extra money you need each month. Don’t buy lottery tickets. Take a lunch to work and eat out a few less times each month. Make your own coffee instead of stopping to buy some on your way to work.

Are You Confident About Your Financial Future?

We all use it, it is the common way we acquire services and goods on a daily basis. We trade our time for it. We rely on it to provide for our future, stash it away in belief that it will still have value in the future. It is our currency be it Dollars, Euros, whatever, but it is not as trustworthy as you may think. Look I am by no means a qualified financial adviser or guru in any form, but I am going to explain to the best of my ability; that you should start looking at other forms of investment to secure your financial future.

Fiat currency

All national currencies are called fiat currencies. What does this mean? Well Investopedia’s definition of a fiat currency is:

“Currency that a government has declared to be legal tender, but is not backed by a physical commodity. The value of fiat money is derived from the relationship between supply and demand rather than the value of the material that the money is made of. Historically, most currencies were based on physical commodities such as gold or silver, but fiat money is based solely on faith. Fiat is the Latin word for “it shall be”.” – investopedia.com

So basically, that piece of paper you carry in your pocket is exactly that, a piece of paper that is based on your faith that it will still have the same purchasing power tomorrow as it has today. So what is wrong with that?

Fiat currency, unfortunately, has had a long history of failure. Since the Roman Empire in the first century began with the practice of debasing their currency (adding impurities to their money thereby reducing the value but increasing the amount of currency in circulation) it has led to devaluation and eventual collapse.

Maybe you are thinking that it could not be happening today, I am sorry to say that it is. Our history has had several failed attempts at using paper currency and fiat currencies have never been successful except for political systems trying to prevent the debasement of their currency by letting the printing presses run amok.

It is not all doom and gloom though. I am also not saying this will save everyone, but if you look at countries like China who are stockpiling in gold, maybe we should follow in their footsteps? We all know that gold is valuable and there is only so much of it on our planet, this allows it more stability than fiat currency. Gold has also shown a consistent growth in its life time.

Like I said I am by no means a qualified financial adviser, I am just stating my thoughts and how I feel. And I feel that there is a definite shift in the way the world economy is moving right now. I can’t say if it is going to happen tomorrow or in the next 10 years, but I am sure it will happen. So maybe it will be a good idea to create a secure foundation for your financial future. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

Things You Must Know About Financial Services

Financial services refer to the services provided by the finance industry. Also, this term is used to describe organizations dealing with the management of money, like credit card companies, insurance firms, investment banks, stock brokerages, and banks. These are the types of firms that compromise the market, providing a wide range of investment and money-related services. In terms of earnings, financial services are considered the largest market resource in the world.

Important Things You Must Be Aware Of

Generally, these services are not limited to the field of deposit-withdrawal, investment, and loan services; but rather in the fields of estate, securities, insurance, trust services, and all forms of financial intermediation like the distribution of financial products as well.

Every day, the needs and expectations of consumers are growing. Hence, making the mark in boosting personal wealth becomes a necessity. Intense competition has cuddled market margins as well as forced plenty of companies to cut costs whilst improving the quality of customer choice and service.

As most organizations are striving to be more entrepreneurial and innovative, the war for talent is escalating. And as the products become more complex and the business environment more uncertain, the risks increase. At the same time, rules and regulation are the tightening highlight within the reach of government and public pressure for improved transparency, supremacy, and accountability.

Today, the winners are those firms transforming the challenges into opportunities to establish more enduring and stronger customer relationships, unlock creativity and talent, and to sharpen their process efficiency. Apart from that, these companies also view these challenges as a means to boost their risk management processes so they can deliver more sustainable returns. Furthermore, they use used regulatory demands as a catalyst for improving market confidence and strengthening the business.

The challenges in the financial services market are indeed forcing the participants to keep pace with technological advances, as well as to be more efficient and proactive whilst reducing risks and costs.

Today, there are already a lot of companies working hand in hand with reputable financial organizations around the world to develop a very sound networking strategy for connecting firms with suppliers, employees, partners, and customers.

Indeed, the financial services market is dynamic and diverse. There are plenty of important things you must be aware of to better understand how such industry operates. It is certainly an ever-changing, high-growth, and versatile market. Businesses with various needs must know that such market offers several selections of suitable financial services.

5 Things to Consider While Selecting a Financial Planner

Unlike someone calling himself a CPA or a physician, just about anyone can call himself a “financial planner” or a “financial advisor” regardless of their educational background and professional experience. Moreover, not all of them are unbiased in their advice and not all of them always act in their clients’ best interests.

To ensure your financial planner is well-qualified in personal finances and impartial in his advice, consider the following five things:

1. Planning Credentials: Having a highly-regarded credential in financial planning, such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or Personal Financial Specialist (PFS), confirms that the professional you intend to work with has acquired the education and experience necessary to serve as a financial planner. CFP and PFS credentials are awarded to only those individuals who have met the certification requirements of education and experience in planning for personal finances. In addition, they have to pass the certification examinations and agree adhere to the practice standards and continuing education requirements.

2. Subject Matter Expertise: Financial planners are planning professionals, not necessarily subject matter experts. For example, a financial planner will be skilled in tax analysis and planning,but unlike a Certified Public Account (CPA) or an IRS Enrolled Agent (EA) he might not necessarily be a subject matter expert when it comes to tax rules Similarly,a he could be skilled in chalking out an investment plan, but unlike a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) he may not be an authority in the subject of investments. Work with a financial planner who is also a subject matter expert in those areas of personal finance that are important in achieving your financial goals.

3. Client Specialization: Not all financial planners serve all types of clients. Most specialize in serving only certain types of clients with specific profiles. For example, a personal planner may build his expertise and customize his services to serve only those individuals and families who are in certain professions, or a particular stage of life with specific financial goals and net worth. Ask whether the planner specializes in serving only certain types of clients with specific profiles to determine whether he is the right fit for your situation and financial goals.

4. Fee structure: The fee structure largely determines whose interests he serves best – his client’s or his own. A Fee-Only professional charges only fees for their advice whereas a Fee-Based professional not only charges fees but also earns commissions, referral fees and other financial incentives on the products and solutions they recommend for you. Consequently, the advice from a fee-only one is more likely to be unbiased and in your best interests than the advice from a fee-based financial planner. Work with a professional whose fee structure is conflict-free and aligned to benefit you.

5. Availability: He or she should be regularly available, attentive, and accessible to you. Ask the planner how many clients he currently serves and the maximum number of clients he is planning to serve in the future regularly. This clients-to-planner ratio is one of the key factors in assessing your planner’s availability to you in the future. Also, ask which planning activities are typically performed by the planner and which ones are delegated to a para planner or other junior staff members. Lastly, make sure the planner is easily accessible via phone and email during normal business hours.

Once you have shortlisted a few well-qualified and unbiased financial planners in your local area, consult the ones who offer a FREE initial consultation first. During the initial consultation, assess the planner’s availability and any other professional attributes you are seeking in your financial planner.