Sources for Ongoing Investment Advice

There are several sources for ongoing investment advice that do not cost as much as broker services. People can make low-cost investments on many sites that do not charge high rates per trade. Some of these sites include basic tips and advice, while others do not. Other sources include websites designed to teach new investors ways to develop strategies, online courses about basic investing principles, and successful investors who wish to share their knowledge with fellow investors. Publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, are also reliable resources. The important thing to keep in mind is that any advice, tips, or strategies are not guarantees of success.

Investing will always carry risks. Those looking to make a lot of money fast are wasting their time and money. There have been small investments that ended up paying large dividends, but that is a rare occasion. There are certain indicators that can increase chances of success, but investors have to be prepared to take losses. Investing wisely, and within your means, is the only way to avoid financial ruin. Keeping that in mind, many investors subscribe to websites that provide updated reports and information regarding market trends, predictions for successful stocks, and small companies that have the potential to make important and profitable breakthroughs. Those that subscribe often find the information worth the price of a subscription. Those sites will request an email address and contact investors with pricing information, have interested investors fill out this contact form, or sign up for free videos that include a free subscription trial.

There are also free websites that post relevant reports, encourage investors to share ideas and secrets to their successes, and present blog posts and articles on developing strategies. Free sites may be the best place to start, especially if the goal is to invest as a sideline activity. Those who buy stocks with money available after all the bills are paid will typically get enough information and tips from casual sites that cost nothing. Subscription sites are geared toward serious investors who earn a living trading and buying stocks and bonds. They purchase many shares of stocks, risk a lot of money, and invest for the long-term.

The Top Three Financing Situations That Require Consumers To Boost Their Credit Rating

A credit rating is one of the first things most lenders will look at when making a determination on whether to approve financing. A low credit score can lead to disappointment by causing an application to be denied. While some loan options don’t require perfect credit, certain lending products require a greater score to secure an approval and a good interest rate. The following loans represent those that are the most difficult to get. Anyone looking to acquire any of the lending options below should look at building their credit score so they can apply without worry of being refused the money they need.

Mortgage Loan

The process of purchasing a home is one of the most terrifying and exciting times anyone will encounter. Qualifying for a mortgage isn’t easy, and often requires proof of income, as well as sufficient credit history. The lowest score a consumer can have to qualify for a mortgage is 620, and while it may not seem that high, repairing credit and reaching this level takes time and patience

Auto Financing

Buy here pay here lots are common resources among individuals looking to secure an auto loan when they have bad credit. Purchasing a new car from a dealership can be more difficult, and even if a person is approved despite poor credit, they will likely pay an exorbitant interest rate. An increased score can lead to a cheaper interest rate, and some vehicle manufacturers even offer no interest loans for those who qualify

Credit Cards

Credit cards are unsecured debt that provides the user with access to funds quickly. Secured credit cards are a good option for those with less than perfect credit, but require the borrower to tie up their money with a lending institution. A traditional credit card can be a great tool and provide those who use them with rewards and other benefits just for being a card member.

One of the quickest ways to increase a score is to open new lines of credit. The lending team at King of Kash can help with your credit by approving a signature loan that will be reported to all three of the major credit reporting bureaus. Regular on time payments can contribute to an increase in a score, and get a consumer on the road to being approved for a mortgage or car loan quickly.

Opportunities That Are Available Through Financial Planning

In Australia, consumers will need assistance in planning for the future. They can discover invaluable concepts from financial planners who understand how to create budgets and generate adequate savings. They also understand effective strategies for creating revenue streams in which residual income is possible. These income sources can also help consumers produce enough capital for special projects and future endeavors. The following are details about financial planning that help consumer now and in the future.

Generating a Savings

The first step is to set up a budget. This opportunity helps the consumer to eliminate excess and stop unnecessary spending. They can utilize money that they would ordinarily use for entertainment, shopping, or other expenditures that can be reduced. This is the first place in which they can generate adequate savings for potential investments in the future.

Setting Up Accounts for Specific Projects

A savings account can help them to generate additional income if they choose the best option. The financial planner understands which options can generate the most interest and increase their investment. This could include CDs, interest barring checking accounts or other opportunities in which interest is earned. However, the consumer must maintain a specific balance for these accounts.

Reviewing Financial Investments

Investments such as stocks are also invaluable to consumers. The planner will review possible investments that could present them with a brilliant return. This is another option for generating a residual income stream. The planner will review all options that are within the consumer’s budget to allow them to invest and reap the full benefits of these opportunities.

Buying a Home or a New Car

When planning to buy a home, the consumer must review all requirements for this purpose. They will need to manage their credit history and eliminate debts. They will also need to save at least 20% of the total cost of the property.

In Australia, financial planners can assist consumers in generating capital for larger investments. These opportunities help the consumer plan ahead and ensure that they have enough funds to achieve their goals. Consumers who need assistance in these projects contact a financial planner right now.

Small Business Finance – Finding the Right Mix of Debt and Equity

Financing a small business can be most time consuming activity for a business owner. It can be the most important part of growing a business, but one must be careful not to allow it to consume the business. Finance is the relationship between cash, risk and value. Manage each well and you will have healthy finance mix for your business.

Develop a business plan and loan package that has a well developed strategic plan, which in turn relates to realistic and believable financials. Before you can finance a business, a project, an expansion or an acquisition, you must develop precisely what your finance needs are.

Finance your business from a position of strength. As a business owner you show your confidence in the business by investing up to ten percent of your finance needs from your own coffers. The remaining twenty to thirty percent of your cash needs can come from private investors or venture capital. Remember, sweat equity is expected, but it is not a replacement for cash.

Depending on the valuation of your business and the risk involved, the private equity component will want on average a thirty to forty percent equity stake in your company for three to five years. Giving up this equity position in your company, yet maintaining clear majority ownership, will give you leverage in the remaining sixty percent of your finance needs.

The remaining finance can come in the form of long term debt, short term working capital, equipment finance and inventory finance. By having a strong cash position in your company, a variety of lenders will be available to you. It is advisable to hire an experienced commercial loan broker to do the finance “shopping” for you and present you with a variety of options. It is important at this juncture that you obtain finance that fits your business needs and structures, instead of trying to force your structure into a financial instrument not ideally suited for your operations.

Having a strong cash position in your company, the additional debt financing will not put an undue strain on your cash flow. Sixty percent debt is a healthy. Debt finance can come in the form of unsecured finance, such as short-term debt, line of credit financing and long term debt. Unsecured debt is typically called cash flow finance and requires credit worthiness. Debt finance can also come in the form of secured or asset based finance, which can include accounts receivable, inventory, equipment, real estate, personal assets, letter of credit, and government guaranteed finance. A customized mix of unsecured and secured debt, designed specifically around your company’s financial needs, is the advantage of having a strong cash position.

The cash flow statement is an important financial in tracking the effects of certain types of finance. It is critical to have a firm handle on your monthly cash flow, along with the control and planning structure of a financial budget, to successfully plan and monitor your company’s finance.

Your finance plan is a result and part of your strategic planning process. You need to be careful in matching your cash needs with your cash goals. Using short term capital for long term growth and vice versa is a no-no. Violating the matching rule can bring about high risk levels in the interest rate, re-finance possibilities and operational independence. Some deviation from this age old rule is permissible. For instance, if you have a long term need for working capital, then a permanent capital need may be warranted. Another good finance strategy is having contingency capital on hand for freeing up your working capital needs and providing maximum flexibility. For example, you can use a line of credit to get into an opportunity that quickly arises and then arrange for cheaper, better suited, long term finance subsequently, planning all of this upfront with a lender.

Unfortunately finance is not typically addressed until a company is in crisis. Plan ahead with an effective business plan and loan package. Equity finance does not stress cash flow as debt can and gives lenders confidence to do business with your company. Good financial structuring reduces the costs of capital and the finance risks. Consider using a business consultant, finance professional or loan broker to help you with your finance plan.

Commercial Truck Financing – How is the System Structured?

First there are the captive finance companies. Think of them as the financing arms of all the major manufactures. They exist solely to provide financing to the public in an effort to sell their trucks. In the past they have been somewhat liberal in their underwriting criteria and like the mortgage industry perhaps too liberal. This relaxed underwriting of the past has caused serious defaults today. This has resulted in a subsequent tightening of credit. The end result is the selling of less trucks and trailers; customers have a harder time getting financing. Nonetheless, the captive financing company will always be part of the commercial truck financing game.

Second are the independent financing companies. They are not tied to the manufactures in any way. They exist to make a profit from financing commercial trucks and other equipment. They can be a welcome alternatives for several reasons. First they can be someone to turn to if a good credit customer is “tapped out” with the captives. This means they have already financed trucks with the captive financing companies and they don’t want to do anymore for the customer (at least for now). These “A” credit sources are competitive on rate with the captives and, using different independent sources, a customer can finance an unlimited number of trucks. Independents are great for other reasons too. Say a customer wants a TRAC lease with different parameters than what the captives are offering. They can search for an independent that can tailor a TRAC lease for that customer. This is invaluable for the more sophisticated customer that has tax structure as their main objective. Here’s another one, we have customers calling us all the time that may only work nine months out of the year. They need financing that can offer skip payments. This way the customer can make nine payments a year instead of twelve; taking three months off of making their payments. One last one that hits home with us, the customer with bad credit. A captive financing company generally works only with people with good credit. For the customer with bad credit, their choices are limited. Thanks to independent financing companies (like ours) that specialize in customer with bad credit; these customers can get the financing they need to start or grow their business. Think of independent financing companies as offering financing products that can accommodate almost any need.

The third financing arm for commercial truck financing is the in-house financing program. Usually offered by the smaller vendor, in-house financing offers benefits for both dealer and customer. By offering financing in-house the dealer is able to move more inventory than if he didn’t. This is important because a smaller dealer doesn’t always have a captive finance program. And with credit tightening up the independent financing companies are becoming less important. The dealer can act like an independent financing company by offering all the same products while keeping the benefits of earning interest on the trucks they sell. The bad side, of course, is they also suffer in the case of defaults where the customer stops making payments. The benefits to the customer is they have a one stop shop where they can finance a truck at the same place they are purchasing it from. Downside is they are limited to their inventory.

Financing Cash Flow Peaks And Valleys

For many businesses, financing cash flow for their business can be like riding a continuous roller coaster.

Sales are up, then they do down. Margins are good, then they flatten out. Cash flow can swing back and forth like an EKG graph of a heart attack.

So how do you go about financing cash flow for these types of businesses?

First, you need to accurately know and manage your monthly fixed costs. Regardless of what happens during the year, you need to be on top of what amount of funds will be required to cover off the recurring and scheduled operating costs that will occur whether you make a sale or not. Doing this monthly for a full twelve month cycle provides a basis for cash flow decision making.

Second, from where you are at right now, determine the amount of funds available in cash, owners outside capital that could be invested in the business, and other outside sources currently in place.

Third, project out your cash flow so that fixed costs, existing accounts payable and accounts receivable are realistically entered into the future weeks and months. If cash is always tight, make sure you do your cash flow on a weekly basis. There is too much variability over the course of a single month to project out only on a monthly basis.

Now you have a basis to assess financing your cash flow.

Financing cash flow is always going to be somewhat unique to each business due to industry, sector, business model, stage of business, business size, owner resources, and so on.

Each business must self assess its sources of financing cash flow, including but not limited to owner investment, trade or payable financing, government remittances, receivable discounts for early payment, deposits on sale, third party financing (line of credit, term loan, factoring, purchase order financing, inventory financing, asset based lending, or whatever else is relevant to you).

Ok, so now you have a cash flow bearing and a thorough understanding of your options available for financing cash flow in your specific business model.

Now what?

Now you are in a position to entertain future sales opportunities that fit into your cash flow.

Three points to clarify before we go further.

First, financing is not strictly about getting a loan from someone when your cash flow needs more money. Its a process of keeping your cash flow continuously positive at the lowest possible cost.

Second, you should only market and sell what you can cash flow. Marketers will measure the ROI of a marketing initiative. But if you can’t cash flow the business to complete the sale and collect the proceeds, there is no ROI to measure. If you have a business with fluctuating sales and margins, you can only enter into transactions that you can finance.

Third, marketing needs to focus on customers that you can sell to over and over again in order to maximize your marketing efforts and reduce the unpredictability of the annual sales cycle through regular repeat orders and sales.

Marketing works under the premise that if you are providing what the customer wants that the money side of the equation will take care of itself. In many businesses this indeed proves to be true. But in a business with fluctuating sales and margins, financing cash flow has to be another criteria built into sales and marketing activities.

Overtime, virtually any business has the potential to smooth out the peaks and valleys through a more robust marketing plan that better lines up with customer needs and the business’s financing limitations or parameters.

In addition to linking financing cash flow more closely to marketing and sales, the next most impactful action you can take is expanding your sources of financing.

Here are some potential strategies for expanding your sources for financing cash flow.

Strategy # 1: Develop strategic relationships with key suppliers that have the ability to extend greater financing in certain situations to take advantage of sales opportunities. This is accomplished with larger suppliers that 1) have the financial means to extend financing, 2) view you as a key customer and value your business, 3) have confidence in the business’s ability to forecast and manage cash flow.

Strategy # 2: Make sure where possible that your annual financial statements show a profit capable of servicing debt financing. Accountants may be good at saving you income tax dollars, but if they drive business profitability down to or close to zero through tax planning, they may also effectively destroying your ability to borrow money.

Strategy # 3: If possible, only transact with credit worthy customers. Credit worthy customers allow both the business and potential lenders to finance receivables which can increase the amount of external financing available to you.

Strategy # 4: Develop a liquidation pathway for your tangible assets. Equipment and inventory are easier to finance if lenders clearly understand how to liquidate the assets in the event of default. In some cases, businesses can get resale option agreements on certain equipment or inventory from prospective buyers assignable to a lender to be used as recourse against a lending facility for financing cash flow.

Strategy # 5: Joint venture a sales opportunity with another business to share the risk of a large sales opportunity that may be too risky for you to take on yourself.

Summary

The primary long term objective of a business with fluctuating cash flow and margins is to smooth out the peaks and valleys and create a scalable business with more of a predictable sales cycle.

This is best achieved with an approach that including the following steps.

Step #1. Micro Manage your fixed costs and cash flow and accurately project out the cash flow requirements of the business on a weekly basis.

Step #2. Take a detailed inventory of all the sources you have for financing cash flow.

Step #3. Incorporate your financing constraints into your marketing approach.

Step #4. If possible, only transact with credit worthy customers to reduce risk and increase financing options.

Step #5. Work towards expanding both your financing sources and available source limits for financing cash flow.

Business cycle stability and cash flow predictability is an evolutionary step for every business. The industries with longer sales cycles will tend to be the more difficult to tame due to a larger number of variables to manage.

Purchase Order & Letter of Credit Financing

Many business opportunities come with an associated challenge. For most entrepreneurial businesses, the greatest challenge is financing the business opportunities created by your sales efforts. What are your options if you have a sales opportunity that is clearly too large for your normal scale of operations? Will your bank provide the necessary financing? Is your business a startup, or too new to meet the bank’s requirements? Can you tap into a commercial real estate loan or a home equity loan in sufficient time to conclude the transaction? Do you decline the order? Fortunately there is an alternative way to meet this challenge: You can use Purchase Order Financing & Letter of Credit financing to deliver the product and close the sale.

What is purchase order financing?

Purchase order financing is a specialized method of providing structured working capital and loans that are secured by accounts receivables, inventory, machinery, equipment and/or real estate. This type of funding is excellent for startup companies, refinancing existing loans, financing growth, mergers and acquisitions, management buy-outs and management buy-ins.

Purchase order financing is based upon bona fide purchase orders from reputable, creditworthy companies, or government entities. Verification of the validity of the purchase orders is required. The financing is not based on your company’s financial strength. It is based on the creditworthiness of your customers, the strength of the commercial finance company funding the transaction, and in most cases a letter of credit.

What is a letter of credit?

A letter of credit is a letter from a bank guaranteeing that a buyer’s payment to a seller will be received on time and for the correct amount. If the buyer is unable to make payment for the purchase, the bank is required to cover the full amount of the purchase. In a purchase order financing transaction, the bank relies on the creditworthiness of the commercial finance company in order to issue the letter of credit. The letter of credit “backs up” the purchase order financing to the supplier, or manufacturer.

Is purchase order financing appropriate for your sales program?

The perfect paradigm is a distributor buying products from a supplier and shipping directly to the purchaser. Importers of finished goods, exporters of finished goods, out-source manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors can effectively use purchase order financing to grow their businesses.

Is purchase order financing appropriate for growing your sales orders?

Purchase order financing requires you to have management expertise- a proven track record in your particular business. You must have bona fine purchase orders from reputable firms that can be verified. And you must have a repayment plan; often this is from a commercial finance company in the form of accounts receivable or asset-based financing.

You should have a gross margin of at least 25% to benefit from purchase order financing. Sellers of services or commodities with low margins, such as lumber or grain, will not qualify.

The bottom line decision for purchase order financing:

It can take two or more years to develop a profitable business. Banks generally base their lending limits on a business’ performance for the past two or three years. Purchase order financing, combined with letters of credit and/or accounts receivable or asset-based financing can give you sufficient funds to cover your operating costs, financing costs and still realize significant profits. If you qualify for purchase order financing, you can grow your business by taking advantage of large purchase orders and eventually qualify for bank financing.

Lawsuit Financing Companies

Attorneys, law firms, lawyers, beneficiaries or clients usually form lawsuit-financing companies. Lawsuit financing companies can also provide appeal finance, firm finance, custom finance or estate finance.

Many lawyers and attorneys create lawsuit financing companies based on their experience and the types of cases they encounter the most. Attorneys and lawyers with expertise in personal injury lawsuits or patent lawsuits help by providing cash advances and support in their fields.

Lawsuit financing companies provide many financing options. With a significant monthly fee, a few lawsuit financing companies may help to settle the case faster. Though a large variety of options are available, the plaintiff has to discuss with the attorney which option is best suited to him.

The lawsuit financing company and the plaintiff can make an agreement of the amount of share the lawsuit financers would obtain after the settlement or the verdict is known. This is called “flat fee”. Apart from the flat fees, the plaintiff has to pay a minimum fee every month, called “recurring fees”, to the lawsuit financing company. This recurring fee can be as low as 2.9% in the case of a few lawsuit financing companies, or could be as high as 15% with other companies.

It is the financing company’s decision as to how much to pay as the cash advance. Lawsuit financing companies pay from $1000 to about a million dollars depending on the case.

Every lawsuit financing company would have a team of lawyers to assess the strength of the case. The key is to avoid funding frivolous complaints. Thus the financing companies will scrutinize the complaint and decide the chances of success of the case.

Lawsuit financing companies do not term their cash advances as loans but as investments. The applicant has to repay after the verdict. Usually the monetary settlement that is obtained after the settlement by the court is larger than the company’s advance. The lawsuit financing company should be paid the principal and the predetermined share of the monetary verdict.

Many lawsuit financing companies can be approached through the Internet. Companies like legalcashnow.com, legalfundingnetwork.com and lawsuitcash.com are available on the Internet. Websites like these are flooded with information and instructions regarding lawsuit financing.