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Monthly Archives: January 2018

Best Money Transfer Provider

The costs of transactions

Sometimes the exchange rate could be favorable but then, the costs per transaction may be high. This is not an ideal scenario for many. You need to consider just how much you will be charged as the commission or the transfer fees before a transfer can be effected. One way to make it less hectic is to consolidate the smaller payments into only one. This lowers costs. There are providers that have better rates and yet others waive the fees altogether when a large payment is made.

Convenience

Some of the companies offer a very easy way to signup, others take so much time. There are online providers that offer their services 24 hours a day, and seven days a week. You, however, need to see the delivery and payment methods that are offered so as to ensure that all your needs are satisfied. Check for features like mobile wallet options.

Currencies needed

Not all the companies will operate in all countries and even offer all currencies. When you have to send money to areas that are remote where currencies are not popular, you may have to deal with delays. It is important you check that the currencies that you need are actually offered before you settle for a specific provider.

How reliable and safe is the foreign exchange provider?

You need to assess the reliability of the company. Consider how long they have been in business. Consider the amount that has already been transferred and what others think about the services that they have provided so far. Security of the platform also has to be considered. This allows you to think more clearly and make the most informed decision.

Tracking the transactions

There are providers that allow you to track your transactions and create some alerts through emails. In this way, you can easily get the status of any order that has been placed. You can have some email updates sent and this helps in businesses. You lower risk of fraud this way.

Behavioural Economics

The traditional view of economics and financial decision-making

It is sometimes forgotten in economics that the field is meant to be about the behaviour of people when making financial decisions.

The traditional economist’s view is that the world is populated by unemotional, logical, decision makers, who always think rationally in drawing their conclusions. This view is underpinned by the understanding that human behaviour displays three key traits: unbounded rationality, unbounded willpower, and unbounded selfishness.

This has always flown in the face of the findings of cognitive and social psychologists, who questioned these assumptions as far back as the 1950s.

With the rise of behavioural neuroscience since the 1980s (especially Kahneman’s work) providing more insight into the workings of the brain, we are now more sure than ever about the role that emotion and bias plays in all decision-making: from simple day-to-day decisions like which dress to wear, through to larger decisions that may affect many people.

Overconfidence and optimism are two examples of behavioural traits that may lead to sub-optimal financial decision-making, and divert from the traditional model used. People have also been shown to make poor decisions, even when they know it’s not for the best, due to a lack of self-control.

So this is where behavioural economics has been able to step in and modify many of the beliefs of the traditional economic views.

What is behavioural economics – and how can it help?

Behavioral economics and behavioral finance study the effects of psychological, social, cognitive, and emotional factors on economic decisions.

This may apply to individuals or institutions, and involves looking at the consequences for market prices, dividends, and resource allocation.

Of the three traits of human behaviour included in the traditional model outlined above, unbounded rationality has received special focus, with new understandings in the field resulting from neuroscience.

Understanding better how people arrive at financial decisions can help in many areas: from personal finance to organisations shaping products and trying to get more customer sign-ups; and from the vagaries of stock market trading through to governments and how they formulate financial legislation.

Selecting a Financial Planner

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.

Command to Be Debt-Free

The first commandment on Botting’s list says, “Thou shalt not shop without a list,” and the second is like unto it: “Thou shalt not shop without a limit.” Both of these commandments are a call to get organized in order to be in control of your spending. As you apply the process, you have to be careful of the people with whom you go shopping, because in his eighth commandment, Botting cautions, “Thou shalt avoid other spendthrifts.” Obviously, it’s important to shun the company of people who are born to shop if you are going to debt-free.

The commandments so far may seem like tongue-in-cheek advice, but careful examination reveals that there is a serious underside to them. As I looked them over, Commandment Number 10 held the most appeal for me. It simply says, “Thou shalt back away.” The instruction is succinct, but needs some explanation. This is the strategy, according to Botting. After selecting your items, just before you reach the checkout counter with your shopping basket, stop and ask yourself, Do I really need all these items? “If you can put some of them back, you will have given yourself a financial discount,” Botting says. Here is an appealing financial tool that anyone can use.

The advice proved so motivational that the next time I went shopping, I decided to practice what had been preached to me in this tenth commandment. At a store nationally known for its name-brand bargains, I picked out three smart-looking outfits, even though I had gone in to buy only one to take as a gift for my mother, whom I was going to visit. I toyed with the three dresses, two of which were meant for me. I studied their color, style and price. I hung them up against the rack and backed off to examine them some more. All three looked desirable, but I asked myself the requisite question: Do I really need the extra two? Of course, the answer was No. I obeyed Commandment Number 10 and backed away. I selected one for my mother, replaced the other two on the rack, and with the joy of an overcomer, marched to the counter and swiped my debit card. I had given myself two-thirds off. It was that easy.

Keeping this commandment could prove a boon to your financial freedom. You may have heard it said that it’s impossible to go into a supermarket for one item and come out with just the one thing you went in to buy, but applying the commandment to “back away” can make a difference. It’s not too late even if you are at the checkout counter. Leave the unnecessary items, pay for the one thing that you came for, and claim your financial discount.