Investors Leverage Securities Tied to Free Software

October 29th, 2016  |  Published in Guest Post  |  Comments Off on Investors Leverage Securities Tied to Free Software

Investors and brokers have long argued back and forth about whether or not software developed around an open-source model will ever turn a profit. Plenty of vendors have lost a significant amount of money by giving away their products for nothing, and these companies ultimately dragged some unfortunate portfolios down with them. The market is changing, however, and several top vendors are again leveraging their experience in free software to reap large profits. Some analysts are now advocating adding these companies to a healthy portfolio in the interest of diversification.

Canonical Attracts International Funds

Mark Shuttleworth isn’t a figure many investors have heard of, but those who are putting together technology investment funds are taking a close look at him. Canonical is a private British computer software company. Shuttleworth, a South African investor, has put his entire weight behind the company. It’s positioned to become one of the largest open-source model vendors in the world. While Canonical technically loses money, that’s at least in part because Shuttleworth continues to invest most of the profits back into the firm.

The company is currently privately held, but they’re exploring revenue streams that aren’t traditional for most software vendors. Shuttleworth applied for trademarks that would allow the company to sell shirts and hats featuring their company’s logo. Few software firms have that kind of faith in their product’s brand image. These alternative revenue streams are drawing interest from investors who want to add Canonical’s securities to their technology-based mutual funds once the company goes public.

Putting on a Red Hat

Red Hat is one of the biggest technology stocks to watch today. It’s become famous for being a rare example of a security traded on the New York Stock Exchange that saw it’s target price appreciate from literally nothing to a hefty sum. The company provides software solutions in several industry segments that analysts previously thought were worthless. They distribute open-source software solutions based solely on crowdsourced operating system technology. Red Hat once shared their name with what was then the most popular free operating system.

Today they market Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), which provides industrial and commercial users with all of the support they would expect from Microsoft or Apple. RHEL proved to be extremely competitive in the marketplace, and it continues to steal customers away from Windows and OS X. Individual consumers have flocked to Fedora, which is Red Hat’s distribution for personal desktops and laptops. The company provides training and consulting services for people using either distribution, which gives them a strong second stream of revenue. It’s no wonder that investors are extremely bullish when it comes to this particular stock.

Can Free Software Make Investors Money?

Investors are quickly asking if the open-source model can ever turn a profit. The answer is yes according to Vista Equity Partners founder Brian Sheth. Vista Equity recently acquired a majority stake in Granicus, which is a software vendor that specializes in solutions marketed toward government agencies. Sheth has faith in the company’s mixture of free and commercial software solutions. Leaders of major equity funds don’t usually put their backing behind projects that they have little faith in. The fact that there’s so much support seems to indicate that free software will indeed make money for those willing to invest in it.

Get Paid to Buy Bluehost Web Hosting via Swagbucks

September 26th, 2016  |  Published in General  |  Comments Off on Get Paid to Buy Bluehost Web Hosting via Swagbucks



If you’re reading this after 9/27/16 then the limited time offer is over and you can sign up for Bluehost through this referral link. You won’t make money for buying the hosting, but you will get a good deal on web hosting.

You can make up to $44 buying Bluehost web hosting with a special limited time Swagbucks offer. Follow the steps as listed and you should receive 8,000 SB which are good for over $80 in Amazon gift cards of $80 through PayPal.

1. Log in to your Swagbucks account. If you haven’t yet signed up for Swagbucks please sign up through my referral link. It will make me a few extra SB and won’t cost you anything.

2. Once you’re logged in look for the Bluehost offer on the Swagbucks home page. If you don’t see it you can go straight to the Swagbucks Bluehost offer page and you should get the deal.

3. Sign up for the $2.95 basic plan for one year. There are additional options you can choose if you want. Doing so will reduce the amount of money you make from this offer.

4. If you chose the $2.95 basic plan for one year and declined the additional options your total should be $35.40.

5. Your Swagbucks account will be credited with 8,000 SB within 32 days.

That is all you have to do to make $44. It might be possible to make a little more money by canceling the hosting after 30 days. I’m not going to try that myself.

Here is the small print from the Swagbucks offer.

Offer valid 09/26/16 12:00am MST through 09/27/16 11:59pm MST . Please allow 32 days for SB to credit. Cancellations prior to 30 days will not earn SB. This offer may only be redeemed (1) one time per user. This offer is presented to you by Swagbucks on behalf of a third-party merchant or sponsor (“Merchant”). Swagbucks does not endorse (and therefore is not responsible to you for) the Merchant’s views, policies, products or services. Have questions? Please contact the Swagbucks Help Center.

How to Get a Personal Loan When You Have Bad Credit

August 6th, 2016  |  Published in Guest Post  |  Comments Off on How to Get a Personal Loan When You Have Bad Credit

Debtholders with a below average credit score are often afraid that they will be unable to obtain a personal loan. Raising your credit score in order to meet the standard lending rate is not the only way to receive one. If you have bad credit and wish to get around high-interest rates, here are some tips to consider.

Recognize the Numbers

In order to set a goal for yourself, you first need to know where your credit score falls. A credit score is a number assigned to an account that indicates the lender’s capacity to repay a loan. The credit scores vary depending on the company, but FICO with a range from 300-850 is the most widely used model. A low credit score based on the FICO model is considered anywhere from 300 – 559, a below average score is 560 – 659, and an average score is 660 – 724. Key factors that often affect your credit score involve making heavy use of your available revolving credit, and how much credit history that your account has.

Consider Using a Cosigner

A Cosigner or Co-signer when considering a personal loan, is a person who signs an official document along with the lender. Having a cosigner with a reputable credit score will allow the company to trust that debt will be paid back through either the lender or the cosigner if the lender fails to pay. Missing a payment on the loan will also affect your cosigner’s credit score, so make sure to discuss with them if you feel unable to make a payment.  If you cannot find a cosigner you may want to look into a personal loans with no credit checks.

Apply to a Credit Union

A credit union is a nonprofit cooperative whose supporters can borrow from a mutual sum of credit at a low interest. Credit union membership is different from a bank and is operated entirely by its members. It’s common for lenders to seek out a community that allows them to have a similar link, such as working in the same industry or geographical area. Many credit unions will offer the same services as a bank such as checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages, CDs, auto loans, and personal loans.

Tap into Your Home Equity

Your home equity is a line of credit that uses your residence as collateral. If you’re a qualified homeowner with available equity, you can tap into this line of credit. Since your line of credit is based on your home equity, it normally results in lower interest rates than other forms of unsecured credit. You can spend and pay back the funds as long as you’d like during your draw period, the first 10 years of the loan or set of time depending on who you take the loan from.

Taking Back Control

Trying to build up credit when you have none can be discouraging to see your scores so low. Taking out a personal loan with a bad credit score should be part of a solution to your debt problems, and not a way to delay the unavoidable measure of paying your debt back.

This content was provided by a friend of the blog. It’s rare that we have the opportunity to share something so awesome which helps cover the cost of running the blog!

Social Security Made Simple – Free 11/30 and 12/1

November 30th, 2015  |  Published in Social Security  |  Comments Off on Social Security Made Simple – Free 11/30 and 12/1

The book “Social Security Made Simple: Social Security Retirement Benefits and Related Planning Topics Explained in 100 Pages or Less” is available free on Amazon for two days.  This book has been updated as of November 2015 to reflect the changes made to Social Security by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.  According to the book description this book explains the following topics.

  • How your Social Security retirement benefits, spousal benefits, and widow/widower benefits are calculated,
  • How your benefits are affected if you have a government pension or if you continue working while claiming Social Security,
  • How to decide when is the best age for you (and your spouse, if you’re married) to claim Social Security in order to get the most out of your benefits,
  • Whether or not it makes sense to take Social Security early in order to invest the money,
  • How to check your earnings record on the Social Security Administration’s website to make sure you’re getting the full benefit you deserve, and
  • How Social Security benefits are taxed and how this affects retirement tax planning

Social Security can be complicated and most of us will be collecting it someday so it makes sense to read a book such as this to ensure we get the most possible. If you have been thinking about researching Social Security options getting this book for free would be a good start.

Dating After 60

January 27th, 2015  |  Published in General  |  1 Comment

Are you among the majority of singles over 60 who feel you can not fit in today’s dating scene? Been so long since you meet someone on a romantic level that you think maybe you do not know how to prepare and what to expect. It is not easy to be out of the game of seduction, especially when you feel you slouch when you see those sweet couple cuddling while watching a romantic movie in the park, or happily taking a walk while holding hands. But did you know that these days more and more mature people these days are joining dating sites online?  There are special dating sites that are just for dating for people over 60 who are hoping that they will get to know that special someone.

So now you’ve met a potential date, but the question is whether the decision to make the occasion a night (or day) to remember? Starting something new can be a bit challenging, especially when you’re one over 60 who wants to get back into the dating world. Like any other kind of dating, you need to think of an activity that will make the experience more memorable. This is why a lot of people over 60 years of age often meet in groups, where people share a bit of fun, fellowship, and common interests with participants gather. Think social activities like joining book clubs, play duplicate bridge or the ever popular bingo: hobbies will make your day a little more exciting and you will also be able to socialize and make friends with new people too.

As people age, their life circumstances change and often find themselves alone, while those around them family and friends are busy with their daily lives. They are living in difficult times, so you have to find company for meeting new people around. Many singles over 60 years  find company group events, where they are able to meet new people, enjoy amazing conversations with new friends and share some fun. At these meetings, people are in a good mood, and others are often there to meet other people too. Note that even though you are in your sixties, there is still plenty of fun to be had connecting with others, and you are never too old to make new friends.

Investing for Retirement in a Bear Market

January 25th, 2015  |  Published in Retirement  |  1 Comment

Stock market investors have enjoyed a bull market for quite a few years now. History tells us that there will eventually be another bear market. How you handle your retirement investments during a bear market can make a big difference in the return provided by your retirement investments. Selling at the bottom of a bear market could produce a big loss for your retirement portfolio.

I was lucky that I started investing in earned for retirement during the last bear market in 2008. I didn’t get in right at the bottom, the market did go down for a few more months after I started investing. Despite the few months of negative returns, having bought stocks cheap during the bear market helped me get some great returns once the next bull market started.

Now that I have retirement investments though I need to consider what to do when the next bear market hits.  One strategy is to pull out of the market when the bear market starts to avoid further losses. The problem with that strategy is that nobody really knows when a small dip in the market is the beginning of a bear market or just a temporary correction during a bull market.  It is also impossible to know for sure when a bear market has hit bottom. For this strategy to work you need to be very lucky or be able to tell the future.

Another strategy, which is the strategy I might use, is to just stop investing in the market during the bear market. You would put your money into bonds or cash instead. If you use this strategy you need to figure out when to start investing in the market again. If you wait too long to start investing when the bull market resumes then you miss out on a lot of potential returns.  Or you could just stay fully invested in stocks the whole time and therefore ensure that you don’t miss out on the beginning of the bull market. When it comes to investing in a bear market there is no foolproof strategy. Jumping in and out of the market every time there is a small dip though will likely lead to inferior returns.

Three Financial Threats to a Peaceful Retirement

December 12th, 2014  |  Published in Guest Post  |  Comments Off on Three Financial Threats to a Peaceful Retirement

Three Financial Threats to a Peaceful Retirement

After spending all your life in the rat race, retirement is supposed to be the time when you can kick back, relax, and rest on your laurels. Unfortunately, the grim reality for many is that retirement is hardly a time of relaxation. Many retirees have debts that are almost impossible to maintain on a retirement income. As a result, many are reentering the workforce just to make ends meet, when they should be chilling in a condo in Boca Raton.

If you are not sure how much you will spend in retirement there is a calculator at Industry Super. Or take a look below at some common pitfalls to a debt free retirement, and ways to deal with them.

Below are some common pitfalls to a debt-free retirement, and ways to deal with them.

Credit Card Debt

If you have been using credit cards as a source of income, such as borrowing against the card or using your line of credit for living expenses instead of your income, you could end up stuck in the vicious cycle of borrowing and paying but never really catching up.

If you have not retired your best option is to pay down or eliminate as much of the credit card debt as possible so that you can retire with a fairly clean slate.

If you have already retired then you need to focus on getting those credit cards paid off as quickly as possible. If your retirement income is not sufficient to pay all of your bills, especially if you have already taken hits on your credit, you might want to speak to a credit repair company like Lexington Law find out your options for cleaning up your credit report.

Another option is to transfer the credit card balance to another low interest card. If you choose this option you should stop using the card that you transfer the balance from, or at least reserved for emergencies only, and not make any new purchases on the new card because the interest-rate that you get for the balance transfer might not fly to new purchases.

Mortgages

Mortgages are one of the biggest threats to a financially peaceful retirement. While it is true that making mortgage payments does give you certain tax advantages, those advantages are really worth it when you take into account the monthly expense of the mortgage – especially if your retirement income is significantly less than what you were earning when you were working.

If you have not already retired, one solution would be to try to pay off or significantly pay down the mortgage before your retirement. That way you won’t have that extra monthly expense, and if you do have the expense it will only be for short time and it might be easier to budget for it .

If you have already retired, one solution might be to look into a reverse mortgage. With a reverse mortgage you are essentially selling your house to the bank , in return they pay you either in one lump sum, in monthly payments as long as you live in your home , pay all required taxes and fees, and maintain the property. When you move out of the home , the property automatically goes to the bank. The biggest advantage to reverse mortgages that you get to stay at your home without having a hefty monthly mortgage payment. The downside is that if you want to leave the property to your heirs, they will have to pay off the remaining balance.

Another option would be to sell your current home and downsizing to a property with a smaller mortgage, or you can try to refinance your current property to lower monthly payment. Of course both options mean that you will essentially extend the life of the mortgage. It can lower your monthly expenses, but you’re also still in the same boat of having a mortgage that you have to pay when that money could be better used elsewhere.

If you’re concerned about your mortgage, you should speak with a financial advisor can go over these options as well as find other options to reduce your monthly expenses.

Your Children’s Debts

This includes any student loan payments that you’re helping them make, any loans that you may have cosigned, and any other financial assistance you may be giving them. This is not to suggest that you should completely cut them off , but you may need to work with them to reduce the a lot of money that you are giving them each month.

For example, if you have cosigned on a car loan and they have stayed current on the payments and have a decent credit rating, it might be time for them to refinance and put the loan and their names alone.

If your children are still in the stage where they are having financial difficulties of their own, you may need to work with the financial counselor to find a solution that works for everybody.

What Is A Living Benefits Life Insurance Rider?

December 9th, 2014  |  Published in General  |  Comments Off on What Is A Living Benefits Life Insurance Rider?

Having life insurance is the peace of mind every family needs to have. A family member can ensure their dependents do not have to take on their financial burdens and can have enough money to sustain and get their lives in order.

As we progress with new healthcare technologies to sustain our lives during certain critical illnesses, this does increase current medical expenses. Insurance companies have realized this and understand the needs that consumers have for more insurance products and services. That’s why many life insurance plans have an add-on policy called “riders.”

Understanding What a Rider Provides

A rider is an add-on policy to add additional benefits and protection to a life insurance policy. An owner can in essence create the best plan to cover their family’s needs. Some must be requested while others are automatically included. If there is an additional cost, it’s quite low.

What is a Living Benefits Rider?

A Living Benefits Rider (LBR) or Accelerated Payout Rider is an additional benefit that the policy owner can collect while they are living if they have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. It’s meant to help the insured live as comfortable a life as possible until their last day. An owner would have access to the cash value in the event of a chronic illness or terminal illness.

How Can a Living Benefits Rider Help?

Having a critical illness, there are treatments, prescriptions, in-home care, and hospitalization expenses to cover. The insured may not be able to work and help cover mortgage, utility, and other home expenses. The LBR will pay out, and a person can use the money however they see fit. So if they want to take their family on vacation, this is also acceptable.

How Much Can I Get with the Rider?

Every life insurance provider handles their LBR differently. In general, you can expect to receive 25% to 95% of the death benefit. The actual payment will depend upon your policy’s face value, your contract terms, and the state you reside in.

If you were to access your life insurance funds via a policy surrender or a policy loan, you would get approved for funds based on your cash value. The Living Benefits Rider is different in that you will get approved for funds based on your policy’s face value. So in most situations, the LBR will provide you with the most funding.

 

How to Save Money Eating Out

October 3rd, 2014  |  Published in General  |  Comments Off on How to Save Money Eating Out

Eating out is a convenience, but it is also expensive. When you have a family to feed, you need to look for the best deals to save the most money and make sure everyone has enough to eat.  For busy families, eating out is sometimes a better option just to save time and get everyone in bed at the right time. Below are some tips for saving money while eating out. You may feel some of these tips are common sense but you’d be surprised how much people spend on things they don’t need.

Use Groupon

Groupon has local deals with a variety of restaurants in each area. These deals are generally at least 50-percent less than what you would pay without the discount. You can find deals on everything from pizza shops to dessert places. Groupon sends daily emails to let you know what is available that day.

Look for Restaurant Specific Coupons

Some local restaurants, and even fast food locations, send coupons regularly in junk mail and Sunday newspapers. Some deals are also posted on their individual websites and/or social media. In order to take advantage of these discounts and meal packages, be sure to look through the advertisements as they come in.

Share an Entrée

Consider going to a restaurant that offers large portions. Pasta houses and pizza parlors are the ideal option for this. Most have salads that come with the meals, so that is ideal. Order an extra salad and split the entrée. This saves nearly 50-percent. Also consider water instead of a regular beverage, since those beverages are highly overpriced as it is.

Go out on Kids Eat Free Nights Only

Many franchises and even some local establishments offer kids eat free night. You’ll receive their meals free for ordering adult entrees. This is the way that most families on a budget are able to afford going out to eat. It’s a special treat. The restaurants usually offer these nights on their slowest of the week to help get business through the door. It isn’t really a financial loss to them since the cost of the adult meals often covers the small portions that children consume.

Saving money on eating out helps you to take a break from the kitchen and enjoy some family time. Using discounts does lower the restaurant’s profit but keep in mind, they only offer coupons that they can afford to offer. They still make a profit. Most restaurants have a food cost of 30-percent or less as 20-percent is average. Plan your meals around the nights when you can afford to eat out and take advantage of the discounts available whenever possible.