Archive for June, 2010

5 Tips that can help you to select a good consolidation company

June 15th, 2010

It is necessary to consider few things before hiring a credit card debt consolidation company as there are many fraud companies in the market. This article highlights 5 tips that can help you to select a good credit card debt consolidation company.

Tips for selecting a good consolidation company

The 5 tips that can help you to select a good credit card debt consolidation company are given below:

1. Do research: You should do a lot of research on the various credit card debt consolidation companies that are available in the market. You should get to know about what kind of services are they offering to you. You should select that credit card debt consolidation company that meets your needs. Now, when you are doing a research on a company, you should check few things. These are a) whether the company is accredited by AICCA (Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies) b) accredited by BBB (Better Business Bureau).

2. Check background: You must do a background check of the company. This includes its administration, financial strength, and the tenure of its existence.

3. Check reputation: You must check whether the particular company is reputed or not. You can know that from various websites, BBB (Better Business Bureau). You can even ask your friends and family who have earlier worked with the company. You can ask them about the kind of services they have received.

4. Set an appointment: You must fix an appointment with the representative of the company that you have selected. You must ask all the questions that are in your mind. You must ask about the interest rates of the loans, fee structure, details of the consolidation process. You should also ask whether you will get help from the company if you have any problem in future.

5. Check online forums: You can check the online forums where you can directly chat with the customers of the company. If you have any doubt, then feel free to ask them.

Finally, you must know that you are entitled to get a free consultation from the consolidation company. If the credit card debt consolidation company refuses to give you free consultation, then it is better to move on.

IVA or Bankruptcy?

June 14th, 2010

According to the latest Bank of England figures, we actually repaid more unsecured debt than we borrowed in April. It was the first time UK residents had done this since November last year, so it’s good to see people making a ‘dent’ in their debts.

In total, we repaid £136m more unsecured debt than we took on throughout the month. It sounds like a lot (and it is) but of course that’s spread out over the whole population, with some repaying more, others less - and others ‘bucking the trend’ and getting deeper into debt.

One major factor in all this, of course, is the recession and its after-effects. It may be behind us now, but how many people have seen their incomes drop over the last few years? How many have started focusing on repaying their debts as a result of the economic problems of the last few years?

A falling income - and a rising cost of living - can have a huge impact on someone’s ability to stay on top of their debt payments, which is one reason we’re seeing record numbers of bankruptcies and IVAs (Individual Voluntary Arrangements).

But that doesn’t mean insolvency’s necessarily a bad idea. For people who are struggling to cope with debts they just can’t afford, entering bankruptcy or an IVA can be the best solution to their problems.

So what’s the difference between an IVA and bankruptcy? What are the consequences? And how does someone know if they’d be better off entering an IVA or being declared bankrupt?

IVAs and bankruptcies - how are they similar?

First of all, IVAs and bankruptcies are both forms of insolvency. They both give people the chance to repay what they can afford of their debt - and write off the remainder that they can’t afford to repay.

However, there are some kinds of debt that neither an IVA nor bankruptcy can write off, like secured debts (e.g. mortgages) and court fines.

IVAs and bankruptcies will both affect the individual’s ability to get credit, placing restrictions on their borrowing while they’re in progress and staying on their credit rating for six years from the time they start.

IVAs and bankruptcies - how are they different?

There are many differences between IVAs and bankruptcies, but here’s a look at some of the main ones.

First of all, the difference in duration is quite an obvious one. Most IVAs will last for five years. A bankruptcy will normally last for one year, although the individual may have to make payments for three years, and if a Bankruptcy Restriction Order is granted (which is very rare), this can last for 15 years.

Then there’s the question of privacy. IVAs and bankruptcies will both appear in the publicly available Individual Insolvency Register. A bankruptcy, however, will also be advertised in newspapers - while an IVA will not.

As for employment prospects, there are certain positions which people cannot hold if they’ve been made bankrupt - like local government councillor, or company director. When it comes to IVAs, this isn’t set in stone - there are some companies that won’t employ someone with an IVA, but this is up to them.

Finally, there’s the effect an IVA or bankruptcy can have on someone’s property. Bankruptcy will require you to release equity in excess of £1,000 and can result in the sale of your home. An IVA, on the other hand, is very unlikely to result in the sale of your home, although it may well require homeowners to release equity near the end of the IVA.

IVA or bankruptcy - which is right for me?

This isn’t an easy question to answer, but in general:

An IVA can be more appropriate for someone who owns their own home, works in an area where being made bankrupt could be a problem, and/or doesn’t want any publicity about their insolvency. Note that they would, in most cases, have to be able to make regular contributions to the IVA.

If someone’s facing serious debts and owns little in the way of assets, bankruptcy could be more appropriate than an IVA if their income is low and their financial circumstances aren’t likely to get any better.

Having said that, it’s a complicated question which depends on a range of factors. If you’re considering insolvency, you’ll need to talk to an expert to find out whether an IVA or bankruptcy - or neither - would be appropriate for you.

How To Chart a Stock

June 9th, 2010

If you trade stocks, you must know how to chart them. Some people search through charts to find buy or sell signals. I find this wasteful of a stock traders time. You can and need to chart all types of stocks including penny stocks. Charting tells you where you are on a stocks price pattern this means it tells you when to buy or sell. There are plenty of great companies out there, you don’t want to get caught buying them at their 52 week high and having to wait around while you hope the price comes back to the price you paid.

What is a chart: Charts plot the price of a stock over time. The best charts are candlesticks, these charts plot open and closing price while depicting whether the stock closed higher or lower. A red candlestick shows that the price closed below were it closed the day prior and a white stick shows the price closed higher. Within a chart there are also many additional features that depict the overall trend of the stock.

Choosing a time frame: If your day trading, buying and selling intra day, a 3 year chart will not help you. For intra day trading you want to use 3,5 and 15 minute charts. Depending on your longterm investment strategy you can look at a 1 year, which I use most often to a 10 year chart. The yearly chart give me a look at how the stock is doing now in todays market. I’ll look longer for historical support and resistance points but will make my buys and sells based on what I see in front of me in the yearly.

Stock Patterns: There are many patterns out there, either bullish or bearish. Bullish means that a stock is looking strong and bearish means the stock is looking weak. Most of your patterns are based on the trends, which way the stock is moving currently. There are different patterns that represent reversals, bottoms and tops. Some are more worthy than others.

Price Support: Support is a level of price that you do not expect the stock to fall below. You can think of a stocks price going up as a staircase, it will bounce against a certain price and trade sideways, then it breaks through and trades higher, the old price that the stock had trouble breaking above is now the support price.

Price Resistance: This is the price that the stock had previously stopped at. As a stock is moving up it will eventually pull back. That pullback point becomes resistance and the next time the stock approaches that point traders will be cautious. The more times a stock stops at a certain price the stronger the resistance becomes at that price.

Daily Moving Averages: There are many moving averages which is just the average price of a stock over a long period of time, on a yearly chart I like to use 50, 100 and 200 daily moving averages. They provide a long smoothed out curve of the average price. These lines will also become support and resistance points as a stock trades above or below its moving averages.