Category Archives: Finance

Water damage to your home as a result of a leak, what next?

A Leak Caused Water Damage? Important Steps To Follow Next

While water leaks are not the end of the world, they can cause significant damage to your home. Water leaks can lead to many problems that include mold, mildew, water stains, and wet drywall. This is why whether large or small, it is important to deal with a water leak right away. Here are some steps to take after a leak causes damage to your home.

 

Find the leak

It is important to isolate the leak. If the leak is coming from the roof, try to pinpoint where. If it is from a pipe, temporarily patch the pipe. Move all wet items away from the leak’s origin to prevent further damage. Consider calling a professional to fix the leak, especially if it is a roof leak, or if you cannot determine the leak’s location.

 

Dry out

Start getting all wet items as dry as possible. The longer the items are wet, the greater chance that mold will start to grow. A wet vac will help with carpets and furniture. A dehumidifier will pull the moisture out of the room. Make sure light fixtures are thoroughly dry before use. Removing the light fixture cover to remove any water may be a good idea. Use a moisture meter to determine the amount of moisture in the ceilings, walls, and ductwork.

 

Pictures and notes

It is important to document the entire process. Make sure to note the day and the weather conditions, especially for a roof leak. Take pictures of the leak’s place of origin. Also, take pictures of all items that were damaged due to the leak. This includes walls, floors, ceilings, as well as personal property like rugs and furniture. Contact the insurance company and provide all the necessary documentation.

 

Fix leak

Until the leak is fixed, consider leaving all items in a safe place. If it is a roof leak, try placing buckets or large containers underneath in case it rains before it can be fixed. If it is a pipe leak, call a professional to get it fixed as soon as possible. Turn off the water to prevent future leaks.

You can watch some Youtube videos to maybe get an idea on how to fix it yourself, but ultimately you need a plumber like denver water damage to come in.

Example:

Restoration

Once the leak has been fixed and everything is dry, it is time to take care of the damage. This may be as simple as replacing wallpaper, painting over some dry water stains, or replacing the carpet. Cleaning and sanitizing everything is an important step to not overlook. If there is severe water damage, a professional may be needed to fix a wooden floor or replace other structural damage. Make sure to get estimates, document the work, and report everything to the insurance company.

3 Famous Examples of Security Fraud

Security fraud has become a significant issue around this information age, especially in the investment world. Security fraud, a.k.a; investment fraud is a malicious practice that involves the misinterpretation of information for many investors to make viable decisions, in one way or another—the crime involves financial manipulation, poor advice, and more which may lead to significant losses.

Security fraud is illegal, and too often, it is risky to investors. There’s been a great article on TGDAILY recently that interviews a securities defence lawyer, it gives a great outline of the most common misconceptions and he digs into the most popular questi0ns around the topics. We highly recommend to give it a read.

Anyway, Investment fraud takes on many diversified forms. But below are the most famous ones.

  1. Accountant fraud

Over the past two decades, accountant fraud has increasingly grown where financial reports get manipulated now and then. The most kind of workers who fall into these illegal practices is usually the ones who have access to an organization’s accounts without oversight.

Accountant fraud involves embezzlements, fake suppliers, personal purchases, and many more.

Accountant fraud can directly impact the success of the company. It can lead to billions of losses if unchecked. The company, therefore, should implement internal severe accounting control and conduct random auditing on accounts receivable and accounts payable. Even better, it should employ trusted workers to check the reports regularly.

  1. Payroll fraud

Payroll fraud is an illegal act through the company’s payroll system. Payroll fraud is one of the most common investment frauds that many employees have turned their heads to-for many reasons. The effects of these employees fraud are dangerous and can even lead to business failure. According to research, about 27% of businesses affected with payroll fraud are likely to last for not less than 36 months. Payroll fraud, therefore, is a significant risk, particularly for small enterprises where control is minimal.

Some of the theft involved with payroll fraud includes paycheck theft, advance fraud, ghost employees scheme, and many more.

To avoid such a risk, the company needs to balance the sheets plus the payroll accounts three times a year. The company should also employ trusted managers who approve timesheets on time. The payroll record is a must check to ensure bank details matches.

  1. Asset misappropriation

Also referred to as insider fraud, asset misappropriation is a fraudulent practice that involves vast numbers of employees within a company. It is a case where individual employees who have access to information that the company lacks, then takes advantage of sale the corporation’s stock or securities.

Asset misappropriation is a risk if unnoticed. It includes theft of cash, robbery of services, forgery, and more.

The company should, therefore, rigorously check on new employees’ backgrounds. The company should also implement random audits, checks, and balances, and never pay commissions unless services get delivered. Better yet, change of duties of employees.

When to Use a Professional Plumber over Doing It Yourself?

While there are instances when a homeowner may want to save on the plumbing costs by carrying out some DIY projects, this is not always a good idea for some repairs and maintenance. Without professional experience, a simple repair can result in big damage if done by an amateur.

Of course there are small things that you can fix yourself, just check out youtube for some quick plumbing hacks:

But there are several instances where you should consider hiring a professional plumber over a DIY project. Mostly because…

You don’t have the right equipment

If you’re not a plumber like the pros at Clearwater Plumbers, then buying some plumbing equipment will not be in your budget. A professional plumber has all the necessary equipment and gear necessary for carrying out any plumbing work. They understand which tools work for what and invest in the latest technologies to get the right plumbing equipment. Some services such as detecting a leak, repairing a sewer line, excavation, inspection, etc. require the latest technology to carry out efficiently, which only professionals can access.

Experience

Not all plumbing work can be carried out by just anybody. Some jobs are too complicated and require the expertise of a professional plumber. Attempting to do some complicated repairs yourself will end up costing more than it should have cost if you just went ahead and hired a professional. If you don’t understand the repair and maintenance work properly, you should consider hiring a professional and save time.

Plumbing codes and standards

There are some plumbing works that need to adhere to the professional codes of conduct and standards of plumbing. A homeowner with no plumbing education or experience will not know them. For instance, you might need to unclog your drainage using a harsh chemical. If something goes wrong, the chemical may end up leaking into the water drainage system. This can contaminate the entire water supply of the neighborhood, putting everyone at risk. A homeowner is not a certified plumber and does not know how the system works. Such trials and errors can endanger your life and the lives of many people.

Getting a permanent solution

Some plumbing repairs keep on recurring, and you find yourself wasting a lot of time doing one thing over and over. It is about time you call a plumber to get to the root cause of the problem and offer you a permanent solution. A professional is more attentive to the details of the problem and can diagnose troubles to prevent any more damages from occurring.

If you’re undecided on whether to hire a professional plumber or do it yourself, consider several factors and make a decision based on that. Some DIY can end up being more expensive and time-consuming than hiring a plumber. Other repairs might only take 5 minutes of fixing. The tips above will guide you on making a proper decision.

When is it practical to take out a bank loan?

If you have been considering taking out a bank loan for a holiday, to pay debt, to renovate your home or to pay for upcoming personal expenses, here are a few things to consider about the practicality of taking out a bank loan.

 

Debt consolidation — One of the main reasons financial consultants will recommend taking out a bank loan is if you want to consolidate debts.

Many people have personal debts of credit card balances, store credit balances and even balances on cards issued for the sole purpose of buying clothing, electronics and entertainment products online. Many of these cards come with interest rates of over 20 percent.

Take out a bank loan or credit, however, and consolidate all of these debts into one loan and one payment. As many loans will have an interest of well under 8 percent, you can cut a huge amount out of the money you would have to repay if you kept the original debts.

 

Your debt is not out of control — If all of your debts consolidated into one payment are still manageable, then financial consultants recommend taking out a bank loan.

If your debts are so enormous, however, that there is little likelihood of paying them off even with a bank loan, it is not recommended you take out a loan. Especially as, by doing so, you could just end up damaging your credit rating even more if you are not able to pay off the loan.

 

You have a solid plan enabling you to pay off the loan — Only ever take out a bank loan if you have a solid plan to pay it off.

This means the money you currently earn is more than sufficient to pay monthly loan payments. It also means you have extra money in reserves in case you have problems paying off the loan.

If you do not have a firm plan that will easily enable you to pay off a bank loan, avoid taking one out. In many cases, if you do, you will just find yourself in even more financial difficulties.

 

Can you get low interest rates? — In order to make taking out a bank loan worthwhile, you will have to have a high enough credit rating to be able to get low interest rates.

If you take out a bank loan and the interest rate is as high as credit cards you currently have, there is no point taking on additional debt. Especially as you will have to repay it at exorbitant interest rates.

Calculate how much you would have to pay each month with both the credit cards you currently have and a bank loan. Only apply for a bank loan if the repayment every month would be less.

Personal Loans, a Help or a Hindrance?

You can get a personal loan for any reason. It is important you separate the needs from the wants. Does the reason you are getting a personal loan warrant you taking on additional debt? Only you can answer this question.

Every person has a different reason for getting a personal loan and all reasons are important to that person. However, you must stop and reconsider what your loan money is going to buy. Personal loans definitely should be used on things that will improve your lifestyle and reach into the future. You want a personal loan so the money can work for you. In other words, you get a personal loan to make money. Maybe an offer came to you that promises to use your money to make more money.

Making Smart Financial Decisions and Your Number One Reason to Get a Personal Loan-Consolidation

List all of your debts and consider those debts that once paid off they are forever gone, such as, credit card balances, medical bills, vacations, costly appliances, home repairs like a new roof, and more. Getting a loan to consolidate debt at a lower rate of interest is the number one reason to obtain a personal loan. Never make the mistake of getting into debt due to spur of the moment purchases.

Instead of putting a bit of money on each account, a personal loan to pays off most of your debt. Instead of paying on ten different accounts, you have one account to pay on which is your loan. Bill consolidation is the number one reason for obtaining a personal loan.

Reason Number One Reason to Get a Personal Loan

You own a seasoned and profitable company and you need a personal loan so you can expand your business. This reason means that by using your loan you are going to make more money shortly. Maybe you have plans to start up a business and need the extra money to get your business started.

Number Three Reason to Get a Personal Loan

Are you looking to sell your home and you know that updates on your home will increase the home’s value? You want to improve the outside and inside of your home. Thus, when you do sell your house you add increased curb appeal. You get more money out of your home because you used the loan to increase something of value. Home updates also increase the chances of you selling your home quicker.

Number Three Reason to Get a Personal Loan

You already know that to increase your education increases your chances of getting a better job, nicer benefits, and more money. A personal loan used for educational purposes has many benefits. However, spending your loan on education is no guarantee that you can use your college credits or degree towards finding that perfect job.

Always ask yourself, “Is what I want my personal loan for an urgent expense?”

How To Get a Bad Credit Loan

What is bad credit

Bad credit can easily happen to anyone because of the different circumstances in your finance. You may lose your job or use up your money for an emergency causing you to default in your credit card loan. When you default your credit card loan, this is what is referred to as bad credit. Most if not all loan lenders stay away from providing loans to people with bad credits because they cannot trust that you will pay back the money in time. A bad credit card score means that you have a number close to 0 as opposed to one close to 999. When the number is closer to zero, it means that you have a bad history of paying back your credit card loans and do not pay them back in time. While you may have a bad credit card score, you may still need a loan.

Bad credit card loans

Some agencies and companies can provide personal loans to people with bad credit cards. These loans are specially made for these people because it may be difficult to find other loan lenders with the bad credit card. There are some tips that you need to follow if you have a bad credit card score and are in dire need of a loan. First, choose the right lender for your loan. Some of the organizations that offer personal loans for bad credit scores include credit unions, banks, and online lenders. When looking for the right online lender, it is essential that you look at their terms, limits and interest rates. Which takes us to our next tip choose a lender with a higher loan limit. It is essential that you choose one with a limit higher than 1000 dollars. This ensures that you get more for whatever purpose that you need the money for.

Interest rates

One downside for a bad credit card loan (check out NeedMoneyNow’s bad credit loans service) is that the interest rates are much higher than normal loans. Therefore the third tip is to choose a lender that has interest rates that are competitive. This is important because it ensures that you can pay back the loan plus the interest amount. Another tip is to check the repayment period. It is crucial to choose a repayment period that is longer and provides you with ample time to pay back the loan. The repayment period may differ with the interest rate. If the interest rates are high and the repayment period is little, it will not be advisable to take such a loan. Lastly, do enough research on bad credit card lenders. Relying on information from reviews may send mixed messages especially from individuals that were unable to qualify for their loan. Do your research and identify what loan lender best works for you.

 

How to Easily Get a Loan

See where you stand financially

To assess your ability to get a loan, you should first where you stand financially. There are several factors to look at that can determine your chances of getting a loan and this is an important first step. Lenders reading your loan application will assess certain elements of your financial profile. Knowing where you stand in these metrics will allow you to determine your ease of getting a loan.

 Credit History

Credit history is one of the factors that lenders will look at it. A credit history is a report of how well you have managed your credit over the time you have possessed your accounts. It also examines your repayment history and any credit card debt you may have. It matters because a good credit history will illustrate to lenders that you are financially and fiscally responsible. This will also impact the amount of interest you will have to pay on your loan.

 Capacity

This is a measurement of your capacity to pay back a loan or make payments. This takes into account your income and expenses. The balance of your income and expenses is called the debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. The lower the DTI ratio, the more likely lenders are to approve your loan request.

 Collateral

Collateral is something that you own. This can be a house or a car or anything that you own that is valuable. This helps lenders assess the risk of granting a loan. If you have collateral that they can seize in cases of non-payment, then it makes them more likely to grant your loan.

 Capital

Essentially, capital is your saved up money and/or your investment portfolio. Banks and lenders will look at this when assessing your likelihood of getting a loan. This illustrates your ability to pay back a loan in the case of losing your job or main source of income.

 Conditions

Finally, market conditions matter. In a booming or growing market, lenders are more likely to give out easy loans, as there is more of a chance that you will be able to pay it back. In a more volatile market or a market in decline, however, lenders will be more hesitant to give loans, because it is riskier and less likely to be paid back.

 Conclusion

These factors will determine if it is easy or not for you to get a loan. After applying, lenders and banks will look at your: credit history, capacity, collateral, capital, and conditions. These five C words will determine your likelihood of being granted a loan, and if so, for how much money and with what interest rate. If you are rated well in these categories it will be easier to get a loan than if you are not. There is no secret or easy trick to get a loan, but making sure that you assess your factors like the lender will, can make it significantly easier.

Non-profit jobs and companies: how to use the experience you have in the non-profit arena

If you currently work for a corporation, but have always wanted to work for a non-profit instead, now may be the time to make your move.

Before you go looking for positions on a non-profit job board, however, there are a few things you will need to know about transferring your work experience from a company to a non-profit, and how to make a non-profit see you are the right person for the job.

Learn everything you can about non-profits — Before you send out a single resume, be sure you understand what a non-profit is, how it works, where it gets its money, and how an organization becomes a 501 (c) 3 company.

Download ebooks about non-profit work from your usual ebook seller, and learn everything you can about them. After all, once you do begin to submit resumes, you want to be sure you use the right language, and you know exactly how the organization you are applying to operates.

Write down all your experience and apply it — Once you understand more about non-profits, you will understand how different they are from companies.

That means you will also understand what type of experience can be useful in a non-profit organization. Write down all the experience you have that fits into what may be appropriate, and then re-write your resume so that it incorporates it all.

Emphasize any volunteering you have done — While not every non-profit prefers to hire people that have already worked in one, most do prefer to hire someone that has at least done volunteer work with one.

If you have not volunteered with a non-profit before, now is the time to get a volunteer job for a few months. If you have, be sure that is emphasized both on your resume and in your cover letter, as well as in any interviews you are given.

Learn about the turn-over rate — Be absolutely sure you want to work for a non-profit before you begin sending out resumes.

The turn-over rate in non-profits is often much higher than in corporations, as their employees get burnt out so quickly. After all, it can be a very stressful environment. Especially if you are working for a non-profit with low funds, or one offering services to at-risk clients.

Cultivate your people skills — People skills are more important than just about anything else in the non-profit world. That means, where you may be able to get away with a less personable personality in a company that is not likely to happen in a non-profit.

That is why, if your people skills are not very good, it is important to work on them until they are. A person with exceptionally good people skills is far more likely to be given a job in a non-profit than in a traditional company.

Relationship building skills are the most important thing so, if you have them already, emphasize that when you are interviewed. If you do not, do everything you can to learn them as they will be put to good use should you be hired.

Ensuring That You Have The Perfect Business Card

A business card should be one of the first things that you get when starting your business. Having a business card allows you to show people your business and give them all your contact information. You can also leave your business cards out at various places to reach everyone that may want to use your services. There are two ways that you can get a business card. You can either do it yourself or hire a company to make the business card for you.

DIY Business Cards

There are many programs online that you can get in order to do your own business cards. These will allow you to create a unique design and put in all of your information. You will be able to control all the aspects that go into the making of your card. However, it can be difficult to come up with a design for your card. You will want something that stands out and attracts people. You will want to make sure that the font is also easy to read and that you include all of your information. You will also want to make sure you proofread everything that you put on your card. Printing out your cards can also be a pain. Your printer may not make them stand out as much and cutting them out can be a real pain. This can take a lot of your time and effort.

Getting your Business Card Designed by Professionals

Instead of dealing with doing your cards yourself, a much better option is to hire a professional company that knows how to do business cards. A professional company can take your information and what you want in a business card and turn that into a design. Once they complete your design, they will send it to you for final approval. They will handle putting everything on your card and when it comes time to print, they will handle the cards and have them cut out for you professionally. You will not have to worry about a thing. You will be able to sit back and wait for your cards that will surely amaze your clients and future clients.

Don’t settle for a bland business card. Get a professionally designed business card that will make you stand out from your competition. Once you have your business cards, remember to pass them out often. Look at places where you can place your business cards and always keep them there.

The Ball and Chain of Big Business Bureaucracy

The business world is full of David and Goliath stories that illustrate how quickly a large, well-resourced company can lose ground to the little guy. Like stereotypical musclebound bodybuilders, big businesses are strong, but they can become inflexible over time and lose the advantages that propelled them to success as startups. Why? Bureaucracy.

You Can Fight City Hall!

The larger a business grows, the more it tends to become ensconced in a cocoon of middle managers who develop policies and procedures that make decision-making tougher than turning the Titanic. While a leadership structure that defines authority is necessary to ensure clear communication and coordinated efforts, hierarchies can become so bloated that the process of making necessary strategic changes is slowed by endless deliberation and the need for too many people to reach a consensus.

There’s no doubt that government regulation and labor issues encourage an environment in which rules reign, but the larger management grows, the more self-perpetuating it becomes as risk-averse department heads seek to validate their positions by creating ever more policies that undermine the need to adapt and curb the enthusiasm of talented staff.

Create a Yes Culture

Today’s consumers are savvy. They don’t take no for an answer and if a business won’t meet their needs, they’ll find one that will. Start-ups with nothing to lose and the will and flexibility to make things happen are finding unprecedented ways to say yes. They’re wowing customers with attention, great service and a demonstrable appreciation for their business.

In large companies, customers and decision-makers are often insulated from each other by layers of management and a plethora of rules that force employees to eliminate every reason to say no before finding ways to say yes. Customers feel like they’re invisible and unappreciated.

Never Stop looking Forward

Corporate culture is notorious for suffocating innovation because it’s risky and threatens the status quo. As many top-level managers put it (see The Deal – August 2016 – Lowy), while start-ups are busy looking for new ways to gain an edge, big business is often satisfied doing things the way they always have.

Bureaucracy in a large company incentivizes employees to resist change. The accountability processes created to ensure repeatable and profitable results can put the need to innovate on the back burner as creative staff works on the premise that avoiding risk and maintaining existing profits is more important than developing cutting edge ideas.

This mentality is often conveyed to employees unwittingly by members of management who measure staff performance by comparing quarter to quarter profits instead of looking at the big picture. When maintaining gains over a three month period seems like the singular goal, even the most talented staff will develop tunnel vision.

Big business tends to lose operational and strategic flexibility over time simply because it takes longer to turn an ocean liner than a row boat. But, avoiding the bureaucratic traps that slow decision-making, make a business less responsive to customers and stifle innovation is a must for growth in a market that thrives on constant change.

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