Mutual Fund Calculator: Calculate Growth, Equivalent Annual Yield

Mutual Funds are gaining popularity day by day among the investors. These are one of the best investment plans which not only give higher returns but also help to save money for income tax purpose. Any individual who is above 18 years of age is eligible for making Mutual Fund investment.

Investing is pretty easy with mutual fund. An investor can make use of Mutual Fund Calculator to calculate the expected profit on the amount invested. These Mutual Fund Calculator can be accessed online that too free of charge.

Before understanding the importance of the mutual fund calculator it is important to understand the different types of returns.

Different kinds of Mutual Fund returns:

Absolute returns: In this kind of returns, the growth or reduction in the investment is expressed in percentage. This kind of mutual fund return calculation is done for the schemes which have tenure < 1 year.

Annualized Returns: In this, the growth of the investment is calculated on yearly basis.

Total Returns: Total return indicated the actual returns earned by the investor on the invested amount. This includes principal gains as well as dividends.

Trailing Returns: It refers to the annualized profit over a standardized time period which ends today.

Point to Point Returns: To calculate these returns investor needs to know the start date and the end date of the scheme. It calculates the returns earned by a mutual fund between two particular dates.

Rolling Returns: Rolling returns represents the average returns earned on the mutual funds for a specific period. The return durations can be calculated on the daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Compound Annual Growth Rate: this method is used to calculate returns of mutual funds where investment is done for a period exceeding 1 year. While calculating returns through this method it is assumed that the funds are increasing at a steady speed.

The manual calculation for calculating CAGR:

CAGR = [(Current NAV/ Beginning NAV) ^ (1/number of years)]-1

 

Calculating returns manually is not so easy. Moreover, investors may lack the in-depth knowledge of different kinds of returns and the various methods to calculate them. In such cases, use of Mutual Fund Calculator is the best solution.

 

Mutual Fund Calculator:

A number of Mutual Fund Calculator is available online. An investor can use these calculators to calculate the growth and the annual yield of the invested amount. Using Mutual Fund Calculator is very easy. An investor needs to enter following details:

  • Mutual Fund name
  • Plan selected
  • Dateof returns: fromand to

After this, the investor needs to click on calculate”. The Mutual Fund calculator will do the calculation and give the annualized and absolute returns for the desired period. The calculator can calculate the mutual funds return for a period ranging from 1 week-5 years.

Besides giving the profits/returns on the investment, the Mutual Fund Calculator also helps in calculating:

  • What amount to be invested to earn a specific return?
  • The future worth of the amount invested
  • The time period for which investment should be done.

Types of Mutual Fund Calculators

  1. SIP Calculator: Systematic Investment plan gives the investor an option to invest money on the monthly basis. A pre-decided amount gets deducted from the investors account every month and is invested in the selected plan. The advantage of using SIP is that investor continues with the investment without disturbing monthly financial plan.

The SIP calculator calculates the value of the investment done on basis of the inputs entered by the depositor. The investor needs to enter following details to calculated investment returns by using SIP Calculator:

  • SIP monthly installment amount
  • The expected rate of return
  • The time duration of SIP investment

An important thing to keep in mind is that the calculator gives a result on basis of the details entered by the investor; hence the results may change depending on the market fluctuations.

  1. Lumpsum Calculator:  These calculators are used to calculate returns on the mutual funds with one time investments. The main benefit of using this kind of fund is that the NAV remains the same for all the purchased units. The returns can be calculated by entering following details:
  • The investment amount
  • Estimated ROI
  • Mutual fund scheme tenure
  1. Retirement Calculator: Most of the people do investment keeping in mind their plan for retirement. Manual calculation of the amount needed to live resourceful life after the retirement becomes quite difficult. Retirement Calculators is the solution for this. Details that need to calculate the expected amount that investor needs to invest to live a good retirement life include:
  • Current age and the expected retirement age
  • Monthly expense
  • Rate of inflation
  • Expected returns from the current investment plan till ret

The calculator will give the results on basis of the data entered. This helps the investor to make decisions regarding the retirement plan.

Benefits for using an online Mutual Fund Calculator:

  • Most of the online Mutual Fund Calculators are free. This means there is no fee associated with the use of these calculators.
  • These calculators are easily accessible from any device which has an internet connection.
  • Most of the Mutual Fund Calculators can be used 24/7 FOR 365 DAYS.

 

  • Mutual Fund Calculator is very reliable as they give accurate results.

 

  • Use of these calculators helps investors to decide on the amount they want to invest in the Mutual Fund.
  • The calculator also helps the investor in comparing various schemes on basis of the returns. This gives an investor a better picture of various funds.

 

Precautions to be taken while using Mutual Fund Calculator online:

Using a fund calculator is always advisable before taking any mutual fund investment decision. However, it is important to be careful while using these calculators online. Some of the precautions that need to be followed include:

  1. Avoiding giving personal details. An investor should always be careful while using these investment calculators. The investor should give only the basic details like bank name and address.  Details like account number and other security details should not be mentioned.
  2. Most of the famous fund calculator sites have heavy traffic during busy hours. It is advisable to use these fund calculators at the odd hours. This will save time and the investor can use the calculator easily.

3 Reasons to Opt for Luxembourg Incorporation

Luxembourg may be one of the smallest countries in Europe, but it’s one of the richest countries in the world in terms of GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Luxembourg has managed to establish a business environment that offers important tax advantages for foreign investors, therefore many foreign entrepreneurs have opted for the Luxembourg incorporation, because companies established in this country can benefit from unique tax advantages, no matter their size.

Being a founding member of the European Union and having a strategic location right in the heart of Europe, Luxembourg is still often regarded as a tax haven. However, Luxembourg establishes the perfect balance between providing a business-friendly environment with low taxes and the flexibility of the tax system constantly adapted to the EU legislation in order to prevent harmful conflicts. This balance was more than necessary as many foreign investors opt for the Luxembourg incorporation when establishing a company that deals with cross-border transactions. Due to its geographical location and its status as a core EU member state, Luxembourg is the perfect destination to set up the head offices of a company operating in various jurisdictions or a logistics center for commercial activities in some of Europe’s strongest economies.

Having an adaptable and progressive approach regarding taxes and tax regulations, Luxembourg is recognized as a stable and well established location for start-ups, multinationals, financial structures and tax planning. In addition, there are other important reasons to consider the Luxembourg incorporation process to open a new company.

Luxembourg’s legislation

All companies incorporated in Luxembourg are subject of the Belgian company law established in 1913 and a large number of its subsequent amendments are based on EU directives. Many foreign companies and investors choose the Luxembourg incorporation process to open holding companies in the country. Holding companies are formed under the Luxembourg law of 1929, which is why this type of business structures is also known as holding companies 1929. The respective law created a privileged tax regime for companies that have the sole purpose of holding shares in other companies from Luxembourg.

The tax system

Speaking of Luxembourg’s favorable taxation, there’s another important advantage for holding companies. Holdings are exempt from taxation and are only subject to capital tax and to a tax for subscription of shares levied at a rate of 0.2%. Unlisted companies are taxed on capital subscription but the tax rate varies.

Another common business structure used for Luxembourg incorporation is the SOPARFI. This type of company is fully taxable but it benefits from the participation exemption in Luxembourg, as well as from provisions included in double taxation avoidance treaties concluded by Luxembourg and from the provisions included in the EU directive regarding parent companies and their subsidiaries. As a result, most capital gains and dividends are exempt from tax in Luxembourg. In addition, tax rates of the withholding tax on dividends paid by foreign companies to a SOPARFI are usually low. Given its important tax advantages, the SOPARFI is a business structure often used for holdings and financing activities.

Double taxation avoidance treaties

Luxembourg has concluded several double taxation avoidance treaties with countries from all over the world. This means that withholding taxes on dividends, interest and intellectual property are often reduced to 0%, depending on the taxpayer’s country of residence.

The incorporation process is relatively simple and it can become even simpler if foreign investors choose to acquire the services of a firm specialized in the Luxembourg incorporation procedure and in all the other legal aspects related to it.

 

 

James Dondero Is A Generous Philanthropist And Smart Businessman

Who Is James Dondero And What Is His Background In Business?

James “Jim” Dondero is a major financial investor and philanthropist that resides in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. He is famous for being a co-founder of Nexbank. Jim Dondero also serves as the president at the bank as well.

Mr. Dondero has also founded another financial company. He helped co-found Highland Capital Management L.P. This firm is one of the most prominent managers of loan obligations secured by collateral in the United States in terms of dollar value. Jim Dondero also serves as the president of Highland Capital Management L.P. right now.

James “Jim” Dondero also holds a board position at the HCM Acquisition Company. His board position there is as chairman of the board. Jim Dondero is also the chief executive officer at this acquisition company. His two prominent roles at HCM Acquisition give Jim Dondero a considerable amount of influence in how the company is operated. Mr. Dondero also serves as the chairman of the board at the Cornerstone Health Group.

Mr. Dondero currently has more than three decades of working in the credit markets across a variety of companies and positions. Before he founded Highland Capital, Jim Dondero worked at a capital market subsidiary company of the Protective Life Insurance Company. His job at this subsidiary company was as the chief investment officer. In this position, he grew the subsidiary’s assets from zero to $2 billion in a span of only four years.

Jim Dondero has an incredible amount of portfolio management experience. He has successfully invested in and managed both common and preferred stocks. He has also overseen high-yield bond investments, investment grade bonds, financial derivatives, mortgage-backed securities and leveraged bank-loans. His financial management experience even includes emerging market debts.

Early on in his career, Jim Dondero worked for American Express. He oversaw a fixed income fund for American Express that had a value of about one billion dollars. Mr. Dondero worked for American Express between 1989 and 1993.

Jim Dondero has a strong educational background that set him up for success in the financial sector. He completed a financial training program at J.P. Morgan Chase. His alma mater is the University of Virginia. He graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor of science degree in commerce with a concentration in accounting and finance. Mr. Dondero is a certified managerial accountant and also holds the title of chartered financial analyst.

A Look At James Dondero’s Recent Philanthropic Giving

James Dondero has been incredibly fortunate to have such a vast fortune under his name. His financial management company has also thrived under his leadership. Great wealth brings many responsibilities and comes with a duty to give back to the community. Mr. Dondero takes this to heart and gives millions of dollars away to charities and other good causes.

Mr. Dondero recently gave one million dollars through Highland Capital Management to the Center for Brain Health. The million dollar gift has helped the center create a brand new facility called the Brain Performance Institute. This institute will help veterans deal with mental and emotional problems that can result from being under severe stress while on duty.

The center will also work to help strengthen the minds of the veterans through the SMART program. This stands for Strategic Memory Advanced Reasoning Training. The new approach will help veterans deal with issues they may have and help them adjust back to civilian life. James Dondero has also helped to establish a lounge at the Brian Performance Institute. The Highland Warrior Lounge is s place where veterans and their loved ones can gather and relax while visiting the Brain Performance Institute for treatment.

Affordable Housing Through Crowdfunding

Park Place Communities is making their next effort in providing affordable housing a reality for more American citizens. Park Place Communities, PPC for short, has become nationally recognized for its specialization in affordable housing. The organization has set a goal of becoming one of the top 50 owners of mobile home communities in the next two years.  Their plan involves taking existing trailer homes (often called mobile homes) and then renovate them using the latest housing industry know-how and technology. They nearly brand-new mobile homes will then be put on the market with amortized mortgages in the range of five years. Payments will last for five years only, and a maximum of twelve percent.

PPC CEO Andrew Lanoie says that this new and innovative program will help buyers of modest means purchase a mobile home for nearly the same amount as monthly rental costs. Their goal is to purchase between fifteen and twenty thousand mobile homes by 2020. Lanoie says that the demand for affordable housing is gigantic today, and is only growing to grow more urgent in the coming years. He said that as of 2018, there are only about fifty thousand mobile home parks in the United States that have reasonably affordable houses on them.  

The prestigious CoreLogic Home Price Index indicates that projected housing costs have risen over five percent for the past 2 years, which makes the mobile home market an even better prospect as a viable alternative to traditional housing. Lanoie adds that with the continuing and widening wage gap in America the shift towards less skilled and lower paying jobs, as well as part-time work, means workers need the kind of housing that most builders and home contractors are unwilling to commit to. Lanoie says that the Social Security Administration now pegs nearly forty percent of American workers at salaries below twenty thousand dollar per year; the percentage that earn under thirty thousand is at fifty percent.

PPC has invested heavily in affordable mobile home parks across the country during the past several years. Right now they are managing over a thousand homepads in eight states, which represents a sum total of thirteen mobile home parks. Their goal, as stated above, is to locate a one million dollar pool of mortgage funds so they can help buyers obtain a fixed rate mortgage at a reasonable price. They offer debt investment opportunities that will be guaranteed by first lien security. It is also planned that they will offer a corporate guarantee at around ten percent return on interest for investors. Lanoie says that the first step is already underway, with the renovation of over a hundred mobile units in several different states.

Lanoie insists that even though these types of dwelling are labeled as mobile homes they very rarely are taken from one spot to another. The cost to do so, he says, is around three thousand dollars. Which means that ninety-eight percent of all mobile home will remain in the same spot and never be moved. This, claims Lanoie, is why mobile home property is such a good investment during times of financial uncertainty.

How to Best Invest Your $1,000 This Year

If you have $1,000 to invest, you can make money in a myriad of ways. Having said that, there are some methods that are better than others. The buzzword here is “speed”; we’re not talking about long-term buy-hold strategies. Rather, we’re talking about ways you can make money fast.

Even when it comes to markets that might take time to move, investments can often turn into legitimate profits and fast gains by simply utilizing the right strategies.

So, what are the right strategies?

While you absolutely need a long-term strategy for saving and growing your money, the following investment strategies will help you create some momentum and generate some capital quickly in the short-term.

Play the Stock Market

There is no question that day trading is not for the faint of heart. It takes a great deal of grit and determination. It also takes understanding the different market forces at play. This isn’t something intended for amateurs. However, if learned properly, it is a way where you can quickly (within the span of hours) make a significant amount of money with a relatively small investment.

Invest In a Money-Making Course

Believe it or not, there is a myriad of money-making courses on the Internet. The most difficult part is choosing the right one. While many of the gurus might follow you around on social media platforms such as Facebook, not all courses from all experts are created alike. Spend the time doing the necessary due diligence and research to choose the best one that’s right for you.

Having said that, investing in yourself is one of the best possible investments you can make. While you might not be able to pinpoint an actualized return on investment, there’s no money that’s better spent. Take time to invest in yourself and your education.

Trade Commodities

Trading commodities like gold and silver present a very rare opportunity, especially when they’re trading at the lower end of their five-year range. Numbers like that give a strong indication on where commodities might be heading. Not always. But usually.

The basics of economics drive the price of commodities. As supply drops, demand increases and prices rise. Any disruption to a supply chain has a significant impact on prices.

Trade Cryptocurrencies

There is no question that cryptocurrencies are on the rise. While trading them might seem a tad risky, you could limit some fallout from a poorly-timed trade if you hedge your bets. Eric Gordon, CEO of ErGo Ventures LLC, a private equity and venture capital investment company, knows there are plenty of platforms for trading cryptocurrencies. Having said that, it’s important to educate yourself before you dive in head first. Find courses on platforms like Kajabi, Udemy, or Teachable in order to learn the ins and outs of trading things such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, and others.

Only a handful of cryptocurrencies really matter today out of the over 3,000 in existence. You’ll want to find an exchange, examine the trading patterns, look for breakouts of long-term moving averages, and get busy trading.

Cryptocurrency: Value Without “Value”

Yes, that’s right. The title may have a few of you baffled. Why is the second value written within quotations? That’s because value is inherently subjective. We all view things differently, each with varying degrees of importance. Currency is the one true standard that we use to be are able to assign a value to things. Before currency was established, barter was the means of trade. That had many problems in itself, chief of which is the accuracy of what you’re trading for what you’re getting.

Currencies are regulated and managed by the governing body of any community. This central authority regulates the ebb and flow of money and it also monitors the value of the currency with respect to currencies from other countries. This requires another governing body to determine which currency has more value than another — that is in fact the whole premise that foreign exchange is built upon.

Of course, we aren’t here to discuss the foreign exchange. Rather, we’re going to discuss something that’s been quite disruptive in recent years — cryptocurrency.
What is it, how is it used, and most importantly, how do cryptocurrencies have value?

Cryptocurrency is a form of electronic currency that was initially introduced in the form of Bitcoin by Satoshi Nakamori. Satoshi, as a matter of fact, did not intend to create cryptocurrency. At the time of this serendipity, Satoshi actually meant to create an online cash system.

But the important premise of cryptocurrency is that it presents an alternative currency that’s transparent and secure at the same time. And this was achieved through decentralization and blockchain. The security of cryptocurrencies actually lies in its transparency, which are two concepts that typically don’t mix — and yet, here we are.

Cryptocurrencies are used as a form of electronic currency, but really, the hype surrounding it primarily revolves around the volatility of the currency, where its value can easily soar up to 10 times its initial value, but it also has the risk of dropping just as much in value.

And while a transparent, decentralized system may sound like it’s just asking to be hacked, that couldn’t be further from the truth. This is because of blockchain, a security process that protects cryptocurrencies by allowing each member of the network (a node) to access the blockchain (or master ledger), which is both unalterable and permanent. Basically, whenever a transaction is conducted, a node is assigned to verify the transaction. When the process is verified, the updated data is then added to the blockchain, which, as we established earlier, is unalterable and permanent. Each member of the network is then able to view this updated information and in turn, update their own ledgers to match the master ledger. This way, any inconsistency is easily seen and can easily be singled out.

Now, there are a lot of factors that influence the value of cryptocurrencies, and these are the same factors that influence the value of just about anything. The two factors that have the most influence in this case are Public Perception and Supply/Demand.

The fact that cryptocurrencies are decentralized and secure is enough to raise the inquisitiveness of the general public, and as a general rule, anything that raises curiosity on such a scale is bound to have a high demand for it. Couple that with a limited supply of just 21 million Bitcoins, for example, and you’ve got the basic recipe for a high-value item.

But that’s just the basics — the link provided above is the full and specialized explanation of cryptocurrency value. And I’m speaking of the totality of the cryptocurrency value here. The security, transparency, and the limited supply all contribute to the inherent value of cryptocurrency. And while some governments are slowly recognizing cryptocurrencies as a legitimate form of currency, most governments would still disregard its value.

Really Common Money Mistakes Way Too Many People Make

Most people end up simply not having enough money, no matter what they do or how much they earn. The truth is that it is really simple to lose cash without knowing where it goes. Money mistakes are really easy to make, with those listed below happening so much more often than what you might think.

Credit Instead Of Cash

Those that use credit cards normally spend more than when cash is used. If credit is utilized to purchase anything and you then do not pay off the balance, even more is spent without realizing that this is the case. The best thing you can do is to shop with the use of cash instead of credit. The credit card is not used so debt risk is reduced. Also, impulse buying becomes less common.

Making Just Minimum CC Payments

When you have a high credit card debt and you just make the minimum monthly payment you end up repaying with a lot of interest. Remember that paying back your credit card should be a priority. This is not like dealing with a child custody lawyer when you just want to make sure you pay the least you could. Interest rates are much higher than what you might think at the moment so do be sure that you pay off your credit cards as soon as you can. This can save you thousands of dollars on the long run.

Buying Only Brand New Cars

If we look at statistics in Canada, the average car bought is around $23,000. Median income in the country is around $40,000. Spending around half of the income for a car every 3 years would immediately lower a person’s income.

People think they will get the most value from the car if they buy it new and then sell it. Unfortunately, the average car will lose around 15% value every single year during the first 5 years. Expenses then just get higher when thinking about gas, insurance and maintenance. Buying quality used cars removes the effect of depreciation.

Expensive Debt Carrying

For way too many people it is completely normal to be in debt as they always tend to owe something on overdrafts, credit lines or credit cards. Also, there are many that will take out second mortgages or extra loans from a financial company with the purpose of consolidating debt or when having to deal with some unexpected expenses. Unfortunately, such debt forms are very expensive. When you just pay the interest you end up paying up to 30% more. Then, we need to deal with principle payments so the debts will quickly eat up the disposable income one has.

Not Affording The Home You Live In

While it is a good idea to pay money down for a home you would eventually own instead of paying rent, it is not the best solution in all cases. People tend to assume that as they can afford to pay rent of $1,000 per month, they can afford mortgages of the same value. That is not correct. Just 40% of the rental payment should go towards your own personal home. Housing expenses do add up and you should factor them in at all times.

10 Tips to Get Started with Penny Stocks

If you’re interested in dipping your toes into the world of penny stocks, here is a rundown of the 10 essential tips to help you get started.

Run a paper portfolio.

This is a strategy used by fund managers to test out a new portfolio before they launch it. It’s quite similar to picking a fantasy football team. You put up an imaginary amount of money to play with, pick the kind of stocks you would consider trading, take note of which ones and when you’d have bought and sold and at what prices, and then wait to find out how your investments perform. There are a number of trading platforms that let you do this with features like a demo account of a virtual portfolio.

Learn from your Mistakes

As you start trading with real money, it’s crucial to keep a record of all the trades that worked, which ones didn’t, in order to become more successful in the future.

You don’t need to Necessarily Buy New Companies that Don’t Have a Track record

It’s better to look for companies that are cheap perhaps because they have hit a rough patch or are restructuring, because you might be able to make a decent amount in profits when the business recovers.

Find a Good Broker/Platform

Make sure that you broker offers a rich choice of stocks. In case you want to trade individual shares, keep in mind that fees can rack up rather quickly. Be sure to compare the charges across different brokers and find one with a cap on monthly trading costs or low fees per trade.

Avoid Unnecessarily Trading In and Out

This will certainly increase the fees charged, which can significantly erode your gains.

Do Good Research

Look for an experienced mentor who’d be willing to share their knowledge. Go through the various DIY penny stocks investing publications as well as the financial press, making sure that they are reputable sources. It’s fairly common for some unscrupulous people to use misleading information to talk up the share price of a company, before dumping their shares at a profit.

Quality Companies are Better Than Cheap Companies

As a penny stock trader, you risk getting caught out by value traps and boiler room scams if you fail to do good research. A company needs to be fundamentally a good business if it’s to have a good chance of performing well in the future. If a stock is cheap, ask yourself, is it because it’s a new company, a recovery story, or does it mean the company has little intrinsic value? Gold for instance has intrinsic value and that’s why the top gold penny stocks are well worth looking into.

Spread your Risk

Never try to pull big wins by piling all your available cash on a stock you have a hunch or heard is headed for greatness. Having smaller investments in a wide range of companies can lower your potential for losses and improve your chances of generating a good return.

Admittedly, your liquidity will be much lower than the main market, since there are fewer players in the penny stocks market. You should ideally look for companies with a few hundred thousand shares traded daily, to make sure that you can trade when you want to.

Don’t Overpay

If you set a buy limit, stick to it. It’s very easy to be carried away, which can end up costing you more for the stock than it’s worth. when your stock is doing well, don’t be afraid to take some profits, but don’t settle for less than the best possible price when you want to sell.

Be Realistic

Remember that penny stock trading is not a get-rich-quick scheme, though some people will claim to have the ‘secret sauce’ to make millions out of it. However, you can have lots of fun learning how to trade penny stocks, and even if you’ll undoubtedly get some losses, you can as well get lucky and land a “ten bagger” along the way.

3 Times Emergency Funds Can Save the Day

Dave Ramsey talks a lot about emergency funds, and it’s a smart choice to start now if you don’t have a fund already in place. An emergency fund has the ability to save a homeowner’s home, put food on the table and even support a family in times of need.

Baby steps need to be taken for an emergency fund to grow.

Experts recommend starting with $1,000. Emergency funds that are fully funded will be able to cover three to six months of expenses. A person that spends $3,000 on expenses per month would then need to have $9,000 – $18,000 in an emergency fund.

Debt should be paid off first, which is why the starting emergency fund of $1,000 is recommended. Debt in this case often refers to high-interest debt, such as credit cards, and not a mortgage, which is often impossible to satisfy quickly.

Emergency funds are used in times of desperation, including:

1. Emergency Home Repairs

Home repairs need to be made, especially when they’re structural in nature. A homeowner cannot let a plumbing or sewer issue continue without repair due to risks of severe water damage.

If a sewer camera inspection reveals that a sewer main problem exists, the repair averages $2,474 in costs.

Roofing issues leading to a complete replacement averages $7,200. Roofs on larger homes are typically costlier. An emergency fund can save the integrity of a home, a person’s biggest investment.

2. Firings or Lay-offs

Corporations are closing, workers are being laid off and there’s always a risk that a person’s job may be replaced with automation. Emergency funds help to fund expenses during these rough times.

Canadian households are far more prepared than American households for emergencies.

Canadians have, on average, $41,000 in emergency fund savings, with 24% responding having “barely anything.” Around 56% had less than $10,000 in their emergency funds. Americans are worse off. More than half of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings.

The average job search takes 6 weeks, and an emergency fund can help ease the hardships by ensuring mortgages and bills are paid during this time.

3. Transportation Repairs and Costs

People have to get to work, and for many, this means driving to and from work daily. Subways, trains and buses may be an option, but the expense is often too much for a worker to afford.

Car repairs need to be made, and some vehicles may need to be replaced.

If the family car breaks down, a properly funded emergency fund can help a person keep getting to work, make the proper repairs and not risk their job in the process.

Emergency funds are a lifestyle investment, and small changes can lead to padding an emergency fund properly. Experts suggest accounting for home repairs monthly in expenses so that the funds can be placed in an emergency fund.

Emergency funds, when used, need to be replenished to match the person’s lifestyle.

Once an emergency fund is properly funded, investing and retirement planning will be the focus if debt has been paid off.

4 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Financial Advisor

Financial advisors can have many specialties, but their main objective is to help their clients reach their financial goals through investments. The goals that a person has will differ. Many clients are concerned about retirement, while others want to make sure that they have enough money to help their children through college.

But financial advisors are also in charge of their clients’ money, often resulting in fraud.

One financial advisor was just charged with spending $900,000 of his client’s money on country clubs and cars. An Ottawa financial advisor stole $2.8 million from 19 investors and was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Avoiding these scams requires a bit of research into your financial advisor and asking the right questions.

1. Ask for Credentials

The first step in hiring a financial advisor is to ask for their credentials. You want to make sure that the individual is certified, and this means holding one of the following:

  • CFP (certified financial planner)
  • ChFC (chartered financial consultant)

You can even go as far as asking what value the certification has created for the advisor’s clients.

2. Is a Team Going to Help?

Financial advisors can hold many specialties, and it’s always good to work with an advisor who is part of a team. Jeff may be the best suited for retirement planning while Jill is known for helping investors increase their stock portfolios.

You’ll also benefit from working with a financial advisor that has an accountant on staff.

The accountant can help with tax planning and preparation so that your investments are as profitable as possible.

3. Dig Into the Advisor’s Past

The Internet puts the power to research anyone at your fingertips. If you’re going to trust someone with your future, you need to dig into the person’s history and company to ensure that they’re a good fit for you.

And there are a lot of ways to research a financial advisor:

  • Conduct a background check looking for fraud or anything suspect
  • Check to make sure that they’re truly certified
  • Search Google for complaints against the advisor
  • Read reviews online about the advisor and his or her company

You can avoid a lot of issues by taking an hour or two to just research the advisor that you plan on working with.

4. How is the Advisor Compensated?

You’ll need to pay for the financial advisor’s time, and this means that you’ll have to ask how the financial advisor is compensated. There are many ways a professional in this field might be compensated:

  • Commission based on the products they sell
  • Hourly rates
  • Retainer

An issue with commission-based payouts is that the financial advisor has an incentive to sell you on what makes them the most money. You’ll find this to be true when you go to an advisor to help you save for your child’s education and the first thing they offer you is an insurance product.

Financial advisors work for you, and since they’re in charge of your money and investments, it’s important to ask as many questions as possible before agreeing to work with them.