I found that many people are searching for information about financial aid. So looking around, I found this article on financial aid and scholarships.
Paying for College: Scholarships and Federal Aid by David Lithman
Well the weekend has come and gone, and I still have no students seeking advice. Please email me your questions, I’m begging you! It’s partly my fault because I’m still slacking on advertising this blog. There’s a lesson for all the students out there. Don’t slack. I slacked a lot of my way through college. It works for the time being, but later on it will come back to haunt you. Try to instill solid work methods now while you still have a chance, or else when you’re twenty-something and working a full-time job, you will only think about ways to get you work done without actually working.
On to today’s topic: Paying for College. Getting the funds for college and living expenses is one of the biggest challenges you will face, perhaps even tougher than getting into college. If you slacked your way through high school and ended up with poor grades, your chances of a scholarship are not as high. But hopefully you listened to your teachers and parents and did well in school.
In Florida we have what is called a Florida Bright Futures Scholarship. Based on your grades, SAT/ACT scores, and community service, every graduating senior attending college can receive a 75% tuition scholarship or a 100% + books scholarship. Florida is awesome when it comes to providing every student the means to attend college. I am not sure how other states work, but I would imagine each state has similar scholarship programs.
Scholarships are what every student needs. Tuition can be very expensive depending on where you go to school and how many classes you take. Out of state schools will cost a student more money. Private schools will also be more expensive. Scholarships give students the ability to attend colleges on someone else’s dime. Pretty sweet deal huh?
Not all scholarships are based on financial situation like most people think. Generally, students who are in need of financial aid will be given a high priority when it comes to winning a scholarship; however, this is not always the case. Don’t be shy when asking about scholarships. Consult your school counselors, parents, teachers, and friends. You’d be surprised that the company your parents work for probably offer scholarships. Even if it is only for $1000, that is still free money you can’t pass up.
Scholarships are not limited to incoming freshman either. Current sophomores, juniors, and seniors are eligible for scholarships. Often upper level students are awarded scholarships to further their study in their specific major, such as Education majors. Visit your school’s financial aid office for more information.
One of the best, if not the best, resources for scholarship information is FastWeb. Every student needs to visit them. Yes, even you seniors. There are thousands of scholarships that go un-awarded every year. So get off this web page (when you’re done reading of course) and go get one.
Another method of getting money for college is from Uncle Sam himself. No, not your mom’s half brother that you only see on Memorial Day barbeques. I’m talking about the United States Government. The federal government gives out free money to college students. It’s called FAFSA, which stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. FAFSA grants are determined by how much money your parents make. You have to fill out a form in your school’s financial aid department or online via their website, www.fafsa.ed.gov. Every student needs to do this. Even if your parents make $500,000 a year, there is still a chance you are eligible for a free grant. A grant is money you do not have to pay back. Ever.
Let’s say your parents give you $2000 a year for college. You use this for tuition, books, rent, and food (and with all these expenses plus more, $2000 does not go that far). Let’s say you have filled out your FAFSA forms and are given $1000. This is awesome! But wait, it’s been two years and now your little sister is going to college and your parents can’t afford to give you $2,000 each. So they split it up and you each get $1000. What a bummer!! Or is it? FAFSA adjusts your grant according to not only what your parents make, but how many siblings you have in college. The more brothers and sisters you have going to college, the more money you get.
The most dreaded, but probably most popular, method of paying for college are student loans. Almost all students have them, so don’t feel bad if you are forced to get one. If you’ve taken a finance or economic class you’ve probably heard the terms "good debt" and "bad debt". Victoria’s Secret credit card debt is "bad debt", while student loans are "good debt". Student loans offer the lowest interest rates of any type of loans. Often they give you a grace period after graduation where not a single cent is due. Student loans can be paid off over a long period of time with fixed interest rates.
Subsidized student loans are loans you get through your school’s financial aid department that the government pays the interest for. Not a bad option either if you are in need of tuition money. Visit your bank or financial aid office for more information on student loans. All banks offer them, so go ask today.
Finally, the last method of paying for college I’m going to discuss is through good old hard labor. Getting a job can help pay the bills. Waitressing, bartending, retail, and tutoring are all prime examples of college jobs. If you aren’t into working at a restaurant or mall, visit your student career resource center. Jobs on campus are given out to students who are financially needy. The best thing about working on campus is they will fit your work schedule around your classes and tests. You will never have to miss class or work. One of the disadvantages of working on campus is the pay is generally low. You will make a lot more money working at Chili’s than you will your school’s bookstore.
I hope you enjoyed this article. If you have any further questions about paying for college, please ask. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am a recent graduate of the University of Florida. I am currently employed full-time but have a strong desire to help incoming and current college students. My goal is to give everyone a better college experience by providing the help and answers they need to all the questions they have that real advisors can’t give.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=David_Lithman
The oil stocks I own are both Canadian Energy Royalty Trusts (Pengrowth, and Prime West). I guess technically they aren’t really oil stocks, but really oil ETFs. But same diff. I am investing in oil. Here is an article that I found about investing in oil stocks.
Oil Stocks As A Long Term Investment by Christopher W Smith
The demand for world oil is increasing while world reserves are decreasing. This is a known fact. The current price of oil can certainly confirm this statement. Consensus also agrees that we will never see $25.00 oil again. The logical conclusion to our above statement is oil stocks should be a good long term investment. However, the location of the oil companies’ reserves can affect their bottom line and valuation.
Some of the largest reserves in the world are found in Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Canada. Political unrest in Venezuela, unstable and unpredictable government in Russia and Osama Bin Laden targeting Saudi Arabia leave Canada, namely the Alberta Oil Sands, as the largest, most reliable oil reserves in the world.
Companies like Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch/Shell Group and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. are planning to spend billions during the next 10 years to develop Alberta’s unusual oil deposits as demand for crude rises and output from existing reserves decline. Oil sands output in Alberta may double to 2 million barrels a day by 2013, according to a presentation by Enbridge Inc. earlier this month. Oil sands are deposits of bitumen – heavy oil that must be treated to convert it into crude oil for use in refineries to produce gasoline and diesel fuels. The U.S. Energy Department revised its global oil resource estimates to include the oil sands 174 billion barrels of proven reserves that can be recovered using current technology.
With demand for oil and other commodities from China and India increasing due to their growing economies, strong trading relationships are procuring with Canada – a country with numerous resources, political stability and neutral military views.
Companies with reserves in the Alberta oil sands look like a great investment for the next decade
There are many companies with reserves in the Oil Sands here are some with strong exposure.
Suncor Energy Inc. SU.tse , Western Oil Sands Inc. WTO.tse and the Canadian Oil Sands Trust COS/UN.tse
Trading Penny Stocks | investment strategies for penny stocks
1source4stocks.com provides penny stock traders with online trading and investment tips, online trading strategies, and penny stock picks.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Christopher_W_Smith
Here is an interesting article I found about real estate investing TV shows.
TV Reality Shows on Flipping Houses and Real Estate Investing Terms Demystified by Jeanette Joy Fisher
The TV show Flip this House spurred a lot of interest in making money in real estate by flipping houses. However, the show only tells part of the story. Often, the viewer never gets to know if the renovated house sells or not.
How can you learn about making money flipping houses if you don’t get the entire story on how much profit the investor made? Also, the investors rarely get their hands dirty and hire out all the remodeling, which costs a lot.
Another reality show scheduled for The Learning Channel, Property Ladder,* also focuses on the “rehabbing” side of flipping houses. In this show, the investors do the home remodeling themselves instead of hiring outside help. Let’s hope the new show gives us more details on costs, profit and loss.
To many real estate investors, the type of real estate investing these TV reality shows feature is termed “rehabbing” or fixing a “fixer.”
Flipping Houses: Terms Explained
Old-school investors think of “flipping houses” differently. They think of a “flip” as a house (or just its purchase contract), which is purchased below market value for a quick resale. The house may never transfer title into the investor’s name. These investors look for sellers under duress to sell for 70 percent or less of market value. The house may not even need fixing. When the house or purchase contract sells to another party, possibly another investor “rehabber,” the “flipper” pockets quick cash.
The flipper or “quick turn” investor may never even “invest” any of his or her money into the purchase. Quick-turn investors look for many “flips” to do each month and like to make $5,000 to $10,000 or more on each house.
The “rehabber,” who fixes many houses each month with a team of contractors, may or may not do some of the actual work. Rehabbers who do the work themselves take longer to do a project and do fewer homes each year. If they keep a house for over a year, rehabbers can gain a significant appreciation if the property value increases. Plus, they do not have to pay high income taxes. Investors who sell in less than a year pay taxes based ordinary income. Holding over a year gives investors the long-term capital gains tax break.
State taxes also cut into the investor’s profit. In California, the state gets the first check out of escrow–almost 3.8 percent of the sales price– regardless of the profit percentage. Investors need to wait until they file tax returns to get their money back.
Investors who specialize in “Pre-Construction” also flip houses. They gamble that a builder’s home will appreciate in value upon completion. Some builders require that an investor keep the home for over one year to keep speculation from harming the home buyers who intend to live in the home.
No matter what you think of when you hear the term “flipping houses,” you can bet that the knowledgeable investor makes money.
Copyright © 2006 Jeanette J. Fisher
*Tune in to Property Ladder Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT starting June 4.
See Pre-Construction: How to Make Money in Real Estate Witout Doing the Scrunch Work
Jeanette Fisher teaches interior design secrets to making more money investing in real estate.
Free ebook The Truth about Making Money Flipping Houses http://www.doghousetodollhousefordollars.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jeanette_Joy_Fisher
Here is an interesting article I found regarding investment property.
A Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing Strategies by Jeanette Joy Fisher
If you’re thinking about investing in real estate to make money, you need to first determine your financial goals. Do you need to make money quickly, invest for your children’s college fund, or build wealth for your retirement? What’s the difference between income and investment property?
If you’re thinking about investing in real estate to make money, you need to first determine your financial goals. Do you need to make money quickly, invest for your children’s college fund, or build wealth for your retirement? Once you determine your financial goals, you need to decide which type of investing strategy works for you.
Make Money in Real Estate – Fast Cash Strategy
If you’re low on cash, get started by finding a bargain house and selling the contract to another real estate investor. Join a real estate investing club to find investors willing to pay you for finding good deals.
Make Money in Real Estate – Income Property Strategy
If you want to increase your monthly income, look for income property that returns a positive net income from month to month. Start with single family house. Look for a bargain below market value. Fix up the house to generate top rental income. Find houses that will rent for more than your mortgage payment. You may need to go out from your home area to a location that supports this type of return on your money. You can’t pay $300,000 for a home with a mortgage of $1,500 that only rents for $1,000. You might start with a home for around $300,000 that rents for $1,750. You will need good credit to get a loan with good interest rates. In a few years, your rental income should go up. Many real estate investors enjoy thousands of dollars each month generated by income property.
However, some investors don’t like dealing with tenants and prefer to make money in other real estate ventures.
Make Money in Real Estate – Investment Property Strategy
If you want to make money focusing on profits, investment property offers a different strategy. Instead of worrying about rental income, look for property that you can transform and sell or property that will appreciate significantly over time. Besides fixing a house up, you can transform a property by changing it. For instance, some investors buy apartment buildings and turn them into condominiums. Many investors speculate in land and make money by holding the land until new development in the area increases the value.
Examine your financial situation along with your long term goals. You can get started by flipping properties, move onto income properties, and then make larger profits with investment properties. You might end up using a combination of all three strategies to make money investing in real estate.
Copyright © Jeanette J. Fisher
(Fast cash–Email me if you find a bargain in California or Las Vegas.) Jeanette Fisher teaches beginning real estate investors how to find, finance, fix and sell bargain properties. Learn how to use credit to make money and six ways to build strong credit to finance multiple investment properties. Free ebook “Credit Tips for Mortgage Financing” http://worryfreecredit.com Free ebook “The Truth about Flipping Houses” at http://doghousetodollhousefordollars.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jeanette_Joy_Fisher
Eight Rules For ETF Success by Carl Delfeld
Managing a global portfolio of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) is a great way to build a diversified portfolio with exposure to equities around the globe. Fortunately, you need not be a rocket scientist to do this, but many investors fail to observe some basic guidelines, and it can get them into real trouble. Follow these eight steps and sleep easier.
1. Liquidity Comes First: Before you even think of building an investment portfolio, you should set aside about six months of income in a "rainy day" account. This could be put into a money market fund or U.S. Treasury securities. Having this money set aside will ease your mind and allow you to be more open and creative with your global portfolios.
2. Separate Portfolios: You should separate your core conservative portfolio from your growth portfolios. With the core conservative portfolio, your top priority is capital preservation, and growth is a secondary consideration. Your growth portfolios are more speculative, with capital growth as the primary goal.
3. Really Diversify Your Portfolios: You need positions in your portfolios that are likely to offset each other as unexpected events and market movements become a reality. This is not accomplished with different sectors of ETFs or a mix of small-cap, mid-cap and large-cap ETFs. Rather the goal is to have some investments that are on both sides of risks.
For example, if the U.S. dollar declines, have some investments in precious metals or denominated in other currencies, such as Switzerland or Australia or Singapore ETFs. If inflation heats up, have some investments that hedge this risk such as timber, gold or Treasury inflation-protected bonds (TIPs). If political events or policies in one country take a turn for the worst, it is helpful to have investments in other well-developed countries to offset any loss of value. You get the idea, spread your risk and avoid having one ETF account for more than 5%-10% of your core portfolio.
4. Be Careful Which Countries You Pick: You need some guidelines to help keep you from getting carried away and having too concentrated a position in a particular country or region. In particular, take a good look at the following: 1) the stability and overall political and corporate governance; 2) the legal environment, respect for contracts, low levels of corruption, due process and rule of law; 3) the macroeconomic environment including fiscal discipline and currency strength; and 4) political risks that could affect financial markets.
Keep in mind that the quality of the countries you choose to invest in is the primary but not the only factor. The price or valuation of a country’s stock market is also extremely important. Oftentimes, the best time to buy into a country’s stock market is when it is beaten down, but there are signs that its economic and political problems will sharply improve. If you have a long-term perspective, you might consider annuities specially structured for ETF portfolios.
5. Minimize Company Risk by using our "buy countries, not stocks" strategy. Instead of trying to pick the best three stocks on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, why not just minimize company risk by buying the iShares MSCI Japan Index, which tracks the Nikkei 225 and spreads this risk across 225 Japanese companies.
6. Monitor ETF Country And Company Exposure: Be careful to look under the hood of ETFs to see where your money is going. For example, let’s look at the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF. It invests in 26 different countries, so it is natural to think that you will get broad exposure to all 26 countries. You would be wrong: 50% of your investment in this fund is going to four countries: South Korea, South Africa, Taiwan and China. In addition, incredibly, 7.5% is going to one company, Samsung Electronics of South Korea.
The same is true for the MSCI Europe, Asia and Far East index. It contains 21 developed countries, but 48% of the money you invest would go to just two: Japan and the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, less than 1% would go to Singapore and Ireland! Country specific ETFs such as the new iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index can also have a fair amount of concentrated risk. Although the China ETF tracks a basket of 25 companies, the largest five companies account for nearly 50% of your exposure.
7. Cut Losses With A Trailing Stop-Loss Policy And ETF Put Options: We have all been there. You buy a stock or fund, and it appreciates in value rapidly. Then it stumbles and begins to decline. What do you do? Should you buy more, let it ride, or sell? Save yourself a lot of pain and agony by following a simple rule. If a position ever falls more than 20% from its high, sell it immediately and reassess the situation. If you invest in an ETF with a sizable downside risk, why not spend a few hundred dollars to purchase a put-option as an insurance policy?
8. Rebalance Your Portfolio: At least annually, you need to make some changes so that you are not overly exposed to countries that have higher risk factors and volatility. One way is by selling some shares of your winners and increasing exposure to under performers. This accomplishes another goal, locking in gains and taking some money off the table. Remember, only a fool holds out for top dollar, especially in the more volatile emerging market countries.
Building your portfolios with low-cost, tax-efficient ETFs is a smart strategy, but don’t set it on auto pilot.
For more information call 877-221-1496
About The Author
Carl Delfeld is head of the global advisory firm Chartwell Partners and editor of the the “Asia-Pacific Growth” newsletter and is the author of “The New Global Investor.” For more information please visit http://www.chartwellasia.com.