Investment Basis: What To Invest In 2012

When it comes to making long range investment goals for your future many first time investors want to jump in head first without having any prior knowledge of what they are doing. Eventually and unfortunately many of these investors never become successful investors and usually just give up. Investing in itself does require some level of skill and it takes time coupled with your ability to learn.It is important to understand and remember that every investment that you make is not a sure thing in itself. There is always a the risk of losing money. However, your risk can be minimize if you take the time to learn and know when to take a loss and run! Before you dive in head first it is imperative to not only find out more how the investment game works, but to determine what your investment goals are.The questions that you should ask yourself before taking the plunge are, what are the reasons that you are investing. Are you investing for long term or short term reasons? What are you trying to achieve with your investments? Are you investing for your children college education? Your retirement? A vacation? Buying your first home, etc? Before you part with a single red penny, think about these questions and write down what you hope to achieve by investing. Knowing what your long and short range goals are will help you make smarter and wiser investment decisions for you and your family.All too often people invest their money with pipe dreams of becoming an overnight millionaire. I have been there too! I am quite sure that it has happen for a few people, but overall those types of opportunities are rare indeed. It is not a very good idea to start your investment portfolio with unrealistic dreams and goals of becoming rich overnight. It is always best to invest your hard earned money in such a way that it will increase slowly and safely over time where it can therefore be used for a child’s education or your retirement, etc.Another strongly advised decision would be to talk with a financial planner before you make an investment. A financial planner can guide you in the right direction and help you determine the type of investments that you are looking for that will help you reach your financial goals that you have set. He/She can give you a realistic overview of the type of returns that you can expect and how long it will take to reach your specified goals.Again, remember that investing for your future will take time and effort and your willingness to learn. Never entrust your financial and investment future to someone else. You must also do your due diligence and learn investment strategies for yourself as well. It will take your delving into and doing your research and acquiring knowledge about the stock market and other types of investments if you hope for your investments to be successfully.

Summer Travel

Its that time of the year when summer fun is just around the corner. For many families this is also the time to make or finalize a much anticipated family summer trip. This year with gas prices raising steadily and the economy at a virtual standstill many families will be looking to cut costs if not cancel their family summer travel plans entirely. Not to worry the travel industry geniuses have taken notice which means there are still some great deals that families can take advantage of this summer. Here are some suggestions on how to find those great deals:Think local and expand your horizons. Depending on where you live there are some great deals popping up to attract local residents to high tourist areas. Look for smaller hotels or resorts that are not part of a national chain. These resorts or Bed and Breakfast type properties are often hidden gems that offer a unique experience at a low cost. Because they are not heavily marketed you may find the quality far exceeds that of a national chain for the same cost. In order to find these first choose an attraction or tourist area within driving distance. Next decide on a budget. Third go to the yellow pages of that area and find local hotels. Try to avoid Google since most keywords will be taken by paid ads which means a small hotel is not likely to bid on those and you will miss it.Go to Expedia LAST. I know we have all been brainwashed into going to Expedia first and then trying to beat their price with hours of wasted research. The truth is that this practice is usually fruitless since most hotels that are on Expedia will not likely be significantly cheaper with any of their obvious competitors such as Orbitz, Travelolicity etc. or even the hotel directly. Yes people there was once a time when this was called price fixing or a monopoly but we will leave that discussion aside for another time. Need less to say trying to beat an Expedia price is like driving around your neighborhood trying to find cheaper gas. You may find it but the cost savings will be heavily negated by the gas you spend finding the thrifty deal!! A better idea is to look in the least obvious places first. Here are some suggestions:Sign up for those annoying deal based sites. Most of them now have travel sections and you may be surprised to see what pops up for your local area or the destination you plan to visit. When doing so be aware that you will be bombarded with emails from the moment you sign up so be very choosy and do not sign up for all of them unless you enjoy receiving 1000 emails a day from people trying to sell you stuff. Here are some of the ones I like and find somewhat worth the hassle for travel deals:,, may finally mean something again so if you go to the same place year after year or use the same chain when you travel you may be surprised how much cheaper they are this year. The point is that it cant hurt to ask especially since their competitor would gladly give you a discount for your business.Power in numbers, not anymore! If you are planning to attend a wedding or family reunion you may think that booking with the herd is going to offer you the better deal. Not necessarily! Hotels know that if you are there for an event chances are you are going to book no matter what the cost and their job is to fill up those rooms at the best cost supply and demand will allow them to. Instead try booking the hotel outside of the group on your own reservation if you still have time and the hotel has availability for those dates. Chances are that if the hotel is not completely booked or close to it when you book your room you will get a better deal.Go visit that dinosaur called your local travel agent. Once upon a time in a land far far away before we all had internet access we went to a local travel agent to book our travel and pick up nice colorful brochures with loads of information. Guess what there is only so much of a discount that hotels will offer millions and millions of internet users!! Instead go to a local travel agent if there is one in your area. They may have access to tons of deals that the hotels do not allow to be advertised on any pubic domain. That means the internet! As an added bonus you will get the benefit of good customer service and save lots of time surfing the net!

What do Lenders Consider when Assessing Your Home Loan Application?

Factors That Assessors Consider in Approving You for a Home Loan

Home loans are a secured loan, which means they have to be taken against collateral instead of unsecured loans that do not require any collateral at all. They are popular financing option because it allows the individual to borrow a significant amount and prolonged repayment tenure which is not the case with unsecured loans. The secured loans also have a lower rate of interest compared to unsecured loans.

Now onto the subject of this blog, factors that the lending institutions consider while they approve an applicant’s mortgage loan application. Here are five key factors that are taken into consideration:

Credit score

Yes, while it may not be as crucial as is the case with an unsecured loan, but the applicant’s credit score still plays a significant role in determining whether or not their mortgage loan application would be approved or not with most Prime Lenders. The higher your credit score, the more likely the financial institution would approve your loan application without any further delay. The applicant’s credit score also impacts the interest rate on mortgage loans; so, the high credit score is beneficial for your pockets as well.

Debt-to-income ratio

Not just in a mortgage loan, the debt-to-income ratio is considered in every type of loan scheme that is available in the market. If you have a lower debt-to-income ratio, then you will get speedy approval for your mortgage application. If that is not the case, you would be labeled as a risk to default, which might also impact your application status.


The amount you are willing to put down to buy your new home or commercial property also impacts how likely you are to receive a mortgage loan from a reputable lender. Someone who wants to take a mortgage to finance 95 percent of the purchase price will not be able to get a mortgage loan as the risk factor of those individuals defaulting increases by manifold. The best way to get through this is by the 20 to 80 rule. It would be best if you make a down payment of 20 percent and let the lending institution cover the rest 80 percent.

Credit History

The applicant’s history is also a crucial and determining factor the financial institution considers while entertaining an application for the same. Generally, the lending institution considers the last two years of financial history, and if the applicant has had a steady source of income for the past two years and then their application is approved by the lender. Do keep in mind that if you are self-employed, you have to show display documents that explain your last two years’ earnings.

The value and the location of the property

Last but not least, the value of the property in question is also a determining factor of the mortgage loans in Australia. This is done to ensure that the financial institution is paying the right amount for the property, and it can recover the amount in case of default. A property valuation has to be done before the loan is finalized.

Now, you are aware of all the factors that lenders consider while approving your home loan request. It is always best to use the services of an experienced Mortgage Broker to help you navigate your application for mortgage finance.