Get the Insight You Need Most From an Austin Small Business Lawyer

pidRunning a business can be a great way to be your own boss but there are many responsibilities that also go along with being a business owner. Even if your business is small with just a few employees you need to make sure that all of the aspects of your business not only run well but are handled legally. This means making sure that all of your policies are according to federal, state and local legal standards and that any and all contracts you are a party in are going to provide you with the proper protections. In order to make sure of all of this it is important that you hire a quality employment and real estate attorney Austin, TX has today.

[Read more…]

Debt Investment Strategies That Could Actually Pay Off

calculator-385506_1280If you’ve got the know-how and the courage, and make the right moves, investing in distressed debt can pay off handsomely.  It can actually present you with the best of both worlds — you get consistent cash flow through the repayment of debt, and you also benefit from asset appreciation.

Risks are High

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.  The debt is considered distressed, because many people don’t believe it will ever be paid back in full, if at all.  There’s a chance the business repaying the debt could stop paying entirely if the business collapses.

However, as the saying goes: “high risk, high reward”.  And with the risk of complete loss of capital, comes significant potential upside if the bet pays off. But if you don’t have the knowledge, capital, or very long term view to take on distressed debt, perhaps a better approach now would be to learn how to spread bet as this is an accessible and high return way anyone can start investing.

Investing in Turnarounds

If you believe a business is going to turn itself around, get out of the bad situation it’s in, pay off its debt, and go on to thrive, then your return can be very significant. But even if the worse happens and the business ends up in bankruptcy, since debt is given priority over share equity if a bankruptcy does happen, this does help to limit your downside too. So this can mean that in a wide range of circumstances, your return on capital through debt can be better than if you invested in the actual shares of the business.

Lend-to-own Investment

An alternative approach is lend to own.  What this means is that if a company is entirely unable to pay off its debt, by owning the debt, it can give investors the leverage to take over the company. Even then if the company goes into bankruptcy, you’ll still be first in line to get repaid.  Whereas if the company survives, and even thrives, you may end up owning a profitable enterprise at a huge discount.

Plus of course, since you own the debt, by becoming the owner of the company, you don’t have to pay back that debt since the money is yours, so immediately, the financial health of the business improves hundred fold.

Of Course Things Aren’t Quite So Simple

But let’s not pretend this isn’t a hugely competitive market, with high risks, high capital requirements, and considerable complexity.  The process of investing in distressed debt is difficult and expensive.

One reason for this is since debt is of course not publicly traded, it’s not a liquid asset, so buying such debt can be a very difficult and time consuming process. Now as a retail investor, to be fully involved in this market is more than likely out of your reach, but there may be funds you can invest in, and other places to place your capital, where you may see the benefits of distressed debt investing, without having to dive fully into the business itself.

Top Credit Cards for Savings and Rewards

-1Even though a great deal of people tend to shy away from credit cards, having a way to invest in yourself, your credit, and your future are important. Even though you may not think of credit cards as an investment, a credit card that offers rewards for each dollar you spend can not only help you gain credit but also pay off major purchases more quickly. And if your credit card behavior is healthy, extra perks can make your life easier.

Ensure you have a backup plan for when you need a little extra money and get the rewards you need for things along the way. Whether you travel often or just like to earn cash back for everyday things, a credit card is the perfect way to make your financial situation easier. Take a look at the best credit cards for saving money and earning rewards.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

If you travel often, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is perfect for rewards on flights, hotels, and travel related purchases. Like most rewards cards, the Chase Sapphire card offers an extra 40,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first month. If you are planning on going on vacation, this is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the signing bonus.

Not only that, but you’ll earn 25 percent more rewards when you spend your points on the Chase Travel portal and 2 points on the dollar for every travel purchase you buy. Most travel cards require a yearly fee that will be charged on the card regardless of your purchases; however, the Chase Sapphire offers a $0 annual fee the first year. Since the card is open internationally, it’s perfect to be used on foreign travel.

The Susan G. Komen® Pink Ribbon Card

1Sometimes it’s better to give back than it is to get the best rewards. If you’re more interested in charitable contributions and less about what kind of money back you’ll get, the Susan G. Komen Pink Ribbon Card is perfect. Partnering with Bank of America, the foundation gets a percentage of each purchase made with the Pink Ribbon Card. Just by using the card, you can ensure the foundation receives $3 and .08 percent of every purchase you make on the card and money for each time you renew your card.

Not only does this add to breast cancer treatment for women and men all over the country, but it aides in breast cancer research. With help from Bank of America and you, the foundation is guaranteed $3 million in donations in the next few years. Think of all the lives you’ll be helping.

Starwood Preferred Guest American Express

When traveling, finding a great hotel isn’t always easy. Not only do hotels get booked quickly, but affording a good one can be difficult. If you’re looking for a credit card that offers the best hotel rewards, the Starwood Preferred Guest Card from American Express is the perfect solution. Not only does the card offer amazing options for purchasing hotel reservations, but it has a higher average per dollar reward value than any other card available.

The card great for those on personal vacations, and it makes a wonderful option for business travel as well. You earn reward points for each dollar you spend, and you’ll get double the points when you use them on a Starwood affiliated hotel chain. Don’t worry that you’ll be stuck in second-rate hotels. Starwood affiliates with major hotel brands and resorts all across the world.

Chase Freedom Rewards Card

Even if you don’t plan on traveling or staying overnight anywhere, it’s always good to get rewards on the things you purchase everyday. The Chase Freedom rewards card offers the best cash back points on the things you buy every month. Not only do you get 5 percent cash back on special purchases, but you’ll get 1 percent cash back on every other purchase you make on the card.

For the best earnings, use the card each month on spending to get the best rewards. If you spend at least $500 in the first three months, you’ll automatically get $100 cash back to spend on whatever you like. Each month, check to see what special 5 percent rewards you can receive. From groceries and gas to popular restaurants and shops, you can earn special cash for spending money on things you already purchase.

7 Ways To Save On Big Ticket Purchases

coins-912718_1280You’ve mastered the art of savings when you have at least 6 months income available. This means that you can handle any emergency that stops you from working and interrupts your cash flow.

However, there comes a point when saving money by stockpiling it into your bank account will not serve you well. This is because inflation erodes the value of your money. After some time you may have more money, but you will be able to buy less with it. Inflation accelerates the half-life of money.

Saving While Spending

Let’s assume you’ve become very good at managing your money. You’ve either eliminated your debt or you have a strategy to take care of it. You’ve saved enough for any emergency. You’ve got a retirement plan in motion. And your business and investments are slowly appreciating. Now what do you do? How about buying some of the things you’ve always wanted—big ticket purchases. After all, the purpose of money is not to just accumulate it, channel it into useful accounts, and stockpile it. It can also be enjoyed.

7 Rules for Frugal Buyers

So how do you buy high ticket items without feeling guilty about it? You’ve spent so long developing a frugal mentality that it might not seem difficult to actually spend it on the things you really want.

The trick is to learn how to save money on the big purchases you plan to make. We’re talking about things like a home, cars, boats, college, and so on.

Here are 7 ground rules for frugal buyers:

  1. Never pay full price for retail products.

The reason is because markups are notoriously high. If you pay full price, you are paying more than the item is worth. You are also be paying for the store’s rent, staffing costs, and other overheads.

  1. Don’t fall for sales tricks.

Don’t fall for the wily traps that salespeople often use to tempt you into impulsive spending. Many stores only pay their salespeople on a draw. This means that sales people are forced to be manipulative to meet their sales quota. There are many tricks to part you from your money before you have made up your mind. Here are two:

The warm puppy close. The idea comes from the retail pet business. If a salesperson allows you to take a puppy home on a trial basis, they know you will fall in love with the puppy and not bring it back for a refund. Naturally, this works with anything, not just puppies. By taking something you like home on a trial basis, you are highly unlikely to bring it back.

Limited time offer. This idea uses the scarcity principle to close the deal. When you talk about wanting to “go home and think about it,” the sales person will counter this idea with a subtle threat. Either the price will go up or the product will be out of stock.

  1. Do your research. 

Once you find something you like, do some comparative shopping. Using your smartphone, you can quickly find another store that is selling it at a cheaper price. Similarly, compare online items with offline items. Many times, you will pay less online because there is no middle person. Since you are buying directly from the manufacturer, the savings are passed on to you.

  1. When purchasing bigger items, buy used stuff in mint condition. 

When you buy a new car, its resale value drops as soon as you drive off the lot. However, when it comes to luxury cars, many people like to have the latest car of the year. Consequently, they trade in their older cars to a dealership. These older cars may be in near-new condition and you can get them at a discounted price by getting them from a used center.

On the other hand, you may live in a state with lots of big lakes and have always wanted a boat. Perhaps, your heart is set on a console boat because it reminds you of your family’s boating trips when you were young. So, if you’ve always wanted a console boat, don’t pay full price. Instead, why not look online for used center console boats for sale?

  1. Buy during sales cycles.

Some items are more expensive at certain times of the year. Since new models need to be sold every year, you can get great deals on older models. Television prices, for example, often drop in February while home appliances get discounted in October and November.

  1. Check for online coupons and promotion codes.

Places like DealNews allow you to get generous discounts. Such sites are particularly good about informing you about special holiday sales like Black Friday Deals.

  1. Use credit cards strategically. 

While you may have got into trouble using credit cards in the past, you can also use them to your advantage. Get a credit card with 0% interest financing and avoid using store financing. Using the credit card at the introductory rate and then paying it off in the allowed price means that you can avoid any fees. Senior retail analyst for NerdWallet, Matthew Ong, explains how to use credit cards wisely: As with all purchases on credit cards, you can actually do a lot of financial good for yourself, such as building credit and scoring rewards, as long as you use the card responsibility. With big-ticket purchases, using a credit card responsibly means keeping a low credit utilization ratio and paying off the purchase as fast as possible.”

In the final analysis, using one or more of these 7 strategies will save you money on big ticket purchases.

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Get the Insight You Need Most From an Austin Small Business Lawyer

pidRunning a business can be a great way to be your own boss but there are many responsibilities that also go along with being a business owner. Even if your business is small with just a few employees you need to make sure that all of the aspects of your business not only run well but are handled legally. This means making sure that all of your policies are according to federal, state and local legal standards and that any and all contracts you are a party in are going to provide you with the proper protections. In order to make sure of all of this it is important that you hire a quality employment and real estate attorney Austin, TX has today.

(more…)

Debt Investment Strategies That Could Actually Pay Off

calculator-385506_1280If you’ve got the know-how and the courage, and make the right moves, investing in distressed debt can pay off handsomely.  It can actually present you with the best of both worlds — you get consistent cash flow through the repayment of debt, and you also benefit from asset appreciation.

Risks are High

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.  The debt is considered distressed, because many people don’t believe it will ever be paid back in full, if at all.  There’s a chance the business repaying the debt could stop paying entirely if the business collapses.

However, as the saying goes: “high risk, high reward”.  And with the risk of complete loss of capital, comes significant potential upside if the bet pays off. But if you don’t have the knowledge, capital, or very long term view to take on distressed debt, perhaps a better approach now would be to learn how to spread bet as this is an accessible and high return way anyone can start investing.

Investing in Turnarounds

If you believe a business is going to turn itself around, get out of the bad situation it’s in, pay off its debt, and go on to thrive, then your return can be very significant. But even if the worse happens and the business ends up in bankruptcy, since debt is given priority over share equity if a bankruptcy does happen, this does help to limit your downside too. So this can mean that in a wide range of circumstances, your return on capital through debt can be better than if you invested in the actual shares of the business.

Lend-to-own Investment

An alternative approach is lend to own.  What this means is that if a company is entirely unable to pay off its debt, by owning the debt, it can give investors the leverage to take over the company. Even then if the company goes into bankruptcy, you’ll still be first in line to get repaid.  Whereas if the company survives, and even thrives, you may end up owning a profitable enterprise at a huge discount.

Plus of course, since you own the debt, by becoming the owner of the company, you don’t have to pay back that debt since the money is yours, so immediately, the financial health of the business improves hundred fold.

Of Course Things Aren’t Quite So Simple

But let’s not pretend this isn’t a hugely competitive market, with high risks, high capital requirements, and considerable complexity.  The process of investing in distressed debt is difficult and expensive.

One reason for this is since debt is of course not publicly traded, it’s not a liquid asset, so buying such debt can be a very difficult and time consuming process. Now as a retail investor, to be fully involved in this market is more than likely out of your reach, but there may be funds you can invest in, and other places to place your capital, where you may see the benefits of distressed debt investing, without having to dive fully into the business itself.

Top Credit Cards for Savings and Rewards

-1Even though a great deal of people tend to shy away from credit cards, having a way to invest in yourself, your credit, and your future are important. Even though you may not think of credit cards as an investment, a credit card that offers rewards for each dollar you spend can not only help you gain credit but also pay off major purchases more quickly. And if your credit card behavior is healthy, extra perks can make your life easier.

Ensure you have a backup plan for when you need a little extra money and get the rewards you need for things along the way. Whether you travel often or just like to earn cash back for everyday things, a credit card is the perfect way to make your financial situation easier. Take a look at the best credit cards for saving money and earning rewards.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

If you travel often, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is perfect for rewards on flights, hotels, and travel related purchases. Like most rewards cards, the Chase Sapphire card offers an extra 40,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first month. If you are planning on going on vacation, this is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the signing bonus.

Not only that, but you’ll earn 25 percent more rewards when you spend your points on the Chase Travel portal and 2 points on the dollar for every travel purchase you buy. Most travel cards require a yearly fee that will be charged on the card regardless of your purchases; however, the Chase Sapphire offers a $0 annual fee the first year. Since the card is open internationally, it’s perfect to be used on foreign travel.

The Susan G. Komen® Pink Ribbon Card

1Sometimes it’s better to give back than it is to get the best rewards. If you’re more interested in charitable contributions and less about what kind of money back you’ll get, the Susan G. Komen Pink Ribbon Card is perfect. Partnering with Bank of America, the foundation gets a percentage of each purchase made with the Pink Ribbon Card. Just by using the card, you can ensure the foundation receives $3 and .08 percent of every purchase you make on the card and money for each time you renew your card.

Not only does this add to breast cancer treatment for women and men all over the country, but it aides in breast cancer research. With help from Bank of America and you, the foundation is guaranteed $3 million in donations in the next few years. Think of all the lives you’ll be helping.

Starwood Preferred Guest American Express

When traveling, finding a great hotel isn’t always easy. Not only do hotels get booked quickly, but affording a good one can be difficult. If you’re looking for a credit card that offers the best hotel rewards, the Starwood Preferred Guest Card from American Express is the perfect solution. Not only does the card offer amazing options for purchasing hotel reservations, but it has a higher average per dollar reward value than any other card available.

The card great for those on personal vacations, and it makes a wonderful option for business travel as well. You earn reward points for each dollar you spend, and you’ll get double the points when you use them on a Starwood affiliated hotel chain. Don’t worry that you’ll be stuck in second-rate hotels. Starwood affiliates with major hotel brands and resorts all across the world.

Chase Freedom Rewards Card

Even if you don’t plan on traveling or staying overnight anywhere, it’s always good to get rewards on the things you purchase everyday. The Chase Freedom rewards card offers the best cash back points on the things you buy every month. Not only do you get 5 percent cash back on special purchases, but you’ll get 1 percent cash back on every other purchase you make on the card.

For the best earnings, use the card each month on spending to get the best rewards. If you spend at least $500 in the first three months, you’ll automatically get $100 cash back to spend on whatever you like. Each month, check to see what special 5 percent rewards you can receive. From groceries and gas to popular restaurants and shops, you can earn special cash for spending money on things you already purchase.

7 Ways To Save On Big Ticket Purchases

coins-912718_1280You’ve mastered the art of savings when you have at least 6 months income available. This means that you can handle any emergency that stops you from working and interrupts your cash flow.

However, there comes a point when saving money by stockpiling it into your bank account will not serve you well. This is because inflation erodes the value of your money. After some time you may have more money, but you will be able to buy less with it. Inflation accelerates the half-life of money.

Saving While Spending

Let’s assume you’ve become very good at managing your money. You’ve either eliminated your debt or you have a strategy to take care of it. You’ve saved enough for any emergency. You’ve got a retirement plan in motion. And your business and investments are slowly appreciating. Now what do you do? How about buying some of the things you’ve always wanted—big ticket purchases. After all, the purpose of money is not to just accumulate it, channel it into useful accounts, and stockpile it. It can also be enjoyed.

7 Rules for Frugal Buyers

So how do you buy high ticket items without feeling guilty about it? You’ve spent so long developing a frugal mentality that it might not seem difficult to actually spend it on the things you really want.

The trick is to learn how to save money on the big purchases you plan to make. We’re talking about things like a home, cars, boats, college, and so on.

Here are 7 ground rules for frugal buyers:

  1. Never pay full price for retail products.

The reason is because markups are notoriously high. If you pay full price, you are paying more than the item is worth. You are also be paying for the store’s rent, staffing costs, and other overheads.

  1. Don’t fall for sales tricks.

Don’t fall for the wily traps that salespeople often use to tempt you into impulsive spending. Many stores only pay their salespeople on a draw. This means that sales people are forced to be manipulative to meet their sales quota. There are many tricks to part you from your money before you have made up your mind. Here are two:

The warm puppy close. The idea comes from the retail pet business. If a salesperson allows you to take a puppy home on a trial basis, they know you will fall in love with the puppy and not bring it back for a refund. Naturally, this works with anything, not just puppies. By taking something you like home on a trial basis, you are highly unlikely to bring it back.

Limited time offer. This idea uses the scarcity principle to close the deal. When you talk about wanting to “go home and think about it,” the sales person will counter this idea with a subtle threat. Either the price will go up or the product will be out of stock.

  1. Do your research. 

Once you find something you like, do some comparative shopping. Using your smartphone, you can quickly find another store that is selling it at a cheaper price. Similarly, compare online items with offline items. Many times, you will pay less online because there is no middle person. Since you are buying directly from the manufacturer, the savings are passed on to you.

  1. When purchasing bigger items, buy used stuff in mint condition. 

When you buy a new car, its resale value drops as soon as you drive off the lot. However, when it comes to luxury cars, many people like to have the latest car of the year. Consequently, they trade in their older cars to a dealership. These older cars may be in near-new condition and you can get them at a discounted price by getting them from a used center.

On the other hand, you may live in a state with lots of big lakes and have always wanted a boat. Perhaps, your heart is set on a console boat because it reminds you of your family’s boating trips when you were young. So, if you’ve always wanted a console boat, don’t pay full price. Instead, why not look online for used center console boats for sale?

  1. Buy during sales cycles.

Some items are more expensive at certain times of the year. Since new models need to be sold every year, you can get great deals on older models. Television prices, for example, often drop in February while home appliances get discounted in October and November.

  1. Check for online coupons and promotion codes.

Places like DealNews allow you to get generous discounts. Such sites are particularly good about informing you about special holiday sales like Black Friday Deals.

  1. Use credit cards strategically. 

While you may have got into trouble using credit cards in the past, you can also use them to your advantage. Get a credit card with 0% interest financing and avoid using store financing. Using the credit card at the introductory rate and then paying it off in the allowed price means that you can avoid any fees. Senior retail analyst for NerdWallet, Matthew Ong, explains how to use credit cards wisely: As with all purchases on credit cards, you can actually do a lot of financial good for yourself, such as building credit and scoring rewards, as long as you use the card responsibility. With big-ticket purchases, using a credit card responsibly means keeping a low credit utilization ratio and paying off the purchase as fast as possible.”

In the final analysis, using one or more of these 7 strategies will save you money on big ticket purchases.