Financial Statements – Business Owner’s Friend Or Foe? Joss Finance

Financial Statements are a set of statistics and scores not unlike the statistics and scores that show up after a sports game. For a sports team owner or manager, the statistics, replays, opinions, and ultimately the score, are a vital part of analyzing, tweaking and improving the game. They would never ignore them. It is their way of increasing the win rate. In contrast, business owners and managers, more often than not, it seems, view their financial statements as a necessary evil to satisfy the I.R.S. They either are completely unaware of the power of these reports, or they just choose to discount them. Many business owners are happy to turn the reports over to a bookkeeper or accountant to analyze.

So, what is wrong with that? Well, for starters, when the business owner does not use the financial reports as a tool, profitability is based more on luck than strategy.

Take forecasting the profitability of the business for example. Without knowledge of past performance, how do you come up with reasonable budget numbers? When done properly, there will be at least two components, historical performance and growth projection. However, if you do not clearly understand what is going on in your company, what minor or major changes will you make? Do you have the right mix of staff? Are there product lines that are not profitable? Is your pricing correct? How about your overhead, can that be improved or is it already in line with industry standards? How exactly can you improve your score? Do you know when there is a black hole draining your profits?

Then, there is the control issue. Who is controlling your business? Do you have controls in place? From experience, I can tell you that when the owner does not know what is going on with the finances of the business, there is ample room for corruption. Would you know if someone was stealing from you? Sometimes it is small seemingly insignificant skimming and other times it is more like grand theft. It happens all the time and the business owner is often completely unaware.

The solution is for the business owner to become educated in the financial aspects of the business. This does not mean they have to become an accountant. But, it is critical that they become knowledgeable of the accounting model in place. They need to understand the language. Business finance is no more difficult to understand than most other aspects of running a business. It is probably less difficult than some aspects.

The three most important financial reports are The Balance Sheet, The Income Statement and The Cash Flow Statement. The most important Key Performance Indicators are within these three reports. It is a cake walk!

Are financial statements your friend or foe? Friend, definitely friend! Take the luck out of profitability.

Car Loans With a Credit Score Below 500 – Get Yours Now

Owning your own car is not just a luxury, but it is a necessity that most people must have, including those people with bad or damaged credit. You need your car in order to get to work, go shopping, and to take your kids to school. However, there are many people out there with credit scores that keep them from getting the financing that they need in order to buy the car that they need. If your credit score is below 500, you have what is known as horrible credit, and traditional financing options that are available to you are scarce or even non-existent. The good news is that while you need to work on rebuilding or repairing your credit file, there are lenders who will take a chance on you with damaged credit, even for those borrowers whose credit scores are below 500.

Less Worry About FICO Score

These lenders worry less about your FICO score and look more at what really matters to them – your ability to repay them when they loan you the money to buy a car. These types of bad credit car loan servicers are accustomed to dealing with those who have bad credit, and in their eyes, the car itself stands as collateral for the loan. This means that the lender looks at factors like your length of time at our current job and the amount of pay that you receive for doing that job. They also take into consideration your other income, or income that other people in your home receive. For this reason, it is always best to include the income that your spouse brings into the home when you apply for your car loan for bad credit.

Interest Rates To Expect With Bad Credit Car Loans

Be prepared for a bit of a surprise when the lender informs you about the interest rates that you will pay on a bad credit car loan. Because you have had negligent credit in the past, the lender will likely assess a higher rate of interest than he would for a borrower with good credit, and this is done to offset his risks. You can reduce the rate of interest that you will pay in one of two ways. First of all, you can apply a down payment to the purchase price of the car that you want to finance under the bad credit car loan.

Any type of down payment that you can produce will help lower your rate of interest, so even if you pay only 10% or even less down on the car, you will get a lower rate of interest and that, in turn, will cause the loan to cost less and have the bonus benefit of making your monthly payments smaller. Secondly, you can apply for the bad credit car loan with the help of a cosigner who has good credit. Having a cosigner can significantly reduce the amount of interest that you are charged on your loan.

Bad Credit Car Loans Can Improve Credit Score

Once you have been approved for your bad credit car loan, become a good steward of the credit that has been extended to you by making timely monthly payments. Many people that take out these types of bad credit car loans find that they are able to improve their credit scores, which can have the ripple effect of reducing the interest that you are charged on subsequent loans in the future, and opening the door for you to obtain other types of credit.

Thinking of Starting Up Your Own Bank Or Financial Institution? Joss Finance

Bank Ownership Offshore

Offshore bank ownership solutions include a New Zealand Finance Company, an EU Registered Trust Company, a Panama registered Forex Brokerage, or a Closed End Fund registered in the British Virgin Islands.

Each of these bank ownership solutions can be set up in tax advantaged manner in tax advantaged jurisdictions.

It is possible to set up a tax advantaged banking solution and to be able to offer traditional banking services including the provision of checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit, trust account services, wire transfer services, credit and debit card services, and trust account services.

The rules and regulations vary front one jurisdiction to another. However, it is perfectly legal to set up an offshore banking solution in any of several jurisdictions world wide, taking advantage of the laws of that country. In general, it is possible to find jurisdictions when one does not to provide the capital reserves required of a traditional bank in the same country.

Not All Offshore Banking Solutions Are the Same

If you are considering banking offshore talk to an offshore expert because not all offshore banking solutions are the same.

The world is full of decent offshore banking solutions and there are a handful of exceptional offshore banking solutions. Why not go with the best and most professional choices?

You should work out the best offshore banking solution in your choice of jurisdictions. Offshore shore banking in tax advantaged jurisdictions can save you money. Offshore banking can be very discrete in an increasingly intrusive world. Offshore banking can be safe and profitable.

An offshore banking solution should save you money, guard your privacy, and protect your assets.

Offshore Banking Solutions: Closed End Funds

One of the many offshore banking/financial institution options is to start and run you own closed end hedge fund. An offshore expert can help you explore the opportunities involved in such an investment and its relevance to your personal needs.

An offshore closed end fund option is in the British Virgin Islands. Such a fund invests pooled assets, charges management fees, and, typically, receives performance fees on profits.

The British Virgin Islands are a tax advantaged jurisdiction for such an institution. Reporting requirements and the attendant overhead are minimal in the British Virgin Islands helping to hold costs down.

Such a fund can engage in investments and trading world wide without excessive reporting requirements to local institutions. This is a tax advantaged location. You can seek advice about the pros and cons of starting a British Virgin Islands registered closed end fund. It is also possible to obtain the technical support required to successfully run a closed end fund in the British Virgin Islands.

A closed end fund can be a very successful undertaking if properly set up and managed in a tax advantaged, low overhead location.

Offshore Banking Solutions: Forex Brokerage

An attractive offshore banking/finance option is to set up a Forex brokerage in the country of Panama. This is a tax advantaged jurisdiction with minimal overhead from reporting requirements in its jurisdiction.

There is a several opportunities offered by setting up a Forex brokerage in the Republic of Panama. If property set up and managed a Forex brokerage in Panama can be a profitable undertaking in a tax advantaged jurisdiction with a low overhead as relates to reporting requirements in Panama.

Panama has an advanced telecommunications infrastructure sufficient to support active trading as done by the brokerage houses and individual traders working out of Panama. The expertise and infrastructure knowledge needed for a successful Forex brokerage business is something the investor will need to bring to the table. You can be provided the advice and council to successfully register and set up business in this offshore location.

You should seek advice about the pros and cons of incorporating in Panama as an offshore corporation. This is a tax advantaged location and if property set up and managed can offer a substantial overhead reduction as relates to local reporting requirements.

Offshore Banking Solutions: Trust Company

An attractive offshore banking/finance solution is a trust company registered in the European Union. You should ask about the advantages of registering the company in the EU while accounts are held and administered in a tax advantaged offshore location. This is traditionally a service of large banks but can be provided from a tax advantaged offshore jurisdiction as an offshore banking solution available to investors.

If properly set up and managed, such a trust company can act as a legal trustee for clients throughout the world. Such a company can be set up with the capability to wire monies worldwide and can offer debit cards for account holders. Talk to an offshore advisor about the opportunities offered by acting as a trustee to a world wide client base using an EU and other offshore solution.

As with all offshore solutions, seek competent, trustworthy council in setting up the business entity. Talk about your goals and business risk tolerance. You will get help to evaluate and set up this or any other offshore banking solution in tax advantage locations with low reporting overhead.

Who Sets Up Offshore Banks and Why?

Banks set up offshore banks as do corporations, groups of companies, and groups of investors. The formation of an offshore can be extremely tax advantaged for the investment, corporate, or banking group. In the right location the cost of business can be significantly less than in the countries of origin of the bank shareholders.

Setting up a bank allows the entities mentioned above to profit from their own banking needs and profit from selling banking services to others. The tax advantages of offshore locations as well as well packaged services such as trust accounts, international credit and debit cards, savings and checking accounts, loan services if well merchandized can attract business and provide a profit over and above the savings that the offshore bank can provide its shareholders.

Seek advise about use of an offshore bank for your business and ownership of your own offshore bank alone or with partners. Talk to an offshore advisor about locations and options in creating your own offshore banking ownership solution.

As with all business ventures good planning, competent council and careful follow through will lead to the best results.

Why a New Zealand Finance Company?

The country of New Zealand allows one to set up a credit union, building society, or finance company as well as a registered bank in its jurisdiction. Why would one choose to form a New Zealand Finance Company?.

Each situation is unique, each jurisdiction, each individual. You will get help with an appraisal of the needs of the investor and the opportunities in the jurisdiction. An opportunity that presents itself in New Zealand is that a New Zealand Finance Company can be set up and managed without the substantial reserves required of a standard bank. Also, such an entity can be set up to reduce paperwork by not requiring the supervision of the New Zealand Federal Reserve Bank.

Despite the ease of operation of this opportunity and potential for a low cost of entry such an entity can offer a full range of banking services to offshore customers, including checking and savings accounts, credit card services, and investment marketing.

In general, the ease of operation and freedom from red tape involved in a New Zealand Finance Company comes with offering services only off clients offshore from New Zealand.

A New Zealand Finance Company might be what you are looking for. A refreshing and low cost alternative to a fully licensed bank.

Make Money Writing Crossword Puzzles: Seven Tips For Newbies

You might not realise it, but the crossword is still one of the most popular parts of many newspapers… with lots of people buying a copy for that reason alone. After the front and back page, the sport and the TV sections it’s high up on the list of ‘most read’ pages. So there is a healthy demand for people to write and sell crossword puzzles.

This could be a great sideline opportunity for you. Especially good if you’re a dedicated crossword puzzler. But you can try it even if you’re not. You don’t need to be especially good at English.

Here are seven tips on how to write crosswords:

1. Start by thinking of a theme for your puzzle. For example something like history, or geography, travel, film and TV or famous people etc. You don’t necessarily have to reveal what your theme is to your readers. But it will make it much easier to come up with words and clues.

2. Now write a long list of words which relate to your theme. At least 25 or 30 to start with. Everything you can think of. This will be your ‘word bank’, to draw words from for your puzzle. (But you don’t necessarily need to use them all.)

3. Include both long and short words… but don’t have many words under four letters. Try and choose words which include lots of ‘often used’ letters… such as the vowels A, E, I, O, U plus S, T, L, M, N… which will be easier to fit together. Avoid too many words that use Z, Q and X for the same reason!

4. Now get some graph paper and a pencil. Pick five or six of the longer words from your list and try and link them together in the centre of the page, starting with a horizontal. Now try to fit in the smaller words around them. Build up your grid from there. Finish off by filling in the spaces with a blank.

5. Once your grid is complete number every square that contains the first letter of a word. Divide these into two lists, one of ‘Across’ words and another of ‘Down’ words.

6. Now the fun begins! The next stage is to create a clue for each word. Most crosswords either have simple clues or cryptic clues – don’t mix both types in the same crossword.

7. A thesaurus is a really handy way of finding clue ideas for crosswords. You can either buy one or find one free online. Just look up whatever your clue is and get a list of words which mean something similar and which could be the basis of your clue.

If you’re into crossword puzzling you might know that you can actually get computer programs to help you create and/or solve crossword puzzles. You can use these if you wish (although the good ones tend to be quite expensive). Also, some buyers prefer crossword puzzles that haven’t been created by a computer – so always check first.

Now to selling crossword puzzles: Most magazines and lots of magazines have crossword puzzles and might be interested in buying your puzzles. Write to them and ask. Start with smaller publications… not with The Times and so on!

Larger newspapers and magazines tend to have regular, in-house crossword compilers. But don’t be put off approaching those who do… they still buy puzzles from freelancers sometimes. And this could be your foot in the door to get a job as in-house compiler in future.

One more tip when compiling puzzles for newspapers: They tend to have a fixed grid size which they’re very reluctant to change. It’s also sometimes the case that the grid pattern is EXACTLY the same with every crossword, just rotated a different way or a mirror image and so on. So be sure to check some back issues before you write specifically for that publication.

There are also some puzzle agencies which write crossword puzzles for selling on to the publishing industry. Here’s one you could take a look at: Clarity Media at http://www.clarity-media.co.uk (Their website also has lots of useful info. about puzzling.)

Another place to sell your crossword puzzles is puzzle book publishers. They often have a need for hundreds or crosswords a year.

Educational publishers also need crosswords for books and study aids which are created for children or use in schools.

The Psychology of Banking Joss Finance

On understanding the motives of bankers and clients in the banking business using the knowledge of psychology…

As financial markets are going through rapid changes and considerable turmoil, I thought I must do a psychology of banking. I’ll steer clear of all economics and focus simply on what it means to be a banker or an investor from the psychological perspective. Of course the driving force of banking is money and banks thrive on a consumerist culture. Banks have diverse functions from stabilizing an economy to stabilizing a person’s credit history and banks can have commercial, investment, savings, retail, private or mortgage focus. There are two ways by which the psychology of banking could be framed. One way is to understand the psychology of the banker and the other is getting into the mind of the client or the customer/investor. Banking is like any other business yet the only difference between banking and other businesses is that in case of banking, bankers and clients deal directly and only with money and this can have a significant impact on how much importance they give to their banking operations. Money is something primal and raw, it’s almost like an object stimulating some sort of basic need, and the prospect of dealing with raw money is exciting and intimidating.

The Banker:

The banker’s psychology is based on his personal, social and political need for money. The banker first and foremost is concerned about his own profits, about how much more he is adding up to his account and it is almost an addiction. Just as a merchant or shop owner is obsessed with the goods available, the banker will be obsessed with the money he is able to lend, borrow or do business with. The dire need for making more money is what drives bankers in the first instance. This could be considered as a ‘personal’ need and craving for money to largely fulfill personal wants. Any investment or commercial banker or broker or anyone in the financial sector will presumably have a healthy or unhealthy personal need for money. Of course, we all need and love money but bankers are more focused on money.

Secondly, the banker being in love with money, is focused not just on his money but also on other people’s money. It is essential to understand that money remains the prime object of attention for a banker and the smell of money could make him rather altruistic in focus so there is a general or ‘social’ need to protect and nurture other people’s money as well.

Thirdly the banker has a larger political need whether he manipulates/controls his money or other people’s money and this ‘political’ need would stem from understanding the economic condition of the country and a realization that he has an active part to play in stabilizing the economy.

Whereas the first personal need for money satisfies basic drives of individuals, the social need to protect other people’s money is rather altruistic and the political need to stabilize a nation’s economy is largely a power need. Money to a banker thus serves his altruistic wants, his power needs and his personal desires. This can almost be explained psychologically with a Maslow’s hierarchical model in which the basic desires come first, followed by power needs and then by altruistic needs. Considering this, any banker would be first interested in his own profits, secondly in the economy and stability of the nation and only lastly concerned about his clients and investors.

The Clients:

The second aspect of the discussion is on how banking could help in deriving the psychology of clients, customers or investors. There are different types of clients and people have different priorities or expectations from banks and bankers. The customers may have borrowing need, investment need or saving need based on their age or the phase of life they are in. For example, young students and people with lower income are interested in borrowing facilities through credit cards and loans and they consider the banks as a support to hold on to for their financial problems. Of course borrowing is equally important to businessmen and professionals but the motivation may be different. The ‘borrowing’ need arising in turn from personal or professional needs would be the most important reason for banking among young people and young people, students, graduates or people who are between jobs or newly employed will be propelled to banking due to their borrowing needs. So generally, the 18-30 years old are usually less interested in interest rates and more interested in the borrowing facilities they can get on their credit cards or loans during this ‘stepping in’ phase of their life.

The young professionals and middle aged individuals are usually more banking savvy and would be looking to increase their already earned money through investments. This is the group focused on better interest rates and better returns on investments rather than direct borrowing unless absolutely necessary. The ‘investment’ need of young and middle aged professionals can overlap with borrowing needs when buying a house or setting up a new business becomes a priority. Yet these are again investments so the 30-55 year old are mainly looking for investments and banking helps to satisfy their investment need during the crucial ‘building up’ phase of their life. The late middle age to old age is marked by a heightened fear of life’s losses and need to save for the future. We are attuned to worry about the future and mainly about old age and dependence. The decline of physical strength and a productive work life being very real, we want to save for old age, which begins after 50 and continues at least until 70. Although this realization should occur to us earlier, we usually don’t seem to manifest our saving needs until we at least reach late middle age. During the late middle age, the banking needs are primarily motivated by a ‘saving’ need and clients in their late middle age are looking to save their earnings and not too concerned with investments. This is a time when people begin to consciously move away from social and professional life although very gradually. Elderly men and women simply want their money to be there when they need it during this ‘moving away’ phase of life.

Of course during very old age, the need to borrow, invest or save decline progressively. The psychological phases described above are general and do not consider individual differences. Many people develop saving or investment needs early in life and there could be social and cultural patterns in banking and financial behavior of individuals. Considering a more subjective/individualistic viewpoint, the borrowing, saving and investment needs in any individual can be interestingly explained with the help of psychoanalysis. Freud suggested that all of us go through oral, anal, phallic, latency and genital phases of sexuality in our childhood and our personality patterns are largely shaped by whether we have effectively resolved conflicts during this period or simply became fixated at a certain stage. Thus anal retentive personalities are ones who have excessive need for control or precision so these individuals are more likely to save from a very young age and even show extreme parsimony in money matters or banking behavior. The anal expulsive personality is the one who wastes too much so these individuals will be interested in excessive borrowing and can turn their credit history into a mess. The oral aggressive personalities are the ones who are ambitious and have extreme investment needs and although this may be a positive aspect, bankers should be aware of the more psychological aspects of individuals before lending them too soon. Maybe banks should perform psychological tests on individuals before lending to understand which clients are likely to repay and which clients are not likely to fulfill obligations and maybe then we will be able to avert banking disasters in the future.