Financial Stepney – A positive catalyst to your emotions

Fallback or Plan B has not been welcomed positively when it comes to following a passion, as few believe it fails to bring out the full potential in any situation. However, businessmen, sportsmen, or any team player always believed in having a Plan B.

We at S9 Financial Planners, have a similar way to explain the concept of financial backup or also known as contingency or emergency funds which according to us is a must-have portion in any individual’s personal finance portfolio for unprecedented times. We like to call it “Financial Stepney”

We have all gone through one such unexpected and uncertain period in 2020. Due to this unforeseen Pandemic, everything was shut, businesses were down and job losses were at their peak. Even the stock market was highly bearish at that point in time.

Obstacles in having Financial Stepney or emergency funds
We have noticed two kinds of habits that mostly cause obstacles, whenever we have asked clients to have their financial Stepney in place.

Lack of Planning: Just like when a journey is planned, one is too focused or excited on routes and stopovers that the alternatives of things going wrong are not taken into consideration all the time. Similarly, when we plan for our financial goals we are so much into achieving them that we lack in planning our contingencies. Whereas, as a financial planners& investment advisors, we strongly recommend having our risk-managed. Planning ahead of time and taking “things to go south” outcomes into consideration in such scenarios is very important.

Last on Priority: In our priority list, the emergency fund is always at the bottom when we all are well aware that trouble never knocks before coming. Most of us tend to have this attitude that this is not something that needs attention right now, and then we regret not having it the most.

Why do we need a Financial Stepney?
During this lockdown, we observed that many businessmen and the working class redeemed almost all their investment and savings which were actually kept for achieving their short-term and long-term goals. This led to the real financial crunch and no Plan B to rely on. We have also evidently noticed when financial goals are not achieved as planned or dreamt, one invites emotional chaos. None of us want any of this stress or disturbance in our lives.

There is a brighter side to this thing. The one who had their contingency plan or financial Stepney in place was able to stick to their goals and keep their investment as it is. Redeeming emergency funds that were parked in their portfolio was the right move in such a scenario. Financial Stepney here can act as a positive catalyst for our emotions.

The importance of having a Financial Stepney or emergency funds in your financial plan is something I wanted to throw light on, but it is necessary to know how to create one?

How to create Financial Stepney or Emergency funds?
Here are the basic things to remember when you create your Financial Stepney.

Financial Stepney is not a short-term process.
You should aim to have emergency funds that are equal to or near to 6-9 months of your salary or profit amount.
Funds parked as emergency funds should be only used in emergencies and not on things that are not in the plan or for splurging. It is not the excess amount.
Park a part of your bonus or other passive income as a Financial Stepney.
Make sure that your emergency funds have easy liquidity so that you can actually use them at the time of emergencies. For clarification, Investment in buying a house cannot be called an emergency fund, because we need to know that one cannot sell a part of the kitchen or bedroom in exchange for funds. Liquidity is of paramount importance.
Lastly, think of Financial Stepney as ‘Plan B’ – it’s a realization and acceptance of the fact that no one can predict what is in store for us in the future. However, with a Stepney, even after a small interruption we have the power to drive back on track.

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The Yellow Brick Road of Financial Advice

1. Calculate your net worth Take the market value of all your significant assets including houses, investments, vehicles,/cash savings,/and subtract what you owe on your mortgage, credit cards, LOC, student loans, vehicle loans, etc. Focus on the big-ticket items…. you can ignore the $50 you have stowed away in your sock drawer! Whatever is left over, whether positive or negative, is your net worth. This is the starting point and yardstick for measuring your financial progress. Going forward, you will need to revisit this calculation on a regular basis to determine your progress. 2. Pay yourself first – and save it!/ You should be aiming to save at least 10% of your after-tax salary. Every payday, that 10% has to get from the daily chequing account where your salary is deposited to a high-interest savings account… like clockwork with no ifs, ands or buts!/How to invest that money is another lesson, but for now, just get a system in place to make ensure you put it aside — money left in a chequing account has a way of disappearing! Overcome your forgetfulness and/or temptation and make that money invisible by setting up an automatic/transfer/to a designated savings account every payday. If you are struggling to meet the 10% goal, you need to list up your monthly expenses and find some low-hanging fruit you can cut and divert into savings./ Dining out, travel, phone/internet/cable plans and gym memberships can add up quickly and are good areas to carve out some savings. 3. Understand where your money is going The top two overspends for Canadians are housing and transportation. The cost of your car is not just the monthly payment! You must include the insurance, gas and/repairs – and it shouldn’t eat up much more than 10% of your after-tax income. Do the same calculation with your housing and make sure to include the mortgage, repairs, utilities and property tax. Aim for a maximum of 30% of after-tax income, not whatever the bank or mortgage stress-test says you can afford. If you find you are way over the 10% target for your car you can easily downgrade, but a change in housing is much more involved. There are numerous fees and related costs to factor in, not to mention the fact that it may be difficult to find a cheaper housing option in your area. We recommend doing the calculation and at least get a benchmark of your current situation. You may be able to save on utilities, repairs or home improvements, or even try and generate some extra income to get closer to the 30% target. 4. Prioritize your debts and create a repayment plan Not all debts are created equal, some cost a lot more than others! If you carry a credit card debt from month-to-month or graduated years ago and are still trying to pay off your student loan, you need to create a repayment plan and stick to it. The interest rate on credit cards assures that paying the minimum every month will only enrichen the card company and cost you thousands in interest charges. Student loans also carry higher interest rates and can handicap your post-graduation financial life for years. We appreciate the value of education but find that many students are not very cognizant of the loan details and just how much the interest rate and payments will be post graduation. Only borrow what is absolutely necessary to get you through your education and don’t bank on a big post-graduation paycheque to quickly reduce that student loan – it may not happen for a few years! A few good books and/or a money coach would be a great addition to building your financial education but learning how to master the above basics won’t take much of your time and give you a solid start to a successful financial life.

Why Should Investors Start an SIP Account?

Systematic Investment Plan or SIP account means a method of investing money in mutual funds.

In an SIP, one invests a fixed amount of money in a mutual fund every month. which is automatically deducted from one’s bank account. To know what amount of monthly SIP you need to invest to achieve a certain monetary goal, one can use an SIP account calculator. A Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) calculator is an online financial mechanism that helps one calculate the potential returns a person can earn on your SIP investments. The online SIP calculator tells how much money should be invested every month to for a target corpus.

A systematic investment plan (SIP) means a plan where investors set aside regular, equal payments into a mutual fund.

To open an SIP account, the investor should hold an investment account with the fund house. She/he needs to complete KYC verification before operating the SIP account. Once the investor has completed the KYC verification, she/he can open her/his SIP account within the investment account by filling up the ‘Start/Initiate an SIP’ form.

Why should investors open an SIP Account?

No need to track the market New investors are generally unsure of the market. In case of lumpsum investments one loses a large amount if the market crashes. Conversely, one stands to gain if the market rises. With an SIP, the amount is staggered over a period of time, and only a certain portion of the investment will face market instability. However, one should note that investing in SIP are subject to market risk and do not assure a profit or returns or protection against a loss in a downturn market.
Adjust SIP amounts
SIPs are flexible. For instance, if you start a Rs. 500 SIP in a mutual fund scheme it is not necessary to invest the same amount every month. If one’s savings increase in the future, you can increase the SIP amount or even start a new SIP in the same mutual fund scheme or any other scheme. You can miss paying the SIP for a few months or even stop the investment as per your choice.

Rupee cost averaging
When the market falls, the investor can buy more units. Similarly, investor will buy fewer units when the stock markets rise. This reduces the per-unit cost of purchasing the units. This is called rupee cost averaging.

Habit of investing
If an investor decides to invest through an SIP, this entails putting aside a fixed amount periodically. This inculcates financial discipline.

Suitable for new investors
An investor, who has just started her /his career, can use an SIP account to enter the world of investing. This way, she/he understands equities with a nominal amount. Later, one can invest in riskier equity schemes according to one’s investment needs and risk appetite.

An active SIP account inculcates a sense of financial discipline over time as you are forced to invest a fixed sum at regular intervals.

Hire a Proper Search Engine Optimization Consultant for Your Website

Nowadays, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is one of the commonly used names, which is heard, in developing a website. If you want to make a proper website, then the first thing which you will need is the proper Web Designing Company. After they design the website, you will need an SEO team, who will promote your website in a proper direction. Also, you are going to invest your fund for a longer time; so try to make a correct decision by hiring an excellent SEO Consultant. Also, according to one search, which was made by comScore; it was discovered that nearly about one billion users make search on different search engines, such as – yahoo, Google, Bing, etc. So, everyday in the market, many new companies are introduced with their own different campaigns. Hence, the point that you need to keep in mind is hiring an SEO consultant.

The first question which will come to your mind will be- are they following the best practice or not? You will need to find that, basically on which search engine they will promote your website? How they will do that? What will be the rank of your webpage on a reputed search engine? Thus, if your website doesn’t follow proper practice, then it will have a negative effect on your website as well as on your business.

Moving ahead, the next step which you should keep in mind is that- whatever strategies they follow are user-friendly or not? While designing a proper website the first thing, which Search Engine Optimization Consultant will need to keep in mind, is that the user can easily search for and locate your website, on some reputed search engine, by typing the proper keywords; because for a proper reputed Search Engine Optimization Consultant, consumers’ search will come first. So, users can easily search for their desired wish.

Also, the next step, which you will need to see, is that the SEO Consultant Company which you hired is properly focusing on what quantity or quality… A proper SEO Consultant not only thinks of the visitor’s visit to your site; but also will keep a record of how many proper visitors’ visits occur. So, they need to generate some keywords in such a way that- they generate more traffic to your website. Thus, hire a proper SEO Consultant, which can easily make your website more popular, and which helps you in achieving more returns through your website.

Consulting Skills Training: Molding Effective Facilitators After the Basics

Consulting skills have never been more important in the workplace. This is used in efficiently finding a solution to corporate issues, training the employees to optimize their potential through increasing competent leadership, getting feedback before going with a course of action, even in overcoming conflict. This way, the management has to be as much a guide and a mentor as a friend the employees can comfortably talk to. Effective consultants are driven, goal-oriented and inspiring individuals that drive the business to its full potential; and, most importantly, effective consulting can be learned through facilitation training.

The Basic Characteristics of Effective Consultants

Before the more complicated strategies, there are a few basic characteristics that prove to be the foundation of every effective consultant, and a few training exercises to stimulate them.

First, they listen. Consulting requires focus and attention towards a client or a team of individuals with a goal in mind. It is then critical that good communication is present between the parties involved. To exercise this skill, consider listening intently in your next conversation. What is this person’s story? How do you understand it? Mirror their actions, remove distractions and avoid intentions to jump in and interfere. Further, make eye contact and observe their body language.

Another tip that involves this ability lies in pausing. Most people assume that awkward silences are to be filled in with mindless chatter. Successful facilitation firms understand that this is false. Rather than filling in the silence, allow it. Try to pause before responding, and use this time to organize what you have to say, as opposed to formulating them while the person is still speaking. This not only gives the appearance of ignoring what they have to say, it can also lead the conversation somewhere else.

Second, it involves teamwork. Because some projects require employees and clients of different personalities to come together, it is imperative that a facilitator not only knows how to integrate disparate personalities, but to be a part of their team as well.

Third, it requires perspective and smarts. This industry thrives on training the brain and challenging the mind. It involves being able to analyze a situation and transform ideas into solutions. Therefore, they have to possess a perspective that is more advanced than the average manager. This is usually brought on by the experience of living abroad, traveling, or a strong background in a specific industry: the arts, social sciences, airlines, retail, etc.

Fourth, they have to be great public speakers. Being able to present and fulfill the needs of a client through a solution in a crowd or one-on-one presents admirable potential. To exercise this, read up on books regarding how to make good presentations, and practice creating them on your own. Advance by practicing your presentation skills. Not everyone can present ideas coherently and creatively; being someone who is able to can open up unexpected opportunities.

Lastly, be appreciative. Coined by Carl Rogers, the term “unconditional positive regard” approaches each interaction with a positive point of view. Most people have an opinion of others before even having a conversation with them. Successful consultants know how to value the opinions of others and hold the other person in a positive regard. This lets teams and clients value them in the same way and have an affinity for their work.

After the basics, the more complicated characteristics come in. These prepare consultants for the more advanced and business-oriented goals. In this stage, a consulting skills training might now be in order, led by experienced professionals in the industry.

Distribution Consulting Tips

In the field of business the distribution results in the growth of company. Even if the company is producing efficient products and if it is not reaching the customers then we cannot say that company is a success.

An efficient company will have super distribution department, and this distribution department should handle the complete procedures after the production of goods. The development of distribution department consists of various factors, such as transporting, marketing etc… Here the most important factor for a newly developing company is nothing else but marketing. The awareness about the products and company is very less. So marketing plays an important role in the development of a company.

Here is the importance of a distribution consultant who can play vital role in the development of distribution department. By being an expertise in search engine optimisation, web designing etc alone won’t help in becoming a successful distribution consultant. As a successful professional in distribution consultation there are some key tasks which help you to become a successful.

1. Helping the top managers in planning new strategies and techniques for marketing. This is can be done by providing new plans to their firm so that they can have more easy and successful marketing. But it is quite difficult to make do with our plans as there are more people to that you should convey the new idea and they should accept it.

2. As web based emergence of companies are larger the scope of a distribution consultant is important in the internet. You can provide consultation to the distribution department through net itself. So for those who have great knowledge in web is easy for this. And also this consulting alone is not the job of a distribution consultant they should do their part in internet by search engine optimization methods like article submission. And also blogging helps a lot in increasing popularity of a company and products.

For successful distribution consultant should have regular customers. The number of customers depends on how much expert you are. But for a beginner even if he is efficient he should follow certain procedure in order to attract clients to him.

By posting free and useful article you can please your clients and people who read your article will get impressed about the company and product so your clients will be pleased and many others will be attracted to you. And the same company will give you more consultation jobs to you.

Another method of increasing your clients is by giving a workshop to your local communities and giving them some free sample works. It will be more effective so that you can spread local voice about your profession so that interested will approach you.

Overwhelmed By the Thought of Remodeling? Hire a Renovation Consultant

It has been said that a home renovation can involve as many as 15,000 decisions. That is a daunting number, and many homeowners who intuitively understand this either refuse to do a needed renovation at all, or end up with a “nightmare contractor” story to tell at cocktail parties.

There is another option that is gaining popularity. It involves hiring a renovation consultant, also known as a remodeling coach. Unlike a general contractor, a renovation consultant acts as your agent, and is paid to look out for your interests.

Whether you are thinking about a total home renovation or a simple bathroom update the process can be a mystery: Do you start by calling a contractor? Or should you select a designer or architect first? Do I need a designer? Can I move a wall? Am I overbuilding for my neighborhood? All valid concerns. Renovation consultants are individuals or companies that guide homeowners through the renovation process from beginning to end.

While services vary depending on your needs, a renovation consultant can help you put together an action-plan that makes sense. This plan should include establishing a budget and developing a prioritized list of needs and wishes, and should help you understand what to expect before, during, and after, the renovation. If needed, the consultant can become part of your permanent renovation team to ensure that communication, quality, and scheduling are maintained. Acting as your agent on site, they are your eyes and ears while you continue to live your life.

Renovation consultants also can assist you in the purchase of a property. In some cases buying a “fixer-upper” is the best option for you. It may be that you are looking a specific location where there are few choices or your budget mandates that you buy a fixer. Whatever the case spending $400 to $700 before finalizing the purchase of a property can prevent surprises down the road. By carefully examine the layout, current condition and zoning limitations and then overlaying your needs and wants the consultant can advise you about the design potential and the functional limitations of the property.

While all renovation projects are unique this is a list of the most common items a good renovation consultant will help you with:

1. Assess existing conditions
2. Develop project scope
3. Complete a Move vs. Remodel analysis to help you determine if you should move or remodel
4. Value engineer the project; suggest alternate materials or design approach
5. Develop a realistic budget
6. Assist in choosing design professionals Material selection and specification
7. Produce the request for bid or proposal documents
8. Review bids/proposals Choose construction professionals
9. Recommend construction professionals

If needed they can also assist with:

1. Monitoring quality control
2. Managing the project schedule
3. Management of weekly project meetings
4. Monitoring payment schedule and payments
5. Meditation disputes
6. Management of punch list completion

Why Do We Need Travel Consultants

It’s not everyday that you go on a vacation. Vacations are meant to offer you great memories that last a lifetime and no one wants their vacation to have even a single bad moment. How does one ensure that your dream holiday remain exactly that- dream-like? Whom can you trust to help you plan a perfect vacation that you can’t forget in a jiffy? Who has the expertise to book cheap flights and accommodations for you and avail the best deals and packages on offer? Without any doubts, it’s your travel consultant! A good travel consultant is always detail-oriented, specializes in specific destinations, has first hand experience and knowledge of the places and possesses a deep-seated passion for travel.

Travel consultants are the best source to have custom-made travel itineraries that are planned to perfection. Most travel consultants don’t just book cheap flights for you, they also take care of your accommodation needs, transportation arrangements, restaurant suggestions and reservations, formulate a daily step-by-step itinerary and purchase entry tickets and passes in advance where required. Apart from these, travel consultants also make sure that you don’t miss out on any of the important attractions, sights and hot-spots, and makes arrangements for all your excursions and tours along with private guides. Most travel consultants work by first gathering all your expectations, needs and requirements.

After the initial meeting, a dummy itinerary is drafted which is subject to change according to wishes and fancy of the traveler. Once the expected itinerary is complete, they go ahead with the cheap flight and accommodation bookings. While they strive hard to bring your dream travel plans to reality, you will be continuously in the know of all the updates. A travel packet will be made available to you before departure by the travel consultant. This might include your detailed itinerary, contact information and reservations for hotels, taxis et al, all your museum or transportation tickets that have been bought in advance, custom maps created just for you and a guidebook with helpful travel tips, language travel phrases, cultural info and insider’s secrets to having a blast in the destination of your choice.

The duty of a travel consultant does not just end here! He is available to you at all times during the tenure of your vacation, in case you need a hotel change or a quick restaurant recommendation. Travel consultants are your safest bet in case you want cheap flights and accommodation, a perfect travel itinerary and a unique travel experience that is based on your own budget, goals and travel style!

Launched in the United States of America in 2004, Globester is one of the leading online travel consolidators in the world. Offering not just cheap flights to worldwide destinations, one can also scour their website to make cruise and cheap hotel reservations and get the best travel deals at affordable rates. Also hosting a travel blog, the company’s site is a perfect platform for the travelers to come and share their concerns and experiences.

Become a Network Marketing Consultant

Advice, based on opinions, is like a general set of directions telling us how to arrive at a specific place. Advice, based on fact, is like a scientific formula. When we apply this formula we can always expect the same results.

Most entrepreneurs are characters possessing incredibly creative perspectives. Their success isn’t derived from random circumstances. By design and fastidious application, they approach every goal, expecting the intended results.

Although every goal isn’t achieved on the first attempt, true entrepreneurs don’t turn away. They learn from mistakes, and modify formulas, but they never give up. Even if an entire campaign hits the scrap heap, they remain focused on the goal.

Having a network marketing consultant is perhaps the best way to examine a formula, or redefine a goal. In fact, the only thing better than a good consultant, is a team of them.

We watch scientists work in teams and networks. With the advantage of communications products and services, networks of teams have gone global. The collective mind continues to expand the human knowledge base at an alarming rate. The entrepreneurs who are plugged into a network marketing consultant group have an unfair advantage.

Whenever a sporting team is formed, positions are assigned based on specific skill sets and abilities. The 300lb. lineman won’t be effective chasing down a wide receiver, so we assign him where he’ll be more productive. Each member on the team does what they’re best at, and the team has a better chance of winning.

As a technician from infancy (possibly not that young) there are skills that I adapt to almost effortlessly. In fact I have the least amount of patience dealing with technical issues than any other aspect of my business. That immediately qualifies my as a technical consultant.

Expanding on my knowledge base has also increased the areas where I’m considered a competent consultant. Stressing competency is vital to the efforts of the team. Overstepping my expertise would mean that I’m trying to do what another consultant should be doing. Transparency always increases a team’s chances of winning.

Marketing is a team sport and when the team is composed of network marketing consultants, they’re positioned as champions. A team is always concerned about the health and vitality of each member. Indeed, their strength is in their members, and the team that respects each individual always outperforms the crowd.

You won’t join a team like this and spend but a short time before becoming a network marketing consultant. Any network worth their salt would make that a requirement. Any team that doesn’t operate on this principle needs to rewrite their game plan.

Things to Consider in Hiring Between an SEO Consultant Or an SEO Company

If you are a new online business entrepreneur, you usually do not full knowledge on what an SEO consultant or an SEO firm can do for your website. Various factors rely on specific needs and requirements of a certain business, the period on the business’ site existence and the owner’s penchants.

Below are tips to consider before opting to employ the help of an SEO consultant or an SEO company:

a. Budget – an SEO consultant may be a more rational choice for a small online business enterprise. This is because there is big chance that an SEO consultant will take on a smaller project and has the time to explain the finer points of the task.

b. Instantaneous Progress Reports – website owners who prefer to who would like instant progress reports may opt to hire an SEO company. An SEO company has under its employ who monitors the progress of each task all the time.

c. In-House or Outsourced Task – An SEO company has the resources to do in-house tasks while most SEO consultants outsource the task to smaller companies and freelancers they can rely upon to the task for them.

d. Synergy – This factor is likely to favor an SEO firm because every experts on the work can communicate and work hand-in-hand with their team members.

e. Limits of Expertise – Search engine optimization or SEO encompasses a huge field and it is quite impossible for an SEO consultant to do everything. An SEO company that can’t be able to it all either, however, it usually has the resources to give website owners more alternatives.

f. Expediency – This factor is basically dependent on the project’s size. For small business enterprises (SMEs) an SEO consultant may be a better option for this factor because he or she can furnish quicker results. On the other hand, an SEO firm is the right choice for bigger projects. But, remember, speed of completion is less significant than the performance quality of the project.

g. Personalized Attention – in most situations, an SEO consultant is able to give more personalized attention to the project, but, there are also a number of smaller SEO companies that can give extra time to a certain project.

The above tips point out that there is really no clear answer or solution as to whom or what to hire, an SEO consultant or SEO company. Your decision is dependent on the specifications of your situation and your knowledge about Internet marketing. Always bear in mind that the above tips are generalized and may either be applicable or non-applicable.