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After much debate, President Barack Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus package was finally by Congress. The package calls for spending $185 billion this year, which should increase GDP (Gross Domestic Product) by 1.4% to 3.8% and create 1 to 2 million jobs.

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Where’s the Money Going in Obama’s Stimulus Package?

February 23, 2009 | Financial Tips | No Comments

After much debate, President Barack Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus package was finally by Congress. The package calls for spending $185 billion this year, which should increase GDP (Gross Domestic Product) by 1.4% to 3.8% and create 1 to 2 million jobs. The plan is to shorten the recession, which is defined by a negative GDP growth. The stimulus package should also calm the stock market.

So what does the stimulus package actually cover? Below is a basic breakdown of 7 areas of where the money will be spent.

Relief for Families – $260 billion over 10 years

  • $2,500 college tuition tax credit
  • $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers in 2009
  • A tax deduction of sales tax on new car purchases
  • Extension of unemployment benefits
  • Suspension of taxes on unemployment benefits through 2009
  • Reduce taxes by $400 for individuals and $800 for families
  • Pay $250 to each recipient of Social Security, veterans pension and SSI benefits
  • $70 billion to continue the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) tax shelter
  • For the working poor Greater access to child tax credit
  • Expand earned-income tax credit to families with 3 children


Expand Health Care

  • $24 billion: Subsidize COBRA benefits for laid off workers
  • $87 billion: Assist states with Medicaid
  • $10 billion: National Institute for Health
  • $17 billion: Modernize health (IT) information technology systems


Improve Education

  • $54 billion: School districts and states
  • $21 billion: School modernization
  • $17 billion: Increase Pell Grants
  • $13 billion: Head Start
  • $12 billion: Special Education programs


Modernize Federal Infrastructure

  • $46 billion: Transportation and mass transit projects
  • $31 billion: Modernize federal buildings
  • $6 billion: Water projects


Increase Alternative Energy Production

  • $17 billion: Renewable energy tax cuts
  • $5 billion: Weatherize homes


Invest in Science Research and Technology

  • $10 billion: Science facilities
  • $4 billion: Increase broadband infrastructure
  • $4 billion: Science research and physics


Assist Small Businesses

  • $54 billion: Assist small businesses by various tax incentives and write-offs


The basic overall plan for spending all this money is to:

  • Encourage consumer spending via tax rebates.
  • Help businesses revitalize the economy, especially small businesses.
  • Assist states from raising property taxes or cutting needed services.
  • Create public works construction to retain or add 3 million jobs, and lower transportation costs.


Once the danger or a recession is over, all incentives should be removed, and then Obama’s plan is to reduce the deficit and avoid future inflation. Only time shall tell if President Obama’s plan will work. The next few months will be very interesting!

Interesting Video of the Current Credit Crisis

February 22, 2009 | Videos | No Comments

The video below is a very interesting animation/visualization of the current credit crisis.  The title of the video is “The Crisis of Credit Visualized” and is created by Jonathan Jarvis.

The Crisis of Credit Visualized” by Jonathan Jarvis

Get $200/$100 to Open Chase Business Checking Account

February 21, 2009 | Credit Cards | No Comments

Owners of Chase Business Credit Card can qualify for a $200 bonus for opening a Chase Business Checking account. For those of you who don’t have the Chase Business Credit Card, you can get a $100 bonus. Chase will deposit $200 or $100 into your new Chase Business Checking account within 10 business days of confirming the $500 deposit requirement.

A $500 minimum deposit is required and you can choose from four different plans based on the size of your business and the services you require. The least expensive option allows up to 200 transactions per month and provides several ways to have the monthly maintenance fees waived, such as linking your new checking account to your credit card account. The offer ends March 28, 2009.

Visit the following links ($200 bonus or $100 bonus) to print the coupon and bring it to your local Chase Bank or call 1-800-CHASE24 (1-800-242-7324).

Find the Best Stocks Using Investors.com Screening Tools

February 20, 2009 | Financial Tips | 7 Comments

If you are an amateur investor thinking about investing in the stock market, beware! Over the years, I’ve spoken to many people about investing in the stock market and I cringe when I hear people get excited about buying stocks that are cheap or have dropped a lot. I’m certainly no expert, but I’ve learned a lot of what “NOT TO DO” when investing in the stock market.

A few months ago, I had a friend tell me that now may be a great time to buy Ford stock. Of course I immediately cringed and  asked him why he would take such a risk on a company  in an industry that’s doing so poorly. He stated the stock was cheap and he “felt” Ford would rebound one day. I then asked him; why not find a company that was performing excellently? He answered, “That’s a good point.”

I then went on to tell my friend my basic philosophy of buying a stock. It’s quite simple. Buy the best stock you can find. Not number 2 or 3, find the best – number 1. Don’t worry about the share price, or how many shares you can purchase, worry about the % return. There are many expensive stocks that can double giving you a 100% return. Would you prefer to buy a stock for $5 and have it go to $6, for by a stock for $75 and watch it go to $150?

Below is a screen shot of Ford’s stock and NetFlix’s stock? Which one would you take a chance on? I sure wouldn’t be buying Ford’s stock.   I would have a much better chance with NetFlix, just by looking at the stock chart.


Ford vs. NetFlix

(Which stock would your take a chance on?)

NetFlix vs. Ford

 

So the question is, how do you find the best stock? Over the years, I’ve tried many techniques such as online screening tools, reading newsletters that recommended stocks, visitng forums/chat boards to get ideas, and creating my own system to identify great stocks. Then one day I ran into Investors Business Daily’s (at Investors.com) website and was really impressed with how easy and quickly they made it to screen the market to identify the best stocks. I’ve used their service in the past and have purchased stocks based on IBD screening tools, which made me money. Their system really works!  Now, I’m not saying that every stock identified as an A+ did well.  But out of every 10 stocks I purchased, 6-8 of them did well over a 6-month period. The other 2-4 didn’t do so well, but I didn’t loose that much money. Overall, my portfolio was profitable.

One of the tools I like to use is the IBD Stock Checkup. You enter the stock symbol and it gives you an overall ranking. The stocks are ranked from A+ to E; A+ being the best stock and E being the worst stock. The rank is based on the stock’s technical rating, fundamental rating, attractiveness rating, and the stock’s group technical rating and fundamental ratings.

Let’s say you are considering purchasing Ford. You can get a ranking using IBD Stock Checkup.


IBD Stock Checkup for Ford Motor Company
Screen Shot of Investors Daily Checkup for Ford

Would you purchase Ford based on the information above? I would not; I want to find an A+ stock! . See the IBD Stock Checkup for NetFlix below.

 

IBD Stock Checkup for NetFlix
Screen Shot of Investors Daily Checkup for NetFlix

I would certainly consider taking a chance with NetFlix’s stock.

Investors.com also features several other tools to find A+ stocks which include:

  • The CAN SLIM Select tracks market–leading stocks that in general show strong earnings growth, positive institutional sponsorship, excellent industry strength, and solid sales growth, profit margins and return on equity. I’ve purchased stocks from this list that did well.

  • The IBD 100 List the daily top 100 stocks based on their ranking system. (See example here).

  • Daily Stocks on the Move lists the top performing stocks for the day.

 

Investors.com is filled with tons of educational material on how to be successful in investing in stocks and really helps individuals identify top rated stocks. You can sign up for a 4 week free trial to check out their service. If you are looking to purchase stocks, I highly recommend Investors.com. Good luck; but remember it’s never a profit until you sell!

For more information visit Investors.com.

Pioneer Services Military Lends Exclusively to Military Members

February 19, 2009 | Personal Loans | No Comments

If you currently in the military or a former military service member and looking to get a personal loan then you should consider Pioneer Services Military Lending; who works exclusively with the military community.

The company offers loans at interest rates lower than most credit cards and they are competitive with banks and credit unions. You can apply online and if approved, borrow from $500 to $10,000. You can money fast, without the fees and costs associated with many lenders. The company has many years of experience serving military service members and Department of Defense employees.
Pioneer Service features the following:

  • Products for all ranks and branches plus DOD employees. No matter where you serve, they can help you.
  • Get the money you need fast, and the funds can be deposited directly into your bank account.
  • Helps you avoid the trap of military payday loan companies. Don’t pay outrageous fees and charges that military payday loan companies are known for – you deserve better.
  • For nearly two decades they have been providing military service members with solutions that are fair, secure and geared towards helping get the money you need without excessive charges.


For more information visit PioneerMilitaryLoans.com.

Services

AmericaNet Bank Paying 5.25% APY for Checking Account

February 18, 2009 | Bank Rates | 1 Comment

Check out this great deal from AmericaNet Bank.  They are offering 5.25% APY (Annual Percentage Yield) for opening up a Rewards Checking account. Interest earnings are calculated on your average daily balance of up to $25,000.  Amounts over $25,000 will earn 2.25% APY.

There is no minimum balance  required and the checking account comes with free online banking, free checking, free Visa check card, free ATM transaction worldwide and more.

You maybe asking yourself, “How can they offer this interest rate for a checking account?”  To get the 5.25% they require you to make at least 10 transactions with your AmericaNet Bank VISA Check Card each month and all statements are sent by e-mail.

At the end of your statement cycle, ATM fees charged by any bank worldwide are automatically refunded to your account in one lump sum.  At the same time, you will be paid interest earned by your account.

AmericaNet Bank is FDIC Protected and operated by All America Bank, a well-established Oklahoma bank operating since 1969.

For more information visit http://americanetbank.com/

Related article: Earn More Money with Internet Banks

Miami Banker Gives Away $60 Million to Employees

February 17, 2009 | Banking | My Ramblings | 1 Comment

I wish I worked for a CEO like Leonard Abess.  After he sold a majority stake in Miami-based City National Bancshares last November to a Spanish bank he gave $60 million of the proceeds, his own money, to 399 employees which included tellers, bookkeepers, clerks, and everyone on the payroll.

Mr. Abess even tracked down 72 former employees to give them a share of the $60 million.  How cool is this guy?  The bonuses were based on years of service and amounted to tens of thousands of dollars to more than $100,000.

Mr. Abess didn’t publicize his generousity and didn’t show up at the bank to get the pleasure of handing out the money.  Of course when people found out he was giving away money, he was inundated with letters soon after.

When asked what motivated him to give away $60 million, he said he has always dreamed of rewarding employees. He added,  ”Those people who joined me and stayed with me at the bank with no promise of equity…I always thought some day I’m going to surprise them…I sure as heck don’t need (the money)”.  Now that’s when you know you are filthy rich; you can easily afford to give away $60 million dollars.

Source: http://www.miamiherald.com