The Benefits Of Using A Currency Converter

A currency converter is an accurate, user-friendly, and frequently updated online tool for determining rates of currencies all over the world. The currency converter makes use of worldwide foreign exchange reports and makes calculations based on its findings. Users can compare two currencies and determine the rate of exchange through currency converter tools.

Most of the people worldwide are aware that currencies keep fluctuating on a regular basis. However, not many are sure as to how these changes take place and what factors determine the rate of change. The economic condition of a country is not the only reason for fluctuations in the currency of a nation. One of the major reasons for this instability is the fact that these currencies are traded regularly in the open market, which is called the foreign currency exchange.

Banks, corporations, and individual traders are a part of this open market, and these parties supposedly make daily transactions of millions of dollars. Through this regular trading, a demand and supply mechanism comes into place. As a result, the prices keep fluctuating.

The changes in the value of the currencies takes place every day. However, it is very rare to see changes in the value on an hourly basis. Through online tools, users can easily determine or find out the updated rates of different currencies of the world. These tools also provide the users with historical charts and rates, which can be used to observe the trend of the movements and their monthly, quarterly or annual averages over a period of time.

It is not only traders, but people who want to know the rates of different currencies in comparison to their own currency who use these online tools. Many of them use these tools on a daily basis. However, there are some who use these tools only when a need or situation arises. People who are traveling abroad for business purposes or people who are going on an international holiday would make use of these tools to find out the purchasing power of their currency. In fact, many people choose holiday destinations after determining the strength of their currency in that international destination. A person with a powerful currency would be able to do a lot more things on his holiday when compared to someone who has a weaker currency.

These online tools help investors a great deal when it comes to investing in commodities or foreign stocks. Without the online tools, it would be difficult for investors to determine the value of the foreign stocks when the data relating to them is only given in foreign currencies.

Choosing The Best Way To Handle Foreign Currency Conversion

In spite of the introduction of the Euro and the continuing ubiquity of the American dollar, many international travelers will still encounter a need to change the money from their homeland to that used in their destination. Different businesses that change money for travelers offer different rates, so customers should shop around. They should also consider all the implications of using any of the several means of foreign currency conversion.

An estimate of the amount to be expected from the exchange can be had anywhere there is Internet access. Type into the standard Google search box the amount followed by the units, as in “350 USD in Euros.” Google will reply that 350 US dollars equals 256.90 in Euros. This is not the exact amount the exchange will pay, but rather a ballpark figure. If Internet access is unavailable, an approximate rate may be found in big city newspapers.

The least expensive way to change currency does not involve actual currency. If the vendor, restaurant or hotel takes a credit card of a brand the traveler carries, the fee for the exchange will be only two or three percent. For most purchases, using a credit card is the most convenient way to manage currency conversions. The one exception is withdrawing cash from most ATMs, which will involve several large fees as well as interest from the day of the withdrawal. Large banks with international branches may not charge fees to their own customers, but travelers should ask before leaving home.

Some vendors, particularly those who sell small items or inexpensive meals, do not take credit cards, so travelers usually need some actual cash. Many medium to large banks will handle foreign currency conversion for their customers. This may require lead time, but the currency will be delivered to your closest branch. The rub here is the delivery fee some banks charge and the necessity for the traveler to carry large amounts of cash on their person. The more advantageous exchange rates some banks offer may offset the fees, and the fees may be waived entirely for good customers, but the security angle should be considered carefully.

Some web sites offer home delivery of foreign currency purchased from them. These sites also charge delivery fees, and their exchange rates should be carefully compared to other options. They sometimes waive the fees if the amount of the transaction is very large. While their delivery is secure, travelers must still be cautious about carrying large amounts of cash.

Traveler’s checks, once a necessity on international trips, are now an iffy solution for foreign currency conversion. They are safe to carry, but hard to exchange at the destination end since the owner must find an office that accepts them. Hefty fees can also be involved, and the exchange rate is not always the best.

What Are Single Rate Credit Cards?

There was a time when credit cards where just used for purchasing goods and financing unpaid balances. However, a number of other uses were introduced and different rates are charged. So, what is a single rate Credit card and how does it work?

The interest rate charged for financing an outstanding balance is different than the rate charged for withdrawing cash from an ATM, and different from the rate charged for overseas transactions or withdrawals. There are also interest rates charged for financing balance transfers, promotional no-interest periods for purchases, and many more.

Single Rate Credit Cards Explained

All these rates can get very confusing and you can easily loose track of all of them. But someone had a brilliant and original idea. And this time it seems that originality implied going back to the origins. Someone thought about charging a simple, unique interest rate for all financial transactions. And thus, Single Rate Credit Cards came to life.

There are no difficulties about this kind of credit cards. Any financial transaction you make, from financing unpaid balances, transferring balances, withdrawing money from ATMs, Buying goods abroad, etc. is charged the same interest rate. Thus, you can easily keep track of your expenses and avoid unwittingly exceeding limits.

Is a Single Rate Credit Card for me?

The answer to this question depends on your usual financial behavior. If you just use your card for buying goods because you don’t like carrying too much cash with you and you always pay the balance in full, you probably won’t make good use of this kind of credit card. A mileage Credit Card or other reward credit card might be a best option.

If you need a new card for transferring the balance of your previous cards and finance them. You’ll probably do better with a Credit Card featuring a 0% Balance Transfer promotional period. But only if you can repay the balance in full before the promotional period has ended, otherwise, a single rate Credit Card is a good choice, since the rate is lower than the rate charged by 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards once the promotional period has ended.

Single Rate Credit Cards are best for people who use their credit cards for many different uses. Mainly if you use your credit card to make purchases but you don’t pay the balance in full, if you also use your card for making cash withdrawals or if you use your credit card when traveling abroad, you should probably get one of these Credit Cards.

Summing Up

Regular Credit Cards come with lots of different interest rates. Some come with 0% APR and 0% Balance Transfer Promotional periods, mileage programs, cash back programs and other rewards. You need to ponder all this before deciding which credit card is best for you. All these programs and rewards may seem appealing but if you don’t take advantage of them, you might be better off with a Single Rate Credit Card. Just see in which of the above categories of credit card users you fall and choose the best credit card for you.

What Are the Benefits of In-Company Training for Financial Institutions?

In every industry, professional training fulfills a very valuable need to keep up-to-date with all developments in the sector and compete in the international marketplace. This is certainly true of financial institutions such as investment banks, asset and fund managers and as a result of this there are numerous training programs available for institutions like this today.

For businesses in the finance sector, there is the choice of attending many popular public courses that take place around the globe. These can include a variety of useful topics, such as risk management and operations, corporate governance training, corporate finance, wealth management, UCITS Funds, FATCA Compliance and many more.

On the other hand, there is an equally large number of in-company training courses, which can be specifically tailored for the institution in question. Courses that are constantly in demand worldwide include those on operational risk management, corporate finance, asset management, regulatory and compliance and much more.

Whether you and your institution are looking for corporate governance training or instruction in the area of regulatory compliance, there are many advantages to taking in-company training over registering for public courses; here are a few of the major reasons why.

The first of these is that it is essentially a more cost-effective option to receive any training in-house. Although there are many public training courses in key locations around the globe, to give two major examples – sending a large number of staff members to these locations can cost the institution unnecessary time and money.

This, however, may not be such of an issue for financial institutions that are situated in locations where many finance and management training courses are run. If this is the case, the costs associated with travel may be significantly reduced and therefore the option to attend a public training course becomes financially viable again.

This does, however, mean that the learners will have to travel to their public training course on the specified dates and at the specified times; in-house training, on the other hand, gives the institution the possibility to organize the training at their convenience.

With the variety of different specialists working for a financial institution, in-company training programs can allow the company to plan training to fit in with everyone’s schedules. Logistical issues regarding travel are also eliminated, as participants are simply required to make their way to another part of the building not leaving their work places for too long.

Probably the biggest advantage of in-company training programs, however, is the fact that these can be customized very specifically to the institution or company organizing it. Case studies and examples are a fantastic way to bring some of the harder-to-grasp concepts to life, and these can come directly from the business itself.

The training provider will also be able to cover specific topics depending on the institution and the employees it is delivering training to. It will also be able to cater for different levels of learners, whether they are complete beginners or have a more advanced knowledge of the topics covered. This also avoids some of the generic themes of public training courses.

There are many advantages of opting for in-house training courses rather than requiring employees to participate in public ones. These include saving on time and logistical costs, benefiting from customized course content and drawing on real company examples, and having the training conveniently fit into company schedules.

Regardless of the whether you settle for a public training course or an in-house one, the most important factor in the success of the course is the quality of the program and instructor. The best programs are delivered by trainers who have been working within the sector so they understand very well the challenges of the business and can relate well to participants. Make sure that you seek out a training provider that can meet all of the needs and requirements of your company.

Five Financial Tips for Stay-At-Home Parents

Putting your career on hold to be a stay-at-home parent can be rewarding, but this decision may come with significant lifestyle and financial changes. It’s important to review your family’s spending patterns and to set goals when transitioning from two household incomes to one. Here are five tips for parents undergoing this change:

1. Estimate your timeframe. Look into the future to decide if this change might be permanent and create your financial plans accordingly. If you plan to go back to work, establish the amount of time you expect to be at home and ensure that you’re still able to maintain your financial goals during this period. If there is a gap, you may want to explore other employment options like working part-time or contracting work. It’s also a good idea to stay in contact with your professional network in case you do decide – or need – to go back to work.

2. Make sure you’re insured. Examine your spouse’s insurance benefits and make sure that you and your children are still adequately covered in the absence of your benefits. If possible, plan to have life and long term care coverage for yourself and disability insurance for your spouse in the event that something would happen to either of you and you’re no longer able to work or care for your children.

3. Understand your value. A single-income family doesn’t mean that only one spouse is contributing financially. As a stay-at-home parent, you save your family many costs associated with working-parent households like daycare, cleaning services and other expensive convenience products and services. You may even find that in your new role you have more time to devote to money-saving activities like comparison shopping and cooking rather than dining out.

4. Keep your goals on track. Your household budget may need to be adjusted with your decision to become a single-income family, but don’t neglect your long-term goals. Consider working with a financial advisor who can help plan a family budget, prepare for the retirement of both spouses and to set realistic financial goals based on one household income.

5. Communicate with your spouse. It’s important to communicate your plans, desires and financial concerns with your spouse. Together, acknowledge the benefits and challenges that will accompany the decision to become a stay-at-home parent. Make sure you are aware of any possible career or salary changes that may arise in the near future for your spouse before you commit to staying at home.

Top Benefits of Using a Financial Planner

At one time, only those with considerable wealth were in a position of needing a financial planner. With current challenges in today’s society, more and more people are realizing the benefits of working with this type of professional. Explore various benefits you can enjoy when you hire someone to help you with money and investment decisions.

Unexpected Change in Income

Changes to your financial circumstances can happen without warning. Whether you have an unexpected windfall in the form of inheritance, or you suddenly lose your job or suffer some other kind of professional setback, you might need some guidance navigating this type of situation. A financial planner can sit down with you and take a close look at every facet of the big picture to help you proceed in the immediate and long-term future. Avoiding costly mistakes in these situations is valuable.

Peace of Mind

Knowing that you have a professional working for you to manage these important details can be comforting for many people. The expertise applied to your finances can ensure that you plan and strategize correctly to work toward your goals. Without this expertise, you might make costly mistakes. With the assistance, you could even achieve your goals more quickly. You can also enjoy the confidence that comes with knowing that the professional will be continually monitoring and reviewing your situation. If any modifications are necessary, you can contact them quickly to correct the situation.

Expert Analysis

It is easy to be overloaded with information in today’s Internet age. Anyone without expertise in this specific area may have difficulty assessing this data accurately. A financial planner can provide expert analysis and planning for assets and liabilities, as well as insurance, taxes, and investments. Consumers usually have different priorities during early adulthood than they have in later ages, so planning and strategy vary. Having a professional opinion about investments as they pertain to short-and long-term goals and individual ability to withstand risks can also be invaluable to consumers.

A Cool Head

People may panic or become excited in certain circumstances. Fluctuations in the financial market may lead you to want to jump into investments with both feet or pull everything out to protect yourself against major losses. In either situation, a professional will lend solid expertise to help you make the correct decision. Perhaps it would be best to wait it out. Or, moving quickly might be the best course of action. The calm expertise of a professional who is not emotionally involved with the issues will deliver the best outcome.

Saving Time

Even if you feel confident about your ability to handle these tasks, managing these issues can take time and effort. You can streamline your own schedule and avoid spending time on this work by hiring a financial planner to do it for you. This can be especially helpful for people experiencing a high volume of work professionally or for people with time-consuming family responsibilities.

Accounting Financial Statements – The Balance Sheet

The balance sheet, also called the statement of financial position, contains three items: assets, liabilities, and stockholders’ equity. It is dated at the moment in time when the accounting period ends. The accounting equation that is a big part of the financial statements is: assets equal liabilities plus stockholders’ equity. When working with a balance sheet: the total assets must equal the total liabilities and equity.

The first part of the balance sheet is assets. There are two main categories of assets: currents and long-term assets. Current assets are expected to be converted to cash in the next twelve months or one business operating cycle (if longer than a year). Cash is the most liquidated asset. Short-term investments are stocks and bonds that a company intends to sell within the next year. Accounts receivable are the amounts the company expects to collect from customers. Notes receivable are amounts that the company expects to collect from a customer who signed a promissory note. A company also includes inventory, which is a current asset, into the balance sheet. Prepaid expenses are also a part of the asset side of the balance sheet because the company will benefit from them in the future.

Long-term assets include plant, property, and equipment, intangibles, and investments. Plant, property, and equipment (PPE) include land, buildings, computers, store fixtures, etc. Accumulated depreciation is also included on the balance in the long-term assets area. It is the amount of depreciation from PPE at the end of the year. It is subtracted from the cost of PPE to determine its book value. Intangibles are assets with no physical form such as patents. Investments are long-term assets because the company does not expect to sell them within the next year.

The second part of the balance sheet is liabilities. Liabilities are also split into two categories: current and long-term liabilities. Current liabilities are debts paid within one year or one operating cycle. Accounts payable is the company promises to pay a debt arising from a credit purchase. Income taxes payable are tax debts owed to the government. Short-term borrowings are notes payable that the company has promised to pay back within one year. Salaries and wages payable are amounts owed to employees. Long-Term liabilities are payable after one year.

The last part of the balance sheet is stockholders’ equity. The Stockholders’ equity is assets minus liabilities. There are two parts to stockholders’ equity: paid-in capital and retained earnings. Paid-in capital is the amount the stockholders have invested in that company. The basic part of paid-in capital is common stock where a company issues stock to the stockholders as evidence of their ownership. Retained earnings are the amount earned by income-producing activities.