Monday, December 31, 2007
Financial Advisor Tells About the Change in Consumer Credit
We keep hearing that getting credit is much harder now that lenders are tightening their belts. But what kind of affect does this credit crunch really have on the ordinary man or woman? Cedar Rapids-based financial professional Monte Marti explains everything consumers need to know to survive the credit crunch.
Cedar Rapids, IA (PRWEB) November 1, 2007 -- We keep hearing that getting credit is much harder now that lenders are tightening their belts. But what kind of affect does this credit crunch really have on the ordinary man or woman?
"The place where average consumers will feel the pinch most is when they look to buy and sell a home," says Cedar Rapids-based financial professional Monte Marti. Gone are the days when people were able to easily obtain home loans with no money down, bad credit or no documentation.
"At this point, there is no real apocalypse," says Marti. "Rather, those consumers with less than perfect credit will find it more difficult to find a loan with terms as favorable as we've seen in recent years."
Marti advises consumers to follow five tips in order to survive the credit crunch:
BE SMART ABOUT YOUR INVESTMENT STRATEGY
Whenever there's stock market volatility, a good number of investors may decide to cut their losses and move their money into bonds or cash instruments. That, according to Marti, could be disastrous. "Most people are investing in order to reach their long-term goals -- things like sending their kids to college or retiring with financial security. Long-term investors who've developed a thoughtful investment plan should not be overly concerned by the daily fluctuations in the market. The stock market historically experiences a 10 percent correction at least every two or three years and that's what we recently experienced from mid-July to mid-August: a correction. This is normal and to be expected." Marti says many investors have become complacent and are now surprised by the recent market volatility. The current bull market began in October 2002 so it has been nearly five years since we have had such a correction. It was time.
It is important to remember the power of asset allocation and proper diversification during times of market volatility. Slight adjustments and/or rebalancing may need to be done, but the key is not to get caught up in the emotions of the market and make changes you may regret once the market stabilizes.
KEEP YOUR CREDIT RECORD CLEAN
As many have discovered, this could be a good time for those seeking a home loan. While the news is bad for those who currently have or would only qualify for sub-prime loans, the Federal Reserve is adding money to the banking system to help relieve the pressure that lending institutions and consumers may be feeling. "The credit crunch is likely to be most painful for those with lower credit scores. Those with good credit scores, on the other hand, aren't likely to be affected," says Marti. "Once again we are reminded of how important it is to be aware of our own credit scores and to learn what we can do to keep those scores as high as possible. Credit scores have always been important, but they are even more important now."
THINK LONG-TERM AS YOU SHOP AROUND
Back when loans were easy to obtain, many consumers opted for interest-only and adjustable rate mortgages (ARMS). Now that interest rates on many of these loans are increasing, we are also beginning to see foreclosure rates increase significantly. "The one-two punch -- ARMS resetting and interest-only terms expiring -- coupled with a tighter lending market is sending many consumers into foreclosure," says Marti. Marti says people are smart to think long term and shop around. Before you sign that ARM or interest-only loan, think through all of the variables. While it may look like you will be able to sell your house or pay off the loan as expected, life and related circumstances can get in the way. "The best laid plans don't always come true," Marti says. "You may be better off going with more conservative assumptions, just to cover any possible variables." The best way to overcome financing or refinancing troubles is to work with a qualified, independent mortgage broker who has the resources to find the most suitable loan for the consumer. "Don't be afraid to shop around," Marti says.
CONSIDER ADDING COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE TO YOUR PORTFOLIO
Recent news on the real estate market can best be characterized as doom and gloom, but according to Marti, that doesn't mean that real estate is dead as an investment vehicle. "Investing in non-publicly traded real estate investment trusts (REITS) can still be a good idea for investors," says Marti. With dividends often ranging as high as five to seven percent, REITS are another form of diversification. REITS are called a low- or non-correlated asset because they are not immediately affected by the housing markets, or the equity and fixed income markets. According to Marti, REITS are an investment that can be used to hedge against market corrections while still providing a respectable income stream because the properties held in REITS are primarily high grade commercial offices rather than residential real estate. This strategy can provide a degree of protection from stock market and housing market fluctuations.
SEEK TRUSTED, INFORMED ADVICE
A financial professional can help interpret current market conditions and chart a long-term plan. From creating a diversified portfolio to devising strategies that help turn less-than-stellar credit into good credit, a financial professional can help you through the credit crunch.
About Monte Marti
Monte Marti is an independent, fee-based financial planner and investment adviser representative who specializes in asset allocation, retirement planning and estate conservation. Marti has been helping people take control of their financial futures for nearly 20 years. He graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in agricultural business and a minor in economics. He went on to fulfill the requirements to become a Chartered Financial Consultant® and Chartered Life Underwriter®.
After starting his business career working as a commodities broker, Marti became an investment adviser and has been helping clients refine their life goals and develop prudent financial plans to meet those goals. Monte has consistently been recognized by Securities America as a top adviser representative through membership in the Masters Forum.
Call (319) 364-3259 or email email protected from spam bots for more information about Monte Marti and Securities America, Inc.
When you need a knowledgeable professional to speak on complicated financial topics in an easy-to-understand manner, please call Monte Marti at Personal Financial Management.
Securities offered through Securities America, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Monte Marti Registered Representative. Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc. Monte Marti Investment Advisor Representative. Personal Financial Management and Securities America, Inc. are not affiliated.
Press Contact: Monte Marti
Company Name: Personal Financial Management
Phone: (319) 365-7637
Monday, December 24, 2007
FBI Wants Clear Channel Digital Billboards
Clear Channel Outdoor Enters into Agreement with FBI to Provide Clear Channel Outdoor Digital Billboards for FBI ``Most Wanted Messages''
Company president reveals on ``Today'' show that it's making over 150 digital displays across the country available for bureau's security messages
Initiative follows three successful criminal apprehensions in Philadelphia
PHOENIX--December 24, 2007--Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CCO), today announced on NBC's "Today" morning news program an agreement with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to display "wanted" messages on all of its digital billboards across the country. This national initiative will commence immediately and follows the successful apprehension of three criminals in Philadelphia as a direct result of information displayed on Clear Channel Outdoor's digital billboard network in that market. In addition to "wanted" bulletins, the FBI will be able to display high-security messages relevant to the communities in which Clear Channel Outdoor's digital billboards operate. A protocol also will be established for high priority "hot pursuit" messages to assist apprehending suspects in the immediate aftermath of the commission of a felony.
"The success of our 'wanted' messages on Clear Channel's digital billboards in Philadelphia was an impressive testament to this new technology's effectiveness in aiding law enforcement," stated Brett Hovington, FBI Community Relations Unit Chief. "The repetitive delivery of information to the public about the Philadelphia fugitives was key to prompting the calls that led to their surprisingly quick apprehension. Some of the most valuable information provided to law enforcement officials is anonymous, which is one of the advantages of billboards. They offer a degree of separation between the tipster and the authorities."
Paul Meyer, President and Chief Operating Officer of Clear Channel Outdoor, was interviewed earlier on "Today" and commented: "Since first launching our digital billboard networks, which are located in nearly 20 cities across the country, we have been committed to using this versatile technology to enhance public safety, from AMBER Alerts to quickly informing the travelling public in Minneapolis within 15 minutes of that City's tragic bridge collapse this past summer. Our partnership with the FBI to use our digital networks to assist in the apprehension of fugitives and provide other critical security messages is a logical extension of this invaluable community service. As more digital networks are deployed across the country, they will soon be an indispensable tool for reaching the travelling public in all national as well as local emergencies and, most importantly, for homeland security initiatives."
Many municipal governments have been quick to embrace digital billboard technology because it affords transportation agencies, police departments and other emergency services an extraordinarily effective means of quickly reaching people away from their homes with important public safety messages. Immediate notification of severe weather conditions, highway closures due to traffic incidents, disaster preparedness needs, or AMBER Alerts for missing or abducted children, can all be delivered to tens of thousands of motorists in real time by utilizing digital billboards.
About Clear Channel Outdoor
Clear Channel Outdoor (NYSE:CCO) is the world's largest outdoor advertising company with over 973,000 displays in more than 60 countries across 6 continents. In the United States, the company operates over 167,000 advertising displays and has a presence in 49 of the top 50 Designated Market Areas. It also operates airport, rail, taxi and mall advertising businesses worldwide. Its Spectacolor (U.S.) and DEFI (international) divisions are the global market leaders in spectacular sign displays, including in New York's Times Square. Clear Channel Adshel is the company's international street furniture division, which operates over 3,500 municipal advertising contracts worldwide. More information may be found by visiting www.clearchanneloutdoor.com.
Certain statements in this release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
Clear Channel Outdoor
Tony Alwin, 602-381-5700
Brainerd Communicators, Inc.
Jennifer Gery or Brian O'Keefe, 212-986-6667
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Hard to Find Bad Credit Loans
The fallout from the recent US "Credit Crunch" crisis continues to have far reaching consequences for UK consumers, explains Andy Hygate from Loans for Bad Credit.
Edinburgh, Scotland, December 4, 2007 -- The fallout from the recent US "Credit Crunch" crisis continues to have far reaching consequences for UK consumers, explains Andy Hygate from Loans for Bad Credit.
New evidence has emerged that suggests consumers are finding it increasingly difficult to obtain Loans, regardless of whether they suffer from Bad Credit or not.
Latest research from price comparison website moneysupermarket.com, states that to up 48% of loan applications are now being rejected, an increase of 15% that would have been considered prior to August 2007.
The increased rate of rejection reflects the dwindling availability of so called sub-prime (Bad Credit) products, with many lenders now tightening their applicant criteria or withdrawing from the market all together.
The crisis is not just limited to Personal Loans either; Credit Card applications are also feeling the squeeze.
A spokesman for Barclays recently told the Times "We are declining more than 50% of applications. We are constantly reviewing our criteria and have seen a slight increase in the number we are declining."
The worst hit borrowers though are undoubtedly sub-prime homebuyers and those seeking to re-mortgage. Recent months have seen 7 out of every 10 sub-prime mortgage products pulled from the market.
Will things get better?
The general consensuses is yes, but expect another 4-6months of market turmoil before seeing any sign of visible improvement, and at least 2 years for sub-prime mortgages.
Mervyn King, Governor of the BOE stated at Novembers Treasury Select Committee that the economic outlook was "uncomfortable" even with the proposed injection of a further 10bn into financial markets.
As more and more people suffer from Bad Credit related problems (now 20% of the UK population), consumers with have little choice except to wait for market conditions to improve, or just simply pay a higher rate of Interest for Bad Credit Loans.
Loans for Bad Credit :: Bringing you breaking Bad Credit Loan news
Press Contact: Andy Hygate
Company Name: Loans for Bad Credit
Phone: +44 7792569925