Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The Effects of PI Insurance

If you are a contractor it is important to protect yourself by taking out good PI Insurance. This type of policy is considered essential to contractors and is very affordable for the cover it provides. If a client is dissatisfied and makes a claim against a contractor, it has the potential of financially costing them very dearly. If during a contract, a contractor either accidentally breached their duty of care, or unintentionally infringed someone else's copyright, or was dishonest or lost important data or documents, a dispute with their client can arise. This Insurance will cover the cost of damages and for fixing mistakes, as well as covering the cost of legal fees. It is one of the most important insurance policies to have in place as a contractor.

Technically speaking, PI Insurance will protect a contractor against the cost of defending claims where it is alleged that a client has suffered financial loss as a result of their contractor's error, omission or negligence. Basically, the cover acts as a safety net for the contractor, covering the costs and troubles of a potential claim made against them as a policy holder created as a result of any mistakes that they may have made within the workplace. This is deemed to be an essential policy for contractors as contracting can be regarded as a high risk occupation, leading to increasing possibilities for professional error. As well as providing obvious protection, this type of insurance policy is commonly a contractual requirement on most contracts, therefore an essential policy to be purchased. It basically protects a contractor's professional indemnity, giving a freelancer not only great and vital protection, but also peace of mind in such a stressful and sometimes pressurizing line of work.

As well as obviously protecting a contractor's professional indemnity, PI insurance also looks positive in the eyes of the HMRC with regard to contracts and IR35 status. This is one of the huge benefits that the insurance cover delivers as IR35 can be devastating to contractors who fall under the legislation. In this case taking out the policy acts as a means to bolster a contractor's position as a limited company, therefore aiding their viewpoint from the HMRC.

PI Insurance is a form of contractor cover that should never be overlooked. No matter what professional field a contractor works in, claims of negligence can be made against them, making the need for a PI policy adamant. Insurance is important is all forms of business, and for high risk professions such as contracting, a policy such as PI insurance is necessary in order to provide complete peace of mind.

Contractors receive high earnings for their specialized lines of work, but their self-employed status leaves them potentially vulnerable to claims and assertions. These possible claims against a contractor can be very costly and often devastating to their professional reputation. PI Insurance is a contractor's lifeline in these cases, as it covers all expenses and efforts during a claim as well as taking the burden of any troubles and costs along the way.

Chris Carvill works for QDOS, a provider of PI Insurance and IR35 Insurance. To see how the IR35 Rules may affect you see the QDOS website.

Understand Unemployment Insurance

Many women have asked about whether there is such a thing as unemployment insurance for maternity leave. In order to get the details, it is best to discuss what unemployment insurance fund is first. When a worker becomes unemployed or is not able to secure a job because of illness or maternity leave, he can avail of the financial aid offered by the unemployment insurance fund, or UIF for short. It can also cover the dependents of the contributing worker if he has passed away. If an employee, excluding public servants, works for over 24 hours within each month, he or she is required to contribute to the UIF. The worker is required to pay 1 percent of his or her salary each month, and the employer will contribute an additional 1 percent. The employer is accountable for the salary deduction which is channelled to the worker's contribution to the fund.

Furthermore, it is the employer's obligation to ensure that all of his or her employees have officially signed up with the UIF, whether they are natives or foreigners of the area. When a worker who contributes to the UIF loses his or her job or is unable to work, he can claim their benefits from the fund. It covers for Unemployment, Maternity, Adoption, Illness, and Death.

A) Unemployment Benefits

If you have been retrenched or dismissed from the job or if your contract has expired, then you as a contributing member can avail of the benefits. However, if you have resigned of your own accord then you are exempted from the coverage.

B) Maternity Benefits

If you are pregnant and have to take a maternity leave, then the UIF can cover for you. You can avail of maternity leave whenever you want from 4 weeks before you are expecting and you can choose not to go back to work for six weeks after you have given birth.

C) Adoption Benefits

UIF can be applied to one who adopt a child whoever are not exceed two years old, and he or she must take a leave to take care of him or her. However, only one of the parents who are adopting will be able to apply for coverage.

D) Illness Benefits

If you are unable to work due to illness for two weeks, then you can be covered with the UIF starting from the date which you have been off of your job.

E) Death Benefits

If a contributing worker has died, the spouse or the child of minor age can be covered with the unemployment insurance fund.

The UIF will cover a percentage of the salary that the contributing worker earned while they were with the fund. The biggest number that can be claimed would be 58 percent of what the worker's daily income. A worker who has been a UIF contributor for over four years can claim coverage to a maximum of 238 days. For those who have been contributors for less than that time, he or she can claim one day every six days that they worked while they were UIF contributors. The unemployment insurance for maternity leave allows the woman to claim to a maximum of 121 days. If you gave used up the coverage but still unable to secure a job or are ill, then there you may apply to get an extension of the UIF benefits. Make sure to prepare for all of the paperwork and other requirements before you apply to claim the benefits from the unemployment insurance for maternity leave, unemployment, illness, adoption or death.

Marybelle Harbach is an author of that published some interested articles about maternity insurance and unemployment insurance for maternity leave.

Medicare Part D Comparisons - A Vital Point Before Purchase!

Undertake the Comparisons of Medicare Part D to Get the Best Rates From the Market

With the technology showering its blessings on mankind on one side, the humans, on the other side are making great efforts to endow benefits, comforts and things that can enable the world to live a better, healthy and a long life. One such measure that was undertaken by some groups is the introduction of Medicare Part D. Now the question that arises is what is Medicare Part D?

It is nothing but a sort of prescribed drug especially introduced for senior citizens. The main motive of introducing this plan is to give a certain amount of privilege to the senior citizens so that they can purchase their medication at lowered discounted rates.

There are certain norms that must be taken into consideration like, for instance, it is necessary to be a member of either Medicare Part A or B if an individual wants to qualify for Part D medical coverage.

If you have a false perception that it is managed by the government, then the answer is a big NO. Though there exists many types of Part D plans, precaution is taken that each plan in the Medicare coverage is formulated in such a way that thy all meet a minimum standard that is stated by the government.

Now let's talk about the plan comparisons! It is very vital for everyone to go ahead with the Medicare Part D comparisons as you will come across different providers of Part D medications. In addition, apart from this you would find no similar price concept present over here. It means that the different providers of Part D medications offer different medications at different prices.

The other reasons behind opting for the comparisons is to be sure and clear that which plan will suit you the best as different plans would be focusing on different aliments that inflicts the elderly - so the comparison will make you aware about which plan exactly you need to cure a specific ailment.

A social deed done by us can really bring relief to the thousands of senior citizens who at their old age live their life with the support of medicines. The rise in price in the pharmaceutical products has really brought in a toll, in which middle class and lower class people are not even able to afford the medication, thus resulting in deteriorating conditions of the senior citizens and finally lack of medications - taking their lives!

The motive behind introducing these advancements is not to serve only rich class, but even for middle segment of the society. Feeling this need, the plans were introduced so that every senior citizen, without any class, creed or religious or social discrimination, has the right to get the medications at discounted rates.

As there is no uniformity maintained in the price tags of these medications, it becomes obvious for the people to go for Medicare Part D comparisons in order to get the best deal -

Why Your Business Needs Public Liability Insurance

When you run a business that operates in the public sphere in any capacity, public liability insurance is an integral piece of how it will run day to day. Whether you own a small one-man operation that sells small goods in a town centre, or are in charge of a huge building company that's constructing your city's newest skyscraper, there won't be any self-respecting businesses who are currently operating without the safety net of public liability insurance.

Although the specific details of each public liability insurance policy will vary from time to time, it is an absolutely essential part of business life. And you can gauge just how essential it is by considering the effects of not taking out liability insurance:

If a customer of yours bought one of your products and was injured, or was hurt on your premises - or perhaps if someone was accidentally wounded by your staff's negligence - you could be sued for damages. If the claimant was successful, then you'd be liable to pay, from your own pocket, their compensation - not to mention the legal fees which can sometimes dwarf the actual compensation settlement. Eve after a relatively innocuous accident, you may find yourself having to pay a six-figure sum. Is that a fee that your business could afford to pay? A small outlay every month or year will protect you against the worst happening, and giving you the peace of mind to continue providing your important service.

What's more, public liability insurance is often requested by clients before you start to work for them. Having a strong insurance policy in place will impress them, assuring them that you're a responsible company, and their significant investment in you is a safe one. What's more, if it's found that you didn't have a public liability insurance scheme in place when you should have, you'll be liable to even greater punishments.

In these days, when some companies do skirt the uncomfortable line between profit and loss, companies can't afford the dangerous consequences of a court case gone wrong. An insurance policy guards against that.

The good news is that it's easier than ever to find a flexible insurance policy that suits you down to the very last detail - and the prices are often cheaper than you think. Be sure to shop around and to use insurance comparison websites, who will often be able to get you more competitive quotes than would be possible if you went straight to them. And try looking at different times of the day; it's true that an insurance policy will vary in its fees throughout the day, and you may find a cheaper deal in the morning or late at night.

Quite simply, there's no choice to make between securing your business with a strong policy and not. Why not look today how much a public liability insurance policy would cost you?

At ConstructaQuote, you'll be able to find a wide range of public liability insurance policies, each of which can be fitted to suit your company's specific needs.

Income Protection Insurance Copes With Any Unknown Incidents

Most of us have one, two, or even three different sources of income just to meet our monthly obligations. Anyone who has financial obligations has to work hard to earn and save at the same time for unknown circumstances. In this case, when something happens that prevents you from working and earning, you should be prepared to protect your salary. Many insurance companies have developed a policy that would manage your monthly bills without worrying about the income source. Income protection insurance or IPI is here to loosen up your worries; it provides you the added security over a period of time.

If you can't cope financially while recovering from a serious illness or fatal accident you would surely miss the income you had that resulted to financial instability. You and your family would need to adjust to a different situation which would add stress and problems along the way. However, now you can plan ahead and consider consulting an agent to help you out in understanding the coverage further. As this would be an additional expense for you, go over of what might happen if you are already in a bad situation. As you research on how IPI works for you, it would make you realize that other health policies you have are not as good as this. In order for you to consider buying this kind of insurance, see these key points as shown below:

• You will receive a salary over a short or long period of time until you can get back to work or retire.
• The monthly earnings you will receive depend on your age, gender, salary, occupation, and medical history is optional for some companies.
• Make sure that the plan you choose is fully tax deductible, as some other companies might not offer this option.
• You would be able to receive benefits when you get back to work but in a reduced capacity and salary.
• It can pay up to 75% of your current monthly salary and would cover your illnesses, accidents, or major traumas.
• The waiting time would usually be from 14 days up to 2 years. The longer the waiting period, the higher the premiums you can get and could cover you until 65 or 70 years of age.

To better understand the policy properly, you need to consult a reliable insurance agent to get proper investment advice. As we are not experts on this field of work, we might want to leave it to them for there are different types of policies that can be tailored for us.

The author writes for which provides information regarding Income Protection Insurance.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Why You Should Pick a Good Binary Options Broker

The Internet takes so much pressure off day to day chores that you don't even need to leave your house in order to find a broker that will help you get into the binary options investment plan! It's true that until recently this kind of transactions were only available to a closed group of people and it would have been almost impossible for a common person to be affiliated to it! Still, you no longer have to worry, this type of transactions are now available for anyone, anywhere!

If you are thinking that you don't even know what these are, not to mention how they are used, you will be relieved to find out that everything is rather simple: these are the simplest stock options, also known as "fixed income options".

The process is simple: you and your broker are not really purchasing a certain asset, as used in investments before. The investment consists in a type of prediction, as far as the activity of some binary options is concerned. Your broker will be given the possibility to select a fixed period of time and state your prediction on how its price will evolve. Depending on this course of events your investment can either raise or fail.

Another particularity about these options is the fact that you purchase them for a fixed period of time, this being the time that your prediction can either be accurate or not. Your broker will be able to have this information the moment you purchase it, this way you will be informed about the possibilities of the transaction from the very first moment!

One of the biggest advantages of this kind of transactions is the possibility to speculate on a big number of actives on all kind of different markets! Binary options brokers will give you the opportunity to speculate on the biggest markets available and most diversified, depending on your background!

Using this kind of transactions will give the broker the possibility to really make administrating your portfolio much easier because the options will only have predetermined availabilities; they always come equipped with an expiration date. The moment the broker has purchased an option, he will be informed about the moment this will expire, but also he will be able to know how much profit he could make if the options goes, indeed, the way he suggested!

If you are not sure if you should turn to the help of a specialized options broker, you should take into consideration that the slightest error can cause you your investment. Also, when confronting your desired options with a specialized person they can even advise you if the opportunity is a valid one or it's just an online scam!

The Greek Tragedy

What is actually a huge question as to whether any of the large economies of Italy, France and Spain can co-exist within a common currency with Germany cannot safely be asked by either side - but they can discuss the problems of Ireland, Portugal or Greece because ultimately their fate, although important to their inhabitants, can economically be a matter of indifference to the rest of Europe.

To put the matter in its proper context, think of the Greek economy as being the same size as a good growth year in Germany. There are about 11m Greeks and the GDP is about $300bn. When the rest of the EU talks about how much the debt must be cut by, or how much the government must sell off by way of assets, the debate is much wider than just Greece - and if, as grows more likely, Greece is cut adrift from the Euro it will be as a dreadful warning to others that there are no easy answers.

The reason we seem to be heading for a New Drachma is that the Greek people are strongly resisting the disciplines necessary to cure the underlying problem - which is the government spends too much, employs too many and gets too little out of both. Populism of the left panders to this failure of popular will by claiming it is possible both to carry on spending and to remain within the Euro. It could just as well be of the right, either extreme can and do claim panaceas exist very easily; the problem only comes if the voters believe them and in Greece too many do. As a consequence every agreed stage of the recovery programme has been implemented late or not at all. Banks and bond holders have suffered huge reductions in the value of their debt, voted for 'voluntary' reductions in the amounts outstanding, and international institutions have provided massive loans. Somehow in the Greek parliament this is turned into Greece being a victim - rather than the poor lenders or the taxpayers in the rest of Europe being victims. With riots outside it is difficult for sense to be debated inside parliament even by those who know where the truth lies.

The consequences of the inability to focus on and cure the real problems is inexorably leading to a loss of authority of government, a flight of capital, and a situation where it gets harder and harder for businesses to function. Even in areas where Greece has superb advantages - such as tourism and shipping - the unreliability of public services from electricity to airports makes life very hard. There is an inevitability to Greek tragedy - and this one can probably be taken all the way back to the Colonels and the removal of the Monarchy, and it is hard to see how the final tragic act - that of the introduction of the New Drachma - can be avoided.

So on Drachma Day a three day bank holiday will be declared - probably starting on Friday and finishing the following Wednesday. The ports and borders will be closed by the Greek and neighbouring armies, the Navy will patrol the shore to destroy smuggling boats and the air force will deliver about €2,000 per head of the new currency (which will have taken De La Rue about 3 months to produce) to every town and city bank branch in the country. Exchange control regulations will make it an offence, punishable by confiscation, for Greeks to hold any euros for a period of some weeks after D Day. Foreign visitors will be limited to taking out or bringing in €1,000 in cash and any surplus will have to be deposited in New Drachma. The official exchange rate will be 1 New Drachma per euro and the Central Bank of Greece and all Greek banks licenced by it will convert all balances and loans in euro accounts held in Greek branches into New Drachma on D-day. There will be a period of one month for all cash notes and coins to be exchanged, after that it will be a criminal offence for any Greek citizen to possess euros on Greek soil without proof of their having been acquired in a legitimate manner. The Central Bank will for a period intervene in the currency market to prevent the value of the New Drachma rising above 1 euro but will not support it if it falls.

There have been suggestions that instead of printing New Drachma an endorsement or stamp could be applied to existing euro notes but unless every issuing bank agreed it seems unlikely that this would work - similarly suggestions that the banknotes issued by the Greek central bank should become New Drachma seems unlikely to work. It would also be completely unenforceable to try to confiscate external assets of Greek residents (although this was done in the UK that was under war-time conditions and even then was probably not 100% enforceable). All the Greek government can try to control is Greeks in Greece at the time of the split, and that will be hard enough given the land borders and sea channels which abound with possible routes to remove cases full of cash. It will be a military operation, possibly with the declaration of martial law, and given recent history civil commotion and substantial resistance must be anticipated.


So what happens after the dawn of the New Drachma on D-day? There is an assumption that the New Drachma will fall very fast to a discount of about 30% to the euro so as to price Greeks back into world markets. Markets are funny things and nothing should be taken for granted but as the problem is caused by unsustainable levels of spending and income it seems likely that a sharp depreciation to a level where assets, income and exports all become much cheaper is inevitable. A further default on external borrowings is possible - but the possible contagion is probably containable by concerted international action to recapitalise the French, Cypriot and other European banks who would find their assets have depleted by the loss of nearly all the remaining value of their Greek lending. Greece would again be excluded from international markets and Greek government property abroad would be subject to freezing and confiscation. Greek airlines would probably be grounded by lack of credit and travel abroad for ordinary Greeks would become very different for at least a short period. Continued membership of the EU would be extremely difficult for a prolonged period - but eventually an accommodation would be reached with creditors and trading partners. If all international links were broken the consequences would be so catastrophic that some form of settlement would be reached even if extremists were in power in Athens. Eventually, no doubt, the tourists would return to the beaches and islands, the industrialists would exploit their new found competitiveness and a few years of faster than average growth would return unemployment and living standards to European levels. But this might take 5 years.


Greek tragedy is predictable - and the chorus normally tells everyone the truth but is ignored. The fact is that the euro is not the problem for the Greek nation - the tensions of today are symptoms of the underlying problem but all the actors are pretending not to know what the problem is. The government spends too much and collects too little in tax. New Drachma or not it must cut spending and increase taxes.

What Harold Wilson, the UK Prime Minister in 1967, did under similar circumstances was to carefully explain that the cuts in benefits, the reduction in subsidies and the pay freezes he imposed were the fault of the "Gnomes of Zurich". This immortal phrase was of course complete nonsense - firstly Swiss bankers, and indeed those in the City of London who then, as now, were the best analysts of government policies are no more vertically challenged than the rest of us. Secondly, like Cassandra, free markets have a disturbing tendency towards telling the truth and a government whose bond is unsalable is one whose words are worthless. But what Harold Wilson really meant, and what the Greek Government should take deeply to heart, is that financial discipline and the economic reality that in the long term a government can only spend what it can raise by taxes is much easier to impose on your population if you can blame some abstract international body or bodies over which you have no control. The Greek people do not want to hear that it is their problem, and that they cannot have state jobs for their cousins and pensions for everyone - but if you tell them that Frankfurt, Paris, London - or even Gnomes in Zurich are the reason for fiscal rectitude they are much more likely to bear the pain and vote for you again. A New Drachma identifies the problem totally with the government of Greece, and civil disorder followed by a military coup are the most likely consequences.

There is no Euro crisis, just governments who pay too many too much. The Euro is the best solution for Greece or Spain or Portugal that they could possibly hope for. Like Ireland they can find a cure tomorrow and blame it on the necessity to stay in the Euro. Gnomes in Zurich, although perhaps more picturesque than Dealing Desks in Docklands, are nowadays better replaced by the Bundesbank and the IMF, but all are much better scapegoats than your own spending ministries and inefficient tax systems. The Euro is also the solution to the endemic problem of governmental overspending which lies behind the current crisis. All that is required is a simple credible and comprehensible fiscal rule. This is that if a government has a deficit of 4% in its spending this year then the salary of every state employee, the rate of every state pension, the amount of every benefit of subsidy must fall by 4% the following year. This rule is so clear and unambiguous that voters, politicians and civil servants will all know the consequences of their failure to keep their expenditure within their means will have direct personal consequences for them next year. Strangely enough, with such a rule deficits would disappear. At the 39th Olympiad in 622 BC Athens suddenly became entirely crime free when Draco decided the time had come to impose rules of conduct with easily understood penalties for transgressors. With the 30th of the modern series so recently on our screens perhaps the Greek Government should rip up plans for a New Drachma and decide the Euro is not the problem, but the solution - and it is from Athens and the 39th Olympics they should take their lead. Tough firm rules with draconian penalties if they are flouted are the only cure, and the sooner the better. A New Drachma may be just round the corner but it will be no solution.

If you would like more information please contact us via our website at

Creating Income Through Dividends [Canada Preferred Stock Funds]

How these stocks are different from equity investments?

Well in a nutshell, a participating stock is a cross between a debt instrument & equity stock, where the holder has no voting rights but is valued over the common stock holder during dividend distribution. This enables a good yield for the investor & offers better claims in case of stock liquidation of the held company.

Due to its conservative nature a preference stock does not gain as much as equities in a steady bull run but at the same time provides a safety cushion in volatile markets & spells out a handsome yield in scenario where low interest rates are a norm.

Does investing in a cumulative stock ETF will get me better returns?

Strongly Affirmative! If one is aware of the basic potential risks?

Other than the unavailability of voting rights, the primary reason investors shy from participating stock funds are the complexities involved.

An issuing company offering preferential equity will want you to opt among different variations like fixed rate or adjustable, participating or non-participating & so on. The list is endless & only a seasoned investor is qualified enough to make these choices on his own.

A cumulative stock equity traded fund [ETF] offers a solace to this. Individually you don't need to perform any R&D on the companies you choose & furthermore, a balance allocation of the funds allows a smart diversification &higher dividend yields, especially in a low interest rate market environment.

In fact if you take a time bound example of the gruelling phase during 2007-2009, where most common stocks fell flat. A diversified portfolio with a participating stock investment may have still procured a positive five year return.

Why invest in CNPF?

Canada is a perfect market for US investors to add international exposure & create dividend income through preferential stocks. The Canada preference stock funds may provide the right manipulation of your portfolio in a time when globally, the economy growths are quite bleak & a steady dividend pay-out fund is a smart choice.

Naturally the majority of fund allocation in these instruments is in the financial sector as companies issue participating equities, primarily for finances & fund generation. The average allocation chart of these funds will reveal investments close to 70% in financials and rightly so.

Toronto Dominion Bank [TD Bank] has shown a growth of +10% in 2012 & has announced a growth forecast of +11% for the coming 2013. A very handsome dividend yield at 2.61 CAD in2011 has compelled most analysts to put a BUY call on this stock, where Financial Times, London has even gone public stating that the TD Bank stock [TD:TOR] will outperform the market & the Canadian Bank Index as well.

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Charlie Munger's Iconoclastic Musings

Expert Author Steven PomeranzSome of you may have heard of Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett's lesser known investment partner at Berkshire Hathaway. Munger is now almost 90 years old and about two-years back gave a talk in California, right on the heels of the financial crisis.

I've summarized the key points of his talk and want to share them with you today. See, Munger is a really interesting man who calls it like he sees it - he's a fierce speaker who peppers his talks with mild cuss words and isn't shy of expressing his opinion and taking on the establishment and its legends.

As he moves into his nineties, Munger has cut back on his speaking engagements and this talk was likely one of his last more extensive discourses.

So here are some of the many things he said that day.

When asked about the financial crisis and why so many smart people got it wrong, Munger said that the question was something he himself continues to wonder about even today. Munger then goes on to cite anecdotal evidence of how a lot of really smart people have consistently made stupid decisions, or at least what he calls stupid decisions - his words, not mine!

And, he says, at Berkshire, they focus less on brilliance but more on how to not make stupid mistakes. He believes that academia has failed us where professors at our best universities routinely turn out asinine ideas (again, his word on the talk, not mine!), indoctrinate students with them and send them out unprepared for the real world.

For example, he cites the Efficient Market Theory - a popular theory that states markets are mostly efficient and that all available information was priced into a stock, and that stock prices essentially represented fair value as determined by the collective intelligence of the market.He calls the Efficient Market Theory pure bunk because in Munger's significant own experience over multiple decades of highly successful investing, he's witnessed multiple instances where the market priced securities well below and well above what they're intrinsically worth... and Munger says he just can't seem to understand why even the brightest minds on Wall Street get fogged up with ideas and beliefs that are simply dead-wrong, and continue to hang on to these fallacies over long periods of time.

He also cites the Capital Asset Pricing Model as pure bunk - it's a model that's popularly called CAPM and was on top-tier MBAs' lips as they headed into Wall Street for coveted jobs with investment banks and hedge funds. In fact, there was a while when almost everything on Wall Street was somehow valued using CAPM... but Munger, for his part, thinks that CAPM too is pure bunk andlaments that it was taught to economics and MBA students for almost a decade or more before folks in their ivory towers realized that little of that model actually works in reality.

Munger is particularly ferocious when it comes to attacking the social sciences, of which he counts Economics a part. He thinks the social sciences have collectively done more damage to Wall Street than good. He praises science and engineering for their usefulness to society based on solid logic, delivering practical solutions that benefited the world without confusing it. But he gives none of that benefit to the social sciences where, Munger believes, hogwash theories hold sway more than logic and common sense.

In general, he also laments that in this world we live in, most people are economically tied to one job or another and this financial dependence often keeps them from breaking away from idiotic norms and almost subconsciously makes them buy into the ideas that their workplace espouses... sort of like drinking the office kool-aid. And he wishes more people would break the mold and use simple logic and original thinking, free of nonsensical models.

Oh, and by the way, a lot of his talk lamented on the woes we've gotten ourselves into as a nation and the institutions that got us here.

Getting back to Wall Street's love of financial models, he laments that there are way too many bright minds that are sucked into Wall Street and on a recklessly massive scale, apply fundamentally flawed models... with flawed assumptions... with significant leverage... with near-zero human input... to wreak havoc in the markets... with billions of securities traded daily for little fractions of profit, controlled solely by computers.

He's also not happy about the introduction of derivatives - made worse by a lowering of margin requirements. Munger sees this as legalized gambling on a grand scale within the stock market context, and says he was never surprised when he saw bubbles burst time and time again... he says he was always sure of when these bubble situations developed but, as it is with such trends, could never predict when they'd finally feel the effect of gravity and coming crashing down.

He's also concerned about overly-free free markets because as he puts it they allow powerful forces of unreason to flourish. And he blames this blind belief in an unregulated free market for many decisions made by former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan where he'd stand aside and essentially let the markets do their thing with near zero regulation... with devastating results... repeatedly.

The Benefits of Getting Your Mortgage Through a Broker

A large mortgage is probably the biggest financial commitment you will ever make. If you are looking for a large mortgage it is important to get the most competitive rate and mortgage that suits your goals and requirements.

It's no surprise that borrowers are turning to professionally qualified intermediaries for advice on their borrowing requirements. If you are looking for a high value mortgage it makes sense to speak to an expert rather than applying online or by telephone where you're unlikely to benefit from independent, bespoke advice.

Technology firm Avelo have released data that shows that brokers are responsible for arranging six out of ten mortgages in the UK as opposed to the one in five that are arranged through a lender or branch network. Using a broker has many benefits and it is proven that they are most likely to succeed in getting the application to offer and complete. Avelo found that 75 per cent of all mortgage applications arranged through an intermediary went to offer. And, even more impressively, 85 per cent of mortgages offered via a broker went through to completion.

The research from Avelo also found that 27% of bank mortgages and less than one fifth (15 per cent) of mortgages arranged by mutuals are currently sold through their branch networks.

The research also found that there was a clear difference between banks and building societies as to where their mortgages come from. Mutuals were found to lean more heavily on the intermediary market with three quarters of their mortgages being arranged via a broker. In contrast, just 35 per cent of bank mortgages were arranged through a national or London mortgage advisor.

Further benefits to using a broker is the swiftness with which things get done. On average, just under one fifth (18 per cent) of mortgage offers were produced within five days, with banks higher at nearly one third (30 per cent) and mutuals lower, at just over one in 10 (12 per cent). Around three quarters of mortgage offers (73 per cent) were issued within 14 days.

Time to offer is seen by lenders, applicants and intermediaries as the key measure of efficiency and customer service. It will be extremely interesting to see what changes are put in place over the next 12 months and the impact these have on mortgage efficiency.

Not only will the offer itself be provided swiftly, but dealing with experts means that you will know pretty promptly what is and isn't possible and they know who to go to for what product. The relationship they have built up over time with lenders ensures that you get the best possible deal that perhaps another broker/individual would not be offered. Time and efficiency is key to high net worths' who are usually cash rich and time poor.

As well as providing bespoke large mortgage advice, an intermediary can also deal with the paperwork involved in the process. If you want to take the hassle out of applying for a mortgage, you should certainly consider speaking to a broker.

How to Buy Insurance at the Best Value

What is the most important factor when purchasing insurance? Most people would say the premium. The premium is an obvious factor, but it should not be the only contributing factor to the decision. It is important to make sure the coverage is correct, look for bonus coverages, and work with reputable agents. When purchasing the cheapest policy it is very possible that it will cost more in the long run.

Correct Coverage

The most important step when purchasing insurance is making sure correct coverage is provided. Without the correct coverage there is no point in even purchasing insurance, because if a loss occurs on property that is not properly protected the claim will be rejected or only partially paid and the insured will have to pay the remaining expense themselves. For example, if a dwelling's replacement cost is $400,000 but it is only insured for $300,000 the insured will have to pay around $70,000 out-of-pocket due to the 90% co-insurance clause that is found in most insurance policies. Looking back saving that $50 a year by not insuring the dwelling to value could easily cost the insured more money in the end.

Bonus Coverage

Many policies have free bonus coverages built into them that some bare bone policies will not have. One example of this is Nationwide's "Vanishing Deducible"; this is provided in all of their auto policies and provides savings during the policy. Another example is in some policies windshield replacement is provided with no deductible. This again can save money during the policy, but may not be the cheapest premium upfront. When purchasing a policy look for these types of bonuses and decide if they could benefit your specific needs.

Insurance Agents

Dealing with a reputable insurance agent can save time and money. Insurance agents are supposed to service accounts and take care of any needs or questions the insured may have, although many agents will not contact the insured after they sell the policy. The agent also needs to work with the insured at policy renewal to make sure the coverages stay up to date and that the insured is receiving the discounts they qualify for. An agent that keeps their clients best interests in mind will be worth much more than the few hundred dollars they may cost upfront. When shopping for insurance ask for testimonials from insurance agents to make sure they take care of their clients passed the date they sell them the policy.

If you have any questions, comments, or want more advice on what you can do to get the most value out of your insurance policy you may email me at

Income Protection Insurance: Why Should You Buy One For Yourself?

When there's a valuable asset that you want to invest on, like a car, a yacht, new house on the lake and a lot more, it needs to have insurance plans. Your income is the greatest asset you'll ever have in order to buy the rest of your future wants. However, how will you be able to protect your income when an unfortunate event happens? Experts agree that before we reach the age of 65, we will likely to get an illness or might lose our jobs.

But even sick leaves or health policy won't be enough to pay other daily expenses. Your company would leave you struggling to get by and deal with your illness and disability. Thankfully insurance companies now offer income protection insurance that covers you when you are unable to get back to work and produce an income. Learn how this plan could help you pay the bills even while seriously ill or injured.


Income protection insurance covers 75% of your current salary in the event that you had an accident until you get back to work or retire. There are two terms on how you should be paid, short-term or long-term policies. Long-term protection allows you to have pay outs until you retire. While short-term policies would do pay outs for a maximum of 12 months until you are able to return to work. Therefore, long-term policies would give you a much higher level of protection but may also have higher premiums.


Your income is indeed your most valued asset that needs to be protected. This plan ensures your salary to be paid off while you are recovering from an accident or illness, or simply got out of job. Before buying and choosing a plan for you, learn how your company handles sick leaves and disability pay. This would then help you on how long can you survive until you receive your monthly benefit. The longer the deferred payment periods you choose, the lower the cost of the premiums.

Compare The Market

Although other policies might have gained popularity over the past years, this particular coverage is an ideal protection on your salary and life as well. Each company that sells these types of coverage has various deals and offers to attract you to buy from them. Sometimes, web comparison sites might confuse you on this issue and it's much better to consult the help of a financial advisor. They know the plans by heart and would help you choose the plan that fits your lifestyle