Stage a Smart Home on a Budget

by Sean Bryant on February 9, 2016

Stage a Smart Home on a Budget

smart house, home automation, device with app icons. Man uses his smartphone with smarthome security app to unlock the door of his house.

According to a survey by Coldwell Banker and CNET Smart Home, 81 percent of those surveyed said they were more likely to buy a smart home if the smart technology was already installed. Meanwhile, another 72 percent said smart home products provide them with peace of mind when it comes to home security. Smart home technology isn’t the wave of the future, it’s already here. Gartner research says a typical family home could contain more than 500 smart devices by 2022.

Realtors and homeowners looking to sell can embrace the rising trend to attract more offers. But cost can be a factor. The most expensive smart home in the world is thought to be a $56 million New Jersey residence, in which everything is controlled from a smartphone including the heated driveway. Fortunately you don’t need to spend millions to transform your home into a smart home. Instead, focus on some key technology and gadgets to stage your smart home on a budget and attract the buyers you want. Here’s how to get started.

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Legal Advice Demystified: Shareholders’ Agreement

by Sean Bryant on February 4, 2016

Legal Advice Demystified: Shareholders' Agreements

When setting up a business with a family member or close friend, it can be difficult to envision any problems in the future that may cause you to fall out, or result in the business breaking down. Nevertheless, these things do happen and it could be to your detriment. Without drawing up a shareholders’ agreement, you could find that you don’t get anything from the business you worked so hard to build up, while facing an expensive legal dispute. This is why establishing a shareholders’ agreement is imperative when setting up a business.

What is a shareholders’ agreement?

A shareholders’ agreement is exactly that; an agreement between the shareholders of a company. It helps to determine how a company is run, ensuring it’s done fairly while protecting each shareholder’s investment. However, it may only exist between certain shareholders, rather than all of them.

Although certain documents are required by law when setting up a business, a shareholders’ agreement is not. Creating an agreement is sometimes put off when a business is set up to save time, but it shouldn’t be overlooked altogether.

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Self-Trading at Home: Common Pitfalls and Mistakes

by Sean Bryant on February 3, 2016

Self-Trading at Home: Common Pitfalls and Mistakes

Let us imagine for a moment that you had recently decided to take the leap into the Forex marketplace. While you may have had all of the confidence in the world and a theoretical knowledge of the industry, your funds have quickly depleted and you now find yourself with little liquidity for future trades. What went wrong? This is a very common situation and in order to dive into the reasons for such a disappointment, it is important to take a look at some of the most common (and costly) mistakes which first-time traders make.

Not Enough Preparation

Much like any new venture, it is important to appreciate the intricacies of the Forex markets. Many newcomers are overly eager to begin and as a result, they are completely unprepared for what may be in store. Without a strong foundation, even the loftiest of castles is bound to tumble to the ground. This principle is just as true with investing. Study Fibonacci lines, charts, market fundamentals and technical analyses. Begin to understand the impact that other sectors have upon currency pairs. These are only a handful of topics that need to be addressed. It is far better to spend months studying Forex strategies as opposed to taking foolish risks.

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The Digital Wallet Revolution

by Sean Bryant on January 19, 2016

The Digital Wallet Revolution

You may have noticed the uptick of digital wallet commercials, which (not so coincidentally) happens to coincide with the holiday shopping season. These television commercials all point to one thing: digital wallets are about to be the next big thing, especially since Apple Pay is now a major player.

Lack of Consumer Confidence

Although digital wallets have been around for at least a decade, they haven’t really gained traction. According to a recently published Gallup survey, only 13 percent of American smartphone users currently utilize a digital wallet. Moreover, only two percent of all Americans use a digital wallet. Another study, which was conducted by Phoenix Marketing International and was delivered at the Money 20/20 conference, found that 64 percent of smartphone users would consider using a digital wallet that was provided by their financial institutions, while only 32 percent would consider using a digital wallet such as Apple Pay. Smartphone users, the survey found, trust their banks, PayPal, and their card issuers over other digital wallet sources, mainly because of security issues.

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Understanding Your Car Insurance Bill

by Sean Bryant on January 12, 2016

Understanding Your Car Insurance Bill

Anyone who has ever had to pay a car insurance bill before (which should be every single driver out there) can fully understand just how much car insurance can cost. However, if you’ve always been less than pleased with what you’re paying for car insurance, have you ever stopped to actually inspect the bill? All too often we accept the prices we pay for things, even if we’re not satisfied with their costs.

Below we’re going to look at some basic but essential details to understanding your car insurance bill.

Premium Fees and Deductibles

At the core, car insurance involves paying a premium to your insurance company, and, in the event of a loss, they will protect you financially per the contract. This is not only the most basic cost, but it is the only true cost of having insurance. Whether you choose the highest limits with bells and whistles or you decide to minimize your coverage, it’s all correlated to what your premium payment will be.

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How to Build a Savings Plan into Your Budget

January 5, 2016
How to Build a Savings Plan into Your Budget

Most Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement, the latest data shows. Financial journalist Brian Stoffel has compared Transamerica data on what Americans of different ages actually save with Fidelity guidelines for what they should be saving, and he found that Americans start to fall behind in their 30s as living expenses mount up. At 35, […]

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Estate Planning for Millennial Clients is as critical as Planning for Other Generations

December 22, 2015
Estate Planning for Millennial Clients

Various estate planning surveys have showed that there is a significant disconnect when it comes to most people’s understanding of estate planning for millennials. Out of the people that have been interviewed so far many believe that it is important to have estate plans while only a few have them. Millennials are missing out on […]

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