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Tips to Get Lower Gold Loan Interest Rate Instantly

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Gold Loan Interest rates

Gold is considered an ideal asset by most Indian households. Passed down as heritage, gold articles hold substantial value in the market.

This is why most individuals lean on high-value secure credit forms like gold loans during financial emergencies. To comply with this demand, multiple lending institutions levy a nominal gold loan interest rate. Additionally, the RBI’s decision to maintain the repo rate at 4% has made the borrowing rate feasible.

To understand how the rate of interest on gold loan works, one needs to understand the calculation method.

How is the gold loan interest rate calculated?

The gold loan interest rate calculation is done by deducting the principal amount from the total amount to be repaid at the end of the tenor. Depending on the interest component, individuals can make repayment.

Borrowers can also evaluate their EMI structure by employing the simple formula P × r × (1 + r)n/((1 + r)n – 1). Here P stands for the loan amount, r stands for interest rate, and n denotes tenor or number of months.

For instance, a borrower avails a gold loan of Rs.2 lakh for a tenor of 20 years. The interest levied on the loan is 6%. They are obligated to repay a monthly EMI of 1,433 and approximately a total interest of Rs.14 lakh.

To ease out this complex calculation, individuals can use an online gold loan EMI calculator. This smart tool gives a detailed breakdown of the repayment obligation when tenor, interest rate, and loan amount is entered. Borrowers can tweak these figures until they reach a suitable interest rate. This will also help them compare lenders and find the one that levies the lowest gold loan interest rate.

In terms of repayment, a gold loan extends multiple options. An individual can opt for a traditional EMI structure or pay the interest periodically and principal at the tenor end. They can also choose to repay interest upfront and principal later.

Availability of these options and affordable interest rate contributes to the growing demand for a gold loan among borrowers. Doubling up of gold loan segment in India to Rs.6,064 crore as of 31st March 2021 substantiates this fact.

However, focusing on the benefits won’t make the borrowing successful. Instead, potential borrowers should have detailed knowledge of the factors impacting gold loan interest rates.

What are the factors that impact the gold loan interest rate?

The gold loan interest rate differs from one lender to another. The factors like the purity of gold and LTV ratio impacts the loan amount sanctioned by the lender. Some other factors are-

  • Inflation

Inflations can raise the demand for credit forms like a loan against gold. Technically, the value of a currency drops drastically, forcing individuals to look for secured funding alternatives. Moreover, as the value of gold increases, individuals can gain affordable interest rates on gold loans.

  • Current gold price

When the market price of gold rises, chances of leveraging gold ornaments’ equity also increase. Lending institutions are obligated to levy affordable interest rates if a borrower mortgages multiple gold articles. In a situation like defaulting, lenders can take care of the losses by auctioning the securities.

  • Relationship with lenders

Lending institutions are flexible about CIBIL scores. However, maintaining a healthy credit report and repayment history leverages a borrower’s reliability. Disclosing additional income sources will again ascertain one’s repayment capability. As an asset-backed credit option, financers will agree to borrowers’ demand of levying a reasonable interest rate on gold loans.

  • Global movement of gold price

Even the slightest change in gold price globally can impact the gold price in India. This is because India is the largest gold importer. Gold is always seen as the compatible financial source by borrowers; therefore, demand for a gold loan increases during economic turmoil. To leverage this demand, lenders extend suitable interest rates on this credit form.

These are some essential factors that impact a gold loan interest rate. Individuals should evaluate their financial stability and current market condition before making a loan application. Additionally, one should keep a tab over the updates made by RBI regarding the LTV ratio.  This will help them make the most out of their gold possessions.

Alisha Antil is your best financial helper. She has a vast experience in finance and loans and provide to you the expert advise in ensuring your property and health. She has in depth knowledge and has written more than 1200 blogs on topics related loan against property. She also provide you with knowledge about home improvement and cooking.

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Build Your Own Homemade Gold Sluice Box

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Have you ever thought of going prospecting for gold? Using a sluice box may help you find more of that beautiful yellow stuff. Here how you can plan and build your own gold sluice box. These do it your self projects are popular with lots of folks, and fun to think about even if you just end up buying a store bought product. Here are some thoughts on how to build your own do It Yourself, hand fed Gold Sluice Box – I think it’s a great project for beginners. A wooden sluice like this was the first piece of prospecting equipment I ever built.

A sluice box lined with riffles is one of the oldest forms of gravity separation devices still being used today. They are simple and have been in use all across the world for thousands of years. A sluice is really nothing more than an artificial channel lined with devices to catch gold through which water flows, moving the lighter materials such as clay, sands and gravels out of the sluice. They heavier materials remain behind, trapped by the riffles. For many years, most sluice boxes were home made affairs designed and built in the gold prospector himself. To this day, in the gold bearing regions of third world countries, prospectors design and build sluice boxes out the most unusual items – sometimes whatever materials are available locally. You don’t really need any special sluice box plans – the exact size is really not all that critical.

Making your own gold sluice is actually a very good beginning project for new prospectors in my opinion. Just take a close look at the sluices being offered by the manufacturers, and that will show you how to build your own sluice box. It won’t be difficult to get some ideas to make your own plans. Sluice boxes can be made out of wood, aluminum, plastic or steel. Injection molded plastic is not really an option easily available to the do-it-yourself prospector, and steel has a tendency to rust, so wood and aluminum are the preferred options.

In developing plans for a homemade sluice box, the more time you spend thinking about your design, the better. You don’t want to have to buy parts you don’t need, but on the other hand your slice box needs to work and catch the gold efficiently. A good plan and a good understanding of how a sluice box traps gold are important to your design. I think using miners moss underneath your riffles is a real important item for capturing that fine gold. That is why miners moss is used in the sluices of nearly all commercial suction gold dredges. Having a liner underneath the riffles is an important aid in catching small gold dust, and is very worthwhile. I went with miners moss under all the riffles in my sluice, and I strongly recommend it for you.

The typical wooden homemade sluice is made of boards and varies in width from 8 to 18 inches, usually with a depth of 6 inches to a foot. A typical length would be in the three to 6 foot range. Riffles can be made from half inch square dowel nailed about every 6 inches down the length of the sluice. The section without riffles in the top of the box about a foot long is often left for the spot where material shoveled in. This type of sluice box does catch gold, and is easy to build, but is hard to clean out at the end of the day. In addition, the gravel will beat up the wooden riffles over time. It is also possible to create steel riffles that fit inside a wooden sluice, and in that case you can also use miners Moss or some similar material to line the bottom of the sluice underneath the metal riffles.

Homemade sluices can also be made from lightweight aluminum. Wooden sluices tend to become waterlogged in increased greatly in weight after they have been in the water for time. This gives aluminum quite an advantage and it is certainly preferred in the construction of the homemade sluice. The trough of the sluice, whether aluminum or wood, is usually roughly about the same size.

For those interested in making their own home made hand fed sluice box from aluminum with steel riffles as a do it yourself type of project, I can say if you have any metal fabrication skills, you will find this an easy project. A little welding, a little metal folding and the project is done. If you purchase fairly thin aluminum sheet it will be possible to bend it yourself into the trough shape as a single piece (just don’t go too thin). More information and detail can be found on the authors website.

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De Beer’s Diamond Monopoly On The Whole World And How It Ended

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The diamond industry model of the 21st century should be considered as different from the diamond industry model of the 20th century. This is because there was a single company that monopolized the entire diamond industry.

Throughout the 20th century the diamond industry was monopolized by De Beer, whom some have considered used many underhand methods to achieve and sustain this monopoly on the diamond industry.

It has been suggested that the company used several tactics to take control of the market, for example, they would purchase stockpiles of diamonds that came from other competitors and then manipulated the prices through the aged old supply and demand.

Another underhand methods used was to flood the market with similar products of producers who refuse to join his monopoly.

At the time the family of companies was employing around 20.000 employers on five continents at different places around the world.

The family of companies were involved in all aspects of the diamond industry, from mining of the diamonds, to selling rough diamonds, to distribution and production and also the marketing and the making of jewelry.

The De Beer Family is credited as selling around 40% of the world’s rough diamonds, which came from their own mines or through their joint ventures with various governments.

It might be worth noting here for those who might not know, that it is not the name of a person, but it is the name of the company that was founded by Cecil Rhodes back in 1888 and which was funded by Lord Nathan Rothschild of the Rothschild family.

Cecil Rhodes started a company back in 1871 during the gold rush days selling water pumps to miners. This took place in South Africa where the largest diamond of 83.5 carats was found in Kimberly.

Using the profits from this operation he wisely invested in buying up claims from small diamond miners and in another bold move.

He secured further funds from Rothschild for a massive expansion and De Beer was created in 1888 with the merger of Cecil Rhodes and Barney Banarto, who subsequently became the owners of all the mining production in South Africa.

Cecil Rhodes was afraid that one day someone will find another diamond mine and that is just what happened, enter the Cullinan mine, which was discovered in 1902 and was to De Beer’s major competitor and subsequently the cause of the end of De Beer monopoly.

The owner of the mine refused an invitation to join the monopoly opting instead to do business with the Bernard and Ernest Oppenheimer, which delivered another blow to De Beer’s cartel.

The Cullinan mine was so successful that they are credited with finding the second largest diamond ever found, The Cullinan Diamond and their production soon matched that of De Beers.

However, business being the way that it is De Beer soon obtain ownership of The Cullinan mining industry sometime during the 1st world war.

In 1902 after the death of Cecil Rhodes the De Beer company had been controlling over 90% of the diamond production of the world.

In 2000 a number of diamond producers in places like Australia, Canada and Russia decided that they had enough of De Beer and would be seeking to distribute their diamonds outside of the De Beer cartel. It was this single act the saw the end of the De Beer monopoly.

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Appraisal Management – Is it Working For Today’s Appraiser?

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While appraisal management is not a new concept, the change in the laws that forced their use has caused much speculation about their use, both for appraisers and lenders alike, but for completely different reasons.

Appraisers have several gripes about the appraisal management process and implementation. The first of which is the ethics of the management firms. Conditions have improved for the appraiser, but many are still upset about unfair pay splits, difficulty in getting jobs and the time frame that the firms require to have the job completed.

As the appraisal management companies have increased and experience more competition, they have been forced to change their policies to be more friendly to the appraisers. Where some companies used to take up to 50% of the appraisers fee, most are using a flat fee scale that can be as low as 5%. Also, when they used to require a 24 hour turn time, many now are accepting 48 to 72 hour turn times. Industry standards are definitely changing in favor of the appraiser.

The second issue appraisers have with the appraisal management industry is the inability to talk directly to the lender. While the management companies do serve the purpose of reducing the amount of possible improprieties that can happen with appraiser/lender communication, the inability to communicate also makes it more difficult to solve simple problems that must now go through a middle man.

A third issue appraiser have with appraisal management is just the fact that they have to spend a lot of time signing up with each one. Most companies want an application that can be filled out online, a signed contract that releases liability of the management company, as well as copies of the current state license and E&O insurance. Appraisers could spend days signing up for the hundreds of management companies to bring in the required work load they desire.

The management companies are not going away, although it will continue to evolve, hopefully, in a more beneficial way for the appraisers and lenders.

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To Subsidize Or Unsubsidize? That is the Question

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Down to the wire with choosing your options. Do I choose a subsidized student loan or an unsubsidized loan, or both? The difference between Subsidized and Unsubsidized is that the interest accrued on borrowed money must be paid back by someone, either the borrower or the federal government.

o A bank, lending institution or credit union lends a borrower money with the intent to make money. For simplicity sake, if someone was to borrow $1,000, the bank would require the borrower to pay back the $1,000 plus “interest”. The interest is the profit the lender makes. For example, the borrower pays the lender $100 in eleven payments for a total of $1,100. The original $1,000 is paid back plus an additional $100. The original $1,000 is called “principle”. The $100 is called interest.

There are two types of student loans Subsidized and Unsubsidized. They are also called sub and unsub loans. (There are other student loans but we will only discuss these.) The rules for a Sub loan is, the federal government will pay the interest during a deferment period. The deferment period is while you are in school (up to 4 ½ years) and the student must be attending an accredited college at least part time.

So if a student borrows $5,000 in a Sub loan at the end of the deferment period the balance of the loan would be $5,000. After the deferment period the borrower would pay any interest that accumulates AFTER that point. If the loan is paid off before the deferment period ends nothing else would be owed. Unsub loans don’t have a deferment period. The borrower is responsible to pay both the principle and interest.

Let’s say that a student borrows $5,000 in an Unsubsidized Stafford loan, (unsubsidized means that the interest on the borrowed money accumulates.) At the end of the deferment period the balance of the loan (principle plus accumulated interest) is $6,772.47. $1,772.47 is added to the principle loan balance of $5,000.

This means that at the end of the deferment period the total due on the borrowed money is $6,772.47. Interest will continue to accumulate until the entire loan is paid off. And if the minimum payment is made each month at the end, the borrower would have paid a total of $9,352.80. The lender would receive the original $5,000 plus $4,352.80 in interest profit. (These numbers are estimates and used for illustration purposes only.)

It is less expensive to pay the loan off early and/or pay more than the monthly minimum payment. It is best to pay off the Unsub loans first as these loans are more expensive over time. And if you are able, make payments during the deferment period.

Excerpt from the Guide to Federal Student Aid

Subsidized Direct* or FFEL** Stafford Loan

Loan: must be repaid Subsidized: The U.S. Department of Education pays interest while the borrower is in school and during grace and deferment periods; student must be attending at least half-time and have financial need; fixed interest rate of 5.6% for loans made to undergraduates with the first disbursement date between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010; fixed rate of 6.8% is set for loans made to graduate students $3,500-$8,500, depending on grade level.

Unsubsidized Direct* or FFEL** Stafford Loan

Loan: must be repaid Unsubsidized: The borrower is responsible for all interest; must be at least half-time; financial need not required; fixed interest rate of 6.8% for new borrowers $5,500-$20,500 (less any subsidized amounts received for same period), depending on grade level and dependency status.

Direct* or FFEL** PLUS Loan

Loan: must be repaid For parents of dependent undergraduate students and for graduate and professional students; students must be enrolled at least half-time; financial need not required Borrower must not have adverse credit history PLUS Loans are unsubsidized, the borrower is responsible for all interest; fixed interest rate is 8.5% for FFEL PLUS Loans and 7.9% for Direct PLUS Loans Maximum amount is cost of attendance minus any other financial aid student receives; no minimum amount.

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Build Your Own Gold Rocker Box Or Gold Cradle

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First developed in the goldfields of the state of Georgia, the rocker was an important gold mining tool. At the very dawn of the Gold rush to California, the rocker box also known as a cradle was perhaps the most used piece of gold prospecting equipment. For a time it was perhaps even more important that the gold pan. Mostly this was because the miner could make a rocker for himself in the field from rough sawn lumber cut in the forest. They are also easily portable. Rocker boxes were also popular during the Klondike gold rush for working the hillside placers that were far above the creeks.

The ‘rocker’ is a box with a hopper about 3 to 4 ft. long and 1 to 2 ft. wide, sloped like a cradle, and is mounted on semicircular pieces of wood and worked by a, handle to give it a side motion; and it is also inclined so as to carry the material down to the lower end, which is open. At the upper end is a small hopper that may be removed and which has a sheet-iron bottom perforated with 1/2 -in. holes. Under the hopper is a canvas apron or tray inclined toward the head of the box but touching neither end of the hopper-box. Several wooden riffles are placed across the box. The material is fed into the hopper and screened through by water poured on top; the lighter material is carried over the end, while the riffles in the box catch the gold and magnetic sand. This concentrate is cleaned out and panned at the end of the operation. The rocker is used for the same type of work as the gold pan in that it is mainly a prospecting tool. A man is able to wash 3 to 5 times more yardage than with the gold pan, and the use of the rocker eliminates much of the backbreaking strain of continuous panning. On the other hand, the easy mobility of the pan as a prospecting device is lost.

So why might a modern prospector be interested in building his own rocker box? The principal use of a gold rocker is for mining small deposits where water is scarce. It is not really a desert device and it does use some significant water, but not nearly as much as a sluice. In a rocker, gravel requires about three times its own weight of water to wash it. So perhaps the best use is in streams and waterways with very little water – where some water is present, but not enough to run a sluice box. If enough flowing water to run a sluice is present, a sluice is faster and easier to run than a rocker. The rocker is only a primitive machine, having a capacity but one-fifth as great as that of the sluice box, but because it is cheap, requires but little water, and saves a high percentage of coarse gold, the rocker will continue to be used in many districts.

The operation of a rocker consists of shoveling gravel onto a screen or grizzly, pouring water over it from a dipper, and at the same time giving the device a back-and-forth rocking motion. The grizzly retains all the oversized stones, which are removed by hand when they have been washed clean. The operator briefly examines the oversize rock to be sure no large nuggets or gold specimens are being tossed out. The cradle must be placed on an inclination while being worked, and under the influence of the continued side-to-side rocking the dirt is quickly disintegrated, passes down through the hopper grizzly and the water and the undersize fall down onto the canvas apron which saves most of the gold and places the remainder at the head end of the trough. From the apron it is conveyed to the inner end of the cradle floor (the sluice box like section of the rocker), from which it flows over the riffles, or bars, and out at the mouth. Riffles, canvas, blankets, corduroy, burlap, or cocoa matting with expanded metal have been used to cover the bottom of the trough and all have met with varying degrees of success in saving the gold. The combination of cocoa matting covered with expanded metal lath has proven to be quite effective for most gravels. The frequency of cleaning up depends on the richness and character of the gravel, but clean-ups are usually necessary two or three times a day. The hopper is taken off first, then the apron is slid out, and washed in a bucket or tub containing clean water, and finally the gold is collected with a spoon from behind the riffle bars, and panned out.

The rocking motion used should be sufficient to keep the gravel disturbed, allowing the gold to settle out, but a too vigorous movement will cause a gold loss. The gravel bed should be shifted slightly with each motion and should be evenly distributed across the trough. Generally speaking, the rocker is not known for its ability to save fine gold, but with careful and expert manipulation, decent fine gold recoveries can be achieved. Tailings from both rockers and sluice boxes should be occasionally panned to check for gold losses. When gold is found near the lower end of the rocker or sluice box, the potential for losses should be investigated.

Because there is no one “right” design for a rocker box, I am not actually presenting specific plans, but on my website I am giving you the information you need to plan, design and build your own rocker box if that’s what you decide to do. My recommended design for a rocker is to start buy building a sluice box 40 inches long, 16 inches wide on the bottom, sloped like a cradle, and with rockers at each end. The hopper would be 16 inches square and 6 inches deep, with a sheet metal bottom made of perforated steel with 1/2-inch holes. This hopper box needs to be designed so it can be removed for clean up. A light canvas-covered frame is stretched under the hopper, forming a riffle. Square riffles of wood or steel are placed across the bottom of the sluice portion of the rocker. Curved feet are placed underneath the sluice portion of the box to allow it to be rocked back and forth. Historically, rockers are built of wood, as the early prospectors built them. However, there is no reason that a rocker could not be built from sturdy heavy gauge sheet aluminum. It would be much lighter that the wood version. Remember that wood also absorbs water, and water logged wood is much heavier than dry wood.

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How High Should My Credit Score Be?

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Here are a couple of general rules for your consideration. Your minimum credit score needs to be at least 650. If your credit score is below 650 then there are ways to fix it. Here’s how it works…

A. You can challenge anything in your credit report. If the merchant can’t provide proof of their claim, then the item must be removed from your credit report. For example, if Department Store X says that you didn’t pay-off your $72 balance on your X card in 1997, and you say that you did, then Department Store X has 30 days to provide the documentation proving that the bill is unpaid. If they can’t prove their claim, then the outstanding debt is removed and you’re moving toward a higher credit score. If Department Store X is right and you do owe them $72, then you now know the problem and you have the opportunity to pay the $72… again you’re moving toward a higher credit score.

B. Get and review copies of your three major credit reports annually-more often if you are nearing pivotal junctures where your credit score is especially important.

C. Between the reports from Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and CBS News, it is estimated that somewhere between five and eighty percent of credit reports contain errors. Some errors are actually good for you and some are not so good. In my mid-twenties I checked my credit reports, and I was very happy to learn that not only had I purchased a new car, but I paid it off with a perfect history of payments. It was great for my young credit history-never did find the car.

D. Your credit score contains five components. Here are the five components and their degree of importance by percentage:

  1. Payment History (35%)-Here, the credit bureaus (CBs) are looking at mortgages, credit cards, installment loans, retail accounts, adverse public records like bankruptcy, lawsuits, judgments, liens, garnishments, past due payments… etc. If you have past due payments, the CBs will look at (a) amount past due, (b) amount of time past due, (c) number of accounts pat due.
  2. Amounts Owed (30%)-CBs are reviewing the type of accounts you use and the amount of credit you are utilizing relative to the credit available to you. For example and all else being equal, a person carrying balances equaling 95% of credit available on ten personal credit cards for a total of $50,000 outstanding debt will have a lower credit score than a person carrying 50% balances on three credit cards for a total of $10,000 outstanding debt.
  3. Length of Credit History (15%)-CBs are examining specific account types, how long the accounts have been open and the level and timing of activity within the account. Amazingly, for credit scoring purposes it appears that it is actually better to have credit accounts with outstanding balances (within reason) than to have no accounts open or no credit history. Being debt free can actually lower your credit score. I have a friend who is a very astute, very successful former international banker. He has done business in more than 20 countries and has lived in nine countries. This is a person with exceptional success, wealth, and highly responsible money management practices. He was turned down when he applied for a credit card at the very bank where he worked. Reason: No U.S. credit history.
  4. New Credit History (10%) – In short, the CBs are looking to see if you have been opening or attempting to open lots of new accounts recently. As you might imagine, someone who is thinking about lending you money gets very nervous when they discover you are borrowing money from everyone.
  5. Type of Credit Used (10%)-CBs look at the balance of debt as distributed throughout the various types of debt from credit cards to mortgages and secured to unsecured.

Your credit score is based on all of the items above. It is not a pass-fail circumstance for each of the categories. Your score is produced in the aggregate and that scoring constantly changes. The scoring for one person and their financial profile will be different from another person. The information presented here is for the fat part of the Bell Curve, but it provides solid guidelines.

E. If you are focused on an acquisition (or other type of loan) and your score is below the 650 mark, note that a business partner’s score that is 700 or higher can help to off-set your score. When lenders are considering borrower qualifications, they look at the entire “borrower” whether it is one person or a legion of people.

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Alternative Commercial Mortgage Lenders – Hedge Funds & Private Equity

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Hedge funds and private equity firms are investment companies set up by Wall Street investment banks and funded by wealthy individuals and cash rich corporate entities. Unlike standard, publicly traded mutual funds, hedge funds are largely unregulated and have much more leeway in their investment choices. Many of these funds have recognized the opportunity that’s emerged in commercial real estate lending, and have stepped in to fill the funding gap. The money managers in charge of these massive pools of capital are savvy investing pros, they know a good deal when they see it and can be very nimble. Hedge funds and private equity funds are not afraid of risk; in fact they thrive on it. If they like a deal, they make decisions quickly and can close loan or equity financing in just days.

There are many private funds that specialize in commercial real estate investing or have a commercial mortgage lending division. They are cash rich and actively seeking quality deals to fund. They can be an excellent alternative to banks and other traditional lenders.

But, be aware, they are very professional and highly sophisticated. Do not approach hedge funds with shoddy or incomplete packages. They’re pros and work exclusively with other pros.

Hedge fund and private equity people have a Wall Street mentality; they are traders art heart. When they look at a deal they want to be able to make decisions quickly.

When approaching a fund you’ll want to have a complete, well documented package ready to show them at a moments notice, but don’t give it to them all at once. Having worked for Wall Street firms for more than 20 years, I’ve determined that the best way to approach money mangers is with a concise, well written 1 page deal summary.

Sum-up the selling points of your deal on a single sheet of paper, stressing the profit potential, the investors level of experience, the strength of the location and some of the other strong points of the project. They’ll appreciate the fact that you respected their time by being brief. If they like what they see they will ask for more. Give them precisely what they ask for; don’t bog them down with documentation until they tell you they want to see it. Sell them the big story before you try to sell them the details.

If you want to secure funding from a big private equity shop or a hedge fund, I’d strongly suggest you utilize the services of a professional intermediary with Wall Street experience. They can speak the language of fund managers and know exactly what’s important to highlight about a particular deal. These funds tend to operate like private clubs, it helps a-lot if you have an “in”. If you are fortunate enough to develop a relationship with this unique type of lender, you will enjoy a seemingly endless source of capital.

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Skip the Allowance and Employ Your Kid

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Do you own investment real estate or a business? Have you been considering buying a rental property or starting a business? Have kids going to college in a few years? If you already plan on your kids going to college, it’s never too late to start planning effective and efficient ways to increase savings, lower your taxes and improve your odds for receiving student financial aid.

Let’s say you already give your children an allowance. You’re already paying out of pocket and not getting any tax benefit. With a few changes you can turn that cash outflow into a tax deductible expense that can even help your kids save for college. Consider hiring them to work in your business or on the rental property you own.

By paying them a reasonable wage for services like landscaping, cleaning, painting, shoveling snow or doing office administrative work like filing, stuffing envelopes or printing marketing flyers, you have an additional deductible expense which lowers the net income or increases the net loss of your business or property.

And for children earning income in the family business, there is no requirement for payroll taxes. And if you keep the amount of “earned” income below certain limits, you won’t be at risk of paying any “kiddie” tax either. (“Kiddie” tax limits adjust for inflation each year). In effect, you have shifted income from a taxpayer with a higher tax rate to a low- or no-income tax paying child.

Now get your child to open a Roth IRA with the money you pay them and they have the added benefit of tax-free saving for college since Roth IRAs can be tapped for college tuition without paying a penalty as long as the Roth is open for at least five years (restrictions apply).

By reducing your income, you can also reduce your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) which is the critical number used to determine the amount and kind of student financial aid your child can get for college. The EFC is calculated using a number of things including the amount and type of parental assets as well as reported income. EFC is recalculated each time a financial aid form is submitted and is based on the assets and income from the year before.

So to improve your odds for financial aid, one strategy is to lower your reported income. By employing your child to lower your business or rental property income, you may be able to lower your EFC and improve the amount of aid your child receives.

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The American Education Dream is Slipping Away

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There was a time when each American generation thought that the next generation would do better than themselves. A good college education would lead to employment in a company for thirty years. The dream of an American education is slipping away due to the rising cost of post-secondary education. Now it seems that a college education does not guarantee sufficient income. Some college graduates are returning home because they cannot afford student loans and the cost of living.

Students who have to work to pay for college are finding it difficult to keep pace with the cost of living. It is not uncommon to have a book cost $100.00 or more. Students do not get much in return for selling their book back to the bookstore. The cost of room and board is rising steadily as the price for food, electric and gas continue to increase. The recent changes in minimum wage also lag behind the typical living expenses. Students are facing financial challenges outside of the classroom that are causing them to sit out for a semester or two.

The American Dream is also slipping in the K12 systems throughout the country. Too few students are prepared to function in a world that is filled with computer technology. Students need exposure to technology early. Some say that analyzing the changes in the American Dream by looking at elementary school is not appropriate. The country needs to take a long term look at how each citizen is prepared for future employment demands. The types of jobs that K12 students must fill will require different types of abilities which must be an integral part of their current education.

There is a sea of changes happening in the financial markets that provided families with funding to pay for K12 education and college. Individuals who have a decent income are finding it more difficult to obtain a loan with a good interest rate. It is putting a greater pressure on families to save more money. Unfortunately, saving money can be difficult when a couple is living in a major city. The inability to obtain fair interest rates may force students to take out loans with higher interest rates that will last 30 years.

People all over the world still come to the United States with the expectation of the American dream. The dream that they can start new lives and have greater freedom continues to draw them to this country. They understand that having access to education will increase their children’s employability. It’s important that the country uses the talents of every citizen that is here. America needs to prepare for an increasing diversity in the workforce of the 21st century.

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Nevada’s Goldfield Hotel Said to Be Portal to the Other Side

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After gold was discovered on nearby Columbia Mountain in 1902, the town of Goldfield, NV ranked as one of the biggest and brightest mining towns in the west. In its boom year of 1906, the town’s mines produced $11 million in gold. A year later in 1907, the mines were generating close to $10,000.00 a day.

The earthquake-proof, four story, 154-room Goldfield Hotel was built on top of an abandoned gold mine in 1908 for $500,000.00. Being the finest lodging between Denver and San Francisco, the hotel was known as “The Gem in the Desert.”

When it opened in 1908, the hotel boasted an Otis elevator then considered the most modern lift of its kind West of the Mississippi. The Goldfield Hotel’s crystal chandeliers, elegant, mahogany-trimmed lobby with black leather upholstery, gold leaf ceilings and gilded columns rivaled the best hotels in San Francisco.

In an era when few homes or businesses had telephones or carpets, the extravagant hotel featured a sophisticated switchboard and a telephone in every guestroom. Meals were “exquisite European cuisine,” featuring oysters, quail and squid. Patrons came for dinner attired in formal clothing – black tie and tails and ball gowns

Once the largest city in Nevada, Goldfield was connected to the rest of the United States by five railroads and with Goldfield’s mines producing more than $10,000.00 a day at their peak, the town’s five banks thrived. Goldfield even had several mining stock exchanges and three newspapers. As the town boomed, its leaders were considering bringing in a trolley to run through downtown.

But, as the mines bled dry, the city lost its allure and the once splendid Goldfield Hotel ceased operation in the 1920’s. During WW II, the military took it over and added a few improvements that included a grill in order to house Army-Air Force wives whose husbands were stationed and training in the nearby remote desert.

At the end of the War, the Goldfield Hotel was once again abandoned and boarded up. Then in the 1980’s, a well-to-do new owner began to pour millions of dollars into modernizing the hotel. His dream to open the former “Gem in the Desert” in all its original splendor went broke before completion. He lost ownership to back property taxes. Vandals carried off most of the newly installed bathroom and light fixtures, eventually taking all but the bare walls.

Today the town of Goldfield is home to fewer than 300 residents, although remains the seat of Esmeralda County, which at fewer than 1,000 residents, is Nevada’s most sparsely populated county. There is no gas station, no bank, no grocery store and much less a newspaper, a far cry from when the city was known as the “Queen of Camps,” for its more than 25, 000 residents.

The Forlorn Elizabeth Haunts

With its glorious past, the ill-fated hotel remains the most prominent symbol of Goldfield’s former glory. But contributing to its ghostlike mood is the fact much of the original luxurious woodwork has been destroyed by vandals. All of the old fixtures stripped away through the years by modern day gold seekers and sold.

Before the hotel was privately purchased at auction for back taxes in August 2003, the Goldfield Historical Society opened the hotel for special “ghost” tours several times a year. Bringing famed as one of the “Scariest Places on Earth,” when the Fox network filmed an episode for Halloween by the same name that aired in October 2001.

During filming members of the crew reportedly observed a ghostly presence in the halls. Feeling unsettled, one crewmember left, refusing to go back inside. Later orbs (foggy ghostlike objects) were seen in several of the photographs taken inside, including my own photographs.

Since about 1910, room 109 has been considered haunted. Legend has it, that this room is haunted by a prostitute named Elizabeth, whom while pregnant was chained to the radiator in the room by the original hotel’s owner George Winfield.

Winfield was so angered when he discovered Elizabeth was pregnant; he denied her freedom to leave. Once her child was born, it was torn from her arms and discarded. Thrown into the cute of the abandoned gold mine over which the hotel was built.

With the disposal of Elizabeth’s child, Winfield left the young woman to die and for days, she cried out for mercy. Rescue never came, she found herself alone and abandoned. Fearing Winfield’s authority, hotel employees were afraid to come to Elizabeth’s rescue and hotel guests could not hear her because of the isolation of the room and the thickness of the walls.

Psychics that have visited room 109, say Elizabeth was either left to die there or murdered soon afterwards. Her spirit is trapped within the modest room that looks out onto a brick side wall of the hotel. On dark forlorn nights, the infant is heard crying by passerby and nearby residents.

On the first floor, George Winfield’s presence has been felt near the lobby staircase. The smell of cigar smoke and ashes have been found periodically by people inspecting the hotel and once, fresh ashes were discovered by an electrical worker within a fuse box that had not been opened in more than 50 years. Ghost hunters on the third floor have also detected high psychic energy.

Many that enter room 109 find it colder than the other rooms and feel a presence in the room. Discoloration from age on the wall where the radiator stands appears to have the outline of a human form. Cameras have been known to malfunction while inside this room.

Other ghosts have reportedly been observed in the halls and on the lobby staircase. Doors sometimes slam and mysterious odors linger. Clairvoyants who have come to examine the building, say the Goldfield Hotel is among several portals or gateways to the otherworldly.

During the annual Esmeralda County land auction in August 2003, the Goldfield Hotel was sold for $360,000. The new owner was said to have plans to refurbish the bottom two floors of the four-story hotel and open them to the public. To date, the hotel remains empty and boarded.

Goldfield is located hallway between Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada on U.S. highway 95.

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